The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)-Inspector Gadget (1999)

In the 1980’s, one of the more popular cartoons was Inspector Gadget.

Inspector Gadget was a half man, half machine, detective who was not all there. With the help of his niece, Penny and his dog, Brain, they fought against the evil machinations of Dr. Claw.

In 1999, the cartoon made into a film. Stepping into the mechanical shoes of the title character was Matthew Broderick. Brenda (Joely Fisher) is the robotic surgeon who provides the inspector with the mechanical parts. Rupert Everett, as British actors often do, played the villain. Rounding out the cast was Michelle Trachtenberg as Penny.

Were the critics wrong? Unfortunately, they were not wrong. In transferring the cartoon into a live action film, something was lost along the way. The wacky charm and suspension of disbelief that existed in the cartoon was nowhere to be found in the film. And, as usual, Brenda was the classic damsel in distress who has to be rescued.

Do I recommend this film? No. Just stick to the cartoon.



Jephte’s Daughter Book Review

Religion,in and of itself, is not a bad thing. It creates a connection between this life and the next life, creates a connection between generations and gives life meaning.

The issue (at least my issue with religion) comes when it is the be all and end all of your existence. Especially when it contradicts with modern life.

In Naomi Ragen’s 2010 novel,¬†Jephte’s Daughter,¬†Batsheva Ha-Levi is the pampered daughter of a Hasidic businessman living in Los Angeles. Just after her 18th birthday, Batsheva’s world is turned upside down. Her father has secretly arranged for her marriage to a man she has never met in Jerusalem. Tied down by rules that feel foreign to her, Batsheva must choose not just between three men, but between tradition and freedom.

What I liked about this book, was not just the struggle between tradition and modernity, but Batsheva’s struggle to find her own identity in a world which is more black and white than grey.

I recommend it.


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