BANG Book and Movie Review Extravaganza

You have probably noticed I am loquacious, long-winded, lexically over-endowed. (Clearly.) And I have a tendency to make up words. I need an exercise in shorterness. Today’s post is my chance to get pithy. (Ha ha, I almost typed “get pity”. That’s not what I’m after.)


  • To review ALL the books and movies in my backlog (from the last several months) in one fell post;
  • To do so in FOUR bullets each (short ones!).
  • No guarantees about made-up words, though.

Okay! Let’s start with Books.

The Passage, by Justin Cronin.

  1. Super-soldier experiment goes wrong, apocalypsizes civilization back into primitivity, people search for relief from human-eating ex-humans.
  2. Several GGG members did not sleep well if they read this before bed; though Dilovely, strangely enough, slept fine.
  3. Fascinating book, vivid and rich – and be warned: it’s book one of a trilogy. Don’t expect it to end at the end.
  4. Yeah… it’s gonna be a movie. Or maybe several.


Still Alice, by Lisa Genova.

  1. Story of a renowned psych professor’s descent into Alzheimer’s, from her own point of view.
  2. Reels you in and messes with your mind… Freaky to read while suffering from pregnancy brain.
  3. GGG discussion was interesting and sad: all our lives have been touched by mental illness, in different ways.
  4. Brings up so many questions, especially, “How would I deal with this in the same position?”


Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon.

  1. Young nurse in postwar England travels back 200 years to have graphic Scottish adventures (yep, gonna be a movie).
  2. It’s a LONG book but we got through it (lots of sex scenes helps), and it has, like, seven sequels or something.
  3. Millions of women are obsessed with this book; they are in love with Jamie (much like the Edward phenomenon).
  4. Dilovely thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the scrappy protagonist, but is not obsessed or lovestruck (sorry, A.M.!).


That’s it for books. Didn’t get lots of reading done this summer. Time for Movies!

Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen.

  1. Young screenwriter visits Paris with fiancée, accidentally time-travels to the 1920s and gets some perspective on life.
  2. Owen Wilson is pretty endearing in his star-struck nostalgia; Rachel McAdams makes a great shrew.
  3. Love the dialogue, and meeting all those artistes in the flesh – atmospherically and historically evocative.
  4. Marion Cotillard is simply the most gorgeous creature EVER. I’m kicking Salma off my list for her.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, directed by David Yates.

  1. Harry, Ron, and Hermione find the rest of the Horcruxes and save the world from Voldemort.
  2. Lots of satisfying moments, top-notch special effects as usual, and young actors really coming into their own.
  3. Overall, pretty damn epic! Plus… we got the COOL Harry Potter 3D glasses. Good times.
  4. The book was still way better, especially at the end. Nothing could be more amazing than J.K.R.’s culmination.


X-Men First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn.

  1. Unique mutant humans discover each other, defeat a villain, found a school for mutants AND an opposing faction.
  2. I’m not an X-pert (just learned enough to marry comic book nerd), but still… COOL MUTANT POWERS!
  3. Sean and I saw it only days after Sebastian died – and it weirded us out. We weren’t ready for the whole moviegoing experience.
  4. Good thing my boyfriend James McAvoy (far right) was playing suave, young, intellectual Dr. X. That helped.


Crazy, Stupid, Love, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

  1. Middle-aged husband and wife split up when she cheats, young casanova befriends husband, hilarity ensues.
  2. Fantastic casting – all the actors in this movie, including the minor ones, do a totally believable job.
  3. Sean and I both loved it – it got funnier and funnier, not to mention more poignant, as it went on.
  4. And Ryan Gosling… sigh. How does he just get hotter? And awesomer??


The Help, directed by Tate Taylor.

  1. Young Mississippi woman develops a social conscience and writes a book about the experiences of black maids.
  2. Watching this, you go, “Holy crap – this was real and it was totally insane.”
  3. The book (reviewed here) was still better, but this was a loyal, respectful adaptation with a kick-ass cast.
  4. As always, the parts that made me cry dealt with relationships between children and their mothers or mother figures.


50/50, directed by Jonathan Levine.

  1. A comedy about cancer – 27-year-old man gets seriously sick and finds out who his real friends are.
  2. We laughed a LOT… and I also cried a LOT (again… those mom-and-child moments). Cancer is effing scary.
  3. I’ve decided Seth Rogen is/has the definition of a potty mouth: swears like a sailor + verbal diarrhea.
  4. Sean and I agree Joseph Gordon Levitt should get an Oscar nod for this – wow. Plus, adorable smile.


There. How’s that for shorterness?



5 thoughts on “BANG Book and Movie Review Extravaganza

  1. Amanda says:

    Keep reading you will fall in love with Jamie! And I can’t believe I am in your blog!!! Assuming of course you did mean me lol 🙂

  2. emerge says:

    Amanda, you are forever and indelibly linked with Diana Gabaldon in my mind. It’s like you’re the same person, really.

    I have a #5 for The Passage, and it’s that Justin Cronin is Oh So Cute!!! Google him. Also he teaches at our parents’ alma mater, and lives in our aunt and uncle’s town, so really, there’s everything to love. Also his first book I have heard him read several stories from on Colgate U’s Youtube channel, and they are great. Though unapocalypsical.

    I love Marion Cotillard too. Though I don’t have a firm list, she’d be on it.

    I want to see 5050 and Crazy Stupid and Help and Midnight in Paris. Also I want to see midnight in Paris.


  3. Nicole/MadlabPost says:

    Oooh, I like your self-challenge. It’s a nice way to cover a lot of ground without writing a very long novelesque (yes, I sometimes make up words too) post.

    Kind of reminds me of my “In a Nutshell” reviews. The only difference is they turned out to be much longer than a nutshell.

    Anywho, someone told me about Midnight in Paris earlier this summer and I forgot about it when it was released. There are just too many movies out right now that I want to go watch in theaters including that one, 50/50 and In Time.

    I refuse to watch The Help…in theaters, at least, but that’s a whole other story. Maybe I’ll read the book.

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