Friday, December 28, 2007

I Am Legend

Will Smith’s new movie is fantastic. Yes, he’s saving the world again, but he also isn’t. The catastrophe that befalls mankind is unbelievable. Is it science or God that condemns us? Is it science or God that will save us? Is it a bit of both? There are so many questions, so many things that can be talked about, but I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone who might read this. I just recommend seeing this movie more than any other one in theatres right now. There were moments where it actually made me want to cry and where I was suddenly terrified.

For a full synopsis (with full spoilers) you can check out the wikipedia page. I don’t really recommend it, or looking at too many trailers. They can give away too much about the movie and you don’t want that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In Sylvan Shadows

The second book of R. A. Salvatore’s Cleric Quintet was fantastic. It makes me look ahead to the future books. I want to know what happens to innocent Cadderly and his friends. Things have changed so much for him. He has seen the world beyond the library walls and it is not what he expected. Violence and monsters are all too real. Death haunts him. Mercy and compassion can be weakness.

Secrets circle about him. They come so close, then are pulled away. He has to learn to deal with the real world after the things he’s experienced. Cadderly also has to learn about his own past. Who were his parents? Why did they leave him at the library? His journey goes beyond understanding the positive and negative aspects of the world, it is about finding those things in himself.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Little Brother

Who was Mary Mann and how could she write such a frightful story? The ending was so disturbing, I had to take pause. Little Brother is short, shocking and to the point. I didn’t know what to expect, but this wasn’t it. Mary Mann gives us a harsh glimpse into English life.

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Mere Interlude

Poor Baptista. I am so sad for her. She appears to have real strength at the beginning, but then loses it. Perhaps it was never strength at all and just the succumbing to a new pressure. No matter the source, I feel sorry for Baptista. She has to deal with marriage, death, passion and children all in the space of a month. She is so young. The “children” are closer to her in age than her husband! She hates teaching and when she thinks she’s gotten away from it, it is thrust upon her again.

Thomas Hardy creates an interesting, sad and funny tale. A Mere Interlude is fantastic. A thoroughly enjoyable read. I’ve always enjoyed Hardy’s works, Tess of the D’Ubervilles and Far From the Madding Crowd are fantastic novels. His short story does not disappoint.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Relics of General Chassé

I must say, that unlike Dickens, I was not eager to read Relics of General Chassé by Anthony Trollope.  I admit that I was wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed Anthony Trollope’s short story. It was funny, full of odd coincidences and kept me interested all the way through. The characters were believable. The situation was unique and hilarious. I’m ready to give Anthony Trollope’s works another try.

Blade Trinity

I know this is an old movie, but I saw it for the first time last night. Is it me, or did they undo everything in the second movie with the third? I thought there was a kind of bridge built between Blade and vampires. Maybe I just remember it wrong. Didn’t a beautiful female vampire die in his arms? I suppose it has been a long time since I’ve seen the movie. Is there no peace made? Or is it only with that particular group of vampires represented in Blade: II?

Whistler died. How many times has this character died now? I think this time it’s going to stick, since they’ve brought on replacement Whistler. Abigail Whistler is Papa Whistler’s illegitimate daughter. Fantastic! Now we get to see hottie Jessica Biel take a shower. Was it really necessary to have so much naked woman? I guess so, it is Biel after all, still rebelling after leaving 7th Heaven. Oh, have I said too much?

Though I must admit, she and Ryan Reynolds did a good job. They really held up the action end of this movie. Their fight sequences were great. For the ladies watching this movie, Ryan Reynolds was hot. If the guys get naked Jessica, the girls get Ryan with his shirt off. He still had his fun, comedic edge, though.

I really think that Ryan and Jessica carried the action. In some of the fight sequences with Drake, Wesley Snipes just didn’t have the flexibility he used to. He’s still big, but can’t do a spinning kick. The actor they hired for Drake didn’t have that either. I know people like him because he’s the older brother from Prison Break, but I thought he was a lame Dracula. Drake should have been bigger, scarier or something. Is this therefore the final installment of Blade? I think so. I really can’t see Wesley Snipes as the agile vampire hunter from his earlier work.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Haunted House

What a strange story. I’m not sure what to make of it. Normally, I love Dickens. David Copperfield and Great Expectations were fabulous novels. From that experience, I was quite eager to read The Haunted House. Now, I don’t really understand what kind of conclusion I am supposed to draw.

I read the introduction to the collection (something I don’t always recommend doing; they often give away the story). I’m glad I did. Maybe I should go back and read the section on Dickens again. (I skimmed it when it was giving too many details). It’s good to know that this story is actually an introduction to a collection of Dickens’. There is a lot of character and scene introduction. I wondered why. Byatt thought to include this story, because it does have a sense of being complete. I disagree. You could feel that something was missing. I’m sure something better could have been selected.

Perhaps, with the rest of the collection, everything will be easier to understand.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Sacristan of St. Botolph, by William Gilbert

The Sacristan of St. Botolph was written by William Gilbert in 1866. It is a part of the Oxford Collection of English Short Stories. When they say ‘English’ they don’t mean written in English, they mean England. A. S. Byatt edited this collection and sought stories that were really English, with English sensibilities. If this first short story is any indication, I think that I’m going to quite enjoy the rest.

The Sacristan of St. Botolph is really about truth, inner truth. Through devious means, the little imp helps the sacristan to become a better person. The sacristan, though by all appearances a faithful church-goer, in reality is a bad man. Not that he’s a murderer; he’s just selfish and prideful. Why does the imp bother with this man? Perhaps beneath this exterior, the imp knew there was true goodness within. Perhaps not. Perhaps this was a test, a test that in some way another man might fail. It was exactly what it seemed.

The next story is by Dickens. I can’t wait to get started.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In All It’s Glory

I’m at work yesterday, trying to get through the day, when someone walks into the storefront. Naturally, I go up to meet her. She’s an older lady, at least in her sixties, with the look of time pressed upon her. As I walk up towards her, I catch her eye. She has the look of someone wanting to sell me something, like those people going door to door in this plaza offering “promotions.” I internally prepare to politely say, ‘no thank you,’ when she hands me two small paper books, says that it’s for anyone in my workplace who is interested and walks away. Who was this woman? A Jehovah’s Witness.

Honestly, I didn’t know they were allowed to come to your workplace. The expression on her face, her attitude, her general approach made it feel to me, as though she was soliciting; getting me to buy her product. You really shouldn’t have to “sell” your religion, should you? There is nothing I feel against Jehovah’s Witness as a religion, or any religion. I believe that an individual has the right to believe or not to believe whatever they choose. I believe that in a secular nation like Canada, citizens should be free from attempted religious conversions. I also believe in freedom of speech; each individual has the right to express their beliefs.

