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text 2018-08-09 06:10
The Making of Dual Mania: Filmmaking Chicago Style -- Written by Joseph Strickland with B.J. Patterson and Cat Ellington


The Making of Dual Mania: "Filmmaking Chicago Style" is coming soon, baby! In fact, the literary work of nonfiction paying homage to the upcoming motion picture, Dual Mania, will drop on the same day as Reviews by Cat Ellington: The Complete Anthology, Vol. 2.

Stay tuned, baby!

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review 2018-07-30 06:08
The Sound of Music Story by Tom Santopietro
The Sound of Music Story: How A Beguiling Young Novice, A Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing Von Trapp Children Inspired the Beloved Film of All Time - Tom Santopietro

TITLE:  The Sound of Music Story: How A Beguiling Young Novice, A Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time

AUTHOR:  Tom Santopietro




FORMAT: Hardcover


ISBN-13: 9781250064462



"On March 2, 1965, "The Sound of Music" was released in the United States and the love affair between moviegoers and the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was on. Rarely has a film captured the love and imagination of the moviegoing public in the way that "The Sound of Music" did as it blended history, music, Austrian location filming, heartfelt emotion and the yodeling of Julie Andrews into a monster hit. Now, Tom Santopietro has written the ultimate "Sound of Music" fan book with all the inside dope from behind the scenes stories of the filming in Austria and Hollywood to new interviews with Johannes von Trapp and others. Santopietro looks back at the real life story of Maria von Trapp, goes on to chronicle the sensational success of the Broadway musical, and recounts the story of the near cancellation of the film when  the "Cleopatra" bankrupted 20th Century Fox. We all know that Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer played Maria and Captain Von Trapp, but who else had been considered? Tom Santopietro knows and will tell all while providing a historian’s critical analysis of the careers of director Robert Wise and screenwriter Ernest Lehman, a look at the critical controversy which greeted the movie, the film’s relationship to the turbulent 1960s and the super stardom which engulfed Julie Andrews. Tom Santopietro's "The Story of 'The Sound of Music'" is book for everyone who cherishes this American classic."


The Sound of Music Story provides a broad overview of the subject, from the real-life von Trapp family to the Broadway Play to the Film, and its legacy.  The book is detailed, well-written and informative, with interviews of the relevant people where possible.  If you are a Sound of Music fan, you will love this book, if you just like the movie, there might be too much detail here. 

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review 2018-07-25 02:00
Night Film
Night Film - Marisha Pessl

Sovereign. Deadly. Almost perfect.


This book was the creepy puzzle-box of a novel that I have been hunting for over the years. This is what I wanted out of books like House of Leaves (and ultimately didn't get). This book hits that wonderful sweet spot where you're never quite certain whether or not what is happening is rooted in the supernatural or if its just plain weirdness. The suspense kept me glued to the page - it's long, but the pacing is such that I never felt my attention waning nor the pages dragging. I remained intrigued and on-board all the way up until the ending. There were also scenes that were so bizarre and creepy that they will stick with me for years.


The one thing about this book I didn't love was how problematic pieces of it were in regards to race, sexuality, and gender identity. I couldn't tell if the issue was the authorial voice or the main character, who is kind of a jackass. I can let it go if the language used is a reflection on this character, because honestly I believe that he's a transphobic latent racist. However, if it's the author's viewpoint that's not something I can stomach, and I genuinely can't tell which is going on.


Here's the thing, with the exception of this one issue I loved the book. It's a stain on an otherwise deliciously unnerving novel that brings the elements of a ghost story, and a haunted house yarn, into a more literary realm. If you can look past the warts this book is a mesmerizing, compelling, creep-fest that will keep you reading past your bedtime and jumping at shadows.

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review 2018-07-04 17:36
The Secret World of Arrietty (Film Comic), Vol. 2 - Hiromasa Yonebayashi
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

The second volume finishes up the story of Arrietty. Since this was taken directly from the movie, I knew what was going to happen, but I still enjoyed reading it. It is nice to see stills of the artwork from the movie, especially the scenery. Beautiful.

This book is just stills taken from the movie with words added. As with the first book, sometimes this is a bit awkward (adding HUFF to every climbing/running/moving scene), but for the most part it is a good read. 

An interesting book, especially for fans of Miyazaki's work and those interested in the movies he helped make. 
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review 2018-06-30 14:12
The Secret World of Arrietty (Film Comic), Vol. 1 - Hiromasa Yonebayashi,Hayao Miyazaki
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is a good comic adaptation of the first half of the film, The Secret World of Arrietty. The book consists of stills taken from the movie with action words/sounds and speech bubbles added. 

This is a good book to read if you want to really look at the artwork of the movie. The stills make it perfect for examining the details of the artwork and scenery. 

There are a few moments that definitely work better in the film rather than in written format. Many of the walking/climbing/moving sequences aren't really that interesting in a comic format. The small details of a character turning his/her head is a nice touch in a film, but a bit boring in a book. Also, the action words added ("Glance") seem a little silly at times. Same with the sound words. There is only so many times I can read the word "huff" without getting a little bored. 

Overall a good book, especially for fans of the movie or those who want a sneak peak before watching it. Also, you should watch it, because it is magical. 
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