Month: March 2010

A Wrinkle in Time (2003)

A Wrinkle in Time (2003)

wrinkleintime.jpgIt’s been a fair amount of time since I’ve read the Madeleine L’Engle books, and therefore I think watching the movie was an easier and more enjoyable experience.  I wasn’t caught in the trap of constantly comparing the two and trying to find the flaws in the adaptation.  Even for as long as the movie was (over two hours), I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The acting was done really well, the boy playing Charles Wallace was spot on.  He was also the little boy in The Ring, and I think he has a knack for roles of odd/precocious children.  All the characters were basically what I remembered from the books.  It was fun to get acquainted with them all again.  The imagery in the movie was very vivid and encompassing.  Parts were cheesy, like the travel through the tesseract, but that’s to be expected to a degree.  And the movie didn’t take it too far, so while it was cheesy, it was still acceptable and easy to look past.  The places they visited though, were amazing.  I particularly enjoyed the cavern of the Happy Medium, where the glow worms fed off of laughter.

It was a very nice way to spend the evening, and I’m glad I decided to bump this to the top of my queue and watch it.  I think it’s a great movie for kids and adults alike.

Say Anything


After seeing and hearing about the iconic scene where John Cusack holds a boombox over his head in order to win back the girl he loves, I decided it was finally time to see this movie.  I started it one evening, and stopped it halfway through and then finished it last night. Although it didn’t hold my attention enough to finish it in the same sitting, I am happy I watched through it to find out the rest of the story. I think I had built this up too much in my head because the actual movie didn’t pan out to what I had hoped it would be.

The first half didn’t grab me much, but it was your overall typical high school story.  I found the second half more interesting, but then was let down by that pivotal scene I mentioned above.  Because it wasn’t really that pivotal.  That scene isn’t what got them back together, it didn’t change the story any.  If she would have at least looked out the window, or allowed herself a private smile that showed she was hearing and responding to what he had done for her, I would have enjoyed it more.  As the scene played out it was very anti-climactic.

I enjoyed John Cusack’s performance, as I always do. He’s an actor I really like. Other actors in the movie also put in wonderful performances.  The dad was phenomenal, and got across all the emotions needed to portray someone doing something so distasteful, but yet believing it really was the best and right thing to do for his daughter.  I enjoyed that Jeremy Piven showed up, he’s another actor I enjoy watching on the screen and he came off well as one of the guys.

I believe that if I had seen this movie while still in high school, or around that age range, it would have affected me much differently, and perhaps I would have connected with the characters more.  As it stands, it’s a cute movie.  I don’t dislike it, but I don’t really like it either.  I’d say 3 stars on my scale.

Shalador’s Lady

Shalador’s Lady: A Black Jewels Novel

Anne Bishop

This book arrived while I was reading two other books. I had started one, and then decided to switch.  Then the latest Anne Bishop showed up and I switched again.  I began reading the evening of the 18th, I think it had actually arrived the day before.  I finished it the evening of the 19th, and only because I had to work on Friday morning did I not stay up and read it Thursday night.

I enjoy the world that Bishop has built, and it sucks me in every time.  It was great to see new and old characters together, and I felt they were well balanced too.  Some of the story lines with the older characters weren’t necessarily needed, but overall the two groups of characters seem to meld well together.  I enjoyed having some of my favorites show up, like Karla, while still keeping up with Cassidy and her new court.  I felt sorry for Theran, but the ending gives me hope.  Cassidy and Gray are amazing, and I loved Gray’s growth and transformation.  It was good that he grew slowly over the two books, and it wasn’t an instantaneous change.

I went through the spectrum of emotions as I read; laughing, crying, anger, sympathy.  The Black Jewels books in general are pretty good at pulling out my emotions and it’s something I enjoy.  I treat it as the mark of a really good book if I’m emotionally invested enough in the characters to cry when something sad happens, and laugh at a moment of humor.

Now, since I have so many books I want to read, I need to resist the urge to pull out the original trilogy and go back to the beginning of Jaenelle’s story.  I think the Black Jewels can sit on the shelf a little longer as I enjoy some other stories that have been wanting my attention.

I hope that Bishop will write more of the Black Jewels Realms.  Some people may believe that she’s milking her money cow, and perhaps to a degree she is.  But if the stories are good and enjoyable, what’s wrong with that.  Bishop created a world that works, and she knows it.  So it doesn’t bother me a bit if that’s her impetus for writing more stories in the Realms of the Blood.  I’ll happily buy and read them as they come out.


Alice in Wonderland (2010)

aliceinwonderland.jpg Alice in Wonderland


I hope I haven’t spoiled anything, but since I am talking about the movie please beware.

