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Capsule Reviews [Aug. 19th, 2007|12:52 am]
Working Backwards:

Before D&D today (we beat the necromancer, lifted the curse, and discovered that when someone else had control of our bodies, they set up a secret society that we're now in charge of, which was nerve-wracking but cool) Bryree and I went and saw Ratatouille. Thumbs-up! Good story and almost nothing jumped out at me as CGI. I like that they understand that cartoony humans generally work better than realistic. The short (Lifted) was also hysterically funny.

I finished Iain M. Banks' The Algebraist on Friday, and while it probably won't displace Excession as my favorite, it's really good. Not a Culture book, but still epic (EPIC) space opera. I figured out the secret pretty early on, but it was still quite satisfying to see things work out. One of the things I really like about Banks' writing is that just because you're a superintelligent AI controlling a spacecraft the size of a small moon or a hypertech alien 3.5 billion years old doesn't mean you can't also be just as sarcastic, snippy, vulgar, petty, devious, smug, self-absorbed, irreverent, and/or generally a jerkass as any human. Because people are people, no matter the form they take.

And I read Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman on the trip to Canada. Devoured it, really, getting through most of it on the plane flight there. It also gets a big thumbs up. Quite fun. On the lighter and looser side of his writing style. I'd say it's the most like Good Omens (which is one of my favorites) of just about everything he's written so far. A good fit for the source material.

[User Picture]From: nematsakis
2007-08-19 09:47 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I found Lifted to be the weakest Pixar short, by far. I really like Ratatouille, however. I've seen it twice and liked it better the second time. It's up there among Pixars best along with the Toy Story movies and The Incredibles.

I'd put it slightly below those, actually, but it's actually quite impressive when you learn the history of the movie---it was originally supposed to be directed by someone else, but the Pixar executives didn't think it was strong enough, so they brought Brad Bird on 20 months before its debut to rewrite the script and direct.

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[User Picture]From: eto_theipi
2007-08-20 05:37 am (UTC)
You like Excession better than Player of Games? Evil Ted has convinced me that Use of Weapons is the best of the Culture books, but that's completely different from being my favorite.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2007-08-20 06:50 pm (UTC)
I've never read Player of Games because it's really hard to find (especially in mass-market paperback, which is what I prefer to buy).
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[User Picture]From: eto_theipi
2007-08-21 04:17 am (UTC)
Well, as you've probably guessed, I recommend it.

I mostly don't buy books anymore. The SF Public Library is very handy...
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