Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Star Trek Movie Casting Update

They've cast young Spock (read article here) It's Zachary Quinto (Sylar) from Heroes. Leonard Nimoy is also coming back to be in the movie in some capacity. William Shatner MAY be back at this point. They still have not cast young Kirk yet, but I read in some articles that Matt Damon has said he is too old to play Kirk. I am glad as I thought he was too old too! :-)

What do you think of the casting? I think Quinto looks a lot like Nimoy, and hopefully he'll be able to portray Spock as well or at least almost as well as Nimoy.

Peony in Love by Lisa See

I've been out of town for my brother's wedding so I'm a bit behind on my blog and reading list. I actually finished Peony in Love last week.

This book was set in 17th century China and told the story of Peony, a girl obsessed with the Peony Pavilion opera and with the chance to have a say in her own destiny. SPOILERS - Peony falls in love with a young man see meets in her father's garden. Her mother suspects something and locks her in her room. Peony becomes obsessed with writing commentary about the opera as well as poems, stops eating and slowly wastes away and dies. She spends the next two-thirds of the book as a ghost watching her one true love.

While it was interesting to read about the Chinese beliefs about death and the afterworld, I thought it took away from the novel to have the heroine dead. It was sad that it was the only way she could control her life, but several key plot points that I think were supposed to be surprises I had figured out right away. I liked the last chapter that explained the history in the book a lot, maybe that should have been a foreword.

Peony in Love is actually the second book I've read this year by Lisa See. The other novel was Snowflower and the Secret Fan. I vastly preferred Snowflower and the Secret Fan as reading about two best-friends and their relationship was much preferable to reading about a ghost. Alice Sebold was able to make the ghost narrator work in The Lovely Bones, but it didn't work as well as it could of in this book. I recommend reading Snowflower and the Secret Fan rather than Peony in Love.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

It was with much excitement that I received Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the mail on Saturday. I started reading the series back in 1999 during my senior year at Michigan Tech. It was a busy and stressful year, but Harry Potter was so enthralling that I somehow always found time to take out a book and escape into a fantastical new world. I remember Corinna finding me in the windows in the DOW reading Harry when I should have been doing homework on numerous occasions. It was fun sharing the books with friends like Corinna and Phil so we could discuss the newest adventures of Harry.

It's hard to believe that was eight years ago and that the adventures are finally coming to an end. I finished reading the book at lunch today. It would have been sooner if I could have stayed home on the couch all day Saturday to read. Too bad work, chores, and social activities get in the way! There were many tears shed throughout the reading of this book, but I must admit, it was the most enthralling book of them all. The best part of the book is how J.K. Rowling shows that she had everything planned from the beginning with numerous story lines from all of the other novels finding their penultimate conclusion in this novel.

I'm not going to post a plot summary or how I felt about the end as I don't want to have spoilers for those who haven't read it yet. I know I didn't want to know how it ended until I read it myself! All I'm going to say is that it was for me, the best book out of a truly fantastic series of books. If you want to chat with me about the book if you've read it already, send me an email!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


More than meets the eye - TRANSFORMERS! That's about all I remember of Transformers from the 1980's and that all of the boys were obsessed with them. I was happily playing with my She-Ra Princess of Power and Cabbage Patch Doll. Ben on the other hand was a boy obessed with transformers back in the day so he was biting at the bit to see the movie. We got to go on our second "date" since Kile was born a year and a half ago and we chose Transformers as our movie to see on Saturday night.

Transformers was actually a pretty good movie. It had lots of action and plenty of humor. As Ben said, it didn't take itself too seriously. The overall movie storyline was about the Autobots (good) and Decepticons (bad) transformers and the war that they have waged through the centuries. The war has now come to earth. The opening of the movie was pretty cool and scary with a rogue helicopter flying into a US airbase in the Middle East. The helicopter transforms and starts destroying a base. One team of marines is able to escape. The story mostly focused on Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf), an average team in California who is buying his first car. The Camero that he buys happens to be Bumblebee, a transformer that has been sent to protect him. Sam's Great-Great Grandfather was a an explorer and made an important discover in the artic circle that has to do with the Transformers. Sam has some key items left from the exploration and the transformers want them!

The action at the end of the movie was slightly confusing to me as I didn't know who was blowing up who, there was a lot going on, perhaps too much. Ben was slightly confused too and he actually knows who all of the transformers are and their names so it wasn't just me!

