Monday, July 19, 2010

Media Consumed: June 2010

Books Read
Wicked Gregory Maguire
Blockade Billy Stephen King
High Soft Lisp Gilbert Hernandez
Shrek Graphic Novel Various
A Barnstormer in Oz Philip Jose Farmer
101 Things I Learned in Film School Neil Landau
The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976, Vol. 13 Charles Schulz
Word Pictures Brian Godawa

Wicked is a book that I had been looking forward to reading for sometime. Since I'm in a production of The Wizard of Oz and knew I was going to see the stage version of Wicked in July, I figured now would be a good time to read it. Well, the 1st half of the book is pretty interesting, but after that the story and actual writing just goes downhill. It really isn't a great book and this is an instance where the stage show is actually a major improvement upon the original material.

Blockade Billy is the latest work from Stephen King, a writer whom I really enjoy. It's a bit different from some of his more typical writing. The book contains two novellas, "Blockade Billy" and "Morality" which are similar in style, but very different in theme. It's not typical King, but I've found that I usually like those stories better than his usual, spooky stuff.

A Barnstormer in Oz was a book I read as part of my research for OZ. It didn't help in any way and the story ends rather abruptly. I wish Farmer would have gotten around to writing a sequel. Overall, I liked the story as it presents a world in which much of the events in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz actually happened and that Dorothy had been a real person who gave an exclusive interview to L. Frank Baum.

I'm a major "Peanuts" fan and was very excited to read the latest installment of the Complete Peanuts books being published by Fantagraphics. The !975-1976 Collection is an interesting read as it is the first collection where the Peanuts have jumped completely into the realm of the absurd.

Lastly, Word Pictures was a book that I really enjoyed. Basically, it's about how the Bible and God can't really just be understood on a completely literal level and that there has to be some literary elements to it as well; the visual is just as important as the written word. Jesus was the Word of God, but he also was a man who really did live and breathe.

Movies Watched For the First Time
Trick 'R Treat
They Saved Hitler's Brain
Used Cars
Horton Hears a Who
Wicked Wicked
The A-Team
Midgets Vs. Mascots
Toy Story 3

They Saved Hitler's Brain is a terrible B movie that is almost worth watching for the payoff of seeing Hitler's "brain" towards the end (notice I said almost).

Used Cars is an earlier Robert Zemeckis directed feature from 1980 that stars Kurt Russell. The movie has an amazing finale that is worth watching for that.

Wicked Wicked is a movie not available on DVD or VHS, but airs occasionally on cable. It's a low-key thriller that's notable because it's viewed almost completely on a split screen.

The A-Team movie is a pretty decent adaptation of the 1980s television series and I enjoyed it.

Midgets Vs. Mascots is the last movie starring Gary Coleman. Besides the excessive foul language, the movie is actually very funny and has appearances by some people who are now more famous thanks to Glee.

Lastly, the best movie of the year is Toy Story 3. It probably won't win Best Picture because Hollywood doesn't really acknowledge that an animated film can be better than a "regular" film, but Toy Story 3 is by far the best movie of the year and can be enjoyed by anyone from very young children to the elderly. It speaks volumes about loyalty, friendship, family, growing up, and the end and return to innocence. If you haven't seen it yet, you must. Go to the theatre today and watch it. It really is that good.

No comments: