Monday, January 31, 2005

Congrats to Keanu Reeves

OK, I just have to turn into a drooling fangirl for a sec here.

::::cheers madly:::

Keanu Reeves received a star today on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Congratulations, Keanu!

OK, I'm done.

:::composes self:::

Back to your regularly scheduled blogging.
:-D

Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson (2004)

Oh! The joy of perusing the New Titles shelf at the library and discovering a new Goldy mystery by Diane Mott Davidson! Double Shot is the 12th in a series of mysteries featuring Goldy Schulz, a caterer in Aspen, Colorado who has a penchant for getting involved in criminal cases.

The Goldy series is one of my favorite crime series. Davidson writes light-hearted murder mysteries in an entertaining clever manner. Gore is kept to a minimum and there are lots of amusing side plots. I also enjoy that Goldy's life continues on during the novels, instead of staying static, as is the case in some series novels. Her son grows up, she gets remarried, her business grows and changes. Also, recipes for some of the dishes Goldy cooks are included in the books. (I haven't tried any of them, for, unlike Goldy, I am no cook.)

This particular novel, however, was not one of the best in the series. Especially at the end, the writing seemed half-hearted and not as charming as usual. Also, since the murder victim in this installment was someone Goldy knew well, it was more serious than many of the others. I did not anticipate the identity of the murderer, though, so in that aspect, Davidson hit her mark!

I enjoyed reading Double Shot, and I will definitely continue reading Davidson's novels whenever I see them!

http://www.dianemottdavidson.com/

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Permanent Record (1988)

Well, in 1988, I was busy - graduating college, getting married, setting up our apartment, student-teaching, adjusting to married life, etc... So it isn't surprising that I missed this movie then. I am glad that I finally discovered it!

Permanent Record tells a story of two best friends. David is a talented popular college-bound student; Chris is also a talented guy, but aimless and happy-go-lucky. When David commits suicide, Chris and the entire community must deal with the aftermath. This story unfolds through snapshots of the lives of the teens involved, rather than an action-driven straightforward plot.

A young Keanu Reeves shines as Chris, struggling to make sense of his friend's death and agonizing over what he could have done to prevent it. The actresses playing the teenage girls gave strained performances, with the exception of the actress playing Kim.

Interesting to note: Keanu Reeves auditioned for the role of David, but instead was cast as the more pivotal role of Chris. Also, Keanu thought the feel-good ending of the film was a cop-out. I'm not sure I agree with him there, but I'll refrain from any spoiler comments.

Memorable moments:
-Chris crying in regret and sadness in the arms of David's father
-Chris playing guitar in the recording studio
-Lauren singing Chris' song onstage
-David's little brother telling Chris that David is dead
-David's mom in terror thinking David's little brother has been hurt
-Kim and David discussing their affair

The movie is rated PG-13 and contains mature themes - suicide and sexual themes -, as well as teenage drinking, and probably some strong language as well. Not a movie for young children, but teens would benefit by viewing this film and discussing it. I am glad that I watched it!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095853/
This movie is not reviewed at screenit.com.



Please comment if you have seen this film.

Lisa

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Miracle (2004)

I am definitely not a sports enthusiast. Nope, the closest I get is watching my own kids play soccer. (Actually I was duped into coaching soccer this year too, but that's another story.)

However, Miracle is more than a sports movie. To me, it was a movie about becoming all you can become. It's about teamwork and overcoming differences.

Kurt Russell plays Herb Brooks, the coach of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team. In a nutshell, the team goes to the Olympics and, against all odds, wins the gold medal against the Soviets. This is one of the most memorable sports triumphs ever and makes me wonder where MY head was in 1980.

The hockey sequences are exciting and clear enough for even a non-hockey fan like me to follow. There is some awesome skating in this film! Being someone who has never really watched hockey, I was amazed at the action.

The group of young actors playing the gold medal hockey team worked together well to portray the difficulties the team members faced on their way to the Olympics.

Moments and themes that stood out to me:
-Coach Brooks pushing the team after a game even after the rink lights were shut off
-The US goalie's amazing stops and blocks throughout the Olympic games
-Coach Brooks' wife who stood by his side but wasn't a doormat
-That we barely saw the coach's children
-The assistant coach whose emotions were often written on his face
-End credits that gave the achievements of the players today - amazing bunch of guys!
-Herb Brooks died before the movie was released
-Working harder than you ever thought you could really pays off.

Example

Despite this movie being so long (138 minutes), I am going to let my children watch it if they like. There is mild profanity in the film, according to screenit.com. (I tend to block that out as I watch, so rely on the accuracy of screenit. ) It is rated PG. I think that the message of determination and hard work is worth any shortcomings the movie may have. Also the hockey games are quite exciting, which I think David will enjoy.

I will try to remember to include links to the movies at IMDB and Screenit.com at the end of each of my reviews.

http://www.screenit.com/movies/2004/miracle.html
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0349825/



How's that for my first film review here at Mirkwood Reflections?

Lisa

Welcome!

Welcome to my new blog - Mirkwood Reflections.

My purpose here is to create a place where I can review movies and books that I have recently watched and read. Feel free to comment on any of my reviews.

Thanks for visiting Mirkwood!

Lisa