Friday, December 03, 2010

Pop Culture Roundup

I'm still reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Sure enough, Blomkvist and Lisbeth are working together on the decades-old murder case, and since they're beginning to turn up new evidence, people are taking exception to what they're doing. I don't want to give much more of the plot away, but this has really turned out to be an engrossing read. There are a lot of subplots that I wasn't always sure would weave together well, but Larsson has done a fine job doing so. My only gripe at this point is how seemingly every female character of appropriate age throws herself at Blomkvist. There is logic behind each, but it seems like a tired plot device after a while.

We watched Scott Pilgrim vs. The World this week, starring Michael Cera as Scott, a Canadian slacker who plays in a band and is dating a high schooler. His life radically changes when he falls all over himself for a girl named Ramona, a free spirit with a lot of baggage. That baggage comes in the form of seven evil exes, whom he must fight in order to stay with her. If you're looking for a movie firmly grounded in logic and real life, go ahead and skip this one. The fight sequences are an homage to video games, particularly the classic fighting games such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. Even besides that, not everything is going to make sense...far from it, in fact. It invites you to a serious amount of suspension of disbelief, and if you're able to fully enter the movie's world you'll enjoy it much more. The way those surreal elements are used, its quick movement, and the talent of the actors make for a funny, original film about love and self-discovery. But I reiterate that not everyone is going to "get" it or will want to put up with it.

Since it's now December, I've broken out my modest collection of Christmas albums, namely Bunch of Believers, Charlie Brown Christmas, and Barenaked Ladies. I just now realized how quirky of a collection I have; I think I have some sort of aversion to Popular Artist Sings The Standards In Pretty Much The Same Way That They All Do-type albums. But I don't really listen to many of the artists who put out those albums, anyway.

Jeff Dunn at Internet Monk shares his favorite Christmas albums, a few of which I'm going to have to check out.

Zach Travis at the blog Maize n' Brew writes a longer version of what I posted the other day, and it helped talk me down a little.

Here are some bunnies in cups: