Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ondine - dvd review

This is an Irish sea tale, starring Ireland's own Colin Farrell as a fisherman named Syracuse in modern day Ireland. Of course, this is a character that Farrell can relate too. Syracuse is a recovering alcoholic who does his best every long day to see his ill daughter, Annie (Alison Barry) home. Annie is in a wheel chair and needs a new kidney who lives with her mother and boyfriend.

Everyday, she waits to hear a marvelous sea story from her dad as he pushes her home. Finally, he has a real story to tell her. He caught a woman(Alicja Bachleda) in his net, who miraculously is alive. Its a fierce tale, of course, but he's not sure he can admit its really true. Annie mixes in a bit of her own imagination to the tale about the woman from the water. She thinks of Ondine as a sea witch or a selkie.

“My name is Syracuse, and I’ve been sober for… two years. This is where they all.. clap.”
“Where’d you see that, in the movies?”

Syracuse's luck has changed with Ondine around. He catches more on his boat. He's hoping to keep her to himself, but Annie catches on quickly. If only it could have all stayed a fairytale, unfortunately, Ondine has a past and it draws near. Their are hoodlums after her, along with the drugs she is suppose to have.

A beautiful back drop for a movie, yet one with suspense. There is a mix of old customs with in the story too. How important religion is... even for those who might not be that religious in the village. Farrell shows he is capable of such a wide range of emotions. His quiet quaint Syracuse falls off the wagon and shows a rather bitter side of the man from the sea.

TRIVIA NOTE: Colin and Alicja met on the set of Ondine and later had a son named Henry.

Alison Barry  played her part amazing as Annie.

If you want to watch a bit of what Irish film has to offer, then you'll be glad to find this movie.

STORYLINE: On the coast of Cork, Syracuse is a fisherman, on the wagon, living alone. His precocious daughter, Annie, about 10, has failing kidneys. One day, a nearly-drowned young woman comes up in his net; she speaks oddly, calls herself Ondine, and wants no one to see her. He puts her up in an isolated cottage that was his mother's. Annie discovers Ondine's presence and believes she's a selkie, a mythical seal turned human while on land. If this is a fairy tale, is there a happily ever after, or do the realities of alcohol, illness, and worse intrude, including Syracuse's inveterate bad luck? As his priest tell him, misery's easy, it's happiness you have to work at. Any hope of that?

ondine credits

Ondines or undines are elementals, enumerated as the water elementals in works of alchemy by Paracelsus. They also appear in European folklore as fairy-like creatures; the name may be used interchangeably with those of other water spirits. Undines were said to be able to gain a soul by marrying a human and bearing his child.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fiction Tuesday - Dear George Clooney Please Marry My Mom

This novel was written by a Degrassi writer, Susin Nielsen, but don't go thinking it has anything to do with a Canadian teen show. By the looks of the cover, one might consider it juvenile, but you won't find it in the Children's area at the library. (It was moved to the YA section due to its mature themes at our library.)

Its about a twelve year old named Violet who just might be violent toward her Dad. She lives in Vancouver with her Mom and little sister Rosie while her Dad has moved on since the divorce with his actress blond/fake boob wife Jennica.

Violet has serious Daddy issues. It doesn't help much that her Mom will date about anyone after the divorce, parading around in anything that isn't Mommie clothes. So Violet and her friend Phoebe (who so happens to be raised by psychologists who won't let their daughter call them Mom or Dad) look out for her Mom through spying. Violet does her best to take care of her and her sister. She's been dubbed by the mean girls at school as "Pancake" which Phoebe feels is a much better name than her own nickname "Piggy".

If that's not enough, there is a boy at school that Violet is doing her best not to like, but some how, he always enjoys their adventures together..Jean-Paul from Alaska...especially, when they want to find the bad on her Mom's new boyfriend, Dudley Weiner who is perhaps the Paul Giamatti type who runs a bathroom store.

