Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Groove Book Report: The Adventures of Tintin - various books - Random house

The Adventures of Tintin - Tintin's Daring Escape - Bantam Press $10.99
The Adventures of Tintin - Danger at Sea - Bantam Press $10.99
The Adventures of Tintin - The Mystery of the Missing wallets - Bantam Press $10.99

The Adventures of Tintin - A Novel - Bantam Press $19.99
The Adventures of Tintin - The Chapter Book - Bantam Press $14.99

The Adventures of Tintin - The Sticker Book - Bantam Press $14.99

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the Weta Studios release that acompanies this movie (by Peter Jackson/Steven Speilberg). That book looked at the technologies behing the making of the film and whet our appetite for the movie. This series is more like a watered down version of the script with still from the film.. I was interested to see the consistency and difference in language between each book, which are designed for a range of ages. The Chapterbook is designed to be for 6-7 year olds. Where as, my 9 year old devoured the novel version in a little over an hour. Her verdict was that it was ok, but she hunkered for the original comics - the pictures and words together make it work better apparently. That is true and part of the magic of Herge's original art was that the older you got, the more detail you understood but essentially, you always understood the plot and experienced the adventures. These tie-ins will appeal this xmas to those drawn in by the film but as enduring literature you can't beat the original comic book series - which fortunately is being republished - Hooray for that!

The Groove Book Review: Scrim The Man with the Mike: William Renwick: Victoria University Press; $50.00

'Scrim' tells a cautionary tale of an immensely popular radio broadcaster who just couldn't resist any opportunity to taunt and tease his political masters, epecially Fraser and was finally sacked by them when they would not put up with him any more.
'Uncle Scrim', as the Reverend Colin Scrimgeour was known at the time, was one of our most notoriously innovative and popular citizens during the great depression. Whilst working with his Fellowship of the Friendly Road, he took any oppotunity to run black market style tactics accross theestablishment to get the needy food, jobs even shoes - what ever it took. And it was that Friendly Road that he based his radio station 1ZR, and brought radio evangelism to Aotearoa. His Sunday evening broadcasts offered comfort and hope to the tens of thousands of people who were impoverished and out of work during that harsh times. Through his kind words he encouraged them to believe that good times could come again.
From 1936, Scrim headed the first Labour government’s highly successful commercial broadcasting service. Yet he also courted much controversy for himself. Following Joseph Savage's death, he was innovative in finding ways to taunt Prime Minister Peter Fraser and Wilson, the minister of broadcasting and finaly years of skirmishs, the government finally axed him in 1943, and he went to Australia.
But on returning to New Zealand in 1968, Scrim, who was a natural for the broadcasting game, set out to play a leading role in the country's fledging television industry. But that dream ended when series of heart attacks hit in 1971. It was then that he worked on his autobiography, of which only The Scrim–Lee Papers, written with John A. Lee, was published. "Scrim: The Man with the Mike" is a correction to that biography, which was highly embelished with facts and reminses that are not necessarily entirely true. Tebook reviews the life of a talented, yet uneducated and impulsive man who, despite his short comings was a man for his time - the country’s outstanding broadcaster, and assesses the myth he created for himself in some detail.
William Renwick is the perfeck reviewer for Scrim - with a distinguished career as a teacher and civil servant he's published papers and books on education, Treaty issues, and the 1940 centennial celebrations. His approach to this wor, "Scrim" is a lttle dry at times, and partially misses the fluidity of, say a journalist but from an academic work t is a piece of great writinf, covering all bases to a 'T' . If you are looking for the definitive work on the man, this could be vary well it.

The Groove Book Report: The Great Kiwi Motorhome Guide; J Malcolm & B Savidan; $45.00

It's a bit of a shame that this book was'nt released 3 months before the world rugby cup began because the tone and nature of the book would really suit the foreign traveller - especially the European variety. The first half of the book covers off all the basics right through to tar and correct evacuation procedures for the onboard tolet. The second haldf s all about where to stay and how much it would cost, what the advantages of each campsite are and the various pitfalls of camping are. This is a thorough, and I do mean thorough, introduction to the sport! It contains everything you should know before setting out and (LOL) after you may need to go - for example how to use a dupstation, driving courtesies, regulations and what to pack. Plus, tere's plenty of stunning photos, to boot. Yep this one covers all the bases including the Jasons guide. Worht the money though? Well if you consider the wrters have visited every location and dumped at evry station, then yes. So, before heading out this summer - get this!

The Groove Book Report: Top to Bottom: Marc Ellis, Harper Collins.

