Friday, November 28, 2008

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go is shocking and profoundly moving. As you read, Ishiguro ever so slowly unfolds the twist, the reason the kids are 'special.' This book broke my heart a little, probably because of how ordinary the characters and their lives are. They know what is to become of them, but in other ways are naive. And, like I said, they are just so ordinary. I identified very closely with the main character, and long before the end I knew what was coming. Not in a bad way, because I wanted to see how it would unfold. This book is thought-provoking and masterfully crafted. I loved it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

About a Boy

This is a touching movie about an immature, shiftless, womanising man who grows up a little due to the influence of a troubled young boy. He finds love, and the boy's mother doesn't commit suicide. He pulls through for the boy. It's also funny. I liked it.

Grade: B+


This book began interestingly enough. At first I found Sinclair's style quite compellingly descriptive, and was rather excited about the rest of the book. It captured my attention immediately, and I had high hopes for it.

Somehow, though, I grew further and further distanced from the book as time went on. Sinclair overemphasizes how great Socialism is and how terrible capitalism is. The book is far too political and it starts to feel like you're being beat over the head with the ideology. The main plot of the book is that Bunny, the protagonist, can't make up his mind. After a while, he gets incredibly annoying.

I was really disappointed in the book overall. It seemed to have so much promise, and then everything changed for some reason. I haven't seen There Will Be Blood, but it's comforting to know it's only loosely based on the book.

Grade: C

Prozac Nation

Elizabeth Wurtzel’s memoir Prozac Nation is an incredibly intimate look into the nature of depression. We get an extremely personal glimpse into the mindset of someone who is clinically depressed, and learn exactly how it feels. We follow Wurtzel through her first overdose as a young teen at summer camp, to the abandonment of her father at age fourteen, to her enrolment at Harvard, to her first real heartbreak, to her diagnosis of atypical depression, and finally to her first real suicide attempt and eventual recovery. At times the narrative is a bit tedious and repetitive, but nonetheless it is highly illuminating.

As Wurtzel tries to make sense of her depression, she explores possible causes, thereby exposing popular thought surrounding this illness in psychology and mainstream culture today. She holds her family situation as a partial cause, and also the state of society in general. She also considers a biochemical explanation, but ultimately concludes it is probably a mix of all of these factors.
Wurtzel goes on to examine the prevalence of Prozac prescriptions in American society today. She accuses America of becoming a “Prozac Nation” in which everyone with the slightest case of morose feelings is prescribed Prozac or some other antidepressive. She points out the rising occurrence of depression among young people, so much so that it has become a part of our culture. Prozac Nation was written in the 1990s, at the height of grunge, and it would be interesting to examine how depression fits into culture today. Of course, there are certainly subcultures centred on depressive thought, what we know as ‘goth’ and ‘emo.’

Depression is a huge part of the lives of many Americans. There are fewer and fewer people who don’t at least know of one person who suffers from this disease. As someone who has a close relative who struggles with depression, this was an important read to me, if for no other reason than it allowed me to understand much better what depression is. It also brings up interesting social questions. Do social, political, and economic factors in America breed depression? The answer, it would seem, is yes. This book also leads one to ponder what place mental illness holds in society, and how much it has to do with biology versus social problems. Is it appropriate that so many people take a pill to get better instead of other therapeutic measures?

Grade: B

PS I Love You

AKA PS This is a terrible movie.

I'll admit, the premise is sort of sweet. At the same time, it's sort of creepy and even a little disturbing. It seems almost wrong that someone would do something like this to someone and not let them move on in a normal process of grieving. I'm not sure what Hilary Swank was thinking; she's much better than this. Romantic 'comedy' is not her thing at all. The characters were sort of annoying, the dialogue was terrible, and the acting was pretty bad as well. There's not really a lot of romance, and I was pretty unsatisfied with the ending. Basically, not at all good.

Grade: F

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Complete History of My Sexual Failures

This was a hilarious, endearing, and moving documentary. It also included several scenes of nudity. It is about a man, Chris Waitt, who attempts to interview all his ex-girlfriends to find out what is wrong with him, since they all dumped him. We are taken on Chris's journey of self-discovery to the sad realization that this whole project was really an attempt to get back together with one particular ex. It is the kind of documentary that pulls you in, you feel like you become friends with the somewhat-pathetic Chris during the course of the film. And you cheer at the end when he gets a great new girlfriend, and wonder how he's doing now.

