Thursday, February 26, 2009

Movies and Books

Recently I've seen Defiance, Passchendaele, Inkheart and Brideshead Revisited.

Defiance was really, really good. I actually read the book it was based on after seeing the movie, and was impressed at how well the movie portrayed the facts. There were differences of course, but I feel like the movie was an accurate portrait of the Bielski brothers and what they accomplished.

Passchendaele - well, it was really well done, and it was neat to see the scenes they filmed in Heritage Park. But I was super disappointed with the ending. I like happy endings and Passchendaele definitely did not have one of those! I guess that makes it even more historically accurate, but not as uplifting to watch.

I quite enjoyed Inkheart. I struggled when I read the book because it was so very, very dark, and I wasn't sure how the movie was going to turn out. I think the movie was actually less dark and more hopeful then the book was. There was a great cast and a happy ending and lots of fun little tributes to great works of literature, so I was really happy with it.

Brideshead Revisited was another one with an ending I didn't love. It wasn't an unhappy ending, exactly, but it wasn't the way I would have wanted it to end if I'd been the main character, that's for sure. It was a really troubled, layered, Very British drama with only occasional bits of humour and it made me very glad that I wasn't born into an upper class British family in the early 1900s!

For books (other then reading about the Bielski brothers) I've been working my way through a box of Mercedes Lackey books that I got for $30, "The Cat Who Saw Stars", and "Plum Spooky".

Mercedes Lackey...she's got an amazing imagination, and has written dozens and dozens of books. My favourites are re-workings of fairy tales which involve 'elemental' magic and the Valdemar series.

"Fire Rose" is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, set just outside San Francisco, involving a rail baron who's been injured in a spell-casing gone awry, and a scholarly bluestocking he hires to be his research assistant. Many adventures ensue, and the story builds to the great San Francisco fire.

I've been having issues with her Valdemar series - some of them are really fun and enjoyable, but this one trilogy I read which is chronologically the beginning of the series is SO dark and the main character SO winy and SO tragic the first time I tried to read them I only made it partway through the second book. Since this trilogy was in the box of books I bought, I figured I'd take another stab at them, but by the time I was done I felt like I needed to clean out my brain with a pot scrubber. Icky!

"The Cat Who..." series by Lillian Jackson Braun is this fun bunch of 'cozy' mysteries about a supernaturally smart Siamese cat and his journalist owner and the murder cases in which they get embroiled. It's light, happy reading that makes me want to move to a small town somewhere, and get a Siamese cat. Which I'm sure Dax would not approve of, and Trevor definitely doesn't, so I'll put getting a Siamese on my list of things to do before I die and worry about it later. :)

"Plum Spooky" is a Stephanie Plum 'between the numbers' book. I've been reading anything written by Janet Evanovitch for a while now, because they're laugh-out-loud-on-the-ctrain funny. "Finger Licking Fifteen" is coming out this year sometime, and these books describe the adventures of Stephanie Plum, America's most accident-prone bounty hunter. I can't even begin to tell you how funny they are - often highly inappropriate, but hysterically amusing. "Plum Spooky" involves a monkey named Carl who plays Game Boy, a deadbeat brother recovering from being shot in the buttocks with a staple gun, a James Bond-like plot by a maniac to control the weather, a FTA resisting arrest in a produce wearhouse, and a mysterious guy named Diesel who calls himself an 'unmentionable'. It's good stuff!

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