Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dreamgirls


Another movie I was surprised at how much I liked it. I thought Jennifer Hudson was the star of that movie. She was fantastic as Effie. I also thought the filmmakers did a good job at keeping the theatre quality within the film. You could tell it was a theatrical production, but without any detriment to the movie. The only problem I had with the movie was that I felt it was a little long. I don’t know if that was because all the songs were full-length tracks. After awhile, you start wondering when it’ll be over. I think Dreamgirls is definitely worth seeing and I’m a bit sorry it took me so long.

21


This was a movie that I honestly thought I wasn’t going to like. Kevin Spacey and Lawrence Fishbourne are both good actors, but from the previews and what I knew of the storyline, I really had no interest in seeing it. I’m happy to say that I was wrong. I really enjoyed 21. I thought Jim Sturgess was a great choice for the lead character. He played the innocent swept up the in the excitement of a dangerous world so well. I was glad that we picked this movie up.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Passage to Dawn


I am so happy with the ending to Passage to Dawn. It is as good a feeling as you can get from a Forgotten Realms novel, I think. As soon as the poem was recited, I knew who the 'tortured soul' was. To me, it was obvious; I was so happy that I was right. The end left me excited to read The Silent Blade.

I'm enjoying the novels on Drizzt by R. A. Salvatore; glad I was introduced to them. Drizzt is such an interesting character, who is surrounded by interesting friends. Each character is strong in their own way. I also have to say that his female characters are wonderful to read. Even his enemies garner some thought. If you want some good stories, with well developed characters, definitely dive into the Legend of Drizzt.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Jewel of Medina Pulled By Random House Amid Fears of Islamic Violence

The novel, The Jewel of Medina hasn’t even been published yet, but it’s already causing controversy. Author Sherry Jones had her book deal. She sent it off to have someone read it, give notes and then it was over. The full story is included in the second link below. Emails were leaked, websites were in an uproar and violence was feared. Violence was feared because of a piece of “historical fiction”. What is this? 1939? Too many threats and Random House pulled the book.

I’m a bit surprised, as are the people at the Writers Write blog (the first link below). I could see it getting banned in some countries, but to not have the US publish it seems a little odd. Are they so concerned about a violent reprisal? If Random House thinks that Jones’ book will sell, then it should be published, right? Of course, a Dutch cartoonist in 2005 drew a few cartoons and 100 people died. Can Sherry Jones get another house to dare to publish her book?

Regarding the subject matter of the book, I’m not so sure it was a good idea to write it in the first place. Some critics called it soft-core pornography. I don’t quite agree with that, but I don’t know how appropriate it is to pen an account of a religious figure’s first time having intercourse with his very young bride. I don’t dispute a writer’s desire to tell the story of an important historical figure. After all, we have films like The Passion of the Christ and The Ten Commandments. Anne Rice’s most recent books are Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: Road to Cana. She is definitely someone who knows about sexuality in a novel. Yet now, she is writing about Jesus Christ. I think the problem is that they fear Jones is turning Aisha into a violent, overtly sexual being. From the excerpt I’ve read, I can see why that would be feared by a strict religious community. So, while I might now like it, I think if Random House or another publisher wants to publish it, they should.
http://www.writerswrite.com/wblog.php?wblog=811081
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/aug/09/fiction.terrorism

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Evil Dead: The Musical

“It’s like the musicals you love, only evil.”

Evil Dead: The Musical is too awesome! It is full of camp, slapstick, blood and gore. It’s hilarious. I barely stopped laughing the whole time. They’ve captured the essence of the characters and blended the first two movies wonderfully. They make fun of the movies, Sam Raimi and themselves. I could not have asked for a better production!

It’s currently playing at the Diesel Playhouse in Toronto. Evil Dead will be there only until September 6th, so get your tickets fast. I saw the show in the middle of the week and it was still pretty packed. There is also a production in California. Where it’s off to next, I’m not sure. You should also check out the Facebook group.

The truth is, I can’t get over how much fun I had at this show!

I have a couple of fun and/or useful links below.

http://www.evildeadthemusical.com/
http://www.dieselplayhouse.com/
http://www.bruce-campbell.com/pilot.asp
http://www.willowstheatre.com/evildeadmedia.htm

Monday, August 04, 2008

Undead and Unwed


Undead and Unwed is like Lestat meets Becky Bloomwood. It’s vampire ‘chick lit’ and very enjoyable. Betsy (Elizabeth) Taylor is the most unlikely vampire queen. She’s definitely no Queen of the Damned. In one week she has to deal with dying, being brought back undead, overthrowing the crazy bad guy and having her ‘stepmonster’ steal her designer shoes. It’s a lot to take, but for a regular girl, she handles it all quite well.

Undead and Unwed is a light, fun read. MaryJanice Davidson creates a world that feels like anyone can fall into. The typical dark and brooding vampire is a joke. Betsy is a regular, though unlucky girl, that now has to drink blood (ew!). The story is a wonderful distraction. If you need a novel or few (this is the first novel in a series) to take to the beach or the cottage, MaryJanice Davidson can supply them for you.