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Everything posted by NBooth

  1. NBooth

    Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

    One of the nice things about the Suchet series ending is that we're getting more varied portrayals of Poirot. Link to our thread on the John Malkovich-led (!) The ABC Murders.
  2. NBooth

    Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

    Well, this is actually happening. So I guess we should have a thread. Here's the trailer. Not really impressed. Dench and Dafoe look good, but I don't get much of a sense of the flavor of this adaptation. And Branagh's Poirot--at least, in this little bit we see--is a failure on pretty much every level.
  3. NBooth

    The ABC Murders

    John Malkovich is playing Poirot! I'm thrilled. Suchet is great (though he has his limits, as Queering Agatha Christie--an excellent recent study--points out). But, since Finney, the major trend has been toward more genial, friendly portrayals of Poirot (Ustinov the avuncular, Suchet the lonely, Branagh the soulful). I've come to admire the weird, alien, unlikable Poirot Finney gave us in Murder on the Orient Express, and I'm really hoping Malkovich brings back some of that spikiness. EDIT: Here's our thread for the 2017 Murder on the Orient Express.
  4. NBooth

    Sherlock Holmes 3 (2020)

    There's officially a release date. I'm there. A Game of Shadows has only grown in my estimation over the years since it came out. Link to our thread on Sherlock Holmes (2009) Link to our thread on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
  5. NBooth

    The Great American Novel

    Philip Roth has died.
  6. NBooth

    Star Wars: Han Solo origin story spin-off

    Walter Chaw hates it. [Spoilers, but--really. It's Solo.]
  7. NBooth

    The Magnificent Seven (2016)

    I’ve worked my thoughts above into a two-years-later review at Rise Up Daily.
  8. NBooth

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

    Lindsay Ellis has an excellent three-part series on The Hobbit. Here's the first one.
  9. NBooth

    Avengers: Infinity War Part I

    Saw it. It's relentlessly ok. It isn't great, or even good--but it isn't the Death of Cinema, either. It's just--there. Some funny bits. Some genuinely astounding settings (the star forge). Lots of uninteresting action. An ending that should be affecting but isn't (apart from Tom Holland's performance). A villain who isn't interesting, in spite of all the advance hype. A conclusion that suggests the next movie will feature Matt Smith popping out of a TARDIS and doing some timey-wimey stuff. I did have fun, but the overall impression was of exhaustion.
  10. NBooth

    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

    Link to our thread on the newly-announced Sherlock Holmes 3.
  11. I’m midway through the novel The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane, so perhaps it’s too early to suggest adding the film version to this list—but if the book goes in the direction I’m suspecting, it could be a possiblity.
  12. Two movies that won't quite fit the main line of inquiry but might be helpful in some way: It (2017) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) --Elm Street is particularly interesting because Freddy's history as a child molester was removed at the request of the production company, though I would argue it's still pretty much there. There's some abuse stuff creeping around the edges of Kings Row (1942) and it's very much central to Peyton Place (1957) and their offspring Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992). [I'm sure you mentioned pretty much every David Lynch movie to her, but--almost every David Lynch movie, particularly Blue Velvet and Inland Empire] EDIT: Gone with the Wind and The Quiet Man are both examples of movies that "let us down" by not portraying abuse as abuse.
  13. NBooth

    A Quiet Passion

    It may be a little early for a thread, but I suspect that a few folks around here dig Emily Dickinson, so this news should be of interest: Cynthia Nixon's playing Dickinson in Terence Davies' biopic A Quiet Passion. Full confession: I can't stand Dickinson. I find her way too mannered and sing-songy. But I'm still kind of interested in seeing how this project turns out. EDIT: How does one edit tags? I ran Dickinson and Nixon together....
  14. NBooth

    A Quiet Passion

    Just watched this and skimmed the thread. I’m relieved I’m not the only person with reservations about this thing. I mean, I had reservations going in; by the time twenty minutes had passed I was audibly groaning. Alone. In an empty room. Nixon is good, and so is the sister, but the performances here are so stagey, and not in a good way. The dialogue is mannered—and not in a good way. It’s like a college production of Pride and Prejudice. There is, to my mind, exactly one sequence that is close to interesting or poetic (or interested in poetry, for that matter), and it occurs about an hour and a half into this interminable thing. It’s a positive relief when ED becomes heartbroken and bitter, because then—at least—the movie gets a little fire in its belly. So, nope. It’s a definite nope from me.
  15. NBooth

    Ready Player One

    Yeah, that was an interesting review.
  16. The Gore Vidal facebook page is announcing that he has died. He was 86. I've not read Vidal's novels--I have several on docket, including one of his pseudonymous mystery novels--but I recently devoured a good chunk of The Selected Essays. Like him or loathe him, the man had a wicked way with words. His interviews are pretty entertaining, too...and his confrontation with William Buckley is the kind of thing legends are made of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYymnxoQnf8 Unfortunately, not many of his essays seem to be available online. "Tarzan Revisited" (1963) is a good sampling, though. Better examples,I think--certainly more provocative--would be "Pink Triangle and Yellow Star" (1981) or--especially--his take-down of the Kennedys in "The Holy Family" (1967)--neither of which are available online, afaik. EDIT: Here's the official announcement at Vidal's website. Nothing more than a date, at this point. EDIT EDIT: Here's an interview with Vidal from last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJSSwU1m42k EDIT X3: LA Times has an obit. So does SeattlePI: [i found both of these via BoingBoing, which also links to a Gore Vidal fansite] Here's our thread on Ben Hur, a movie for which Vidal was one of the screenwriters.
  17. NBooth

