Day: February 21, 2008

12 Monkeys (1995)

After the disaster of {moscontentlink:The Running Man}, 12 Monkeys is a welcome contrast. Directed by Terry Gilliam, of Brazil fame, this movie explores the thin boundary between sanity and madness and applies it to one of the most confusing topics of science fiction: time travel.

 James Cole (Bruce Willis) is a "divergent mind," a criminal that gets a chance to save the world after a virus wiped out 90% of mankind. He is to go back to the year 1996, when the virus first spread, to collect samples of the unadulterated virus. He is to bring these samples back, so that scientists can create an antidote, cure, or the like.

As in Brazil, the idea of government as embodied here by the scientists is synonymous with incompetence. A first attempt sends Cole six years too far, to the year 1990, where he meets his psychiatrist, Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe), and a fellow patient, Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), as he gets admitted into a mental ward since he is evidently disturbed. 

(more…)

The Satanic Verses (S. Rushdie) – Partial Final

Ok, I give up. After 40 years of slogging through any book I've had to endure – including War and Peace, the Bible, and various heavy-weight textbooks on theoretical physics, I finally found one that could outlast me. The Satanic Verses couldn't hold my interest for more than 2 pages at a time, and the prospect of having to read all 561 pages of it was just way too much. At that rate, I would have read that book for more than three quarters of a year!

What is so wrong with it that it can't hold my attention? Well, several things, really. This book is almost an encyclopedia of what can go wrong if you have talent and skill, and yet manage to bore your reader.

(more…)