Mar 022012

Director: Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 95 minutes

Release Date: 6/23/2007

Genre: Graphic Novel,Autobiographical

Cast: Teenage and Adult Marjane (Chiara Mastroianni), Mother (Catherine Deneuve), Grandmother (Danielle Darrieux), Father (Simon Abkarian), Uncle Anouche (Francois Jerosme)

Synopsis:  The animated film is based on the graphic novel of the same name by by Marjane Satrapi.  It is the story of Marjane Satrapi’s early life as a young girl growing up in Iran and begins  in 1978 just at the start of the Iranian Revolution.  Eventually, the changes brought on by the  revolution become too much for Marjane and she travels without her family to a French school in Vienna.  She has many freedoms in Vienna that she wouldn’t have been able to have in Iran, like drinking and partying with older boys, but she also ends up sick and living on the streets and almost dies of sickness.  Later, she travels back to Iran to be with her family and it appears that life is a little better there than it was when she first left.  Even so, she has a hard time fitting in, so she gets married but has difficult time with her husband and decides to divorce him.  After a narrow escape from the police during a raid where her freind dies, she decides to leave Iran again. The film ends with her getting off a plane in Paris to try to find a better place to live.

Pro:  Persepolis is a great film and it is no wonder that it was given many awards and even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.  Some of the notable reasons its high praise are;

  • The sequence during the opening credits are just amazing with the Mythological Persian styling.
  • It was interesting to see how normal her parents were despite what was going on at the time.  Also to see any sort of non-fanatical images about people inside of Iran.
  • The message that a revolution against a repressive regime can bring about something worse even though it is driven by the people.
  • There is a great scene where Marjane has a music montage where she sings “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.
  • Another scene where Marjane looks back on her ex-boyfriend and realizes what a complete looser he was.
  • Just a really good view of the people of Iran and how they live their lives and just go with the flow to get by when things go badly.

Con: Event though this film is nearly perfect there were a few technical issues with it;

  • I had a difficulty reading the subtitles and seeing their facial expressions or what characters were doing at the same time.  I might have to re watch but with the English version or I guess I could learn French.
  • I realize that part of the deal with Marjane  is that she gets out of Iran initially because she speaks French, and that the film is made in France, but it is a bit strange seeing all of these Iranians speaking French instead of Persian.
  • Was it necessary to translate the words Vienne 1986 to Vienna 1986?

Conclusion:  This is a great film.  I learned much from it in a historical sense and her personal story is very moving and was great in mixing very grave serious scenes with elements of comedy. I recommend this for anyone, but some people may want to keep their hand on the rewind button in case they miss some of the dialogue.



Frank’s Ratings


Characters 5
Story 5
Special Effects 4
Would Watch Again? 3
Average 4.25
Mar 012012

Mike Resnick


Publisher: PYR

Release Date: 2009

Genre: Science Fiction


Wilson Cole- Captain of the rebel starship “Theodore Rosevelt”

Val- Valkyrie, tough former pirate, very loyal to Cole

David Copperfield-Alien acts like he is a character in a Charles Dickens book.

Synopsis: In 1970 of the Galacitc Era, Captain Wilson Cole, the crew of the  SS Theodore Roosevelt and his fleet are wanted by the Republic.  Cole was once served in the Republic Navy, but soon parted ways because the Republic could no longer be trusted.   They are constantly under attack and outnumbered, but the Roosevelt is a very tough ship and the captain and crew are extraordinary people.  Cole has a figured out a plan that will test the mettle of his crew, but might just win their freedom and bring down the Republic.

Pro: Mike Resenick is one of those writers that I often end up reading, but for some reason I can never remember that I have actually read many of their short stories and novels.  I think that it might be because his stories are are often very different from one another.  When I picked up Starship: Flagship, and I hate to admit it, I was mainly attracted to the cover featuring a large starship in the middle of a battle.  My favorite Science Fiction is usually the more serious variety.  The cover and description on the back led me to believe this was more of the space opera variety and I was in the mood for some  bug eyed aliens and big explosions.  I was surprised to find that even though the it does have elements of that, it isn’t completely true.

  • Really good characterization.   Especially the alien, David Copperfield.  He is interesting, and appears to be insane due to his strange delusions, but also is very sane and brave.
  • Problems weren’t just solved by blasting people with lasers (even though things got blasted!).  Cole uses trickery and cunning to win battles and avoid fighting when necessary.

 Con: Due to a badly placed bar code sicker at the library, I was unaware that this was book 5 of the series.  So it took me awhile to get up to speed with what was going on in the novel.  When a faithful reader is reading later books in a series they will get bored when previous story is retold. Usually I agree, but I think that Resnick assumed that the readers would know too much from the previous books.  I really had no idea what the alien characters looked like and would have liked more of an explanation of how the technology worked.  For instance, I would have liked to know how the starships operate. They have some sort of fast engine, but they also use wormholes to get from place to place.  I never had an idea as to how fast they move outside of the wormholes.  Also, the surprise at the ending is really out of the blue,  and  is sort of like a backwards Deus Ex Machina.

Conclusion:  As a stand alone novel  this will not go down as one of the greatest every written in the history of science fiction, but I should probably reserve judgement until I can read the rest of the series.  I may append this review if I can get a hold of them.  As it stands, I can only recommend this to people that are really into Resnick novels.

Comment:When I picked this up at the library any indication of this being part of a series was hidden by the barcode.  I’ve noticed that my local library doesn’t pay attention to valuable information being covered up by their stickers.  Don’t get me started on the time I accidentally picked up a Evangelical Christian Science Fiction novel, it almost made my head explode!

Frank’s Ratings


Characters 3
Plot 3
Imagery 2
Read Again? 2
Average 2.5