orangerful: (pigeon w books // orangerful)
I'll just tell you now, I've been a Dave Barry fan for a long time.  As a kid, I used to read his column in the Sunday paper.  I would check out his books from the library and I also listened to a few as audiobooks during the Summer of Tetris (you get one guess what I did most of that summer). 

I'll Mature When I'm Dead is classic Dave Barry.  And by "classic" I mean 12 year old boy humor at it's best.  Essays range from why men are dufuses to pet ownership to the downfall of printed newspapers.  It also contains a reprint of Barry's article on getting a colonoscopy, which apparently got a lot more responses than he expected.  The weakest essay was a 'Twilight' spoof, since that has already been done to death (and you can't beat 's version, so don't bother trying). 

So, if you need a summer beach read that will make you channel your 12-year old self, pick up a copy. Just don't try to read it in bed or your significant other might give you dirty looks for giggling so much!

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

Currently Reading:
Almost Perfect (breakfast)
Tomorrow When the War Began (lunch)
Bullet Point (bedtime)
orangerful: (yoda textless // orangerful)
There is always one weird kid in the class.  A kid who revels in being the odd man.  Now imagine you go to class one day, and this kid has a finger puppet made out of paper but he acts as though he has no control over what it says.  That's Dwight and the Origami Yoda.

The 6th grade class can't decide - is Origami Yoda real or is Dwight just smarter than he looks? Tommy has gathered "case studies" from his fellow classmates on their interactions with Origami Yoda to try to solve this puzzle.

A book that could have just been plain silly turns out to have a sweet core.  Even though it comes in at under 200 pages, the reader still manages to connect with the various students in the story, especially the narrator, Tommy, who is truly torn about believing in the power of Origami Yoda.

This is the perfect book for that poor kid who's parents are whining that all he reads are "Star Wars" books, with funny writing and enough Star Wars jokes to make them keep reading.  And once they have devoured this book, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to sllip 'Wimpy Kid' into their hands next...


4.5 stars (extra .5 for all the Star Wars jokes and the Origami Yoda instructions in the back).

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (librarian moment // faeriesfolly)
When you think of the 1920s (like ya do), some things that might come to mind are those images from Great Gatsby - the Jazz Age flappers partying, drinking cocktails even though Prohibition has made alcohol illegal.  After reading 'The Poisoner's Handbook', you'll associate something else with that turbulent decade: forensics.

In this highly detailed book, Deborah Blum attempts to track the birth and acceptance of the fields of forensics, toxicology, and all those things that make CSI shows possible today.  In New York City, the medical examiner Charles Norris [insert Chuck Norris joke here] and his team turned chemistry into a weapon in the courtroom. 

In each section of the book, Blum describes the discovery of certain elements, the chemistry that makes them deadly, and murder trials that followed.  It's a great mix of true science and true crime.  While the chemistry and lab tests can get a bit tedious at time, especially for the layperson like myself, they are easy enough to skim and get back into the action. 

I definitely recommend this title to someone, especially if you enjoy high quality true crime with a bit of history tossed in.  I learned a LOT (and felt like writing a letter to the FDA about how much I appreciate their work now...who would have thought putting radium in drinking water would have been a good idea?)

4.5 outta 5

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (izzard cake or death // raelala)
I've been a fan of British comedian Eddie Izzard for ten years now, ever since 'Dress to Kill' aired on HBO.  His humor is both ridiculous and intelligent at the same time.  When I vacationed in London with my family in 2000, I even picked up Eddie's autobiography.  Little did I know that the year I purchased that book, Eddie's career had just taken a down turn in the UK and he had stopped doing stand-up.  'Believe', a documentary by Susan Townsend, covers Eddie's return to stand-up with the SEXIE tour while also giving us a overview of his career. 

Eddie's mother passed away from cancer when he was very young and he admits several times in the film that his career as a performer springs from wanting to get attention and be loved.  It includes clips of Eddie performing on the street with friends, his appearance at FRINGE comedy festival, and, of course, clips from his bigger productions from the late 90s. 

This was extra fun for me to watch because I actually saw one of Eddie's "workshop" shows in New York when he was still working out the jokes in the SEXIE tour.  I then saw him again during the official run of the tour in Washington D.C. so I know first hand how he takes an idea and evolves it into a part of his show; it's a very organic process for him. 

