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Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:21 am
by Mr. Tweedy
Slumdog Milionaire

There isn't any other way to describe this movie besides tossing out superlative praise like "beautiful", "marvelous", "inspiring", you know, all those words they put on movie posters to make it sound like the best thing since Chi-Chi's cheese dip singles. This one actually deserves them.

This movie succeeds so completely because it has no pretensions, no agenda and no stars. It is a beautiful laugh-and-cry story, told with vibrant colors and a rousing soundtrack, done by actors who actually do what actors are supposed to do: Look like they aren't acting. It's fast, suspenseful, sentimental, tragic, hilarious: Pick an emotion, it's in there someplace, and it fits.

The genius of Slumdog is the way it precisely balances horror with humor, degradation with triumph, sin with charity, sober with whacky. It knocks you down and picks you up and knocks you down and finally leaves you standing tall, and it looks gorgeous doing it. All the while the film maintains an ethos of optimism and moral authority. Seeing this makes you realize just how crappy average entertainment actually is. This is what entertainment should be.

I also tip my hat to director Boyle for taking the audience through brothels, torture chambers and murder scenes without stooping to pornography or sadism. Here too the perfect balance is achieved, showing us evil without inviting us to participate vicariously.

Five stars, ten out of ten, whatever. Great stuff. Go see it. Soon.

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:51 pm
by cammoblammo
The wife and I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button the other night. I really liked it, which did surprise me a little.

The special effects were superb, and fully deserve the Oscar nom. The acting was solid, even if there were stars in the movie (I'm coming to realise that some stars get that way because they can actually act). The story was gripping, with a perfect blend of humour and pathos.

A couple of things were overdone---the hummingbird thing (I won't spoil it) seemed a little silly, although I can see people appreciate it.

If you liked Forest Gump you'll probably like this. It's quite similar in some ways: boy is born quirkier than most, but makes his way through life, touching the lives of many people and being very much a part of the time in which he lived. There are many references to historical events, and I'm going to spend a bit of time on Google figuring out which actually happened and which were invented for the story.

The love story is very moving, and I'll admit it here (but don't tell my wife)---I shed more than one or two tears and I felt complete revulsion for the people who walked out of the cinema smiling.

I'll give this one 4.5 out of 5, mainly on its epic scale and ability to move me emotionally. I might even buy this one when it comes out on DVD.

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:56 am
by Goldenrat
Mr. Tweedy wrote:Slumdog Milionaire
Five stars, ten out of ten, whatever. Great stuff. Go see it. Soon.
Well said by Tweedy. I agree. The only thing that bugged me was the poop scene. It didn't look real, did it? Otherwise, I would say that it is the feel good hit of the summer, or whatever. I would give Slumdog a slight edge over B-Button for movie of the year.

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:07 am
by Mr. Tweedy
Goldenrat wrote:The only thing that bugged me was the poop scene. It didn't look real, did it?
I don't know. 8)

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:49 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Demographic Winter

There's low budget and then there's low budget. This documentary's shoestring production is so bad I actually laughed out loud twice during its 50 minute run. Proves the maxim that no effects are better than bad effects.

That said, this is a fairly insightful and very worrying look at the biggest and most pressing problem facing modern civilization... No, it isn't global warming. It is–ready?–depopulation. Sound crazy? Well, watch the movie and it might not so far-fetched.

There really isn't anything in here that isn't simple common sense, but, as is so often the case, common sense on the issues discussed is terribly hard to come by.

I recommend it for its educational value, but be prepared to cringe no less than 15 times at the truly woeful production.

more reviews

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:16 pm
by StalinSays
Dumping off another set of my reviews, tailored to list films that appeal to the drabble land demographic. I see and apply pithy judgment to movies like a fiend, so if anyone ever wants to see the rest of the rest, message me. I'd be excited to be e-buddies on facebook as well just the communal forum space - we all seem to be of a similar mind and of generally similar tastes.

All scores out of 5.

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Repo! The Genetic Opera

A film experiment: can The Rocky Horror Picture Show survive a 2 hour dance with surgery resistant tumors in its creativity glands, heart, and soul. The answer: a resounding no.

As a fan of the rock opera, I went against my better judgment to even sit in front of Repo! The Genetic Opera. The mathematical formula Lion's Gate + Any Genre = Bad Movie has yet to be disproved by any director or producer in their employ. This new edition to the library comes without a voice for challenge.