Based on these freedoms, I have nothing against someone coming in and handing me a booklet or pamphlet. This isn’t the first time or first job where it has happened. I recall getting several Christian “save your soul” pamphlets in the years I worked at Staples. In their respected faiths, they are charged with spreading “God’s word.”

The part I don’t like is when they come back. They want to discuss what was in the booklet. Then they ask why you haven’t read it. This is unwanted conversation. If I haven’t read it, there is a reason. If I did and want to discuss it, I know where to go. If I’m at work, I don’t have time to talk about religion when I’m at work. At 8am on a Sunday, I don’t want to be talking about religion. I feel as though it’s almost demeaning to the religion. It should be attractive on its own, shouldn’t it? Faith shouldn’t need sales people.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

1984


George Orwell's 1984 is an absolutely powerful novel. It is a real vision of the future; conceivably plausible. This future can be imagined even now, 58 years after it was written. It is a horror that exists somewhere in the minds of those who've read 1984.

I hoped for rebellion. I hoped for change. I hoped for some sign that the future maybe better. Winston said repeatedly that the hope was in the proles. I kept thinking that somewhere in the story, there would be a sign that one day, his hope would be fulfilled. If you take the appendix as part of the narrative, then you can infer that Winston’s hope was realized and the world of Ingsoc and Oceania is part of the past. If you don’t, well, there is no hope for the world of 1984

Winston’s “discussion” with O’Brien is fascinating. There is a real argument regarding the nature of reality. I’m surprised this novel never came up in one of my philosophy classes. Winston clings to solipsism, the idea that if nothing else exists, your mind exists (someone correct me if I’m wrong.) “My mind is the only thing that I know exists.” It is very closely related to Descartes’ “I think therefore I am.” But after beatings and torture, Winston loses his grip on this belief and doubts his mind. If you can’t be sure of the existence of your own mind, how can you be sure of anything else?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The R-Word

I’m not sure how to talk about it. Rape. It’s a word I’ve been hearing thrown around all too often. Thankfully, I’ve never had this horrid act perpetrated upon me, but the sound of it still bothers me. Maybe it’s been too much Law & Order: SVU. I don’t know.

I think, at least once a week, I hear someone use this word to describe something commonplace. A store is “raping” us with prices. We’re getting “raped” by taxes. Can’t they use a different word? Can’t they say that we’re getting “screwed”? Or “fucked”? I could deal with “fuck” and any of the “fuck” derivatives. “Fuck” can have positive and negative connotations. No one would ever equate “screw” and “fuck” with “rape”. They are simply not equivalent words. Why are they treated as such?

One side note. A man who happens to say this word a lot, also made a really horrid comment about “mentally handicapped” / “special needs” people. At the place where I work, we do printing for various companies, one of which produces books which act as teaching aids for these individuals. Some teach the workers what is appropriate with their clients others teach about sexuality as they grow older. Discussing the job, he said that someone should just burn their hands and that would teach them not to touch themselves or anyone else. I was appalled! I didn’t know what to say. What can you say to something like that? I know I could have said something, like, “That was a disgusting thing to say!” But I didn’t. I just went about my work like nothing was said. I suppose I didn’t want to make my work condition even more horrible.


I also don’t mean to say it is just a particular man or men alone. I have heard these comments from the fairer sex as well. To hear another woman speak about getting raped by the government or whatever, disturbs me in a different way than when a man says it. When a man says it, I can just blame it on him being an insensitive prick. When a woman says it, I wonder is something wrong with her or wrong with me?

Maybe I am too sensitive to these sorts of things. Maybe I need to grow a thicker skin. Maybe I just need to accept these traits in others and not let it bother me. Yet, I also worry about it not bothering me anymore. I certainly never want to take such a volatile word and treat as just that, a word. I never want to say anything that would disturb someone so much, they couldn’t stop thinking about it for days and have to write some 500 words about it!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Canticle




After reading (and loving) so many of R. A. Salvatore’s books about Drizzt Do’Urden (the famed drow ranger), I though it was time to read about another of Salvatore’s characters, Cadderly. One important reason to begin reading about Cadderly was because Drizzt and Cadderly are going to meet in the next book in the series about Drizzt. So, now I have completed Canticle.

I must admit, I was a bit disappointed by the first half of the novel. It was slow to begin. I feel like it took forever get to the action. One of the reason it took so long for me to complete. My husband said that the book is written that way because it is the introduction to a five part series. I guess I understand. However, I’m sure I didn’t feel that way when I read The Crystal Shard (though that was the beginning to only a 3 part series).

Once you reached the meat of the story, Canticle was really good! The mysterious characters were intriguing. There was a great twist at the end. Cadderly is an interesting character, he definitely grew as a person because of these events. I am eager to read the next in the series.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down should really be called, The Suicide Club. At least, that was what popped into my head as I read the book. It’s interesting how one thing in common can bond four very different people for quite a long time. Their bond changed their lives and the lives of those around them. Apparently, attempted suicide can do that.

I wouldn’t call this a “feel good” sort of novel. Not unless all you need to feel good is to have someone who tried to kill themselves, alive at the end. But this novel makes you think. Why would someone want to kill themselves? Why is it better than trying to work out the problems? Why would these people choose to die, then change their minds? They could easily change their minds again.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Shopaholic & Sister


Oh, Becky. In and out of such complicated situations. How does she get herself into them? Sometimes (most of the time) it’s due to her lack of self control. Other times, however, it just happens. The end of the story, the protest, she had nothing to do with her sudden complication. It just happened that way! She was trying to help her sister and it was an odd coincidence.

Jess is such an interesting sister to Becky. A sister who hates shopping! What a blow to Becky’s vision of her sister! How can a woman hate shopping? That’s okay; Jess can obsess about other things. Becky just needs to open her shopaholic mind to other possibilities. I can’t wait to see what happens in Becky Brandon’s (neé Bloomwood) next adventure.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Queen Of The Damned



If you’ve ever wondered how vampires came into existence, The Queen Of The Damned has the answers. The Queen is the source. She is the first blood drinker. There must always be the Queen for the other blood drinkers to live. She is the Mother of them all.


