Monday, October 22, 2007

2 for 1: Movie and book review

So I don't know what has given me this inner desire to all of a sudden become a critic, but I think I will indulge myself. Humor me, ok? Before I get started, let me give you my disclaimers:

1. I am easily amused. I think this was ingrained in me as a child growing up in a small town. It doesn't take a whole lot to please me. :)

2. I am overly sensitive to violence. I think this might be the protective mama bear coming out in me because of this pregnancy.

Ok, here goes.


You know us. We're cheapskates. I have a really hard time paying full price for a movie. So, Disney's Ratatouille just got to the dollar movies and we took the chance to take the whole family down. (For EIGHT BUCKS--woo hoo!)

As with many Pixar joints, the film starts off with a humorous short. This one was called LIFTED. It was pretty funny for the older three of us, but could be frightening for younger children. (read: Whitney was totally scared of it and sat there with her eyes covered throughout the whole thing. ) If you have a three-year-old girl who is easily frightened, you might want to skip this part.

Then Ratatouille started. For anyone with a phobia of rodents or germs, I WOULD NOT recommend this film. (Mom, that means you!) I'm not terribly bothered by rodents, but I still got the willies several times when the whole pack of rats would roam around the screen. Ewwww. At one point in the film, the main character rat (Remy) was under the main character human's (Linguini's) clothes and was biting him repeatedly. I kept thinking, "He's going to get the bubonic plague! STOP!" Thankfully, that wasn't the ending Disney was going for.

Overall the movie is really cute. There are lots of funny parts that made me giggle. Not a whle lot of belly laughs, but I'll take it. There are a few scary parts that made me and Whitney jump. (More from being surprised than actually being scared of something.) There are lessons about tolerance (I think they include this lesson in EVERY children's movie these days), family unity, honesty, and friendship. The hard part for me: I couldn't get past the fact that these characters were RATS--dirty, filty, disease-carrying rodents. And they spent a lot of time in the kitchen. If you can look past that, this is a cute family film.

by Nathaniel Philbrick

Do you like non-fiction historical books? This is one worth reading. I usually prefer historical novels, but I enjoyed this book as well. It gives you some background on who some of the Mayflower passengers were, why they were leaving, why they were different than the other Europeans who had already crossed the Atlantic, and what happened when they got here.

It is divided into four sections: Discovery, Accommodation, Community, and War. I loved the first two sections. I really enjoyed learning about these Puritans and some of their beliefs. Seeing what things I had in common with them--and what things were VERY different. Philbrick is very good at pointing out some of the long-held myths about the Pilgrims and showing which ones were true and which are false. Eye-opening. The third section was enjoyable, a well. Learning about how the Puritan's reacted when settlers of other religions began to colonize New England as well. But the fourth section, War, was too graphic for me. I know, I know, war IS graphic, but I can only read about so many people being scalped or drawn and quartered. It's just disgusting. That section of the book seemed to drag for me.

I still think it's a title worth reading. It gave me a greater appreciation for what the Pilgrims and Native Americans went through. It was such a miracle that they even survived to help found this nation. So, if you're looking for an opportunity to learn more about our country's history and you've got some time on your hands (it's a long one!) give this book a try.


Natalie said...

I am with you on the $2 theater. I can't bring myself to see something in the regular theater anymore unless it is really really good. Gotta love paying so little for the theater expereince. Prices at regular theaters are out of control these days!

Thanks for the book review too. I always have a hard time picking out books. I love getting recommendations.

Amy said...

Thanks for the recommendations. We haven't found a cheap theater near us yet, so we wait even longer to see movies until they're at Redbox or the library. And it's still easier to watch movies when Jack's asleep.
I might give that book a try. I haven't read a lot of historical books, but the few I have read I've actually enjoyed.

Destiny said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I enjoy hearing what others think.

Sandy said...

Thanks for the review -- that book sounds like one I would want to check out at the library (like you, however, probably minus the last section...thinking about book 4 of the Work and the Glory still gives me the creeps!!)

Mom Sweat said...

Thanks for the book review! When I had my brush with greatness on the airplane flying to New York and found myself sitting across the aisle from Virginia Pearce (President Hinckley's daughter) guess what she was reading? You guessed it "Mayflower!"

The only thing I didn't like about rattatooeee was that he was the illegitimate son and if any little kids tried to figure that out they'd be mystified. Luckily most little kids are way too innocent to even go there. But still!!

Mom Sweat

Carrie said...

Ouch Andrea! Rat bashing? : ) I guess that you will never meet our little Claire. She is pretty cute, though...