More movie talk…

In 1998 Reed Hastings founded Netflix, the lar...
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Last night I watched “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” on Netflix.  I am disappointed that it didn’t come to the theatre in Rochester, making it the only one I didn’t get to see on the big screen.  I went to Dana’s house to watch it on his big screen, since I usually watch instantly viewed netflix on my computer – a small screen.  The movie was 2.5 hours, but it really flew by.  Of course, it was the same general story as the book, with the omission of TONS, but I think it did a good job of telling the complicated story that the books are made of.  It is still baffling to me how much I liked these books and movies, as violence and intrigue aren’t my usual fare, either in books or movies.  The books made my list of “important things in my life in 2010,” so that’s saying something.

Today I watched “The Wrestler,” or maybe I should say I finished watching it.  I had it on Netflix a while ago and the DVD was scratched or something and I couldn’t finish watching it, so I recorded it and watched the second hour.  Now I can say that’s done.  🙂

My current Netflix DVD is “I Am Love,” which I know very little about.  It might be foreign and it might not be.  It isn’t up for any Oscars but it was up for some Golden Globes, I believe.  I’ll let you know what I think!

What about you? Have you seen anything good lately?

I think I figured it out!

Wow, this wasn’t as hard or as easy (!) as I thought it would be!  The poll was created but I thought it would be on the side, not in a post.  So I had to read a few ‘help’ blogs.  Maybe you can have an “everlasting” poll, but it appears that polls belong in posts.

So I hope to get some feedback from you!
And, off to clean!  I’ll write about “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” movie later.

Oscar Nominations

James Franco at the premiere of Spiderman 3 in...
James Franco - co-host of the Oscars and nominee

I heard them this week but didn’t absorb them fully.  I realize, as I look at the list right now, that I have seen 8 out of the 10 nominations!  I’m pretty amazed!  Some years I don’t come this close by half!  So, it will be a fun to watch the Oscar’s this year – although I always think it’s fun to watch!  I don’t know if I will see the two movies that I haven’t seen, but you never know.  This could be the year!

Below is the list – with a few comments by me:


“Black Swan” – I saw this with Marissa.  She really wanted to see it, I really did not.  I liked it; I thought Natalie Portman was amazing; I felt the suspense.  I figured out early on ***SPOILER ALERT*** that this wasn’t a stalker movie and the relationship she had with her mother was unhealthy (to put it mildly).

“The Fighter” – I haven’t seen this one.  I listened to a review and it might be something I rent (ala “The Wrestler”) but I probably won’t go to the theatres for this.  I hear Christian Bale is magnificent and that Mark Wahlberg’s character is meek and not magnificent.

“Inception”- I saw this at Marissa’s recommendation.  I liked it a LOT more than I thought I would and felt truly mind-bended when it was done!  I didn’t think it was too confusing and was amazed by the special effects of the dream layers.  Wow.

“The Kids Are All Right”- I really enjoyed this, especially because I am a HUGE Mark Ruffalo fan!  Wow, he is great.  I liked the family dynamics and relationships and thought it was great.  I saw it a while ago and it’s available on DVD so I’ll probably re-watch soon.  It’s worth it.  🙂

“The King’s Speech”- I saw this last weekend, and loved it!  I love Colin Firth, so it’s always easy to watch him on screen, even though sometimes it was painful to watch him in this, as he did a great job playing the Duke with a stutter.  I liked the relationship between the two men, the relationship the Duke and Duchess had, and even the sweet relationship (although briefly shown) he had with his daughters.  I hope that the Duke was as sweet as he was portrayed.

“127 Hours”- The second movie on this list that I haven’t seen.  It is playing at the “theatre near me” again, but I really don’t know if I need to see it.  I heard that there is a scene that is horrific to watch and maybe I’ll do that someday in my own home, when I can walk out of the room, but maybe not.  James Franco isn’t one of the men that I love (yet), unlike the men mentioned above, so I don’t feel the need to see this.  We’ll see!

“The Social Network”- I really liked this, too.  It is smart, fast, witty, and interesting.  I am looking forward to seeing it again and I know I will enjoy it as much!  The dialogue is smart and fun and I would love to take it in again.

