Fists of Steel, Heart of Blood Mood:
energetic Now Playing: Real Steel Topic: Movie Reviews
Let's get a few things out of the way first before I lodge into my review of the latest Hugh Jackman flick “Real Steel.” If you are a regular reader of this blog or of anything I ever posted on the internet over the past ten years, then you know that I love Hugh Jackman. Although there's a 50-50 chance that a Hugh Jackman film will be good, Hugh, himself is always charismatic and fun to watch on film. He never phones it in. Second, yes “Real Steel” is reminiscent of the 1980s toy "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots," which I desperately wanted to own.
Thirdly, lets acknowledge that we are all in the electronic artificial intelligence age and that we are more slaves to our computers than ever, and that we are selling humankind up a mechanic river filled with chips, metal, and plastic.
Finally, let’s also acknowledge that we are bloodthirsty creatures. From the ancient times, we liked gladiator matches. We, as humans, like watching UFC, football, boxin, WWE, etc. We like watching a good beat down, which is probably why people pull out there phones to video record fights before they call the police. “Real Steel” doesn’t acknowledge any of those personality quirks of humankind, because it isn’t that type of movie. “Real Steel” is not a morality play about humans becoming as cold as the technology we carry or why we enjoy blood sport. It is a feel good movie that both older children, teens, and parents can enjoy together. It is a family film where we root for the underdog.
Charlie (Hugh Jackman) is a washed up human boxer turned robot boxer, who trolls scrap yards looking for pieces to create a great robot boxer to pull him out of his poverty-ridden existence. Even when Charlie discovers he has an 11-year-old son, Max, he still chases after the dollar with horrible circumstances until Max discovers an old robot that can take a ticking and keep on licking. Even better, it can be taught to fight because it shadows the moves of anything in front of it. From this point, the movie begins its upward trajectory. The junkyard dog robot Max discovers, Atom, moves up the ranks until it is given a championship match. Charlie and Max bond over boxing, cans of Dr. Pepper, and training Atom. You know where this story is going (actually not all of it because the ending is a bit of a surprise), and it is a pleasing ride.
The robot animatronics is awesome. Whoever worked on the robotics on this movie should takeover the Transformers franchise. They made the most clunky robot boxer graceful and light on their 2 ton feet. The boxing matches are engaging. The audience I saw it with was as hooked as I was. They were shouting at the screen; mirroring the punches; grimacing with each body blow; and clapping after each victory. Even better, Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo (who plays Max) are just engaging on screen as their metal counterparts. The little boy has attitude, moxie, street smarts, and just enough moppet to not him appear as a pint-size asshole. The same could be said for Jackman. His character is a totally jerk, but he gives him just enough tenderness that we forgive him for being an absentee dad.
The kinetic and mostly urban soundtrack add to making the audience hyper. Tracks by Timbaland, 50-Cent, and Eminem feature prominently in the movie and adds to the grittiness of underground robot boxing as well as underscoring the hungriness of Charlie, Max and Atom to win.
You will not waste your money seeing this crowd-pleaser especially if you go with your tween-age kids or younger. (There was a little boy in my audience, no more than 4 years old, who shouted out that he wanted to be a robot. Too cute.)
Tuesday Teaser Mood:
not sure Now Playing: You Against Me by Jenny Downham Topic: Book Reviews
Dad slammed his for down. 'That's enough!' A spatter of gravy flew across the table and landed on the clother. 'If you can't be civil, then you go to your room. What the hell's got into you, Eleanor?' --page 257, You Against Me by Jenny Downham
Tie One On Mood:
caffeinated Topic: Fashion Thoughts
After about two weeks serious balmy weather in New York City, we are finally getting some Autumn like weather. As much as I like fall weather, it can be a bit bi-polar: really cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. So, I've taken to wearing a scarf over my blazer each morning so I'm not too warm in the afternoon nor too cold in the morning. Woman's Day magazine had a nice little video on a new way to tie your scarf so it stays put. Click this link to check it out. I'm going to try it tomorrow.
What The Librarian Is Reading Mood:
flirty Topic: Book Reviews
What Am I Reading?
