Posts

Showing posts from June, 2007

Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason

(2 stars - liked it)

Indridason's first Icelandic mystery, Jar City, is a gem. I eagerly awaited the follow-up, Silence of the Grave, but it took me over a month to actually finish the not-quite-300-page novel. It's a good book, but it's not a great book. The characters remain darkly real and conflicted with life and the case, but the mystery at the center of the book is not terribly riveting. I do look forward to the third book being translated from Icelandic to English.

the closer: a love affair

It is not a secret that I have become completely enamored with The Closer. It is one of the best written and best acted programs on television today. I am quickly making my way through the second season on dvd in preparation for the June 18th premiere of season three.

Blessedly, season two takes the strong characters carved out during the first season and takes them deeper. Frances Sternhagen as Brenda's mother is brilliant. Whoever cast her and wrote that two episode arc deserves a raise and an Emmy. The interplay of Sternhagen and the sublimely good KyraSedgwick (seriously, I didn't believe she had it in her until I started watching) managed to parallel their actions and words in a beautiful ode to the sometimes strained Southern mother and daughter relationship. I wasn't sure Sternhagen could outdo her rendition as Bunny on Sex and the City, but she is even better in this role. I hope she's back during season three.

If you haven't seen The Closer, get the dvd…

pirate master

I absolutely adore the concept of Pirate Master, and I'm thrilled for Christian Okoye to get another few moments in the spotlight, but after watching the first two episodes, I'm slightly bored. This program has all the right pieces of good reality television, but it falls flat. After two episodes, I still only know three of the pirates by name. I don't even know the name of the chesty blond who has her bathing suit top blurred out by the censors during most of the second episode.

The actual search for the pirate treasure is the weakest part of the program. From my limited understanding of the Survivor formula, it's quite similar. I find people traipsing around the wilderness quite dull, and it's most of the reason I've never managed to get into Survivor. Still, the power of captain and the possibility of mutiny should lead to intriguing strategy. Despite the weak attempts at mutiny so far (although the compass part was quite brilliant in the first episode), …

tidbits of late

In the midst of my move, blogging fell by the wayside. I've had time to enjoy my fair share of television, movies, and I even read a few books. The brief recaps and ratings follow:

Knocked Up - (2 stars - liked it) - I made it to see Judd Apatow's eagerly awaited comedy on opening day. I was underwhelmed. There were countless funny parts of the movie, but as a film, it didn't work for me. It felt like the funny dialogue was many improv versions away from the script. Although the story flowed, the spirit of the story didn't flow for me. It was too often immature teen drug-focused comedy with a few sprinkles of mature, relationship melodrama. Katherine Heigl was superb, as was Paul Rudd. I'm normally a huge Seth Rogen fan, but I found his performance to be rather elementary. He and his friend pandered incessantly to trite drug humor. Are there any original or even funny marijuana jokes left? It's definitely worth seeing for the funny parts, and I even enjoyed …

gossip girl

After the stress of packing and moving across the country, I was in the mood for a lighthearted read. I opted to finally get around to reading Cecily vonZiegesar's famous Gossip Girl series. I still enjoy children's and young adult literature, and I am already ridiculously excited about Josh Schwartz's upcoming television version of the series. As much as I love to read, I admit the trashy teen genre is best served on the screen.

I adored the first Gossip Girl novel. It's definitely on the Cruel Intentions level of risky teen behavior, and the puritan part of me wishes that the characters were not grounded in any one's actual high school behavior. Responsible adolescence aside, the book was endlessly entertaining, and the characters are well-developed. I reserved the next few books in the series already. I imagine with Josh Schwartz's able hands, he can use these fantastic characters to transcend the success of the books and produce a television series with …