Sunday, August 30, 2009

What we're addicted to...

(500) Days of Summer soundtrack
My favorite movie of the summer, and possibly the year, has an equally awesome soundtrack, with songs from The Smiths, Carla Bruni, Feist, She & Him, Regina Spektor, and... Hall & Oates (among others).  The jubilant dance sequence set to Hall & Oates' "You Make My Dreams" is so memorable; if you've seen the movie you'll be happy to have it on the soundtrack, too.

New Moon trailer
So you're on Team Edward?  I thought I was, too, until I saw the photos and trailers released for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, in which Taylor Lautner's role as Jacob is much increased.  In this movie Edward abandons Bella alone in the woods, telling her he must never see her again.  What a jerky thing to do!  Oh sure, he thinks doing this will help protect her (Edward's a vampire, he hangs with vampires, etc.), but the separation drives Bella to have an emotional breakdown.  It makes sense for me to want to switch to Team Jacob.  After all, it's Jacob's strong friendship that helps pull Bella out of her depression.  The website address for the new Twilight film says it all:

The Tudors (on DVD; also available on Showtime OnDemand)
I think many of the performances are profusely over-acted but I still keep coming back for more of this TV series about the reign of King Henry VIII of England (played by Irish actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers).  It's also interesting to see a part-factual, part-fictional interpretation of such an imposing historical figure's life.  The period costumes are very beautiful (oh, to be a lady-in-waiting!).  Above all I enjoy watching the Duke of Suffolk, Charles Brandon, played by Henry Cavill.  Intense and crush-worthy!

The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
It's been slow-going for me to get through this 535-page novel.  The main character, Mr. Ryder, arrives in a town to give a piano concert, and everyone has been waiting for him.  His itinerary is booked to the max and people are pulling him every which way.  So these are all strangers, people he's never met, right?  At first this seems to be the case; however, as he meets and talks with people he has hazy memories of past conversations he's had with them, and they bring up things from his history.  Characters speak in long chunks of dialogue, sometimes to a hilarious effect.  For example, when Mr. Ryder arrives at his hotel at the beginning of the book, the porter loquaciously reports why he prefers to carry the luggage while waiting in the elevator instead of placing the bags down on the floor.  I'm a third of the way into reading The Unconsoled and I'm still trying to figure things out.  Ishiguro's writing-style is so different from anything else I've read, and that's the way I like it.