    Gore Vidal (1925-2012)

    This past week I've been on a Vidal kick, so I (finally!) read Myra Breckinridge, which has gotten its hooks in me so thoroughly that I'm pretty sure I need to read it again this month. I also read Myron (available at the Open Library)--not as good, a much looser and less mind-colonizing work than Myra B. but not without a few small pleasures. And I ended it with Vidal's collection of sex writings, Sexually Speaking--though, really, one needn't read all of the essays here. "Pink Triangle and Yellow Star" is the gold standard for Vidalian sex writing, as far as I'm concerned. It's seriously a shame that more isn't being done with Myra Breckinridge. It's a weird read in this cultural moment of #metoo and trans visibility and I suspect that it would--these days--get blasted as much from the Left as from the Right (justifiably or no, I won't say). But that book crawled into my brain and camped out there (in every sense of "camp"). Myra is (and there's no doubt in my mind on this score) the most captivating, disturbing, and magnetic character in midcentury American fiction; she's a Captain Ahab for the sexual revolution set. (I've not seen the movie, though I plan to--I know it's terrible and have watched many terrible clips of it, but one must do what one must....) [Edit: The existence of the movie was never noted here, anyway, but for the record there was at one time to be a Gore Vidal biopic starring Kevin Spacey that has since been scrapped in light of the confirmation of persistent rumors regarding Spacey's conduct with young men. Actor-wise, it's a loss; Spacey has been accused--by people on this very board--of possessing a smarmy acting-style, which would go well with Vidal's actual persona. Given rumors about Vidal's own behavior, there's a certain symmetry to Spacey losing the job for sexual misconduct. Link two. Anyway, here's the IMDB page, which tells me that Michael Stuhlbarg was to have played Howard Austen.]
  18. NBooth

    Ready Player One

    This movie is so dumb. It has exactly one redeeming feature--one place where I felt actual joy--and that's the journey into The Shining. Everything else? It's the perfect embodiment of all that I hate about nerd culture--the performative interest in trivia, the confusion of reciting trivia with love of a thing, the Romantic view of the Poor Misunderstood Genius who Just Wanted to Make a Cool Thing--and it's all so obvious, so dreary, and so flat. One problem--and I've mentioned this elsewhere--is that Spielberg is precisely the wrong person to do a movie about nerd nostalgia. When he makes movies that hit his own nostalgia buttons he's generally good. But he made the world these kids are nostalgic for. He's got no reason to particularly feel anything at all for it.
  19. NBooth

    Podcast Recommendations?

    My friend and colleague Andy Crank from the University of Alabama has a podcast called The Sound and the Furious: "Two professors use humor, curse words, and hopefully some insight to connect current events with American literature and history." I just started episode one ("Trump, the Dirty South, and the Humanities") and it's quite good. The discussion of how the humanities are perceived vs. how they are in practice is pretty bracing after a year of Atlantic whinging about "safe spaces."
  20. Here we go again. Nonfiction in bold. Usual caveats about time-finished rather than time read. January James, Henry. The Aspern Papers (novella) Bloom, Harold. The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime Baptist, Edward E. The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. Burke, James Lee. Robicheaux. Woods, Gregory. Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World. February Greenblatt, Stephen. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. Cassara, Joseph. The House of Impossible Beauties. March King, Stephen. 'Salem's Lot. (re-read; first time was audiobook) Hendrix, Grady, and Will Errickson. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction. Herring, Scott. Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism Russell, Ray. Incubus Shakespeare, William. The Sonnets Goenawan, Clarissa. Rainbirds. Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckinridge Vidal, Gore. Myron April Blank, Hanne. Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality. Vidal, Gore. Sexually Speaking: Collected Sex Writings. Donald Weise, ed. Sherry, Michael S. Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy Robin, Corey. The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump. Haralson, Eric. Henry James and Queer Modernity Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckinridge (second reading) Halberstam, Judith. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Sonnets from the Portuguese Kahan, Benjamin. Celibacies: American Modernism & Sexual Life. May Downs, Alan. The Velvet Rage Bérubé, Allan. Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II Jorgensen, Christine. A Personal Autobiography Bernthal, J.C. Queering Agatha Christie: Revisiting the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. Bogus, Carl T. Buckley: William F. Buckley, Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism Koenig, Laird. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.
  21. NBooth

    Star Wars: Han Solo origin story spin-off

  22. NBooth

    Star Wars: Han Solo origin story spin-off

    This looks bad.
  23. NBooth

    Jurassic World 2 aka Jurassic Park 5

    It's not a strikingly unique response, I'm sure, but this looks terrible. Like, Jurassic Park 3 bad.
  24. NBooth

    Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    Edwin Turner:
  25. NBooth

    Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    As a sidenote--I assume this has to do with Star Wars not being all that big in China, but the cut I saw had little text onscreen whenever a familiar character appeared. It was kind of cool, because it reminded me of Shaw Brothers flicks (so did Snoke's throne room, actually--it, and some of the stuff that happened there, could have been the setting for a title sequence by Chang Cheh).