The MAD & The BAD: Today’s Dose of Entertainment

19 Feb

After yesterday’s Post, we have finalized Friday’s genre of picks. Or Have we? No. Friday will be kept open-ended. To fit those books and movies that cannot be pigeon-holed, those that break from tradition and refuses to be classified. So if you love different books and movies, keep an eye out for the #FridayPicks!

All picks will be updated at the dedicated page. Let us go ahead with today’s picks, shall we?


Today’s MAD Recommendation


IMDb link: 3:10 to Yuma (2007) – IMDb

IMDb General Rating: 7.9/10

My IMDb Rating: 9/10

Genre: Western, Action


The film’s premise is simple, but effective: After notorious Arizona outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) is captured, it’s up to a handful of locals, including down on his luck rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale) and bounty hunter Byron McElroy (Peter Fonda), to bring him to justice. Their mission is to transport Wade to the town of Contention where he will be put on the 3:10 train to Yuma prison. While this journey entails a trip through dangerous Apache territory, the greatest threat to the posse comes from the prisoner himself and his murderous henchmen.

Wade’s gang, run by the fanatically loyal Charlie Prince in his absence, is determined to liberate their leader. In the end, the only man willing to see the job through is Dan, who must also win the respect of his surly teenage son Will. The closer Dan gets to bringing Ben to justice, the more the two men come to find common ground and mutual respect…


“The rare remake that is as good if not better than the original film, director James Mangold’s version of 3:10 to Yuma is a thrilling, character-driven movie that ranks as one of the very best films of the year.”  —

3:10 to Yuma had me at hello when it pitted Christian Bale against Russell Crowe, two of the most intense actors in Hollywood. The plot is as exciting as it is complex, bringing a new level to the typical western by clouding the moral centers of the protagonists.” — Alexandra Calamari

Why You should Watch it:

  1. Russell Crowe + Christian Bale. I will not elaborate.
  2. It’s a kick-ass action film, as well as a vastly entertaining movie that proves that popcorn flicks don’t have to be dumb, shallow or contemporary to be enjoyed.
  3. Those of you who saw my previous pick, Get Shorty, must be eager for more of curt, tense thrilling movies. Here is another from the same author Elmore Leonard.

Why I loved it:

  1. I am a fan of dark brooding westerns with silent brooding emotionally intense spartan characters.
  2. I am not a fan of the post-Clint Eastwood and the post-Sergio Leone days.
  3. It introduced me to Christian Bale.
  4. I badly wanted some good entertainment after watching The Seventh Seal which had fried my brains, and 3:10 To Yuma provide cartloads.



Today’s BAD Recommendation

BOOK: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

GoodReads link: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

GoodReads General Rating: 3.74/5

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

Genre: Psychological Realism, Mystery, Novel

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time


Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. He thinks of his memory as a movie; he thinks of the human brain as a computer.

Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind.

And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debuts in years: a comedy, a heartbreaker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.

[From the Back cover of the book]

Though Christopher insists, “This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them,” the novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice.


“I have never read anything quite like Mark Haddon’s funny and agonizingly honest book, or encountered a narrator more vivid and memorable. I advise you to buy two copies; you won?t want to lend yours out.”
— Arthur Golden, author of MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA

“It would be curious indeed if this little gem of a novel didn’t find its way onto the best-seller lists.”– The Fort Myers News Press

“To get an idea of what Mark Haddon’s moving new novel, ”The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” is like, think of ”The Sound and the Fury” crossed with ”The Catcher in the Rye” and one of Oliver Sacks’s real-life stories.” — The New York Times

“Christopher Boone is an unsolved mystery — but he is certainly one of the strangest and most convincing characters in recent fiction.” — The New York Times

Why You should Read it:

  1. The protagonist is a kid, but this is as grown up a book as anything Cormac McCarthy writes.
  2. Those of you who have seen movies like MY Name Is Khan, should take this opportunity to find out what real autism is.
  3. Mystification through demystification.
  4. You will love Christopher’s musings on life and the fresh perspective it brings.
  5. Most importantly, the novel is amazingly tender without being cute and still remains funny even if sadly so.
  6. Also, this is a much smaller book than my previous recommendations and an easy fast read. Shouldn’t take you mare than two days. (I got complaints that all my picks are too lengthy!)

Why I loved it:

  1. It draws on elements from Sherlock Holmes, and I am a sucker for anything Holmes. Period.
  2. The whole concept of how a novel that is at heart a family story about a broken home is converted and presented as a detective story.
  3. As I said the heart of the novel is a heart breaking story of an autistic boy coping with his parents divorce. but it is hidden from us as it is hidden from him because he is not capable of emotions. But the agony of the father and the grief pervading the house manages to percolate through his uncomprehending consciousness and into ours, And when it does, it feels so bitter-sweet and unbearable and we join the father in his pain of seeing his son stumbling through the world trying to solve a mystery about a dog that was killed…

That is it for today folks! See you tomorrow! Hope you enjoy the picks!

PS. For readers from inside campus, a small bonus package is provided! The movie and the book can be lent from me personally from my username at DC++, please understand that I am only lending you the copy and you are advised to delete the copy of the movie/book after usage. The details will be updated along with the posts.

Disclaimer: This blog does not support the propagation of pirated material in any way and the books and movies are to be lent on a personal basis only. [ Just in case 🙂 ]

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Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Books, Movie Discussions, Movies


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