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text 2015-03-05 15:34
BL Responds. And So Do I.

A recent discussion with Bookstooge -- during which I noted the complete failure of BookLikes to take any meaningful action to bring more members to the site and then suggested that perhaps making movies welcome on the database might be a step in the right direction -- led Bookstooge to inquire of BL why certain movies would come up in BL and not others. He thought it should be either all or none. BookLikes' answer can be seen in the Bug Reports section of their group, but I'll tell you what it is: None. That is, they don't want any nasty movies soiling their database. Well, I know that a few (I started to say a lot, but that's relative and BL can't be said to have a "lot" of members by any stretch of the imagination) -- that a few people agree with them. I think this attitude is short-sighted, narrow-minded, and just plain silly, but that's neither here nor there. But I give up. With BL's official word that movies aren't truly welcome on the site, I no longer feel that I am, either. We all know that many other people have left BL for a variety of reasons. This is mine. I never delete sites, but I do stop using them. And after this week, I will no longer be using this one. Again, if you care to, you can find me on WordPress at KinoLivres. If not, I wish you all the best.

Except maybe Bookstooge, who's going to forget me in short order. : -)

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review 2015-03-01 17:26
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), directed by Matt Reeves
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray] - Keri Russell

Set 10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn opens with men and apes coexisting by staying out of each other's way.  But with his fuel stockpile running out and in desperate need of power for his city, human Malcolm (Jason Clarke) leads a small team into ape Caesar's (Andy Serkis) forest home to ask permission to repair a hydroelectric dam.  Nuts in each camp -- led by Koba (Toby Kebbell) in the ape enclave and Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) in Zone 2, the human city -- would rather wipe out the other side and be done with it.  Frankly amazing ape effects that are so real they rarely amaze lay bare an all-too-conventional story of enemies learning to respect and care for each other.  A movie with no surprises and little to delight the audience (other than a cute scene with a baby ape).  And, in spite of the bad guys of both species understanding "human" nature better than their peace-loving leaders, no irony or satire either.  Less a science fiction film than a slow-starting action movie, but well made.

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review 2015-02-28 17:19
Age of Tomorrow (2014), directed by James Kondelik
Age of Tomorrow [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] - Robert Picardo,Kelly Hu

Another Asylum (Sharknado) crockbuster, this one  fudging its title from Edge of Tomorrow. "When the sun strikes an altar hidden within the ancient Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, it creates a beacon that triggers an alien blitzkrieg." So says Asylum, in a tacit admission that when your films are as bad as theirs, not even an accurate plot description matters. Kelly Hu stars as an unimaginative prostitute whose liaison with a smug but untalented alien spawns the cast and crew of this film. Perfect for viewers with no self-respect. Direct-to-video.

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text 2015-02-25 15:32
Fascinating (Author/Reviewer)

Over on WordPress, someone commented on a post I put up for a Harlan Ellison story.  He said Ellison himself had once commented on a review he had posted for one of the author's collections, and he provided the link.  I found Ellison's words on author/reader/reviewer relationship very interesting in light of what's been happening more recently.  Here's the relevant quotation:


Responding to reviews and/or criticism is actually a no-win proposition. If a creator chooses simply to ignore it all, just to motor on doing the job, then s/he is “reclusive,” “standoffish,” “elitist,” and ultimately, to the perception of the love/hate relationship critic, an “asshole” considered dismissive of the readership–some members of which never “get it” that all a reader is TRULY entitled to only this: THE BOOK SHE OR HE BOUGHT. not a smile from the Author, nor elaborately-demanded signatures and dedications on a horde of old Book Club, nor even a courteous hello. A book, that’s it. The word, that’s all. So if a creator chooses to honor his/her readership and their attentions, good or bad, and elects to reply (as I do here, with a smile), the risk is run of having the anonymous, distanced, love/hate communicant take umbrage and flame the more.


And here's the link to his full comment (a very gracious one) to Joachim Boaz:



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text 2015-02-22 16:31
Five Thoughts

1. Officially calling Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick a DNF. It's about time-traveling scientists studying dinosaurs, mixing in aliens (didn't get that far) and a love affair that spans millennia. It features characters from the "present" and the "future." The blurb focused on the dinos and going into the past; I didn't know I was in for multiple timelines and dull characters.

2. Lost my damn Star Wars book. This is the one written by George Lucas, back when Star Wars was Star Wars, not A New Hope. You know, back when it mattered. I've had the thing for nearly 40 years. It's just possible it got mixed up with some papers that got thrown away. After searching for it for days, I took a shot and went to Half-Price. And damn if they didn't have it. Exactly one copy, just for me. It ain't the same, but it'll do.

3. Finally -- finally -- read "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. My advice: don't be like me. Read it now.

4. Who has any thoughts on Idris Elba possibly becoming the next James Bond? Cause, you know, he's black and stuff. I might care about that -- I really might; I mean, us white guys deserve our fantasy figures, too -- if the movies were worth even half their budgets. I'll tell you what, though: I could go for a Jane Bond. That might force the producers to re-think a number of things, leading to a vast improvement in the franchise. I don't think it would, but I'd rather take that chance than the other. Because you know that in a world where skin color isn't supposed to matter, Elba would be just like Craig and Brosnan and Dalton and all the rest.

5. I thought Unbreakable was kind of a weird movie, being only half a movie, until I saw Left Behind, which is a "precipitating event" stretched out to 90 minutes. The precipitating event is, of course...well, you know when the shark eats the skinny-dipper at the beginning of Jaws? Imagine if that segment had been stretched to feature length. That's what Left Behind is. I don't know if it's a faithful adaptation of the book (I kinda think it is), but talk about a perfect opportunity to improve on the source material. The Biblical apocalypse, taken literally, is one hell of a hook. Could have been a terrific movie.

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