tirsdag, mai 13, 2008

Tom Clancy – Net Force (book)

I am always a bit skeptical before reading someone really mainstream big, but then one day someone said to me that I had to read Tom Clancy, so I figured ”Why not?” and got a book.

I was looking for a while for ”Red Storm Rising” but could not find it so I went for the lesser-known ”Net Force” instead.

I do not surprise me that Tom is using a rather easy accessible language (typical for mainstream success) that gets you as a reader easily hooked. While this is not always regarded high literature, I also think that some writers has a tendency to overdo the words, and while they can perform writing like every sentence is the most beautiful poem – it can be hard and confusing to read.

Tom builds the story through several subplots that each has its own sub-ending. This is in fact an old method of story building and it works pretty well. There is just one major mistake: The most enthralling subplot gets its ending first and then its like the book is over, even if there is one chapter left.

Its funny but I actually put the book down at that point and had to convince my self to read the last part, it took a month.

There is also one other thing I have to put the finger down on. Tom seems to create some fictional high tech world but it’s extremely unrealistic. Its like the guy have no technological understanding. Its weird and again destroys some of what the book has to offer.

For the rest? It’s a pretty downright methodic and well written story that will keep you up at night. But I am not convinced yet that Tom Clancy is such a great writer many thinks. But I will give it another try some other day and we will get back to it.

The Golden Compass (movie)

Again we are thrown into a fantasy world where things are not quite the way we usually thinks. This fantasy world has more in common with traditional fairytales that fantasy.

This is for the good as this is more of a children movie than anything else, and therefore the Fairy tale is more fitting. While I as a grown up finds it a bit daunting and boring because it just has the usual fairy tale stuff just hidden in between some good graphics and Nicole Kidman I think children will like it.

The reason is that the plot unfolds in a fitting pace. The only thing that can be a bit confusing is the terms of what “dust” really is and the difficult relationship Nicole Kidman has to the little girl.

There are not that many real fairy tale movies nowadays so this one is a welcome addition ;)

Varg Veum - Falne Engler (Norwegian Movie)

This is the fourth movie about the PI from Bergen. This tie however the movie is not a traditional crime solving puzzle but rather a thriller.

The thriller is well built up and works fairly well. There is just some small problems. Major problem is that this movie has nothing to do with Varg Veum and would worked just as well with any other person in the main role. Bummer!
And then of course you guess that the usual small problems is in there like: Where does Varg Veum get his salary from? And what is his real nature?

So while the movie works, it doesn’t work. Get it? I still would go for “Din til Døden”.

Delicatessen (French Movie)

This is an old classic that I finally had the chance to see. It is a macabre but humorous movie. The pictures, the angles, the people the acting is all very well done all through the movie. And movie lovers will just enjoy every part of this movie. It is done with such passion and love and insight in how to make a masterpiece that I just take of my hat and bow.

If you can get a hold of this one with subtitles for your own language, then go for it and prepare for a laugh.

Across The Universe (Movie)

This is a musical based on various Beatles songs. It contains of course many nice versions of Beatles songs. It is the highly inspiration and creativity that makes me give it some good points. Do you like music? Do you like romance? Do you like The Beatles? The you will probably like this movie.

But please understand that it is a musical and should be watched as one.

The Bank Job (movie)

Making movies like this and still add a twist to make it worthwhile is not that easy since so many others have done it before. It is however every once in a while that it succeeds. I think The Bank Job does. It gives us some humor, some thrills and a little bit of drama in between.

Quite enjoyable in fact.

The grand (Movie)

The typical: “Lets make a movie and pretend it’s a reality show” idea is coming up both here and there. Usually it does not work very well. Why? Because in the end reality is not that fun… it just feeds on the same instinct that makes people play games like The Sims.

So while the grand tries so much, it also fails almost as much and I would rather not have watched it. Or to say one of those average movies.

The Warlords (movie)

One of Jet Li´s weaker performances (I guess someone will wrong me on this one??) for a while. The movie is grand and almost Epic and in the beginning I thought this would be a really good movie. Again I am surprised by the Asian unfamiliar way of telling a story.

And so it works well for a long time, but the problem is that halfway in the movie, it gets stuck and we just keep having the same over and over again (This is a problem that is returning in many movies – stagnation) and so it turns into a bore and I hardly convinced myself to see the rest, just to be disappointed.

Maybe I had to high expectations? I am not sure.

Beautiful Girls (movie)

This movie instantly reminds me of “Garden State” quite wrongly as this one had to be first. If it was not for the fact that “Garden State” is a far superior movie I would have been able to enjoy it more.

This is a small gem of a movie and deserves watching.

The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia (Music Album)

Wow, this is even better than the concert guys. This supergroup is something that I really like. For the first time in a long time I have been playing an album over and over again. Every song has its own story to tell, its own highs and lows..

And even higher highs.. and higher highs than that?

Ok get it? A little bit of Screaming Trees mixed with a dash of The Afghan Wigs and you have some of the most exciting that has happened to music in a long time.

Madrugada – Madrugada (Music Album)

As we all know this is the last Madrugada album that will ever be released.. hmm well… History will tell if that is the truth.

Anyway it is a real shame because this album is really well, except for the last song.

The best song is without a doubt “What is on your mind?” and I have been playing this tune quite a lot recently.

Buy this one now and pay homage to a piece of great music history

Working on the third book

I am good along working on the third book in my trilogy. It is going surprisingly well. When I am done I am going to re-write the whole things, just as a quality control to make it best possible.

It has been stimulating to get these stories down on paper and I am loosely planning to continue this stuff – depends of course if I get a good idea or not.

I might also (pre)publish some of this on the web. If you can not wait you can give me a note and I might just let you read some… then again……

Raga Rockers – Übermench (Music Album)

Raga has become even more sophisticated since last time. I remember sitting together with DJ Astra one night while Hugo was doing some of the last mixing on the tune “Gå med Våpen”. During this session we got some good inside information of the progress of Raga.

In the latest album we see the fruits of this. We get a better sound picture. We get songs which experiments in a way we have not heard since the earlier works.

The drawback is of course that all the song themes have been used earlier in their own far superior counterpart. But lets not dwell on that. Just sit jump up and down and rock along.

No Country for old men (half a second view)

My brother was watching this one day, as I had seen it before I only watched it it one eye or something. However I noticed something peculiar, something that is worth mentioning and that changes my view on the movie totally.

Previously I have been assuming that the theme of this movie is about “No country for old men” but seeing it again and discussing what I saw with my brother I think the main theme of this movie is “Greed”.

The second last scene is similar to another scene with the “Hero” in it when he crosses the border. And these two scenes are playing with each other. And from there on you can put “Greed” as the driving factor to a lot of what happens in the movie and it gives more sense.

I still think a little cutting would have done the juice but at least I will have to go back on the word of thinking it’s a failure of concept ;)

The Valley of Elah (movie)

Not only because Tommy Lee Jones is playing in both I think The Valley of Elah somewhat has shared interests with “No country for old men”: Something with the statement that the world is just not what it used to be, and that for the worse.

Personally I do not agree in this statement.

While many people wrongly can think of this as an anti military movie, I do however think of it as a movie that tries to pinpoint the wrong sides of war. There are peace forces and there are forces for destruction, and many subtle places in between.

The movie is build up around a crime scene that has shared civilian and military interests and the dad whose son is dead is an ex. Soldier.

This mystery that builds up is very well done and we keep asking ourselves what has happened. Through this suspense the story slowly descend and strikes us where it matters the most.