I thought the product placement throughtout the movie was very amusing - all cars were GMs and Hasbro had a part of course with all of the transformers (a little girl is seen carrying a "My Little Pony" which is also a Hasbro product). The movie also seemed a good recruiting tool for the military.

Overall it was a good, enjoyable movie. I recommend to my sci-fi friends. If you can't accept the concept of robots transforming into cars, this movie is probably not for you!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber

The Book of Air and Shadows is my Kewaunee Library book club book for the month of August. The best thing about this book is it's nice title.

The book started off with an intriguing enough premise - it tells the story of a "hidden treasure," which in this case is a hidden previously unknown Shakespeare manuscript written entirely in his hand. Through three different narrators we learn the tale. This book is billed as the "thinking man's" Da Vinci Code, but I found it far inferior to The Da Vinci Code.

First of all, this book started out with one of the worst opening chapters I have ever read. It was disjointed and almost incoherent at times. As the narrations started, I found myself liking Crosetti (a book store employee that dreams of becoming a director) and Bracegridle (a 17th century adventurer that was involved with a plot to spy on Shakespeare to see if he was a "Papist."). I intensely disliked Mishkin, who was also the narrator of the first chapter. For at least the first quarter of the book, Miskin talks about his sexual conquests and sadness about how he has the perfect wife, but can't be faithful. I am no prude (I love romance novels), but I really didn't care for the details, especially when they are boring. It did not advance the plot at all and made me intensely dislike the "hero." The only thing that kept me reading it was that it was a book club pick.

The action picked up after the first 100 or 150 pages, and I might have then given the book a fairly good review if it wouldn't have had a trainwreck of an ending. The ending was very unsatisfactory. It was very rushed (after being so slow and boring at the beginning, it seems like Gruber could have taken the time to write a decent ending!) and very implausible. I was very disappointed.

On a positive note, some of the 2nd tier characters were great. I especially liked Mary Peg, Crosetti's mother and also the romance between Carolyn and Crosetti. If Gruber would have based the story on Crosetti as the hero, left out Miskin, and had a better beginning and end, it could have been a good novel.

Also note to Gruber, I realize you are a writer and not a mathematician, but you should check some of your numbers. You talk about how Mishkin is millionare rich from being a lawyer, yet you say he bills out at $75/hr and works 2000 hours a year. This would make him earn $150,000 per year if he doesn't have to give any of his billing to his law firm. He pays $50,ooo if it a year for a private car and driver and $28,500 per year per kid for two kids to attend private school. This would leave him with only $43,000 / year to pay for his expensive New York City loft, let alone taxes, etc. Don't give figures if you haven't checked them - it just looks sloppy, especially in a "Thinking Man's" novel.

In short, I do not recommend this book to anyone unless they want to be bored.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger (Audiobook)

I have been traveling back and forth to Milwaukee for work every other week or so and thought it would be great to have a book on CD to listen to on my travels (as well as when I'm working). Everyone Worth Knowing was a light and enjoyable book, perfect to listen too.

Lauren Weisberger is also the author of The Devil Wears Prada. This book has a similar plotline, with the industry being exposed changed to PR. The main character in this book is Bette Robinson. One day Bette can't take her overbearing boss at her boring bank job any longer and she quits. To help her get out of a pajama soap-opera soaked depression, her columnist Uncle Will calls in a favor with an old intern of his and gets Bette a job at Kelly Co. At Kelly, Bette is bascially paid to arrange parties as well as to party herself. As time goes on, she begins to be all consumed by the job as well as discovering that her personal life and job are becoming uncomfortably intertwined. There is romance, heartbreak, and drama. It made for a good listen (except for the swear words, which were not good when you've got your young son around!). I like listening to funny books. On a side note - we listened to this on our way to Minnesota last weekend and even Ben laughed out loud a few times, although I'm sure he'd deny it!

I like the well rounded side characters such as Uncle Will and Penelope. One of my favorite sections was the description of Bette's secret passion for romance novels. And how she felt ashamed and hid it until she discovered a fantastic romance novel book club. I wanted to join the book club!

On the negative side, I wasn't keen on the ending. The whole Sammy not calling for months and then showing up seemed strange to me. Bette also annoyed me at times with her loafing around her apartment for months. For being a decisive person at times, she would then refuse to make any decisions.

This book may not be great literature, but it is entertaining and funny - two things that are great in an audiobook. I recommend if you are looking for something light hearted.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Laura's Top 10 Favorite Movies - OF ALL TIME!

