Monday, December 25, 2006

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Alex's Idea List

Likes chocolate caramels and caramels;

Ireland walking/biking/garden tour;

one dog, two cats and a bird;

M&M's melted;

Zinnia;

red;

Pepsi;

chocolate

Janet's Idea List

Janet requests that in lieu of a gift, you make a donation in her name to one of the following places:

Community Harvest Food Bank
Salvation Army
Home Health Care and Hospice


card-making supplies
baking supplies
likes cats
cannot eat candy
drinks coffee (Hazelnut or Irish Crème) and tea (fruity flavors) with Splenda
likes antiques
has flow blue plates in kitchen
crayons, colored pens, gel pens, coloring books, colored paper, stencils
dried fruit
sugarless gum
shortbread
hand lotion


gift cards:
Fresh Market
Michael's
Herrington's
Country Kitchen

Sandy's Idea List

Sandy says: gift certificates to Von Maur!

gift cards:
Sundance catalog (www.sundancecatalog.com)
Von Maur
Fresh Market
Sarah Jane's Yarn Shoppe (North Anthony)
The Cameo (Illinois Rd - for hair and pedicures with Connie)
Eddie Bauer
Acacia catalog
McDonald's (Cokes)
Loaf N Ladle (muffins)
Birkenstock shoes (so a place that sells Birkenstocks)
Mike's Car Wash

likes People, Real Simple magazines

She's not into "stuff" but does like gourd items and birdhouses. She collects original Fiestaware. She likes Marjolein Bastien items from Hallmark. Homemade or DeBrand's caramels.

No earrings or necklaces. No wool, fragranced items, skincare items, or anything that could give her a rash!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Goodreads

my read shelf:
Sarai's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Check out my Goodreads account. Just search for me by name! (Yes, you must already have a Goodreads account.)

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Foreign

Amélie (Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) (2001)
review coming soon

Romance

Amélie (Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) (2001)
review coming soon

Emma (1996)
review coming soon

Foul Play (1978)
review coming soon

The Princess Bride (1987)

Romancing the Stone (1984)

When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
review coming soon

Holiday Films

A Christmas Story (1983)
review coming soon

Holiday Inn (1942)
review coming soon

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
review coming soon

Take Action!

Audubon
Audubon's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.

Care2's Petition Site
Browse thousands of online petitions on animal welfare, corporate accountability, worker's rights, labor rights, education, environment, wildlife, endangered species, global warming, climate change, water pollution, air pollution, alternative energy, solar power, health, human rights, civil rights, media accountability, arts funding, politics, spirituality and religion. Take action today.

Defenders of Wildlife
Welcome to the Wildlife Action Center. Here you can Take Action to Help Wildlife; Find Events Near You; Join the Wildlife Volunteer Corps; Become a Leader in Your Community; Start or Join a Discussion.

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation seeks to prevent pediatric HIV infection and to eradicate pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention and treatment programs.

The Humane Society of the United States
Your action is critical to protecting animals from inhumane treatment and cruelty and we want to make it easy for you to take action. Whether you are contacting your state or federal legislators, participating in one of our major campaigns, or sharing these alerts with your friends and family, you are making a difference for animals.

Ocean Conservancy
Join the Ocean Action Network and we'll send you action alerts by email so you can make a difference in the health and conservation of our ocean.

Save Our Environment
Welcome to the Save Our Environment Action Center -- a collaborative effort of the nation's most influential environmental advocacy organizations harnessing the power of the internet to increase public awareness and activism on today's most important environmental issues.

Sierra Club
The Club is America's oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, we are 1.3 million of your friends and neighbors, working together to protect our communities and the planet.

Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

The Wilderness Society
Since 1935, The Wilderness Society has led the conservation movement in wilderness protection, writing and passing the landmark Wilderness Act and winning lasting protection for 107 million acres of Wilderness, including 56 million acres of spectacular lands in Alaska, eight million acres of fragile desert lands in California and millions more throughout the nation. It is our calling and our passion to protect America’s wilderness, not as a relic of our nation’s past, but as a thriving ecological community that is central to life itself. To meet our goals, we use science and collaboration with communities and conservation groups to bring about sensible policies and positive change in land conservation. Above all, we work to protect wilderness and to inspire Americans to care for our wild places.

