I really think that Bag of Bones was significant in King’s writing as he really steps away from his typical “horror” genre and intertwines a sprawling ghost story of good and evil and of love and hate. This book was not about demons and ghouls that lurk in the night and in our nightmares. Instead this novel touches on the very real horrors that live in the minds of men instead, the unthinkable created out of lust, greed, and bad choices. King delivers something in Bag of Bones unlike anything I’ve read of his before.
I’ve never seen the made for TV version of this book, and honestly I’ve not heard very good things either. But now that I’ve read it, I’ll have to see if it’s still listed on Netflix. I don’t know that anything will do the book justice. In fact, I’m sure it won’t but I’ll still give it a go.
Elizabeth’s Midnight by Aaron Michael Ritchey
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to read Elizabeth’s Midnight before it hits the streets on the 7th of May. Every spare opportunity I’ve had this past week has been spent with my noise to the page reading this well written beauty. Wondering if Elizabeth Meyers will find all the answers she’s been looking for.
Elizabeth’s Midnight is an enchanting coming of age story where adventure and magic collide griping at your heart until the very last page. For Beth Meyers the world has not been so kind. She has horrible mother and two petty sisters. Her only solace is reading to her catatonic grandmother when she is not drawing the characters faces inside of her novels. Until one day, when everything changes. Elizabeth’s Grandma May wakes up with a story of Princes from magical lands, World War II Nazis and the desperate need to get to France before Midnight on Halloween. For the first time in her life, Elizabeth will face her fears, defy her mother and sneak away to France with her grandmother, fall in love, and discover weather or not her grandmother was telling the truth.
From the very beginning it is easy to relate to Beth’s insecurity’s about life. At some point or another, Beth embodies everything we hate about ourselves. Fear and loathing at it’s finest. By the end of the book, I was charmed by Elizabeth’s passion for adventure and her willingness to stick everything out to the very end. She found her voice and embraced her inner dragon and let it roar.
Aaron Michael Ritchey is the author of two other books, Live Long the Suicide King, and The Never Prayer. I just picked up a copy of the later myself and am anxious to read it. I can’t recommend Elizabeth’s Midnight enough. It is a charming story about a girl who learns to accept who she is and embrace life to the fullest. If you are fan of magic, fairytales, or adventure then I recommend picking up a copy of Elizabeth’s Midnight this May!
Ready Player One is littered with references to ‘80s pop-culture, virtual reality, video games, an array of geek heroes, and enough cult items to keep your interest far past the first read. It’s been a little over six months since I read it last and I can personally testify to this fact. But don’t skip the rest of this article if you’re not overly geeky, Cline is able to maneuver this ultimate nerdgasm into an accessible narrative that even you, my dear un-nerdy friend, will enjoy.
From the very beginning of the event we were treated with the utmost respect. I didn’t know what to expect from a radio show but I couldn’t have higher praise for it. It was only about an hour and a half of my day but it was well spent. If you ever get the opportunity to go to one of their tapings, I can’t encourage you enough to say yes.
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
When I read this book series, Divergent, I was deeply torn between a woman who was more of a bad ass then I could ever dream of being, and a women who was so broken she felt unlovable, unforgivable and more often then I’m sure some of us would like to admit, completely relatable. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is simultaneously both of these women. She pulled at my very human heartstrings and I fell in love with her story.
There is a moment near the beginning of this follow up film to last years block buster, when Tris and Four (Theo James) are ready to fight a group of fractionless foe on a train. The shear anger is palpable on Tris. She closes her eyes, centers herself and just like that, is taking on a train of baddies without a second beat. Moments like this remind me that Shailene Woodley has come a long way from her early days on Secret Life of the American Teenager, to the kick ass – ask questions later – character she plays in Insurgent.
