Sunday, August 17, 2008

highly recommend

I had been thinking about the old Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman movie version of this that I only really remember snipetts of when I came across this in the bookstore. I thought the cover was stunning as well so I bought it. There were questions when this was released in 1969 about the truthfulness of Mr. Charriere's account of his life in and eventual escape from the penal colonies of French New Guinea in the 1930s and 40s. There were investigations and his story checked out, but there are definite times of incredulity during this read. Nevertheless, I couldn't put it down and, if it is true, is an amazing tale of hope and perserverence.

I also finally saw the new X-Files movie the other night. When this series first came out I was a total and complete X-Files nerd. My friends and I would get together every week and watch it and I video taped and re-watched several episodes. When the series switched from Friday nights to Sunday nights I pretty much stopped watching. 1) There was really no way I could justify watching this show on the Sabbath 2) I'm still rather a video/dvd recording dufus and 3) I think they had all but "jumped the shark"* with the series at that point. I saw one of the movies (Have there been two prior to this?) and was pretty much ashamed that I ever was a fan so I didn't run out to see this. May I now just say that I should have. My faith in the X-Files has been renewed! I think it was great because it wasn't trying to move any big conspiracy or alien theories along. It was just a great story with great characters and mostly great writing, great cast, and great signature X-Files creepiness that I came to know and love. Thank you Chris Carter, et all!
* "Jumping the Shark" refers to the Happy Days episode when the gang is on vacation in sunny California and the main plot line involves the Fonz taking a waterskiing jump over a tank of sharks. The phrase is now used to define the episode or exact moment when a tv series starts it's swift decline to its cancellation.

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