Archives: July 2009

This is the archive page for [July 2009]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries posted here that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

Justify My Netflix: Renaissance | July 29, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The silly yet visually flabbergasting 2006 European animation experiment "Renaissance." | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 28 July 2009 | July 28, 2009
Today, small reviews of four recent titles I've read, including Jill Jonnes' NPR-worthy history book "Eiffel's Tower," the love letter to literature "Ex Libris" by Anne Fadiman, the academic novella "Disquiet" by Julia Leigh, and Christian relationship guide "How to Keep the Woman You Have," by F.G. Walters. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Mongol | July 27, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: 2007's "Mongol," which proves that even southeast Asian film-production startups can now churn out slick, gory, Hollywood-style quasi-historical silliness, in this case a heroic look at the usually villainous Genghis Khan. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Saturn's Children," by Charles Stross | July 24, 2009
Today's book: The fantastic Asimov "Robot" homage/unauthorized sequel and 2009 Hugo nominee "Saturn's Children," by hot-and-cold genre veteran Charles Stross. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Exorcist II: The Heretic | July 21, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The delightful 1977 trainwreck "Exorcist II: The Heretic," by master of the delightful trainwreck John Boorman ('Deliverance,' 'Excalibur,' 'Zardoz,' and a lot more), considered by many (but not me) to be the worst sequel in film history. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: RKO 281 | July 20, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: "RKO 281," an HBO original movie of pretty good quality, which takes a fascinating look at all the complications involved with Orson Welles making his classic film "Citizen Kane." | Read entire entry

Eddie Wright helps start new co-op publishing venture | July 20, 2009
I heard recently from self-publisher Eddie Wright, whose "Broken Bulbs" was favorably reviewed here earlier this year, on a new "publishing confederation" he has helped found, started by Henry Baum of the Self-Publishing Review. Click through for the details. | Read entire entry

Project review: "Personal Effects: Dark Art," by J.C. Hutchins and Jordan Weisman | July 17, 2009
Today's book: The surprisingly disappointing "alternative reality" cross-media story "Personal Effects: Dark Art," by the usually reliable genre veteran JC Hutchins and ARG pioneer Jordan Weisman. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Choke | July 15, 2009
Today's movie: The excruciatingly awful 2008 zany scatological adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's dark classic "Choke," kind of like trying to make an edgy point about rape by having the woman fart in the middle of it. | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Painting and the City," by Robert Freeman Wexler | July 14, 2009
Today's book: The New-York-based 'thinking person's steampunk' tale "The Painting and the City," by the much respected but under-appreciated 'New Weird' veteran Robert Freeman Wexler. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Wrestler | July 13, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The okay but awfully manipulative "The Wrestler," the latest by experimental filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, which like his "Requiem for a Dream" tricks you into crying through the sheer spectacle of despair on display. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 10 July 2009 | July 10, 2009
Today, small reviews of four recent books I read: The Iranian graphic-novel memoir "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi; the surprisingly powerful Alzheimer's memoir "Released to the Angels" by Marilynn Garzione; the so-so genre exercise "The Ringmaster," by M.A. William; and the surprisingly awful "Downtown Owl" by famed Generation X memoirist Chuck Klosterman. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Fitzcarraldo | July 9, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: 1982's "Fitzcarraldo," one of the last collaborations between German New Wave film director Werner Herzog and completely insane actor Klaus Kinski, stunning in its sheer audacity and of course plagued with problems. Fantastic! | Read entire entry

Book review: "Descartes' Bones," by Russell Shorto | July 9, 2009
Today's book: The fascinating new "narrative nonfiction" book "Descartes' Bones," looking at the history behind this Enlightenment philosopher's long-missing skull, and by extension humanity's relationship with science in the 400 years since the Renaissance. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "The Age of Innocence," by Edith Wharton | July 8, 2009
Today's book in the CCLaP 100: Edith Wharton's 1920 "The Age of Innocence," which ingeniously combines a nostalgic look at upper-class Victorian New York with the contemporary angst of early Modernism. Classic or not? Click through for my opinion. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Dust and Shadow," by Lyndsay Faye | July 7, 2009
Today's book: The spectacular bringing-together of Sherlock Holmes and Jack The Ripper, Lyndsay Faye's steampunkish literary debut "Dust and Shadow." | Read entire entry

Algren at 100: Never Come Morning | July 6, 2009
Today, part 2 of the essay series I'm doing here at the site this year, examining in detail the ouevre of controversial Chicago author Nelson Algren on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Here, a look at his second novel, the cultishly popular 1942 down-and-out tale "Never Come Morning." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Revolutionary Road | July 2, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The surprisingly mindblowing 2008 Sam Mendes adaptation of Richard Yates' 1961 postmodernism harbinger "Revolutionary Road," the first since "Titanic" to co-star the power actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. | Read entire entry