Insurgent picks up at the very end of Divergent leaving no room for questions about time laps. I was pleasantly surprised with this book to movie adaptation. While I know going into such movies that there must be cuts, I wasn’t overly surprised at anything left out or changed for the sake of forward momentum. I’m sure that there are some purists out there that will argue otherwise, but I’m a realist at heart and I can understand that from book to screen some changes must occur. I could spoil all of the goods for you, but since I saw this on a rare opening night, I’ll save them and let you watch it for yourself. It has been a little over a year since I read this series myself, but it still felt fresh enough to say with conviction that this movie justified it well.
The cinematography was raised a notch, if you can believe it. They manage to take this to the next level, using the simulations as an opportunity to blend the surreal with the real leaving the audience stunned and wondering what’s next.
There was one moment that I feel the need to mention. I was laughing out loud, annoying my fellow moviegoers, when a perfect moment took place tonight. Theo James, who plays the love interest of Woodley’s, Four, in Divergent and this film Insurgent; Miles Teller, who plays Peter in this film and Woodley’s love interest in The Spectacular Now; and lastly Ansel Elgort, who plays Caleb in this film but also plays a love interest of Woodley’s in The Fault in Our Stars – were all on screen in one perfect shot with Woodley herself making for a beautiful moment. I wonder if this was a nod to each of their work, and a moment for fans like myself to get excited about. Or perhaps it was simply cinematic serendipity; either way, I’ll take it.
At the end of the day, I enjoyed this film a lot and will no doubt add it to my collection when it comes out on BluRay later this year. Did you watch Insurgent yet, what were your thoughts?
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
When I heard about iZOMBiE I sort of rolled my eyes at the prospect of yet one more zombie tail. Then I instantly shrugged it off and decided I would watch it. After all, I’m sort of a sucker for a new spin on an old story, particularly when I heard who was involved in the making. Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas tells a new story of the undead. A story that is funny, maybe even a little campy, and full of feels.
Since I’ve recently finished reading Warm Bodies, I couldn’t help but draw a few similarities between the zombie attributes. When either R (Warm Bodies) or Liv (iZOMBiE) eat brains they get flashes of what that persons life was. There is a more human side to the zombies, while in both universes they can be horrifically violent as well.
iZOMBiE is loosely based on the comic book series by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, and is a story about a driven doctor named Liv (Rose Mclver) who was infected by the undead and finds her life coming to a halt. Liv copes with her “affliction” and the growing disconnection from her family and friends. She now works for the coroner’s office where she has an ample supply of brains and with her brain inherited knowledge she helps to solve crimes.
If this show makes it, and I hope it does, Rose Mclver is going to be the reason. She is easy to watch and nails the deadpan comedy in such a way that everyone will have no choice but to keep watching. In the pilot we meet an array of new cast, something that feels heavy for the first episode, but should ease as the show continues. There is a lot of story to tell and I’ve no doubt that Rob Thomas will do it well.
What I appreciated most about this show was how fun it was. Between the comic book nods, to the flashbacks, the filming was beautiful. I’m not sure if were seeing anything that new, but a crime show with a zombie twist is something I’ll happily watch.
The Boy Next Door
Reviewed By Miranda Boyer
The Boy Next Door plays out like a reverse gender Fatal Attraction. It is an erotic psychological thriller that explores a forbidden attraction between a student and a teacher. Only in this case that student is a crazy heavy-handed psychopath. I mean it should have been a neon crazy sign when Ryan Guzman’s character gives Jennifer Lopez’s a “first edition” of the Iliad. I don’t know many high school students’ who can even tell you what the Iliad is about let alone spot such a fine book at a yard sale. I mean who wouldn’t want a 3,000-year old book. Either that or that the script had a bad fact checker. But details, details right?
The film had me thinking about Fifty Shades of Gray, however odd that might sound. I found myself wondering if they were trying to ride the fifty’s waves. Then I found myself wondering if I could tell the difference between Lopez’s ass and the body double’s.
