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Wednesday, August 11th, 2004
4:42 pm - Little Black Book (Movie)

swanlily
Little Black Book is a cute and funny story starring Brittany Murphy as Stacy Holt, an aspiring producer working currently for a daytime talk show. She suddenly finds out that her boyfriend dated a famous model, and then wonders what other exgirlfriends he has. The deeper she travels into his life, the more lines she crosses. Holt stumbles acrosses his Palm Pilot and finds out all about his past life with exgirlfriends and what he's been hiding. But trouble comes when she befriends one of his exes.

The story is a cute classic chick flick, with some comical appeal, even if a little cheesy at times. But, the real kicker for the story is the ending. I would have to say that the ending really made the movie; not only is it completely surprising, tear-jerking, and introspective...it makes a bold statement about life. I would watch this movie over again, just to see the ending.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5. But, honestly, the extra .5 stars there are just for the ending alone.

I heard the movie got pretty bad ratings, but it was much better than I expected.
critique
Tuesday, July 20th, 2004
1:01 am - All-American Girl (Book)

swanlily
All-American Girl, written by Meg Cabot, author of the famous Princess Diaries, is a hilarious young adult novel definitely in the spirit of Diaries. It follows sophomore Samantha Madison in all her embarrassments, top 10 lists, and crushes. But as if adolescence wasn't enough for her to handle, she just saved the President's life and has been appointed US teen ambassador to the UN--and the First Son may just have a crush on her!

As far-fetched a tale, All-American Girl is, Meg Cabot writes so truthfully and honestly, that she makes the story come to life. You will seriously laugh-out-loud as you're reading, but you'll also cry and smile throughout. The book is fun to read, a nice lazy Sunday afternoon book to enjoy.

This book is the epitomy of teenager-girl novels. Meg Cabot has perfected the art of writing crazed romances and absurd situations. But, what makes you love the book the most is how much you can relate to the main character; you see what she sees and you feel what she feels. The book makes you believe that extraordinary things can happen to normal people because Samantha Madison is just like you.

I honestly could not put this book down. I read it in one day, pretty much five to six hours straight--even reading it while I was eating dinner. And I know that you won't be able to put it down either.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Also posted on pinpoint reviews. If this isn't allowed, please tell me, but I think some of you guys might be interested in this project that I just opened.
2 cents contributed | critique
Sunday, July 11th, 2004
2:25 pm - Music Review

_skyline
Postal Service - Give Up

I heard the Postal Service's CD, Give Up for the first time this week and was pretty impressed. Their lyrics are what really caught my attention- lines like "And I want life in every word to the extent that it's absurd" really appealed to me. The music is calm and mellow, bordering on what I consider "emo." There doesn't seem to be one distinctly upbeat song, and the CD leaves you feeling reflective and not particularly excited to get up and do something. It does contain some great melodies, the song "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" being my favorite. All in all, the CD doesn't break its trend of thoughtful, moody music, which is good if you're in that particular mood. After one run-through though, I had to put on some more upbeat music to counteract the Postal Service.

Rating: 4 out of 5
4 cents contributed | critique
Saturday, July 10th, 2004
6:18 pm - Movie
kab0om_ hey, im megan :) my dad saw this movie in the early 80's, and we recently bought it on DVD. sorry if this is a little too long :X

The Gods Must by Crazy

This is the story of a young African Bushman named Xi. (yes that's how it's spelled, the Bushmen language consists of spoken words along with clicks & popping noises made in the throat or mouth.) The movie starts out seemingly as a documentary, showing the life of the Xi's small family/tribe. One day an airplane pilot drops a glass Coke bottle from the sky, and Xi discovers it and brings it home to the tribe. The tribe is fascinated with the object, which confuses them as it appears to look like water, but feels hard. They assume that the Gods sent it down to them. Soon the family decides it is best to be rid of the "thing", and conclude that the gods must be crazy for sending it to them. In this way Xi sets off to throw the object off of the edge of the world. His journey to the end of the earth includes getting mixed in with some "civilized" people and much more. Throughout the movie a narrator pops up to translate and explain the Bushman's feelings. I found the film charming. Made in the early 80's, this comedy is almost a documentary, as Xi (who's real name is N!xau) and the members of his family are real-life Bushmen. Simple-minded Xi finds some of the "civilized" people's ways completely crazy! The movie shows how "barbarian" or "civilized" is all a matter of perspective. The jokes are simple and silly, but cute. The movie does drag on, and some of the parts with the terrorists aren't explained enough to get you interested. In my opinion they should have shown more of the Bushmen and less of the crazy "civilized" people, although there are a few Charlie Chaplin style jokes involving a British man and a jeep. It can get hard to watch as it feels much longer than it really is, but I recommend it if you're in the mood for a light-hearted story.
Rating: 4 out of 5
2 cents contributed | critique
12:59 pm

