peteg's blog

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

/noise/movies | Link

An Aardman Animations effort from 2012, a jag from Early Man. It's more misfires than misfits. Clearly someone has realised this and tried to overstuff humour into the details. (For instance, one of the ship's rules is that pigs are not to be used as cannon balls.) We get a not-very-respectful play on Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria, amongst other historical personages, which seems a bit weird. The plot is entirely cookie cutter; like a Pixar flick but totally soulless. The monkey is a poor substitute for a claymation Gromit. The voice cast is a vast collection of British actors.

Manohla Dargis.

Francine Prose: Bigfoot Dreams.

/noise/books | Link

Kindle. By far the worst thing I've read by her yet; perhaps Mister Monkey really was her high point. This novel is lost in the dangerous subways of 1980s Brooklyn and Manhattan. There are too many references that almost no one will get any more; I guess that will also be the fate of much of the current overly-familiar east coast literary output, in contrast to the timeless conjuring of the exotic by Salman Rushdie and Thomas Hardy. Excessive referentialism is no more than excess ego, and this feels too autobiographical, too dug from an odds-and-sods sock drawer. An awesome sentence every five or more pages can't save it.

Susan Allen Toth reviewed it for the New York Times back in 1986.