I actually enjoyed more of this movie then I would like to admit to. However, I’m nearly certain it wasn’t for the intended purposes. The acting was over top at times, and the story had some holes. There was a part in the last fifteen minutes that was very reminiscent of Evil Dead. I don’t think that was the intention, but squished eyeball has a way of making me think about anything other then what I was supposed to be mentally submerged in.
What were your thoughts on it? Good? Bad? Or just plain ugly?
I’m a multitasker at heart, often unable to only sit and watch a show. I find myself doing any number of other things while enjoying television. Black Mirror’s haunting story sucked me in so completely that within fifteen minutes I couldn’t look away; and that was only one episode!
I’m watching Fifteen Million Merits now; an episode where citizens are forced to earn merits by riding exercise bikes that power the world and by watching overly sexualized advertisements. Their only hope is to become apart of a reality game show.
I had to pause it to finish my thoughts, as I can’t stand the idea of missing even a little of this show. Black Mirror – named so, due to the way our screens appear when they are powered down – is equal parts wonder and horror landing somewhere between the world we know and one tyrannized by Skynet.
I can’t get enough! Have you seen Black Mirror? What did you think?
Second best moment I came across was Patricia Arquette, using her three minutes to accept her Oscar, as an opportunity to address the world with a speech about equal pay for Women! There was strong sentiments of support from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez #askhermore
Ask women about more then just their dress! Change needs to happen, and where better to start then having the women in film stand up and say enough is enough. I generally don’t watch any red carpet coverage, as it is only ever about who’s wearing what. Since fashion has never been my thing, I see little point to allocating time. But the fourth video I watched was a moment on the red carpet with the extremely talented Reese Witherspoon. She took that time to talk about the Pacific Crest Trail. I was surprised when the interviewer didn’t ask about the dress. SHOCKER! Instead she said #askhermore. I couldn’t be more supportive of these role models who stand up in support of women everywhere. Stop asking women sexist questions about what they wear to cover the body their brains are stored in. The idea is to ask about what causes she supports, the risks she takes, her accomplishments, what changes does she want to make, what characters she wants to play. Lets ask about women’s stories and not what they wear.
Lastly I watched a little video of what I can only assume was the introduction. A hysterical song preformed by Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick, and Jack black about Moving Pictures, various hot and not-so-hot films over the last 70 something years, critics, and all of the naysayers. I thought it was beautiful!
I enjoyed my glimpse in the world of glitz and glam. What were your favorite moments?
50 Shades of Gray – Movie/Book Review
By Miranda Boyer
I read this book about two and a half years ago, at the request of a dear friend of mine who wasn’t sure if what she was feeling about it was “aloud”. This alone prompted me to read the book. Whatever it held, it was enough for my friend to question if it was “normal” to be physically turned on by what was written. I really had no idea what I was in store for and it has been an interesting ride to say the least.
In my opinion 50 Shades of Grey has been an intriguing debate because for the first time, on a large global scale, a book gave women an outlet to connect with their erotic selves and work out the complexity of erotic desires. Societal norms dictate that women should have little interest in sex, they don’t masturbate, and in regards to fantasies, well we just don’t talk about them. 50 Shades of Grey gave women permission to view their erotic fantasies as normal. When it comes to women, the idea of forced seduction means never truly being hurt; the only pain received is solely in the interest of more pleasure. When she is being told what to do, she no longer has to think about caring for someone (another ingrained norm) instead the focus becomes exclusively about her own pleasure. More then all this, 50 Shades of Grey made way to simply talk about this in an open forum such as book clubs, and over coffee instead of behind closed doors.
