30 November 2012

November Reviews

I was ahead on my reading. 
I was actually 3 books ahead of my reading schedule at one point. It was great.  I was totally sure I was going to reach my goal for the year.
Then this book called "The Amber Wizard" put a stop to that. Guys, I want to read this book so bad. But honestly, I'm kind of bored. And I keep picking up all these other books I want to read. And then there is this whole thing about next year being the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis' death and my friends and I want to read through his published works. (Yes, we are nerds. More on that hopefully later.) And I'm watching all kinds of good movies...but I won't let myself start a new book until I finish The Amber Wizard. And it's starting to get on my nerves. I'm still deciding on if it is worth finishing. Until I do that, I've been avoiding the slightly boring book by watching a ton of movies.
Here, have some movie reviews. 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This is one of those movies that I've heard a lot about but had put off seeing. It's rather mind-bendy, but oh so good. Boy meets girl. Girl and boy start dating. All is well. Until the fight. Girl gets mad. Boy visits her at work the next day to apologize. Girl treats boy like a stranger. Girl also seems to be dating a new boy. Old boy is confused and vents to his friends about the situation. Old boy is so distressed that his friend shows him a piece of paper. It says: Clementine Kruczynski has had Joel Barish erased from her memory. Please never mention their relationship to her again. 
Upset and very confused, Joel visits the clinic that is listed on the note. He decided that if Clementine doesn't want any memories of him, he doesn't want any of her. As the process begins, Joel relives every memory before it is erased. Somewhere during the erasing, he remembers the joyful moments, the moments of pure bliss that he shared with Clementine. And he starts to think that even if they hurt, he wants to keep some of them. It's a race against the procedure to find a way to keep some of those moments with Clementine. 

I rented the collector's edition from my library and it includes a booklet with reviews from the original release as well as some stories from ordinary viewers like me. And you, if you've seen it. As I read through the reviews, I noticed the same thought woven through all of them: cherish life. Life will eventually end. Hang on to the memories, the good and the bad. All of them are worth having. They prove you lived.

War Horse
I won't lie. The only reason I wanted to see this movie was because Benedict Cumberbatch is in it. And then I learned that Tom Hiddleston was in it. He became reason number two. I don't care. Go ahead, judge me! 
And then I actually saw the movie. Wow. So good. 
The story is about a boy called Albert...but not really. It's mostly about his horse Joey.
Joey really was supposed to be a work horse. You can't really run a failing farm with a thoroughbred, though Albert does his best. However, when their best efforts fail, Albert's father is compelled to sell Joey to the British Cavalry. Albert unwilling says goodbye to his beloved horse and we then follow the story of the Captain who bough him. Enter Tom Hiddleston. Yay! Joey goes to the front, behind enemy lines, ends up on the wrong side of the war for a bit, and then ends up home again. The main character doesn't have any lines (I mean, come on. He's a horse.) but by the end of the film I found myself crying. I have no idea why and I'm almost ashamed to admit it. Well done film. I will add that some of the war scenes I didn't like. I don't like war movies at all. But on the whole, really great film.

I feel that I need to preface this by telling you I'm not a classic Bond fan. Actually, I've never seen any of the "old" classic Bond films. Daniel Craig is my Bond. And really, I'm okay with that. 
I loved Casino Royale. Really. Loved it. I was so excited to see Quantum of Solace in theaters in England (which I did) a few days before the rest of the world. And...was let down miserably. Did they forget to write a plot for that one? Anyway, I was very skeptical of Skyfall. They would have to do a much better job than QoS to get my vote. 
The trailers for Skyfall did an amazing job convincing me that all would be great. Adele singing the theme song? Amazing. It's my ringtone. 
The film...well, it is better the Quantum of Solace. Absolutely. Still not on par with Casino Royale. It had a plot (yay!) and a bit more M (!!) but...
Ok, I think this is my main beef with the film. You aren't properly introduced to your villain or your "Bond girl". I vividly remember Vesper Lynd being introduced in to Bond in the train. I remember meeting the baddie at the poker game. Good. Great. Clear characters. I don't remember much about Quantum of Solace, but I'm pretty sure a lot of the characters were continuations of characters from Casino. I don't feel as if the same care was put into introducing the new characters in this film. Maybe the only really good ones were Gareth Mallory and Q. 
So I guess I give it...maybe 3.5 stars out of 5? Decent film, but for me, still a bit lacking. 

What did you think? Have you seen any of these movies? 
If not, what's the best movie you've seen recently? 

I'm sure I'll have a Christmas movie post in the next few weeks...get your favorites ready to share!