weekend roundup

Ren and I watched two movies today. Inside Man by Spike Lee and The Da Vinci Code by Ron Howard. I'd heard a lot of bad things about Da Vinci Code so I wasn't expecting to like it, especially since I thought that the book wasn't written very well. Imagine my surprise then when I found myself liking the movie. I thought the movie held the interest and theme far better than the book did. Shortening the globe trotting that goes on was a very good move on Howard's part. In the book, Brown just didn't know when to stop with the continuous clues to yet new locations or the preaching about the Feminine Devine stuff--the movie handled it a lot better.

Inside Man really impressed me. I was quite taken by the movies pace and approach to giving hints and clues in very small doses. While I have some reservations about the final scenes of the movie that didn't spoil the enjoyment of the excellent pacing and writing of the movie. And talk about an all-star cast. Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, and William Dafoe. Wow. At the heart of the movie is a bank robbery but it's not your run of the mill robbery. Oh no. This heist is well planned, orchestrated and there's purpose behind every move. Denzel, as a young police detective, is trying to figure out what's happening inside the bank before it's too late. Will he deduce what's really going on in time? Watch the movie and see.

I finished Beach Road, a James Patterson book, late on Thursday night. I actually liked it. I was surprised. I tend to mostly like his Alex Cross books but anything out of that series usually falls short. Beach Road does have its problems--and they're huge serious ones which prevent me from recommending the book despite my personally liking it. First of all the ending is so bogus that it actually had me chortling with glee at its silliness. It also had several false endings that were also pretty silly. What I liked was the adroit way that Patterson (and coauthor Peter de Jonge) changed the point of view from one character to another throughout the book. Sure, cynics might charge that the authors did this to attempt to hid how thin the plot and characterization was in the book--and they're accurate charges--but I still liked the book. So sue me! LOL

On the other hand, never ever buy this book. It's not a novel, it's a short novelette. The page count was 289 if I recall correctly (I returned the book to the library on Friday so I can't check), which doesn't sound bad but.... the pages ended 2/3 the way down, the font was so big it almost seemed like one of those books for the near-blind, and the chapters were so short and choppy it was obvious they were splitting chapters into two or three to pad the blank space in the book. A real page count on that book would be more like 120-130 pages. For $28 you should get a real novel, not some short thing these two jokers whipped off in a week or so. But it's fine if you get it from the library, and since it's such a fast read you can bring it to the doctor or dentist's office or even traffic court and you'll be finished before the bailiff calls your name. I Promise.


Catheroo said…
For once I was glad to see a movie that was not just like the book (DaVinci Code).

I have not read Beach Road, but I have read other James Pattersons. Have you ever read Richard North Patterson? He's got some good ones. Lots of suspense (no relation to James, I think).

Here from Michele's!
Yaeli said…
James Patterson's books are always a bit bogus... (Have you read the one about the genetically engineered flying kids?)... But they are usually a relatively enjoyable and easy read. Great for travelling and for killing time.

Will definitely have to rent the inside man.
Nikki-ann said…
Two films I'd like to watch. I nearly watched The Da Vinci Code last night, but settled for an easy going Gardfield 2 instead.
Pearl said…
I find endearing your quirky penchant for calculating the "real length" of books. :D
Bob-kat said…
I haven't read the Da Vinci code but I saw the film at the cinema. While I enjoyed it I couldn't help but wonder that after all the clues why on earth was all the information set out on a table in a church basement in Scotland for all and sundry to see? Perhaps I missed the point. I would like to see inside man so it's on my list to see at home.
utenzi said…
Logic wasn't the strongest suit of The Da Vinci Code, Bob-kat. The section you're referring to was handled a little better in the book--but the book had plenty of other logic gaps.

I have read that one, Yaeli. I think it was the worst of all the books Patterson has written--and it has a sequel too though I've not read that one.
srp said…
I have to find you the name of a book that you might find interesting... at least, well, perhaps. It is written with different parts from the perspective of different characters. And I really liked the ending.

I know cryptic. Will be more informative once I make sure of the name of the author. I think it is in the library.
Carmi said…
This reminds me of some of the tricks I used to use to buff up the size of the papers that I submitted. Larger fonts, increased margins, liberal use of, um, puffy language. Such a joy it was to write in expando mode.

These days, sometimes it's little different :)
Sarangeti said…
Love your header!

I read the Da V book, but I haven't seen the movie yet. Tom's hair seemed a bit weird looking in the trailers I saw...

Here via Michele!
Deana said…
I loved Inside Man...thought it was just a terrific movie and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the Da Vinci code. Like you I was a bit skeptical going into it.
carli said…
No interest in Da Vinci Code (book or movie) but may put Inside Man on the list. Saw The Departed last night and thought it was fabulous. I also watched Close Encounters, but I'm betting you already saw it.

James Patterson. . . not sure if the commercials for his books air near you, but they annoy the heck out of me. He had this horrible poem for ROSES ARE RED, that he read with his horrible whiny voice. It went something like this:
"Roses are red, Detective Alex Cross misled. I'm James Patahson. Read Roses are red." No, that wasn't a typo. That's how he says his name.
Michelle said…
I never thought i would ever say this, but i thought the movie (Da Vinci Code) was much better than the actual book!

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