Friday, January 25, 2013

'13 Movies: "Beasts...", "Jiro...", "Girls...", "Goon", "The Producers", "

11. Beasts of the Southern Wild

 Absolutely gorgeous, unusual film. I had no idea what to expect going in, and so I was more than pleasantly surprised by how beautiful and heartfelt this movie was. The performances are outstanding, specially considering that none of the main actors have ever been in a film before. It's such an unusual movie, and it's just wonderful. Everyone needs to watch it.

 12. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

A great documentary. I loved that it showed a tiny aspect of the world that I had no knowledge of, and it did it in a very simple, understated but deeply respectful manner. The Sushi Chef Jiro is shown as the true artist he is, and it's fascinating to watch him talk about how he has dedicated his entire life to his art and task, and it's all very inspirational. I don't even like sushi (which feels weird to say after watching the movie, but I simply prefer stronger, bolder flavors in my food) and I was completely engrossed in watching the process as undertaken by true masters. Everyone profiled in the movie is so dedicated and so in love with what they do, and that's always something that's worth watching. 

13. Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Perfect if you feel like being punched in the face by the 80s. And sometimes you're just in the mood for that, you  know? Neon, big hair, spandex (sooo much spandex) and dancing montages. This has it all!


Eh. Several friends of mine have been talking about this movie for a while now, so I decided to check it out. Unfortunately, there just wasn't much to it from my point of view. It had a couple of moments that were funny, but that's about it. It was very violent, but that didn't bother me as much as the fact that it was just kinda boring and overly long. Sean William Scott was pretty decent in it, though, as well as Jay Baruchel.

15. The Producers

Great music, terrible movie. It's possibly the laziest play-to-movie adaptation I have ever seen, and it's definitely the worst directed. There's just nothing cinematical about it; it's like the director just told the actors to sing the song and placed a camera in front of them. So it's completely lifeless and boring,which is a real disservice to the music, which is actually pretty funny and entertaining. It was just so weird to watch. All the actors performed like they were on stage, so everything was very theatrical, but the setting and direction were so static and boring that they looked ridiculous. We would've been much better off with a filmed version of the actual stage musical than what they did here. I was completely disappointed and kind of embarrassed. And whoever told Uma Thurman that she could sing needs to be fired immediately.

16. America's Sweethearts

Another terrible movie. It's not even entertaining as a turn-off-your-brain romantic comedy--it was just fucking terrible. Painfully unfunny while thinking it's very clever, trying to be do some meta-commentary  trying to make fun of the movie industry while not realizing just how embarrassing it is that movie people are worse than this, and that the movie itself proves it. Ugh. Everyone in it annoyed me, but the nothing was worse than Julia Roberts and her stupid fat suit.


Well, that's one long, random list of movies. That's what I get for not catching up on time. And what I get for not doing things I actually have to do and watching terrible movies instead.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

'13 Movies: Moonrise Kingdom, Cruel Intentions, Topsy-Turvy, Queen of Versailles

7.Moonrise Kingdom

Didn't like it. I think Wes Anderson and I just don't mesh sometimes. I loved The Royal Tennenbaums; it was bizarre, quirky,  really funny and heartfelt.  The Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my favorite movies. So I thought I'd give this one a go. Alas, it just didn't work for me. It was a beautifully done movie: the lighting, the colors, the gorgeous panning shots of the island. But the story was a little too precious, the dialogue a little too stilted and weird, and the acting of the child actors was painful to watch sometimes. And everyone else seemed to talk like they were asleep or drugged, so that I never cared about any of the characters or what was happening to them. I wanted to like it, but grew completely bored of the whole thing, which was overlong and tiring.

8.Cruel Intentions

Remember 1999?! It was amazing! A magical time when Ryan Phillippe was the hottest man alive (to some people, which, blech), Sarah Michelle Geller's clothes were considered the coolest things ever, and no one knew just how irritating Reese Witherspoon really was. Aw, this movie. It tries so, so hard to be edgy and dangerous and racy, and by God it was!-- back in 10th grade when the idea of two girls kissing was outrageous and we thought this movie was full of amazing acting. I used to hate this movie back then, but now that I'm older and wiser (ha!) I've come around and realized just how ridiculously fun it is and now I love it and want to watch it three more times, in a row. The dialogue is cheesy as all hell, the clothes are hideous, and Joshua Jackson is blond and gay. It's perfect!


