Archive for April, 2007

Literature with Horns

All right, I admit it. I caved in and opened my copy of “The Last Colony” by John Scalzi, and with what line does he start off his book?

This story – like all good stories – begins with a goat.

(I’ve edited it a bit to make more sense. Yes, it does really make more sense like this. Believe me.)

The following chapter is full of John Scalzi trademarked humour, and also a new and hitherto, for me, unknown English word: “Ombudsman”. This word gets used at least half a dozen times, which makes my dialect go all Norwegiany on me. Add to the mix that the first chapter takes place on a colony inhabited by Indians (the real, not-extinct kind), and if you know me, you’d know that this would result with a dialect fest within my mind. For some reason my inner narrator always goes “In India we eat chicken curry!” whenever I think of that particular country, and I’ll be damned before I’m able to let go of the accent.

Yeah, I’m enjoying my new book. I thought you’d be glad to know 🙂


The Brotherhood of the Wolf

Last night I went over to the table where my Never Ending Stack of DVDs lies jumbled together, and I picked a random one without looking too closely on exactly which it was. It ended up being “The Brotherhood of the Wolf”, a movie I bought solely because of Terje’s recommendation and the dirt cheap price over on

The story was quite interesting, and the language somewhat refreshing. I can’t even remember the last time I watched a French movie. Set sometime during the (I presume once again without googling the fact) 18th century, a great beast of unknown origin starts ravaging the local community somewhere in France. For some reason it only attacks small children and women, and those who survive claim that the beast is the devil incarnate, not a mere wolf as the local authority claims.

As you probably have figured out, this movie deals with the mystery of said beast, which turns out to be a broader conspiracy then anyone could have imagined. That was at least the movie makers intention, all though I thought the plot wasn’t as incredible as it might have been. I kinda got it long before it was all revealed, and that spoiled the film for me a bit.

I can, however, see why Terje liked this movie so much. It’s got cool, matrix like action sequences, religious problems and political maneuvering that were interesting to watch, but I did not enjoy them all too much. In fact, I didn’t enjoy the movie as a whole either. True, it did contain a lot of cool stuff. True, It was nicely directed and had a satisfying content. True, this didn’t do it for me. I got kinda bored.

This may have something to do with me having no energy left after having spent it all on a one day and a half period with no time for relaxation. I was very beat when I came home from work yesterday. If this affected the experience of the movie, then I should probably watch it again sometime and gain a fairer perspective on it, but for now this is how I feel. Final verdict: 7/10.

Blade Runner: A Praising

Believe it or not, but I watched Ridley Scott’s adaption of Dick’s novel “DADOES?”, Blade Runner, Thursday evening and haven’t had the time to post about it until now. I blame society for this grievance. I need money to continue feeding my addictions, and to do so I have to take time of out my day, which normally would have been used on said addictions, to work my ass off feeding fat Norwegians’ own addictions. It’s a cruel joke that makes me sad.

Back to Blade Runner. I’m keeping it short for the time being, so this is what I have say about Blade Runner:

Gotta love it; Big time.

Harrison Ford and Edward James Olmos; Rocks.

Androids and fallen angels: Rocks harder.

Noir enviroment; makes my inner geek happy happy.

Potential for analysis? Enormous.

Film compared to the great book? Better.

Surprised? Very much so.

And also: Unicorns!*

*Note: figures made of paper**.

** Note 2: Figures made of paper are replicants.

Ridley Scott; Genius.

Grade? 10/10

Goody good goodness! The last volume in the Old Man’s War Trilogy, The Last Colony has arrived in my mailbox. It was released in Europe on Friday, sent to me on Thursday, and it arrived today! Huge kudos and much love goes out from me to you, the Amazon corporation. I can’t think of a single Norwegian website that could offer such great services as you. I am from now on a faithful devotee, and promise to buy books online only from you.

John Scalzi novels have a certain x-factor that makes them completely impossible to put down once you’ve turned the first page. I have an important paper due on Wednesday, so until that time arrives that I know I’m going to be able to hand it in, I’m hiding The Last Colony somewhere out of sight.

It beckons me… Calls to me. The blue cover begs to be fondled with… What did it say? Do you contain chapters made simply out Fun Fun Fun? Can I read them?

