Thoughts on “The City of Lost Children,” “Idiocracy,” and “Crooked Little Vein” by Warren Ellis.

When I borrowed the book for my most recent book review, I borrowed some other things that I wanted to read or watch at some point in my life and figured now is as good a time as any. None of them are new so I won’t write full reviews, but that can’t stop me from writing a few thoughts on each in one big blog post.

This weekend I watched the movie The City of Lost Children. I didn’t realize until afterwards that the movie was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who also directed one of my favorite movies, Amelie. Stylistically, however, the connection made sense. Even though the setting is more fantastical, it feels a bit more realistic; it portrays a steampunk world as if it was real, whereas Amelie takes place in a more realistic setting but the events are highly stylized. The effects in The City of Lost Children are very impressive considering it was made in the late nineties.

I then tried watching Idiocracy. It’s a film made by Mike Judge, who also made Office Space. Unfortunately, while I like the premise, I think both films suffer from the same problem. Usually it takes ten to twenty minutes for a viewer to know whether or not a movie is going to be likeable, or at least respectable enough to see it through. These two Mike Judge films both make their main point by the time we cross that threshold. So it hooks me at first, but then as the movie goes on I realize I’m wasting my time watching something that’s doing nothing for me. Besides, the library copy I borrowed of Idiocracy was damaged and it skipped ten minutes at one point anyway. I hate that.

I’m almost done with the book Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis. I reviewed his latest book, Normal, a few weeks ago. Like Normal, Crooked Little Vein takes a look at the darker side of modern life with humor and a biting narrative, although this one is a type of detective novel rather than science fiction. I can see why the bio for Ellis from the other book called this one a cult classic.

I also borrowed a copy of the movie The Naked Lunch but I haven’t watched it yet. I don’t think I would want to offer thoughts on it until I’ve read the book, anyway. We’ll see after I watch the movie tomorrow.

Reviews seem to be popular on this blog. Is that reviews are popular, or am I just writing reviews better than other types blog posts? I didn’t think I wanted to turn this into a review-only blog… but is that the direction in which I should head?

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