Review: Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There’s a certain melancholy in everything I’ve read by Gaimon, and this is no exception. He reminds me of Bradbury, in the wistful beauty I feel at the end of so many of his stories. This one is a sort of free floating story about the memories and sorrows of children. The narrator is remembering things as though he were seven again, and the attendant magic is questioned even as it is taken at face value.  The ladies  down the lane seem to live in another world, and the narrator takes a small part. The plot is small and inconsequential  enough it’s almost impossible to discuss, particularly without spoilers.  The feeling is the thing, and Gaiman spins a beautiful little dream that is superior to what  the narrator might have recalled on a different day. Vivid word-tapestries bring open a home full of quiet magic and tough love, contrasted by mundane worries and darker magic and a more negligent love.

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Review: Project Almanac

Bias warning: I have a serious soft spot for time travel tales.

Warning #2: If getting all through  a pretty tight tale and having a really conflict-inducing plot-hole/loose end sitting there ruins it for you, go watch something else.

I’m just a bit over “shot it on my phone” movies,  but at least there was a general on screen agreement to Film All The Things related to their experiment…. they still took it a bit far. Project Almanac did benefit from it, so no complaints, there.

What distracted me most was the hugeness of the house/attic/basement, but that just me. They lampshaded enough things– such as the photo ready lead/genius– to get away with it. 

Our little hero looked down on “his engineers” as Big Bang Theory has made it popular to do, but in fact,  their resident genius was not a physicist, he was an engineer. His  projects were all practical wiring or coding excercises. Robitics, at best,  so I’m not surprised that he didn’t get the fellowship. His father, now… another story.

This movie played with changing the time stream like Looper and Primer before them, bur made things slightly more personal and manageable. Some changes just were and then weren’t,  and were left where they lay. Sequel fuel? Sure, but there was plenty of that in the dangly end bits.

I don’t think this is going to stand up to a lot of rewatches.

Jupiter Ascending is the Cake

The best thing I can say: beautiful.  Even the hideous things were intricately hideous and I wanted to look more closely. The stars, and the astral stars, the world, and oh my, the costumes.

Overall, the whole thing reminded me of what a big budget adaptation of one of Heinlein’s spacier space operas might have been.  For me, that’s a good thing. I have good associations there. However, it leads me to the worst thing.

As such, it definitely doesn’t do to look too closely at the movie, or story. I couldn’t really discuss this movie afterward,  because it just lead to “uh… sciencey magicy stuff” or “oh….” and we didn’t even have to go more than a sentence in to get there. We backed out quickly, reminding one another that we LIKED the experience we just had: sci-fi, pretty, fighty, good 3D effects.  We liked  that.  We liked the bureaucracy sequence topped by Terry Gilliam himself! I LOVED THAT.

Like a particularly  gorgeous pastry, the fondant is more for
Looking at than enjoying  and it’s just cake under that.

I still want Mila Kunis’ wardrobe  in a 12 tall. Please.