Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Da Vinci Code Directed By Ron Howard

August 11, 2013

The Da Vinci CodeI will be approaching my review for the film version of The Da Vinci Code differently then most of my reviews. While in most of my reviews about films adaptations I try to only compare and contrast in order to make a point, here I plan to do almost nothing but compare and contrast. The reason for this, is that I feel that such controversial subject matter  should be handled delicately, and such it is interesting to see which things the book handled better, and which the movie handled better.

For starters, the movie is a lot smaller then the book. While at first glance this would seem to be a disadvantage it actually has some pros. For example, with less time to go into the conspiracy they movie is forced to keep to just its nuts and bolts, which means a lot of the more ridiculous “evidence” supporting the conspiracy is cut, and therefore makes the conspiracy seem much more likely. On the flip side it also means alot off character development is cut from the story. For example, Silas’ back story is reduced to such an incoherent flashback that unless you read the novel you would have no idea what said flashback is getting at. As a result Silas goes from a clear tragic villain, to a character MEANT to be portrayed as a classic villain but SEEN as a normal villain.

Finally, some characters like Bishop Aringarosa went from being morally gray characters to being pure black for no reason whatsoever. In a story as steeped in controversy as The Da Vinci Code if you are going to add even MORE conroversy to it, like the change in the aforementioned bishop’s moral alignment, you would be best to have a very good reason for it.

All in all though the shorter format of the movie makes it flow much better then the book.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Andromeda Strain directed by Robert Wise

December 12, 2012

The Andromeda Strain is the Movie adaptation fo Michael Crichton’s novel, and should not be confused with the later 2008 TV mini series. Directed by Robert Wise the film does a great job of bringing the drama and suspense of the book to the big screen. Just like the novel it is the story of a disease brought back to Earth from the upper atmosphere of the planet by a satellite. Since the plot is quite similar to the novel, discussed here, I want to go over how the movie goes about adapting some of the tricker elements of the novel to screen, and other aspects about the film medium. In the novel when two of the scientists are investigating Piedmont, the site of the contamination, they learn while some people died instantly others went quietly nuts, and committed suicide in such overly elaborate measures. Such methods include filling up a bathtub and holding their head underwater until they drowned, or filling their mouths full of airplane glue. In order to capture both of these the scene used a split scene technique, where one screen shows the scientists looking into the houses where the other show still shots of what they see. While the airplane glue scene is one of the still images, other images include a family that died right while eating dinner, food still on the table because they died so quickly. These seemingly normal shots help to make the bizarre suicides shots more surreal, and vice versa. The sound track has an electronic feel that fits the movie well, as most of it takes place in an underground labratory. Despite this it still manages to capture the feel ing of ominous danger, whenever the situation gets worse. Finally, WARNING: MINOR ENDING SPOILER HERE when Mark Hall attempts to escape the central core of the facility, so he can stop the nuclear self destruct sequence, he becomes poisoned by the automatic defense system of the lab. The camerawork does a great job showing how the poison is affecting him. As we see the scene shot from his P.O.V. in slow motion and getting slower as the poison starts shutting down his body. Finally, while the movie has a happy ending, it ends on ominous note pointing out that just because this disaster has been averted, there is no guarantee that a similar problem will not happen again.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Wave 1 of Podcasts Complete

June 19, 2012

Podcast number 3 can be found here .

Wave 6 finished

January 24, 2012

with the short Wave 6 of reviews finally finished; I hope to start on wave 7, this will consist of  reviews of the Michael Crichton novel The Andromeda Strain as well as both of its film adaptations.

Deception Point by Dan Brown

January 24, 2012

Deception Point is Dan Brown‘s third novel and a standalone book. In Deception Point, Rachel Sexton, a gister (someone who sums up and condenses important data) for the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office) is called upon by the White House for a secret mission. As soon as she accepts, Rachel is taken off the grid and flown to Ellesmere Island where she is briefed on a stunning NASA discovery. NASA has found a meteorite with several fossils of multi-cellular life  forms within them. NASA and Zachary Herney have been taking a hosing in the polls lately and hope to use the discovery of this meteorite to turn things around. Everything seems kosher at first and Rachel, upon being asked, briefs the President’s staff on the discovery, who had been previously kept in the dark to avoid leaks until the meteorite could be authenticated.  However, shortly after doing so, Rachel and three of the civilian scientist recruits uncover evidence of fraud. The Meteorite, which was found buried in the ice and was thought to have been there for about 300 years, was actually artificially inserted into the ice from below. No sooner do they make this discovery then they come under attack from a special ops team.  Also strung throughout this book are reasons why the privatization of NASA is a very DANGEROUS idea. These arguments become even more chilling in the present day when you realize that, although NASA has not been disbanded completly, it is slowly but surely being turned over to the Private sector.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Anoter podcast episode

September 8, 2011

After a long hiatus you can find a new episode of our podcast here.

Zero Cool by John Lange

June 1, 2011

Zero Cool by John Lange aka Michael Crichton is the author’s fifth published book. In this novel he returns to the simplicity of his other John Lange works. In Zero Cool radiologist Peter Ross is on vacation in Spain when an unknown man comes up to him and warns him that if he performs an autopsy he will be killed. Peter, being unqualified to perform an autopsy at any rate, dismisses the man as crazy. That is, until, Robert Carrini and his “relatives” come up to him and tell him that if he does NOT perform an autopsy for them they will kill him. Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place Peter reluctantly agrees to do the autopsy where the heart of the deceased is replaced with a strange metal box. As events grow more and more complicated Peter is stuck between two rival groups each eager to obtain the contents of the box. With only the beautiful Angela Locke, who peter is not even sire weather or not he can trust, as a companion, Peter enters into the battle in order to try to escape with his life.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

sorry about the delay

July 17, 2010

Sorry about the delay, folks! I was hoping to get the 2nd podcast episode out sooner then this but with any luck it should be out tomorrow.  Also my original plan was to finish wave one of the podcasts before moving on to wave two of the reviews, but given how long episode 2 of the podcast taken, I intend to change that and get to work on wave 2 of the reviews as soon as possible.

Podcast finally up

January 19, 2010

We now have a podbean account for our podcast you can find and download episode 1 of our podcast here. Enjoy