Saturday, October 30, 2010

Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet - DVD (2010)

Harmless girly fun, that will have the boys snoring and rolling their eyes. Still a little Italian scenery and a sweet love story made this a fun nights watching. It's not rocket science, and the English love interest is pompous and just plain annoying, but there is almost nothing on tv, and this one made me wish for summer.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Made in Dagenham

Made in Dagenham - (2010)

Yippee for a smart and funny film that tackles some real issues. Sassy girls work at the Ford Factory in the UK, and start industrial action when they demand equal pay, in a time when women workers are often paid half the money of men with similar skill levels. You can't help but like the group and want them to do well. Especially when the big guns are sent over from the States.

4/5 for this feel good girly fest.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Every Last One - Anna Quindlen

Every Last One - Anna Quindlen (2010)

Annas writing drew me into this book, and I read it fast, lulled by her gentle pace and vivid descriptions of home life,and the inside turmoil of being a mother to teenage children. Without giving too much away, I enjoyed both halves of the story, and felt she did a good job of describing grief and guilt and communication, and how difficult it can be trying to be strong for each other.


Talking to Girls About Duran Duran - Rob Sheffield

Talking to Girls About Duran Duran - Rob Sheffield (2010)

The title grabbed me with this book when I saw it in the library, I used to be a big fan, and still like to pump out some of their tunes on my ipod. I was also charmed by Rob Sheffields earlier book Love is a Mixed Tape. I picked that one up in the library on a wet afternoon, and was drawn into his world, in which he told his life, his wife who dies suddenly at age 31 and the music they shared.

In his new book, Rob tells us a bit about what is happening now, and more importantly what went on the in the 1980s, in his teenage years. Being the same age, I could relate to most of the stories and the songs, and many a chapter made me smile, especially because I had the biggest of the big hair!!


Hotel Meina

Hotel Meina (2007)

I felt bad, cause I didn't read any reviews of this movie, and suggested it to friends on Saturday night. It was part of the Italian film festival, and it looked better than the repeat rubbish that NZ tv plays.

It wasn't much better, in fact when it started it had the look of a cheap movie made in 1970, by fifth formers. The story was interesting, how a group of Jewish Italians end up being imprisoned by Germans in the war, and the rest of the tourists are told to continue having their holiday. The Turkish/Jewish owners try to help the prisoners, but little can be done to help them.

It was a pity the production side of the movie and the writing let the story down, and truthfully I can only give it a 1/5.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wondrous Oblivion

Wondrous Oblivion - DVD (2003)
So David Wiseman is a young Jewish boy, growing up in post war London, who loves Cricket, but has no skills. Then new neighbours move in, a Jamacian family who set up cricket nets and new friendships form.
This new wave of immigrants however are not welcomed by all the neighbours and this becomes a sweet story about friends, family and prejudice. Worth a watch, and a good family movie, of the sort that used to be played at the weekend before the manboys took over the tv.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Juliet - Anne Fortier

Juliet - Anne Fortier (2010)

Interweaving a modern story of orphaned twins, who bought up by their aunty, find at her death that not all is as it seems and both girls end up travelling to Italy, to Siena to discover the history of their family and the curse that has followed them.

Meanwhile we are told about the story of two families feuding in 1340, and how the real story of Romeo and Juliet unfolds.

I enjoyed this read, and loved the historical story more than the modern one, which seemed a bit forced. An interesting story of how the Shakespear tale is actually formed by earlier stories of two real young lovers. 3/5


Brothers - DVD (2009)
This one was pretty bleak to watch, it's no cheery cheesy flick but I had seen the ads and knew what I was in for. Older brother Sam is a marine, who is reported dead while on duty in Afghanistan. His younger brother Tommy, who is normally a screw up and just out of prison, steps up to help out the young wife and mother left behind.
I thought it was well played and thoughtfully done, Natalie Portman is beautiful but still only looks like she is 18, Tobey Maguire looked like he was dressing up and playing soldier and Jake Gyllenhaal did a great job of playing hurt.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mad Men

Mad Men - Season 1, DVD (2007)
This is one of those series that I have caught bits and pieces of, and is much better watched as a whole, where you can follow the flow of the story. The affairs, the outfits and the smoking - oh my goodness, it must suck to be the crew on this shoot.
Anyways you all know the gist of this one, 60s ad execs lounge around the office, smoking, drinking and putting down the women, while the girls try and keep a smile on their faces. Don Draper is the epitome of suave, but you know he has some deep dark secrets going on inside.
4/5 - I keep thinking I couldn't help but feel sad after watching this series.

