Author Topic: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV  (Read 53522 times)

Offline Shik

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #50 on: May 27, 2007, 11:19:05 AM »
A while back, Amazon recommended to me (based on my previous enjoyments) some books by Icelandic authro Arnaldur Indridason.  The other day, I managed to pick up 2 of them at the library, Jar City (republished recntly under the lamer name Tainted Blood) & Silence Of The Grave. They're the 3rd & 4th books respectively in the Inspector Erlendur series; it seems that there's no English  translation for the 1st & 2nd, & of the rest, I believe they're only British copies available.

The books are set in modern-day Reyjavik, & Inspector Erlendure (full name: Erlendur Sveinsson, but this is Iceland where first names are used almost exclusively) is a detective with the city's police force. He's in his 50s, long divorced, has 2 grown children who have drug problems. The story is a basic mystery of course--in this case, for the first book, a man is found murded in his flat with a note left by the killer & the investigation turns up a 45-year-old case involving the victim--but the charm here is how differently it's unraveled because of the nature of Icleandic culture. It's a very different aspect than in the US or the UK.

I don't know why I like mysteries so much. Maybe it's the element of seeing how the clues unfold. I don't really try to figure it out, but sometimes I say to myself, "Oh, I bet it's this way!" Sometimes I'm right, & sometimes--like here--I follow the decoy. I don't like just any mystery, though. Agatha Christie doesn't do much for me & Ellery Queen is enh. The ones I like tend to have the mystery draped in other elements. Although I would never read Nora Roberts' romance crap, I have an affinity for her "In Death" series she writes as J.D. Robb; it's set in mid-21st-century New York, so it has the elements of sci-fi, mystery, & erotic thriller. it's like a shitty Skinemax flick with Andrew Stevens, Michael Nouri, & both Shannon Tweed AND Shannon Whirry. I really enjoyed Gregory Macdonald's Fletch books, & for a while 13 years ago I read the Rabbi Small books as well. But it's when the cultural elements are in effect that it really gets me: Martin Cruz Smith's  Renko novels are steeped in Soviet & post-Soviet Russian culture. Qiu Xiaolong's novels are set in & moved by Chinese culture. Peter Høeg's novels, while not really mysteries of a usual nature, often have mystery-like plot elements that need to be unravels, elements that are steeped in the Danish way of life.

Anyway, I highly recommend for anyone looking for an nice little odd piece to get their brian thinking.

Offline Razor

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2007, 02:05:57 AM »
^^^ I liked it quite a bit as well, Razor.

Wow Kes likes NIN...whodathunkit.
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Offline Broken Subspace Scene

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #52 on: June 21, 2007, 04:43:34 PM »
Anyone else picked up The White Stripes' Icky Thump yet?

I was really hyped up for the album going in, so I was initially a bit disappointing.  While the album doesn't have immediate distinctiveness and diverse hooks like Get Behind Me Satan, after a few repeat listens, it really grows on you.  I'd say it's easily on par with any of the other albums, with less spectacular standouts but more consistency (the only really dud is the useless, sub-2 minute "St. Andrew (The Battle is in the air)".  The guitar work will appeal to fans of their earlier albums as Jack eschews the kind of 'bag of tricks' style of the last album and goes primarily with crackling guitar riffs.  Aside from the title track, "Rag and Bone" is especially fun ("Meg, look at this place.  This place is like a mansion.  It's like a maaaaaaaaaaansion!  Look at all this stuff!") and "I'm Slowly Turning Into You" and "Catch Hell Blues" are also standouts.  Overall, a solid A, anyone who has enjoyed their previous work, especially Elephant-era, should really enjoy it.  Can't wait to see them live.

Offline Jimi James

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #53 on: June 21, 2007, 05:05:10 PM »
Yeah I've got it.  I pre-ordered the special edition from Itunes which had a couple additional tracks.  I'm not sure what to make of it yet.  Aside form the Icky Thump track, there were no immediate outstanding tracks that jumped out to be played over and over again.  Maybe that's becasue I've only listened to it once so far, and I'm sure it'll grow on me though.

An additional note, The Smashing Pumpkins new album, Zeitgeist, comes out July 10; which also happens to be my birthday.  I'm already loving the singles Tarantula and Doomsday Clock.  Needless to say, I have high hopes for this album that it will take the Pumpkins back to their golden era when they still awesome.
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Offline Broken Subspace Scene

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #54 on: June 21, 2007, 05:12:16 PM »
I think it will, I felt pretty much the same way the first or second time through.

I don't know what to make of Zeitgeist; I've only heard "Tarantula" so far, and I'm somewhat indifferent to it.  In didn't really grab me...Billy Corgan just doesn't sound as passionate and real as he used to.  I only have Rotten Apples so I'm a very casual fan of theirs at best, though.

