Sunday, September 14, 2008

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Movie: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Like/Don't Like: I guess I didn't like it much

There were a few things that would have, if I were a weaker person, pushed this into the like category. But most of it would boil down to Ciaran Hinds. I love him because he plays Captain Wentworth in the good adaptation of Persuasion. The one that did not have a kissing scene at the end that made me want to vomit. I know that it's completely irrational to like a movie because one person is in it but he just has such a nice way about him. I feel better with any movie that he's in.

But he couldn't save it. It was like a piece of cotton candy -- sweet but not very satisfying. There just wasn't enough to it to make me believe in it. And I think that again it boils down to Ciaran Hinds, and all the other fine actors in it. There just wasn't enough for them to do and in the end I was unimpressed with the whole thing.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters

Documentary: The King of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters
Like/Don't Like: My face almost exploded from the joy of watching it.

This pretty much was made for me. Because it combined several things that I love. 1.) Documentaries, 2.) the ridiculous, 3.) a good under-dog story and 4.) really bad hair. I mean REALLY bad hair. So bad that it's fabulous. So bad that at one point it showed this guy blow-drying his hair and I almost swooned. The picture doesn't even do it justice. You have to see it in motion. Like a wild horse's mane.

That guy is Billy Mitchell, the original world record holder of Donkey Kong. And he's a jerk. You will hate him at the end. But you will also love him because you couldn't create a character like this. He's everything you want in a geek/hot sauce mogul/egomaniacal video game lord, complete with sycophantic toadies and all wrapped up in black jeans and an American flag tie. You will be cheering for Steve Wiebe, who has been cheated out of the record by Billy Mitchell several times. He's a good guy that bad things have happened to and he just wants to do something great. And Donkey Kong is that something.

I never even dreamed that I would care about Donkey Kong or gamers but I'm telling you, by the end of the show you're going to be laughing and screaming and crying. There's drama and espionage (seriously) and real heart touching moments. And bonus, a video game tournament on Lake Winnepesaukee. I couldn't stop smiling through the whole thing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Solitaire Mystery

Book: The Solitaire Mystery
Author: Jostein Gaarder
Like/Don't Like: Liked

A few weeks ago an envelope appeared under my door mat (The ugly door mat that we have since gotten rid of now that the neighbor who gave it to us has moved. REJOICE!(for the door mat, not the neighbor moving.)) Inside was a nine of hearts card with some Norwegian written on it. Clearly Brett was involved, but what did it all mean. A few weeks later a Joker card showed up with more Norwegian and a Cinnabon gift card. Awesome. But still, I was very confused.

And then Brett came by with a book that held the answers. A book involving a sticky bun with a baker's personal history inside, soda that tastes like every flavor on earth, lots of goldfish, lots of philosophy, a boy and his dad on a European roadtrip to find his mom who is a supermodel working in Greece, and 53 midgets on a magical island.

Yep, that's right, midgets. And since this was translated from Norwegian there is no political correctness involved. Midgets everywhere!

I love getting books from friends. Not just Borders gift cards but actual books that they think I'll like that I would probably never pick out for myself. And I did like this one. It was kind of a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Neverending Story with a bunch of philosophy thrown in. And, on top of being a great adventure, it made me think - which is always a bonus.

My only problem was in the translation. I don't know Norwegian or how easily it translates but this one did not translate well. There were times when it seemed almost literal and that was distracting. But as far as the story goes it was fun to read.

And I'm not telling what the nine of hearts of the joker means. You'll have to read it to find out.