Sometimes I think I should really try to keep stuff up to date so I don’t feel the need to do catch up posts (or a three a day like today). In no particular order:
Wicked: This novel is Gregory Maguire’s telling of the Wizard of Oz story from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. The difference is that we see Elphaba (that’s her name) from birth through death. There is an opening prologue where Elphaba overhears Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow having a discussion where they wonder about what exactly the Witch is and why her skin is green. To put it simply: This scene never, ever made it into the movie as there are questions about whether the Witch is really a man or has male anatomy. But then we follow Elphaba as a child and into her schooling days where she meets Glinda (the good witch) and we learn more about the Wicked Witch of the East, Elphaba’s sister. The reader will gain much sympathy for Elphaba as she isn’t a clear villain anymore. I was impressed. The book isn’t going to make my “Best Reads” list, but I’m glad I read it.
The Kitchen Boy: A novel by Robert Alexander dealing with the last days of the Russian Tsar before the Russian Revolution where the Communists took over. The first 2/3 of the novel bored me. I think I was just waiting for death and mayhem. Not really fair, but there it is. I enjoyed the ending, and the twist at the end. Worth Consuming? Nah.
The Bad News Bears: I finally watched the original all the way through. Very good movie. Lots of stuff would never have made the remake with Billy Bob. Can you believe one of the kids described the team as being full of “Jews, spics, wops, and a nigger”? And this was rated PG?!?! I know PG-13 wasn’t around until the mid 80’s and this was made in 1976, but no way this film gets PG. Probably not PG-13 (Matthau gives the kids Beer at the end!). Good stuff. Almost makes me want to go watch the sequels. Tatum O’Neal did good work here.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose: Along with Serenity, this was one of my most anticipated movies of last year. Creepy spiritual stuff and for a change the skeptics come off well. We know what happens to Emily because the film opens with her already dead, so anything about her is all flashback. It’s as much the trial of Father Moore as it is the Exorcism of Emily Rose. And that’s okay. Well done all around, and I was watching this on a rainy afternoon with my dog walking into the room with a squeak toy. I still was creeped. I’m glad that the movie didn’t veer into Exorcist territory ( you know which crucifix scene I’m talking about!). Still not top tier for 2005, though. Close, but not there yet.