While the ecstatically overdone sets and costumes make for an interesting spectacle, little else can hold attention. The music is just... bad. Failing that as my personal taste, the story is just... bad. Every original moment is met with another that is superfluous and tacky. And well, Paris Hilton was paid for both her acting, and her singing "talent." That is frankly beyond reproach.

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Drag Me to Hell

Having seen a test screening of this newest effort from Sam Raimi I can gladly report to any horror fan listening that you can set aside a movie ticket's worth of coin, Drag Me to Hell is the business! Even with untreated, muddy color, noticeable visual compression, digital artifacting, blue haloes around blue screen shots, unadjusted audio and a host of special effect holder shots, Drag Me to Hell's potential is undeniable. I will happily pay for a second viewing and the finished product. Raimi's prowess as a dark storyteller is something to behold. If only there was more of his ilk manning the cameras.

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Starship Troopers 2 - Hero of the Federation

Stretching the word sequel to its very limits, Starship Troopers 2, AKA Species 4, AKA The Thing 2, AKA Aliens: Re-Resurection, AKA Pitch Blacker, befouls the screen with a zealous drive for underachievement. While blurring the edges of sequel, ST2 (here I use an anagram not in an effort to 'cool up' the title but rather because I have genuine antipathy towards writing it in full) brings the definition of 'derivative' to crystal clarity. What happens when a journeyman script finally finds a parasitic home inside a dying franchise? Someone with a junky sound stage gets rental money, an F list actress takes off her top, and ST2 is born. Hurray for folly'wood.

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Max Payne

Am I a bad person for kinda' liking Max Payne? See it: your call. The director needed to give the hallucination'al 'angels' a damn rest, maybe pick up his step during the exposition, and forget all about Ludacris's worthless character, but ultimately he's playing in the right sandbox. I feel like John Moore is maybe a movie off of 'the good one.' Here we receive a 'pretty close' and are asked to make due. I watch shotguns fired in slow motion, cock an eyebrow and make a general "ok, ok" motion. To gripe on about shortcomings would be to suggest the creative team owed the Max Payne source material more than was given. Maybe with a bit less effort you would hear a grumble, but to try and construct some shining masterpiece out of a generic video game plot would be to meticulously craft a gourmet dinner, when a burger and fries would suffice.

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I recognize that I am terribly biased towards liking Coraline: if Neil Gaiman fans were asked to identify themselves I'd quickly raise an arm, I read the Coraline novella (is it long enough to be a book, book?), I dig stop-motion, alternative animation, I've been pretty plus'ed about seeing the feature film since my first gander at early character art, and I've long wanted for a movie that could wash that Corpse Bride taste out of my mouth. So when presented with the reality of the Coraline finished product, is it a ringing endorsement or forgone conclusion that I am an enthusiastic yay'sayer? Tough to say. There have been no significant alterations to the original story (a positive, considering how often screenwriters muddy up an original concept with blase movie world conventions), the animation is wonderful, the mood and characters are spot on - I really have nothing bad to say. And to top this, they didn't neuter the story or water down the 'scary parts' for kiddies. As a grown adult born to a cinematic generation where children's fantasy was as likely to traumatize as it was to entertain, I feel modern cinematic storytelling cheats young viewer of the 'real' experience of fairy tales, creating an illiterate 'other' that underestimates their very imagination. Bravo to Henry Selick and all those involved, top to bottom.

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:02 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Coraline was good? I loved the book, but the movie looked... goofy. It looked all silly zany Mary Popins. The trailers didn't convey any of the subtle, looming menace I remember building so steadily as the book progressed. I think these two picture illustrate the difference I perceived


It worked for you, though? Maybe I will see it after all. (Probably rent and watch it sometime when Mrs. Tweedy is out.)

I love how the Starship Troopers franchise has absolutely nothing to do with the book from which it derives its name... Kind of like the Borne franchise... And just about every other novel that was ever made into an action movie. (Not comparing Borne to Troopers; Borne is alright.) I was a freshman in high school when the first ST movie came out. I recall hearing many of my peers say that the plot of the movie sounded stupid, but that they were going to see it because they'd heard it had nudity... And thus a classic novel of ideas was reduced to a masturbatory aid for adolescents. Hurray for folly'wood.


