The Invention of Lying

The Invention of Lying takes place in a world not unlike our own. Except for one huge difference: People cannot lie. They are blunt and truthful all the time, which is not fun at all.

Then one person discovers that he can tell lies. He, of course, proceeds to take advantage of this ability which no one suspects.

The movie was funny. However, the main romantic plot was a bit underwhelming. The most fun was observing what little differences the writers have put in the movie’s world where no one can tell lies as compared to real life.

I would rate the movie 8/10.

Ghost Brigades, Last Colony, Zoe’s Tale

I had read Old Man’s War some time ago and liked it. So when I was looking for some science fiction to buy for our trip to Italy, I got the sequels The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony.

As is common with sequels, whether of books or movies, they are not as good as the original. In this case, they were good enough for the plane and train ride reading and I did enjoy (and finish) them during our vacation.

The Ghost Brigades does not feature the protagonists from Old Man’s War, though it is set in the same universe. It was a fun read and a decent book.

The Last Colony ties up parts of the story in The Ghost Brigades and the protagonists in Old Man’s War in a new space adventure. It is better story than The Ghost Brigades and a lot of fun to read.

I read Old Man’s War on my phone at the time, Treo 650 and The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony were the first books I read on my new Kindle. I enjoyed reading on the Kindle, with the only issue being the flight crew’s insistence that I had to turn it off during takeoff and landing.

Thus it was that I finished The Last Colony on the flight back from Rome to New York and realized that there was a further sequel, Zoe’s Tale. Waiting for my connection to Atlanta, I made my first impulse Kindle purchase and bought Zoe’s Tale.

Zoe’s Tale is a retelling of the story of The Last Colony from the point of view of Zoe, the teenage daughter of the main characters of the previous novel. Making the same story interesting in a new book without introducing inconsistencies is hard and John Scalzi succeeds somewhat. However, Zoe’s Tale is definitely the weakest book of the series.

District 9

We watched District 9 in the theater which was a good idea.

For some reason, people either hate this science fiction movie of aliens ghettoized in South Africa or they love it. I liked it. The movie did use a sledgehammer to hammer home its message at times, but it seemed in the spirit of the movie.

I rate it 8/10.

The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man is a movie about Joseph Merrick, a 19th century Englishman with a congenital defect.

As I understand, the movie has lots of historical inaccuracies. But that is par for the course.

It was an interesting movie, though the DVD print wasn’t good.

I rate The Elephant Man 7/10.

Inglourious Basterds

I love most Tarantino movies, so of course we had to see Inglourious Basterds.

The movie is about a Jewish special forces unit that’s sent to Europe to disrupt and kill Nazis (and scalp them). However, the Nazi intelligence officer who’s on the trail of that unit gets a lot more screen time. Also, there’s a major subplot about Nazi cinema.

Of course, this is a Tarantino movie so there are clever references to all sorts of movie history.

I loved it and rate it 10/10.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Since we have watched all the Harry Potter movies, we saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in the theater.

This movie is better than the last installment. I rate it 7/10.

The Civil War

Recently, I have been reading about and listening to lectures on the US Civil War. So I decided to watch the Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War. I have watched it off and on and in bits and pieces on TV before, but this time I was serious and borrowed the 5-DVD set from the library.

It’s a total of 11 hours. So it took me almost two weeks to watch it but it was worth it. The documentary makes the events of the Civil War alive in a way only a visual medium can.

I rate it 10/10 and recommend it to everyone interested in the United States or history.


Amadeus is a movie about the rivalry between two composers, Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

It is a delightful movie with the period setting and costumes looking good. It also has an interesting satirical feel to it.

I liked it and rate it 7/10.

Terminator Salvation

I didn’t like Terminator: Salvation as it somehow felt different from the other movies.

Having watched all the previous Terminator movies, of course, we had to go watch Terminator: Salvation.

I have to say I was disappointed. It is nothing like the previous movies. Of course, there have been lots of contradictions in the series, but even accounting for that, this is not as much fun with some good action. On the other hand, Amber, who doesn’t remember any of the previous movies of the series and probably hasn’t seen the first two, did like it.

I rate Terminator: Salvation 5/10.

Star Trek

I never liked the time travel stuff in the TV series either. While weak at times, it was a fun movie that I rate 6/10.

We watched new Star Trek movie recently.

I have to admit that while I am a fan of Star Trek, growing up I remember the Next Generation more clearly than I do the original series.

While time travel is a staple of Star trek, it lets them get away with some really bad plot points and this movie is no exception to that. Then there’s also the way they changed Spock and some of the other things from the original Star Trek canon.

Considering some of the weaknesses, the movie was fun. I would rate it 6/10.