No… I must stay strong. Resist the temptation, Lotta. Cleanse your mind…

Come to the dark side!


This blog post contains spoilers for season 2 of Battlestar Galactica (a small one, but very irritating if you haven’t watched it) and The Lies of Locke Lamora (a major book ruining one, which I’ve censored very thoroughly). If you are big ol’ psycho about spoilers, I wouldn’t read this post at all. Move along, you crazy people. Nothing to read here. If, however, you are only normally obsessed with avoiding spoilers, and are not frightened away by the brooding psychotics that are currently glaring at this post, continue down and discover why I this post has got such an emo title.

In true John Scalzi tradition, I’ve finally managed to sneak in a K. Dick inspired title in my blog. “The Android’s Dream” and the forthcoming “The High Castle” are both novels which titles originate in Phillip K. Dick’s masterpieces, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and “The Man in the High Castle”. The reason why I’ve ripped of K. Dick’s “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said” is the latest Natsecorma Blog Challenge; write a post about a scene in a movie/book that made you cry, or at least made you kinda sad.

Let me first define for you what I mean by the term “crying”, ’cause I feel that there is room for much confusion within it. I seldom or at least very rarely cry in the sense of the word that I sob and whine and splatter tears from my two overflowed canals on random furniture and such like. I can’t remember the last time I really cried in that sense. It must have been some time long, long ago. You’d have to kick me in the nutsack* or break a bone to get that sort of reaction from me now.

*If you did go after My Merry Merchandise, I would probably not cry as much as I would audition for the new opera in town.

If I were to cry today, I would confine myself to what can best be describes as weeping. My eyes would swell up, my throat would choke and after I had emotionally digested it all, a single tear would slowly make its way down my cheek.

The last time I remember something like that happening while watching a movie is all the way back in February, when I watched Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center”. That movie hit me in the heart; making me think of what it must have been like on 9/11. That movie deserved a tear in commemoration of all the innocent lives that was lost that day.

Crying while watching TV-series is something I do more often than with books or movies. I cried a lot during season 1 and 2 of BSG, simply because that show contains so many scenes that can do that you if you love the show enough. I remember being all red eyed after the episode when Starbucks goes down during a Cylon attack and the fleet gives up hope of ever finding her on that rocky planet. Most of the time I shrug things like that off, merely thinking that whatever happens to them is going to awesome either which way it ends. BSG makes me care, and that’s probably why I love it so much.

I’m giving an honorable mention to the only Buffysode that touched me enough to warrant its own review; “The Body”. That’s art, people. Pure art that silently swallows you whole. Crying is mandatory while watching it. Even stones would weep…

Crying while reading is something that happens so seldom that I have a really hard time even coming up with an example. The ending of “The Lies of Locke Lamora” was more sad than weepy, all though I admit cursing a certain Grey King so badly that I’m kinda afraid he sent a Bondsmagi after me 🙂

Today was a slow day at work, so I spent some time dwelling on those weepy moments in literature. I came up with two good examples where I remember actually letting my tear shuts fly. The first, and most well known for you, I suppose, is “Deadhouse Gates” by Steven Erikson. I wept several times during that book. Gotta reread “Chain of Dogs” sometime in the future, ’cause that must be the best “book” in the whole Malazan series.

Example number 2 brings us to a very unknown book which I doubt many have read. “Where the Red Fern Grows” is a children’s novel which I happened to stumble over a short excerpt of it in school (!), and decided to rent the whole damn thing. The story is really generic and predictable, but at that moment in time it really moved me. I remember thinking that this was a story that I would like my kids to read when they grew up. That thought as stuck with me ever since, and every time I think it, I revisit the experience of “Where the Red Fern Grows”. I revisit the happy times in the book, I remember the deaths (nearly everyone died…) and most of all, I remember a tale about a boy much like myself, giving everything to fulfill his dream just to have it snatched away from him when he needed it the most.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” is supposed to be the mothership of all western movies, and that was one of the reasons I bought it one month ago. Another reason for this purchase was also the wickedly cool cover art (its got a red cover with a black silhouette of Clint Eastwood) and the fact that I’ve read somewhere that it’s Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movie. Not that a recommendation from Quentin always is of the best; I bought “Night Watch” because of of him and that movie was pretty mediocre in my opinion. However, I did buy “Good, Bad and Ugly”, and I did watch it last Sunday night. Here’s what I thought of it:

