Wednesday, March 31, 2010

EW Gives 'The Last Song' a "B"....What the Heck?

I say "what the heck" because I'm shocked! I figured that since Mylie Cyrus was starring in the flick, the critics would have no mercy on her movie adaptation of Nicholas Spark's best-selling novel. I'm so eager for Friday so I can feast my eyes on Liam! I'm not looking forward to the snot fest that is sure to ensue after the plot begins to develop. Lisa Schwarzbaum reviewed 'The Last Song' and she typically doesn't like a dang thing that I do, so I'm skeptical now that she's basically telling me that it's good. Here is her full review from Entertainment Weekly:

If you know anything in advance about The Last Song, you know that it stars Miley Cyrus. You also probably have an opinion about her. She is, after all, the formidably successful teen Disney Channel hatchling who heads a global pop culture empire that now stretches from Hannah Montana mania to a line of Walmart clothing. But in order to get the most out of The Last Song, it's best to tune out your awareness of Cyrus' celebrity. Or the fact that this mild, girl-oriented tearjerker has been written specifically for the young star to expand her thespian range, in a story machine-welded by indefatigable best-seller churner Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) and coscreenwriter Jeff Van Wie.

So forget all that. Just know that The Last Song stars a dark-haired up-and-comer in the role of a sullen teenage girl named Ronnie. Ronnie and her kid brother have come from New York City to spend a summer in an atmospheric Southern beach town with their divorced father. (Likable-dad player Greg Kinnear plays Dad.) Ronnie's relationship with her father is pretty awful, but their communication gets better after she meets a nice, cute guy named Will (Liam Hemsworth), whose niceness makes Ronnie nicer, too. And that's good, because before this melodrama comes to its sand-and-surf conclusion, Ronnie, Dad, Will, and just about every single resident of this atmospheric Southern beach town will experience character-building challenges and heartrending sadnesses. These are guaranteed to result in tears, for the sad fictional people on screen as well as for the satisfied real people watching in movie theaters.

And here's the revelation: Miley Cyrus is a really interesting movie star in the making, with an intriguing echo-of-foghorn speaking voice, and a scuffed-up tomboyish physicality (in the Kristen Stewart mode) that sets her apart from daintier girls in her celebrity class. As Ronnie, turning moods on a dime the way girls her age do, Cyrus sustains a perfectly believable demonstration of post-high-school, precollege female longing. She shows anger, vulnerability, defensiveness. And she anchors a serviceable idealized drama about how a loving relationship between a father and daughter paves the way for that lucky daughter to one day find adult love. B

More Eclipse Movie Stills...

Fight scene! What's with the zipper jackets? Is this what you wear to kick newborn vampire ass if you're a Cullen? Are they shooting a Gap commercial afterwards? What the hell is going on with Jasper's wavy mane?
Learning the legend of the Quiluetes and wasting her precious time with Jacob, when she could be leg hitchin' Edward.
Is Jacob looking a little pastey to anyone else? THE WIG still pisses me off, but Edward's v-neck is fits nicely!

New Eclipse Paperback Book Covers!

I obviously have a love affair with books, so the release of these new paperback covers for Eclipse are like a new pair of Manolo's to some of you! I have a copy of every New Moon and Twilight excuse is that I teach 8th grade Reading and can use them in my classroom, but even if I didn't teach, I would buy them! Check out these cool images of Bella, Edward, and Jake. Pretty cool.

Edward is the apple of her eye, I guess?
I like this one! Bella is lookin' hot, and I like the dueling hot boys in the background.

New Novella from Stephanie Meyer!

Stephenie Meyer must know that my birthday is June 6th, because she's releasing her new novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner the day before my big 30th birthday! I predict this isn't the last book released by Meyer in the upcoming year. Even though she has be quoted numerous times as "taking time off", writers NEVER quit writing. I bet she has a few more books up her sleeve and will release one this time next year and another during the release of Breaking Dawn, which hasn't even begun filming. Twilight Saga fans know Bree Tanner as the newborn vampire spared by the Cullens after they defeated Victoria's newborn army. She was spared, but the "Volturi don't give second chances" and she was killed by Felix for violating vampire laws. Here is an excerpt from's coverage of the new novella! I can't wait to devour it!

