Profile for Brian Ruh > Reviews

Browse

Brian Ruh's Profile

Customer Reviews: 8
Top Reviewer Ranking: 13,564,334
Helpful Votes: 72




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Brian Ruh RSS Feed (Austin, TX USA)

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
The Caryatids
The Caryatids
by Bruce Sterling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.17
119 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Conflicted..., June 17, 2009
This review is from: The Caryatids (Hardcover)
I enjoyed the experience of reading this book and getting to play around in Sterling's headspace for a while, but I have to confess that it doesn't really hold together.

There are so many ideas presented here that a single novel doesn't seem to be able to contain them all. Each chapter could easily have been a book unto itself. I'd really like to see Sterling expand upon this universe a bit more, perhaps with further novels and short stories a la his Shaper/Mechanist world.


Cinema of Mamoru Oshii: Fantasy, Technology and Politics
Cinema of Mamoru Oshii: Fantasy, Technology and Politics
by Dani Cavallaro
Edition: Paperback
Price: $31.50
27 used & new from $17.64

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting similarities..., January 15, 2009
As the author of the other book in English about Oshii (which came out two years before this one), I was initially looking forward to reading "Cinema of Mamoru Oshii." However, there were a number of passages in the book that gave me pause. For example, here are our respective introductions to the OVA "Twilight Q 2":

"The Twilight Q OVA series was originally intended to highlight the
stories and talents of up-and-coming anime directors through a series
of unconnected, imaginative short stories, but the project lasted only
two episodes. The title of the series can be read as an homage to two
influential television shows: The Twilight Zone and Ultra Q, a
mid-1960s' series that can be described as a cross between a Japanese
version of The Outer Limits-style science fiction and a Toho monster
film. Although the anime series was in color, the allusion to these two
black and white television programs is indicative of the sense of noir
and mystery aimed for in Twilight Q.
"The first episode of Twilight Q was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, who
would go on to direct the first Kimagure Orange Road film (1988) and
Studio Ghibli's Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru, 1993), and featured
character designs by Akemi Takada (who later did the character designs
for Patlabor.) Released in February of 1987, this episode involves a
girl who finds a mysterious camera on a beach that contains pictures of
her with a man she has never met. Eventually the girl finds herself
traveling forward and backward in time, leading to a rather open-ended
conclusion. Oshii's "sequel," released in August of 1987, treats the
idea of reality as similarly plastic, although the ending is far more
satisfactory. The second episode of Twilight Q garnered more attention
due to Oshii's involvement but the series did not ultimately catch on
with the anime-buying public."
"...The experiences of the detective in the film are drawn from the
life of Oshii's father, who was a frequently-out-of-work private
detective..."
from Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii by Brian Ruh, p. 61-62

"Initially designed to provide an arena wherein budding directors could
exhibit their skills through a collection of unrelated narratives, the
project did not develop beyond its second installment. The title echoes
two popular black-and-white television programs of the 1960s, The
Twilight Zone and Ultra Q, with wich it shares a penchant for the noir
and for grotesque distortion."
"The first episode was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki (Kimagure Orange
Road, 1988 and Ocean Waves, 1993) and revolves around the character of
a girl who finds a camera on the beach which turns out to contain
images of herself in the company of a stranger, and the starts
journeying back and forth in time. The episode written and directed by
Oshii elaborated Mochizuki's conception of time as a markedly elactic
dimension, concurrently bringing into play generic and graphic motifs
characteristic of classic science-fiction cinema and literature, as
well as autobiographical elements. The portrayal of the film's
detective, in particular, is based largely on Oshii's memories of his
father as a frequently unemployed private investigator."
from "The Cinema of Mamoru Oshii" by Dani Cavallaro, p. 83

Draw your own conclusions.


Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know
Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know
by Gilles Poitras
Edition: Paperback
52 used & new from $0.01

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new for me, but valuable for some, February 5, 2001
I was sincerely looking forward to this book, as any new addition to the body of literature on anime is a good one. However, the first thing I noticed is how small the book is; it barely squeaks over 125 pages. At the same time, the font used for the main text seems excessively large. What this means is that there was far less actual reading material in this book than I had originally hoped for?
And the content? I didn't find much new in this book, which was another disappointment; I was hoping to discover some great insider information and maybe a few fan secrets. Admittedly, this book isn't written for fans like me. Rather, this is a fairly painless entry into the world of Japanese animation, and with that in mind it serves its purpose very well. Still, it should have been titled "A Basic Primer" rather than "Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know."


Overtime: Selected Poems (Poets, Penguin)
Overtime: Selected Poems (Poets, Penguin)
by Philip Whalen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.00
36 used & new from $6.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is poetry!, August 28, 2000
This isn't some crumbling, dry keeper of the hallowed institution that is sometimes "poetry." It is sad that Whalen's works are so hard to come by these days.
Why aren't you reading this?


Imaginary speeches for a brazen head, a novel
Imaginary speeches for a brazen head, a novel
by Philip Whalen
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from $4.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At least check it out, April 21, 2000
I am a big fan of Philip Whalen's poetry, so I was very interested in this book, one of his few prose publications.
It is rather interesting, yet the narrative constantly jumps around and nothing really seems to get resolved at the end. One can tell he is a poet making a foray into prose writing.
It is certainly worth checking out, but it in no way compares to Whalen's wonderful poetry.


Buddha Book: A Meeting of Images
Buddha Book: A Meeting of Images
by Frank Olinsky
Edition: Hardcover
60 used & new from $0.01

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening coffee-table book, April 19, 2000
The book begins with a decent 5 page intro to the Buddha by Robert Thurman. There is nothing wrong with the intro, but one can tell he mainly studies Tibetan Buddhism -- there is a great emphasis on gods, heavens, divinity, and the like. The intro would have been better had it been representative of Buddhism as a whole.
The actually images of different Buddhas, which constitute most of the book, are extremely interesting, varying widely in style, media, composition, and even subject matter. (It is fascinating how many different forms of the Buddha have been created.) The differing Buddhas vary from serene to silly (such as Jim Crump's photo of the Putt Putt Buddha.) More famous Buddhas include those done by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Nam June Paik. Some images are awesome (as in inspiring awe), but a few just aren't very good.
This book won't do anything for a scholar of Buddhism -- there is nothing that tells what the Buddha's different positions, hand gestures, etc. are supposed to mean. But does contain some beautiful works of art, and in that respect it fulfills its purpose.


The Real Work: Interviews & Talks, 1964-1979
The Real Work: Interviews & Talks, 1964-1979
by Gary Snyder
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.95
70 used & new from $0.01

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective, April 19, 2000
I've always preferred Gary Snyder's prose over his poetry. That is why this book is so good -- filled with essays and interviews, it manages to be simultaneously insightful and revolutionary.
This work would be a great introduction to the work and politics of Gary Snyder. Even if you dislike, or are unsure of his poetry, I would encourage you to at least check out this book; a knowledge of his poetry is not a prerequisite for enjoying and learning from it.
Only one work from this volume, "The East West Interview" was excerpted in the Gary Snyder Reader that was recently published. So, even if you have that book, there will not be much repetition.


Heavy Breathing (Poems 1967-1980) (Writing 42)
Heavy Breathing (Poems 1967-1980) (Writing 42)
by Philip Whalen
Edition: Paperback
8 used & new from $27.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book of poetry, April 19, 2000
Heavy Breathing is a collection from one of the most original poets from the Beat world. Although affiliated with the beats, Whalen's poetry differs significantly from that of Kerouac, Ginsberg, or Gary Snyder. The poetry is direct and simple, moving and often very funny. Through Whalen's poetry, one can get inside his head, jump around and observe the firing of his synapses.
It is a wonderful collection of previously published poems. Four works constitute this book: Severance Pay, Scenes of Life at the Capital, The Kindness of Strangers, and Enough Said.


Page: 1