Was it any good? Well that’s an entirely different debate. The book was very simply written. It flowed with ease and main character, Anastasia, could be anyone making her very relatable. Christian, is the embodiment of every female fantasy; he is the bad boy thrill seeker with a billion dollars to blow on the girl of his choosing. He chose plain Jane girl next door. There is endless appeal to the masses for these reasons alone. The movie did a good job at embodying these characters, however cheesy it felt at times. It is no doubt a movie that is better if you’ve read the book; I’m sure fitting 400 pages into 2 hours wasn’t easy. Needless to say they cut a lot out. One thing I felt could have been depicted better was the bickering between the two main characters. It was almost charming in the book, and in the movie Ana felt more like a pushover until the end when she finely stands up for herself. I also thought it was interesting that neither character ever had an orgasm in the movie. It was more then implied, but never actually shown. I’m sure that there is some theory out there about it but I’ve not really given it anymore thought then this.
My biggest complaint about both the book and the movie, there was NO plot. There was nothing except sex. Which is what it is, regardless of if you take it or leave it, but I wanted more plot. As for the debates about whether or not there was abuse and what that says to the world, I’m going to refrain. I think that there are typically two sides to that fence, and the view you have will largely depend on if you fantasize about anything that this book has to offer. I can see how it could be a trigger for some people and how others simply cannot understand. It is what it is, and clearly not a book / movie for everyone.
I would suggest waiting to either rent this film or at least till the theatres clear out a bit more. I broke my rule and went on opening night; we were drowning in commentary from the peanut gallery in a very packed theatre. Note to self, go early to find seating next time you see a new movie.
At the end of the day, this is all simply one person’s opinion. What did you think of the book or movie? Let me know in the comments below!
Like most Americans, I’d heard of the movie The Interview but unlike that 10% of people who enjoy those types of movies, I had no real intention of watching it. That was until the entire hubbub about North Korea being sort of pissed off. That might be putting it lightly but I’m sure you get the jest by now. True to form, I waited to watch the movie. Not because of crowded theatres this time – as we all know it never really went to theatre – but because I knew it would be bad. The only thing that Kim Jong-un ensured was that every single person in America would want to watch the movie The Interview. I honestly wondered if this was some ploy by Hollywood to boost ratings. After having watched said movie, I have a feeling that it wouldn’t have done nearly as good without the extra hype. Thank you Kim. Obama might be a monkey but you sir are a hot-headed fool.
The Interview was at heart – and lets face it, as expected – a typical stoner comedy with an underlining semi-serious message. Did I laugh, no; but it did get a grin or two out of me. Maybe I needed to hit the pipe to enjoy this more thoroughly. It starts with a bad rape joke being sung by a 7 or 8-year-old girl. If that doesn’t set the tone… The film is filled with nonstop sledgehammer of jokes about things going in and out of rear ends. At the end of the day, The Interview was a goofy hit-and-miss farce. There was no political agenda. Had it not caused such an upheaval, I probably wouldn’t’ have even watched it.
Tell me what you thought in the comments below!
Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
It has been more then eight years since I first picked up the book Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Like many of you, I will read nearly anything put in front of me (maybe with the exception of a western). I was delighted – if not a little surprised – that this series was so wonderful. Not only was it an easy read, but it appeals to so many different people for just as many reasons. It wasn’t long before I’d convinced my dad to read the books as well – he is an avid science fiction lover- and now I had someone to share my delight with.
What I love most about the Sookie Stackhouse series is the plot development. Considering how only one book was released each year, Harris is a master at giving old information without the reader feeling like the book is being dumbed down. While I’ve read several of the books a half dozen times, I didn’t reread them this time around after not picking one up in more then three years. Happily, I didn’t feel lost or confused about anything. The development of characters and huge plots are over the course of many books. Often, we meet a character, or something happens and we never know how it resolves –if at all – until a couple of books later. There are never large time gaps –sometimes the next book picks up the following day or week – and it feels as though the reader has had the opportunity to share in Sookie’s life, instead of simply another adventure. It doesn’t mater how special someone is in the book; they all have to survive. They all work, pay bills, shower. It’s one of the things that makes each character relatable in one way or another.
