Stieg Larsson

I just whizzed through both The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson. So sad that he’s passed away – what a phenomenal storyteller. Lisbeth Salander is at once the most sympathetic and interesting character I have read in a long, long time. I highly recommend either the regular books or the audio books. I got both books on Audible and loved Simon Vance’s reading. Wonderful! I’m a little bummed that the third book in the trilogy won’t be out until Oct 09, but I can’t wait to see what happens to Lisbeth.

I couldn’t find a website for Stieg – probably because he’s Swedish – but Random House has this site for the books, and is running this contest to win a trip to Sweden until Sept. 30, 2009.

I will say that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was one of those books I kept seeing promoted and highly rated and kept avoiding because it didn’t seem interesting. Also, because it had been translated to English, I thought it would have a bunch of foreign references I wouldn’t get. Neither of these turned out to be the case. Both books were just great stories with the very intriguing character of Lisbeth. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

I also recently watched Sunshine Cleaning (awesome) and Gran Tourino (wonderful).  I recommend both for your Netflix queue. Warning: both made me cry.

I’ve been looking for shows to watch, and Netflix has CSI: NY Season 5 on ‘watch instantly’ right now. I’ve really only watched CSI: Vegas since the beginning. I lasted halfway through seasons 1 of the other two CSI’s, and found them super irritating. I love Gary Sinise though, so I thought I’d give NY another try. Big mistake. It’s so corny! I just couldn’t take it. That crazy high-tech autopsy room with the floor to ceiling video screens of the insides of dead people? Even if that’s real technology, it just looks so crazy and unrealistic. I can see how that show would really make it hard for REAL prosecutors and CSI’s and detectives to prove a case in REAL LIFE court – where this Star Trek-esque technology just doesn’t exist.

entertainment overload

Awesome season finales: Fringe, Dollhouse, The Office

Okay finales: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, CSI Vegas, Survivor (Coach got robbed! ha ha ha, just kidding)

I haven’t seen NCIS, Mentalist, Unit, Lie to Me or Ghost Whisperer finales yet…so the jury is out. I did hear that CBS didn’t renew The Unit though, that’s a bummer. Although I always found the writing on that show kind of irritating – like they all took themselves too seriously, or the spoke in ways that normal people just don’t speak. Especially Army families – who I’ve been around my whole life. Still, it was a show my husband would watch with me, and they usually had pretty cool missions. I’ll be sorry to see it go.

I’m excited about Glee – I loved the season premiere or preview or whatever that was. Did anyone else see Lauren from So You Think You Can Dance (season 3) in that show choir from the other school? A few episodes in to In Plain Sight;s second season and I’m loving it just as much as last year. And there are some good things starting up…So You Think You Can Dance tonight, The Closer starting next month. Good stuff.

I also caught up on the last three seasons of Smallville. Awesome! I just loved it. I can’t wait for season 9. *spoiler alert* Although, the lack of detail on Clark and Doomsday’s final battle was annoying. I mean, they disappear and then there’s a distant fiery explosion and then Clark is okay? Clearly, Doomsday must still be alive…somewhere. And when are Clark and Lois going to finally hook up??? That tension is worse than Scully and Mulder! But I just love their relationship. Also looking forward to Ollie and the Black Canary hooking up – at least, I hope so. They’ve got to get rid of that crazy Tess person.

That’s it for the TV rundown. Oh, is One Tree Hill ending? They sure tied that finale up with a pretty little bow. Happy ending for everyone but Dan – and no one expects one for him anyway…but it sure seemed like a series finale.

As for movies, I’ve been making the most of my Netflix membership. I even got to the theater for Mother’s Day to see Star Trek. Loved it. Saw Benjamin Button the other day – didn’t love it. I liked it. I think I just couldn’t escape into it enough to stop questioning how other people were able to accept the wierdness of him, and how “the man” didn’t step in to run a million tests on him. Maybe that’s my love of sci fi talking, but it sure seems like someone would want to know how to reverse aging if it was a possibility. I’m not a particularly logical person, so my inability to just accept the premise of that movie really bothered me. I did love that in the scene where Daisy is performing in New York, and Benjamin comes to see her, the song she’s dancing to is “I Have Dreamed” from The King and I – one of my all time favorite songs in the whole world.

I just finished reading The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini – the latest of the Elm Creek Quilters books. I have to say, it’s one of the best ones in a while. I was glued to it. I just had to see what would happen to Joanna. Highly recommended.

I think that’s it – we’ve got The Reader and Valkyrie on deck, with lots of good movies in the queue. Just got The First Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld from the library, and again, SYTYCD starts tonight! My cup overfloweth!

Yay! Fame!!!!

Fame!
Fame!

I’m watching Bride Wars right now, and you know how I know I’m going to love it? Here are the previews – all of which I have added to my Netflix Queue:

Post Grad with the lovely Rory from Gilmore Girls and Matt Saracen from Friday Night Lights!!!

My Life in Ruins – with Nia Vardalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Like a romance novel come to life! Oh yeah, and Rachel Dratch! Love her.

I Love You, Beth Cooper– with Claire from Heroes…a fun high school movie. My favorite!

and best of all – a remake that I have been impatiently waiting for for over 20 years –

FAME!!!

