Sunday, October 30, 2005

Book and movie reviews

Some random reviews:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (available anywhere on the planet, in every language): it's okay. Enjoyable, but I like Harry Potter as a wide-eyed boy at Hogwarts more than I like the teenage hero. And the whole major-character-will-die thing was overplayed.

Born Into Brothels: very good documentary about children growing up in the red light district of Calcutta. An American teaches them photography and tries to get them a better future. A slight spoiler here but I think it's worth mentioning: she's successful with about half of the kids, and I was surprised by which ones made it and which didn't. A dose of reality for pampered Westerners, but not a completely depressing one.

Ghost in the Shell 2: almost as good as the original Ghost in the Shell, and both of them are the best of my limited experience with Japanese sci-fi anime geared to adults. It's a murder mystery set in the future where the line between human and machine gets harder to find.

To Catch a Thief: an overrated 1955 Hitchcock film (except for the stunning scenery). Skip it unless you have to see everything he made.

Watership Down: the book is great, but skip the cartoon movie - it's mediocre.

Dead Alive: Stay away! The gore is still bothering me 2 months later, and I did okay with Evil Dead 2. Now I know not to explore Peter Jackson's other horror films.

Serenity: A fun science fiction movie from the creator of Buffy and Angel TV series. This is an interesting way to market it: click here to see the first 9 minutes from the film.

UPDATE: I'm always looking for suggestions for movies or books. Feel free to post a comment or email me!

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