Books and cinema

Besides reading guidebooks to the Faroes and USA (separate publications, I should stress), I’ve just finished Charlie Connelly‘s In Search of Elvis.

Now I’m not an Elvis Presley fan in the slightest. While he was clearly a talented singer I am not into the music, and find it hard to understand why such a cult has built up around a man who died on the bog with a hamburger in his hand.

However, I am a big fan of Charlie Connelly, who has an ability to write humorously and intelligently about topics as diverse as the shipping forecast zones and Liechtenstein football. So I reckoned I’d give In Search of Elvis a blast. And it was dead good – the writer follows the legend and myth of Presley around the world, including the USA, Israel, Uzbekistan and even good old Aberdeenshire. It’s a terrifically funny book with Connelly’s usual self-deprecating wit mixed with a real compassion for and interest in the people he meets. The bits of Elvis trivia and biography aren’t too off-putting for a non-Elvisist like me, either. A good read, and laugh-out-loud in many places.

In the last few days I’ve also seen Spiderman 3 and Next at the cinema. Spiderman 3 was a bit rubbish – despite the good action sequences and special effects, it was far too long and the seats in the cinema were very uncomfortable (not the fault of the filmmakers, admittedly).

Next, about a man who can see the future who is roped into helping foil some terrorists, is a silly film. It’s a great concept, done well on the whole, but has the rather irritating Nicholas Cage in the lead role. There’s some monumental moments of comedy in it, but the sad thing it was hard to tell how much of the humour was intentional.

One joke from Next I took my hat off to – and laughed far too loudly at – was about a Zen master who went to a hot dog stand and said he wanted one with everything.

One with everything… get it?

8 thoughts on “Books and cinema

  1. I don’t get it. Oh, wait, with a bit of thinking, I do now and it’s funny.

    I am also not a fan of Elvis, but I do enjoy going to this one Thai restaurant in LA that has a Thai Elvis impersonator. That is one geat time!

  2. Spidey 3 seems to split people big-time. At least two-thirds are disappointed, whilst the rest think that it is the best of the 3. I’m in the latter camp, although it was way too long and could have done with one less villan. I thought it had the perfect blend of drama, action, and comedy. Bruce Campbell’s small role as the French Maitre d’ was awesome as well.

    I think Cage veers over the line between lunatic and genius all the time, and that’s why I love watching his movies. The remake of the Wicker Man was, at best, 10% as good as the original, but was compelling because of Cage’s over-acting and unintentional comedy. I loved it.

    And it’s a shame that there aren’t any Faroes/USA guidebooks, as that would be perfect for you. Maybe there’s a niche in the market?

  3. You must know that it is not in any way a good piece of film-making. It’s misogynistic, cheesy, and removes all the horror and suspense of the original. Despite all this, it’s great. The last half hour or so is jam-packed with unintentional comedy classics. I still smile every time that I think of this film.

  4. I think I would have gotten it much faster if you had phrased it the way Greg did. As it was, I was not phrasing it properly, which led to the slow response.

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