Movies watched for the first time (non-theatrically) since last week:
* City of Ember
I'm not sure why I'd been so keen on seeing City of Ember in the first place: based on a book I'd never heard of, meant for an audience much younger than me, didn't look terribly original.
But I guess the combination of hearing some good things and a cast that includes Tim Robbins and Bill Murray (and Martin Landau, but I didn't know that until I watched it) was enough, and I'm glad I did. There's hardly anything about it that should make this connection, but the experience of watching it reminded me of the 2003 Shia LaBeouf vehicle Holes, which I think is a tremendous "kids" movie and one that would have been amongst my favorites had I been 10 or 12 when it came out.
Ember's not quite as good, but along with that cast, which includes stars Saoirse Ronan and Harry Treadway (she a decade younger though they're playing the same age...hmmm), it's got a likable story and a charming way of telling it, all the more impressive that it's ultimately a depressing tale of a dying planet and the means that a few went to to save it.
The result is a Logan's Run meets The Fifth Element story, executed well but with a lackluster, somewhat abrupt finale.
Fletch's Film Rating:
Music I'm currently obsessed with:
More thoughts than anything in particular:
* Why was Bloc Party's second album so much worse than their first?
* When is The Go Team!'s next album coming out?
* After the success of Sufjan Stevens Illinois, there were questions about just how he was going to complete his "50 States Project" (an album for each state) in this century. I'd been wondering that, too. Just got my answer from Wiki: according to an interview he did with The Guardian in 2009, ""I have no qualms about admitting it was a promotional gimmick". Lame.
* You can't listen to a full album or pick your songs, and commercials are embedded, so why does Pandora limit you to 40 free hours of listening in a month? This is a (the?) leading internet music service?
* Yes! Arcade Fire's next disc comes out in less than two weeks!
Book I'm currently reading:
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I first learned of this many years ago but just never remembered it/was able to find it/etc. The cover does nothing less than call it a masterpiece, so I'm expecting great things. So far, so good (but not great) - it's certainly got colorful characters, but I'm not yet far enough into it for the action to have really picked up any steam (maybe 50 pages).
Recently finished The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman. Really, really enjoyed it - it deserves all of the acclaim it's gotten thus far. After finishing off the Millenium trilogy, the prospect of reading another book about the publishing industry (in this case, a newspaper) actually appealed to me, and this one certainly had an international flavor as well, being set mostly in Rome, but also in Paris, Egypt, and stateside. The format of it initially threw me off - it's more an interconnected series of short stories than a continuous narrative - but I came 'round on it and now my only gripe was its brevity, as it clocks in at less than 300 pages. Rachman writes beautifully - incredible insight into the human condition, humor, pool-deep sadness - it's got it all. I can't wait to re-read it in a few years.