Today I started Stone of Tears, book two in the Sword of Truth series. I got started reading these on the recommendation of GirlNoir, who made exactly two posts here before being abducted by the Canadians.


Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:36 am
by StalinSays
Tough to say how your individual Coraline experience plays out. The movie is good enough that I foresee no possibility of you outright disliking it, but aesthetics and mood could definetly keep you from loving it, the way I did.

I felt that the team involved did a strong job translating the book - far better than with Stardust, with a result far more to my personal liking than that of Mirrormask, handled by Gaiman himself. We aren't talking Fight Club level stuff, where they may have exceeded the literary source, but that they brought the story to another media without cocking up the recipe, much easier said than ever done. They let the book breath - tweaks were not intrusive. There is a bit more explicit foreshadowing and 'mainstreaming,' if that's a word. There is a new character, a male child companion. There are a few alterations to the ending, but none to meaning. Nothing, to my memory was shed or, best of all, 'toned down.'

One place it might shirk your expectations and perhaps lessen your enjoyment is the tone chosen. It is more whimsical, strangely beautiful, and humorous than might be your mental picture. They find this form not artificially, and it isn't cheap, nor does it feel 'added.' The Coraline presented by Selick and co. is the vision of Coraline they wished to enhance, not one they created. For example, the Other Mother is sinister, her intentions still fearful, but the movie isn't really played to be scary (where it/she easily could be). She is the cinematic Wicked Witch, where she could have as easily been an unnerving, deeply menacing archaic terror. Black is the main shade in the palette, but they go out of their way to insert visual splendor and glowing hues. This isn't McKean. This isn't the illustrations from the book. It hearkens more to modern Burton than something classically gothic and intense.

It also should be noted that the stop motion method plays in to the presentation in an inescapable way. Had this been a live action and realistic CG interpretation, you'd have an entirely different movie. The story of Coraline could look like Tideland, or the aforementioned Mirrormask, and not 'betray' the book or lose effectiveness. That just isn't what happened with this adaptation.

To make it easy - if you enjoyed Corpse Bride, despite the weak story, you'll enjoy Coraline because it carries over all that is good about that film, with a stronger leg to stand on. If you found Nightmare Before Christmas to be more memorable, more effective, because of the execution of its animation, Coraline will please you in the same way. If you want something dark and direct, and the animated delivery strikes you as more a distraction than a second layer of attractiveness, you won't be pleased. If that hollow eyed, severe Coraline from the book cover is a needed part of a movie rendering, you won't be pleased.

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:57 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shawn Tan

ImageThis is second Shawn Tan book I've "read." I was impressed by his excellent The Arrival (a wordless picture book) and decided to check out more of his stuff.

Tales from Outer Suburbia is a more traditional short story collection, but it is distinguished by its large, lavish and very memorable illustrations. Almost every page has a beautiful picture, and some stories take breaks from using words and have several pages of just pictures. Three of the stories actually are pictures, with the words printed on objects. Shawn Tan is an illustrator par excellence and each of his nuanced images succeeds in conveying a wealth of emotion. Plus, they're really trippy. Most of the pictures would qualify as surreal, but very few of them are creepy. Miyazaki as a painter.

The book's real strength, though, is the stories themselves. They are all very short, simple, anecdotal... and surprisingly meaningful. I didn't actually tear up at the story about the dugong mysteriously appearing in someone's front yard, but close. The one about the Nameless Holiday when everyone makes a sacrifice to the Blind Reindeer was positively profound. The one about the deep sea diver wandering down the suburban street (told in the second-person, BTW) really gives you pause for thought. Though the book is very short and contains few words, it's quite dense. Through clever omission and subtle implication, it's as if Tan manages to pack 20 pages onto every page.

Tales from Outer Suburbia is a touching, beautiful and very enjoyable book. Highly recommended, for everyone, but especially for those with a penchant for the surreal.


Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:49 am
by normsherman
Found this link the other day. Good for some laughs if you're a Lovecraft nerd. Also some great art and photos.

For example:Image

I forgot how weird naked mole rats looked.


Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:56 pm
by StalinSays

Personal Fav

Yet More Reviews

Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:37 pm
by StalinSays
Movie Reviews: Bo likes everything edition. All scores out of 5.

