“The Princes Bride” by S. Morgenstern (abridged by William Goldman)

princessbride01A long time ago, in a land far, far away, I was bored. Bored enough to try reading a new book (but not bored enough to read Twilight, because even though this was a long time ago, it was after Twilight came out). A friend of mine recommended a book by S. Morgenstern called The Princess Bride. He said Morgenstern provides a refreshingly accurate depiction of Florinese history, as well as a critical examination of Florinese fantasy tales. Although I aced the “Map of the Modern World” exam at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, I knew relatively little about the kingdom of Florin and decided to try the book. Continue reading ““The Princes Bride” by S. Morgenstern (abridged by William Goldman)”

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Why I’m looking forward to Season 6 of Game of Thrones

What's this worth?
What is the Iron Throne worth?

Based on the internet chatter, I predict Season 6 of Game of Thrones will see a significant drop viewership as more viewers get frustrated waiting for a payoff. It’d be the first dropoff in the show’s five years. For my part, I plan to continue watching. Despite my complaints, Game of Thrones has been an entertaining roller coaster ride. I’m also somewhat optimistic about the future.

WARNING: Spoilers for Game of Thrones Seasons 1-5 below! Continue reading “Why I’m looking forward to Season 6 of Game of Thrones”

Harry Potter and the Retrospective, Part 2

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As I originally stated, I came to the Harry Potter series informed – or spoiled – by the films. I enjoyed the films and think they’re relatively faithful adaptations of the books, but didn’t find them particularly compelling as stories. The films suffered from frequently switching directors and not having a clear vision, so they lack the thematic and narrative coherence of the books.

I found myself surprised therefore to find that I not just enjoyed Harry Potter, but also came to respect the books and J.K. Rowling’s skill as a storyteller. These books are simply easy and fun to read. In this final post, I talk about some of the things Rowling got right.

Continue reading “Harry Potter and the Retrospective, Part 2”

“Game of Thrones” Season 5: What is it all about?

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After five years, Winter still isn’t here?

I’m often asked for my opinion on HBO’s Game of Thrones. So I might as well get this out of the way now that Season 5 has just ended. I like Game of Thrones. I watch the show regularly and have read several of George R.R. Martin’s books. I respect the show’s production values and willingness to depart from conventional storytelling methods.

But I don’t love it. Too often, it relies on shocking viewers rather than telling a compelling story. It’s still entertaining, but not meaningful.

WARNING: Spoilers for Game of Thrones Seasons 1-5 below!
Continue reading ““Game of Thrones” Season 5: What is it all about?”

Harry Potter and the Retrospective, Part 1

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If my discussion of the Harry Potter novels seemed to alternate between praise and criticism, that’s probably a fair reflections of my feelings. I enjoy the books, and even came to respect J.K. Rowling’s talents as a writer. I can understand why the series became so popular. At the same time, I can’t recall ever having read a work and been so impressed by some aspects of the writing but so frustrated by other aspects. A few small problems prevent the Harry Potter from truly fulfilling its promise.

Continue reading “Harry Potter and the Retrospective, Part 1”

Jurassic Park

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Jurassic World is coming to theaters this today (June 12). Before I watch it, I decided to take another look at the original and see why it holds up so well…

There are thousands of reasons why Jurassic Park holds up so well over 20 years after its initial release in 1993: Steven Spielberg’s ability to evoke a sense of wonder; John Williams’ score; ILM’s restrained use of computer-generated effects; the fun dialogue (“clever girl”); and, of course, seeing realistic-looking dinosaurs on screen. Other reviewers have analyzed this movie to extinction, so I don’t want to waste time rehashing the obvious. That said, I do want to raise a few points about how the film was adapted from Michael Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park. Continue reading “Jurassic Park”

“The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling

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In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore leaves Hermione a book of children’s stories called The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Initially, Hermione is puzzled. Why not leave something more practical that might help them destroy Horcruxes? Of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers” ties in directly with Harry’s quest and provides important clues to defeating Voldemort.

“The Tale of the Three Brothers” was a highlight of Deathly Hallows (especially the film’s adaptation). It probably could have been published as a short children’s story even without the Harry Potter name. So, it’s no surprise that J.K. Rowling published the The Tales of Beedle the Bard as a spinoff book.

Continue reading ““The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling”

Time to Tweet!

I’ve finally entered the 21st century… I’ve set up a Twitter account (@NardiViews). From now on, I’ll tweet links to new content on my blog. I might also tweet links to articles or short comments that don’t necessarily deserve an entire post. So, there are now even fewer excuses not to read my latest rantings.