Books, Movies, Reviews


06.25.07 | 2 Comments

There’s a school of thought that every new crime novel needs to hit the ground running. You need a gun on page 1, a shot on page 2, and a body on page 3. I don’t subscribe to this theory.

But DAMN!! I just finished reading Warrant for X, a book by Philip Macdonald featuring his sleuth Anthony Gethryn. It’s a veddy veddy British book and was published back in 1938, when the world was a slower place – but 50 pages before the book gets going? Almost a hundred before anything interesting happens? Come on, man, hop to it!

Actually I’ve been reading a lot of “Golden Age” mysteries lately. Don’t really know why – I guess I just enjoy the whodunit form. For the past year or two I have had an almost pathological aversion to reading new stuff and as a result I’ve spent most of my money in used bookstores lately.

Not all on British aristocrats, though. I just bought a batch of “Hardman” books by Ralph Dennis. The first one? Pimp For The Dead. I say, sir.

Speaking of tedious. So I finally got around to seeing Children of Men. I am a fan of Clive Owen’s work, and I really wanted to like this movie – but I really, really didn’t. The action scenes, which were generally not amped up but were presented in a “you are there fashion”, were extremely well done, but they were islands in a sea of dullness. Widely seperated islands.

I think the biggest problem was I didn’t have any sympathy for the future world presented. There was never a point when I could say to myself, “Yeah, the world could turn out like that.” Unlike something as far out as Blade Runner.

On the other hand, I also saw Ocean’s 13 not long ago, and it was a terrific movie, as much a comedy as a heist picture. The plot was really irrelevant – in fact, I think you could cut up the first three movies, assemble the scenes at random, and no one could tell the difference – but the style, the music, the energy of this movie was infectious. It was immensely entertaining, not self-important or indulgent. It rocked.


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