-- --


The paternal instinct fittingly embodied by Liam Neeson, ramped up on 'roids, rage, and regrets, then set loose on the bad guys like a mad dog. No gray areas, just butts and a man in constant motion kicking them. Simple, satisfying, effective, even for someone who has not personally spawned a cribbling.

Odd to me that a French director and writing team would create a film where an American tears up their country without pause, and the local officials are complicit villains in a hideous underworld smuggling scheme. Maybe they're trying to drum up tourism?

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Friday the 13th (2009)

Production company Platinum Dunes is no longer the kiss of death, just the kiss of high fever. The fundamentals of Jason are observed, and repeated. Not a revolution of any sorts, but a pleasant bit of nostalgia: a shadowy stalk down memory lane, ccchh chhh's and ahhh ahhh's floating in the night air. The remake sets Jason back to his F13 1,2, and 3 prime, before the crippling franchise entropy came calling and sent him to space and back. Pristine. Old school. Kudos on all the send-ups. Kudos to combining the first three movies in to one origin. Kudos on the neat, mood setting vignette to start the large movie. Keep the expectations low and have fun: don't expect anything more than indulgent toplessness, brutal machete deaths against a rustic setting, and a buncha' douchey teens meeting their douchey maker.

Side note for anyone else who has seen this: has notorious arch conservative Jason Voorheese signed on as a mercenary in Bill O'Reilly's war on Christ-mass? It is common knowledge that he hates premarital sex, weed, booze, and uh... minorities, but it wasn't until this entry that we see Jason broaden his platform. Someone snickering over a plastic Santa - cut down. A man wearing an inexplicable F**K Christmas in the middle of July - arrowed in the head. Food for thought.

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Hulk Vs.

Hulk Vs. is a double pack of two Hulk-centric action animated films. Absolutely inpallatable for non-comic fans, so stop now if you don't think adamantium claws are "sweet."

Scored on a whole, it's a 2.5. Scored on only the Wolverine portion, it is an easy 4. Not sure what accounts for the divide in quality, but Vs. Thor has that lazy 'The Batman' / 'Jackie Chan Adventures' look that I loath, with a generic Saturday morning style plot that left me thoroughly bored. VS. Wolverine on the other hand was more adult, quite funny, and visually engrossing. I would personally rank it as the best comic animation on DVD ( Marvel, DC, or otherwise) since Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. The awfulness of the recent Dr. Strange, Ultimates, and Invincible Iron Man releases made Vs. Wolverine's high watermark a complete blindside assault. I couldn't be more pleased. Marvel, get these guys more money, and quick.

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Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

The plot phases in and out at its leisure, the characters rely entirely on previous knowledge of the series to be deciphered, and fan service outweighs storytelling 2 to 1, yet this is the best post-series Futurama installment to be seen. Any worthwhile critique I could hazard for The Wild Green Yonder would be crippled by my unabashed enjoyment of its sophomoric, scatterbrained humor style, so I will save my breath. Here is hoping for another season's worth. Bend on through to the other side.

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So that I don't come out swinging looking like some reactionary uninitiate, whipped in to a fury by Manhattan's dangling blue wang: I love the Watchmen graphic novel. I think it fully deserves the lopsided adulation, and consensus crown of the pinnacle of super hero storytelling.

Onward then! My feelings for the Zack Snyder film interpretation... not quite the same. I fear this movie is about as extraneous to my conception of Watchmen as the motion comic. Or some 100 million dollar piece of fan art.

It's like putting a screw in place with a sledgehammer. I emplore all you directors to find a screwdriver, its nice and precise, fastenens screw in to place exactly as advertised with a genetle twisting motion. Sure, a sledgehammer gets it in too, faster, and with a big 'wham,' but was it the right tool? Extrapolate that to the movie's use of CG, its action sequences, the marketing, the whole persona. Watchmen treats subtlety as the deadliest of sins. Why am I looking at a prosthetics and make-up nightmare, and not just some old man with a big nose and gelled hair that acts like Nixon? Why is Everybody Wants to Rule the World playing in the background of Veidt's scenes? Tacky is the new playful? Why are we zooming in to the very fiber of the Comedian's button and whooshing around through the cityscape on our magical camera? I am baffled.

