Saawariya: This is the first time in my life I’ve seen a bollywood film on the big screen, and probably only about the third time I’ve ever watched an entire bollywood film. This is not to be damning of the genre, but simply that growing up my mum didn’t watch them, so I didn’t get into the habit. For this reason I can’t say how unusual Saawariya is compared to other Bollywood films, but I can say it was completely not what I expected. The film is basically your fairly traditional love story; but it’s set in this incredible Moulin Rougeesqe, fantastical land; a sort of indian-venice.
It didn’t let down on the dances, the singing or the other traditional Bollywood aspects; and I found myself quite sucked in to it – although the man in black? I don’t like him – and despite what my mum thought, I didn’t reckon he was much of a hunk… :)
Geek Mafia – Mile Zero: This is the follow up to the original Geek Mafia – and without giving anything much away it sets the Geek Mafia up for being quite a series. As with the original book there’s some notable proofing errors in the book; something I find hard to justify in the second book… The downloadable PDF also has some formatting quirks – but a book isn’t about how it looks, it’s about the contents. Geek Mafia – Mile Zero, I somehow found less engaging initally than the original book. I found the beginning somewhat, well, slow – and found myself kind of reading it through a perverse desire to find out what happened to the characters. Rick Dakan seems very keen to position the characters above ordinary criminals, which I find somewhat grating at times; but it does all come together as the plot develops.
Really, it’s a sequel; it’s not quite as good as the first book, but once you get past that first chunk then it does become compelling reading as you work towards the denouement. And if Mr Dakan does ever sort out mailing his books in a manner which doesn’t involve gold coated unicorns carrying the books across the ocean stepping from diamond lilly-pad to diamond lilly-pad before placing them in your very hands dusted in fresh pixie dust (i.e. when he makes his shipping cheaper) then I’ll be sure and get the pair :)
Blacklist: I’ve loved Sara Paretsky’s VI Warshawski since my dad introduced me to her in my teens. He apparently listened to the BBC’s adaptation of her earlier crime mysteries, and so any review I give of a VI Warshawski novel is likely to be rather positive. It’s another great story, puliing you in (compelling to nick a word I’ve used already) and discussing the political situation in America at the moment; it’s very interesting to feel the change in her relationship with the police, her concerns about what can happen to you in a world where the American Government can abduct people off the streets… Dystopian futures have always been something that I’ve rather enjoyed, dystopian present makes me nervous, but it also makes for an excellent read. Anyhow, Sara Paretsky continues to Rock. I’ve just realised there’s a few older novels that I don’t have – which means I shall have to go hunt them down at a store. What I really need is a book database which lists every book I own so I can be sure and not buy one I’ve already got :)
The Golden Compass: So we headed to Sloughs illustrious cinema yet again to see something somewhat more mainstream. Unlike Kathryn I’ve never read the His Dark Materials trilogy (heh, a trilogy that’s actually a trilogy!) and so was a little concerned since one of the reviews said that it’s rather dependent on you having read the novels. I’m not sure if the little bits and pieces that Kathryn’s told me were enough to make the story fit together easily in my head, or whether it’s the case that if you came in knowing nothing at all that it’d make sense.
Kathryn said that they didn’t develop the characters enough in the film which is something that when she said it did become apparent to me; the characters certainly don’t develop a great deal in the time of the film; which is obviously a restriction related to the relatively short running time of the film. However, as someone who’s not read the books I found it a truly engaging tale; I slipped into the world with daemons, it’s a concept which I don’t feel uncomfortable with (Kaisa, you ought to enjoy the concept, I’d’ve thought :) ). They clearly have toned down the anti-religious sentiment quite markedly; whether for the American market or for the market generally it’s difficult to say; I’m aware that Britain is a much less Secular place than I thought it was :-/. Sorry, rambling off topic there. Anyhow, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
So there you go. As promised, reviews.
In other news, I’ve started work on the Viva project; I’ve accidentally bought myself a stupidly expensive Xmas present (a video camera, on which I bid the minimum truly expecting to get outbid, as I usually do, and uh; didn’t). And I’ve finally admitted to myself that the heating won’t be in until after Xmas… Clearly the way past this is to spend as much time as possible at work ;)
The BeBox continues to actually work, unlike the HomeHub. We’ve got faster ADSL, can torrent files, and apart from the dubious PC in the lounge’s wireless we seem to be working. The Mac should be off to be repaired tomorrow, depending on when I wake up. I just need to check if Nikki took the supply apart, and if she did attempt to remove any evidence of warranty stickers :)