Catching Up-Two Movies and a Novel

I’ve been busy reading, and I’ve seen a few movies, but just haven’t been able to sit down and blog. I had to get a new computer, and have devoted most of my spare time to getting that in order. I made the switch from a PC to a Mac, and the transition has been a bit bumpy.

Anyway-I saw Men in Black 3 and Snow White and the Huntsman. MIB 3 was exactly as I would have predicted, a fairly silly follow-up to a bad sequel. This involved time travel, as well as the usual and unusual cast of aliens, both friendly and hostile. Will Smith was not at his best. Tommy Lee Jones was creaky and cranky. Bright spots included Josh Brolin as the young Agent K, and Emma Thompson as Agent O.  Jemaine Clement (from Flight of the Conchords) is the over the top villain Boris the Animal. Not a movie to be taken seriously, but a fun night out.

Snow White and the Huntsman-well very different. It is a dark and sinister take on the familiar Snow White story. Lots of  special effects and CGI, including fairies who look suspiciously like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Charlize Theron is evil personified as the wicked stepmother who stays young forever, a la Dorian Gray. Kristen Stewart is a modern Snow White. Very willing to take up arms and lead the people of the kingdom in their fight for freedom.

And for the novel. It took a while, but I finished Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies, the sequel to her Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall. Once again, we are welcomed into the world of Henry VIII’s adviser Thomas Cromwell. This time, Cromwell is leading the effort to remove Anne Boleyn from the throne and from Henry’ s life. Anne has failed to produce a male heir, and Henry has become smitten with the young Jane Seymour. Fortunately for Henry his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, dies from natural causes, leaving Anne the only obstacle between him and Jane. Anne has never been popular, and Cromwell himself has some scores to settle. So the task of trying Anne and her lovers becomes simple for Cromwell. Bring Up the Bodies brings us to the day of Henry’s marriage to Jane Seymour. Mantel is currently at work on the final volume of this trilogy.

Bring Up the Bodies is long, but well worth the effort. Mantel does extensive research, but the books in this series are definitely novels, not even historical fiction. She delves deeply into the inner thoughts of her characters, particularly Cromwell, and there is a great deal of dialog, all of it obviously invented. Anyway-I highly recommend this book.

In USA:

Published in hardcover-Henry Holt & Co., 2012

Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel (John Macrae Book)

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