Posts Tagged ‘5 out of 5’

10th June
2009
written by Steph

Sucks to be Bill...

Sooooo good.  Tony said he didn’t think I would necessarily like these films, but I loved them!  Everything about them worked for me, and I wish I had seen them when they first came out rather than being the last person on the planet to see them. Or maybe I’m not the last person to see the movies, in which case the basic gist is that Uma Thurman plays a character known as “The Bride”, who was a member of Bill’s assassin squad.  Only he puts a hit out on her and she gets jumped the at her wedding rehearsal only to wake-up 4 years later with one thing on her mind: revenge.  First she’s going to take out the assassins who massacred her wedding party (and her unborn child), and then she’s going for Bill. Honestly, I really did like everything about the movies.   I loved the way they were filmed as well as the style – in a way, the greatest compliment I can bestow is that I really wished I were reading the movie as I watched it, because I haven’t read a book in a long while that I enjoyed as much as this movie.  It was just wildly creative and inspired and super stylized, and everything about it was interesting to watch.  Plus, who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned revenge tale?  Better yet, it’s a lady pulling the punches! The fight scenes were kick ass, the music even better, and I thought Quentin Tarantino told the story in a really interesting way.  And I think that he's a huge douchebag in real life (cocky little pisant is probably more accurate), but I have to give credit where credit is due: the man made an amazing movie and really knows his music.  The story is fractured, but the “chapter headings” (if you will) are more than enough to orient you and keep you interested.  Great modern take on the classic samurai tale, and I had so much fun watching it.  Most people tend to like Vol 2 more than Vol 1, but I think I actually enjoyed the former more.  I think I felt there was more exploration in style, or maybe I was just so impressed with the first part it was hard for the second to live up to it (if I had watched it when it first came out, there would have been a considerable gap between the two, and maybe that would have helped). Best movie(s) I’ve seen in a long time, and I really want to add this to our home collection. Rating: 5 out of 5
24th May
2009
written by Tony
The King

The King

Steph has been encouraging me to read this book for quite a while now, so when we ran across a beautiful copy that also included Saint Exupéry’s other works it seemed like a good chance for me to finally get up to speed on this classic. Since this is one of the best-selling books of all time, there is a good likelihood that I was among the few who hadn’t read it, and will spare you the ringing endorsement this book does not need. It is excellent, and though it’s ostensibly a children’s book, there is certainly a much deeper philosophical core that can be enjoyed and contemplated by people of all ages. This is a short book, and I think this review would best serve it by being short. “Language is the source of misunderstandings” says the fox to the Little Prince, and I think he is correct. (more…)
30th April
2009
written by Steph

I'm so happy I could sing!

I'm so happy... I could sing!

This past weekend, Tony and I walked over to our local indie theater that has been showing various classic musicals over the past month.  While we didn’t make it out for Guys & Dolls or An American in Paris, we were deadset on seeing a showing of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  When Singin’ in the Rain got held over for a second weekend due to its popularity, we decided to make a day of it and see a double-header. A little background on me: I LOVE musicals.  To me, they are an inextricable part of my childhood.  While most kids in the '80s were spellbound by E.T., Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, and The Princess Bride, my brother and I were brought up watching Oklahoma!, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, The Pirates of Penzance (technically an operetta, I know, but operas were in no short supply in our household either), and Into the Woods.  To cap it all off, we watched a lot of these flicks on Beta and LaserDisc…  I can recall countless New Year’s Eves and Saturday nights where my brother and I, along with our parents, would marathon classic musicals into the wee hours.  When we’d go to the videostore, more often than not we wound up in the musical section, always trying to find something new to watch.  Plus, my parents always took us out to see the shows live whenever they were touring (one production of Showboat stands out particularly, as a rogue bale of hay took out an unsuspecting piccolo player in the pit…). Over the years, my love for musicals hasn’t really waned, and I even own a few of my childhood favorites on DVD.  A couple of months ago, Tony and I started watching the few that I do own, including Seven Brides, which has always been one of my favorites.  When we saw it was coming to the Belcourt, we knew we couldn’t pass up the chance to see it on the big screen.  Although Tony might not love musicals to the extent that I do (who could?), he’s always been very good about supporting me in this vice – we went to see HMS Pinafore when it came to town, and were both enamored by the more contemporary Avenue Q as well.  Heck, when I first came to Vanderbilt, I made a bunch of my friends go see the on-campus production of Brigadoon for my birthday (it was everything I hoped it would be)!  But to see one of the golden classics in a real movie theater?  Who knows if/when that chance would ever come again. (more…)
27th April
2009
written by Tony
Graham Greene

Graham Greene

I finished this novel quite a while ago, and while I haven’t actively avoided writing this review (I’ve been snowed under at work and it leaves very little mettle for things like this when I get home) I haven’t really felt as though I can do this book justice. There is far more to this book than my limited perspective can grasp on one reading, and it is one of the few books in recent memory (The Master and Margarita being the other) that I immediately felt I needed to read again in order to fully appreciate its subtleties. Touted as Greene’s masterpiece (by none other than John Updike) this is a sparse, short, and searingly raw tale of the exile of an unnamed Catholic priest who is on the run from a fascist and anti-religious government. The novel centers on the revolution in Mexico through the late 1920s that viciously suppressed any and all religion on the order of then president Plutarco Elías Calles. The doctrine was especially brutal in the state of Tobasco, where this novel takes place. There is no use denying that this novel traverses some difficult territory and deals with the human condition in a way that is at once honest and often disturbing. (more…)
7th April
2009
written by Tony
This could almost be the title of a book by Jimmy Buffet... if that weren't so repulsive.

This could almost be the title of a book by Jimmy Buffet... if that weren't so repulsive.

A warning: parts of this review may seem a bit obtuse if you have not read this book. So. Go, read this book. You will love it. Then come back and read this review and you can see how smart I am and how much you agree with me. Really! Manuscripts don’t burn. So says Satan to Margarita late in the tale. Thus, Satan reveals a truth that Bulgakov found in his own life and brought to this book. The many meanings of this simple phrase offer an excellent metaphor for the novel itself. Quite literally, the notebooks in which writers of the day put their writing were not easily burned. But, of course, more than that, once something is written it takes on a life of its own, and is never really forgotten, and that is the true value and message of this tale. Bulgakov burned the first copy of this book after the failure of another of his works, only to resurrect it years later. In fact, the novel would not have been finished at all if it were not for Bulgakov’s wife. Bulgakov died before he could finish the masterpiece and the last portion was written by his wife. In this way the relationship between the Master and Margarita (our title characters) seems eerily prescient, and is almost certainly an allusion to Bulgakov’s relationship with his wife. (more…)
11th December
2008
written by Steph
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

Is there anything better to read than a Harry Potter book when one is laid up in bed sick with the flu? Not according to my immune system. For the past few days, I’ve been struggling with itchy ears, congested chest, and overall body aching so intense that my symptoms would fall well in line with some of the more choice curses found throughout the Potter series. Now is not the time to struggle with dense and delicate prose. No, instead, I need a heaping helping of adventure and fast-paced excitement. Which makes my choice of the final book in the Harry series a pretty good one, and as far as home remedies go, an enjoyable panacea as well. Warning: Do not read on if you have not finished reading the HP series. I definitely discuss plot details after the jump! (more…)
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