I wasn’t sure if I was coming back after this recent hiatus. I’m still not entirely sure, but here I am writing a ‘five things’ anyway. I’ll need several ‘five things’ posts to catch up on sharing all the things I’ve been enjoying lately with the friends who read this blog.
I apologize in advance for typos, I haven’t slept in a very long time.
1. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
This book is really wonderful. A time capsule of one small-town summer in 1928, told in a style that is basically a connected series of short stories. Primarily, it tells the story of one boy truly coming into the knowledge of what it is to be alive, and then coming to inevitably fear death, and the loss of the remarkable life he’d discovered. More subtle and real to me than other coming of age tales I’ve read. Bradbury certainly was a master.
2. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The story of a boy named Todd, who lives on a planet where men’s thoughts are audible to anyone nearby. Todd is counting the days until he becomes a man, until an unexpected discovery leads to a thrilling and heartbreaking adventure that has me excited for book two… that is, once I whittle down my ‘To Read’ shelf a bit first.
The book was smart and well-written, and should be added to the list of good books you should read even though it has what I believe to be an ugly cover.
3. Batman: Year One
When it comes to the two primary comic book players, Marvel is far and away more successful than DC with making films from their brand. Marvel Studios has taken characters that common logic said would have trouble making money in film franchises, and then proceeded to make enormous amounts of money off of them, while also churning out some great films along the way. However, in the last decade, DC can only make a profit off of a hero if that hero’s name is Batman.
What DC/Warner Bros. does do well is animation. Much of my love for Batman is rooted in watching Batman: The Animated Series every weekday at 4:30 throughout my formative years. These days, I don’t catch much in the way of animated television series, but I have recently gotten into something called DC Universe Animated Original Movies. DC is bringing some of their most beloved and celebrated comic storylines to life via animation, and my first experience was Batman: Year One. It’s a really great adaptation of one of the best graphic novels ever, and it has gotten me into the rest of the new original animated movies DC has been producing.
I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
4. The Long Goodbye
Way back when Noir Month ended several weeks ago, I decided to watch an updated private detective film in the form of Robert Altman’s 70’s rendition of Philip Marlowe (the guy from The Big Sleep, as well as a large number of novels).
It was awesome. Just as I wanted to keep watching Bogart play Marlowe in the film from the 40’s, I wanted to watch Gould keep delivering his smart-ass, deadpan lines for all eternity… well, maybe not eternity, but for much longer than the all too brief 112 minutes of the film.
It’s a great movie that was underappreciated upon release, only to garner the respect and accolades it deserves in the decades to follow.
5. Beasts of the Southern Wild
It’s been a few weeks since I saw this, and I still don’t really have words to describe my feelings about it. I could come up with some, but I think it would cheapen my experience some, in a mystical sort of way. Suffice it to say I thought it was an uncommonly beautiful film that has stayed with me long after viewing it.
Also, Dwight Henry and Quvenzhané Wallis gave genuinely stunning performances. Wallis was especially awe-inspiring, showing talent far, far beyond her years as our fierce young heroine, Hushpuppy.
This movie honestly moved me to silence afterward.