But they are still great fun and in a world where seemingly every other major release is a comic book adaptation, the Hellboy films certainly hold their own. This is in no small part due to the endearing performances by Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine, and the inimitable writing and directing of Billy Wilder. Plus there is a big sequence set at the office Christmas party. Boasting an formidable cast, led by a superbly understated performance by Gary Oldman as George Smiley, it is strangely gripping for a film in which, arguably, not much actually happens.
However there are repeated flashbacks to the British Intelligence Christmas party, which looks like a riotous affair, and which includes a moment where a soviet Santa Claus leads the assembled guests in a rendition of the anthem of the USSR. Which is presumably ironic although the gusto with which it is sung suggests that George Smiley might need to be on the lookout for more than just the one mole.
Centered around the Russian Mob in London, it is visceral, brutal and definitely not easy viewing. It is, nonetheless, utterly compelling and not overly long — if you can stomach the violence much of which is implicit rather than explicit although there are a few stomach-churning scenes for the minutes it runs for, then it is well worth a watch. It is actually set at Christmas, which is certainly enough to qualify for this list. There is little in the way of festive cheer for the most part but there is at least one Christmas party where people seem to be having a good time.
Certainly not the least Christmas ish movie to make the cut this year. Some of them were more Christmas ish than others, but they all deserved their place. Door 1 — Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
Door 2 — Iron Man 3. Door 3 — Lethal Weapon. Door 8 — The Long Kiss Goodnight.
Door 9 — The Last Boy Scout. Door 11 — The Nice Guys. But there is at least one that I managed to leave out last year. On paper this should be a good movie. It also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, a man who may not be troubling the Academy Awards any time soon but who knows his way around an action film and who was very much at the peak of his powers at the time this movie was made.
I rarely leave the multiplex angry at a film, but The Royal Tenenbaums disappointed me on visceral level. Which was grossly unfair of me, because The Royal Tenenbaums is generally considered a pretty good film. And I can now objectively see that it is. Indeed I actually quite enjoyed it the last time I watched it. Which was very recently in preparation for writing this post. But back in I was perhaps a tad less discerning in my cinematic tastes.
I generally liked movies with lots of action and explosions, or films that made me laugh. Like Zoolander. That made me laugh. And it had Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in it. As does The Royal Tenenbaums.
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So I went in to the screening expecting something a bit like Zoolander. But The Royal Tenenbaums is not like Zoolander. And it did not make me laugh. And The Royal Tenenbaums is funny. And poignant. And clever. And whimsical. And thought-provoking. Keeping the lights on… Melville House Andy Hunter of Electric Literature stopped by Melville House recently and talked to us about some of his ideas concerning the future of publishing. October 25, October 22, The codex and its future Dan O'Connor I try to make a practice of looking on futureofthebook. Book bikes give online book retailers a ride for their money Melville House Remember the book bike?
And we thought it was Babylon! October 21, Sex and the future of print media Paul Oliver Today the famous sometimes infamous litblog Bookslut is celebrating their th issue. Virginia history books display tenuous link to history Melville House Surprise! October 20, Literature 2. The long and winding road…. Melville House Pray, tell us what would you consider to be the most ubiquitous yet unsung feature of the book-trade?
October 19, Happy birthday, John, I mean, David! The poll. Tao Lin breaks for a smoothie Melville House Tao Lin, author of Richard Yates, encounters a moose wandering through a swamp while taking a bathroom break at an organic cafe. October 18, Where is I? Melville House Abebooks has posted a fantastic list of books with single-letter titles. How ink is made Dennis Johnson I know, I know, ebooks are here, but still, this seems like the sort of thing we all should know, no? An Exaggerated Murder Josh Cook. October 15, What about this other great UK poet ….?
October 14, What worth an award? October 13, Rules for Werewolves Kirk Lynn. The North of God Steve Stern. Bartleby Mug. October 12, J-Franz … is that you? October 11, The latest innovation in books: the cake-book Melville House Move over e-books, the cake-book is here. October 8, C is for Cheat? Melville House We recently reported on the betting odds for the Nobel and Man Booker literary prizes. Red or Dead David Peace.
