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 SkarsgĂ„rd (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?