I’m sure there is the wise ass right now asking, if I loved the books so much then why did I put off reading the twelfth installment in the series especially when the last book has been out nearly a year now. The answer is simply this: Sometimes when something is so good, you want it to last, and never end. If I never got to the end, then that meant that somewhere there would always be more. I’ve come to terms with this in the past week and delved in. It was as delicious as southern comfort food.
Many old favorites were back, even a short reprise of Bubba and Quinn –two of my longtime favorite side characters – but others seemed to be a little lacking in this book – i.e. Pam and Eric. Although there was lots of talk about Erik, there seems to be a distinct lack of him. I’m hoping, as it usually does, that this will work out in the final book Dead Ever After. Although by the end of a dead body escaped, I get the feeling that things will not end the way many long time readers (myself included) will want. I’m sure that Charlaine Harris will be true to her characters. Even though I would love to see more Eric, we all know that it won’t last.
Although still not my favorite in the 13 book romp, it was still well worth the read. I can’t decide which I liked more: Dead to the World – I’m sure you know whom I’m voting for – or All Together Dead. If you haven’t read them before, now is as good of a time to start as any. You can pick up the first book from your local used bookstore. It’s 300 pages that can be gobbled up quicker then you can make a pecan pie!
Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir of the craft
I think it is safe to say that there are few books written in the world, that when finished the reader knows without a shadow of doubt, that their life has changed. Maybe this is a bad assumption. Maybe that is the point of reading. With each page you can feel something shifting inside of you moving and growing. When those final pages are consumed and the book is set down, there is little question that the way you see something has forever changed. I believe this is the goal of a good writer. To change your reader, even just a little.
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dated, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, oaky? Getting happy.” – Stephen King
Starting with his childhood and ending with the blue van and the man whom hit him in June of 1999, Stephen King opens up to his audience intimately. King weaves reflections on life and advice on writing culminating in this beautiful work of non-fiction. “One learns most clearly what not to do by reading bad prose…Good writing on the other hand, teaches the learning writer about style, graceful narrations, plot development, the creation of believable characters, and truth telling.” King states while hammering in the advice that in order to be a good writer, one must also be an avid reader. Advice I too preach. King doesn’t believe that a writer can be made, so much as a writer can be molded or formed, talents sharpened or strengthened. You either are or are not. I’m not inclined to disagree with him, however if you are then you’ll note that he makes it a point to remind you (often) that he’s okay with that.
Throughout the book King talks about his relationship with horror novels, movies, and books. Where some of his best ideas came from and when he struggled the steps he took to break through the writer’s block. Something every writer has faced at some point or another, this writer being no exception. Despite the fact that this book is now more then fifteen years old, the advice hasn’t changed. I know that there isn’t a doubt in my mind that On Writing will influence my own writing for all the days to come. If you are an aspiring writer, or maybe just a lover of the written word, On Writing will be one of the most influential books you pick up.
Lock In by John Scalzi
When I drive in the car, cook dinner, do dishes, etc. I usually am listing to an audio book. Multi tasking at it’s best. If I’m being honest with my audience, and I always am, then you should know that the reason I chose to read John Scalzi’s Lock In wasn’t because of his popularity in the science fiction world or the fact that he has been a New York Times Best Seller. No, the reason I picked this book was because Wil Wheaton is one of the Narrators.
I have a long love affair with Wil Wheaton’s writing and much to my surprise I’ve recently come to learn that the triple threat also narrates books! So when I was looking for a new book to read, having previously been blown away by his narration of Ready Player One (Which I will no doubt re-read soon and tell you all about it), I came across Lock In.
Point number two for this book was that Amber Benson also Narrates another audio version. After having read it, I can tell you that there is no gender identity for the lead character whose name is simply Chris Shane. I would happily reread this book with Amber Benson as the Narrator, and I have no doubt it would be equally as exciting, in all new ways.
