Sunday, March 15, 2009


WALL-E is a cute, funny and sad movie. After the first fifteen or twenty minutes, I almost had to turn it off. It seriously affected my hormonal heart. To see the planet like that and lone little WALL-E working to make it right, I wanted to cry a little. I don’t know what I expected this movie to be. Some futuristic, robot thing, but it’s not. It is so much more than that. WALL-E can actually be seen as a commentary on the state of the world, the environment and big business.

I adored this movie. I want to get the Blu-Ray Special Edition; I thought it was brilliant. There’s barely any speaking in the movie, but the emotions of the characters come through so clearly. WALL-E and the other robots really connect to the audience. Even the drawings that accompany the credits tell a story. If you haven’t seen WALL-E yet, you’re missing out on something wonderful.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A Short History of Myth

I just finished Karen Armstrong’s A Short History of Myth, a historical, though opinionated look, at the history of myth. A Short History of Myth is part of the Myth Series, which includes authors Margaret Atwood and Alexander McCall Smith. I found it very informative; a good beginning if someone was curious about mythology across civilizations. It was well written and for the most part, easy to read. You don’t have to be a historian or intellectual to pick up Armstrong’s book, though you may have to open the dictionary occasionally, especially in the second chapter.

This is not just a neutral report. Though very informative, Armstrong has an opinion on each era of the subject matter. Especially with the last chapter, which deals with modern mythos, it is the era we live in now. Armstrong discusses Pablo Picasso, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce and Joseph Conrad. She argues that the artists are now the myth makers. Since mythology has fallen by the wayside and has been replaced with modern science and technology, people look to their artists to create heroes, something in which to believe. A Short History of Myth is a good beginning into the realm of mythology, just remember that it is not exactly an unbiased account of the past or present.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


We saw The Watchmen tonight. It was rather spontaneous. I’m glad we went to see it though. The Watchmen raises interesting questions about the nature of humanity and what it would take to bring world peace. These aren’t idyllic superheroes; their inner darkness, inner demons go way beyond what The Dark Knight or The Hulk could offer. They have very human problems and don’t always handle things the way you think a superhero should.

One thing I have to mention is please, PLEASE, PLEASE, do not bring your five or six year old to see this movie. Even though this movie is about costumed heroes, it is not for small children. It’s an 18+ movie for a reason. First graders do not belong. There is some serious violence and sex. Not TV sex. There are scenes with full nudity and it is obvious what the characters are doing. There are some scenes that are so violent, that I heard one of the children in the theatre (who looked five or six) cry out, then their parents shushed them. Seriously. Did you have to see the movie so badly that you had to drag your small child to the theatre and give them nightmares? Yes, I think a five year old will get nightmares from watching the blood and bones and death. It’s not Superman, it’s not even The Dark Knight. It’s the same person who directed 300 and that certainly had sex and violence. Please, keep that in mind.

As much as I liked this movie, it was very long. I kept waiting for them to get to the point. I wanted to know who the killer was and why they were killing the former heroes. I waited a long time. We sat in the theatre for three hours. If you factor out previews, the movie was at least 2½ hours. Yes, there was a lot of action and great dialogue and the visuals were amazing. Eventually, however, I got restless. I know it’s not just a pregnancy thing either, when the people I was with mentioned the same thing. So, definitely see The Watchmen, but be prepared for the length of the film.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mr. Peabody’s Apples

I’ve always been interested in what kids are reading (eg: my brief obsession with Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events - See posts from July 06, August 06 and November 06). Now, with a baby on the way, my interest has grown. I want to like a book, know what it’s about before I impart it on my child. Besides liking the story, I also would like them to be visually appealing (for the early years). Today, I thought I would be nice to take a few minutes and read Madonna’s, Mr. Peabody’s Apples.

The first thing I noticed was how beautiful the art was. Loren Long does an amazing job bringing the town of Happville to life. Each picture is detailed and intricate. I couldn’t have asked for a better illustrated book. Madonna and the publishers made a good choice bringing Long on for this story.

Madonna’s words are truthful ones. Mr. Peabody’s Apples tells the story of a man who is hurt by the careless words of a thoughtless boy. Rumours are bad. The boy sees something, out of context, assumes the worse and tells all his friends, who tells all their parents and word spreads. In Mr. Peabody’s Apples, we learn that words can ruin lives. Words have the power to hurt, heal and teach. Madonna dedicates this story to teachers. Though the story is about a teacher, it is about teaching children the power of their words.