Fri, May 14, 2004

: Deception Point

Author: Dan Brown

Dan Brown’s best so far, though that’s not saying much. This is one of his earlier books and is better written, though he still comes across with the same arrogant, know-it-all attitude despite many obvious inaccurances and errors. Brown also continues his same technique of building suspense by withholding information. For instance, the plot is about a mysterious discovery by NASA — after pages and pages of build-up, we finally learn the fuss is about the discovery of proof of extra-terrestial life. It’s kind of a let-down since that was so predictable. But what makes that discovery important is the fact that it’s an election year and the budget of NASA is a big political talking point. Brown’s characters are transparent cardboard (especially his ridiculously primitive and stereotyped political figures), but the story’s mildly compelling. The ending’s predictable and obvious and there wasn’t the twist I expected, but overall a better novel than his others and much more readable and enjoyable.

Topic: [/book]


: Troy

Big and spectacular, but Brad Pitt is woefully miscast as Achilles. He seems out of place in every scene — it’s pretty bad. Everyone else is awesome (especially Peter O’Toole). The story’s decent, but doesn’t seem to follow the original story very faithfully. (Didn’t the seige of Troy last ten years? Here everything takes place over a few weeks.) One problem is that there aren’t any real heroes. The Trojans have our sympathy, but they did steal Helen to provoke the war. The Greeks are greedy snakes and Achilles is a mere killer, so who does one cheer for? In the end the war is just sad and meaningless and the “glory” Achilles seeks seems tainted and worthless. Supposedly we’re to be impressed by the war, but I was just left feeling dirty. Still, the action is good: the sword fights are excellent and the battle scenes impressive. The shots of the city of Troy burning are amazing, as is the fleet of ships the Greeks bring. It’s a long movie at nearly three hours, but it didn’t feel as long as I expected. Overall I was pleased, but it was a shame the film was tainted with Pitt’s awkward presence. It could have been better.

Topic: [/movie]