Sunday, August 30, 2009

American Heavy Metal Weekend

Four days off and this was supposed to be the weekend of awesomeness: hiking, photography, blogging, whatever else goes into a weekend of awesomeness. Instead, Friday saw a catastrophic hard drive crash and torrential rain, so everything went out the window and I just sat around listening to Entombed and watching movies. I've got my vintage-2004 laptop up and running until the new computer arrives, but it's not real great for photo-uploading (particularly after I killed off half the programs so that it would run at a sorta-decent speed) so I've just packed it in on that front.

So: I watched movies. (and read, a bit.)

Woman in the Dunes -- lent to me nearly two years ago by a co-worker. Don't lend me movies -- I still have a few that Noah lent me in 2002 or so. I read the book this was based on years ago and was underwhelmed; the movie came up when I was discussing my need for good desert-related art. This is more gripping than the book was -- I also think it's changed significantly toward the end, though again, I can't really remember. Beautiful at times. True to form, I'm more impressed by the shots of the desert than anything else.

Watchmen -- Ok, I actually enjoyed this, even if it wasn't great art. I reminded myself repeatedly going in that it can't be just like the comic, it's not going to affect me the same way, so don't get your expectations too high, and it kinda worked. It's impressive that they managed to take one of the most subtle comics out there and make it this bombastic. I suppose that a lot of the dialogue that seemed quietly effective on the page is going to seem melodramatic on the screen. They were in a no-win situation, and all things considered didn't do too badly. A good time even if I won't rush to watch it again.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly -- Years since I've seen this, I just needed some Clint Eastwood and some guns while I went through some white wine last night.

And then, a book:

#59 -- "The Honourable Schoolboy" by John Le Carre

This may push me into one of those periods where I read too much by one author (previous cases: Graham Greene, Lawrence Block). This is the sequel to previously-read "Tinker Tailor" and it's fantastic -- just blows the other two books I've read of his out of the water. Livelier writing, some of the most tightly-wound plotting I've seen, and one of the tensest scenes I've read in a long while (when Westerby was in Cambodia, it wasn't too good for a heart patient). There's one more sequel after this one and I think I've gotta read it SOON, and then I'll start working my way through his other books.


Brushback said...

Wow, everyone's having computer trouble. I was knocked out for a month and a half (though it introduced me to a slower pace that I sorta like now), and a few other blogs I read had stuff happen around the same time.

The internet is becoming a dangerous place.

James Haskell said...

I love the watchmen great movie.