I loved the collection of characters we are given. Of course we have the return of Lestat & Louis, Armand & Marius. The new characters are just as interesting. I can see whole novels based on their lives. I think Blood & Gold is about Marius. I’ll just have to read more to find out.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Babel


Babel is the movie of bad decisions. It hurt my brain. I just kept yelling at the television, wanting the characters to do something else. I understand the intelligent side of this film. No one is listening. You are trying with every effort to explain your situation and no one listens. They have their own presumptions or agendas, so what anyone else says has to bearing on their decisions. Still, this movie made me angry. I don’t know if I would recommend this film. It wasn’t bad, I just didn’t find myself wanting to watch it.

The Last Legion


I’m not sure what to think of The Last Legion. It was good. It has some historical accuracies, in terms of the time line. The characters were fun. It was a little hokey sometime and the effects weren’t top notch, but I liked it. I really liked the young actor they had play Romulus. I enjoyed Colin Firth and Aishwarya Rai. Excellent casting choices and good combat scenes. Interesting tie-in to the Arthurian legend too.

The Fountain


I love Hugh Jackman. I mean, he’s Wolverine! I think Rachel Weisz is pretty fabulous too; a good actress. So a movie with both of them should be good, right?

Not that The Fountain wasn’t good. It was just really weird. So many things are happening. You weren’t sure what was real or what was a story. Was it all real? Would you want to live forever? How mad can a man go from grief? What can grief and desperation drive you to do? What would you do for eternal life? Would it be worth living without the one you love?

Many question, few answers!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Vampire Lestat



The Vampire Lestat is Lestat’s opportunity to vindicate himself. He gets to tell his side of the story. You realize that he wasn’t as bad as Interview With A Vampire made him seem. There is even a different side to Louis and Armand. I love the depth and change in these characters. So much emotion, love and hate. Lestat and his story is not like what you think it is going to be. It is filled with the unexpected, but still has Lestat’s impulsiveness. His unpredictability makes Lestat unique and a fascinating character.

Starless Night


How does Artemis Entreri fit into the future of Drizzt & the battle for Mithril Hall? He seems to keep popping up. Entreri is such a curious character. Catti-Brie thinks Entreri is akin to the drow, but he hates the comparison. How has this time in Menzoberazzan changed him? I don’t think Entreri is the same man he used to be.

Drizzt has realized his mistake. He also knows now how selfish he was thinking the attack on Mithril Hall was just about him. He is not the only reason bad thing happen to his friends. Mithril Hall is a major underground kingdom. It is a target. Drizzt Do’Urden needs to gather with his friends to defend against impending attack.
Note: Again, not the cover of my book.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

Bloody brilliant! It was so good! I can’t stop talking about it. I can’t stop thinking about it. What a fabulous end to a fantastic story. I almost cried at one point. Harry is such a magnificent character. They are all wonderful, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Lupin; such amazing people. You want them to be real. I can’t really say much more without giving too much of the story away. Just read it. It’s not like I expected at all. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows is a marvelous end to J. K. Rowling’s series. I want to read it all again!


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Simpson’s Movie



The Simpson’s Movie was quite good. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to watch it on DVD. I don’t know if it was necessarily theatre worthy. I could have easily waited until it came out on DVD. Still though, it was a good couple hours, with special, brilliant moments. There were, of course, a couple hints (subtle and not so subtle) at a sequel. Are they not making anymore episodes? Is it all going to be movies from now on? That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It was definitely a fun movie.

For more hilarity and to build your own Springfield resident, check out:
http://www.simpsonsmovie.com/

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shopaholic Ties The Knot


When crisis hits Becky Bloomwood, all thoughts of shopping fly from her mind. Her life gets so crazy, out of control; she buries her head in the sand. Random things happen to her and it’s hilarious. Okay, so maybe not all of it’s random, but she can’t help it (most of the time.) Some of it could be stopped by shopping a bit less. Some of it could be helped by being a bit more decisive. Yet I understand her frequent predicaments. She just wants to make those she loves happy. Isn’t that what most of us want to do?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Legacy



By far, The Legacy is the best Salvatore book I’ve read thus far. So much happened. Everything was emotionally charged. Happiness, love, jealousy, grief, rage & relief. There was so much potential for peace at the beginning of the novel. All ruined by the greed of the dark elves. Now, we can only hope that Drizzt & his companions do not fall into despair.

*Note: I finally found the cover to the edition I read! The one on the right is mine. That dark elf is supposed to be Drizzt, but I don't think it's a very good rendering. He's supposed to be in his 60's. In an elf lifetime, that's like a human at 25!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix


I enjoyed Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix. It wasn’t as amazing as I thought some of the previous movies were, but it was good. I think it might have to do with the director. It was a new guy. The story was good, the characters as charming as ever. There was just some kind of spark missing.

I think they did a good job of paring the movie down from the book. The Order Of The Phoenix is the longest (thus far) of the Harry Potter novels. The minor changes only served to better the story, but there were parts of the movie that dragged. During the battle scenes, there was a sense of danger, but during other sequences that should have been ominous, there was no impending feeling of evil. Fred & George were fabulous though. Those long glances from Ginny were definitely foretelling. I felt a little bad for Cho though. I guess I’ve gotten attached to these characters…

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lady In The Water


This was such a weird movie. I really liked it though. Lady In The Water did not waste any time. It dove right into the plot and kept moving. I barely felt the time pass; something I want in all the movies I see to do. The story seemed so plausible, as though this could happen in a small community somewhere and the rest of the world would never know.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Transformers
(2nd viewing)

Okay, I know we’re huge dorks. My husband and I went to see Transformers again. The first time we saw it, the theatre screwed up and put the wrong reel on, so that about 20-30mins of the movie was out of sequence. At the end of the movie, the management gave everyone a free pass to see another one. So, since it was free, we thought it would be good to have a large part of Transformers make sense. It really was confusing not having the film in the right sequence. Now we understand why the characters (both human and robot) did what they did. It’s such a great movie. I can’t wait for the DVD. I’m know I’ve going to watch it over and over!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Interview With The Vampire

The book, NOT the movie. Not that I don’t like the movie, but for the second time, I’ve discovered how much more I love the book.

I read this novel the first time, way back when. I think I was around 19. I thought it was time to revisit Interview With The Vampire. It was great reading it a second time, the anticipation for exciting events. There was also so much I had forgotten that had happened. I didn’t know Armand was with Louis for so long. I didn’t realize that the boy became so interested in vampires that he sought out Lestat’s location. I can’t wait to read the next book!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Transformers


More than meets the eye! Transformers was sick! The reality of it all was stunning. There was a sense of this actually happened; a real possibility. It goes beyond just the simple loving of a movie, beyond thinking this was amazing. There was a connection created between you and the world you were viewing on screen.