World Wildlife Fund
For more than 45 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The largest multinational conservation organization in the world, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's mission is the conservation of nature. Using the best available scientific knowledge and advancing that knowledge where we can, we work to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth and the health of ecological systems by protecting natural areas and wild populations of plants and animals, including endangered species; promoting sustainable approaches to the use of renewable natural resources; and promoting more efficient use of resources and energy and the maximum reduction of pollution. We are committed to reversing the degradation of our planet's natural environment and to building a future in which human needs are met in harmony with nature. We recognize the critical relevance of human numbers, poverty and consumption patterns to meeting these goals. By 2020 WWF will conserve 19 of the world's most important natural places and significantly change global markets to protect the future of nature.

Miscellaneous Charities

Care2's Race to Stop Violence Against Women
100% of the donations generated go to Amnesty International's programs to Stop Violence Against Women.

Fan Donation
How does it work? When you click a link, 2 things happen: 1) you hear music performed by the sponsoring artist; 2) a statistic is generated, upon which a sponsoring artist will make a donation. Charities rotate on a monthly basis and include Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program, The Alternative House, 52 Ways, Good Search, and Care2.

The Literacy Site
Partnering with First Book and Room to Read, the site makes books available to children around the world, giving many children their very first book. With the generous support of our sponsors, each click provides 1% of a book.

The Stop HIV Site
Your donation will be used to help HIV positive patients in every way. Your donation will go help treat HIV Positive patients and to further Research and Development of possible cures. That would mean laboratory funding for equipment and material and employment for promising scientist that could make a difference. It would also go to help fund campaigns about AIDS Awareness and educate people in taking precautions for its prevention.

Environment

Care2's Race for the Rainforest
Donations go to The Nature Conservancy.

Care2's Race to Stop Global Warming
Contributions are funded by sponsors who have agreed to pay to be featured on the Race. If during a period there are no paying sponsors, Care2 has guaranteed to make a donation of at least $1.70 for every 1000 clicks on the Race to offset racers' greenhouse gas emissions. No matter what, every time you click, (up to once per day) you will be offsetting one pound of CO2.

Ecology Fund
By clicking on the "Save Land" buttons you see the banner ads of our sponsors and advertisers who then pay for the purchase or protection of the amount of wilderness land indicated at the project selected. All money is paid by the sponsors, it costs you nothing to enable these contributions. Currently clicking for South American Rain Forest, Endangered Species, Canadian Wildlife, Nature Reserves in Scotland, Coastal habitat, Monarch Butterflies, United States Wilderness, Western U.S. Reserves, Reduce Pollution, and Planting American Chestnut Trees.

The Environment Site
All money goes to the Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Jogo Green
When you answer 10 questions correctly, we have enough advertising revenue to plant one tree through a fantastic organization called Trees for the Future(TFTF). TFTF provides technical knowledge on agroforestry and sustainable development, along with planting materials so that communities can return their degraded lands and struggling farms back to sustainable production.

Land Care Niagra
Every 5 clicks plants a tree to restore Niagara's fragmented forest ecosystem. As part of the Niagara Natural Heritage Corridor Program, these trees will help restore Niagara's ecosystems that provide clean air and water for all while providing much needed habitat for wildlife and endangered species.

The Rainforest Site
Land preservation, made possible by funds raised at The Rainforest Site, is paid for by site sponsors and carried out by The Nature Conservancy, The Rainforest Conservation Fund, The World Parks Endowment, and Rainforest2Reef. These organizations work to preserve rainforest land in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay and other locations worldwide. 100% of the funds generated through the GreaterGood Network pass through GreaterGood.org to our partner charities.

Red Jellyfish
Click once a day to feed chimps orphaned due to poaching, and habitat loss, and to save 5.25 square feet of lush rainforest. We are proud to support the Jane Goodall Institute, and Friends of Calukmul. They are two of the most effective wildlife conservation groups in the world. We are proud members of the Co-Op America Business Network and are Green E Certified.

Waste Site
One click supports BioNutraTech, Equaris Corporation, Nike, and others in helping to keep our country clean.

Cancer

The Breast Cancer Site
With a simple, daily click of the pink button at The Breast Cancer Site, visitors help provide mammograms to those in need. Visitors pay nothing. Mammograms are paid for by the site's sponsors and distributed by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Care2's Climb to Prevent Breast Cancer
Care2 donates 100% of its revenues from The Climb to the Breast Cancer Fund's cancer programs.