An “Eclipse” Exclusive:
If you’ve only been watching the “Twilight” movies or read the first two books, don’t be shocked that you have no idea who Bree Tanner is. In fact, don’t be upset if you read “Eclipse” and still have no idea who she is. Tanner is a character introduced a startlingly short amount of time before she dies in “Eclipse” and could be considered (to everyone except Stephenie Meyer) to be a throwaway character.

A Short Life:
Tanner is only introduced 10 pages before she is killed off in Victoria’s war against the Cullens and the Quileute werewolf tribe. However, of all the newborn vampires discussed in “Eclipse,” Tanner was one of the few to be named and introduced to the readers. Unfortunately, it didn’t take very long after she was turned into a vampire for her to meet her end … again.

Dramatic Death Scene:
It turns out Tanner isn’t the best newborn vampire among them all, and she isn’t a big fan of killing innocents and drinking their blood. She tries to join forces with the Cullen clan and adapt to their “vegetarian vampire” lifestyle, but ends up being killed by Felix on the orders of Jane, a member of the Volturi guard (played by Dakota Fanning in the film), in the final battle.

Newborn Vampires:
A big part of the story in “Eclipse” surrounds the bad-girl vampire Victoria creating an army of newborn vampires in the Seattle area so she can wage war on Edward Cullen, who killed her beau James way back in “Twilight.” When a vampire is first created, it is at its strongest, so Victoria went around recklessly creating vampires so she could have an extremely powerful army behind her. Tanner was just one of the fatalities.

The trouble with the first-person perspective of “The Twilight Saga” is that the reader can’t read what is happening firsthand beyond what Bella Swan sees with her own eyes. Much like “Midnight Sun” gave (some) of the details behind what happened elsewhere in “Twilight,” “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” will show what happened in Seattle with Victoria during “Eclipse.” But since much of “Eclipse” is devoted to the characters wondering what exactly was going on in Seattle, seeing it through the eyes of a secondary character like Tanner is a smart companion piece to the book.

Unseen First Life:
Unfortunately for Tanner, the world will never know what happened to her before she became a vampire. She was introduced into “Eclipse” after she was a newborn and “The Short Second Life” will start off the same way. There is a chance of flashbacks telling about her life before becoming a vampire, but the way Meyer described the novella on her Web site made it seem as though Tanner was the narrator solely so the reader could see what went on in Seattle, not to learn her past.

In The Movies:
“Eclipse” director David Slade at least had more of a heads-up than fans and retailers did about “The Short Second Life,” and he cast 14-year-old Jodelle Ferland in the role. Slade and Ferland, as well as Bryce Dallas Howard (Victoria) and Xavier Samuel (Riley), were given advance copies of the book to read so they could have a complete knowledge of what went on in Seattle for the film.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Last Song Author Featurette - Check Out Will! Hot!

A group of my 8th grade girls and I are going to see this film on Friday. I'm excited to see if it remains true to the novel, and for some odd reason, Greg Kinnear reminds me of my own father. I'm sure I'll be bawling like a big ole' baby by the end of this thing, but I really do love the story. If you come from a home with divorced parents, you can easily identify with Ronnie's plight. I also love that Will's character is a hottie. Can't wait to see the volleyball scenes, that's for sure! I particularly love the scene in this featurette where he is hosing off Ronnie after a day of mudding. Oh my!

This video just has a few more scrumptious shots of Liam Hemsworth. Mylie is a lucky girl!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks...Oh, Yeah, and My Hatred of Book Snobs!

