A few weeks back I got around to watching Horton Hears a Who. I’ve been putting together a review in bits and pieces since then, and I posted it today. In short, I wanted to turn it off at the halfway point.
And speaking of thumbs-down reviews, what’s going on with reviews for Gran Torino? I haven’t seen it, but the split amongst critics is bewildering. And most of the film critics I know and admire are giving it a good thrashing. Maybe I’ll wait for DVD.
What to say about Bruce Springsteen’s latest product? For starters, I never thought I’d be using the words “Bruce Springsteen” and “product” in the same sentence. But the clichéd title of Springsteen’s new album – Working on a Dream – should have clued me in to the generic framework. Perhaps only Born to Run in the U.S.A. would have been more pandering.
God only knows what led to this New Jersey Transit train wreck. Magic, Bruce’s last album, was as fine a late-period arena shaker as could have been expected. But this time Bruce forgot the tunes, the hooks, and the lyrics, and he mistakes the usual first-rate songs about common men and women for common songs about Bruce.
If you haven’t experienced Shaun Tan‘s extraordinary body of work, from graphic novels to lavishly illustrated children’s books, then you’ve been missing out. His graphic novel The Arrival is a brilliant work of illustration and a moving meditation on immigration. (How many “-tions” can *you* get into one sentence?!)
I’m absolutely thrilled to discover that he has a new book for 2009. (Unfortunately, after teasing us with a “seven-page excerpt”, NY Magazine has failed to provide a link to said excerpt.)