Archive for ‘movies’

July 1, 2012

Hit or Miss, June 2012

Here’s what I’ve been reading and viewing for the past month.  (You can click on the links for short reviews or comments I’ve left elsewhere.)

Hits

  • The Cyberiad (Stanislaw Lem)
  • The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
  • Shakespeare in Love (movie)
  • Puss in Boots (movie)
  • Black Maria (Kevin Young)
  • 《我的心中每天开出一朵花》畿米
  • The Personifid Project (R. E. Bartlett)
  • Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Legends of the Fallen Sky (Marge Simon and Malcolm Deeley)
  • The Civil Servant’s Notebook (Wang Xiaofang)
  • The Phantom World (Gary William Crawford)

Along with the most recent issues of several magazines, including:  parABnormal Digest, Scifaikuest

Misses

  • There were no all-out misses

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • 贴身感觉》张小娴
  • American Empire:  Blood and Iron (Harry Turtledove)

So how was June reading and viewing for you?

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June 1, 2012

Hit or Miss, May 2012

Here’s what I’ve been reading and viewing for the past month.  (You can click on the links for short reviews or comments I’ve left elsewhere.)

Hits

  • The Mark of a Christian (Francis A. Schaffer)
  • The Avengers (movie)
  • 《下面,我该干些什么》(阿乙)(What Should I do Next, by A Yi)
  • Beast (Erin Donahoe)
  • Selected Poems (Tony Harrison)
  • Through the Woods (Erin Donahoe)
  • Big Shot’s Funeral (movie)
  • Stellar Possibilities (John Dunphy)
  • Up is Down (Mikal Trimm)
  • Contemporary Haibun, vol. 13 (Edited by Jim Kacian, Bruce Ross, and Ken Jones)
  • Pitch (Todd Boss)
  • Men in Black 3 (movie)
  • The Case for Working with Your Hands (Matthew Crawford)

Along with back issues of several magazines, including:  Scifaikuest, The World of Chinese (x2), Star*Line (x2)

Misses

  • There were no all-out misses

Neither Hit Nor Miss

  • 《1988: 我想和这个世界谈》韩寒 (1988:  I Want to Talk with the World, by Han Han)
  • The Curious Lore of Precious Stones (George Frederick Kunz)

So how was May reading and viewing for you?

April 30, 2012

Hit or Miss, April 2012

Here’s what I’ve been reading and viewing for the past month.  (You can click on the links for short reviews or comments I’ve left elsewhere.)

Several were close calls for me, with a few of the things I ultimately ranked “Hits” being fairly borderline calls, and one of the “Neither Hit nor Miss” reads being a good candidate for an all-out miss.

Hits

Along with back issues of several magazines, including:  Chinese Newsweek, Aoife’s Kiss

Misses

  • There were no all-out misses

Neither Hit Nor Miss

So how was April reading and viewing for you?

April 1, 2012

Hit or Miss, March 2012

Here’s what I’ve been reading and viewing for the past month.  (You can click on the links for short reviews or comments I’ve left elsewhere.)

Several were close calls for me, with a few of the things I ultimately ranked “Hits” being fairly borderline calls, and one of the “Neither Hit nor Miss” reads being a good candidate for an all-out miss.

Hits

  • The Red Room (H. G. Wells)
  • Kylie’s Kiss (Delia Latham)
  • Nanjing 1937 (Ye Zhaoyan)
  • The Dream of Reason (Anthony Gottlieb)
  • Becoming Madame Mao (Anchee Min)
  • The Apartment (Greg Baxter)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (onstage)

Along with back issues of several magazines, including:  The World of Chinese, Newsweek, Aoife’s Kiss

Misses

  • There were no real misses, though “The Ice Palace” came close.

Neither Hit Nor Miss

So how was March reading and viewing for you?

February 29, 2012

Repost: Hit or Miss, February ’12

This is reposted from my old blog.  I’ve imported the whole post, comments and all, into a single space here.  I’ve listed it here under its original date.


Hit or Miss, February ’12

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February has been a pretty good month of reading and film for me — not a long list, but mostly good stuff.