All the while, Violet knows he's not good enough for her mom who teaches at a hair salon. So she decides to write George Clooney. See, her mom cut Cloony's hair once when she worked on film sets, and he gave her an autograph photo.

The story is fun yet seriously  heart felt as Violet goes on this search to find her next Dad since the real one has abandoned her and her sister for a new and improved family in L.A. It truly deals with some mature themes that many can relate to.

I enjoyed the author's voice. Her story made me laugh and cry.

The Horror of it

Its hard to say if its the best time of year for movies. And yet, its a good time to get back to the theater. There is plenty to give you a scare.

DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK:  No one does it better that the story telling of Guillermo del Toro, in this chilling story of a child afraid that the critters might make her one of their own. However, its a remake and Katie Holmes stars along with Guy Pearce. It was suppose to be PG-13 but with the grisly violence has established an R-rating. As always, del Toro has a way of creating more than just a story. There are strong characters as well as those undeniable monsters that do exist in our everyday lives.

Dustin Milligan might be one of the reasons to see this..or not.

SHARK NIGHT IN 3 D: Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water. Sara Paxton is back as the reining queen of this kind of slasher film since THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. Of course, this isn't anything nearly as violent. Still their are sharks on the lose in a lake. How is this possible? Well, we know some will be doomed. The movie has a big cast of CW favorites. Dustin Milligan, Alyssa Diaz, even American Idol's Katarine McPhee. Storyline: A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to fresh-water shark attacks. Of course, this one might be destined to bomb, but still if you need a good old horror fix or a laugh, in spite of it...this just might be a guilty pleasure.


Saturday, August 27, 2011


Macy's has something special to promote next month...Wendy! Starring Tyler Blackburn as Pete and Meaghan Martin as Wendy. Got a hint what its about????

Check out Macy's

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fright Night - Movie Review

In 1985 a horror comedy came along. It was like none other of its time....Fright Night. About a boy who didn't believe his geeky friend that their was a vampire in the neighborhood. The rest was history.
A vampire that eats apples.
Will Denton as Adam in the opening made me think of a straight edge Ed Furlong.-photo credit

Granted, this version took the characters name and premise, but its definitely more than just a remake. First of all, there is a fantastic cast. Colin Farrell as Jerry the vampire definitely adds a certain chemistry to the movie. And what a performance! He is definitely the perfect Jerry. Sexy. Witty, and oh so wicked. There is Anton Yelchin showing what a believable teenager he is in his role as Charley Brewster. His Charley has some how landed an amazing girlfriend(Imogen Poots) who wants to be with him. But he still can't leave his old friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) behind. Ed tells him there are lot of kids not showing up at school. Their friend Adam is missing (Will Denton who definitely gives a surprising performance in the beginning of this movie). It isn't until Ed goes missing that Charley starts to wonder what's going on.

Of course, Charley's Mom (Toni Collette) doesn't quite understand what Charley is up too. She sees their neighbor Jerry as quite likeable and definitely available. The movie is full of suspense. There is a bit of predictability about it. Yet, Farrell's Jerry is one smooth operator and is definitely ready to chow down on his victims. Even scarier, is the traps Jerry sets in his house.

Finally, Charley goes to the so called Vampire hunter who turns out to be more of a Criss Angel type magician. Naturally, its David Tennant who gives quite a performance as Peter Vincent. Tennant is an amazing scene stealer and is fun to watch in this movie.

If only these two, Dave & Chris had been in the movie more. Chris made a wonderful Evil Ed.

Also Dave Franco is showing he's not just James Franco's little brother, anymore. He's definitely one to watch for this year in more movies. Of course, the film doesn't really show off its true horror until closer to the end. But the suspense definitely moves the movie along and Farrell's Jerry guides the way.