Grade: A+

Man On Wire

Man On Wire was about a Frenchman, Philippe Petit, who wirewalked between the Twin Towers in the ‘70s. It was an amazing documentary – it explored the reasons the guy wanted to do this, what he had done leading up to it (Notre Dame and Sydney Harbour Bridge), and his relationships with his girlfriend and his friends and how they changed as time went on and as he became famous. He saw that the Twin Towers were ‘going to be built at some time’ when he was 17, and it was his life’s dream to walk on a wire between them. The movie was beautiful, funny (he got arrested each of these times and it was kind of hilarious – like the police report for his Twin Towers request said “Description of Complaint – MAN ON WIRE”), and extremely interesting. The music is wonderful as well. I am really glad I saw it. It is an excellent documentary.

Grade: A+

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dark Knight

I was really looking forward to seeing this movie. I had to wait a week because it came out late in New Zealand. I must say, I was not at all disappointed. Christian Bale was great. Heath Ledger was phenomenal. It was less weird to watch than I had expected, it was like he was someone else entirely. It was sad, truly moving. It explored deep moral and social issues. The 'social experiments' the Joker does are especially intriguing. I don't want to give too much away. It was a deep, heavy movie. And I loved it.

Grade: A+

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

Christopher Moore is one of my favorite comedic authors. Wikipedia calls his style "absurdist fiction" - that fits quite well, in fact. I have read several of his novels, but there are still a few I've not gotten around to. Bloodsucking Fiends was in my closet, and while looking for anything light after Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I found it and immediately knew it would be perfect. It's about vampires: a beautiful girl gets attacked and wakes up to discover she's now a vampire. She finds a random guy to live with, who happens to be a young aspiring author. Craziness ensues, and well, you just need to read it. It's about an unconventional way of finding love. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel, You Suck: A Love Story.

Grade: A+

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

It took me nearly a year to get around to reading this book - in fact, I started it sometime during my freshman year at college, and just could not continue. I finally picked it up about a week ago and dove in again. It struck me immediately that the style was akin to that of House of Leaves, and so I kept with it even though it wasn't the easiest read. This is not because it's not well-written, or insightful, but because the subject matter is tough. It follows a 9-year-old boy, Oskar Schell, who has lost his dad during 9/11. In addition to his search for meaning in all that death and his search for a lock which he found a key for in his dad's closet, the book follows his grandfather's struggle with his decision to leave before his son was born. His grandparents were in Dresden when it was bombed in World War II, and in this way Jonathan Safran Foer parallels the two events, effectively equating them to any act of war in which innocent lives are lost. This is not funny like Everything Is Illuminated, but Oskar Schell is a fascinating character to know the mind of. It's sad, poignant, and moving, and ultimately worth reading.

Grade: B+

The World's Fastest Indian

This is not by any means the world's fastest movie. Nor, however, is it the slowest. I got it in on Netflix for two reasons: one, it deals with New Zealand, and I am feeding my obsession with a place I'm going to be living for 4 and a half months. Two, it's about motorcycles, and my parents are into motorcycles. This is a moving and heartwarming movie based on the true story of Burt Munro, a man from Invercargill whose dream is to break a speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. He's not by any means wealthy, and the movie details his struggle to get to the US, and how nearly no one believed this old man would come back alive, let alone break the record. He catches a lot of lucky breaks once he gets to the States, even though his Kiwi friendliness is met with alarm by many. I was quite nervous while watching it that he was going to be nice to the wrong person, and something bad would happen, but it never did. He made it, he set the record, and he even got back home. At the end some on-screen text tells you he went back 9 times - this is amazing, since he's portrayed as nearly on his death bed in the movie. It's pretty inspiring, and nice to watch, and I enjoyed hearing the Kiwi accents.

Grade: B

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Over the Hedge

This is quite an entertaining little family film. The animation is lovely to look at, the characters are lovable and easy to identify with, and it's full of adult humor and social commentary. Of course, it's the usual stuff that goes over kids' heads but their parents can enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised at just how enjoyable this was to watch. I definitely recommend it.

