***Right. So this is about a month’s worth of stuff, and I’m really sorry about that (even sorrier after having typed up the whole thing) and I promise I’ll do better about the whole thing. Also, sorry some of these are super abbreviated; my fingers have grown quite weary.***
The History Boys: This 2006 movie about the senior year of eight boys at an English prep school was one of the best coming-of-age stories I’ve seen in awhile. Although it did fall lightly into the stereotyping of its characters (as a lot of similar stories are prone to do), it did it so much classier than a lot of movies (although this could be due to the British accents of the cast too [everything just sounds so much smarter with an English accent, don’t you think?]).
Duplicity: Pretty good. Had some nice editing aspects, but not worth buying. It was lacking something I could never quite put my finger on. I’d categorize it as a good rainy Saturday afternoon type of movie.
The Maiden Heist: Adorable. I’m sad this movie skipped the theaters, not quite a straight-up comedy, more of a witty movie. Of course, I have a soft spot for heist movies, especially art heist movies, and I love the main actors (Christopher Walken, William H. Macy, and Morgan Freeman) so much.
Away We Go: FANTASTIC!! A really beautiful movie. We L-O-V-E-D this one. Krasinski and Rudolph did a really great job and the balance between drama and comedy is perfect. This movie has so much heart. The characters have a depth that is slowly unfolded as the viewer follows them along their journey to find a home of their very own. We’ll straight up recommend buying this one.
Get Shorty and Be Cool: I’d seen Get Shorty a long time ago, and it was still pretty good; maybe not as good as I remembered. But funny and entertaining. Be Cool was really not good…not at all. I’d read the book a few months ago and thought the book was only okay story-wise but the movie was even worse. And I realize the changes had to be made due to present-day music scene (in the book, Linda Moon is more rock semi-punk) but I’m not a fan of current music trends which added to my disappointment.
Out of Order: A good movie. After I finished watching it I found out via special features that apparently the 97 minutes I just saw was the pilot episode of a Showtime series from the early 2000s. That explains the semi-large cast that didn’t really have a lot to do with the plot line; however I really enjoyed it. Although I did get the impression it was made for filmophiles.
Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman: Graphic novels by the son of a Jewish German immigrant. I really loved the way Spiegelman incorporated his present-day with the stories his father told about the war. It solves the problem my own mother has had trying to write down Oma’s Berlin-survival story. I had wanted to read these books for years and years, so I’m super happy that it became required reading in one of Sister’s grad classes (meaning, she had to buy it and then I could borrow it). But of course, like all books I read and love, now I want to own it. Lovely. Well-done. Admirable and original. –Buy. Read. Love.
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: Not bad. Kind of dry and overly detailed. I must admit how big of an idiot I felt when the “My Man Friday” reference was finally exposed. I can see what it was so popular in its day and why in present day it is not very high on the classics list. Worth reading, but probably only once.
LOST: I cannot explain just how happy I am that the show is finally over. We managed to catch up to the 5th and 6th season in enough time to catch the series finale in real time. I was never a big fan of the show, so I remained fairly apathetic throughout the entire series. Ben liked the show pretty well, and was pretty miffed by the finale. However, I would love to know what the die-hard fans of the show thought about the last episode. Had I been a super-fan, or “lostie” I think they’re called, I would be super pissed off. There are so many questions left unanswered; so many problems with the way the writers decided to wrap things up; so many dangling threads of a storyline that were never completed. I think this has the majority of my why-how-when questions although Ben and I were able to come up with even more than these.
Kick-Ass: FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC!! Nothing will top an adorable 11 (probably 13ish in reality) year old girl calling a bunch of bad guys cunts whilst dismembering and brutally slaughtering a room full of them. This movie was so wonderfully fun. As usual, Nicolas Cage is only as good as his character is weird. Here’s hoping the dvd release will be choc-a-bloc full of extra goodies.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch: Super sad, but pretty incredible that this man got the chance to live out so many of his childhood dreams before an early death by pancreatic cancer. The book is slightly cheesy and there is an obvious feeling of the stories being abbreviated. But it’s worth reading, probably more so if you feel a bit lost in your current situation.
Sea of Cowards by The Dead Weather: Being lovers of all things Jack White, of course we love his (third?) band. Their second album is just as bizarre as the first, but a bit more rockin and the songs are more cohesive. Wonderfully fantastic! A great listen. A wonderful album.
Sex and the City 2: I have never been a big fan of the show (I find all four women to be rather awful representations of womankind), but between friends of mine, my sister, and my mother, I have probably seen nearly every episode. So when the first movie came out in theaters and my mom and sister were so super excited to go see it and have a “girls night” I went along. The movie was way too high drama for me. But with Sister now in Boston, our sweet mother still wanted to see the movie and she was so excited. This is how I found myself sitting at another opening weekend for Carrie Bradshaw. The sequel was surprisingly a lot more enjoyable than the first one. Much more like the better moments of the show. The four characters each got her own respective storyline and there was a significant difference in the comedy-to-drama ratio.
Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes: I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. I thought the characters were so very well written. And the story was very believable. I’m typically not a fan of multi-narrative books (unless it’s a children’s lit) as I find most authors to focus too much on a single character, or the author is unable to successfully write from a different perspective. This book was very good, and acted as a small window into the lives of the people in this small town in Petal, Mississippi during the 1950s.
Lo: Hilarious low-budget horror film. Wonderfully done. Any fan of early Raimi work will absolutely adore this movie. It is a perfect example of how a minuscule budget does not have too look like a cheap movie. A love story at its heart, the movie is well crafted and worth the buy for any old-school horror movie buff.
Inglourious Basterds: Being huge Tarantino fans, of course we loved this movie. Just as wonderfully done in theaters as it is on dvd. Anyone must love the man who chooses a classic Bowie song for the climax of a WWII movie.
To Gillian on her 37th Birthday: Pretty cheesy, but solidly dramatic–the cheese factor could have been lowered by half if it weren’t for the god-awful soundtrack. Claire Danes is easily the best in the ensemble, far overshadowing everyone else on screen. I’d bet 10-to-1 that the play was 1000 times better than the movie ended up being.
Tekken 6 for the PS3: LOVE IT!!! Ben is really the ultimate gamer, but I can really get into a few different ones. And we had so much fun with Tekken 5 on the PS2, that when we saw this for sale at our local big-box-chain-hellhole we just couldn’t pass it up. We bought it and (I cannot believe I’m even admitting this) brought it home and played for a solid five hours, over 100 battles on the first night. And one or both of us have played it every single night since. It’s superb.
Little Big Planet (PS3): I just started this one, and am totally intrigued by all the different variations and levels that seem possible by this game. I cannot wait to get into some more.