Archive for May, 2011

Tangled

Wow.  Tangled was great.  The best animated film I’ve seen since Avatar.  The first film I’ve seen on DVD in a very long time that I really wish I had seen on the big screen.  And, in retrospect, I feel justified — back in November of last year when my family wanted to see Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 1, I fought back the urge to skip to a different screen and see Tangled instead.  Note to self: in the future, listen to that instinct and follow it.  I ended up enjoying Tangled far more than any Harry Potter film since Prisoner Of Azkaban.

It was especially refreshing to see animal characters in a Disney film that did not speak.  Tangled is a beautiful story, gorgeously rendered and surprisingly entertaining.

My only complaint with the film is the insipid and unnecessary narration by Zachary Levi.  The best Disney films don’t talk down to their audience, and removing Levi’s dopey narration would elevate Tangled from great to fantastic.

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The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks From The Apocalypse

If only these notebooks had stayed secret.  Then I wouldn’t feel compelled to complain about them.

This book is, succinctly, crap.

Yes, I’m a fast reader.  Yes, I’m a sucker for the zombie genre.  Yes, I’m a sucker for the first-person “found documents” genre.  Yes, I’ve been known to burn my way through books, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead, when they thoroughly engage me.

In spite of that, there is no way I should’ve been able to finish reading this entire book in under two hours.  But I did.  (And the shocked look on my daughter’s face was almost worth it.)

Why?  Because this book did not deserve me wasting any more of my life reading it.  And, much like The Rising & City Of The Dead, I kept hoping that it would get better and eventually live up to some of the online reviews.  Nope.  No such luck.

My major problem #1: this reads like a draft of someone’s first novel.  Not their first novel.  A draft.  Not even a rough draft.  There are one or two intriguing ideas buried in here, but they’re all execrebly executed.  Lo & behold, I discover it is the author’s first novel.  No surprise there.  Dr. Schlozman, you need a much better editor.

My major problem #2: The author, Steven C. Schlozman, has a medical degree.  The majority of the novel is written in the first person, by a character who has a medical degree.  But at no point in any of this did I ever believe I was reading anything written by a doctor.  My sister has an MD.  I’ve spent good chunk of my adult life hanging out with doctors, reading medical texts and medical research papers.  The quality of the writing in The Zombie Autopsies came across to me as what I would expect from someone who decided to drop out of college after one or two years in order to try making it rich writing zombie stories.  It certainly did not feel as if it was the first-person journal of an MD/PhD who works for the CDC, trying to document EVERYTHING for the next batch of poor bastards that find their way into this death trap.  Hell, the supposed CDC doctor in The Walking Dead series was far more believable to me than anything presented here.

Color me not impressed, but very thankful once again that I can get drivel like this for free out of my library so I don’t have to waste any money (only time) reading it.

Dr. Schlozman, please go back to teaching psychiatry.  I’m sure you’re far better at that.