Wednesday, January 30, 2008

December Round-Up

Remember December? And Christmas? Wasn't that awesome?

Yeah...

Here's the last round-up of 2007. I still haven't decided if I will keep these up this year. I imagine I will, not because they are so wildly popular, but because I like having them as reference because my memory ain't what it used to be...

So, here goes.

Movies Seen: Thirteen, with two in a theater. Of the DVDs watched, I'd have to say "Once" and "Waitress" were my favorites. Two little movies that just kinda make you feel good inside. Neither are perfect; "Waitress" suffers from some moments that are just too whimsical for their own good, and Keri Russell's accent is far from convincing. The problems I had with "Once" have more to do with my own taste than with any actual problems with the movie, I think. I have issues with musicals in general, but since this one is so naturalistic, that didn't really come into play. But the music just wasn't really my cup of tea. I will admit that some of the songs are insanely catchy, and if I were to watch the movie again, I'd probably come away from it loving the music. And the only other problem I had with it was the lead male character is just kind of a jerk, and I never really cared if he found happiness or not...

As for the theater movies, one was "I Am Legend," which I saw because I have this inexplicable love of post-apocalyptic movies. As far as making New York City look like an empty shell goes, the movie delivers. But when it comes to the roaming threat of the "infected," the film kind of fails miserably. Never do you look at those creatures and think they are anything but CGI creations, which just makes you wonder why Will Smith is so freaked out by them. The other theater experience was "The Golden Compass" which may seem an inexplicable choice, but it will make more sense when I move on to...

Books Read: Four, two of which were the first books in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, "The Golden Compass" and "The Subtle Knife." Now, it's kind of weird that I chose to read that trilogy in the first place, because I really don't like fantasy books. As I kid I loved "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," and maybe two of its follow-ups, but that's about as far as my fantasy novel reading went. I only recently was able to get through "The Hobbit," and never bothered with the rest of the "Rings" trilogy. Fantasy novels are just tough reads for me; they're too difficult. It's like reading something that's partially written in a foreign language, where I constantly need to figure out what the hell "weregild" is, or where Lindon is in regards to Mordor.

But the "Dark Materials" books take place, for the most part, in worlds that are pretty much like our earth. Sure, souls are represented as talking animals that live outside the body, and can sometimes shape-shift, and are the best friends one could wish for (and how freaking cute is that?), and witches live in the north pole, and polar bears can talk and are fierce warriors, but none of that is really hard to understand. I'll admit some of the appeal of the books came from the controversy surrounding their alleged anti-religious message, and I suppose that's in there, but it's really not that distracting. (Although the appearance of God in the last book is kind of shocking...and pathetic.) Also, how awesome is it that the hero is a pre-teen girl, for once? So, that's a long way of getting to why I decided to see "The Golden Compass" in a theater. I had just finished the book, my work shuttle literally stopped across the street from the theater, and a showing was just starting. I had to see what Hollywood would do with the story. In short: they shouldn't have bothered.

Fancy Dinners Out: One, on New Year's Eve at Palio d'Asti. It was a special fixed price menu, with all-you-can-eat dessert, and it was really good. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't at the beginning stages of the flu, and hadn't broken into cold sweats by the end of the meal, though.

Shoes Bought: One pair of five-dollar, on sale, red flats with pom-pons purchased at Old Navy, perfect for Christmas lounging...Perfect for lounging because the one time I wore them outside, they gave me monster blisters.

Edited to add: Live Shows Seen: I totally forgot, but I saw a play in December! It was ACT's production of "A Christmas Carol," which I hadn't seen in many a year, after seeing it many, many times during my youth. Alas, the production had been completely revamped, so it wasn't the show I remember so fondly, but was instead a production that tried to be a musical--but a really half-assed musical, which is even worse than a full-fledged musical, in my opinion. Many of the actors were really good, particularly the actor who played Scrooge, and the actress who played his maid, but I can safely say I prefer the old version much, much more.

1 comment:

Laurel said...

Please to keep round ups.

It's a contagious idea; I who do not blog find it a more expressive snapshot than prose. I do not count shoes; I've yet to determine if I have a substitute.