Your Man is Wonderful: How to Appreciate Your Partner, Romance Your Differences, and Love the One You've Got by Noelle C. Nelson
Practical Widow to Passionate Mistress by Louise Allen
Love in the Mountains by Janet Burnham Haywood
The Hot Spot by Niobia Bryant: An extra steamy novel about a 42-year-old divorcee's romance with a super-sexy 20-something diary farmer who wants to start a family. The problem? Her kids are grown and she doesn't want to be anybody's wife anymore. Or will her new boyfriend change her mind?
What Will I Read?
Secret Weapon by Opal Carew
Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1) by Simone Elkeles
Ask the Dust by John Fante
What Did I Just Read or Started-but-Stopped Reading?
Penguin by Polly Dunbar
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
The World of King Arthur and His Court by Kevin Crossley-Holland: Great non fiction book about the mythical king and his court. It blends truth, folklore, and poetry to teach King Arthur fans about the time in which he lived. I only wished there was more about Arthur's background, heritage and rise to power.
Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy. Mood:
happy Now Playing: Harlequin's A Cowboy for Every Mood Topic: Book Reviews
I think it is no big secret that I have a huge celebrity crush on Hugh Jackman going back about ten years. Every now and then another Brit or Australian or Scot or Irishman (and the rare American) catches my attention, but I always go back to Hugh. So, it is with no surprise that I admit it is because of him that I have a huge preference for the cowboy romance.
It all started when I went to see that gosh awful movie Australia. It wasn't the acting that was bad, btw. It was the direction of the movie. It tried to be all things but it ended up being a mess. One of the things Australia tried to be was a cowboy romance, and Hugh Jackman makes for one fine looking cowboy. His character was rugged, just, rough around the edges, a savior, a protector, and a lover who could clean up very well. What more could a woman ask for in romantic partner? So, with every cowboy romance novel I pick up, I will always think of Hugh from Australia.
Harlequin Books is making it very easy for me to get my fix this month. They will be placing a special Stetson logo on all their releases in July to make it easier for me (*ahem* I mean "we") to find western and cowboy themed romances. Just look for the below logo:
Here's a sampling of cowboy/western themed romance novels I've enjoyed:
Cowboy, Take Me Away by Kathleen Eagle
Taming Blackhawk by Barbara McCauley
Wanted! by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Rogue Stallion by Diana Palmer
McKettricks of Texas: Austin by Linda Lael Miller
The Call of the Canyon by Zane Grey
The Mighty Quinns: Brody by Kate Hoffman
Disclaimer: I am a Harlequin ambassador and they encouraged me to blog, Facebook or Tweet about their "A Cowboy for Every Mood" promotion. I was not paid or reimbursed in any form or fashion. Although most of the books I listed were published by Harlequin, I acquired with my own funds or library card. :-)
I know my body shape nor my lifestyle would do justice to these styles, but there's just something about the feminine touches of the gloves, hats, and pants suits of the 1930s-1950s American fashion that attract me.
The Look Book takes one hundred years of female celebrities and shows teens and young women how to copy theier most iconic features whether it is from Dorothy Dandridge's pin curls to Cher's disco eyes or Brooke Sheild's full eyebrows circa...
A really good read aloud version of the AESOP classic. Perfect for group story times with kindergarten to second graders. The ink and paint illustrations are large but does not clutter the page, which allows the text of the story to be seen...
Although I love science fiction and fantasy movies, I have never been a fan of the books. Besides the plot and the characters, I also have to make myself familiar with a whole new world, society, creatures, mores, etc. so it was with great ...
Kyle blew out is knee and can no longer play football. With interest in nothing else, he is floating through senior aimless and on the verge of being left back. Bo was always the chubby girl who knew her role as wallflower and played her po...
Tease Me, Tempt Me, Read Me... Mood:
hug me Topic: Book Reviews
I must say, I am fraught with eagerness as I anticipate her expression when she receives my gifts. She is aglow with animation, whereas my princess was the picture of reserve. I long for Anne Plantagenet every day, but more and more I find myself subject to a strange sort of excitement when in the presence of my new wife.
don't ask Now Playing: To Tumblr Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I'll be posting blog posts with pictures on my tumblr site, brooklynshoebabe.tumblr.com, but still look for my more wordy posts here.