___noveletta
Roger & Me

Brilliant. Michael Moore's first movie, I believe. It is a documentary about the closing of the General Motors plant in his tiny hometown of Flint and the devastating effects it has on the town. It's an interesting movie that shows all sides of the story and has plenty of sarcasm and wit. It lags a bit in the middle but is really quite enjoyable, if you like documentaries.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

current mood: cheerful
2 cents contributed | critique
11:37 am - John Kerry, Reactionary -- Article Review

brylcool
I hadn't a clue about the "ancient hatreds" that were afoot in the Balkans during the Clinton Administration's interventions there in 1999. In fact, I barely knew what was happening across the ocean in Southeastern Europe. What I did know is that friends of mine were far wiser in their knowledge of international affairs and were distraught that we, the United States, were acting as if we were "the world's policeman." The very term harkens back to a political cartoon of Theodore Roosevelt as a powerful constable, big stick in hand, ready to persecute the wrongs of empires which rubbed against American interests.



It would be just over a bit of a year afterward that I became interested in politics and world affairs. It was a happy coincidence that this happened to have been an election year. I watched my glowing television that fall as Governor George W. Bush of Texas faced off against Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee in the second of three debates. This particular forum was geared toward a discussion of foreign policy. Living in the pre 9/11 world, Americans, for the most part, enjoyed the last stretch of our "holiday from history." Indeed, Vice President Gore tried in vain to redirect the debate back to domestic affairs, at one point raising Governor Bush's ire as he shockingly asked whether the Vice President was calling him a "hard-hearted" person. Such was the mood of the times, though I know many who long for those days.

Read on...Collapse )

current mood: accomplished
1 cent contributed | critique
1:24 am - Movie: Peter Pan and Iron Mask

swanlily
Peter Pan (Rating: 4 out of 5)

The flying wasn't particularly great, but I thought that there were a few spectacular actors/actresses. Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan was a perfect match; he easily slipped into the character and had the perfect sly smile, adorable dimples, and the most gorgeous sparkling blue eyes. His expression was flawless. The French girl that played Tinkerbell was hilarious; her wide range of expression and energy jumped off the screen. I don't think she needed the added glitter to her face and costume, because her energy radiates. And of course, Captain Hook was fantastic. The story made me cry though. Who would have thought a little fairytale could make me cry. I guess the idea of never being able to see the one you love so dearly ever again is frightening. I thought it was great movie and I recommend everyone to see it. I've watched over and over again just because I thought it was a cute feel-good happy imaginative movie.

Iron Mask (Rating: 3.5 out of 5)

I saw the Iron Mask a few days ago and I thought it was great for an action film. I'd definitely recommend NOT seeing the dubbed version, but the captioned version. Dubbed British voices for asian characters just doesn't work; you end up laughing at the accents rather than watching the movie. If you're looking for a good martial arts action film, I'd definitely watch it. The young Wong Fei-hung is actually played by a girl, which I found hilarious because you really can't tell. But also kind of inspiring because she was so good that she was given the role instead of a less-qualified boy. Donnie Yen is spectacular in the movie and the choreography was done by the same person that choreographed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. There are some really neat scenes, including a battle on wooden logs, because there is a fire beneath them. There's a lot of heavy wire work, but I think it was done seamlessly. I'd rate it 4.5 out of 5 for an action movie, but the acting is never spectacular in action movies; although, i don't think you could argue that the acting was bad--it just wasn't anything special.
critique
Friday, July 9th, 2004
11:31 pm - Movies: Uptown Girls, the Notebook

bohemianthief
Uptown Girls
Sadly, this was not nearly what I'd hoped. My friend recommended it to me as a cute chick flick, so my expectations were already set for "mindless entertainment." But it didn't even live up to that: Dakota Fanning and the Pig were about the only highlights. (Well, no: Mark McGrath, Duncan Sheik, and Dave Navarro had some dorky, and thus fun, cameos.) But the premise was simply... lame, most of the parts were over-acted, and the pace was much too slow. The only redeeming factor, if you swing this way, is Jesse Spencer. And even his character's a jerk.