I can't believe I sat through this whole thing. Well, I guess I can, considering how little actual attention I paid to it as it played in the background of me sewing some pants. I'm not even sure why I watched it, other than it just being there and me having a craving for some pretty costumes and sets. And it did have that, in spades, but it was also terribly boring, with a meandering story that never went anywhere, and no actual stakes for anyone involved. It was fun to see the theater and singing bits, and Jim Broadbent is always a ton of fun to watch, but there wasn't much more to the movie. Which is probably why no one remembers that it ever existed.

10. The Queen of Versailles

Ugh. This movie made me feel dirty. In so many ways, and none of them pleasant. It's a documentary about a filthy rich man and his trophy, botoxed-to-hell wife, who set out to build a disgusting monster of a mansion. Then the market crashes and boo-hoo-hoo, they lose everything. It's a weird thing to watch, because at first you just want to hate these horrible people--because they are truly awful, awful human being-- but when the crash happens you, well, don't exactly feel sorry for them (specially not when the horrible wife spends $2000 they don't have on caviar), but you don't exactly feel good about it, because losing all your money just sucks. It was just really fascinating to watch and be amazed at the incredible timing of the filmmaker, while also trying very hard to accept the fact that these people are real. I'm sad to realize that yes, they are very real, and they are very horrible, and that there's probably lots of people exactly like them out there. Brr.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

'13 Movies: 'Dear Zachary'

6. Dear Zachary

Hey, ever wanted to feel like someone had just punched you in the gut after they just finished telling you the saddest story you'd ever heard in your life? Then, boy, this is the movie for you!

Gah. I'm sorry. I'm being ridiculous because I can't even think about this movie too much, and attempting to do anything close to a review seems like a disservice. This was an extremely powerful documentary, to say nothing of being one of the most gut-wrenching things I've ever seen. The less you know about it, the better, but I'd stay away (or read about it) if you're the really sensitive type. I'd read a summary on it and even that didn't prepare me for how shocking the story turned out to be. The fact that all of it really happened is almost too much to believe, if only because it's so hard to accept that something like that could really happen. But I'm going round in circles. It's really difficult to watch, but it's also in parts quite beautiful--specially the parts at the beginning that just speak about what a wonderful man Andrew Bagby was. In short, it's not something I'll forget anytime soon, and I'm very glad I watchedit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

'13 Movies: 'X Men: First Class', 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles', 'Ballerina'

January sucks when you're working retail. After the craziness of the holidays, the stores completely empty out and you're left doing nothing but returns for angry customers who've just realized that their significant other spent only $12 on a hideous sweater that they can't even exchange for something pretty. And the hours are cut so badly that you start wondering if it's even worth it to spent the money to drive to work only to get yelled at by people and get a measly paycheck. Which is a long way of saying: I'm gonna spend a lot of time watching movies this week. And writing very short reviews. Or trying to, because just as with my Cannonball reviews I keep telling myself that I *will* post about this movie tomorrow...then tomorrow comes and I watch three more movies and forget to catch up. But I will try.

3. X-Men: First Class
This was a rewatch. I think it says a lot that I left it sitting on the table for almost two weeks before watching it. It's not bad movie--in fact, I liked it so much that I watched it twice in theaters and twice more at my father-in-law's house. It's just that it's not one for infinite rewatches, like The Avengers is. It's a great superhero movie, but the more you watch it the longer it seems and the sillier the younger people come off looking. I guess that's just what you get when put teenagers at the center of the movie. But it's worth it for every scene featuring McAvoy and Fassbender--and even Kevin Bacon kicks a little bit of ass in this. So, I still like it, but I think I'll be better off not watching it again for a while.

4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I can't believe I'd never watched this one, because it was hilarious. I think my expectations were lowered because I've seen way too many movies that want to be just like this one--the odd couples/road trip that is constantly meeting with disaster. But this was the original and this was the best, and I was constantly surprised by how much fun I was having. It's helped by perfect performances from Steve Martin and John Candy, who'll just crack you up by often not doing much more than just stand there crinkling his eyes. Definitely glad I watched it.