This movie, along with Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedian", should be required viewing for anyone thinking of going into the stand-up career track, or even just entertainment.  If you're already a fan of Eddie Izzard, you MUST see this documentary. You really appreciate all the work and love he puts into his shows, and what a tenacious individual he is.  If you don't know much about Eddie, it's still an inspiring film to pick up and see someone struggle for and achieve their dream. 

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (bring a friend // orangerful)
Batman is dead? I didn’t even know he was sick!

...read my full review on Geeks of Doom!

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (librarian moment // faeriesfolly)
The Declaration
Gemma Malley
"If the chance to live forever came with a price, would you opt in or out?"

That's the tag line on the cover of 'The Declaration' by Gemma Malley, a science fiction novel for young adults.  

In the future, Longevity drugs have made it possible for people to live forever. But, the Earth has finally reached a population limit, so no one is allowed to have children unless they opt out of of the "eternal life".  Of course, there are still people that attempt to have children.  These children are taken away and called "Surpluses".  They are trained to do the most menial jobs around and told their are worthless, using up resources that only the Legals have a right to.  Anna is a Surplus.  She has accepted that her parents were law breakers, bad people who had no right to create her, and now she must do her best to make up for existing.  Then Peter arrives and claims to know the truth about Anna's parents...

While it sounds like a solid plot line, I felt the book could have been put together a lot better.  It is told in third-person limited point of view and switches between characters throughout the story.  But I felt we stuck with Anna so long in the beginning that by the time we switched to another character, it was a bit jarring and forced.  Plus, the plot device of Anna's forbidden journal (Surplus' are not allowed to own anything) slowed things down a lot because her journal entries were usually just re-tellings of sequences we had just read about a few pages before.  It seems like that should have reworked that because it really slowed down the advancement of the plot.

Do you ever get the feeling that a bunch of authors went to a workshop together and then wrote novels right after that? I really think I might have enjoyed this book a bit more if I wasn't such a big fan of Scott Westerfeld's 'Uglies', had not just finished (and LOVED) 'Unwind' by Neal Schusterman, and had not just read Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go' (which I read because Joss Whedon said it inspired 'Dollhouse'). Because if you put all those books into a blender, you get something not quite unlike 'Declaration'. Compared to those books, 'The Declaration' falls short in style and substance. But what really ruined it for me was the ending. I won't spoil it but it was pretty lame and I was hoping for so much more. Apparently this is book 1 in a series (wow, let me have a heart attack and die from the not-surprised).  

It was okay, but I don't think I'll be rec'ing it to anyone.

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (snack time! // orangerful)
Do you like Sam Rockwell?  I mean REALLY like Sam Rockwell?  Because if you don't, you probably won't like 'Moon' because Sam is it (well, Sam and Kevin Spacey as Gerty the Computer). 

'Moon' is a story set in the future.  To solve our energy crisis, we figured out a way to harvest power from the Moon.  But someone has to be up there to monitor the equipment.  Sam has signed a 3 year contract with the company.  He has been living on the moon, his only companion a computer called "Gerty".  He has 2 weeks left before he can return home.  But something is not quite right....

And I'll stop there.  If all of the reviews of 'Moon' seem vague to you, it's for a reason.  No one wants to say too much and spoil any part of this movie.

I thought Sam Rockwell did a great job considering he was all on his own.  He's come a long way from 'Guy' (Galaxy Quest).  

I'm not so sure about the re-watchability of this movie though.  I don't think I would view it a second time, but the first time through was interesting and it drew you in.  But after it was over, it was over and that was that.  

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (goes to 11 // orangerful)
Wow.  So, I doubt there is anything I can say about this film that you have not already heard.

It's gripping, well acted, well filmed, the editing is fantastic and it will stick with you.  

Movies about the war in Iraq (or whatever it is called at this point) always seem to effect me more than I expect.  I think it's because I can't even fathom that environment.  I mean, we've all seen World War II movies with soldiers wandering Europe, but I get that landscape, that world.  The only new thing for me is the war.  But when it comes to the Middle East, it's all so different.  The desert, the people...it's just foreign.

