I didn't see that many movies over the summer, mostly due to the time sink of extensive home remodeling. But I did watch a few (mostly DVD rentals) and wanted to provide some capsule opinions. The titles are listed in the order in which I saw the films. Blood Diamond This was very good, much better than I thought it would be. A fast-paced thriller set amidst the gruesome Sierra Leone Civil War, Blood Diamond deftly managed to combine a traditional action plot within the moving context of a broader historical arc, in this case, unsavory diamond-mining in Sierra Leone. Djimon Hounsou was superb as a fisherman captured by Revolutionary United Front rebels who eventually finds a huge, rare pink diamond. Leonardo DiCaprio was effective (despite the accent) as a Rhodesian merecenary who trades arms for diamonds but eventually makes the moral choice. - - - - - - - - - - Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End I group Spider-Man 3 and Pirates 3 together be
I finally got around to reading some (David) Sedaris. I had heard good things about his prose and essays, and had been meaning to pick up one of his books. Fortunately, a friendly neighbor recently loaned me two of his books as a housewarming present. I started with Barrel Fever , which was the author's first book, and consists of essays and short fiction. I enjoyed the book and the author's mordant humor, but thought the writing was definitely characteristic of a young writer trying to find his voice. For the most part, the essays were better than the fiction. Of all the pieces, I probably enjoyed "SantaLand Diaries" the most, which humorously recounts the author's experiences working as an elf at Macy's. Overall, I'm glad I read Barrel Fever and look forward to reading later, more polished writings by Sedaris.