movie star drool

Three Musketeers (in 3D!)

I wanted to see this movie ever since I saw it listed as “pre-production” on Logan Lehrman’s IMDB page.  And wanted to see it more once I found out Christoph Waltz and Mads Mikkelsen were also attached.  And Matthew MacFadayen.

Then I saw a preview – good costumes, explosions, sword fighting…I am so in!

I checked out Rotten Tomatoes before we bought tickets and was disappointed to see that it has a 32% or something like that…aka pretty rotten.  Hmmmm…but I said I would be happy as long as there was some seriously kick-ass fancy swordwork and costumes.  We (aka mediazombie and I) went to a 7pm 3D showing because the 2D were at 5pm and 950pm (or something like that…seriously?) – my first “real” 3D movie experience because post-processed 3D usually makes me hurl.

And did I like The Three Musketeers?  Oh, hellz yes I did.  It was so much fun.  Logan Lehrman really does capture that “I am totally a big fish in the little pond of Gascony” attitude AND he does some great stuntwork in his two major swordfighting scenes.  The Three Musketeers (Matthew MacFadayen, Ray Stevenson, and Luke Evans) all bring different shades to their characters.  Christoph Waltz as Richelieu is a scary, scary man – would he stab you in the front or the back, do you think?  Orlando Bloom was great, really having fun playing a man who thinks he is an evil mastermind but really comes off as a greasy, 1920s, moustache-twirling, silent movie villain – absolutely hysterical.  Even smaller parts like Anne of Austria, Queen of France (Juno Temple), had some depth.  Milla Jovovitch was quite good as Milady, although sometimes the wire-work seemed a leeetle bit over the top, but I loved her exaggerated femininity and helpless-looking gestures.

As for the 3D – there wasn’t much “stuff is coming at me!” nonsense and I liked that.  I really liked the 3D effects on those shots with great depth-of-field, so most of the exterior work looked great, as well as some great opening credits.  Loved some of the sets – especially those interior shots supposedly at the Royal Palace (did they shoot at one of the Palaces? If they didn’t, and reconstructed parts of the Louvre, then the set designer gets some serious props).  Good costumes, too.  This movie was seriously “Go big or go home” – they went big.  It was great.

I totally want to see this again in the theatre – if Jackie wants to go, I’m all in!

Preview goodness:
pre-1.  Hugo – not a preview per se, more like an ad before the previews, but I’m including it because Scorsese gave some sound bites and there were plently of shots from the movie in it
1.  Tower Heist – heist comedy with Ben Stiller masterminding a group of buddies (?) trying to get back at a Bernie Madoff-type guy (Alan Alda); with Matthew Broderick and Eddie Murphy; hope this is good because Eddie needs a good flick
2.  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – this is so full of win, I don’t know what to say – CAN’T WAIT UNTIL DECEMBER!!
3.  The Darkest Hour – yet another “put a group of pretty people together and they will *SURPRISE!* figure out how the world is ending” movie; only the pretty Americans are in Russia…and the only ones NOT to get exploded by wierd energy aliens in some Russian rave bar; we had to put our 3D glasses on for this preview and it was so NOT impressive (totally looks like a Roland Emmerich film but it’s not)
4.  The Adventures of Tintin – Spielberg, meh; not interested in this one plus that life-like animation creeps me out
5.  Star Wars in 3D, starting with The Phantom Menace – oh, HELLZ NO!!  Please, God/George Lucas, let me enjoy Episodes IV – VI in peace without any updates, blu-ray, digitization, aka CRAP.  Stop robbing my childhood.

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Readathon · stuff I read

Death and the Penguin

Viktor has a rather odd job – he writes “living obituaries”.  That is, he interviews famous people then files the obituary to wait until the subject dies.  Viktor also has a rather odd pet.  He rescued a penguin from the Kiev Zoo.  He gets mixed up in the Russian mafia who take a supremely weird fancy to having the penguin attend their funerals.  He winds up minding the young daughter of a shady acquaintence.  Then his “living obituary” subjects begin dying at an alarming rate….

Death and the Penguin is a darkly comic novel.  Not funny ha-ha but funny in the way that Mikhail Bulgakov is funny.  For instance, Viktor’s penguin is named Misha.  But then Viktor meets his shady acquaintence – also named Misha.  So ensues a section of the book where Misha-not-penguin is referred to.  The ending is also a surprise.

I’m not sure when I’ll get to the next book – Penguin Lost – or any other Kurkov novels but I’m not averse.

Readathon · stuff I read

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters/Titan’s Curse

More microreviews!

So, woefully behind on my Percy Jackson reading, I snarfed down books two and three during the Readathon.

Riordan does such a fantastic job of blending what is known of the classical Myth with the modern settings – the golden fleece, Atlas.  I loved the idea of Tyson, a loyal brother for Percy, and also of Thalia.  It was also really great to meet Annabeth’s dad and the rest of her family.

Need to read books four and five (in my possession, as yet unread)!