I was recently asked what my favorite movie was. I was flustered, "what should I answer?" "How can I pick only one movie?" "I love too many!!" Since then I've given it a lot of thought. AFI came out with their top 100 movies, so I thought I could think of my top 10 favorite movies. I like AFI, but Citizen Kane? I watched it, thought it was good, but did not think it was better than my top 10!! I have many mini-series I love, but they are not movies so they aren't counted. I'll have to have a count-down of mini-series one day!

I chose these movies based on the fact that I can and have watched them a million times and still find myself entertained and obsessed. When I am sick or sad, these movies comfort me. I'm counting series in one spot because it's my list so I can! Give me some feedback - do you think my picks are crap or excellent? Let me know!

These movies are in no particular order - I still don't have one favorite, but I do have ten number ones!

1. Star Wars Trilogy. I have loved Star Wars since I was a kid. I love the good vs evil, adventure, and wry humor. I love how you can watch Luke grow from a winey teenager to a wise Jedi Master. I especially love Han Solo (he's what is missing from the prequels!); his romance with Leia, his every man take on the situation, his dry humor - it was all fantastic! The action, the adventure, the exciting planets. I still love it, but I still can not watch "The Empire Strikes Back" without immediately watching "The Return of the Jedi." Sadly, the prequels did not match the magic for me so I'm not counting them amongst my favorite movies.

2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I love, love, love The Lord of the Rings Trilogy not so mysteriously for many of the reasons I love Star Wars. I love mythology and magic, and love the storyline of The Lord of the Rings with good vs. evil, the bond of friends, and the fantastic places. They were beautiful movies and I enjoyed them all!

3. Indiana Jones Trilogy. It's true - I like adventure. I've loved Indiana Jones since I was a kid, although I could do without the last half of the second one with all of the heart ripping out nonsense, but I think the 1st and 3rd are excellent. I am tentatively excited about Indiana Jones 4, but am afraid to get my hopes up after the Star Wars prequels.

4. It's a Wonderful Life. I have also loved this movie my entire life, but it didn't start bringing a tear to my eye until I got older (I'm turning into my mother!). I love the story of a man thinking that his life is worthless and him getting a chance to see what good he has done in the world. He goes from near suicide to thinking that "it's a wonderful life." I love it!! I also love Jimmy Stewart who is one of my favorite actors. I love his drawl and how is the "everyman" in the movies, not a flashy handsome man like Cary Grant (although I do love Cary Grant). I must admit that I actually like the colored version, which many purist hate.

5. Sense and Sensibility. I am slightly obsessed with all things Jane Austen. I love her timeless stories and have read countless biographies on her and countless fiction inspired by her books. I've also watched almost every mini-series or movie based on her novels. I CAN'T WAIT for the Jane Austen session on PBS Masterpiece theatre this spring. But back to Sense and Sensibility. The Pride and Prejudice 1995 mini-series is actually my favorite, but it doesn't count as a movie (I'll have to have a favorite mini-series count down!). Of all of the Jane Austen movies, Ang Lee's 1995 classic version of Sense and Sensibility is my favorite. The actors are excellent; Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, and who can forget Greg Wise as the very handsome Mr. Willoughby. The script by Emma Thompson is also excellent; it keeps all of the main points of the novel, while getting rid of some of the more boring episodes. This is a movie for a rainy day or when I don't feel good. It may be sad in parts, but it's happy ending and Elinor breaking into tears of happiness always brightens my day!

6. Vertigo. I am also slightly obsessed with Hitchcock movies, which I have enjoyed since I was a pre-teen. Out of all of the Hitchcock movies that I love, Vertigo is my absolute favorite. I remember being 12 or 13 and seeing it for the first time. I taped it off of TV and watched it over and over again. It was fabulous! I love Jimmy Stewart as discussed above. He is brillant in this movie as is Kim Novak. I love how it is almost two different movies and about one man's obsession. I just watched it with my sister Katie who was watching it for the first time and she loved it. I also realized that I need to upgrade to the remastered DVD instead of my old VHS. I'm glad that AFI is finally recognizing this movie! It is a masterpiece.

7. Last of the Mohican. I fell in love with this movie when I first saw it in 1992. I love historical fiction and this piece of history - the French and Indian War - is particularly fascinating. There is adventure, romance, heart-pounding battles, and fantastic music. Daniel Day-Lewis with his long and flowing locks is definitely in his best role out of many good ones.

