Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull


Wow.

I WENT TO SEE INDIANA JONES 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I totally went nuts. I took pictures of us before we left the house on our 'Indiana Jones' outing. I bought Indiana Jones M & M's (which I will post pictures of soon) and I watched the entire trilogy in one day (although I talked on the phone a little while they were on.)

I loved this one. How could I not? Indiana Jones was my first real hero, and Harrison Ford was my first crush.

Now for my riveting, beautiful, awe-inspiring review....CAUTION: Do not read unless you have seen the movie or if you are the kind of people the like SPOILERS.

I think that a lot of people were really turned off by the UFO theme in the movie. For me, I think it is definitely a weird idea for Indiana Jones, but I'm OK with it. Besides, you have to admit that the skull looked pretty cool. Big eyes, huge...long...brain......so, for that part, I think it was very weird, and very different for an Indiana Jones movie. But here's my opinion, and my defense: Indiana Jones is different. Henry Jones Sr. is dead, Marcus Brody is dead, and Indiana is about twenty years older. So the story and the adventure and thus the movie is going to be different. It had to be. It was supposed to be.

I really liked Mutt. He was a spunky little cuss, and I actually expected him to be a bit more of an awkward kid along for the ride, but he helped Indy a lot. I liked that. When a friend told me that he was Indy's son, I didn't believe him! I think I read some misleading info on Wiki, or maybe I misunderstood him. I like the idea of Indy having a son though. It was only a matter of time before the line was carried on...I wonder if Mutt will have some adventures? I kind of wish they would carry that further. He almost put on the hat!

When the same friend (Brandon) told me that Indy got married, I didn't believe him there either, at least not at first. I've decided that I like that idea too. I think there are lots of other things they could have done with this one. But here's the thing: you can only use so many ideas for one movie. One screenplay, and this is the one that they chose. I like it.

I wish that they had developed Mutt's character and his relationship with Indy a little more. They didn't hardly concentrate on that at all! I also wish that they would have done the same thing with Marian Ravenwood. All of a sudden they're married. No dramatic kiss or love scene, or anything, and then they're married. No tearing up moments. I think they should have put something in...it would have made the movie seem more real.

I also really liked Cate Blanchett as the bad guy. She was brilliant! Especially the end scene (although they could have made that creepier). I felt like, with the end scene, when she was begging the....aliens to tell her everything they knew, let her see everything, that I felt more empathy for her than for any other villain. I just don't like Elsa much. One difference: Indy doesn't have any sort of relationship with the Blanchett villain except the fact that they are enemies. Just something to think about.

I thought the movie was great, except for those few minor points that I pointed out. The only thing that I really didn't like was the space ship leaving at the end. That was just....why? I understand. Kind of. But that just doesn't go with Indiana Jones. I can except the alien skulls. I just don't know about the "space between spaces" space ship.

I also really really really liked how they didn't try to make this like all the others. I like how they made a point of noting Indy's age; they didn't try to hide it. Indy is older, he's put on more weight, he isn't in shape like he used to be. I'm glad that they didn't try to hide that. That made his character seem more real and the movie was funnier and even more touching because of it.

So, of course, the movie gets five golden lucky stars!!!! Beautiful acting.
Anna

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Planet Waves


And Bob Dylan returns!

Hello again (for the fourth time today....)

Just posting about Planet Waves, the BD CD that I'm listening to right now. I've had it for weeks, and I haven't hardly listened to it very much...sorry Andy....

but I guess I haven't been in as much of a Bob Dylan mood lately. Distracted. Discombobulated. Immersed in other worlds. My own, although perhaps more so Ted Dekker's.

Anyway...here I am, finally posting a review, and to say that I didn't like it as well as New Morning. New Morning is among my very favorite BD CD's, and Planet Waves isn't. It was good, but I just didn't like it as well. There weren't really any songs that I just want to listen to. I liked all of them though.

Hazel, Dirge and Something There Is About You are probably the ones that I like best.

Herrm. The CD is growing on me! I'm enjoying You Angel You right now.....that's a good song.

You angel you.....

So, this CD was good, but just not brilliant, at least to me.

I've also listened a little to Pat Garret and Billy the Kid, a BD soundtrack to the movie, and some of the Billy songs are okay. I actually kind of like The River Theme! No lyrics, but some pretty singing. Most of it was instrumental, so I wont' do a whole review of it.
The next BD CD is.....Before the Flood. Looks good!
Anna

Showdown


Welcome to Paradise.