Craig Research Labs
Funds will be stipulated for research only -- it is our intent that this money be used for research to find a cure, and not for administrative purposes, public relations, or any other purpose. Please note that we have terminated our support for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center over differences relating to our "Cancer Walk USA" project. We are currently searching for a new cancer charity to support; stay tuned for our announcement. Any sponsorship revenue "Click to Cure Cancer" generates before then will be set aside for the new institution, so keep on clicking!

Hunger

Free Rice
Click on the right answer in the middle of this page. If you get it right, you get a harder question. If you get it wrong, you get an easier question. For each answer you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance...

Hunger Fighters
Hunger Fighters is a triple bottom line hunger fighting portal committed to fighting hunger of the whole person in earth-friendly ways.

The Hunger Site
The staple food funded by clicks at The Hunger Site is paid for by site sponsors and distributed to those in need by Mercy Corps and Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest). 100% of sponsor advertising fees goes to our charitable partners. Funds are split between these organizations and go to the aid of hungry people in over 74 countries, including those in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America.

Animals

The Animal Rescue Site
Each click on the purple "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Animal Rescue Site provides food and care for a rescued animal living in a shelter or sanctuary. Funding for food and care is paid by site sponsors and distributed to animals in need at The Fund for Animals' renowned animal sanctuaries (including Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas and The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Southern California), pet shelters supported by the Petfinder Foundation, North Shore Animal League, and other worthy animal care facilities supported by the GreaterGood.org foundation. 100% of sponsor advertising fees goes to our charitable partners.

Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue has a vision of no more big cats in cages, but a big vision requires a bigger committment. The Big Cat Lodge is an 8000 square foot building that we are planning to house corporate events, functions, school outreach programs, summer camps, a natural history museum and gift shop. It started out as only a dream, but thanks to the generosity of the following people and businesses it is starting to take shape.

Care2's Race for Pets in Need
100% of the donations generated go to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) program.

Care2's Race for the Baby Seals
100% of the donations generated go to International Fund for Animal Welfare's programs to protect baby harp seals.

Care2's Race for the Big Cats
Care2.com donates 100% of Race revenues to Wildlife Conservation Societys' big cat programs. In this Race, we are focusing on WCS programs in India (Tiger), Mongolia (Snow Leopard) and the Americas (Jaguars). The Race donations will help WCS improve and expand the system of protection and management of Big Cat habitat.

Care2's Race for the Primates
100% of the donations generated go to the Jane Goodall Institute's Primate protection programs.

Free Kibble
Mimi Ausland, a 12 year old girl from Bend, Oregon, wanted to help feed the hungry animals at her local animal shelter. In addition to providing free kibble to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, we've added 10 new shelters to the program (from Oregon to Florida!) and plan to expand the program to many more!

Free Kibble Kat
Mimi Ausland, a 12 year old girl from Bend, Oregon, wanted to help feed the hungry animals at her local animal shelter. In addition to providing free kibble to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, we've added 10 new shelters to the program (from Oregon to Florida!) and plan to expand the program to many more!

Red Jellyfish
Click once a day to feed chimps orphaned due to poaching, and habitat loss, and to save 5.25 square feet of lush rainforest. We are proud to support the Jane Goodall Institute, and Friends of Calukmul. They are two of the most effective wildlife conservation groups in the world. We are proud members of the Co-Op America Business Network and are Green E Certified.

Edith's BI - Keeping Your Car Clean

Edith gave me a wonderful tip that I had to share. She keeps a container of unscented baby wipes in her car and at stop lights or waiting for trains she takes out a wipe and cleans the dashboard, steering wheel, etc. Helps keep the car looking nice and clean and keeps down the dust that can build up.

I got a pack of unscented baby wipes for my car and wiped down the dash and it was amazing the amount of yuck that came away on the cloth. I also used it to wipe doggy nose prints off the window, and it did streak but it looked better than doggy nose prints. :) Thanks, Edie!

Children's Charities

Care2's Race for Children in Need
100% of the donations generated go to support needy children through Children International.

