Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 2008 Books and Movies

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Not quite as good as the first one, but still, really enjoyable. They've upped the ante with the CGI and the New Zealand landscape is breathtaking. Throw in a good looking cast and some very impressive battle scenes and you have an enjoyable 2.5 hours.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Beautiful Italian cinematography, great cast and some very funny moments are the good points. Bad writing, choppy plot transitions and far too much emphasis on how terrible it is for a late 30s woman to be *shocked gasp* single were the bad points. It was really 50/50 for me, I spent just as much time liking the film as I did not liking the film.

Snow Cake

Quite literally, one of the most beautiful films I have seen in a long time. Dealing with a quite rare topic, adult autism, Snow Cake is very very special. Sigourney Weaver gives one of the most amazing performances I've seen and Carrie Ann Moss and Alan Rickman are wonderful with just the right amount of pathos. It was funny, in a poignant way and made me cry buckets towards the end. It's a joint venture between the U.K. and Canada and shot in Wawa, which in itself made for some stellar cinematography. I can't recommend it enough, really worth seeing.

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Ross King

Again, took me a while to get through it, but another great read from Ross King. I love the way he incorporates conjecture to make the drier bones of history come alive. I finshed this book with a burning desire to see the Sistine Chapel in person, it's on my list!

Dan in Real Life

Quite enjoyable, much like Little Miss Sunshine, a dark comedy. Made me laugh out loud and brought tears to my eyes. Love Juliette Binoche, although I think it's really interesting that North American movies are the only ones where you see someone speaking English with an accent. In foreign language films, people hardly ever have an accent, I don't think they would even be hired if they didn't speak near flawless French, Italian, German etc. But all things foreign translate into better North American box office returns, I suppose. Steve Carell was excellent, he really has wonderful poignant comedic timing. The family dynamic was fantastic, loved Dianne Wiest as the mother. The house was just as much a part of story as the characters and the music tied it all together. The plot plodded somewhat in the middle, but overall, a good film.

Remember Me?
Sophie Kinsella

Love Sophie Kinsella, but she's gone back to using a Becky Bloomwood character, klutzy and constantly inappropriate in every situation. I'm not a fan of her characters that I get frustrated with while I'm reading. Her best character to date is Samantha, from the Undomestic Goddess. I liked Lexi too, even more when she she wised up to the fact that her "perfect" life was a crock. Still a fan of Kinsella's tight writing style, although this one was not quite as funny. That being said, I couldn't put it down and was finished in 2 days.

Sex and the City: The Movie

Of course this movie deserves it's own blog posting! :)

Though no movie, no matter how great, can replace the familiarity of one's favorite TV show, I can safely say that I was pleased with the end result last night. Were there some cheesy lines, liberties with characters and full out plot holes? Absolutely! But it was great to catch up with the "girls", see some amazing fashion and fall in love with NYC all over again. I wouldn't be sad if they decided to relaunch SATC as a show about women in their 40s, but then again, they do already have Lipstick Jungle for that. I'm definitely a Big and Carrie fan, so I had a good cry at several intervals. A lot of critics are saying that Jennifer Hudson was weak, but I quite liked her and the soundtrack she contributed. I consider myself to be almost a devotee to the show, and was quite prepared to hate the movie if it paled in comparison to the show. I was pleasantly surprised and will be buying the DVD to add to my collection and of course, for the extras. For die hard SATC fans, this movie will slightly disappoint, but over all, Michael Patrick King did a good job, and hopefully we'll see a sequel soon.

Or a second run of the show....please, pretty please with a cherry on top? :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

6 months

I write this, feeling extremely sentimental, after shedding more than a few tears at the opening of Sex and the City, the movie. (More on that under separate cover.) I feel so many things 6 months in. I still believe in love, although some days it's harder to believe than others. I believe in myself, although being kind and forgiving to myself is really hard sometimes. It's easy to beat yourself up for your mistakes, but only by forgiving yourself can you really move forward. I am trying my best not to drive myself crazy by wondering where anything is going and want to concentrate on living my life day by day, moment by moment, remembering that each element "is what it is".

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dental Damages

Ok, I've pretty much had it with these root canals! I sure hope that this is the very last one I ever have to experience. Something about the part of my mouth that was affected didn't take the freezing, so it was pretty painful. Not to mention the expense, ouch! Anyway, I'm glad to have it all squared away, and hopefully (as I've just taken a codeine) I'll be able to sleep well and will awake tomorrow with minimum tooth discomfort.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Eat Pray Love

I've decided to give this book its very own blog entry because of the sheer impact it has had on me while reading it. To date, Eat Pray Love is the most influential book I have ever read. It spoke directly to my stomach, brain and heart. Elizabeth Gilbert's writing style had me laughing out loud and crying gut wrenching tears. There is something for everyone here, and certain parts of this book spoke to me so clearly, I actually book marked them, (page 65, pages 148-151 and page 178) something I have never done before. It's inspired me to continue with my yoga, embrace daily meditation and experience fully the simple pleasures of life. Although I wouldn't consider myself to be searching so much for a spiritual experience with God the way she did, it has brought up more and more questions of that nature for me. I've been very comfortable for over 15 years with my agnostic borderline atheist beliefs. I wonder if it's a temporary by-product of reading the book, or if this will kick start a deeper spiritual study. The book has definitely solidified some plans for my year off. I will go to Italy to see all the parts I have yet to see, and I will go to India. I'm so glad I read this book, for me, it is a bookshelf classic, destined to be read again and again.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Back in the Sand!

It feels great! I'm so happy I can play volleyball again. I actually did better than I thought I would do! I signed up for individual intermediate 6s (which is always a crap shoot) but I was so lucky tonight. My team is loads of fun and best of all, good players! We won 3 of our 5 games tonight, and the losses were by a small point margin. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season!