January 10, 2010

Book Review: Taken by Edward Bloor


Taken is an exciting, original book that fans of Anthony Horowitz or Gail Giles books will love. In a futuristic world, the classes are more divided than ever. Kidnapping has become the norm, a social contract between those that have and those that have not. The kidnappings have rules, and if the rules are followed, everyone gets what they want without violence.

Charity wakes up strapped to a stretcher in a van. She knows she has been kidnapped, but feels calm because if she just remembers the rules, she knows she will be returned to her family safe and sound. In order to keep herself calm, she conjures up memories from happy times, and these memories intersperse with details about what is happening in her present. The memories hold important clues that readers can use to discover the identity of the kidnappers before Charity does.

But this kidnapping doesn't seem to be going to specification. And Charity tries to talk to her guards to see if she can negotiate her own deal.

January 01, 2010

Movie Review: In the Mood for Love


I want all of the dresses that Maggie Cheung wears in In the Mood for Love. In this film, she looks so beautiful I want to cry. She has such elegance, such beauty, that it is shocking that anyone would want to cheat on her. But I get ahead of myself.

Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung ) and Mr. Chow (Tony Leung ) live next door to one another. They discover their spouses are having an affair. We never see the infidelities occur, for what is happening with Chan and Chow is much more compelling stuff. After they both discover that the other knows the secret, they begin to spend time together and pretend that they are the ones having an affair. They do not intend to sleep with one another, but they are trying to understand how it began. They go out to eat and order what each other's spouses would order. They role play walking home so they can imagine who might have made the first move. They practice accusing their spouse of having an affair so they can imagine what they will say when the guilty admission is made.

Movie Review: Teenage Dirtbag

Teenage Dirtbag (2009) attempts to answer the question: what would have happened if Bender and Claire from the movie The Breakfast Club had met during class instead of detention in the library? Thayer (Scott Michael Foster) and Amber (Noa Hegesh) attend the same high school and are always seated near each other since their last names are close alphatically. Amber is a cheerleader and popular at school. Thayer is a troublemaker. After an offhanded remark Amber makes, Thayer seems to try his hardest to make her as miserable as possible. He does, at least, until they begin bonding in creative writing class.

Because of their troublesome homelives--Thayer has an abusive father and older brother and Amber is ignored--they both feel put upon and find a strange solace in being together. But the ol' social caste system says they can't be together. They try to negotiate their friendship, and it works out how it will work out. But the story doesn't end there. Amber and Thayer meet again and again and neither can rest until the truth is spoken about their feelings for one another.