Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hooray for Hollywood! Da da da da da da da Hollywood!

Some might think that Jeff's lack of posting yesterday was because he's an inconsiderate slacker. But I think I can see the truth: he's trying to help the rest of us by starting a Theme Week: no one posts this week!

Not really. But, as long as we're copping out, I think it's time for a Media Review! (For those of you who don't read this blog very much, I do these whenever I can't think of something interesting to say. For example: here, here, and here. (Actually, when I just went back to find those links I was surprised to see that I've only done this three times before. I could abuse this WAY more often.)


Iron Man: Back in my eighth grade art class we had the assignment to copy the style of an artist. We could choose anyone we liked, but then we had to mimic their style for the rest of the quarter. One of my best friends chose Jackson Pollack because he thought it would be easy. (The joke was on him when he started having to pay for all that paint.) But I chose Jack Kirby, the grandaddy of comic book art. The very first picture I drew was of Iron Man, wearing his classic red and yellow armor. In fact, I liked Iron Man so much (probably because armor is easier to draw than actual human anatomy) that I spent most of that class drawing him and, more importantly, reading his comic books.

So, it was with great anticipation that Erin and I went to the movie. And, lo, it was awesome. The neatest thing about it, I think, was that aside from the big wacky suit of flying armor, it's very grounded in the real world. Early on, it seems almost like military thriller--something Tom Clancy might write.

The acting is fantastic. Robert Downey Jr is a perfect fit, Jeff Bridges is awesome.

And, if you see it (and if you're a giggly little fanboy like me) make sure that you stay after the credits for the final scene. It almost doubles the awesomeness of the entire movie.

Cloverfield: This is basically Godzilla with a hand-held camera. The basic gist is that a group of twenty-somethings are at a party in Manhattan, and a monster attacks the city. All that we ever see in the movie is what the kids see on their HandiCam.

Much has been said about the nausea-inducing nature of this movie, but we saw it on DVD and missed most of that. I actually thought it was quite good--scary and funny and really creepy. But then the end is absolutely terrible. And I don't mean it's terrible because it doesn't end the way I want it to (ie, someone I like dies, or the couple doesn't hook up, or whatever), I mean that it just ends, with no conclusion, satisfying or otherwise. Lame.

Golden Compass: Yeah, I know that this movie is leading me and all my family down to the pits of hell and blah blah blah. I got the email. But, rational people that I talked to said that the movie is just fine and you'd never know that it had anything to do with religion and atheism and whatever. So, we rented it and--surprise surprise!--I didn't go to hell! I didn't renounce anything, and I didn't stop doing my home teaching.

I mean, the movie wasn't any good, but not because of anti-religious sentiment. No, it was lousy because you could tell that it was a very involved book with lots of plot twists and side stories, and the movie tried to mention all of them.

You know how when the Harry Potter movies come out and fans complain that too much got left out? Golden Compass is the answer. In HP, the writers try to take the main stories and make a good movie. In GC, the writers tried to mention everything that happens in the book, but are so concerned with cramming it all in that they forget to make a good movie. I was never entirely sure why people were doing what they were doing, or how they jumped to the crazy conclusions they did.

And then it ended, without resolving anything at all. (Yes, I know it's a series. But it was a dumb ending. It was as satisfying as if the director just decided not to film the final three pages of the script.)


American Idol: I watch this show like a drunken fool. And I write recaps every single week, as though I were a thirteen-year-old girl. (And I do so on my MBA blog.) You can read them here.

NBA Playoffs: I feel as though I've died and gone to heaven. Divine intervention is the only explanation for the NBA playoffs starting just as school ended! Hooray! I'm a Jazz fan, and it's nice to see them doing well. (Even though they're up against the Lakers now, and in some serious trouble.) I'm also a fan of the New York Knicks, who haven't won a single game in thirteen years. They're the ultimate underdog. But I really think that the extra rest they're getting from not having to play in the playoffs will give them the edge next year!

The Office: It's back on! If you don't watch The Office, then what's wrong with you? It's the best comedy on TV. (A close second is 30 Rock, which is funnier, but it often gets a little too crude for me.)


As I mentioned last week, the best book I've read recently is Predictably Irrational. You should go and buy it.

I've also read several business books lately: How Customers Think, by Gerald Zaltman, The Innovator's Solution, by Clayton M. Christensen, and The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. All of them were interesting--quite good, actually--but I don't really feel like talking about them.

