The Fault in Our Stars… or Tears

I’ve been sitting on my bed for two days now, my left leg propped up on two pillows, recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Yesterday, I decided that, since I have two weeks off of work, it’s prime time to burn through a fraction of the stack of books I have sitting on my shelf waiting to be discovered. image

My best friend recommended The Fault in Our Stars by John Green some time ago and I bought that along with Looking for Alaska about a month ago.
I began The Fault in Our Stars yesterday afternoon, and while it was a relatively easy read, I had to put it down before the final 100 pages, What the hell had I gotten myself into? I had teared up twice before I put it down and about four more times when I finished it today.

My gods, what a roller coaster of pain, sadness, depression, grief, and beauty. It’s clearly a modern tragedy written in a style to appease and relate to the modern teenager, but it was still a decent read, and getting me to shed a tear is a big deal.

But it’s one of those books that you need to prepare yourself to be depressed after, just warning you.

Green is an excellent author, though. I’m debating on whether or not to delve into Looking for Alaska now or go for a fantasy novel to give myself a break from tireless teenage-type emotions.

I wouldn’t call The Fault in Our Stars a masterpiece or genius by any means, really. The thing that it does is really understand the struggle with grief and the struggle with consciousness and reality.

I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but if you want to put yourself through some hard times and come out on the other side less damaged than Gabriel  Garcia Marquez and Jose Saramago would leave you then go for it!

I don’t see how they’ll make it into a movie though, the majority of the story is Hazel’s thoughts, not the action of the plot that would be portrayed on screen, good luck Hollywood.

The Guide’s the thing!

This morning I finished reading The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy for the first time. I know, I’m a little late with this one, like most books I read. I grew up with immigrant parents who didn’t read much so I didn’t get exposed to the usual books as a kid. 

Anyways, this is also the first book I’ve read having seen the movie first. Before this I refused to read a book if I’d seen the movie first because I felt that it would ruin my appreciation for the book and my own vision of places and characters. It was definitely difficult to imagine the characters as they were written and not as I had seen them. Also, the movie version of the novel that I’ve seen (and love) is the most recent version. The plot of the novel and the plot of the movie are quite different. I kept expecting certain things and reading something different… it was a little unsettling.

But, all in all I really liked the novel. Adam’s style of writing is delightful and humorous. I definitely have some favourite passages. I do very much enjoy the whale coming to terms with his very short life, and God disappearing in a puff of logic.

Anyways, if you haven’t already read it and want a short, fun read I suggest The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Now, my next quest will be to find the rest of the series, used and in hardcover! Used-Bookstore Prowler away!

Ruby Sparks: Utterly Enchanting

So here I am, sitting at home on the Sunday night of the long weekend, not quite in the right mind set to write. So I go drifting around the recently added page on Netflix and I come across a movie called Ruby Sparks starring Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. Not the most intriguing of titles by any means, but I lazily run my curser over the image to see what it’s about. The description reads:

To overcome his writer’s block and his romantic frustrations, a young novelist writes about his dream girl — and is stunned when she comes to life.

I generally love movies about writers and authors and all that. Of course, this is very cliched and stereotypical of me, but hey I’m not perfect. And writers, let’s be honest sometime it is our fondest wish that one of the characters we love that we’ve written would come to life and sweep us off our feet.

The movie filled my heart with joy and amazement, then decided to beat it up some and once it had finished smacking me around a little, torn my heart from my chest and shattered it into a million pieces. I absolutely hated the main character Calvin by the near end of things. But then, in the last five minutes of the movie Calvin redeemed himself and put my heart back together one tiny shard at a time.

This movie was phenomenal. I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend you watch it.

I Wish I Hadn’t Seen You

**Please note: Spoilers ahead.

The other night I went out with Cindy-Lou and we saw Now You See Me. I was excited to see it because a few of my co-workers had told me it lived up to the trailer.

I was not pleased. I had such high hopes for this movie with such a star-studded cast. The first, oh about 40 minutes were interesting, intriguing, and exhilarating. There was a fantastic build-up, but it ended in an absolute anti-climax. I was disappointed.

There was a good twist in the plot, but they heavy handedly added in a random love story that had nothing to do with the plot.

The concept of the movie was great, a mystery trick created by an unknown magician for four random street performers. I even bought into the whole “Eye” secret society. But the end… their last spectacular trick was basically to change into fake money and disappear. Then, then they just magically disappear into an old carousel and that’s it? No explanation except that the whole elaborate show was to avenge the man’s father and that got them into a secret society? Weak, so weak. If it had ended with no real secret society, that the man was just avenging his father and using the faith of these four magicians to do so… now that would have been a better ending. But, I’m guessing hollywood wanted us to sympathize with the man. PAH!

