Recap: 10 August 2008

The Dark Knight, despite nearly everyone’s predictions, reigns again.

  1. The Dark Knight ($26 million)
  2. Pineapple Express ($22.4 million)
  3. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor ($16.1 million)
  4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 ($10.8 million)
  5. Step Brothers ($8.9 million)
  6. Mamma Mia! ($8.1 million)
  7. Journey to the Center of the Earth ($4.9 million)
  8. Hancock ($3.3 million)
  9. Swing Vote ($3.1 million)
  10. WALL-E ($3 million)

It was a slow movie week for me, but here’s What I Watched:

  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2½ stars): After crying our eyes out during the first installment, my sisters and I were hoping for a similar tug on the heartstrings. Sadly, the sequel didn’t deliver, and nary a tear was shed. It was still decent enough, but it seemed as if the writer had trouble tying the myriad threads of the story together. As it was, it was pretty much like watching four separate movies intercut with one another. That being said, the performances were pretty solid for the most part.
  • Pineapple Express (2½ stars): I’ve been having trouble pinpointing exactly what went wrong here, I can I can’t seem to put my finger on it. The movie seemed to move at a snail’s pace. There were some story elements that could have been cut that might have led to a tighter, funnier film. However, Seth Rogen’s performance was typically enjoyable, and James Franco was wonderful.
  • Pride and Prejudice [BBC mini-series] (3 stars): I actually enjoyed this version of Jane Austen’s novel more than the 2005 version starring Keira Knightley, mostly because it followed the book nearly to the page, or at least to my recollection of it. It was also nice to see a different side of Colin Firth.

There were a few reasons my movie-watching was lower than usual this week: 1) I am tired of scanning and thus avoided it a bit more than usual this past week, plus I started in on Season 1 of The X-Files; 2) I left my three Netflix DVDs at work over the weekend; 3) I spent most of the weekend working feverishly on Mute to get it ready to send out to my alpha readers (it went out in the wee hours of Sunday morning); and 4) I’ve been trying to finish up the three books I’ve been reading. Which takes us to…

What I’ve Been Reading:

I’m happy to report I finally finished Tom Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume last week, and just before writing this post I finished up a collection of Oscar Wilde’s major works that included The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Salomé, An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

I don’t want to do a full review of either book here, but suffice to say, both are certainly worth picking up. Jitterbug Perfume is a wonderful study in how to turn a phrase. My only major complaint is that the story would have moved along more quickly had the major players not had to stop to have sex so often. Beyond that, I was charmed almost against my will at times by the story of Alobar and his adventures.

As for Oscar Wilde, he is a master at saying one thing and meaning another. He is possibly the most out-of-context-quoted author I’ve ever come across. And something tells me the notion would make him chuckle. I think I’ve already made clear my love for Dorian Gray, but it’s worth noting that The Ballad of Reading Gaol is one of the most potent and heart-wrenching poems I’ve ever read. For as much as Oscar Wilde is known for his wit, it’s evident through his writing (both comic and otherwise) that there was a sincerity and sensitivity in his manner that has the capacity to make your heart swell or break. I am now and forever an ardent fan.

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