Saturday evening I had the pleasure of accompanying Dan to the movies, or rather, he accompanied me.  I was kind of in charge of this date night, so the plans were set to go see Alice in Wonderland.  I was intrigued by the ads for the movie from the first moment I saw them.  One look at Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter with all the vibrant colors and larger than life fell, and I knew I wanted to see this movie.

The funny thing is, I’m not really a big Alice in Wonderland fan.  I remember reading the story as a kid and enjoying it, and for a brief while I think I was hooked on the movie, but then I kind of…grew out of it, I guess.  I remember many times growing up when I couldn’t remember what it was I had liked so much about the book and the movie.  For some reason Alice and the imagination fantastic world of Wonderland just didn’t resonate with me anymore.

lookingglasswars.jpgEarlier this year I read The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor, urged by Dan to do so after he finished reading the ARC Meiran had given me.  I had always thought it sounded like an interesting take, so I read it and enjoyed it immensely.  I have the second one sitting at home on the shelf, waiting to be read.  Shortly after reading the book is when I discovered the ads for the movie (I think that’s how the timing went, although I could be off).

The different style of the book allowed me to see the story in a new light, so I decided I definitely wanted to see the movie.  On a recent vacation I got to have hot chocolate in a little cafe that was completely decorated in an Alice in Wonderland theme to promote the movie. The tables were all white and different shapes, and there were macoron trees used as centerpieces.  It was  a very fun experience, and only served to strengthen my resolve.

So I guess there was quite a bit of hope built up for this movie, although I didn’t really feel that way as I headed into the theater. I was just hoping for a good, fun movie.  I like Tim Burton’s style, and felt sure that I wouldn’t be disappointed.  And I wasn’t.

The movie opened in a way that almost had me wondering if this was indeed Alice in Wonderland.  We start out following Alice in the “real world” and then the story progresses and we saw Alice in Wonderland, and everything there was as imaginative and fantastical as I could have hoped.  The CGI seemed to blend in almost flawlessly, in large part I believe because it was a make believe world that didn’t have to follow any norms.

Hatter was an amazing character, and I have to say he has always been one of my favorite characters.  Depp did well, although sometimes I have to say I could see Captain Jack Sparrow there too.  Both characters are insane, and it’s hard not to call forth that imagery when it’s so well ingrained because I love the first Pirates movie.  That was only a couple of brief times though, mainly through the way he spoke something, and then it was gone and I was back to seeing him as just the Hatter.

The White Queen did bother me a little bit, she was just too…I don’t even have the right words.  Too floaty, maybe?  In the scene where were introduced to the White Queen, she drops the floatiness and runs, seemingly picking up more normal behavior. I had hoped that would continue throughout the movie, but she was back to being floaty in her next scene.

The Red Queen was very well done, and I enjoyed disliking her.  Which I think is the mark of a good bad character.  Alice herself was also well done, but I can’t say I dearly love the character so I wasn’t super invested in her.  I liked that she grew and learned about herself as the movie went on.  She could have just returned to the “real world” pretty much the same girl as before her trip through Wonderland, but instead she was able to realize more of who she was and apply that to her life.

If you enjoy the Alice in Wonderland story, or Tim Burton films in general, give it a go!  It was a lot of fun, and the Bandersnatch is just awesome!

If you’ve seen it, please share your thoughts. I’d love to know what you thought.

Cold Souls

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this film.  I had heard about it somehow, and stumbled upon a website to promote it –  The site was a lot of fun and as I read up on the movie I wanted to see it because it sounded quirky and odd.  I didn’t get a chance to watch in theaters, as it was a limited release.  Once out on dvd I added it to my Netflix queue and last night I finally watched it.

It was quirky and odd.  I believe that Paul Giamatti did a great job channeling the ways he was affected by having his soul stored, and by using a different soul.  While the premise comes across as far fetched, it was believable because the movie didn’t take itself too seriously.  Giamatti constantly expressed his doubt, surprise, and concern about the ability to store and switch souls.  Throughout the movie I think he also learns that his soul is the right one for him, the only one he’s supposed to have.

cynssoul.jpgCold Souls is definitely not mainstream, but it was a fun movie that I suggest for anyone looking for something a little different.  Be sure to check out the website as well, and get your soul stored. They’ll provide you with a picture of your soul, I’ve included mine – which seems to look kind of like a blood splatter.  Nice, huh?

In the movie Giamatti’s soul comes out as a chickpea. He’s incredulous, and this one small detail adds so much to the movie.  There are many small, amusing bits that keep the movie from going overboard, some of them tied to shape of Giamatti’s soul.

If you’ve seen the film or decide to, please let me know what you thought!