Friday, November 30, 2012

20. Bossypants by Tina Fey

This book was pretty funny. I mean, it was written by Tina Fey, who wrote skits for SNL and Mean Girls, of course it was hilarious. The novel is told as the back story to how Tina Fey got to where she was. Random moments of her life, the jobs she had, how she got the gig of a lifetime on 30 Rock. It was all uber sarcastic and with great references, it made me literally laugh to myself many times, which is a sign of comic genius.

One of the girls in my book club actually had the book on CD which when I thought about it was brilliant. As no one can deliver those lines like she can. I pictured her doing a monologue as I read the novel. The discussion of her looking identical to Sarah Palin and the sketches, too good. It was a fun read, nothing too deep or serious and just really made you laugh about the moments of life you look back on to see how you made it here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

19. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

I actually really did not like this book. It took my a while to get through it, even though it was not a very long book at all. I did not feel very sympathetic to either of the main character. The woman who's house was taken through a mistake by the state I felt bad for at first. But then she was very rude and ignorant about the other family that moved into her home. It was just a very weird story, and it ends terribly as well. Everyone is basically screwed in the end, and I felt the book was a waste of my time. To me the book just showed how everyone has their own prejudices, the persian family was stuck in their old ways, not assimilating well into America, and the father made decisions without consulting the wife or even explaining situations to her so she could understand. Kathy, the American whose house was taken from her wrongly, she had every right to be angry and frustrated with the situation, but she allowed herself to be dragged into a far worse situation, and went into a downward spiral without being honest about her situation to her family. There is too much for me to hate on, so I will just leave it there.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

18. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

This was probably one of the weirdest books I have ever read. It was entertaining and kept me hooked to keep reading, but unfortunately the end of the book felt like a big let down. The plot was about the main character becoming a hand of death, where he helps souls move from one person to the next through inanimate objects. It did entertain me, the writing was funny, filled with sarcasm, but it was a book from start to finish you knew it was completely fantastical and not real.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy fantasy novels with magic or vampires and other such craziness, but I like to read novels and stories like that where it can almost convince me it could really happen. That such a world could be existing right under our noses. This book was just soooo over the top and ridiculous that it was unbelievable. I hope that makes sense. I wouldn't recommend this book personally, I have mentioned it to people as so odd and ridiculous but not to bother reading it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

17. A Sweethaven Summer by Courtney Walsh

The story unfolds about a girl who's mother died and left her with a lot of questions about her own history and her mother's. Who is her father? Who are these women her mother wrote letters to, but never mentioned to her? What is Sweethaven and why does it seem to contain a piece of her mother that she never knew about?

This was a cute novel. It was a little too cut and dry for me, pretty much it ends with the happy ending, everyone reaches a crisis and moves on with a better hold on their life, and all because of this one meeting up in Sweethaven. It had parts that I really liked, but also parts I really found cheesy and predictable. Overall I enjoyed it, it was a short quick read compared to the other books I have been reading.

The romance thread between the main girl and the local son of .... kept me hooked. But other than that there wasn't too much to this story to recommend it to anyone. 

End of Summer Movie Time

43. My Sister's Keeper - Okay this was on lifetime and I decided to DVR the movie, as I heard it was terrible, and completely different than the book. And oh my was it. I did actually like this book, but hated the ending. Which is what they changed in the movie, which kinda makes me laugh because I hated the movie version of events. I think what makes me mad is if you are going to adapt a book to film, at least make the key parts the same. DO NOT CHANGE THE CRUX OF THE BOOK IN THE MOVIE! Not only will the book fans hate you, most of the time the movie isn't as powerfully charged. (And I absolutely hated the mom character in the movie, played by Cameron Diaz. Just a rando factoid.

44. Pitch Perfect  - Totally loved this movie! I am a sucker for any movie with music and singing (my boyfriend can painstakingly agree to this) and this one did not disappoint. I dragged Bradley with me, as I got free advanced movie passes, and from start to finish the movie had me hooked. Anna Kendrik is amazing, I knew she could sing as I watched a gem of a movie called "Camp" back in the day, and I am pretty sure that was her first movie role. Girl has some pipes on her. The lead actor starred on the broadway stage in "Spring Awakening" and tons of other great cast members. All in all a fun movie with some great music.

45. The Words  - This movie pulled me in. I went to see it at Cinepolis, which is a fancy movie theater in which they serve you dinner and drinks to your recliner chair seats. (I kid you not) But I digress the movie itself was really powerful and a great visual piece. The movie was a story within a story within a story. Dennis Quad is an author that is reading aloud excerpts from his novel about an author (Bradley Cooper) who was struggling along trying to become a big hit, and he finds an old manuscript that is an amazing story, and he ends up passing it off as his own. And then the story flips back and forth between the characters in the story and Dennis Quad. I can't say more, but watch it I think its worth it. 

46. Without A Paddle - Eh, this movie had its moments but I think I would have survived without ever watching it. Semi ridiculous at times, had some funny/stupid elements. It was no Beerfest or Eurotrip, so I would say its fine to live without. 

47. Monte Carlo - Not gonna lie, kinda liked this movie. It was so the same idea as tons of other movies come and gone, there is the look alike, one of the group looks just like some famous singer, actor, and then they get to pretend to live the great life. I like Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester so overall it was cute but nothing special.

48. Cobu - I can't say much as this is not a movie that is released and I saw an advanced screening for the movie. It was interesting, not the best or worst movie, had some sweet dancing scenes so I enjoyed it.

49. 10 Years - I love reunion movies, especially as next year will be my 10 year reunion. This movie had an awesome cast, Channing Tatum, his wife in real life (sorry Jenna Tatum I think?) Justin Long, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, etc. There are many great moments and I loved the the awkwardness of rekindled friendships and people you just never got along with.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

16. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This was by far one of the craziest books I have read recently. The story starts on the morning of Nick and Amy Dunne's 5 year wedding Anniversary, and suddenly Amy is gone. There are signs of a struggle and more and more elements are popping up leaving Nick looking like the guilty one. And his actions and choices don't help to alleviate the suspicion.

This book was great at manipulating the reader, and what you think is reality and who the real victim/victims are here. Did Nick really do something to his wife? What are the events that led this seemingly nice couple to this fateful day? With each chapter there is more and more deception and further questions to answer. I absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. I would recommend if you like thriller/mysteries that are fast pace and really suck you in.

I don't want to reveal too much plot, but there is so much hidden here that it will really keep you guessing until the last page on what happens next.

