Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 2008 Books and Movies


Very weird. The hand held camera gave me vertigo and made me nauseous at first, but then it went away. I want to say it was clever, but in the end, it just tried too hard. The decapitated Statue of Liberty was cool, as was her big head in the middle of the street. The actors were relative nobodies, in an attempt to make it more "real", but who could be fooled when the plot involves CGI aliens and a destroyed Manhattan? I don't know why they tried to make it so believable. I'll give it a good jumpy factor, I definitely squirmed in my seat and elbowed my movie companion.

Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm
Kim Cattrall, Mark Levinson and Fritz Drury

This is Kim Cattrall's first book. I had heard that her books were quite good, so I decided to get them out of the library. This one is very well written, is illustrated (information line drawings, not photos) and is a straightforward, easy read. The book was written with her ex-husband, so one would presume she has had many more experiences since then. You need to take the introduction with a big grain of salt. The book also has a very 70's feel to it, which was a bit strange.

Being a Girl: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Teenage Life
Kim Cattrall, Amy Briamonte and Marf

Excellent! Must have for all young women. Touches on all the issues without being condescending and above all sending a positive message of good self esteem, respect and personal growth. Lots of pictures, cute cartoons and inspirational quotes round out the text. If you have a young girl or woman who is in need of either a complete directional shift or perhaps just needs a friendly reassurance that she is on the right path, you can't go wrong with this book.

The Bucket List

Wow! What a movie. Rob Reiner film, Morgan Freeman, laughter, tears, even Jack Nicholson was good, and I don't always like him. You need to be pretty comfortable with your own mortality to really enjoy this film, but once there, it's a great ride.

27 Dresses

Cute but not overly clever. I love Katherine Heigl on Grey's Anatomy and thought she was hilarious in Knocked Up. She was equally good here but unfortunately, not supported in any way, shape or form by her cast members. Awful actors in place as her sister, best friend and boss. Even her love interest was passable, although I have liked James Marsden in other things. The bridesmaid dresses montage was really fun. You'll definitely be in for a few laughs if you go see it.

Neil Gaiman

As it happens most of the time, this book was way better than the movie. I was really disappointed with some of the changes they made, both with what the script writers left out and what they made much bigger than what it was. Robert DeNiro did not need that much screen time to portray such a minimal character. I'm glad I saw the movie first so I wasn't disappointed because I remember really enjoying the film. I couldn't put this book down, it was an great read from start to finish. Excellent!

Booky and the Secret Santa
(Made for TV)

I loved the Booky series when I was a child. It gave me all sorts of insight into what it must have been like to grow up in the dirty 30's. I felt sad for Booky and her family but admired her tenacious spirit and her family's love for each other even when times were tough. Unfortunately this made for TV movie didn't really do the books justice. The sets and costumes were amazing, and really gave you a sense of what Toronto was like back then. Megan Follows was great, but the rest of the cast were weak (especially the children), and the script poorly written. It seemed like a lot of story jammed into a two hour time slot. The producers would have been better off making a trilogy of the books, sticking closely to the original story. As it was, they attributed the charitable gift packages to Eaton's when it has always been the Star Santa Claus Fund that distributes those to the needy. It's unfortunately just another example of how books are often better than cinematic adaptations.

Little Family, Big Values
The Roloff Family with Tracy Sumner

I really like this television show, so I was expecting a bit more. The message is great, believe in yourself, follow your dreams, work hard, live with integrity, have faith and love your family. The medium, not so great. The writing is terrible. I don't know if they hired a hack ghost writer, or the family itself had so much control over the project, that they didn't allow any editorial input. I wonder if it is the latter, as Matt Roloff comes across on TV as pretty stubborn. It was a quick read, I'll give it that. Watch the show, it's much better.

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