Before last week, I'd never seen a book trailer. No, I don't mean some kind of large mobile library; I mean a promo piece, like a movie trailer, but, well, for a book. I've now seen the one for Libba Bray's Going Bovine, and you should too.
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District 9 is one hell of a movie.
I knew even less about it going into a screening the other night than I did about the
film Moon before seeing that thoughtful slice of science fiction, which I reviewed last month. A very broad synopsis of and general thoughts on D9 come after the graphic, but those who want to enter the experience totally blind (or at least with no spoilage on my part) should bail out now. The bottom line is that, yes, I'd recommend it, with the caveats that it dragged a bit in the middle, still impressive but not gripping until it re-engaged me in its final act, and that anyone who has difficulty seeing vomiting or viscera will have to avert their eyes on occasion.
District 9 flew under the radar — ironically, given the massive alien spacecraft that looms over Johannesburg in the movie — as director Neill Blomkamp shot on location in South Africa with a cast of largely first-time actors asked to improvise much of their dialogue. While produced by celebrated filmmaker Peter Jackson, best known for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, there was little mainstream buzz about D9 until Entertain-ment Weekly devoted a cover story to what it called "the must-see movie of the summer" in its Aug. 14th issue (out the week before). I decided not to remind myself
of anything I might've heard about the movie or learn anything new before I saw it.
So a little while back I finished reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, over 300 pages of prose with chapter-break illustrations from Dave McKean. It was released last year by HarperCollins in the US.
The high-concept pitch for the novel would probably be "What if Harry Potter were raised by ghosts in an English graveyard?"
And it would be silly for a number of reasons, the least of which are that the book's central character, Bod, isn't a wizard, and that the book was awarded the 2009 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children, which to some is recommendation enough.
I made a comment about this video to my cousin the other night and realized that it never got shared here on the blog. It's called "Star Wars Retold (by Someone Who Hasn't Seen It)" and it's pretty much what the title says except that she's obviously seen pieces and picked up enough of it through osmosis to get things amusingly close but wrong.
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