Zauber der Ferne – Imaginäre Reisen im 19. Jahrhundert (German) [translates to: The Magic of Distance - Imaginary Travels in the 19th Century] was an exhibition in the Wien Museum (The Vienna Museum, about the history of Vienna). It ran until last Sunday and I just made it last Friday.
The Tale of Desperaux is the new animated movie based on the book by Kate DiCamillo, directed by Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen and with a very long, very prolific cast list: Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci, Ciarán Hinds, Robbie Coltrane, Tony Hale, Frances Conroy, Frank Langella, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Lloyd, Charles Shaughnessy and Sigourney Weaver. [Phew!]
Unfortunately, in Austria we got only the German version, so I got exactly nothing from that cast – and not even famous German actors to do the parts. [Which is not to say that the speakers didn't do a good job...]
The kingdom of Dor has one thing they’re absolutely famous for: Soup. Every year, they have the Day of the Soup where everybody gets to eat the royal soup and party. One year, an accident happens – Roscuro [Dustin Hoffman], a rat, drawn in by the smell of the soup, stumbles and falls into the plate of the queen. When he tries to apologise, the queen has a heart-attack and dies. Filled with grief, the king banishes all soup and all rats from the kingdom and Roscuro goes into exile.
This is the world Desperaux [Matthew Broderick] is born into – a mouse, who unlike all the others, is not afraid, doesn’t cower, duck or shoo. When he crosses paths with Roscuro, they set out to save themselves and the kingdom.
The movie is really very sweet, quite funny and the story is interesting, though it did feel a little unconnected in the beginning – probably a problem of the adaptation. [And I did have some issues.] But it’s definitely a movie that kids will enjoy.
[Got it from here.]
The premise is to list 5 things you want your [in my case: future] kids to know as they are growing up.
- Everything – from time to morals – is relative. Therefore there’s no good and evil, no better or worse. Just equal people of equal worth and equal importance.
- Nothing is so bad that we can’t talk about it. No matter what, I will love you.
- Question all authority. [Goes hand in hand with:] If you don’t understand something – ask.
- Live your own life and don’t let anybody tell you what that should be like. [Goes hand in hand with:] Let other people live their own lives and never tell them what that should be like.
- Treat other people as they want to be treated, not as you want to be treated.
There. My acquired wisdom. I really hope that I can get that across. And if I do, I think that my children will be well prepared to face this world.
Slumdog Millionaire is the Oscar hogging movie of the year, directed by Danny Boyle, starring Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and Anil Kapoor. The screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy, based on the novel by Vikas Swarup.
Jamal [Dev Patel] grows up in the slums of Mumbai. By chance, he gets invited to the quiz show “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” After getting to the penultimate question before the time runs out, he is arrested and accused to have cheated. In flashbacks, Jamal tells the police officers of his life in the slums, growing up with his brother Salim [Madhur Mittal], meeting the love of his life Latika [Freida Pinto], being orphaned and how he came to know the answers to the questions.
The movie has praise after praise heaped on it and it is a good film. But – of course there’s a “but” – it is not as good as many reviewers (and all the Oscars) want to make you think. It has some impressive stuff, but also some bigger issues.
I really, really had to narrow this list down. I thought I’d go with Animated Movies. Then Animated Children’s Movies. And then I had to make it Disney Movies. And then Disney Movies I watched as a child or else I couldn’t have decided at all. And it’s been hard enough as it is. Even though I cheated (there’s a few ties there I didn’t count correctly). Sorry!
As it is, I guess there will be a follow-up list with non-Disney movies. :)
Anyway, this is not a critical analysis of these movies (because oh, boy! I’d be sitting here next year still if I did that…). I’m aware that most, if not all of them send problematic messages – anti-feminist, racist, etc etc. But this post is a celebration of nostalgic childhood memories.
The Vampire Diaries are a young adult vampire series consisting of four books (plus a connecting series The Vampire Diaries: The Return) by L. J. Smith. The books are The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury and Dark Reunion.
Elena is the queen of High School. After the death of her parents and summer abroad, she returns to her senior year – and there’s a distractingly good looking new student, Stefan. Elena wants him, and everybody wants Elena – except Stefan.
Well, turns out Stefan is a vampire, has a very problematic brother – Damon – who he hates (and vice versa) and something dark’s threatening the town of Fell’s Church. Only Elena, caught between the two brothers, and her friends can put a stop to it.
The books are quick reads – I read all four in 2 days – but their merit (literary or otherwise) is disputable. I have to admit that I continued reading after the first book because I still cared, but after the first half of book 2, it was more my ambition to finish four books in one weekend that kept me reading than the books themselves.
Best booktitle ever?
I started a new book over at bookbitching, so if you want to drop by, you’re very welcome to. It’s the exciting story of a cruise ship tycoon, his mistress and their twins. [And that might be my next book.]
Children’s Classics with new illustrations. Though I don’t know whether Don Quixote can really be counted as a children’s book
deadra rounds up movies to look forward to. At least in Austria. You might have seen some of the movies already if you live somewhere else. :)
Deadra has a (more or less) new blog- Puzzled Peaces - where she tackles mostly political things. This time, it’s all in English. Drop by and leave her a comment!
On growing up trans, and the nature of oppression and much more.
Bad Science – on the science used in advertisements and everyday life.
Completely Different Things
Sex and the Single Vampire is the second book in the Dark Ones Series by Katie MacAlister (my review of the first book – A Girl’s Guide to Vampires is here). It, too, is paranormal romance, although the comedy is slightly scaled back.
Allegra is a summoner, meaning she summons ghost for a living. Or she would if it actually worked for once. She travels to England to check out some haunted houses. Once there, she dreams about a really good-looking guy, lying in a basement, covered with cuts.
You can imagine her surprise when she stumbles upon the same guy – minus the cuts – in a bookshop. Christian.
And if you’re not a complete sucker as I am, you might actually know women in technology.
And if you don’t, go here. Read about the women other people know about, which is what I will do and maybe next year, I can do my own post.