Category Archives: Reviews

Pirate Cinema, by Cory Doctorow

untitled1I’ve been pacing back and forth for a while now, trying to come up with the right thing to say about Cory Doctorow‘s Pirate Cinema. While reading the book, I had one idea after another about what I would say, but now that I’m done I’m at loss. I suppose it has something to do with the ending, which left me feeling slightly numb. To Doctorow, I say: Jeez, man, you sure know how to twist a happy ending.

Set in the United Kingdom, in a time when Internet access is more of a necessity. But rich movie makers in Hollywood and thereabouts have the means to force the government to pass copyright laws that are ridiculous and unjust. When Trent McCauley’s family loses their Internet service due to him downloading copyright material, his father can’t do his job, his sister can’t study for her classes, and his mother can’t get her medicine and disability benefits, because everything is done over the Internet. No longer able to face his family, Trent leaves his hometown in northern England and resettles in London where he becomes a member of the Jammie-Dodgers, a group of homeless young people living in an abandoned pub in a rundown section of the city. There Trent gets involved in the fight against the unjust laws.

A Song for Lya, by George R. R. Martin

e4I finished reading A Song for Lya, by George R. R. Martin. This book had been in my bookcase for years, unread. I love Martin’s work, I just hadn’t gotten around to this book until recently. A Song for Lya is a collection of short stories and novellas that Martin wrote in the late 60s and early 70s. They are all very good. I have no complaints.

I also read these books by George R. R. Martin: Windhaven (Co-authored with Lisa Tuttle), A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, Shadow Twin (Co-authored with Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham).

 

A Feast for Crows, by George R. R. Martin

untitled2I finished reading the fourth book of George R. R. Martin‘s Ice & Fire series. It’s been about ten years since I read the third book, A Storm of Swords, but I remember the story well and there was no need to reread the first three books before starting A Feast for Crows.

Cersei Lannister is still the character who pisses me off the most. Oft times I want to reach into the pages a strangle that golden haired bitch. That ego of hers is unbelievable. Though, I confess, at the end of Feast I found myself feeling bad for Cersei in her current situation, though I can’t deny that she deserved what she got.

Jaime Lannister became one of my favorite characters in the earlier books and he still is.

Catelyn Stark, what the fuck? I’m very disappointed in you. You think Brienne betrayed you? No, Lady Stark, you betrayed Brienne. I can’t think of anyone in Westeros who is more loyal than the Maid of Tarth.

Wings (1927)

MV5BMzY5Nzk5NzA3M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzA5NzM2MzE@__V1_SX214_AL_The other day I watched Wings, the movie from 1927. Wings is a silent film. Music was used to set the mood. Character dialog was not heard, but instead appeared occasionally in decorated pictures between quotation marks. The movie is from a time when the advanced technology of today was difficult to imagine and Grandma and Grandpa Piehl were six years old.

And it was a pretty good movie. Mind you, Wings isn’t the first old silent movie that I’ve paid attention to, but it is one of the best. It’s a story about friendship, love and war. The characters were believable, even though I had to rely on their facial expressions to gather what was going on because not all of the dialog was displayed..

I’m impressed at how good some of these old movies can be. I’ve seen a lot of old movies that really sucked. I used to think it was because they didn’t have the technology necessary to make movies that would look good to people who’ve seen the modern films. But then there’s movies like Wings that blow me away.

One thing I keep noticing when watching old movies: People weren’t much different back then than they are today. I see all the different behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, etc, being featured in these old movies. And that tells me that people today aren’t any better or worse than they were in the past.