Saturday, May 30, 2009

New In Town

Really liked it. It was almost like one of those cozy novels you pick up to keep you warm by the fire during winter. The Minnesota accents were too cute, and I loved the scrappers. They made me want to start scrapbooking myself. Harry Connick Jr. was perfect as the rugged handsome Ted, and he and Renee Zellweger had great chemistry. I'm not a huge Zellweger fan, but I think she was perfect as headstrong businesswoman, Lucy Hill. I especially loved the crow hunting excursion when Ted just about flipped Lucy upside down trying to help her get her zipper unstuck on her jumpsuit.

It's a predictable movie, but predictable can be a good thing during uncertain times like now. I like that there are some movies out there we can depend on for a good laugh, a good cry or just pure fun.

Killer Weekend - Ridley Pearson

Picked up the hardback at McKay's for six bucks. Definitely worth the price, but I had credit to use. :)

This is the first Ridley Pearson book I've read, and I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of James Patterson's books because the chapters were so short and the story was very fast-paced. Pearson's writing style is also very similar to Patterson's, but I think Pearson's language is a little bit more complex.

It's mainly a story about an underdog Sheriff, Walt Fleming, in a small town trying to protect the Attorney General, Liz Shaler, (whose life he saved eight years prior) from being assassinated at a conference where she plans to announce her candidacy for President. It all takes place in one weekend, and the killer's plot for assassinating the AG is pretty unique and kind of disturbing. There is also another side plot going on throughout the whole story involving some elite characters and a cougar. Yes, a cougar.

This was a good page-turner. I was a little confused in the beginning, though, because several characters were introduced at once so it took me a few chapters to get them all straightened out with their corresponding story lines. I pressed on, and I finished the book in about two days. It's a very fast, entertaining read but a little on the light side for being a suspense/thriller, but there are enough surprise moments that make up for that lightness. This would probably be a good beach read or something for the car or on the plane during a trip.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Ok, the main character's fate is totally predictable right from the get-go, but how she finds out about herself is a decent mystery. I thought the creepiness factor of this movie was definitely up there, and the acting was good. Anne Hathaway never disappoints. Patrick Wilson was a nice treat for the eyes, and he did better than I expected. I enjoyed their little unethical romance. I thought the plane crash scene that was fully played out was good, and I am glad they showed the whole thing. I liked the ending of this movie even though it was a little too sweet. Good rental. I wouldn't be opposed to buying this if it was on sale.

Last Chance Harvey

A sweet middle-aged love story. This reminded me a little of the movies Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, only the characters are older and kind of sad but oh so charming and deserving of love. I love Emma Thompson and all her little acting nuances. She's just great. Dustin Hoffman is so pathetic in this movie which makes him more likable in an odd way, and I was rooting for him to come out on top. I love how he's shorter than Emma, it's cute.

I like that this whole movie takes place over the span of a short weekend in London, and it's mostly realistic. It's just so sweet. I don't know that I would watch this again. It's kind of depressing even though it ends on a high note. It's not the regular romantic comedy with all the hoopla and the jokes and the attractive young couples that we're used to seeing, but it's definitely more than worthy of sitting on the shelf beside or even above those predictable flicks.

In The Electric Mist

It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great. I have become a big Tommy Lee Jones fan over the past few years, and I enjoyed his acting in this murder mystery/ghost whatever it was.... I thought John Goodman was a little on the sloppy side with his portrayal of "Baby Feet Balboni" (hilarious mob boss name, btw), Peter Sarsgaard was kind of funny and did an OK job. I was confused by his actual role in the movie. I mean, I know he helped to move the plot along alot, but he was drunk more than half the time, which was so annoying, and I couldn't understand what he was saying sometimes. I will say that Mary Steenburgen was a nice surprise. I think she's a wonderful presence in any film. The rest of the cast was only so-so with their acting, definitely not up to par with Mr. Jones.

The story was entertaining despite being confusing, and maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the actual book first. I don't know...I think the producers were trying too hard. I got the gist of all the story lines, but I think this could have been done better and neater. Glad it was only a dollar rental.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jane Austen in Scarsdale - Paula Marantz Cohen

Add this one to the long list of books that I'm glad I read but probably won't pick up again. It's quick to read and has an interesting little story, but I wish there were more details in this one. Yes, yes, I know. I whine when there are too many details, and I whine when there are too few. This one had a great little lost romance story line going, but it finished up too quickly at the end. Give us more of that greatness! Paula built up the awkwardness and longing enough but then just barely gave us a consolation for reading it through.

I loved all the individual characters of the high school students and would have also liked to see more of them. Maybe a postlude a few years later with letters from the formerly crazy parents writing about how great their students were doing now that they were in the right school?

Anyways...I might look for more her in "Jane Austen in"....wherever series. It worked out well for a fast book while riding to New York state to see a wedding this weekend.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

This movie sucked. I love stupid movies and I like the main actor guy, but it sucked. Scuba doobie dooo??? Seriously??? Stay away from this one. I was forced to pity laugh, and I laugh at everything.

Still Waiting.....

I ordered my book East of Eden on May 5th from it's STILL NOT HERE! What the heck.. We're driving to NY on Friday, and I've got nothing to read. I'm going to have to pull one of the McKay's impulse buys out. Grrrrr.....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Angels & Demons

First off, it was interesting to see Tom Hanks in a speedo. I'm glad we got to see the normal side of his character, and I'm so glad his hair was not long in this movie because that was just an odd look for him in DaVinci Code. As per usual, Hanks did a great job in this film. He's got Robert Langdon down.

