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All reviews - Movies (1) - DVDs (1) - Books (3)

Lost in the crowd of peace advocacy works

Posted : 10 years ago on 18 July 2008 09:15 (A review of Flink)

Conrad, a young teenage boy, gets to go on his first hunting trip with his father, who works for some government agency tasked to capture one or more bigfoot creatures. Conrad doesn't seem terribly interested in the hunt, since he never stops playing video games. When the plane crashes into a lake, Conrad assumes that his father died in the crash.

Conrad tries to make his way out of the Washington forest on foot, but he has only a small pocket knife and no provisions. Upon waking up after the first cold night, Conrad finds a trail of berries, which he follows. The berries lead to a cave, which unfortunately houses a bear. As the bear chases Conrad, the adultbigfoot who left the trail of berries comes out of hiding and helps Conrad escape from the bear.
During the rescue, the bigfoot gets bitten by the bear, and Conrad does his best to provide first aid.

TenNaple's art consists of lots of broad strokes. He draws with excellent consistency from frame to frame, but the broader brushes give a feeling more like a storyboard than a finished product. The art does well enough to convey the story, but I think some finer details could have conveyed more subtle emotions beyond base emotions like fear and sorrow.

Read my full review at [Link removed - login to see].

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Classic reference, but not the bible

Posted : 10 years ago on 16 July 2008 04:26 (A review of The Elements of Style (4th Edition))

Anyone who has taken more than one English class will recognize many
of Strunk and White's style rules. Each rule includes a least one and
sometimes several examples which provide some of the clearest
demonstrations of good and bad style. Many writers still practice
these rules today, but some rules fall short when applied to
conventional modern usage. For example, one rule states that writers
can use he as a universal, singular pronoun meaning any single
person. In modern usage burdened with political correctness, such a
usage would quickly receive the label "sexist" and, in fact, has
quickly fallen out of practice. Since one cannot easily determine the
status of Strunk and White's rules, I recommend using a more modern
reference like The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., or any
other modern style as an everyday reference guide before looking here.

The Elements of Style still has its uses. Writers can use it
as a quick refresher on many points of style, grammar, and usage.
Chapter 5, "An Approach to Style" reminds writers to always consider
their audience and to use good, clear writing techniques.
Reading Strunk and White frequently will help keep your mind on
track -- subconsciously alerting you to possible problems in your
writing. Just be sure you know enough modern usage to be able to
discern how much weight to give each rule.

Read more of my reviews at [Link removed - login to see].

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Cool idea, but not enough for a full-length novel

Posted : 10 years ago on 16 July 2008 04:04 (A review of The Veils of Azlaroc)

In The Veils of Azlaroc, Saberhagen presents an interesting idea with a flimsy plot wrapped around it as an excuse for writing about his idea. Azlaroc, located near an anomalous binary star system comprised of a pulsar and a black hole, can sustain life as long as man brings his own oxygen and water. Every year (conveniently about 365 days long) a veil falls -- an odd space/time/energy phenomenon created by Azlaroc's unique astronomical situation. When a veil falls, the veil traps all objects and people on the surface of Azlaroc.

The story had a lot of potential for a fun if Saberhagen had limited the action to a few interesting characters, but he introduces too many characters and too many ideas. In fact, he continues to introduce characters and ideas right up to the end, producing a fatal effect for a novel this short. In a longer novel, Saberhagen could have still presented Azlaroc's interesting phenomena, but put the environment in the background, rather than having the characters subservient to the development of a cool idea.

Read my complete review at [Link removed - login to see].

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A interesting, but suspect, view of the conqueror

Posted : 10 years ago on 16 July 2008 03:53 (A review of Mongol)

Director Bodrov clearly wants to paint a different picture of young Temudjin than most people have from from reading about the savage Gengis Kahn he becomes. Mongol paints a picture of a stubborn, religious man devoted to his wife and determined to create a great empire for the benefit of all Mongol people -- 'even if half of them have to die for it.'

Read a more detailed review at [Link removed - login to see].

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Never as good the second time.

Posted : 11 years, 4 months ago on 26 February 2007 01:11 (A review of Cheaper by the Dozen 2)

All of the twenty child actors seem to have good acting abilities, but with so many children in the cast the kids get about as much screen time as a cameo role in this movie dominated by Martin and Levy.

For a full review go to: [Link removed - login to see]

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