(Sub note, they actually mention The Wind Up Bird Chronicle in this book, which was the book I had read just before this! It made me laugh.) Also, this is the second book in row in which the husband is trying to find out what happened to his wife, as The Wind Up Bird Chronicle was also mostly about a man trying to find out where his wife is and why she left him. Very interesting...

A must read for me! I loved it. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

15. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

This was one strange book. I mean I am all for pushing the limits on the human mind and the types of things we can do that seem beyond the realm of normalcy, prophesying or communicating with the dead, anything and everything but this novel just took a really long time to go nowhere for me personally.

The story starts off with the main character. Mr. Okada, gets a phone call from a woman claiming he knows her very well and with her mantra "I just need 10 minutes of you time" and from the start of the book to the end you just feel like you are on a whirlwind of events that seem to connect but then never eventually do. Nothing ever seems to actually correlate and come back to square one, and the novel is lacking the cohesion from point a to b to c, as its a to m to i to z. Nothing seems to flow and some of the plot I just didn't get why the author included it or why it was in the novel.

And their cat is missing, so Kumiko, the main character's wife, is trying to get the stay at home husband (Mr. Okada) to search for it. She sends him to a psychic and to the random alley behind their house that leads no where, as it is closed off on both ends.

It got to be a little mundane also because all these other sub characters (Malta Kano, Creta Kano, Nutmeg, the Leutenant, Ushiwayga) they all feel compelled to tell their own min-stories as well. So the plot gets more and more dense with these "other" stories, which you think are revealed to somehow explain the main plot of the novel which is what happened to Kumiko once she leaves the house and never comes back. I kept waiting for the "aha" moment where everything became clear and came back together, but it never did.... I am still waiting for some closure here.

Don't get me wrong, there were some really interesting ideas and philosophies at play here, but it was all so muddled and lost in the book that any meaning or relevance was pretty much lost on my by the end of the book.There were psychics and people who could push the limits of their mind. Kumiko's brother, Noburo Wataya had the power of influence and could make people hang on his every word. Creta Kano could get inside your dreams, Okada had the power to heal people and access some hidden facets of the mind. But there was so much going on that these plots get confused and loose their meanings.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Movie Time

 39. Cars - So cute! I had actually never watched this movie. I really enjoyed it. I can see why all the young kids (particulary the boys) love this one. I went to Disneyland and actually went to the Carland area and it was adorable. Now it is all in context. What I found funnier was as I watched the movie I was like oh, I remember that from the ride. I know, I am one of a kind. (Also, I watched this as part of a Disney day experience, in which wine and glorious bread with an assortment of cheese was available. A grown up kids day, I like to think of it as.)

40. American Reunion - Not as awesome as the original, (come on, nothing can top American Pie) but had its moments. I think the cast are all too old to make the jokes as funny and new compared to the first one. But overall it was worth a watch. I liked that literally all the original cast members come back.

41. Machine Gun Preacher - I was not a fan of this movie. Don't get me wrong, the heart of the story about the cruelty and terrible slaughtering of people and the recruiting of young children of Sudan to be part of the armies, that was so shocking and terrible but one of those things that people have to see. We have to know what is going on in the world. And this probably seem terrible of me to say, as this was based on a true story, but I did not like the main character. He really bothered me from the moment the movie started. He was a drug dealer and druggie, and treated his girlfriend/wife like crap. Then he finds his calling to his faith, and goes to Africa to try and make peace with the messed up life he made himself by helping the Sudanese. However, his fight to save these people ends up warping his own mind and he becomes obsessed with it. He will kill and slaughter the same way, and it just angered me. The movie ends on a slightly happier note, but I was just annoyed by it.

42. Brave - I was so excited to see a disney movie about a Scottish family! That is my heritage! This was an enjoyable movie, and the plot was completely different than what I had anticipated the movie to be about. Which was refreshing. The triplet brothers were so cute and mischievous. Plus one of besties Ellen was here so I got to do a girl's trip to the movies to see a Disney flick. Super awesome.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

14. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

This book is  literally what the HBO series TrueBlood was based on. It was a very silly book. I enjoyed it, but it was nothing fancy. Sookie Stackhouse was a funny southern character that has an interest in Vampires. As they have just "come out of the coffin" as it were and announced their real existence to the world. The novel is all about her weirdness, as she can hear people's thoughts and always felt like an outsider, but once Bill Compton comes into Merlottes, he is the first person she encounters that she can not hear, and that brings her peace.

The book as pretty much exactly like the first season of the show, and I am not going to lie, TrueBlood is my guilty pleasure. But what I thought was crazy, is that there is no such character named Tara!! She was a character they made up for the show! Other than that, everything else was pretty similar to the book. If you want a light read that is silly and easy going, than this is one for you.

13. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

This book I really just read because I saw the movie version, and it was the only book I recognized that I could get for free on my kindle. The movie was just okay to me, pretty boring and took me like 3 tries to finish watching it so I thought the novel would be better.

I liked how the novel went back and forth with Jacob in his present day self, old and left at some nursing home as his kids couldn't take him in, and then his flash backs to what his life was like back when he worked on a circus. The scenes of his life in the nursing home were so heart wrenching and real, reminded me of when my great aunt was in one and just the more lonely and senile she got, just because of where she was.

The book was a decent read, it kept me pushing through to hear more about Jacob and Rosie, the elephant. I actually felt that the elephant wasn't as big of an element in the book as it was in the movie, which is interesting. Especially as the book is literally titled Water for Elephants.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

12. Sun Storm by Assa Larsson

This was a crazy book. Pretty short but had me hooked from the start. This was originally a story written in Swedish I believe and so its translated into English. Certain sections and the writing can be off with meaning and flow, but otherwise I found it to be an intriguing thriller with the "who is guilty" constantly wracking your mind. A lot of questions remain unanswered for me, and the end isn't a neat bow tying everything up nicely. A lot of it is still open-ended leaving you to piece together exactly what happened. I think in the end Sanna was the most guilty person in the whole novel, but that you can decide for yourself.

The character's I thought were very believable. Many of the men seemed to have issues with woman and looked down on them constantly throughout the story. The prosecutor, the pastors, most of the men in the novel. There were many different people's perspectives and views you were able to see, which made the book very interesting. You got to hear inside most of the main characters heads exactly what they thought and were feeling which gave more questions and less answers at the same time. Very interesting way of writing.

If you liked the "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" this is a lighter dose of a thriller/mystery type of novel and would be a great dip in the pool of such types of books.

11. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

This book took me a long time to get into. I honestly took like 2 months to get through the first 8 or 9 chapters. Then I was like a woman possessed and read the rest of the book within 3 days. This book was very ridiculous in some ways, but also made me laugh and enjoy the risque elements I would never have otherwise.

The plot was a little ridiculous, and the main character annoyed me a little. She was whiny and at times also moody and reminded me of a teenager in love. I mean I know she was only supposed to be 21, but I don't know it seemed more like a high school novel with crazy sex scenes thrown in. The writing was nothing special, and the beginning chapters I found really boring. Then half way through it is revealed Mr. Grey's sexual preferences and the book gets semi interesting and pretty unbelievable.

If you want an easy book to read with a basic love story and the sex write out there in the novel, then this would be the one for you!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - Movie Time

38. The Dark Knight Rises - What can be said about this movie? It was a great ending to the trilogy. Christian Bale's voice when he's in the batman suit is still pretty hilarious to me but other than that, I found him to be a believable Bruce Wayne/Batman. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman was interesting and I found the dynamic between the two of them witty and fun. The plot kept me intrigued, as it spans a decent amount of time. This movie had a decent twist and kinda kept me guessing as to what was really going on. Sad to see this Batman trilogy come to an end, and even worse the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. This trilogy will always have the dark stains of Heath Ledgers death and this fatal shooting in Colorado. Very sad and crazy how people in this world can be....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

10. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

This was an interesting novel that starts on one person, Bennie, and then circles out to encompass the lives of many different people who directly and indirectly came in to his life. There were some really interesting parts of this book that i really enjoyed. There were perspectives told from first person and third person. Each chapter was told through another characters eyes, which made it both interesting and  chaotic. Sometimes it would take a few pages to determine who it was that was telling the story and how we know who they are. It kept me intrigued the whole way through.

The only thing that I didn't like was that once the story was told through a specific person's eyes, it never went back to them again. I can't get into much detail, but it was overall an interesting book. They are supposedly making an HBO series out of the book which I would probably watch.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

This was a really sweet novel that paints a wonderful picture of Brooklyn. How it was and what it turns into throughout the course of one girl's adolescence into her adulthood. I loved the way the author could really get inside the head of the young girl and then how the mind grows up. How the things you adored as a young child loose their meaning. How much more magical the moments were when you were innocent and then how they dull and loose their fresh hold as you age. It took me about 2 months to read this book, as it is a really slow paced novel that not too much happens. So reading a chapter here and there before bed is all that is needed. Definitely worth a read, as the descriptive language and the aging of Brooklyn along with the aging of the main character, Francie, is really creative. Also, its told through the perspective of this low class poor family and the darker side of the world that you learn to love.

There are a lot of hidden elements and themes throughout the novel about poverty, the aftermath of living such a life. There are so many different types of characters introduced, the drunk but lovable father, the strong willed mother, the petty women who stand on the blocks discussing the other women on the block. The other members of the Nolan-Rommeley family and how they all have their own faults and shortcomings. I really liked that this novel became a real tribute to the different generations of the family and also the differences surrounding Brooklyn itself. A worthwhile read if you want a book you can slowly take your time with to enjoy.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Week of the Movie Theatre Outings (And some rando movies too)

33. Ted - Loved this movie. How can you go wrong with a stuffed animal that talks, sleeps around and anything and everything inappropriate? The "dirty fozzy" I mean too many great lines to go into further. But I would say if you like Family Guy with their inappropriate jokes and constant references to other actors, movies and T.V. shows. Such a great movie.

34. Men in Black III - Eh I did not love this movie. I didn't really care for the second Men in Black movie either so I had a feeling I wouldn't be too thrilled with it. The plot was kinda the same as the other movies, except Will Smith ends up going back in time to save K (Tommy Lee Jones) as a young man. It was okay, kid friendly fun. I think the jokes and humor between the two has been done too many times that it has lost the original magic the first movie had.

35. The Amazing Spiderman in 3D  - I actually really liked this re-make of Spiderman. I thought the guy cast to play Peter Parker was believable and personally Tobey Maguire didn't really do it for me in the original movies. Emma Stone is a great actress and I usually love her. The plot was different enough from the original Spiderman that I didn't feel like I was simply re-watching the same movie (like the Hulk movies) The lizard/doctor was a great character that you sympathized with, and overall I would recommend.

36. Wrath of the Titans - Another movie that didn't do it for me. Why do I continue to watch sequels when I  do not like the first movie? A good question that I did not stop and think about long enough before turning this on. The plot was pretty boring, another Perseus must save the world as he is the last hope....blah blah been there done that in round one no? Pass on this flick, nothing special.

37. Goon - This was a hilarious movie I had never heard of. If you are a hockey fan and liked Stifler from the American Pie movies....well then this movie will have all you need and more for a good time. Sean William Scott plays a local nobody, who is not the most intelligent from Boston and happens to be very good at kicking people's asses. He catches the eye of a hockey team manager when he fights a hockey player in the stands and knocks him out. He somehow gets added to the team...can he skate? Fuck no. He is just a goon they need to intimidate the other team and protect the real hockey players so they can score. Interesting movie that I just loved.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

8 - Night Road by Kristin Hannah

I really liked this book. It's way more sappy than I usually like, but it was not over the top so I could handle it. (I like to think of it as similar to a Nicholas Sparks novel but not quite so cliche and ridiculously sappy). So the story is told through two eyes, the first set is a young girl named Lexi. She was living in the foster system for the past 5 years off and on and had a drug-addicted mother who kept coming back into the picture to mess up her prospects. She finally seems to have found a Washington.

Then the story switches to the perspective of a mother of two, twin boy/girl, Mia and Zach and she is the overprotective mother who is immersed in her kids lives suffocatingly so. She cares and loves them, but she is head mom of the PTA and knows all the events going on at school, when the school dances are...and is involved way more than the typical parent. Almost as though she wanted to re-live her childhood through her kids. The story really takes off when the kids hit their senior year of high school. Lexi and Mia are best friends, and Zach and Lexi fall in love. One night out drinking changes their lives forever, one life taken, one sent to prison, and one left trying to live a half life without the love needed to grow.

