vamysteryfan: (Default)
 Last night I went to a fun lecture at the Newseum. Three local film critics - Arch Campbell, Ann Hornaday and Bill Newcott - picked 10 movies that they thought shaped the boomer experience. They each picked three and then all agreed on one.

Ann Hornaday - All the President's Men, Apocalypse Now, Star Wars
Arch Campbell - American Graffiti, The Godfather, Psycho
Bill Newcott - Goldfinger, Wizard of Oz (remember the Pink Floyd version?), Sound of Music

And the quintessential boomer movie? The Graduate. They loved the soundtrack and the nuanced performances.

It was interesting how important they all thought soundtracks were. Ann Hornaday was scathing about George Lucas. She said his biggest contribution was to improving sound and his movies made enough money that theatres stayed in business. Otherwise, Star Wars infantilized the movie industry and it is still trying to recover. But Star Wars did have an enormous influence on the culture. 

The three all had informative comments on why they chose their picks. In the Q and A afterwards, the second-guessing began. Why Apocalypse Now and not Deerhunter? Where's West Side Story. Where's 2001: A Space Odyssey?

So what would your picks be?
vamysteryfan: (books)
 Beatlemania to be precise. More books published for the 50th anniversary of their first US appearances
 
Days That I'll Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono by Jonathan Cott 
Jonathan Cott brings together his Rolling Stone interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono from 1968 until just before John's death in 1980. He includes an interview with Yoko from 2012. These versions include material that never appeared in the magazine. There are some amazing insights into the couple's relationship and influence on each other. The introduction almost put me off the book, as he kept including lines from the Beatles' songs. The illustrations and photographs by John and Yoko are fascinating.
 
The Beatles in 100 Objects by Brian Southall 
An enjoyable journey down Memory Lane (Penny (for your thoughts) Lane?). Lots of the items are from the early days, before they hit America and it was nice to read about them. The illustrations were glorious and the stories associated with each item were fascinating. I loved the stories behind the boots and the suits. It seemed well-researched and detailed.
 
Some readers call Louise Penny's series the Three Pines series. I think Quebec is the thread that ties them together - history, politics, and people. I haven't read the entire series but these two were mostly satisfying without the additional information from the whole series.
  
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny 
Sixth in the series. This is not an easy read. I had almost given up on Louise Penny, but I'm glad I picked up this one. There are three separate plots going on. One is told in flashbacks while two are contemporary (but the flashbacks fit into the contemporary story). She ties them all together properly. The character development is strong and the stories are interesting though the ending will be hard to read. I learned a lot about Quebec's history. The separatist movement figures largely here. Definitely worth reading. 
 
How the Light Gets In  by Louise Penny 
Ninth in the series. Chief Inspector Gamache finally unravels the last mystery, Jean-Guy Beauvoir confronts his demons, and a thirty-year-old mystery is finally solved. It took nine books to get here, but we finally find out who the patient mastermind/Gamache's antagonist is. Quebec's separatist party figures largely here as well. Gamache's plan to counter the mastermind was set in motion months before and reading it play out is a thing of beauty. Penny makes you feel the cold, both internal and external. Well worth reading, but it will make very little sense if you haven't read any of earlier ones in the series. Brief note - I loved her story about Leonard Cohen in the acknowledgements.  
 
And just for the heck of it:
I'd seen the movie Whiteout and someone told me it was vastly inferior to the graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. So I finally read that. The novel was better - funny how that happens. I didn't care for the changes the movie made. The novel is worth hunting up.
 
 
 
vamysteryfan: doll me (doll me)
I finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy. So glad I did - what a hoot! Yes, the plot's predictable and there were some issues, but overall, it was a fun movie. Chris Pratt dancing at two points was perfect but hysterical, Zoe Saldana was awesome, I didn't even recognize Karen Gillan, and the soundtrack with the 80s music! Some of the actors in smaller roles were amazing. Well worth seeing on a big screen.
vamysteryfan: (Default)
I hate that people take their Christmas decoration down so early. What happened to keeping them up until Twelfth Night?

I hope everyone had a nice New Year. Sister 9 and I made a day of it. We went to the U.S. Botanic Gardens to see the model train sets. The theme this year was World Fairs. They had all these models from old World Fairs made out of plant materials. We also took a walk around looking at the orchids and palm trees.

Then we went over to the American Indian Museum for lunch at the Mitsitam Cafe. A few of you have been there. The food is scrumptious. She had maple-cured turkey, I had Brunswick stew, and we split the Indian corn pudding. That pudding was outstanding! I want to try making it. Oh, so good.

We went to a couple of floors of the museum, including a short film about Indian tribes. (Jenn and I saw it a couple of years ago). We also went through some sections of what tribal life used to be like and what it's like now. Very interesting.

