Movie Review #3

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The movie was good for its entertainment value such as: beautiful scenes of italy, bali and india, her unique outfits, and just an excuse to be lazy and watch someone else travel. So overall it was nice, just not realistic.

Now for the bad part. Its sooo fake. Its like a fairytale. Here’s what they try to make us believe:
1) MONEY IS OPTIONAL
She allegedly got divorced and had no money. But yet, she manages to take a trip to 3 countries and stay there for several years?? Not once did she even get a job to support herself. She stayed in pretty nice places for it to be “free”. She even had money to take italian classes from a hot tutor.

2) DESIGNER CLOTHES
How did she have the money? How did she have the time to go shopping? I didn’t see her go shopping. Her wardrobe was very nice despite the fact that she only traveled with “one little bag”. Not realistic at all! For a girl to carry such a small bag with barely any clothes or makeup, they would not look like julia roberts who would wake up freshly made up and with perfect boticelli curls. And we cannot forget how clean she looked while in India and Bali.

3) GIRLS ARE SO NICE AND EASY TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH
Not! In real life, girls couldn’t care less about other girls. But in this movie, she makes girlfriends easily. And in all the cases, they approached her. She didn’t have to do any effort. Its as if they knew she was the celebrity “julia roberts” even though shes “acting” like someone else. I’m sorry but in real life, girls are catty as can be!

4) LIFE IS PERFECT WHEN YOU TRAVEL
Nothing annoying or bad happened to her while she traveled. She wasn’t mugged. She didn’t really have a bad day. Things always worked out for her. That’s not realistic. The only time something “bad” happened ended up being “good”, like hurting her leg to meet the guy of her dreams.

5) GURUS ARE WAITING AROUND TO HELP WHITE AMERICAN GIRLS FIND THEMSELVES
Im not really sure what his intentions were. Exactly how was he benefiting from this relationship? Was he that lonely that she was his only friend? She only brought stress to the guru.

6) GAINING WEIGHT IN THE MOVIE MEANS WEIGHING 125LBS
The girl she met in Italy was complaining about gaining weight and she was so skinny. So they set out on a journey to find bigger jeans…whoa thats a great story. If that girl is fat, then I must be obese. I was laughing out loud when they were both in the dressing room trying to close her size 4 jeans on her obviously tiny body. It was sooo ridiculous because the jeans obviously fit her tiny ass. But they kept acting like she was the girl in the movie “Precious”.

7) MEN ARE LINING UP
For us normal looking folk, men don’t just appear the way they appear in this movie. If i went to a crowded play, i certainly would not catch the eye of the lead character. 1) because its crowded 2) because i don’t look like julia roberts
This movie is just an insight on what its like to be beautifully attractive.

8) WHAT THE HELL WAS SHE LOOKING FOR? DID SHE EVEN FIND IT?
I still don’t know what she wanted in the first place. I mean, i just thought she wanted a long vacation. But isn’t that what everyone wants? We just don’t have the money like she did. She claimed she wanted peace. But how exactly? In the form of a man? I thought the movie would be a little deeper than that. I think she was just bored the whole time.

9) POOR LIZ, HER LIFE WAS SO AWFUL BEFORE THE TRIP!
They didn’t convince me that her life was so bad before
She was in a mansion, friends, her cute husband, what was the problem? Well, they did’nt really show it if there was one. If it was an issue of editing, there were many other parts of the movie that i would have sacrificed so that they could add a scene about why she hated her life so much.

10) LIZ WAS VERY RESPONSIBLE TO LEAVER HER MARRIAGE OF 8 YEARS SO ABRUPTLY
I wonder if she even had a heartbeat. She didn’t give him a chance to fix it. And she left halfway around the world. I don’t think he was that bad. She acted like he abused her or something.

11) SHE’S NOT INDEPENDENT, BUT SHE THINKS SHE IS…..
Yeah, she did make the trip halfway around the world, BUT, she only makes decisions based on the guru/medicine healer’s opinion. In the end, she has no mind of her own.

12) LACK OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
james franco (david), richard and her husband didn’t really have good character development. They all just disappear into the void.
13) How did Felipe fall in love with her so fast?
They barely just met. I can’t figure this one out. Was it because felipes son told his dad that its time he have sex again?

14) POOR & MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS CAN’T HAVE ENLIGHTENMENT
Why? Because we don’t have the money to take years off our jobs and go to 3 countries and go on vacation.
15) The guru/medicine healer really needed subtitles. I tried hard to understand a word he said.

16) THE TITLE OF THIS MOVIE SHOULD HAVE BEEN “SELFISH AROUND THE WORLD”
Liz is selfish, not because she is trying to find herself but because of the way she is with other people in this movie. She doesn’t think of others while she is trying to find herself. They tried to make her seem so nice by giving the house to the family, but that was the only nice gesture. She didn’t care about anyone else ‘s feelings.

HERE’S WHAT THE MOVIE HAS TO OFFER:
1)A scenic break from our mundane lives that last about 2 hours.
2)It will make you think its time to go on vacation.
3)Will make you want to cook or eat italian food
4)Its fun to make fun of this unrealistic movie

But that’s all it is. Other than that, it was entertaining and i love julia roberts charisma and charm.
But don’t expect to find your own enlightenment here.

Book Review #75

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Before reading “Eat Pray Love”, I noticed that many of the reviews were highly polarized. While overall I very much enjoyed this book, I can also understand those who didn’t. In many ways the book feels like a self-indulgent first draft that needs the hand of a good editor to tighten it up. While Elizabeth Gilbert has an intimate style of writing and a witty turn of phrase, it did feel like EVERY funny story and EVERY clever thought had to be crammed in. Sentences like: “every word was a singing sparrow, a magic trick, a truffle for me” – why use one metaphor in a sentence when three will do?!