5. Ballerina
There's something so compelling about ballet documentaries for me lately. I don't even like ballet very much. But  this one and First Position from a while back just makes me want to watch more of them. I think it's just that it's fascinating to watch people so dedicated to an extremely rare and demanding pursuit, and how strange and interesting the life of dancers seem to me. It helps that it's another very well done documentary, where you're always glued to the screen and get completely caught up in the stories of the people in the story. I only wish it had been a little longer, but it was otherwise a very good documentary.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

'13 Movies: "Les Miserables"

2. Les Miserables
Oh, holy everything. This movie was incredible. Beautiful, magical. Heartbreaking. I can't remember the last time I cried so much and so often as I did during this, and not just from sadness, but from just how beautiful the entire film was. The performances were so raw, the music so beautiful, the scenery, the costumes, the...everything. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, and every time I think of Anne Hathaway singing "I Dreamed a Dream" my heart breaks a little bit all over again. It was an amazing experience and one hell of a good way to start the year at the movie theater. Can't recommend it enough.

3. The Muppet Movie (1979)

...And for something completely different!

This was adorable and hilarious. I love the Muppets. Who doesn't love the Muppets? The evil people, that's who. It's impossible to not feel a little happier after watching the Muppets doing anything, and this was just a great movie. Everyone who was anyone in the 70s is in it, and just spotting all the cameos is a hell of a lot of fun. I also liked it much better than I did the most recent Muppet movie, which was...cute, but sadly lacking in actual Muppet moments, giving way too much time to the humans and the less-than-impressive songs. This one is a classic for a reason, and I know I'll be watching it over and over again in the future.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

'13 Movies: An Officer and a Gentleman

Heh, so much for keeping constantly updated.


1.An Officer and a Gentleman

Thank you, Netflix, for your ridiculously specific movie categories, like the one where I found this movie: "Sentimental Movies of the 1980s". I had a vague idea this would be too much in the vein of Flashdance to be any good at all, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it's a little cheesy in parts, but there's an actually interesting story and some darker themes working in the movie that made it a pretty enjoyable experience. Richard Gere is surprisingly attractive in it (though as lifeless as usual), Louis Gossett, Jr steals every scene he's in and the rest of the cast is pretty decent. So, it's very 80s but just competent enough to keep it from being completely ridiculous.

The theme song remains terrible, though.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Movies Today: "Flashdance", "First Position"

Two wildly different movies, two very different reactions.


Why did I even watch this? I knew it'd be terrible. And boy, was it. It was all 80s synthesizers, neon glow, big hair, scary women, ugly dudes, and really aggressive dancing. It did make me wonder where that Super Powerful 80s woman went; the one who'd wear shoulder pads and stilletos and want to kick your ass at any given opportunity. I suppose that, as with so many trends in the 80s, it was taken way too far and just became way too crazy to sustain itself. I think that's probably a good thing. So it just wasn't a very good movie, but it's definitely fun to finally watch the movie that inspired so many horrible trends that are actually resurfacing nowadays. The cut-up sweatshirt! Legwarmers! Super-high-leg bathing suits! Mohawks! Awful stand-up comedians! Terrible movie.

First Position

I'm so happy Netflix recommended this. It's a documentary tracking the attempts of six young ballet dancers to compete and succeed at an International Ballet Competition in New York. There's three boys and three girls, ranging from 9 to 18 and from all kinds of backgrounds, and it's a fascinating movie. It's kind of amazing what those kids go through, and I liked that you could tell, very easily, that the kids love dancing. And there's nary a stage mom in sight! It's all about the kids, and it's heartbreaking, beautiful and inspiring all at the same time. There's some beautiful moments with the kids families and of course all the dancing we see is breathtaking. I'll even admit that the ending made me cry a little. Highly recommended.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Idea:Movies I've Watched

I don't want to let this blog die. Trying to write book reviews obviously turned into a disaster, so I think I'll try to get back in the game by going back to how it started: writing about nothing, mostly as a way to get things off my head and keep track of some of the painfully mundane things I do every day.

One thing is to just keep track of movies I've watched. I tried writing it down in an actual, physical journal but found that really boring. Also, what's the point if no one will ever read it? At least with blogger there is an infinitesimal chance that someone will read it. But, whatever. Let me ask, though: Is there a movie version of Goodreads out there? I love how Goodreads gives me a chance to keep track of books I've read without having to write reviews, and just give them a quick rating. I don't know, is that even an original idea? Wanna buy it from me?

But I'll start now, and hopefully compile some kind of list at the end of the year or month. I watch a lot of movies. And I'll try to be as honest as possible and not fail to mention the admittedly terrible movies I watch on my days off when I just want to sit still for an hour without having to think too hard about what I'm watching. Like how I watched Tinkerbell the other day. And how I didn't hate it. It was actually super cute and fun and something I'd like to watch with my future daughter-who-will-probably-never-exist.