Told you, its a very emotional book that had highs and lows, but overall I really enjoyed it and would recommend it if you want a story that has love, tragedy, and questions about how would you try to move on after a life altering tragedy? Who would you blame? Yourself, friends, family, alcohol... or is it just life and you have to learn to deal with it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

More Movies

29. Prometheus - This movie was pretty good. I had mixed feelings going into it, the trailer didn't really wow me. I went with my brother to the midnight opening...and no I did not see it in 3-D. The line was so obnoxious and I don't think seeing it in 3-D would have magically made anything cooler to me. The plot was similar to any alien-type of movie. Go to some distant planet, there seems to be sketchy alien beings there that want to take over. It wasn't as thriller/gruesome as I would have anticipated based on the actual Alien movies, but it was still overall an enjoyable flick. One actor in the movie, I think he is British in real life, he plays a cyborg in the movie. His character was pretty funny and yet devious as well. I thought the cast was pretty good as well, that is important for any movie.

30. Conviction - Bradley and I were bored one night and put on this movie. I actually really liked it. The premise was this, Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell were brother and sister who were always super tight. Them against the world. He was always getting into trouble growing up. He is arrested and put in jail for the murder of a woman in the town, but the whole time he pleads his innocence. At first, Hilary Swank just supported him during the trial, but then when he actually gets convicted, she basically makes it her life mission to get him free. She puts herself through her GED, Bachelor's Degree, and finally law school, all so she can try to help her brother. It's a sad struggle, it costs her her marriage, her sons feel neglected, and she has to fight the whole time to prove her brother is not guilty. It was a really good movie, also with a great cast. Minnie Driver is always refreshing with her witty comments. If you get the chance, watch this one.

31. Rock of Ages - Eh. I saw the musical and loved it. (This Broadway theatre it was being performed in served alcohol to your seat, so yeah I loved it. I mean you really felt like you were part of a rock concert.) I don't think a musical like this can translate well into a film. The cast was decent, however I didn't really like the two main people the guy/girl love interest. Tom Cruise was hilarious though, his character was bat shit crazy and the passionate scenes with him and Malin Ackerman were too much. I also though Alec Baldwin was decent, but the character Russell Brand played, I don't think he executed it as well as the live show did. The musical was told by that guy, but the movie they didn't use that angle as it was too hard to convey. So I wasn't impressed. Could wait for dvd to see this one.

32. X-Men: First Class - I am a comic book/action hero junkie. As I have previously stated, you really can't go wrong with action scenes and super powers. Come on. And this movie I thought was pretty good. Not as amazing as the X-Men movies before it, but still lives up to the film genre. I liked James McAvoy as Professor X, and the other characters besides Mystique and Magneto were pretty much background noise. They were briefly mentioned but no lasting impressions. Except for the geeky CIA guy who also happened to be a mutant. It was clever how they tried to take the actual events of the cold war and put a spin on it to include the mutants as always being behind the main events of the countries. I would recommend t his one as well.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

7 - Heart of the Matter - By Emily Griffin

This was not a book I particularly liked. I think the problem was what the story evolved into and I just didn't like the story content. So the book starts off through the eyes of Tessa, the wife of a fabulous pediatric surgeon and mother of two young children. Then the following chapter the books switched gears and we meet Valerie, a single mom to one child who ends up getting badly burned at a sleepover. The novel flips back and forth between the two women, and what I realized halfway through the novel is that the chapters with Tessa are told in first person, and the chapters about Valerie are 3rd person.

Tessa seems like the usual mom struggling to do it all, not be too nagging to the husband, the best parent she can be. She quits her job to be the stay at home mom to handle their lives. Although her husband deals with life and death situations daily, he tries not to bring that home with him. He seems to resent the upper class world they live in, and refuses to spread more gossip into that world, and slowly seems to be pushing away his wife because she is trying to adapt to this life they are leading. Where as Valerie is a lawyer, single mom, who has to be parent provider and everything to her son.

I liked the book up until the plot between Dr. Nick, (Tessa's husband) who is the doctor to Valerie's son, starts to become inappropriate. I understand that people have affairs and there are cheaters and those who are cheated on, but I just don't like it. My moral compass is strongly against acting in the moment and "giving in" to passion or whatever the excuse is. I have never been a cheater, and I don't like reading about it or watching movies involving it. If you don't know me well, let me tell you, I tend to be a really objective person in an argument. I have always been the person who always puts myself  in the other person's shoes, or tries to see an issue or fight from every angle possible before making my decisions. The thing with cheating, is that my heart always goes out to the one cheated on. My immediate reaction is sympathy, for the other person who has no idea what their partner is doing, how they are lying and not being faithful. I understand that passion and romance can be lost over time in a relationship, then you need to end it and move on, or accept it for what it is. No one deserves to feel that pain and embarrassment of finding out the one you have been faithful to and honest to is nothing like the person you thought they were. I have never been cheated on myself (which I am thankful for) but this whole dynamic frustrates me and I just can't sympathize with characters that make such choices.

So, I know I rambled, but my point is this. I could not stand the book because of what it became. It reminded me of the movie "He's Just Not That Into You". I love Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper in almost every role they have taken. I have to say almost, as I hated their plot and characters in this movie. ScarJo knew Cooper's character was married, and Cooper knew that what he was doing was wrong. But they did it anyway. The scene in his office was really when I was just horrified. But again I digress. My point was, Cooper was married to Jennifer Connelly in the movie, and she was an annoying person, but I still did not believe she deserved what happened to her. Even if she had accepted it and was willing to say with him anyway... I did not approve. So whatever, my personal opinion and this really has no review of the book, but basically the book was about "Matters of the Heart" and what to do when you heart says one thing, even if you know its wrong, should you still do it?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Movies - The Avengers and some others...

25. The Avengers  - Enjoyed the movie. I think all comic book turned movies are pretty good (except maybe Spiderman 3, that was just total crap) The plot was overall good, but I think there were too many characters to really want to root for one overall. Which I guess could be the point, that they are all on the "right" side, but still. Thor still is gorgeous as ever, and Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man is just always great. I think his character tends to stand out slightly more than the others, maybe that is just me as I find him hilarious. Cool in 3D so I would recommend it as a great comic book/action movie.

Marvel Superhero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet For Nintendo Wii

26. Despicable Me - Loved this movie! The plot was cute and funny. Enjoyable for adults and children I think. The plot was a little ridiculous, as more child movies are, as this centered around the "evil villian" Gru, and how he ends up adopting 3 young girls all for part of his evil plan....but then ends up loving them. Super cute. The minions were hilarious! I thought they were so funny and honestly could have been their own separate movie. I am  a movie dork so I loved that it was Steve Carell as the voice of Gru, and its ridiculous German accent. Definitely recommend!