Offline Kestra

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #55 on: July 13, 2007, 08:35:29 PM »
Has anyone else read "god is not Great" by Christopher Hitchens?  I've just started in on it and was wondering what other people think, especially compared to Harris' and Dawkins' more recent releases.  I'm liking it quite a bit so far--well the style of writing at least, even if I'm a bit defensive about some of the content.
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Offline Setekh

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #56 on: July 13, 2007, 08:37:13 PM »
I'm in the process of reading it. I like Hitchens a lot, especially listening to him talk, but I don't think this book is as good as Dawkins' book (The God Delusion). Like I told Kestra earlier, I prefer Dawkins' more scientific and logical approach to Hitchens' rhetorical one.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2007, 08:39:45 PM by Setekh »

Offline Da Vinci

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #57 on: July 14, 2007, 01:02:21 AM »
So is the God Delusion any good? I've been meaning to pick it up, but I've also heard people (and not even the fundies) saying that it's very annoying to read, that it's written like a pamphlet.
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Offline Flagg

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2007, 01:44:51 AM »
I'll pick it up at some point. I agree with Hitchens on the religion thing, but he's a chugger of the Bush cock. Guy is pretty much a fucking joke at this point.

Offline Xero

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #59 on: July 14, 2007, 01:49:23 AM »
Lovely image there Flagg.
"Well Steve, I think it's more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it." - Bill Gate's response to Steve Jobs' accusation of theft.

Offline Flagg

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2007, 02:08:21 AM »
Lovely image there Flagg.

You should have seen this guy on Bill Mahrs show a few months ago. He looked like he had been drinking for 3 days straight and was constantly cursing at the audience who were laughing at his retarded Bush whoring.

Offline Xero

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2007, 02:15:27 AM »
Now I regret never watching Bill Mahr.


I love it when right wingers make fools of themselves. Gives me a reason to wake up in the morning.
"Well Steve, I think it's more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it." - Bill Gate's response to Steve Jobs' accusation of theft.

Offline Flagg

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #62 on: July 14, 2007, 02:17:58 AM »
Now I regret never watching Bill Mahr.


I love it when right wingers make fools of themselves. Gives me a reason to wake up in the morning.

The sad part is that he's not an idiot. I think he just jumped on the bandwagon after 9/11 and is too much of a fucking pussy to admit he's been full of shit for the past 6 years.

Offline Kestra

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #63 on: July 14, 2007, 07:32:26 AM »
So is the God Delusion any good? I've been meaning to pick it up, but I've also heard people (and not even the fundies) saying that it's very annoying to read, that it's written like a pamphlet.

I was disappointed in it for both content and style, and I've liked Dawkins in the past.  But I know a lot of people who thought it was terrific so I guess it just depends what you're looking for.
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Offline Setekh

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #64 on: July 14, 2007, 08:09:39 AM »
So is the God Delusion any good? I've been meaning to pick it up, but I've also heard people (and not even the fundies) saying that it's very annoying to read, that it's written like a pamphlet.

I really enjoyed it. It's not that there is anything really new in it (just about everything that can be said about the subject has already been said), but I like the way he goes about it. I think my brain is just more similar to his than to Hitchens, Harris, or Daniel Dennett.

Offline Stoo

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #65 on: July 14, 2007, 12:11:09 PM »
Are God Delusion and God is not Great each just 300 pages of "RELIGION R DUM" over and over? I mean, I'm open to the argument, I just wonder if it's an argument that could be made in about 10 pages. Leaving the other 290 for lengthy masturbatory ranting and angry atheists patting each other on the back.

I've recently started on Dawkin's Unweaving the Rainbow instead because it seems a more constructive premise - he's explaining a worldview (how there is inspiration and beauty in a purely rational approach to the universe) rather than kicking someone else's over.

Offline Setekh

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #66 on: July 14, 2007, 04:55:10 PM »
Are God Delusion and God is not Great each just 300 pages of "RELIGION R DUM" over and over? I mean, I'm open to the argument, I just wonder if it's an argument that could be made in about 10 pages. Leaving the other 290 for lengthy masturbatory ranting and angry atheists patting each other on the back.

Well Dawkins book is more of what I would consider an atheist manifesto. I think it represents a large number of atheists views very concisely. He refutes the most common arguments made for the existence of god, and then puts forward his own as to why he believes god probably doesn't exist. The only time I think it really just out and out attacks religion is when he is talking about how teaching religion to children (especially the concept of hell) is a form of child abuse. I guess I can see why some people think he is being intolerant, but I think that it's just because it's a touchy subject for people. He doesn't really back away from criticizing religion where he feels it justified, but he doesn't attack it unnecessarily either.