On Ya Marc. Yep. As part of a tie in earlier this year, 'ol Ellis decides to celebrate 60 years and a new 'improved' model by travelling the country in the new Toyota Fj Land Cruiser. A vehicle, I have to say is a stunning number. Though, I'm not sure what Crumpy would think of this GPS, leather seated, IPOD connecting version. On the way (and this is the off road, laz-ier version - to Marcus Lush's North/South) he meets some bloody legends. That's a series of down to the worm infested, salt of the earth personalities that frequent small town Aotearoa. And this is what makes Ellis the Bloke he is - diggin' out the good sorts and shoving the camera up their noses. I'm sure this was a TV show, though I've never seen it advertised. Anyways youse jokers would enjoy it for the cracking yarns and of course the extensive photographc history of the predecessors to the curret FJ - worth a look for that alone!

Check out the website, too:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Groove Book Report: THE ART OF THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: Weta WorkShop - Harper Collins - $60.00

‘Great Snakes’ and ‘Billions of Blistering Blue Barnacles’. Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg are re-making Tintin? Is that possible? So it seems. Well, if you’re a Wellingtonian, you are probably IN the new production. Aren’t we always? What will the film be like and who would have the Gaul (sic) to re-make Georges Remi’s near perfect masterpieces. Some years ago Philippe Condroyer attempted a live action version of the unpublished Tintin and the Blue Oranges. Suffice to say it was a poor imitation on the vibrant document that is Herge’’s art. It could never live up to the style and sophistication of his simple yet highly graphical drawings. So it is a bold challenges pits for the artists at Weta Digital and Weta Workshop to create these highly elaborate digital renditions of our favourite childhood characters. Can they pull it off? How can the mix of pixel and live action work successfully? And how DOES IT WORK, for that matter? How can the actors ‘act’, wearing these SGI ‘costumes’ and masks and become the elaborate beings that belong both in the electronic and everyday hemispheres? Weta spent five years working on this movie. This is the book to fill you in on that story. It documents how the film makers started with the original HergĂ© artwork and books and ended up with what appears on the screen. One of the best features is the beautiful painting and early concept drawings, previse sequences, models and costume designs. There is plenty of focus on the creative process, with the many designs that made it into the movie and plus the rejects. To their credit they film makers have brushed aside the temptation to re-make Tintin, Calculus and Haddock in the image of the actors and have intentionally sculpted CGI versions of the original Herge drawings with uncanny likeness. This is way beyond a few wigs, blue polos and plus fours from the back of the wardrobe. Far from being a vehicle for the film, this book really is a labour of love for Weta, as it focuses on their work rather than the out come of the final celluloid product and in that way makes it more enduring beyond the screen experience. About the Author:Chris Guise first worked for Weta Workshop on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His ‘Rowlf the Dog’ bust won the World’s Best Statue/Bust Global Award in 2003. In 2006, Chris was hired as Weta Workshop’s Lead Conceptual Designer for the film The Adventures of Tintin.

Check out the trailer for the movie at:

Go to the Tintin Movie website:

The Groove Book Report : THE BRUCE MCLAREN SCRAPBOOK: Harper Collins RRP $59.99

Gentlemen, Start your Engines.

Bruce McLaren’s life story definitely the stuff of boyhood dreams - a motor-racing career ran at full throttle and it seemed he was unstoppable until the sport he loved claimed him at Goodwood, an hour or so from London, on that fateful day, 2 June 1970.
McLaren was not only the first New Zealander to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix but also the youngest racing driver in the history of GP to win a significant race when he took out the 1959 United States Grand Prix. By ’66 he’d started to not only race but design and build his own cars, founding the ‘McLaren team’ which still operates today (only 2nd to Ferrari as the longest continuos team entry in the sport).
He was a man of both vision and amazing skill, this book is not only a tribute but a personal journey. It’s the kind of high end quality scrapbook that you’d be proud to show your kids, no matter their interest. I’m not a great racing fan, but I found the articles and the facsimiles of old photos, tickets etc a great visual document of the times of the man. My family have connections with the motor trade, so for me seeing the everyday items mixed in with the various names, clippings, even street photos had some personal significance. Often sports books are concerned with the stats and the one off moments that defines the sports personality. They focus on the big events like divorces, births death etc but don’t really give us the visual clues we need to understand the personalities effectively. A scrapbook also lets us make up our own mind and investigate more on various topics. It’s like finding a bx of photographs with info on the back, you know some but want to know more – I like that.
This is a great document not only of the man but his times – an overworked clichĂ©’ I’m sure. But true.
Jan McLaren, Bruce's younger sister, is CEO of the Bruce McLaren Trust.
Richard Becht, who lives in Auckland, has been a writer and journalist for more than 30 years, working in print, television, radio, public relations and media communications. Currently media manager for the Vodafone Warriors, he has written numerous sports books, including the bestselling biography of Tawera Nikau, Standing Tall. Another of his books was Champions of Speed, a nostalgic work about New Zealand motor-racing drivers Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme and Chris Amon.