movie: Brave

August 26, 2012

Pixar goes all Scottish with their latest film about a young princess facing her destiny.  Princess Merida is a tomboy, who doesn’t take kindly to being married off, so runs a way, meets a witch and….  that’s all I’m going to give away.

It is a nice enough story with the great quality that you expect from Pixar (apart from the 3D stuff – more later).  The soundtrack is lovely and really made me think about getting hold of the music though I haven’t yet.  Lastly the voice work is outstanding with Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, etc.

The movie is dedicated to Steve Jobs with this quote at the end credits: “Dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs, our partner, mentor and friend”.  There is also a Lord Macintosh character and I noticed a few times that we saw Merida taking just one byte out of a apple ;-)

3D::  I’m not a fan of 3D movies but since it is supposed to be better in cartoon format than live action, and since the next available showing was in 3D there seemed little point in avoiding it.  The 3D effects were nice enough when you notice them but at no point do they *in my opinion* add anything to the plot, or movie going experience.  Please don’t encourage studios to use this awful format.

book: Richard Foss “Rum A Global History”

August 25, 2012

“Rum A Global History” was a lovely gift, but I have to admit even I, as a fan of Rum, wasn’t sure that reading about it would be very interesting.  I was wrong.

The book is written by an enthusiast and that’s really what keeps it interesting.  Covering the origins of sugar cane production in the Caribbean and the creation of Rum from various byproducts of that production process…

“The first unequivocal mention of alcohol distilled from sugar in the New World was in 1648”

…how Rum was carried as a form of currency by merchants, the origin of the Naval traditional Tot of Rum.  Also, Rum’s involvement in the American War for Independence, how Rum survived the prohibition era in the US, and so on….
If you’re not a fan or Rum, I’m not sure why you would read this book but I certainly enjoyed it and will probably go back to it now and again.