Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 2011 Books and Movies

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

I wasn't really expecting too much, considering the Big Momma franchise, but since I was stuck on a plane showing the same movie to everyone, I hoped for the best. At it's best, it was mildly entertaining, with a few minuscule lol moments. At it's worst, the movie was trite, cliche, sexist, stereotypical and vapid. Nuff said. Don't watch. Blech.

Guilliver’s Travels

Wow, this was unbelievably bad. Because I flew a charter this time, the in flight entertainment was chosen for you. This was the one of the only two movies shown on a 7 hour flight to London that I hadn’t seen. Plus I really needed to get some sleep. I’m not surprised that Jack Black and Jason Segal (doing a horrible English accent) were are part of this, but I was very surprised to see Emily Blunt. Actually, she was the best part of this movie, it was like she knew that it was really stupid, and Shakespearian like, kept letting the audience know. I liked seeing Amanda Peet, as I haven’t in a while, but she was given such a lame role. Also, I just don’t get why there are always so many movies where a guy a la Jack Black, gets a girl a la Amanda Peet and never the other way around. Well, I know why, it’s the ole Hollywood double standard, in effect since the beginning of time. But I don’t understand why this outmoded, sexist way of thinking is so pervasive. Urg. Bad movie based on a fantasy novel that few people have read in recent years. Essentially, Guilliver gets sucked into another world where he is a giant. Then he gets banished to another world where he is the little person. I haven’t read the book, but I’m fairly certain they took many liberties, and after seeing this, I have no desire to read it. The sizing of things took many special effects, which I suppose is the draw of this movie for some. Give it a wide miss.

Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman

As I’ve come to expect, most Neil Gaiman is a great read, especially if you are willing to suspend your disbelief and enter into another of his zany worlds. This time, the stories are borrowed from the African and Caribbean traditions of animals as gods. Anansi the Spider stole the stories from Tiger at the beginning of time and the world has never been the same. Anansi is similar to the Trickster/ Nanabush figure of Native lore. I loved the way Gaiman weaves this impossible world together with ours, so seamlessly, you just accept that that it is true. Fat Charlie is a likable character who grows by leaps and bounds. One thing I noticed the most was that even though the plotline was dependent on the characters being black, there was no obvious mention of this fact until about chapter two. I suppose, if one knows about the Anansi tales beforehand, this would be obvious, but it was nice to happen upon it, and not have it shoved in your face, which is sometimes the case. Excellent book. Whether you’re a fan of Gaiman or not, give it a read.

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