October 7, Here I am to save the day! Google Editions still lost in promise. Paul Oliver Earlier this week a Publishers Weekly report said that Google has yet again set a timeline for the launch of Google Editions. October 6, The days when books were actually shipped Christopher King In the age of Amazon, anyone with a mailing address has access to any book in print. Is it right for us to write we? October 5, A grain of eSalt Melville House Two surveys from last month provide a rosy picture of the impact of eReaders on literacy.
October 4, Add this book as your friend?
- A un soldado de quien se refiere que, matándole en un hecho de armas, se quedó un rato de pies después de muerto (Spanish Edition)?
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Melville House Looks like reading—one of the few remaining solitary activities unmolested by the ongoing obsession with social networking—is about to be networked. October 1, The death of the book has been greatly exaggerated …. September 30, Is Amazon about to take an Android tablet? The Dunwich Horror H. September 29, Calling all booksellers!
September 28, British Library posting ancient Greek manuscripts online Paul Oliver No less than 1, ancient Greek texts will be made available online by the British Library, with another coming by Hint: It has a lot to do with a book you may have heard of. Have writers always gone to college? September 27, The Dog Walker Joshua Stephens. September 24, Book crashes Valerie Merians Most authors fear that their book will bomb—bad reviews, ignored by all, low Amazon sales. September 23, Where is Google Editions, and should it stay there?
Paul Oliver Remember Google Editions? Is this the future of the book? Christopher King The smart, visually-oriented publishing blog The Casual Optimist shares this video from the multidisciplinary design firm IDEO, presenting three concepts for interactive reading experiences. Ebook-loving bus driver now has plenty of time to read his Kindle …. September 22, Damsels in distress! Melville House What happens when you publish a novel by a writer who is also a filmmaker?
Happy day after International Peace Day! Melville House It was a nice surprise yesterday to go over to the YouTube homepage and see featured videos by the group Internet For Peace. Coffee, tea, or e? Dennis Johnson Are the airlines about to offer passengers the ability to read ebooks on the video screens embedded on the seat in front of them? Texas does us proud Valerie Merians Texas, home of the oil oligarchs, I mean, oil cartels, no, I mean, oil barons.
What kind of person reads on a Kindle? Dennis Johnson I keep telling people that the Kindle is going to kill us all. September 21, September 20, Bienvenue newbies Dennis Johnson Mobyosity seems to be spreading — last week we mentioned getting some nice attention in leading UK publications. This one, it turns out, is educational. September 17, September 16, September 15, September 14, And shreds. September 13, Is Apple stalking Amazon? Dennis Johnson All mega-conglomerates are more or less similarly soul-deadened, all said and done, but it is hard not to root for one over the other sometimes.
Rare books, rare birds Valerie Merians Start saving you pennies, kids. September 10, September 9, Daddy, how do I change the batteries in this book? September 7, August 2, Go with the floe …. July 30, Aftermath or a marketing campaign: Indie champions of the Northwest David Kinzer Perhaps the key component of our word of mouth marketing strategy for Every Man Dies Alone has been outreach to indie booksellers.
July 29, Aftermath of a marketing campaign: Champions of the Midwest David Kinzer Perhaps the key component of our word of mouth marketing strategy for Every Man Dies Alone has been outreach to indie booksellers. July 28, Godzilla vs. Mothra: The final chapter? Aftermath of a marketing campaign: Indie champions in the South David Kinzer Perhaps the key component of our word of mouth marketing strategy for Every Man Dies Alone has been outreach to indie booksellers. Physical books have teeth … Melville House … or, rather, are teeth.
July 27, Aftermath of a marketing campaign: Indie champions of the Southwest David Kinzer Perhaps the key component of our word of mouth marketing strategy for Every Man Dies Alone has been outreach to indie booksellers. The Book Bike Rides Again! Cat Out of Hell Lynne Truss. July 26, Aftermath of a marketing campaign: Indie champions of the West David Kinzer Perhaps the key component of our word of mouth marketing strategy for Every Man Dies Alone has been outreach to indie booksellers.