“Toy Story 3”- I saw this with Marissa and Gracie in Des Moines on Father’s Day.  It was great.  I laughed.  I cried.  I wore the 3D glasses.  The Toy Story franchise in my mind is wrapped up with Dana’s kids.  I took Gunnar to see these and have watched all the kids play with every variation of Buzz and Woody available.  The characters are loved.  So when I watch Andy grow up and give away his toys, it made me sentimental for how quickly those kids in our family are growing up.  They did a good job, and it was a good ending to the trilogy.

“True Grit” – I just saw this last night and I’m really glad I did!  I did have to look away a few times, but I enjoyed the story, the characters, the music, and the setting.  The girl was amazing – such an educated girl on a mission.  Jeff Bridges was amazing – I loved him as Bad Blake in “Crazy Heart” last year and thought he was amazing as Rooster Cogburn.  Matt Damon was a blast – what an interesting character he got to play!  Last night when we got home I noticed that the original “True Grit” was playing on amc and my dad (John Wayne Lover) said that he didn’t ever watch this original movie because of Glen Campbell playing LaBoeuf.  I watched a minute, and I can see why.  But I loved Damon’s portrayal of that man.  Just a little on the creepy side. 🙂

“Winter’s Bone”  – I rented this and watched it last weekend.  I thought the girl was amazing and was saddened by the poverty and meth culture that was shown.  It wasn’t fun to watch but a good movie.

Well – HUGE post!  I’m not sure I would have an easy time picking one movie to win BEST PICTURE, because I did like all of them that I saw!  Let me know what you think of the nominees!  Have you seen the ones I haven’t?  Did you like the ones you have seen?

And I usually end with “Off to Read,” but I think I have to end this one with GOTTA CLEAN!  🙂
Happy Saturday!

A Little Tutorial!

Image by Dimitri N. via Flickr

Wow, tonight I was reading about blogging and snazzing up blogs.  How fun!  I went back and edited two posts but won’t do all of them, I promise. But from here on out, expect great things!  HA!

They say one way to get more participation is through polls, so I might have to do some of that.  Maybe that will be the February challenge.  A poll every week!

Well, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about wordpress, but now I’m gonna crawl in!

Off to read!

Two book club meetings in one week!

Cover of "The Virgin of Small Plains"
Cover of The Virgin of Small Plains

That’s a good week!

Tonight Sarah and I (the Rochester branch of the Walkie Talkies) did some mall walking and discussed not one, but TWO books!  We met a little later than initially planned so that Sarah could finish “The Virgin of Small Plains” by Nancy Pickard.  That was the book that I had to start over because in my reading / falling asleep habit caused me to lose  my spot a few times and about half way through I wondered why the author was so cryptic in her releasing of details!  When I started over I realized that I skipped about 8 chapters!  The book had short chapters, but still!  But when I got into it I couldn’t put it down and stayed up later than I should have one night to finish.  We had a good discussion about the big secrets in a little community, the victims of the secrets, and whether or not there were real miracles performed.

Then we discussed “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana (I think).  We finished the book a little while ago, and the overwhelming feeling was how unbelievable it is that we can continue to learn about new horrors that occurred during WWII.  You think that it couldn’t possibly get any worse – and you learn about something new.  We also discussed a country owning up to its injustices and the shame felt by not doing enough.  And those people who risk their lives to help strangers.  Wow.

So lots of walkie and lots of talkie!  Next on our agenda is “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman and “One Day” by David Nicholls.  Yeah!

Something I’d like to figure out how to do is to import images into the blog without downloading them to my computer and then uploading them to this site.  Maybe that’s not a big deal, but it seems like there should be an easier way.  So, another time.

Off to read!


