Friday, May 31, 2013

The Pleasure Was All Mine (Book Review)

The Pleasure of My Company - Steve Martin B+ 
Published in 2003

I really enjoyed Martin's first novella, Shopgirl. I was a little apprehensive about The Pleasure of My Company because the cover (Martin hugging himself) looked silly. I feared that the cover might be indicative of the story. But, (insert idiom here), The Pleasure of My Company was highly entertaining. Martin's protagonist, Daniel Pecan Cambridge, is one of those quirky yet lovable characters that you can't help but root for. This book is silly in the best possible way.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Frances Ha - Movie Review

Frances Ha (R) 86 mins  A
Something about Greta

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Michael Esper, Adam Driver and Michael Zegen

Sometimes I like a film so much it's hard to explain why.  I could tell you how it mirrors real life, albeit in a cutesy and comedic sort of way.  Or, how Greta Gerwig is absolutely fantastic and surely the new queen of indie film.  John Anderson, of the Wall Street Journal, called Frances Ha a "Brooklyn hipster's version of Woody Allen's Manhattan." Sara Vilkomerson, senior writer at Entertainment Weekly said the film was "kind of like HBO's Girls without all the nudity."  Both comparisons are fair, but I say this film is playful, charming, delicate and everything I love about the art of film. 
Bonus Home Video Review
Newlyweds (NR) 95 minutes A-
The interuption of everything

Release date: VOD December 26, 2011
Starring: Edward Burns, Kerry Bishé, Marsha Dietlein,  Max Baker, Dara Coleman, Johnny Solo, and Caitlin Fitzgerald

Newlyweds is an independent film written and directed by Edwards Burns.  The film was made for $9000.00, and Burns proves once again that one doesn't need a million dollars to make a great film.  Newlyweds is a talky,Woody Allen-esque film about two newlywed couple whose lives are interupted by emotioanlly draining friends and family.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pushing Love Away (Music Reviews)

First Impression Music Reviews

Push the Sky Away - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds  B
Unlike most other Nick Cave albums, I initially had a hard time embracing Push the Sky Away as a whole.  That's because I found myself listening to tracks 4 and 5 over and over again.  But, once I let the other tracks in I realized what I'd been missing. 
Favorite tracks - Jubilee Street, Mermaids

Drifters/Love is the Devil - Dirty Beaches  B+
Here is one of those albums that I eagerly anticipated because of the previous album, the last time I saw them live, and all the pre-release hype about how personal this album was.  It doesn't disappoint.  Drifters/Love is the Devil is music for the disenchanted.
Favorite tracks - Casino Lisboa, Night Walk

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Movie Review

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (R) 130 minutes B

Starring Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Nelsan Ellis, Liev Schreiber, Martin Donovan, Riz Ahmed, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Om Puri, Haluk Bilginer, Shabana Azmi

Based on the 2007 novel by Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist follows a young, charismatic Pakistani man as he takes the business world by storm, pre-September 11, 2001. But, after the terrorist attacks everything changes.  His American dream becomes an American nightmare.  I'm not a fan of 9/11 films, nor am I a fan of Kate Hudson.  However, I liked this one a lot.  It's a little talky and a tad long, but it is also compelling and relevant. Recommended for those who enjoy a good, suspenseful political/immigrant drama.