30 September 2013

Mid-2013: Reading and watching

i hardly experienced much new material during this middle 6 months of the year. i suppose that directly correlates to me not feeling totally settled or comfortable. its a good litmus. i go for light and airy or re-read/re-watch things ive enjoyed in the past instead.

books:
night circus. 4/5. i wasnt sure what to expect of this one, but i was pleased. it was fantasy, mystery and romance. not too heavy in any one realm, and a new twist on romance that kept me interested in all facets of the story and the circus. not every thread of plot came together in the end but it was enough of a delight that i can say that i really enjoyed the read. im not usually one for large fantasy worlds or circus themes (i couldnt do "water for elephants") but this worked for me.

treasure island. 3.5/5. i can be entertained by the occasional pirate story, but ive never really sought them out. they can be filled with adventures, yes. but i prefer struggles and journeys on land much better (being shipwrecked is fine though). however, this tale was a decent one, definitely for the young adult crowd as its narrated by a young boy who plays a large part in this high seas adventure. of course the famous john silver character was nice to encounter, but the story felt, at times, like just kind of a play by play of events.

a discovery of witches. 3.5/5. i suppose i should give it a 4 out of 5, but somethings holding me back. this was like a dan brown meets twilight/buffy the vampire slayer lore story (well its part of a trilogy to be exact). the two leads were intelligent, attractive PhDs and the plot highlighted lots of history, science, and literature. so if any or all of that is appealing this is a good story in that sense. i just felt, like i do of most stories that span more than one book, that things got a bit contrived (i felt that even halfway through this one, and this is book 1).

tv:
friends. 5/5. i re-watched every episode of all 10 seasons of this show over a couple of months. despite it being my favorite show ever, i had never watched it marathon-style. and i hadnt really watched the show at all since i packed my DVDs away 5 years ago. so, it really was like going "home", wherever that may be...in my heart i suppose. an added bonus was that even dave re-watched many episodes with me. that show was so fun and the characters so memorable and real. i found myself feeling of course most like a monica, but this time through i also found chandler and ross in me too. and that made me smile. the early seasons were so great, and then the characters grew, and while often i wasnt as in love with the later seasons, i certainly appreciated the details and the depth the actors got to take their characters to. dave and i discovered that while the character of ross often annoyed us as a person, david schwimmer, the actor who played him, was a physical comedian genius. ah what a great show. i could go on and on. thanks for the good times friends (and friends who watched friends with me :)).

- dexter. 3.5/5 (seasons 6-8). i caught up watching the final seasons of dexter recently because the show was ending with the 8th season. as with perhaps 90% of the shows fans, i must say that the best of the show was in the first 4 seasons. however, i still found it interesting enough to work through the rest of the story lines to get to the end. undoubtedly i was disappointed with the series end but i wasnt actually thinking it would end with a hollywood happy ending. its a drama about a serial killer, why would it end with smiles and rainbows for everyone? i think they made some of the right choices, but also seemed to have lost some of their cleverness in those final seasons. regardless, i am still a fan of the show and was happy to watch it for the past 8 years.

movies:
- drive. 4.5/5. ryan gosling. that should be review enough, but i will also add a phenomenal supporting cast, gorgeous camera work, and an intoxicating musical score. my gut was tight the whole last hour of the movie. the script must have been only about 20 pages long but the scenes were all gripping. ryan was able to play gentle, caring, and loving in the same space as ruthless, cunning, brave, and violent. there was one scene of the back of his head while he was carrying a sleeping child (swoon), and there were scenes with him violently killing someone. it all worked, and im absolutely convinced that there is nothing and no one the man cant play. im a forever fan.

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