I could go into so much detail. I could tell you about the flawless CG. The characters, human and robot, were believable; their reactions true to their natures. I could rave about the transformation of Optimus Prime and the other former inhabitants of Cybertron, from robot to vehicle. I could dive into the comparisons between the cartoon and this story. Really though, all there is to say is: I have to see it again.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sojourn

Drizzt finally found a home. I don’t mean the cave on the northern face of Kelvin’s Cairn. I mean, he found the most important thing that makes a home, people who accept him. At this point in his story, Drizzt isn’t even in Icewind Dale anymore. He sits beside the throne of one of the people who help make him feel at home.

I have one problem with this story. Does no one find out what happened to Kellindil? McGristle did the bad thing and he just got away with it! Yes, he’s a human and technically a member of a ‘good’ race, but Drizzt is a member of and ‘evil’ race and we don’t treat him the way we treat the rest of his kin. I think there should be some justice for the murder of the good elf.

What else is there to come in the life of Drizzt Do’Urden? I look forward to finding out.

Note: Again, not the cover of the book I read.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia


Bridge to Terabithia was a good movie. A Disney feeling all the way through. I loved Leslie. She was fun and imaginative and brought out the best in those around her. Why did the end have to be so sad? I didn’t know that was coming, even though my husband said he could have predicted it right after they introduced Leslie. It was totally My Girl, but just more fantasy. I really wanted a ‘feel good’ movie tonight and all I can think of is the end.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Penelopiad

I can see Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad Making it to classrooms one day (soon?). It wasn’t long and I found it easy to read. More than anything though, I found this twist on an ancient tale very interesting. How are we supposed to know what the “real” story is? Well researched, this could very well be true. The whole story seemed so fascinating (including the Credits and Acknowledgements); I would like to really study it one day. I do plan on finding the other books in The Myths Series. If The Penlopiad is any indication, I have some great reading ahead of me.

For more information on The Myths Series check out their website.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pan’s Labyrinth


Dark and beautiful. I was sucked into the sad, violent world of Ofelia. I hoped so much for her fairytale ending. I want to believe that her spirit is alive in the underground kingdom of her father and she is reunited with her mother. Her mother did seem to get better with the mandrake below her bed, didn’t she? Though the Captain couldn’t see the Faun, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. The flower bloomed on the old tree. What do our hearts tell us?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End


The third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean was fun & exciting. At World’s End really brought you to the end of the world. From the edges of the pirating world to Davey Jones’ Locker, Pirates was filled with great twists and turns. The fight scenes and escape scenes were fantastic. Jack Sparrow’s mind is an interesting place to get lost.

Johnny Depp gives another fantastic performance as Jack Sparrow. He’s rugged and dirty and hilarious. How sexy is Orlando Bloom? (I think I love him a little.) Especially while he turns the wheel of the Flying Duchman. Kiera Knightly gives damsels a chance to kick as the Pirate King. But, has she lost a lot of weight. She looks really thin in the film. (Also in the June issue of Vogue she looks super thin. What she always this thin?)

One problem, it’s just too long! I could have done without about half an hour of that film. The pacing was off too. It didn’t feel steady. I think they official run time is 2hours 48mins. Those 48mins were probably not necessary. I really like the beginning, I really like the end. They should have cut something out of the middle to make it more enjoyable.

Go see it. I think the time is worth it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hitch


Hitch was hilarious. (I finally saw it!) Definitely a good one for Will Smith. He’s not saving the world. He’s kind of saving love. He’s playing a wonderful, serious, funny character. He’s been burned by love, but he’s not going to let it happen to his fellow (geeky) man. Hitch has standards and real emotion. The character evolves and we get to laugh along the way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Exile

All the twists and turns of Exile were great. Drizzt survived and thrived. His skill is unrivaled. He made one difficult decision after another, but they were all about following his principles. Doing what’s easiest is not always (not usually) the right choice. You have to do what’s best for you and for those around you. Am I getting to deep with fantasy novels? I’ve read five Salvatore books now! Whoa!

*Note: Neither of those book covers are of the edition I read! I think I have the first paperback edition.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer


SPOILERS

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer was entertaining. I didn’t notice the two hours roll by. The fights were well done. The effects were good. I loved the wedding sequence. As a woman (and recent bride), I totally felt for Sue. The distinct personalities of the Four clash and fit together well.

They’ve all grown and matured. Each member of the team has really come into their rolls. We also get to watch the Silver Surfer grow and change. He’s not just a nameless enemy, the herald of destruction. He is a slave who gets to break the bonds from his master.

That’s one thing I (and my husband) did not like. Galactus. I was waiting, through this ominous looking cloud, for Galactus to appear. Not necessarily as we’ve known him from the comics; they update things in the movies. I was at least waiting for some kind of bipedal figure to materialize.

The Fantastic Four appear to have a future ahead of them. No one knows where Dr. Doom is. Silver Surfer’s fate is even left open. Maybe a third fantastic movie!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Confessions of a Shopaholic

All these fabulous things are happening for her and Rebecca Bloomwood is still shopping. She’s probably not even near being recovered. Of course, if she was, there wouldn’t be a series of books about her. Confessions of a Shopaholic was fantastic. Easy to read, hilarious and exciting. I could barely put it down!

I love the change in Becky. Yes, she is definitely still a Shopaholic, but she’s realized what is important. She grows up, though the final letter is very ominous. I’m sure it is part of a nice set up for the next novel. Which I’m absolutely going to read. Sophie Kinsella has me hooked.

Check out her website!
http://www.sophiekinsella.com/


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Homeland

R. A. Salvatore’s Homeland is religious fanaticism to the extreme. What really happened to the drow people to make them this way? There is no love or happiness or peace. There are only schemes and betrayal and the quest for power. There is no family loyalty as we see siblings killing each other for their places in the hierarchy.

In Drizzt, we find something different. Did Drizzt inherit some kind of innate goodness from Zaknafein? We see Zak as someone good who is trapped by the rules of drow society. He does what he can to stay true to his beliefs, but he trains warriors and kills for House Do’Urden. With no where else to go, Zak thinks this is all he can do. There is compassion in Vierna, we see it in scenes with both Drizzt & Zak. As Zaknafein thinks, if he had the time with Vierna that he had with Drizzt would she be more like her little brother?

