Showing posts from October, 2010

When in Rome (2010)

Kristen Bell, the star of the TV show Veronica Mars (which I love), is the main character in this movie. Unfortunately, it's pretty stupid. If I ignore the story, there are some amusing characters and funny lines, but it's hard to ignore the story. Oh, well. Watched it streaming on Netflix.

College Without High School: A Teenager's Guide to Skipping High School and Going to College by Blake Boles

We home school our kids. There was a year or so when we sent the three oldest boys to a private school for a few hours a week and this year, Zed is enrolled in a few classes at the high school (choir; driver's ed; seminary, which doesn't count as public school in my opinion; and band, which he is kind of auditing). But they are basically home schooled. I plan to send them to college as home schooled kids, with a few extra classes from the high school under their belts. I've skimmed a couple of books on home schooling teenagers but hadn't found anything particularly inspiring until this book, which is fantastic. I loved it! Except for a brief introduction intended for parents, Boles addresses teenagers directly and assumes they're interested in making their own decisions and following their dreams. In fact, while the information in the book is helpful to those who are already home schooled, he's openly trying to persuade high school kids to leave school and fo…

Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and other Good News by Stephen E. Robinson

This is kind of a famous book in the Mormon community--probably everyone has heard the parable of the bicycle--but I don't read a lot of LDS books, so I hadn't read it until now. Its reputation is well-deserved--it's excellent. Carefully and clearly written, with plenty of scriptural support and some good stories, It's not difficult reading at all, but profound concepts are well-explained. I'm adding it to my Required Reading list (which only exists in my head, but maybe I'll write it down someday).

Veronica Mars (2004–2007)

I loved, loved, loved this TV show. The best thing about it is the character of Veronica. I think she's 17 in the beginning episodes of the show (maybe even 16), and she's one of the smartest TV characters I've ever seen. She's not just private eye smart (she's the daughter of the local P.I./former sheriff and does her own sleuthing on the side); she's also relationship smart. And when was the last time you saw a TV show character who wasn't a total idiot about relationships? I finally stopped watching Grey's Anatomy because I couldn't stand the retardation of pretty much every character. (oops! I accidentally slept with so-and-so! i must do everything possible to keep what's-her-name from finding out! that is the best thing for our relationship!) There's a reason I don't watch daytime soaps. (And mostly that reason is that the plots proceed at a snail's pace, but also, it's the stupid relationship stuff.) I'm not saying th…

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)

There is no way I'm going to remember the title of this. I'm just calling it the Owl movie. Anyway, I wasn't excited to see this, but it was the choice of my three youngest. Turned out to be in 3D, so it was our first 3D movie in a theater! I'm actually kind of impressed with the 3D stuff, although it's a pain to wear the 3D glasses over my regular glasses. So, it's a nice-looking movie and the story's okay, though there are elements of other famous movies therein, like the mentor's voice telling the main character to "use his gizzard" (I'm not kidding) in pretty much exactly the same way Obi Wan tells Luke to use the force. And at least once, flying owls looked and sounded like those famous battle ships from Star Wars. But for a kid movie that features owls, it was pretty good. Also, the owls looked very much like owls, with several different species represented, in spite of their human expressions. I'm considering having the kids l…

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Yes, I watched the TV show The Incredible Hulk when I was a kid, and I liked it. I didn't have high hopes for the movie, but I was still kinda disappointed. It was great seeing Lou Ferrigno in a cameo, and there was one scene where Bruce Banner is sitting by a tree while the original, melancholy theme song played, which I enjoyed. But seriously, how are we supposed to empathize with a giant, computer-generated Hulk? No thanks. Lou Ferrigno in his green paint and weird contacts was sympathetic, but a big cartoon is not. Edward Norton is a pretty good actor, though. And it was fun to see the Lie to Me guy, Tim Roth, as the bad guy, although his super muscular torso in one scene was obviously make-up.