August 22, 2007


I always think to myself, "Flibbert, you should write reviews of the books and movies that you see. You like books. You like movies. You read. You watch. You judge and you talk smack. People love that. People will come to your blog from South America and Africa more if you write what you think about these things. You know how hard it is to get people from those continents here. There are time zone issues and the Yerpeens don't even get on the internet until late at night. They're insatiable porn-mongers and you're lucky they stop by at all. Add that to the fact that Hugo Chavez is cutting down the electrical wires all across South America right now and you have a recipe for disaster. A disaster in which you don't get to see people from all six inhabitable continents on your site in the same 100 visits. Remember how nice it was when that happened? Just think how cool it would be if it happened in the last 50 visits? Last 20? You could have a legitimate reason to crap your pants if it happened in the last ten and you know how much you love doing that. You should just get your act together and write something, anything about the books you read and the movies you see. And it's kind of a public service, too, so hippies might even start reading your blog. Ok. That's a stretch. Still. You should do it."

I ALWAYS say that, too. Ask anyone.

So, since I'm way behind on this, you're going to get all of my recent books and movies (that I can remember) here in one, quick post. In return, I expect you to call all the foreigners and get them to visit my website tomorrow at 3pm Greenwich Mean Time. Actually, they need to do it every day for the rest of the week at that time because sometimes I'm busy in the morning and I can't check.

Start dialing.

Made to Stick
I read this book because it's kind of the business I'm in. You know, marketing. It's pretty good. Most of what it says is really commonsensical, but it's nice to see common sense things written down. It has tons of interesting examples, too.

It's not super well-written, but with this kind of book you don't really read it for that. You read it because you could start and finish it on a flight from New York to LA. It's good for that.

Would I recommend it? Yeah, maybe.

Secret Societies
Mister Bookworm gave this one to me. It's a fun read.

The book is about real and alleged secret societies like the Knights Templar, the Illuminati, the Priory of Sion, the Druids, and others. It's written in a rather conversational tone, but still manages to come off as being really well researched.

My favorite chapter is the first one on the Assassins, which history reveals to later become Al Qaeda. (Sort of, you have to read it.)

In general, the theme of the book is to teach some healthy skepticism about conspiracy theories and secret societies. My favorite part of the book that isn't a whole chapter is the full-on rant the author gets into over people who irresponsibly propagate fear of secret societies and conspiracies and he specifically cites the stink that rose up around The Da Vinci Code and the Priory of Sion.

Would I recommend this book? If you're into nonfiction and you're looking for something to read by the pool until the end of summer, definitely. Actually, if you like nonfiction and you're looking for a quick read, I'd recommend this one. Though not absolutely flawless nor is it without slow points it is still light, fun, and interesting. Check it out.

The Three Musketeers
Dear Alexandre Dumas: Don't ever talk to me again.

I totally loved the beginning of The Count of Monte Cristo and the rest of the book retained the sparkle until all but the very end. It was for those bright parts that I decided to read The Three Musketeers. I mean, you've gotten way more press over the musketeers, so it should be better, right?


The Three Musketeers is garbage. I don't know if Dumas was short on cash or what. Mister Bookworm tells me that serial novelists like Dumas were paid by the word for books like The Three Musketeers and judging from the idiocy that is in that book, I believe it.

First of all, neither in part nor in whole, I do not need conversations like this:

"Let's go to the restaurant," cried D'Artagnan in his usual youthful manner.

"I agree! The restaurant is a splendid idea," said portly Porthos in a tone that everyone expects from him when speaking of food and drink.

"Indeed, I think the heavenly Father would bless such a venture. Let us proceed," cooed Aramis serenely while fingering a volume that was either love poems or a prayer book. The other musketeers were not permitted to inspect it to be sure.

"It is decided. Let us go to the restaurant," Athos said in a tone that belied his mysterious, but high birth.

"To the restaurant!" cried D'Artagnan again.

Second of all, end the damn book already. The story is over about 18 and a half times before the pages actually run out.

I appreciate the light-hearted, implausible heroism of the book. I like the overblown courtesies, silly nationalism, and wild-eyed chivalry. Yes, it's all very colorful, but it's not at all cohesive. It's barely coherent.

Would I recommend it? No. Not even to children.

Flowers for Algernon
This is a disgusting book. Would I recommend it? No, but one particular line sums up this book for me: "Imperceptibly, I saw her relax."

I mused to Mister Bookworm that perhaps it means that she couldn't see him while she was relaxing, but since they were having a conversation at the time, Mister Bookworm was doubtful that Charlie gained super powers from his operation.

The writing is terrible. It's turgid with immature, nauseating emotionalism and occasionally it's a suppurating wound of vulgar details.

Thematically, I think it's an illustration of how all people are equal whether they're retarded or geniuses. It's vile.

