A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Good dinosaur, good movie



It's been out a while, but I finally caught The Good Dinosaur recently, and really enjoyed it. Maybe it was because the lukewarm reviews and underwhelming box office numbers caused me to lower my expectations, but I thought it was a perfectly good movie about a dinosaur family and how its youngest member (the runt of the litter) repeatedly tried to distinguish himself.

Certainly the usual Pixar quality control was in place: the visuals were beautiful, the voice work and music were top-notch, and the story was decent, with many exciting and moving elements. Honestly, I thought it was as good as anything Pixar has put out.

Of course, it may have helped that I saw the movie in one of those theaters that serve food and adult beverages before and during the movie.  In addition to some snacks, I enjoyed the movie along with a beer and a chardonnay.  Maybe they helped push the whole experience up a notch or two.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Climb into the treehouse


I recently listened to the audiobook version of "The 13-Storey Treehouse" as part of an audiobook competition where I acted as a judge. Written by Andy Griffiths (with the print version illustrated by Terry Denton), I found it to be a polished and well-produced bit of work, running a little over an hour. 

I will say the humor is mainly for children, and doesn't worry about also being appealing to adults. But that's fine, as this is clearly being marketed as a children's book. I did appreciate the effort that went into the acting, music and sound effects, all of which are top-notch.

Many other online reviews (I mainly checked the ones on Amazon) have noted that the sea monster sequence seemed a little too scary for young children, but I didn't think anything along those lines when I was listening to the story. Like the other parts of the book, there was enough silliness in the sequence to make the scares go down easier.

I'm not sure if the audio version includes any read-along printed materials or many of the illustrations from the print version, as I experienced the story via a download. Anyway, young kids will probably enjoy listening to this cute story about two colorful characters who live in a treehouse and have adventures.