quarta-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still (***)

It contains spoilers.

After seeing its trailer, with all the special effects, known actors and terrific soundtrack, I was convinced I would love this movie.

It does have a very interesting point of view – this is not our planet. It should make you think about how badly you´re destroying this innocent green and blue Earth and that we should rethink our lifestyle and priorities if we intend on keep living. Problem is, yes, we should rethink what we´re doing, but how are we supposed to change it? The movie is of no help in that matter, it just thriggers guilt.

However, before we begin to remember all of mankind attrocities, we are shown just how destructive and violent we really are. Much in a The Host way, I must add. Isn´t it shocking how when an enourmous globe of shiny allien gas appears in Central Park the first thing we see are dozens of armed men and women, aiming at it? Even more astonishing: when an allien life-form comes walking out of that big sphere and almost shakes hand with the pretty human astrobiologist we shoot at it? We get this close to knowing for sure that we are not alone in the universe and before any hostile action we shoot at it??

And, though I have lapsed into using the pronoun “it”, after it takes a human form and speaks English, he´s a “he” not a “it”. (Which is one of those details that brought me to swear out loud in The Host and this movie and pretty much any other fiction on Alliens I´ve known.) Another interesting non-Let´s-save-the-Earth aspect is that even though it is an American production, it´s got some nice criticism concerning the Americans´ rather egocentric mind – clear on the dialog between K- and the U.S. Secretary of Defense when he asks her if she speaks for the entire human race.

The story rolls in an odd rhythm, things are happening to the world, some people are concerned, others relieved, but it seems that the allien is pretty easily convinced of the other side of the humans´ destructive behavior. He leaves. The only people who know they have to change the human attitute towards the planet are Helen (an important professor but not what I would call influent on global affairs), Jacob (the boy whose biological parents are dead and who is incredibly merceless regarding the allien and surprisingly merceful regarding the human annoying cop), the Nobel prize winner (let´s cross our fingers), and the possibly dead scientist who works for the government (and who was threatened to be replaced should he not oblige to the President´s orders). So much for change...

Overall, interesting idea, beautifully shot, virtually soundtrack-less, good dialogs, and no conclusion or further insight what-so-ever.

January 14th, 2009

You Suck – A Love Story " by Christopher Moore

I got this absurdly expensive and a bit worn-out novel the other day, attracted by the big red letters and cute fangs, thinking it would be a nice break from all the dramas I´ve been reading and still be about vampires.

The story revolves around Tommy and Jody. Jody has been a vampire for a few months and turned her boyfriend Tommy, who did not like the surprise. They now have to survive life in San Francisco living in the dark night and dropping dead during the day, and still getting their Christmas´ presents, cleaning their loft and doing all normal stuff people usually do in less than half the time – with the minor change on their diet and having to run away from an old creepy vampire and the cops who are after him.

It is what it promised to be: funny, a bit creepy, and lovely. Felt a little bit like reading Douglas Adams, everything seems real even if it´s totally absurd – and I´m not referring to the supernatural side. Apart from the vampire story and the surprising enlightment on the female psyche, the book tells the story of the Animals and the Emperor, the first being either a representation of a reality I´ve been fiercely protected from by parents and teachers or an utter exaggeration by a very skeptical author. Speaking of skepticism, let´s get to the female psyche again: he tells Jody´s story, how she feels so relieved now that she´s the predator and she doesn´t have to worry about the dark shadow in the corner or being alone in a random alley; he tells the story of Blue, a blue hooker who was probably the first woman I ever considered a real bitch; in a drama-less, dark-humor manner he tells Abby/Allison´s story, and how she suppresses all perkiness or excitement and forces depression in its place simply because she wants to look different; he even mentions briefly the life of Jody´s mom, a woman who would like to live in perfection even though her husband left her and her daughter didn´t go to Stanford. If you couldn´t care less about vampires or love stories, you should at least take a look in Chris Moore´s descriptions of his characters.

Even if I was not at all pleased with the ending - I should have seen it coming –, a nice light reading with a bit of love and money and eye liner and blood with all the gory details. Looking forward to A Dirty Job.

January 12th, 2009

Oh! I´ve just found out that You Suck – A Love Story is a continuing for Bloodsucking Fiends, so I´ll get more Jody stories! Unfortunately, all very very expensive if ever found in Brazilian bookstores. But oh well.
If you´re interested, the sequence is: Bloodsucking Fiends, You Suck, A Dirty Job – but I´ve been told reading in order is not really necessary.