Rating: 2 out of 5
(I didn't like it, but I didn't turn it off either.)

// I just watched it [above], and I thought this place could use more than just glowing reviews. That being said, hahaha... //

The Notebook
OMG SOOOOO GOOD! Ryan Gosling is a great actor -- he rowed and did carpentry daily for two months as preparation, and even built the dining table used in the movie! -- and you'd never know Rachel McAdams isn't 17 in the beginning of the film. (At least, you wouldn't if I didn't tell you that she was a decade older.) The book is, as in most similar cases, better, but the movie is still fantastic. Seriously people, bring tissue, 'cause most of the audience couldn't breathe through their noses they were so stuffy at the end. It's all about true love, and it's beautiful. The director could have cut between the old couple reading the story and the young couple in the story a lot more smoothly, but hey, believe me, you'll forget about it.

Rating: 5 out of 5
3 cents contributed | critique
8:34 pm

___noveletta
I recently discovered this community and I'm in love. It's a wonderful idea and hopefully more people will join soon! I'm Lauren, and please feel free to add me. I will most likely add you back. ♥♥

__________________

Moonlight Mile

I watched this movie recently and found it to be one of the most touching and well-written pieces of cinema that I have seen in a long time. The story itself is captivating, centering around the fiance (Jake Gyllenhaal) and parents (Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman) of a recently murdered young woman. Her fiance is in the awkward situation of living with her parents and going into business with her father. The family is fragile and full of grief, which leads the fiance to withhold a secret from them. As he deals with his own sadness and at the same time learns to love again, he comes to terms with the memory of his wife-to-be. The story is poigant and the music that accompanies this 1960's-set piece is wonderful. The final scene is especially wonderful. And so, I give it:

5 out of 5 stars.

current mood: content
3 cents contributed | critique
2:08 am - Book Series Review

swanlily
If you have not yet read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, there is something wrong with you. I. Am. Serious. It is an absolutely incredible piece of work and I would be appalled if someone were to claim to be a science fiction fan and not have read Card's genious book. The story follows young Ender Wiggin, a child prodigy, as he is joined by other child-geniuses in Battle School. Earth has already been attacked by the Buggers once, and now they're preparing for a second battle. Ender excels in everything; he is a genius among geniuses. However, there are other obstacles that Ender must overcome, personal and emotional challenges. The way Card gets into the head of each character is remarkable and it really makes the pages just fly by.

Of course, once you read Ender's Game (Rating: 5 out of 5)you must read the rest of the series!

Then, there's Ender's Shadow (Rating: 5 out of 5), which I might argue is actually better than Ender's Game. Ender's Shadow is the companion novel to Ender's Game, except instead of following Ender, it follows Bean, the youngest and smallest, yet brightest, of all the children at Battle School. He acts as Ender's right-hand man when Ender is commander; Ender must depend on Bean to get the job done. But, of course after the Buggers are defeated, it's not over yet for Bean. In Shadow of the Hegemon (Rating: 4.5 out of 5), each of Ender Wiggin's army are kidnapped. After the success with the Buggers, the brief moments of International Peace are gone, and replaced by the desire to gain more power. Shadow Puppets is a fantastic read as well. (Rating: 5 out of 5)

Card writes in a very unique way; he pops into action, leaves suspense hanging, and makes you want to read the entire series in one day straight. Comedy, romance, action, adventure, suspense, drama -- it's got all of them combined!
4 cents contributed | critique
Wednesday, July 7th, 2004
1:37 am - [ sloppy firsts ]

spinnacle
For those of you who know me.. how did you not expect this?

