Sunday, February 27, 2011


Salt - DVD (2010)

I had been to the library last Monday, the day before the earthquake and got a couple of books and DVDs out, but because of the events of the week, I have not felt like paying attention to anything much. However, I felt I couldn't waste the money, and so watched this one while eating my breakfast, and then after a walk in the sun, while cooking my dinner. I'm also not very good at watching dvds by myself, often fast forwarding through most of the movie when bored.

I thought Miss Jolie, was good and kick ass at the beginning, and it seemed to be going ok as an action thriller, but by the middle of the movie I felt it descended into silliness, and I got annoyed at her wigs, and the stupid major disguise. Liev Scrheiber does a good job as another twisted CIA agent, although that turned silly as well.

So only worth as a 3/5

Saturday, February 26, 2011

True Grit

True Grit (2010)

I took a break away from the horror of the earthquake tonight to meet up with a friend for dinner and a movie. The dinner was at a Vietnamese one I have been meaning to try for a while, the spring rolls were awesome and the soup was a bit odd.

True Grit though was awesome, and had all the things that modern westerns usually lack, in being smart, witty and having a kick ass female lead. It is seldom that we are allowed to see a poised girl who can hold her own on the screen or a Western that does not have some modern model floozy in a corset.

Every scene seemed right in this movie, from the first scene of stepping off the train into the frontier town, to the muted pastels of the Wild West Show at the end. Delicious.

4/5 - worthy of watching on the big screen.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Short Fat Chick in Paris - Kerre Woodham

Short Fat Chick in Paris - Kerre Woodham (2010)
In NZ, Kerre is one of those TV entertainers who has been bouncing around TV shows and radio for years. She wrote a book a few years documenting her training and running her first couple of marathons, motivating lots of women of a certain age to get off the couch and get running. Not me of course, but I enjoyed the first book. I don't run for the bus, but should the house be on fire, or someone is in danger, I would pick up the pace and not worry about my thighs catching on fire.
This one, talks about her running the London and then the Paris marathon, with limited amounts of training, and copious amounts of booze. Good on her, she managed to finish both, and write a couple of books with a certain amount of charm and humour.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Worth Dying For - Lee Child

Worth Dying For - Lee Child (2010)

OMG - enought with the roads again, up and down old Jack Reacher goes, and it is beginning to drive me bonkers. I really want to see him visit a city, go to the movies, catch a bus, but please oh please, could you just leave the country roads alone. It feels like the same old story all over again. But Jack Reacher hot ex army man, I still love you.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Year - Trying New Things

I got given some home grown zuccini/courgettes at the weekend, and I am determined to try new recipes this year, in the hope of increasing my dinner options and of saving some money. I found this wonderful pasta with zuccini sauce on the great Kayotic Kitchen website (sorry, I don't seem to be able to link to the website - oh and the wonderful picture is hers too).

I like online recipes, especially Kay and Pioneer women, as they offer step by step directions which make it easier to follow than many recipe books. This one was quick and easy and didn't use too many ingredients, and the only ones I needed to buy were vege stock powder, milk and some garlic - all things I will use again. I did use Romano cheese instead of Parmesan, as I prefer the taste.

It was quick and easy, and most of all tasty. 4/5

Monday, February 14, 2011

Holiday Reading - A Mixed Bag

Port Mortuary - Patricia Cornwell (2010)

Awwww I am sure I have already sworn to not read any more James Patterson or Patricia Cornwell, and I should have stuck to my guns. I invested a good 200 pages of waffle from this once good and reliable author, but had to toss it to the floor in frustration. I was lured in by her description of using CT scanning for forensic cases on the blurb, but really that only seemed to span two or so pages, and the rest was her now usual mish mash of relationship/niece/work colleague issues that was hard to follow. The cases weren't compelling, and the thrill has gone.


Incontinent on the Continent - Jane Christmas (2009)

I took this one away with me on the weekend, when we did a best friends tour up to see Sting in concert. He was awesome, but I found the book grating. I mean if you are going to go on holiday with your elderly mother who uses a walker, expect to be slowed down.

It could be that after the loss of my own mother I have limited tolerance for women who spend their whole time complaining about their bad relationships. So after twenty pages, I had to let it go.

I think as well, because it has been a busy couple of months I have had only had patience for books that I have enjoyed, and any that require too much work have been left to the side.


High on Arrival - Mackenzie Phillips (2009)

I can remember when One Day at a Time first aired in NZ, and the almost scandalous hoopla that surrounded having a show about a working single mother seemed to raise in 70's society, where as no one would blink an eye now.

Mackenzie Phillips, played Julie, the rebellious older sister whose onscreen antics are so tame and mild when you read this autobiography. Raised off and on by her mother, and then her drug addicted rocks star father, she runs wild with her brother, brewing her own addictions beginning in her early teens. It is a wonder that she kept her job as long as she did, and that she managed to grow up at all.

I did enjoy this book, and it was one of the few that I read all the way through on my summer vacation.


Oogy - Larry Levin (2010)

Truly, this book is a love story, between Oogy and the Levin family that took him in and love him. After suffering horrific injuries after being used as a bait dog for dog fights, Oogy is spotted at the vets by the family, where they are taking their last visit with their cat.

Needing some love, Mr Oogy instantly fitted in with the Levins, especially with their twin sons. The depth of the love between them all is great and it is a great story for Valentines Day, that wonderful unconditional love of a pet that heals your heart.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Room - Emma Donoghue

Room - Emma Donaghue (2010)

Currently on bestseller lists, I waited patiently for this book to come to me via the library. Have I succumbed to buying any this year, well I must admit to having bought one that was cheap on sale. So I will keep you all up to date on how many I buy this year.

Room is an interesting premise. Wee Jack is five, and lives with his mother in Room. Room is the only place they are able to go, as Jacks mum had been abducted by a perv several years earlier, and they are trapped in a shed with no chance of escape.

How they cope living in a single space, with little stimulation makes for an interesting read, and I enjoyed the narrative, which could easily have become annoying.


Monday, February 07, 2011

Lost - Alice Lichtenstein

Lost - Alice Lichtenstein (2010)

Susan decides to take a quick detour while picking up the mail, leaving her sleeping husband on the lounge floor. When she returns, Christopher, who has dementia has slipped out of the door into the snow. Jeff, who has several roles within the small town, is the search and rescue coordinator who interacts with Susan, asking questions and sharing secrets.

I did enjoy the beginning of the novel and Susans narrative, but became a bit confused by the roles of Jeff and Cody, which ultimately made the book a bit confusing or me, as it seemed their stories never quite fused. It did circle around and become more complete at the end.


Black Swan

Black Swan (2010)

Well I have been abscent for a while. I moved from my house of 10 years in December, and house and dog sat for most of January and over the holidays before moving into my house. So, not much time for movies, books or blogging.

So, this weekend, it was a chance on a rainy Sunday afternoon to go and see a movie at the cinema. Black Swan appealed, although I had tried to avoid reading reviews so I didn't know what to expect.

It was a dark beast, this ballet movie. Really a story about personal turmoil and it had me closing my eyes several times, and being grateful that my squeamish friends had stayed at home, as they may have been jumping up from their seats. Both Natalie Portman and Mina Kurnis did awesome jobs playing the determined ballerinas, and the Swan Lake dancing and music helped to make the movie more than the usual Sunday night thriller. Somehow though I came away somewhat unmoved by it.

Ohh, this one is for strictly adults only, don't be taking your ballet loving under 15 year olds to it.