• bookshelf books

    The Books I Read: November – December 2023

    It by Stephen King(re-read) I can’t remember what inspired me, but one day I just thought “I should re-read It“. It’s a defining book of both an author and a genre. Two two-part movies have been made about it. It’s an intrinsic part of the cultural zeitgeist. It was Halloween time. A good reader re-reads the classics every once in a while. It’s been about twenty years since my first reading, back when I was just starting as a writer (lowercase w). This time I was able to read it with a more critical eye. The eye of an author, knowing what I know about good writing and about Stephen…

  • short circuit novel colin wedgelock

    I Read the Short Circuit Novel So You Don’t Have To (and here are the differences)

    Did you know there was a novelization of Short Circuit? I didn’t. And if you’ve been paying any kind of attention to this blog, you’d know that Short Circuit is my favorite movie. Has been since I was a kid. So when I found this on a used book site, I jumped at the shopping cart. Maybe I’d find some deleted scenes or altered information. Because novelizations are based on the shooting script, not the final product. For instance, the Independence Day novel includes more scenes of Randy Quaid and his family, enduring them to the audience. I’m sure these are deleted scenes on the DVD, but back in 1996,…

  • short circuit johnny 5 number 5 newton crosby steve gutenberg

    The Ending Joke in Short Circuit

    I am forty years old and I still don’t remember a time I haven’t seen Short Circuit, my favorite movie. The big emotional climax is where Number 5 and his programmer are trying to prove that he’s “alive”. And after several psychological tests, Newton Crosby (Ph.D.) gets the idea to see if he laughs spontaneously at a joke. It’s a beautiful moment with swelling music and epic victory. Except I don’t understand the joke. I never have. It seems to be something to do with Jewish humor. It’s either anti-semitic or poking gentle fun at Judaism. Does it have something to do with the fact Jews believe God is more…

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    What Went Wrong With Chappie

    Okay, let’s talk about Chappie. Since I saw its trailer, I’ve been through months of indecision about whether or not to put it on my Netflix Queue. I love robot movies, but reviews were terribly mixed – one YouTuber put it on his best of 2015 list and another put it on his worst list. When one critic called it a combination of “Short Circuit” and “Robocop”, I couldn’t say no anymore. Overall, it’s a highly flawed movie. The concept isn’t original, but it’s not a cliche. The story has peaks and valleys, like it should, but it’s overshadowed by hammy actors. I can’t help but see it as a…