Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 2011 Books and Movies

Tales from Firozsha Baag
Rohinton Mistry

Excellent collection of short stories about a mostly Parsi apartment complex, Firozsha Baag. Minstry weaves the same characters in and out of the 11 stories, which is a device I absolutely love. The final story is modelled on his own experience of immigrating to Toronto. Beautifully written and quite evocative of a very specific time and place. Great read.


I can't believe I waited so long to watch this. Amazing film! I'd forgotten how good Johnny Depp can be, when he's not channelling Keith Richards, wielding a scabbard. I wonder if the real George Jung ever saw it from prison. I thought they got the 60s and 70s setting dead on, the costumes were fab, and the supporting cast (especially Ray Liotta, Rachel Griffiths and Paul Rubens) were absolutely stellar. Definitely a must see, if you care to watch a film about the cocaine trade and all that goes with that.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

A well crafted ending to a great franchise. Say what you will, lovers and haters of Harry Potter (books and movies) this was a moment in literary and cinematic history. It turned on kids who had barely cracked a book before in their lives and injected much needed excitement for reading. The movies took a bunch of doe eyed 11 year olds and through plain old experience and lots of coaching, turned them into pretty good actors. I'm especially impressed with Emma Watson, who was just terrible in the first three films, but really pulled it out this time around. Part 2 was definitely more exciting than Part 1, but I see why the producers decided to split the book into two movies, beyond the obvious profit bonus. The special effects were excellent, as were the costumes and music. My only critique would be that I wanted to see more of the great cameos (Emma Thompson, Ed Broadbent etc.)