I won't even bother writing more than a two-sentence review, either. Gut reaction's the title of the blog, dammit, and I'm gonna stick with that. So, welcome to Five-Minute Reviews of Movies I've Watched.

 Ugh. Uuuugh. Big steaming pile of crap, seen through a dirty blue filter. What a terrible, nonsensical bore of a movie this was. I can't even think of one redeeming quality about it other than the casting of Idris Elba and Michael Fassbender, and even that is pushing it, because goddammit, no, it was a terrible movie and handsome men don't make up for lazy writing. Not even the visuals were that great. Everything was muddy and half-assed and confusing. I never once cared about anything that was going on in my screen, and never once did the filmmakers give me a reason to care. Definitely skip that one.

A while ago I asked my Facebook friends what the worst movie they had watched recently was. The question was prompted by having watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which was fucking awful. Now, I don't think Prometheus was worse than that monstrosity, but it came pretty damn close. It's definitely the worst current movie I've seen this year. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book #10: 'Dead Star Twilight' by Chez Pazienza

Hi, I'm back! I know, I've been just the worst at reviewing books this year. And I've been reading, just...not bothering with reviews, as 5 of those have been re-reads. The worst part? I haven't written anything because the books I've read have been, for the most part, completely brilliant. And do you know how hard it is to write a review of a book you loved? When you feel like you can't possibly do it justice and trying to write something deep and meaningful about them will just make you feel like a dumbass because you just don't have the words to say anything more eloquent than "HOLY SHIT THAT BOOK WAS SO GOOD"? Yeah, that.

And that's the really long, really annoying way to tell you that I absolutely freakin loved the hell out of Chez Pazienza's Dead Star Twilight. Even that feels ridiculous, because saying that you "loved" a very personal, harrowing memoir about one man's battle with heroin addiction just feels particularly stupid, you know? I think the best way I can describe it is that it affected me like almost no other book has. It's gut-wrenchingly honest and heartbreaking, beautifully written and flat-out unforgettable. I can still remember the sadness, the horror, the beauty of some of the scenes in the memoir, even months after I finished it. It's the kind of story that stays with you. You should read it.

You can buy the e-book version of Dead Star Twilight right here. And you can (and should) read all of Chez's blog, Deus Ex Malcontent right after. That's it. There's a million more things I could say about it, but it would all feel pithy and silly. It's a great book, and you should read it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Book #9: The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie

Yep, that Hugh Laurie. House? Really funny, super sexy British accent, you know who. I had no idea he'd written a book, but hey, the internet teaches you things! So I read it.

The Gun Seller is a convoluted, often hilarious story about spies, arms sales, international conspiracies and a lot of crazy car chases. It's like someone blended The Bourne Conspiracy with a Douglas Adams story, added a little bit of John Le Carre and a protagonist who probably acts a lot like House. The result is very, very funny at times, but also just flat-out confusing in others.

The whole thing is kind of manic, really. It's not surprising to anyone who's familiar with Laurie that the guy is a hilarious writer, and he keeps up the frantic pace throughout. The one problem I had, though, was that sometimes the story would jump around so much and so quickly that I had a hard time keeping track of what exactly was going on in the story. The fact that the main character keeps flipping sides and that everything is centered around things implied and not said, and that everyone keeps lying to each other didn't help matters much.

But, overall, it was a damn entertaining read. Laurie is a great storyteller and is pretty amazing at writing characters and dialogue. In just a couple of sentences you could understand exactly what a character was like, and that's not a talent a lot of writers possess.

Truth be told, I'm not even that much into spy stories, but this one was greatly helped by the humor and nonstop pace. Highly recommended if you want something funny and exciting, and a must-read for any Hugh Laurie fans.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book 8: "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger

Think of the worst boss you ever had. Think of every ridiculous habit, every ridiculous demand, ever time you wanted to set the building on fire because of them. Now multiply that by, oh, a thousand, and you'll end up with Miranda Priestly, the villain of this book and one of the most hilariously evil characters I've ever read.

The story is told by Andrea Sachs, a perfectly normal girl who dreams of being a journalist. Almost by accident, she ends up working at a prestigious fashion magazine named Runway, as the second assistant to the Editor-in-Chief, Miranda Priestly. Even though she hates everything about her job (which she's constantly assured millions of girls would kill to have), she stays because she's been told that it could lead to work with an actual magazine. Though, holy crap, I'm not sure any job would be worth putting up with a nightmare like this.