The Child Health Site
The majority of this funding goes to The Child Health Site's charity partners, who use the funds to distribute vitamin A, strengthening young immune systems and improving resistance to disease. Vitamin A supplementation also prevents as many as 400,000 cases of childhood blindness each year; administer oral re-hydration formula to children with severe dehydration, a serious killer of children under five worldwide; make a prosthesis (usually a foot or a leg) to enable child amputees to walk and lead active lives; restore lost eyesight through simple surgeries that reverse blindness caused by cataracts and trachoma; test pregnant mothers for HIV as a step toward preventing mother-to-child transmission of the AIDS virus. Funding from the site helps an average of more than 1,000 children every day.

Tarahumara Children's Hospital Fund
Clicking on the banner results in one minute of health care provided by our generous advertisers.

Simon's Cat 'Let Me In'

Simon's Cat 'Cat Man Do'

Simon's Cat 'TV Dinner'

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Galaxy Quest (1999)

Star Trek

Star Wars: Episode VI - A New Hope (1977)
review coming soon

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
review coming soon

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
review coming soon

Sarai's Faves

The Bourne Identity (2002)

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
review coming soon

Emma (1996)
review coming soon

Foul Play (1978)
review coming soon

Galaxy Quest (1999)

The Princess Bride (1987)

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Star Trek (2009)

Star Wars: Episode VI - A New Hope (1977)
review coming soon

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
review coming soon

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
review coming soon

When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
review coming soon

Musical

Chicago (2002)
review coming soon

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
review coming soon

Holiday Inn (1942)
review coming soon

Moulin Rouge! (2001)
review coming soon

West Side Story (1961)
review coming soon

Suspense/Thriller

The Bourne Identity (2002)

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
review coming soon

Foul Play (1978)
review coming soon

Internal Affairs (1990)
review coming soon

No Country for Old Men
I debated over putting this in the drama category - my blog, my categories - but I really think suspense outweighs pure drama here.

Notorious (1946)
review coming soon

Se7en (1995)
review coming soon

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
review coming soon

Transsiberian

Drama

The Bounty (1984)
review coming soon

Charlie Wilson's War

Doubt (2008)
review coming soon

Frost/Nixon

The Godfather (1972)
review coming soon

Goodfellas (1990)
review coming soon

Munich (2005)
review coming soon

Set It Off (1996)
review coming soon

Slumdog Millionaire

Comedy

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
review coming soon

Best in Show (2000)
review coming soon

Galaxy Quest (1999)

The Ghost Breakers (1940)
review coming soon

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

The Princess Bride (1987)

Tropic Thunder

When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
review coming soon

Animated

Coraline 3D

Tale of Despereaux

Up!

Action/Adventure

Dark Knight

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Iron Man

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing The Stone


Romancing The Stone

Joan Wilder is a humdrum woman who lives through writing romance novels. Her sister is the daring one, and when she is kidnapped and held for ransom in South America, Joan must go to save her. Along the way, Joan meets Jack T. Colton, seemingly a hero straight from one of her books - but does he truly want to help her find her sister, or is he only interested in the treasure at the end of the map she is supposed to be bringing her sister's kidnappers?

This movie won a Golden Globe for Kathleen Turner and as best motion picture (comedy/musical) for 1985. It does show the evolution of Joan from timid author to confident woman, but it's also got lots of adventure and fun going for it. Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas have sparks galore, the storyline is solid, the romance is believable, the characters are layered. This is just a fun, fun film with lots of humor, sexiness, and wit.


First seen: 1986?

The Princess Bride


The Princess Bride

This is one of the best movies of all time.

Starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Andre the Giant, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal, Wallace Shawn, Peter Cook, Peter Falk, and Fred Savage, this movie has everything - true love, danger, adventure, laughs, cleverness, sword fights, and a happy ending. If you have been living under a rock and have not yet seen this movie, you should go out right now and watch it.

Based on the book by William Goldman, which is also worth a read.


First seen: in the theatre, September 1987

Galaxy Quest


Galaxy Quest

Okay, this stars Sigourney Weaver, Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, and Tony Shalhoub, so right off the bat you know it has the potential to be terrific. And it is.

I watch this movie all the time and I always find something new to laugh at - facial expressions, lines I've missed before because I was laughing, all sorts of stuff. Oh, man, this is a great movie.

Here's the general premise - the cast of a once-popular television show about a space traveling crew, a la Star Trek, are doing electronics store grand openings and geek conventions when the "captain" is asked by a group of real aliens to help them save their people by surrendering to a galactic bad guy. Jason figures out he was really in space and asks the others to come back with him. They think he's talking about an acting gig and agree only to find themselves running from the evil Sarris, meeting alien races, and, yeah, saving the world.