Lock In takes place decades after a global flu killed 400 million people world wide leaving 1 percent to experience “locked in”. This unlucky 1 percent, also known as Hadens, are unable to move or respond to stimulus in any way but they are completely aware of what is going on.
The world moves on and technology evolves. Humans interact and connect with computers in ways that were never dreamed possible. A virtual reality called The Agora was created. It’s a place where those who are locked-in can interact virtually with the world and visa verse. It should come as no surprise that the younger generation of Haden’s prefers to interact with the world this way.
Android technology emerges in a from called a “threep” (a fun Star Wars reference), which houses the mind of someone locked-in virtually and allows the person to continue to have a life in the real world via a robotic body.
Scientists discover that some rare survivors of Haden’s who were not locked-in can in fact allow those who experience lock-in to essentially rent their bodies to others, they’re called “Integrators”.
Shane’s first day of work at the FBI involves investigating an incident with a dead body of an Integrator. This happens at the same time that Hadens are threatening to march on the nations capital after new legislation is passed that will take away funding that has been essential to Hadens for years.
There is a readily available amount of social commentary as Scalzi hits on the treatment of people with disabilities, the oppression of minorities, civil unrest, and the dangers of big business.
On a whole Scalzi’s Lock In is an old-fashioned detective story set in a world where post-apocalyptic wasn’t an answer. The tech-born culture is incredibly in depth and believable. There is action and whit a plenty. I can really see this making a good film and I hope someday I have the privilege of writing a comparison between the two. Oh if a girl can only dream.
Boyhood is the type of film you would wait more then twelve years for. Richard Linklater’s film is a once in a generational look at what it’s like to grow up. Filmed over the course of 12 years (Taking place between 2002-2013) using the same cast, this is a story of simply growing up from the eyes of a young child named Mason (Played by Ellar Coltrane). The cast includes Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as Mason’s parents and Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha.
When I first heard about Boyhood I was instantly reminded of my all time favorite movies Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight (also staring Ethan Hawke). Each movie was filmed using the same cast and each was also roughly filmed nine years apart respectively. They are about human connection in a way that I had never seen before and up until tonight since.
Boyhood is more then just a nostalgic time capsule; it is a truly intimate look at what it is like to live. Observed via a string of life’s milestones we see the growth and humanism in every character. Watching Arquette on the ground crying ripped at my heart. Listening to Hawke awkwardly give the sex talk to his daughter in a bowling ally was both endearing and relatable. I remember when my dad and I had a very similar talk in the parking lot of a horse ranch. The thing about this film is that more then feeling like you get to experience a very intimate portrait of a family, it reminds you of your own life. Watching the Mason and Samantha at a Harry Potter book release brought back memories of the Barns and Nobel party I went to once upon a time with my younger sisters.
This film is like nothing ever made before, and is truly one of a kind. I didn’t realize that there was a near three-hour runtime before pressing play and I didn’t notice tell well after it ended. As time passes, the film grows further and it gradually captivates the audience. It is clear that this cast also grows with film in so many ways. Boyhood is art pure and simple. I would be hard pressed to pick a better film for best movie of the year and quite possible of many years to come.
Take one loaf of French bread buttered and toast it in the oven. Take that bread and cut it lengthwise, then promptly hollowed out. In one side you fill with a jar of creamy peanut butter, the other side a jar of jam. Lastly fill the halves with one pound of bacon slices fried in oil until crispy. Slap the sides together and you have Fool’s Gold. If at the end of the movie What If the only thing you take away is how to make this monstrosity (also known as Elvis’ favorite sandwich) then I would say it was it was 102 minutes well spent.
