Monday, May 27, 2013

Being Plumville: Book Review

Every girl loves a good romance, especially if its in the vein of best sellers like The Help and The Notebook. When you combine the elements of those two books and set it against the backdrop of a racially divided college campus, you get Being Plumville.

Being Plumville centers around soul mates Coralee Simmons and Benjamin Drummond. Coralee is the daughter of the Drummond family maid and Ben is the only child of one of the town's wealthiest families. Ben and Coralee are each other's best friend and confidante. Ben's protectiveness of Coralee terrifies his mother which drives her to tell Patty, Coralee's mother to not bring Coralee to their home anymore in fear of the two becoming romantically entangled. The silliness of keeping apart a four year old and a seven year old over what may potentially happen in the future is a bit hard to swallow, but interracial relationships were taboo back then so even the hint of one was enough to take drastic measures. 

Luckily for Ben and Coralee fate drives them back together during the tumultuous 60's at Solomon College and the feelings they once had for one another return a thousand fold. Family and friends do not make things easy for the two of them, but the love Ben has for his "Ceelee" runs deeper than the racism and ignorance that runs prevalent on their campus.

Savannah Frierson is a dynamic author whose work I will be following from here on out. Being Plumville is about to be re released, and I hope those of you who have never heard of this author and her work will take the time to visit her website at .  Let's get Being Plumville on the NYT Bestseller List where it belongs!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Great Gatsby: My Review

I tried reading what everyone called one of the greatest American novels, The Great Gatsby but could not finish it. In fact I got bored. Call me crazy, but Fitzgerald’s language did not move me to continue reading past the first two chapters. I wanted to get it read before I saw the movie, but did not succeed. I have seen the movie though and must say I was highly impressed with Baz Luhrmann’s take on the 1920’s set saga of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) , Nick Carraway (Tobey McGuire), Daisy Buchannan (Carey Mulligan),  and her boorish husband Tom (Joel Edgarton).

For those of you that were not forced to read the novel in high school or are familiar with the original film starring Robert Redford, Gatsby is about Nick Carraway, an aspiring writer who is the cousin of socialite Daisy Buchannan. He lives next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby who throws lavish parties every weekend and who unbeknownst to Nick had a love affair with Daisy, 5 years prior. Jay, as it turns out has been on a mission after getting out of the army to win Daisy back by becoming the sophisticated and wealthy man a woman of Daisy’s station deserves.  Daisy in his absence married Tom Buchannan, an heir of one of America’s wealthiest families and who is cheating on her with the trashy wife of a gas station owner.

The movie starts off slow, but catches fire when Leo hits the screen. I loved him in the role of Gatsby and he brings the desperation and sadness needed to play a man wanting the love of his life back.  Why Gatsby is so hell bent on Daisy is beyond me because she comes across as a flighty, shallow woman that just sits around her big mansion and sighs a lot.  Gatsby pulls out all the stops to win back her love with Nick’s help. Nick is all too glad to assist Gatsby whose wealth and fabulous persona he is clearly fascinated with and knowing of Tom’s affair, he feels less inclined to stop Jay from pursuing Daisy.

A lot of people have criticized the hip hop influenced soundtrack (produced by Jay Z) and the gaudy opulence of the film, but that just adds to its appeal. It’s a tribute to the 20’s, the boozing, partying, and ridiculous decadence of that era. The hip hop soundtrack fits in well.  The visuals and clothing were also excellent, and I think come awards season the film will be recognized in these two areas.

If you have seen The Great Gatsby, what was your take on the film? Does it rate as one of Leo’s best performances? 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why I Disliked Iron Man 3

After watching Iron Man 3 Friday I came to the conclusion that it's time for Robert Downey Jr. to give up the tin suit. Don't get me wrong. I love RDJ , but Iron Man as a standalone hero, I think those days are over. Especially if Hollywood continues to churn out mess like the latest installment. I know I am in the minority but bringing Shane Black on board was a big mistake. Tony's angst over the whole Loki situation in The Avengers was too much to handle even though he was still as snarky and charming as ever. The whole Tony in Tennessee subplot (complete with a cute kid) was a tad too much to swallow as well and don't get me started on Ben Kingsley's faux villain.

Maybe the reason for my rant is that after the greatness of The Avengers, I was expecting more from Iron Man 3. Unfortunately the perfection that was The Avengers is going to be tough to top, not only for Tony Stark, but the next installments of Thor and Captain America as well. We shall see!