Would I recommend it? Not even for the middle schoolers who usually read this filth.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I'm rushing now because it's getting late.

On balance, I liked this book and I thought it was a good ending to the series. I told you that it was exciting and that all of my predictions were wrong. By now, you've probably heard how it ends, but I won't spoil it just in case.

Would I recommend it? Yes. I thought the whole series was a good, fun read. I appreciate the progression the books make as if they grew up with the kids in and the kids reading the series.

The Last Legion
Mister Bookworm and I were both excited to see this movie. It's about how Excaliber came to England after the fall of Rome.

Mister Bookworm studied classics in school, so he had a much deeper knowledge of the historical context in which the film was set. Even from our visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new Greek and Roman exhibit, I could tell that it was wildly inaccurate. His disgust has overflowed to a classics email list that he follows with strong advice to avoid the movie.

I can ignore inaccuracies, but I have to echo his recommendation. It's a horrible film. The plot runs far afield. The script is painful. The acting is troubling. Even the cinematography leaves a lot to be desired.

The best thing I can say about the movie is that the actress in the female lead, Aishwarya Rai, is absolutely gorgeous. I'm gay, though, and since the costume design was retarded, too, that doesn't get you very far.

This is a cute movie. It's pretty typical Disney fare, so it's fun. My biggest complaint is the hordes of rats that make several appearances.

But go see it, it's fun times.

The Bourne Ultimatum
Bad. Ass. I almost don't want you to read this because I think you should be heading out to go see it right now. I think it's the best of the three movies.

The first Bourne movie was great. It was about Jason Bourne's discovery of his missing identity and his quest to escape from the one impressed upon him.

The second movie was just ok to me. It was more emotional than the first one because the theme was about Bourne recovering his humanity and establishing for himself his own identity and values.

This third film is the final chapter in Jason Bourne's arc to recover his identity and reclaim his life -- in whole -- for himself. And he kicks a whole lot of ass doing it.

Go see it.

The Simpsons Movie
I'm discovering that I'm not really a fan of comedies.

There are funny parts in this movie, but I don't think the Simpsons television show translated well to the big screen. I fell asleep for a little bit during the movie, too.

Would I recommend it? Probably not, but I don't know if you like silly movies or not.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I don't know if this is my favorite of the Harry Potter movies, but it's high on the list. The story was lots more cohesive than the previous film and it Harry's teenage angst wasn't as annoying as it was in the corresponding book.

It's a lot of fun. Go see it!

That's right! Bonus! Why? Because I love you and your foreign friends. Yes, it's way past my bed time, but I wanted to give you a quick review of some teevee shows:

Top Chef - Haven't been following the new season, but saw two episodes recently. FUN!

Flipping Out - That man is obnoxious and crazy. It makes for good television, but I'm afraid his crazy bee-sting lips are going to get on my nerved before I can make it through a whole season.

The Unit - Continues to impress. Max Martini is HOT.

The Closer - I'm not good at following this show, but I've enjoyed the episodes that I've seen.

Man v. Wild - I DVR this so that I can watch Bear Grylls do naked push ups and drink his own urine. I don't care if he's actually staying in a hotel at night.

Welcome to the Parker - Interesting. Could be better. Could end up good. I'm giving it more time.

I Hate my 30's - Quirky. Amusing. Possibly too quirky and too cynical for my tastes. I'll give it a few more episodes.

Rick & Steve: Happiest Gay Couple in the World - Wants to be the gay South Park, but it hasn't found its rhythm yet. Hint, boys: it's a dancer. How many gay jokes can you make and remain funny? Also, let's try for some current relevance.

I'm really excited for the Bionic Woman and Tim Gun's show that starts September 6. Also, the new season of House, Heroes, The Office, and 30 Rock.

That's it!

I often think I don't get enough done in my life as far as consuming information and media, but looking at this list, I'm a little amazed that I have any time at all between television, movies, books, magazines, blogs, museum visits, concerts, and everything else I do.

Ok. I need to go to bed and you need to start calling those foreigners.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at August 22, 2007 12:03 AM | TrackBack

I loved Deathly Hallows up to the last three chapters. I found them disappointing, but not devastating. Would love to hear your full opinion on the series some time.

I have never seen any of the Bourne installments. This is, I have been told, a grave transgression. But if the ass-kicking is as kick-ass as you suggest, maybe I will repent of my unseeing ways and check them out. Thanks!

Good luck with the Yerpeens.


Posted by: Qwertz at August 22, 2007 01:06 AM

"Bad ass" was the phrase my girlfriend and I used about a dozen times during the new Bourne flick. I have to second your recommendation...heartily.

Posted by: Matt F. at August 23, 2007 03:11 AM

I found the Simpsons Movie to be quite full of altruistic crap.

Posted by: Tiberius at August 23, 2007 10:39 AM
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