Clocking in at nearly three hours, GBD is a serious undertaking for anyone with a limited amount of time on their hands. Me, however, was lucky enough to take such liberties any time I want. That being said, it has become a very rare trait amongst modern movie to indulge themselves with nearly three hours. It’s nearly only Peter Jackson who makes such movies anymore. My guess is that when this movie came out, three hours was an average length of a movie. People had payed to watch the movie, it damn well better not end after a paltry one and a half hour!

The result became an obvious one: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” is too long and too slow paced. I got frustrated after only having watched the beginning of the movie (which was almost silent. Ten minutes with no dialog, only flying dust and picturesque, generic western landscape.) It did pick up somewhat after the first half hour, but this is a movie which should have been released in a shortened edition. It would have been much better if it had ended after two hours or so. That would of course be considered a violation against an old classic, but I don’t really care. The movie would have been better for it.

I’m not a your typical cowboy-fan, but I haven’t got anything in particular against westerns either. I’m actually quite fond of the dialog, guns, Indians and Clint Eastwood. There’s something endearing in the way that the audio and the actors lips are fractionally out of sync, both in sound and dialect. “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” possess all those qualities (excepting Indians, which have been replaced with the Civil War). Clint Eastwood plays “The Good”, and does a damned fine job of it too. No one has ever been better at playing the strong, silent type than Clint. He rules over a cool factor so high that I for one would wonder if I the correct form of addressing him would be to shake his hand, or to fall flat on you face and grovel, chanting “I am not worthy” over and over again. I tell myself that I would go for option number one, but I’m in no way sure of it.

“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” may very well be the best western I’ve ever seen. Does this mean that I liked the movie? No, must assuredly not. It was long winded and slow paced, with a plot that was a tad too generic for my taste (wouldn’t it be cool if they ever made an original western?). If you’re a Eastwood fan then I’d say that you should definitely take the time out of your day to view this classic. If you’d much rather spend the time on watching an entertaining movie that is going to end in the next couple of hours; do not give tGtBatU a try. 5/10

Phillip K. Dick Mystery of the Day

Which famous painting is described in this quote from Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?:

The painting showed a hairless, oppressed creature with a head like an inverted pear, its hands clapped in horror to its ears, its mouth open in a vast, soundless scream. Twisted ripples of the creature’s torment, echoes of its cry, flooded out into the air surrounding it; the man or woman, whichever it was, had become contained by its own howl. It had covered its ears against its own sound. The creature stood on a bridge and no one else was present; the creature screamed in isolation. Cut off by – or despite – its outcry.

First one to guess correctly gets a free virtual pat on the back! Come on, you know you want it 🙂 The quote becomes even greater when it’s read in its full context, where it serves as an exposition of what androids feels – or maybe their lack thereof. I finished Electric Sheep early Sunday morning, but haven’t gotten around to writing a review yet. I haven’t decided if I should do what I normally do and write a review of the book and the film, “Blade Runner”, or if I should post my entire project after I’ve finished writing it. Either way, you’ll get my thoughts on it soon enough.

As I’ve said so often before, I’ve never liked categories. I’ve especially found my own categories very irritating, simply because “I could get no satisfaction” from using them. My book, TV-show and movie reviews got lost in the maze, so I decided to cut the fat and only keep the tags I wanted. This way you can find my more interesting reviews and articles faster than before. I’ve even changed the name of some of them and added descriptions (which are not very helpful, but there you are…).

Nearly every time new DVD’s get released where I work, there are some movies that nearly everyone rents, some movies that only kids rents and some movies that no one rents at all. Now, you might think that it’s the films that, judging by the cover and experience, looks the worst are the ones that no one rents. Wrong. It’s the movies which fall into the shrugging category. People pick them up, give them a quick glance before they shrug and put them back on the shelf. I see this Act of the Shrug (as I’ve come to call it) happen everyday, and everyday I feel bad for those films that I’m sure are much better than the newest Johnny Knoxville film that the Shrugger ended up renting.

