Blog Archives

All the Books Show: Episode 103 – Spotlight on John Green

This week on the show, we talk about the man who makes teenagers cry and experience the “feels”, John Green!

Also, I hate ” the feels” as a phrase. If I was being harsh, and I am, it’s a lazy way to ignore real emotions that can make experiences deeper. Where the Wild Things Are didn’t give me “the feels”. It made me sad and melancholy and reminded me of making mistakes as a kid and thinking they’re the end of the world.

the_fault_in_our_stars8None of that ranting is about John Green, though! We talk all of his books, Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, Help! I Have Too Many Katherine’s and I Don’t Know What to Do With Them All!, and the rest. We have our own music master, Ben, on the show to help us through the books Nic and I haven’t read. It’s a good episode. And not just because it’s my birthday episode.

We also talk about how Ruth Ware’s new book can’t be as successful as the terrible Woman in Cabin 10. People had to get wise, right? Nic and Ben also review The Dark Tower, which I haven’t seen, but from all accounts sounds pretty embarrassing. And the trailers made it look like a bad 90s action flick, like The Last Action Hero. It should be easy, a dark western with some magic and maybe some horror. But the first book, The Gunslinger was underwhelming and I couldn’t finish the second one. I guess some ideas are too good for the world.

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See you next week, podcats!

All Hallow’s Reads 2015 – Secret Window

Secret Window was the official first pick of our groups Halloween movie picks. See, no one wanted to take the blame for Dragonfly, not even Kevin Costner.

My wife, Kendra, got to pick first and she chose a movie that she’s been telling me to watch for years. Secret Window, if you’re memory serves, was the film all your friends went out to see in March 2004 because they thought Johnny Depp was the best thing since Ashton Kutcher. Most of this was due to Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl being so freaking good. But Mr. Depp doesn’t play a pirate in Secret Window, he plays a writer! So all our little sisters and high school pals got tricked into watching a movie that was probably darker than they were expecting.

The movie is about a writer (Depp) who’s being stalked by a man claiming that Depp stole his story. There’s a lot of ways to prove that not to be the case, the internet for one. But maybe the movie gets a pass because it was the early 2000s and not everything had been digitized yet?

Depp then tries to solve the problem by going to the worst cop in the world, the laziest agent/bodyguard ever to protect, and having constant phone calls from his cheating ex-wife. Not a lot of it makes sense when held to a microscope.

You stole my story!

But maybe it doesn’t need to be over-analyzed because despite some obvious flaws, unlikable supporting characters and no real secret window, the film is surprisingly entertaining. Johnny Depp gives a surprisingly subdued performance (for the most part) and the movie has a few more laughs than I was expecting. There’s zero tension and it would be generous to even call it a slow-burn, but it’s not bad. Does it fit well in Halloween? Actually, it kind of does. It’s based off of a Stephen King story, so there’s that going for it in the eerie department. What really makes it is knowing the twist of the film because then you’re just watching a car accident in slow motion.

Three and a half out of five star-shaped pumpkins!

For different opinions, all my friends are blogging our holiday celebrations!

First we have Smallville Chronicle with Nic Gunning, a long-time friend, co-worker and all-around fun time!

Then we have Sallylife’s Blog by Sally Murphy, another long-time friend, artist and all-around fun time!

And then there’s Musings From a Music Box by Kendra Mikols, my lovely wife, singer and all-around fun time!