Stuff I've been reading, and a coupla recent movies
Dawn Patrol, by Don Winslow (2008): Boone Daniels, a surfer dude who's a former cop and now a lazy but brilliant P.I., investigates the disappearance of a stripper in this novel that's dense with surfer lingo and some Point Break-style mumbo jumbo about the mysticism of riding a killer wave, dude. The book's fine, the plot's solid, the prose interesting, but man, that surfing talk gets pretty deep up in here.
The Walking Dead by Gerald Seymour (2007): A political-terrorism-thriller-police-procedural. Takes a loooong while to get into because it jets around the globe and the English countryside introducing an insane number of characters, whose various stories, of course, draw closer and closer together until they all intersect in not-all-that surprising ways. It's like Bleak House with suicide bombers. Not an unpleasant read, in all, but probably more trouble than it ends up being worth (and it does that "24" thing where it justifies all manner of torture by suggesting it's the only way to get the information Our Heroes need to save the world, and only wimps and nuns should grow squeamish at the notion).
Dead of Night by Randy Wayne White (2005): I dipped back into the series about Doc Ford, superbiologist and fighter of evildoers. I like Doc, and I like White's prose style, but once again the story seemed needlessly populated by characters so eccentric as to be unbelievable -- characters so "interesting" that they are, in fact, quite dull. I like Doc, and I like White's prose style.
Sorrow's Anthem by Michael Koryta (2006): An ex-cop P.I. in Cleveland investigates the death a former friend from the neighborhood. This book reminds me a bit of Dennis Lehane, but it's not quite that authentic, somehow, the plot feeling less organic and more like, well, like the plot of a novel. Some italicized flashbacks border on the sentimental, as such things are wont to do.
Coupla recent movies (one in the theater, one on DVD):
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (C+): This stiffly animated movie takes place between Episode II and Episode III and adds pretty much nothing to the story (except that Jabba has an ugly little son who looks like an overinflated tadpole), and has all the depth of a Saturday morning cartoon, and the animation is kind of ... odd, and there are like 100,000 battle scenes that consist of blips of light flashing back and forth across the screen. At least the animated Anakin Skywalker is more emotive than Hayden Christensen's live-action version.
A Scanner Darkly (D): Another animated movie, done in that style where live actors are filmed and then animated over. It's kind of weird to look at, and as far as I can tell, it's mostly distracting. As opposed to, you know, being compelling or interesting. Two adjectives that don't really belong anywhere near the title of this movie. I wanted to like this movie so much. I didn't.