 

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading and viewing over the past month…

 

 

Hit List

 

  1. •Fishbone (Sheng Keyi)
  2. Wreckage (Ha Jin)
  3. •The Heart of Haiku (Jane Hirschfield)
  4. •The Trouble with Poetry (Billy Collins)
  5. •Apolocyntosis (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
  6. Tarzan of the Apes (Edgar Rice Burroughs)
  7. •Northern Girls (Sheng Keyi)
  8. •Between Lions and Lambs (N. T. McQueen)
  9. •Bolt (movie)
  10. Crimes of the Heart (Beth Henley)
  11. Antony and Cleopatra (onstage)

 

 

 

 

Magazines:

Aoife’s Kiss (back issue)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss List

 

  1. •salt (Mani Rao)
  2. The Truth About Jesus:  Is he a myth? (M. M. Mangasarian)

 

 

 

 

 

Neither Hit nor Miss

 

  1. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  2. •Oedipus of Thebes (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

 

 

 

 

A bit of a mixed bag this past month.

 

I’m glad that I managed to make something of a dent in my Fill in the Gaps list.

 

 

So….

what have you been reading and watching for the past month ?

 

 

2 Comments Manage Comments for this Entry
silken
salt?! I wonder if that is the same book my son had to read a few years ago for school. it was a miss with him too. I think I read it. very dry but some interesting tidbits throughout. though not really a HIT in the reading. it is no longer required reading at school either!
Thursday, March 1, 2012 – 11:51 AM
I don’t think this is the same one.  I remember talking to him about that one.  This was a poetry collection, kind of.  Some of it was just too random to seem like poetry though.  (And that coming from someone who is very open to all sorts of styles of poetry!)
Thursday, March 1, 2012 – 12:51 PM
February 1, 2012

Repost: Hit or Miss, January 2012

This is reposted from my old blog.  I’ve imported the whole post, comments and all, into a single space here.  I’ve listed it here under its original date.


Hit or Miss, January ’12

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January has been a pretty good month of reading and film for me — not a long list, but mostly good stuff.  I especially enjoyed reading Sheng Keyi’s short story “Fishbone,” which I translated for a magazine in Beijing.  It’s a good story.

 

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading and viewing over the past month…

 

 

Hit List

 

  1. •Fishbone (Sheng Keyi)
  2. •up against the window (Jim Kacian and Bruce Ross, ed.)
  3. •The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook (Suzette Haden Elgin)
  4. •Courageous (movie)
  5. •Cat Country (Lao She)
  6. •Psychoentropy (Julie Shiel)
  7. •Disturbed (Julie Shiel)
  8. •Celestial Bodies (Keith Sikora)
  9. •The Tin Men and other poems (Kendall Evans and David C. Kopaska-Merkel)

 

 

 

Magazines:

Beyond Centauri (the most recent, and 1 back issue); Star*Line; Aoife’s Kiss

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss List

 

  1. •No misses this month!

 

 

 

 

 

Neither Hit nor Miss

 

  1. •Idylls of the King (Tennyson)

– I know, I feel terrible!  It was more about my mood than the book, obviously.

  1. •It’s Complicated (movie)
  2. •War Horse (movie)

 

 

 

 

Another no-miss list.  I love that!

 

So….

what have you been reading and watching for the past month ?

 

 

2 Comments Manage Comments for this Entry
silken
got mine posted. mostly hits this month
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 – 10:33 PM
Shelly
Good stuff! I will go have a look.
Thursday, February 2, 2012 – 12:40 AM
January 1, 2010

Repost: Hit or Miss, Dec ’09

This is reposted from my old blog.  I’ve imported the whole post, comments and all, into a single space here.  I’ve listed it here under its original date.


 

December was a good month for catching up on a lot of reading I’ve left dangling for a while.  I made a little progress on my Fill in the Gaps list, and read a number of other books for both work and leisure.  It was especially good to savour a number of poetry

collections over the past month, including my own newly releasedCyborg Chimera, which finally arrived here in Singapore.