July 23, Canadian government asks Canadian publishing industry: But how did you like the play, Mrs. Dennis Johnson First, in , the Canadian government allowed Amazon. July 22, Guess what? Bernie goes to the Vatican Bundle. The Philosophy of Beards Thomas S. July 21, My kind of thief Melville House The world is full of bad boys — and admit it ladies, we all secretly or not so secretly? Can fart jokes save the future of reading? As it turns out, librarians are funnier than intergalactic conglomerates Dennis Johnson MobyLives has been assiduously avoiding the Old Spice Guy video craze that took over the planet last week.
July 20, Good news from the US Senate! July 19, The Ghost Network Catie Disabato. July 16, Grossest marketing gimmick of the year, goes to…. Are editors necessary? July 15, Back from the dead! July 14, Do we want a 4th book? We, Robots Curtis White. July 13, Public library, secret hideouts Valerie Merians There is something innately appealing to book lovers about a secret place to read and write.
July 12, Berman fights back Dennis Johnson Most publishers advise their authors to suffer negative reviews in silence. July 9, Cigarette man consolidates control of Borders Dennis Johnson Borders seems to have dodged the bullet — again, sorta. July 8, July 7, Most agressive marketing campaign ever? Valerie Merians A Vietnamese book app software developer hacked the iTunes store to drive up the sales of his Japanese Manga titles.
July 6, Reading speeds decline on ebook devices, says study Dennis Johnson People reading When is a book no longer a book? Bookends v. July 5, July 2, Fox: Libraries? July 1, Hitchens' cancels book tour to undergo cancer treatment Valerie Merians Christopher Hitchens, writer, atheist, provocateur, has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, according to this blog post on the Washington Post.
Incredibly ginormous intergallatic monolith partners with … indie booksellers? Amazon crash "woes"? Melville House Yes, we all know that yesterday Amazon was down for a little over five hours. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and … a Happy Meal? Reasons to love the Internet, part skatey-eight Dennis Johnson Someone has set up a Flickr page of book covers designed by Edward Gorey which we were tipped off to by the wonderful Casual Optimist. Wittgenstein Jr Lars Iyer. June 30, June 29, Are there deadly "conflict minerals" in your ebook reader?
Competitive shelving next? June 28, Are kids' books killing the rainforests? Utterly putdownable Dennis Johnson There are blurbs and there are blurbs. June 25, Be first in line for… Melville House No, not the iPhone4 besides, you can order the damn thing online anyway! June 24, Huffington Post suggests you may be reading one of the best websites right now Valerie Merians Hey!
June 23, Art or exploitation? How much does a Borders exec make? Philip K. June 22, Davidar speaks Dennis Johnson Could it get more torturous? Michael Wolff v. Tony Judt? June 21, Another reason… Melville House … why I might break down and get a Kindle. June 18, David Ulin stepping down as L. A view from the slush pile … Melville House A little pick-me-up and the next hot Tumblr. June 17, June 16, Yes, yes, yes! June 15, June 14, Amazon increases spending on lobbying against having to obey tax laws Dennis Johnson Amazon. Flip Tweet leads to… conversation!? How young do you have to be to be a good writer?
June 11, Happy Birthday, William! June 10, Apple knows more than what you're reading …. The U. Billy Budd, Sailor Herman Melville. June 9, June 8, June 7, Stanza v. June 4, Sony prez says ebooks to outsell print in 5 years Dennis Johnson Ebooks will be outselling print books in five years, says the man behind one of the most popular ebook reading devices in the world, the Sony E-Reader. June 3, The end of book ownership? June 2, Henning Mankell is alive and well and calling for sanctions against Israel Dennis Johnson Henning Mankell is alive and well and calling for sanctions against Israel after being deported from the country late yesterday, according to an Associated Press wire report by Malin Rising.
