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