Saturday, July 30, 2011

Season of the Witch

I keep hoping that Nicolas Cage will hit it big again like he did with the National Treasure flicks. All these little actions movies he does that come off as being 'B' movies aren't horrible, but I think he has so much more to offer. This movie's production is decent; the special effects are convincing and realistic, costumes appear accurate and appropriately detailed, and the makeup of the plague victims was gross enough to make me want to gag. The action is good, too, but the film just lacks overall appeal. Nicolas Cage sold his performance, but it was a little hard to buy. I liked the witch premise and the demon twist at the end, but the rest of the movie was kind of blah and predictable and a little too gross. Worth a $1 rental at the very least.

Red Riding Hood

This movie is targeted more towards young adults. You can tell by the modern-day language and the Twilight-esque cinematography, but that is probably due mostly to the fact that the films have the same director. I think the characters should have had accents (I read that the tale is German in origin) or at the very least they should've spoken proper English, but, again, tweens were the target for this flick. They probably won't care much about those kinds of little details with sexy Peter and Henry vying for Valerie's affections. Sex-crazed teeny boppers drool over a good, steamy love triangle, but I have to admit that I certainly enjoy that, too. I especially liked Peter and Valerie's little innocent roll in the hay. That was hot! Aside from the steamy stuff, I did like the mystery of the wolf. I thought I had him figured out, but my guesses were incorrect. That made me happy, because I am tired of predictable movies these days. Hollywood needs more original ideas. This movie is far from being totally original, but I appreciate its good twist on a classic.

On another note, I love Gary Oldman, and I think he is always a great addition to any film in any role. He does quirky, weird characters very well. I think his part as the priest was extinguished a little quickly, and I wanted to see him through to the end. So that was a little disappointing.

The movie's ending was kind of left a little open yet it was satisfying. I rented this for a buck, but I kind of wish I'd gone to see it on the big screen. I'll probably end up buying this one.

Lady Susan - (Audiobook) - Jane Austen

I listened to the unabridged audiobook. I love Jane Austen's work dearly, but I got absolutely nothing out of this story. The letter format is a nice idea, but it seemed like there were a lot of details that I didn't need to hear, and I was a little confused about who was writing what at times. That might have been due to the fact that I was listening to the story and not reading it with my own eyes. I don't know. I think I would still be confused even then, and I felt like what I was listening to was overly dramatic and exaggerated. Perhaps I will read the book for myself one day instead of listening, but something tells me I still won't care for it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Get Low

Rented this movie at Hastings the other day thinking it would be a comedy. I mean come on - Bill Murray and Robert Duvall dressed like a hermit on the cover. How could that not be funny?? Note: Not funny at all except for a few funny comments made by Robert D. Okay movie, but it kind of drug on, and the end was kind of a let down. Seemed to keep building up to something that never really happened. it if you're bored and not really in the mood to laugh.


Betty Ann Waters went through a very tough and trying, emotionally draining 18 years of school and investigation so she could prove her brother wasn't guilty of murder. Talk about unconditional love for your family. Wow. I was moved to tears, and I would definitely recommend this film to all. I'd watch it again, because the feeling you get when you know justice has been done really comes through the screen to the viewer. Excellent cast and acting by all. Just great!

Morning Glory

Predictable chick flick. Rachel McAdams sold herself as a neurotic executive producer, and I think she and Patrick Wilson make a good on-screen couple. Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton also made for a good duo. Rent it when you want a fun, comical and slightly touching no-brainer.

127 Hours

James Franco deserved his Oscar nomination for his moving portrayal of Aron, but major, major props go to the real Aron Ralston for his perseverance and strength. Way to go, Aron! You're amazing! I'm glad I watched this movie. I was inspired and got a little teary-eyed at the end. It was so wonderful to see the real Aron and his wife and son, and it's great that Aron still keeps up the adventures. Now I want to read his own account of what happened in his book Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I highly recommend the movie to all.

Deep Dish - (Audiobook) - Mary Kay Andrews

Light, fun and entertaining. I wasn't too keen on the idea of cooking show hosts battling it out as a premise for the story, but, once the romance steamed up the story, I was into it and loved it. As in her Savannah books, Andrews delivered the same feel-good southern atmosphere and another cast of lovable characters in this dish. I especially enjoyed Tate Moody's and Gina Foxton's rendezvous on the island during the storm. The part where she basically throws herself at him and gets on his lap is delish! Andrews certainly cooked up a fun and sexy romance.

One thing I really like about Andrews' stories, too, are the recipes or tidbits of recipes she throws in that just make your mouth water. I bet her dinner parties are fantastic.

Oh yes, and I just found out from a review I read on that Andrews also writes under another name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck , so now I'll have to check out some of those books!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

I've had extra time to read lately so I'm going through books pretty quickly. It's amazing how fast you can finish a book with just 30 minutes a day.

So I thought the other day that I'd seen Pride and Prejudice probably a million times. Different versions. Different actors. Watched with different friends. Heck - I watch it so many times at home that Josh knows if it's on the TV to just go ahead and leave it on that channel. He even knows the characters and can tell when another book or movie is copying off the Pride and Prejudice story line. I'm kind of proud of that actually. Anyways - I realized that I hadn't ever read the book Pride and Prejudice. Seems to be a crime of some sort so I picked up my copy (yes - I had a copy even though I've never read it), and I started reading.

The same familiar characters were there. The same romance. Same mishaps and confusion, but for some reason I didn't like as much as I thought I would. Maybe it's because I have the movies too ingrained in my brain to imagine them myself which, I think, is half the fun of reading. Or maybe the movies just play up the romance part and make Darcy smolder so much more?

It's still a great book. Don't get me wrong, but I was a bit disappointed in myself that I didn't like it more.

This leaves Persuasion as my top favorite Austen book to date. Mostly because of the wonderfully romantic letter.

Next Austen I'm reading is Lady Susan. I had never heard of it, but my aunt suggested I try it because it's her favorite so I will.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart - Beth Patillo

I liked Beth Patillo's Jane Austen Ruined My Life, and I was hoping this book would be just as fun. It wasn't just as fun, but it was pretty amusing. I enjoyed the romance, the little that there was, and I enjoyed the possibility of a missing first draft of Pride and Prejudice. The only thing I didn't like about the story was the sister relationship, which was the main part of the story. I never really warmed up to the main character, but I enjoyed her little adventure and the relationship drama she went through.

I'll probably never read this again, but I don't think it was a waste of my time. If you like Jane Austen related stuff, you'll probably like this...if not for the main story then for the fake missing manuscript.

A Bend in the Road - Nicholas Sparks

Sparks is a pro at building real and emotional love stories, but he decontructs the romances he creates just as easily. A Bend in the Road centers mostly around Miles and his new love, Sarah, but their relationship is clouded by Miles' unwillingness to let go of his dead wife, Missy. Missy was the victim of a hit and run accident, and the person responsible has never been found.

If you read this book, don't read the summary before you start it because it might give too much of the story away. Since I read the summary, I was able to figure out the whodunit part after just a few chapters so the ending was bittersweet because I was right. I like a mystery that stays a mystery until the end of the book.

Overall, the story was decent, and the romance was sweet. I like Sparks, and I don't get tired of reading his books. I like his characters; they are always so welcoming and likable. He's a reliable author, and I guess that is why I keep going back to him.