Friday, October 30, 2009


Napoleon Dynatite after college. Different actors. Same aura. Will it hold up as well? We'll see; but if you loved DN, you'll probably enjoy this at least once.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Whale Rider

5 Stars

A beautiful and heart-wrenching film. You don't find these gems too often. It gave me some real insights on my own relationship with my son and helped remind me that he can teach me a thing or two. Be sure to watch the extras! You'll probably be impressed with how they did the special effects.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Step Brothers

2.5- 3 Stars

Absolutely unbelievable and silly. Farts, burps, hitting, and other vulgar shenanigans. Just the humor my husband enjoys.

Eh. Can I get a chick flick now?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Death At A Funeral

4 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this unique film. Although entirely humorous, it managed to delve into the oddball characters and humanize them, even in very peculiar circumstances. Just watch it, you'll see!

The Last Samurai

3 Stars (at most)

I was hesitant to watch this film, but it got a fairly high rating on Netflix so I decided to give it a shot. The film itself was done well, beautiful settings, etc. I'm not a big fan of swords and knives and all that "bloody" stuff, so I had to close my eyes during certain parts to avoid having nightmares later. My biggest problem with this movie is how it romanticizes war and history and probably isn't anywhere close to accurate. I'll try to briefly explain without completely ruining the story. A white "American" is the hero. In Japan. In 1876. As a Samurai. I think that about sums up my issue. Hollywood, honestly.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Royal Diaries - Marie Antoinette

5 Stars

This book belongs to an entire series of Royal Diaries. They are meant for young readers, and not very condensed, so it was a quick read. It was a series of diary entries, some of it fiction but many parts based on real facts. The author did a lot of research and created a story that shows the less glamorous side to being a queen. She even includes a small history lesson in the last few pages. I had heard the name Marie Antoinette before many times, but never stopped to take note of who she was and what her story was about. This book, while short, was fun, educational, and entertaining.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

I can't rate this book. This book is my absolute favorite novel of all time (so far :P). I cried at the end yes, but I also cried many times before reaching the end. Parts of it read like a poem. The descriptions and detail in this book make the story REAL. The author, Rebecca Wells, wrote it with raw, fearless emotion. It made me long for experiences I've never had, and ache for experiences I've had but have no more.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I've Loved You So Long

We don't like a lot of the hollywood movies, so we watch British whenever possible. Sometimes the accents are difficult, and there aren't always subtitles; but the drama is produced in a much more intelligent way. This movie is French, so we were very happy there were subtitles. The ending was predictable right from the very start of the movie; but that was okay. The movie was excellent not because of the ending, but because of the journey to get there. All the characters are made interesting, and the performances are perfect. The story is centered around Juliette, who was released from prison after 15 years at the beginning of the movie. The obvious questions like 'what exactly is prison', and 'what exactly is freedom' are dealt with in a much more subtle manner than hollywood would treat it; and are not contained in the dialogue but in the vision of the director and cinematographer.

Now for the cynical American stuff. You'll notice the first trailer says "first official trailer". Posted by some xenophobe, obviously. Should say "first official american trailer". You know, like a mobile home park. So, I included the French trailer. The trailers give a good flavor of the beautiful background choices made to subtly accent the story in the foreground.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Measure of a Lady

5 Stars

I just finished the second half of this book last night after reading it for about two hours straight. I got lost in it, completely forgetting that I was reading in the first place. I loved it. I loved it from the beginning, and I loved it the rest of the way through. While the ending was somewhat predictable, the means of getting there was not. The setting takes place in San Francisco during the gold rush. The author actually did a ton of research and included several actual historical events into the story in such a graceful way, there was no reason for me to believe that ANY of the details were made up. Her writing and descriptions are beautiful, and the story was very clever and entertaining.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hot Fuzz

3 stars?

I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie and I'm still not entirely sure what I think about it. At first it had us in stitches with its off-the-wall humor, but slowly it turned into some kind of bad horror/cop fighting film. It went from funny to disturbing and left us wondering, "what the heck was THAT?" Out there, for sure. I wouldn't say "don't watch it," but if you do, don't turn around and say I didn't warn you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Waking Ned Devine

4.5 Stars

This is a slightly older movie set in Ireland that I had seen before, but forgotten I'd seen it! Worth watching more than once. Unique and fun. Plus, naked old men are always hilarious.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Kid Could Paint That

4 Stars

A very interesting documentary following a little girl and her family as she becomes famous for her paintings. It took a twist I wasn't expecting. I don't think the producer expected it either. Made me want to be very careful about what I get Parker involved with in the future.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

4.5 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Yes, we all knew what was going to happen, but the getting there was so fun it didn't matter. I laughed out loud several times!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Skipping Christmas

I enjoyed the beginning of this story almost immediately. It seemed to be a story about nonconformity, and I was all for it. Then it took a turn, which I expected only because I knew there had to be some kind of irony on the way, but really was not prepared for. I was disappointed by the twist and felt cheated and let down just like the main characters. But then another twist that I was not expecting at all made me fall back in love with it and almost brought me to tears. If this story hasn't been turned into a movie yet, then it should be. It should be one of those cheesy Christmas movies that gets shown on television every December.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wasted - Marya Hornbacher


It took me a while to finish this book, mostly because of the anxiety it caused me to feel. When the author described something beautiful, it made me want to be there to experience it myself, but when she described something horrible, which there was plenty of, it made me want to sprinkle holy water everywhere and curl up under a blanket. The author's dark and dysfunctional perspective of the world made me feel better about my own perspective, even lucky. The only way the ending can be considered a happy one, is if you compare it to the previous details of her life.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dying Young