This charming little film severely flew under the radar and is well deserving of viewership. Wallace (aka Daniel Radcliffe) is a closet romantic that isn’t afraid to watch Princes Bride alone (we both know it’s one of the best films ever) and who has had an unfortunate bad string of relationships. He forms an instant connection with Chantry (Zoe Kazan). Those of us lucky enough to experience a connection like this know it is a once in a lifetime thing. The on screen chemistry between Radcliffe and Kazan is palpable and the very reason that watching them banter is so enjoyable. Who knew Harry Potter could play such a romantic?! The couple is paired with Megan Park and Adam Driver as the ‘best friends’ who’ve made love and their relationship work despite the fact that you sort of expect them to fail throughout the film. The dialog is sharp and it quickly moves into the ranks of a favorite romantic comedy.
What If you told her how you felt? What if you never told him you loved him too? What if being friends had its benefits? What if is not the formula you might expect. It is very reminiscent of 500 Days of Summer, and I for one can say I finished feeling refreshed and hopeful.
The Internet Archive
Until today, I didn’t even know what a petabyte was. I had to Google it. Uncase, your wondering (much like my over the top technology terminology lacking self) 1 petabyte is the equivalent of 1,000 terabytes. If your not sure how much information is in a terabyte, 1 terabyte is equal to 1,000 gigabytes. The Internet Archive is compromised of more then TEN petabytes of information!
The mission of San Francisco based non-profit company is “universal access to all knowledge. The IA provides free public access to HUGE collections of digitized information including but not limited to websites, music, movies, old news clips, more 3 million public domain books, audio books and video games! I spent more then an hour today reliving my youth killing all of my party and then dying of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. I’m having serious third grade flashbacks at the moment of Alan Baily pulling my hair and the endless debates of which was better, Paint or the OT. Clearly OT for life!
It is easy to fall down the preverbal rabbit whole when surfing this website. The Movie section alone has just shy of seventeen thousand results. If you want to really play around there are more then ninety-one thousand results. This includes everything from the Internet Arcade featuring old school video games including Atari, Nintendo even N64. All the way in to the depths of obscurity with it’s Linux games. The possibilities are truly endless.
The book library portion is broken down into American, Canadian, European, etc. etc. etc. libraries. Really, it goes on and on and on. Don’t believe me, check it out for yourself! This just adds one more point on the reasons to own a tablet over an e-reader pro-con list (thank you iPad Mini). Never before have you had access to so many books on the go. Check out the Internet Archive today!
The Theory of Everything
When I first heard about the movie, The Theory of Everything I literally had a bubble of excitement burst from my seams. A chill down my back when I watched the trailer and I’m honestly more surprised than you are that I waited nearly eight weeks to watch this glorious film in the theatre.
Stephen Hawking was 21 years old when he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). His doctors told Hawking he only had 2 years to live. Stephen Hawking pioneered the study of black holes, became a bestselling author; and despite his many accomplishments, Hawking is well known for his wheelchair and robot voice.
This is a story of a man who defied every scientific and personal expectation ever set upon him. This is about the love between Jane Wilde and Stephen Hawking. About the intimacy and patience between two lovers, who are both in their own right geniuses.
If Eddie Redmayne doesn’t win best Actor for his portray of Hawking, then count the ballots again. This movie could be like every other film out there. Not to say it wasn’t amazing, because it was. Redmayne brings The Theory of Everything to an award worthy level. He manages to have both the charisma and intelligence to portray Hawking unlike anyone before him. Despite not being able to speak let alone move for the majority of the film, it is powerful and Redmayne turns one of the best performances of the year.
The Theory of Everything is witty, brilliant, and at times laugh out loud funny. This is a biopic worth watching. Even my movie companions this evening (who umm for lack of better wording, weren’t looking forward to the film) left the theatre pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the cinematography was, at how well Eddie Redmayne’s portail of Stephen Hawking was, and at how kindly the story was told.