I think that's what makes 'The Hurt Locker' so mesmerizing to me.  The idea that these people live in a land where bombs are just left in the street blows my mind.  That these men risk their lives every day over there to protect so many.  It's their job.  

'The Hurt Locker' is not a documentary though, it's a movie about a team of men and the way the war alters them.  I know that sounds cliche...but this movie is just so well done, you forget about that theme and just focus on the screen.  It would have been so easy to just despise the main character, but somehow I understood his choice in the end.  

"The Hurt Locker" is an intense and well-crafted film that ranks up there as one of the best war movies I have ever seen.

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (snack time! // orangerful)
A movie based on a book which was based on a blog inspired by Julia Child's life in France.  

Starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.

The first sentence sums up why this was probably not the best idea for a screen adaptation.  The second sentence sums up why it succeeds at being entertaining at all.

'Julie & Julia' is a sweet little story that juxtaposes the story of Julia Child finding herself in France and Julie Powell, a NYC resident trying to find herself after a rough year.  Not really full of action, adventure, or drama - the movie is very watchable because of the amazing casting.  Meryl Streep steals the show as Julia Child.  Stanley Tucci's portrayal of her husband is endearing.  I have a soft spot for the adorable Amy Adams who plays Julie Powell.  

It's a cute movie, what more can be said.  It's a little over 2 hours long, and by the end you're starting to feel it.  But there are worse ways to spend an evening, and if you've got a supply of munchies ready to go, you'll probably have a good time with these two ladies. 

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (easily distracted // orangerful)
Devil's Kiss
Sarwat Chadda
Okay, ignore that cover over there.  That is the U.S. cover, meant to appeal to Twilight fans who apparently will only read books with a chick and mysterious dude pictures on the cover.  Or something.  The U.K. cover is way cooler.  

ANYWAY!

The rumors in London are that Billi's father murdered her mother.  But Billi knows the truth - her mom was killed by ghuls: demons.  Her father is a member of the ancient order of the Knights Templar which is still surviving in our modern world.  

After her mother's death, Billi's father began to train her as a Templar.  As the years have gone by, the two have grown apart.  Billi would like nothing more than to just be a normal high school girl.  Instead she finds herself fighting demons in playgrounds late at night and then hiding the battle scars the next day.  And when an ancient evil returns to Earth to punish mankind, Billi has no choice but to battle beside her father to save the world. 

'Devil's Kiss' has a great mix of action, adventure, history, mythos and just a dash of romance.  It is a fast read with a really strong female heroine.  

My only frustration with the book was that I didn't know it was book 1 in a series until I finished.  Part of me was kind of upset - I'd like to just read a book and have it be it sometimes.  I wasn't prepared for it to not officially end.  The sequel just came out this month but I'm not rushing out to read it. 


Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (boys are fragile // orangerful)
Carter Finally Gets It
Brent Crawford
High school.  Remember when it was a mystery?  When you viewed it from afar, thinking that when you were finally that age, life must be easier?  Then remember actually getting there and being more confused then ever?

Carter has the same experience.  He is convinced that when he becomes a freshman, life will be simpler.  But, instead, he experiences a high school life that we are all familiar with.  Brent Crawford's writing is full of humor and heart.  I really identified with Carter and his level of clueless-ness.  

Warning: if you can't handle being inside a 15 year old boy's brain, don't pick up this book.  Carter is a nice guy but his mind is on two things all the time - do I look cool? and SEX!  So when he goes on a date with a girl for the first time and eats a giant burrito...well, you can guess where some of the humor will come from.

If you want a book that you will laugh out loud while reading (seriously, I got a dirty look from my cat from giggling in bed) but is also realistic and honest in it's portrayal of High School and all of its ridiculous politics, pick up "Carter Finally Gets It".  

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (daydream believer // orangerful)
We saw this last weekend, opening weekend, and I forgot to blog about it!  

I'll tell you right now, I'm a bit of a Disney fangirl when it comes to their classics.  From Snow White to Cinderella to the big comeback in the late 80s with Little Mermaid and Aladdin - I know all the words to so many of the songs.  I used to spend hours trying to draw the images from the shows.  So, needless to say, I was really nervous about this movie because the last few Disney cartoons (Home on the Range, Atlantis) did not do it for me at all plus there was all kind of controversy because this would feature the first African-American "princess" for Disney.  With so much pressure on one little movie, I wasn't sure if they could pull it off.

