21 September 2014

Updates Soon! (I promise. No really. I do.)

I think I'm finally hitting my stride for my book reading this year. I finished three books over the last few days, which puts me halfway through my goal for the year. It is anyone's guess if I'll be able to make it through another 25 in the next 15 weeks. (My gut says "No luck." but I'm totally ready to be wrong.)

I've also decided to (finally) watch Battlestar Galactica in my "free time" so that is one of the reasons the updates have slowed. Again. I have to be done by the end of the month, so I should be back to reading and blogging soon. Unless some other TV show catches my eye.

For those of you who started paying attention at the words "Battlestar Galactica" -- holy wow. I am LOVING this show. I just started season 4 so I'm almost done, but oh wow. I have a feeling there are still a lot of surprises in store for me. Also, be prepared for a post about the show, what it means to be human (which is kind of becoming a theme in the media I consume this year) and all of that jazz.

For the rest of you (or those who stopped listening when I started the nerdy talk), I am finally reading "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman.So far, so good. I'm only just 50 pages in but I like it already.
I am still slowly working on a book called "Alias Hook." I want it to be good but it is kind of letting me down. More on that hopefully in the next few weeks.

What have ya'll been up to? Watching anything good? Any new books (or old books!) catch your eye recently? Let me know!

08 September 2014

Labor Day Weekend Movie Reviews

Last weekend I had four beautiful days off. All in a row. Hello vacation!!

I finished a book (more on that later) did a lot of NOTHING and watched some movies. Ever since I finished the show Chuck (in like...a month? Don't judge!) (But seriously, if you haven't seen this show yet, do yourself a favor. You will thank me. Trust me!) I've been having trouble watching TV that doesn't make me laugh. My sisters always yell at me for watching dramas and serious shows and I've just kind of realized that they are right. I like watching high drama, suspense type shows most of the time. But I'm finding that I love smart and funny TV shows and that I love to laugh at my television. GO FIGURE. So I've been trying to find something new and funny to watch. Suggestions? Leave 'em in the comments!

Okay but back to my vacation weekend. Yeah. It was NOT filled with funny movies. But lets just dive right in and you can judge me later.

My friend Rachel emailed me one day to tell me she had seen Blade Runner, Harrison Ford was in it and through the course of the movie, he says "Rachel". Obviously I needed to see this movie! It wasn't until after I saw the movie that I was told there were like 16,000 different versions out. I ended up seeing the Directors Cut because that was the only version we had at the library. Generally, my thought is "Weird. Lots of weird." I love the concept of the film and the questions it raises, mainly what does it mean to be human? In an age of increasingly smart AI, who decides when it is time to pull the plug? I'm not sure I'm fully qualified to comment on the movie as a whole, since I saw a very different version, but what I saw was very ... odd. And I know that's a weird word to use and I've seen a lot of weird movies that I've loved and found other ways to describe but I'm afraid that is all this movie gets. It was hard to see because apparently it ALWAYS rains in the future. (Though I do want one of those umbrellas/light sabers they have. If someone wants to buy one for me I promise to use it.)
And I'm sorry but I have to comment on the scene with Deckard & Rachel. So something big has happened and they end up in Deckard's apartment. He is attracted to her and goes to kiss her. She says, "No." He doesn't listen; in fact, he seems to get angry. He tries again and is greeted with the same. It isn't until she is up against a wall and he is telling her what to say that they "mutually" kiss and, in my version, the scene ended. Now. I don't know if there would have been a point in my life where that would have been hot and a little sexy. If there was, that time has passed. All I heard was her "No" and apparently, as Lorelai Gilmore says, he was listening with... not his ears. I don't know but something about the scene didn't sit well with me.

Moving right along...
I have seen a bunch of Hitchcock movies (from memory, my favorite was Notorious) and a bunch of Jimmy Stewart (too many, but my go-to is The Philadelphia Story)movies over the years.  I have actually seen Rear Window before and hated it. On second viewing though, I found it really enjoyable and decided to fully redeem the movie from The Hate List. Jimmy Stewart is a photographer with a broken leg in week 5 of his recovery, which happens to be in the hottest summer New York has ever seen. He spends his days sitting by the open window observing his neighbors, who are living their lives loudly through open windows across the back of an apartment complex. From Miss Torso (the dancer), the musician (arty type, throwing mad parties), the Newlyweds (who draw the shade over the open window as soon as they move in) and Miss Lonelyhearts (single woman desperately alone), Jeff is never lacking for entertainment. His own life has a small cast of characters: Stella, the insurance nurse who comes to see him every day; Lisa, his incredibly beautiful girlfriend (played by the always lovely Grace Kelly); Tom Doyle, an old friend in the NYPD.
One night, in the haze of the heat and sleep, he thinks he hears a fight between one of the married couples and then later is sure he sees the husband leaving the apartment multiple times in the middle of the night, in the rain. Oh and the wife? Yeah, he doesn't see her again. Was it murder? Jeff is sure of it. But he can't convince his friends, or the police department, without sufficient proof. At first all his friends think he is crazy. Too much time off work, too much time staring out the rear window of his apartment. But eventually they start to believe him. What if it really did happen? 
Right, like I said. I hated this movie the first time I saw it. This time though, I really loved it. I even did the whole sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thing toward the end. 

Next up is Ocean of Pearls. I was shelving this at work and decided to read the back of the box. Always a bad idea. I need to learn that if I'm working, I just need to put things back and NOT actually look at them. When I look at the items too closely (books, DVDs CDs -- whatever) I usually end up bringing them home with me. This accounts for the 5 DVDs, 1 TV series, 2 CDs, and 17 books that are currently taking up room in my apartment. I digress. 

Ocean of Pearls is the story of a Sikh doctor, Amrit Singh, and his struggle to live an authentic and devout Sikh life while trying to advance his transplant research in a world that only sees the turban he wears. I'm not sure if that was a good enough description but I really enjoyed this movie. I have found that I enjoy any movie or TV show (Little Mosque, I'm looking at you) that teaches me about other cultures/religions and some of their every day struggles to live in a different culture and thrive. I think it is also a good commentary of religious belief. No matter what you believe, there will be times in life when you will be asked to sacrifice what you value and hold dear for success or fame. The compromise might be small; the success might just be for the day. While compromise is necessary in life, I think we might get too used to comprise that when we are asked to compromise our values or beliefs, we seriously consider the pros and cons of doing so. 
Amrit begins to question the outward signs of his faith and begins to wonder if his faith is outdated. Isn't it the invisible belief that is more important than the outward signs of belief? Can you have one without the other? 

On the whole, I'd say I had a pretty stellar weekend for movies. Have you seen any of these? What did you think? Are you watching anything good these days? 

I'm hoping to have a book review up soon. Also, all you Divergents out there: the trilogy review is in the works. Get your comments for or against the books ready. I can't wait! 

PS: This weekend I did a stupid thing. I started a movie shortly after I got home from work Thursday night WITHOUT checking to see how long it was. Rookie move. I was up until like 5am watching Bugsy. On the one hand, it was really fascinating; on the other hand, super long. I have to check with Sherlock to decide if he was a psychopath or a sociopath, but which ever he was Ben Siegel was nuts. It was a great (but LONG) mobster film, oddly void of much of the drugs, sex, and blatant violence I've come to expect from movies like this. I'm guessing this is due to 1991 release date. Anyway, yeah. I liked it but whoa long. It took me all weekend to recover.