Here’s the official site. It’s got Kherington from SYTYCD, the girl from Summerland (does she sing or dance?) and of course, Debbie Allen! Woo hoo!!! Sept. 25, 2009!

Baby, remember my name…remember, remember, remember

FAME!

Star Trek Webmaster Program

So I’m officially a member of the new Star Trek movie Webmaster Program. I’m not sure how crazy I’ll go with my involvement, but last week, I had to search all over for the trailer so I could post it, and now I can download all the images with my special webmaster password. It’s okay to be jealous. Or you can sign up yourself :)

Here are some links:

Official movie site: http://www.startrekmovie.com/

Become a fan on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/startrek

Some fun links with official photos and interviews:

AICN – http://www.aintitcool.com/node/38753
UGO – http://movieblog.ugo.com/index.php/movieblog/more/exclusive_star_trek_photo/
TrekMovie – http://trekmovie.com/2008/10/15/exclusive-image-from-star-trek-the-uss-kelvin/
JoBlo – http://joblo.com/excl-star-trek-pic
IGN – http://movies.ign.com/articles/920/920323p1.html
MTV – http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/10/15/exclusive-new-star-trek-movie-photo-with-kirk-spock-sulu-and-the-uss-enterprise-bridge/

And here’s the cast list (incomplete, of course):

John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Winona Ryder, Zoë Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, with Eric Bana and Leonard Nimoy

No William Shatner or Patrick Stewart , but we can’t have it all, can we?

Camp Rock

Well, I just finished watching the “world premiere” of Camp Rock on the Disney Channel. Pretty good – not High School Musical (one, not two), but good. My favorite part about these movies are the following:

  1. New interest in singing and dancing. Who ever thought that musicals would be cool again? I’ve been waiting for this day!
  2. Awesome hip hop dancers and poppers. By far the best part of the movie.
  3. Funny scenes that are basically duplicates of movies that I love. I like going “oh, this is the scene from Grease” or “this is the scene from Dirty Dancing.” That’s right, “nobody puts Baby in a corner” and “I carried a watermelon” scenes might not be word for word, but they’re there if you know what you’re looking for!

Sadly, I think I may be getting too old to really appreciate these new movies. They seem so lame in some parts. I guess the high school romantic comedies are more my thing. What’s wierd is that the movie had some great dancing, and then Mitchie (Demi Lovato) moves like a crazy person when she sings at the end. Totally awkward – like Brooke White dancing on American Idol.

I love that at the bottom of the webpage on disney.com, it says “Camp Rock is not a real camp, it’s a new movie!” Give it time, Disney, give it time.

Anyway, I saved it on the Tivo for when my 10 year old niece comes to visit. She’s going to love it.

Sex in the City

I saw Sex in the City on Monday night. My sweet husband came home a little early so I could take myself out to a movie. I have been to exactly one movie in the past 2.5 years. So this was a real treat. First shock: ticket price. $10.50! What? That’s crazy. Second shock: food price. On king size kit kat and small coke zero: $8.50! Sheesh! First pleasant surprise: super nice reclining chairs. Until someone sat behind me in an almost empty theater and put her feet on my chair. As soon as she moved once, I leaned back and didn’t move again so she didn’t have a choice but to keep her feet down. Ha! Jokes on you, girl!

I think there were a bunch of teen girls that have only seen Sex In The City on TBS, not on HBO, because they seemed to be genuinely shocked at the gratuitous sex scenes. Well, it is Samantha, people! Who would let their teenage girl go see that movie, anyway? Probably mom’s that only watched it on TBS also. Well, the movie is the HBO version, not the TBS version. There’s as much action as an after 10 pm Cinemax movie – so beware.

That being said, I must not have any fashion sense at all. I just don’t get high fashion. I just don’t get a lot of the looks they’re modeling – and it was a serious modeling-clothes fest. I will say, I always appreciate Charlotte’s look. Carrie’s looks remind me of a lot of the diy clothes I’ve been seeing. It looked like she was wearing a lot of altered t-shirts! I’m sure I just don’t know anything about brands and she was wearing famous labels. I did like her crazy gold bangles at the rehearsal dinner.

Anyway, I liked the Cinderella storyline, and of course it was funny and sad and wonderful – like all the TV episodes. I give it 4 stars (out of five.) I should have waited for Netflix though. $10.50! Robbery!

bourne ultimatum

We’re watching the Bourne Ultimatum right now. Talk about action packed…so that’s what waterboarding looks like! Pretty frightning – watching a secret arm of the government track phone calls, people movements second by second, order hits with no judge, jury, trial. What’s the point of even having a debate about the death penalty in this country? I have no doubt that the technology, the lack of red tape, etc. is all totally possible. You have to wonder, where is the Constitution in all of this?

It’s like these “trials” going on with the 9-11 planners. Mukasey pushes for the death penalty, and then gives a speech saying he “almost hopes they don’t get it, because all they want is to be martyrs.” Well, how can you sentence someone to death based on testimony received through tactics like waterboarding?

What does my country stand for? Can we ever be a beacon of justice and hope again? I hope Barack is right…”yes we can!”