Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Movie Madness Take Three

So... I'm about to see the new Transformers movie. I'm a little worried... it's been getting bad reviews. Will update afterward.

Update: I'm back from the movie and I gotta say--I really liked it! It's a great summer action movie. Period. Don't expect Oscar-worthy acting. Don't expect the best plot in the world. Expect good action and great visuals. I'd see this again in the theater, and that's the first summer movie I'd consider seeing again for $7.50. Anyway, the movie was pretty good. I feel like the director really improved on the CGI transforming of the robots. I didn't feel like hurling or closing my eyes because it was too much. Great special effects, and some pretty funny parts.

Things I didn't care for:
  1. Megan Fox's Character. What the critics are saying about her purpose in the movie is true (basically that she's there to make men and young boys horny). Her character is really flat and it's a shame that they use her that way. I cringed every time there was a "love" moment between her and Shia's character. Why? Because it's forced and overdone. Wow... that's very critique-y of me. I'll stop there. I gagged with the love stuff during the first movie too, but this time it seemed so much worse. To make matters worse, the director (Michael Bay) is quoted in a CNN article saying that ladies in the audience will be drawn in to the movie based on this love story between Megan and Shia. I take offense to that. I repeat: It was the WORST part of the entire movie!
  2. The stereotypical twins. Two "gangsta" autobots. One had a gold tooth....... can you see where I'm going with this? Very disappointing and not very funny. Read about them here.
Besides those two things (the largest and most off putting, there were minor elements that I could have done without, but they're not big enough to mention here), the movie was good.

My rating: B+

Next up: Harry Potter VI... check it OUT!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gray Skies and Rainy Weather...

...and I still wouldn't change anything.

So... let me just start by saying that I made a great decision coming to this part of the country. Yes, it's cold here in the winter and the state has the highest death rate for black ice (according to my mother), but where else in the country (Pacific Northwest likely) is it 64-degrees in June (almost July)? It's 100+ degrees in Texas right now. Sorry to all my melting friends, but I am very happy where I am. I'm staying (at least in the N/E... my next stop will likely be Boston cause jobs are not raging in this area) indefinitely--or at least for 13 years (that seems to be my cycle).

Anyway... I'll stop bragging about my New England the weather.

I haven't heard from any other journals yet. I think about writing every day (haven't written a single word, sadly). I 've read a lot of young adult lately, and I'm REALLY enjoying it. Picked up two more books from the library. I started one and I may put it down because it feels a little too "teen," if you know what I mean. It's called: Prom Dates from Hell. *sigh* I know, I know... that was hard to admit. Don't judge me too harshly. The other seems a little more "literary" and it's called Jellicoe Road. I'm particularly curious about this story for a lot of reasons. The most important reason is the title of my thesis (a novel) will likely be "Alabaster Road" and I'm not quite sure if I'm going to be writing a literary YA novel or adult novel. So... I consider this research (not just based off titles, btw, but subject matter too).

Teaching Question: What do you do with a student who is obviously bored? Teaching is going well beside this one kid--I don't know what to do with him. Alas.

I'll be checking out Transformers II: Revenge of the Fallen tomorrow sometime. Will post my opinion soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rejected! :c)

I received a form letter from Harper's Magazine today--declined. Shot down by a red scribbled signature (completely unreadable) of an editorial assistant. Oh well... I'll wait to hear from six other places with my fingers crossed and my expectations moderate.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Days...

I spent 4.5 hours preparing for my class today... now I'm at home, full of junk food, and trying to decide what to do with the rest of my night. My options: 1) write the next chapter of my side project (a novella), 2) work on revising a short story, 3) try to write a new short story, or 4) read. The possibilities are endless and I'll likely start reading a new YA novel. I finished The Graveyard Book and really enjoyed it. I'm contemplating buying it for my collection--but perhaps I should wait until it comes out in paperback. Although there's something wonderful about a hardback book. I shouldn't buy anything considering I have about $10 to my name (honestly)... until tomorrow that is. Gotta love pay days. The economy sucks right now too... not that I needed to remind anyone of that.

I should write tonight. I'll do that and watch So You Think You Can Dance (guilty summer pleasure).

Update on the story that I have swimming in the abyss (aka. journal slush piles):

I checked my online status for Virginia Quarterly Review and it said: "Submitted 15 days ago, and declined 15 days ago." I'm taking this to mean that I didn't meet the May 31 deadline (although I did submit it on 5/26, but maybe that's cutting it too close?). Or maybe they just turned it down outright. I wonder if I'll receive any other notification--my guess is probably not.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Working Up the Kid Inside of Me

It's been a while since I've blogged (nothing new there). Since the last post, I've seen the new Pixar Movie "Up" and I've gotta say that the studio does it again!! While I'm not sure if kids would actually get the full impact of a story about a guy mourning the loss of his beloved (thus honoring her memory with one last adventure), there are plenty of amazing visuals and funny "kid" things (like the colorful bird and talking dogs) that will keep them entertained. The visuals for this movie--like its predecessors Wall-E and Nemo--were amazing. My favorite image was the colorful reflections/shadows of the balloons as they rose up into the air (especially a scene where a little girl is bathed in color as the balloons rise up past her living room window). I didn't see it in 3D (because I'm cheap and they make you pay for the glasses) so I can't attest for that version of the movie. Overall, beautiful movie.

My rating: A

Next up: 1) Angels and Demons, 2) Transformers, 3) Harry Potttttttttttttttttter!

Topic change....

So, I'll be teaching a 6-week writing workshop (for first-generation college students heading to PhD programs) starting next Tuesday and I'm in the middle of preparing for that, but I've made time to get in a lot of reading (mostly young adult). I think I'm reading young adult/teen books now because they're lighter than the literary fiction that I've been cramming my brain with the past 9 months. It's nice to take a break and enjoy something without psychoanalyzing it. The adventures are fun... reading these books is like watching a movie. I'm not saying that some adult fiction isn't this way, because it is. I'm just in a YA kick right now.

I'm currently reading the newest Neil Gaiman YA novel: The Graveyard Book.

I've got to tell ya, it's actually REALLY good. The best YA that I've read so far this summer (see below). There's something about the writing that's a bit spooky, a bit crafty, a bit literary, and there are PICTURES! Haha... I guess my mind really gets a break with illustrations, which is probably why I thumb through picture books when I should be shelving in the children's department at Barnes and Noble.

Here are the other YA books I've read:
  • The Percy Jackson and the Olympians (read the last three of the five book series)
  • Vampire Academy (three books so far) - These are the first books that I've read where there were major typos... very disappointing. The first book took about 200 pages for me to really get into (the first book is 332pgs). I think I like them better than Twilight though--not that they're better written or anything like that. I'm commenting on the story itself. The editors really need to get their act together with the typo thing... unacceptable.
  • The first book in the Pendragon series (there are nine total and I'm not sure that I'm going to be reading the rest after book one).
Next in line:
I suppose I'm on a bit of a supernatural/sci fi/fantasy YA kick! Anything to take my poor literary abused mind on a fun adventure.

I'm also reading a few non-fiction books by Geneen Roth and they are completely amazing--perhaps life/habit changing. We shall see... won't get into them to much here.

This is the summer of reading, I suppose. I really should be working on my thesis (outlining it at least) or writing two new short stories to get a jump on next semester or writing a few essays (for the same purpose). But all I want to do is read... so I guess that's what I'll do for a little while longer anyway. If anyone has any YA recommendations, send them my way!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin