Friday, January 22, 2010

The Dark Side

So, about a week ago, I went to the library and checked out Twilight. I read it in two days, only because I had to go to work.

Tuesday, I went back to the library and checked out New Moon. I read it in two days because we had company over, and it's rude to ignore company by reading a book while they are over.

All the copies of the third book, Eclipse, are checked out; so, I put in a hold request. I hope I don't have to wait too long.

Who knew that a series of books about adolescent vampires and werewolves would catch my fancy?

I guess while I wait for the third book, I can watch the movies of the first two. Have any of you read the books and seen the movies? Are the movies as good as the books? (Movies usually never are, but I thought I'd ask.)

MK out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

And Still in Theaters...

I thought y'all might appreciate some reviews of movies still showing in theaters, in case y'all need a suggestion or two for movie-date night this weekend:

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson star in Pirate Radio, based on true events. It’s the sixties in England, and the BBC is not keeping up with the times. The only way the Brits can listen to rock and roll on the radio for more than an hour a day is through ships that set up off the coast to broadcast it. This movie shows what it may have been like. It was pretty good…and it doesn’t hurt that they played some really good songs from the era.

Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe all give good performances in Precious, about an African American teenager from Harlem who is given a second chance to improve her life. It's based on the novel Push, by Sapphire, and it gave a powerful view of the types of struggles that many people in America face daily – way out of my comfort zone – but something that more of us need to realize. It was very good.

Everybody’s Fine stars Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, and Kate Beckinsale. De Niro plays a man whose wife has recently died, and whose adult children are scattered around the country. He realizes that the glue that kept them all together is gone, and now he must be the person to keep the family connected. It was good.

I was disappointed with Up in the Air, starring George Clooney as a guy who lives out of his suitcase, as his job keeps him traveling around the country. Since he shuns deep relationships and tries to keep his life as free from people and responsibility as possible, he rather likes his impersonal and artificial life. In comes a new, young intern who tries to show him that relationships are important in life. The trailers lead one to believe that the movie is more of a comedy than it in fact is. I thought it dragged in parts, and the story ended abruptly – without resolution one way or the other…Oh, and it was rather without point.

It’s Complicated, with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, is about a couple, Jane and Jake (Streep and Baldwin) who have been amicably divorced for a while. Many years ago, he had left her for a younger woman, to whom he is now married. At their son’s graduation, they discover that there are unresolved issues that they would like to explore, and they start having an affair – just about the time that she meets Adam (Martin), the architect helping her with the addition to her house, and decides she likes him too. It was pretty funny. I liked it.

There are so many good actors in this movie – Sophia Loren, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard, Fergie and Daniel Day-Louis - but the screen adaptation of the musical Nine is a mess. It was kind of boring, actually. I found myself fighting sleep – and it’s.a.musical People!!! It was loud, with many scenes of song and dance. Day-Lewis plays a famous filmmaker who is having trouble putting together the concept for his latest film, while dealing with all the women in his life. I found myself not caring.

Happy Watching!

MK out.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

So, here we are...another new year has begun. I have accomplished much on my goal of decrapifying my house. You can look at the totals on the right under Decrapification Challenge 2009 Results. Not too bad...

I will, however, not rest on my laurels. There is more to be done. We are currently working on my bedroom closet, and I will post pictures in the next day or so. I meant to take an after picture of my side of the closet today, but now, it's too dark and it won't come out well.

So, decrapification will continue into 2010. And to maintain the fruits of my hard work, I think I will go back to following routines ala a cyber-friend to many, the Flylady.

In keeping with my new life of organization, I offer you some movie reviews of recently watched DVDs:

In Four Christmases, Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon play a couple who do anything in order to avoid spending Christmas with their families. When all flights are cancelled while they are hoping to take off on their latest adventure and they are interviewed on camera at the airport, the couple have no choice but to spend the day with their families. Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen, Jon Voight, Dwight Yoakam and Tim McGraw, along with many others, also appear in this funny, yet sophomoric flick. It “did” in a pinch.

A Christmas Tale, in French with English subtitles, stars Catherine Deneuve as the matriarch of a fractured family and the tragic circumstances that brings them together around Christmas time. It was pretty good.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is the second film in the Chronicles of Narnia series. A year after the Pevensie children were last in Narnia, they return to the magical land and soon discover that it is 1300 hundred years later. Prince Caspian, with the help of the Narnians, has to fight for his rightful throne against a tyrannical ruler – his own uncle. It was very good, but then, I really like the Chronicles of Narnia books.

My One and Only, starring Renee Zellweger, Kevin Bacon and Chris Noth, is loosely based on the early life of actor George Hamilton. Zellweger plays his mother, who catches her husband cheating on her, packs up her boys and sets out to find them a suitable father who will take care of the three of them. It was entertaining.

Run, Fat Boy, Run is a cute little movie about a man who, about a year after he leaves his fiancé standing at the alter, discovers that she is the only one for him and tries to win her back. He enters a race to prove his love for her. I liked it.

In Paper Heart, Charlyne Yi – who is a comedienne in real life and who wrote the script, stars as herself filming a documentary in which she tries to discover if love really exists. Her real-life boyfriend, Michael Cera, plays her love interest. It was quirky.

District 9 is a science fiction thriller about a group of extraterrestrials that came to our planet and have been sequestered and treated as refugees for the past twenty-eight years. For the most part, they have not caused any harm, while the world governments have been trying to figure out what to do with them. As local people have grown increasingly fed up with the slum in their backyard, a private company with a private agenda sets out to keep the aliens under control. It was definitely different, but pretty good.

(500) Days of Summer stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as two people who start a relationship. Summer (Deschanel) doesn’t believe in love, but Tom (Gordon-Levitt) soon falls in love with her and does everything he can to convince her that love is real. It was good.

I admit it, I am a Trekkie. I do not go to the conventions or memorize the specifications of all the Star Fleet vessels. I did sew Star Trek uniforms for Jim and me one year for Halloween, but I have never learned how to speak Klingon…but I love Star Trek. So, of course I had to see the new movie, Star Trek, with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, Winona Ryder, Leonard Nimoy and many more. It told the story about how the young James T Kirk came to be the captain of the USS Enterprise. I thought it was really good.

Movies seen in theaters coming soon.

MK out.