Is this compassion in Zak’s blood? Are there any others who share his bloodline? Like Vierna, are there priestesses who must flail themselves for having “impure” thoughts? Are there males, like Drizzt, who don’t want to kill, but are forced to become warriors. Is this just an enigma? Or could all drow leave the ways of Lloth if they were given a different upbringing, a choice?

I see in the Academy children being given weapons and told to kill. They are berated with hate-filled rhetoric each day. Each day, they grow to detest peoples and races they’ve never even seen. When someone questions this “schooling” they are made an example of. I find this a familiar scenario in our world.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Children of Men

Children of Men was intense. By the end of the movie, I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation. I wanted so much for there to be a happy ending. I wanted to see hope restored to a hopeless world. But even the ending had me yelling at the screen.

My husband asked me, as we were really beginning to understand what the world had become, would/could this world actually be a reality. My answer was, yes. Could you imagine the panic if we were suddenly unable to have children? What would be the point of anything? No children, no future. Nothing would be maintained; nothing new would be built. What is the point of progressing with technology or anything if there would be no one around to appreciate it? It would be watching the slow decay of our species.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

What a great novel! I could barely put it down. I probably could have sat and taken in the whole thing in a day if I had the time. It is just so interesting. So fanciful and real at the same time.

I loved the characters! I loved the step-sisters. They weren’t so evil after all. Cinderella wasn’t the perfect maiden either. The step-mother was a little evil though, not totally. Her goal was always to create a better life for herself and her daughters. She just did not always abide by her own moral preachings.

The reader sees how reality can create a fairytale. If these actions are passed into history, if words are misconstrued, it can evolve into a magical story. I love the twists at the end. I love the epilogue. I love that the real ending to this tale isn’t tied pretty with a bow. There is love and hate, life and death.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Halfling’s Gem

Bruenor survived. I’ll take their explanation. In the Forgotten Realms, it seems plausible. Especially with his recover time before he joins the others. The Halfling’s Gem wouldn’t have been the same without him.

Almost a perfectly happy ending though. Everyone is at peace. Goals are reached. A grand party about to ensue. Then Regis arrives. The beginning of a another adventure, yes?

I have to say, I’m hooked. I want to know what happens to these characters. Not just the main characters, but all the interesting people they’ve met along the way. Alustriel, the Harpells, Malchor. They’ve traveled to such interesting places too. I know that I’ll be lost in the Forgotten Realms for years to come.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction was so existential. It was like Descartes’s evil demon. But you eventually could hear the evil demon narrating your life. You knew things were happening to you because of the evil demon. You decide to search for the evil demon. When you find her, you realize, this demon is not evil. She’s just a writer trying to tell a story.

There’s also an essence of determinism/pre-determinism here. How many choices are your own? How many have been decided for you? Does free-will play a factor in Harold Krick’s story? Could he have changed his story if he wanted to? We could even talk about cause and effect. Harold’s appearance to Karen certainly caused her to make a change. The narrator’s voice caused Harold to change his behaviours. There is just so much to think about with this film…

Friday, May 11, 2007

Streams of Silver

Streams of Silver was very exciting. I could barely put the book down. Every day I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Drizzt, Bruenor, Wulfgar, Regis and Catti-Brie. They are just so fabulous. I really do like that Salvatore includes strong female characters in his testosterone filled novels. There are no characters more manly than Drizzt, Bruenor and Wolfgar, each in their own way. I enjoy how each character has evolved from the first book in The Icewind Dale Trilogy. They learn more about the world, each other and themselves. I was concerned that they would become just standard fantasy archetypes, without depth, but that is not the case. The world around them is changing, so they change too.

Spoilers Below


Bruenor fell down the gorge on the back of a big black dragon, while on fire! How could he possibly survive?!? On Fire!!! My husband told me that fantasy novels are a lot like comic books. No one really dies… at least, not that often. The main characters always find a way back. If Bruenor just fell down the gorge on the back of a dragon, I could maybe believe it. The dragon broke his fall or something. But he was ON FIRE! That’s the part that gets me. He’s not Gandalf! Some all powerful wizard. He’s a dwarf. He may be an excellent fighter and a very wise, learnèd dwarf, but he’s a dwarf… and he was ON FIRE! Did I mention that he was on fire? I’m a little stuck on that p

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Anil’s Ghost

Anil’s Ghost really is haunting. I finished it a couple days ago and it’s still with me. Of course, I read In The Skin Of A Lion and that’s still with me too. Michael Ondaatje is one of my favourite authors. I know when I pick up one of his novels, I will not be disappointed.

The reader really feels for Anil. She’s so displaced from her heritage. She just got out of a destructive relationship. She is unsure of her relationship with her “best” friend. She comes to a country that should feel like home and she feels like a foreigner; Anil is foreigner wherever she goes. The story is so intense and mysterious. The ending leaves so many questions.

Something I really liked about Michael Ondaatje’s writing is the way he introduced new characters to the storyline. It was done it through the whole book, but I only became consciously aware of it when he introduced Gamini. Instead of having a character come into the story, then give the reader a little back ground on him, Ondaatje gives each supplementary character their own little story. Before Anil and Sarath come across Gamini, we learn about him in a separate chapter. I noticed this too with the introduction of Palipana, but only with Gamini did I realize he was consistently doing this.

I wonder how the Sri Lankan government responded to this novel…

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Spiderman 3

I feel like I just watched three Spiderman movies. There was a lot packed into the last 2½ hours. It felt crowded. You definitely had to pay attention.

Though that wasn’t difficult. I found myself sucked in, not just feeling for Peter Parker, but for Mary Jane. Maybe it’s a girl thing, but I empathized so strongly with Mary Jane as we watched “Spiderman” with another girl. You could definitely feel for Harry too. The action sequences were so well done; the effects were fantastic.

Was it the best of the three? Some say yes, some say no. I say no. I think I liked the second one the best, in terms of story at least. The third movie does leave it open for a fourth installment, though I’ve heard that’s not guaranteed. I think I’d only like to see a fourth one, if they had Harry come back. There’s something about the dynamic between the three friends that makes you want to watch them. I don’t know how, just bring him back. Or maybe I just have a crush on James Franco.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Prestige

The Prestige was surprisingly great. I suppose I didn’t take much note of it when it was out in theatres. We decided to watch it this past weekend, I had only vaguely heard of it. I did not realize that I would be seeing Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Scarlett Johansson. All actors that I think are fantastic. They were fantastic in The Prestige.

