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!

Paul McCartney – Take Two

Saturday, August 1st I had the privilege of attending the Paul McCartney concert.  I went with my boyfriend, Dan, and the rest of his family.  It was an amazing experience, and I am glad I got to share with Dan.  He’s a big fan of Paul McCartney, and when the venue was announced there was no way he was going to miss it.  I remember him texting or messaging me about it, with a “squeeeeeeeee” tacked onto the end.  *smile*  I myself am not much of a Paul McCartney fan.  Or maybe I should say was not much of a fan.  I didn’t know much of Paul’s solo stuff, heck I don’t even know a whole lot of the Beatles music, although I do enjoy it overall.  I am open to almost all kinds of music though, and I enjoy concerts as well.  So it was nice that I was automatically included in these plans.  *smile*  It felt good that he wanted me to come along.


Our understanding was that the concert started at 7pm.  So we picked up his sister at about 5 and headed out.  We gave ourselves extra time because undoubtedly traffic was going to be more congested than normal.  That’s an understatement.  We were barely moving while on the beltway. It was horrible.  The mood in the car was also going downhill awfully fast.  Around 6:30 I checked the tickets and they said the concert started at 7:30, so we had an extra half hour – awesome!  Only that didn’t matter because traffic still wasn’t moving.  We ended up playing tag with his parents, as we’d pass them and then eventually they’d pass us back.  Our chosen music ran out and we ended up sitting in silence.  The traffic had stopped completely and we weren’t moving.  The mood in the car was kind of sour at this point. I was so upset I was almost to tears because I knew how much Dan had been looking forward to this and now it seemed we were going to miss it.

Becky fired up the GPS on her blackberry and found us an alternate route.  Just getting the car moving improved everyone’s mood.  We made an illegal turn (following a bunch of other cars doing the same thing) and made it to the stadium parking lot.  Yay!  Of course we had to go get in line for a park, so we were really just sitting around some more.  Becky hopped out and headed up to the stadium while Dan and I waited to be directed to a parking spot.  After driving around to the other side of the stadium, we finally got to park.  I texted Dan the lot number where we were, that way we could look it up if we forgot.  Then we walked to the stadium. We were frisked on the way in, but it wasn’t really a big deal.

Once inside we found Becky and then hopped in line for some food. It was about this time that we found out the concert didn’t start until 9, and we hadn’t actually missed anything (when we arrived inside we had thought it might have been an intermission).  This lifted our spirits tremendously.  *grin*  So we grabbed some chicken tenders and bottled water and headed up to our seats.  Once we moved some people who had sat there mistakenly we sat down and were ready to enjoy the show.  Our timing couldn’t have been any better, as it started right after we got settled.  Dan’s parents hadn’t arrived yet due to the traffic, but they showed up not long after the first song, and therefore didn’t miss much of the show at all.

The concert itself was awesome!  For being as old as he is, Paul McCartney still knows how to rock.  And he enjoyed it too.  It was so much fun to see so many people having a good time.  The ages in the audience were the full range.  His music can be enjoyed by all ages.  I didn’t know all the songs, but I sung the ones I did know, and picked up on the chorus for ones I didn’t.  I grooved along and just had a really good time.  I loved seeing Dan so happy, he was grooving right along with me.

Towards the end of the show we had some pyrotechnics.  And since we were in an open stadium we got a good show there, with some fireworks. Not the ones that actually explode once in the sky, but more like streamers.  It was amazing.  And like I said earlier, you could tell that Paul was having such a good time too.  After about three encores the concert was finally over and it was time to head home.

But first we had to brave the souvenir stand.  I scored a cute little t-shirt, which got comments when I wore it yesterday.  Unfortunately Dan wasn’t able to get the shirt he wanted, as they didn’t have it in his size.  We said goodbye to his parents and then headed back out.  Finding the car wasn’t really that hard, but it was amusing to see how many people were having trouble finding theirs.  Of course I think a lot of them were intoxicated, which probably made it even harder.  Which we just found amusing.

The trip home seemed to go better than the trip there, but I was actually asleep for most of it.  It was late and I was tired. I coudln’t keep my eyes open.

I had a great time, so thank you Dan for letting me share such a wonderful experience with you.