What are your thoughts?

Trentemoller

Photo Courtesy of: ilkaycan

This song intrigues me. The melody is catchy, yet haunting…  I feel a general urban, electronic vibe exuding from their work. I’m not real sure I’m a big fan of the group Trentemoller as a whole, but I do like this. Listen, and tell me your thoughts…

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Hollywood vs Swedish version

Swedish Lisbeth

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander

Photo Courtesy of: scharm60

Noomi Rapace plays Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish version of the movie “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” which is more accurately titled “Men Who Hate Women.” I enjoyed Rapace’s take on the character as she definitely makes for a very believable and convincing Lisbeth Salander.

With that said, I think it is important for this character to be strong… though never forgetting she is human, and has both weaknesses and vulnerabilities. While we do see some of those weaknesses and vulnerabilites from Rapace, I feel she plays the role too loudly. By loud, I mean, there is no sense of quietness to her performance. Yes, she plays the internal Lisbeth, but if you could apply a decibel range to her harsh and angry facial expressions and body language, you’d probably have to stick a couple of cotton balls in your ears. Now this is not to say that Rapace doesn’t play the quiet, internal Lisbeth well. I just feel that it is less apparent then in Rooney Mara’s performance. With Rapace, I was left wanting to see more of the ‘damaged’ Lisbeth; not always angry and sometimes scared, but also a sullen and eerily quiet Lisbeth.

In short, and in my estimation, she played Lisbeth a little too rough and tough… or as some would say, a little too badass…Though don’t mistake me, as I want to make clear Noomi Rapace IS a phenomenal Lisbeth, and does an outstanding job in portraying her character, though I just feel that Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth was a little more spot on.

Hollywood Lisbeth

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander

Photo Courtesy of: K0Ks3nw4i

Rooney Mara plays Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood version of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”… In my opinion, her portrayal is truer to the book. I think she plays a bit more sensitive to the nuances of the character. Rooney’s performance seems delicately strong…and I like to use the adjective delicate, as she truly plays this role with a sense of delicacy, which I feel is extremely important.  While Lisbeth Salender seems on the outer surface as just a badass type, she is truly multi-dimensional. The internal quietness is captured perfectly. The internal struggle, questioning, fear, anger, and determination is handled with great care… Though not only does Mara play the quiet Lisbeth unbelievably well, she also plays the sensitive Lisbeth with a great sense of awareness to the character (via body language and expressions), though it is rare and if you are not keen to pick up on her subtle movements and behaviors, you are able to miss it. I think what I love most about Rooney Mara’s performance is she plays it with such subtlety, and to be honest, her Lisbeth is exactly how and what I pictured Lisbeth to be when reading the book.

Now if it so interests you, you should take a gander at this fella’s wonderful blog post that basically shares his take on the two film versions of Lisbeth.  He says it so well, and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Which Lisbeth do you feel is truer to the book, and why?

Movies with a bit of scary in them…

Horror Movies - Dennis Gifford - Hamlyn Books - 1977 Edition.

Photo Courtesy of: MICKSIDGE

There are scary movies, and then there are scary movies. What has you under the bed, the blanket over your entire body, quietly mumbling the words “mommy… I want my mommy”…. It’s a different answer for everyone. Thanks to the horror genre, there are many sub genres to pick from:

  • Slasher
  • Serial Killer
  • Gore
  • Paranormal
  • Teen Horror
  • Horror Comedy

I actually think some of these overlap a bit….but for simplicity sake, I just divided them into rough separate categories.

Everyone has one, or combination of these that suit just fine in regards to scaring the wits out of them. Me personally, I’m scared of the crazy serial killers that come off as nice and want to be your friend when you’re in a situation of helplessness. And it wouldn’t be a horror movie if the said helpless bunch (usually ends up being a group of teenagers) turned down the offered help from bat shit bill serial killer (I made that up) who is working to earn their trust and come off as a trustworthy friend.  You just get that “Kumbaya” feeling, until… well, you know. Things go awry. Craziness ensues. And you sit on the couch screaming, “Now, why did you take a ride with that guy”….   Here’s a movie that illustrates just this… Seriously made me want to run for the hills, when I first saw it… the way I figure it is, the crazies of the world hold enough fear without us as humans creating things to be afraid of.

Wolf Creek (2005)

Another movie that isn’t really horror, but still had me wanting to go home, and lock all my doors was Outbreak. You remember that one, right? (I freakin’ hate bacteria, viruses, and all those things which have the potential to be deadly, but are only visible under a microscope. I mean, hockey masked Jason and swords for fingers Freddy have nothing on Ebola).

Outbreak (1995)

So, I’m curious… What horror movies (sub-genres) have the ability to send you looking for the local locksmith to come change the locks on your door?

Top TUE Tuesday

the old number 2

Photo Courtesy of: johnfromtheradio

This week I’m of a certain giddiness and eager to share with you the Top 2 Tuesday pics for this week. I shall digress a moment only to tell you that I am always eager to share my top picks with you, though today my excitement levels just might in fact be a tad bit more then normal.

With that said, I can tell you are at the edge of your seat, with bated breath, curiously wondering what the heck they are. What could cause this much anticipation and suspense (I wonder if I should try writing a novel that captures this effect…The question is though, would it be successful? ..hmm, well too much to consider and contemplate here.) I need to get off this digression and just let you have it, and give it to you straight.

My Top 2 picks are in regards to one of my most favorite poems, which is titled The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. You may be scratching your head now, though let me clarify. I was first introduced to this great poem through the voices of Ann with an “e” Shirley (Anne of Green Gables) and Loreena Mckennitt (Celtic singer/song-writer). Their voices bring a life to this poem that I am eager to share with you now.

