Monday, August 27, 2007

catching up on some 4 star reviews

As I said in an earlier post I've been a little delinquent in my posting, hence the crazy influx of posts within the past two days! So here are some movie & book reviews worthy of 4 stars that I've watched/read since mid-August.

Movie Reviews:

The Prestige - The premise is two young magicians, Robert (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred (Christian Bale) are arch rivals. Robert is trying to discover the "secret" to Alfred's big successful trick that is drawing in the crowds. How far will magicians go to discover each other's "secret?" This movie is definitely worth the rental - it is fast paced, intriguing, a great cast and a great plot twist at the end that will make you want to watch the movie all over again. This is a movie I enjoyed the first time around and I look forward to renting again!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - After dating for two years Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) have a procedure done that erases each other from their memories. During the process Joel decides he doesn't want to lose his memories of Clementine and tries to squirrel them away in other parts of his mind to evade the procedure. This movie is a sweet eccentric love story that I found very endearing in a quirky kind of way. It's not a movie I would recommend for everyone but if you're looking for a quirky love story this is the movie for you.

Amistad - This movie tells the story of the 1839 mutiny aboard La Amistad a Spanish ship heading the America. The ship lands around New Haven and the US Court system is forced to determine the fate of the African slaves found aboard the ship. A great cast: Djimon Hounsou, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman and Matthew McConaughey. This is a moving story and a movie that my DH and I really enjoyed. It is a sobering movie as it is based on true events but a story that all should know nonetheless and one I would recommend.

Part of the movie takes place in the library at Peacefield (John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Quincy residence). My DH and I had taken a tour of their residence in Quincy, MA when we lived there and since I had read books about both John Adams and JQA it was pretty fun to recognize the place and feel somewhat knowledgeable about JQA. For those of you that live in Massachusetts it's a fun way to spend 2 hours in the afternoon. It's only $5 and it's very informative!

Book Review

Since I've already written about my Harry Potter craziness that went on I only have one book to write about.

Amsterdam, by Ian McEwan - This is our September book group book. I had never read McEwan so I was excited to finally pick up one of his books since I always see his books on the New York Times Bestseller lists (he's written Atonement & Saturday, among others).

At the funeral of Molly Lane, the reader is introduced to three of her ex-lovers: Clive Linley, a musical composer; Vernon Halliday, editor of a tabloid newspaper; and Julian Garmony, an important political figure in London. Old friends, Clive and Vernon make a pact that they will not let the other suffer as Molly had suffered prior to passing. Throughout the book they both make decisions and act in ways that will have dire impacts on their lives. This book deals with themes of: ambition, betrayal, trust and selfishness.

I didn't think that the story was all that strong but McEwan's writing style and description flow so beautifully that if you can read it strictly for the writing you might enjoy it. Overall I'd give it 3 1/2 stars as opposed to 4 but I'd be willing to pick up McEwan again. I think it should make for a good book group discussion!

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