Gone, Baby, Gone. Dennis LeHane

Gone, Baby, Gone Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I get obsessive about some things. I rented the movie Gone, Baby, Gone on a Friday and liked it so much I watched it again on Sunday. I reserved the book from the library and had it by Tuesday. Part of my affection for the movie, it must be told, had to do with Casey Affleck’s Patrick Kenzie, but the other part had to do with how incredibly cool his partner Angie was. The movie didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about her which I find rare as Hollywood seems to exist partly to keep women in their place. But that’s a post for another day.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I got the book and Angie is even cooler than she was in the film. Ah, Hollywood, you never let me down. Anyway, good book. Fast-paced, funny with very good character sketches as well as good social commentary. I like Dennis LeHane especially for those last two traits.

Overall the book was solid and I was pleased to find out there are several books with these two characters. I’ll be reading them.

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Three sentence movie reviews–In Bruges

A wholly uneven film. Despite excellent performances from Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes, as well as lovely views of Bruges, I didn’t like it. Sometimes funny and violence work for me (Fargo) and sometimes they don’t (this film.)

This was my mom’s choice for Mother’s Day. I think she has a crush on Colin Farrell.

Review of Persepolis: Story of Childhood

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Graphic novels aren’t really my medium. The boyfriend loves them and reads them all the time, but my habit of skimming doesn’t really lend itself to the graphic novel format. But, having seen and loved the movie, I thought I would read the first part of Satrapi’s story.

It was fine. Like I said, not my medium. I liked the movie better, as it contained all the things that were in the book, but with prettier art.

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Three sentence movie reviews–Gone, Baby, Gone.

This movie surprised me, and halfway in, I had no idea what direction it was headed. South Boston/Dorchester is beautifully filmed and Casey Affleck is entirely underrated as a leading man. I liked this so much I watched it again two days later.

Most excitingly, the bar at the end of the movie was right around the corner from where I used to live. I used to jog by it all the time. And that, is why South Boston and myself didn’t get along so well. Less time jogging, more time in the bars and they probably would have liked me better.

Review of the Hatbox Baby

The Hatbox Baby The Hatbox Baby by Carrie Brown

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
Last month I loved the novel I read by Carrie Brown. This month, I wasn’t as enchanted. The story had some interesting points to it. I enjoyed learning about doctors in the 1930s who attempted to save preemie babies. The one in this novel had to have the infants in his care on display at world fairs and expositions. He used the proceeds to fund his research.

I enjoyed meeting several people involved with the World’s Fair in Chicago. Overall, the plot line was interesting, but nothing gelled. I never grew attached to any of the characters or their stories. I finished it, and that was the end of my relationship with that book.

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Three sentence movie reviews–Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Jason Segel seems to be a less raunchy member of the Apatow mafia, so this movie skews a tiny bit older than Superbad, or even Knocked Up’s adolescent humor. One of the things I enjoy about Apatow-influenced movies is that beneath their yucky boy-centric antics, they are willing to explore the feelings of the male species circa 2008. Still not a movie you want to take your grandmother to, but very enjoyable, especially Kristen Bell and Russell Brand.

Matt and I celebrated our sixth anniversary with a double feature of Iron Man and Forgetting Sara Marshall.

Three sentence movie reviews–Iron Man.

“But Robert Downey Jr. IS an alcoholic superhero!” exclaims my friend, and that is the true success behind this movie. Just as Soon I Will be Invincible is the perfect superhero novel, Iron Man is the perfect superhero movie. Funny, touching,–did I mention that Robert Downey Jr. is in it?–fast paced, and with lots of gadgets.

If I had one more sentence I would finish with “Well worth two hours of your time and $10.00 of your money.”

Atonement. Ian McEwan

Atonement: A Novel Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I reserved this book from the library right after I saw the movie. Many other people had the same idea and I was number 198 of 198. I had avoided reading the book before I saw the movie because the whole “Booker Prize Winner” thing. I am a lazy reader and tend to stay away from Pulitzers,Bookers, and any other prize that screams “prestige”

That said, I was reminded that my attitude can keep me from some good books, of which this was one. I used to stridently side with “books” in the “movie version of the book” debate, but in my older years I have mellowed. Mostly if the movie people get the story right, I’m pretty happy. When there are changes to the story line I’m intrigued, rather than angry. Reading this book after seeing the movie was like getting a DVD extra. All the thought processes that weren’t able to be translated to the screen were there.

Atonement was gripping and eminently readable and I’m not ashamed to say I stayed home from work and read the entire thing in a day.

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