I can never figure out who is my favorite character, but Sam Rockwell is hysterical as Guy, afraid he is destined to be the generic crew member who gets killed on the alien planet, or killed back on the ship when everyone else goes to the planet, or killed saving the good guys from the bad guys. Tony Shalhoub is cool and calm when everyone else is falling apart. And Alan Rickman - have I ever mentioned that I just adore Alan Rickman? - excels as a Shakespearean actor doomed to be remembered as an alien with gills on his head. Fabulous.

I have to give thanks to my friend Mike, who convinced me to watch this DVD one time when I was dog-sitting for him. :)


First watched: 2000

Bourne Supremacy


Bourne Supremacy

I think this is my favorite of the Bourne movies so far. LOVE the car chase scenes. Really kept me on the edge of my seat! Hated that Marie got killed, but I honestly never expected her to make it through the first movie and I appreciated the fact that they didn't have him immediately go out and find a new female. As in the first, great fight scenes, and I love Joan Allen as a frustrated, cool CIA agent trying to find Jason Bourne, the man she believes is responsible for the murder of fellow agents. Loved Karl Urban as a Russian assassin and their final car chase was AMAZING, my all-time favorite car chase ever. Loved the return of characters played by the same actors as the first movie, especially Nicky (who I always thought should be with Jason, but you know I have to insert a romance novel into anything).


First seen in theatre July 2004

Bourne Identity


Bourne Identity

This is the first of the Bourne movies starring Matt Damon. Jason Bourne is discovered at sea and can't remember who he is or how he got there. He has a few clues - a bank account number that leads him to a lock box with fake passports, money, and a weapon. He can fight, he's always checking out the space around him. He hires Marie, a gypsy at heart, to drive him through Europe. Marie is attracted to his aura of danger and the vulnerability of the lost little boy inside. With lots of cool fight scenes and some really nifty car chases, this is one of my favorite thrillers. I love the way Matt Damon interprets the character of Jason Bourne, especially the way they have set up the fight scenes, the way he checks a map before he goes anywhere, the way he shows that his skills are automatic and ingrained rather than thought out. Action-packed fun!


First seen in theatre June 2002

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day


Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Director: Bharat Nalluri

Starring: Frances McDorman, Amy Adams, Ciaran Hinds, Shirley Henderson

Miss Pettigrew can't keep a job as a nanny and finds herself the unsuspecting social secretary to singer Delysia, who wants to be an actress. Will Delysia go to America with her handsome piano player, who loves her, or stay where it's emotionally "safe" with playboy Nick? And will Miss Pettigrew be discovered as a fraud?

Set during WWII, and taking place over 24 hours, Miss Pettigrew is a charming movie with likeable characters, good writing, good acting, and excellent costumes and props. A very enjoyable diversion! :)


First seen: in theatre, May (?) 2008

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!
by Jane Austen (Author), Seth Grahame-Smith (Author)

From Bookmarks Magazine
It’s difficult to tell if critics’ reactions to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies should be characterized as praise or astonishment. Some reviewers treated the book as a delightful gimmick. Others found that, beneath the surface, the book actually constituted an interesting way of looking at Austen’s novel. Zombies answer certain puzzling questions: Why were those troops stationed near Hertfordshire? Why did Charlotte Lucas actually marry Mr. Collins? (She had recently been bitten by zombies and wanted a husband who could be counted on to behead her—of course!) But critics also pointed out that this parody shows that Austen’s novel has remained so powerful over time that even the undead can’t spoil it.

I really wanted to be amused by this story. Alas, I was not. It was the Austen text with a paragraph here about zombies, a sentence there about fighting zombies. I would have much rather just read the Austen novel in its original form, truth be told. I did not finish the book. I kept waiting for the funny stuff to get there, but it just wasn't happening.


First read: June 2009

Tropic Thunder


Tropic Thunder
Director: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte

Actors get sent into the jungle to train for a film and end up facing real dangers they think are part of the acting job.

This movie is totally worth it for Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of an Australian actor playing an African American. There are "previews" at the beginning of the film of each of the actors' work and Robert Downey Jr.'s is this forbidden monk love thing with Tobey Maguire that had Kevin and I in hysterics. I think just about everything we laughed at in this film had to do with Robert Downey Jr. He's fabulously funny. We also loved the bridge thing at the end and found the film as a whole to be funny, though I think we were the only people in the theatre who were laughing and my mom didn't even watch the whole movie because she couldn't get into it. So see it for Robert Downey Jr.


