September 25, 2009

September 24, 2009

October 23, 2008

September 29, 2008

September 26, 2008

September 25, 2008

September 22, 2008

Recently Rented

  • : The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Despite the hype, I wasn't prepared for the style of the storytelling in this movie. The fable-like quality threw me off from beginning to end, and I never ended up caring all that much about any of the characters. I was also extremely distracted by the CGI used to make the characters look younger. Classic case of hype-overload. (***)

  • : Revolutionary Road

    Revolutionary Road
    Adaptations rarely please me as much as this one did mainly because the book had such a darkness too it, and seeing it brought to life in a way that I'd pictured it made it brighter somehow. The performances were exceptional as was the production in general, but in the end it's still a tragic story about very unhappy people. Be forewarned. (****)

  • : Across the Universe

    Across the Universe
    There's something so satisfying about watching some of your all time favorite songs fictionalized on film. Normally I'm not a big fan of musicals, but for too many reasons to count, this one rocked! (*****)

  • : No End in Sight

    No End in Sight
    The list of very prominent insiders who agreed to be interviewed in this exposé on the US failure in Iraq is, in a word, staggering. I was left feeling like someone had just been slapping me across the face for an hour and a half. You know, in a good way. (*****)

  • : Michael Clayton

    Michael Clayton
    Who doesn't love layered characters and a tense, gripping plot? Tilda Swinton's performance really knocked my socks off—all that lonely psyching herself up and the moment of her final realizations. Wow. (****)

  • : Gone Baby Gone

    Gone Baby Gone
    It's extremely rare that a movie make me contemplate my own morality to the point where I'm still hashing it out weeks later. Such a complex tale with overlapping story lines and intense emotions—3 cheers for Ben Affleck (and his wonderful cast) for totally pulling it off! Can't wait to see what he directs next time around. (*****)

  • : The Business of Being Born

    The Business of Being Born
    As much as I wanted to love this documentary (such a passionate subject for me), I only just liked it, a lot. I wished it could have been more profound, made its point more absolutely and been a lot less NYC elitish. Classic case of my hopes being sky high. It was good. Watch it. (****)

  • : Into the Wild

    Into the Wild
    Profound, inspiring and beautifully acted, this movie about making the most of our humanity is both uplifting and sentimental. Emile Hirsch bowled me over again and again. Loved Eddie Vedder's soundtrack too. (*****)

  • : Eagle vs. Shark

    Eagle vs. Shark
    Jemaine Clement, of Flight of the Conchords fame, is brilliantly despicable in this black romantic comedy from New Zealand. But as his lovesick girlfriend (sweet Loren Horsley) slowly learns more about why he's such a schmuck, you can't help but smile, cringe and wish them well. (****)

  • : Waitress

    Such a sweet, deadpan, non-cliché fairytale with the ever-adorable Keri Russell, not to mention Nathan Fillion, who is pure perction as her OB/GYN lover. I found it refreshing to see a pregnant character struggling to connect with her baby and accept what the future has in store. (****)

On my nightstand

  • Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion

    Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion
    Bought this at the airport, and if you ever want to conduct a little social experiment try reading a book about atheism on an airplane. My seat-mate was noticeably upset to be seated next to such a heathen. Dawkins is condescending and hostile, and as much as I appreciate what he's saying, his bravery for being the voice of reason and his commitment, I wish his message were able to reach more people. I suppose his target audience isn't devout believers, but perhaps he's paving the way for another visionary to reach out and deliver a similar message with a more approachable tone. (****)

  • Curtis Sittenfeld: American Wife: A Novel

    Curtis Sittenfeld: American Wife: A Novel
    An interesting perspective from this fictional first lady. It felt a little bit like a guilty pleasure, but that's mainly because I couldn't put it down. The final few chapters where the main character reflects on her culpability in her husband's legacy were fascinating. (****)

  • Michael Pollan: In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
    After a long library wait, I finally have this in my hot little hands, but now I'm having trouble actually picking it up. The first chapter leads me to believe this one isn't necessarily going to teach me anything I don't already know.
  • Laura Lippman: What the Dead Know: A Novel
    I felt shockingly undisturbed by this story of an infertile couple who loose their adopted teenage daughters to a kidnapper. The frequent time and perspective jumps didn't seem confusing some much as convoluted, and I'm always irritated when I figure out the big twist a chapter before it's revealed. (***)
  • Al Gore: The Assault on Reason

    Al Gore: The Assault on Reason
    I don't usually find non-fiction books about politics to be page-turners, but this one has me on the edge. Deftly balances democratic ideals with the problems we face as modern-day, plugged-in Americans. (****)

  • Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

    Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
    Inspiring, intelligent and passionate. I haven't read a Kingsolver book I didn't love, but she takes it to another level for me with this memoir of a year spent feeding her family with local and homegrown food. I'm already dreaming of an expanded garden this summer. (*****)

  • T.C. Boyle: Talk Talk

    T.C. Boyle: Talk Talk
    Read this entire book in one blissful, hangover-induced stupor. I love the varied points of view of T.C. Boyle's novels. An identity thief, a deaf woman and a special effects artist--those are some pretty interesting perspectives... (****)

  • Randine Lewis: The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies

    Randine Lewis: The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies
    Love her descriptions of how Chinese medical doctors view the body and health. She gives me hope. (****)

  • Angela C. Wu: Fertility Wisdom: How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help Overcome Infertility

    Angela C. Wu: Fertility Wisdom: How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help Overcome Infertility
    Dr. Wu practices in San Francisco, and after reading most of this book, I'm very tempted to go see her. Her recommendations are so counter-western-intuitive, but her written explanations make me hopeful. (****)

  • Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans

    Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans
    I've been trying to read this for years, but I'm finally past the 100 page hump. So, it's looking like I might actually finish it this time. (***)

Listening to

On the Needles

  • Very cool handbag knit using Banana Silk in Rangi Changi. 90% complete.
  • A funky vest to be worn over a sheer white top knit using Tahki Cotton Classic in Blue Slate. Top-down pattern in the round by the venerable Knit & Tonic. 70% complete.
  • Short-sleeved sweater by the lovely Amelia Raitte. I've only just swatched using Jo Sharp Soho Cotton in Thyme.