Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Don't Really Like Short Posts

I was thinking I'd have a book review or even news on my own book to share right now but no. Instead here's reviews of two pretty different movies.

1. Havoc- This movie starred Anne Hathaway as a upper middle class socialite who's understandbly bored with the superficiality of her life and wants to experience something "real" like Hispanic gang culture. The movie was neither as good or as bad as that description suggests. Laura San Giacomo appeared very briefly in one scene and actually had no lines except to offer soup. She was either a friend of the production staff or needed quick cash. Not sure which. Shiri Appleby plays one of her friends and at one point says that hanging out with the gang was more fun than giving guys blow jobs at the local deli. After just re-watching Roswell, I really have a hard time picturing Liz Parker giving a line like that. My companions hated all the sex and violence but I give the film 3 out of 5 stars.

2. The second movie was Sunshine Cleaning starring Amy Adams and Hathaway's Devil Wears Prada co-star Emily Blunt as sisters. Neither sister has a perfect life but they start a crime scene and trauma clean-up service. This was enjoyed by all I case you were wondering. Playing a character much like his character in Little Miss Sunshine, Alan Arkin plays their father and 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub appears in a role I find much more convincing than Chloe. Definitely see this movie!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Why Can't Movies Make A Decent Ending Anymore?

1. The International-This is one of those movies I like to call "reference material." The plot of a bank cornering the market on weapons deals to third world countries is something I wish I came up with first. The acting was superb. For some reason, I kept thinking what a great join Naomi Watts was doing hiding her accent as if she'd never done that before... The ending was both cool and WTF at the same time. I can't really explain it better without ruining the whole thing.

2. Push-Fascinating cast. The plot was interesting as well. I don't know how I feel that everyone has one of only four superpowers. I can't decide if that's more realistic or less...The ending wasn't great but as I sit here typing this, I can't remember why...

3. G-Force- This was a favorite of the weekend I think. Tracy Morgan as Blaster and Penelope Cruz as Juarez I think were my favorite characters. So much fun.

4. The Lovely Bones- Our company and I went out to see this on Saturday while my cousin had other plans. The murder mystery part of this was great. The What Dreams May Come surrealistic scenes where tedious and so unneeded.

5. The Taking of Pelham 123- This is one of those movies I have to reluctantly admit John Travolta is a good actor. This is also one of those movies I worry will have pointless action sequences but it really didn't and I'm grateful. The ending wasn't bad but but it was little more than a shrug-off. Whatever.

6.Knowing-The action sequences that weren't in the previous movie were in this one. Overall, I really enjoyed this movie but I have quibbles. The time capsule was only buried for 50 years? I would have waited for the hundred-year mark myself. I have no problem with how the movie was resolved; despite how cliqued our friend thought it was. My problem was what happened after that...

7. The Hangover-Great movie. So many great moments. Watching Zach Galifianakis, first in G-Force then this, makes me very impressed with him. He gots mad skillz.

8. The Ugly Truth- Another raunchy romantic comedy with Katherine Heigl. Very good movie though let's be honest: Knocked Up was just slightly better. This movie ended the way I hoped it would. ::happydance::

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Somewhere Between Rant and Rave

I discovered TNT is making a TV series on my favorite Maine author Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli/Isles series which is exciting news. First off, it should be called Rizzoli and Isles as Maura is just as much the star of the series. In fact Body Double for instance was really more about Maura than Jane. Whatever.

Angie Harmon is about the right age and personality to pull off Jane Rizzoli though, physically, I picture Meredith Scott Lynn more in the role. Of course not as big a name to star in series even on TNT so I understand. My one real gripe here is she sounds more from Jersey than Boston. Could be a problem. If she ever wears non-New England sports gear, heads will roll.

Sasha Alexander is totally wrong for the role of Maura Isles. I think more along the lines of Winona Ryder. Isles has the nickname "Queen of the Dead" for more reasons than just her job people! Oh, but that casting would upstage Harmon! Oh no!

My opinion of Vice Korsak is decidedly mixed. A greasy Bruce McGill is perfect but why they made him Rizzoli's former partner when he didn't even work in the same precinct I have no idea. Since he's retired anyway, it wouldn't make the storyline any more complicated. As long as he's still dating Rizzoli's mother, I may forgive them... He isn't exactly thrilled with Frost so that still works...

The only problems I have with Lee Thompson Young playing Barry Frost has nothing to do with him being African American. One, he looks too skinny to me and, two, he's too young. The whole point of his character, in the beginning was him being an old married guy compared to Rizzoli's single loner. And his wife is named Alice. Who under 35 is named Alice?

I wonder if this will be on Hulu...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Snowy Holiday Musings

1. It's been awhile. I'll begin with a week ago this past Friday when I went down town to hear a band. A friend from high school plays drums. A couple other people from high school were there. It was a great time and welcome change of pace.

