#movies watched in August

#movies watched in August


August was a month of rewatches. Some of the movies survived the repeat viewings and others…well, I found out why I had forgotten about them in the first place!

Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the Second Dimension — Everything you would want out of a Phineas and Ferb special – jokes for all ages, references for hard core fans, lots of action and adventure. And all of your favorite characters featured TWICE! Totally a blast and I found myself laughing out loud more than once.

Guardians of the Galaxy — This is the shot in the arm the Marvel Universe needed. After a year of sequels to Super Hero franchises, Guardians of the Galaxy crashes the party with a band of losers, lead by the hilarious and likeable Chris Pratt and a furry version of Bradley Cooper.

You need no prior knowledge of the Marvel Universe to enjoy this movie. You just need to be prepared to have a good time. James Gunn manages to keep the focus on story but still pack in plenty of action sequences. The special effects were seamless, especially with Groot and Rocket. The dialogue is quick and witty and it will be quoted for years to come. The soundtrack is an awesome mix

A League of Their Own — Rewatched this for the first time in probably 10 years last night. Was in the mood for a baseball movie…and maybe in the mood to get a little teary eyed. It worked. Seriously, the scene with Marla and her Dad that’s like 20 minutes in? Holding them back.

It’s not a perfect movie, it’s a bit long but it’s trying to represent the time period as best it can…then again it’s also clearly trying to stay within the realm of a PG rating so it’s very CLEAN. I’m sure things were even worse for the girls.

Also…I was thinking if the applied the same standards that they did for these women back then to our sports stars today, maybe it would be a GOOD THING! I think maybe of these professional players need chaperones and behavioral training.

Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars — how could I NOT love this? You could tell the writers of this series are huge fans of the Star Wars movies long before this special, sneaking nods, winks, and entire lines into Phineas and Ferb episodes. Now they got to take their characters into the galaxy far far away and play in that Tattooine sized sandbox. Instant classic for Star Wars fans of all ages.

Airplane II: The Sequel — I wondered why the only thing I remembered about this movie was the bit with William Shatner…that’s pretty much the only part worth watching. This actually had too much plot, even though it was the exact same plot as Airplane! Too many repeat jokes and not enough belly laughs.

Wayne’s World — Some of the jokes are pretty dated, but it’s still got some great comedic moments. The ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ scene will never be beat. And how can resist the Scooby Doo ending? It’s a classic and THE best SNL movie ever made.

Enemy — Maybe the most frustrating movie I’ve seen in awhile. I spent this entire film thinking “what the hell is going on?!?!?!” and then the movie ended and then it ended and I was like “What the %&!&@! just happened!?!?!”

But, in the end, the more I think about it, the more I like it. It felt like a Twilight Zone episode, or a short story…or maybe the most elaborate Rorschach test. Show it to your friends and see what THEY think it was about.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes — My first rewatch since seeing this in the theater back in 2011. Still a fantastic, well put together action movie. Andy Serkis is AMAZING as Caesar and his acting really elevates this film. Probably James Franco’s best role too.

This is the only “reboot” or “prequel” that I can fully endorse. So well done, with enough nods to the originals for hardcore fans and plenty of story for those of us who only vaguely remember the original movie.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, this movie is so much better than it had any right to be. Above and beyond what I expected, even upon repeat viewings.

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad — Like most comedy movies of this genre, it was a movie of the moment. With throw back jokes to the original series and even more gags that related to the mid-1980s, it’s not as funny as it once was. But it still has some great moments.

Want a good site for tracking your movies ala GoodReads? Check out my personal favorite: Letterboxd

#books read in August

Another light month for FINISHING books though I have started quite a few that ended up having holds…hopefully they will be on next month’s list if I can get them back.

My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)My Teacher Is a Monster! by Peter Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein StoryThe Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek Tiwary

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a MUST read. Not just for Beatles fans, Brian Epstein’s story is still relevant today and even if you are not a huge fan of the Fab Four, you will enjoy this beautiful graphic novel biography.

I’m not sure what else to say about this book. It gave me so many feels, a roller coaster of emotions and by the final page, I was starting to get a little choked up. Even though I knew how it all ended, it was just so heart-breaking.

This is the 2014 Eisner Award Winner for best non-fiction graphic novels and it definitely deserved the award.

Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & SorceryRat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this on my lunch break today, definitely a quick read, but lots of fun. This comic got a lot of attention online because of the character design for the heroines. I liked the artwork a lot.

This book reads like a D&D session where all of your friends are sorta fed up playing the game, possibly drunk, but for some reason they keep showing up for the game night.

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Big Birthday Bash (The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, #2)The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Big Birthday Bash by Frank Cammuso

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Salem Hyde is at it again! This little witch learns a lot about friendship, BIG wishes, and magic. And also why you shouldn’t buy a slushie for Whammy before going on a roller coaster ride. Cute and funny. Only slightly concerned about the PINK of this volumes cover, which may deter boy readers, who Salem’s hijinks would appeal to just as much as girls.