Grade: A

A Salty Piece of Land

Surprisingly (at least to me), Jimmy Buffett is quite the storyteller. I didn't expect a celebrity novelist to be quite so entertaining, or so good at crafting a genuinely interesting tale. Granted, Buffett's songs are stories in themselves and he has written quite a few novels in his day, but still I didn't expect much from this book; I picked it up because my dad said it was alright and I wanted something to read that wasn't academic. So I was quite pleased to find that I really enjoyed it. It wasn't fine literature, of course, but it was similar to - and as good as - any Carl Hiaasen novel. So if you like Hiaasen, or Tim Dorsey, you'll like Buffett. This was a quirky and downright lovable story.

Grade: A


Michael Crichton's Next is a tense thriller that makes the reader quite nervous. The fact that Crichton is well known for his well-researched books, and a glance at the bibliography, makes me feel a bit uncomfortable about genetic engineering in science today. There are several good characters, but it's mostly about introducing as much shocking reality as possible. You begin to think, what if this is really happening? The characters pull you in and make you wonder if this is the fate that you will undergo due to genetic testing. The book has some clear messages, made even clearer by the author's notes at the end. He is opposed to gene patenting and laws that make universities able to make a profit off of science. But, interestingly, in his notes he says he's against limiting research. Some of the storylines make it seem as though he's actually against genetic testing/engineering altogether, but apparently that's not the case. It's an interesting and quick read, and I would suggest it for anyone who's curious about where science is and where it's going: this may be fiction, but a lot of it is the truth.

Grade: B

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Jesus Camp

This movie was just as scary as I was expecting it to be. Not only that, it reminded me a bit of people I've known, and the youth group I used to attend. It is somewhat scary to realize that I could have become as fanatical as the people in this movie. The radio show host, clips of whom are interspersed throughout the footage of the camp and the personal interviews of those involved, is the voice of reason in this. He is shockingly rational about his faith and about Christianity in general. It is terrifying to see the process of brainwashing the kids in this movie endure. They are basically being made into political tools by the evangelical adults portrayed here. What is really unsettling is that there are a lot of people whose beliefs are very similar to what's shown in the film. It is a must-see, people need to be aware of this huge influence on politics - after all, evangelical Christians have a huge amount of voting power.

Grade: A

The Mist

This is an adaptation of a Stephen King novella. My mom says it's pretty true to the source material. Ted assured me it was good. Unfortunately, I already knew the ending going in. I won't reveal it, but it's quite shocking. This was quite entertaining. For some reason, it felt a little B-movie-esque. It was a high quality B movie, mind you, if it was one. The camerawork, the dialogue, and the music were a bit cheesy to me. Anyway, it has a nice amount of suspense, blood and guts, and religious fanaticism. Worth watching.

Grade: B-

Friday, April 4, 2008

Dan in Real Life

Okay, not only can I not remember who I watched this with in theatres originally, but it seems I did not even blog about it before! I swear, I saw it in theatres.... anyway, watched it tonight with Mom because it was on Netflix. It is quite awkward, and quite sweet, with touching moments, painful moments, and funny moments. It is a very real movie, that's for sure.
Grade: B

Last 3 Views: Enchanted; Dil Se..; Chaos


A cute new Disney movie. The first song includes a hilarious line: "lips are the only things that touch." Of course when the princess goes into the real world (a new twist for Disney!) she is seen as naive. But then the guy believes in the power of a kiss. It's pretty conservative-themed, but sweet, and Patrick Dempsey looks good in tall boots.
Grade: B-

Dil Se..

This is the first Bollywood movie I've seen. It has the song Chaiyya Chaiyya which is an excellent song. Also Dil Se Re and Jijya Jale. But probably the best song in it is Satrangi Re. The visual metaphors... oh my. The video there has translations of the lyrics... awesome. This is an extremely beautiful, moving, and disturbing movie. The ending - I can't believe that actually happened. Anyway, great, but sad.
Grade: A


A Jason Statham movie. Not as entertaining as Crank, plus I fell asleep in the middle. Lots of twists, but I guess most of them were somewhat unnecessary or just misleading because I still understood the end. It was alright.
Grade: B-

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Triplets of Belleville

This is a quirky French animated movie about the Tour de France and the French mafia. There is barely any dialogue but somehow I'm okay with that. I was quite amused.

Grade: B-

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Descent

Tonight Sebastian said he was in the mood for a horror movie. So I told him I had a good one. This is the third or fourth time I've watched The Descent, and it was no less tense and jolting than the first few times. It's actually better with freaked out reactions from friends to go along with it. It's creepy, and psychologically jarring. Quite the horror movie. It's in a different league than most. One of the only recent horror flicks that truly disturbs me. Made me afraid of spelunking (not for the monsters either by the way!).