I was introduced to Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts (and its sequel, Second Helpings) by an online friend of mine who mentioned it repeatedly. Its starring character, Jessica "Notso" Darling, is a sort of.. jaded, if you will, teenager. SF tracks her sophomore year - with her best friend, Hope Weaver, moving away - into her junior year. It's hard to explain in so many words - it's just something I encourage everyone to read. Heavy on the sarcasm, of course, but what else is better than that? Really, the only way I can describe it is.. me. I know that doesn't make sense to people who don't know me. It just struck a chord with me, I suppose, because I'm negative, pessimistic, sarcastic, sardonic, cynical.. sadistic, etc. [I think you get the picture.] For those out of high school, it's like a flashback; for those still enduring the aggravation - well, it's a way to compare and sympathize, I suppose.

Hmm. I'm not so good at the review. Anyways, I recommend checking it out, at least. I believe MM posts excerpts on her website.

Rating: 5 out of 5 (since 6 out of 5 isn't numerically correct)
critique
Tuesday, July 6th, 2004
11:04 pm - Movie Review

_skyline
I notice we've started to get some members, so feel free to start posting :)

My friend Erin introduced me to an excellent movie last night, which I think deserves a review here.

Wet Hot American Summer

This movie is hilarious. It takes place on the final day of a summer camp and shows what happens to every counselor- and some campers- throughout the day. It's filled with raunchy fun and quick one-liners. One of the counselors, Coup, is played by the guy who also wrote the play, and being a very obvious-looking Jew, stuck in some great (but not offensive) Jewish jokes as well. My favorite line has got to be, "You taste like hamburger. I don't like you anymore." Every counselor is out to get a girl/guy (depending on what sex you are... and it's not always the opposite sex you're looking for) by the end of the day, and the campers join in on this to some extent as well. Every character is quirky, with only touch of realism, and you will be laughing in every scene.

Rating: 5 out of 5
5 cents contributed | critique
Sunday, July 4th, 2004
10:19 pm - Intro // Book Review // Film Review

_skyline
Welcome to Turn Right Reviews! As you have probably already read in the info, any type of review is welcome here, be it a book, film, concert, CD, food, or anything else. I'm your moderator, Alison, and I've always loved reading other people's opinions on things because it gives me a good idea if I want to invest my time in reading/watching/etc whatever is being reviewed.

I'll start this off with two of my favorites.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Many of you have probably already read this book, but for those who haven't, I absolutely adored it. Written in the form of letters to an anonymous recipient, it's easy to become attached to the loveable and somewhat confused high school freshman, Charlie. This book follows Charlie's freshman year and the changes that occur within himself after meeting a group of eclectic seniors and a trustworthy teacher. It contains many memorable lines, such as my favorite and possibly most well-known, "In that moment, I swear we were infinite." Chbosky manages to give us a personal and in-depth look into the mind of a rather realistic teenager. Charlie deals with problems that many teens can relate to, but reacts to them in extraordinary ways. I loved this book because it really touched on what it means to be a wallflower and passive-aggressive and naive about situations around you. Perks has been called the modern-day Catcher in the Rye, and while I don't entirely agree with this, I do agree that it is a wonderful coming-of-age novel.

Rating: 5 out of 5

---------------------------------------------------------

Igby Goes Down

This movie, starring Kieran Culkin, Jeff Goldblum, Ryan Phillipe, and Susan Sarandon, is amazing. Culkin was the perfect choice for the role of Igby, the sarcastic teen on the run from yet another uptight private school that his wicked mother, played by Sarandon, wants him to attend. Along the way, Igby meets Sookie, played by Claire Danes, who doesn't quite make it to his top five list of people he hates, but only because he's already dealing with too many assholes. This movie has brilliant comic timing, is dark and sarcastic, and even brings us a scene of Culkin in tears, which is only one of many emotional moments in the film. It explores his loveless past and his troubled present, and ends, not on a particularly good note, but on one that leaves the viewer satisfied that Igby will end up okay. Igby Goes Down skillfully combines wit, emotion, and humor and makes for a terrific film.

Rating: 5 out of 5
3 cents contributed | critique

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