Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Avatar: Believe the hype (review roundup)

(Spoilers below)

Up until now, 3D has felt like a gimmick, nothing more than a way for Hollywood to steal a few extra bucks per ticket. But Avatar is special, an event. Great movie, notwithstanding the circle of life/running naked through the trees is wonderful nonsense. And I especially liked when Jake got in touch with the Force, flew his X-Wing, and blew up the Death Star at the end.

And a few more reviews:

1. Not coincidentally, I'm currently reading a review copy of The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron. As a boy, he was the guy borrowing his friend's dad's camera to film movies, and convincing the kids in the neighborhood to build him a rocket ship and to pull him around in it. I can't get enough tales of Hollywood, especially when Roger Corman is involved, and so far this is a good one. 32% off at Amazon.

2. Makers by Cory Doctorow: People who don't really understand Boing Boing or Cory's views on copyright probably dismiss him as a lazy thief. But with this book especially, he cements himself as the internet generation's Horatio Alger. Wikipedia describes Alger's stories as, "illustrating how down-and-out boys might be able to achieve the American Dream of wealth and success through hard work, courage, determination, and concern for others." That's Makers in a nutshell. Almost every vice is forgiven in the tale, except for sloth, lack of imagination, and unwillingness to make money. Good book. Like Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, it's another look at amusement parks coupled with an effort to hypothesize a world without scarcity. Free to download and 34% off at Amazon.

3. Love and Rockets: New Stories by the Hernandez Brothers: Maybe I'm not sophisticated enough for this one? The middle stories are depressing to read and grotesque to look at. The super hero tale that bookends the volume features nice enough art, but a completely ho hum story. 43% off at Amazon.

*You can see more of my reviews here.