G-Men rescue superheroes …. What do writers think of bad reviews, and other similar sticky questions Dennis Johnson The Guardian asks some of the authors appearing at the Hay Festival some impertinent questions and get some great answers. June 1, May 31, MobyRests …. May 28, The difficulty of buying ebooks …. May 27, Memoirs for the ages …. May 26, A good title is a good title …. May 25, May 24, May 21, Amazon getting into the translation game Kelly Burdick Amazon.
The Paris Review interviews: genteel, mainstream, and conciliatory? Bertie just says no. May 20, The rise of an anti-ebook movement? Kelly Burdick MobyLives has been accused on occasion of being anti-ebook. Stanford prepares for a "bookless" library Dennis Johnson Stanford University is preparing to open its first — the first?
Editor v. May 19, May 18, Did California candidate Poizner manipuate sales of his book? Old dogs, new tricks Dennis Johnson Coincidence? Happy Birthday, Omar! May 17, The Damned Utd David Peace. May 14, Library lending on rise? May 13, Ebooks and endless revision: A good thing? Dennis Johnson A dispatch story by Geoffrey A. Amazon bestseller list set to include books it actually sells Dennis Johnson A Publishers Weekly report says that Amazon.
May 12, It's happening again! Valerie Merians Sarah Palin has another book coming out. Chomsky, "exhausted," to take some time off Dennis Johnson Noam Chomsky is taking a break, according to a report from The Onion. May 11, Is a bookshop supposed to take sides? Recipes of the stars Dennis Johnson MobyLives has discovered a nice trove of articles by one of our favorite food writers, Village Voice restaurant critic Robert Sietsema, moonlighting at the website for Gourmet magazine. May 10, Borders Australia declares war on Amazon Dennis Johnson Borders Australia has tossed down the gauntlet: The company has announced that it will sell all its books cheaper than Amazon.
In a complicated game of musical chairs, might books win? May 7, Happy Birthday, Rabindranath! May 6, Moby Awards update Melville House Wow, have we been flooded with submissions this week! Happy aniversary, David R. May 5, Apple app rules about to come under anti-trust investigation? MHP book on North Korea unfortunately staying evergreen …. May 4, Intellectuals fly again! Patience and Fortitude Scott Sherman. May 3, Amazon v. Salinger: still having his day in court….
April 30, Highlighted Dennis Johnson A GalleyCat item by Jason Boog points us to a beta page at Amazon that shows the most popular passages being highlighted by readers of Kindle editions. Dennis Johnson Jake Grovum of Stateline. What to do with that terrible book you just read? Melville House Decorate! Bestselling status hereditary? Valerie Merians Do we really need to write about this? April 29, Talk about a mobile library … Valerie Merians Now you can take your library with you, without an e-reader!
The Intern File: Will this book lead you to buried treasure? Keeping Track Melville House As someone who works in publishing, I, like all of you readers, find myself going through multiple books a week, whether for business or pleasure. April 28, Do ereaders harm your eyes? Typo of the week! April 27, Does Twitter sell books? More after the jump. The full series:. April 26, A closer look at Rimbaud Dennis Johnson Both metaphorically and in reality, it has been hard for literary historians to get a picture of French poet Arthur Rimbaud.
April 23, George Washington: Borrower, or klepto? April 22, Author v author Dennis Johnson As it turns out, the cruelest, most unthoughtful critics of authors may be … other authors. The Week in Typos Melville House Since we are all so, so guilty of them… two more typos from this past week to spruce up your Thursday. April 21, Some leading universities ban iPads Dennis Johnson Several prominent American universities — such as Princeton and George Washington University — are blocking or banning Apple iPads from their campuses.
April 20, April 19, Israel bans the iPad Dennis Johnson Israel has banned iPads and will confiscate them from anyone trying to bring them into the country, according to a Haaretz report by Bar Ben Ari and Zohar Blumenkrantz. April 16, Where's Karl? April 15, Code Pink announces plans to go to all Rove's appearances — with handcuffs Valerie Merians Protests at appearances by Karl Rove in support of his tour for his book Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight continue. Can Ebooks save university presses?