8. Star Trek IV. Star Trek is also something I have LOVED my entire life. Star Trek IV is perhaps not the best of the movies (I think II and VI probably are), but it is the first one that I saw in the theatre and therefore my favorite. Also since I am an environmental engineer, saving the whales may hold a special place in my heart. I also like the light hearted humor of this movie. I remember having an earache and going to theatre with Dad and Mom to watch this movie and being fascinated. Ever since then, I've gone to each movie in the theatre with Dad. The last few movies it's been a three generation trip with Grandma Arlt, Dad, and me. I can't wait until Kile can go too! :-) Luckily Ben also shares my passion for Star Trek - I couldn't have married someone who didn't !

9. Back to the Future Trilogy. This is another favorite from my youth. I like the action and the comedy. I also like time travel movies and books so this fits into that category. The first movie is definitely the best, but I enjoy watching the other two as well. It will be strange to get to "2015" in a few years and be in the "future." Where is my flying car?

10. Little Women. I like watching all versions of Little Women, especially the Japanese cartoon my siblings and I watched as youths. My absolute favorite version though is the 1994 version with Winona Ryder (before her shop lifting days) as Jo. Winona Ryder is my favorite Jo (sorry Katherine Hepburn) as she actually looks the right age and not quite so mannish in manners. I love the story of four sisters in their triumphs and tragedies. This movie always makes me cry too . . . but I still might be bitter that Jo ends up with Mr. Bauer instead of Laurie. No!

It seems that most of my favorite movie picks are sentimental favorites from my youth except for LOTR. Believe me, I love many movies behind these, but these are my top favorites. What do you think is missing from my list?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction is a movie that Ben has wanted to watch for a long time. It came once from the library previously, but we were too busy to watch it. We were busy again this weekend, but took it along to Minnesota to watch with the family.

Stranger Than Fiction tells the story of Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) and IRS employee that is obsessed with numbers, counting, and saving time. He has no family and is uterly alone in the world. One day he starts to hear a voice in his head (Emma Thompson) narrating his life and describing everything he is doing and thinking perfectly. Harold has to discover who this narrator is and have her stop, before it is too late. The narrator also helps him to change his life for the better.
It was an okay movie. It was different, and different is good. It was interesting to watch and got a few laughs out of me, but not as many laughs as I expected. It was good to watch one time, but I probably don't need to see it again.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Letters from Iwo Jima

Letters from Iwo Jima is the companion film to Flags of Our Fathers, both by Clint Eastwood. It was an excellent, although disturbing movie.

Letters from Iwo Jima tells the story of Iwo Jima from the Japanese prospective. Saigo is a baker that was drafted into the Japanese army. He misses his wife and has yet to see his baby daughter for the first time, but is stuck on Iwo Jima digging trenches. Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) arrives to take command of the island. He decides that the beaches should not be the central defense point, and instead has the troops dig tunnels in the mountains. This choice alienates the other commanders.

The movie details the horrific circumstances that the Japanese lived in during the battle (and before with the air raids) knowing that they faced eminent death. They were willing to accept death for honor and to protect their homeland against what they thought were evil Americans for one more day.

I'm used to hearing about the greatness of the Japanese Army and how wonderful it is organized. I was surprised to see solders disobeying their commander when he wanted them to retreat to better defend their main outpost because this would be "dishonorable." The suicide "honor" deaths were also horrific and hard to understand from our cultural viewpoint. The honor suicides actually made it harder for the commander to have a great defense and probably lost the battle sooner because of this.

I liked how the two movies were linked in several key points including the beating and killing of "Iggie."

Overall I liked the movie even though watching such scenes of violence is hard to take sometimes. I think it's important to understand our history and especially to see it from other points of view besides the victors. I think more Americans should watch such movies and think about history and how going to war should not be our first priority. I'll get off my soap box now. The movie had fantasic cinematogrophy and an engrossing storyline. I'd recommend watching Flags of Our Fathers with this movie.

Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer

Sprig Muslin is another light and funny Regency novel by Georgette Heyer. I really enjoyed it and it made me laugh out loud several times!

This novel tells the tale of Sir Gareth Ludlow. His high spirited fiancee died in an accident many years previous to the start of the novel. Gary has decided he will never find love again and to just marry a friend, Lady Hester Theale, for convenience. Lady Hester is 29 and labeled an old maid - she also has ideas of her own about getting married!