Ann with an “e” reciting of the Highwayman

Loreena McKennitt’s song evokes a storytelling quality of the Highwayman that is both lulling and enticing. Take a listen.

As always, would love to know your thoughts and opinions. Are you a fan of the Highwayman? What is your favorite poem?

Book Review: Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”

Coffee anyone? I felt like I was on a caffeine high while reading Stieg Larsson’s mystery/thriller novel, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. On so many levels, I found this to be a really great book, along with being an enjoyably suspenseful and heart palpitating read. “What was so good about it,” you ask… “Well,” I say in return. “Sit down… let’s have a chat… and let me tell you...”

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Kobo edition)

Photo Courtesy of: I am I.A.M

1. First of all: I love every mention of the word coffee.. I love coffee, and felt it served as a healthy reminder of my need to quench the parchness of my taste buds.

2. Readability: I welcomed the change from YA (don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the YA genre, though it was a nice change of pace to be outside of it)

3. The characters: Let me explain. When I dive head first into a book, one of the first few things I look for are the characters and how they are described, their behaviors, personalities and how the interact with the other characters of the book. One of the questions I ask myself is: are these characters believable as “real people” or do they just seem like mere puppets being pulled by the strings of the author, aka puppet master. If the characters feel staged, fake, or lacking of true human complexity and yet simplicity all within the same moment, I completely disengage. When I’m reading, I look to connect with these characters. Identify with them. Does the character/person’s happiness, excitement, fear, or sadness feel real/legitimate… I don’t just see the people in Larsson’s novel as mere characters inked across a page. I can see them as real people. Why?/How? Because I am conscious of the world I live in and see how people say things without verbally having to say them. Body language. Quiet facial expressions. They are words… or rather represent words. And we all do it. We all don’t say everything that is at the tip of our brain. We have filters. Some of us don’t say exactly whats on our mind in every given moment of every given day simply because we don’t want to offend someone, or it is because we have built up walls around ourselves and are afraid to show our own vulnerabilities to the world. And Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, is one of these people. She is quiet, doesn’t speak much, though through her actions and the unspoken body language, she communicates quite effectively her intentions. Long story short, I dig the complexity of this character and all the others in the book as well. They feel multidimensional… and it was simply refreshing to read.

4. What Blomkvist, the journalist, represents: He is a truth seeker/crusader. A warrior for the people. He feels his duty, as a journalist, is to uncover the truths that scads of people work to cover up and hide.

5. The Suspense: I love a good mystery. A puzzle that will keep you guessing til the end. This book will definitely serve up nothing less. Though the puzzle in finding out what happened to Harriet Vanger, niece to high profiled industrialist Henrik Vanger, took a momentary leap to the backseat while I, the reader, was totally wrapped up in the current situation Lisbeth was in with her guardian. This is where character complexity comes into play. There is more back story to her character, though you just can’t get at it (at least in the first book). So you read, looking to know more.

6. The Story: Yep. It’s not your Doris Day, Shirley Temple read that will leave you unaffected and smiling, grinning from ear to ear. It’s full of ugly things (hate, rape, murder, lies, thievery, manipulation, etc) though who said life is always pretty pearls, and pb&j sandwiches. Life can get ugly, and this book just openly talks about it.

Have you read it? If so, what were your thoughts? If not, read it, then come back and let’s chat. Would love to know your thoughts/take.

**Disclaimer** This book has some scenes that may be hard to digest, subject matter wise. I would recommend this book to those who are ok with reading material that contains: bad language (cuss/swear words), sex, and violence.

Grade: +

Music Review: The Hunger Games Soundtrack

//mockingjay

Photo Courtesy of: Austin Graver

Old time sound in a futuristic world. Many of the Songs From District 12, The Hunger Games soundtrack, possess this quality.  During the first listen, I could detect shared threads of tone with musicians such as Nickel Creek and Alison Krauss.

Which I happen to think is really pretty genius.

Firstly, I want to share with you some of the songs that have already become my favorites. Abrahams’ Daughter by Arcade Fire, Tomorrow Will Be Kinder by The Secret Sisters, and Come Away To The Water by Maroon 5 (featuring Rozzi Crane).

Though, some of the songs do not have a quiet melody, such as Birdy’s Just a Game, or Taylor Swift’s (Civil Wars) Safe and Sound. Truly, a few of them sound ugly (The Ruler and The Killer by Kid Cudi and Take The Heartland by Glen Hansard), though who said The Hunger Games was a pretty book full of daisy’s, endless sunshine, and belly’s full of bread?

The album is a cohesive collection that reflects Collin’s Panem, and evokes all the feeling, thoughtfulness, and emotion emiting from the page. As far as I’m concerned… The soundtrack has given justice to what this book speaks of and represents. I don’t give letter grades, so I’ll satisfy you in saying….

GRADE: +

Upcoming Reviews

The Hunger GamesThe Girl With The Dragon TattooAtlas Shrugged
Please, oh please do forgive the absence I’ve created. I have to dust this blog off, and shine it with some new reviews that I literally just cannot wait to share with you… I’ve got a few things I’m working on and upon finishing them, I will be reviewing them for your enjoyment and think you will find them to be both witty and helpful, and containing a little magic… no, I’m no boy wizard, are glittering vamp… there’s just only so much one girl can do.

Though here’s a list of things I’m working on, and hoping you’ll stay tuned for:

REVIEWS:

  • The Hunger Games book
  • The Hunger Games Soundtrack (review on March 21, 2012)
  • The Hunger Games Movie (review on March 23, 2012)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book (March 30, 2012)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie (TBA)
  • Atlas Shrugged book and movie (TBA)