Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Finding Lost, Season 5": The Penultimate Pleasure

Aside from finally being able to see my name in print, there were so many great aspects of this book that I just couldn't name them all. Basically, if you like the show and follow it religiously as I do, then you'll find a gold mine of information.
This is the fourth book in Nikki Stafford's "Finding Lost" series. The first book covered Seasons 1 and 2, the second book covered Season 3, and the third covered Season 4. They're just chock full of detailed info and interesting facts that'll make even the most die-hard fans raise their eyebrows in surprise. Can't wait for the last one!
I give this book 9 Compasses out of 10.

"Saw VI": It Never Ends

The "Saw" franchise is fucking mind-blasting, and it's remained one of the most consistent and entertaining movie franchises ever. There's only one problem: it never ends!
When the posters were first going up for "Saw VI", they said it would be the final film. I thought that was awesome, we'd get closure on the story and find out the fates of all the characters. But no, they lied. The studio wants more money, so "Saw VII" is already in the works. Okay, I thought. there are 7 Harry Potter movies, 7 a'int such a bad number. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! The studio wants even more money than that so, sorry, but "Saw VIII" is gonna have to be made too.
On the TV show "LOST", the writers' dreams came true when ABC told them they could end the show after the sixth season. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to write episodes knowing how the ending would pan out, and how long it would take to get them there. Well, the "Saw" films are almost as complex as "LOST"; why the fuck can't the producers be sensible and do the same damn thing? These movies would be so much more amazing if we would only know which one of them was gonna answer all our questions!
Anyway, "Saw VI" was great, way better than the last installment, which was arguably the series' weakest link. It contained a bunch of great twists, like any good "Saw" movie should, and ended with a very interesting and gory cliffhanger.
I want more! (But not another 9 more, okay, guys? Please don't turn this into "The Land Before Time". As great as these movies are, if I see a marquee for "Saw XXVIII", I'm gonna shoot somebody).
I give this movie 8 Rusty Reverse-Bear Traps out of 10.

"The Lovely Bones": Metaphorical Bones, You Sicko

Long story short, this book was a stunner!
Susie Salmon gets raped & murdered, then spends the entire book narrating on her observations from heaven, as she watches her family struggle through the turmoil of her death.
What a fascinating idea for a book; personally, I'm surprised someone didn't do this sooner! The author does a great job covering all the different aspects of loss (and coping with it) that the Salmons go through, as well as painting us a terrifying and creepy villain in George Harvey. But what she does best is write about some of the most mundane, routine aspects of human life, and never once does it seem boring or slow the pace of the book.
The scene where Jack teaches his son how to play Monopoly and tells him of his sister's death all at the same time is the stuff of tear-jerking awesomeness, as is the very end of the book. Since you see the story through Susie's eyes the entire time, a small part of you can't help but hope that her family will get to see her/say goodbye. But in the end, her death is as real as any death: the Salmons never see her again, but they learn to accept that, and life continues on. The end is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once.
I give this book 9 Lovely Bones out of 10.

"9": Ragdolls & General Confusion

When "Star wars" first premiered on Memorial Day, 1977, it thrust fans into an unfamiliar galaxy, filled with unfamiliar vehicles and creatures, and unfamiliar planets inhabited by unfamiliar characters, all set to the backdrop of an unfamiliar war. People LOVED it.
"9" thrusts us into an unfamiliar reality, on our own planet, with our own technology and science...and the movie made no fucking sense.
So, long story hort, some asshole creates a bunch of war machines, the machines get too smart and turn on the humans (a la "The Terminator"). That part I can grasp. So, because all of this happened, a mad scientist transfers his soul into nine individual ragdolls with unique personality traits. That part, not so much. Why the hell would he need to do that? The cells we see forming at the end happened because of rain. The ragdolls didn't create the rain! They just ran around, spewing their despressing "our lives are difficult" babble, getting killed off by whatever the hell that machine-thing was, and then the ghost disappear into heaven and, in a perfect example of pathetic fallacy, it starts raining.
So, what was the point? Did the scientist have any reason to create those ragdolls, other than to prove that he could pull off such a procedure in the first place? No. Sure, the ragdolls destroyed the machine, but by pure fluke. The scientists couldn't possibly have expected them to actually do it. Why was the monster eating ragdolls? Was that explained? No.
And if all the dolls were just bits of the scientist's soul, then why was one of them a woman? And why did another one of them fall in love with her? How the hell could a soul fall in love with itself?
I don't know, this movie was too fucking weird. I walked out of the theatre and spent the next two days trying to figure out what the hell it was I just watched. The animation looked great, but story-wise, it had all the appeal of an old shoe. People who were expecting the next "Nightmare Before Christmas" were definitely disappointed by this one.
I give it 2 Buttons out of 10.