To truncate the hate parade, and pay the devil his due, there are a number of things Watchmen does well. The character of Rorscach is pitch perfect, as is the Comedian. For all his trillians of polygons, Dr. Manhattan has the right aloof, fantastical man of tomorrow feel. The acting is flat here and there, but nothing outright awful sneaks by in the final cut (well, Sally Jupiter comes awful close). The sets are exceptional, and the fight sequences, while overdone, are thrilling. I recognize that this movie is a 'better case scenario' than past projects, and I won't fume this room in to a sauna. Hell, they could have made the one with Robin Williams.

Bottomline: flawed but watchable movie. A boon for those that will follow - now it can be said (relatively) obscure comic films can draw, R rated movies (still) aren't dead, and you can hazard an attempt at a 'smart' super hero tale without it exploding in to flaming bits in your face.

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Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro

An early work from the master, Hayao Miyazaki, Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro was definitely worth hunting for. Any fan of classic animation fan should quickly add it to their Netflix Instant Queue (because who can ever guess with the licenses to the these things).

All of Miyazaki's signatures are in place: beautiful scenery, a sense of mystery and wonder, a young innocent at odds with a hardened heart, strongly crafted atmosphere, and a pace that never rushes, without feeling slow. The Lupin-centric elements accentuate that formula, and you come away with a film that is the best of both worlds. Excellent.

Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:45 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind

I have mixed feelings about this book. This is not, primarily, because it was not entertaining or because I found anything offensive, but because it is so obviously a prologue. While the first book in the series (Wizard's First Rule) stood completely on its own, Stone of Tears almost explicitly sets up a sequel by briefly introducing dozens of ideas, characters and groups and then not explaining why they are significant or how they are related to each other. Book 1 was a real, meaty story. Book 2 seems like just a dramatis personae for Book 3.

Terry Goodkind has a weird preoccupation with rape. This is strange, because his writing is very careful to stay PG-13 as far sex is concerned; this isn't a gorno flick. He never names or describes any "naughty bits" or goes into unnecessarily lurid detail, but it is still a fact that almost every female character–major or minor–is subjected to a sexual assault of some kind. Women who aren't attacked physically are subjected to attacks of deception.

This might have less to do Mr. Goodkind having misogyny on the brain and more to do with his having unpleasantness in general on in. I've read lots of dark books, but I'm not sure I've ever read one that could beat Stone of Tears for sheer quantity of broken hearts (emotional), broken hearts (literal), or just general human suffering. Goodkind loves to write about pain. He does it so frequently that it almost just seems like he's trying to outdo himself. For instance: In Book 1 there was a character who spent an entire lifetime being tortured and abused until she was filled with nothing but bitterness and wrath. In Book 2, this same character is sent to hell to receive even worse torture at the hands of Satan. These events do have legitimate places in the stories, but it feels almost like Goodkind was straining, trying to think of something even more horrible that what he'd thought of last time, and finally settled on the Lovecraftian "too horrible to describe" ploy.

The plot itself reflects this pain-centric ethos. Although there is more going on, the general outline of story is as follows: Character(s) are introduced. Character(s) are killed. Character(s) are introduced. Character(s) are killed. Who (or what) is being killed and on what scale varies widely, but it's rare for 20 pages to go by without something getting halved, pulped or splattered. In fact, you could probably adapt the book page for page and have a hack-and-slash style action game. There's that much fighting.

This becomes a weakness in the story because, with so much emphasis on fighting and killing, there isn't much time left to explain why all this fighting is happening. Who, exactly, are the Imperial Order and why are they in the Midlands? Over 100 pages are devoted to describing battles with them, but I'm not sure of the answer to that question. (As I said, it feels like a prologue.)

At this point it probably sounds like I did not like this book. I did. The reason why is one word: Characters. Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell easily make the top ten list of coolest heroes ever, even if the story they inhabit is lacking. They come off as real, sympathetic, filled with conflicting motives and subtle emotions, but still totally badass. Richard discovers that he has awesome, historically unprecedented powers. Foes of the mortal world and the underworld fall before his magic sword (usually in more than one piece), but he isn't interested in power. He really just wants to marry Kahlan and settle down somewhere quiet. Kahlan is all woman. She just wants peace and security in which to have Richard's babies. But if fate requires her to duel evil wizards, plan desperate battles and face down whole armies single-handed, well, she's up to that. She's also up to banishing her beloved Richard to another country, if it proves necessary. She's tough.

