Well July is in the books so it’s time to take a look at all that I’ve been enjoying or not this summer.
Movies. I’ve previously reviewed the movies I’ve seen here and here. Since that time I’ve seen Transformers, Harry Potter 5, Hairspray and The Simpson’s Movie. The Transformers movie trailer had me drooling in my seat so of course it couldn’t live up to my expectations. While stunning to watch, the movie was too much like a cartoon. If you’re a 12 year old boy you’re gonna love this movie. Simpson’s was an extended TV show – very funny with biting satire. The first 40 minutes are so chock full of jokes, you can hardly keep up. If you’re a Simpson’s fan you can’t miss this movie. Harry Potter 5 was good. The darkest, and I thought best, Potter movie thus far. The story has moved beyond a magical children’s story and the movie reflects that change. That leaves me with Hairspray. I was a big fan of the original movie and thought it was hilarious if a little silly. The current version is also great. From the opening song Good Morning Baltimore (with a wonderful cameo by John Waters), you know you are in for a treat. The movie was a blast, fun to look at and the set musical pieces were stunning. The one movie so far that I would go back to see again (although I could be dragged to the Simpson’s just to catch some of the jokes I missed).
Books. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I thought it was a good ending to the story. A surprising amount of sub plots were wrapped up and a large number of known characters were killed (nine at my count). The ending is a little confusing but with a little research I’m pretty sure I get it. Rowling can write some great set pieces and there are definitely parts that are absolute page turners. Wild Trees: This is a fascinating little book about researchers of Redwood trees who climb up to the top of 350 foot redwoods to find out what’s going up in the canopy. Fun characters that you care about and what would seem like a boring story – tree researchers – is actually quite interesting. Written by the author of Hot Zone. Also check out my review of The Natural at Stick and Ball Guy.
Music. I haven’t listened to a whole lot of new music this summer. Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky is a nice addition to the Wilco canon. It definitely has a 70’s vibe and the guitar work is stellar. Not as experimental as Yankee Foxtrot Hotel or a Ghost is Born but compelling and worthy of multiple listenings nonetheless. Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible is good but not the second coming of the Lord as it was described by some reviewers.
TV. I haven’t watched a lot of TV other than the Daily Show or Twins baseball games. ESPN’s The Bronx is Burning has been good. Based on a book that I read last year it tells the story of 1977 NYC including the Yankees (Billy Martin v. Reggie Jackson), the Son of Sam killings, the mayors race, and eventually the blackout. Since it’s on ESPN the series is focusing on the Yankees angle but is actually done quite well.
Sports. Twins have been maddenly inconsistent but weren’t able to add that one bat or two to get them over the hump. Wolves trade Garnett, Michael Vick sponsored dog fights, doping epidemic at the Tour de France, Freddy Adu goes to Portugal, Barry Bonds will break Aaron’s record any day now, and the Vikings promise to wallow in NFL mediocrity once again. Summer 2007 will not go down as a shining sports era under anyone’s measure.
What have you been doing this summer? What have you liked or not liked?