The Good Shepherd:
This movie was slow, long, confusing, and not very exciting (thus slow). I was expecting a spy type thriller, and instead, I got a boring movie that confused me with all its flashbacks and flash forwards, similar looking fraternity friends and similar sounding Russians. There was one moment in the movie with a bit of suspense, and we all knew what was going to happen, and thus, it wasn’t that exciting. The most unbelievable part of the movie was that Matt Damon neglects his wife, Angelina Jolie. Maybe if it was Jennifer Anniston, you could eventually get bored and neglect her, but not Angelina, def not her. I read that DiNero wanted to cast Leo before Matt, and I understand why Leo turned it down. The character is boring. In order to fully understand this movie, I’d have to see it 3x. Too bad I don’t plan on seeing it again.
Blood Diamond was action packed, full of surprises, suspense, had a good story and a strong tale of morality. Leo does a great job acting, as he always does and one of my favorite small time actors, Djimon Hounsou (also in Gladiator), pulls off his role as a strong, good natured, individual quite well. My mom even liked it, though she warned not to sit in the first few rows because you might get sprayed w/blood. We sat in the first 2 rows, but that’s because the theatre was packed for this awesome movie. The only small gripe I could have is that the moral tale could have been a bit stronger. The movie argued against buying diamonds from conflict regions, but buying any diamond, does change the supply and demand dynamics of the trade whether everyone in the US asks for non conflict diamonds or not.
Another Leo movie; another excellent flick. Suspenseful, thoughtful, violent and surprising. This mob movie has an awesome cast (Jack, Matt, Marky Mark), solid acting, and a few twists at the end that make you jump out of your seat. You leave the theatre thinking, “did that just happen,” then you sit at home pondering the movie for a few days while still in shock at how the whole thing ended up and how much it disturbs you. That’s what makes it a good movie.
I understand why “Happy Feet” is in the IMAX, but why is “Night at the Museum?” Hello “Blood Diamond?” Hello “Casino Royale?” Hello “The Departed.” Even “Apocalypto” would be a better choice than Museum.
A Confederacy of Dunces:
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Tool, reads exactly as the forward says it will read. The book is about a fat, obnoxious, idealist, idiot who has no sense of reality and thinks everything is offensive and everyone is out get him. Throughout the book, you are struggling to keep reading, yet something makes you turn the page instead of throwing it in the trash. This train wreck of a book that has Seinfeldian comedy and coincidences that make it almost silly in nature. As the book ended, I wasn’t really sure why that was the chosen end of the book and why there weren’t more pages. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted there to be more pages. Not my type of book, though it did win a Pulitzer Prize, so I’d call it slightly above average.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking:
As the title suggests, I flew through this book in about a week. The book reads similarly to a psychology book, but focuses on cases and outcomes rather than stupid psych definitions. It explores the judgments we make in the first few seconds and how an expert can be as accurate in his judgments instantly, as he would be after studying the object for years. It dives into fun pop culture things, like the taste test, and also into disturbing human behavior, like the Amadou Diallo shooting. Definitely a quick read, an entertaining read and a fun look into how the brain works and the snap decisions we make.
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling:
This is my kind of book. It’s a non fiction history book with a 50 page reference section at the back. This well referenced book takes place during the 4 years that Michelangelo was forced to fresco the Sistine Chapel (He had no frescoing experience which is much different than painting). If focuses on his relationship with a dictator of a pope who waged wars for the Church’s benefit and though of himself as the second coming. It also talks about Michelangelo’s relationships with other artists of his time including Rafael and Leonardo. The book is full of interesting facts about life back then and side stories that are mostly interesting with a few dull ones in between. If you’re a history / nonfiction lover, I’d recommend.