science fiction

Star Wars Droids Keep Going and Going and Going

I was watching Star Wars a few days ago (episodes IV and V) and the droids (C-3PO & R2-D2) just keep going and going and going.

C-3PO at least shuts down sometimes, but I don’t think R2-D2 ever does.

I wish my phone had batteries like that.

And, hey, if electric cars had batteries like that, I bet gas fueled cars would go the way of the dodo. All gas stations would turn into battery stations.

General · science fiction

Books that you Read because of the Movie

Have you ever seen a movie and then decided to read the book the movie is based on?

Sometimes the movie is so fantastic and you just know the book has to be better! I mean, the book is almost always better. How could it be otherwise? Books have more detail, and more room for all the things that make a story good: character, plot, sorder.

Some movies like that for me include:

1. Interview With A Vampire
I saw Interview With A Vampire on TV and loved it! I found the book in the library and took it out soon after. I loved it, too. They weren’t the same, but they were close and I really liked it, too.

2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Um . . . Yeah, I started reading the books after the first movie came out. Not sure how I missed them before that. But I’m glad I did, because later on, in future books, I understood things they never explained in the movies.

3. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief wasn’t as awesome as the first Harry Potter movie, but it was still exciting and made me all excited to go find out what really happened. Which I did and really liked.

4. The Bourne Identity
I love love |ove all the Bourne movies! But the book was a disappointment. It was just so dated! And it did not age well! IMHO

I want to read the first James Bond book, but I haven’t managed it yet. I will someday!


The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man is the latest in a series of Spider Man movies. This one retells Spider Man origin story, which has been filmed before.

The basic story hasn’t changed. Peter Parker gets bitten by a spider, develops super spider powers, finds his beloved uncle dying because of a robber he could have stopped. He didn’t and his uncle gets murdered. So he decides to take up hunting criminals.

In comparison to the last Spider Man movie, this one is a lot better. The actors are better. Specifically, the actor playing Spider Man is so much better I have no words to describe how much better he is. This Spider Man can act and it’s a welcome relief.

One thing that annoyed me was that this movie doesn’t even pretend that hiding Spider Man’s identity is important. He raises his mask at every opportunity. The last movie did that, too, but it least gave lip service to the idea that a superhero’s identity should remain secret. This one doesn’t do even that. Really, why not take a video of himself without the mask and post it on youtube?

My favorite scene was probably the scene were Captain Stacy lay dying after fighting The Lizard. He makes Peter promise to leave Gwen alone. So emotional!

There are differences.

1)      The Lizard

See, I don’t recall the Lizard from the previous movies (or cartoon). As far I knew the first villain was when Osborn turned into the Green Goblin. In this one, Osborn’s scientist turns into the Lizard. I am told the Lizard appears in the original comics, but I never heard of him before.

2)      Love Interest

In previous movies, the red-headed actress, Mary Jane, was his love interest. In this one, the love interest is a classmate named called Gwen Stacy. The daughter of cop, she’s blond and interning at Osborn. I am told she was in the original comics, but I never heard of her before.

3)      Parents

I don’t actually know anything about Peter’s parents, except that they are dead. I have a vague impression they are spies. Or biologists – spy biologist? LOL Anyway, in the Amazing Spiderman, they are biology researchers, who somehow died in an airplane. There is a big mystery, which needs resolving.

4)      Best Friend

Peter Parker’s best friend is supposed to Harry Osborn. In this one, he doesn’t have so much as a mention. Harry’s father is mentioned, but not Harry.

All that makes me think The Amazing Spider-Man is probably truer to the original comics than any of the previous movies. Plus, there is the name. The Amazing Spider-Man. It sounds a little plup-ish to me. It might have been the original name of the comics. Which indicates to me a deeper connection with the comics than other Spiderman movies. That, despite a character who carries a smart phone, knows how to use a computer and general updated appearance.

There definitely needs to be a The Amazing Spider-Man, part two. There are too many things left hanging.

Like, his parents. There are hints that somehow the Lizard and Osborn were behind whatever happened to Peter’s parents. It never says what happen (aside from a picture on the computer of a fatal airplane crash).

Osborn’s henchman, Nels Van Adder, is on his way to infecting military veterans with the lizard serum when the bridge he’s on is attacked by The Lizard. We never find out what happens to him.

Also, the spider bite. Peter’s father created the spiders. Peter gets bitten by a spider. The formula Peter finds in his briefcase and gives to Dr. Connors (aka The Lizard). It turns him into a gigantic, aggressive, lizard who decides he’s doing the world a favor by turning them into lizards.

