I'm a mom of 3 kids, and I love to read and watch movies, and I'm picky about what my kids read and watch.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

BOOK: Persuasion (audio)

by Jane Austen

Here is another book I should have read long ago, but never got around to it.  I have seen a couple of excellent film versions of it, and it has long been one of my favorite Austen stories (though Pride & Prejudice will always top the list).  Here is another story of deep and enduring love overcoming obstacles, including time.  It doesn't have the wit of Pride & Prejudice, making it much more serious in tone, but it's no less romantic and sigh-inducing.  (If you don't believe me, just read Captain Wentworth's letter to Ann, below.)  Sigh.  See?  You just can't help it. 

I listened to the audio recording of this one as well.... the reader was fine, but when compared to the excellent Joanna David (Jane Eyre) she was merely mediocre. 

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in

F. W.

"I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never."

from Persuasion by Jane Austen, vol II, chapter XI

Friday, February 17, 2012

BOOK: Jane Eyre (audio)

Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte

I don't know how it is that I hadn't read this book earlier in my life, though I have seen several film versions of it, which I enjoyed.  However, as is usually the case, the book is SO much better! I think that perhaps as a younger woman (and an immature one) I didn't fully appreciate the depth of the love story, finding it rather less than romantic because of the age difference ("But he's so old and gross!"), whereas now, as a wife of 15 years and a mother of three children I see it so differently.... true, deep, abiding love that triumphs over every adversity. 

I especially enjoyed listening to this audio version read by Joanna David... she is amazing!  Her voice is extremely pleasing to listen to, her pacing is perfect, and the character voices are excellent.  I can't say enough good about it.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

BOOK: Icefall

by Matthew J. Kirby

This excellent book is a story about stories and storytellers, and it's told by a wonderful storyteller.  It's filled with great characters, plenty of plot twists and page-turning action, but also beautiful writing, fantastic imagery and Norse legends brought to life.  Though the narrator is female, the book's appeal easily pulls in readers of both genders.

There is no inappropriate language, but there are some pretty intense moments of battle and some deaths, though no graphic descriptions.  I have no doubt that both my 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter will enjoy this book, and I have no hesitations in recommending it to them.

Recommended for:  Ages 10 - 16 (and beyond)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

FILM: Limitless

Limitless (PG-13)
starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish

This was a fun thriller, and actually quite thought provoking at the same time.  It is the kind of film that you keep thinking about for days afterward, prompting discussions.  The story line is pretty fascinating and it's very entertaining.  There are plenty of plot holes I'm sure, but it's pretty easy to suspend your disbelief and just enjoy it. 

I watched this on Netflix streaming so I couldn't use ClearPlay, though that would have been preferable.  There was some language, but I believe the rating comes mostly from some sexual content (nothing explicit) and some disturbing/frightening parts, though they are relatively mild.

Recommended for Adults

FILM: Super 8

Super 8 (PG-13)

starring Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, and no one else I have ever heard of

My husband described it as "a scary version of E.T."  I think that sums it up pretty well.  There is some exceptional acting from several of the kids, but too much crude language from their mouths (I don't care if it's "real"... I don't want to hear it.... I should have used ClearPlay).  The story line is pretty predictable but it's still fun..... and quite scary.  Not a great film, but entertaining.  Best viewed edited for language.

Recommended for:  ages 14-20, preferably edited

FILM: The King's Speech (edited for language)

The King's Speech (edited for language)

starring Collin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter

OK, I think you've MIGHT have heard of this one.  :)  I was extremely disappointed when this film appeared in theaters with an R rating.  I have a personal rule against watching rated-R movies, but thanks to  ClearPlay I was able to watch it edited.  (We also use ClearPlay for many PG-13 movies.)  It's fabulous.... great story, excellent cast.

Recommended for:  everyone, if edited