5 Stars

This move was so terribly cheesy and romantic and sad. It will make you feel sorry for yourself, and possibly even cry. I loved it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lucky Number Slevin

3.75 Stars

This is one of those thriller movies that doesn't reveal everything until the very end, but by the time you get there you've figured it out anyway. I really like Bruce Willis and had high hopes for the movie. But it was kinda gory, of course. And the heroes are bad guys. The main character was fun to watch, don't get me wrong. Strange and somehow like-able dude, but all the people in the movie have some serious lack of morals. Big turn off. Yes the "good" bad guy "wins" in the end, but there's nothing triumphant about that. Left me feeling empty, sad and a little sick.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Gone Away World

2.5 Stars
by Nick Harkaway

Parker picked this book out at the library for me one week when I couldn't find some books that Sarah recommended on this blog. I tried to finish this book. I really did. I got about halfway through it over the course of six weeks. It was a little painful. The author is obviously intelligent (and very British) and his language skills are incredible; but I didn't get the story. At all. It was too weird even for me, a big fan of Stephen King. I think it appeals more towards men; to be more specific, men who like science fiction. If the author didn't go off on these huge tangents all the time, I might have finished the book. It wasn't awful, just... tedious? Yes, that's the word.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kinky Boots

4 Stars

Although the romantic side storyline was predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film. It was unique in that even though it seemed so odd, it felt like this could really happen (and apparently did). The characters in the movie were great. I'd recommend it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Onion Movie

2.5 stars

I am a fan of Great humor. The movie, on the other hand, was not worth seeing. I fell asleep watching it! The part I did see had some haha moments, but nothing that had me in stitches. Eh.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


3 Stars

This book was fairly entertaining. I enjoyed the sarcasm the most. The problem with this book is that I have read another book about an alcoholic who goes to rehab called, "A Million Little Pieces" and "Dry" doesn't come close to being as entertaining....even though it is non-fiction. Neither of those books are for the easily offended or "faint of heart", however "Dry" was just that, a little dry. 

Secret Life Of Bees

Mom read the book, and raved about it so much I had to read it. Excellent book. Didn't expect a lot out of the movie, but it's actually a pretty good film. Sure, it can't match the writing, but it's a different medium. I would have liked to have seen it stretched out a few more hours to focus more on depth; but the story gets exposed. Maybe not a "must-see", but I do not think you'll regret the time you spend with it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity

4.5 Stars

This guy is a super talented comedian who can throw his voice like I've never seen before. I didn't realize until watching the extras that he designs and creates his own dummies, too! Seems like a normal middle-aged fellow... until he opens (or doesn't) his mouth. Be prepared for Walter... he steals the show. I just have to say, Jeff Dunham's wife is either a saint or just plain dumb for putting up with him!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


5 Stars

I really really liked this book. I had never heard of Frank McCourt before, but I had heard of "Angela's Ashes", which I have yet to read. "'Tis" is Frank McCourt's memoir. His account of his life from his childhood in Ireland, to his arrival and survival in New York. Throughout his life McCourt seems plagued by his tendency for paranoia and disappointment with his life, and somehow I found this to be comforting and extremely funny. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


4.5 Stars

This could be one of those films for which you have to be in the mood to appreciate the humor, but I personally laughed several times throughout this film. It's absolutely purposefully silly and satarizes Disney to a whole new level (and yet it ends up taking the predictable route and incorporating a Disney ending). Boy, I didn't realize how annoying Disney cartoon characters were until brought into the "real" world. Too ridiculous!

Michael Clayton

4 Stars

How to describe this film? Remember Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts? Well, pretend Michael Clayton is a lawyer (or not?) for the company she went after. This is a flip side of the story, with much bigger twists and turns. It was one of those thrillers that slowly unfolded, hooking you with the, "huh?" factor in the beginning, wondering if you were missing something until they finally would reveal an answer, and then another. Not exactly a believable film, but fun to navigate.

The Man Who Sued God

3 Stars

The concept of this movie was very interesting, but I had a hard time getting past the lack of cinematic oomph, so to speak. If this movie had been made in the 70's or 80's, I could excuse it, but it was made in this decade! OK, so it was an independent film from Australia without a huge budget, but even so, the poor filming and laughable special effects took away from the story for me. But all in all, still worth a rental just to find out how a guy goes about suing God!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We've been enjoying this television series on DVD, originally from HBO. It's great to watch a movie without chase scenes. The author of the book is a great historical writer, and it would be great to see the same team produce some of his other books. The visual performances here are not exactly top-notch, but it doesn't hurt the intelligence of the script, most of which has been culled from historical documents, letters and diaries, as well as newspaper accounts from the day. Definitely worth watching once, the series feels more realistic than many histories I've watched about the 'founding fathers'.

I've read many of these words before, and the verbal acting is really done quite well. I may make myself some audio files from the movie to see if they work better in an mp3 player than on the screen. There are times common phrases we've heard many times from history are filled with humor based upon the sly verbal performances. Both the main character (John Adam) and Benjamin Franklin get a lot of good cracks in. My favorite role here is Abigail, and I would love to see this team work on an off-shoot based upon her diaries, etc. She has some great lines here, as does Thomas Jefferson.

I'm interested in renting more movies/historical dramas like this if anyone knows of any.