Well, they did.  It's not the best Disney movie ever, but it is definitely a solid film and it is good enough to get Disney started again.  It feels like a 'Little Mermaid' - you can see all the potential that this could be the start of a new era.  I really hope it is!

The movie is set in New Orleans in the 1930s.  Tiana is trying to save up her pennies, working hard to achieve her dream.  While she's slaving away waiting tables, a prince rolls into town - a prince with no money but lots of style.  Froggy-ness ensues because of some crazy VooDoo...and that's all I'm going to say!   

The animation is gorgeous.  The songs are really fun (my two favorites were "Friends on the Other Side" and "Evangeline") and the story has enough twists and turns to keep you interested, even though you know it will end happily ever after.  

I haven't actually talked to any *kids* that have seen it, I'm wondering if the movie would have been scary for the little ones.  I thought the villian's song was quite creepy, especially the animation with voodoo spirits and skulls floating around.  And there was another part that AD said he noticed parents trying to distract their kids from the screen during.  

I hope Disney keeps this tradition alive.  I know it was Jon Lassiter at Pixar that produced the movie, saying that 2D animation was still a valid art form for the studio.  So I hope enough people see the movie that the big wigs agree to make a few more.  

It will make you fee like a kid again.  Go see it. :) 

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (pigeon w books // orangerful)
Crash into Me
Albert Borris
Five suicidal teens set out on a road trip.  The plan is to visit the graves of celebrity suicides and pay their respects.  The pact is to finish their trip at Death Valley and end their lives there.

That is the premise of "Crash Into Me".  Owen met the four other teens in a suicide chat room and they devised this road trip as a way to escape the lives they have come to hate.  Of course, when they leave behind everything, they free themselves of some of the stress that is causing these suicidal thoughts.  

Albert Borris does a good job of portraying Owen's confusion and frustration with himself and the world.  Tragic events have led Owen to this decision, though they are not made perfectly clear until the end of the book.  But it is easy to see how someone could convince themselves they have nothing to live for when they have no idea what is out there...which is kind of the point of the book.  

This will appeal to any reader who likes realistic, angsty tales that put you in the front row, along the lines of Ellen Hopkins or 'Living Dead Girl'.  The ending reminded me of an 80s movie, with everything wrapped up a little too neatly after the messy trip that was the story but I can't think of any other way to end it without making it completely depressing.

Solid 3 stars.  

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (pigeon w books // orangerful)
How can I resist a young adult book with that title, that cover, and blurbs by Jon Stewart AND Judd Apatow? 

Oliver Watson is the titular Evil Genius.  He runs an evil corporation from his secret lair located below his parent's suburban home.  When dwelling in his lair and plotting his world takeover, he is attending class at his local public middle school.  In class and at home, Oliver pretends to be a below average student, skating by with passing grades and falling all over himself in the hallways.  No one would suspect that he is the fourth richest person in the world. 

From infanthood, Oliver has had nothing but disdain for his father.  So when his dad talks about how one of the biggest milestones in his young life was to be elected student-body president, Oliver decides he will be class president - not because he wants his father's acceptance (because he denies that vehemently throughout the book) but to show his father that anything he did, his buffoonish son can do too, diminishing the value of the accomplishment.

If you like the snarky humor of "The Daily Show" (which the author works on) then you'll probably enjoy this book.  Oliver mocks his fellow students, tortures teachers, and generally abuses anyone who works for him.  While some of the jokes might go over a kid's head (will 7th graders know who Machiavelli was?), I think they will get a kick out of it.  It might be good for reluctant boy readers who enjoy the antics of Stewie on "The Family Guy" since the book is full of satire and fart jokes. 

A quick read that will make you giggle, even if the ending is a bit cheesy.  3.5 stars.

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (indy ride // orangerful)
Before I begin this "movie thoughts" post, I must say a few things:

1.  I <3 the Raimi boys.  I've been a fan of the Evil Dead films since I was in high school.  My brother and I watched them a LOT.  We loved that weird, twisted sense of humor mixed with wacky horror.

