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 Rotten Tomatoes. The book photos link to either Goodreads or Amazon.
I was home sick with the stomach flu this week (eww). Only advantage? No guilt at vegging out in front of movies I’d either usually pass on due to limited time, or movies I’d love to watch over and over again. Yesterday, Keanu Reeves seemed to be the hero du jour, so two reviews coming up. . . First, let me say I’m a huge fan of Keanu. His characters portray a perfect balance of manly “studliness” and sensitive imperfection (okay, not ALL his characters, but a lot of them). I don’t know if he’s a great actor with a limited range, or a so-so actor with a scrumptious personality that comes across on the screen, but either way, I’m always entertained by his movies.
Worth it (maybe)
Hell wants him. Heaven won’t take him. Earth needs him.
An ordinary man with an extraordinary gift must save the planet from evil in this action-packed fantasy. Unknown to most people, the world is crowded with spirits both good and evil who walk among us in human guise. One of the few who can see these spirits is John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), but the responsibility of his vision is more than he can stand, and he tries to kill himself. Saved from death, Constantine must now atone for his actions by acting as a guardian in the middle ground between Paradise and Hell.
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton, Djimon Hounsou, Shia LaBeouf, Pruit Taylor Vince
Dark. Disturbing. Campy. This is a Catholic-infused version of demons and angels, heaven and hell. Bad is really bad. Avoid hell at all costs because you’ll be in agony for eternity. Yet, ‘good’ doesn’t really get a say, either as ‘good’ seems to have a hands-off approach. Constantine is based off of a comic-book series of the name Hellblazer, not a surprise as the film has a rich, almost literary quality. If you like this type of genre (comic-book-turned-movie), Constantine is better than most (Captain America, Batman), not as good as some (Batman Begins).
A side note, I kept thinking that these demons were not the sexy demons I like to read about in my romance novels. When will someone do a movie with a demon as a sexy hero???
Fun facts: The “Spear of Destiny” prop is the same one used in Hellboy, another comic-book-turned-movie released around the same time as Constantine.
A young cop must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.
Bomber terrorist’s elevator plan backfires, so he rigs a bomb to a LA city bus. The stipulation is: once armed, the bus must stay above 50 mph to keep from exploding. Also if LAPD Officer tries to unload any passengers off, Payne will detonate it.
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels, Dennis Hopper, Joe Morton
Love this movie! High adrenaline, little gore, just a right amount of disturbing. The chemistry between Keanu and Sandra is so much fun. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you do. If you have, watch it again — it only gets better with age.
Fun fact: Joe Morton is one of my favorite characters in the Sci-Fi Channel show Eureka. Joss Whedon (Avengers, Buffy, Firefly, Angel, etc., etc.) rewrote the script uncredited. Apparently Whedon wrote most of the dialogue.
Six unemployed steel workers, inspired by the Chippendale’s dancers, form a male striptease act. The women cheer them on to go for “the full monty” – total nudity.
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, Paul Barber, Steve Huison, William Snape
Maybe I read too much into the film, or maybe it was the fever effecting my synapses (watched it while sick), but I was very touched by this movie. I felt it gave me insight into the male brain–the male existence of defining ones self by job and the ability to provide for family. It was also a movie of old and new friendships, finding confidence, and having the guts to redefine what it means to BE. And if I got all that from the movie while only understanding about 60% of the dialect, you know it’s got to be a good movie!
Fun facts: Robert Carlyle plays Rumpelstiltskin on ABC’s Once Upon A Time.
UNDER A VAMPIRE MOON (Argeneau #16)
by Lynsay Sands
Escaping a horrible marriage, Carolyn Connor has no desire to think about men–a vow she’s determined to keep while on vacation in St. Lucia. She’ll take the Caribbean sun and sea and plenty of tropical drinks with those cute umbrellas poolside, thank you. She absolutely does not need male company, no matter how tan and rock-hard his body may be.
This is a fun read, especially since the heroine is a 42 year-old woman, exiting a horrible marriage and learning that she is desirable and love-worthy. For the genre it’s average. If you’ve never read the genre, it’s not the best introduction as some of the plot twists seemed thrown in as a ‘just because’. The first books of this series are much, much better as they reveal details of this world of ‘vampires’ in tantalizing morsels.