cybermule: (books)
Jerusalem is massive. Literally massive. You know how you think Lord of the Rings or the later Harry Potters are big? That's peanuts compared to Jerusalem.

It even defies description in a lot of ways. It's about a special visionary family, Northampton and both of those through many tangled dimensions of time. There's a hell of a lot of philosophy. Maths. And linguistics. And a chapter on Bauhaus.

It is also literary, aping various novels and genres and in itself revealing a very expansive yet generally tight verbosity in Moore's writing that leaves every detail neatly, precisely and entirely described. It reminds me of Mervyn Peake on an amphetamin jag at times, to be honest. When I read it, there was much I skimmed and now only appreciate while going back through the audio book. It loops in and out like one of those table mats you wove from paper strips at Primary School.

It is intensely hard work. But very much worth it. I'm now a Moore fangirl.

This segues me over to By Ourselves. At just under an hour and a half, it's a much less serious investment. And there's an interview with Alan Moore. Who has a lovely voice *ahem* And as it's about John Clare's pedestrain journey from Bedlam to Northampton, there is more to link it than just fandom. Although there is either going to be some fandom or some patience involved as it's a studiedly "artsy" film at times with a lot of Iain Sinclair. The gentle bafflement of Toby Jones as the 18th century nature poet smacking against various underpasses and motorways saves the more grating bits of the film, and the claustrophobic and layeringly paranoid filming in black and white stock is genuinely starkly beautiful.

Up there with Field in England as a piece of weird folkhorror British film, but not as comprehensively mind fucking.
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Book review = "Abe Lincoln - vampire slayer" (Seth Grahame Smith). I only picked this up because I recognised the name from bookclub, and to be frank, I was expecting it to be a bit shit. But it wasn't. As I know nothing much about Abe Lincoln, I can only say that it seemed credible enough, and seemed a good imitation of a history book (I don't know much about these either :)). But best of all, it was a good story and I enjoyed it. Would probably recommend.

Film review - Resident Evil 3D. Again, much much better than I expected. That'll teach me for reading the Guardian reviews. I liked the fact that Milla Jovovich seemed (within the confines of film concepts of mature women) more grown up and comfortable, and less airbrushed. She's always appealing, let's face it, but she actually made an action heroine that I admired. The plot was just about enough for such a film, and the 3D-ness was quite good. The only complaint was that after a while there were so many ripoffs of nods to "28 Days Later" that I was starting to mental reframe the timelapse captions as 28/7 of a year later. They'd actually put 3D effects to good use, rather than make a film and 3Dify it. And yet again, they left room for a sequel ;)
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Umm. It was OK. Fast, messy and inexplicable. And because of that unashamed manifesto, I quite liked it. Probably the high spot for me were the neo-nazi cyberpunks. Although I am SO not sure what they were doing there.

And people on IMDB who start threads called "this is the worst movie ever". I mean, yeah - obvious trolling there. But why bother? I so bet it's not.
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  • Snakes on A Plane was fab. So much better than I was expecting it to be. So kind of "quality crap" really.
  • What to do about my mum? No time to debate at length here, but it's making me sick with worry. Need to do something.
  • Will I still carry on the life coaching course? Hard pressed for time right now, but it will be over with by November.
  • Ran for nearly an hour yesterday. Very very slowly. I'm not sure whether to enter the 10km in October or not - I might just disgrace myself with a super-lame time.
  • Vaguely related to the above, I've lost a few more pounds. It's coming off slowly, but steadily. Which is the way I want it, really.
  • Spoken to my lodger and she's OK with me giving her notice. Big phew. Now there's nobody I need to avoid around the corridors of work.
  • Going to the final peak at the weekend - up Scafell Pike!
  • Books read recently - The Laments, The Ice House, A Map of the World, Jpod. All fluffy, but good.
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OK, I'm mostly updating to kick my brain out of its current "wasabi pea" track.

I'm just trying to keep a low profile today, and get through work. Visit my aunt. Eat. Sleep.

Being teh knackered is totally my own fault. I stayed up too late last night watching Casanova on DVD. Which was very enjoyable. But meant that I then couldn't sleep due to the combination of heat and "not sleeping stress".


In good news, my laptop's mysteriously mended itself, and can now run off the battery.


