Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

I found myself inspired by the end of this book. The final sentence really wraps it up, and I liked the color it gave to all the preceding (and proceeding?) stories. It's not really a spoiler, but it goes something like this: "Your efforts will be nothing but a drop in the ocean!" "What is …

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Under the Skin, by Michel Faber

I think this is the only time I've read a book after seeing the movie first. It's definitely the first time I've read a book after seeing a movie that I loved as much as I loved Under the Skin, and I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it when I already know what happens. …

Arrival: good drama, unconventional sci fi

If you go to this movie expecting to see laser fights and explosions and space battles, you will be disappointed. If you want creepy aliens and jump-scares you will also be disappointed. But if you're after a movie that puts a lot of thought into the story, the science and the characters, then you will …

Phoenix (2015)

I'm not usually very interested in war movies. In fact war is the least interesting genre of any entertainment to me. But AV Club had this movie near the top of their best of 2015 list, so I checked it out on a whim. Phoenix is about a woman who escaped from a concentration camp …

Jessica Jones, the hero TV needed

Disclaimer: I do not read comics or care about super hero movies or shows in general, and had never heard of Jessica Jones before this show.  Jessica Jones is another brilliant Netflix original. It's a dark, exciting, interesting show about a private investigator with a painful past, and a sociopath who can control minds. But--it's …

Dead Snow

I watched this zombie movie on Halloween and was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a stupid gorefest with maybe a couple laughs, and what I got was actually a well crafted monster movie. One thing that a lot of these type movies don't understand is that if you play your hand too early, the audience …

The Hunger Games

I watched this teen thriller, and was at once impressed and annoyed. I thought the actors all did a great job, and the movie was well made and good quality. On the other  hand, it was in desperate need of some editing, and there were several things that made me irritated. In a battle royal …