Readlist: Via Town Library B, I have acquired

Tarzan Alive – Phillip Jose Farmer. I have been trying to get ahold of this book since I was approximately ten years old. Hopefully it’ll be…ok…

The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien. This is actually the third or fourth copy of The Hobbit I’ve purchased. The other ones have all walked off or been given away (one of them to a heretic who thought The Hobbit movies were pretty good.) I have a feeling this one will walk too, but, well, who knows.


Shadow – directed by Zhang Yimou. You know, the guy who made House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower. Apparently those weren’t enough to relieve his desire to Kill ‘Em All, because…. It’s main gimick is that it’s a black and white movie, shot on color film, and also it rains continuously throughout. Now, I actually like old movies, and I don’t mind black and white, but this one failed to land for me because it was simply too obvious. Everything just looked like it was made of black or white material regardless of whether or not it needed to be, and everyone’s faces just looked desaturated. The continuous rain was actually a good touch, though.

So it’s about this guy who is the body double to the General. He’s just challenged the Enemy General to a one-on-one duel for the fate of City. This is highly undesired by the foppish and seemingly-weak Emperor for multiple reasons, among them the fact that he’s going to lose the duel. The double/Shadow is demoted and disgraced, and the Emperor decides he’s going to make a quick marriage alliance offer up, starring his headstrong sister. The offer comes back with a counteroffer: the enemy prince is willing to take her as a concubine, but not a wife. Meanwhile, the General’s wife (who is in on the impersonation thing) comes up with a way to defeat the Enemy’s til-now undefeatable spear technique. It involves fighting with umbrellas, but y’know, the way this movie goes you just roll with it. There’s also a squad of desperate outlaws who have been offered their lives if they help take the City….and then the Princess joins them.

So things go until we get to the duel and then the battle and the weaponized umbrellas (yeah, really) then around half of the named cast dying and somehow we still have forty-five minutes to go and somehow it gets even more intense from there and yet still manages to end on a cliffhanger. That is real skill.

Rated: my watch thought I was napping the whole time but I surely wasn’t.

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