Monday, December 17, 2007

let me engulf you with my new blog, The River's View. I will endeavour to write serious, formal reviews and whatnot on this blog. introductory remarks are here.

a review of Shanna Compton's book For Girls & Others is here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

watched Anaconda 2, the sequel to the award-winning documentary starring J-Lo, Ice Cube and Jon Voight. I am a veteran of the original, from which I learned so much about the athletic and distinctly mean-spirited ways of the anaconda, and yet I still needed to learn more about this gigantic reptile that leaps thru the trees like a lumberjack. the movie begins in a conference room, where the CEO of a pharmaceutical threatens to deep six a non-moneymaking project. the project's team manages to convince him, using a Powerpoint graph (no greater argument can be made than a Powerpoint graph), that the project is a winner. and so it obviously is. as you well know, there is a flower called the blood orchid (which name appears in the movie's subtitle, which I forget). it only blooms, you know, once every 7 years. the flower has a component that prolongs life. well, that's what Big Pharma is looking for, you bet. the team is forthwith sent to Borneo, to fetch the flower, which reportedly is in bloom. why didn't the person who reported this bring a bouquet home? only a few weeks of bloom remain. okay, switch to the wilds of Borneo. I should mention that the previous movie was set in the Amazon, I'm pretty sure. I should also note that I recognize the names of none of the actors but they all were chosen for reminding the audience of... somebody... at one point, a character tells another that he read a news report about an expedition that had anaconda trouble, namely the original movie, a nice way to make it seem there was some narrative consistency going on. because of flooding, no captain wants to go upriver. none, that is, except a certain rough-hewn, unshaven someone. and they start upriver, and the viewer can start guessing which character buys it. I'll tell you right now: the J-Lo-ish big business type, the blonde research assistant, the tech guy who screamed all the time (he could've been replaced by the actor/comedian, can't recall his name, who was in the 5th Element, had the movie the budget for such spendiness), and of course Captain Heroical, were the only survivours. the captain's monkey also survives. the movie put a lot, I would even say undue, pressure on the little guy. several times we are led to believe that the little guy, Kong, is mouldering in the belly of an anaconda. okay, well, not one but two roguish sciency types on the team, who were overly interested in the females, get et quickly by anaconda. the 1st mate of the boat gets lunched. the screaming guy inexplicably misses out, much as relief from his yelling would have been nice. oh, the leader of the team decided to call the mission off after numerous misadventures, so the greedy guy on the team paralyzes him with a spider and the poor guy gets to watch as an anaconda slowly slithers into position for a gulp. I think the anaconda ate a village but I may have been repairing my brain cells with a modest doze during this sequence. I am concerned about my own home town, I don't think we are prepared for anaconda onslaught. I'll bet today's snow would just piss them off further. after much to do, the greedy guy gets his, as do all extant anaconda, except I think the one called Darth Vader. the remaining 4 characters, not counting Kong, pair up on the raft heading for home. the snakes were somewhere between 40 and 800 feet long, heads the size of T-Rex. they weren't above barfing up victims so that they could get more. tho they could constrict in a pinch, so to speak, they were more apt to lunge lightning quick and swallow their victim in a gulp. malevolent? for sure! I love hard science.