Although I love science fiction and fantasy movies, I have never been a fan of the books. Besides the plot and the characters, I also have to make myself familiar with a whole new world, society, creatures, mores, etc. so it was with great surprise when I had the strong desire to read Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers. It had been on my to-read list since September, but it moved to the top of my list when I met the author at Book Expo America 2011. She autographed a free copy of the novel to me, and explained that she wrote the book for her daughter, who was really into the Twilight series. To be fair to Lisa, Personal Demons is a much better book.
Frannie has a special power that could be a benefit to Heaven and Hell, so each dominion has sent their best to tag her soul. From Hell, is Luc a.k.a. Lucifer. He is seven millennia old demon whose mere presence makes Frannie want to give in to her baser instincts. Gabriel is one of the best angels from Heaven, who makes Frannie feel safe and secure. She is in constant battle with herself on who she is going to choose.
Frannie is one of the most realistic teenage girls I’ve read in a long time in a Young Adult novel. She’s smart, reckless, impulsive, and angst-ridden. She’s also very good at judo. She’s like a more realistic Buffy the Vampire Slayer! She is definitely one of my favorite girl characters. Empowered! Personal Demons is a sexy, witty, taut, and highly readable YA novel that constantly leaves me breathless. In the words of Luc, Unholy Satan because plot twists come fast at a fast rate. Plus there’s an intense love triangle. There's also a certain amount of camp involved. The book runs about 30 pages too long. Once all the major plot points are revealed, the story sort of sputters to an end. However, it is still a great book and I can’t wait to dive into the sequel out in August.
I've Been Romanced Mood:
crushed out Now Playing: RWA 2011 Topic: Book Reviews
Around the age of 10 years-old, my aunt got a subscription to the Harlequin’s romance book club. When she moved out two years later, she left a few copies that I devoured under the covers with a flashlight. (I moved into her bedroom.) I mostly flipped through them to find the “good parts” but slowly got into the stories. I also read excerpts of stories by Barbara Taylor Bradford and Danielle Steele in my grandma’s Ladies’ Home Journal magazines. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was reading romance novels and Tennessee Williams plays at a pretty steady clip since there were only a handful of young adult novels to speak of. (True story, my high school librarian didn’t mind me checking out romance but when I wanted a book on puberty/sexuality, she said I needed a permission slip from my parents.)
By the time I went off to college and started working in the magazine biz, I shook off my juvenile reading habits for feminist lit, African-American memoirs, and literary fiction. But there’s only so much proper literature one can read before they get burnt out on it and now I find myself back in the loving embrace romance (and its naughtier sister erotica). The last 8-months of rediscovering it has been a wonderful journey, where I have found fun new blogs, my preference for cowboys, and lots of free books & e-books. This past Tuesday, I reached the pinnacle of my journey by attending the Romance Writers’ Association Librarians Day--a day of networking, professional development, and getting free stuff! My favorite items? The romance trading cards and bookmarks. I know have a photo album bursting with these collectibles (http://romancetradingcards.com/).
My favorite moment of RWA2011? Romance author Julia Quinn declaring that librarians are saints. Like you didn’t know that already.
Last month, I also got to let my librarain-geek flag fly at BookExpo 2011 at New York City's Jacob Javitis' Convention Center. Not only did I attend several professional development seminair like the pulishers preview of middle-grade fall 2011 fiction, but I also got to walk up and down the aisles of the expo and examine several publishing houses' booths. One of my favorites was the erotica publishers Ellora's Cave (which is celebrating its tenth anniversary and from whom I got an autographed beefcake calendar and a deck of playing cards featuring their male cover models).
At the Harlequin booth, I got to meet African-American romance novelist Gwyneth Bolton. Her book, Sizzling Seduction, was the first Kimani romance I ever read and dispeled any misgiving I may have had about Black-themed romance novels. (Number 1 being that it would be more about race than about romance.) While I was getting my autographed, I babbled on about how great I thought Sizzling Seduction was by uttering over and over "Fireman, sexy, great, intense, fireman!" The only sad part about that moment were how non-exsistent the autograph lines were for the Kimani novelists. The lines were so short that I thought I had shown up while they were still setting up.