Tag Archives: filmspotting

Books and Movies – Love ’em!

Before the midnight showing of Harry Potter pt 2

I ended up going to a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2, with no regrets.  Marissa and I watched Pt. 1 on PPV at home (without popcorn) and then went to the theatre!  We arrived around 10:45 and the there were a lot of people there in costumes and I don’t know how many theatres were actually sold out.  The one we were in was already 2/3 full by the time we got there.  It was exciting to be there with all of the other “giddy” people, to hear the applause throughout the movie – even before the movie started – and to watch the final book come to life.  There were differences, of course, but there was also word-for-word sameness in a lot of dialogue.  Good stuff.

The books are more amazing, of course, but the movies add to the experience.  One of my favorite podcasts, Filmspotting, reviewed the movie after reading ZERO of the books (or even seeing all of the movies), so they had tons of questions, although they gave the movie pretty good reviews.  Marissa hadn’t read any books beyond the first and enjoyed the movies on their own.

So now what?  Other book-related movies are coming out soon.

  • “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” is in theatres now (7/15) but I don’t see it showing up in Rochester for a while… I will keep my eyes peeled for that one.  I had that one on audio but lost it somewhere (probably on my dead iPod) so I downloaded a digital version from the library (MobiPocket Reader anyone??? Yikes… another program downloaded to read books) but also requested a paperback – and today I got an email that it was ready and waiting!  Yay!  I’ll dig in tonight!
  • “The Help” comes out on August 10 – and it looks so good!  What a fun book to read and discuss.  It will be a book club event to see that together!
  • “One Day” comes out August 19.  (July 15 was the ONE DAY featured in the book!  Should have acknowledged it!)  I look forward to seeing that book on the screen.  I enjoyed reading it – mostly – although the ending didn’t sit right with me.  😦
  • “Jane Eyre” hasn’t made it to Rochester yet – meaning it won’t?  It was released in April, so that’s probably a good bet.  I have it in my Netflix queue but there’s no release date there yet.  Sigh.  I read that book in anticipation of the movie.  I’m glad I caught up with a classic and I know there are multiple versions of the movie that I can pick fromI
  • “Sarah’s Key” was made into a movie!  The book about the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup in 1942 in France was another sad Holocaust story, telling about another unknown-to-me piece of history.  Kristin Scott Thomas stars and it might be French, as the title is listed as “Sarah’s Key (Elle s’appelait Sarah)”.  Releases 7/22!
  • I heard that “Austenland” is being made into a movie starring Keri Russel.  I liked that book, so that’s pretty fun.  Gotta love all things Austen!
There’s the “movie news” portion of the blog – ha!  Just so much good stuff coming up, I guess.  Lots of good material to choose from!
Speaking of book club events, we had book club this afternoon.  I got there late – around 2pm – and we discussed our book (“Olive Kitteredge”) very little!  No one loved the book, although a few of us thought it was good enough.  It’s really short stories about small town life with the character of Olive showing up, being featured, or simply being mentioned somehow in each one.  So the plot and story-line was not easy to follow and the characters were many and difficult to remember.
But oh, did we laugh about other stuff!  Suddenly it was 5:10 and we wondered if we were staying for supper!  Good stories and catch-up time.  Who knows what we’ll do next, but it may be just a movie date along with dinnertime discussion of “Heaven is For Real,” since many had read it already and really wanted to discuss it when done.
Well, I can’t wait to dig in to “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.”  What are you excited to read?  What movies are you excited to see?
Off to read!

Podcasts I Have Loved…

The logo used by Apple to represent Podcasting
Image via Wikipedia

Sarah asked me to post about some of my favorite podcasts and I love to oblige requests!  🙂

I don’t know when I started listening to podcasts – probably sometime after the purchase of my first iPod in 2005.  As I blogged about before, I am an avid audiobook listener and so listening to the radio is not how I like to pass my time in the car.  I am not opposed to music – maybe sometime I’ll blog about my music listening habits – but I am purposeful about what I listen to and the radio can be too random and unsatisfying.

