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[sticky post] 2014 List

Ratings: 1 star=worst, 4 stars=best


Books Read:
Young Indiana Jones and the Tomb of Terror - Les Martin ***
Young Indiana Jones and the Circle of Death - William McCay ***
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder - Joanne Fluke ***
Catering to Nobody - Diane Mott Davidson ***
The Black Stallion - Walter Farley ***1/2

Current Book(s):
The Atlantis Gene -- A.G. Riddle
The Blood Gospel -- James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Books to Read:
The Lincoln Letter

New Fandoms:
Sherlock Holmes
Indiana Jones

Fanfics Written:
(Ask to be friended at alexfic to read fic.)


Films @ home:
The Internship *** (I'm a Vince Vaughn girl!)
The Butler ****
Inside Llewyn Davis ***
Morning Glory **
The Ugly Truth **
Hugo ****
Despicable Me 2 ****

Films @ Cinema:
Saving Mr. Banks ***
Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit **1/2
The Monuments Men ****
3 Days to Kill ***1/2

Films to see:
The Artist
47 Ronin

TV Shows:
Sleepy Hollow ***
Ripper Street ****
Sherlock ****
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.***

**If you are actually interested in my opinions about the things I read and watch, just friend my review journal at alexcat_reviews. **

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Other Places to find me on the internet:

http://alexs-storybook.dreamwidth.org/ (Fiction journal)

Slashy Santa Tolkien slash challenge:
http://www.slashysanta.com/eFiction/viewuser.php?action=storiesby&uid=9 (alexcat)


http://alexfic.livejournal.com/ (Fiction journal. Must be a friend to read. Just ask.)
http://alexcat-reviews.livejournal.com/ (Movie, book and tv reviews.)

Of Elves and Men:

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Books: Young Indiana Jones (2 books) ***

Young Indiana Jones and the Tomb of Terror - Les Martin ***
This one takes place in Egypt and Indy meets a young boy who will certainly play a role in his life much later: Sallah. This one has magical artifacts and dastardly Germans, who are also a precursor to the ones he'll meet farther on. A nice creepy kid's read.

Young Indiana Jones and the Circle of Death - William McCay ***
This one takes place in England. Indy and his father are visiting some friends and Indy is dying to spend some time at Stonehenge. But there are some scary goings on there as the workmen keep running away and his friend's father is running out of help for his dig there. Another simple but fun read.

MOVIE: Arsenic and Old Lace ****

Arsenic and Old Lace was a hoot. The whole story is ridiculously funny and Cary Grant is wonderful as the nephew of the Brewster sisters and a newlywed when he comes across some very distressing information about his spinster aunts. The plot is rather outrageous but it works. Mr. Grants over the top acting is one of the tings that makes. No one could talk as fast or as well as Cary Grant. The movie is almost 70 years old and is timeless as can be. See it. You'll love it too.

I gave it four stars.
Out of Circulation by Miranda James was a sweet little mystery. It is part of a series called A Cat in the Stacks and it's main characters are a Maine coon Cat named Diesel and his human, Charlie, the middle aged widower librarian in Athena, Mississippi. While a little short on the suspense, it's a delightful read with lots of quirky characters and one big fat adorable cat. Gentle is the word that comes to mind when I think of this book. While I do love edge of your seat excitement, I enjoyed this homey little book enough that I plan to read the other four in the series also. It brings to mind Jessica Fletcher and her sort of detective.

I gave it 3 and a half stars.
Babylon Confidential is a memoir of Claudia Christian, Susan Ivanova of Babylon 5 fame. It's a tell all, I guess, filled with sex, alcohol and a monstrous helping of self-pity and whining. It makes for an interesting read as Ms.Christian screws and drinks her way all over the world. She drops names: Dodi Fayad is probably the most prominent of those she had flings with.

I wanted to like her and maybe if I met her in person I would but she came off as someone who had everything and simply couldn't manage to stop herself from screwing it up time and time again. When you read the first few pages, she tells a story of buying cooking sherry and you feel sorry for her but when you read the rest of it, like how she drank up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of French wine from her investment, you don't feel nearly as bad for her.