On the way to propose to Lady Hester, Gary meets up with a young girl, Miss Amanda "Smith" in a local inn scandelously without a chaparone. Gary decides to chaparone her until he can find out who her family is. Hilarity ensues, especially with all of Amanda's tales and adventures. The scraps and misunderstandings were fantastic!

I'd recommend skipping the foreword. The author of the foreword basically tells you the whole plot before you start the novel without giving any insite. It's as if she was forced to write it and had nothing really to say!

I really like Georgette Heyer novels. She has a quick wit to her writing and it's set in the Regency period, which I love . Her novels also don't have all of the sex in the them that modern novels do - and I like that. There are only so many descriptions of "sheaths," "swords," etc. that I can take!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Blood Diamond

Ben and I watched Blood Diamond last night. We both agreed that it was an excellent film - I highly recommend it! I didn't know much about the movie going into it, but the storyline was exciting, interesting, and very tragic. The perfomances were riveting, and the backdrop scenary of Africa was beautiful.

The story is set in the Sierre Leone War in 1999. Didn't know there was a war? Join the club. I liked how in one scene it shows Bill Clinton on the news with the Monica Lewinsky scandal and talks about America's preoccupation with fake news rather than real world events.

This story tells the tale of two very different men. Solomon Vandy (Djimon Housou) is a husband and father of three children. One day while bringing his young son home from school, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) attacks his village, kidnapping Solomon to work in the diamond fields. At a later date, Solomon's son, Dia, is also kidnapped and forced to be a child soldier. While working in the fields, Solomon finds a large, rare pink diamond and manages to hide it as the camp is attacked by government forces, but not before Captain Poison sees him with the diamond.

While in jail after the attack, Solomon meets Danny Archer (Leonardio DiCaprio) a white mercernary from Rhodesia. Danny overhears Captain Poison shouting about Solomon's diamond find, and immediately takes an interest. Danny has no family and is in all sorts of shady deals to make himself a buck. After both are released from jail, they make an agreement. Danny will help Solomon find his family and in return, Solomon will lead Danny to the diamond.

It is an adventure of epic proportions, with many scary twists and turns including a heart pounding chase scene. The movie had great character growth as well as action. It was also eye opening as I had no idea about the problems with "blood diamonds" or diamonds that come from conflict zones. It's hard to believe that people live in such fear and poverty. It makes me realize how lucky I am to be an American.

The actors were great in this movie. After Titanic, I thought Leonardo DiCaprio was a boy faced man that ladies swooned after. The last few years of great roles have shown me that he is actually a great actor - and can even be a manly adventure actor at that.

I highy recommend this movie, except for those who can't take scense of graphic violence. It's not gratituous, but does illustrate the horrors that were going on at the time.

Meg Cabot and Star Wars

I always enjoy reading Meg Cabot's blog (author of Princess Diaries and many good chick lit adult novels). Many of her last few blogs have had a lot of Star Wars references in them including her obsession with the comics. This is an author I can identify with! Click here to read her blog.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer

The Starter Wife is the rare book that is actually better onscreen than in print. I enjoyed the book, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the mini-series.

The Starter Wife tells the story of Gracie, a hollywood wife that is dumped weeks before her 10th anniversary (when her pre-nup would have expired) by her husband, Kenny Pollack. Suddenly finding herself single and without means in Hollywood, Gracie is able to "house-sit" for her friend Joan at her million dollar house in the Malibu Colony. Gracie searches for love and tries to find herself. After changing everything about herself to fit in with the Hollywood crowd, she is able to take a step back and think about what she really wants out of life.

The book was not nearly as riviting as the mini series. I found myself not as intrigued as I wanted to be, and frankly annoyed by some of the attempts to make the novel cool by dropping actors names. It just dates the novel. The mini series fleshed out the side characters a LOT better. I really liked Cricket, Joan, Lou, etc. a lot better on the show. They had more of a back story, more conflict, and were much more three dimensional. I really liked Lou on the show and couldn't believe what happened to him in the novel. The mini-series was much funnier and I actually wanted her to end up with Lou!

I also liked the name changes on the mini-series. Having Debra Messing play a woman named Gracie with a gay friend named Will would not have worked. Kudos on the renamed "Molly" and "Rodney." I don't really like how it is Will and Gracie in the novel. It sounds too much like the TV show. I also liked how Britney Spears (Kenny's new girlfriend) is renamed Shoshanna on the mini-series. I don't think a real person's name should have been used in the novel.

