Is Tom Cruise too short?

”He had stopped worrying and started relaxing. He was up on that plateau where you just did whatever needed doing. I knew that place. I lived there.”

Even before “Jack Reacher”, the movie, came out there was a fierce outcry about the choice of the leading man. Tom was deemed to be “too tiny” for the role, so I decided to read the first book in the Jack Reacher series to find out the truth.

Answer: Tom Cruise is not too short. Jack Reacher is not about how big he is. It’s how efficient and to the point he is.

My silly reason to start reading Killing Floor lead me to a truly amazing book. It took me over 200 pages to really get into it and start appreciating its trimness. I normally enjoy books with elaborate psychological characterization, with a lot of train of thought and a whole bunch of big words and linguistic play. None of that in Killing Floor. This book is all about plot, and I have been known to detest books like that. Not anymore. The lack of fat in this book is amazing. Killing Floor is downright anorexic. How can that be a good thing, you wonder? A good writer is the answer. Lee Child manages to use scarcity of words and feelings to convey much more than a lot of authors manage through characters laden with complexity.  His plot development is careful and meticulous, he’s not in a hurry and at no point does he embellish things. He’s brutally honest and always straight to the point which gives you a certain calm and peace of mind.

Enjoying a book which is everything I do not look for in a book (first person narrative, skinny characterization, plot insistence) has truly amazed me. And now, I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

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Today, I’m Feeling Very Heterosexual

JSM

I was four, I think, when I realized that I was a girl. I’d just hit a boy who was trying to hit me. I was berated by my kindergarten teacher because that was not the way girls behaved. I got a lot of that growing up and it was considered not very feminine of me to fight back. Messed up my identity, that did.

Similarly, I have never considered myself a heterosexual until I was forced to realize that there was a difference between me and „them“, that I have rights the members of the LGBT community do not have.

Today, I’m feeling very heterosexual, because I cannot begin to imagine how it feels to have ten thousands of your countrymen (and women) trying to legally abolish your right to love whomever you want. I don’t know how it feels to see smiling faces of young volunteers, going door to door, asking for support to ban you as a person, to prevent you to fully realize yourself and to have a life that you deserve.

Yes, I am feeling very heterosexual today…

 Edit: I’m appealing to you, if it’s something you believe in, to sign this petition for marriage equality in Croatia.

Is Korean Top Gear Funny in Korea?

I have no idea.
In Top Gear (BBC) talent meets true love and passion, and utter understanding of what each segment of the audience wants. They took a topic which is interesting to a small part of the population, and made it appealing to a wider audience – people who don’t care one bit about cars. Sounds simple enough, but using a niche to appeal to a wider audience is, I believe, a bitch.
Here’s how Koreans do it.

I have no idea how popular Korean Top Gear is. I’m wondering, is the Top Gear concept as appealing to the Koreans as it is to us who have grown up in an anglo-infested entertainment world?

Star Trek: Into Darkness

I was looking forward to Star Trek: Into Darkness for months. Up until a week ago I was cautious, but once I bought the tickets my enthusiasm shot through the roof. It’s dangerous to have high expectations because often you end up disappointed. I was not disappointed. Quite the opposite, I was surprised just how good the new Star Trek is.

I expected the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is ten times the actor in comparison to the rest of the cast will screw up the movie, but it didn’t. You know, the Batman/Robin Hood problem (Heath Ledger/Alan Rickman consume every other actor, rendering the movie unimportant). It did not happen because Benedict was casted for a role in which his superior acting skills are actually beneficial to the movie. I must say that is quite the achievement – knowing your limitations and using them to your advantage. Nice one, Mr Abrams.

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I have no objections to the plot and I did not see a speck in it that I would change or edit out. Gross underuse of a fine piece of villain in the first movie was corrected. Chris Pine seems more used to the role and is looking rather good as James T. Kirk. Zachary Quinto was a good choice for Spock from the start, and Into Darkness just confirms that he was a damn good call.

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I will not lie, the movie is not perfect. I had a feeling that some of the editing was awkward (because I had a thought about editing as I was watching the movie, and I do not have thoughts about editing, ever). Also, it did not really live up to its title. It’s just not dark enough. Most of the movie is clinically white, both literally and figuratively. The blue-eyed Chris Pine was not really all that adept in conveying the darkness I am sure was envisioned. Frankly, a shot of Eric Bana in the first movie was a lot darker than the entire Into Darkness. John Harrison (Cumberbatch) is not dark; he just is the way he is. Maybe it’s my perception, but you cannot attribute any modification of morality to him. Darkness and light do not apply. He is. This lack of darkness is purely subjective, and even so the movie did not lose anything – it just seems to have been misnamed.

123456Before I bring this review to an end, I must point out that I cannot help but wonder just how good the movie would be if I was a guy watching that strange looking Sherlock-dude and teary-eyed Kirk strutting about doing stuff. I put this here as a disclaimer. I think this movie is really, really good, but I am unable to distance myself from my minor obsession with Benedict Cumberbatch. But, come on, who could? Who would even want to?

Kirby Crow: Angels of the Deep

Creative_Wallpaper_Angel_Wings_021839_I took up reading Angels of the Deep because I’m suffering from Supernatural withdrawal, and I thought this could be just up the kill-the-demon-exorcise-the-ghost alley. I read it with great fervour. At first because I wanted to see what happens, then because I wanted the torture to end as soon as possible.

It’s the worst sort of a terrible book. It piques your interest, raises your hopes. The writing is good, the atmosphere gloomy and foreboding. Characters are interesting and you’re just about to start caring for them. You think: “Dear Lord, I have a hidden gem in my hands. I was so lucky to stumble upon this!”

And then it shatters your hopes, ruins your dreams and turns into a little piece of crap. Long-winded descriptions which serve no purpose; sudden changes in characters’ personalities; forced angst and passion; idiotic, endless final battle… Kirby Crow manages to ruin everything that could have been good in this book.

Brrrrrrrrr, I shudder upon recalling the second half. The book decomposed, it lost all sense of direction, there was no pace and I was confused by the lack of any reasonable structure of what was going on. The part of the story about the Nephilim and Watchers seemed to be written with no feeling – just as a perfunctory gesture to the uninformed reader. The main conflict, the thing that the entire book hinges upon makes no freaking sense! You cannot explain your thesis by simply saying it is so. Very few authors get away with it. You have to prove it. You have to show me why this is a problem, why is it so intense that people and other creatures are getting killed over it.

Angels of the Deep deeply upset me. I could go on raving about how it hurt me. It could have been a lovely book. But it is not. Having in mind that after reading this review you will not read Angels of the Deep I do not feel compelled to tell you that there’s a lot of gayness in this book which, unfortunately, ended up being as random and pointless as the rest of the book.