Readathon · stuff I read

Shatter Me

Just a microreview, since this is all I have time for.  Definitely a great book to read for the readathon – kept me going, good set-up for a sequel.

I liked the style, using the strike-throughs to indicate how Juliette self-censors her thoughts as if retraining her thinking could fix her.

This book is the demented love-child of a three-way between The Hunger GamesX-Men, and The Fantastic Four (there is one overt Dr. Fantastic reference I could have done without at the end, but it’s pretty minor).

Dear FTC: I received an ARC of this book – from exactly where I don’t remember.  I think my store, could have been the publisher, too.

Readathon · stuff I read

All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin

I am a regular reader of the Yarn Harlot.  She’s just what you need when your yarn, needles, and life in general have you in knots. 

And she has a new book:  All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin

Sadly, I’ve never met her.  Iowa has yet to figure on any of her book tours.  Le sigh.  Maybe once in my life I’ll get lucky and I’ll make it to Rhinebeck and she’ll be there.  I might bring a washcloth with a Hawkeye on it.  Or perhaps an ear of corn….

Back to the book.  The topics Stephanie covers range from knitting in public, destashing when S.A.B.L.E (Stash Acquision Beyond Life Expectancy) looms, the paradoxical problem of swatching, growing daughters, and the ever-present love she holds for Sir Washie, her long-suffering washing machine.  The essays are drawn from her blog and expanded from some of her daily posts.  Her family has grown up over the course of her blog and previous essay collections (Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter and Free Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again) making this book a treat not just for knitters and crafters, but mothers, grandmothers, and anyone with a boisterous family and a century-old house.

Readathon · stuff I read

Readathon 2011: Wrap-it up! #readathon

After a little make-up-for-sleep reading this morning I can call my readathon at an end!

I was too lazy to get up this morning so I read whatever was in my reach:  The Deed by Lynsay Sands (a re-read, but it was on the nightstand and it is amusing, very quick-to read) and then 16 pages of I, Juan de Pareja…at which point I knew I was readathonned out and in serious manuscipt-editing-withdrawal.  So I went to Lowe’s and bought a new garbage disposal and kitchen faucet (and Lowe’s is installing them for me because I got a deal on having both done at once) then to Capanna to edit without the cats attaching themselves to my laptop.

But I am mega-satisfied with the number of books read and my page count!

Books read/finished (in order, bottom up, finished books in the left, partials on the right):

  • All Wound Up  (201 pages)
  • Best American Short Stories, intro and first three stories (74 pages)
  • Shatter Me (342 pages)
  • The Sea of Monsters (279 pages)
  • The Titan’s Curse (312 pages)
  • Death and the Penguin (228 pages)
  • The Deed (372 pages)
  • I, Juan de Pareja (16 pages)

TOTAL PAGE COUNT: 1824 pages (huzzah! and holy cats!  No wonder my eyeballs were ready to drop out of my head!)

I finished six books (six more books added to my Goodreads Challenge to read 100 books this year!) and started two more.  Not too shabby!

Can’t wait for the next ‘thon and I hope I can participate (maybe I’ll have a mini-readathon the next weekend I am not working).

Oh, and I toted all my stuff this weekend in this:

My super-awesome Penguin totebag which sums up this weekend perfectly:

Readathon

Readathon 2011: Update #3 #readathon

730pm:  Started Titan’s Curse

10pm:  Finished Titan’s Curse (pity I have no more Percy Jackson books in the house)
Made more tea
Fed the obnoxious furballs who would not stop whining

1030pm:  Started Death and the Penguin

12am:  Finished Death and the Penguin (sad, absurd, and funny all at the same time)

And now, I’m sorta beat

I think I’ll sleep now then do some make-up hours like I did the last time I participated.  I worked pretty well.

Readathon

Readathon 2011: Update #2 #readathon

1pm: scanned most of the to-read-for-Readathon pile into Goodreads (lamentable oversight)
Started Best American Short Stories 2011 edited by Geraldine Brooks, read 19 pages of introduction (marginally boring)

2pm: have read first three short stories (about 56+ pages) and now need a break from short stories (usual occurence)
time for a PBJ and a new book: SHATTER ME (which has an awesome quote on pg 71 of the galley, will share later)

5pm:  just finished SHATTER ME and it is AWESOME
attempt to make coffee – find that the coffee filter holder has some oogie fur in it
make tea instead while coffee maker bits are marinating in the sink – Twining’s Lady Grey
discuss SHATTER ME a little with Pam on Twitter (I believe I called the book a whimsical and deadly child of 1984 and XMEN, or something like that)

520pm:  settle back in with tea and Percy Jackson #2 Sea of Monsters
(also, blue recliner scavenged from my parents’ house is actually quite nice for reading until Dante-the-fatter-kitty decides to sit on the footrest and the chair starts to tip forward)

730pm:  Sea of Monsters is DONE! Fun!
Break to start pizza and update the blog!