Tag Archive | drama

Dear Cassie – Lisa Burstein

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By now, it’s pretty much a given that anything Heather Riccio tells me to read, I will read no questions asked.

So when she asked for reviews for Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein, I was all over it. Heather never steers me wrong and Entangled publishes amazing work. I dearcassiehave a free copy of this for the express purpose of review, but I enjoyed it so much that not only is it a definite “MUST READ” for me, I’ll be purchasing a copy so that Lisa will write many, many more.

Book Blurb:

What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?

You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

You’d be wrong.

There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.

What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open?

But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.

And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?

The Good:

Needless to say, the story is gripping. It’s told entirely from Cassie’s point of view (obviously, as it’s a diary) and all of her turmoil is conveyed in raw, moving descriptions of her time at Turning Pines.

Ultimately, Cassie is just an average teenager. She isn’t extraordinarily bad. She isn’t even really a little bad. She’s going through the same sorts of things that all teens go through as they try to figure out who they are and where they fit in with the rest of the world.

As Cassie gets closer and closer to admitting to herself and more importantly to Troyer (I’ve already asked for her story!), it’s heartbreaking to see the effect that her secret has had on her.

Cassie finally learns to start trusting herself, and others, again.

Seriously, the writing is incredible. I felt all the feels that Cassie felt and I was right back in the middle of all the self-doubt I had when I was her age.

Lisa doesn’t fall into the sometimes trap of writing teen characters for adults. They don’t have it all together. They aren’t confident. Her characters are still learning and trying to figure it out. They really are teens. Not teens the way that adults wish they’d been. So, BRAVA!!

The Bad:

Since it’s about Cassie and told from her point of view, I want more about the other characters! I’m looking at you, Lisa!

Overall:

Dear Cassie is incredibly touching. It’s a deep soul-searching journey for Cassie, as she struggles to come to terms with the long and often difficult journey into adulthood. (Doesn’t that sound all official and stuff?)

Honestly, it’s just an incredible read and I think you should sit down and read it. Now.

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Looper

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This movie made me squee my pants from the very first preview. Time travel? Check. Bruce Willis? Check. Robin Probably Nightwing The New Batman Cobra Commander Cameron Best ever fight scene in Inception Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Check.

So yeah, this was a must see from the get go.

Borrwed from http://fizzygrrl.com/ GO THERE!

Borrwed from http://fizzygrrl.com/ GO THERE!

The premise was just awesome. Time travel and killing people is illegal. So of course the criminals use time travel to cover up killing people. Cause if you kill them before they’re even born, how can it possibly be a crime? Right? Also, no body.

“Clearly, your honor, I can’t have done anything wrong.”

I have to give them mad kudos. I really thought that was going to be the whole of the movie. But those sneaky little brats got looperme. And I loved it!

Nope. No spoilers. You need to run right out and watch this movie if you haven’t already.

I like it when I can’t see the ending coming. Not that I didn’t see the ending coming. I did. But I didn’t see the movie taking the sharp right turn from what I expected it to be about to get to the ending that I eventually saw coming once I realized that the movie was about something entirely different than what I thought it was to start. (You can breathe now. And yes, I said that all in one breath in my head as I was typing it. Thus, you should read it the same way.)

I love the moral question at the heart of the movie. I totally dig stuff like that. (One of the reasons that I like the Saw movies, too.) Sure, it’s an easy question to answer when you’re watching the movie. Right? But if you sit and really think about it, what would I do in that situation? Do I have that kind of moxie? Hmmm. Good question. I’d like to think I do.A thinks he would too. I’m more certain that A would than I would, cause I’m just selfish like that. Not really, but it’s much funnier that way.

Then there was the whole make-up thing. The people who did the make-up totally deserve an award for making Cobra Commander look like Bruce Willis. Cause seriously. WOW. Freaking wow. I was so impressed. So was A.

That the acting was amazing should really go without saying. So don’t make me say it, or I’ll throw popcorn at you.

Also, my buddy from Raising Hope popped in for a bit. I just love him. He’s hysterical. “Remember that one time that you shaved my junk?” Watch the show, you’ll giggle. I swear.

