Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane"

Looking For Alaska

It is becoming somewhat of a yearly tradition that I wrap up the year with a John Green book. Last December I read Paper Towns in anticipation of the movie, which I still have to watch!, and earlier this year I decided that Looking For Alaska (2005) would by this year's reread. Looking For Alaska is Green's first book. It won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2006, but didn't break into the New York Times best seller list until 2012, more than seven years after it was released. I have to admit that I was keenly unaware of John Green's genius, too, until I discovered Tumblr a couple of years ago and simply couldn't circumvent the plenty quotes of and religious adoration for the 38-year-old Nerdfather out of Indiana. Looking For Alaska is by No. 2 favorite book by him, after TFiOS.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea

In The Heart of the Sea

On Sunday I watched In the Heart of the Sea (2015) by Hollywood Walk of Famer Ron Howard, whom you may also remember from making EDtv, The Da Vinci Code and of course the impeccable Bryce Dallas-Howard, perhaps his finest accomplishment. Since we received compensatory tickets from Kinepolis for the botched MJ2 viewing, which is nice, but I couldn't convince my siblings to watch The Martian, which is why we decided to have a whale of a good time watching Thor Chris Hemsworth instead. I honestly didn't know much about the movie, so I was completely in the dark and could only let it was over me. We watched In the Heart... in 3D, which I am not really a fan of, and I thought that it was wasted a bit here. More on that later.

Monday, December 28, 2015

"When you think you have done enough, do a little more, because someone out there is working harder than you"

I just finished reading When The Game Was Ours (2010) by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson (and Jackie MacMullan). Somehow I had forgotten that the book existed, but when I stumbled upon it making my Christmas list, I didn't think twice about ordering the intertwined memoir. As you may or may not know, I am somewhat of a Celtics fan (evidenced here), with Hall of Fame forward Larry Bird aka The Hick From French Lick my No. 1 Celtic of all time. The undeniable skills, the trash talk, the court vision, the shooting prowess, the work ethic, the fuzzy moustache ... Larry Legend aka The Great White Hope is basketball. I couldn't wait to learn more about Bird and of course his heated rivalry with eternal adversary Earvin "Magic" Johnson and the Showtime Lakers.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Earlier this week me and my colleagues went to check out Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), the seventh installment in the main Star Wars series and the first one since Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in 2005. It is also the first movie released under Disney -- you probably remember the gargantuan $4 billion-plus deal The Walt Disney Co. struck with Lucasfilm late in 2012 -- and the first of the new trilogy. Directed, co-produced and co-written by Fringe co-creator/Star Wars superfan J.J. Abrams, the successor of Lucas is tasked with resurrecting the one megafranchise to rule them all. Will he succeed? Well, you know what Yoda said about merely trying.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

"In my whole life nothing will ever mean more to me"

Judy Blume - Forever

I just finished reading Forever (1975) by New Jersey-born writer Judy Blume. The book came recommended to me via's algorithm and instantly grabbed my attention, so I didn't think twice about ordering it and eased through it this weekend. Since Forever deals with teenage sexuality, the book has apparently been subjected to great censorship and was actually banned from a lot of schools, with a bulk of the criticism coming from relgious groups and pro-abstinence groups. Forever even takes up the No. 8 slot on the American Library Association's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000. The Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz is No. 1, by the way.


Everest movie

Last night I checked out Everest (2015) by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur. The high-altitude survival adventure came heavily recommended by my hulking colleague Philippe, a movie savant if anything, but somehow it had slipped through the cracks. No more! Watching it a my sister's place yesterday, I found myself constantly gasping for air, almost as if I was climbing the Everest myself. The sweeping vistas, beautiful aerial photography and visually stunning imagery provide one of those rare immersive experiences definitely worth your time. Everest is based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, when eight people got caught in a blizzard during attempts to ascend or descend from the summit.