Then we went over to the Air and Space Museum. When she saw they had a movie about the Hubble Telescope in 3D in IMAX, we had to see it. It was fantastic. It's probably the closest I'll ever get to being in space, but it felt so real. It was so crisp and sharp. Afterwards we had a nice conversation about how "Gravity" contrasted with the real thing and how the photos are enhanced.

There will be photos soon I hope.

Gravity

Nov. 11th, 2013 01:14 pm
vamysteryfan: (Default)
Sister 9 and I finally went to see Gravity with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in 3D last night. I know the science is shaky, but the movie is stunning! Just suspend disbelief and see it. I forgot to blink and ended up gasping several times. Sandra Bullock deserves tons of respect. It looks so authentic. Well worth seeing.
vamysteryfan: (Default)
On my must see list. Captain America: Winter Soldier trailer http://youtu.be/82RKQPgeYRs Watch DC get blown up (again)! I remember when they were filming the scenes. Steve Rogers is a pretty man!
vamysteryfan: (Default)
Sister 9 usually has movie night every Saturday. Sometimes they are popular, even Academy Award nominees. Sometimes they are thrillers or a little more obscure. It's definitely expanded my horizons. The last few have included The Call with Halle Berry (very tense), Lawless with Tom Hardy, and People Like That with Al Pacino. I was never much of a Colin Farrell fan but we watched Dead Man Down. The beginning is violent but then it turns into a (violent) psychological thriller. Really good.
vamysteryfan: (books)
Finally saw Cloud Atlas. It was pretty confusing. There were six different story lines in six different time periods. The stories were interwoven so that they all carried through an overall story. Each actor played multiple roles. The acting was outstanding. Sometimes I didn't even recognize the actor. The special effects were great too. It's worth putting in your queue.

One of the minor things I enjoyed was the sci-fi references. Naming characters Lester Rey and Sonmi-451, e.g. Very nice.

I do want to read the book now. I put it on hold at the library. My current book project is still reading the ones mentioned in Welcome Home.
vamysteryfan: (Default)
Sunday was a clean all the things day for me, even the kitchen and bathroom. I also did some grocery shopping - the shelves were pretty bare.

I went to a very nice Parade of Boats along the DC Waterfront. The boats sailed up the Potomac from Alexdria and then paraded along the Washington Channel. Lots of the boats docked at the marina were decorated but the parading ones wre really elaborate. I think my favorite was the Peace, Love and Rock and Roll boat. It had a heart and a peace sign and blasted Jimi Hendrix. They also had a sign "Make Love not Wake" (a sailor's joke).

Internet access is a little iffy this week but I hope to post some pictures and the book post a little later. In the meantime, here's the new preview poster for the upcoming Star Trek movie:

spoilers, sweetie )

Ian McKellan was making the rounds of the morning talk shows. The beginnings of hobbity goodness for the next two weeks!
vamysteryfan: (Default)
Entertainment Weekly posted ten photos from the movie The Hobbit http://tinyurl.com/84kgnf8. EW's popup ads are exceedingly annoying to me but Martin Freeman is worth it. He looks so adorable in a couple of them. If you haven't read the book, then I suppose they are spoilery. Or if you don't want to know what the dwarves look like.
vamysteryfan: (Default)
Martin Scorsese should have won Best Director for Hugo. I was happy Hugo won for cinematography.

Billy Crystal inserting himself into the Best Picture nominees was hilarious.

When Sandra Bullock said it was time for "sexytimes" at the Governors Ball I could hear fangirls all over the world cracking up.
vamysteryfan: (Default)
What a good movie! I saw it in 2D and it was still visually stunning. Great plot, wonderful acting and much more of a love letter to the early days of filmmaking than The Artist. The two preteens leads were so strong, Ben Kingsley was so good and even the smaller supporting parts were cast so well. Jude Law has a small role early on. See it if you can. (Though the matinee was $10 - double ouch!)

Also you must watch the Hugo Visual Effects Reel. It is a genius way of presenting how visuals effects integrated with live action. http://www.wired.com/video/hugo-visual-effects-reel/1402665516001
vamysteryfan: (Default)
I just saw Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Very cerebral movie. Fantastic acting. Lots of little subtle bits. Benedict Cumberbatch looked great with the very straight ginger hair and the stylish suits. He has a couple of scenes where I was awed by the way he sold the emotions. I wasn't that big a Tom Hardy fan before. But A. those lips and eyes! and B. Good acting. And Gary Oldham was fantastic. Also, can I just say $8.00 for the matinee?!? Ouch!

Pic of the day is a little more poignant than usual. At the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, they put wreaths around the necks of the lions and lionesses. So sweet.

vamysteryfan: (Default)
Oh thank heavens - there's a video clip of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law from last night http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_hdIrrG-q0 Pretty much made the night for me!

And here's a link to the fanvid they showed. Hilarious! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s08I4sdrsfE&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

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