There were so many twists and turns. The story constantly looked back to the past for the answer to present problems. The movie is haunting; filled with death and secrets and lies. It is with me still. The twist at the end is so unexpected. Though, it seems obvious now. The simplest answer, after all. However, with everything that happened during the course of the story, the end could have been anything.

Monday, April 09, 2007

No Day Long Enough

This book, No Day Long Enough contains an article written by my husband's grandfather. He had a phD and taught at U of T. The article is about "explosives and propellants" research during World War II. He was literally a rocket scientist.


For further information, check out the following website:

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Taltos

I think Michael is my favourite character through the whole Mayfair saga. He’s resilient & clever. He loves his wife and has given over everything to be with her. He contains an innocence that the rest of the Mayfairs lack. Michael doesn’t submit to destiny, he tries to make his own fate. He believes in everyone’s innate goodness, until they prove him wrong.

Did Ash realize his beautiful redhead was Michael’s daughter? I think he did when Michael waved to him at the porch. Ash only wanted the best for his people. Maybe he finally found it. No more lonely towers.

Taltos is likely the best of the three Mayfair books. In my opinion, at least. I enjoyed it far more than The Witching Hour and Lasher. I was eager to read every word. I found myself thinking about the story throughout the day. I would have to tear myself away constantly. If time permitted, I could have read the book in a day or two.

I wonder what will happen to Rowan… To Michael… To young Mona… Mary Jane, Pierce, even Morrigan. So many of them are young. So many of the Mayfair witches could have a story to tell.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Murder in Mesopotamia


What a great story! I thoroughly enjoyed Murder in Mesopotamia. Agatha Christie was such a brilliant writer. Her characters are always so vivid. They have their outward appearances, but as the mystery goes on, Hercule Poirot, the greatest detective, gets deeper into their personalities. Little tidbits are revealed.


Murder in Mesopotamia is the third book of Agatha Christie’s I’ve read. [See previous post (http://loniseye.blogspot.com/2006/08/abc-murders.html) The ABC Murders.] Though the detective (star/hero) is Hercule Poirot, the story is always told from someone else’s perspective. In this case, Nurse Leatheran is given the task of writing an account of what occurred when Mrs. Leidner was murdered because there has been some kind of public questioning of the events. Poirot is not even the person who asks her, it is Dr. Reilly, a common associate. I have noticed that it is always someone different who narrates the case, someone who was involved, but who is also objective. Nurse Leatheran certainly makes her feelings about all individuals involved (including Poirot) clear. I suppose it would be difficult to fully describe the machinations of the detective’s mind and perhaps it is a way for Christie to keep the reader guessing until the end.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ghostrider

How lame! It started off looking like a movie from the 80s. On the whole it only had a couple good points, but nothing that made up for the entire lack of originality. Some parts were close to the actual comic, but I would totally sacrifice that for a movie that was entertaining. I was sorely disappointed.

This is the Ghostrider! The ride with Carter Slade was just cheesy… I was waiting for them to team up, only to have nothing come of it. There need to be more effects, more fight scenes! Not just him taking out the bad guys. There was no real battle. Those elemental things were no challenge for him at all! Maybe they tried to make up for it when Ghostrider fought Blackheart, but even that was bad. It could have been so much better.

I think the actually script was okay. If you listen to the words they’re saying, there is real potential there. It’s just how the words and scenes were interpreted. Eva Mendes was a good choice for Roxanne. I just don’t think she really got a chance to show her anger and then her eventual move to forgiveness and understanding. She goes so quickly from ‘I love you’ to ‘I hate you’ to ‘I love you again’ without much thought. Nicolas Cage… well… I think he might have been too old to play Ghostrider. I don’t care that he wore a rug and whatever else to look younger, that’s fine. I think he could have been a good Ghostrider too, if they (especially Slade) didn’t insist on calling him ‘kid’ all the time. So maybe it isn’t that he was too old, maybe it was that they were trying to make him younger, because seriously, Nicolas Cage is 42.

It had potential and they messed it up. Just because X-Men, Spider-Man and Fantastic Four have spawned amazing franchises, does not mean that ever comic movie can. It lacked something. More than something, it lacked a lot. Hopefully, they’ll learn that they can’t ride on the coattails of excellence, they have to make it for themselves.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vote for the Worst


I checked out this website today: Vote for the Worst. One of my bosses said I should take a look. He, myself and another co-worker watch American Idol all the time (even though we're up in Canada), because it's entertaining. I missed last week's episode where Brandon was voted off. I wasn't terribly surprised, I didn't think he would win. But I was a little surprised to find out it wasn't Sanjaya. He's a cute kid, but I think he's too young for this competition. I also think he's a good singer, he just doesn't use his voice well enough. This is when my boss told me about votefortheworst.com. I've read through some of the site and these people have a point. This show is constructed to make good television, not just good singers. I don't think I'd necessarily do what they wanted, but it's an interesting way to see how the general public can control one of the most popular television shows and the media.

Some of the people who email this site are really mad though. They're telling whoever runs Vote for the Worst to "rot in hell" and saying a lot of other angry things. I think that's a little extreme. One persone did say that they should use this power they've garnered for world peace or ending poverty or something like that. I agree. The internet is a powerful tool and if it can get a few hundred thousand people to vote for one particular singer, maybe it can get all those same people to donate $1.00 to the One Campaign (US) or Make Poverty History (Canada). That's the kind of power I'd like to see.


I definitly think you should check out votefortheworst.com. It's hilarious. But afterwards, do a good deed, just so your karma balances out. :)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lasher

Welcome to the world of Lasher, the demon/ghost/spirit that has attached itself to the Mayfair women for thirteen generations. Why? That’s how many generations of breeding it took the spirit to create a witch powerful enough to give birth to it… to make it flesh. He is the Taltos, ready to breed and make more of his kind.

They fight. Rowan fights to regain her life. Michael fights for his wife. The Mayfairs fight to keep the family safe. The Talamasa fight for something we’re not exactly sure of. Lasher fights to live.

Lasher is filled with all kinds of twists and turns. You feel one way about the demon, then sympathy arises. But is it part of his power? Are his words designed to make you want to help him? Is it all lies? You really want to know.

I thought Lasher was a great book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series of the Mayfair witches. There is now a connection with the characters. I want to know what happens to them. I want to know if Michael and Rowan will ever be happy.

Friday, March 16, 2007

300

Absolutely Fantastic!! Utterly Amazing!! I thought 300 was fabulous. It is the most beautiful war/action movie I’ve ever seen. The fight scenes were beyond intricate. They were graceful. There was a sheer beauty to each moment, each movement. Every frame could be a still photograph. Completely visually stunning.