This film attempts to do more then just chronologically tell us a story about a famous physicist. The Theory of Everything paints a more intimate portrait of love and marriage and the compromises we make. Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox and Maxine Peake manage to not only show a very unique almost (dare I say) open four-way marriage, but to tell this very emotional story delicately. I didn’t leave the theatre hating any character or wishing that they had made different choices. No, instead I left understanding why each character made the decisions in life they did and I was moved by it. This was a more personal story about two friends who became lovers and stayed close friends despite everything that worked angst them. Stephen Hawking is one of my personal favorite people and so maybe this all comes out a little bias. Take two hours of your life and find out. I promise they won’t be wasted.
“There should be no boundary to human endeavor, however bad life may seem, while there is life, there is hope” – Stephen Hawking
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
By Mindy Kaling
Seriously, I’m going to start by saying that I just learned who Mindy Kaling was about a month ago. I was reading some random article about how there was this show that was hitting a no no topic on Fox. Of course the perv in me perked up and looked up the show: The Mindy Project. I’d seen the listing on my Hulu account but with a lengthy list of regular shows I usually only start new one’s in the off seasons. However, now I was interested. What is this show that was causing such a buzz? I have never laughed so much at TV as when I watch The Mindy Project. I’m talking out loud guttural laughing. I tend to be the chuckle on the inside type of person, but not when I’m watching this show. That being said, when I came across the book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling I picked it up right away.
On a whole, I enjoy autobiographies. I enjoy people and I enjoy hearing about the parts of their lives that brought them to the place they are today. Some people are better at telling their stories then others. Mindy is in the former group. I found myself laughing and nodding my head along with her as she talks about the various parts of her life.
The first “chapter” (although it is really broken down into several essays, don’t roll your eyes, trust me it’s worth the read.) Mindy paints a story of a little chubster girl who learned the hard way “bullies have no code of conduct.” More then her humiliating diving board incident or the secret friend she had in high school, what I love about this book is that Mindy isn’t afraid to be honest. Her chapter titled Failing at Everything in the Greatest City on Earth pretty much sums this point up. Life is hard, and no one who has made it in his or her careers got there blindly. They worked their asses off and sometimes took a few detours before making it.
Do you remember hearing about the one hour comedy sketch Matt and Ben? I do, but I of course never saw it. Guess what, that was Mindy! I know I was just as shocked to find out myself. Mindy delights the reader with her tales of one hour writing sessions that eventually turned into Matt and Ben, later her flop move to LA and her eventual small writing gig on a mid season filler show called The Office. I’m going to say up front, I’ve never watched The Office. But after reading her book littered with witty observations on life, film, and shopping, I’m almost willing to give it a shot.
Mindy isn’t afraid to go there and by there I mean there. Yes any there that could apply. She seemingly touches all topics and does so in voice that had me laughing out loud (need I say it again).
Jennifer Weiner wrote this about the book and I couldn’t’ have said it better myself, so thank you for letting me steal it: “By the end of this book, you will want Mindy Kaling to be your best friend, and you will want her parents to adopt you. Since neither of these events is likely, or even possible, buy her book instead.” – Truth….
I feel the need to start this blog by saying that I live in a bubble. Often I hear about something so far after the fact that it isn’t relevant anymore. I watch new movies weeks after they’ve come out (emptier theatres that way) and I have a back log of books a mile long. With that being said, Welcome to Mirandom Reviews! I have a good friend to thank for help with the title (Cassandra you’re amazing!)
I have been wanting to start this project for a while, without any actual solid plan about what I wanted to review. I debated about picking some really lengthily book or series and doing a play-by-play and in the end I decided that I really wanted to do it all without feeling like I was dragging any one thing out. I’m an avid reader and movie goer. If you follow my blog (mirandaboyer.tumblr.com) you will quickly learn all about some of my finer quarks and habits. On the top of that list is that I’m a writer. I’m currently working on my first novel and I’ve wanted another side project. Thus Mirandom Reviews was born. I will warn you now there will be spoilers! Unless you are just as behind as me with the world of books and movies, the spoilers probably won’t be an issue for you. Hopefully this will be a fun ongoing project that shapes into something wonderful!