2. Finally had the Davis family Christmas party this past Saturday. Ugh. So boring. Only two presents for me as everyone else had already given theirs to me. Of course, I needed a calendar and another gift card is always good. Still not sure what I want to use it for. There was two kinds of apple pie.

3. Our movie loving cook friend spent the night before last. She makes some awesome nachos. Everything but the kitchen sink.

a. That night we went down to see Up in the Air. Overall a great movie with great story and acting but the ending, which I shan't reveal, was unsatisfying. Even an unrealistic ending would have been preferable. I can't really go into more detail without revealing much. I will say though that corporations that outsource to fire their employees are such wusses...

b. Watched The Skeleton Key. Above average acting. I'm a fan of Buffy and Angel but I'm not really a fan of the supernatural suspense. Overall the movie was watchable but the ending was right out of left field...

c. Finally we watched Suburban Girl with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin. It was billed as "May-December" romance, this set in the book publishing industry, but I'd argue it was more a "June-November" thing which did make it more realistic to me. You're probably wondering why you never heard of this movie. Apparently, it wasn't released in theaters. I have no idea why. The ending of this one, theme unintentional, wasn't great either but was the most satisfying of the three.

4. The release date of Spring Thaw, given to me by the publisher's PR department was January 5th. This date came and went with no sign of the book at the three major online sellers. I sent 2 ignored (OK maybe not ignored but unacknowledged at any rate) emails to the publisher and Friday I finally saw a glimpse of it at Amazon. It's still not available to buy anywhere except through the publisher's site yet but I now have hope it will be fully available within the month. More details as I come across them.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mad Libs!

Mad:)Glibs - free online Mad Libs
Romeo and Juliet: Prologue
Two cats, both alike in dignity,
In fair China, where we lay our scene,
From ancient sunshine break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross`d goats take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their tree bury their parents` strife.
The fearful passage of their smelly love,
And the continuance of their parents` rage,
Which, but their children`s end, nought could swim,
Is now the 32 hours` traffic of our stage;
The which if you with pretty knee attend,
What here shall run, our toil shall strive to mend.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Random Holiday Thoughts

1. Gave my parents the new Beatles Trivial Pursuit game for Christmas. I thought the 3 of us would have an easy time of it but they added six levels of difficulty to every category. Of course we got a lot of 5 and 6 level questions like where did John go to school or what street he lived on. Yikes! Get this there's a movie category and we watched Hard Days Night. It didn't help. It was good though as my father took an early lead before my mother took over. I ended up winning merely on a dice-roll.

2. Got two big music gifts this year. My parents gave me Tom Petty's Live Anthology which though it's set up as a long concert, it's actually several different concert clips spliced together. You really don't notice. I love it!

b. Meanwhile my cousin gave me the John Lennon Anthology which is analogous to The Beatle Anthology as it's a compilation of outtakes, parodies and live tracks selected by Yoko Ono who also wrote the liner notes. This is great too!

3. Saw many a movie the past few weeks including two versions of Little Women. I had forgotten Christian Bale was in the '90's version. I also saw part of Public Enemies yesterday where I think he's doing the same accent... Among the new ones:

a. Everybody's Fine-Deniro is a much more versatile actor than he gets credit for I think. In many ways his character was an extreme version of my own grandfather in his love of yard work and his deference to his now-deceased wife in keeping up with family news. I mentioned this on Twitter but Kate Beckinsale seems to get better scripts where she's forced to play an American. I don't know why that is. One othher note, Drew Barrymore seems almost typecast as a possibly bisexual single mother. Granted you have to go all the way back to Boys on the Side for a similar role but it was just a feeling I had. (Oh damn! I revealed a plot twist...) And yes, I promised my father I'd tell him if I ended up in a Mexican prison on drug charges...

b. Four Christmases-We had company earlier this week and she brought a few movies with her. This one was pretty good and had a great cast. Well, I say that but I really didn't buy Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon as a couple. (Who know that there was that much difference between Jennifer Aniston and Witherspoon since they convincingly have played sisters but there you go...) You know you have a messed up family when Jon Voigt is the most stable of the four parents. Finally, I dare you to eat when Witherspoon's grandmother ask for spiritual guidence. I pulled it off but...

c. Yesterday morning we watched District 9. It was definitely a more original way to handle first contact with aliens. I frankly wouldn't watch it with people that prefer their science fiction blantant and straightforward. For instance, if you feel Independence Day holds up as the greatest alien invasion film. I seriously think you'll hate this one. Finally, Sharlto Copley will be awesome as Howling Mad Murdock in the new A-Team film. He showed just the right amount of crazy in this one...

d. As part of our New Year's Eve celebration, we watched a movie my aunt gave my cousin (That is my aunt from the other side of the family...): The Cooler with William H. Macy and Alec Baldwin. I thought I had seen it before but I definitely didn't remember any of it. I thought it was a very good movie.

4. Last night was pretty low key. We snacked, had virgin cosmopolitans and watched A River Runs Through It in addition to the above movie. No similarities which was good.
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