OK, I know he is the bad guy, but I especially enjoyed Ewan McGregor in this movie. His portrayal as the Camerlengo was perfect. He was so believable, and his transition from light to dark was very smooth. I haven't read the book in so long, and I almost cried when he went up in the helicopter with the antimatter, so, at the twist in the end, I was just as blown away as other audience members. I love that surprise element!

Now, I don't remember it, but I thought there was a bit of romance between Vittoria and Robert in the book. I didn't mind that nothing happened between the two in the movie because I was more interested in good defeating evil the whole time. I don't think that it would have fit very well into the movie anyway.

The only disappointment was the original fax in the beginning...I was hoping to see the one of the CERN guy's branded chest instead of just the plain word Illuminati on a piece of paper, but I guess Ron Howard wanted to keep the story moving forward without too much backstory, which is understandable.

Overall - Fantastic film! 5 stars! I actually think this movie is better than the book! The whole movie is action-packed and suspenseful, and I was even kind of scared during a few moments. All the historical information and ceremonial details were revealed and explained perfectly, and the artwork was very well incorporated. The setting was magnificent, and the graphics were also pleasing to the eye. The music and cinematography was wonderful, and I really like that the same music from DaVinci Code was used for this film. Ron Howard is an excellent director and should definitely be praised for this film. I enjoyed this movie ten times more than DaVinci Code, and that was my favorite of the two books. Angels & Demons is now my number one!

I was entertained by every second of this film and want to go see it again. I will definitely be buying this when it comes out on DVD!

Bride Wars

Very sweet movie. I was a little annoyed by all the bridezilla craziness, but I know Hudson and Hathaway had to act that way so they could redeem themselves as better human beings and better friends in the end. I like the change in direction of the plot towards the end for Hathaway's character. That is as specific as I can be without giving anything away.

The movie is predictable, but it is still fun and amusing, and I enjoyed the pranks. I liked the Vera Wang dress the best, by the way.


I think there was a message in this film, but the delivery was terrible. I wish I hadn't wasted my time watching this movie. I couldn't stand Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. I don't like that there is no explanation for why most everyone went blind. I couldn't stand the cinematography - it's not artful, it's annoying. It started off good, and I thought it was going somewhere...but it flopped. Don't waste your time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Uninvited

Definitely suspenseful and a bit scary and creepy, but the plot was predictable and so were all the twists in it. The girl who played Anna had distracting lips. I felt like I was watching an Angelina Jolie wannabe. There are holes in the story, and I didn't really enjoy it excluding the few frightening jumps it gave me. I wouldn't recommend even renting this. Get it as a freebie with a coupon or at a redbox on Mondays with a promo code like I did.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Tale of Despereaux

The animation was definitely up to par with movies like Shrek and Monsters, Inc.

Aw, I thought Desperaux was the cutest with his big Dumbo-like ears. My heart went out to Roscuro the rat, though. He fell into such a dark hole (literally and figuratively), and all he wanted to do was make things right again. He's the real hero in my opinion. Yes, he had a downfall, but every hero gets lost once in a while.

I thought the three different worlds were interesting - Mouesworld, Ratworld and the human world - the plot that unfolds between them never lagged. Although, the soup story was kind of a weird way to start off, but it's suitable for youngsters and fits in with the G rating. I did think that for a G-rated film there were several moments that might waver on the scary side for small children, but there wasn't any bloodshed shown and the dramatic fight scenes weren't too harsh and didn't last long.

Overall, well done with likable characters, an engaging tale, and the moral of forgiveness shines brightly at the end. I'm glad I watched.

The Skeleton Key

I thought this movie would have a predictable plot and cookie cutter characters, but I was wrong. The entire cast delivered memorable performances, especially John Hurt who has maybe one line during the entire show. The story was engaging the whole way through, and the twists at the end were well played. I was so surprised by the turn of events, and good suprises always kick a movie's likability level up a notch for me.

I have to note that the creepiness of New Orleans has always served well as a backdrop for mystery films, and the plantation house in The Skeleton Key was almost like a freaky character itself adding to the spooky Hoodoo vibes throughout the film. I got this as a free rental, but I will probably buy this later.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris - Sarah Turnbull

Just finished our April book last night. I think it was our April book. Whatever it was, I just finished. I have to say this book was very cool to read after just being to Paris. I knew alot of the places she was talking about and had a better perspective on everything. Even if I was just an American tourist. :o) I can honestly say I wouldn't have eaten the things she ate with such enthusiasm. I might have tried, but they've got some rough looking stuff over there.

I liked the book, but it was probably much more fun to live than to read about. I like that it was someone's story. I always wonder how people remember that much about everything in that order. Surely she had a journal or something during this time. It would be hard to remember the details of everything.

I love when she told the guy off in the bakery! Too funny. And I love that she put Maddie on the back of the book in her author photo.

I could have done without all the food descriptions, but maybe that's a French thing since she talks about it so much in the book. How detailed they are about food. I found myself reading quickly through those parts to get to the mess-ups and action of the story. That's how Playing For Pizza was too! Maybe it's a European thing. Describing food just doesn't do it for me. I'd rather try it out myself.

Cute book. Glad I read it but probably wouldn't pick it up again. I would recommend it for Americans about to take a trip to Paris. You could probably finish it on the ridiculously long plane ride over, and you'd be all pumped to take on the city then.