So I’m late again this month. Well, what can I say. But in my defense, I sorta thought I had nothing much to say this month cos I didn’t see much or read much in July. But I think that was really more the end of July, or something. I really don’t know what I was thinking.
Movies-wise, I saw A History of Violence, which wow I thought was really good. I mean I know it got pretty good reviews, but I have to say, for some reason I never thought I’d much care for it. But it was good and fun, one of those movies that made you think and was fun all together. If you haven’t seen it, I’d totally recommend it. Plus I think Viggo Mortensen is dishy — I always liked Aragorn better than Legolas. Although it was a close thing, cos Orlando Bloom was pretty fine as a blonde elf. Which is funny because when he’s not a blonde elf, Orlando Bloom does NOTHING for me. It’s weird. And I’m waaaaaay off topic. Errr, yeah so History of Violence was good. :)
Also saw Superman Returns which was okay. (Have I blogged about this already? I hope not.) I mean it was definitely fun and not bad, but you know it’s a set up story. And both yut and me thought that sections of it dragged. Which you know, it’s an adventure movie! With a superhero! And therefore a supervillain (Kevin Spacey was pretty great as Lex Luthor)! You’re not supposed to be thinking partway through, “Wow this movie is long.” Another problem was that Superman and Lois Lane were supposed to be like 30 or something at least and I didn’t believe it, at all. This probably shows my age, but even though I thought Brandon Routh was a good Superman, and really a very pretty boy, he looked soooo young. Soo soo young. And I wish Lois liked Clark more. I always thought Lois thought Clark was an alright guy, who was at the least a good colleague, but I didn’t get that from this movie. Anyhows, small things really. I mean, it’s a summer blockbuster superhero movie, and it was fun, and really what more is there?
Lords of Dogtown was a movie about the start of the skateboarding scene back in the day (I think 1970s actually) and the way it evolved with the addition of some new sorts of wheels and surfing moves (I don’t really know the first thing about any of that, but they got awfully excited about some polyurethane wheels in the movie and they went surfing sometimes). It’s also about the friendship of the boys in Venice, CA who were instrumental I suppose to the development of skateboarding. I don’t know if I was a big skateboarding fan if I would see this movie as a lot more or what, but it was just an okay movie for me. It was like all innocent fun, then they started doing cool tricks, then sponsorship got involved and money and etc and the friendships seemed to be degenerating, but it seemed that in the end they pulled themselves together. Still, it was interesting, about a subject I obviously knew nothing about.
We tried to watch The House of Mirth, but failed miserably when we both fell asleep. Sad, but true. So moving on! :p
Team America: World Police was sooooo funny. I loved the Montage song (something like when you need time to move fast, then you need a montage! which is so true, CSI obviously swears by this), and the I need you, like Ben Affleck needs acting school song, and lots of other stuff. Despite this, as a whole, the movie didn’t work for me. It was like a bunch of funny scenes held together by a flimsy movie with no focus, or maybe a satire that couldn’t decide what to satirize and so decided to satirize everything and only partially succeeded. Something like that. Still, good for laughs. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut by the same people was better, if that serves as any sort of frame of reference.
The last movie we saw in July was Lady in the Water. We went to see it because it was really really hot and the theater was nice and chill. I know the movie got a lot of really bad reviews, but you know what, we both enjoyed it very much. It was very much a fantasy, and I could see it as a children’s bedtime story, I think. Anyhows, there was the hero! And the heroine! Who are just regular people, not trying to do anything special, but when circumstances require it, become bigger and better and fulfill their destiny. And there was a Quest of course. And various other people trying to help them on their quest. Good triumphs over bad and justice prevails in the end. I liked it quite a lot actually, and it’s not cos I’m some sort of unrepentant M. Night Shyamalan fan — I liked Sixth Sense, but not Signs (which was laughable), and haven’t managed to watch The Village or Unbreakable yet.
See that was actually a lot more than I thought I had. I think I will have less to say about the books though, we’ll see. :)
This summer I’ve been reading a lot of Dick Francis. I won’t go into them all, there’s a lot! He wrote like 40 books and I had a week or two when I read like 4 or 5 a week, so it’s too much to get into. I think in July my two favorites were Hot Money and Knockdown. I realized that I’d read Hot Money years ago after I already got started but even though I remembered whodunnit, I still enjoyed it a lot.
I also read Alexander McCall Smith‘s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and Tears of the Giraffe (2nd book featuring the same characters, but it’s not like each book wouldn’t stand on its own), which I highly recommend. I think the local public library calls these books mysteries, and in a way they are — Precious Ramotswe (the main character) is a private investigator with cases to solve, after all. But you know, a lot of mysteries, the whole book and a great deal of what happens in the book is all towards one aim, that is to solve the mystery. But somehow, these books are more than that. It’s about Botswana, and Mma Ramotswe and her life, and yes, she does also solve mysteries. Really good stuff.
Also, I’ve been reading a lot of chick lit. This month I read Something Borrowed and its sequel Something Blue by Emily Giffin. Good, but I keep comparing things to Shopaholic and not liking it quite as much. Maybe cos I read Shopaholic first, so it was all fresh and good. But this was pretty good. I read something else too with a yellow cover, but I can’t remember the title or author now. It was okay, but the Something Borrowed and Something Blue books were better.
Last was Jhumpa Lahiri‘s Interpreter of Maladies, a collection of nine short stories. I picked it up because it said that it’d won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize, which seemed as good a reason to pick a book as any. Sometimes award winning short stories, or maybe acclaimed stories in general, are too esoteric for me, I end up not getting why it was good or sometimes even having a hard time getting through it. But this one was very very readable, and I’m not saying I didn’t have favorites, but in general every story was readable and touching. Anyhows, I’m out of things to say, at this point, so if you read anything from this month, try this. Or Alexander McCall Smith or whatever. I don’t know, it’s a different sort of pleasure, but pleasure all the same.
I guess this was much shorter. Somehow, I always feel inadequate doing this stuff, but in a way more inadequate talking about the books. Maybe cos I sort of care more. But also partly I think it’s hard to feel discriminating enough, or maybe intellectual enough, to talk about books. I mean, I enjoy a lot of junk (like I actually also read a romance, and I got through it quickly cos it was light fun, but I barely remember the plot now and I can’t remember the title or the author but the book was blue), so it feels weird to be reviewing Pulitzer winners. Anyhows, the point is, I enjoyed most of this, sometimes deeply, sometimes in small ways, but they were good in their own ways. Something like that.