A winter’s tale


If you aren’t completely burned out on dystopian fiction, do go see* Snowpiercer, a big, violent, gorgeous, baroque movie about the end of civilization, its last remnant perpetually traveling the ice-covered globe in a nonstop great big train. There is NO love triangle, with eros limited to a couple of crypto-gay warrior-bonding types, and plenty to […]

Divergent movie review

divergent poster

In the world of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, the dystopian city of Chicago is run through a personality-based system of grouping. The five factions, to one of which every person belongs, are Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Abnegation, with its focus on humility and selflessness, acts as the political power; Amity, the good-natured, peaceful […]

My sister AND my daughter

Sixth Sense

Over on child_lit, Cheryl Klein has been asking for titles of books with big reveals, the ones with a surprise that make you rethink the whole thing. Like Gone Girl, The Thief, and most of Robert Cormier. I contributed Gene Kemp’s The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler, the 1977 Carnegie-winning title about an obstreperous but […]

“Kill the she-elf!”

from http://www.themarysue.com/smauglock-sherlock-smaug/

Do we have any actual evidence that Peter Jackson has gone through puberty? Yes, there’s the beard, and the children, but his Tolkien movies all look like they were conceived and directed by a ten-year-old. I only saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on TV but we saw The Desolation of Smowg in all its […]

Jolly Holiday


The Horn Book’s annual busman’s holiday took us to the movies to see Saving Mr. Banks. We laughed, we cried; it’s not a very good movie but the star power and chemistry of Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks kept me involved. I hear from more knowledgeable sources that the film is at some distance from […]

I only just got why he’s called ENDER


I saw Ender’s Game last weekend and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. What impressed me most was how much a true children’s movie it is; like Asa Butterfield’s (Ender) previous movie Hugo, Ender’s Game neither winks over children’s heads to an adult audience nor sexes things up for putative YA interest. Although […]

Are you going to Ender’s Game?


Peter Gutierrez has an excellent essay up over at SLJ about the calls to boycott the just-opening film adaptation of Ender’s Game. As Gutierrez points out and The Wrap confirms in greater detail, a boycott of the film has no impact on Card’s wallet–what you need to do is get people to stop buying his […]

Make it a triple


We saw Flight last weekend, and the first two hours were completely riveting both for–SPOILER–the minute-by-minute, you-are-there depiction of a plane flight in increasingly worse trouble; and for Denzel Washington’s portrayal of a bad-boy pilot who enjoys a drink or three. Upon takeoff. But–SPOILERRR–the last twenty minutes encompassed no fewer than three endings as the […]

Getting in the loop


Thank God Richard sent me this code-crack for Looper. (Warning: story at link spoilers the whole movie in detail. How many times did that guy see it???) We saw it this weekend and, while I enjoyed it, I couldn’t always follow it. And, of course, it was no Tom’s Midnight Garden. But WHAT IS?

and Joan Allen still gets the best lines

Pam Landy

Having loved the original trilogy so much, I had some misgivings about seeing The Bourne Legacy, with Jeremy Renner picking up where Matt Damon left off. Not quite–one of the neatest things about this movie is that for its largest part it takes place at the same time as The Bourne Ultimatum, the last of […]