Snowpiercer – Film Review

SnowpiercerThis dystopian parable had one of the nuttiest premises I’ve seen in a movie. In the not-so-distant future, the entire planet is frozen solid after the attempt to solve the problem of global warming goes spectacularly wrong. All life is wiped out, and what remains of the human race is gathered on a single train, which is powered by an eternal engine and whose rail network spans the entire globe, so it takes the train one year to complete the full circle.

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Crimson Peak – Film Review

Jessica-Chastain-in-Crimson-PeakI’m glad I watched it, but dear lord this was one silly movie. I overheard one person say that this was the worst film he’s ever seen, and while personally I don’t concur, if you don’t have a soft spot for the overblown gothic melodrama I can see why this movie would not agree with you.

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Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer – Book Review

into-thin-air-978144720018501I ended up reading this book twice, because I didn’t feel like I gave it justice the first time around: I read it in a terribly rushed, haphazard manner and this is simply not a book to read in 15-minute bites. Plus I have a bad habit where sometimes I get impatient about two thirds into the reading, and start scanning and skipping through the final pages in a race to the finish.

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Good stuff in Revenge of the Sith

No, this moment is not one of the good things about the movie

They’re screening all of the Star Wars movies on Channel 7 Saturdays, and tonight it was Revenge of the Sith. I’m not a mega Star Wars fan by any means so I wouldn’t say that the prequels ruined my childhood memories or whatever, but there’s no doubt that they deserve the hate they get. This movie has many of the same issues that flattened the hell out of its predecessors, but overall it’s the most watchable one of the three. Which is faint praise I guess, but it does have quite a few things I genuinely enjoy and it manages to have some good moments of pathos and drama, mostly when the actors are spared having to spout Lucas’ stilted dialogue.

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The Expats by Chris Pavone – Book Review

expats_coverFun, fast read for the summer; part spy thriller, part domestic drama.

Kate and Dexter are a couple with two small children living in Washington D.C.; she works for the government and he’s a specialist in electronic banking security, who one day gets a lucrative offer to work for a bank in Luxembourg, of all places. So they move to Europe and now Kate finds her days filled with endless housecleaning, playdates, and coffee and gossip with the other expat wives, while her husband works long hours and takes barely any participation in the family life. Soon, Kate gets suspicious about her husband’s absences, and feels that things aren’t quite right with the American couple they made friends with. There’s a good reason for her disquiet other than sheer boredom – Kate is an ex-CIA field operative with a chequered past, a fact she managed to hide from her husband for the entire time they’ve been married. Is her past finally catching up to her, or is her husband up to no good?

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The Martian – Film Review

martianReally loved this movie. It’s a strange one coming from Ridley Scott, whose previous sci-fi films are not exactly known for their sense of optimism and belief in the best in people, yet with The Martian he strikes a perfect tone: it’s entertaining, inspiring, enormously good-natured and with a perfect mix of seriousness and silliness. It celebrates science, intelligence, perseverance, teamwork, and is full of likeable characters I wanted to give hugs to. It is also a love letter to that humble vegetable, a potato (no, seriously).

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