Through these images, a real, emotional story was told. You feel for these men. These warriors stand for Sparta and all of Greece with no support. They fight for their freedom. In every second you watch, you can feel their struggle. Queen Gorgo was the perfect counterpart to King Leonidas. She was strong and fought for Sparta. This was a woman who would do anything for her husband. She is a warrior in her own right, skilled with a sword and ready for her battles.

Even the music was brilliant. It flowed with the story perfectly. It never seemed out of place or inappropriate. It only served to enhance the feelings on screen. The composer was wonderful.

I think I am running out of words to describe this movie. I loved it! 300 did not need any big names or hype. The story and images are worth seeing all on its own. The acting was perfect. It has validity, talent and substance. I want to see it again.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Men With Brooms

I love this movie!!! It’s so funny and super sweet. I love the big world of the small town. It’s so Canadian. With a special appearance by The Tragically Hip. Paul Gross, Leslie Neilson and Molly Parker just made me feel so good today! Men With Brooms keeps you smiling the whole time. There’s not much more I can really say about it…. I loved it. I could watch it a hundred times and still keep laughing. Everyone should watch it.

Check out the official website on the men and the brooms!
http://www.serendipitypoint.com/menwithbrooms/frameset.asp

Sunday, March 04, 2007

PRISM international

I’ve been reading a few issues of PRISM international (44:4, 45:1 & 45:2). It is a literary journal produced by the University of British Columbia, though no member of the UBC faculty or students of the Creative Writing program may submit their work for publication. However, after graduation, there is no stopping them. The journal includes short fictions, non-fiction, poetry and interesting artwork on the cover. I do have to say, I’ve read some great work from some amazing authors. I’ve also read works not to my taste.

In issue 44:4, PRISM published their fiction contest winners. Honestly, I didn’t really like the first place winner. It was well written and a decent story, but I found it too “regular” or something. The second place winner, to me, screamed second. It was a great story, but something in it said that it couldn’t quite make it to first. I thought the third place story, Ingénues by Ibi Kaslik should have won. It was an amazing story. Utterly fantastic. I loved Mara. I hope to hear more from this writer. Below is her website. She has a book out too… I think I might be picking it up.

http://ibikaslik.net/

45:1 is the following fall issue. I think it contained a great collection of stories. I found many of the stories interesting. 45:2 came in the mail not that long ago. I love the front cover art (I don’t always like the front cover art). It also contained their Non-Fiction Contest winners. [Non-fiction bothers me a little bit. It’s the internal knowledge that what I’m reading pretty much happened and what I’m reading could be quite disturbing.] The winner and runner up were both quite compelling. I encourage the purchase of this issue for just those two pieces. PRISM is one of the few literary journals I find myself returning. They seem to regularly choose amazing authors with intelligent work.

Visit their website for more information:
http://prism.arts.ubc.ca/index.htm

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lori Nuic

Like beautiful girls with beautiful voices? Forget American Idol! Check out this amazing singer: Lori Nuic. I had the pleasure of seeing her live a few years ago. Her debut CD is hitting stores on February 27th. It is simply fabulous!! For more information, her website is below.



Monday, February 26, 2007

Click Here For Free Beer (Dan's Site)


Dan has moved to Singapore for 6 months! He's been there three weeks so far. From what I can tell, it's crazy and fabulous. He's got some great pictures up on his space. I'm so super jealous. I know he's having a great time, even though he's there for work... I wish my work would send me to a fabulous, exotic country and pay my way... Too bad he's missing the beach party, though... [I know, I look so drunk in that picture.]


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Robots

From the makers of Ice Age(Blue Sky Studios) comes Robots! Well, I wouldn’t spread the word on that too much. It was bad. I found myself falling asleep. My husband left after an hour. It was torturous.

I expected so much more. The animation itself is stunning. The characters, their movements, the backgrounds are so clean and crisp. It looks so real and flawless. The cast is all-star: Robin Williams, Ewan McGregor and Halle Berry just to name a few. These are talented, A-list actors. I only wish the story was worthy of their talents.

It was so utterly predictable. Small town boy moves to big city to live out his dreams (and his father’s vicariously). But, oh no!! There’s an evil villain in charge of the big corporation. He fights for his dreams, for the poor and gets the girl in the end. Even the things the characters say are so predictable. “Believe in yourself.” “You can do it!” Blah, blah, blah.

Honest recommendation: don’t watch it. I’m never getting that hour and a half back. I don’t want anyone else to loose that time too.

If you’re interested, here is the website for the movie and for Blue Sky Studios.

http://www.robotsmovie.com/

http://www.blueskystudios.com/content/index.php

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Casino Royale

I finally got around to seeing the new James Bond. What a great movie! Admittedly, I was a little hesitant about seeing it. It seems that “prequels” are all the rage. The second Star Wars Trilogy, Enterprise, Hannibal Rising, Batman Begins and others; just too many to name them all. Not that I don’t like prequels, in general. I thought Batman Begins was fantastic; it shot new life into the Batman franchise.

Lucky for me, I discovered that Casino Royale and Daniel Craig were great, definitely giving a boost to the James Bond legacy. The movie was full of excitement, power and beautiful people. Not just the women either. Daniel Craig might be the hottest James Bond ever. I’ve read that some critics have said that he’s not attractive enough. I’m sorry, did they seem him come out of the water and walk up the beach? He’s got a rugged appeal that the other Bonds did not. He might not be as refined as his predecessors, but that is part of the process. It’s a “prequel” right? He has to evolve into the James Bond we’re all familiar with. It really is his evolution. At first he’s cold-hearted and emotionally detached. We see him learn to connect with his emotions. We get to see him learn how to wear “a proper dinner jacket” and ask for a vodka martini. By the end of the movie, he does become more refined. Future films, I think, will see him growing into the legendary and more familiar James Bond.

I have a theory about James Bond and 007. In Casino Royale, M is the same M that was in charge all through Pierce Brosnan’s run as James Bond. I think time passes normally and that when an agent is promoted to 007, he also takes on the name “James Bond”. When M asks James in Casino Royale if the dead woman had known his real name, he answers, no. However, you hear her call him James while they’re kissing. So maybe it’s not his “real” name. Of course, how could all these different Bonds be fond of the same drink and exhibit the same personality traits? Unless, of course, it’s part of being promoted to 007, pretending to be this person you’re not. I’m just speculating.

