Action! It’s summer blockbuster time

I love the feeling of going out to see a movie.  I buy the popcorn, say yes to the butter, and (unfortunately) usually indulge in Reese’s Pieces as well (the old “if I am having a tub of buttered popcorn, the day is shot to hell anyway, so I might as well” mentality).  Here’s a quick roundup of the movies I have seen so far this summer, as well as some movies I am looking forward to seeing in the upcoming months:

The Avengers
Robert Downey, Jr. is my hero (apart from the drugs and prison stints).  The only problem I had with this movie was that he had to share the screen with others (the more witty jokes with impeccable comedic timing, the better in my book).  The Avengers was a phenomenal summer blockbuster, filled with the kind of action sequences that require one to remind oneself to breathe.  This movie took me back to the days of the great summer blockbusters (think Con Air, Face/Off, and Independence Day).  I just hope that the sequel is not as disappointing as Iron Man 2.

The Amazing Spider-Man
I could have sworn I saw this movie a few years ago–oh wait, I did.  It was called Spider-man.  While my husband liked this movie (he felt as if it was a more realistic interpretation of the story), I felt as if this movie dragged considerably, and while the protagonist (played by Andrew Garfield) was likable, I felt that Tobey Maguire was even more so.  The movie was not different enough from the original to warrant the time I spent watching it.  All in all, this movie lacked the pace and glee of the original movie.

Magic Mike
Magic Mike, an artistic tour de force about a magician named Mike who captivates his audiences, will probably be an Oscar contender this year.  Just kidding.  This movie is about Channing Tatum stripping.  I went to this movie with a fellow teacher, and the audience consisted of all women (including a group of nine eager, elderly women who chatted excitedly before and during the movie), and one man.  While I had certain expectations of the movie (the acting would be awful, the plot would be nonexistent, and Channing Tatum would be devilishly handsome), I was wrong on all accounts except for the latter.  The surprisingly gritty plot was better than expected, and so was Tatum.

Theatrical Release Poster

Upcoming movies I can’t wait to see:

The Dark Knight Rises
I got goosebumps just typing the title.  ‘Nuff said.

Total Recall
I never saw the Governator’s rendition, but this looks interesting.

The Bourne Legacy
Hopefully this will be as good as Matt Damon’s Bourne movies, and with Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton as the stars, it has a pretty great chance.


Book review: The Red Tent

Image via Wikipedia

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is one of those rare books that actually enhances the body of literature that society has amassed over the millennia.

The Red Tent is a fictional account of Dinah, a woman mentioned only briefly in Genesis.  The story begins with Jacob, Dinah’s father, and his marriages to two sisters, Leah and Rachel, who each take their other two sisters, Bilhah and Zilpah, as slaves.  Thus, Dinah is born into a family with four mothers, and the story centers on these women’s everyday lives, which include dealing with their husband, Jacob; bearing and tending to their children; and dealing with the jealousy, insecurity, and love that each experiences for her sisters and husband.

Later, the novel merges with Dinah’s Biblical account, in which she is “defiled” by a prince who later asks for her hand in marriage. (The Bible does not make it clear whether or not this “defilement” was consensual.)  Jacob’s sons, having learned of their sister’s defilement, avenge this wrongdoing by killing the prince and massacring everyone in his palace.

Diamant’s text moves the reader from Haran (an ancient Mesopotamian city), to Canaan, and then to Egypt.  While a lesser writer would have merely mentioned these moves, Diamant transports and then envelopes the reader in distinctly different cultures and customs throughout the narrative, while giving the reader insight into the effects that these changes have on the protagonist.

This novel’s depictions of womanhood and motherhood have resonated with me months after reading it. This phenomenal work of art is my book club’s favorite novel to date, and has sent us on a quest for more well-written historical fiction.  Any suggestions would be welcome!

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