Grade: B+

Saturday, March 8, 2008

40 Days and 40 Nights

I just caught the last half of this on Lifetime. But don't worry - I've seen it before. The premise is a guy decides to give up sex for Lent - well actually to become completely celibate. A lot of people bet on when he'll break his vow. He meets the girl of his dreams during this time. She's upset because he won't have sex with her (at first) then realizes it's something he just needs to do. I didn't like this movie the first time I watched it. I was uncomfortable with the 'sex scene' and the part where they symbolize the 'wet dream'. But on a second look, it's pretty good. Though it doesn't really deal with the fact that there is unnecessary pressure for sex very early in adult relationships. But, it does reinforce the fact that sexuality is natural and an important part of who you are and that's good. The 'sex scene', where Hartnett's character gives the girl an orgasm just from flower petals and blowing on her, is pretty hot. I want to try that now. And also Josh Hartnett was much better looking in this than in 30 Days of Night. So I liked it.

Grade: C+

Hurricane Punch

Lovable serial killer Serge Storms is back with his substance-abusing buddy Coleman. In this one, they track a whirlwind hurricane season, 'riding' the storms by driving in the eye. People die along the way of course - but Serge is not the only serial killer on the loose. Someone else is killing people, and Agent Mahoney thinks it's Serge's personality splitting. The ending surprised me, actually. I didn't figure it out until just before it was revealed. It's hilarious, as expected from Tim Dorsey. Excellent.

Grade: A

The Heartbreak Kid

This is the newest Ben Stiller movie. A guy rushes into a marriage with a girl that seems perfect, only to become someone else entirely on their honeymoon. During these horrors, he falls in love with another woman. It's pretty funny. No, not a great message or anything. I didn't like the ending. But it was decent.

Grade: C+/B-

Friday, March 7, 2008

10,000 BC

This movie was better than I was expecting. It was really epic, of course, and quite good, actually. The CGI was awesome - those mammoths! The story was very touching and uplifting in the end. Not bad portrayals of hunter-gatherer and herding societies. Of course, I'm sure it's not historically accurate in the least. But it's about the people, really. A man who will do anything to get his love back to him, and also to free his people. Very positive.

Grade: B

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Eagle Vs. Shark

This is a New Zealand-made romantic comedy starring Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords). It is really awkward but funny. If you like FOTC, you may like this. A lot of people (online anyway) criticize it for being too much like Napoleon Dynamite; I don't think it's really like it other than being in the awkwardly-funny camp. But I enjoyed it a lot more than Napoleon Dynamite. Anyway, I thought it was quirky and cute.

Grade: B


I had to watch this and write an essay on it for my Japan in Anthropology class. It was also pretty enjoyable. It's about 4 different accounts of the same event. Psychologists came up with the Rashomon effect which is this: "the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it." (via Wikipedia).

Grade: B-

30 Days of Night

My friend Lee told me this movie was good. I expected an amusing vampire-horror-gorefest, but it was actually better than that. It was quite enjoyable, and the ending was touching and sad. There is a great shot from above showing the carnage the vampires are causing. It's tense and has a lot of shock-you moments. The vampires are not pretty, as is often the case in vampire movies. It is a different kind of vampire flick. Josh Hartnett is pretty good. Also pretty good-looking. That never hurts, I guess. I read that part (or most?) of it was filmed in New Zealand. Also the deputy guy would occasionally sound like he had a Kiwi accent - turns out he's from NZ. Anywho, I'd recommend this to people who like a good horror film.

Grade: B

Be Kind, Rewind

Michel Gondry's latest shows that, yes, his movies have been going downhill. Of his major films: Human Nature was quite good, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was amazing. But then there was Science of Sleep. It was mostly just strange, and not all that great. And now there is this. It doesn't even have any of Gondry's signature weirdness. It's plain, basically. Not all that funny. Doesn't develop in the way of many things: there is a hinted romance which never gets fleshed out, the plot doesn't even get resolved, etc. Basically, this movie was quite disappointing. Isn't Jack Black always funny? Apparently not.

Grade: C-

The Darkest Evening of the Year

Dean Koontz's latest novel is about a woman who rescues Golden Retrievers whose dark past comes back to haunt her. Also her boyfriend just so happens to have a dark past that intersects. It's well written, and the parts about dog abuse, etc. make you sad for humanity. It has a sweet ending (deus-ex-machina!) and as many Koontz books do, involves odd supernatural occurrences that might be due to the existence of God. Overall, a good, quick read.