One final note. If you haven’t seen Casino Royale, go see it. You won’t be disappointed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Heroes

I love Heroes! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s NBC’s new show on Monday nights. I think it’s fantastic. I love the characters, even the bad guys. Though, to me, the real villian is Syler. He’s killing people to steal their powers. You can’t get more bad than that. There is also the mysterious Mr. Linderman. After last night’s episode, it looks like we’re coming closer to meeting him in person. We know he was a “friend” of Peter and Nathan’s father. He’s also blackmailed Nathan and it looks like he’s going to have Jessica/Niki kill him too. Linderman seems to be the key to Hiro’s “destiny” as well. Who is he? Where does his power come from?

Even though Mr. Bennet seems like a bad kind of guy, he does have a real redeeming quality. He loves his family. Though it seems that his efforts to protect them as ended up hurting his wife. His love for Claire is real and apparent. I felt for him with Claire announced that he wasn’t her real father. As much as he’s done bad things, his priority really does seem to be protecting her.

I also think it’s fabulous that Peter is Claire’s uncle! I think these two are my favourite characters. I have a soft spot for Peter Petrelli. He’s just so wonderfully idealistic. He wants to save the world. He could have died saving Claire, but it didn’t matter. He risked his life for a girl he didn’t know. All he knew was that he had to ‘save the cheerleader’. Even though he saw Simone with Isaac, it didn’t shake his faith in the mission. I think Peter might be the hero of Heroes.


Offical Homepage: http://www.nbc.com/Heroes/

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Historian


The Historian is one of the most elegantly written works I’ve ever read. You can sense the classical influences, like Henry James. The narrative was fluid, transition between sections beautifully. I loved the different narrators, though it was all relayed through one person. Each voice was distinct and filled with the emotion of the specific character. I can completely see myself reading this again in the future.


It’s Dracula through history. I appreciated that the novel did not start out believing in Dracula or vampires or some kind of demon hunt. It started with the search of a daughter for her father, which became a search through history. Only through history is a belief in Vlad Dracula’s existence reached. It is gradual, not forced. I also enjoyed the Dracula-enriched historical perspective of the relationship between east and west.

When I first read what I thought was the end of their quest, I said to the book, you’re kidding! That’s how it ends? But after that violent family reunion, there is more than just tales of truth and apologies. There is a shock for us and the narrator. Now adult, she receives a calling for her own quest.

I want to know what happened with the narrator and Barley. Yes, they are both young when the story occurs, but she said that she loved him. After the final confrontation, he is accepted, in a way, into her family. Paul looks at him with fondness and shakes his hand. As an adult, she doesn’t mention him as being a part of her present life. I wonder if they ever tried to date, to be a “normal” couple. Of course, we’ll never know. Unless, Elizabeth Kostova decides to write a sequel. It seems to be a possibility, with certain aspects of the ending left open. We’ll just have to wait and see what new tale this writer creates.

We’ll also have to wait and see the movie! Sony bought the rights, so it’s in the works. I believe the producer is the same person who made Memoirs of a Geisha (which I adored). For updated information, check out The Historian fansite: http://the-historian.net/ Let’s hope it’s as fantastic as the book.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan

What an immensely crude film?! But it’s hilarious! I don’t think it’s quite the funniest movie of the year, maybe there was too much hype around it. Though, there is no denying the humour. There are the obvious jokes, that anyone would get and more subtle ones too. It’s definitely a laugh-out-loud sort of thing.

What I liked… and kind of didn’t like about this film was its blatant racism. What Borat and his producer say are deeply offensive, but they can be excused because they are playing characters; these are not real people. What is disturbing are the people who aren’t pretending. Like the cowboy in Texas talking about Muslims and the white frat boys talking about minorities and woman. These are real people voicing very real and (to me) frightening opinions.

I’m not sure what to think of Borat. I think something can be learned from this movie. How has the average American reacted? I also wonder about the people of Kazakhstan and how they react to their country’s portrayal. Not just the government, but the real people too. Sacha Baron Cohen recently won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Borat. His movie and character go beyond just the vulgar humour; there is substance there as well.

The Witching Hour

Yesterday, I finished Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour. While reading, I found myself having to force myself to put the book down. Yes, there are definitely some disturbing scenes. The Witching Hour also has an erotic undertone… and overtone. I just think it is an interesting story; that someone/something could see into the future and create their own vessel in which to become flesh on earth.

The only problem I had with this novel is the length. It’s over a thousand pages. So if you decide to pick up this novel, it is a commitment. I can usually read a three to four hundred page novel in about two weeks, usually less. This one has taken me about a month. Towards the end, I just wanted it to be over. The ending was definitely not a surprise. However, it did leave it open for the next two novels. What will happen to Michael, Rowan and Lasher? You have to keep reading to find out.

Hellboy

What happened to Hellboy?

It starts out as a great action/fantasy movie. There are good effects, scary monsters, it’s great. I liked the contrast of what Hellboy was born as and what his father taught him to be. There are morals in this movie. We also see the difference between “following destiny” and making a choice to change the future.

They really screwed up the ending though. There’s no real climax. It becomes all too predictable. She’s a firestarter, he’s fireproof, of course they’re made for each other! You could see how he was going to defeat the big demon at the end. Men In Black anyone? In general, I liked the movie, but the end failed to live up to the rest of the storyline.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blood Diamond

It is so difficult to describe such a powerful film. Blood Diamond is potent and moving; everyone needs to watch. There is so much emotion and reality weaved into every bit of it. Blood Diamond makes you think, not just about what is happening in Africa, but what is happening in jewelry stores all over the world. This film goes beyond the diamond trade and deep into the lives of ordinary African citizens, trying to make a future for their children.

Leonardo DiCaprio is brilliant. It is no wonder he is up for a Golden Globe (against himself). He certainly deserves it. Djimon Hounsou is amazing as the African father fighting for his family. Each character, including the reporter played by Jennifer Connelly, goes through an emotional change and life threatening situations. All the while, their lives revolve around one big pink rock. Blood Diamond keeps your heart and mind racing.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Night at the Museum

What a fun movie!! Craig and I just came from watching Night At The Museum. For those of you who don’t know, it’s about the night watchman at the Museum for Natural History and what happens to him. It was so funny. But with actors like Ben Stiller, Robin Williams and Owen Wilson, that’s not surprising. Even Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney & Bill Cobbs are in it. Night At The Museum is family friendly, with lots of laughs for the adults. It’s a great date movie. I know the critics haven’t been terribly kind to it, but I think it’s definitely worth seeing.

PS: Happy New Year!