As far as novels, I haven't read much lately. I'm listening to Pride and Prejudice on my iPod, and arguing with my wife about it. (She insists that Mr. Darcy is just misunderstood and shy, while I insist he's a big jerky jerkface.)

I also reread a chunk of Stephanie Black's The Believer, and a chunk of Annette Lyon's House on the Hill. And I read a bit of Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. I hope to rectify this bits-and-pieces approach to reading in the near future.

Oh, and I've been writing again, and it's lots of fun. I'd forgotten how great it is. (And the BYU IT guys are probably monitoring everything I do, because yesterday I googled "explosive power of dynamite", "how to break into a car", and "concealable pistols". And then I spent about an hour looking at the Beretta and Sig Sauer websites. So, maybe I won't have to post anything next week--I'll be in Guantanamo!)


At 5/06/2008 2:09 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Yeah! Rob's writing again!

At 5/06/2008 2:50 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

We just watch GC last night for FHE (how's that for ironic--but I don't think our kids are going to hell, either). I liked it better than you did. It's not fantastic, but I enjoyed it.

I'm a huge fan of The Office.

And as for P&P. Erin's right to a point--he's shy and misunderstood. But he's also a bit of a jerk at first. He goes through a lot of changes throughout the book and has to eat a lot of humble pie to get there. But Lizzy's not perfect, either. She's got her own pride and prejudices to overcome. (Wow, what a great title . . .) Don't tell me this is your first foray into P&P . . .

At 5/06/2008 2:53 PM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

So, if the Golden Compass didn't make you stop home teaching, do you think it would make someone start home teaching? We've only been home taught once in the past 3.5 years, and that was after I announced in Sunday School that I didn't even know who my home teacher was because we hadn't been home taught in years.

After that, a member of the EQ presidency showed me the reports that showed we had been visited every month. Hmmm. So, then we got one real visit and never again.

So, if I made my Gospel Doctrine class watch that movie, do you think our errant home teacher would reappear?

At 5/06/2008 3:09 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Annette, GC did have two things going for it. I loved loved loved the sets, costumes, and art direction. It was gorgeous. And, second, I like Nicole Kidman.

As for P&P, I've watched all the movies, and I read the book several years ago (but I skimmed a lot). This is my first time actually paying attention to the book.

Evil HR Lady, all you ever do is complain. No wonder they never come to visit.

At 5/06/2008 3:33 PM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...


Not only do I complain, I ask them to chop wood, fix my computer, and re-arrange furniture. Do you think that has something to do with it?

At 5/06/2008 3:53 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Go Jazz! I'm with you, Rob, on the P&P and if you wind up at Guatanamo for checking out the same web pages the rest of us google from time to time,depending on the demented characters we've invented, I'll smuggle in your laptop so you can keep writing.

By the way evil HR lady, my home teachers seldom miss a month and they really do pitche in and help with anything they think we need; it's my visiting teachers who may have to watch GC. It took four years and a little snooping to discover someone is even assigned to me. All the time one of the two was counting visits each time she said hello to me at Church!

At 5/06/2008 3:55 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

I loved Iron Man, and I knew nothing about the comics at all. Robert Downey, Jr. was amazing to watch, and this is one of the first films I can remember that the CGI didn't seem completely fake the entire movie (yeah, I'm looking at you George Lucas). It seemed believable and only a little fake.

We stayed through the credits on the advice of the ticket taker, and obviously, I didn't get the full import of it. But I turned to my husband and said, "Whatever that means, I bet the fanboys are peeing their pants right now." Thanks for confirming that I was right.

And P&P rocks.

At 5/06/2008 4:40 PM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...


That's awesome. I think I'll adopt that as my visiting teaching as well. Of course, one of my visiting teachees only comes to sacrament meeting and leaves before I can actually speak to her. I do wave, though. Do you think I can count that?

At 5/06/2008 4:41 PM, Blogger Crystal Liechty said...

Yay! I'm going to see Iron Man on Saturday for my birsday.
And I'm over American Idol, so just tell me who wins. The auditions are the only fun part to watch. *ducks*

At 5/06/2008 10:48 PM, Blogger Marcia Mickelson said...

Ah, I love the Office. I'm so glad it's back.

At 5/07/2008 3:06 PM, Anonymous Hilary Blair said...

Im still sad Brooke got the least amount of votes last week :o(


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