The Snowman - Jo Nesbo

The Snowman - Jo Nesbo (2010)

This was for me one of those thrillers that started out promising, but seemed to lose it in the middle, waffle on a bit and then regroup for the end, the bit when you find out who did the business. I, of course had guessed much earlier on, and in the end was just waiting for the book to end.

A Norwegian tale, the bleak winter type scenery had scary visuals in my head and the attacks on women were almost enough to make me stop reading, but I did continue on til the very end. 3/5

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear John

Dear John - DVD (2009)

I didn't have hight hopes for this one, the combination of Nicholas Sparks and the movie trailer indicated that it would be a Sunday night slow viewer. But it was ok, the two main characters seemed to actually have some chemistry and although the plot was as predictable as an episode of 2&0.5 Men (I hate that show), I did enjoy this quiet little movie. I'll give it a 3/5.

As television in New Zealand truly does suck at the moment, I am watching more and more dvds, and have got a good pile of books to read, so I am not missing it. The weather has been a bit unspring like, so that has meant more evenings stuck inside the house, but I am never at a loss for things to do. Never time to be bored around here.

I haven't been to the movies in a while either, there seems little that actually appeals to me, and the prices put me off. I will probably so see Eat, Pray, Love as my friends want to go, but have heard mixed things about it, and I have never really understood the hype around it all.

So I'm off to do the dishes and a few chores, put the electric blanket on the bed and read my book for an hour or so before sleep.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - DVD (1991)

1991 this one came out and I think I remember going to the movies to see it, but it was a loooong time ago now. Anyhoo I popped this dvd into the player on Friday night, to avoid the horrendous X factor show and local rubbish that dominate Friday night viewing - did I tell you that New Zealand TV sucks? Case in point - Adam Sandler is doing his monthly show of the Waterboy again tonight. Please stop the manboys deciding what to show - pllllllllllleeeaaaaase!!!

Anyway this chickie flick is the story of the friendship of a forty something woman who befriends an elderly lady at the rest home, and she begins to tell the story of two friends during the thirties. Without giving it away it is a great tale and even though it is 20 years ago, and looks a little dated the story is still strong, and I enjoyed this repeat viewing.


The Blind Side - DVD

The Blind Side - DVD (2009)

Hmmm I pondered writing about this one for a while. It's an ok movie, but I wouldn't describe it as a favorite or being memorable. It is however heart warming, and the stuff that Sunday movies used to be made of years ago.

Wealthy family help out a young homeless man, changing all of their lives. The story itself is nicely done and although I like the job that Sandra Bullock did, I'm not sure it is worthy of the little gold statue. I mean it might be a bit of a push getting her to play her own age, instead of the usual ditzy chicks she is cast as. And I am sure the blond hairpiece did look tight and uncomfortable.

3/5 rainy day viewing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Search - Nora Roberts

The Search - Nora Roberts (2010)
I must admit to have only read only one Nora Roberts book previously, but this one appealed to me in the bookstore, so I was willing to give it a try. Young lonely woman, with a traumatic past goes to live on quiet island, where she trains rescue dogs, meets a hunky carpenter, trains his dog, crazy men still stalking women and girl and hunk rescue together.
Did I say it all in one sentance, without giving it all away? Anyways it was nice easy reading, although I seemed a bit distracted by the so so average story which seemed to have some raunchy stuff and swearwords thrown in, to try and make it more hip and young. I don't know, the mixture felt a bit forced for my liking.
Still it was an ok read, when I needed a bit of quiet distracting from the day to day stuff. 3/5

Friday, October 15, 2010


Creation - DVD (2009)
I like me a bit of Paul Bettany, even with a receeding hairline and odd Victorian muttonchop sidies, there is something about him thats appealing. Even with his lovely wife Jennifer Connelly who always looks in dire need of a sandwich, they make a believable Mr and Mrs Darwin.
Especially after you google about them and find out they they were first cousins who married and lost several of their children at a young age, and including their favorite daughter Annie. And that the story that this movie is based on, was written by Mr Origin of the Species great great grandsons.
So, I enjoyed it in a Sunday Masterpiece theatre way, as I like a bit of corset drama - beats Adam Sandler and the manboys hands down. 4/5