The Digitales Digest – Edition Seven

digitales digest banner 2

There’s nothing we love more than reading interesting things. Welcome to the Digitales Digest, where every Friday, we round up some of the best articles, opportunities and more that we’ve discovered and shared on Twitter and Facebook over the past few days.


YOU TURNED ANOTHER PAGE

I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite books when I was young was The Monster at the End of This Book – a Golden Book in which Grover implores the reader not to continue reading the book because there’s a terrifying monster at the end. Author David Burr Gerard is a fan too. He writes for LitHub about the influence Grover had on his life as a reader and as a writer.

Obviously I don’t remember exactly what drew me to the book; this was before I knew that attachment to a book was something that required an explanation. But I think I sensed something agreeably weird and different in it.

the-monster-at-the-end-of-this-book


Game of Loans

Any Game of Thrones fans out there? If you haven’t seen the most recent episode, you might want to skip this next bit. Not that I’m going to discuss any massive spoilers or anything, but still…just in case.

Right. For those who saw Monday’s episode, Sam started work in the Citadel library, which involves a lot of heavy duty reshelving, as well as bedpan cleaning, toilet scrubbing and helping out with the odd dissection. Gross. But at least he doesn’t have to show people how to use the photocopier five times a day, right?

Anyway, so those heavy chains keeping the books on their shelves in the Citadel library? Turns out that real medieval libraries chained their books to the shelves as well…to prevent patrons doing exactly what Sam does in Monday’s episode. Read all about it


Cats aren’t jerks. Science says so.

People who scoff that cats only hang around with humans for food – you are SO wrong. New research has found that most cats, when faced with the choice, will choose human socialisation to food. Take THAT, dog lovers. Click here to read the rest.

cats


Smart Sounds

Ohhh nooooooo. As if I’m not already far enough behind in my podcast listening, the BBC had to go and write a list of great podcasts. NICE ONE, BBC.

podcastsEntitled “The Best 24 Podcasts to Make You Smarter”, this list is brimming with podcasts that sound amazing. And clever. I’m going to need more listening time. And possibly a bigger pair of headphones to fit around my expanding brain…


On the Digitales Blog…

Actually, it’s been a little while since our last Digitales Digest (shhh!) so we’ve got a few reviews lined up to share! Here’s what we thought of The Lego Batman Movie, The Boss Baby and Ghost in the Shell.

batmanandrobinNext week, we’ll have another of our famous Fast Five reviews, as well as a look at what’s coming up on DVD in August!

Fast Five Review: Ghost in the Shell

ghostintheshellbannerGhost in the Shell
Science Fiction, Action | 2017

Major Mira Killian is the first of her kind: a perfect, cybernetically enhanced soldier, designed to hunt down the world’s most dangerous criminals. When a new terrorist threat arises, Major is the perfect choice to stop it – but as she prepares to face her enemy, she uncovers secrets from her past that leave her reeling.

1) Did you like it?

Well look, it’s complicated. I came to this film with not much in the way of previous knowledge of Ghost in the Shell. This live action film is a reimagining of the classic 1995 anime version, considered a classic of the genre, which is in turn based on an earlier manga version.

What I do know about Ghost in the Shell is that casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role – a character who was originally Japanese – was never going to be a good idea. And, without giving anything away, the film’s attempts to correct this misstep only make the problem so, soooo much worse.

Let’s just say right from the start that this is a movie with some pretty irredeemable flaws. There are brief glimpses of brilliance, but they’re few and far between.

2) Why?

One good thing about this film? It’s visually stunning. The opening sequence depicting the rebirth of Major Mira Killian – that’s Johansson’s character, by the way – will take your breath away. The world in which this film is set is one of holographic advertising, vying for space with towering skyscrapers and ordinary people trying to make a living. It’s all very pretty. And pretty familiar.

ghostintheshellagainThere’s more to world-building than just throwing in a tonne of CGI. Compare this movie to The Fifth Element or Blade Runner, for instance – they’re also films set in sprawling metropolises, but they actually made you feel what it was like to be a part of that world. That’s the thing with this film – there’s not much in the way of atmosphere. Oddly, for a movie about ghosts and shells; souls and machines, Ghost in the Shell often feels as hollow as a chocolate bunny. Ironic, huh?

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

Fans of The Matrix are going to love this film. Consider this The Matrix re-Reloaded.  Action lovers will also get a kick out of Ghost in the Shell. Its action scenes are slick – and frequent.

4) This movie made me think about…

When’s the new Blade Runner film coming out again? Is it soon?? I hope they don’t mess it up. Will there ever be a Neuromancer film? Also, how amazing is Scarlett Johansson’s hair?

ghostintheshell3 ghostintheshell25) Overall rating?

Five stars for Scarlett Johansson’s hair…two for the film.

2-stars

 

Fast Five Review: The Boss Baby

thebossbabyThe Boss Baby
Animated | 2017

Tim is perfectly fine being an only child, thank you very much. His parents work hard as the marketing managers at Puppy Co, makers of the cutest puppies in the world, but they somehow always have time for Tim. That’s until one day, Tim’s baby brother arrives – a baby dressed in a suit, with a briefcase by his side. Suddenly, Tim’s not the centre of his parents’ universe any more. But when Tim learns that the evil CEO of Puppy Co is hatching a plan to put Baby Corps, the celestial factory where babies are made, out of business, he must team up with The Boss Baby to save the day. 

