Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fun over the weekend

Seeking some scary fiction for the Halloween month, I picked up Cold Skin, by Alberto Sanchez Pinol. Don't read the spoiler-rich Publisher's Weekly review, but take a look at this one in the Believer. The reviewer says that the book "is an uncharted fictional territory somewhere between H. P. Lovecraft and J. M. Coetzee." I agree on Coetzee, the book can be seen as an allegory about colonialism. The Lovecraft isn't quite right, as it isn't really creepy or cosmic enough to fit that author. Large portions of the story reminded me of I am Legend, although it eventually turns in a different direction. Since I was looking for getting creeped out, rather than thinking about colonialism, the book wasn't a great fit for my mood. That said, it is well written and if you want a literary novel in a different mode, maybe it will do you right.

Perhaps I had low expectations, but I liked Fantastic Four. The movie is in the origin style. We see how these characters came to be. They use the classic FF story but tweak the Doctor Doom story to make it fit. I was never a fan, so I didn't care, but if you are, it might bug you. The casting is OK, but I loved Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm. An excellent choice. I also liked that they bucked the recent comic movie trend of killing off villains. In comic books, those guys NEVER die, so they can keep coming back. Doom puts up a hell of a fight, but they eventually shut him down. This one is no epic, but it was plenty entertaining. Nerds get excited, the next Fantastic Four movie involves the Silver Surfer and Galactus.

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