27. The Darkest Hour - I enjoyed the movie. I mean honestly I was putting together a puzzle while watching it, so I may not have been giving it my undivided attention. It was a decent action/thriller I guess. The plot was a little weak....basically another alien invasion movie, where they want to harness our minerals and scrap the earth. And electricity is the way they see bodies or something like that. That part was a little much, but I loved that Holder from the show "The Killing" was in the movie. He was a douche in the beginning but then ends up being one of the only survivors with the group. Overall it was a decent movie, nothing over the top great but decent.

28. Battleship - Wow, this movie really disappointed me. I don't know what it was I was expecting, but the movie did not deliver it for me. I guess first thing first, the opening scene was really too absurd for me. My boyfriend disagreed and thought it was hilarious and totally believable as what a guy who wanted to impress a girl would do...but I guess I'm cynical and don't think anyone would be that desperate to impress a girl with a "chicken burrito". I don't want to give away too much I will keep it vague. Also, the main guy was such an over the top narcissist that I didn't really like him. Normally the bad boys you end up falling for them anyway right? Well not for me with this guy. The people I really wanted to watch in this movie, namely Liam Neeson and  Alexander Skarsgård (Eric from TruBlood) were barely in it! And Rihanna's lines were so corny and ridiculous, as I think most of this movie ended up being. Fail Hasbro, fail.

28. The Help - Most people don't agree with me, but I prefer to watch a movie before reading the book it was based on. Typically people think that "ruins" the book. Oh so not true. What burns me is when I've read a book, am completely in love with the plot and scenes and characters, and then directors and actors use their "creative license" or decide never to read the books the character they are playing was based on, and just hope for the best. (Ahem, Twilight) But anyways I am rambling. To clarify I never read this book, but I heard it was amazing. I just watched the movie and absolutely loved it! It was such an interesting story, and such a pivotal time in our history when people had to step up for those who had no power, and to acknowledge that how people were behaving towards one another was wrong. Very inspirational movie, and very sad too to hear and see the stories of what happened during that time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

6 - Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong

I found this to be a very different type of story, but I liked it. The main character, Linda, was always an outsider in her life. She didn't get along well with her mother, or her grandmother, her father died when she was in her teens, and even her best friend was in a different social circle so they never hung out. They would just write letters to one another. The story was also interesting, as Linda suffered from a condition that made her taste words. Which is as weird as it sounds. Her name, Linda, would bring the taste of mint to her mouth whenever anyone said her name. Many words had food tastes associated with them, and usually they had not real logical correlation. So this character was really isolated and different from everyone else around her.

What I liked about the book was first, I thought this was just the author using a creative license and made this character taste words. But then halfway through the book Linda sees a news program about this condition, and I googled it. Turns out this is a real condition some people deal with! They have a condition that makes their body mash together two sensory things at once, so in Linda's case she tastes when she hears words. Other people see colors when reading words, or hear music when reading words. All these are different forms of this same condition.

The other thing I really liked about the story, was that this character and her best friend were lifelong penpals. They lived right near each other, and would see each other, but they wrote letters. At first it was just for fun, but once they hit high school, the friend ran with the "in" crowd and Linda became a "smart" student so they did not associate with each other in public, as they were in different clicks and that was the only way they communicated. I found this really interesting, as they both still wanted to be friends, needed each other for support and would tell the details of their lives, but still kept up this front of not being associated with each other. It was interesting and odd at the same time.

Also this book had a really great way of creating intrigue and draws you in. The author does not reveal everything about the main character, but slowly lets you in. Halfway through the book there is a great moment when something is revealed that brings alot of clarity to the character of Linda, and explains alot about her isolation and feelings of always being the outsider.

All in all, an interesting read and I would recommend it. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

5 - Still Missing - by Chevy Stevens

I enjoyed the book, but elements of the book did bother me so I didn't love it. The basic plot is that about this woman, who was a realtor showing an open house and ends up being abducted for about a year by a psychopath she so eloquently refers to as "The Freak". This probably would have never been a book I would have picked up on my own, as the style of writing kinda bothered me. Well, let me explain. So the way the story is told, each chapter is told as though it is a therapy session, and its after the abduction and the woman (Annie) gives like a re-cap of whatever it is she feels like discussing with the therapist during the session. It's a different and interesting idea, but the character was so snarky and sarcastic each time, like "Oh hey doc, you must loathe hearing me whine about my life each week, but I can't help it. I have become such a self-centered and whiny person since this happened" and each chapter starts with her like saying a different degree of the same thing. It got a little annoying for me.

This book takes place in Canada, which was fine and all, but instead of saying police station, they call it, and I kid you not, a "cop shop". Which just made me laugh, what weird terminology! Are you purchasing police investigations? Is it a shop you can peruse and pick which cop will be assisting you? I mean cop shop, I wasn't even sure what the hell they were talking about until I kept reading. Crazy Canadians.

The book was great with plot and action though. It really drew you in, as the way the book was told, the action had really already happened, and by the middle of the story, you realize there is more going on here than just the original abduction. All in all a very entertaining and different type of story, filled with disturbing events and intrigue, mystery and all around family drama/tragedy.

I recommend, if you like the disturbing/thriller plots with crazy twists!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


18. In Time - I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one. The plot was pretty unique, a little confusing at first to understand how the time thing worked. But I thought it was rather convincing. I love Cillian Murphy as the bad guy, he just plays those roles so well. So I would recommend, interesting action flick set in the future. It was really weird to see how "generations" all look the same age. Mom and son look like they were born the same year as no one ages past 26. Very strange but interesting.

19. The Five Year Engagement - I personally liked this This was a realistic live view of people trying to each make their careers and what you have to give up to make a relationship work. And sometimes, it doesn't work out as neither person is really happy with the things they have to sacrifice. Or one person feels like they are giving up everything for the other and grows resentful.

20. The Muppets - Another Jason Segel movie, it had its moments. I don't know if I've lost my muppet magic, or what, but it wasn't as great of a movie as I was anticipating. I love Muppet Treasure Island, but this movie's plot was kinda weak for me.  Cute but not as great as I was hoping.

21. My Week with Marilyn - As I have been watching the show Smash on NBC and learning about the life of Marilyn Monroe, and I like the show more than this movie. It may have been because it is a play and incorporates singing and broadway so I am a little biased. It was still a decent movie, but I thought all the hoopla about the movie made it seem more interesting than it what the film was.

22. Firelight - Hallmark TV movie, starring Cuba Gooding Jr, need I say more? The plot was about a bunch of girls/young women in juvenile detention. In there for all kinds of reasons, and Cuba Gooding is the counselor there. He initiated a program training the women (who qualify) to be trained as firefighters and have a job/experience rehabilitation  while serving their time. Everyone learned a moral lesson, and there was the open ending that led you feeling that everything would work out in the end. It was corny, but I liked it. 