The too long; didn’t read version: WATCH THIS MOVIE! ZOMG!!1!one!11!!eleven! Seriously, it’s really good. I was all warm and fuzzy at the end.

End of Watch

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So this weekend we watched End of Watch. I wasn’t sure about what I thought about it when we saw the previews, but I was willing to give it a go. I mean, Jake Gyllenhaal is a pretty darn good actor. He isn’t eye candy for me, but that’s okay. Not everyone can be Chris Evans, after all.

No spoilers, since this one is still newish.

There are two cops and one of them has this weird filming everything fetish. (So there’s a lot of that home movie quality to the filming, which I don’t really endofwatchcare for, but they didn’t do the nasty Blair Witch thing, so I can deal.) The movie follows these guys on their patrols and what they encounter on a daily basis. Let me just say right now, some of this is just heartbreaking.

Outside of work, Jake Gyllenhaal meets and gets all squishy about Anna Kendrick (the cute girl from Scott Pilgrim and Twilight). It’s sweet and I appreciate that they show their lives outside of the job. It makes it a more human story and makes you care more about the characters. Of course, it also sets you up for some serious water works at the end.

The boys stumble on some ugly happenings and run afoul of some very nasty drug people. From there, it’s fairly obvious what’s going to happen, and it does.

Yeah, I totally cried at the end. Bastards. On the plus side, they ended the movie with a very happy and touching scene. I like that they did this, cause it let me get over being all weepy and left me feeling uplifted, rather than depressed.

The good:

Pretty much everything. I liked the story, the acting was good, and it spotlighted what cops deal with without being preachy about it. Since I have a good deal of respect for cops, I like it when movies show them in a positive light, rather than villianizing them in some effort to appeal to the whole counter culture thug crap that’s going around right now.

The bad:

The only thing I hated was the camera style, but even that fit with the story, so I dealt.

Overall:

See this. Take tissues, you’ll need ’em. Get ice cream afterwards, cause you’ll need that too.

The Strangers

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(Note: I had this completely typed up and just as I liked it. Then I tried to insert the link to the IMDB page and the entire thing disappeared. So  now I’m cranky. Grrr.)

Yes, this movie came out in 2008 and I’m just now watching it.

Why is that? Honestly, because I loathe Liv Tyler. I couldn’t tell you why, there’s just something about her that irks me. It isn’t really her fault. I like movies that she’s been in, but not because of her. And while I won’t refuse to see a movie she’s in, I tend to resist seeing it unless it’s something like The Lord of the Rings, but that’s for another post.

Since The Strangers is four years old, the statute of spoilers is well past. If you haven’t seen it for whatever reason, tough jellybeans (see HOP).

So the story is: Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman are leaving a wedding and heading to a remote vacation house. They’re not speaking because he’s proposed and she has, obviously, declined.

Sidebar: This is one of my pet peeves. How dare you propose to your whatever at someone else’s wedding? That is a celebration of them and their love. Don’t upstage them because you need to be the center of attention. Bugger off. Not saying that’s what happened in this movie, because he waited til they’d left and were outside in private, so thank you for that.

He calls a buddy to come pick him up, beause things didn’t work out quite right. There are a lot of awkward silences and sort of conversations while they try to wrap themselves around the change in relationship status. At one point, they seal their horror movie fate by almost getting it on.

Then they really seal their fate by answering the damn door. It’s 4am, people. Unless you are expecting someone, you don’t answer the door at 4am. Seriously. At least, I don’t. And I really won’t ever be doing so now. Ever.

What ensues is a whole lot of psychological torture and terrorizing of the poor schlubs who were (let’s be honest now, they opened the door, it’s their own damn fault), unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the way wrong time.

Liv Tyler asks why the psychos are doing this. One of them responds, “Because you were home.” Yeah, that right there? That’s why you leave the door locked and go about your make-up sex in peace and quiet.

At any rate, while the movie was totally predictable, it was sufficiently creepy to require a viewing of Daffy Duck as Robin Hood to make sleep happen.

I wouldn’t have paid to see it in theatres, but now that it’s freely available, it’s worth a viewing.

Oh, and don’t forget to not be home when strange people knock on your door at 4am. Trust me on this.