January 31st, 2007


Pan's Labyrinth: Movie Review

Got to see Pan's Labyrinth last night and I'm still in shock.

Wow. How do I explain this?

First, I was stunned how much of the Spanish came back to me. I still needed the subtitles, but there were times I knew what they were saying without them and this was Spanish with a Castilian accent.

The movie leaves you exhausted. The monsters that 11-year-old Ofelia meets is nothing to the human monsters she has to endure. At least The Pale Man (played by the same actor who played The Faun) will just kill you outright. The Captain, scouring the hills for revolutionaries during Spain's Civil War in 1939 is capable of much, much worse.

Not for the kiddies, not at all.

Be prepared for extreme violence and gore, not a lot, but when it comes, you'll wince.

By the bye, at the official website you can not only listen to the entire soundtrack, but also download the script. The script you can read is not the final script. The ending with the Captain is significantly different as well as a good chunk of the dialogue, but it's close enough to give you a good idea of the film.

They also have an art contest going on. Spread the word.

Part of me wants to own it when it comes out on DVD. Another part of me doesn't want to.

Reviews of My Stories in Infinite Space, Infinite God

Sorry, but I'm just posting the reviews of the story I wrote with Ken Pick and the story I wrote solo:

From the main web site:

Mask of the Ferret by Alan Loewen and Ken Pick

Chief Engineer, Nuyann felt the presence that hunted him - like a predator. From fear, Nuyann wet his pants. The interstellar craft, Coventry, transports cargo and people to various interstellar systems. The passengers keep Captain Carroll's vessel in business and today one of them brings aboard a killer. Jill Noir is an Artificial who abhors her animal qualities, even more so she despises the creators who own her. The item housed in the cargo bay is her path to freedom. Father Eric Heidler is looking for the Carcosa artifact, stolen by its courier. Although detesting violence, Father Heidler will exercise whatever means necessary to reclaim the artifact, including death.

Quite an imaginative universe, Mask of the Ferret boasts para-humans - humans with animal characteristics, and then there are Artificials - animals re-engineered into humans. Mr. Loewen and Mr. Pick obviously make a splendid team, for their combined imaginations make this an absorbing and clever read. Together with a distinct animal-like cast, including wholly human characters, support the suspenseful plot. This is a fascinating tale!

Canticle of the Wolf by Alan Loewen
Italy in twelve thousand and ten experiences the worst snow fall, and the terror of one lone wolf.

Their livestock slaughtered even when confined behind walls and locked gates. The townsmen feel defeated as their efforts prove futile. Approaching the gathered townsmen, Brother Francis of Assisi scans the carnage before him and avows to go find the wolf.

A pleasing tale that is imaginative and feeling. Canticle of the Wolf is about how God wanted a village to witness Brother Francis' godliness. I am charmed by this endearing story when Brother Francis attends to the wolf's wounds without hesitation but with care. The alluring characters create an enchanting read as the wolf and Brother Francis share their tales of man's betrayal, but how good may come from the experience.

And from another site:

When I read Ken Pick’s and Alan Loewen’s scene where the ship jumps into hyperspace, I felt like I was on the bridge.

And one other:

One of our requirements for the anthology was that the science in the stories must be believable, if farfetched. No fair "reversing the polarity of the warp drive and channeling it through the deflector array"! Having said that, we should note that some of the stories are far into the future or are alternate realities, and do have the elements of fantasy. Craig Loewen's "Canticle of the Wolf" which is a re-written St. Francis and the Wolf story (the wolf is a genetically altered wolf sent back in time), and Craig and Ken Pick's "Mask of the Ferret" which features animal/human hybrids and a psychic artifact from an interdimensional zone yet is a very believable universe) come to mind.

I love it! ;-)

This post will be public for a short time as I want Ken to see it.
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