The script feels as if it was good at one point, then either a re-write or a massive edit after filming screwed the pooch and turned this movie with so much potential into a big flop.

It’s not horrible and if you go see it you’ll enjoy the first bit, but honestly don’t waste your money.

The Silver Screen

Last night I was exhausted. But I still wanted to watch something charming and witty. So I poured myself a glass of red wine, broke off a piece of Ghirardelli Cabernet and blackberry dark chocolate, and sat down to watch The Shop Around the Corner (1940).

I don’t know what it is about old movies, but they seem so much more simple, thought out, and methodical. They have a purpose and the dialogue is always thought out. It’s not like the majority of today’s scripts where the dialogue is just word fodder between explosions and computer graphics. Very few movies today have substance or a human connection. Entertainment is just, well, a distraction.

Now, I’m not ignorant or that starry eyed. I know that not all old movies are good and that a lot of the dialogue is not always as clever. But there’s a certain amount of effort in old movies that just doesn’t happen today. They had to rely on dialogue and actors and emotions because they couldn’t fall back on special effects or car chases.

I had never seen The Shop Around the Corner before last night. I knew that it was what You’ve Got Mail was based on, but I had no idea how closely. Being a big sucker for cute movies like You’ve Got Mail because i do indeed have ovaries, I loved The Shop Around the Corner.


The dialogue was clever and you actually had to pay attention to the jokes, a movies that made you actually use your brain and have to pay attention! I haven’t had one of those in a while. The acting was superb and the storyline was raw and really and at times heartbreaking. It was beautiful and I absolutely loved it. You’ve Got Mail can now step down from my favourites because it’s being replaced by its original.

I will, most likely, get back into my old movie phase and only watch the silver screen again. Some of my favourites include: Arsenic and Old Lace, Some Like It Hot, Roman Holiday, and Sabrina. If you have any suggestions for me place tell me!

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Not as Crood as they claim to be.

Being a responsible, fully-grown adult I went to go see The Croods yesterday afternoon. I even bought a kids combo complete with collector’s cup with the sloth topper.

215px-The_Croods_posterThe Croods while fun and entertaining was not a Dreamworks best seller. I’m starting to think they peaked with Sherk and never really hit another break until How to Train Your Dragon. But, kudos for trying anyways Dreamworks.

The Croods is basically all about a father not understanding his teenage daughter and his daughter not knowing how to deal with that. Oh jeez, it’s like most families with teenage daughters can relate or something.

It’s a cute story with laughs along the way, and one scene that brings a tear to your eye until they redeem themselves and save the day and you remember that no one dies in a kid’s movie.

I thought it was clever that they took the cavemen and in the end made them into nomads. Yay for evolution. Although, their portrayal of domesticating animals was much too unrealistic. I’m sorry, but even a child should question why the giant scary predator who was trying to eat the family moments prior is now their pet. It’s like when Dino never ate the Flintstones, he was clearly a carnivore. Even as I child I wondered about that.

Another thing that bothered me is that the cavewomen had no body hair. Come on Dreamworks, I know that society has told us for many years now that hairy women are unattractive, but they’re cavewomen! The only hairy one was the dad. Even the young male stranger was pretty hairless. I would like just a little accuracy, please.

Either way, I wouldn’t write The Croods off as a never-see movie, but I wouldn’t go see it in theatres. It’s more of a we’re-at-home-and-want-to-watch-something-cute kind of night. I wouldn’t give it a second viewing. My main reason for wanting to see it in the first place was that Emma Stone lent her voice to the teenage cavewoman Eep.

Gave me the warm fuzzies

Just got home from a friendly outing to go see Warm Bodies.

Being a big fan of The Walking Dead, I thought this movie would be a fun and humorous alternative to the intense, drama-filled, edge-of-your-seat, zombies I’m used to seeing. Basically I was hoping for another Zombieland style movie.warm-bodies-poster

Unfortunately, this movie is pointed a little more at the Twihard tweens than the classic zombie lover. But I didn’t hate it, in fact I enjoyed it. It was, well the best way to describe it would be, precious.

Warm Bodies is on par with that little kid you know, that acts a little bit older than his age and tries to be funny, and when he does succeed it’s pretty great. But all you want to do to this kid is pat him on the head and tell him how adorably precious he is.

Warm Bodies explored the awkwardness of youth today through a zombie. I can related, trying to get a date in your twenties without being some suave conversationalist always has awkward moments. I think this is what makes the movie likeable, we can all relate to those awkward moments when you like someone and can’t stop staring or some such other thing.

Anyways, I’d recommend Warm Bodies for a one time look see, but I’m not going to run off and watch it over and over.