Impressions: WTF. Yes, much like others, I was left speechless. I couldn’t make heads or tails of what the hell I saw. The last time I had that disconcerting feeling was the first time I watched End of Evangelion. Given the amazing levels of awesome Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance reached, I was geeked for more of the same, but I was left reeling with confusion, full of questions, and a slow burn that ended in anger.
Posts Tagged ‘review’
After reviewing the best of anime of 2011, I realized that ranking great masterpieces was a disservice to each other, and to everyone, so I decided to pick only the best two of each season, and leave out the subjective, inconstant ranking. As always, they are based on my mixture of subjective preferences of philosophical depth and aesthetics appeal, but I try to leave room for the unexpected, which allows me to learn how to enjoy despite my worst habits. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…
Imagine a show that didn’t just “jump the shark” but became the very shark itself during its 26 episode run. Created by manga artist/writer Esuno Sakae, and animated by Asread, Mirai Nikki is an utterly over-the-top, insanely great series that consistently delivered with twists carried out by deus ex machina characters riding a trainwreck of a plot with reckless energy that absorbed every fatal flaw of narration and obliterated them to smithereens.
Finally got back to the show – that’s how hectic my life has gotten. Watched episodes 3-5 Monday, then 6 to 8 on Thursday and 9 & 10 today. At first, after episode 1, I went ahead to re-read Game of Thrones because I didn’t really remember the detail or the lesser characters or smaller plot points. Then I watched the 2nd episode and fell in the same rut as the rest of you did: comparing and complaining. I realized that I was doing the show a disservice so I lucked out by missing the weekly showing and read other books to kinda bury the re-read deep. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…
Winter is coming… and it has arrived on HBO with a thunderous bang, marrying the grand ambitions of the novel to the visceral promise of television. The first episode of the new HBO series, Game of Thrones, dispelled a lot of my ambivalent feelings about having my all-time favorite series from the fantasy genre being adapted into television format. It didn’t matter one whit that HBO had been home to some of the most brilliant television programming of the past 20 years in The Sopranos and The Wire, because adapting a book for television requires sacrifices. But I’m glad to announce that, despite the limitations of television, or perhaps because of them, the opener pulled it off.
Before I jump headfirst into this review, perhaps a little background information is in order:
I grew up on mythology the same way most children of the 80′s grew up on Hasbro toys like GI Joe or Transformers, Barbie or Cabbage Patch dolls, etc. I mean, sure, like any active 10 year old, I enjoyed toys and cartoons and video games, but mythology – Greek mythology – was so fascinating and it served as my springboard into science fiction, literature, religion, and philosophy.
The life-long fascination with Greek myths drew me to God of War. Now, although I had stopped playing games by the time the original game came out in 2005, I was easily intrigued with it when I visited another child of the 80′s who had a bigger video gaming addiction. God of War was a brilliant blend of the action platformer & the hack n’ slash game that mined the rich heritage of Greek mythology. The sequel, while being bigger and badder than the original, also ended on one of the greatest cliffhangers I’ve ever seen. Once I heard that the finale would be released on the Playstation 3, I bought it in advance- 3 years ago. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…
I bought this book on September 8th and finished it last night. As a fan of Robert Greene, the modern-day Machiavelli, I was eager to snatch his latest book that’s a collaboration with 50 cents, the rapper.
The 50th Law is a decent book that spins 10 variations on the single theme of fearlessness into 10 chapters. Each chapter is further broken down into sections: the eye of the huster, the key, the strategies, and the reversal, which is similar to the original structure of the 48 laws of Power. 50 cents contributes the material of his biography and the key to fearlessness as pithy quotes. Several new individuals are also included here, from Richard Wright to Malcom X to Amelia Earhart to John Ford, along with returning favorites like Napoleon and Scipio. However, 50 cents’ biography is stretched thin across 200 plus pages, and there seems to be a great deal of overlap that borders on repetition. Robert Greene should be applauded for moving into new territory, into the world of the hustlers and the rappers to supplement his previous works on the great leaders, seducers, artists, thinkers, and generals.
One thing that bugs me: there’s no mention of the 49th law. Perhaps in the next book?
Today, literary criticism is an exceedingly complicated discipline – one so complex that most people are unable to put forth a serious critique of a book without falling back on their own subjective tastes that lack rigor and reflective thought.
However, I have discovered a technique that may aid us in our attempt to judiciously critique a work of literature, be it a novel or film. Simply put, this technique is a careful analysis of the characters, how they are deployed in the story: do they represent the classic protagonist/antagonist that’s based on a black and white picture of reality? Or are they representative of a morally ambiguous reality in which the audience is trusted to be able to judge them? Merely a placeholder for an overarching ideology the author is foisting upon the reader? ↓ Read the rest of this entry…
“…keeps the suspense mounting and the pages turning..”
“…delicious witty and gossipy…”
Alas – any of these blurbs still would sell this novel short, for it has all the virtues of your garden variety bestseller du jour – gripping plot, memorable characters, unconventional ending – and far more.
Simply put, Les Liaisons Dangereuses raised the bar of the epistolary novel so high it no longer exists. The subtitle, “Letters gathered in a Society” indicates a collection of the correspondence has been arranged by a “fictional” editor. The distinctive styles and view presented in each letter creates a polyphonic effect, where the reader is always better informed about the relevant situation than the authors of the letters themselves. The authors are not merely reporting events, they write in order to present themselves the way they intend to appear to their correspondents.
The nature of the composition of the novel has disposed of the “normative position” of the author, Choderlos de Laclos and preempted the moral imperative. The absence of a narrator or an authoritative narrative voice makes it impossible to locate the intentions of the author. As a result, moral ambiguity is the book’s greatest charm. Its depiction of the base motives of the aristocracy was shocking, controversial and scandalous, for its authenticity in certain spots implied it was a roman a clef. The first edition sold out within days, nonetheless.
The Marquise de Merteil and Vicomte de Valmont are two letter writers who shrewdly and ruthlessly play a game where seduction is the name; psychological methods, the rules; erotic pleasure, the prize. They are the dangerous liaisons of the painfully naïve young girl, Cecile Volanges. She and the other authors, the Chevalier de Chanceny, Presidente del Tourvel, and Madam Volanges are pawns in the game of seduction. The twist is that the game backfires on the puppeteers of the drama and everyone else.
I thought the sweetest morsels were the scattered psychological insights: on people in general, the distinction between men and women and their socially appropriate relations to pleasure, the incompatibility between vanity and love. They painted a clever and cynical portrait of human nature, challenging the pretensions of society, the resonant echo of the maxims of the moralist La Rochefoucauld.
Some readers have proposed tragedy as the appropriate category for Les Liaisons, where fate is exceedingly brutal to the protagonists and shatters all possibility of redemption of life. In classic tragedies, the protagonist(s) are virtuous, yet that makes no difference as they are destroyed by external forces or by themselves. Both Marquise de Merteil and the Valmont are exceedingly vain, and this is their virtue of excellence as well as their fatal flaw. “Strong swimmers always drown.” Because of the way novel depicts human society as something permanent, there are no apocalyptic overtones. The tragic end of the characters are somewhat absolved when society continues on, surviving their destruction. It could be argued that the excessive portrayal of the vain aristocrats was a condemnation of the aristocracy itself, which was thoroughly corrupt to the bone, a decadent society in its death throes where the Revolution was right around the corner.