Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

July’s 5 Word Movie Reviews

If you’ve seen any of the movies leave me your 1-5 words in the comments and I’ll add them to the post.  Or, if you are feeling ambitious and want to do this on your own blog leave me a link in the comments and I’ll add it to the bottom of the post.   Of course,  you can always just comment 🙂

A man in a suit with a gun in his right hand is flanked by five other individuals in the middle of a street which, behind them, is folded upwards. Leonardo DiCaprio's name and those of other cast members are shown above the words "YOUR MIND IS THE SCENE OF THE CRIME". The title of the film "INCEPTION", film credits, and theatrical and IMAX release dates are shown at the bottom.(2010. Cast- Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Ken Wanatabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine) Grade A-

Dreams. Orginal. Ending Greatly Debated.

I’m sure the top dropped. (Jenners)

Mind-bending reality; still confused. (Stephanie)

Simply the best. Mind-boggling. (Nolatari)

Trippy, good cast, I’m clueless!  (Heather)

 

From above a flat and dry desert floor, a person in a green military uniform with heavy padding holds red wires attached to seven pill-shaped bomb canister scattered around him. At the top of the poster are three critics' favorable opinions: "A near-perfect movie", "A full-tilt action picture", and "Ferociously suspenseful". Below the quotes is the title "THE HURT LOCKER" and the tagline, "You don't have to be a hero to do this job. But it helps."(2008. Cast – Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty)  Grade B+

War. Iraq. Bombs. Tense Thriller.

Intense. Insightful. But Best Picture?Bumbles

Superb film. Deserved its Oscar. (Nolatari)

 

(2008. Cast – Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni)  Grade B

 Quirky Then Predictable.  Gervais Funny. 

Ghosts, boring dentist, romance, funny!  (Heather)

 

(2008.  Cast- Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini)  Grade C

Great Performances. Didn’t Get Appeal.

 

(2000.  Cast- Sean Penn, Katrin Cartlidge, Ciaran Hinds, Elizabeth Hurley, Josh Lucas)  Grade C

Didn’t Like As Book Adaptation.

 

(2009.  Cast- Clive Owen, Naomi Watts)  Grade C-

Cold Thriller About Banking Corruption.

Clive Owen rocks. Great movie! (Nolatari)

July 31, 2010 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | | 26 Comments

The Burning Wire, by Jeffery Deaver

The Burning Wire (Lincoln Rhyme Series #9) by Jeffery Deaver: Book CoverFinished 7-21-10, rating 3.5/5, Mystery, pub. 2010

Book 9 in the Lincoln Rhyme series (1st-The Bone Collector, 2nd- The Coffin Dancer, 3rd- The Empty Chair, 4th- The Stone Monkey, 5th- The Vanished Man, 6th- The Twelfth Card, 7th- The Cold Moon, 8th- The Broken Window)

Since Kopeski worked for a disability rights organization Rhyme’s condition was nothing to him.  An attitude that Rhyme approved of.  He believed that we were all disabled in one way or another, ranging from emotional scar tissue to arthritis to Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Life was  one big disability; the question was simple: What did we do about it? Rhyme rarely dwelt on the subject.  He’d never been  an advocate for disabled rights; that struck him as a diversion from his job.  He was a criminalist who happened to be able to move with less facility than most.  He compensated as best he could and got on with his work.

Chapter 21

Forensic Criminologist and quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme and his team are working on two cases at once.  There is a potential terrorist attack using New York City’s electricity as a weapon and there is the ever elusive Watchmaker who has been taunting Lincoln for more than a year.  And Lincoln has a visit from a group who specializes in helping people die with dignity, something he has considered in the past.

I love this series, but this may be my least favorite.  There was way too much information about electricity and how it is harnessed and used in the beginning of the book.  I actually started the book and put it down for a week, something I don’t remember ever doing with this series.  Once the overabundance of information tapered off the story became much more fun and fast paced. 

