Friday, February 27, 2009

Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery - Spencer Quinn

Couldn't finish this. I forced myself to read to chapter 9 and gave up. The writing seems juvenile to me, and the plot was not holding my interest. The way Chet describes what is going on is annoying and tedious, and his doggone distractions are completely frustrating. I wanted him to stay focused on the main story. I guess I thought this dog would be a little smarter than the average everyday dog. Two stars for some comedy, but other than that this book was a waste of my time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bottle Shock

Excellent film! I very much enjoyed the whole thing excepting the love triangle bit. I think that could have been left out as it didn't really add that much to the movie. The story was so entertaining, though. It's nice to see the underdog win. The Barretts are people who put their heart and soul into making wine, and it's more than just really's a part of who they are and their history, and I think that is something to be admired and appreciated. I watched the extra on the DVD about their search for an excellent wine, and it was informative and neat to see the real Jim and Bo Barrett talking about their wine and wine-making process. Very cool. It was short, but it was still a good little feature. I love Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman, and both of them didn't disappoint in this film. The guy who played Bo - couldn't get over the hair, but he did well. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a good wine tasting or underdog story.

After seeing this movie, I want to purchase a bottle of wine from Chateau Montelena. I already took a look at their online store, and I will definitely be making a purchase in the future for a current Riesling release and maybe a bottle of Zin. I love Rieslings, and I am sure theirs will taste excellent.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I read the book so the movie was a bit of a disappointment in that the book was chopped somewhat, and I think they kind of combined the first two books of the series to make this one. There was not much character build of anyone really except Becky and partly of Luke, and I didn't feel the bond of friendship between Bex and Suze like I did when I read the book. The shopping aspect was played up well, but in the book, even though Becky comes off as annoying at times, she redeems herself and becomes a loveable character. The movie Becky was certainly cute and very funny and silly (love the fan dance), but I didn't think she became as loveable as she should have been so that the audience would really want to root for her to come out on top. She seemed more crazed and out of control than I remember in the story. Luke Brandon was good, played by Hugh Dancy, and I love Hugh Dancy. I wish the movie had been just like the book (but that never happens much anymore really), so I appreciate it for what it is...I'll still buy the DVD.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia - Elizabeth Gilbert

Just finished January's book. I think it was January. I've lost count. I just pick up the next one and start when I have a five minutes or so. Anyways...I liked it. I, like Angela, liked the way the woman wrote as if she was talking directly to you. I liked her sense of humor and how she would get so crazy and then talk herself out of it. Good stuff. I loved the second section the most. I like all that yoga/meditation business. Can't say that I do it or that I would be very good at, but I think it's a cool idea and it would work.

Half way through though I kind of got annoyed. Sure this lady can find balance b/c she's got enough money to leave everything and travel all these cool places. BUT..she did leave all her family and all her stuff and just went so maybe it evens out.

As always..I've listed my favorite quotes from the book below along with Heather asides.

Pg. 52 - "That's the thing about human life - there's no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had changed." No comment here except that craziness if relative I guess. The no standard standard.

Pg. 79. She's in Italy, and she's all about food. "So Sofie and I have come to the Pizzeria da Michele, and these pies we have just ordered - one for each of us - are making us lose our minds. I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair." HA..okay this one just made me laugh. I feel this way about chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream or some tuna steaks Josh has made with some Sister Shu's on the side. Love it.

Pg. 100. She's talking about her friend Linda and her hair. "Linda would like to someday grow her dreadlocks so long she could weave them into a wire-supported structure on the top of her head 'like a topiary' and maybe store a bird there." Well..this one too just made me laugh. I love her descriptions.

Pg. 132 "There's a reason they call God a presence - because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time." I like this b/c it's always now which means he's always found. Nice thought.

Pg. 146 Someone's going to have to explain this one to me. I was just left thinking the guru guy was mean. What's up with this part? The chick is telling about a dream she had where the old guru tells her to stop the waves from advancing. When she is unsuccessful, he says, "Tell me, if you would be so kind - how exactly were you planning on stopping that?" Like the guy just told her to try. So she's trying and now he's cracking on her for failing. Was he trying to say she's trying to control stuff she can't and shouldn't? I'm confused.

Pg. 149 Here's an idea on soulmates I've never heard. I was talking about this to someone the other day. I like it. Keeps a romantic idea alive but makes it doable/realistic sounding. There's no answer to the soul mate thing, but it's one of the most fun things to talk about with people. Interesting. Confusing. This is a friend talking to the girl b/c she can't get over her ex. "People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it."

Pg. 150 "You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone outta be."

Pg. 156 "Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water." Good to remember. Might be kind of frightening to see. Oh don't worry about her she's just looking for God. AAAAahhhahhahhhhh!

Pg. 197 She references Tolstoy's fabled beggar. Never heard of that. Help me remember to look it up some day.

Pg. 298 "To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life." Where do people talk like that? I've got to meet one of these people who talk in quotable phrases. I wonder if you meet someone like that if you feel compelled to carry a piece of paper around with you and just write down whatever they say all the time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lakeview Terrace

Samuel L. Jackson plays Able, a psycho cop who can't stand his new neighbors who happen to be an interracial couple. He has a real problem with their relationship (his black wife apparently cheated on him with a white guy, and that really stuck in his craw), and he has no qualms about letting them know; he cuts their air conditioning unit lines, slashes their tires, shines security lights into their bedroom at night and hires someone to break into their house, etc. All these acts are not met without retaliation, but the new neighbors just can't seem to shake the bad cop because, as Able puts it, "I am the po-lice!" It's a frustrating movie, and having a neighbor like Able would certainly make me want to pack my bags and flee the premises. Definitely a fun suspense film, but there wasn't much else to the plot aside from the terrorizing. The film tried to be more about the couple being a family, but I didn't really care about them so much as I cared about how they were going to defeat Able in the end. And then end wrapped up too quickly. I thought there would be a little bit more of a happily-ever-after deal. Good for a rental.

The Women

Truly is about the women...not one man in this movie which was a disappointment. I can see why this movie got low ratings. It was basically just women shopping, gossiping and crying. I suppose it's got a good womanly message about being your own person and not losing touch with who you are, but it was like a rich bitch hen party really. I didn't completely mind it, and it was funny, but these women were not like regular women. They had money and power and their struggles seemed to be no worse than having to live with a bad pedicure for a few weeks. Glad it was just a rental.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Coraline 3D

Very amusing and especially entertaining in 3D. I loved the eccentric sisters and the blue Russian performer. I can't remember their names, but they cracked me up - mostly the "other" character versions made me laugh. I thought Teri Hatcher was a great "other" mother...her voice was perfect. Dakota Fanning was a good choice for Coraline, too.

I liked the mystery of the movie, and I even enjoyed the creepy feeling that it gave me. I love most Tim Burton animated features, but this one is not my favorite. I don't think anything will top Nightmare Before Christmas. That one is just too good. I think the songs in that movie are the best, and while this film had some good show pieces, there wasn't enough song and dance for my taste. I did enjoy the hundreds of cute dogs and clever mice, though. They were definitely fun to watch.

I wouldn't say this is a family film for youngsters but teens could handle it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

10,000 B.C.

Totally lame waste of time. Couldn't get into it. Boring from the get-go. Characters weren't even attractive. The best part was the sabertooth tiger which was only OK. (Sorry, but if I'm a big truck of a tiger then I don't care if you save me. I'm gonna eat your ass because I'm ten times bigger than you and have potatoes for brains.) I'm amazed that I actually watched the whole movie because it SUCKED!