First seen: in theatre, August 2008

Iron Man


Iron Man
Director: Jon Favreau
Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow

Rich man finds purpose, becomes superhero with nifty gadgets.

Mom and I saw this movie together and agreed that it was a perfect movie for teenage boys. Lots of action, not a lot of thinking. But we like Robert Downey Jr., so we had a good time.


First seen: in theatre, May 2008

Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf

Do. Not. Waste. Your. Time.

Oh, did I forget to review the plot? Essentially the same plot as the previous installments, except instead of a religious artifact we have alien invasion. Bad special effects. Poor writing. Really lame lame alien thing. Sooooooooooooo disappointing. I wanted to enjoy it, I really did. But it sucked. Bigtime.


First seen: in theatre, May 2008

No Country For Old Men


No Country For Old Men
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

A guy finds some dead drug dealers and a bunch of money and decides to keep the money for himself. Oops. Bad guy wants the money. Let the hunt begin.

Javier Bardem is the creepiest, scariest bad guy ever ever ever. Holy smokes. If nothing else, see the movie just to let him give you chills. It's a bit on the violent side, but the acting is terrific all the way around. Thumbs up.


First seen: in theatre, December 2007

Transsiberian


Transsiberian
Director: Brad Anderson
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley, Kate Mara, Eduardo Noriega

A husband and wife go on a train trip through Russia and find their fates intermingled with a mysterious couple and a police inspector.

I can't give any more plot description than that, unfortunately. This is a movie you need to watch from beginning to end or risk missing something important, and then you should watch it again to appreciate the full effect of it. This is a true thriller that starts out like the train that takes such precedence in the film - slow and steady and gaining speed until the very last stop. It's got some surprises along the way, too, and I love it when a movie surprises me. :)


First seen: on video, November 2008

Charlie Wilson's War


Charlie Wilson's War
Director: Mike Nichols
Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman

From IMDB: A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

This is a decent film. I enjoy Tom Hanks, though I don't think this is his best film. Not a huge Julia Roberts' fan, but she's all right. It's a movie worth seeing, enjoyable enough.


First seen: on video, January 2009

Dark Knight


Dark Knight
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman

Batman fights the Joker and other bad guys.

I saw this twice in the theatre. The first time was at the drive-in, so the sound was not, shall we say, optimal. But I would have seen it a second time anyway because it's a really good film. Very dark, lots of themes and undercurrents, terrific acting (and I don't just mean the deceased Heath Ledger, whose performance will not be fairly judged until a few more years have passed, though I do think he did a fine job and had some crackling good moments).

Bravo to Aaron Eckhart, who first came to my attention as one of the creepy guys in In the Company of Men (a fantastic film, if you've never seen it - written and first performed in Fort Wayne as a play at IPFW when I was a student there and too stupid to go see it live). Bravo to Maggie Gyllenhaal, who turned a blah written role into an interesting character. And of course I love Christian Bale, dark and moody and reluctant.

Thumbs up. Great action, wonderful darkness, very driven and bitter.


First seen: July 2008
Second seen: August 2008

Mysteries

Curtain, by Agatha Christie (a Hercule Poirot mystery)

The Body Farm, by Patricia Cornwell

Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye (Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 1), by Victoria Laurie

Better Read Than Dead (Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 2), by Victoria Laurie

A Vision of Murder (A Psychic Eye Mystery, Book 3), by Victoria Laurie

Killer Insight (Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 4), by Victoria Laurie

Crime Seen (Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 5), by Victoria Laurie

Death Perception (Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 6), by Victoria Laurie

The Harper's Quine: A Gil Cunningham Murder Mystery, by Pat McIntosh

Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, Book 1), by Elizabeth Peters

The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, Book 2), by Elizabeth Peters

A Rare Benedictine, by Ellis Peters

A Morbid Taste for Bones: The First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters

One Corpse Too Many: The Second Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters

Monk's Hood: The Third Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters

St. Peter's Fair: The Fourth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters

Leper of Saint Giles: The Fifth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters

The Virgin in the Ice: The Sixth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters

Sanctuary Sparrow: The Seventh Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters

The Devil's Novice: The Eighth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, by Ellis Peters