Probably the very first podcast I ever listened to was The Satellite Sisters.  I used to try to listen to their radio show whenever I was in range (which wasn’t often at all – a few times a year?) and I loved their book and blog, so when they started putting their radio show on podcasts, I signed up immediately.  It was a three hour radio show, condensed down to an hour forty or so and it was bliss!  It was a little overwhelming, as it was a daily show (6 days a week) and my commute was only an hour a day, but I did the best I could.  Then the sad news that their show was going to be off the air came and I was very sad!  But they continued to create a podcast, not as many hours long and not daily, and that appeased me for a while.  In the years past, they stopped making a regular podcast and got regular jobs but now they just started again – making one weekly podcast with different sisters appearing when they can.  So when there is a new Satellite Sisters podcast, that gets high priority in my listening queue.  They just archived over 200 shows onto their website and iTunes, so if you want to hear what I’m talking about, there’s lots of material to choose from!

Lian (the youngest) branched off on her own and has created The Chaos Chroniclesblog and podcast and that is a close second for my listening pleasure.  She wrote a book, “Helen of Pasadena,” and I drove to Edina to meet her and get signed copies of the book. They are a remarkable family and my friends know that I think of them as friends.  I will often bring them into the conversation (e.g., “Well, you know Liz?  She’s my Satellite Sister in CA, and she just got back from Iraq!” or “You should hear Julie’s sobering tales from North Korea!” or “Julie told the funniest story about a man who wanted her dog’s tennis ball!” or “Sheila just reviewed that movie and it was hilarious!”).  Good stuff.

Me with Lian Dolan, author of "Helen of Pasadena"

So the Satellite Sisters probably got me started on podcast listening but I have branched out!  Others that I listen to weekly are:

  • Filmspotting:  A weekly movie review podcast featuring Adam Kempenaar and Matty Ballgame.  They discuss one or two current movies, play Massacre Theatre (wherein they massacre a scene from a movie and you enter online to guess the film), discuss listener’s picks, and close with a Top 5.  They are funny and can be pretentious but it’s a good listen.  Matty is from Minnesota and Adam is from Iowa and they record in Chicago.  Good stuff.
  • The Moth Podcast: True stories told live.  There is almost nothing better than a great story told aloud, especially in front of a live audience.  Another thing I love about The Moth Podcast is that the stories are usually just over 15 minutes long, so you can listen to one in those weird times when you don’t have much time.  Or you can crank out a bunch of them in an hour.  They are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes raunchy, but always good.
  • Spilled Milk: Sarah and I read “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg and then I discovered her blog and followed her podcast with Matthew Amster-Burton, another food writer.  They are HILARIOUS!  Their show is also usually about 15-20 minutes at most and they talk about one thing.  Their last show was about RICE.  And before that it was about MEAT STICKS.  They include recipes and are very fun to listen to.
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour: I’m new to this one but find it absolutely fun!  It’s about an hour a week, published on Friday, and about pop culture!  It’s four or five people sitting around talking about TV, movies, comics, Broadway, music… whatever pop culture is relevant for the week!  They end the show with “what’s making them happy this week,” which is a great way to end a show.  I now follow them all on Twitter (not stalkerish at all!) and they are all very fun on there, too!
  • NPR: Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!: A radio show that I usually miss on the weekends so I’m thankful for their podcast!  Funny, clever, show.
  • This American Life: A topical radio program, also often missed on the radio!  Thankful for the podcast and love the themes of the show!  I love themes!
  • Radiolab: I’m fairly new to this one and truthfully don’t listen regularly, but it’s a bit like This American Life, in that it’s topical stories, but with a focus on sounds.  They are clever and creative and good to listen to.
  • APM: Marketplace Tech Report: This is a short little podcast – 5-6 minutes daily – and I listen now and then, but truthfully started downloading it because of the host – John Moe.  A very sad podcast day for me was the day that Weekend America with host John Moe went off the air.  How I miss that show!  I follow him on twitter (@johnmoe) and he’s hilarious.  He now lives in St. Paul and I really miss that show.  It’s fun just to hear his voice in the Marketplace Tech Report and feel nostalgic for Weekend America.  🙂

That’s it for my regular listening and my favorites.  For a while this winter I listened to Lori & Julia from Talk 107 in the Cities, and it’s very fluffy.  I listen to the smart Pop Culture Happy Hour instead and so have dropped that from my list.  I know there are so many out there… smart, funny, fluffy, pretentious and boring!  But this is my list and I’m open to new ones if you have something fun to add!

Whew!  Off to read!