Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Books & Movies

I cannot remember whether it was another Blogger or Commenter who got me reading Robin Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles (completely different from Pern) but I want to Thank You again!  I've read the first 2 books 3 times each and when D brought home the 3rd volume for me from the library I was so excited. 

Stayed up into the wee hours of the morning finishing "City of Dragons".  For some reason I thought this was the final volume.  You know how you get the feeling part way through a book of 'how the heck are they going to wrap everything up when there is still so much new stuff...'?

So I felt a bit silly to read there will be a 4th and final volume.  And Thankful.  The continued story lines are even more intriguing.  Looking forward to Feb 2013.  Can't believe I'm so late reading this one.  It's been out since Feb this year. 

Now that the summer blockbuster movie season is over, I want to weigh in on what we saw. 

Andrew Garfield surpassed my expectations as Spiderman.  I may be a bit biased as I'm a fan of his but the story was more real and had a depth the earlier versions lacked or was unable to tease out.

Christian Bale was in fine form for the last Batman.  It now ranks almost as high for me as the first one.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be perfect as Robin.  Anne Hathaway was superb.  She continues to surprise me.  At first I wasn't sure how her role was going to fit in but it worked.

I was a bit skeptical but excited when Avengers kicked off the whole party.  I didn't know how they were going to handle all those strong personalities and wondered if it was going to be a film with a bunch of superheros thrown together with no one really shining.  Or it was just going to be another Ironman in disguise.  Don't get me wrong -- I really enjoyed the series. 

Fortunately they made a good first movie introducing everyone and for me, the surprise highlight (I already knew I'd like the others) was Mark Ruffalo as Hulk.  If you've seen the Hulk played by Eric Bana, it is a continuation of that Hulk, the one with the nasty darker almost sadistic side.  I felt Ruffalo nailed it.  It was also great to see Chris Evans (Captain America) get assertive. 

Finally the latest Bourne.  Again I'm a bit biased because I like Jeremy Renner (D doesn't get it).  At first I wasn't sure I was going to like the movie.  Until I got Matt Damon out of my mind, I couldn't let what they were trying to do with this movie sink in.  Aaron Cross is so different.  It was after the movie was over that I got it.  The movie was even better for me the second time. 

They went too far with Jason Bourne's abusive personality manipulation causing him to snap.  And with Aaron Cross, they may not have gone far enough because of his ability to think, suspect and question.  And humour!  Maybe leaving too much personality?  The latest experiments incorporated the relentlessness of Bourne while removing the empathy, flatlining the persona.  Scary.  Ed Norton is so great in those intense power roles. 

I wish they didn't use the same Moby song (Extreme Ways) at the end, just when they managed to make a film that was supposed to be separate from Jason Bourne.

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