Apr. 5th, 2010

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I went to the movies:

I had no particular interest in seeing The Blind Side, but wanted to do as well as I could on my Oscars Death Race. It was ok. I have no particular problem with Sandra Bullock getting the Oscar for it, though it was not my favourite performance. She was good. The movie just seemed so rote Hollywood formula--not that interesting to me. And it features one of the worst kid actors I've seen in a long time. I cringed every time he opened his mouth--eek!

The Messenger *finally* opened in Toronto about a week before the Oscars--yay! I really liked it. I found it compelling and interesting, and Woody Harrelson was excellent in it.

I liked Alice In Wonderland just fine, but I must come down firmly in the anti-3D camp. Annoying all around. Distracting, uncomfortable (glasses on top of glasses=lame) and not that exciting. My life is in 3D. I see 3D all day long. I am perfectly happy to watch my movies in plain old 2D. Also, Johnny Depp was delightful, but it really made me want to see him play an actual normalish person again one day. It feels like it's been a while.

Shutter Island was a pretty fun, twisty movie. I thought I knew where it was going, but was not entirely correct, which was nice. Not the world's greatest movie or anything, but I enjoyed it.

I liked Green Zone quite a bit. Matt Damon:action hero is just fine by me. Any kind of Matt Damon is ok with me, for that matter.

I also watched some movies on DVD:

I tried to see as many of the nominated short films as I could. I saw all 5 animated shorts, and 3 of the live action shorts. I'm not the world's biggest fan of animated movies, so I mostly thought they were just fine, but not exciting. The Wallace and Gromit was my favourite? Maybe? I loved the concept of Logorama but found the plot and writing too juvenile and ridiculous to hold my interest. My favourite of the live action shorts was Instead of Abracadabra, which is strange and hilarious and totally bonkers. Chimay!

Food, Inc was good, but I found it covered a lot of ground that I already knew about, having read things like The Omnivore's Dilemma and Fast Food Nation. Interesting stuff, but I felt like it was preaching to the choir with me!

I LOVED The Secret of Kells. (I downloaded it--shhhh, which I never do, but I really wanted to see it, and it wasn't playing anywhere and isn't on DVD yet.) It's totally gorgeous and stunning and I want to see it again! It reminded me visually a bit of Sita Sings The Blues, which was one of my favourite movies I saw last year.

Apr├Ęs les Oscars, I had a bit of a movie break. Then, when Corey Haim died, I felt I needed to rewatch Lucas. It's so lovely! He had such potential--it's a shame he had such a troubled life.

I watched the US remake of State of Play a month or so after having watched the awesome BBC miniseries. The movie was perfectly good, but kind of paled in comparison. It's hard to stuff 6 hours of awesome into a 2-hour movie. Taken on its own, it's quite good, I think.

Annnnnnnnnd, I watched a couple of seasons of TV on DVD:

Veronica Mars Season 3 was very enjoyable. Maybe not my favourite of the seasons but still super fun. I need to buy these DVDs--high rewatch potential.

Castle Season 1 was also super fun. Nathan Fillion is awesomesauce. I'm not entirely enamoured of the actress playing opposite him--I feel like it's a cool character, but her line readings don't often convince me, especially when she's trying to be sexy. Or super tough. Or...well, often. But it's worth watching just for the awesomeness of the Fillion.
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Too Much Happiness -Alice Munro
I don't always love short stories, but man, Alice Munro is the master of the genre. Good stuff. Mind you, I read this at the beginning of February, and the details of most of the stories have already long faded from my memory, but I certainly remember liking the book a lot!

Nine -Maury Yeston/Arthur Kopik
I was a tad less than thrilled with the movie of Nine, and to make myself feel better, I re-read the libretto of the original stage musical, which I just love. Reading the script to a musical is always a bit odd--but reading the lyrics of songs without listening to them is kind of nice sometimes--helps me see them in a different way.

Generation X -Douglas Coupland
I read this for Canada Reads--I could hardly believe that I'd never read it! I understand why it's considered a groundbreaking and important book, but I didn't love it. Seemed a bit dated, and none of it really grabbed me. I'm glad I've finally read it, though.

Manhood For Amateurs -Michael Chabon
Good lord, I love Chabon. His fiction is amazing, and this is the second book of personal essays that I've now read. From childhood to fatherhood to comic books to how he learned to love his man-purse. I loved it all!

Juliet, Naked -Nick Hornby
I'm a Hornby fan, but have enjoyed some of his books more than others--this one is great! High Fidelity-ish music obsession, now in middle age. Duncan's obsessed with a reclusive former rock star, Tucker. Duncan's girlfriend, Annie, puts up with it. She also ends up striking up an email friendship Tucker. I found it really fun and compelling.

Last Night In Twisted River -John Irving
Oh, John Irving and your giant books of mayhem. I love them so much! This was epic and twisty and turny and, well, Irving-y as all hell. There's bears, wrestling, avoiding going to Vietnam, occasional shocking violence, moving to Canada. The man finds things he likes and sticks to it! Not that this book is particularly anything like his others specifically. I just laugh sometimes at the little things that are so Irving-y. Heck of a good read.

Blackout -Connie Willis
New Connie Willis!!! Whee! First since 2002. Now--it's sadly only half a novel. I believe she turned in a giant novel that her publisher decided to chop in half and release part now and part in the fall. So the only bad thing about this book is that I want more, more, more! And I have to wait. Boo. But this was great--we're in the same future Oxford as in Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog, and a bunch of time-traveling historians are heading back to WWII. Awesome and dramatic.

Man--so many great new books from my very favourite authors! Chabon, Hornby, Irving and Willis are all up there in my list of faves. And I just read the latest Jasper Fforde, but that will wait until next month's wrapup. I love books!


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