The Black Dahlia was one such film. It had never been rented out to anyone, even though it was directed by Brian de Palma (Scarface) and starred actors like Scarlett Johansson (The Island), Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) and Aaron Eckhart (Thank You For Smoking). I must admit that I Shrugged this film away a couple of times myself, but I always promised it that I’d pick it up the next time around. That time came around yesterday.

The story is set in LA in the 1940’s and deals with the most notorious murder in California’s history. Elizabeth Short is found dead, cut in half and mutilated in downtown LA. The case gets a lot of media attention, and the Chief decides to put his two most famous cops on the case, Mr. Ice and Mr. Fire (Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart). As the investigation continues, Mr. Ice, our main character, uncovers corruption and conspiracies within the police department. What follows is a whodunit movie with real class and a lot of twists and turns that helps keep the viewer glued onto his preferred seating arrangement.

The Black Dahlia struck me as a movie with a capitol M. This is how movies used to be. You got your love affair between Mr. Ice and his partners girlfriend, you got your mysterious background that haunts the characters, and you got your mysterious murder that seems unsolvable. The setting is also really classy. The actors smoke cigarettes in every scene and all the men wear cool hats, even in bed.

Scarface came off as an excessive film in many ways, but The Black Dahlia is in my opinion much better. Brian de Palma has succeeded in making something that is something of a classic in style if not in quality. I’m very glad I picked this lonesome film up – if I hadn’t, I’d have missed one of the coolest films I’ve seen this year. I seriously recommend this movie to you if you like movies with a good plot, cool setting, interesting actors and a great ending. 8,5/10

Loki asked me this over at Thus Spoketh Terje:

What are, approximately, your five favourite TV-shows? Your five favourite books? And your five favourite movies?

The question came after I had inquired with Terje whether I’d like Babylon 5 or not, but Loki, being himself, wanted to chip in as well. In order to do so, he requested a little summary of what my favourite books, films and TV-shows. Now, I could post this in Terje’s comment section, but I hope he’ll find it in him to forgive me my impertinence by posting it here.

But enough chit chat, weren’t we promised lists? Yes, I guess you were. I’ve added a little why&wherefore underneath each title. I’ve chosen not to rank them in order of loveliness, since they are all my favourite piece in their own way.

My Top 5: Books

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The best book Neil Gaiman has ever written. It’s funny and dark, it’s got an original story with great characters. A work of art from Mr. Gaiman.

The Malazan Book of the Fallen, by Steven Erikson

This isn’t one book; it’s the best fantasy series I’ve read. Memories of Ice (nr.3 in the series), Deadhouse Gates ( nr. 2) and The Bonehunters (nr. 6) are the best books in the series, and they all deserve a place on this list. To prevent Malazan inflation, I’ve gathered them under one heading.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch

This is the first installment in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence, and I absolutely loved it. But you all know that by now, so I’ll keep it simple; If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out. Big Time.

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

A childhood favorite. It was the very first book that really hooked me into the story and never let go. I’m not completely sure I’d be reading books if it hadn’t been for this book.

The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R Tolkien

No explanation necessary.

My Top 5: Films

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy


Sin City

What can I say? An amazing movie that captivated me with it’s beautiful images and dark setting. Loved it, and can’t wait for the sequel.


The best war movie I’ve ever seen. A must see for everyone that likes guns, or simply movies in general.

Kill Bill Volume 1

Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite directors, and this his best movie to date. Samurai swords and images to die for (and many did).

Monty Python and the Holy Grail / Monty Python’s Life of Brian

What can I say? I’m a geek, and I love Monty Python. These films are pure, distilled genius.

My Top 5: TV-shows

Monty Python and the Flying Circus

Mass produced pure, distilled genius.

Battlestar Galactica

The first season blew my mind, the second season blew the rating scales, the third season made me yearn for more.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

What the hell, this show deserves it.


My favorite comedy show still on the air. True, it hasn’t been as good lately as it was in the beginning, but I love it all the same.

Heroes / House / Dexter

I think Heroes might be my favorite show ever if it continues with the same quality as the first eleven episodes I’ve seen so far. House is a brilliant doctor show, and Dexter is something very special.