Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cat Scratch Saturday #2(3)

I've been debating about today's picture - one of Boris and Igor (the wallpaper on my phone) or a picture of Tikal or Zapata (my previous beloved cats).

And I still haven't decided...I'm going to search for a picture and see what appeals.



I decided on a picture of Boris with a cameo of Tikal.

I know you're all anxiously awaiting the books and movies of February, so here it is. I'm also watching Top Gear, so we'll see how well I summarise them when I'm not completely concentrating.

Books

4. The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer (267 pages) - If you haven't yet discovered Eoin Colfer (then you haven't been reading me for very long, or you've ignored my recommendations - and I'm crushed). He's an Irish writer for the Young Adult genre and he's utterly fabulous. This is (possibly) a one-off (i.e., not part of the Artemis Fowl series, which is supposedly done) and was a little sad (orphans a la Dickens but in the future), but there is, of course, upsides. The premise was that in the future there are no real countries, just areas controlled by different corporations. For some reason, there were lots of orphans who were essentially guinea pigs for the resident corporation - information which comes in handy when the hero orphan escapes and hooks up with a fringe element of three people who are actually the good guys. It's much more novel than I have explained.

5. Airman by Eoin Colfer (412 pages) - This is the latest book by Mr. Colfer and took place before the time of flight on some little island off the coast of Ireland which was its own little country. (Oh, kickass, I love Top Gear, they're playing Joy Division as background music - as if that would ever happen here.) The country had a good king who wanted his citizens to have a good life (vs. the older kings who wanted everything for himself). The king had a daughter, his head of army had a young son who were best friends. Good king is killed by bad element who also kills the tutor of the princess and her best friend. The boy sees it happen, so bad element throws him into the country's smaller island prison (mining diamonds) by pretending he was part of the assassination (but as a different person - it was all very convoluted, but in a way that made sense). He escapes eventually (think of the title of the book) and fixes everything.

6. Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed by Paul Trynka (354 pages) - I was very disappointed with this book, because although it covers Iggy's life up until 2006, it didn't discuss AT ALL the triumphant return of The Stooges to Detroit in 2003. I was already annoyed with Mr. Trynka for calling a lake here in the Detroit area as St. Clair Lake when its name is Lake St. Clair. It's a small editing issue, per se, but if I caught something that BASIC, who knows what else was wrong.

7. The Secret of the Forgotten City #52 by Carolyn Keene (180 pages) - This one was cool because the Forgotten City was in Nevada, not far from Vegas and she even went to The Valley of Fire, which I thought was pretty cool, considering I've been there and could picture some of the locations in the book. I hate to give away the ending, but Nancy finds the Forgotten City with the help of Bess, George, Ned, Dave and Burt. Yes, shocker, I know!

8. The Sky Phantom #53 by Carolyn Keene (180 pages) - We are getting VERY close to the end of the Nancy Drew books and it's making me sad. This is one that I didn't read a jillion times as a child, so I didn't remember what happened. It was one of the more outrageous Nancy Drew books as Nancy (at the tender age of 18) is taking flying lessons and proving herself to a brilliant pilot (along with her skills as a dancer, drawer, painter, actor, horseback rider, skater, skier, etc., from all the other Nancy Drew books). *eyes rolling*

9. The Strange Message in the Parchment #54 by Carolyn Keene (180 pages) - A thought came to me while re-reading the Nancy Drew books over the past few years. And that thought was "Nancy Drew was the precursor for Hart to Hart." What? You're thinking. Yes, you know how the Harts knew everybody in the world - especially those mixed up in some sort of crime or mystery - well, that's Nancy and her father.

10. Shakespeare: The World As Stage by Bill Bryson (196 pages) - I'd say if you want to know about Shakespeare, read this book. Bill Bryson is HILARIOUS and he pulls no punches and tells you what is actually known and even discusses the discrepancies between other books on Shakespeare - essentially, stuff people made up - not out of any real sense of maliciousness or anything, but stuff that just isn't proved out by the evidence. It's short and sweet.

Book of the Month: You know, I really want to pick the Iggy Pop book, but I'm still pissed off, so I'm going with Airman by Eoin Colfer.

Movies

6. The 49th Man (1953 - TCM) - This movie was about the smuggling of an atomic bomb (in pieces) into the United States. I thought it was very interesting and well done. I won't give away the ending because that would be wrong. If you like older movies (b/w), definitely check it out.

7. Down By Law (1986 - N) - I was still in the midst of my Jim Jarmusch phase here. This one has Tom Waits, John Lurie and Roberto Benigni as cell mates (the movie starts off showing how they all end up there individually) in a New Orleans prison and shows their adventures of escape and their bid for freedom. It was better than the one I just watched last week (which will be discussed next month, of course - trust me, it won't be the movie of March). In fact, I'd say that of Jarmusch's older films, I have liked this one the best.

8. How to Steal A Million (1966 - K) - For Valentine's Day, I went over to my friend Marianne's house (we got Thai take-away) with other friend Susan to watch movies. I took a bunch of movies and they chose a very fun Audrey Hepburn romantic comedy. I love this movie wholeheartedly. Audrey is gorgeous and sweet and lovely. Peter O'Toole is incredibly handsome and funny. It definitely asks you to suspend your disbelief mechanism and I have no problem. If you have never seen this movie, once again, you haven't been listening to me. Watch it. You will love it.