1) Did you like it?

I really wanted to – after all, this is a Dreamworks film: the people who brought us classics like Shrek and Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon. Which is why it bugs me to say – no, I really didn’t like this film.

2) Why?

I know, right? A cute baby! In a suit! Voiced by Alec Baldwin! What’s not to like? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is “pretty much everything else”. This whole film is constructed on a really flimsy premise, with a bizarre plot that feels like it was pulled from thin air to justify making a movie with Alec Baldwin as a suit-wearing baby.

The thing with The Boss Baby is that it’s just too weird. That’s not to say that kids’ films can’t be surreal – look at Up, for example…if you can get though the first ten minutes without passing out due to feels-related dehydration. The Boss Baby is rife with plotholes and oddly jarring moments that don’t feel as if they were fully thought through – like the scene where Tim is about to catapult his baby brother from a second storey window. Kinda disturbing, from an adult perspective. But there’s not that much here for kids, either, because a lot of the film’s humour centres around parodies of films that kids won’t have seen. So yeah – I’m not quite sure who this film is for, but it’s not for me.

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

The one thing The Boss Baby does have going for it? It’s a cute story about sibling rivalry that just might help kids come to term with the arrival of a newborn brother or sister.

4) This movie made me think about…

Way too much, unfortunately. For instance: Tim’s parents are the marketing managers at Puppy Co, but they don’t own a dog?

5) Overall rating:

2.5-stars

Fast Five Review: The Lego Batman Movie

LegoBatmanBannerThe Lego Batman Movie
Animated | 2017

From the team who brought you The Lego Movie comes a new film starring everyone’s favourite sarcastic superhero: Lego Batman. The Joker has hatched a maniacal plan to flood the streets of Gotham City with all the meanest, baddest villains of all time…and it just might work! If Batman is going to save the day this time, he’s going to need to get used to something he’s not going to like: teamwork.

1) Did you like it?

As someone who really loved The Lego Movie, this film had me a little worried. You know what they say about sequels, right? They’re never as good as the original film? And the thing is, The Lego Batman Movie isn’t quite as good as its predecessor, but it definitely comes very close. And, as far as I’m concerned, a film that’s almost as good as an excellent film is still pretty amazing!

2) Why?

Just like the first Lego Movie, this film is ridiculously fun. It’s got great characters, hilarious jokes, non-stop action and a cute story. You could say everything about this film is…well, awesome! I won’t ramble on – just watch it!

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

The Lego Batman Movie is packed with genuine, laugh-a-minute humour that’s perfectly suited to adults and kids alike. It’s got something for everyone.

4) This movie made me think about…

I have to be honest, this movie was so much fun, I didn’t do that much in the way of thinking – I just sat back and enjoyed the film. Which is exactly what I wanted!

5) Overall rating:

4-stars

The Digitales Digest – Edition Six

digitales digest banner 2There’s nothing we love more than reading interesting things. Welcome to the Digitales Digest, where every Friday, we round up some of the best articles, opportunities and more that we’ve discovered and shared on Twitter and Facebook over the past few days.

One in a million hundred

What if there were only one hundred people in Australia? The results of the 2016 Census are out, and this ABC News story presents the data in a fun, colourful way, imagining what the population of Australia would look like with a population of just one hundred people. We can’t resist statistics – especially when they’re this pretty. Get your scrolling finger ready and click here.

census


Happy Potterversary!

Believe it or not, last week marked the twentieth anniversary of the first Harry Potter book – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. As Harry fans ourselves, we couldn’t help but get a little nostalgic. Book Riot asked their writers to contribute some thoughts on what they’ve learned from Harry Potter over the years. Click here, and prepare to have your heart warmed.

harrypotter


The Cheat’s Guide to Choose Your Own Adventure Books

For those of us who didn’t grow up with Harry, Hermione and Ron, there were Choose Your Own Adventure books. And they were pretty amazing. The good news? New editions of the original Choose Your Own Adventure books are being released, and, for the first time ever, they include maps that reveal how each of the decisions you make in the book play out.

Some are simple:

surfmonkeys islandoftime

 

Others are…not so simple:

journeyunderthesea

balloon

Yikes. If you want to take a look at the rest, click here.


Librarians on the move

erwan-hesry-102070Well, this is extremely exciting. Writers Victoria has just announced a new initiative – the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund. It’s a series of small grants that will allow Australian writers, editors, publishers, booksellers and librarians to travel in order further their careers. It’s pretty much the best idea ever. Librarians, applications are open now, and close on Monday August 21. Good luck!


On the Digitales blog…

It’s been a busy week. We previewed ten of our most exciting new releases on DVD for July – and we also took a look at what could be this year’s most exciting new release, Beauty and the Beast.

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Next week? We loved The Lego Movie, so we’re really been looking forward to The Lego Batman Movie. Our review will be on the blog on Monday – see you then!