The other reason I'm knackered is too much exercise - gym on Friday, running Saturday, hiking Sunday, cycling into work today. I think I broke myself! The run on Saturday was good - my legs start to feel really bouncy and strong when I run. I'm doing the training plan for the 10k, but as I've time to spare, I'm going to take it easy. I'll repeat the run tomorrow, as I conked out on one of the hills.

When I went hiking, I saw donkeys, goats, and petted a sheep.

Friday night, I went to see Cars, which I really enjoyed. Had a lovely day generally on Friday, with lunch at Teohs. Did some socialising, plus small tasks that needed doing.

My lodger's away for a couple of days. I hope it's nothing terrible, but I am glad of having the house to myself.
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You must acquire the trick of ignoring those who do not like you. In my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: The stupid and the envious. The stupid will like you in five years, the envious, never.

Excellent quote from an excelllent film, although I found the cinematography a little hamhanded at times. The final quarter, when Rochester plummets downhill through a combination of syphilis and alcoholism is also gruelling, and quite a trigger for anyone who's known an alcoholic.

The cast were dedicated, and it was an interesting and well played film. I'm not sure how genuinely shocking Rochester would have been in his time, or whether we're more liberal these days, or whether I just don't find that sort of behaviour all that boundary-pushing.

Mostly he seemed like Andy Warhol - an equal mix of genius and self-serving bitch.
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Lied to a man in Kansas, just to watch him die.

And make a whole shedload of money out of it while having a good old whinge to the long suffering Harper Lee.

So a horrible man, but nonetheless a really good film. In other news, the running is going really well - I'm now on a 21 minute run/walk cycle, and really looking forward to it. I think I'd like to do other bigger runs, maybe even a marathon one day. It would be cool to say I'd run a marathon :)
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I have a cold. Snuffle. I've also taken up running, which is way cooler than I anticipated, in anticipation of the Race for Life.


I went to see the Proposition yesterday. 0ct0pus has reviewed it well here:

Just to add that I really enjoyed it. A film made for me - sparse of word, beautiful, grim and heroic.
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Well, one of the unexpected advantages of giving up smoking is that it seems to have made me very susceptible to the effects of other drugs. One cup of coffee sends me hyper, one glass of wine and I'm pretty drunk.

I was fairly assertive in my business group this morning, and took the time out of small group discussions on our business plans. Instead I actually wrote my business plan, which is pretty near finished.

Last night I watched Mirrormask. It was great. Completely trippy, and therefore what I'd expect from Neil Gaiman. The only negative point was that the main actor was a bit "stage school".


Jan. 9th, 2006 02:13 pm
cybermule: (Default)
He rises, he falls. On the way, he shoots a lot of people, and snorts a bunch of coke. The women all snort too much coke too, as can be seen in their dire need for chocolate and pies. Certainly a period piece, and an influence on GTA - Vice City.

Enjoyable, but I don't really get its iconic status.
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I went to see this on Friday night, in a sold-out arts theatre showing. I was absolutely blown away by it - the acting was spot on, the cinematography was breathtaking, and it was one of the most sympathetic and touching love stories I've seen.

I thought Heath Ledger was a bit of a bozo, so I was pleasantly impressed by his performance. I was expecting Jake Gyllenhal to be good, but he managed to shake off Donnie Darko much better than I expected. The women playing their wives were amazing actors - they could have got left out of the running entirely, but ended up being three dimensional characters that you could actually feel for.

I liked the way it was shot, too. The landscapes were amazing, but the shooting of the actors emotions and faces had a quality to it that I'd normally ascribe to a Jim Jarmusch or Sergio Leone film. I'm still haunted by the whole thing a good 48 hours later!

And I cried like a baby at the end. It's good - go and see it :)
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Well, on Sunday, I went to see the Narnia film, and yesterday I went to see Harry Potter and the ever-running franchise.

And before anyone crucifies me on the whumping willow, I do actually quite like Harry Potter, but suspect that at this stage the cash cow is being milked a little dry.

Soooo.... Narnia was great. I seem to have been the only person ever who read this as a kid, and wasn't immediately offended by the Christian overtones. In fact, I didn't notice them at all. Sorry. I just liked a heroic story where kids like me got to play with swords and magic.

