Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mini Reviews - Weeks of April 4 and 11

Titanic National Geographic special
This was really interesting - about how many errors were involved in the sinking of the Titanic. From the inferior iron rivets to a insulting comment made by the radio operator, so many tiny things contributed to the sinking of the great ship. It helps that I have been fascinated by the Titanic since I first heard of it as a child.

Law-Abiding Citizen
Found this one really distasteful. I don't watch a lot of "R" movies and this would be a good example of why not. Really gory vigilante justice film. Even Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx didn't save it. Save your time.

Alice in Wonderland
Watched this in the theater with my sister - her treat! Thank you, Janet! It was rather surreal, but that comes with the territory, eh? Both Lewis Carroll and Tim Burton fit that category neatly. A beautiful film - lots of vivid colors and interesting things to look at.

Sherlock Holmes
Not as good as I'd hoped, but maybe I was too tired to appreciate it fully. I did like it a lot, but I thought I'd adore it. But it was full of action and an interesting plot, with some super actors.

Welcome to Paradise
An "inspirational" film with Crystal Bernard and Brian Dennehy - I found it very rewarding to watch, though rather corny in spots and amateurish in its editing. Great message and I had the kids watch it too and they liked it.

Alice (2009 miniseries with Tim Curry)
Haven't quite finished this 3 hour miniseries yet, but it's an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Lots of famous faces including Tim Curry and Kathy Bates. I'm enjoying it.

Date Night
Went to the theater to see this with a friend -we both enjoyed it. You may too, depending on how you like your humor. ( Way more action in this film than I anticipated - it isn't a formulaic romantic comedy. Tina Fey and Steve Carell both were brilliant but understated and Mark Wahlberg was quite something to see. Taraji P. Henson was great as a no-nonsense police detective. And a great message made the movie really worthwhile.

The Breakfast Club
Watched this with David. Was surprised to realize this movie was rated "R". Didn't remember that! LOL Perhaps I've seen it so often edited for television that some of the more objectionable parts were edited out. Since we were watching on Netflix Instant, we got the full version, well worth the "R" rating for 1985 but a masterpiece nonetheless. How we get into the heads of each of the characters is quite amazing and I think the ending is perfection. We don't get to see a "happily ever after" - we get to wonder what happens on Monday. It's surely different watching this from a parent's perspective instead of a teen. I turned 19 in 1985 and in college, so was past the high school "thing" but the film delves deeper than just "high school". David doesn't even attend school (never has) but still related well to the characters and their dilemmas.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

March Reads

Five books in March. Fewer than I'd have preferred due to my new part-time job and to reading Wuthering Heights. See below...

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier - 3/3/2010
Good - Fiction
Elizabeth Philpott and her spinster sisters move to Lyme and befriend Mary Anning, a fossil hunter who discovers complete skeletons of never-before-seen creatures.
This was interesting, something different than usual. I love Chevalier's books.

Brava, Valentine Adriana Trigiani - 3/9/2010
Good - Fiction
Valentine's brother joins the business and they investigate production of the ready-to-wear shoe line, plus Valentine reconnects with Gianluca from Italy, and family secrets explode all over the place.
I liked this one better than the original Valentine novel. In fact, I've enjoyed this one more than any Trigiani I've read since Big Stone Gap.

Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte - 3/17/2010
Difficult - Classic
Classic tragedy of Heathcliff and Cathy - read it yourself if you want to know more.
Whew! Glad I read it. Glad I never have to read it again. Way way way different than I thought it would be.

The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan - 3/24/2010
Good - Children's
Twelve-year-old Percy finds out that the odd happenings in his life are due to his previously unknown parentage and he must complete a quest.
I read this aloud to the kids for two main reasons - I want to see the movie so I wanted to read the book first AND I'd heard from so many people that they enjoyed it. I also enjoyed it a lot and so did 3 of the kids.

The Kingdom of Ohio Matthew Flaming - 3/31/2010
Good - Steampunk
Time travel and steampunk, along with a mystery and flashbacks, are set in turn-of-the-century New York and the almost mythical, but apparently real, Kingdom of Ohio.
My first "steampunk" novel! Awwwww. What's steampunk? Think Sherlock Holmes.... Hard to define, but it takes place in the time of steam engines but it also incorporates wild inventions and/or sci-fi stuff like time travel. At least that's how I define it. LOL Enjoyed it!

I need something LIGHT to read. Thinking about a re-read of Stephanie Plum!

What are YOU reading?