Friday, July 25, 2008

The Railway Children

Really sweet movie.

The Corporation

Best movie I've seen all year. This was fantastic, enlightening, interesting, and so so damn good.

Everyone should see this.

The Debutante Divorcee, by Plum Sykes

Well, this was slightly weird. It was very good, but then the end just felt like it was jammed in ther to make it a fairy tale ending. While the rest of the book seemed like it was going one place, the end took it to another.
Plum Sykes (of course, I am choking on this) can write, as unfair as it all seems. I did just read an article where she said she was not planning on writing another book though, which is kind of interesting.

Something in the Water, by Charlotte MacLeod

An ok mystery, but I really kind of wanted to smack the professor the whole time. Smug!!! But it was set in a nice place (Maine), the paintings were interesting, and I did love the lupines. So, not a total waste of time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chasing Liberty

Even the fantastic Mandy Moore couldn't save this tripe.

This was terrible, despite a really good beginning.

Anna Foster is the 18 year old daughter of the US President, and after having her few dates ruined by the constant presence of the Secret Service, she gets her parents to promise that while in France on a state visit, she will be allowed to attend a concert with her friend, the French President's daughter, and only 2 Secret Service agents.

Of course Daddy lied, and a fiasco ensues, and Anna goes on the run.

That's when the whole thing took a terrible turn.

Despite being filmed in Paris, Prague, Venice and Berlin, the movie only offered the most cartoonish American stereotypes of the people and places. There's a sentimental gondolier, a hunky giant blond German, a goofball Aussie pickpocket, the French girl is hot and loose, and so on. It was awful.

The love story was such nonsense I can't even say anything beyond that- except that it was offensively misogynistic.

Oh, Mandy Moore, don't do this to me! You and Toni Colette should run off and make a really great movie. You deserve it after this garbage.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out Of Balance

This was remarkable, like moving art. No dialogue, but the most extraordinary images, pieced together to show our planet. Really incredible. Score by Phillip Glass.

The Gatecrasher, by Madeleine Wickham

This was good, despite an awful premise. I think Wickham/Kinsella is a really good writer who just hasn't found her real topics yet- although with the sacks of money she must be making off the Shopaholic books, I guess she doesn't need to strive away at lit fic anymore. It's just even in the really not-so-good books of hers that seem to be being re-released with covers that scream out Sophie Kinsella- author of Shopaholic! she has a good voice, and nice details, and great style.

How To Be Cool, by Johanna Edwards

This was terrible.

Misogynistic chick-lit at it's worst.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Great Warming:Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations, by Brian Fagan

Cool, quick read.

A climatological world history, with well-explained science and really well done scenes set in the different civilizations which were impacted by the warm period from about 1000 AD to 1300 AD.

I also just read another book by the same author, The Little Ice Age, which was also really enjoyable- readable, but still with a real backbone.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Holiday

Eh. Kind of cheesy, but Kate Winslet's cottage in Surrey was so gorgeous it made it worth watching.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I feel terribly stupid, because I somehow didn't get a lot of the first bit, but the rest was intense.
Worst little sister ever!
On an unrelated note, someone hath murdered sleep around here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Grand Tour, by Tim Moore

Interesting, but LONG European travel book. Writer Tim Moore follows the footsteps of a Thomas Coryate, who first used foreign travel as a way to increase his status at court in 1608. Moore follows his trail, in modern times, and his snarkiness reminded me of Bill Bryson. I really liked this book, but I'm not sure why it took me so damn long to read it.

Evan Only Knows, by Rhys Bowen

This one was was set in Swansea, for a change!

Hate the thought of what the foot and mouth outbreaks might have done to the sheep in Wales.

Evans Above, by Rhys Bowen

Yup. One more.

Evan's Gate, by Rhys Bowen

Yup- another one. Getting a bit sick of these, actually. Almost done with the series, though.

Muriel's Wedding

Well, Since all I've ever heard was that this was a funny movie, I kind of thought it would be, but, no.

Once again, Toni Colette was wonderful, but overall, the movie was strange and sad. Maybe Australians have different senses of humor?

Depressing as hell, actually.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Weather Underground

Pretty great documentary about the 60's student radicals. After seeing Across The Universe, I thought I'd check this out, and was glad I did.

Domestic terrorism (Oklahoma City, Atlanta Olympics, Ted Kaczynski, etc.) has really kind of fallen off the radar since 9/11, but it is so much more interesting and complicated than the easy-to-understand rage that so many people across the world feel towards America.

When Americans themselves feel that our nation has gone so far off track that they turn to violence, there's usually something pretty damn intense going on, and the Weather Underground was certainly an intense movement.

I wish there had been a little more reflection, but the movie would have been too long then, and just telling the story of some college students who chose to leave their lives behind and risk their lives and freedom to fight for causes they believed in was well worth it.

I am always so impressed by anyone who believes in anything. I don't know how they do it.

In Her Shoes

Pretty awful movie based on a pretty awful book by Jennifer Weiner I read ages ago. Toni Colette is such a good actress, I wish she didn't have to keep playing second fiddle to people like Cameron Diaz. In an extra absurd part of this movie, Cameron Diaz's character learns to read by reading poetry to a dying man. Yeah. That says it all about this sentimental, string-tugging, manipulative, shoe-fetishizing piece of tripe.

Evans to Betsy, by Rhys Bowen

Tasty little morsel, but I'm starting to think that Rhys Bowen has a bee in his/her bonnet about Druids.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Evan Can Wait, by Rhys Bowen

This was the best yet of the Constable Evans series, for me. A film crew comes to do a documentary on a German WWII plane sunk in a lake, and the history of the area in WWII gets people killed. Some lovely details about how the art from the National Galleries was brought into the mines to keep it safe, and some scenes on the little railways were lovely. This one actually had a plot that kept me interested above and beyond all the gorgeous Welsh town names. Cool read.

Evan Blessed, by Rhys Bowen

A darker Constable Evans mystery- not my favorite of the bunch.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Making Concrete Garden Ornaments, by Sherri Warner Hunter

This was a fantastically well done craft book. I want to try almost everything in the book, and even better, the instructions and diagrams etc were so well done that I feel like I could follow them easily.

Death of a Travelling Man, by M.C. Beaton

Another lovely Scottish highland real estate porn murder mystery. Quick and tasty.

Loose Change: Final Cut

Very, very interesting. If you want to watch it, here's a link- it's about 2 hours long. I understand that this final version of the movie is very different from the previous versions, but I never saw those. It definitely left me wondering.
Loose Change

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Hurricane of '38

This was an amazing documentary. Living here in Rhody, of course I've always been interested in the storm, and have read Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938, but I had no idea that the kind of footage that was used in the documentary even existed. Incrediblly well done, and chilling.

Just My Luck

This was nearly unwatchable, it was so bad.

Rumors, by Anna Godberson

Sequel to The Luxe, and, if possible, even more absurd, but kind of addictive too.