I've finished Showdown, the beginning of the next saga in The Books of History Chronicles.

Dekker has a gift. I am very, very impressed, again. I think one of the reasons maybe I didn't get into him very much when I first started reading him was that the two books I read weren't among his top novels; although House is good, it is nothing like The Circle Trilogy. Showdown wasn't as good as The Circle either, but it was very interesting, and Dekker delivered the story beautifully.

I like how he uses kids. One of the central characters (and the only one that sees Marsuvees Black for what he really is) is a thirteen year old boy named Johnny. Johnny fast became my favorite character, and then later there was Samuel.

One thing that was odd about the book; there wasn't a favorite adult character in it, although I liked David and Raul. A lot of the story is told through the eyes of Johnny and Billy, and sometimes Samuel (who becomes a wonderful central character in the last chapters of the book), all of them boys about the same age.

Dekker also seems to have some sort of signature (I don't know if I should be pointing it out, since I haven't read all of his books.....) about boys. In the Circle, Elyon is a boy, that is blond with green eyes. In Showdown, Johnny is blond, and the only one in the whole town that sees the truth about Black. Samuel is blond (although with blue eyes, not green) and he is very much like Elyon/Justin from The Circle.

Dekker uses blond boys a lot, or just boys in general, for an important part in the story. Johan (although he wasn't a boy when he betrayed Justin) was the traitor (later saved again) in The Circle. Billy isn't blond, but he also plays a very important part.

Although Showdown didn't effect me near as much as The Circle did, I still loved reading it, and I had a ton of fun learning more about The Books of History. I was a little disappointed in their outcome, and there was one other thing that I remember seemed like something I wouldn't do....if I were writing it. But other than those few things, I really enjoyed the book and can't wait to dive into Saint!

Anna

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets


Last night, I FINALLY saw the end of National Treasure 2. I went to see it in the drive-in, but I never saw the end, because there was another movie we wanted to see.

This time, Ben Gates is back, he's broken up with Abigail Chase, and Riley Poole is now the author of a book about the templar treasure. Nobody has read it yet. :)

This time, Ben and the gang are looking for the City of Gold, Cibola, so that he can clear his great grandfather's name.

The movie follows their adventures as they put twos and threes together, kidnap the president, break into the Library of Congress, and check out the Queen's desk.
Pretty cool, huh?

Plus, a couple of new characters, including Wilkinson, the bad guy this time.
(Although he's more noble than Ian whats-his-face, he suffers a dreadful death. :-/

Although not as good as the first one, National Treasure 2 is funny and fun to watch. I recommend it, although I give it three and three quarters stars for everything being too easy for them.
Riley is still hilarious!

Anna

Thr3e: The Motion Picture


Thr3e is the only Ted Dekker movie available on DVD. I didn't see it until it came out, and I haven't read the book, but now that I've seen the movie four times, I really want to!

The story is about Kevin Parson, a young seminary student in his late twenties. On his way home, he gets a call on a cell phone that he doesn't own; when he answers, a deep, breathy voice informs him that he has three minutes to confess his sin to the world, or his car will blow up.

Kevin doesn't know what he means, or if it's a joke. He pulls the car over, and notice the word CONFESS sprayed in red paint on the side of his car. Then it blows.

Thr3e, one of Dekker's most famous novels, takes you on a wild ride about a serial killer and his fascination with Kevin's past.
With an amazing ending that will blow your mind, Thr3e is a new favorite.

Marc Blucas stars as Kevin Parson with Laura Jordan as Samantha Shears, his childhood friend, and Justine Waddell as Jennifer Peters, a cop that was previously targeted by RK (The Riddle Killer, and Kevin's stalker.)

Check it out! And expect it as Movie of the Month in June.
Anna

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Check out Sock Monkeys!!!!

Hey everybody!

I was just reminding you about the blog that The Nerdy Iceskater and I started: Sock Monkeys.

Check it out! I'm running through the Appendices from The Return of the King book, which I am finally reading.

Stop by, and leave LOTS of comments.
Anna

EDIT:

Sorry, I just can't get links to work right now. The address is sockmonkeys14.blogspot.com, and I think the link in my link list still works, so you can use that. Thanks!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lilies of the Field


Last night, we watched Lilies of the Field on the Turner Classic Movies channel. It's a 1963 film about a drifter (Sydney Portier) that stops by a farm to get some water. Five German nuns are living on this farm. When Mother Maria (Lilia Skala) sees that he is a "big strong man" she says that God sent him, and that he will stay with them and help them.
Homer Smith (Portier) insists that this is not so, and so on.
He ends up fixing their roof, expecting pay for it. After spending a night there and not getting paid the next morning, he is eventually 'conned' into building them a chapel and staying with them for a long period of time.

