Monday, 30 April 2012

Avengers (2012) - Review

Really enjoyed the movie. I saw the midnight screening in 3D (should have gone 2D but friends... you know how it goes..)

Now I am a bit of a Marvel fan - I collect Iron Man comics and have dabbled in Avengers and Captain America as well as some of the 'events' like Fear Itself, Civil War and the new Avengers Versus X-Men. I have enjoyed all the Marvel movies starting with Spiderman through the lead up films to Avengers - Ironman 1 and 2, Captain America, Thor although I missed the re-launched Hulk (must watch that sometime). So in summation I really wanted Avengers to be good, great even. After all I have invested time, money and emotional energy into this world.

Look at the above image and please tell me why is Nathan Fillion on this poster? hahaha! Oh and Don Cheadle...WTF? Click image for where I found the image...

I was NOT disappointed - from the start they got it right... they got Joss Wheadon to not only write it by direct the movie as well. He has that special ability to keep the raw fanboy correctness of the Marvel Universe but temper that with great story writing and film techniques. Each of the main characters has enough screen time to tell their story - they are all equally important to the whole while also being true to themselves.

The action was well done - not too much fast edits (which I hate) - I could follow the flow of the fights (even with those stupid 3D glasses that I cannot wear my glasses underneath - yeah 3D with built in blur). The script had humour and realism (well as real as you can be with a giant green man, a couple of Norse Gods, billionaire in a suit of armour, a man out of time and black widows arse).

I guess I could be described as a fan of Marvel and as such should by view be seen as a true reflection of the movie - am I too blinkered by the glow of my minds wish for it to be great? Maybe. But somehow I think not. For me the Avengers was everything I love about comics and comic based movies while at the same time being just a brilliant piece of film entertainment. 5/5

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

Third in the Eclectic Readers Challenge 2012

Third up in the Challenge is Romance... I put off just re-reading Time Enough For Love by Robert A. Heinlein oh it would be so easy to just stick with my favourite genre(s) of Fantasy and Science Fiction... but I must NOT!!! So instead I asked the wife... what romance book should I read... I expected something from Jilly Cooper - the horse porn lady (note: not porn with horses but soft porn involving people who also have horses... no bestiality at least that's what she tells me...)

No instead she handed me Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. This book has special meaning to us as it was the reason we went to Japan for our honeymoon - wife's choice after she feel in love with the Kyoto world of pre and post WWII through this book.

Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel

At first I was intrigued by the writing style - this book is written from the POV of the Geisha growing up with poor, loosing mother, father, sister, being sold into a world that is alien to most European background people (isn't the Sex trade?? - I realise it can be more than that but you can bid to take a girl's virginity...). All these feelings and insight are written by an American man... and it was so well written I had to keep reminding myself that this was not an autobiography but a work of fiction - it just felt so real.

I think it also helped having been to Kyoto, having had a brief encounter with a Maiko (trainee Geisha), walked the street and stood in front of famous tea houses... I could almost taste again the wonderful ramen soups and hear the click clack of the wooden shod Geisha walking past us... 

Memoirs is not a true romance novel, or at least not the way I see them in my head (I'm thinking Clan of the Cave Bear here...) no this is a much more subtle book. Sayuri's is often a sad one - torn from her family into a "better life" she takes the challenges on and shows her true potential becoming a phenomenal Geisha in a time when the world almost lost them forever.

Japan's rich culture, which is often harsh to western eyes, has some many levels and is full of grace and depth. I enjoyed reading this book equally for the trip down memory lane and the story itself - yes a romance kept me interested and wanting to read more to find out what happens to Sayuri, while yearning that she finally gets the love she both wants and deserves.

I can't say much more then read this - go to Japan then read it again... well worth it.

Killing Floor - Lee Child - Review

Another review in the Eclectic Reading Challenge 2012 - Crime / Mystery Fiction

Lee Child's Killing Floor is the first of the Jack Reacher novels, which are international best sellers and very popular novels...
Killing Floor

I've never read anything by Lee Child and thought that I should start at the begin - the first Jack Reacher novel. I have dabbled in this genre before which some of the well know authors like Flemming, King (a lot of his are mystery's and not just horror), Conan Doyle... etc. I also like Crime fiction even the ones writing by fictional authors like Castle... So I was not going into Killing Floor without some fore knowledge of the genre.
First thoughts of the book was - I know why people enjoy reading Child's work, it was easy to read, fast paced with action and relationships. It was not high prose or complex characters this was a great read that let you enjoy the story (I think this is where I am suppose to write Journey - but I'm not on a reality TV show so I wont).
Basically if you are up for a quick read without too much thought or complex story lines to keep track of, this Child is an author you can go with.
I will be looking up more Jack Reacher novels as I think I could get to like this no nonsense, ex-marine, crime/mystery man... and I hope he one day gets to find someone to love...