Helen of Troy by Evelyn de Morgan (1898, Londo...
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Book club tonight was great, as always.  But I hate when weeks pass between finishing a book and book club!  And I didn’t get around to skimming or looking for discussion questions.  I get fuzzy on the details!  Merrit?  Who is that?  Phillip? Are you sure?  No, it’s Patrick – nubby sweater guy!  Ah… thank goodness we all know each other well enough that we can laugh at ourselves and not worry about impressing each other.  And of course, the food was yummy.  Nancy hosted and thought since Helen frequented a taco place we’d have tacos.  Good call.  Lovely margarita the perfect thing after a busy whirlwind day.

Thursday night will be Walkie Talkie night… I think we’re talking about Sarah’s Key?  The Virgin of Small Plains?  Maybe The Magicians?  I’m on disc 10 out of 14… will not quite finish by Thursday I think.  MUST GET ANOTHER AUDIO BOOK RESERVED!  Don’t want to listen to something stupid out of desperation.

I thought of a bunch more books to add to Sarah’s list.  But I didn’t write them down so now I’ll have to go back to find them.  I joined a Goodreads group and I’m getting idea after idea!  Yikes! So …

Off to read!

2011 Book Ideas

Here is a list that Sarah compiled for possible book club books.  She owns most of them or wants to read them.  Our plan for the next few weeks is:
1) Walk and discuss “Sarah’s Key” and “The Magicians” (by Lev Grossman)
2) “The Virgin of Small Plains” by Nancy Pickard and that book that Jess loaned Sarah and I reserved at the library OR Meg Wolitzer’s book OR “The House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”

And then we’ll figure out the order of the below…

“The Art of Racing in the Rain”
“The Glad of Small Things” (A.Roy)
“The Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” (D. Eggers)
“The Magicians” (Lev Grossman)
“Half Broke Horses” (J. Walls)
“A Reliable Wife” (R. Goolrick)
“Lark and Termite” (Jayne Ann Phillips)
“The Poisonwood Bible” (Barbara Kingsolver)
“The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” (D. Wroblewski)
“The Unbearable Lightness of Scones” (Alexander McCall Smith)
“Plain Truth” (Jodi Picoult)
“The Hummingbird’s Daughter” (Lus Alberto Urrea)
“White Tiger” (A. Adiga)
“The Virgin of Small Plains” (N. Pickard)
“The Little Giants of Aberdeen County”
“The Women” (T.C. Boyle)
“The Inheritance of Loss” (Kiran Desai)
“Brooklyn” (C. Toibin)
“Prayers for Sale” (Sandra Dallas)
“Home Safe” (Elizabeth Berg)
“Back when We Were Grown Ups” (Anne Tyler)
“The Book Thief” (Zubak)
“House Rules” (Jodi Picoult)
“A Softer Place to Land”
“The Wives of Henry Oades”
“Hunger Games” (Series)
“Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”
“The Red Leather Diary”
“The Latehomecomer”
” The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Others on my TBR list include:

“What is the What” (Eggers)
“The Center of Everything” (Moriarty)
the one about “Major Pettrigrew”
the one about “Ceecee Honeycut”


and I’ll edit and add more later… It’s late!
Off to read!

Bloggiesta 2011!

All right, it’s Bloggiesta time!  I don’t think of myself as a true book blogger, but I think of my blogging as a way of talking about the books I’ve read not in a review format.  I use goodreads to keep track of the books and my ratings of them, and I am thankful for that site!  I think of this blog as a way for the book club or anyone interested to talk about the books we’re reading, what we want to read, and when we’re going to read them.   I’d also love to hear about your favorite book or writing blogs!

I learned about Bloggiesta from Bookwork with a View blog.  Through Mari’s site I clicked through to Maw Books and learned more about Bloggiesta – as well as discovered a WHOLE BIG LIST OF MORE BOOK BLOGS!  Yikes!  I guess it’s a nice thing to do on a cold weekend in January.  Find more favorites to add to my daily check and maybe organize this blog better in the meantime!

One thing I’m not very good at is tagging or categorizing posts on here.  I’m also not good at adding media to posts to make them more interesting.  So, a list of things to do would include:

1) organize the categories and tags
2) figure out other tools available in wordpress and use more of them!

Well, all this talk of fiesta-ing makes me crave a margarita!  Might have to do something about that!  And then…

Off to read!
Happy Bloggiesta!