Grade: B+

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

No Country for Old Men (novel)

Ok, so the novel did indeed illuminate many things. It is, as is often the case, better than the movie - not worlds better, but better. Just on the virtue that the movie was not able to capture everything the book could. I know now that Ed Tom did not go after Chigurh - it's about him having to live with failure and getting old and dying.

Grade: A+

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Dark Crystal

Pretty cute movie with puppets by Jim Henson. I love the scene where Fizzgig has a tantrum. See it here!

Grade: B-

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I have to admit - the premise of this book is ridiculously cheesy. I started reading it, and thought, 'great, you've got to be kidding me.' But I gave it a chance and realized it is fully about the message - about the doom the human race is heading for and how we might stop it. I had to read it for Biological Anthropology, and I guess I understand why. It's pretty good.

Grade: B

No Country for Old Men

This was a stunning masterpiece of a film. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking. Javier Bardem did indeed deserve the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor - he is fantastic. Tommy Lee Jones, too, is great. It is tense, captivating, and thought-provoking. I am still thinking about what it means. There is a lot of visual metaphor and symbolism, and I think a lot of what is said is important. One thing it is saying is that America itself is No Country for Old Men - it is harsh, it is violent, and it is unforgiving. There are people like Chigurh who do get away with it. But when the time comes, will you be brave enough to do what you must? I don't know if Ed Tom Bell goes after Chigurh in the end or not. It is ambiguous. I think correctly interpreting the dreams at the end is crucial - and I'm not sure if I'm ready to do so or not. Which is why I'm now reading the book.

Grade: A+

Saturday, March 1, 2008


This... is a terrible movie. In a somewhat enjoyable way... not as enjoyable as some other terrible movies, though.

Grade: D+

The Brave One

My mom highly recommended this one, though she said it was emotionally draining. It is indeed very good and emotionally draining, and also extremely thought-provoking. Some of the shots are absolutely brilliant: the scene where it cuts from a love scene to doctors cutting away her clothes... each passionate touch by her boyfriend mirrored by a clinical touch on the same place... amazing. I would highly recommend this movie. I have always had a thing for revenge flicks... but this one is so reflective, and chock full of meaning.

Grade: A

Monday, February 11, 2008

Latest Views: Fool's Gold; Dead Man

Fool's Gold

Saw this in the theater with my mom on Saturday. Of course, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey are extremely attractive people, so that does not hurt this romantic comedy. It is funny and endearing, sweet and a bit quirky. I swear it must be based on a Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey novel... the plot is similar. It's about treasure, and love of course. If you want a movie with some action and some lovin', this is a good bet.

Grade: B+

Dead Man

This was Johnny Depp's first major role, in 1995. It's in black and white, and is incredibly artsy and slow-paced. However, this is not a bad thing - it's an excellent film. It's funny in parts, profound in others. Heavy on the symbolism, you need to watch carefully. I saw it Friday night with some Spanish house people in a room that is supposed to be haunted by a guy who committed suicide there. No sign of that, though; just a great movie.

Grade: A

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mae, with Tokyo

Originally uploaded by amber in norfolk

Went to the Mae concert at the UC Chesapeake last night. This is a photo of them at the Norva, taken by some other lovely photographer. Anyway, the opening act was Tokyo, who was pretty good. Mae was excellent, but only played for about an hour. At the door, tickets were $6 for students, so what can you expect I guess. They played bunches of songs I don't know, but also all the songs by them I do know. Good times. Alex Douglas came with me, we did not stand too close which I think is good because I probably got less hearing damage. I got some, but not too bad. There was some crowd surfing, actually, and one girl got dropped. Crowd surfing is such a bad idea! Anyway, if you dig Mae or similar sounds you should check them out in concert. Plus they're from Norfolk! So they play at the Norva a lot.

Grade: A-

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sex Workers' Art Show

This was clever, funny, entertaining, and intellectually stimulating. Probably not things you'd expect from all the media attention about it (check out this frustrating and uninformed article!). In reality, this was not a sex show, and in no way glorified the sex industry. The purpose of the show was to humanize sex workers, to emphasize that what they do is just that, work. And to bring to our attention the American public's tendency to dehumanize whatever it consumes, or in a sense to pretend it comes just like that naturally. I would describe the show as more like a comedy tour, which happened to have a little stripping and dancing (don't worry! nearly no 'real' nudity, pasties included!). One thing that was interesting is that they did not allow a merchandise table. What? Also, one professor actually thinks watching it will cause us to rape everybody! Hooray! I especially liked Erin Markey's performance. That woman has pole dancing strength! And amazing songwriting skills.

