Ever wonder if a book or movie was worth your time and money? Below are my thoughts and mini-mini-reviews on the entertainment I’ve consumed in the prior week. Let me know if you agree/disagree! Note: The movie photos link to the International Movie DataBase. The book photos link to either Goodreads or Amazon.
Now that my daughter is in that in-between age (too old for kids’ movies, too young to realize that adults are just overgrown kids), I don’t see many movies targeted for younger folk. I’d tried to get her to see Rango with me, but she refused. I finally gave up and rented it the other night while she was at Grandma’s house. What a delightful movie! I’d heard it was good, but I was blown-away by the quirky humor and detailed animation.
Fun facts: 1) Bean, the female character acted by Isla Fisher, went through several ‘redesigns’–a scar added here, a gap in her teeth added there. She went from too ugly to too pretty and then finally settled somewhere in between. 2) Many of the scenes were acted out by Johnny, et al., and then the movie-magic makers used the recorded footage to help them while creating the scenes. 3) Notice that Rango doesn’t have eyebrows? The wrinkels around his eyes were manipulated to express emotions (fear, excitement, pride, etc.). The true model of Rango? A chameleon at the Academy of Science in San Francisco. (I’ve seen that chameleon! It’s the cutest reptile ever!)
Hunger Games (2012)
I am a huge fan of the books by Suzanne Collins. My brother bought The Hunger Games for my daughter–but he wouldn’t give it to her until he’d finished reading it! Luckily for him he finished that evening. That book was devoured by everyone in the family. High expectations, to say the least. The movie, directed by Gary Ross, staring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, was fantastic. Nothing essential was cut from the book (big relief). What I liked most about the movie was that it kept the feeling of the novel, but emphasized the horrific ‘game-show’ quality that Capitol residents adored. Read the book. See the movie. In that order.
Fun Facts: 1) Suzanne Collins (author of the books) wrote the script. 2) All three main characters are contracted for the entire trilogy. 3) Most of the clothes (even when in District 12) were made my hand. For the extras, some were made by hand and some were bought at vintage (read, used) clothing stores.
Rum Diary (2011)
So sad, but I can’t give this one a pass. I’m a Johnny Depp fan (aren’t we all?) and he was very good. In fact, all actors were fantastic. Excellent characters, in every sense of the word. My favorite was the psychotic reporter who was so far drunk and high that death would be his only way out of his misery. And misery was the underlying theme of the movie–misery of being a failure, misery of poverty, misery of serving money rather than a conscious. And it’s for this reason that I’m giving it a NWI. With all that misery, the movie could have been powerful social commentary. Instead, it focused too much on the egos of the characters.
Fun facts: 1) The movie is based on the same titled book by Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. 2) It was filmed completely in Puerto Rico. 3) The director, Bruce Robinson, is a recovering alcoholic who couldn’t pass up the Puerto Rican rum. But there is a Happy Ending here–since finishing the movie, he has sobered up.
Demon Possession (2011)
I really loved this book. It takes place in space, so you’d think it was a sci-fi story. However, the characters are demons, faeries and pirates, so it’s more of a fantasy than sci-fi. It also happens to be a very h-o-t romance. I read it in a day (thank the gods I was on vacation) and look forward to reading the next in the series.
BTW–the name of the book does NOT reflect the content. Yes, the main male character is a demon and the main female character’s heart becomes ‘possessed’ but the story has nothing to do with possession.
His Angel (2012)
Yowzers on the cover! And yowzers on the content, too. This is an erotic short about a woman who experiments with elements of the BDSM lifestyle. Lucky for her, she’s found the perfect dominant and a positive, love-centered relationship is the result. Of course, there are bumps along the way. Hope I haven’t ruined the ending for you? 😉 It is absolutely worth the time and money, especially if you’re curious as to what the attraction of a dominant/submissive relationship in the bedroom. Or in the living room.