Amulet, Vol. 6: Escape From Lucien (Amulet, #6)Amulet, Vol. 6: Escape From Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I stayed up all night reading this book. I don’t know why I had it in my mind that this was the finale…maybe because it took SO LONG to come out. But it’s not the end, though you can feel it winding down. Definitely surprised by at least one major event in this story. I think I need to reread the entire series before 7 comes out.

Currently Reading:
Monica Never Shuts Up (short stories) by A.S. King
Loot by Jude Watson
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey (waiting for it to come back to library)
Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across American by John Waters (audiobook)
One More Thing: Stories and other stories by B.J. Novak (audiobook)

book thoughts: The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story

Usually I wait until the end of the next month to post the books I have read but this book…this book needs it’s own entry.

I had already had it on hold because BEATLES and then it won the Eisner Award for best non-fiction graphic novel. And let me tell you, it DESERVED IT.

First of all, the story. I’m a HUGE Beatles fan, I know who Brian Epstein was. But this story, which was both well researched but then also elaborated on in ways that the author admits are fiction since he has no way of knowing what the exact conversations were like between Brian and other people. This isn’t The Beatles story, this is Brian’s story, with the Beatles as a backdrop. It’s the story of a young man, trying to find his place in the world. But it’s not just as simple as being successful. Brian Epstein was gay and in the 1960s, being gay in the UK was ILLEGAL. So here is a man who is in charge of the band that becomes the symbol of “All You Need is Love” and he feels like he can never be loved. It’s heartbreaking.

And then the artwork. Oh my god, it is just beautiful. There is nothing more to say, it is just so gorgeous, so well laid out. The colors are perfect. The imagery…

This book has so much to offer. Even if your knowledge of the Beatles is just a few songs, the basic history, this book is worth looking at to see the social and cultural issues that are the same and that have changed (or have they?). It’s a look into that world, a peek behind the curtain of the man behind Beatlemania. Of the naive and innocent man who tried so hard to dive into a business he knew nothing about, and how it pulled him under.

Go get this book now. You can read it in an afternoon. But it will stay with you long after.

‘Into the Woods’ teaser

Disney released the teaser trailer and some production photos from their upcoming big screen adaptation of the 1986 Tony Award Winning Broadway Musical Into the Woods yesterday. And the images awoke a part of me that I hadn’t seen in a long time – my musical theater geek.

She had been kept at bay by simple Disney musical like Tangled and Frozen but seeing the trailer (even though it has not hint of singing in it) made me long to hear all of those beautiful songs.

Into the Woods is one of my favorite musicals, one that I have adored since childhood. We taped it off of PBS, back when they would show the top Broadway hits on Great Performances (is this still a thing? It should be! I can’t afford tickets to New York, let alone Broadway plays). I watched it over and over, had the soundtrack. Pretty much it is embedded in my brain for all time. So you can imagine that after viewing the trailer I went into full “When Fangirls Attack” mode and bemoaned the lack of x, y, z and there was much “But Bernadette Peters OMG!” and shaking my head.

But I’ve calmed down now. I realized that this is actually a great opportunity for a new generation to be introduced to this play. Looking at the stills that were released, it looks like they are even keeping set changes to a minimal, as most of the actors are photographed in the same wooded area. It might be okay after all.

I’m still nervous, but again I have to remember that one of my other favorite childhood musical is A Funny Thing Happened On My Way to the Forum and I only ever saw that on VHS for the longest time (until I convinced my high school to do a production of it my senior year…ah the memories). ANYWAY, I’m sure Sondheim fans in 1966 were having the same feels as I am today when they saw the trailer for that movie in the theaters. Puts it all in perspective.

Of course, now I have the soundtrack to the Nathan Lane production from the early 90s and know all the songs that were left out of the movie. (OMG what might they leave out of Into the Woods???) And one of those songs is perfect for when I’m faced with learning about my favorite books, comic book, broadway musical being transferred to the big screen — I’m calm…oh so calm…oh so [screams internally]

hiccups and creepy girls

Started listening to How to Train Your Dragon this week. FANGIRL ALERT: IT IS NARRATED BY DAVID TENNANT! He reads it with his lovely Scottish accent. You can probably get it for free through your public library (that’s how I got it, through Overdrive.)

But, it’s weird because the story is VERY different from the movie. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, I’ve read enough books and seen enough movies to know they changes things but I guess I wasn’t thinking it would be THIS different. Right now, I might actually be leaning towards the movie as better…but we will see. It might just be the shock. Right now, Toothless is not a cute little dragon but sort of a brat? Hiccup is still a sweetheart but his relationship with Toothless is not the same.

Maybe when I finish the book I’ll rent the movie again. I haven’t seen it in awhile but I’m pretty sure the dragons in the movie did not speak, yeah?

Also reading The Girl with All the Gifts. I didn’t remember requesting this book but the cover has a blurb from Joss Whedon so I am assuming that is how it got on my radar. It’s an adult book. I know, you’re shocked. We will see if I can get through it before the 3 weeks are up.