I did enjoy the extra storyline with FBI agent Fred Dellray.  He hasn’t had a big story lately and it was great to see him back on the prowl and making tough choices.  And Ron Pulaski had a great storyline too.  So these combined with Lincoln’s consideration of assisted death made great storylines and I loved them.  It was only all the electricity stuff that slowed down the story for me.

Love the series – start at the beginning!

This is from my personal library.

July 28, 2010 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | | 12 Comments

Pregnancy in Literature Quiz (with 6+ Month Baby Bulge photo)

So, my tummy is starting to grow at an alarming rate and here’s the proof…When you’re barely 5’2″ that baby has nowhere to go but out and I’ve given up the idea of having one of those cute baby bellies some women have.

Now on to the quiz.  This week it’s all about pregnant characters in fiction (I had to find some reason to include the photo :))  See if you can tell me the name of the book where these pregnant women can be found. 

Here are the rules… 1. Open to everyone.  Play once or every week, that’s okay.  I’m happy to have you here today.

2. No cheating.  No looking at other commenter answers or Googling!  Yes, we’re going by the honor system

3. Your first answers will be the only ones accepted.

Answers to last week’s quiz here.  Current Leaderboard here.  I’ll be out of town until Friday evening, so get your answers in by Friday afternoon 🙂

1. This bestselling Southern author wrote this sequel about Jeremy and Lexie as they are about to become parents.  At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks

2. No pregnant woman wants to go through what Rosemary did.  Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

3. Fern’s story as an unwed pregnant woman is told in the third section of this debut novel. (See hint below)  Three Junes by Julia Glass

4. These four women, three of them pregnant, meet at a yoga class for expectant mothers.  Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner

5. This pregnant shopaholic is shopping for two.  Shopaholic and Baby by Sophia Kinsella

6. The pregnancy of this widow has her neighbors wondering which of their husbands is the father in this Delinsky novel.  The Woman Next Door by Barbara Delinsky

7. Claire gets pregnant in the 1700’s, but doesn’t have her baby until the 1900’s in this popular series of very long novels.  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

8. I reviewed this book about pregnant forensic expert Cat, who is on the run from the FBI and a killer.  (See hint in photo to the left)  Blood Memory by Freg Iles

9. Jane is pregnant and her husband is suspected of murder.  Her cop sister Stacy must help her prove his innocence.  See Jane Die by Erica Spindler

10. Pregnant high school student Victoria’s mother forces her to leave the house.  (See hint on photo above)  Plainsong Ken Haruf

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Quizzes | | 54 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Animation

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
This week’s movie topic is all about Animation…
Share on your blog movies whose drawn, digitized or old school clay figures rock your world, linking back here at The Bumbles.
 1.  Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) is one of my all-time favorites, animation or not.  I love that silly rabbit! 
2.The Little Mermaid (1989) is the first one I saw multiple times over a summer and not by choice.  When I was working at Ohio State orientation over the summer during college this was always playing in someone’s room.  You’d think I would have gotten sick of it, but it has become a beloved memory.
3. The Lion King (1994) is a wonderful movie and great broadway show.  If you ever get a chance to see it  at your local theater or in New York, don’t miss it.
4. Finding Nemo (2003) was the first animated film Jason and I had seen after a long hiatus.  We were both impressed and fell in love with little Nemo.
5. Wall-E (2008).  I fell in love with Wall-E when I watched this a few months ago.  Not only did I love him I thought the movie had something important to say.
 
So, what’s your favorite animated movie?

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 14 Comments

Fave Film #24 – A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men poster.jpg1992

Cast- Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Pollack, Kevin Bacon, JT Walsh, Kiefer Sutherland

Two Marines are accused of murdering a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay and an untried Navy lawyer is chosen to defend them.  The accused, Dawson and Downey, are not the easiest clients, and Kaffee, is not the most understanding lawyer.  Forced to deal with a lawyer from Internal Affairs and an arrogant Colonel Jessep, Kaffee feels the pressure to clear these Marines of all charges.

