Friday, April 27, 2012

Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally

via In Sean's Opinion

I have been meaning to see the film Schindler's List for years, but after reading the book I don't think I will. The book was graphic enough for me, I don't know if I could handle the movie. That being said those of you who will not get around to reading the book should probably go see the movie. It's a story that should be heard.

If you haven't heard of Schindler's List it is the story of Oskar Schindler. He saved countless lives from Nazi concentration camps and gas chambers (he saved the most of any one person if I recall correctly). Schindler was not a perfect man by any means, but he did wonderful things. I think that's why I like the story. Keneally doesn't build Schindler up to be something he isn't, he just tells the true story of a great man.

The only fault I have with this book is that the author couldn't decide whether to use last or first names when referring to the people in the story. It was very confusing at first, but I got used to it.

Has anyone else read it or seen the movie? What do you think?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Guilt Free TV

PBS programming never ceases to amaze me. My favorite thing about having a lot of time on my hands is that I get to watch a lot of PBS. This is what I've watched recently:

via Zap 2 It

via al

via Eco Mama's Guide to Being Green

via PBS

via PRX

via Cleveland Movie Blog
River of No Return
via Idaho Statesman

The three bottom films are the ones that really touched me.

Learning about Mister Rogers and his unfailing kindness to others made me want to read and learn more about Fred Rogers. I have several books in my Amazon wishlist that I can't wait to buy!

Being Elmo made me really appreciate Elmo and his creator. Elmo has always been a little annoying to me. Not anymore!

The River of No Return had me pining to be in the mountains. This couple spent a year hiking the Frank Church wilderness and it's animals. Can you imagine? Bonding at it's best.

Most of these films are still playing on PBS at various times. Check out the to see when you can watch them.

I love PBS and their diverse programming. I love watching something and suddenly feeling a connection with the people I'm learning about.

Do you like PBS? What are your favorite programs?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams by Nick Tosches

via Amazon

The San Francisco Chronicle was wrong. This book was neither brilliant, nor compelling. Let me tell you why. 

First off, it was poorly written. Really really poorly written. There was zero continuity and I often found myself rereading passages because I couldn't figure out what in the world the author was talking about.

The f-word was also used way too much for my liking. I understand using it when quoting people (such as Taraborrelli did in Sinatra: A Complete Life), but the author was swearing up a storm. The only purpose I can see behind it is that Tosches was trying to sound like Dean Martin. It just became annoying to me. 

On the same note Tosches also spokes for Dean, as if he knew what Dean was thinking as various times in his life. Tosches also states that no one really ever knew Dean. I guess that loops me back to the fact that it was poorly written. 

You may be asking yourself why I bothered to finish the book. I had two pretty good reasons. The first one being the I ordered the book through Interlibrary Loan. This means that BYU-Idaho sent out a request for the book to be sent to our library from another library so that I could check the book out. This costs money. It didn't feel right to have them order a book only for me to send it back the next day. The other reason is that I love Dean Martin and good biographies seem to be scarce. I really wanted to learn about him. I'm not sure how much truth I learned, but at least I now have a general idea of his life. 

If anyone knows of a better or accurate Dean Martin biography don't keep it to yourself!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Artist (2011)

via bornstoryteller

I love this movie. I've already bought the soundtrack from Amazon. I can't wait to purchase the DVD!

I am absolutely convinced that this movie would not have won Best Picture (or be worth watching) if it were not black and white and mostly silent (there is 5 or 10 minutes of actual sound - the rest is music). It probably just would have been another disappointing film.

They did a beautiful job with the film. The actors are perfect in their roles. The costumes are stunning. And the music! Absolutely heavenly. They used a score from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo during a scene in the film and I think it's a perfect match.

I wrote about my excitement for the film before I'd ever seen it and put some of my favorite movie stills in the post. After seeing the film my favorites have changed, so here they are!

via The Rush Blog
via The Rush Blog
via The Rush Blog
via Scullder's Blog
via Shybiker
via Audrey Grace Boutique
via Lady Colette
via GoldDerby

Has anyone else seen it? What did you think?  

PS I was working on a "My Weekend in Movies" post, but as I was finishing it yesterday it mysteriously got deleted... and I don't want to write it up again. I know you are dying to know, so here's what I watched last weekend: Thunder Rock (1942), Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999) and The Best of the Dean Martin Variety Show.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Butterfly Circus

Check out the official website here.

Please share the film. I found it very moving.

Isn't this what we are striving for? We should all be like Mr. Mendez.

What did you think?