Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Ten Commandments

Over the last week I've been watching The Ten Commandments. People were talking about on facebook during the Passover/Easter season and I thought it would be fun to see it again, from beginning to end.

Well, it wasn't really fun. Maybe a little fun. Cheesy, over-the-top, dated. But, surprisingly, during the last hour or so I found myself kind of engrossed.

I watched it over several days, maybe twenty minutes to an hour at a time. One thing that wasn't clear was, why was God angry at Moses at the end and wouldn't let him go into the promised land?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I love this book, but I can't finish it! I LOVE it. I think it's brilliant. But it sucks me into a state of mind that makes me anxious and makes me want to stop. Maybe it's more where I'm at right now: I've been having a hard time concentrating on anything. Anyway, halfway through and I'm putting it down. Moving on. The rest of the stories in Bed will be there when I'm reading for them.

But I just have to say, before I sign off here: I LOVE TAO LIN'S WRITING.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Bad Seed

I watched The Bad Seed on Netflix Instant Viewing over the course of several days. I've just been so busy and scattered that I couldn't sit down and really be with a movie.

This is excellent, very campy and over-the-top, but interesting and suspenseful. The goody-goody-ness of the little girl was too much: it didn't make sense that any of the adults would find her obsequiousness endearing. I found that to be a major flaw, an element of cheesiness that really took away from the whole.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Owning Mahoney

I watched Owning Mahowny a few nights ago. I rented it mainly for Philip Seymour Hoffman, and because it was billed as a thriller.

It is hardly thrilling. It's a tedious character study of an obsessive gambler who embezzles from the bank he works for in order to support his very high stakes habit.

The problem is, the character is so emotionally shut down that you can't relate to him. There were no windows into him; it was just sort of an enactment of the obsession without any insight into character. There wasn't a glimmer or spark of a person there.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Night Watch

I found Sarah Waters' The Night Watch rather tedious. I loved Fingersmith and Affinity, and was bored by Tipping the Velvet. This was a bit boring too. Parts were interesting and engaging, but I never felt particularly emotionally connected to the characters. It worked it's way backwards chronologically which annoyed me, and I raced through the last twenty pages, just skimming my eyes over the words, not caring and just wanting to close the book.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Kite Runner

I watched The Kite Runner tonight. It is a very sad story about a boyhood friendship in Afghanistan (pre-Taliban). One of the friends is masochistically loyal, and the movie really focuses on the other one's guilt. There were some particularly upsetting scenes, and the loyal friend, Hassan, was painfully moving.

It follows the main character, Amir, into his adulthood in America, when he has an opportunity to go back (during the Taliban). This part was scary and interesting.

The Kite Runner made me cry and made me sad, but there was something kind of formulaic and manipulative about it, about the way things worked out. Also, Hassan's stubborn loyalty was too tragic, and the rest of the movie paled in comparison to that.

State & Main

Last week I watched State and Main on the Netflix Watch Instantly feature. I'd seen it before and enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it this time around too.

But there's something kind of forgettable about it. It's witty and breezy and wraps up very neatly. And the second it was over it was out of my head.