The job is ridiculous. Miranda treats everyone like shit, basically because she can. She makes outrageous demands, throws money left and right to get everything her way, is sarcastic, shrill, infuriating. And it's kind of hilarious to read. I'd say it's completely unrealistic, but I'm sure there's people like that out there. Brr.

So, the book is really about Andrea's nightmare year in fashion. It's funny and definitely hooks you in, though there's some boring distractions here and there, like the side-plots involving the boyfriend and best friend. And there's times I find myself wanting to shake Andrea and force her to learn just a little bit about the magazine and fashion worlds and not whine so much. I'm sure I would, too, but, come on.

But aside from that, this is, more than anything, a fun read. One second you'll be sitting there thinking this is all ludicrous and impossible, and the next you'll be yelling at the book wanting to slap a fictional horrible boss. Beware the nasty flashbacks, is all I'm saying. I didn't love the book (the subject is a little silly for me), but I liked it quite a bit. Miranda Priestly will stay in my nightmares forever.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Books 6 and 7: "Kiss of the Highlander" and "The Dark Highlander" by Karen Marie Moning

Oh, boy. How do I get out of this one? How do I admit that I read not one, but two romance novels about sexy, sexy Highlanders who have racy adventures with plucky, virginal girls? I buck up, that's what. I sit my butt down and try to review them as quickly as possible so that we can all forget that this ever happened.


These two fine examples of ridiculously fun 'literature' are part of the cleverly titled "Highlander" series, where the basic premise is that there's a group of Highlanders who are druids and possess ancient, secret magic. They use it to travel through time and encounter sexy, plucky girls who change their destinies. And by that I mean 'Have lots of sexy with them and make them happy Highlanders". It's all outrageous and ridiculous and terribly fun to read.

The first, Kiss of the Highlander, features Chloe, the (you guessed it) sexy and plucky 21st Century chick who takes a trip to Scotland to find a guy to take her virginity. No, I'm serious. She actually says she's looking for a "Cherry Picker". YES. Those words are IN THE BOOK. So you get an idea how ridiculous it is. Anyway, she stumbles into a cave near a loch and finds Drustan, a super sexy Highlander who was put under a spell and has been asleep for 400 years. Awesome. So they have to figure out a way to get him back to his century, and they have fun (and sexy) adventures in the 20th Century.

The second book, The Dark Highlander, deals with Drustan's brother, Daegus. Spoiler alert (snerk): He used his magic powers to help Drustan and Chloe be together, and in the process somehow became a Dark Druid. He's now living in the 21st Century and is trying to find a way to keep from becoming a completely evil being or something. One thing that helps is having sex, because of course it does. So he runs into sexy, plucky Gwen and they're terribly attracted to each other. So he decides to take her to Scotland for some reason, where they have to try and get back in time to keep Daegus from turning evil. Or something. I honestly can't remember the details.

They're both equally ridiculous, and they're both damn good fun to read. There's all the stupid cliches of romances, but luckily the author has a great sense of humor about the whole thing. She knows it's silly and cliche, but she wants to have a good time writing it and for you to have fun reading them. And it works. They're two of the most fun romance novels I've read, and I'll confess it: there's some scenes that are incredibly sexy. Be warned though, they are graphic. Like maybe three steps away from flat-out pornographic. But really, that just makes them funnier.

So, I highly recommend these two pieces of fluff if you're looking for something completely harmless and fun to read. There's the usual hilarious dialogue, the "Aye, lass"es, the sex scenes and all the usual cliches. But the characters are fun and not completely stupid, and the plot is actually interesting. You'll probably crack up more than a few times, but I think that's actually intentional for once.

OK, now let's all forget this ever happened.

(Unless of course, you actually read them and want to talk about them, because I'm all up for that).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Conversations on the bus

I take the bus to work. There's all kinds of bizarre, mostly harmless characters. One of them is this one lady in her 60s who works at the mall, and she looks like she jumped straight out of a 1930s MGM movie. Big, deep set eyes with heavy lids. Deathly skinny. Like a very old, very skinny Marlene Dietrich. I wonder about her.

Today she sits down on the bus, holding herself up like she's on screen. Someone from the back of the bus calls her, a very enthusiastic lady I couldn't get a clear look at. It was pretty obvious that Mrs Dietrich didn't want to give her the time of day. She even did that whole "I'm gonna pretend to talk on my phone right now to avoid talking to you" thing, but she was caught.

"Hey [Marlene]!"

"Oh, hi honey."
Voice like Gloria Swanson, I swear

"Have you seen [So and So]?"


