Sunday, April 29, 2012

50/50 Challenge Update

photo credit: Google Images

Book number four of the 50/50 Challenge goes to Ms. Jodi Picoult. Her latest book, Lone Wolf, is true to Picoult form covering a controversial topic. The characters face the challenge of whether to keep their father on life support. In addition, Picoult also did extensive research about wolves, which is a strange, but interesting subplot. However, of all her books this is near the end of the list. I was at the book signing for this book which always enhances a book, but the story itself wasn't my favorite. Maybe it's because I didn't care about the characters as much as books past. She's already started on her next book, which I am looking forward to. Book #4 though, check!

On to movies...I saw four movies this month for free! Movies 11 and 12 were two that I hadn't seen much publicity about. Girl in Progress starred Eva Mendes as a single mother trying to do a good job raising her more mature teenage daughter who has convinced herself that she needs to force her "coming of age." For this specific preview, I went to a special screening that included pastors and youth group leaders because apparently a rep from the studio is promoting to Christian audiences because of it's positive themes. But it's not a Christian movie. While, it did have good lessons, I think it's a little of a stretch to promote it that way. But what do I know? I'd say this movie is a renter.

Movie 12 was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is the worst name for a movie. But the movie was surprisingly cute. It's an odd premise about a bunch of senior citizens from England who all go to this hotel in India as a getaway. There were a lot of separate story lines with none really interacting in a real way, but it was cute. A little slow at times, but endearing, sweet. Dev Patel was the best with his hyper-optimism over his failing hotel. This movie is a renter.

So, slowly I'm gaining speed with my challenge even though I have a really long way to go. Really, I'm not even halfway to my goal? And really, when I reach it what will I do? Cheer silently to myself?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

50/50 Challenge: Creepin' Closer

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I made it to 10 movies! Last week I saw Think Like a Man - for free, no less. It was HILARIOUS! I highly recommend this movie and to be honest, didn't have that high of expectations going in. Kevin Hart is great comic timing and I'm a fan of Terrence from 106 & Park. But overall the cast worked well together and it wasn't too sappy, wasn't trying too hard to be funny. It was just really freakin' funny. This movie makes movie number two of the month that I was able to see before it was released and for free. Lesson: sign up for free stuff, it's great. I have two more screenings scheduled this month, too. I love my free movie watching life.

If you want the brief synopsis of Think Like a Man it goes like this: Steve Harvey wrote a book to help women catch and keep a man. The men find out they they're being "played," try to play back and in the end turns out everyone wants the same thing. It's another lesson for single girls to follow the rules by not following the rules that don't work for you - make sense?

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In the same week that I hit my big goal of double digits for movies watch for this 50/50 challenge, I also ready my third book. Woo! Still Missing by Chevy Stevens is fucked up. I'm sorry there's no other way to say it. I read it a night, like I had previously mentioned, which wasn't the smartest thing and not really recommended. I mean doesn't take a genius to know to read about abduction by a psycho right before trying to sleep. But the real reason that the book was so messed up was because of the "turn" in the middle/near the end. It was horrible. It brought the book to a complete stop for me, which was sad because up to then it had such great momentum. It was very descriptive and good character development and all that stuff that makes a great story. But when you find out what really happened, the story behind the story, it's a little bit like, really? C'mon, REALLY? That's just me though. I have book club to discuss this book in a couple of weeks and we will then if I'm in the minority on this.

I re-watched Julie & Julia. I know I can't count this towards the challenge, especially since I watch the movie about once a month. I just love it. I also have about six fashion magazines to read through, which by page count should count towards my book reading, but alas I'll play fair.

Until my next update, I think I'll finally finish Lone Wolf. But I'm always up for book recommendations. Anyone?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

50/50 Challenge: Almost Double Digits

I admit, I've been slow with my 50/50 Challenge. At this rate, it'll be a miracle if I see 20 movies and 20 books this year, let alone 50. So sad too because I had very high hopes. I'm still working on reading book number three. But in my defense, I haven't had any books capture my interest to read the whole thing. Books I've started and haven't finished have included: Smut, The Year of Living Biblically (I think that's the title) and Harvesting the Heart. I just think I haven't been in the mood to read. Currently, I'm reading Still Missing which is totally creepy and not really the kind of book to read right before bed, which sucks, because I always like to read right before bed.

Good news (I guess) is that I've almost reached double digits with my movie watching. I finally saw Jurassic Park (#8) and while it was good, I know that it would've been better had I seen it when it came out. Dinosaurs are quite the spectacular creatures and I thought, why did no one ever think to make a real Jurassic Park with mechanical dinosaurs, of course. People would pay for that. The kitchen scene, which is the only scene I had seen previously, was still the scariest. I'm a fan of the herbivores myself, like the dinosaur from The Flinstones.

The Lucky One starring now hunky and of age Zac Efron is the latest from the Nicholas-Sparks-wrote-a-book-that-he-knew-would-become-an-instant-chick-flick-classic installment. This made for movie #9 for the challenge and it was pretty good. I mean not Oscar-caliber performance by any means, but very saccharine Nicholas Sparks type feelings that are needed every now and again. This movie I saw as a screening, which means that I had to wait in line early to see it (bad) but also they had treats - cupcakes and sodas - (good). BUT, also in movies like this for screenings people feel like they can talk out loud during the movie and giggle and cat call during kissing scenes, which makes it kind of an annoying environment. But who am I to complain? Free movies work for me!

So, there it is. I've not even made it 10 movies and fuggedabout the books because I am still at a lowly 2. I feel like I can have a summer blitz though, you never know. I hope my fellow 50/50ers are doing this challenge justice.