Books n Movies

Apr 06

Pathe Rembrandt

We went to the cinema (Pathe Rembrandt, Utrecht) this morning to watch Ice Age 2. We went to the earliest show, which played at 10:45 a.m. And we liked the experience very much. Not only we only had to pay 4.50 euro  per person (compare to 8.50 euro full price, evening show), we also had the whole viewing room for ourself. A private cinema! I changed my mind 3 times before I finally decided on the ultimate seats for us.

About the film, I found Ice Age 2 slightly dissapointing. It was not as funny as the first one. May be too much drama rather than stupidity? The funniest was the squirrel and his effort to keep his acorn (he kept loosing it all the time).

Jan 06

Latest read

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Jan 06


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Aug 05

Harry Potter & the Half-blood Prince

WARNING: Don’t read this post if you are reading the book or planning to read the book in the future.

I have finished reading the book. It is quite hefty, just as the previous one (book #5) and not as exciting as book #1, 2, and 3. The story line feels dragged and does not flow very well. Real excitement happened only in the last chapters, in which Dumbledore died because Snape cursed him with “Avra Kedavra” and got buried (shame..). So I am pretty sure that he is dead 100% this time and can’t be saved by his crying Phoenix or other means. Although, I might be completely wrong here.
When I finished 50 % of the book, I had a strong feeling that the Half-blood Prince was Voldermort. That was proven to be really wrong. It was Snape after all. At the end I am just as confused as Harry, Hermione, Ron, Prof. McDonagall, etc about Severus Snape. Is he or is he not one of the good guy?. Well, I guess I have to wait another 2 years or so for the answer.

The rest of the book is mainly about how the friendship between the characters is starting to change into a relationship and the dilemma that they face. Harry and friends are growing up.

Jul 05

War of the Worlds

We just came back from watching War of the Worlds.
It’s been an emotionally draining week for me at the office. And in trying to get rid off some left over thoughts and get ready for the weekend, we went to the movie. Besides, I had a coupon from Albert Heijn too that was valid a ticket for whichever film we choose to see. So we decided to go and see War of the Worlds.

I have never actually read the book, nor have I heard the radio show,etc. So I had no expectation or knowledge whatsoever of the movie. So how did I find the movie?
It is quite impressive: the earthquakes when the machines jump out the earth, the facade of the church which is moved to the side, people turn to dust in a blink of an eye, …
It is quite disgusting: the machines suck up human blood, spray it on earth surface as some sort of fertilizer, that part of the machine that suck up the next victim from the cage right under it (to me, it looks like an anus with Tom Cruise hanging from it…YUCK!), ….
It is quite confusing. Some parts just do not make sense to me. OK, as usual I am overanalyzing things. I kept saying to myself and Nor, when we were in our car, that it was just a movie. A fantasy movie. But I just could not help myself…So if people disperse and turn to dust when they got hit by the laser beam, why are their clothes remained intact floating in the air? When I saw lots of jeans flying right after their owners turned to dust, I thought that it would be a great ad for a jeans brand e.g. Levis. Next, if the Mars-men are so intelligent and managed to plant machines under our feet million years ago, why couldn’t they figure out back then that some bacteria could wipe them out? Strange, some research might have helped…Oh well, it’s just a movie…so I’ll stop analyzing.

Note: I drew the sketch above using my powerbook, photoshop, no wacom, no mouse. It’s sort of a ‘finger painting’.

Jan 05

Digital Fortress – Review

I finished Digital Fortress about a week ago. It was ok, not as great as Da Vinci Code. Seems like it’s hard to beat Da Vinci Code.
I also started on my new read last week: Imprimatur. Hopefully better.

Dec 04

The Book of Four – Review

When I saw the cover and the title of this book, I was hoping that it would be as exciting as The Da Vinci Code. I like mystery, thriller, mix with history and science. That reason made me bought The Book of Four. But the book was very dissapoingting. The science and the history are there in the book, although not much. The mystery is there, the thriller is almost non-existence. The setting at the University of Princeton, the students life, the girlfriends, the thesis….all of these made the book really bland and boring. I did manage to finish reading, luckily. Just so to make me feel that I didn’t waste my money on buying the book. I just can’t believe that it took the authors 6 years to finish this book, which is their first. May be the research costed that much time, I just hope that the writing costed them only 20%. All in all it is uninteresting.

Dec 04

Angels & Demon – Review

The start of the book is pretty much the same as The Da Vinci Code. Exciting, unputdownable. It is like that until the end. However, the final or climax is too over the top. Too unrealistic? May be. Too much fantasy? Too much work? Possibly. In the end, the ending is not as satisfying as The Da Vinci Code. I am not sure what Dan was thinking about. Too spectacular is not always good…

Dec 04

The Da Vinci Code – Review

What can I say? Excellent book! I always hesitated to put it down. But then I had too, since I had to work…
A good distraction to the unstable emotional level at the office.

Aug 04

The Dante Club – Review

I finished reading The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl. Here are my comments:

My favorite part: when two members of the Dante Club found that their
friend GW Greene preached at the veteran club about Dante and well
before the scheduled discussion/translation session at Longfellow’s
house. They (and I) have never suspected that GW Greene would do this
since he was (almost) always asleep during the session and the other
members kept the murders and mistery as a secret from GW Greene! I
thought like (half laughing) jee, I should’ve known that, how typical,

The most gruesome and memorable part for me is the death of P
Jennison. The other murders were “ok”, this one really gave me goose
bumps. The death of the judge and the reverend were decribed vaguely in comparison to Jennison’s. I think this is because one of the protagonist (Holmes) really witnessed when the victim drew his last breath this time, and saw how he looked. The author described what Holmes saw through Holmes’ eyes. On the other murders, none of the protagonists was present and thus, no detailed description.

One thing that bothers me is the way Fanny Longfellow died. This might
not be an important point for the book/author, but I thought it is a
bit unrealistic (??). She died because of the injuries she had after
her dressed caught on fire. This fire was caused by hot wax which
dripped on the dress…. to me this doesn’t really make sense, or a
bit impossible. Hot wax for seal does not burn paper when it drips on it. So it can’t make fabrics catch fire, can it?

I would certainly recommend this book to others. It is not a book that is
easy to read, at least in the beginning. But once you are absorbed in
the mistery, you just want to go on. I have to admit that I cheated :) .
I was so curious after reading about the death of the reverend (not
even half way of the book). And not long after that I took a peak at
the end of the book, and found the murderer ;) . I’d have never guessed
that it would be him! He was introduced as a nobody like somewhere in
the middle. His name was mentioned only a few times except in the
chapter which is sort of dedicated to his own story.

The ending: I think it is a bit weak, not satisfying.

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