Friday, January 20, 2006

Zardoz- An Epic of Crap

Zardoz is an obscure Science Fiction/ Fantasy movie released in 1974 and stars Sean Connery in a post-Bond role. I have to say that this might be the worst movie I have ever seen. All of the sequences are drawn out and confused with one scene taking place inside of a tiny crystal that Connery has somehow traveled into. The scene continues with other characters mysteriously waving their arms at him in the crystal's facets for ten minutes. Did I mention Sean Connery wears a 1970's orange sarong thong for most of the movie? Not a great look on an extremely hairy man.
This film is about inequality between the elite and the masses. The elite are infiltrated by a spy who, in a thong, makes no attempt to hide his purpose and was once a thug for the elite to keep down the masses in the name of a god called Zardoz. Connery turns on the elite after discovering that Zardoz is actually fake and is no more than one of the elite's pet projects to use the stupid masses for his own amusement. Zardoz turns out to be a name created from a book called "The WiZARD of OZ". While the immortal elite attempt to suppress the mortal masses, in the end we discover that the elite want nothing more than to die at the hands of the masses in an odd suicidal way.
As I was desperately attempting to follow the meandering plot I was struck by the style of the film and how each decade and genre of film tend to maintain periods of film that are all very similar. Zardoz reminded me of a poorly executed Logan's Run. You can see traces of the psychedelic 1960's lingering, but the 1970's lifestyle is in full force.
I recommend this movie to people that like movies with barely clad, furry men.

Friday, January 13, 2006

His Dark Materials- The Golden Compass

I have learned long ago that I enjoy books for the quality of the material and that I shouldn't discriminate based on the intended audience of the book. His Dark Materials
Book One-The Golden Compass
, by Philip Pullman is an excellent example of a fantasy novel created for young adults that transcends that category. In my opinion this Young Adult category, in its best sense, means that foul language and sexual content have been eliminated from the story. Although I enjoy a little foul language every once in a while I notice no lack in a novel when it is absent.
This novel follows a young scamp of a girl through a world that is very similar to our nineteenth century world. Lyra resides, as an orphan, at Oxford and is thrust, through her own intense curiosity, into a religious and metaphysical maze of treachery. Gradually she is able to piece together answers to a number of strange occurrences that include disappearing children and a beautiful woman with a golden monkey. You see, there is at least one big difference in this world. People have physical representations of their souls, called deamons. While children have deamons that are able to change form at their whim, adults have deamons in a fixed form. This is at the heart the novel and allows Lyra to finally begin to uncover what a mysterious substance, called Dust, really is.
Philip Pullman pulls the reader into this piece through a fantastic portrayal and adventure of a young girl that one can easily relate to amidst the strange world that she lives. I was enthralled throughout the whole book as I could never begin to guess what would happen next. The flaws in each character give this story something to sink your teeth into and allow you to truly engross yourself in this tantalizing world. One thing that intrigued me was the idea of a physical soul. Each character seems to have a deep and affectionate bond with their deamons, but I can't help but wonder what would happen to a person filled with self-loathing.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Woman Behind the Cat

You may ask, "Why is that cat so critical?" Let me explain...
A few years ago I picked up the odd habit of qualifying statements by saying, "Four out of five 'Leos' agree...". It's a silly statement and was created from merging toothpaste commercials, a "Kids in the Hall" skit, and my cat, Leo. He's a very picky cat, so I have anthropomorphized him into actually caring about more things than simply how fuzzy he is.
I have found, over the years, that I really enjoy reading peoples opinions and I sure do like to give my own. So, this blog is an open medium to review anything and everything as I see, read, or hear. I don’t want to just read my own reviews (Oh, No!!) I want to see other people’s opinions, too.