Sunday, May 25, 2008


I’ve seen some more movies... this is a slow year, but I still should post about them anyway.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD – Again – In my opinion still the best film of 2007.

THE BANK JOB – Entertaining British heist flick. I love to see Saffron Burrows getting work, but why can’t the girl gain a few pounds? I also realized that Jason Statham must be incredibly short. IMDB says 5’10” but I seriously doubt it!

THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES – I will show this to my kids, when they’re born, and after they’re old enough not to be spooked by terrifying goblins, fairies, and forest gnomes.

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL – I want to support all the people connected to Freaks and Geeks. And I did so by watching this movie on opening weekend. It’s funny.

HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY – Gut-splittingly funny. A must-see, and then a must-see-again.

IRON MAN – Too much time spent in a Middle Eastern cave. And the gender politics are WAY regressive. Whatever, I’d rather see Harold and Kumar again.

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE – Remember those torture pictures from Abu Ghraib? This movie is about those. Hope you weren’t expecting a comedy!

21 – This movie was the 21st movie I saw in the theater this year. And I didn’t do it on purpose! No lie. Whoa, cleavage, guess they used CGI.

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL – I saw this at a midnight showing at the Davis Theater (which I was formerly boycotting, and now am boycotting again). I was seated directly in front of a large open pipe – maybe a sewer pipe – with a cardboard cover propped over it, and a bunch of air fresheners laying on top. At least the pipe had rails around it, so I could put my feet up.

BABY MAMA – Ha ha, ladies always get pregnant at the darndest times. Or perfectly, when they just happen to be dating Greg Kinnear!

Friday, May 02, 2008

A few books

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

I finished this book, lo these many months ago, while visiting Maya in Chicago. I had a little cry, and then we went to see There Will Be Blood to complete my day of bleakness. Luckily, the day ended with a lot of booze and laughter while we watched the Oscars over IM with Sandy. Good times.

Anyway, I'm trying to say this book is bleak. But it's also really amazing, and one of the most affecting books I've read in a long time. This post-apocalyptic stuff is right up my alley, but even if you're not into that, I recommend giving it a chance anyway. McCarthy creates a horrifyingly believable world and characters so real, you almost wish you didn't care about them so much. I'm sad to learn that some idiot is trying to turn The Road into a movie. Even the presence of Guy Pearce (!) and Viggo Mortenson (!!) isn't enough to convince me this is a good idea.

The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova

This is a fun little adventure story about a couple of historians tromping across Europe on a hunt for Dracula. It's told from the perspective of a 16 year old girl, as she unravels the mystery around her parents' early life together, and the story is also told through letters from her father and other historians. This perspective gives it a young adult fiction feel, so of course I enjoyed it.

And of course, looks like Hollywood's making this into a movie as well. They'll probably play it very serious, like The DaVinci Code, and take all the fun out of it.

Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen

OK, so I was supposed to read this about six years ago for a Victorian Lit class that I absolutely hated, so of course I skipped it, along with just about every other book in that course (except for the Our Mutual Friend, the 800-page "loose baggy monster" by Charles Dickens, which I plowed through and LOVED). I'm so glad I finally got around to this. Austen is seriously hilarious, and here she's at her most tongue-in-cheek. I don't want to spoil my own fun by looking up any criticism of this work, but I think the whole novel is a joke. A parody of the Gothic novel, but also a response to the social critics who felt that reading Gothic novels was bad for women's minds. That they were too provocative, and women should stick to reading about flowers or some shit.

Anyway, I enjoyed it, but if you hate Austen, stay away because this one's super Austen-y.