2. I'm a wuss.  I don't really like scary movies.  I don't like to watch people get murdered horribly.  Not my thing.  When I do attempt to watch movies like that, I end up up all night, listening to the "axe murderer" I hear sneaking around my apartment. 

Okay, now that we got that out of the way:

"Drag Me To Hell" is the most hilarious horror movie I've seen since "Evil Dead 2".  As my friend Damian described it, you spend most of the film going "AAAH! *blink blink* HAHAHAHA!".  Sam & Ivan Raimi didn't set out to change the face of horror movies.  Instead, they stuck with what they new - spooky mixed with silly - and "Drag Me To Hell" is a great 90 minute gasp/guffaw fest.

Christine Brown just wants to get some respect.  She wants to get the promotion at her job.  She wants to impress her long-term boyfriend (played by Justin "I'm a Mac!" Long) and his parents.  She wants to leave behind her farm roots and be something more.  So when an old woman comes into the bank begging for a third extension on her mortgage, Christine decides that she will show how tough she can be and denies the woman the loan.  Unfortunately, this woman turns out to be a gypsy.  She curses Christine - in 3 days, she will be DRAGGED INTO HELL!

There are just as many "gotcha" moments in this movie as there are Looney Tunes moments.  If you have a friend (like me) who is a wuss and doesn't like realistic gore/realistic violence/slasher flicks but you want to watch something a little creepy, this is a good one to try. 

It's actually really "clean" too.  I mean, there is very little swearing, no big sex scene - it's just ridiculous scare gag after gag. 

The great thing about this movie is how much it reminds me of the low-budget horror that was evil dead. Before studio started pumping money into this genre and realistic CGI effects took over, a bunch of rattling windows and eerie shadows were enough to give you goosebumps.  When I finished the film, I felt entertained, but not so upset I couldn't go to bed. 

Yeah it's cheesy.  But I've decided that I like my horror with a helping of cheese.  I'm sure the hardcore horror fans are laughing at me, but that's fine.  Hardcore horror is not my thing.  Give me a goofy Raimi Bros. flick any day!

My only complaint was the lack of Bruce Campbell cameo - but I guess he was shooting Burn Notice. 

3.5 out of 5 stars

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (oh no!!  // orangerful)
A note to movie-makers: only go over 2 hours if your movie is based on a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Otherwise, you're probably going to lose my interest.

Case in point - State of Play.  What could have been an edge-of-your-seat, political thriller/murder mystery instead turned into a yes-I-figured-most-of-this-out-30 minutes ago. 

The basic story: Ben Affleck plays Senator Collins who is the lead in an investigation into the private group hired by the government.  Oddly enough, the head researcher from his group is killed.  The media tries to smear Sen. Collins when he reacts to this news with tears, saying he must have been in love with her.  Russell Crowe plays Sen. Collins old college roommate (really? Crowe and Affleck are supposed to be the same age??).  Anyway, since they were BFFs, he tries to help Collins clear his name, but since he's a journalist, he goes around the police (headed by Echo's handler from Dollhouse).  But who was really behind the murder and why??? oooh that's the twisted tale!

Okay, okay - nice things first.  It appears they actually shot the movie in D.C.!  And guess what - you can't see the Capitol/Washington Monument/Lincoln Memorial from every window (I'm looking at you, Die Hard 4).  I was also VERY grateful that they did not force a romantic relationship between Rachael McAdams and Russell Crowe.  I also liked the "making the newspaper" montage - but then again, I love montages.

The movie starts out strong, setting you up with 3 murders, slowly giving us the clues to put it all together...and then for some reason it decides to tread water.  There is a intense sequence in a underground garage and then instead of using that momentum to take us to the end of the film, we get stuck with another 45 minutes of plodding. 

When I saw it was based on a BBC Miniseries, I should have known that a movie based on a miniSERIES was going to be too long. 

The actors all did a great job, the downfall of this movie was the editing.  Too much downtime, and after what should have been the climactic scene, things do not move quickly enough to wrap up the movie.  By that point, the audience is over it. 

2.5 out of 5 stars

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (lots watch for the plot // orangerful)
Legend of the Seeker is the show that Sam Raimi was born to make. 

