Once again, I am making my conscious feel better by blogging about the books I read and that, in turn, goes out to Twitter feeds all over the planet. I also include movies because, dudes and dudettes, we are living in a visual world. Do you see what I did there? My excuse for this blog is that I have been sick for 3 weeks and my head isn’t sure where it’s attached right now. If at all. The antibiotics, they do nothing!
I read this as an assignment from my book club. That’s my excuse for not having found it sooner. The book has been out since 2014 and is time travel-ish, dystopian-ish, and paramilitary-ish enough to enthrall me. Plus the romances going on. William Gibson threw out the guideline about don’t use a $20 word when a 50 cent word will do. Maybe there were no cheaper words that mean the same as Gibson intended and the read wasn’t that difficult after about five chapters in. I certainly would like time to reread this one, because now that I understand the setup, I think I would enjoy it a lot more. There is a murder mystery hidden in the jumps between time, so pay attention to all the weird things going on.
Storm Front, the Dresden Files Book 1 by Jim Butcher
My husband has read all of the Dresden Files and as he does, convinced me that I would like the story and the writing. Well played, husband. Published in 2000, the presence of magic in urban settings is nothing new but the old time detective feel certainly is. Harry Dresden is surrounded by beautiful dames on one side of the law or the other. All he has to do is figure out which ones can help his case and which ones will get him killed and/or thrown in jail. I like the take on how the bad person acquired enough energy to cast the spells that puzzle the police and the detective. I’m not clear on why one of the victims was killed, but that’s more my error than the author’s. And I was sick. I do plan to read more of this series and expect to get more engrossed in the world of Harry Dresden.
Yes, I did enjoy the first book in this series, Ninefox Gambit. I don’t think I will ever understand the theology and calendrical hoo-ha going on in the society or the servitors or the different makes of people or even how the ships can change so that in an emergency, the general has a straight shot to the bridge. But I like it all the same. I am still in process reading this one because part of this flucold makes my eyes very tired. Reading is something I can’t do for very long but I struggle on because Shuos Jedao is an antihero of the sort that captures my interest. I do not remember much talk of sex and passion in the first book, but this one scatters enough hints about that I think something will be done and soon.
I would love to see a movie made from these, especially to see how they would handle the fact that a normal young woman is possessed by a centuries-old general and talks, sits, walks, and thinks like him. The writing is beautiful because it pretty much ignores that with rare exceptions. But a movie would not be able to just chill like that.
Crazy Stupid Love, released 2011 from Warner Bros. Starring Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrel, Juliana Moore, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei.
I hope you have seen this movie if you have any interest in romantic comedy. I think it’s a classic with some sweet twists and turns that remind me of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, but without the fairies. And just when I thought there couldn’t be another surprise coming, I was knocked on the ground by the final twist. Yeah, I’m naive like that, it’s one reason I don’t play chess because I “never saw that coming”.
There’s a couple that might be getting a divorce and the wife’s lover and the husband’s cool adviser, a babysitter, a disrespectful youngest child, a teacher, and I’m sure I’m forgetting someone important. So you should watch it if you want to check me on this one. I bought the DVD a long time ago because I like RomComs but until I got sick and needed something to do where I could rest my eyes for a while, I had no strong reason to watch it. For the mood I was in when I did watch it, I really liked it.
Rio 2, released 2014 by Fox Studios, with the voice talents of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jermaine Clement, George Lopez, Andy Garcia, Will I. Am, Kristin Chenoweth, and Bruno Mars.
Blu and Jewel are at it again, having unexpected adventures during Mardi Gras season, and this time bringing their 3 adorable chicks along with them. I loved the first movie and I am pretty happy with this one. It didn’t suffer from Serious Sequel Sickness or anything. I currently have a few Brazilian cardinals at my house, and not until I looked up and saw them, then looked at the animated cardinal voiced by Will I. Am, and if not for being sick, I would have jumped up and down. I knew the animators had based Jewel and Blu on a real parrot species, but I didn’t know all the birds were real South American avians.
I did not like the conservation spot at the end that used Hyacinth macaws as models and kind of indicated the parrots in Rio were the same. It sucks that Spix macaws are totally extinct in the wild. A few groups of captive breeders are all that has held the species in place. I also nearly cried when the scenes of the huge flocks of Spix macaws came on. If only. What a wonderful world it would be. Also, the artists seemed to treat flying like swimming. Just saying.
RED released 2010 by Summit Entertainment. Starring Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Morgan Freeman, Ernest Borgnine, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Richard Dreyfuss, and Brian Cox.
If you like action adventure movies, this one is a treat. Plus there’s a good sequel to it. If you like movies where persons of a certain age are still capable of planning things and carrying out those plans and saving the world and stuff, this movie is for you. I have watched it several times and always laugh and get excited and cheer throughout. I love all the special roles filled by amazing actors, from Borgnine as the record keeper to Malkovich as the crazy loner to Brian Cox as the suave Slavic sweetheart. I can’t think of anything I don’t like about the movie, though I know I should be more upset about Ms. Moore’s being kidnapped but she shows her spunk very soon after that.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins released 2011 by 20th Century Fox. Starring Jim Carey, Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury, Jeffrey Tambor.
I love penguins, not just because they are birds, and not just because they are some of the oddest birds on the planet. I love their contrasting elegance in water and clumsiness on land. I’m not a huge Carey fan, but I do like this movie. If you are a little feverish and watch all the snow and ice involved, be sure to have extra blankets and hot chocolate nearby.
The DVD I have included a special treat, the first so many pages of the original book on which the movie was loosely based. Very loosely. In fact, its own author wouldn’t recognize it. I want to find the book, now, and read the whole thing. No author expects their book to survive the Hollywood Treatment, but seriously, there had to be a better way to do this.
I love CGI and I love the penguins, so shoot me. There aren’t too many movies with CGI involved that I didn’t enjoy some of it. Oh, and if you are a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan, look closely at the zookeeper. He resembles an agent of SHIELD.
The Secret of NIMH released 1982 by Don Bluth, music by Jerry Goldsmith, with the voice talents of Derek Jacobi, Elizabeth Hartman, Dom Deluise, Hermoine Baddeley, Shannen Doherty, Wil Wheaton, John Carradine, Peter Strauss, Tom Hatten, and Edie McClurg.
This movie is so last century. It’s a good story but told very ploddingly. Even the scary parts take forever to get through. The voice talent, however, is a goldmine of people I like. Some of the artwork is striking and considering the date it was created, not that bad. I’m confused because the movie mouse family is named Brisby, but the book it’s supposed to be based on is Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert C. O’Brien. Then his daughter goes and writes three sequels based on the Rats of NIHM. Just to confuse me, I am sure. I’m not even going to mention the movie sequels because that’s just too much for this sick person to deal with.
There you have it, all the things a sick mind can get up to during a slow recovery. Be sure to wash your hands after reading this and maybe a little eyewash won’t hurt, either. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.