movies and reading

it is CHRISTmas day. i’ve had a wonderful time with my family (my wife and boys are amazing). i was pumped by the very well thought out gifts that the whole family gave. it has been a wonderful day.

this is not really CHRISTmas related but i thought i would post about a couple of the movies and books i’ve read recently.

first the books

the hunger games: book 1 – this is the first book in a trilogy that our whole family is into now. i recently heard it said that we were in a new golden age of children’s literature. this book would help prove this statement to be true. the themes in the book are adult enough and developed so well that the university professorial book club that pam is a part of read it for discussion. all of us have loved the first book. we gave the family the second and third books as CHRISTmas presents because it wouldn’t have been right for them to be considered one person’s gifts since we were all going to read them. i would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

true grit – i had never read charles portis’ book until a week ago. i’ve loved the original movie ever since my dad introduced it too me. the book is absolutely amazing. powerful characters and a great story. it is told from mattie’s perspective and done amazingly well. i understand why reviewers have called it an american classic. it is so much better than the original and the new movie. i would give it 4 ¾ out of 5 stars.

the movies (the family and i always see movies during the CHRISTmas break)

little fockers – we saw this on CHRISTmas eve. this is probably the weakest of the three focker “meet the parents” movies. it was a little slow for the first half but made up for it in the second half. the fight scene at the end had our whole theater laughing adubilly. this was not my favorite comedy ever but i didn’t feel that i had completely wasted my money at the cinema. i would give it 3 ½ out of 5 stars.

true grit – we saw true grit this afternoon. i was real concerned about it because i love the original movie. you should never attempt redoing an original movie unless you are sure you can do a good job. the original was a GREAT movie and it involved one of john wayne’s best performances ever (he won his only best actor award for his performance in it). the new true grit is very good. in many ways it is not as true to the book as the original movie was. yet, i believe it captures the tone of the book better than the original movie. the west of the new movie and the book is raw and not very romantic. no pun intended but, like the book, the new movie is gritty. jeff bridges, matt damon, hailee stenfeld, and josh brolin were all really good. damon was TONS better than glenn campbell in the original movie, who i believe was by far the weakest link in that movie.  i would give it 4 ¼ out of 5 stars.

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