Brief Reviewage

Insanely busy — I have three major projects which all have to be completed before the end of the month, so I apologize for not posting as often as I normally would.

Figured that I’d devote this post to brief reviews:

We went to see Public Enemies this weekend — I enjoyed it quite a bit. Michael Mann is one of my favorite directors, and I’m a sucker for the 1930s. I was already pretty well-versed in the story of “Public Enemy Number One”, John Dillinger, but even so, the film didn’t drag for me at all — which is saying something, as it clocks in at 2 1/2 hours. Depp turns in his usual effortless excellence — although for me, the film was made by the supporting actors (especially Jason Clarke as Red Hamilton and Stephen Graham as Baby Face Nelson).

I finally read Theodore Roszak’s novel Flicker, years after having it recommended by . The best way that I can sum it up: Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum (in the depth of information) or Brown’s DaVinci Code (in the overall theme of art hiding secrets), except concerned with the secret history of the cinema. As a cinephile and a fan of historical conspiracies, this was right up my alley. I’d love to find more like this. I loved every page of it.

Less loved was Space Captain Smith by Toby Frost. Part of the problem here was my own expectations — I was hoping for something that took itself more seriously, even while being light-hearted: something more along the lines of Fraser’s Flashman, but in a steampunk setting. Sadly, what I got was a book written in an unbearably smug pastiche of Douglas Adams’ style — but without Adams’ ability. The whole thing had a wink-to-the-audience, “aren’t I clever?” feel which so turned me off, I put the book down unfinished and haven’t looked back.

and I watched Gabriel on DVD, courtesy of Netflix. It’s an Australian film featuring Arch-Angels (or “Arcs” as the script calls them) versus The Fallen, fighting over control of Purgatory (called “Midworld”), which takes the form of a dark city. Very 90s White Wolf — lots of Big CoatsTM and guns — surprisingly no katanas, which was the first indication that it might rise above it’s brethren. I have to admit that not only did I enjoy the movie (probably because I was expecting total crap), but I started thinking about how it would be fun to do an angels-vs-demons RPG, without venturing into the territory of Engel or In Nomine.

Anyway — there you have it. Some things which have wedged their way into my brain recently, squeezing into the narrow gaps between the brainspace demanded by work projects.