In which I ramble on and on about the Books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen for May:
- Hades’ Daughter, God’s Concubine, Darkwitch Rising (The Troy Game books 1, 2, and 3) by Sara Douglass: When I picked this up, it was because I liked Threshold (from last month) and this is by the same author. I thought it was a trilogy, but it’s not. There are so far three books, but the fourth (and supposedly final) book in the series just came out and I haven’t read it yet. I liked the first book, thought the second book was just ok (had some boring parts), and really liked the third book. Overall, I think the series is pretty good so far. But still, I think a lot of times, single books that stand alone are better.
- To the Hilt and Knockdown, by Dick Francis: I like Dick Francis’s horsey mysteries, so these were good reads for me. If you’ve never tried him out, you should try one:) They’re lots of fun.
- Confessions of a Shopaholic (UK title: The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic), Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (UK: Shopaholic Abroad), Shopaholic Ties the Knot, and Shopaholic & Sister, by Sophie Kinsella: Julie recommended the Shopaholic series to me a while back, and she has a bunch of them, so she was gonna lend me them. But the thing is, I walked into Pegasus & Pendragon which has a used books section, and in their clearance area which is where I guess they put the books that haven’t sold for a long time or are in poorer condition, they have books for $0.49 (yup, 49¢!). So when I saw Confessions of a Shopaholic for that price, well, that’s a bargain, so of course I got it. Confessions was good enough that I went ahead and read all the rest of the books. Funnily enough, I thought Confessions was maybe the weakest book of the series. There was a lot of set up about Becky Bloomwood and her shopping problem, and I dunno, on one hand, I really understood her. I mean, not about clothes, but just in general. Like there’s three bookstores in Berkeley that have a used books section that I know of (The Other Change of Hobbit, Half-Priced Books, and Pegasus & Pendragon). Since used books are cheap(er) I go in and buy like six books at a time, and really, it’s just like buying only three books! And etc. But I’ve never had a dollar’s worth of credit card debt in my life. (Too much conditioning from dad:p) (Well to be perfectly truthful I’ve had debt when I forgot to pay my bill cos I left it lying around somewhere. But nevermind that:p) In GENERAL, I can’t imagine putting things on a credit card that I can’t pay off at the end of the month unless it’s like food or something completely necessary. Definitely not because of a shopping problem. Well, I don’t think so anyhows. It’s not like I’m Miss Budget Queen:p ANYWAYS. Okay, the books were good fun, and so far, all of them have been good fun. If you don’t hate the first one, definitely read the second, cos I think it gets better.
- The Triumph of Katie Byrne, by Barbara Taylor Bradford: I got this book at the airport cos it was on sale. I actually went to the newstand to pick up a copy of The Washington Post but there was a sale cart! With hardcovers for $4.99! At the airport! So I randomly picked one which said it was bestseller or by a bestselling author, I forget which. Anyhows, it sucked. Really, I have no idea how Barbara Taylor Bradford has had ANY bestsellers. And if this one was a bestseller, I really don’t get it. Maybe a lot of other people were suckered by sales. Honestly, it was a waste of time. Good thing I was on the airplane.
- Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: So cute! Really fun movie. I would say that the W&G shorts are better, but still, really liked this.
- Me and You and Everyone We Know: Laugh-out-loud funny! But also poignant and touching. It’s a quirky look at disconnection between people and love also, I think. Anyhows, I’d totally recommend it. ))<-->(( bahahahaha:)
- The Longest Yard: Awful waste of time. Adam Sandler movies can be good fun, but gawd, this wasn’t one of them.
- The Mothman Prophecies: This was really good scary build up to… nothing. That’s the problem. There’s so much going on and so much they could’ve done with it, but it felt like it went nowhere. The climactic scene wasn’t climactic enough for all the rest of it. Good try, but not quite.
- Monster: I thought this movie was just ok, although it’s pretty highly rated, so maybe don’t take my word for it. Mostly, I felt like the performances were really good, but the movie not quite as good. Charlize Theron was completely believable in her role, and to a lesser degree (but mostly just cos Charlize Theron was so good) so was Christina Ricci. There was this middle part though that just got boring. Maybe I have a low attention span I don’t know, but it dragged. I understood the point (that she was spiraling ever downwards) but still.
- Unfaithful: Difficult movie to watch. In a way, it was like a scary thriller type movie for me because I kept thinking she would get caught, even though that wasn’t the point of the movie. It felt too much like two separate movies; I didn’t love it. Also, even though this month it looks like I’m a big fan of Richard Gere, I’m actually not! I mean, I don’t have a problem with him, he’s fine, I’m just not a big fan.
- X-Men: The Last Stand: Well, it wasn’t great. But it was pretty good summer blockbuster fun, except that after the first two, you’d really expect it to be better than just good summer blockbuster fun. So you have to manage your expectations going in, cos if you are expecting the movie to be as good as the first, you’ll be disappointed. Spoilers coming…
First, the (short) list of good things: Good summer blockbuster fun, lots of stuff flying around, mutant powers are cool, especially ShadowCat, worth a matinee for the effects, especially that big scene where Magneto took the Golden Gate Bridge and moved it.
Now, the bad things: How come when Magneto moved the Golden Gate Bridge, it went from day to night with no transition? How come 6 mutants (admittedly trained by Professor X) could take on like 300 other mutants? Also, Famke Jannsen as Jean Grey/Phoenix sucked. Honestly, there’s supposed to be all this struggle as Jean Grey and the Phoenix battle it out for supremacy over Jean Grey. She was like catatonic. Dude, I get it, it’s an internal struggle. But it’s a movie! And you’re a telepathic telekinetic! GIVE ME SOMETHING!!! I don’t know how they managed to cast Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan and Hugh Jackman and and Kelsey Grammer and even James Marsden so perfectly, and then forget that HELLO? Jean Grey is important!!! She deserves better. Which I think Famke Jannsen has been better in other roles, so I don’t know. Also, Phoenix is like an outer space entity that takes over Jean Grey, Jean Grey is not herself a stronger mental mutant than Professor X because Prof. X is the strongest mental mutant ever. I got into an argument with my cousin Mike about this cos he said that Professor X wasn’t a level 5 mutant (which I’ve never even knew that there were levels to mutants) but that Phoenix was, which I said, fine, I’ll believe you but then that means that the Phoenix is the only level 5 mutant there is, a category unto herself. Cos if even one other mutant is a level 5 mutant, then Professor X is DEFINITELY a level 5 mutant! DUH!!! Which brings me to Professor X getting physically pulled apart by the Phoenix, omg, I started to cry. Dude, why?!?! For goodness’ sakes, leave Professor X alone! He’s my favorite! He’s Jean-Luc Picard! It would’ve been so cool if they’d read “O Captain! My Captain!” at his funeral:D I guess that’s part of the problem. A lot of the wittiness and humor and tongue in cheekness and silliness that made the previous movies transcend the summer blockbuster were missing, and it hurt the movie a lot. I wish the original director stayed on.