 

Here’s what I’ve been reading and watching in December:

 

 

Hit List

  1. •    The Evidence of the Senses (Colin Tan)
  2. •    Curse of the Golden Flower (movie)
  3. •    A Cold Coming (Tony Harrison)
  4. •    Memoirs of a Geisha (movie)
  5. •    2004 Dwarf Stars (Deborah P. Kolodji, ed.)
  6. •    Blackbird (David Harrower)
  7. •    George & the Dragon (movie)
  8. •    Silas Marner (George Eliot)
  9. •    The Shack (William Paul Young)

my review is the second one at the linked site

  1. •    several essays & short stories by Washington Irving
  2. •    Anansi Boys (Neil Gaiman)

also a short blog entry at the Fill in the Gaps site

  1. •    The Haiku Handbook (William J. Higginson, with Penny Harter)
  2. •    Brighton Rock (Graham Greene)
  3. •   City of Life and Death (movie)
  4. •    Avatar (movie)
  5. •    Private Worlds:  A Revised Atlas (Scott E. Green)

watch Sloth Jockey for a review, coming soon

  1. •    Peninsular (Darren V. L. Shiau)
  2. •    The Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (movie)
  3. •    Ancient Skies (oino sakai)
  4. •    A Study in Emerald (Neil Gaiman)

 

 

Catching up on a couple of magazines:

 

Books & Culture, Asimov’s Science Fiction (back issues)

Star*Line, ExpatLit, The Taylor Trust (most recent issue)

 

 

Miss List

 

No misses in December!

 

 

Neither Hit nor Miss

 

  1. • The Gospel According to Judas (Jeffrey Archer)

watch Sloth Jockey for a review, coming soon

 

 

 

 

So, what have you been reading and watching this past month?

 

 

 

 

2 Comments Manage Comments for this Entry
silken
you got lots done!
Saturday, January 9, 2010 – 05:11 AM
Yeah, I’ve been trying to get caught up on some things.  I’m now trying to get just a little ahead, as I figure next month might not be one that has a lot of reading time.  You know how it is when guests come…
(Not that I’m complaining!!!)
Saturday, January 9, 2010 – 03:02 PM
October 31, 2009

Repost: Hit or Miss, October ’09

This is reposted from my old blog.  I’ve imported the whole post, comments and all, into a single space here.  I’ve listed it here under its original date.


Hit (or Miss) List, October ’09

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It was a slower-than-usual reading month for me in October, but I did get to read some fun things, at least.  I did not, however, make much of a dent in my Fill in the Gaps list of 100 books to be read over the next 5 years.  I hope to get more of that done in November.

 

Here’s what I’ve been reading and watching in October:

 

 

Hit List

  1. • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke)
  2. • Night and Day (Virginia Woolf)
  3. • The Lover (onstage, in Mandarin)
  4. • Some of Washington Irving’s short stories:

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Spectre Bridegroom, Mountjoy, The Pride of the

Village

  1. •Back issues of The Fourth Genre, Chinese Language Learning and Chinese Literature
  2. •Various Chinese poems (for class)

 

 

 

Miss List

• The Master Builder (onstage)

The performance of this supposedly dense work turned out to be pretty weak

 

 

• The Rice Queen Spy (John F. Rooney)

 

 

 

 

Neither Hit nor Miss

  1. • 《甲申记》(onstage)

good acting, excellent choreography, but something just didn’t work (and I’m not sure I really got the story)

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what have you been reading and watching this past month?

 

 

 

 

4 Comments Manage Comments for this Entry
silken
will post mine soon.
Thursday, November 5, 2009 – 11:01 AM
I’ll be by for a look.
Friday, November 6, 2009 – 06:54 AM
Michelle
I always like your hit and miss lists.
I look forward to them at the end of every month
:o)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 – 12:15 PM
I’m glad someone bothers to read them!  I like posting them.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 – 06:22 PM
October 3, 2009

Repost: Hit or Miss, September ’09

This is reposted from my old blog.  I’ve imported the whole post, comments and all, into a single space here.  I’ve listed it here under its original date.