All Goodkind's characters are compelling, even the ones that are cliché. The good guys are so good you just can't help cheering for them. (At one point in the story, I literally pumped my fist shouted "YES!") The bad guys are so loathsome that they make your skin crawl. The hapless victims in between them are so sympathetic that you end up sharing the hero's desire to avenge them. And that's really why this book is worth reading–even if it isn't a classic–because these characters are worth following. Story-wise, you'd probably be safe reading the Wikipedia synopsis and skipping on to Book 3, but then you'd miss out on those "YES!" moments.

Out of four stars:
2.5 - Weak recommendation

Re: more reviews

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:01 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
StalinSays wrote:Drag Me to Hell
There's finally a trailer for this out. It does look like it might have potential.

The story-line seems to beg the question, though: If the creepy old woman has such impressive supernatural power, why can't she magic herself up some money to pay her mortgage? If she can summon these powerful demons, why not use one to knock over an armored car and get herself some green? Or maybe hire out demons to mow lawns and such? After all, dragging that poor banker chick to hell isn't doing anything to help her keep her house.

She needs to see an evil efficiency consultant.

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:24 pm
by Phenopath
Good thread, I will be checking out 'A Canticle for Leibowitz'.

By a country mile the best book that I read last year was 'Darkmans' by Nicola Barker. It is a weird, wry, funny book about ... umm, possession by a medieval jester in present day Kent. It has a fantasic array of characters; highlights being a Kurdish refugee with hidden depths and a Jesus loving Chav. There are lots of words, but it rattles along.

Regarding Dawkins - I'll bite. He is a bit like marmite, but I guess that if I had his inbox I would be an arsehole too. I have not read his recent stuff but he is not just an ideologue (his current mission). His books 'The Selfish Gene' and 'The Extended Phenotype' (more subtle) demonstrate his street cred as a thinker/biologist. They were brain food for me as a young biologist back in the day.

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:31 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Phenopath wrote:Regarding Dawkins - I'll bite. He is a bit like marmite, but I guess that if I had his inbox I would be an arsehole too. I have not read his recent stuff but he is not just an ideologue (his current mission). His books 'The Selfish Gene' and 'The Extended Phenotype' (more subtle) demonstrate his street cred as a thinker/biologist. They were brain food for me as a young biologist back in the day.
Are those actually biology books?

I had never had those recommended to me by anyone, just "Blind Watchmaker" over and over again. (That and The God Delusion, thought that a lesser number of times.) Maybe I'll add them to my library queue.


Currently playing through Assassin's Creed. Reading "Galactic North" by Alastair Reynolds. Just finished "Diamond Dogs/Turquoise Days", also by Reynolds. Curious about the movie "Tulpan".

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:57 pm
by Phenopath
Yes, the Selfish Gene is the classic, arguing that natural selection operates at the level of the gene and not the individual or population (although I sometime like a bit of group selection myself). This was the book that made his name. The Extended Phenotype explored those ideas in more depth but is not as readable.

The Blind Watchmaker is an argument for evolution through natural selection to a wider audience, and most of his subsequent books (which I have not read) have been in a similar vein. I did not buy The God Delusion because I did not want to upset the kids' nanny (a bigtime Christian) - not being an arsehole

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:58 am
by Goldenrat
Phenopath wrote:Yes, the Selfish Gene is the classic, arguing that natural selection operates at the level of the gene and not the individual or population (although I sometime like a bit of group selection myself). This was the book that made his name. The Extended Phenotype explored those ideas in more depth but is not as readable.

The Blind Watchmaker is an argument for evolution through natural selection to a wider audience, and most of his subsequent books (which I have not read) have been in a similar vein. I did not buy The God Delusion because I did not want to upset the kids' nanny (a bigtime Christian) - not being an arsehole
I haven't read either one but I will put them on the list. I am reading Why Evolution is True which is really good and I had it sitting out when some big time Christians were over. It got some looks but nobody wanted to touch it.

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:57 pm
by Kevin Anderson
New 40 min. online Lord of the Rings fan film. The Hunt For Gollum.

I engoyed it. 3 out 5 stars. And it is amazing what fans can produce these days.

Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:49 pm
by Goldenrat
Not sure if anyone listens to the Sofanauts podcast but last week they spoke highly of the Drabblecast and Norm's songs. Host Tony Smith and his cohorts were recommending that the listeners check it out.