Mar 27, 2012
I have a serious weakness for novels (and movies for that matter) set in England between or during WWI and WWII. I'm a bit fascinated with all they dealt with. So I thought I would love The Postmistress. Given the plot of following three women during WWII (only one in England, the other two in the US) and all the buzz this book got, it should have been a shoe in.
Instead I finished it wondering what anyone ever saw in it. The author begins by making a big deal about wondering what would happen if a postmistress didn't deliver the mail - how lives could be changed. That plot point is nothing in this book. It makes absolutely no difference.
The characters are pretty unrelatable. The connection of one to the two others is pretty unbelievable. It's just a weak story on a pointless premise. Gar! 2/10.
Mar 26, 2012
The Parking Lot Movie is about a pay lot worked by all kinds of bored college students. It is a quirky fun little documentary that so much reminded me of the crew my husband worked with at a pizza joint back when we were first dating. The things they do to alleviate boredom are excellent. 7/10.
Mar 25, 2012
Mar 17, 2012
Mar 16, 2012
Blood, Bones & Butter is a memoir by a chef with an interesting background. Hamilton's childhood and marriage are laid out for the reader, and she makes no effort to show herself in a favorable light. I was impressed with the author's forthrightness, but I confess that I wish the book had more restaurant and cooking stories and less weird marriage tales. I don't think that it should have been different though - just maybe that the marketing of this book wasn't quite right. Or maybe I just didn't pay the right kind of attention. 5/10.
Mar 14, 2012
Two chapters into The Damned, I tossed the book down in annoyance. I had heard it described as The Breakfast Club set in hell. Interesting, right? The narration is so horrible though that I couldn't see making it all the way through. The tone and affects of the teenage protaganist was hugely awful. Tossed aside. 1/10.
Mar 11, 2012
The Chances of the World Changing may be one of the dreamiest documentaries that I have seen. It tells the tale of a man trying to save endangered turtles by collecting breeding groups - despite the drain on his finances and social life. His struggles are pretty amazing but the real show-stoppers for me are the long shots of turtles. The various turtles are so amazing-looking. I think I could have watched an hour and a half of just that. 6/10.
Mar 10, 2012
50/50 brings together an actor I really appreciate (Gordon-Levitt) with an actor I can find a bit grating (Rogen). They kind of work together.
It follows a pair of friends as one of them undergoes cancer treatment. It's funny at times but also (Unexpectedly because of the presence of Rogen) dark and sad at others. The parents in this film made the biggest impression on me. The romance bit fell flat for me. The anger at facing cancer felt the most real, and I wish some of the other bits had been trimmed away. 5/10.
Mar 8, 2012
"Once, headed uptown on the 9 train, I noticed a sign posted by the Metropolitan Transit Authority advising subway riders who might become ill in the train. The sign asked that the suddenly infirm inform another passenger or get out at the next stop and approach the stationmaster. Do not, repeat, do not pull the emergency brake, the sign said, as this will only delay aid. Which was all very logical, but for the following proclamation at the bottom of the sign, something along the lines of, “If you are sick, you will not be left alone.” This strikes me as not only kind, not only comforting, but the very epitome of civilization, good government, i.e., the the crux of the societal impulse. Banding together, pooling our taxes, not just making trains, not just making trains that move underground, not just making trains that move underground with surprising efficiency at a fair price—but posting on said trains a notification of such surprising compassion and thoughtfulness. I found myself scanning the faces of my fellow passengers, hoping for fainting, obvious fevers, at the very least a sneeze so that I might offer a tissue." - Sarah Vowell