Hit (or Miss) List, September ’09

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I finally had a little more time for some reading and movie-watching.  I made a little headway on my Fill in the Gaps list in September, which was fun, and also got to catch up on some other reading/viewing I’d left hanging for a while.  And I had a lot of fun catching a few old movies on the MGM channel while I was unexpectedly back in Singapore for a week to settle matters for my China visa.

 

Here’s what I’ve been reading and watching for the past month:

 

Hit List

  1. •Quantum Lyrics (A Van Jordan) — see my review at Sloth Jockey
  2. •Velocity (Dean Koontz) — see my response at Fill in the Gaps

this was on my “Fill in the Gaps” list because I’d heard good things about Koontz’s writing; it was better than I thought

  1. •Macbeth (movie)  — 2006 Australian version
  2. •Slipstream (movie)

this was something I’d picked up on DVD some time back, and finally got to watch; very, very good

  1. •Zen in the Art of Writing (Ray Bradbury)
  2. •Dark Nebulae (John J. Dunphy)
  3. •The Mouths that Remain (Gavin Salisbury)
  4. •The Princess of Mars (Edgar Rice Burroughs) — see my response at Fill in the Gaps
  5. •The Fountainhead (movie)
  6. •Clean Slate (movie)
  7. •A Fish Called Wanda (movie)
  8. •Transformers 2 (movie)
  9. •Rip Van Winkle (Washington Irving) — see my response at Fill in the Gaps

 

 

 

Miss List

•Training Day (movie)

I’m not sure it was exactly a miss, but I really didn’t like it as much as I thought I would – too cliche, I guess

 

•The Aeneid (Vergil, a Librivox recording)

it’s not the text that was the problem, as I’ve always loved The Aeneid, but the recording; some of the readers just don’t read poetry well, especially Dryden’s rhyme and meter

 

 

Neither Hit nor Miss

  1. •The World is Flat (Thomas Friedman) — read my thoughts at Tai Shan

there were some good thoughts, for sure, but I probably waited to long to read it; it’s rather dated already

 

  1. Director’s Cut (Alton Gansky)

 

 

 

 

So, what have you been reading and watching this past month?

 

 

 

 

8 Comments Manage Comments for this Entry
I would recommend the Swedish vampire flick ‘Let the Right One In’. The story centres on the relationship between a 12-year-old boy, Oskar, and a 200-year-old vampire child, Eli. Not your typical vampire movie. My wife, who has very little time for vampires, loved it.

And I’ve just finished ‘Rhyming Life and Death’ by Amos Oz. It’s a novella where we get to witness the writing process in action as we listen to the stream-of-consciousness narrative describing what goes on in an author’s mind. Next to no plot – and even some of the plot there is might well only be imagined – but I loved it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009 – 05:57 PM
Both sound like excellent recommendations, Jim.  Thanks!  I’m off now to check out both titles.  I have a feeling both will be added to my TBR list.
Saturday, October 3, 2009 – 11:02 PM
Interesting list. I haven’t seen any movies, other than on TV, for ages. As for books, I enjoyed Julianna Baggott’s “The Madam” and Pat Conroy’s “South of Broad.” The Conroy book doesn’t seem to work quite as well as his “Prince of Tides.” Right now, I’m reading Roberto Bolano’s very lengthy “2666.” I’m enjoying it so far, but have some 750 pages left to read.

Best of luck with your new book.

Malcolm

Monday, October 5, 2009 – 10:39 AM
Hi Malcolm,

I read some of your comments here or there (or perhaps here andthere) about your reading of 2666.  It sounds like a very intriguing read.  I think I might enjoy it, from what you’ve said.

I have mostly only caught movies on TV or DVD for the past several months, though I actually really love seeing them on the big screen (how old fashioned is that???).

I’m reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell right now.  It’s pretty good so far (about a quarter into it).  It was recommended by a couple of friends, and I am hoping to finish while one of those friends is visiting me here in Shanghai next week.  It’s always fun to discuss a book with the person who recommended it to you.

