Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Have an Audiobook! has posted the audiobook for THE MARK. I listened to a sample, then had to turn it off because it was too freaky to hear someone read my book out loud. Maybe in a few days I'll do it, after a few stiff drinks. This is very cool. It should be up on iTunes shortly, in the meantime check it out on Audible here.

Also, starting tomorrow I'll be running a contest. More to come on that.

Saw two movies this weekend: "Ratatouille" and "Live Free or Die Hard." Ratatouille was another brilliant film from Pixar, and aside from a small misfire with "A Bug's Life" every one of their movies has been superb. Ratatouille isn't quite as funny as "Finding Nemo" and doesn't quite tug at your heartstrings like "Toy Story," but it has enough of both to easily make it one of the best films of the year. Plus the short Pixar film before the main feature was hilarious. Let's just say if you ever wondered what really goes on during an alien abduction, you'll want to check it out.

As for "Die Hard," I was less than impressed after the first half hour, but the next 90 minutes are a pure adrenaline rush, with some of the most jaw-dropping action scenes in a long time. In a summer where CGI and blue screen wire work dominate, it was refreshing to see a movie based around real-world stunts and explosions, and some mighty impressive ones at that. Though Bruce Willis's John McClane now has more in common with John Rambo now than the chain-smoking pissed-at-the-world everyman in the original DH, and though he bounces back a little too easily from 20-foot falls and slams onto steel girders, Willis is magnetic, and Justin Long gets in some genuinely funny lines as his sidekick (the two devlelop a nice chemistry as the film goes on). Though the film is slightly marred by the actor who plays the government bureaucrat Bowden, who with some serious lessons might have a career in porn. Timothy Olyphant, who was so manic and creepy in "Go", plays the head bad guy Gabriel with the menace of Mr. Bubbles. Two action sequences in particular stood out: one with Willis and the dangerous Maggie Q (who should have been the lead bad guy/girl) dangling in an elevator shaft, the second with Willis driving a semi trailer up a crumbling ramp to escape an F-18 fighter jet. Just spectacular stuff. They even throw a few inside jokes that will please fans of the original (no, Carl Winslow doesn't make a cameo). It's a far different movie from DH1, but that doesn't make it bad, and as far as action movies go this has some of the best actual "action" I've seen in a while.


Blogger Graham Powell said...

I am amazed at how Pixar manages to put serious points in their movies. The "lessons" in most kids' films don't rise above after-school-special level, but Pixar really gets it right.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Allison Brennan said...

I love the DIE HARD movies (but I don't remember much about 3, that might not have been as good . . . ) I definitely plan on seeing this one, though with revisions I don't know if I'll be able to for a couple weeks.

As for Pixar, they are brilliant. What's your problem with Bugs Life? I liked it a lot. Probably not my absolute favorite (I STILL cry in FINDING NEMO and TOY STORY will probably always be my favorite) but it was cute and had a great lesson. And MONSTERS. More great writing.

2:36 PM  
Blogger ORION said...

Congratulations on the Audio book!
Mine for LOTTERY just came in the mail yesterday-- Yup it IS weird hearing your words but very affecting.
Much aloha!

12:25 PM  
Blogger moonrat said...


5:46 PM  

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