Grade: A!


Anthony Hopkins is creepy here. The 'twists' are pretty damn predictable. It's slow. I enjoyed the cinematography... it was pretty. But all in all, not so great.

Grade: C

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Latest Views: King Lines; Alphaville; 27 Dresses

King Lines

This is a fantastic documentary about Chris Sharma, one of the greats of today's rock climbing world. It shows some exotic bouldering, deep-water soloing, and lead climbing (including his famous first ascent of Realization. Sharma is not only an amazing climber; he is also shockingly humble and has a very admirable philosophy. This documentary is exciting and interesting, I'd recommend it if you are at all interested in climbing.

Grade: B+


A French sci-fi/film noir that is apparently 'very French.' Does this mean wholly indecipherable? Possibly, since it is that. I have heard that to understand this film is to understand director Jean-Luc Godard. Clearly I do not have a grasp on Godard. It feels a bit like 1984 or other dystopian future pieces. But it's not just that either. I know it is about what it is to be human... but the specifics are very odd and difficult to comprehend. Seems very deep.

Grade: C+

27 Dresses

This romantic comedy surprised me by not being true to the modern formula. That is not to say that the plot was not wholly predictable; it was. However, the dwelling on sex of most romantic comedies today was not there. It was more wholesome, shall we say, than the typical. This served not to make it duller, as one such as I may expect, but instead to make it more heartwarming and emotional. It felt like there was really love in it. And the characters did not come by the love easily - another thing that is different from your typical chick flick. While I did not find James Marsden super-attractive (he's so pretty, and has a small nose, ugh), I felt that he did a good job of portraying emotions, and as such, he made me wish I was Jane (and that he was Jeff). Edward Burns as the 'other guy' is more handsome in my opinion. The this-is-alluding-to-later-sex scene was quite sexy and actually gave me a rush. Anyway, I really enjoyed it.

Grade: B++

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cordelia's Honor

Jeff gave me this book for Christmas. It was most excellent. Lois McMaster Bujold is a great author, it turns out. I should have always known, since Jeff recommended her sci fi novels. The ultramodern Beta Colony descriptions are fascinating, and the links to the world we know are amazing too. The characters are lovable and it is really easy to feel their emotions with them. Good stuff.

Grade: A

Sweeney Todd

I highly enjoyed this - despite the girl next to me humming every song along with the movie somewhat annoyingly, and despite losing my cell phone in the middle of it and freaking out about that (I found it later by the way). Yes, it was gory, but it was also masterfully dark and darkly humorous. The music was great, and so were the performances. Johnny Depp has an excellent voice, it turns out, and does a great job in his portrayal of Sweeney Todd. Helena Bonham Carter is exquisite as always, and Sacha Baron Cohen is also fantastic. Plus I always love some Alan Rickman.

Grade: A

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sandman: The Kindly Ones; The Wake

The last two Sandman volumes are excellent. They bring the loose threads of the previous stories together in an imaginative way, and brings a grander story into existence and into a magnificent close. Basically, they're just as good as the other ones, and possibly more epic...

-The Kindly Ones: A+
-The Wake: A


I watched this for the second time with my mom today. It was just as good as the first time, in theaters over the summer. It is very heartfelt, sweet, and awkwardly funny. Nathan Fillion is great. So is Keri Russell. I am creeped out by the Earl character - reminds me a little too much of what one of my exes may have become... anyway, I love the pies... wish I could eat them. I really like this movie.

Grade: A

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


My first movie of '08! Also, one of my favorites of all time! It was hilarious, while also having a great message throughout. The characters were very human, incredibly real, and amazingly well acted. Ellen Page is amazing in it. The character Juno has a quirky, funny way of talking, and the whole movie just sticks with you. It's very heartwarming also. I can't tell you enough that you must see this! I guess I should also mention what it's about: basically, a 16-year-old girl gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. Plus the soundtrack was great!

Grade: A+

The Bourne Ultimatum

This was alright. Pretty much what I expected from the first two. Entertaining, but not much else.

Grade: C+