Dennis Johnson How will the rise of ebooks affect the diminishing prospects of university presses? April 14, Harper government okays Amazon deal despite strong opposition from booksellers Dennis Johnson Despite some virulent opposition, the Canadian government has decided to go ahead and allow American bookseller Amazon.
Which bookshelf are you? April 13, Casino Jack and the United States of Money …. April 12, Are iPad quotas and successes leading Chinese factory workers to suicide? Oprah bio being "blackballed" by her media cronies … Dennis Johnson Is the forthcoming bio of Oprah Winfrey written by Kitty Kelly getting blackballed because people are afraid to offend Winfrey?
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Is the Library of America out of material? April 9, Goodbye, Motoko! Rowling doesn't attract the criminals she used to …. Dennis Johnson J. April 8, April 7, North Koreans reading e-books? Tao tweets Dennis Johnson At his blog, heheheheheheheeheheheehehe. Scrabble announces new "dumfuck edition" Dennis Johnson A major world-changing event rocked the literary world over the weekend. April 6, Dennis Johnson Apple has put out a press release that interestingly tamps down some of the weekend mania over purported numbers for the first weekend of iPad sales.
What do Twitterers want to read? April 5, April 2, Aftermath: What became of some of those laid-off from big publishing? Dennis Johnson Three publishing veterans recently let go from their jobs speak about the experience in a Publishing Perspectives report by Daniel Kalder …. April 1, Will the iPad matter? Digital or Print? March 31, Iran takes censorhip of bloggers to new level Dennis Johnson Government forces in Iran appear to be cracking down on bloggers.
- Bedtime Poems for Children (Bedtime Series);
- Scrolls of Destiny I.
- Trumans Loose Tooth.
- Mortis Unbound (Vox Cycle Book 1)?
- Tag: christmas film.
March 30, Random House: Lone wolf, or leader of the pack? The beginning of the end for the muddle? It's enough to turn the little tykes off books! March 29, New MHP book proving a little too timely …. March 26, Kobo the Kindle-Killer! March 25, March 24, Is a consensus growing about Amazon? Dennis Johnson Not that Amazon. How long can ebook sales growth continue?
Or, Are you ready for some havoc? A hot lunch would be nice, too … Valerie Merians England has an ambitious plan afoot to modernize their public libraries. March 23, Borders on the edge of the ledge for real this time? Dennis Johnson Things are once again coming down to the wire for Borders. March 22, In case you thought it was easy to choose a book of the month ….
March 19, Spoof of Karl Rove's tactics used to sell… books? Happy birthday, Philip! Weekend movie: Book biz tale has happy ending Dennis Johnson. March 18, Coming soon, we hope, to a theatre near you! Valerie Merians The road to the Red Carpet is never smooth. I get it!! March 17, Amazon: 46 states to go Dennis Johnson The default mode at Amazon. More 1-star reviews for non-Kindle books Kelly Burdick We told you earlier about a coalition of Amazon reviewers attacking books that have no Kindle edition.
The dangers of editable textbooks Melville House Macmillan made headlines at the end of last month with the announcement of their new DynamicBooks electronic textbook system. The death of bookcases? March 16, Hello, Motoko: Pellegrino is to book publishing as Jason Blair is to newspaper publishing Melville House Last Monday in the Arts section of the New York Times there was, as usual, an essay about the future role of the publisher.
How will the end of print journalism affect old loons who hoard newspapers? March 15, Trouble a'brewin' for iPad? Valerie Merians In this post on geek. March 12, Amazon pulls buy buttons from all books distributed by Diamond Dennis Johnson Just weeks after a one-would-think humiliating onslaught of bad press for pulling the buy buttons from all books published by Macmillan, Amazon. March 11, Life without books Dennis Johnson Bibi van der Zee has a problem: She thinks perhaps she reads too much. March 10, Vollmann on the Kindle: How much is too much?