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What have I been watching?
February, 2002
"The Pledge" (VHS video)
A police-man pledges to the mother of a murdered child that he will find the killer.
The story is hardly original, but this movie does it well - it has a great cast (good to see Jack Nicolson again!), a good director (Sean Penn) and sticks to the 'secret' of all good films - it keeps it simple and let the characters speak for themselves. Anyone looking for an action movie, skip this one. Everyone else - enjoy!
"Lord Of The Rings, book 1: The Fellowship Of The Ring" (cinema)
The first book tells of the forming of the fellowship of the Ring, and chronicles the first part of their journey. At the journey's end they must throw the Ring into the volcano in order to destroy it.
Hmmm.. I can't really decide whether this is a good film or not. It certainly looks impressive (the fire-breathing monster at the underground stairs! Whoo-hoo!). If I have to pass judgement, I would classify it as a kid's rollercoaster ride. It just misses any real depth - I wish they'd slowed down a little and spend some time fleshing out the story and characters.
"Band Of Brothers" (TV)
This series follows Easy Company every step of the way, from the initial training camps to the D-Day landings and beyond.
The first time I saw it, I was channel surfing, and fell into episode 2 or so. The camera- work looked so much like that which was used in "Saving Private Ryan" I immediately dismissed it as a wannabe imitation and surfed on. It wasn't until episode 6 that I started following the series. Good stuff!
"The Insider" (VHS video)
A true story. The head of research of a major tabaco company gets fired, and a journalist asks him to do an interview in which he admits how much the company actually DOES know about the effects of smoking. After the interview it's a struggle to get the interview aired as CBS are threatend with possible lawsuits.
This isn't a bad movie... but I don't understand why it's been nominated for 7 Academy Awards. It just isn't anything special. The first third of the film is gripping, but the remainder of the 150 minutes are a drag. Al Pacino is great tho, as usual.
What have I been reading?
February, 2002
"The Dark Is Rising Sequence", by Susan Cooper
This is actually a complete series of four books put into one cover. It tells of how a group of children help out the charismatic Mr. Lion (a Grand-uncle of some of the kids) in his struggle against the agents of The Dark"
Yes, this is a children's book, now stop laughing! I've had this book for years, and am re-reading it at the moment. (I took it down from the attic because I promised to lend it to someone else, because the Harry Potter film reminded me of it, and she really liked those books.) It gives a good feel of the old customs and legends in the various places around the United Kingdom that are visited in the book. And you really get the feeling The Dark are "bad" without them ever actually *doing* anything really bad. Good writing!
"Srebrenica, Het Zwartste Scenario", by Frank Westerman & Bart Rijs
This is a reconstruction of the events surrounding the fall of Srebrenica, and the role of DutchBat during those events.
Basically this is a summing up of events, places and people. Definitely not light reading but if you're looking for something that'll put you to sleep at night... I'm just reading this because I wanted to know more about "our" role in the Srebernica debacle. Let's just say I wasn't impressed by the conduct of Dutchbat.. to put it VERY mildly, and I was wondering if I was correct in feeling this way.



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