what i’ve been reading and watching – May-June

June
Books
25. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl – Read this aloud with my older son.  A creative masterpiece.  9/10
24. Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl – Read this aloud with my older son (5 yrs old) in a day.  It was great fun!  8/10
23. Os Espiões [The Spies], por Luis Fernando Veríssimo – An alcoholic book editor receives a mysterious manuscript by a woman who claims to be held captive and who threatens to commit suicide after finishing the memoir.  Editor tries to intervene.  Absurd mayhem ensues.  Fun enough, and plays on the controversies about what memoirs really are.  But if you’re going to read Veríssimo (and I recommend him), I’d read Borges and the Eternal Orangutans, my favorite so far.  7/10
22. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 3, BBC dramatization. Once again, a great time.  7/10
Movies
43. Back to the Future III – Fun, but disappointed they used Michael J. Fox to play his own ancestor (instead of Crispin Glover!) – 6/10
42. Back to the Future II – The least of the three, but still entertaining.  5/10
41. Twin Peaks – Disc 1 – dubbed into Portuguese – I heard this was odd in English: put it into a language I barely know, and who knows what’s going on?
40. The Karate Kid (theater) – Awesome update of the classic. Jackie Chan actually knows karate (sorry, kung fu).  And Jaden Smith is super cute. Subtle similarities and differences, lots of fun.  9/10  [more thoughts]
39.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s (DVD) – Filled a hole in my film classics lacuna.  Lovely overall, but the ethnic comic relief is in terribly poor taste.  8/10
38.  The Blind Side (plane) – Nice story, moving, but felt super sanitized (like A Beautiful Mind).  Still got moist-eyed a few times. 7/10
37.  Adam (DVD) – Guy with Asperger’s falls in love.  I liked it: sweet, small movie.  Ending was a little unrealistic (the guy improves implausibly, I thought); the alternate (original) ending on the DVD is better.  7/10
36.  Chico Xavier (theater) – Brazilian biopic of a famed spiritualist 6/10 [more thoughts]
35.  The Purple Rose of Cairo (DVD) – great Woody Allen.  What is reality, anyway?  8/10
Subject: Books and Movies for May
Books
21.  Lincoln’s Dreams, by Connie Willis.  Willis has an easy prose and her novella Inside Job (see April) really drew me in.  A young woman starts dreaming the dreams of Robert E. Lee from during the Civil War.  A little slow in the middle, but a bold conclusion.  7/10

20. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 2, BBC dramatization.  These are so well done.  I’m happy to be working my way through the canon!  8/10

Movies
34. Vantage Point – dubbed into Portuguese (DVD) – Terrorists assassinate the president from a bunch of different viewpoints.  It’s the Rashoman of big, silly action movies.  I had fun.  6/10
33. The Searchers (DVD) – John Wayne spends five years tracking down a girl kidnapped by Comanches.  Fun times from the 1950s.  6/10
32. Land of the Lost (DVD) – While Diana was out of town.  When the cat’s away, the mice play dumb movies!  Will Ferrell jumps through a hole in the space-time continuum to a place with monkey people, lizard people, dinosaurs.  One of Ferrell’s middling comedies, but I had a good time.  5/10
31. The Best of Star Trek: The Original Series – dubbed into Portuguese (DVD) – Four classic episodes that I have heard referred to but never seen (“The City on the Edge of Forever” – when Spock and Kirk go back in time to the Great Depression to fix a mistake, Quantum Leap-style, “The Trouble with Tribbles,” “Balance of Terror” – the first encounter with the Romulans, and “Amok Time” – when Spock goes into heat and battles Kirk to the death). I can learn Portuguese
and get my geek on. 6/10
30.  Best of the month: Iron Man 2 (theater) – Big sprawling super hero movie, but lots of fun. 7/10

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