Books Read in 2008

As some of you may know, I’m not much of a reader. However I have put together a selection of books that took my interest at some point this year. I hope for a more ambitious selection in 2009!

books(The book names are in the tag list below)

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The Best Track of 2008

The Best Track Released in 2008.

Last Kiss by The Guillemots.

Click here to listen.

From the album Red.

This track is thumping, buzzing, fuzzing, dancy, addictive, mysterious and different.

Blewog’s most listened to track of 2008.

Violet Hill by Coldplay

I didn’t actually expect this to be number one, but this is what the figures say (LastFM). This is a fantastic track, something from Coldplay which was a bit different but still retaining their alternative soft rock style. Great video also.


The Best Movie of 2008

The Best Movie Released in 2008.

Though many think of it very much as a 2007 film, but it opened in wide release January 25, 2008.

There Will Be Blood is an Academy Award-winning  American drama film directed, written and produced by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film is loosely based on the Upton Sinclair novel Oil! (1927). It tells the story of a silver-miner-turned-oil-man on a ruthless quest for wealth during Southern California’s oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano.

The Best Album of 2008

The Best Album Released in 2008.

Intimacy is the third studio album by Bloc Party, which was released online in MP3 format on 21 August and was released in physical form and on the iTunes store on October 27, 2008. It reached #8 in the charts for the UK Albums Chart and reached #18 in the charts for the US Billboard Albums Chart.

A return to form for the East London art-rockers.

Read this review.

Blewog’s most listened to album of 2008.

Hounds of Love is a 1985 album by Kate Bush. Whereas the first five tracks are regarded as amongst her most accessible, the remainder of the album sees Bush at her most experimental from a production standpoint.

Still very much loving — IMHO — the greatest album of all time (currently).

Film Review: ‘Inkheart’

“…the power of the written word.”

I fancied a trip to the pictures last night, so had a look at the listings. This left me with a few options:

This:

I’m not a 14 year old girl.

This:

I’ve seen Keanu Reeves’ terrible acting and lack of facial expressions enough times by now.

Or this:


Haven’t seen 1 or 2, so I’ll give that a miss.

So I decided on this:

There’s something in me that doesn’t like fantasy films, but I think it’s more the idea of fantasy films. So I decided to suspend my disbelief and reminded myself that these sorts of films are always better than expected.

Check out the cast:

They got…

Him:

Her:

Thingy:

Him:

Her (who I’ve seen in something but can’t think what!?):


New Girl:

Oh, and him:

off of that:

the one who did that:

she was in it a tiny bit:

so was he:

he did the voices in that:

and was very funny in this:


So a good cast, however we all know that a good cast doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good film!

It was originally a German novel of the same name by Cornelia Funke, released in 2003.

As I suggested in the title, the film’s main underlying message was the power of the written word. In this film, George of the Jungle (GOJ) has the power to bring characters from books into the real world, when he reads aloud. The problem is however, when his daughter was a baby; he read aloud from the book Inkheart, which caused several of the book’s wicked characters, including Capricorn (Gollum), to literally come to life. But while he read them out of the book, he accidentally read new girl’s mother (recognisable face) into the story. So there are a few problems that need solving.

So did it entertain? Most definitely, it does what it sets out to do; transport you into a world of imagination, fantasy and adventure. This holds some of the most forgivable CGI I’ve seen in a long time, it was visually rich.

One of the great things about the film’s premise was that it allowed them to bring back many classic characters from past literature. There was a couple of appearances from some Wizard of Oz characters, there was a Minotaur and there was also a stray from the Arabian Nights.

I’m sure I would have got a fair few more of the references if I was a better reader, and that’s where the film also works well. It holds books in great respect and inspires the viewer to get lost in a book.

One weakness I found was the lack of development evident in GOJ’s character. There was more need for a bit of mystery; at the film’s beginning they don’t hold back in telling the viewer straight away that he possesses this power. There was no real progression or change of character, there was not very much plot when it came to GOJ. He was obviously only there because of his CV.

I was enjoying the movie a lot, but then at a certain point – it got really good. It was when they met the author (Broadbent)! This is in essence them meeting their maker. However, accurately the characters that the author had actually created, held no respect or reverence for him.

One man did not even want to see the author because he did not want to know his ‘fate’, he claimed that he was now in control saying that ‘he is not my God’.

There are also many characters who blame their author for things, ‘you can’t blame me, you wrote me this way’.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that there is a whole potential allegorical level to many aspects of this book, and it opens up many philosophical questions.

So, this film is good. I can recommend it; bring our wife, bring your kids, bring you Nan. I do warn you though, it may make you want to stop watching so many films and actually pick up a book.

Two interesting Obama things.

What do all these mugshots have in common?

____________________________

According to politico.com:

“Gay leaders furious with Obama…

Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that — in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California — is looking for a fight.

Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, opposes abortion rights but has taken more liberal stances on the government’s role in fighting poverty, and backed away from other evangelicals’ staunch support for economic conservatism. But it’s his support for the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that drew the most heated criticism from Democrats Wednesday.

“Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans,” the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote to Obama Wednesday. “[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.

Obama opposes same-sex marriage, but also opposed the California constitutional amendment Warren backed. In selecting Warren, he is choosing to reach out to conservatives on a hot-button social issue, at the cost of antagonizing gay voters who overwhelmingly supported him.”