23. We Bought a Zoo - Loved this movie! It's a cute coming of age story with the family trying to-restart their lives after a terrible tragedy. And what better way than by purchasing a new home where the closest Target is 9 miles away, and better yet is attached to a ZOO! The daughter in this movie was so freaking adorable, I couldn't handle it. Scarlett Johansson as the head zoo keeper was a little ridiculous, but I went with it. 

24. Iron Man 2 - I finally got around to watching this movie, as I wanted to be up to date with all the films before seeing "The Avengers" and Robert Downey Jr. is the man. They way he plays Tony Stark is hilarious and I feel so on target. The only thing I thought was hilarious that they changed the actor playing Rhodes from the first movie to the second. That was a like huh? moment that I really enjoyed. The men did not look THAT close to one another to really transition it well. I liked both actors, so I wasn't too upset, but it was just kinda funny.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

4- Night by Elie Wiesel

So this was a personal account by Elie Wiesel about his experiences during the Holocaust. This was a very sobering and serious book to read. It was not long, by any means, and if it were any longer I probably would have just cried for days. To hear first hand accounts of a survivor, forced to combat and fight for survival in such inhumane conditions was overwhelming. With every page I read I thought to myself, how could people be following orders like this? How can any human justify the torture, the starvation of an entire group of people? I was thankful for Elie's behalf that the events that happened were terrible, but he survived and lived on to tell the story.  He suffered, but in the end he is able to tell others what had happened to him and show what people are capable of.

This is a book every person should read. His words are haunting, but only because its the truth. I felt a shiver go down to my core when he talked about his father slowly dying and going insane. It was the saddest thing to hear, to know there is nothing you can do but just watch him die. Everyone was just out really to survive on their own. Sons turned against fathers, neighbors against their own neighbors. That is what really got to me. Not only were these poor people tortured, they were trained to rat each other out, or steal from one another to get more rewards and to be treated by the guards better. One would become the leader of the cell and enforce beatings on their fellow cellmate. It was sick. This is a powerful read that really makes you stop and think about how grateful you should be for every liberty and freedom you have. In present times people are so fixated on what the current trend is or how to make money and then spend it, and they don't stop to remember the past, and make sure everyone is aware what was suffered to get to where we are now. Hateful thoughts spread hateful actions. An ignorant person is the one who can thoughtlessly hurt and humiliate another. Without acknowledging what happened, what the world allowed to happen, we all become guilty of allowing those who died to have pointless deaths. Life can be cruel, but no one should purposefully try to make it that way. We all need to survive here together. Accept our differences and work to become united.

Sorry I got a little preachy, but topics like this always make me stop and re-evaluate what I am doing here. Every moment of your life should count, towards something good, towards making a difference. If not, then why do we bother to learn about the past?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Terrible movies...and 50/50

Here are some new movie reviews. I am not going to lie, I hate the first two so their reviews may be rather brief:

15. The Iron Lady : So Meryl Streep won an Oscar for her role in this movie as Margaret Thatcher. I had a feeling that I was not going to like this movie, and not because of the character the movie was based on, as I knew Margaret Thatcher was a tough old bird. But I have to say I was not impressed at all. My concept of the movie was that it was about the events that lead Margaret Thatcher to becoming the hard woman and powerful leader of Britain, but that was way off. The plot is really based on the elderly Margaret Thatcher who seems to be loosing her mind in her latter days, hallucinating about her husband and wandering off into the world by herself when she needs to be supervised. It was a rather sad movie, which isn't what bothered me. It was the way the movie presented itself, the flashbacks to her life as a political figure felt rushed and left me painfully wishing there was more in the flash back then her in so-called present times dancing with her dead husband. I seem so harsh there, and maybe that was the point of the movie, that they wanted to show this so-called "Iron Lady" at her weakest, and that she was not so tough after all.

16. The Three Musketeers: I love Disney and kid movies, so I was all over this re-make of the classic story. Plus it starred Orlando Bloom and the chick from the Resident Evil movies (Milla Jovovich) and the sexy Mr. Darcy from the latest version of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley (I believe something MacFayden). But wow, this was a terribly made kid-friendly movie. The acting was so ridiculous, really cheesy lines and action scenes, that I was counting down the minutes til it ended. The guy that played the young D'Artagnan was kinda funny, but other than that I really was disappointed by the move overall.

17. 50/50 : This movie I actually loved. The trailers for this movie made it seem completely different from the actual plot, which was why I kept putting off watching it. From previews, I thought the main character, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, was diagnosed with cancer and then his best friend, played by Seth Rogen, convinces him this is the best pick up line they can ever get and just start going out trying to score by using his "I have cancer" bit. Thankfully that was only a small portion of the actual movie, and it only happens one night. But the movie really centers on this character who was always playing the world so safe, didn't drink, didn't do drugs, didn't even get his license as the risk of getting into a car accident was so high. Then he finds out somehow he got cancer anyway. And its all about his struggle to come to terms with his life, and how he has to try and live his life, as there may not be much time left in it. I definitely recommend, and the best character in the movie is actually played by Anna Kendrick (you may know her from the Twilight movies as Jessica, or she starred in the movie "Up in the Air" with George Clooney). She is Joseph Gordon Levitt's therapist, which is just ridiculous but watch the movie, I think you will enjoy it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

3 - The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I find that my opinion of stories is really contingent on the voice telling the tale. I must admit at first I was put off by the character, simply because the author didn't tell you what Victoria, the main character in this story, really thought of her actions. But that is what ended up making me love this story. I really had to keep reading and interpret who this person was, as nothing was told to you, it was shown and revealed the more you read into the novel.

This was about a girl who pushed away everyone who tried to get close to her, and suffered the social shortcomings of a life without real family support. She was brought up through the foster system and the book basically starts where she has finally turned 18 and will no longer be cared for by the state. She finds herself thrown into the city of San Francisco with no real job skills or any hope to advance herself. Except for flowers.

