Reviews. I’m behind the times. Sue me.

Monsters, Inc., Brotherhood III, The Wrath of Khan, and just to be insightfully perverse, a rambly pambly about Steven R. Donaldson.

Monsters, Inc.

I was so ready not to like this movie. I don’t know why. And I haven’t been in a mood to watch movies lately. But God, what a good movie. Not a great movie — it doesn’t transcend itself or anything — but a well-made, well-written, well-acted (you know) movie. Quality. Boo makes me think of what Ray might look like in a year or so — thanks to Lee for pointing that out, and thanks also to him for actually putting the DVD in the player, turning it on, and leaving for work. I cried at the end, when Sully’s face lights up: if there is a heaven, that’s it in a nutshell.

Brotherhood III

I didn’t watch all of this, but I wanted to pass on the word to all you gamers out there: this is a bad movie about gamers, so bad that Lee, lover of bad horror movies and a pest about the “So did you ever watch that movie with Tom Hanks in it about DnD?” question, hated it. You know how bad movies rely on pointless action sequences? Brotherhood III relies on…pointless non-action sequences. Heavy music, fog rolls around, people walk around the halls of their high school, someone appears and disappears out of the corners of their eyes…no, I can’t put it across. Maybe you should watch this movie, just so you can have a basis of comparison when someone pulls out some piece of crap. You could say, “Ah, but it wasn’t Brotherhood III.” The only campy part that I dug was the thing where the bad guy, dressed in pseudo medieval armor or something, corners the young students, puts his enormous hand on the tops of their heads, and shoves them down past the screen. Looks like the guy got a lot of blow jobs.

Hm…for me, the worst movie of all time is The Reflecting Skin. Good filmwork, catchy, very catchy, but such a…corrupt movie that it’s the standard by which I judge bad ones. I felt ill at heart.

The Wrath of Khan

Lee had this on the other day, so I sat and watched it with him. It isn’t my favorite Star Trek movie — the first one is mine — but it’s the fave of many people I know. And…I hate to tell you, but it’s a piece of crap. Check out the acting, the filming, the script, everything. Just bad. Kirstie Alley as a Vulcan, for fuck’s sake. But I understand: this is a mythic movie. It’s not the movie itself that you remember, it’s the things that happened, the unbelievably superreal things.

Stephen R. Donaldson.

Which leads into this ramble…

Stephen R. Donaldson sucks as a writer. You can’t count the number of adverbs on a two-page spread with both hands and both feet. He’s bombastic, perverse about witholding information, makes his characters so much larger than life that even their names are obvious fakeouts (King Joyse, Lord Foul, Reeve the Just), is obviously out of whack, etc. Neverless he’s one of my favorite writers. It’s that mythic thing again. Oh, yeah, did I mention he has no sense of humor in his writing?

Something I noted a long time ago but I thought I’d share here, one of the things that makes the Thomas Covenant series so powerful for me (yes, I know, the one where the main character rapes someone in the first couple of chapters — the first time I read it, I literally threw it across the room (at a library) and didn’t pick it up again for nearly a decade) was finding out that Donaldson was a peacenik. He went to Vietnam as a conscientious objector and got his degree at Kent state a year after the riot/massacre when he got back. His debates all over the Covenant series the first about the uses of power and the effects of despair made so much more sense when I figured that out.

I haven’t read that new, non-fiction thing he wrote, and frankly I don’t care to. It’s not going to be mythic, it’s going to be just the crap. That’s my expectation.