Monday, January 9, 2012

Movie and Book Blast

During the Christmas and Ski/Snowboard Season I don't usually get out to watch many movies, and yet we managed to watch two in the last few weeks. The Twelve Days of Christmas (starting Christmas day) are often filled with mega reading moments for our whole family, so I've managed to read at least 8 books recently, but for the sake of time, I'm only going to mention my favorites here.

Hugo - "Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton."
My daughters and I were involved in reading The Clockwork Three when we saw our first trailer for Hugo, and the parallels of automatons and adventurous kids heightened our anticipation for this movie. Our expectations were different than the movie, but yet we all walked out of the theatre satisfied by the heartwarming, beautiful story of Hugo.

"The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name."
As part of a week long celebration of my husband's 45th birthday, we went to see Tom Cruise race around the screen, climb tall buildings, and take some crazy leaps as Ethan Hunt. I found this to be the best of all the Mission Impossible movies, and really enjoyed it from beginning to end. However, my husband was disappointed that at one point in the movie Ethan Hunt, superspy, struggles in a fight with an older chunky intellectual and I admit, this did strain Ethan Hunt's credibility. However, overall, it rocked with action, humor, and a decent plot line.

"Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared."

Out of all the books I read over the Christmas season, Become by Ali Cross was the finest crafted novel. Tightly woven, intense, and packed with meaning, I was drawn into this story immediately and read it in one sitting. However, it is dark fantasy, and I had to wrestle with that a bit in my head. I really enjoyed it, but I struggled with some of the intense moments, and it made me realize that I have a tendency to bury my head in the face of some the world's sinful and ugly realities. The dark stuff in the novel is based on real life, ugly stuff that is in our world this very moment. We can't all be kickin' superheroes like Desi but we can make a difference if we take the time to pay attention to the hurting world around us.

"They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others - they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger's Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn't mean they don't have skills."

I dare you to read The Outcasts and not love these characters, and beside who doesn't love a good underdog story, especially when those underdogs make some serious mistakes and learn from them. Flanagan's new series, the Brotherband Chronicles, promises to be as good as his Ranger's Apprentice series.

"Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss."

The end of the Hunger Games trilogy is bittersweet, and heart-wrenching. (spoiler alert)There are unexpected twists and turns, action scenes, untrustworthy allies and the stresses of war. Katniss battles through them all, and survives to win a better life for her land. At one point, I needed tissues.

All photos and quoted synopsi are by IMD and Amazon


L.G.Smith said...

I really enjoyed the novel, Hugo Cabret. I'll probably wait for the movie to hit Netflix though. My favorite movie I saw at a theater over the holidays was Sherlock Holmes. So funny.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mission Impossible was great! One of my favorite movies of the year.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the info, Tyrean! Hope you are having a good week. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

L.G. Smith - I need to read the novel, because I suspect it's even better than the movie.

Alex - Agreed!

Karen - You're welcome. Having a busy week, but a good one!

ali cross said...

Hi Tyrean! Thanks so much for your kind review of BECOME. I will grant you it's not the easiest book to read. It wasn't the easiest to write, either.

My favorite movie was probably SHERLOCK HOLMES, but I really, really enjoyed MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!

And my favorite book from the holidays was hands down OPEN MINDS by Susan Quinn. Holy smokes, it's good. If you like sci fi young adult you've GOT to read this!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Ali - Thanks for writing tough fiction! We need fun fiction, and we need tough fiction, and we need fiction like yours that hits us in the middle. Thank you.