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I by day, I'm an 8th grade Reading teacher. Hence, the innumerable teen fiction reviews and Twilight-obsessed posts - 8th grade girls are to blame for my love of Edward Cullen! I had two students basically force me to read Twilight, and I will be forever grateful for their insistence. When my students ask me to read something, I obliged because throughout the school year they are reading works per my request. I have a group of girls that have become Nicholas Sparks addicts. I don't usually purchase Sparks books for my classroom because of the "adult" situations that sometimes crop up, (hello, did anyone read the scene in which Ally and Noah reunited from The Notebook? Too HOT for teens!) but this group have been buying their own copies and reading them during our independent reading time. These girlies challenged me to read The Last Song, so picked up a copy and did so over the weekend.
As for my review of the book, I enjoyed the story and can appreciate why my teens love it so much. It's a story about discovering true love, mending bridges with parents, and understanding why family and love is the only thing that matters in this world. It also helps that Mylie Cyrus is staring in the movie version of the book, which I think is the main reason many of my girls picked it up. No matter what turned them on to the book, I'm just excited that they are reading and sharing their opinions about what they read with one another. The story is simple and oh, so sad, but I love any book that makes my students discuss and rehash.
This brings me to my second point I'd like to discuss in this post: Book Snobs. I've talked about Book Snobs before in my posts concerning Twilight and books that aren't considered "good literature" by the elitist Book Snobs. What is a Book Snob, you may ask? Well, if you're a BS, you slam all mass-market fiction and label most best-selling authors as "crappy writers" or producers of works with "no literary value". Book Snobs insult, degrade, and rarely promote any book that isn't labeled a classic or a work that has won literary awards. Book Snobs usually have never written a novel, and if you are a Book Snob critic who is also an author, more than likely that author has only written works that are research-based or non-fiction. I rarely hear authors of fiction slam other authors of fiction because, well, they have first-hand knowledge of how hard it is to produce but how very EASY it is to critique. What makes my blood boil more than anything is when Book Snobs are TEACHERS who openly share their opinions of books that are not "worthy" to read with their students.
While browsing Barnes & Noble last night, I picked up an educational text written for teachers of literacy. Granted, this book wasn't written by a well-known author in my field, but what this author said about mass-market fiction really upset me because her opinion is being openly shared in schools everywhere. In her defense, I will totally butcher the quote that infuriated me since I do not have the book in front of me to directly quote what she said about popular books. The statement said something to the effect of "I read excerpts from mass-market books written by authors like Nora Roberts and James Patterson, so students can see how these books are not well-written." First of all, middle school students are smart and intuitive. They are not going to disagree with their teacher's opinion if they realize the intended result of the presented lesson should be them agreeing that the writing being shared is "bad". Just like adults in a room full of Book Snobs, most of us are non-confrontational and will keep our mouths shut if a Book Snob is slamming a book we happened to enjoy. Teens are no different than adults in that regard, and if their teacher is telling them that a book is poorly written then they will agree. Teens don't like to appear stupid to their peers or teachers, because the figure, what do I know about well-written books compared to their teacher who has her degree and has read tons of books?
The literary expert author also went on to slam authors (that I grew up LOVING) like John Grisham and Michael Crichton (God rest his soul). This slamming of entertaining and popular fiction just BUGS me. Why in the world would you make teens feel that only dumb people read mass-market fiction. Why would you slam a book that they might have enjoyed? I just don't GET IT. I've experienced this backlash of popular fiction after I began sharing my love of Twilight with other teachers in my field of study. I was completely appalled when some teachers told me that they think the book is "crap" and would never promote that "type of reading" to their students. WHHHHAAAATTTTT? You would possibly demean and slam the only book one of your students might have enjoyed? What does that tell a student? It tells them that they are a horrible judge of literature and maybe that this reading thing just isn't for them if they only book they like is "crap."
Book Snobs are a group of people I hate with a passion because they turn people off to reading. If you genuinely think that only good books were written 100 years ago, or to have subject matter that doesn't deal with love, science fiction, or humor, then Book Snob, you suck! Keep your sucky opinion to your sucky self and stop telling my students (and myself) that they suck because they like stuff that you feel sucks. I've read tons of literary classics (most English majors are required to do so), and I have many favorites in that genre that I come back to time and time again. I will read literary award winning works, and find the value in them, but most of them are hell to get through and are not books that I gravitate towards and end up loving and recommending. The Last Song might not be nominated for any literary awards, but it is keeping my 8th graders noses in books, which in itself is a huge accomplishment and doesn't SUCK by my students' standards.
Oh, and here's to hoping The Last Song movie doesn't suck! The trailer made me cry (because I know the ending) and I will probably being seeing it with a slew of 8th grade girls! Bring on the tissues!

