Friday, October 31, 2014

Must See: The Theory of Everything

One of the best things about Fall, along with the cool, crisp days and riotous mix of beautiful colors that dot our landscapes before leaves start gently fluttering from the sky like snow flakes (to later become a slimy slurry causing life-threatening driving conditions), is the sudden onslaught of quality, inspiring and Oscar-caliber movies which flood our local movie theater screens. The movie reels (they're probably not reels anymore, more like CDs, but go with me here) have sat in stifling warehouses all summer, while we sat through mind-numbing action movies and comedies, when suddenly they make their presence known in as dramatic and spectacular a fashion as the natural splendor we're lucky enough to enjoy every autumn.

I caught a trailer for such a movie during my recent screening of Gone Girl. Scheduled for release on November 7th, The Theory of Everything is based on the life of famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. As you'll see from the trailer, the film appears to be more a human story, a story of love (I'm a sucker for those) than a story of science or theories. I found just this brief glimpse of Eddie Redmayne's ("Les Misérables") performance in the lead role heart-wrenchingly moving, so I'd hedge my bets right now that he's a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination. I can't wait to catch this extraordinary story and Oscar-worthy performance.


I thought what better day to make a return appearance on this humble blog than Halloween, since it’s been a ghost-town around here (ba-dum-bump). I’ve been suffering from a case of the doldrums and hence my blogging and reading duties have suffered. Blogging never comes easy for me, so that’s always the first hobby to perish on the altar of procrastination. As for reading, as many of you know I had set a new year’s goal of reading 52 books this year (6 up from last year’s 46) and for a while I was at peak stride, namely during the summer when I had no TV distractions, but sadly I plateaued at 42. Alas, you can do the math, I’d have to read a mind-bending 10 books between now and the end of the year to reach the promise land. Not exactly an impossible feat but I’ll admit very unlikely, especially when you throw the upcoming holiday season into the equation.

Other than a case of the lazies and my usual TV addiction which drains part of my free time, my blogging absence featured a trip to the movies (saw Gone Girl; enjoyable and true to the book) and two trips to NYC to catch Broadway shows (Lion King and Mamma Mia). What can I say about those two, other than that they were fabulous! I’d heard so much about the Lion King beforehand that I was afraid to be let down by my own unattainably high expectations, but it lived up to everything everyone said and more. The staging, the costumes, the music; everything was up to the usual Disney standards, meaning it was perfect. Despite all that, if you had limited cash and I had to recommend one of the two shows for you to see, I’d say go see Mamma Mia. It didn’t have the amazing sets or incredible costumes, but it was nonetheless pure unadulterated fun. By the time the curtain dropped and the stars came out for their encore, the audience was singing along and dancing in the aisles.

I’m thrilled to report that my television viewing schedule has been significantly distilled and condensed down to only two appointment-television shows, The Voice and The Blacklist; all others are haphazardly viewed depending on a formula made up of equal parts boredom and curiosity. The Voice is gearing up for what seems a great season. As usual, I’m on Team Blake all the way, with two early favorites in Reagan James and Jessie Pitts (click on their names to watch my favorite performances from each). The Blacklist has me in a bit of a quandary; I want to love it as much as last season, but it’s just not delivering the kind of gripping and memorable storylines or characters that it did during its freshman run and seems fated for the ever-reliable sophomore slump. I’ll share more on Red and Keen in another post.

Well, I hope to make my way back soon with more frequent postings. I owe you guys a book review post on Looking for Alaska by John Green, read during my mini-hiatus, and also on the book I’m currently reading Dear Daughter, which so far is great. I hope everyone has a Happy (and safe) Halloween with some spooktacular fun!

PS. Don’t forget to turn back your clocks. I’m looking forward to my extra hour of beauty sleep this weekend (need all the help I can get)!