Monday, August 15, 2011

Which Male Authors Flip Your Switch?

After running across an old 2010 blog titled "Hot (and talented authors" by one of my favorite book blog, Maggie Galehouse's Bookish, I just had to revisit this topic.

So here's my list, in no particular order:
  1. Michael Connelly--he is definitely the strong, silent type!

  2. Harlen Coben -- btw, he just has a cool name, right?

  3. Stephen King--I know, I know. There is no accounting for taste ...

  4. William Goldman--any man that knows the 3 magic words is aces in my book!

  5. Oscar Wilde--yes, he would have ignored me as I probably would have just tittered and blushed around him but he was so damned smart and funny.

And for the record, I've met three of these guys and their pictures DO NOT do them justice.
So who are yours? Come on ... 'fess up!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Last Airbender (2010) - Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Noah Ringer

Panned by the critics when it was released, I finally watched The Last Airbender this morning on my streaming Netflix account.

The last M. Night Shyamalan movie, Netflix ranked it as the most popular movie of the day.

I watched it. And it wasn't half-bad. In fact, it was better than bad. It was pretty good.

A take-off of the popular children's animation series Avatar: The Last Airbender, the story is about a world where four countries are at war. Once held together by the peaceful reign of a single avatar that controlled the 4 elements--earth, wind, air and fire--the avatar disappeared and war began. Each country has a breed of benders that can shift the elements of their country. Only the avatar, who can bend all four, can bring them peace. Suddenly, he returns, ready to bring them back to peace.

The movie stars Noah Ringer, as the last airbender, Dev Patel, as the wronged fire prince.

With awesome special effects and some great martial arts, the movie was produced by two of the TV shows producers and long-time Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy. She got her start with Steven Spielberg on his production of E.T.

The Help (2011) - Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spenser

The story of a young girl who returns to her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi in 1963, she aspires to become a writer.

While her friends titter around the bridge table, she begins to ask the town's maids to tell their stories.

Civil riots are breaking out in Mississippi, one of the worst states in the country. The maids, afraid for their jobs, their families and their lives, decide to risk all to tell the town's secrets.

The movie stars Easy A's Emma Stone as Skeeter, the wide-eyed journalist. The two central maids are played by Doubt's Viola Davis and Spiderman's Octavia Spenser and give scene-stealing performances. Octavia, in fact, really steals the show.

A superb cast, the catty queen bee, Hilly Holbrook, is played by Ron Howard's baby girl, Bryce Dallas Howard. Jessica Chastain, from Tree of Life, is charming as the ditzy, white trash bombshell. And Allison Janney is wonderful as Skeeter's mother.

All in all, it was well done and not too smarmy.

My only concern is that some may think that this is based in fact. Although the notion is real and these types of incidents did occur, no book, entitled "The Help", was ever published in 1963.

And the most interesting factoid? One of the executive producers was Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Media Company, and Nate Berkus, a designer and Oprah protege.