One thing I did like better about the book was the ending. Much more fairy tale and much more of an ending I was expecting on the mini-series. I didn't really like the end that much on the mini-series. Sure it's more realistic, but I like the fairy tale darn it! :-)

So overall, I say watch the mini-series over reading the book. If you are interested in the mini-series, the book isn't bad, but it's not the world's best chick lit either!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Laura's Summer TV Picks

Now that we are firmly entrenched in summer, I thought I'd talk about my favorite summer TV shows. Ben and I are still trying to catch up on last season's TV, but I've managed to watch a few things and are looking forward to more!

1. Doctor Who. I included this on my favorite shows for the 2006-07 season, but it's also a summer show as it starts up again this Friday the 6th. Quirky leading man, check. Fun adventures in both past and present, check. Unique space ship/phone booth (I know, not quite a phone booth), check. It's a fun show - and I can't wait for season three, especially after reading Joe's comment on how good it is. How do I get hooked up with the Captain Jack spinoff series? Ben and I loved Captain Jack from Season 1!!

2. Eureka. Okay, maybe Ben and I should own shares in the Sci-Fi channel as we seem to watch it A LOT. We loved Eureka last summer. It's a quirky, fun show about a town out somewhere in the northwest full of mad scientists. It's a top secret town started by the government to produce new science ahead of other countries by bringing the world's top scientists together. Jack Carter stumbles upon the town and becomes the new Sheriff. He is the every man in the town, not the mad genius that mostly inhabits it. He solves mysteries each week and makes friends with the inhabitants, who are all well rounded characters in themselves. Even if you aren't a sci-fi fan, you might find you really like this show as the characters are great and the mysteries are fun. Season 2 starts next Tuesday July 10th.

3. The 4400. We haven't started watching this season yet that is running on USA network, but we've watched the previous seasons. Ben likes to make fun of the acting (other bad actors on other shows are called "4400esque," but somehow we find ourselves still watching. It's not the most fantastic show I've ever seen, they could have made it much better, but it's still pretty good. It tells the story of 4400 people who were kidnapped randomly over the past 60 years and have suddenly all appeared at once back in the USA. These people returned with special abilities. The series explores these new abilities, the government's reaction to them, and the mystery of where they went too. Joel Gretsch stares as Tom Baldwin. I like him better now that I know he's William Shatner's son-in-law!

4. The Starter Wife. I LOVED the mini-series The Starter Wife that ran through June on USA. I wish there were more smart and sassy series like this geared toward women. Make it a real series - I'd watch it!! The mini-series is over now, but it's getting rerun on USA so watch it if you haven't already. It tells the story of Molly, a woman who is told by her husband that he wants a divorce via cell phone. Kenny, Molly's husband, is a studio head in California and Molly must try to make it in the elite world of Hollywood as a cast off "starter wife." Her friends are priceless and fun to watch in themselves. I'm reading the book now - so I'll review that at a later date.

So it looks like I'm only watching two basic cable networks this summer. Am I missing any good shows?? Let me know!

Monday, July 2, 2007


Ben and I watched Eragon over the weekend. It should have been our kind of movie - dragics, magic, a young hero on a quest against evil, but it fell flat. The movie seemed very choppy (it's raining, it's not raining two seconds later, it's night, it's daylight two seconds later) with many plot points left unexplained. The movie wasn't terrible, but it could have been much better.

I have not read the book, but the movie got me interested enough to want to read it. I've only heard good things about the book and feel that the book probably could fill in many of the gaps that the movie left.

Overall, the movie told the tail of Eragon, a young farm boy that is swept into adventure when he finds a blue "stone" in the woods that ends up really being a dragon's egg. The dragon Saphira hatches and Eragon raises her (in the movie the dragon magically becomes full grown, but I've read this is given much more explanation in the book) with help from Brom (Jeremy Irons), a former dragon rider. The dragon riders once protected the kingdom before they were all betrayed and killed by the evil king. Brom and Eragon travel to meet the Varden, who I believe are renegades fighting against the King who need Eragon's help to defeat him. There is a battle, a damsel in distress, and a journey from headstrong youth to wise warrior. Kind of sounds like Star Wars!

The movie was worth watching, but definitely was not the best I've seen. I still want to read the book however!