The story flips back and forth between the present, and the time Victoria spent with her one potential adoptive mother. The novel is very well structured, giving hints about what caused this seemingly perfect adoption from happening, while at the same time revealing more and more about why Victoria became the hardened individual she is. Her only way of communicating is through "The Language of Flowers" So instead of coming out and telling things to people, she will give them flowers. Every flower has is own individual meaning, so where as most people don't get her meaning, those who do are able to see into her personality more. I was genuinely surprised by how much I liked this story. I didn't love everything about the story, and the ending was a little too open for me. But I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a different and interesting book to read.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Kicking Back and watching some flicks

So a few random movies I have taken the time to watch, and sorry I am really terrible at posting my movie reviews right after I watch them, so these are very vague and not very in depth analyses:

10. Source Code:  Action flick with Jake Gyllenhaal in which he keeps experiencing the same 15 minutes-ish before a bomb explodes on a train. One of those movies where it gets confusing if you try to rationalize the outcome of each event that gets changed. And of course this is a program financed through the army and government, but no one knows that such a program exists. It just kept confusing me more and more with each re-enactment of the same sequence of events. It was decent, I was expecting more out of the movie, but it was an interesting concept for a movie.

11. Puss in Boots: I loved the character of Puss in Boots in the Shrek movies, so I had been dying to see this one. It was a cute kids movie, incorporating some other fairy tale creatures like Humpty Dumpty and the Goose that laid the golden eggs from Jack and the Beanstalk. It definitely was not as funny as Shrek, but honestly Shrek has not been really funny since the original. The sequel had its moments, but from there the it really lost its flame. I love Antonio Banderas as Puss though, his voice is perfect for the role. "I am boots"

12. Project X: I actually begged Bradley (my boyfriend) not to drag me to this dumbass movie. I thought it looked stupid, had the same plot as any other "Oh my parents are gone for the weekend let's turn this into a shit show house party" but boy, I was pleasantly surprise by this one. I think I laughed from the start to finish. The plot is absurd, but once you kinda acknowledge that the events that happen are just great. The one friend, Costa, was just such a jerk that you couldn't help but find him hilarious.

13. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol: So this movie was out for like over a month, maybe two, when I finally got the chance to see it. I knew what to expect...I feel like I have gotten bitter over the quality of movies that are out there now. Are there no new and intriguing plots to write any more? No more hidden gems, no Amélie's or The Princess Brides? Ah, those two movies are so not in the same genre or classification of great movies, except in my own personal movie collection. But my point is, this was just the same as any of the other Mission Impossible's. Tom Cruise's crew is set up to take the blame for some messed up mission, and somehow he always seems to survive. (I did like the random cameo in the movie by Sawyer from Lost, aka Josh Holloway. He was in the movie for like two seconds, much to my dismay...)

14. The Hunger Games: I of course read the books (thank you Lynn Weiss for introducing me to the wonder that is Panem and District 12) So I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the movie. I thought it was well done for a book turned movie. They was not much character development, which was the main flaw I had with the film. We needed to understand the awkward Katniss'/Peeta is it fake?/is it real? love drama better. The movie did not do that justice. But for anyone who did not read the books I thought it was easy enough to follow the story and get sucked into the disturbing mindset of what "The Hunger Games" was all about. (Personally, Woody Harrelson is just too funny, not matter what role he is in. So casting him as Haymitch, well done.)

Sorry for the delay! There may have been more that I have watched and just can't recall right now. I am sure I will watch more than 50 movies before the end of the year so I am not that worried. The books...starting to get a little concerned about.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2 -With Friends Like These - By Sally Koslow

This was an interesting book, I didn't love it (Not like I love the Hunger Games, or the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo...but I digress) ...I didn't per say hate it either though. So this novel centers around 4 best friends (Chloe, Talia, Quincy and Jules) and how basically they all screw each other over, or do things behind each others back's instead of confronting one another about their issues.

The only character I enjoyed was Quincy as maybe I did not see her as being so deceptive as the other three. But they all pretty much annoyed me. I don't know if it was just so slow in getting issues between the friends to come to fruition, but something was missing that made me wish there had been something more there.

Parts of the book I felt were really insightful, showing how people can cling to their stubbornness and one sided view of a situation, and would rather avoid messy topics than confront it head on. I definitely agree, sometimes people would rather turn the blind eye to an issue rather than face it, or admit their guilt. But this novel just circles the same problems basically the entire span of the novel, and it comes to a point when you ask yourself, is anything ever going to be solved? Barely. The ending is basically a quick "Oh and then we all got over it" ...the end. A two page wrap up so does not clarify how everything ends.

The other thing that was interesting was the way in which the story was told. Each chapter was told through the eyes of one of the four girlfriends. Which really showed the different ways they all viewed the same events, and helped to clarify how each person felt and handled the different situations between each other. However, it didn't have a set pattern, it would jump from person and then back to the same person, and just flowed strangely. Some of the plots with particular characters (particularly Jules for me) just dragged on and bored me. I would rush through the chapter just to get back to one of the other characters and see what was going on with them. It was a light somewhat airy read, definitely not as thought provoking or creative as other novels, but I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Action Flicks with High Schoolers

Alright so here are two movies that I actually quite enjoyed. Both were action movies centered on some high school students that were basically the coolest kids you would ever want to know. They are as follows:

8. Abduction - I was not dying to see this movie, thought it looked pretty cheesy and ridiculous from the previews. I was actually pretty surprised on how much I liked it. Taylor Lautner is yummy as usual, too fit to be humanly possible. His character is raised by parents who he finds out are not his birth parents by seeing his pic on a missing persons website. That made me laugh a little, because really? What are the odds that he's scrolling through the site and the 5th photo he sees looks shockingly a lot like him, and makes him question his whole life? But then the deeper truth is even crazier than that. It was as if the Bourne Identity meets high school, except it's not that he couldn't remember his past, he just didn't know the truth. And of course he had been trained to kick serious ass. One of the best scenes is between him and his "father" and they are training together, which becomes just a father and son beat down on each other. I would recommend as a good action flick.

9. Chronicle - I absolutely loved this movie. My brother had told me about it and had given it rave reviews. All I got from the commercial is that the movie was about a couple of guys who somehow got powers. It reminded me of The Covenant based on the commercials, and other than having four really hot guys with no shirts on most the time, that movie was bloody terrible. Thankfully, Chronicle exceeded every expectation I had. I don't want to give too much away, as I would recommend everyone go see it. It is funny and dark, showing how these 3 kids acquire special powers, and how they mess around with it. Really well done.

I am really slacking in my book reading. Hopefully that changes otherwise there is no way I will complete this challenge!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

1 - Shantaram

Alright my first completed book of the year is Shantaram, by Gregory David. I had recently joined a book club in San Diego to meet some people, so this was the selection. I enjoyed this story, as it was interesting and I kept picking up the book when I had some down time. I really wanted to hear what else happened. There were definitely portions of the novel that I did get bored with, or was just lost in the meandering philosophies of some of the characters, but overall I thought it was a decent read. 