I remember watching Hercules and Xena with my parents, and I liked them well enough.  There was a high cheese factor and I was never sucked into them as much as other shows, but they were fun.  I've always had a soft spot of the Evil Dead movies, with their mix of horror and goofiness.  And, of course, the action and adventure of the first Spider-man film is hard to deny. 

Legend of the Seeker takes all of those elements that Raimi is so good at directing and mixes them together in a story of high-fantasy.  If you ever watched "Lord of the Rings" and wished you could hang out in a magical world for longer than the 9 hours that all 3 movies run...well, you can now join the Seeker.

I'll should probably mention that I have not read any of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series.  I've never been able to read fantasy novels because the world building usually bores me to tears (though sometimes the movies will encourage me to read the books).  I like a lot of action and adventure and I want it NOW.  That's why Seeker is so great for me.  It has the action sequences of Hercules and Xena, the evolving plot of Spiderman and sometimes even the creepiness of Evil Dead.  Yes, sometimes it feels like half the stuff out of their mouths is "exposition exposition exposition" but I'd rather get it from episode to episode than all at once.

Some might say it is derivative of other fantasy stories.  To that I say - what isn't?  Seriously, everything is a take on the Arthurian/Tolkien/Lucas mythos that we all know and love.  At least, the good ones.  Seeker takes the classic fantasy story of the chosen hero and the evil villian and creates a very polished story. 

For those not familiar with the specifics - Richard Cypher is a normal farm boy out in the woods and he runs into a mysterious woman in white being attacked by soldiers.  Being all noble and such, he jumps into the fight to protect her.  What he doesn't know is she doesn't need his protection - she has her own magical powers.  She is a Confessor and has the power to suck away a persons free will and make them do her bidding.  Together they escape the guards and she tells him she's looking for the Seeker.  They go to visit the crazy old man in town who turns out to be (surprise!) a Wizard!   He rescued Richard back when a prophecy said he would grow up to kill the Evil Bad Guy Darken Rhal.  Now Richard must journey back to his home land and defeat Darken Rhal with the Sword of Truth.  (Seriously, if Rhal turns out to be Richard's father/brother/cousin/college roommate - I would not be surprised and I'd still love the show).

See?  He's Luke!  He's Arthur!  He's wandering around like Aragorn, hanging out with a Gandalfian Wizard (complete with kooky sense of humor). 

One of the things I really like about the show is Kahlan, the female lead, played by Bridget Regan.  Kahlan, the Confessor, is a very strong character.  Yes, there is a love story involved with her and Richard, but she is more than just his girlfriend.  When she ventures off into battle, you know she can take care of herself.  Usually she is the one saving Richard or coaching him on how to be a better Seeker.  It's nice to see a non-damsel in fantasy.  I get chills when she goes into battle with her twin daggers, her gorgeous dress twirling as she jumps and stabs a guy.  Awesome. 

I don't know why Jay La'gaia is on the poster - he's only in a few episodes.  Zed, the Wizard, should be on there but I guess he wasn't pretty enough. 

I am very impressed with this show.  It starts off slow, but after they get their footing and establish the characters a bit, it really gets going.  The stories are clever, the characters are likable, the battle scenes are awesome.  I'm only halfway through Season 1 and I was just so impressed I had to write this up.

and season 2 premieres next week. :D

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (bsg this is the end // orangerful)
So, if you're a fan of Battlestar Galactica, you know that the Cylons were created by man, they evolved, they rebelled, and then they came back and attempted to wipe out the human race.  At the start of each episode of Season 1 and Season 2, viewers are reminded of this fact and are assured that the Cylcons have a plan. 

Unfortunately, The Plan movie does little to shed light on the story you probably wanted to know more about - the final five and their origins.  Instead, what we get is the story of the Brothers Cavill, intercut with a collection of clips from various episodes from those early seasons. 

I felt like this was a big opportunity wasted.  What could have been a chance to delve deeper into the final five and their characters before the attack on Earth, is just a clip show.  First I was annoyed by the amount of clips in the show, then I quickly found myself LONGING for them because they were the only time anything actually happened.  And for the last half the show, I kept thinking "wow, I'd rather be rewatching these episodes rather than this mess".