9. Murder By Death (1976 - K) - I had not seen this movie for many, many, many years, but I remembered the gist. However, as I had no knowledge of The Thin Man movies 30 years ago, some of the spoofs were lost on me back then. I kind of object to Neil Simon making Nick and Nora British - just for the record, that's just wrong. How can you object to a movie with Truman Capote, Alec Guinness, David Niven, Maggie Smith, Peter Sellers, Eileen Brennan, Peter Falk, Nancy Walker, Elsa Lanchester and James Cromwell?

10. Hammett (1982 - N) - I'm starting my Wim Wenders (as well as I can since Netflix is no longer carrying Wings of Desire - pissed me off) film retrospective. The premise here is that Dashiell Hammett has to solve his own mystery using what he knows from writing mystery books. It takes place (obviously) in old San Francisco. It was nicely done and fun to watch with Marilu Henner and Peter Boyle. I would say that it's not Wim's best, but I still liked it.

Movie of the Month: I probably can't pick How To Steal A Million, eh? I'm going to go with The 49th Man. It kept me on the edge of my seat and surprised me at the end.

Now, it's time for Top Gear to have my full attention. James and Richard are racing in Italy - Richard in a 40 year old Ferrari Daytona and James in a fancy ass boat of some sort.

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15 Comments:

At Sunday, 15 March, 2009, Blogger LL said...

I think there's a rule against this in the terms of service...

 
At Sunday, 15 March, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

:-)

 
At Monday, 16 March, 2009, Blogger fermicat said...

My three cats applaud your recent catblogging posts. And say "hi" to Boris.

We were just talking about Peter O'Toole in the breakroom at lunch today. And I remember Murder By Death from my childhood. Not sure I read those very late Nancy Drew books, but maybe I was like you and didn't read the later ones over and over.

 
At Tuesday, 17 March, 2009, Blogger Beth said...

I love the list ... and I loved the pic! I am going to get that Shakespeare book. Big Shakespeare fan here.

 
At Tuesday, 17 March, 2009, Blogger Heather said...

Murder By Death is in my top movies - probably my favorite comedy of all time. I laugh every time I see it (which has to be at least 100 times by now) and my family and I always randomly shout out lines from it. Now I want to watch it!!! :-)

 
At Tuesday, 17 March, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Fermi - I'm glad your cats are enjoying my catblogging as much as LL is.

Beth - It's a quick and fun read, definitely go for it.

Heather - Yes, Murder By Death was big in my family, too. It is complete silliness, and that's all good.

 
At Friday, 20 March, 2009, Blogger Jorge said...

Richard Harris once told a hilarious story about Pete O'Toole on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It was a long story, but it ended up with O'Toole disrupting a play that Harris was in and yelling "It's Peter O'Toole and I'm dressed as a Nun!"

And I too, am I MBD fan. I alos loved Clue with Tim Curry et al.

 
At Friday, 20 March, 2009, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

Meow.

Can't say I'm too familiar with any of your picks this month except Murder By Death, and of course the Iggy Pop story. But I'm reluctant to read that one now, as mistakes like the one you pointed out indicate to me that the author couldn't have spent much time in Detroit. (Of course, a good proofreader would catch stuff like that, too.) Like you, that makes me wonder how many other mistakes this author made.

 
At Friday, 20 March, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jorge - I love Peter O'Toole, even though the biography of Audrey Hepburn I just read mentioned that he had a pretty serious drinking problem. We are of the age to have a love for MBD.

Dr. - You don't know How To Steal A Million? Oh, you must see it. It's classic romantic comedy - very fun and it has Audrey! The Iggy bio was very upsetting to me, although it was probably more accurate than I want to give it credit for. I mean, really, dissing Detroit??? Don't we get dissed enough, you're going to diss us when discussing Iggy and the Stooges?? That's just wrong.

 
At Saturday, 21 March, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Have you seen the Nancy Drew movie? I think it was '07. I actually thought it was ok. It was just funny the way you described how Nancy Drew is good at everything. She was like that in the movie, but it was with humor because she was so much better than all the other kids at everything that she was out of place.

Anyways, heading to the library. I'm going to look for anything Eoin Colfer and I have one more book that a friend recommended about the wicked witch of the east or something like that. It's written down in my pocket but I'm wearing shorts now.

Bummer about being left out in '03. You outta smack Trynka upside the head.

 
At Saturday, 21 March, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Gregory MacGuire's Wicked. That's it. My friend said it was great. No, not recommended by Badman. That guy never reads fiction. 'Twas a non-blogger buddy.

 
At Saturday, 21 March, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

ZS - I've only heard good things about Wicked. Libraries are our friends, too bad I hate being limited by due dates. I started a book last night that I bought a good 20 years. I had no desire to see the Nancy Drew movie. I remember being disappointed by the TV show (no George of Bess) when I was a child. I want them to do the books that I read.

 
At Sunday, 22 March, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Well, honestly the only Nancy Drew I read was when she appeared with the Hardy Boys. It was obviously a gender thing - the girls read Nancy and the boys read Hardy.

But the movie wasn't that bad. It's worth watching for a dollar (we have a thing called "Redbox" where the rentals are $1).

 
At Sunday, 22 March, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Oh, I got Wicked on reserve but 19 people are ahead of me. :(

I got one book by Eoin Colfer on reserve but it's not either of the ones you mentioned. I forgot which one it is.

 
At Monday, 23 March, 2009, Blogger Red said...

Nooo not dissin the stooges!

I like this pic, Boris is all like, "What cha doin la-dy, takin my pic or sum-tin?" Hee Hee.

Havn't had time to read for pleasure in ages. You make me want to run to B n N or something!

 

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