Why I Love It – There is much to like about this film, but the performances by Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson are at the top of the list for me.  Tom Cruise manages to carry this movie with his cocky and winsome Kaffee.  And Nicholson was the perfect Colonel Jessep and his performance places this movie in the great category for me.  I know how ridiculous the last scene of the movie is from a reality standpoint, but I really don’t care.  I loved every minute of it.  And it provided so many unforgettable lines that the movie is still being referenced more than 15 years later.

They were not the only awesome performances.  I thought everyone in the movie was spot on.  Even if Demi Moore’s character was a little too gung-ho and melodramatic at times she did provide the patriotism needed to make the movie work.  The cast alone makes this a must see if only to use it in the Kevin Bacon game.

I liked revisiting Gitmo in its pre-hot button issue years.  There did used to be a base there that did not have politicians foaming at the mouth.  The courtroom story was excellent and the movie was fun to watch.  I think this is my highest rated courtroom drama because it did not rely on tricks or any great surprise at the end, it was just a well told story by a group of talented actors and film makers.  And all those men in uniform made it visually appealing.  C’mon, I did marry a Navy man after all 🙂

July 23, 2010 Posted by | movies | | 22 Comments

Potent Pleasures, by Eloisa James

Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James: Book CoverFinished 7-19-10, rating 3.5/5, historical romance, pub. 1999

The spring Charlotte turned 20, her family gave up hope of her marrying.  In the three seasons since she made her debut she had done surprisingly well, considering that she rarely attended balls and had to be coaxed into attending garden parties and tea parties and rides in the park, the normal activities for gently bred young ladies.

Chapter 3

Lady Charlotte is fresh from boarding school and caught in situation with her friend where she makes a very bad decision.  She decides this indiscretion left her unsuitable for marriage and she rebuffed any suitors.  A few years go by and she decides, with the help of her very liberal mother, to put herself out there in the London ‘dating’ scene.  Charlotte is beautiful and rich and has no trouble attracting potential husbands, but the one she has always wanted just walked back into her life without remembering her from their liason years before.  He pursues her anyway and she tries to resist him because she is heartbroken he doesn’t remember her.

This is a very good first novel and I would gladly pick up another book by James because I enjoyed the writing.  That being said this is a story set in late 1700’s through the early 1800’s and Charlotte and her mother were very modern in their behavior at times and this did take me out of the story.  Also, things left unsaid is a hallmark of many romance, historical or otherwise, but this one was just too much.  One or two sentences could have cleared up any misunderstanding and it did make the book feel a little too long.  But even with those disappointments I will be giving Eloisa James another try because the story was entertaining and kept me interested.

This was from my personal library.

July 22, 2010 Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | | 7 Comments

The Weight of Water, by Anita Shreve

Cover ImageFinished 7-13-10, rating 4.5/5, fiction, pub. 1997

“Rich, I swear I think marriage is the most mysterious covenant in the universe.  I’m convinced that no two are alike.  More than that, I’m convinced that no marriage is like it was just the day before.  Time is the significant dimension-even more significant than love.  You can’t ask a person what his marriage is like because it will be a different marriage tomorrow.  We go in waves.”

page 166

Jean is a married mother of a five-year old girl and a photographer.  She and her family are on her brother-in-law’s  boat on the islands off of Maine researching a story for a magazine feature.  As Jean takes pictures of the island where a horrific crime took place in the 1800’s, she becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair with her brother-in-law’s beautiful girlfriend.   This story is spliced with the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

It is haunting, sad, and drew me in right away.  Beautifully told by alternating the past with the present I was even more invested in the old mystery surrounding a double murder and life on the inhospitable islands at the time.  It was made better because it is based on a true story.  Shreve used the old courtroom transcripts word for word, but made up the rest.  It definitely made me curious about the real murders.

This is not a long novel and one that will keep you riveted.  I never did fully connect with Jean, but I was fully engaged in the story.   It left me thinking well after I finished reading and that is about as good a recommendation as I can give.  I absolutely loved it!

