Put a smile on any fantasy geek's face!
By Ani Mikaelian
Well, we've gotten past July. That means the holidays are less than half a year away, and you better start saving up. At least this time you don't have to frantically brainstorm, too. This year when you’re stuck on what to get that “fantasy geek” friend of yours, never fear! This list is full of unique inklings:
Haven't seen it yet? Taste suspended bliss.
By Jeremy Clemmons
The purgatory imagined in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones – based on the best-selling novel by Alice Sebold – is one of immensity and awe; a limbo of roving vistas and coruscating foliage, evoking comparison from Chytilová and Monet, to acid trips (the film often screams, “This is the ’70s!”) and “What Dreams May Come.” But it’s also a place of death. It harbors all of the memories and clues to its inhabitant’s brutal rape and murder, even if we can’t see, or feel the impact of either.
Our story begins in 1973 by introducing us to Susie Salmon, (played with considerable effort by Saoirse Ronan) a typical 14-year-old girl, replete with schoolgirl crushes and an insatiable love for photography. “I want to be a wildlife photographer,” she pronounces early on. She is survived – will be survived – by her adoring friends and family: her father, Jack Salmon (Mark Wahlberg), mother, Abigail Salmon (Rachel Weisz), and two younger siblings. Add to that an advice-giving grandmother (Susan Sarandon) who, granted, serves said advice alongside a glass of scotch and a pack of cigarettes.
Little does Susie know she’s being watched by her plotting and reclusive neighbor Mr. Harvey (Stanley Tucci) — a character conceived as having one too many comb-overs and thickened mustache hairs to be considered anything other than a serial killer (apparently, profiling was still in its early days in 1973). Which is what he is. Susie is raped and murdered at the hands of Mr. Harvey one fateful night, and she ascends toward heaven, leaving behind the aches and pains of death for her family to cope with and disentangle.