Mudita Journal

Reviews Archive

Book recommendation: “Hunter” by Robert Bidinotto

September 25, 2011  ·  Category: Atlasphere, Individualism, Intellectual, Objectivism, Reviews

I like inspirational novels with a significant moral message, such as Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull. They hit us on multiple levels: supplying entertainment, giving intelligent food for thought, and providing inspiration and emotional fuel for facing the challenges of leading The Good Life. With that in mind, Robert Bidinotto's novel Hunter: A Thriller hit the spot. I found the writing crisp, the characters interesting, and the interplay of plot and theme to be tight and compelling. I was far more moved than I expected to be, particularly by the love relationship between Dylan Hunter and ...

Excellent movies, not so well-known

August 21, 2008  ·  Category: Reviews

Sardonic movie critic Boffo asks for recommendations of movies that aren't all that well known. I'm not sure our personal tastes overlap that much -- other than a shared hatred for Woody Allen -- but here are a few of my all-time favorite movies that people usually haven't heard of: Dangerous Beauty (complete with Randian courtroom speech at the end), The Lost City (Andy Garcia's love letter to Havana), Off the Map (meditative and gorgeous, can't peel my eyes away), Tucker: The Man and His Dream (highly stylized, blatantly inspiring Objectivist fare), Vanilla Sky (surreal with a cryonics theme), and ...

To whomever introduced me to the music of Bedouin Soundclash…

August 1, 2008  ·  Category: Music, Reviews

...Thank you. Tonight, while working, I've really enjoyed listening to their albums Street Gospels and Sounding a Mosaic. Rhythmic, upbeat, groovy. Not normally a reggae kind of guy, but their music is catchy. The song "When the Night Feels My Song" (from Mosaic) is a good one to sample, to get a feel for their music. ...Although I think I like Gospels slightly better, as a collection of songs. So try "Midnight Rockers" off that album, instead.

John Adams … and Speaking Truth to Power

June 19, 2008  ·  Category: Politics, Reviews

Kathy and I have been watching HBO's mini-series John Adams lately, and it's terrific. I particularly like the plain-spokenness and integrity of those intelligent men who were involved in founding the United States of America. Paul Giamatti, who plays John Adams, brings a wonderful sensibility to his role. Had Adams been played by someone less geeky -- someone more charismatic, like Daniel Day Lewis or Tom Cruise -- I believe the story would have been far less meaningful. Giamatti's performance makes it clear that Adams was no Obama-style rock-star; he was a more ordinary, though clearly intelligent, man who stood ...

We The Living’s acoustic cover of “Viva la Vida”

June 8, 2008  ·  Category: Music, Reviews

This is terrific! I have (and love) We the Living's album Heights of the Heavens -- which gets a strong 4 out of 5 stars, in my book -- and would enjoy seeing them record more acoustic pieces. Roney and his band-mates are huge fans of Atlas Shrugged, incidentally.

Tristan Prettyman’s music is fantastic

May 6, 2008  ·  Category: Music, Reviews

If you like music in the vein of Sarah McLachlan or Norah Jones, you simply must check out the music of a young musician named Tristan Prettyman. I discovered her two albums Twentythree (2005) and Hello (2008) a few days ago, and I can't stop listening. Highly, highly recommended. She's a bit more country than Sarah, and a bit less hokey-folksy than Norah Jones. But she gives great melody with a terrific voice. (Oops, did I just say that?) She actually does a dead-ringer for Norah in the song "Blindfold." If you do give her a listen, ...

A Handy List of My All-time Favorite Movies

March 31, 2008  ·  Category: Personal, Reviews

I keep a running list, inside my PDA, of my all-time favorite movies. Tonight it occurred to me that, in addition to being immensely valuable to me for spiritual reasons, the list is also quite easy to share with friends and readers of Mudita Journal. Perhaps some of you would be interested. So I've put the list online, here. I expect to update the list from time to time, so I've added a link at the top of the right sidebar as well.

Off the Map, Reviewed by Roger Ebert

March 31, 2008  ·  Category: Reviews

Often I don't share Roger Ebert's taste in movies. Tonight, however, I discovered he wrote a fantastically good review of one my favorite movies, Off the Map, starring Sam Elliott and Joan Allen. In his review, I think Ebert really nailed what makes this movie tick. Here's a key paragraph that gives a particularly good feel for the movie: Campbell Scott is an actor, and as a director he is able to trust his actors entirely. If they are doing their jobs, we will watch, no matter if the story centers on a man sitting at a table and everyone ...

How to Write Interesting Stuff

February 12, 2008  ·  Category: Intellectual, Reviews

Penelope Trunk, who is one of my new favorite bloggers, has a very interesting piece about ... how to write interesting pieces. Huh. She also has the same morning e-mail problem that I do.

Ferguson Speaks from the Heart

February 11, 2008  ·  Category: Current Events, Humor, Reviews

My thanks to Andrew Schwartz for pointing out this excellent example of sincerity and integrity. That video clip is pretty funny, as well. But part of what makes it so full of integrity is that he finds ways of being funny, while talking about Britney Spears and alcoholism, without being mean-spirited. More stand-up comics like this one, please.