Monday, January 26, 2009

Eat Pray Love Review

I had bought this book sometime last year and just had a chance to finally read it. I had five people tell me already how much they enjoyed the book. It seems to have struck a nerve for some people and I wanted to see if it would have the same effect on me. I enjoyed the section in Italy. Part of the reason could be that I wanted to know if she was going to have a torrid affair with an Italian guy. Alas she did not, I guess it keeps it from going the Under the Tuscan Sun (movie version) route and avoids all those tourist cliches. Another part that I enjoyed was when she was describing the pizza she bought in Naples. Man, I could only wish that slice of pizza had manifested itself in real life. Now I really got to save up and travel! The India section was the weakest part of the book for me. I didn't buy the whole New Age conversion--that the constant meditation changed her spiritual well-being. Is it really about meditating that changes one's life or is it the opportunity to be a fish out of water in a new land? To be taken out of our element and introduced to new things? The Indonesian chapter had the most interested cast of characters. She studies with a medicine healer and ends up making friends with a woman and her child. The woman ends up needing financial assistance so she can take her medicine shop elsewhere. There were moments where the lady healer had me laughing. She was so right on with her diagnosis about Elizabeth. However, the book took a dark turn as we find out the healer is taken advantage of Elizabeth. I was surprised by this, because I had expected the typical American comes into save the day. Everything sort of works itself out and we do get our romantic ending. I heard there is a sequel to this book and I will definetly pick it up for a quick read. I recommend the book only for the Italy and Indonesia section. Anybody else read this?

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Reader- A rather perplexing journey

I watched the movie The Reader last Friday and it left me perplexed. I'm unsure about how I feel about the film and the way it approached its subject. The film is about a young boy who has an affair with an older woman. Later on in his life he happens upon her trial and he is keeping a secret of his own. I think the film brought up a lot of tough questions and I'm not sure if there is a good answer or a perfect response.

1. Would it be possible for someone who was a Nazi guard, who was responsible for the deaths of Jewish prisoners to achieve some sort of forgiveness? Can this person be redeemed?

2. Could that same person ever re-enter society and function as a normal human being?

3. Is the next generation doomed to repeat or doomed to forget the past?

Watch the movie and let me know what your thoughts are.

Ghost Town--Good laughs and a few tears

I just watched the movie Ghost Town and I loved it! I didn't have high expectations going in. One of my least favorite writers David Koepp wrote and directed it. I have to say if this is how he writes when he's not doing a Spielberg movie I'd like to see more of it. What it made good was Ricky Gervais performance as a dentist, but I also think the supporting cast deserves kudos as well. Tea Leoni and Greg Kinnear are the types of actors that are grossly underrated. I also, have to commend Aasif Mandvi who played Dr. Prashar, his patient co-worker.

The gist of the movie is Ricky Gervais' character Dr. Pincus is a major jerk. He's annoying and disrespectful to everyone. His first encounter with Gwen (Tea Leoni's character) results in him pushing the door close elevator so she can't get on. Greg Kinnear's character, Frank is cheating on his wife and planning to buy a pad for him and his mistress. Before all is said and done in a freak accident an A/C unit falls in front of him and it sidesteps into the street. Then a bus comes and runs him over. He begins haunting Pincus, because he believes in order for him to cross over he has to prevent his wife from marrying this other guy. Naturally, Pincus falls for her and the movie strays from the typical cliches one of them being that the "other guy" in this instance isn't a jerk, but a humanitarian aide worker. When you get closer to the end and it is revealed what is the true intent of the ghosts in this film it will make you cry. It will resonate with you long after the movie is over.