Imogen and Anton

Definitely a dark comedy, but Yelchin definitely gives it heart and that makes it worth the watch. Imogen Poots is definitely his equal. And its great to see Lisa Loeb as Ed's Mom, too.

eye glasses and all, just a bit part but still perfect as Ed's Mom

STORYLINE: A remake of the 1985 original, teenager Charley Brewster (Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (Tennant), a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to help him take down Jerry.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cash Cash

Amazingly this New Jersey band started in 2002 (All the way back to 3rd grade!). Although there have been a few changes with the band over the years. This group has been on the Warped tour and even supported Cobra Starship in the UK. They've toured with Family Force 5 and Breathe Carolina, as well.

The band was started by long time best friends Sam Frisch, Jean Paul Makhlouf and then bassist Jeff Sayers a.k.a $nake$, for fun, with drummer Michael Diroma Cruisester(Anthony Villacari is the new drummer). In the beginning they were THE CONSEQUENCE but ran into some legal troubles with the hip hop artist by that name so they decided to go with Cash Cash.

 These guys have been making the dance charts with their singles RED CUP, PARTY IN YOUR BEDROOM and VICTIM OF LOVE. Their latest release came out in April, Love or Lust.

Jean Paul and Alex Luke Makhlouf are featured in the video game, Sonic Colors. They sing the theme song, "Reach For The Stars" as well as the ending song, "Speak With Your Heart".



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ceremony - dvd review

Max is Henry Winkler's son.

Max Winkler wrote and directed a movie. Its a quirky little gem. New York bred with just a hint of the nature of Noah Baumbach's creativity. The movie reminded me of Margot at the Wedding. But only slightly. Seriously, an original story.

storyline: A young guy crashes the wedding of the thirty-something woman he wants back.

Its an unlikely friendship between two long time high school friends (now in their twenties), Michael Angarano as Sam and Reese Thompson as Marshall. Of course, Sam hasn't talked to Marshall in over a year while Marshall has been a recluse of sorts since his incident on the streets of New York City. But Marshall has a car and Sam, a struggling children's author needs him to drive him to a wedding. Sam has to stop Zoe (Uma Thurman) from marrying Whit (Lee Pace).

So many interesting performances in this little film. Beautifully photographed, and quite a weekend party.

Little does Marshall know how he's being taken by Sam. Angarano's performance comes off so laid back, yet some of the time, you wonder, if he and Marshall could be more than pals. Truly, a New York kind of bromance. Yet Sam is a ladies man. He still has his heart sat on Zoe, who loves his work as a writer.

Everyone is sad here, Marshall. That’s why we could really clean up in a place like this.

Sam, Ceremony

Lee Pace is such a scene stealer in the movie. Always wanting to be filmed. Everything is about himself as he documents where he's been..all for the essence of the human condition.

Reese Thompson with Max

There are so many quirky things about the movie. Uma Thurman is beautiful in every way. I was happy to see Reese Thompson who really is quite under-rated. He's becoming the actor I can't wait to see what he does next.

Michael: I was gonna play Marshall for about a year and a half before the movie got made. Jesse Eisenberg was gonna play Sam but he left to go do ‘Social Network’…
Max: What is that?
Michael: …it’s a small film…

Max Winkler is getting a great start. I can't hardly wait to see what he does next.

You don’t start making a movie unless you believe, deep down, that this movie could be something really fucking important.

Max Winkler

Fiction Tuesday - Emily, Alone

At the moment Stewart O'Nan is the best women's fiction author I can think of. Sure, I'm a fan of Elisabeth Berg and Anne Tyler, but O'Nan over the years has so many voices in his writing. He's quite the chameleon in creating unique characters you want to get to know.

The first book I ever read of his was A PRAYER FOR THE DYING. As I can recall, it was the second epiphany I ever experienced while reading. Granted, this story isn't quite as tragic as the story about an undertaker who lives in a small town after the civil war where the plague has struck. But O'Nan has a way of giving depth to the most ordinary.

