Tuesday, April 21, 2009

March 2009: Media Consumed

Books Read
The Confession of St. Patrick Translated by John Skinner
*The Argyle Sweater by Scott Hillburn
Watchmen and Philosophy Ed. by Mark D. White
A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth
Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup
# Twilight Zone: Walking Distance by Mark Kneece & et al.

* = collection of comic strips
# = graphic novel

Out of the books I read in March 2009, none were bad. They were in a variety of genres and I could recommend each of them for different reasons. However, for me the stand outs were A Little Bit Wicked and Slumdog Millionaire. I've recently become a fan of Kristin Chenoweth and when I heard she had a memoir coming out, I knew I would be reading it. It's a great read, even if you're not a fan, told in pretty much the same style that Kristin seems to talk and think. It's quite interesting and those who are interested in theatre, acting, and the entertainment business can probably learn a thing or to from the book. Of course, anyone who is a fan of Chenoweth will definitely want to read the book as well as those who just enjoy reading good memoirs.

Slumdog Millionaire was originally publised as Q & A, but with Danny Boyle's film last fall, the book was republished under the name of the movie. Like many movies, the book is better than the movie. The movie condensed many events, created new characters, and altered key plot points. The book is more complicated and complex. If you enjoyed the movie, you may or may not like the book, but if you didn't like the movie because you thought it was too tidy, you'll probably enjoy Slumdog Millionaire.

Movies Watched For the First Time
The Lather Effect
Dad's Day
The Librarian: Quest for the Spear
The Alphabet Killer
Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl
Escape to Witch Mountain
Return to Witch Mountain
Race to Witch Mountain
The Black Hole
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982)

*denotes a movie having seen previously more than ten years-ago.

I watched a lot of good movies last month. I really enjoyed Watchmen, though I was disappointed by the finale. Pinocchio is an animated classic that everyone should watch not just once in their life, but several times. Dad's Day was a fun little short movie a friend of the family made a few years ago. The Librarian: Quest for the Spear was actually filmed for TNT, but I enjoyed it. It's worth watching just to see Bob Hope in the first fight sequence of his entire career. I enjoyed Escape to Witch Mountain, found Return to Witch Mountain to be dreadful, and thought that Race to Witch Mountain was decent, but could have been much better (especially if it tied into the older two films more). I'm a big fan of Quasimodo and Hugo's I've seen several version, but this 1982 made-for-tv version is one of the best in terms of the characters and their motivations. It also has Anthony Hopkins how can make watching butter melt seem like poetry. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Freaks is a film on the National Film Registry. A lot of people have told me it's the most frightening movie they have ever seen. I didn't think it was frightening, just quirky, but also a much better film in spite of the unusual cast. It's a movie that all film fans have to see. Trainspotting is also another movie that film fans should watch. I've been meaning to watch it for years, but there wasn't a video store around that carried it. I finally found one. In all honesty, I thought the movie was just okay. However, it terms of filmmaking the movie is incredible. It was the picture that put Danny Boyle on the map as a director and gave Ewan McGregor his big break and made Hollywood take notice. Overall, an excellent month of movie-viewing.

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