ZOOTOPIA (2014) is the animated funny-animal fantasyin which a rabbit cop (Ginifer Godwin of Once Upon a Time) hopes to break out from meter-maid duties by finding a missing otter (I wonder if any kids in the audience will get the in-joke of “Emmett Otterkin”) only to discover he’s a victim in a mysterious scheme to devolve carnivores into their predatory ancestors. This was a great deal of fun if less visually imaginative than, say, Shrek (the high point is the cop chasing a weasel through a town of shrews)—and you’ll probably peg the mastermind as easily as TYG and I did. With Justin Bateman as the Fox who becomes the bunny’s sidekick, and Idris Elba as the unimpressed police chief. “You think this is some cartoon musical where all you have to do is sing a little song and you’ll find your daydreams turn true? It’s not, so let it go!”
35 SHOTS OF RUM (2007) is a slow-moving French drama in which an aging father and his adult daughter … well by the time I got halfway through they still hadn’t done anything noteworthy so I gave up. Maybe it became brilliant after that, but I wouldn’t be money on it.
KINKY BOOTS (2005) is a British by-the-numbers comedy about a struggling shoe manufacturer who realizes the way out of bankruptcy is to design women’s boots capable of supporting men’s weight and market them to drag queens Adequate time-filler. “A drag queen dresses in women’s clothes and looks like Kylie; a transvestite looks like Boris Yeltsin.”
I was surprised to discover my copy of IDYLLS OF THE KING only has six of the twelve idylls, including “The Coming of Arthur,” “The Holy Grail,” “Gareth and Lynette” and “The Passing of the King” (plus related poems such as “Lady of Shallott”). This makes it hard to judge some elements such as the emphasis in “Coming” on even Arthur’s supporters being unsure of his parentage (i.e., does it pay off in one of the un-included poems?). Still the poetry is awesome, and “Passing of the King” is impressively bleak. “Pelleas and Etarre” on the other hand, is still poetic but weak (a kind of isn’t-stalking-romantic story).
DESERTS by Marco C. Stoppato and Alfredo Bini is a guidebook detailing the environmental requirements of deserts, the different kinds of sand and stone found there and listing different deserts around the world. A useful reference work, though I only browsed it as it’s too dry for casual reading (though I did laugh at the line that in one African desert “it’s 122 in the shade in summer, but it seems there is no shade.”). Still it’s good to be reminded that deserts are so much more than just big stretches of dunes. Cover art uncredited, all rights to current holder.