Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dueling Vampire Girlfriends--Sookie VS Bella

Whether you are Team Edward or Team Jacob, drooling over Eric's abs or fantasizing about being Bill's Southern Belle, you have got to admit vampire fever has sucked us all in.  But, as everyone knows, there is a great divide among the fans of both the HBO True Blood series, loosely based on Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels and the Twilight movies based on the novels written by Stephanie Meyer.  Rarely will you find that someone is the fan of both.  It doesn't have to be an either/or situation, though.  Let's compare these two objects of intense vampire desire.

First Sookie, played by Anna Paquin.  Sookie is bright, confident and never afraid to express her feelings, even if that means pissing off an already aggravated bloodsucker.  She's independent and more than once she's saved someone else, even though she's considered to be a weak human.  Paquin plays the role fiercely, week after week, season after season, on the small screen, currently on season 3, with the two previous seasons available on DVD or download.  True Blood 
Bella, portrayed by Kristen Stewart, on the other hand, is dark and brooding, unsure of herself, full of that angst that goes along with not having a full realization of who she is and where she belongs.  She is dependent on having others look out for her, but her neediness provides plenty of opportunities for her knight to rescue her.  Rather than tv, Bella has helped the Twilight movies become blockbusters at the theater.  The 3rd installment, Eclipse, is set to release in a couple of weeks.  Twilight 
As different as night and day these two may seem, they both have a similar quality that is quite obvious.  They both love their men, fiercely devoted to them, regardless of how apprehensive they were getting involved with them. 

So what do you think?  Do you love both?  Hate one but love the other?  Or are you "over" vampires?

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk

As a rabid Chuck Palahniuk fan, famous author of the cult classic Fight Club boy was  I tickled to get Pygmy  and start it. As I read the first page, my first response was WTF Chuck?!? Another gimmicky style?  Are you trying to drive off readers or just bend our minds?  
Rant and Snuff weren't enough to tickle your creative fancy? The book is written as if it is a first person account of a person whose primary language isn't English, but the account is written in English. For example, flowers are called "plant genitals." 

I almost quit the book, but I kept on, and I finally adapted to the writing style. The story is about Pygmy and his comrades, who were taken from their parents at a very young age and made into weapons of "the state." We never find out which country--Palahniuk does this on purpose--the country who wants to destroy the USA is a composition of what could be many other countries. Anyway, Pygmy and his comrades all enter the USA as foreign exchange students, with their goal to inflict "Operation Havoc."

I really did enjoy the story, even as distracted as I was by the writing. I really wish Ole Chuck would just weave us a few good novels without the gimmicks. He's a great writer, has a huge base and doesn't need to "play." Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe his gimmicks are forever sealing his fate as one of the greatest contemporary writers of our time.

*Note-after having time to stew over this novel, and looking back at how difficult it must have been to write it, I see it in a different light--Palahniuk is a genius.  I rate this one 4 blooms!

Disclosure:  This book was purchased by me and I received no compensation for this review.

Dazed and Confused: Yes We Were

So last night I was flipping through the channels, in my insomniac daze, and what do I happen upon but the movie Dazed and Confused  Released in 1993, this movie is the ultimate "flashback to my teens" movie for my generation.  The movie is set in Texas, in 1976, on the last day of school before summer vacation.  Brought tears to my eyes, remembering the keggers, the smoke, the hot guys in those pants....why can't those pants come back?  But I digress.  If you get a chance, see this movie.  It rocks, literally. I should know, I own the soundtrack

Did I mention it has Matthew McConaughey in tight pants?
Okay he was a little creepy in this particular movie--remember his famous line?
"about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age"

Now just because *I* was a teen in the late 70's & early 80's doesn't mean I'm not aware of similar movies of different decades--all facilitating the memories of youth misspent.  How about
American Grafitti for the 60's crowd, The Breakfast Club  & St. Elmo's Fire for the 80's clubbers and Varsity Blues for those babies who were teens in the 90s?  All great movies.  I'm sure I've overlooked some of your favorites--feel free to set me straight in the comments section!

Disclosure:  I was not given compensation for this post nor was I given any of the DVDs listed in this post.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What Would Susie Say? by Susie Essman

I've been a fan of Larry David's show Curb Your Enthusiasm for a long time, and one of the reasons that I love the show is because of the character Susie Essman plays.  I saw Susie on Joy Behar's show and she claims she isn't at all like her character, but she did enjoy yelling at her TV husband.  After hearing her talk I had to read her book, so I did.

I really like Susie Essman's frank and explicit way she expresses herself. I love the fact that she's not afraid to be herself and express herself in her own way, even if that way sometimes resembles some rough language. She also exposes a softer side, especially when she's talking about her new husband and his children. It isn't hard to believe that she got her start in comedy--she's a funny lady.

If you are a fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm, you'll love this book. Essman writes in a conversational style that is a very quick read.  4 Blossoms!

Disclosure: No compensation was given for this post.  I bought the book.