Friday, July 01, 2005

Stuff You Coul Be Reading

Hot damn, Kelly Link's story collection Stranger Things Happen is now available for free under a Creative Commons license... If you like what you read, why not go out and buy a copy, or check out her new one? I plan to.

And the uber-scarily taleted Simon Owens (21 and rocking the house) has another short up a Chizine (I still maintain he's just peaking early, dammit. Someday he will not be young and talented, just talented). Check it out.

I Accidently Saw "War of the Worlds"

Did anyone else assume we'd gotten past that whole "mankind," "man," "where no man has gone before" stuff with Star Trek the Next Generation? I mean, I really thought that narrators in the future would mention, also, that women did things, built things, and genernally contributed to the formation of society, seeings as women, like, have babies and design buildings and drive forklifts and such. Women: doing everything men do, and breeding for the cause, too!

I mean, really.

But anyway, if you suck it up through the Morgan Freeman narration, this is a great little summer adventure movie.

Yea, you heard me right.

Forget a minute that Tom Cruise is the lead (I wish they'd cast somebody else - he's a celebrity who's gotten to the point where he's so much "a celebrity" in my mind that it's difficult not to just be like, "Oh, Tom Cruise), and appreciate Dakota Fanning and Steven Spielburg as a director, and go along for the fucking ride.

It hits my pet interests of course: war, genocide, apocalyptic scenerios and how they bring out the worst and (sometimes) the best in people. Speilburg knows how you make a good action flick: always bring it back to the characters. It's about the people, not the special effects (though the effects are fucking stellar). Focus on the story, the journey of these people caught up in extraordinary events. He's great with suspense, tension.

Spielburg may spend a bit too long focusing on all of the grouped military shots, but hey, he after directing so many war movies, I think he just couldn't help it.

Cruise plays an incompetent asshole pretty well (does this surprise anyone?), and it's fun to watch a sort of anti-hero fill the hero role.

Unlike some other people, I didn't have so much trouble with the ending: hell, they stayed true to the original in that sense. What ya gonna do?

I will say that the cynic in me wanted it to end with the father & daughter cowering on the stairs after Cruise takes steps to ensure their survival. I love that idea as an ending shot. But then, I adored the original ending shot of "28 Days Later" when the two women - hefting shotguns - swing through the double doors of the hospital and into the great unknown.

I enjoy just being left to dwell on how far human beings will go to protect their kin, and speculate about how well they'll do in the long run.

But hey, it's Spielburg. Everybody's gotta live, gotta maintain the happy family unit.

Ah, well.

It was a good ride. I was pleasantly entertained.