Hitchens, on the other hand, seems to just be attacking the absurdities of religion. I've only read a quarter of the book, though. I think his point is to show secularists about how religion seems to be encroaching its dogmatic beliefs on society. He makes a point to say that if religion left him alone, there would be no point of attacking it. So I think he is writing to non-religious people who don't think that religion really affects them an anyway, and he is trying to wake them up.

Offline The Daft Punk

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #67 on: July 14, 2007, 06:11:03 PM »
Ironic that Hitchens berates religion for encroaching on society, and yet allies himself with the neoconservatives, whose entire platform is (essentially) a Christian-ification of society.
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Offline Setekh

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #68 on: July 14, 2007, 08:33:26 PM »
Well Hitchens would say (and I've seen enough of his appearances, and read enough of his articles to know what he would say) that the war in Iraq helped secularism there. I don't think I agree with that, but that's what his point would be.

EDIT: Actually, I remember an interview with Hitchens and Al Sharpton where he addressed that exact point. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ychvyXQoqA&mode=related&search=
Fast forward to 2 minutes, and that question is put to him.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2007, 08:36:52 PM by Setekh »

Offline Flagg

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #69 on: July 14, 2007, 09:51:19 PM »
Well Hitchens would say (and I've seen enough of his appearances, and read enough of his articles to know what he would say) that the war in Iraq helped secularism there. I don't think I agree with that, but that's what his point would be.

EDIT: Actually, I remember an interview with Hitchens and Al Sharpton where he addressed that exact point. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ychvyXQoqA&mode=related&search=
Fast forward to 2 minutes, and that question is put to him.


Yeah, we overthrew a secular regime that cracked down on Muslim fundamentalists in an area full of Muslim Theocrats and somehow that's supposed to help secularism in Iraq. Good thing the most powerful faction in Iraq isn't run by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.  ::)

You know what? I'm not going to buy this fucktards book. I think I'd rather donate the cost of it to the Vatican in his fucking name. Then again, the thought of contributing to his future liver failure does appeal to me...
« Last Edit: July 14, 2007, 09:53:03 PM by Flagg »

Offline The Daft Punk

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #70 on: July 21, 2007, 08:55:26 PM »
I just finished "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". It was amazing. Pure, absolute enjoyment.

This is a series I grew up with. I was 9 when I first read "Harry potter and the Sorcerers Stone". Too young for Hogwarts, but I connected with Harry unlike any other character I've ever read about. We we're both these scrawny, goofy looking kids, who never really had any friends and always felt like they were different in some weird, unspeakable way. Of course, I wasn't an orphan living with abusive relatives, but thats beside the point. I feel like I've grown up with these characters, and to see the end of their story is quite an emotional thing.

It's weird; I've seen the end of the Star Wars saga, the Pirates of the Carribean movies, and will soon see the return of my childhood hero (Indiana Jones), but nothing has affected me more than reading this last book. This is a gripping, emotional roller-coaster ride. Almost every character who has graced the pages of the series makes a return, all done fantastically well. There are deaths, and they hit you, hard. At one point I was pretty choked up. J.K. Rowling takes no prisoners here, and just when you say "Oh, their gonna make it through, they'll be fine" you get broad-sided.

But even with all the death, there's hope here too. And there is at least two scenes that, if you call yourself a Harry Potter fan, will make you pump your fist in the air and laugh with delight. The characters come to life in this book more than they have in any of the others combined. We've watched them grow up and mature, from scarred little kids to complex and courageous adults.

Part of me is sad that it's over. But it's a bittersweet sadness. Sure, the story is finished, but it ends in a way that makes you feel like that world is still out there, just around the corner, hidden out of sight. It's not just J.K. Rowlings world anymore, it's all of ours; that's the legacy of this book.

It's been a hell of a ride.

10 epic series out of 10
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Offline Shik

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #71 on: July 21, 2007, 09:12:28 PM »
The list of the dead is fucking BITCHIN', dude.

Offline Bond, James Bond

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #72 on: July 22, 2007, 01:51:58 AM »
I've never read any of the other Potter books, but I was reading through bits and pieces of this one at the bookstore (I cheated and read the epilogue too), and it certainly was a compelling read, so I might have to read the whole book now. My youngest sister has all of them, so I might borrow them from her.

Offline Xero

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #73 on: July 22, 2007, 02:53:47 AM »
I was at Chapters today to pick up The Vanishing Man, and they had a whole skid on the floor with nothing but the new Potter book. In fact the first 10 seconds in the store, I tripped over a Potter action, almost walked into a huge display, then the cashiers thanked my for not buying the new Harry Potter book. Apparently they were getting sick of everyone asking about it.
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Offline Flagg

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Re: The Review Thread--No Games, Movies, or TV
« Reply #74 on: July 22, 2007, 08:48:56 PM »
Drape kills Snumblebore!  :D