Monthly Archives: April 2015

Wuthering Heights, book review

This book has been mentioned in several other books I’ve read. So I finally decided to give it a read to see what all the hype was about. It’s marked as a classic love story or love triangle.

I’ll say right off, I loved the book. I was expecting something like, “Pride and Prejudice” instead it was almost comedic. Right from the start the main character, and our narrator, Mr Lockwood, is seen making funny faces at the dogs, leading him to being attacked, and later he goes for a walk right before a snowstorm! Not the atmosphere I was expecting at all!

The love triangle the story is centered on is Heathcliff, I simply loved his character. He’s an abandoned child adopted into the family of Wuthering Heights. He falls in love with his adoptive sibling Catherine. But she knows he has no money and she decides to marry for money. Heathcliff overhears her saying she loves him and that she intends to marry Edgar so she can support Heathcliff! Of course, such a statement would madden anyone.

So Heathcliff begins his path of revenge. He never tries to win Catherine back. So I’m not getting the love story. He is simply jaded and out for blood. He returns, richer than any of them now. Marries Edgar’s sister, just to spite Catharine and her husband Edgar. He gambles with Catherine’s drunk brother and ends up winning the entire Wuthering Heights estate. And he gets Catherine’s nephew as a servant when her brother dies! His plotting never ends and even after most of the characters are dead, he arranges for Catherine’s daughter to marry Heathcliff’s son, so he can now control both estates.

The last three chapters of the book fell a bit short. The story lost traction when Heathcliff ran out of revenge plots. But aside from that, it was truly a great read.

The writing style was amazing. It was all first person, but there was dialogue inside it, and written letters, so you actually experienced the story from at least four different people’s points of view.

I would suggest reading it. If you find it hard to read, try the audio book, it makes the accents easier to understand.

A Million Ways to Die in the West, movie review

I normally don’t like Seth MacFarlane. Majority of his shows, mostly Family Guy, are quite grating on me and not to my taste. But… I had the opportunity to watch this movie and decided to give it a try.

I was delightfully surprised. The jokes, for the most part, were kept fairly clean. In other words, they didn’t revolve around sex, although one character is dating a prostitute.

There was a clear plot, which is amazing for MacFarlane, in my opinion. I actually found the story quite humorous and thought the plot was good. There were predictable parts but they were matched with surprises as well.

For a comedy, a genre I try to judge lightly, I would say it did a good job. If you are looking for laughs, the movie is worth seeing. Don’t let your bias against Seth MacFarlane deter you like it did me. This movie really is a gentler version of his normal humor.

Woman in Gold, movie review

There’s been a few movies lately who enjoy telling their story in flashbacks. This method can be hit or miss in my opinion. I am happy to report, “Woman in Gold” is a success.

The story revolves around one person, who was a young woman during WWII. She was forced to flee her country to escape the Nazis and all of her family’s belongings were claimed by the Nazis. Now, an elderly woman, she attempts to get some of those items back, one painting in particular. Not because it’s worth millions, but because she wants to have a piece of her family back.

The audience goes on an emotional journey, seeing glimpses of the Nazi invasion to her hometown and the telling of her escape. In the present time, her lawyer, a friend of a friend, takes on her case with more passion than she.

I was greatly moved by the movie. Anyone who enjoys a heartfelt family movie would enjoy “Woman in Gold.” People who enjoy learning about history should also find this entertaining. I know I learned a few things and was interested to see a new side to the story. This movie told me what the common Jew underwent during the war. A good moral and message were in it for our youth.

Boyhood, movie review

This was another movie I was advised against seeing. A friend told me, “It’s boring!” Did I listen? Of course not. Should I have? Yes.

The movie is three hours long. And the entire movie teases you with events that might take a dramatic turn, but never do. Maybe I’m desensitized to things but when I’m introduced to an abusive alcoholic step-father, I’m expecting to see some black eyes. I want some blood, some terror. Maybe someone who ends up in the hospital. Instead, I get a man who barely is verbally abusive and breaks a few plates. Suddenly everyone in the movie acts like they think he is going to murder them. But I’m like, who hasn’t been around a person who gets like that? He isn’t doing anything that serious. He’s being a jerk sure, but it’s not “let’s call child services” worthy.

It’s like the director wanted to go there but then got scared and decided to play it safe. One step-dad drove drunk with the kids in the car, perfect set-up for something horrible to happen, right? Nope. Nothing happens. The sister is having sex at fifteen, oooh, maybe a teenage pregnancy, that’ll spice things up! Nope. Some kids do weed and underage drink, while doing this they mess around with a ninja star—oh so much potential for drama, right? Nope, nothing happens.

And so the movie goes. Most of us watching will be thinking, my life has more drama in it than that kid. Hence, why most of us find it boring. Yes, the filming of the movie over twelve years is very creative and I applaud the movie makers for pulling it off. But… couldn’t you have wrote a script that actually has some action in it? I mean, you had twelve years to think of something. I mean, not a single person even DIES in the movie. Couldn’t grandma croak or something?