January 17th, 2009

(4 stars)

Aos leitores desprovidos de verba exorbitante:

Embora me aventure a comprar uns livrinhos na Livraria Cultura (e pagar o extra pela etiqueta de segurança que sempre volta a funcionar), eu sempre checo o sebo de Barão antes. Os sebos, na verdade. Temos o Galpão, que costumava ser muito bom e tem um bom acervo de cds também, mas desde que encontrei uma versão amarelada e amassada capa dura de Memnoch the Devil por cinqüenta reais e me disseram que não era brincadeira, não frequento mais. Temos a Válise de Cronópio, que tem de tudo: livros, roupas, cds, vinis, e móveis, mas que eu nunca consegui achar o que estava procurando. E temos o Sebo Curupira, que é o meu escolhido da vez, com preços que assustam de tão baixos e um acervo com alta rotatividade. Lá, comprei uns dez livros nessas férias – e não ao acaso: eu fui procurar e tinha –, a maioria por oito reais.

Mas quando eu não encontro o livro que eu quero nos sebos, eu procuro na Estante Virtual (#), um site de busca em vários sebos do país. Mesmo com o frete, é muito mais barato, e geralmente chega antes do que se encomendasse na livraria.

Já usei o serviço três vezes, para três sebos diferentes. Hoje chegaram meus lindos “Dracula” (R$5) e “Memnoch the Devil” da Anne Rice (R$15). Lógico, pode acontecer do sebo não ser fiel na descrição e você acabar com uma versão meio acabada, mas geralmente eles dizem “bem conservado” ou “amarelado com dobras nas páginas”.

Infelizmente, alguns livrinhos mais novos, menos populares e estrangeiros são impossiveis de achar em sebos, e eu tenho que encomendar, esperar 4 a 6 semanas para ele chegar ao Brasil, e pagar um preço absurdo por um livro paperpack que parece sempre ter um corte de páginas e capa meio inacabado. Ou eles não chegam aqui de jeito algum.

O meu “V for Vendetta” demorou 4 semanas a mais que o previsto – depois que eles refizeram o pedido. Como é que eu vou ler Christopher Moore se eles não a) abaixarem os 52 reais/livro; e b) terem-no já em território nacional?

Adepta ao movimento pró-sebo.

"So Yesterday" by Scott Westerfeld

A few days ago I got bored of Fitzgerald's short and frequently tragic stories and decided to give "So Yesterday", a book I had bought more than a year before (period also known as GG novels), another try. I carried it around with the embarrassment of reading an openly teen book on "coolness". I actually carried my notebook of quotes with me to block any chance of regognition from seeing bits of the cover in my bag. Now that I've finished it I realise I was probably terrified of looking "uncool" for reading something so seemingly shallow. Bit ironic really.

The novel is a summer light read, no big concerns or doubts over it, only a mystery concerning "the coolest shoes ever" and fastastic innovative characters. It is narrated by a male main character, which I think was one of the reasons I bought this (why are all teen novels' narrated by girls? All of them think pretty much the same things). Hunter is a very likable character, who keeps on making comparisons with useless facts he gathers up, which ends up being quite interesting – he talks about germs and epidemics (his dad is an epidemologist), he talks about the French Revolution and cobblestones, about the origins of neighborhoods' names like SoHo, and even the trades of the Phoenicians. All mashed up with the Trendsetters, the Innovators, the cool hunting, and shoes, lots and lots of shoes.

To help them find the creator behind the mysterious bootleg that was better than the original, Hunter and Jen meet his cool-hunting friends. Odd personalities, really. One of them a science geek, Lexa Legault, who spealises in special effects, wears thick geeky glasses and nice fitting clean clothing, and lives in an apartment where dust is a "Very Bad Thing" and therefore demands daily vacuuming and shoes off – oh, and who despises the lack of capital letters. All the characters seem to have a passion, something that defines them, whether it is OCB people who'll take nothing but perfection, an undying love for desserts, or an obsession over Japan.

Which leads to the simple conclusion that this might be actually a quite good shallow teen book on "coolness" - after all, good story-telling, good characters, good laughs... acceptable plot. That's something I can deal with. Plus, this is one of those great books they write the name of the font style and a brief description of it and its creator in the back – I love that. Will attempt "Uglies" from the same author some time in the future.

January 21st, 2009


O plano original era construir um site – quase um projeto para férias tranqüilas demais. Porém, após a leitura de três manuais básicos e a descoberta de que um sistema de comentários fora de blog é BEM complicado, decidi aceitar a minha preguiça e formar um blog (outro!) coma coletânea dos antigos domínios que eu tinha (quase todos – eu sou impulsiva demais para ter um registro decente) e com alguns novos também.

Como isso ainda é uma tentatica de organização, tudo está separado por tópicos, que eu recomendo que sejam usados para navegação caso alguma alma aparecer por aqui. Se este evento inimaginável ocorrer, seja gentil e comente – blog sem comentário deprime.

Boa noite,


Ps: A maioria dos posts recentes, incluindo está descrição, foi escrita em lapsos de insonia devido ao meu constante jet lag nas férias (eu tentei, eu tentei), portanto não estranhe alguma coisa estranha.

English, please

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