Friday, November 27, 2015

Sideways - Book Review

Published: June 2004
Sideways - Rex Pickett A

Without getting too meta, this book made me laugh, it made me nervous, it made me want to live life to the fullest and drink good wine. But, most of all it made me want to the read the (self-published) sequel, Vertical

I loved Sideways the film, now I love Sideways the novel.

Here is the Sideways film trailer courtesy of YouTube

Friday, November 20, 2015

Brooklyn - Movie Review

Brooklyn  (PG-13) 111 mins B+
Home is Home

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Zegen, Emory Cohen, Mary O’Driscoll and Julie Walters

Isn't it funny how love goes? First, you're lonely... practically invisible. Then you meet someone, and suddenly everybody wants you. Now you're faced with a choice- love the one you're with or love the one you want to be with (the latter is always a gamble). That's the age-old conundrum at the center of Brooklyn, a film adapted from Colm Tóibín’s novel (screenplay by Nick Hornby) and directed by John Crowley.

Brooklyn is a straightforward romantic drama that's surprisingly tender and enchanting. It has all the makings of a run-of-the-mill immigrant love story. In the hands of Hornby and Crowley and starring the lovely Saoirse Ronan (Atonement and The Lovely Bones), the film rises above the typical Hollywood period piece/romantic drama. Set in the 1950s, the story follows young Eilis (Ronan) as she journeys from her small Irish town to America. Expectantly, there are challenges during her transition. Eilis is homesick and lonely when she's swept off her feet by Tony (Cohen), a humble but charming Italian plumber. Suddenly, America didn't seem so bad. But, when tragedy strikes in Ireland, Eilis must temporarily leave America. In Ireland, among family, friends and new possibilities, she has to decide if home is really where the heart is.

Yes, this film is soft and sentimental. However, something about it just feels right. Recommended.

Check out the trailer ---->

Friday, November 13, 2015

Travel Writing - Book Review

Published: August 2008
Travel Writing - Peter Ferry C+

Pete Ferry is an English teacher and part time travel writer who finds himself obsessed with the death of a beautiful stranger. The obsession consumes him and eventually causes friction between Pete and his live-in girlfriend, Lydia. The dynamic between Lydia and Pete is the most intriguing part of the story. The classroom banter between Pete and his students is also significant and well played. But, the travel writing angle was a bore and I wasn't buying Pete as an amateur sleuth. This isn't a bad debut novel, nor is it a very memorable one.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film - Book Review

Published: Jan 2015 
Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film - Patton Oswalt C

Patton Oswalt is witty, smart and likable. He's the proverbial, "guy you would like to have a beer with." That's sort of way I expected so much more from this book. Being a cinephile myself, I was expecting a more in-depth, more insightful exploration into film- i.e. the really geeky stuff. But instead, we get a nice jaunt down memory lane that is enjoyable yet somewhat forgettable.

Check out this NPR piece by Linda Holmes from last January