The movie asks the question: why doesn’t Peter Parker turn into a gigantic, aggressive, spider who decides he’s doing the world a favor by turning them into spiders? It doesn’t ask it explicitly, but sort of implies there is something odd here.

It doesn’t answer this question. I have no idea if this question was raised in the original comics, but maybe not.

So, yeah. It needs a part two. Maybe even a part three.

I deeply enjoyed this version.


R is for Reading

I love reading. Why, you ask? Well, I don’t know. I do know most books are better than movies and tv shows. Even the books that get turned into movies and tv shows.

A picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, but you couldn’t prove it by me. Movies don’t have half the detail of a good novel.

If anyone says otherwise, it’s because they haven’t read the novel the movie was based on and don’t know half the details are missing. They don’t realize there is no way to put all or even most of the details of a 300-page novel into a 2 hour movie. I expect this; I may complain, but I am rarely disappointed by this.

Which is not to say I don’t enjoy them. I do. I like watching movies, 3D movies, normal movies, TV shows, documentaries. They are fun. I enjoy them immensely.

They just aren’t as fun as most novels. Lots of people don’t get that.

General · reading

Movie vs Book: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Normally, I like books above the movies/tv shows that are made from them. Almost always anyway. But not with The Time Traveler’s Wife. I haven’t finished the book yet, but it bores me. I don’t want to finish it, but it is my book club’s book, so I kinda have to read it. Who knows? Maybe it will surprise me. But I doubt it. There are too many passages I was tempted to skip, too many scenes that bored me. Plus, I have some questions that haven’t been answered. And having watched the movie, I doubt they will be answered.

The movie and the book aren’t exactly the same, but similar enough, I think. I am not sure what all they changed in the movie because I haven’t finished the book. I am pretty sure they left out how Clair slept with Gomaz. I don’t think they conveyed Claire‘s  “I didn’t think you would be this selfish” moment after their first sex scene. (Which was surprising by the way – that was their first real date and she had sex with him. But I suppose you could count her childhood picnic with him as a first date. But than they would both have different first dates with each other . . .) The movie left out how Claire had seen Henry when she was thirteen, and didn’t know exactly what she had seen (she heard the commotion when her brother/father accidentally shot Henry and came running out to see). When Henry traveled forward in time to see his daughter, in the book, I got the impression that everyone knew about people like Henry, who travel back and forth through time. That it had somehow become a thing of common knowledge. In the movie, daughter and Henry are somehow apart from her class (they are visiting a museum) and just walking and talking. There, it felt like no one knew about people like Henry. Also, in the book, Claire had so many miscarriages because the babes are traveling in time and her body was rejecting them as foreign tissue. The doctor lowered her immune response to the babies in order to  finally give birth. In the movie, they made it sound like a stress issue.

I like the movie better. Which is odd – normally, I am railing and ranting because all the interesting details that make the book worth reading disappear in the movie. I think it is because the movie cut out all the boring parts. I think it is a sad commentary on the book.

Sometimes the book was confusing, especially when both Henrys were present and it was hard tell which Henry was from the future and which from the present. Sometimes it was hard to tell Henry and Claire apart, and I had to go back to the top to see who was talking and who was how old (their respective ages weren’t always clear just from the text, either).

Also a problem is when Henry, after insisting that he can’t interfere in events when he time travels, beats up the guy the who attacked Claire. The sentiment is good, but the thing is, he is not supposed to be able to affect events at all the in past. At all!!! Yeah, sure, you can say that he did it because he was suppose do it and the fact that he could do it all proved he had already done and on and on. That’s a cop-out answer, if you ask me. I am not convinced. Even though Henry says over and over and over that he cannot change events, I am not convinced. This whole thing is also missing from the movie.

So, the questions I have. The movie didn’t answer them. At this time, with less than a quarter of the book left to go, I doubt the book will provide answers. There is no mention of how he inherited his time traveling gene.  This isn’t terribly important, I suppose, and I can always assume it was some wild genetic mutation. At one point, Henry tells Gomaz that he saved his life, and at this point in the book, I have no idea how. But most important, how was Henry born at all? Since Claire has so much trouble giving birth, Henry’s mother should have had trouble, too. But there is no mention of that. She couldn’t have had her immune response suppressed in order to give birth and Henry shouldn’t have been born. The movie’s stress thing works better here – we can just assume Henry’s mother had a more serene gestation.

Above and beyond all these issues is that a 40 something Henry makes love to an 18 year old Claire. Ick. Just ick – the idea of a 40 something with a 18 year old girl. Really ick.

Anyway, I really don’t like this book. The movie was better. More focused and it cut out all the boring, unimportant parts.