Then it turns into a commercial for the Sinclair Method, which is simply taking a drug that enables you to drink without craving it and calling yourself cured. Never mind the behavior and personality problems that led to addiction in the first place.

I gave it three stars because I love Ivanova.

Movie: A Good Day to Die Hard **

A Good Day to Die Hard is another in the endless Die Hard movies. Hubby wanted to see it so I went with him. It was - okay. Larry said bruce nheeds to stop with the action films since he's gotten too old. He spent a good portion of this film grunting and groaning and getting up off the ground. Even though I didn't rate it very high, it was a decent diversion and if you like action, it was pretty much non stop with some silly oneliners stuck in for fun. I do wish we'd not spent 32 dollars for movie and popcorn!

I gave it 2 stars.

MOVIE: The Campaign ***

The Campaign.

This film is a thinly veiled story about southern political intrigue and stupidity. The Motch(Read Koch) brothers need to buy a politician to help them bring their factories and their Chinese workers back to North Carolina to save on shipping costs for their goods. They are played quite cutely by John Lithgow and Dan Ackroyd. Will Ferrell, he incumbent congressman, Cam Brady(Read John Edwards) is a pig. He is crude and has sex with anything that moves. He had fallen from grace because he accidentally made an obscene phone call to a random citizen. The Motch brothers decide to run the son of their old friend, a mousy little man named Marty Huggins, played by Zach Galifianakis. The campaign gets ugly and uglier still.

This movie is full of nasty language and extremely crude humor. But in the end, it's funny. Just that. it's funny in a very Will Ferrell sort of way and to be honest, this is the only thing I've seen Galifianakis in that I thought was funny at all.

Two odd notes:
Ferrell's character seems to be a parody of John Edwards.
Zach Gailfianakis is from Wilkes County in North Carolina, not far from where I live, and his uncle used to be a congressman.

I gave it three stars for the giggles.

MOVIE: Total Recall ***

Total Recall.

This is a remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger move from 1990. It follows along the same plot lines with a few differences. It all takes place on Earth this time, in a dark and hopeless world. Colin Farrell is Quaid, who has the Recall this time. If you like action, this will satisfy. You have a hero who doesn't know who he is, and evil overlord and a broken system and of course, all hell breaks loose as Quaid comes to teers with who he is as well as trying to stay alive long enough to care.

Not a dull moment and Farrell is decent eye candy. I gave it three stars.

MOVIE: His Girl Friday ***

HIs Girl Friday

I rented this one from Netlfix on a lark and it was delightful. The plot was not important or was it even that good a plot. The real fun of the movie was the rapid fire dialogue between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. They are golden as they fire one liners and quips at one another in a rapid fire style that made them famous. the story is about a newspaper woman who comes to visit her ex-husband and editor to tell him she's getting married and swept up into a story and into all sorts of intrigue designed by her ex into keeping her around. Grant and Russell are wonderful and the rest of the cast is not too bad at firing off those lines either.

See it! It's a fun 90 minutes. What have you got to lose?

I gave it three stars.

MOVIE: Hitchcock ****


This was a lovely look at Hitchcock during his filming of Psycho. He ran into all sorts of problems with the movie and the film chronicles those. Pshycho was based on the life of Ed Gein, a serial killer who killed skinned, ate and preserved by taxidermy a number of women in the 50's. Hitchcock ran into problems with the studio, with the censors, with his home life, with his actors, with almost everything to do with the film but he made it anyway and it is among his best remembered and a whole genre of horror film sprang up from it.

The film is a bit tongue in cheek at times too. Hitchcock does a little narration at the beginning and end as he did in his famous Alfred Hitchcock Presents television show. We also see him chattering with Ed Gein in his imaginings from time to time. We are never sure if these are daydreams or nightmares.

Anthony Hopkins is wonderful as Hitchcock. He does have the aid of makeup and such to make him as large as Mr. Hitchcock but his voice is also quite perfect. Helen Mirren plays his Alma, his beloved wife and collaborator. The movie really is a love story of sorts between Hitchcock and Alma. Scarlett Johansson plays Janet Leigh and I'm seldom impressed by anything she does.

I found it a most excellent film. See it.

I gave it four of four!