Thursday, May 29, 2008

Iron Man, Prince Caspian, My Book

We went to see two movies recently.

Iron Man (4/5 stars)
I liked it quite a bit. It had good characters, a reasonable amount of action mixed with intrigue. Good acting and script. In all, it was quite entertaining.

Prince Caspian (3/5 stars)
Although entertaining, I didn't feel attached to any of the characters like I had in the first movie. I love Edmund and Peter's armor though (I'm a bit of a Medieval armor fan), and that probably adds a half star to any movie.

Edmund is still my favorite character of the lot. He's grown since the first film (character-wise), and Skandar Keynes puts in a solid performance in this film. There were far fewer "shocked" facial shots of Lucy in this film (thank heavens), and Susan actually killed and wounded men with her bow and arrows. It was definitely a little bit darker (although not bloodier; there's still no blood, which I don't mind) than the first film.

In all, I felt like there was too much battle and not enough compelling storytelling, but it was entertaining.

I finished Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series. Although I mostly enjoyed it, she spent far too much time talking about people and things I didn't care about. The resolution was mildly satisfying (and mildly unsatisfying). I don't feel a loss after finishing the last book, but neither do I feel like I have wasted time. The series gets 3/5 book stars.

One positive result of Elliott's series is that I have pumped out many new ideas (not based on Elliott's books, rather based on "hey, if that can get published, I can get published") for my own fantasy novel. I'm liking my storylines more and more, but any finished or even semi-finished product is a long way off. I'm not quitting my day job.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

JayWalk Allstars

Need 5 minutes of laughs? Try this

The Jaywalk Allstars portion is the second section of the episode, and it's very funny. I'm off to watch the next round!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Book Reviews

I consider myself very well-read. If Washington DC is ever attacked by scaly dragon-like men with vicious hound companions, I will know how to defend myself. That is thanks to Kate Elliott's "Crown of Stars" series. I'm presently enjoying book 5 of the 7-book fantasy series. It has some fascinating plotlines and some real yawners. Thanks to my superior skimming abilities, I was able to read over 200 pages just last night. I don't feel obligated to read every word if the words aren't interesting me.

It's a lot like Sunday School. But that's a post for another day. (Harley King gave a great talk in church on Sunday in which he looked right at me and said, "Adam, go to all three hours of meetings," and I thought to myself, "I like Harley. Maybe I will. But then I thought, "No, no I won't.")

Back to the book. It's set in a fantasy-Europe Midievel (sp?) period. It has rich characters and history, very loosely based on actual history. I highly recommend it for enjoyers of fantasy.

And if we find ourselves in the midst of interplanetary outer-space intrigue, I am the go-to guy. This is thanks to the "Honor Harrington" series by David Weber, which begins with the book "Basilisk Station." The highlights of these books are the intergalactic starship battles that are described in meticulous detail. Most of the rest is a bit sappy. I think some websites refer to it as "space opera." Honor is just too good and too successful at every turn to be believable. Still, I think I've read 5 books in the series so far, and I'll return some day to keep reading. I really like them space battles.

And if non-fiction is your thing... well, I don't tend to do so well with non-fiction. I recently picked up "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg at Costco. It discusses how present day "progressives" are descendents from early fascists, and how Hitler, Communism, and Mousolinni were all different brands of fascism. The fascinating thing about the theorum is that it flies in the face of "common knowledge." On the other hand, I could see a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation on the subject and feel satisfied. It's interesting, but not that interesting.

Not into book-learnin'? We took Des to see Iron Man last week. He started fussing early, and I took him out to change his diaper, so I missed the first 15 minutes or so. But Mari came and got me, and he fell asleep in her arms in the theatre, and I enjoyed the rest of the movie. Well-acted, well-written, interesting story. I recommend it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One Perk of Being a Patent Attorney

If any of your children have the constitution for it, I recommend being a patent attorney.

I get 1-2 headhunter calls every day. And while it may be annoying sometimes, it's a real boost to my sense of professional worth.

I'm happy where I am, but if I ever wanted to move, there are a lot of people who want to help me do so.