Monthly Archives: April 2008

March Media Madness

March wasn’t quite as media-heavy as  Jan. and  Feb., partly because I’m  finally climbing out of  winter depression and partly because I’ve actually been forcing myself to get away from the computer and out of the house more, including working out at the nearby wellness center three times a week.

But… For what it’s worth, here’s the March total:

* A Mighty Heart (Angelina Jolie) – Better than I expected, to be honest. Jolie’s depiction of Marianne Pearl is subdued but utterly fearless, not hesitating to depict both the impressive and the less than admirable aspects of Pearl’s attempts to find and save her kidnapped husband. Well worth watching.

* Dead Wrong, by J.A. Jance – It probably tells you something that I read this about a month ago and have no memory of it. Hmmmm.

* Body Double, by Tess Gerritsen – The female forensic examiner discovers she has a twin sister, unfortunately by finding her shot to death outside the examiner’s house. Bummer. Pretty interesting story about how she finds out who her birth parents are/were and all that good stuff.

* In the Valley of Elah (Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron) – Okay, this is a movie that everyone needs to see. It kept me interested from beginning to end, anchored by a sense of palpable reality and most of all by a heart-wrenching performance by Tommy Lee Jones. I can’t really say anything much about it other than… it should be seen.

* The Seville Communion, by Arturo Perez-Reverte – I like this dude’s books. So sue me. In fact, one of my goals is to learn Spanish well enough to read one of his books the way it’s supposed to be read. Oh. Right. This one’s about a ‘problem solver’ sent out from the Vatican to help settle an issue involving an ancient church in Seville, a couple of murders, and some high-finance mucking up. It made me want to visit Seville. … But not in the summer.

* For Those I Loved, by Martin Gray – I can’t figure why I’d never heard of this book. If not for the ”We Recommend“ section on Perceval Press, I still wouldn’t have. This is an astonishing autobiography by a man who lived in the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, worked for a while in Treblinka, fought with Polish resistance fighters and then joined the Red Army. Later, he emigrated to the U.S., met and married a Dutch woman. They had four children together and were very happy, when his entire family was killed in a sudden wildfire at their home in France. And yet he still didn’t give up living. It’s a heart-breaking but ultimately life-affirming and hopeful story. I highly recommend it.

* Dan in Real Life (Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook) – It’s reached the point, these days, where I approach anything labeled comedy or (god forbid) romantic comedy with extreme trepidation. I don’t honestly think I’m losing my sense of humor. I just think that most comedies nowadays aren’t so much funny as they are stupid and mean-spirited. But that’s just my opinion. This movie, thank god, is nothing like that. It’s actually funny, with a believeable premise and no complete asshole characters. I love it. I’ve watched it twice now, and will probably watch it again. ;D

* Into the Wild (Emile Hirsch and some others) – Excellent recreation of the Jon Krakauer book, about an upper middle class young man who gives it all up to wander the country, ending up in Alaska. I recommend reading the book first, then you can relax and just enjoy the scenery and the pitch-perfect depictions of all the secondary characters in the movie.

* My Left Foot (Daniel Day-Lewis) – DDL’s first Oscar-winning role, and it’s a good one. He does the loud, blustery performance as well as any actor working right now. But Brenda Fricker as the main character’s mother made this movie. She was awesome.

* No Humans Involved, by Kelley Armstrong – Oh hush. It’s a guilty pleasure. I have to read one of these or one of the Rachel Morgan supernatural P.I. books every now and then, just to keep the old overdone fantasy tropes bubbling away. This one stars a necromancer. Fun times.

* The Road to Guantanamo – Documentary about three British men who got caught in a battle-type thing in Afghanistan and ended up being sent to Guantanamo. They had done nothing. I weep for my country.

The Fountain (Hugh Jackman and some other people)Nobody needs a plot synopsis for this one, I figure. I love this movie. I love the total hippy-dippy psychedelic acid mind trip of it all. And Hugh Jackman. Dude. I must own this eventually.

* The King Must Die, by Mary Renault – Mary Renault writes the very best historical fiction based in and on ancient Greece. This one is about Theseus, of Minotaur fame, and I love how she manages to make the fantastical downright plausible. My favorite of her books is still ”The Persian Boy,“ but this one is well worth reading.

Onward into April…

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