If it hadn’t been three hours long, I might have been okay with the lack of action. But the awe of watching the characters age and grow up wears off after two hours of watching them do nothing.

It Follows, movie review

I always judge horror movies lightly, no matter how good they are, they are never going to be as good as a drama. “It Follows” has received nothing but complementary reviews, so I figured it would be worth seeing.

I have to say, I missed the bandwagon on this movie. I thought it was boring, slow and predictable. The acting was about where it is for a horror movie, cheesy and exaggerated. The music gives away the upcoming scary scenes. The time-era for this movie is impossible to pin down, which left me distracted. I mean, I was bored, so I had nothing better to do than try to figure out what era the electronics were from. You have analog televisions playing black and white movies, contrasted with this clam shell ebook. And people dressed with styles from all over the place.

The main plot follows a young girl. She has sex with her boyfriend, who then tells her he has a monster following him. And by having sex with her, he has now passed the monster to her. Only way for her to get rid of it, is by having sex with someone. The monster wants to kill you, if it kills the person above you in the sex chain, it then defaults back to you.

Now this big bad scary monster can only walk, at a grandma pace, to find you. And normal rules of physics apply to it. If you shut a door in its path, it’s stuck, it can’t walk through a door, nor is it super strong to break the door down.

So I’m sitting there like, umm, get a mobile home and travel the world, problem solved. Better yet, take a cruise. Go to Australia! Live on a boat home, I mean there are so many possibilities. Avoiding this monster is so easy. To be practical, I’ll probably get a job two hours away, then while I’m at work, it’s walking to there. Giving me time to sleep when I get home, I mean, this riddle is so easy to solve. I can drive, it has to walk, sooo easy.

Now if you went the sex route, what about having a big orgy? If I have sex with six people at the same time, which one does the monster pick to follow? Oh yeah, monster gonna be so confused. There’s only one of it, but now there’s six people all at the same location on the hit list.

Now to make it even more fun, the only person who can see it is the person it’s hunting, or other people in the sex chain. But again, physics apply, so if you throw a blanket on it, suddenly you have a floating blanket. I mean, you have an invisible man following you!! I’d trap that puppy and start a magic show!!

I left the theater, not afraid or creeped out… instead I kinda wish I could join the sex chain.

Flags of Our Fathers

I don’t know why it took me so long to see this movie. I’ve been wanting to see it ever since I first heard of it. I finally watched it and I’m glad I did.

The scene cuts between the three timelines are done very well. I mildly struggled to keep track of all the different characters, but anyone who puts a little effort in or knows their history, will do just fine.

The movie does show some gore, but nothing too horrible. It’s enough to keep things real, some gore is needed to get the message across that this was a gruesome time in our history. But it wasn’t gore for gores sake. Honestly, this was one of the least bloody depictions I’ve seen of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Any slower paced moment in the movie is countered quite well with action from one of the other times. And I think the out of order sequence is perfect in demonstrating to us the chaos the veterans likely felt. The aftereffects of war are shown to us in the best manner possible via movie.

By far, I would say this is one of the best war movies I’ve seen in a while. And it will teach you a thing or two about history. I’d say this is a must see for everyone. The cussing is kept to a minimum, I didn’t notice any at all, but there could have been. If your kids won’t be disturbed by death and some gore, I’d say you should watch this with them. The lessons in this movie are the kind our youth should learn.

Penguin of Fortune, book review

This book reminded me of a cartoon you would find on the cartoon network, the animated films created for adults. This could be an episode on adult swim, easily. I could also envision this as a graphic novel.

I’d never read a book like that before. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad book, just very different. If you enjoy foul mouthed cartoons and comics, then I am certain you will enjoy this book. And me, someone who doesn’t, still managed to find some humor in parts. But this book is geared for a specific kind of reader and is not a book for all.

It was decently written, but again, it reads like the play by play choreography for an action movie.

It’s a quick read though, so for those who enjoy crude humor and adult swim, you should give this book a read.

Penguin of Fortune by Karen Mead


Tammy, movie review

I’d been wanting to see this movie for a while. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The trailers made it seem like a straight up comedy.

Although there was humor in the movie, it wasn’t the main theme. This felt more like a drama to me, the actors were taking their roles very seriously and it didn’t take long for humorous moments to turn into heartache.

It was a good movie, but I think the marketing for it was a little off. If you watch it, intending to spend a few hours laughing and having a good time, you’ll be a little disappointed when you discover you’re actually in for a drama that is more likely to be aired on the Lifetime movie channel than Comedy Central.

If you are fan of McCarthy though, you should enjoy it. The comedy and tone are similar to that of, “Identify thief” and “The Heat.” Although I would personally say this movie drove the drama and emotion bit a tad stronger than the other movies did.