Let me give you a brief summary. This is a story about an Australian man who escapes from prison and flees to Bombay, India. The novel opens once he is in Bombay and the craziness that happens to him and around him while living there. He lives in the slums at one point, becomes the slum doctor, he falls in love, joins the Bombay mafia, is a gunrunner to the war in Afghanistan, thrown in the Bombay prison and basically tortured for months....yeah the list goes on and on.

My real issue with the book was that I did not care for the main character, Lin or "Shataram" as he is eventually called. He was just not someone I could sympathize with. He put himself into all these terrible situations, was a cleaned up addict on one hand, but an escaped convict who seemed to me like he was almost trying very hard to get caught again with all the shenanigans he got involved in. Perhaps it was just that he was used to this life of crime that had put him in jail, that it just seemed like the only thing he could do with his life.

Can I just tell you the best part though, of this whole ridiculous story, this book is based on true events of the author! I mean its so far fetched at parts, that I just can't imagine this all happening to one man. The character also always seemed to be blindly following the people he cared about, he was a man of action first, the reasoning behind it to be an afterthought, if a thought at all. Maybe that was another thing that bothered me, as I need reasons or justifications for my actions, and this guy didn't need someone to tell him the why, he just would jump to do what they needed.

I would say 3.5 out of 5 stars, if I had to rate it. I was intrigued to read more, but the end of the novel also left me rather frustrated.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

January Movies - Part 2

Okay, so just to state again I have decided to blog on my 50/50 challenge to myself, to watch 50 movies and read 50 books in 2012. Here are the rest of the movies I watched in January along with my brief reviews of each one:

4. China Moon: This was a random movie that I watched with my boyfriend Bradley when we first moved into our new apartment early this month. So we are putting together our Ikea furniture and the only channel we can get on our TV is this channel playing really ridiculous movies and re-runs of old people tv shows (like Matlock). So yeah, this movie was pretty glorious. It starred a really young Ed Harris (with hair on his head, so that takes him back a few years), a young Benicio Del Toro, and Madeline Stowe. The movie has deception, love, betrayal, abusive husbands and crazy plot twists. I found myself actually really enjoying it while laughing and making fun of it at the same time. I mean, of course the by-the-book cop who notices every detail would fall in love with the domestically abused wife, sleep with her, and then assist in a cover up to make the perfect crime. And that is only one piece of this tale of love and betrayal.

5.  Larry Crowne: Honestly, I kinda expected more out of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. The movie was okay. There were some funny parts, some ridiculous parts (like really? Larry Crowne gets picked to be in the Scooter gang? Which of course is led by non-other than Wilmer Valderrama...seriously who believes Fez in this kind of role? Not this guy...) Larry Crowne was cute but overall the movie left me wanting more. Julia Roberts as the teacher that had given up on her students and her career of making a difference in their lives, she was just so bitter and mean that I couldn't really sympathize with her character. It was a cutesy romantic comedy, but all in all I was expecting a different kind of movie.

6. Contraband: The plot was centered around the main character (played by Mark Wahlberg) trying to get his wife's younger brother out of a sticky situation he got himself into, not delivering on some drug smuggling deal he was involved with Giovanni Ribisi (put in name of creepy looking drug dealer and you got him). Of course, Mark Wahlberg's character is a retired smuggler trying to stay in the straight life. Does this not almost seem the exact same plot as Gone in 60 Seconds? Except in the drug world and not car thefts? The movie was entertaining but I sat there just thinking, I am pretty sure I watched this before...

7. Ides of March: This movie was entertaining, but I thought the hype for it was past what the movie delivered. Ryan Gosling was oozing his usual charisma and Marissa Tomei I thought played the strong reporter out for the story very well. The corruption of people in the political world is always a riveting movie, especially when you see characters who really thought they knew the world they were in, only to get it completely wrong and twisted. And how that lifestyle can ultimately corrupt you...

Alright from now on I will be posting just one movie/book per post. I had to play catch up so I did my brief re-caps here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January Movies - Part 1

Alright here it is, my 2012 challenge for myself: 50 books and 50 movies completed by the end of the year. I am posting a little late, as it is already basically the end of January, as I was debating with myself whether or not to do it. Then I realized, the only person I have to answer to about this So what do I have to loose?

I am sure this is like the lazy man way of re-capping, but I have actually watched a couple of new movies already this month, so I will start the count with these and give my brief reviews on each:

1. Casablanca: Yes, I know I am almost a little ashamed of this. I am 26 and had never actually watched this movie until this year. And I have to admit, it was pretty awesome. I can see how it is a timeless classic, the ill-fated lovers, the exotic location, the scene unfolding on the outskirts of a war. This one really had everything you could want in a movie. I was hooked and could not look away from the moment it started. Plus, you just can't help loving the characters. Top notch movie from start to finish.

2. Citizen Cane: This is another movie that was listed as "must see". So, new year, why not try to make that list of should-have watched movies get smaller. This movie I wasn't a huge fan of. It was all about this man Cane and how he became the man he was. It was really how he was a disconnected man, who wanted to be loved by everyone but didn't really understand what that meant nor how to love people as well. But I hated the character and most of the sub-plots within the movie. The famous "Rosebud" line was epic, but other than just wasn't really my type of movie. I think the point of the movie was to show how the way you grow up molds and makes you. That even if you could be given every advantage of money and proper upbringing, if you don't have love there to support you, you will not be whole. Your whole life you can strive to re-claim what was lost, but it is a fruitless effort if you don't really understand what it is you are missing. At least, that is what I am taking away from this movie. (I really look at it as hours of my life I can never get back.... but trying to put a meaningful spin on it makes it seem worth it.)

3. War Horse: The movie was literally just about this horse that survived all these different hardships, torn from its free life to work the land, then sent to war, the lives it touched and healed. It was interesting. I could have almost seen this as an epic movie, similar to Forrest Gump, in which it is the story about one man and the most crazy, practically unbelievable, events that happen in his life, except of course this all happened to a horse and told through his eyes. Not the best movie I have ever seen, but it definitely had a different twist to the usual movie, and actually had many emotionally charged scenes.

There are a few more, but I think maybe I should space that out a little in separate posts. I am a huge movie buff, as many of you may already know, so the movie portion of this challenge, is not really the challenge for me. The books will be the real effort, as I am not as much of the avid reader I once was. But I think here in California, maybe I can take a step back and enjoy the simple things. Like a nice book with a glass of wine on a warm night....