I found it interesting the way that the writing style mirrors Liz’s journey. When she starts out in Italy her writing is frenzied and self-obsessed. We hear far more about her depression than we hear about Rome. She revisits her failed marriage and failed relationship to the point that it feels like the book is stagnating. What makes this extra frustrating is that when she does occasionally talk about Italy, her writing is exquisite. She describes Venice as “a wonderful city in which to die a slow alcoholic death…spooky under its gray November skies”. Another standout for me is a wonderful description of going to a soccer game. She also integrates quotes from famous people and facts about places very well.

In the middle section of the book (at the ashram in India), the pace slows. This section is mostly about Liz’s struggles with meditation – lots of breakthroughs followed by setbacks, followed by more breakthroughs followed by yet more setbacks. I found this section interesting, but it’s not really about India.

The final section, in Bali, was the standout for me, as Liz learns to assimilate the personal growth that she achieved in India into everyday life. She builds some very real relationships with the locals and I found her descriptions of Bali and the culture to be insightful and interesting. For the first time, it felt like she was able to look around and recognize that she was not the most interesting and important thing to write about.

Despite its flaws, I very much enjoyed this book. The short chapters and frequent humor kept me turning the pages and I warmed to Liz as I read on. The idea of taking a year off from life is not something that I would be in a position to do, but I enjoyed reading about someone else’s adventure.

Movie Review #2

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This movie probably has the most creative and well done scene of any movie I have ever seen. And that is saying quite a statement.

Naked Gun is based on a short lived television show called Police Squad which was basically a spoof of Dragnet and all the old time police dramas. Everything in the tv show was slapstick and sight gags and it was well ahead of it’s time. The show was funny in it’s own right but some bad scheduling and the fact that you had to watch it all non stop as it was so involved lead to its downfall after a mere 6 episodes.

The Zucker brothers who produced this show and are the men behind the hilarious movie Airplane, decided to revive the short lived TV show, but this time in a movie format. And thus the Naked Gun:From the Files of Police Squad, was born.

Lt. Frank Dreben is the focus of the TV show and of this movie, he is a clueless cop (played by Leslie Nielson) who has a habit of hitting things with his car and always makes time for the women. The woman in this case is (Prisila Presley) the assistant to the would be bad guy (Ricardo Montebon) who Frank takes a liking to, after she is sent to spy on him, while the bad guy masters his plan of controlling unsuspecting victims to kill people without even knowing they are under a hypnotic spell. Along for the ride is Nordburg (None other then OJ Simpson) , Franks partner who is shot early on by thugs on a drug boat which leads Frank into looking in to the main criminal in the first place. A plan to end the Queen of England’s life is soon unveiled and lets just say its a mad romp from location to location with lots of laughs mixed in.

But the thrill of this movie isn’t the story, that is almost secondary and almost a little nonsensical at points. Its the fun situations that Frank seems to get into everywhere he goes. One moment he is in the mid east stopping terrorist, next he is hanging from a building as a fire burns inside and he is chasing a killer doctor in one of the wildest car chases ever. The laughs are so great in this movie that you truly can watch this many times and get just as much enjoyment from the wacky satire and one liners that are thrown at us non stop.

As mentioned above this movie does contain the best scene ever. I won’t give it all away but it involves a baseball game that the Queen of England happens to be attending and Frank Dreben must find out who the unknown killer at the game will be. The whole final scent of this movie is so priceless that I don’t know if something this brilliant has ever been matched in a movie. I just watched it again with my family and already we were cracking up as if we were seeing it again for the first time.

This is truly a lost art when it comes to comedy. It didn’t rely on sick or gross humor but on simple slap stick and straight one liners by people who are taking their roles seriously without being in on the joke that we the viewer are in on. Even the soundtrack is catchy and well done. It’s just a very complete and hilarious movie that you will want to watch many times and with many people.

If you want a funny movie, that is short enough not to drag on but funny enough that you will have to pause it to catch your breath, have I got the movie for you. Naked Gun : From the Files of Police Squad. Get it today and you will wonder how you ever got by without it. I can’t recommend it enough and you won’t be sorry adding this to your movie collection.

Book Review #74

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As a fan of 30 Rock (and Mean Girls!), I was excited when I heard that Tina Fey had written a book. And just from a look at the back cover, it seemed like it would be funny. (“Totally worth it.” ~Trees) Not to mention the very positive review from Entertainment Weekly.

I started reading the book and though at first I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I expected, there were still good moments and funny and even a little illuminating. Despite the slow start (particularly the chapter about her father Don Fey), the book got funnier as it got into more familiar territory (specifically, her time on Saturday Night Live and how that transitioned into 30 Rock).

There is more in here than just a bunch of self-deprecating humor. Mixed in between her humorous anecdotes (her makeup tops, for example) are an interesting look into the male dominated world that is comedy writing. (I have a friend trying to break into this world and she is finding much of what Fey described.) We also get some good tips about how best to manage people (using examples of how she runs the show). Fey shows a sarcastic, determined, funny persona that has helped her become the successful, if quirky woman that she is. She is clearly hardworking and has earned her way.

At the same time, this isn’t a tell-all. We don’t delve deeply into any particular experience (for example she talks about being slashed in the face as a child but discusses how other people bring up her scar more than the actual incident, we get only a cursory look at her time on SNL, etc). There are times when I would have liked to hear more, such as a look into her work on Mean Girls or some more about the people she has worked with (we get a decent amount about Amy Poehler and Alec Baldwin, but few others). Even with that, it was enjoyable and insightful. (This would probably be hysterical as an audiobook read by Fey.) It was nice getting to know a little more about Fey, who seems to be a slightly higher functioning version of Liz Lemon and I would definitely not be opposed to reading more form her in a few years