I found the movie funny, unique, and very interesting. If you are fan of Black and Whites, I definitely recommend it! I wouldn't mind having this one, actually....and if you want to watch a trailer, I included the link to one below.

Trailer.

Anna

Friday, May 16, 2008

Appendix A

keep a look out on Sock Monkeys for reviews of the stories in the Appendices from The Return of the King!

Anna

OH, BTW, I can't get these links to work. sorry. Just get them from my link list.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


Hello!

I have just now finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the second time. Of course, I've seen the movie thousands of times by now.

I enjoyed reading the book again! I love how that when I read a book I notice a bunch of little stuff that I forgot...like how FUNNY Rowling is. I'm really looking forward to reading the others for those few moments of ridiculous humor...yesterday I laughed for a long time about one of her jokes (of course from Fred and George...those guys are HILARIOUS!!!!)

Although this definitely isn't my favorite of the series, I enjoyed reading it again a LOT....it was a joy to read over, and read all about Chocolate Frogs (I wish those were real!) and even Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans....although they sound dreadfully disgusting...and also all the surprises of magic and mirrors that show whatever you want most, and Dumbledore's beautiful eccentricities....

I am really looking forward to reading The Chamber of Secrets again, next, but I'll probably wait a bit. I have a load of other books on my reading list this month!

I always recommend that series be read in order, although Nerdy Sk8r Chick doesn't listen to me.....so if you decide to read Harry Potter, start with the first book.

I'm not going to address the controversial issues surrounding the series this post, but I probably will in some of the other book reviews. If you are interested, here is a link to a post where I posted more links to Brian's blog where he talks about what he thinks.
Anna

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Magical Worlds of the Lord of the Rings


Hello, hello!

So I finished the Magical Worlds of the Lord of the Rings. I've wanted to read this forever, and then I finally bought it. Here's my take:

I thought that it was pretty good, but it had a bunch of stuff in it that I already knew. I felt like I was just rereading a bunch of stuff without all the details. I'm also just a little skeptical about some of it....this guy is writing from a secular outlook, I think, and so I think that he might be guessing a little about some of it. The cover even says that it wasn't authorized by the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in any way and isn't connected to the movies at all. I'm just a little skeptical about some of because it isn't authorized, and for most of the book, he doesn't give quotations for what he says to be true. I didn't like that about it.

On the other hand, I did learn a few things that I didn't know, and it also deepened my appreciate for what Tolkien did with his work and what I hope to do with mine someday. I like that. I'm also more eager to read the Silmarillion now.

I thought the book had a ton of interesting stuff, stuff that I didn't know before, but since it wasn't authorized, I kind of get the impression that Colbert might be making connections. But then again, authors like that MUST do a ton of research. I'm just not binding to everything he said as truth and fact.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the book, but for those of you who have already a Tolkien bio, I'm not sure that it is worth it. If you haven't read any other books on Tolkien, I would say that it is.
Anna

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Farworld Blog Tour '08


Hello there, fellow blog readers....

just a lovely note (wot, wot) to let you know that I am now an official member (or at least I think I am :D) of the Farworld Blog Tour of '08. J. Scott Savage is writing YA fantasy series called Farworld. I get to read the book before it is published, post a review and a Q & A with him a few months before it is released. Very exciting! I'll post some updates soon.
Anna

P. S. Just now I was thinking about posting the cover to Farworld: Water Keep, but then I decided that I would wait until I actually review it. Why? So the review will be much more dramatic. You don't know what the book looks like. You won't be able to judge it until you read the review that way. ;)

Friday, May 9, 2008

The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters



A couple of weeks ago, I entered a contest on James Dashner's blog to win a signed copy of his new book, The 13th Reality.
I didn't expect to win, but I did! Last week I received my beautiful hardback, and I've just finished it.
I was very impressed! I think that the book was very engaging, interesting and original. Dashner has some great ideas, and I eagerly await the second book.

The story is about Tick, a thirteen year old kid that's a bit nerdy. (It's okay, I like nerds...:D )
He begins to receive curious letters, telling him to do mysterious things or burn the letter. Tick decides not to burn the letter, but to follow the clues and perhaps save lives. My favorite characters besides Tick are Master George (who is very funny...I love how he's having a romance with his cat *practically* and it adds so much to his character!) and Mothball.
I can't decide which of the young Realitants I like best though!

