Tuesday, November 27, 2007

October 2007

Books Read
Love, Stargirl By: Jerry Spinelli
Amadeus By: Peter Shaffer

Movies Viewed For the First Time
Resident Evil: Extinction
The Squid and the Whale
30 Days of Night

Due to the new teaching job, the play I was acting in, and a variety of other things (such as a couple of weddings), I didn't do hardly any reading or movie watching in October. Love, Stargirl is the sequel to Spinelli's highly-acclaimed and popular book Stargirl. That book remains as one of my favorite books of all time. Love, Stargirl not so much. In the introduction to the book, Spinelli attempts to justify why a sequel was written. Frankly, I think he should have let well-enough alone. Stargirl is an almost flawless novel and if it can ever shake the stigma of being classified as "young adult literature" could become something like a classic novel. I was excited and terrified when I learned about Love, Stargirl. I was excited because I love the characters from the original novel, but terrified because a sequel was unnecessary and might destroy what had been created. The book does do some damage, but it isn't terrible. If no one had ever read Stargirl they would probably really enjoy Love, Stargirl. After all, Spinelli is a top-notch writer and even his lackluster prose is better than most drivel one reads. Still, the book does take something away from the magic of Stargirl. Yet, I can't recommend one not read the book.

As for Amadeus, that's the play I was in and I always read the script ahead of time before the first rehearsal of any show.

As for movies, I'll only comment on two. First, there's The Squid and the Whale. It's a straight-forward , dramatic, coming-of-age story set in 1970s New York City. The writing is brilliant. There are some rather bizarre (some would say disgusting) incidents in the film, but none of it seems out of place. I wish I could make a movie as good as this one. If you love film, you'll probably like The Squid and the Whale, but if you're just a casual filmgoer, you probably won't.

Besides The Squid and the Whale the other film I enjoyed was 30 Days of Night. Sure it's based off a comic book and is a bloody, mind-candy film about vampires. But, lately I've found myself attracted to films about vampires, werewolves, zombies and the like. I'm not sure if it's because I know those movies are usually much cheaper to make than a typical film or maybe it has something to do with the idea of the half-existence those creatures have that interests me or if it's some other reason. What I do know is that I saw 30 Days of Night and liked it. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

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