Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stardust (2007)

We rented Stardust because I had heard so many good reports about it. However, I was so totally disappointed in it that I shut it off halfway and made the kids go to bed. I thought it was PG, but after I looked it up online, I saw that it was PG-13, which explains some of why it was so inappropriate for kids. However, it was marketed as a movie that would be wonderful for children.

Now, to be totally honest here, I did not see the very beginning, as they started it before I got home. As I came in, Bob and David both told me it was a weird movie. I'm sure there is more to the plot than I am listing below, but these are the parts I found objectionable.

But this is what I gathered. Claire Danes apparently plays a star (yes, like from the sky) that fell down and Michelle Pfeiffer plays a witch who needs to cut out Claire's heart and eat it to stay young. Not only that, apparently Michelle and her 2 witchy sisters had already cut out and eaten another star's heart, which they showed in a flashback.

There's also a prince that's killing all his brothers and trying to get a stone so he can be king. All of his dead brothers follow him around as ghosts and their ghostly selves look like they did when they were murdered. Very gory.

When people started getting murdered onscreen, I became very uncomfortable letting my children view this. Emily (age 10) was scared stiff. So I shut it off.

EVERYTHING I had heard about that movie was positive. I heard nothing about cutting out a girl's heart and eating it and this wasn't a minor plot point. This was enough for me to say the movie is not appropriate for my kids. Way too much graphic stuff was present onscreen. I continue to hear positive reports about this movie and I have a hard time understanding why people would find this appropriate for children.

IMDB page for Stardust

Screenit.com Review

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Best Reads of 2007

In 2007, I read 86 books (the same as 2006, in fact!). Following are the ones I rated Excellent. I'd recommend any of these books.

Red Leaves - Thomas H. Cook
The Cloud of Unknowing - Thomas H. Cook
Family Tree - Barbara Delinsky
The Double Bind - Chris Bohjalian
Veil of Roses - Laura Fitzgerald
Blessed Child - Bill Bright & Ted Dekker
A Man Called Blessed - Bill Bright & Ted Dekker
Gap Creek - Robert Morgan
Kidnapped - Jan Burke
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
Blink - Ted Dekker
The Last Sin Eater - Francine Rivers
Hadassah: One Night with the King - Tommy Tenney with Mark Andrew Olsen
Shadow Man - Cody McFadyen
The Cay - Theodore Taylor

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less - Terry Ryan
Curly Girl: More than just hair...it's an attitude! - Lorraine Massey
How to Talk So Kids Can Learn At Home and In School - Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
The Light and the Glory - Peter Marshall and David Manuel
Every Young Man's Battle: Strategies for Victory in the real world of sexual temptation - Stephen Arterburn & Fred Stoeker

December Reads

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer - 12/02/07
Good - Fiction
Edward leaves and Bella establishes a relationship with Jacob, but he also has a secret.
The sequel to Twilight - I can't wait to read the 3rd one. I'm #6 on the library's waiting list.

How to Write Romances by Phyllis Taylor Pianka - 12/11/07
Good - Non-fiction
How to combine conflict, desire, adventure and romance to create compelling love stories (1988)
Although this book is twenty (!) years old, I think the info is still relevant. It jives with all the other info I have read online.

Open Invitation by Karen Kendall - 12/13/07
Fair - Romance Explicit
Ranchowner needs an etiquette consultant to get him ready for his sister's wedding
This is part of the Harlequin Blaze series. Let's just say I don't think *I* will be writing this sort of romance novel. I debated even putting it on my list here, but honesty won out. :::sickly grin:::

Montana Twins by Charlotte Maclay - 12/16/07
Fair - Romance
Sheriff Eric Oakes finds out he is the uncle of twin baby girls who need a home; their current guardian Laura Cavendish is part of the package.
I could write this.

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerrittsen - 12/20/07
Good - Suspense
A century-old Boston murder comes to light in the present day
This was hard to follow in places, but I enjoyed the story.

Leave it to Claire
by Tracey Bateman - 12/24/07
Good - Inspirational
Claire is divorced and self-absorbed in her career and self-pity; will she hear the Lord's call to forgive her ex and reconnect with her children?
I liked the story, but I didn't really like the present tense narrative. I do plan to read the other 2 in the series, though, so I guess it didn't bother me TOO much.

The Last Noel by Heather Graham - 12/25/07
Good - Suspense
Kat's family is held hostage at Christmas in a snowstorm.
This was interesting. I chose it because it was a Christmas story at Christmas and it wasn't likely to be as sappy as some Christmas stories are.

Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson - 12/26/07
Fair - Suspense
Goldy suspects that the woman who killed her ex-husband isn't dead as everyone thinks, but has killed again.
This was more convoluted than any other Goldy mystery I have read. Way too much exposition and it just seemed contrived.

Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies by Leslie Waingler - 12/31/07
Good - Non-fiction
A top romance editor gives you the know-how to succeed as a romance novelist.
I skimmed through this book out of order, but I think I covered all of it.