Emily, Alone is the sequel to WISH YOU WERE HERE. You don't have to read that book to enjoy this book. This story focuses basically on the mother, who lives alone wishing she knew how to make things right with her daughter and son. Also hoping she'll really know who her grandchildren really are.  Some day. Before she's dead. Of course, it doesn't help much when the one who she thinks looks the most like a lesbian. Really, all Emily would love if her family would reach out to her more. But when the do, she's suspicious of their actions.

Emily was always the wife. She never drove much. Now her husband Henry has past away, and she has the big Buick in the garage that she can hardly get around in. Little alone, get out of the garage. She has her husband's sister around, who might be more of a hindrance than help. But she expects Arlene to do the driving. But when Arlene has a bout in the hospital, she see she's a much better driver than her old friend who can't stop chain smoking. Then there is Rufus her dog who is quite a character, too.

“There’s the question that I write about a lot — there’s the weight of the past but then there’s the possibility of the future — is it too late for us to change? And that seems to me a very American question because it seems to me that we’re so concerned with self-invention. We can get very complacent and say, ‘This is the person I am’ when you’re always becoming something else.”
—     Writer Stewart O’Nan tells Terry Gross about a reoccurring theme in his work, NPR

Book critic Maureen Corrigan’s review of Stewart O’Nan’s ‘Emily Alone’: It takes a deft hand to do justice to the ordinary. Most novelists don’t even bother to try, which is why most novels are about a rip in the fabric of the routine. It’s tough to find fiction ambitious enough to tackle the story of a run-of-the-mill job, a hum-drum family; but, if the mundane matters to you, then Stewart O’Nan is your man.

It is good to read about ordinary life. The routine of how we live which makes one wonder how we remember and how we forget, as well. Its one of those books that will make you want to pick up the phone and see how that relative is doing that you haven't heard from in a while.


Monday, August 22, 2011

THE HELP - movie review

Possibly, everybody you know has had this book on the list at this year's book clubs. Now is the time to celebrate. Everyone can group together to see Katheryn Tate's novel made into a movie.

emma&ellie henry

This film in a piece of history that needs attention and yet to be savored. The story takes place during the riots in Mississippi back in the 60's. The movie certainly shows the nostalgia of the era. Showing from style to where 'colored' were guided to go, in the theater or just to the bathroom. It hits a certain nerve of what a work force was put through. The fact remains it was never easy to say the civil war was over, in spite of measured decades and other wars. The tension is exposed through the story of Aibiline played by Violia Davis as a maid for the white folk in Jackson, Mississippi. Of course, her story might not have been possible if it hadn't been for a white girl named Skeeter (Emma Stone) who wanted Elaine Stein (Mary Steenburgen), a magazine editor back East (who hasn't a clue what Skeeter and the maids are going through in the south) to hear this piece of Americana that little knew of.

Truly, a fine tuned cast. The costuming and setting is so mesmerizing. This has to be one of Bryce Dallas Howard's finest performances as the cold harted Hilly Holbrook. As well as Jessica Chastain as the good Celia Foote that everyone thinks of as white trash. These southern women certainly have their cliques. Most were raised by African American maids. Perhaps Emma Stone's Skeeter was ahead of her time. She prefers the single life and hoping to go to New York City. But first it'll take stories from the housemaids to get her on her way.

The stories get juicy, yet there are some impulses that makes one think, why couldn't some of these women think for themselves. There is something about civil right and women's rights that intertwine through this story. Yet, the vast comprehension that nothing is going to change their world.

Hopefully, this film will garner many awards to come this year. I hope. It was lovely, sentimental, and tugs at your heart. It might be hard to get the beau to go with you to this film, but hey, co-workers, friends and book lovers can't hardly wait for the next showing of THE HELP.

STORYLINE: Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives -- and a Mississippi town -- upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up -- to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories -- and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly -- and unwillingly -- caught up in the changing times.


THE HELP isn't without controversy. Rumor has it, the author didn't pay the actual person who gave her this story, originally. Her name so happens to be Abilene. The community of African American feminist historians aren't so hot on how the movie depicted the African-American Housemaids in this film.