Twelve (2010)

Twelve is Joel Schumacher‘s adaptation of Nick McDonell‘s novel [my review here], starring Chace Crawford, Rory Culkin, Emma Roberts, Emily Meade, Philip Ettinger, Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent), Ellen Barkin and Kiefer Sutherland.

Plot:
Ever since his mother’s death, White Mike (Chace Crawford) and his father have had troubles. Now Mike is getting by by selling drugs, though he does stay away from the novelty drug Twelve. He rather leaves that to Lionel (Curtis Jackson) who got Mike’s Cousin Charlie (Jeremy Allen White) hooked on it.
At the same time, popular girl Sara (Esti Ginzburg) plans a birthday party at Chris’ (Rory Culkin) place, even though his slightly psycho brother Claude (Billy Magnussen) is home for an impromptu visit.

Twelve is the rare breed of film where Joel Schumacher is not the worst thing about it. In fact, the script [by Jordan Melamed] is worse than his direction – and that is a feat he deserves at least some recognition for. But not by having to watch the movie.

[SPOILERS for book and film]

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Frida Kahlo Retrospective

The Frida Kahlo Retrospective is a current exhibition [unfortunately, there's no proper link so after December 5, this won't point to the exhibition directly anymore] in the Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna. It gives an overview over Frida Kahlo’s work. Additionally, it shows photos of her and her family.

I have never seen so many people in a museum before.  [I mean, I saw the masses at the Louvre and then didn't go in and I saw the masses at the Sistine Chapel and then didn't go in, but I  actually went into the Kunstforum, so I'm only counting this.] You didn’t walk through the exhibition, you were pushed through it and sometimes you had to use your elbows to actually see a painting.

This is not the best museum experience to be had, of course. But Frida Kahlo’s paintings are definitely worth it. What’s not so much worth it are the photos, though. Some are rather interesting – especially the ones by Nickolas Muray – but some are just filler [especially when the plaques were as helpful as "Frida Kahlo with two unknown persons." And that's all the information you got]. And if there’s one thing this exhibition doesn’t need, it’s additional content.

But, as I said, Kahlo’s paintings (especially the self-portraits) themselves are wonderful and definitely worth to spend 90 minutes like sardines in a can.

[Self-portrait with thorn necklace and hummingbird]

After the jump, you can find my favorites!

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Top 100 Books – Meme Monday

liberrydwarf did it here, deadra here, L. here.

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.  Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible [didn't get very far though. Made it through Genesis]

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare [Read five plays or so.]

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia series – CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis (doublemention much?)

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (another double mention)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

That makes 37 and 4 in parts. Not half bad, if I do say so myself.

Twelve (Nick McDonell)

Twelve is Nick McDonell‘s debut novel. It was recently made into a movie.

Plot:
White Mike is 17, good-looking, rich and very intelligent. He decided to take a year off between high school and college and spends it dealing drugs to rich kids. But in the days before New Year’s everything seems to fall apart.

Twelve is a good book, made even more impressive by the fact that Nick McDonell was only 17 himself when he wrote it. But its author’s age is not the only thing that commends it.

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Fright Night (1985)

Fright Night is Tom Holland‘s first movie, starring William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall and Stephen Geoffreys.

Plot:
Charley (William Ragsdale) is a pretty normal teenager, who’s into the Fright Night TV show with Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), which mostly concerns itself with hunting vampires. So, it’s no surprise that Charley immediately assumes that the new neighbour – the charismatic Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) – is a vampire. What does come as a surprise, though, is when this assumption turns out to be true.

I had never actually seen Fright Night, even though it’s such a classic. Now that it’s being remade (with an awesome cast), I just had to close this gap in my cinematic education.
Anyway, it’s funny, decently acted and has a good script. It’s not as brilliant as I expected it to be, but it’s entertaining. If you expect scary, you”ll be disappointed though.

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Me and Orson Welles (2008)

Me and Orson Welles is the newest Richard Linklater movie, an adaptation of Robert Kaplow‘s book, starring Zac Efron, Christian McKay, Claire Danes, Ben Chaplin, Zoe Kazan, Eddie Marsan, James Tupper and Kelly Reilly.

Plot:
Richard (Zac Efron) is a student at high school and a great fan of the theatre. When he gets cast in Orson Welles’ (Christian McKay) newest production – Julius Caesar – a dream comes true for him. With a mixture of boldness and naivite he soon endears himself to the entire cast, including Orson Welles and his assistant, Sonja (Claire Danes).

I was very hesitant to see this film. My relationship with Linklater films is rather shaky and that the movie stars Zac Efron… well. But I was pleasantly surprised. It’s entertaining, very nicely acted and funny.

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A Clash of Kings (George R. R. Martin)

A Clash of Kings is the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. [Here’s my review of the first book.]

Plot:
The book continues what happened in A Game of Thrones seamlessly. A red comet rises above the lands and it seems to mean something else for everyone. But everybody agrees: it is a sign. Of the civil wars to come as three different men lay claim to the Iron Throne; and a fourth one fights for independence. Of the return of magic. Of winter approaching and causing unrest in the north. Short: catastrophe is on its way.

A Clash of Kings is a perfect continuation of A Game of Thrones. The style is good, the plot interesting and continues to surprise me and the characters are engaging.

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Buried (2010)

Buried is the newest film by Rodrigo Cortés, starring Ryan Reynolds.

Plot:
Paul (Ryan Reynolds) is an American contractor and truck driver in Iraq. After his convoy is attacked, he finds himself buried alive in a coffin somewhere. With him in the coffin are a lighter and a cell phone. Frantically Paul tries to reach someone to figure out what’s going on.

Buried is intense. It is surprising how much suspense you can get out of this minimalistic setting, but Cortés gets every last drop – and he uses it well.

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Links

Books

Info about China Miéville’s newest book, “Embassytown.”

Comics

The cover alone makes me shiver. (Superman: Earth One)

Games

Forgotten Futures, The Scientific Romance Roleplaying Game.

Movies

Tron Porn. Of course it’s call Pron.

Blinky: Creepy robot, Max Records. What’s not to love?

TV

Live Action Batman again? Only a rumor, but I’m not sure whether I would want it to be true.

Completely Different Things

Batman the Stage Show. I, for one, am excited.

[via liberrydwarf] 20 Awesomley Untranslatable Words from around the World.

Optical Illusions.