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Piroska and Wanda.  Here’s what Wanda had to say…”One of my all-time favourites.”

July 21, 2010 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 26 Comments

Pink and Blue Censored Cover Quiz

Jason and I are still debating the nursery color, but we know it will not be pink or blue.  I was going to include a picture of the 6 month baby bulge and let you vote on what I was carrying, but the photo was horrifying, so you’ll have to wait until I take a better one 🙂 

Can you identify these pink and blue covers by their censored titles?  Leave a comment with the number, title (5 points) and author (5 points).

No copying off other commenters.  Your first answer is the one accepted.  Each question worth 10 points.  Go ahead and Google if you want on this one.

Answers to last week’s quiz here, you guys totally rocked last week!  Current leaderboard here.

1. Tomorrow’s Promise by Sandra Brown  2.The Diary by Eileen Goudge  3. Bone Appetit by Carolyn Haines 

4. Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie  5. Touch by Adania Shibli

6. Swimming by Nicola Keegan  7. Man Eater by Gigi Levangie Grazer  8. The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris  9. Bidding for Love by Katie Fforde  10. Red Bones by Ann Cleeves

You have until Thursday night to submit your answers.

July 20, 2010 Posted by | Quizzes | | 34 Comments

Monday Movie Meme – Boredom

Feature Presentation…MONDAY MOVIE MEME
July is National Anti-Boredom month, and in honor of that, what are the movies you turn to when you’re bored?
This week’s question comes from Forgetfulone.  Visit the Bumbles for more boredom busters.
These movies always help curb any boredome I may have…
1.  Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings) 2001  Full of excitement and a storyline worth following.  Oh, and it has Strider who is always a cure for boredom 🙂
2. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles 1987  For some reason I never tire of this movie.  Makes me laugh every time.
3.The Philadelphia Story 1940.  Love the story, the performances, and the actors are some of my favorites.
 
Do you have a movie that you can watch to combat that bored feeling?
 

July 19, 2010 Posted by | Monday Movie Meme | | 17 Comments

Historical Romances

As a teen historical romances were my favorite escape reading and this probably continued through college.  As an English Education major I had to read lots of classics and the historicals were like a reading vacation.  Many people don’t read romances.  Think they are predictable, all about sex, or poorly written and some of them are, but not the good ones.  I’m a romantic and I like knowing that when I pick up a romance it is not going to depress me.  It is a comfort read.

As a teen I read a lot of LaVyrle Spencer, but for the life of me I cannot remember any of them specifically.  I’m going to have to try her again and see what I think.  Here are a few current favorites…

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is not your ordinary historical romance.  It has adventure, history and magic too.  And best of all, it’s smart.  I always recommend this one for those that claim they hate historical romance.  This one is an original.  I’ve read the first four in the series and need to get to the next two.  And if you ever have a chance to hear Diana Gabaldon speak, do it!  She’s a delight.

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati is another great one and it doesn’t get enough attention.  This one is set in 1792 when an Englishwoman settles in New York village.  She meets a Mohawk and finds herself drawn to him and his ways.  Not your typical romance.  It’s smarter and full of great beauty.  It also has several sequels, although this one can be read alone, there are no cliff hangers to make you continue.

I have two favorite authors of historical romance.  The first is Judith McNaught.  I have read Almost Heaven many times over the years, followed  closely by A Kingdom of Dreams.  I’ve read every book she’s written and her historicals are the best.  It seems that she has stopped writing historicals, but her contemporaries are good too.  Brenda Joyce is another favorite.  I’ve never been disappointed in her historicals.  I reread her Deadly series this year and a few other recent favorites are The Fires of Paradise and Splendor.  She’s written so many books that I haven’t read them all, but hope to read all of the historicals someday.

So, do you read historical romances?  Do you have a favorite that I should add to my wish list?

July 18, 2010 Posted by | lists | | 32 Comments