Friday, May 6, 2011

A Couple of Reviews for Friday

I know, I know...I still owe you a review for Elynia, which I AM still reading, but I've been so busy this week that reading hasn't been a priority.

However, last night after watching "District 9", I read the graphic novel Anya's Ghost.

Anya's Ghost is about Anya, a high school girl who because of her Russian background and past as a fat kid doesn't feel like she fits in. She lost weight and refuses to eat her Mother's heavy Russian cooking, and she got rid of her accent so she doesn't appear to be as much of a "fob" (fresh off the boat).

But still she obsesses over her own awkwardness, so much so, that one day she isn't paying attention to where she is going and falls down a well. When she comes to, she discovers she landed a few feet from a skeleton. Not only that, after a few puffs of cigarette, she discovers she is not alone. The skeleton belonged to a teen girl whose ghost is still at the bottom of that well.

Thus begins the friendship of Anya and Emily the ghost. Carrying around a piece of Emily's hand, Anya allows Emily to get out of the well and see Anya's world. In return, Emily helps Anya with her homework and her social life. But Emily has an agenda of her own, one that could ultimately hurt Anya's family.

What starts out as a ghostly-spin to "Drop Dead Fred" because more akin to "Poltergeist" and "The Haunting."

Neil Gaiman calls Anya's Ghost "a masterpiece," and I agree. The author, Vera Brosgol, has a great sense of story and layout, and her drawings are reminiscent of Persepolis and Neil Gaiman's Ramadan. And her pacing is such that you'll go 60 pages and not even realize. Definitely a book to read slowly and spend some time on each page.

So if you've been looking for a fun and haunting graphic novel read be sure to pick this up.



Now, for books, Neil Gaiman giving a shout out to a book is a quick way to get me to pick the book up, for movies, the same can be said for Peter Jackson.

I wanted to see "District 9" when it was in theaters, but getting to the theater is an epic feat itself, so I waited until we had a copy here at the library to check out. But I didn't know until the movie started that Peter Jackson was involved.

Of course, if you don't know what District 9 is about, here ya go...

In 1982, a huge ship appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa, and hovers there for months before the military decides to cut into the ship and see what is going on. Inside they find aliens. South Africa then takes it upon themselves to house and feed the aliens.

It is now 2010, and Wikus van de Merwe has been given the duty of serving the aliens ("prawns") their eviction notices and moving them to a location further away from Johannesburg. In the process he is exposed to a fluid used to power the mothership, that has remained dormant since its arrival. Wikus then starts turning into a prawn himself.

Filmed as part documentary and part cinematic film, I was really, really satisfied with this movie. Wikus changes from a corporate douche to a hero struggling to survive. Also the setting, South Africa breathes so much fresh air into the SciFi genre. As the movie states at the beginning, the ship didn't stop over Chicago, Washington or New York as you'd expect.

It's a very dark movie, as most movies that involve we humans as the oppressors and the users are, but the ending is probably one of the most uplifting endings I've seen in a SciFi movie in a while.

PS prepare yourself for some gore. As my friend Sonya said, after seeing it at the Movie Tavern, perhaps a meal with this movie isn't the best of ideas.

4 comments:

David Allen Waters said...

you give good review mate :)

Writer said...

Thanks, David. I need all the compliments I can get; I'm still pretty nervous about publishing my reviews. It was hard enough just then not to put reviews in quotations. =/

David Allen Waters said...

come on mate, dont be shy...your reviews rock, and I'm not just saying that because you are so cute :)

Writer said...

Well, thank you, David. :) *blush