February 25th, 2009

Stephen Fry - smile


So...books I've read lately.

Finished Battlefield Earth a couple of weeks ago. It was...okay. Certainly nowhere near as bad as I'd dreaded, but I think I remembered it more as whizz bam action a la Star Wars. It had a fair bit of that, but also a heck of a lot of boardroom politics in the last 200 pages or so. And during the action scenes, lots of exclamation marks! With very onomatopaeic descriptions! Whoomph! Crash! Like this!


Followed that up by returning to James Bond, firstly John Gardner's Never Send Flowers. After finding Death is Forever really really good, this was less so. Not actually bad as such, but the whole EuroDisney sequence at the end felt like product placement, and Bond's sheer enthusiasm for the place felt totally out of character.

Then Gardner's novelisation of Goldeneye, which felt really weak. Whether that's 'cos the film itself is weak, I don't know (I sort of started watching it, but didn't get far).

That was a bit of an anticlimax, really, 'cos now I've read all the Bond novels and film novelisations - including Fleming's, Colonel Sun, the two novelisations from the '70s, the Gardner and Benson novels, and Charlie Higson's Young Bond novels. I still don't own a copy of Gardner's Cold yet, but I read a copy I borrowed from a friend at university. On the whole, my memory is of Gardner's novels starting off really well in the '80s, but by the time he stopped writing them...well, maybe it was a good job he stopped.

Some time I'll have to do a re-read of the whole lot in order.

Then on Monday I started The Vesuvius Club, which is terrific fun - I generally like Gatiss as a writer (the only real exception being his newWho ep The Unquiet Dead, and this has so far exceeded my expectations. I'm looking forward to reading all three of the Lucifer Box novels.

In other book news, I now have a lovely set of Lord of the Rings editions with film tie-in covers and high page/low word-per-page count, which Sarah bought me for as a Valentine's pressie 1p each (plus postage and packing) from Amazon marketplace. I, meanwhile, bought her the deluxe super edition of the 1986 Transformers movie for a couple of quid plus p&p, also from Amazon marketplace. Who said romance is dead?

Also, I lent Sarah Stephen Fry's Making History [yay! icon relevance!], on the sensible basis that it's an excellent book. I hope she'll actually get round to reading it.
Coupling - Stuck in the Giggle Loop

Film meme gacked from cynthia_black

Films I've seen that were nominated for Best Picture Oscar (in bold):

1980 Ordinary People, Coal Miner's Daughter, The Elephant Man, Raging Bull, Tess

1981 Chariots of Fire, Reds, Atlantic City, On Golden Pond, Raiders of the Lost Ark

1982 Gandhi, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Missing, Tootsie, The Verdict

1983 Terms of Endearment, The Big Chill, The Dresser, The Right Stuff, Tender Mercies

1984 Amadeus, The Killing Fields, A Passage to India, Places in the Heart, A Soldier's Story

1985 Out of Africa, The Color Purple, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Prizzi's Honor, Witness

1986 Platoon, Children of a Lesser God, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Mission, A Room with a View

1987 The Last Emperor, Broadcast News, Fatal Attraction, Hope and Glory, Moonstruck

1988 Rain Man, The Accidental Tourist, Dangerous Liaisons, Mississippi Burning, Working Girl

1989 Driving Miss Daisy, Born on the Fourth of July, Dead Poets Society, Field of Dreams, My Left Foot

1990 Dances with Wolves, Awakenings, Ghost, The Godfather Part III

1991 The Silence of the Lambs, Beauty and the Beast, Bugsy, JFK, The Prince of Tides

1992 Unforgiven, The Crying Game, A Few Good Men, Howards End, Scent of a Woman

1993 Schindler's List, The Fugitive, In the Name of the Father, The Piano, The Remains of the Day

1994 Forrest Gump, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, The Shawshank Redemption

1995 Braveheart, Apollo 13, Babe, Il Postino (The Postman), Sense and Sensibility

1996 The English Patient, Fargo, Jerry Maguire, Secrets & Lies, Shine

1997 Titanic, As Good as It Gets, The Full Monty, Good Will Hunting, L.A. Confidential

1998 Shakespeare in Love, Elizabeth, Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella), Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line

1999 American Beauty, The Cider House Rules, The Green Mile, The Insider, The Sixth Sense

2000 Gladiator, Chocolat, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Erin Brockovich, Traffic

2001 A Beautiful Mind, Gosford Park, In the Bedroom, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Moulin Rouge!

2002 Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Hours, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Pianist

2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Lost in Translation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Mystic River, Seabiscuit

2004 Million Dollar Baby, The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Ray, Sideways

2005 Crash, Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, Munich

2006 The Departed, Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen

2007 No Country for Old Men, Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood

2008 Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader

Frost/Nixon and Milk are both on my "I'd quite like to see while they're still on at the cinema" list. Indeed, there are quite a few there I'd like to see (although some I'd rather avoid...). Maybe I could have a new goal of making sure I've watched all of them by the end of the year? Except the ones I'd rather not, obv.

ETA: The ones I'd really like to see:

Chariots of Fire
Schindler's List
Gosford Park (I've got a tape of it kicking about somewhere)
Moulin Rouge
Finding Neverland
Brokeback Mountain
And possibly Atonement.

That ought to keep me busy.