Archive for January, 2009

Recently read

Posted in Books on January 26, 2009 by thebigsmoke

Neuromancer
By William Gibson

I’ve been meaning to read Neuromancer since I was sixteen, which was when I read the two sequels, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive.

Gibson isn’t an especially gifted writer, but the ideas in Neuromancer were so fresh and ground-breaking that it really stood out from the crowd. I actually had a teacher at university who was writing her thesis on Neuromancer and cyberpunk, so I’ve long thought of it as quite an important book. These days, people are so familiar with his ideas, especially thanks to movies like The Matrix, he seems a bit dated and generic. Actually, The Matrix borrowed so heavily and had such an impact that now it’s hard to read about Case and Molly without picturing Neo and Trinity.

I recently read that there’s talk of making a Neuromancer movie with Hayden Christensen in the lead role. While I vehemently disagree with the writer’s suggestion that it should have been handed over to a manga writer, his comment that Christensen is “to sci-fi what botulism is to humans” seems fair.

Door into Summer
By Robert Heinlein

This is only the second Heinlein book I’ve read after Starship Troopers and I keep meaning to read more of his books. Door into Summer is very, very different to Starship Troopers; not in the least bit political and unconcerned with the usual trappings of sci-fi like lasers and space ships and all that nonsense. Ostensibly, it’s a story about time travel, but Heinlein never delves very far into the science and is much more concerned with creating likeable characters and quite a strange romance.

The Wrestler

Posted in Film on January 24, 2009 by thebigsmoke

I thought I should write something up about The Wrestler as I’ve been pretty quiet recently and it’s easily the best movie I’ve seen so far this year.

Although I can’t stand to watch it for any real length of time, I have to admit I have a genuine fondness for professional wrestling. I wasn’t particularly impressed by Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, and therefore, although I loved the concept of The Wrestler, I was somewhat apprehensive before seeing it. Of course wrestling is a bit silly, but I was worried the director would take the obvious route and treat the art of wrestling as ridiculous and nothing more. Fortunately, he seems to share my fondness, because he manages to make much more of it than just that.

Of course, the movie wouldn’t be a fraction as good as it is without Mickey Rourke. I really hope he gets the best actor Oscar as I truly feel he deserves it. He was so good, and made his character so interesting and likeable, I just wanted to see more of him. I thought Marisa Tomei also put in a great performance and it is a testament to her acting ability that she wasn’t completely eclipsed by Rourke.

Flopping a Royal Flush

Posted in Poker on January 8, 2009 by thebigsmoke

This is not the first time this has happened to me, but damn. The odds of this happening are 1 in 649,740.

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