"I miss her."


"You look so pretty today!"

"Aw, you're a darling."


"Ooh, where'd you get those pretty earrings?"

"Oh, honey, I don't even remember."

"They sure are pretty."

"You are a dear."

[Silence while Marlene goes through fake phone shennanigans]

"Hey, [Marlene], how's your cat?"

"Oh, she's good."

"What's your cat's name?"


Me: YES.

"Oh that is SO darling!"

[Marlene smiles, not looking up.]

[Long silence]

"My mom has a dog."


"Yeah. It's a little Shi-Tzu."


"His name is Reeses."


[End Scene]

I love the bus sometimes.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Book #5: "Something Borrowed" by Emily Giffin

I'm seriously annoyed that I spent $3 on this garbage.

Listen, I'll read trashy romance novels and enjoy them for the silly fluff they are. I'll read the "diary" of a call-girl and forget about it as soon as I'm done. I'll walk away from a sappy Nicholas Sparks book understand why someone would read it and love it even if I didn't. But a book like this? It just makes me angry and resentful that I wasted my time and money on it. Because it's just crap. The fact that it was a best seller and that it got turned into a movie just pisses me off even more.

The story is stupidly basic. Rachel is turning 30. She's a lawyer in New York and though she has a pretty nice life, she does nothing but sit there and whine about it without bothering to do anything about it. Her best "friend" is an over-the-top attention whore named Darcy, who is engaged to the "perfect" guy, some boring pretty boy named Dex. On the night of Rachel's 30th birthday party, Darcy goes home and Rachel sleeps with Dex. Uh-oh. What to do? Tell Darcy? Not? Forget about it? WHO CARES.

See, some writers could do something with that story. Make it a real conflict, show us how the incident could drive apart Darcy and Rachel. The big problem here is that Giffin makes Rachel to be a completely insufferable character. She whines constantly. She resents Darcy for stealing her thunder at every turn since they first became friends in 3rd grade. But she's such a damned pushover that she has never said a single thing to Darcy that would make her stop acting that way. She does nothing about anything. She just whines, constantly.

This is how every single scene in the story plays out:

"I'm Rachel. I hate my cushy life, my job and my best friend. But everything would be so much better if I had a boyfriend! Darcy tried to get me to have fun last night, how dare she? We've been friends since the 3rd grade even though I totally hate her attention-whorey ways. In revenge, I'm gonna have sex with her completely bland fiance that I am inexplicably in love with (mostly because he's Darcy's boyfriend and he talked to me once), and not tell her about it. I am such a good friend, unlike that bitch, Darcy!"

Ta-da! Now you don't have to read it.

This book isn't just boring and generic, it's obnoxiously boring and generic. There are no high stakes for anything that happens. I didn't care about any of the characters or what happened to them. Rather, I wanted to take Rachel aside and shake some sense and gumption into her, because her endless whining was driving me insane.

Don't read this. Ever. Don't let your friends read it. It's obnoxious, insufferable, and will just make you angry. It's not even worth the clearance priced I paid on it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Book #4: "The Mist" by Stephen King

Oh, how I wish this one had been longer. Not that the length of this Short Story wasn't perfect-- I just didn't want it to end, you know?

This is King at his best. Short, quick sketches of characters, a terrifying phenomenon (a strange mist starts creeping over a small New England town, weird things happen), tense and scary action sequences and a look at what happens to normal human beings when confronted by the supernatural.

It's something every King fan has read before, and it's totally satisfying. We have the usual roster of characters: the Rational Family Man, the cute little kid (who, blessedly, isn't incredibly annoying this time), the Guy Who Goes Nuts, the Religious Nut (King just loooves his crazy Bible-thumpers, doesn't he?), the drunken rednecks. They're all familiar and we feel like we know them But as usual with King, it's not what the characters start out as but what they become that's so much fun to read.

How would you react if you were caught inside a crowded supermarket while something really horrifying happens outside? Sure, everyone would want to be the rational guy trying to keep things from falling apart, but who says we wouldn't be the one sitting by the beer cooler trying to drink away the crazy? King has always been great at this, and this isn't an exception. This is one of his best short stories--fast-paced, bizarre, and completely terrifying in parts.

But I do wish it had been longer, because it's one of those stories that you just want to see continue out into the larger world and--but I'll shut up and not spoil it. I'll just say that I was sad to find out it was so short. And that's a damn good thing in my book. I missed Old School King, and this was a good one to go back to.