There were glimmers of other ideas, of little things that could have made for a more interesting story, but since they seem determined to only show us moments that could be tied into clips from other episodes, we never got to find out more about the Cylons.  We were just stuck with Cavill. 

And, like the Caprica straight-to-dvd episode, the "un-aired footage" from The Plan will mostly consist of naked people.  Ellen Tigh drinks in a bar where the waitresses are topless, and we have a VERY random scene in the co-ed bathroom on board BSG with lots of man butt and side boob. 

For me, what makes the early seasons of BSG so great is their metaphor to what was going on in our society at the time.  The terrorist attacks, the fear, choosing sides etc..  This special takes the mystery out of so many of those moments and confuses things. 

I'm so happy we rented this and did not pay for it.  Like the Star Wars prequels or the 7th Harry Potter book, I had a better idea for what this special could have been, and seeing what they ended up creating leaves me very disappointed.  I will not be buying this on DVD for our collection because it does nothing for the story or the mythos of BSG. 

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

spoilery rants under here )
orangerful: (pigeon w books // orangerful)
It's very rare that I pick up an adult book, but I had heard rumblings about this book for awhile so I decided to give it a try.  All of the print copies were checked out of the library at the time, but the audiobook was available, so I took that.

I'm so glad I did.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is an involved mystery with a huge cast of characters.  The two main characters are Mikael Blomkvist - a journalist who has been found guilty of libel against a multimillionaire - and Lisbeth Salander - a slightly unstable young woman with a knack for finding information, even if it means breaking a few laws.  We spend about half of the book waiting to see what twist of fate will bring these two people together.  And once they team up, we spend the rest of the book wondering how they will solve this 40 year old crime.

I'll re-emphasize that this is an adult novel.  It's complex and has some very disturbing scenes and themes (let me put it this way - the original title in Swedish translates to "Men Who Hate Women").  The book is well written.  The characters full formed.  The story engrossing. 

Simon Vance reads the audiobook and I was blown away by his performance.  This book has a cast of probably 20 some characters and Vance manages to give them all their own unique voice.  Blomkvist sounds like a British Sam Spade; Lisbeth manages to sound like a girl and a bad ass at the same time; Henrik Vanger sounds like Richard Harris...I never found myself confused about who was speaking and my mind never wandered as I was sucked into this story of a reporter, a rich family, a delinquent woman, and a missing girl. 

5 out of 5 for the audiobook version - Fantastic story, AMAZING performance.

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

orangerful: (librarian moment // faeriesfolly)
Stitches: A Memoir
David Small
If the artwork on the cover of Stitches seems familiar to you, it's probably because you've seen David Small's illustrations in such classic children's picture books - like Imogene's Antlers.  But Stitches is not for kids...

Imagine you are 11 years old.  Imagine you go into the doctor's office, thinking you're just going to have a growth removed from your neck.  When you wake up, half of your vocal chords have been removed, along with your thyroid and the only sound you can make is a pathetic "Ack" noise. 

This happened to David Small when he was growing up, and this event, along with the general dysfunctional-ness of his family, is the story he tells us in Stitches, a memoir told in graphic novel format.

This format works perfectly for his story - The book opens with all the way the family "speaks" to each other without actually saying anything - his mother slams the cupboard doors shut in the kitchen while cleaning up, his brother bangs on his drum set - the images explain it all, text is unnecessary.

David is a shy child,  too shy speak up and the wordless panels reflect this solitude.  He lives in his head, with the cartoons he draws, the characters he reads about.  His main way of getting attention from family was to let himself get sick so his parents  would take care of him.  When the operation occurs and he loses the ability to speak, the wordless panels take on a sense of frustration because now there are so many things he wants to say.

The story of the operation is just a small part of Small's memoir, though this event effects the rest of his life.  Growing up in the 1950s, you just didn't talk about certain things, and the poor kid stumbles through life, discovering things at all the wrong times.

Small's art is simple and expressive.  It's as though he has been working all these years on children's books to hone his skill enough to create this book.  Considering what he has become today, the book is both disturbing and inspiring. 

5 out of 5 stars, best graphic novel I have read all year.

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com

July 2017

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