Friday, March 12, 2010

REMEMBER ME? Uh, Heck Yeah!

I'm just going to say that Entertainment Weekly is on crack for giving Remember Me (the new flick with Robert Pattinson) a grade of D-. I was blown away by the movie, and didn't expect such depth and drama out of a film I was only going to see because of the eye candy. I'm not going to go into plot too much because I might spoil the dramatic ending of the flick, but Rob plays Tyler Hawkins, a guy battling several demons - mainly the loss of his beloved brother to suicide and his work-a-holic father who neglects him. He orchestrates a "chance" meeting with an attractive blonde from one of his classes, who also happens to be the daughter of the cop who through Tyler in jail after a bar brawl. Tyler doesn't expect to fall in love with Ally, but soon finds he can't control his heart, no matter how burdened and messed up it may be.
Even though my love for Pattinson was cemented with his New Moon appearance, I saw him in a totally different light in Remember Me. He is a good, check that, a great actor and it's sad that he won't get the credit he deserves because he was in a pop culture phenomenon movie. I see him having to travel the long, difficult road that Leonardo Dicaprio had to endure after his role in Titanic. If I do recall, Leo wasn't taken seriously as an actor for quite sometime after his Titanic success (no pun intended).

This film was surprisingly well-written, full of delicious scenes (Rob plays the bad boy SO WELL), and had some extremely heart-tugging, tear-jerking moments that left such an impression on me that I'm still mulling them over long after leaving the theater. I'm not sure teeny-boppers will understand the importance and poignancy of the ending, but Remember Me is a great film to see over your Spring Break if you want to be pleasantly surprised. LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT....and hated to see it end. You'll know what I mean after you see it. Trust me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Oh, Edward. How I wish to see you on the big screen in June. *SIGH* Enjoy the full 1:33 of Edward, Bella's nappy wig, and of course, Jacob with his shirt off...he's legal now, ladies, so I can finally say "Yummy!" without feeling like a totaly creep! ;)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I've already ranted about Bella's wig, so I won't go there, but OMG! I'm so freakin' ready for this movie! I'll have to admit, I'm rereading Eclipse for the fifth or six time right now (I've lost count), and it is still my favorite of the four. What I'm getting this time around is what a brat Bella can be, and I didn't really pick up on that too much before. I know people (feminists and such) are annoyed by Edward telling her what to do, but she really does treat him like total crap in parts of Eclipse. I'm TEAM EDWARD all the way, so I know I don't share her fondness for book-Jake. However, I do have a certain soft spot for Mr. Lautner. I wonder if I will be cheering Bella on (in the movie version of Eclipse) to sneak out to see Jake. The book Jake (in my head) still isn't as hot as Taylor. I'm not sure why I can't MAKE book Jake as hot as movie Jake, but it's like the image I created for Jake the first time I read the series is seared into my brain. I can't shake the annoying Jacob I'd conjured up during my first read through. It sucks. I would much rather picture Taylor Lautner trying to put the moves on Bella then the Sophomore-esque Jacob I'm projecting. I read Eclipse and think Bella's big ole' idiot for being "torn" between the two. June 30th can not get here soon enough! Tear me in two, boys!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Perfect for a Chai Latte

United Supermarkets carries the Silk brand of almond milk that I've been using to make my tea lattes. I'm not good with dairy, and this almond milk is a delicious and low calorie alternative. The vanilla kind is even yummier than the original, so look for it if you are a fan of that flavor. Almond milk has tons of nutrients that are heart-healthy, so for those of you who attempt to "eat clean", this stuff is awesome!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 1, 2010

Awkward Family Photos Blog...LMAO!

As if the didn't give me enough to laugh at, now the blog, is killing me each night! The picture above is just a small tidbit of the plethora of awkwardness this site has to offer.

Robert Pattinson, How Do I Love Thee?

You can sling me over your shoulder anytime, Rob....