I’ll keep “The Madam” on my radar too, as well as Conroy’s work.

Monday, October 5, 2009 – 12:10 PM
I also enjoyed reading “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.” If you like it, you might also consider Clarke’s follow-up volume of stories which include one or two about the characters in the novel. It’s “The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories.” I ordered a copy of your book! YAY.

Malcolm

Monday, October 5, 2009 – 11:09 PM
If Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell continues along as good as it is so far, I think I’ll be happy to pick up the follow-up volume.  It’s a pretty good read, rather refreshing and fun.

Thanks for picking up my book.  I’ll look forward to hearing your feedback.  I’m anxious to see what real live readers think of it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 – 02:29 PM
silken
my list was up. and I am trying to keep up w/ my october one too! all my reading seems to be kid’s books though!
Saturday, October 17, 2009 – 05:27 AM
Nothing wrong with kids’ books— I love them!

I’ll be over to have a look at your list.

Saturday, October 17, 2009 – 09:36 AM
September 5, 2009

Repost: Hit or Miss, August ’09

This is reposted from my old blog.  I’ve imported the whole post, comments and all, into a single space here.  I’ve listed it here under its original date.


Hit (or Miss) List, August ’09

It’s been a rather slow month for reading, especially because of the huge volume, Infinite Jest, taking up most of my time.  (I actually only finished it today, but am listing it with the August post because that’s when the bulk of the reading was done.)  Here’s what I’ve been reading and watching for the past month:

 

Hit List

  1. •Grosse Pointe Blank (movie)
  2. •Say Anything (movie)

an old favorite (yeah, I know….); and yes, it was something of a John Cusack phase, with these two titles in there

  1. •Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace)

I’ll have more to say about this one down the road, I think

  1. •The Crab Flower Club (onstage)

a nicely put together, ironic piece about the women in a Chinese family who decide to start a poetry club

  1. •The Reduced Shakespeare:  the Complete Works (onstage)

absolutely hilarious performance; if you get a chance to see it, you’ll definitely want to catch it!

  1. •What Day is Today (onstage)

extremely disturbing, and very compelling; the narrative structure was very innovative, and the whole performance was very nicely done

  1. •The 2009 Rhysling Anthology (Drew Morse, ed.)

 

 

  1. •various issues of these journals:

Star*Line and Dreams & Nightmares

 

 

Miss List

No misses!

 

 

Neither Hit nor Miss

  1. •The Crucible (onstage)

not a good performance overall, but there were a few bright spots that redeemed it from being a  miss — & of course the script is amazing

 

 

 

 

So, what have you been reading and watching this summer?

August 22, 2009

Repost: Hit or Miss, June-July ’09

This is reposted from my old blog.  I’ve imported the whole post, comments and all, into a single space here.  I’ve listed it here under its original date.


 Hit (or Miss) List, June-July ’09

It’s nice to be able to catch up on posting my Hit (or Miss) List, even if it is a bit more sparse than usual.  Here’s what I’ve been reading and watching over the summer:

Hit List

  1. •With Christ in the School of Prayer (Andrew Murray)
  2. •All’s Well that Ends Well (William Shakespeare)
  3. •Across the Universe (movie)
  4. •The Cherry Orchard (onstage)
  5. •Timon of Athens (William Shakespeare)
  6. •More of Me Disappears (John Amen)
  7. •Cover of Darkness (an anthology edited by Tyree Campbell)
  8. •King John (William Shakespeare)
  9. •A Closer Look at Science Fiction (Anthony Thacker)
  10. •The Prosody Handbook (Robert Beum and Karl Shapiro)
  11. •The Fisher King (movie)
  1. •various issues of these journals:

Scifaikuest, Star*Line, Poetry, Illumen, 32 Poems

Miss List

No misses all summer!

Neither Hit nor Miss

  1. •Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (movie)

I didn’t think the movie was as bad as the reviews I’d heard, but it wasn’t very good either

I will probably be back to a more regular reading load soon, though the next list (for August) will probably look more like this one, at least in terms of quantity.

So, what have you been reading and watching this summer?