May 28, 2008

Organizing My Brain Day

I've had several different unrelated items on my mind that I've wanted to blog about, so it's time to just lay it all out for you - for what it's worth. MOVIE REVIEW - Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Jeff and I decided to go to the movies yesterday, since school was in session and it was a weekday afternoon -- it was like having the movie theatre to ourselves (I counted 8 people in the movie when we arrived). I'm not a big Indiana Jones buff nor a big adventure movie fan, but it was a movie I knew we would enjoy (I'm not going to get Jeff to go to a chic flic or a light comedy). Neither of us had read any reviews of the movie, nor knew what the storyline was going to be before we went in, and for some reason we both expected Harrison Ford to make a minimal appearance just to introduce the newest "Indiana Jones Jr". We were pleasantly surprised that Ford was the main character throughout the movie. However, I do think it was apparent Harrison Ford AND Steven Spielberg had both aged and perhaps were past their "peak". The first 30 minutes of Ford's acting was horrible -- he said lines like he was reading them off a cue card for the first time. I don't generally notice these things, but this was SO obvious it hurt to watch it. And Spielberg didn't fare much better, in my opinion. There were some serious editting flaws in the movie. For example, immediately after a scene where comatose-like Oz is sitting in the tent with Henry Jr and Karen Allen, in the next scene in front of the tent, you can see in the tent and see Oz adjusting his costume. This is followed by a scene of Allen and Henry Jr helping Oz stand up and walk out of the tent, followed by a scene of a soldier ordering Allen and Henry Jr (now sitting down in the tent again) to stand up and take Oz out. Bizarre that these kind of flaws get through on a big budget Spielberg film. Despite the flaws, we both enjoyed the movie. The plot was easy enough to follow (though honestly, a bit bizarre and not as Indiana-Jones-ish as I'd have liked), Cate Blanchett did a stunning job of acting, and there was enough humor to give you a break from the non-stop action sequences at the last third of the movie. Scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 7.5. BOOK REVIEW - BRIGHT SHINY MORNING by James Frey
It's no secret that I'm a long-time James Frey fan. Before he was O-famous, he and I emailed several times, and I'm privileged to have an autographed copy of A Million Little Pieces. I was excited when I learned he was coming out with a new novel, and pre-ordered it months ahead on
I knew I wasn't going to read another Little Pieces story, but having read the editor's description of the book before ordering, I wasn't sure what I was going to read. And now I know that the editor probably had a hard time describing this book because it is so unique that it almost defies description. Just like A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard, Bright Shiny Morning pulls you into its pages and won't let you go even after you've read every word. Frey does an excellent job in building characters you truly feel like you know, though you also come to understand you probably wouldn't even glance at them if you walked by them on the street, with the exception of the world famous actor. He tells many stories in this book - and though the characters of each story aren't connected, he manages to connect them through his ability to make you care about each individual. He uses the history of Los Angeles almost like "rest areas" between these stories -- he bounces back and forth between scenarios and characters and just when you can't wait to learn what happens next, he throws in new characters in smaller vignettes that have nothing to do with what you've already read, but just gives you more and more to savor and contemplate. Now I understand why his publishing house had such a difficult time describing this book. It sounds SO complicated and fractured, but trust me, it's not. It is a totally unique piece of fiction and another Frey masterpiece. It is probably unlike anything you've ever read before, and certainly unlike any of the ho-hum out-of-new-ideas-but-still-a-bestselling-author titles currently on the bestseller list. This book is currently #52 on Amazon's list, but it's definitely #1 on mine. Buy this book. I believe you'll probably still be able to buy a 1st Edition, 1st printing copy. Read it. Savor it. Then put it away. At some point in time James Frey is going to gain the acceptance and recognition from the literary world that he so deserves, and you're going to have a collector's item on your hands. Trust me on this one. The O-crap may have made him temporarily famous, but his unique writing style and storytelling are going to make him a Pulitzer Prize winner at some point. It's just a matter of time. PRODUCT REVIEWS - Products I'm loving at the moment:
DiGiorno's Faccaccia bread pizza & DiGiorno's Garlic bread pizza -When I have Brayden for my two days of babysitting, I like to have something fast and easy to cook when he leaves at 5:30. Once a week, we have one of these pizzas. I've never liked frozen pizza, until now!

Mr. Clean magic eraser - If you own white sneakers that aren't so white anymore, these Magic Erasers are truly miracle erasers! They work on SO many surfaces and even get magic marker off laminate. Worth every penny, but get a coupon here.

Scrubbing Bubble Automatic Shower Cleaner - I'm not big on new-fangled gadgets, but had a coupon and a sale that enabled me to buy two of these for $5.00 each. Normally, I clean my bathroom tiles once a month , but no more tile cleaning for me! These push-button cleaners actually WORK and keep the tiles clean all the time. Initially, the sprayer didn't quite reach the back wall of my bathtub/shower area, but they've since come out with a dual-sprayer that works much better. (I actually complained about the back wall cleaning, and got two coupons for FREE shower cleaners, so upgraded to the new dual cleaner.)

There, my brain is unloaded and I can go about my day free of bloggie things to write about... until the next one comes along!

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