Which is pretty much the essence of the film. Incredibly pretty, very heroic, makes you snivel when Aslan, you know, *winks*. Actually, are there people out there who haven't read this? The kids were actually pretty good actors, and it was visually stunning. Although I don't remember big legions of orcs. Definitely one to watch :)

Again, Harry Potter was visually stunning. Kids today must be so sophisticated - I used to think that Dr Who and his yoghurt-pot and toilet-roll bad guys were reet scary, so my little mind would have been completely blown by CGI dragons. Anyway, I enjoyed the film, bar all the bits about kids falling in love.

Over-hormonal little gits should be concentrating on playing with swords and magic. I'm sure I was at that age.

Anyway, both the films were well acted entertainers, with lots of eye-candy. And they both made me cry. Can't ask any more for yer fiver.
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I love Tim Burton films, and particularly the cartoons.

This was no exception. Very Burton-esque. The animation was great, better than Nightmare Before Christmas, and I think the songs were also more subtle.

The characters were well voiced, from very soppy Victor to slightly stroppy Emily, and including all the bit parts. There were some very strong voice actors in there. Just about the right length, and a good story that kept a reasonable amount of suspense.

The end made me blub like a girl. Which I am, but you get what I'm saying.

If you don't like Tim Burton, this isn't going to convert you as it's a well turned out classic Burton animation. If that's what you DO like, then you'll be enchanted.
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I just treated myself to Hardware and Dustdevil on DVD - rocking!

Went to Alton Towers yesterday, met up with [ profile] radixlecti in Stratford at the weekend.

Saw Tamburlaine at the Old Vic on Monday night. It was a very good performance, but quite intense. On the other end of the entertainment spectrum, going to see Corpse Bride tonight :)

Mostly to remind myself:

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 5 in E flat
Performer Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic
Composer Beethoven
Publisher Sony music
CD Title Beethoven: the Royal Collection
Track 5
Label Sony Classical
Rec No: SMK 47520
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Well, [profile] 0ct0pus and I got tickets for the opening night at the Watershed. Unsurprisingly, really, as we'd both been agitating over this one for months.

And it didn't disappoint. I've read a few Diana Wynne Jones books - I loved them as a child - but I haven't read this one. I got the impression that a complex plot had been quite heavily trimmed to fit into the 90 minutes, but it still just about made sense. Could probably have been a bit longer really, as the ending seemed a tad rushed. But the monkeys behind us were sniggering, presumably at the cheesineess. I don't mind a bit of cheese really, and the ending was actually quite sweet.

It was beautifully animated - lush landscapes, quirky characters, dark war-scenes and insane Heath-Robinson-esque contraptions. The characters were sympathetic, even the slightly cute slef-centred mwizard of the title, and although the plot of good people overcoming adversary and growing a little at the same time is well-used, it's well-used for a reason, and is done prettily here.

Will definitely watch again :)
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I filed my tax return, and sorted out all the forms and my folder for my Women Into Enterprise group. I'm feeling really good about that, actually. All I have to do now is fill in my learning log, which I'll probably do before I go to bed. I might put notes in my journal, too.

Land Of the Dead is so-so. Certificates are definitely becoming more liberal - this was a 15, and fairly gory.

In the name of continuing productivity, I'm going to plan out my two mornings off:

Exercise class, swimming times
Exercise plan
Tidy out cupboard and store wood

Gardening with Helen
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I went to see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory on Friday, and really enjoyed it. It was very hard to be objective - I love Roald Dahl, Johnny Depp and the original film - but I think it was definitely good enough.

Some bits of it were trademark Tim Burton - little crooked houses in the snow. Other bits of it were insane psychedelic candy. Johnny Depp was vague, neurotic and more than a little weird. The other actors were all good, particularly the kids, who all seemed to have been picked for their manga-esque pixie faces. The only thing I'd complain about was that it was too much tailored to kids, but hey - it's a film for kids. Not thirty year olds.

I'm not giving too much more of a review, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone else, but it certainly is an enjoyable watch if you're a fan of either Wonka or Depp. And who isn't? It's similar enough to the original film without beign as saccharine, and while still maintaining enough difference to be a seperate film in it's own right.

I also watched Enduring Love. The first half is excellent, with good cinematography and a very capable handling of the pschological consequences of witnessing trauma - a fatal balloon crash in this case. The second half was a bit melodramatic and confusing. Worth a watch, but not excellent.

July 2017



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