I like how a lot of the story involves science, a bit like Madeleine L'Engle, but in a completely different style (such as kyoopy *Q. P.*).
The 13th Reality is a fresh take on fantasy, engaging, funny and entertaining. Good Job James!

Anna

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

White


The Circle Trilogy has left me in awe. Last week I began Sense and Sensibility, eagerly awaiting its finish so I could really concentrate on White, although I started it at about the same time. When I did finally finish Sense and Sensibility (just watch the movie; it was just OK. Sort of boring.) I dove eagerly into White, and then I could hardly come up for air.

The Circle Trilogy is a gem in the world of fantasy, and it carries on in the tradition that Tolkien and Lewis started so many years ago. Dekker diligently follows in that tradition in a way that all young writers should hope to follow. The way I would love to follow; by bringing in a wonderful plot, amazing characters, and spiritual lessons and parallels that are incredibly moving. White was amazing. If you've not read The Circle Trilogy yet, don't wait. Dekker is writing another Circle Book, which I eagerly await. I think it arrives in January. Since I'm now a hardcore fan, I'll be posting updates as he releases them. I can't resist!

Plus, I now know why so many of Dekker's books are connected. It's because that many of them are part of his huge Chronicle Cycle called The Books of Histories Chronicles.
I hope to start reading those to occupy myself until next January....I had no idea I would get this interested. I'm really looking forward to starting his Lost Books Cycle, a young adult series that has something to do with my new favorite character, Thomas Hunter, and the Forest and Elyon. And of course the egregious Horde.
:)
Wow.
Anna
Instead of Red being the book of the month, the entire Circle Trilogy is a trilogy of the month.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Runaway Bride: May's Movie of the Month




Runaway Bride is my new favorite movie.
I have watched it three times in the past three weeks. (so i like it a lot, right?)
One thing I've noticed when watching these romance movies is that what makes a good romance. Really: what is it?
I think one thing about them is the characters. Characters are the most important aspect to a novel. In a romance novel, you have to create to characters that you can make fall in love with each other....or in a romance movie. Character dimensions are SO important to stories like this! In fantasy novels you have magic and its magical creatures. In a romance novel, you have to be realistic and creative at the same time. That sounds a bit hard to me, but definitely worth the challenge if you can make a good story out of it.
Runaway Bride is one of those movies. It's funny, cute, and Julia Roberts and Richard Gere make a wonderful romance team. Plus, I also really admire Gere's New York accent. Even though my novel is a fantasy, one of my favorite characters has one of those (although he has no idea who or what New York is.)
One thing I don't like as much about fantasy novels is that you don't have the real world to rely on: you have to make it all up yourself. It's harder to relate. That's probably one of the reasons that modern fantasy that takes place in the real world (at least going back and forth...) is so popular. Harry Potter, Leven Thumps, Narnia, Inkheart....all of those take place in a 'modern' world (Narnia doesn't quite count as 'modern' but it does take place in the real world. You can relate to the characters better because they have lived in the real world, and they know what real life is like, and you can experience everything better with them.
On the other hand, a fantasy novel that takes place entirely in a fantastic world without any connection to the real world is parallel to the real world. :) Not that it has anything to do with Julia Roberts.....
I also liked Ike because he is a writer. His apartment was cool, because it looked like a writer lived there. That's probably similar to what my house/apartment/room will look like when my beautiful book collection gets bigger. I thought it was cool that he was going to write a novel.
A neat quote from the movie was:
"Journalism is literature in a hurry." Thought it was interesting.
I liked this movie so much that I decided to make it May Movie of the Month. Very exciting. :D
Anna

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Lost World: Jurassic Park


After seeing the first Jurassic Park, I really wanted to see the the sequels. Jurassic Park the Second was better than I expected it to be. Lost World concentrates the plot on Ian Malcom, the eccentric mathematician from the first, portrayed by Jeff Goldblum.
The Lost World isn't as good as the first one because you know that everything is going to go wrong, and you know that there is going to a T-Rex or three.
However, I liked it as well as the first one. The whole idea is pretty cool...it's a great science fiction idea. Just think of dinosaurs!
The plot centers around Ian Malcom, whom is reproached by John Hammond to go to one of the Islands where the Jurassic animals are living on their own to do a research project on them.
No more clues (mostly because I'm feeling lazy and I don't want to write a bunch of stuff about the plot) but it is definitely worth seeing if you like sci-fi and T-Rexes!
Anna