Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gonna Catch Up On My Reviewing

* Exercise log for Oct. 2: Walked to pick up the boy from school instead of driving. Five blocks each way. Pushing the 30+ lb. toddler in the stroller. About 20 minutes, round-trip, not counting stops to look at the neighbors' Halloween decorations. *

  While I was looking back on past blogs for inspiration, I found one from January where I decided to review, in blog form, every movie I saw in the theater and every book I read in 2012. These blogs would then be used as reference material to come up with Top 10 lists at the end of the year. Well, my last book review was in April, my last movie review before that, so I didn't keep up too well. It's not too late though; I haven't seen so many movies that I can't catch up, and all the books I've read since April are still stacked in various places (end table, nightstand, floor) since I didn't want to shelve them until I'd reviewed them. Except for the ebooks, but since I got the iPad in April, I know everythng on it still needs to be reviewed. So that's my back up plan if I can't think of anything to write about this month - catch-up book or movie review.

 I'll do movies first (since there's far fewer of them), starting with the most recently seen. Today: "ParaNorman".

 The boy had last Friday off school, so we took the girl to her drop-in daycare and the two of us went to see "ParaNorman," an animated show about a boy who talks to ghosts, and must save his town from a centuries-old witch's curse that will cause the dead to walk. I was worried it might be too scary for a six-year-old, but ghosts, witches and zombies are right up the boy's alley. (He loves the stuff - he's been pestering me to put up Halloween decorations since August.)

 There aren't many "kid" movies that are worth the money for adults, but this is one of them. The kids actually act like kids, not smart-mouthed adults. There's a lesson to be learned about bullying, and fearing things or people just because they're different, but you're not beat over the head with it, it flows naturally from the story. And the funky retro claymation-style animation is a nice change from the usual super-slick computer animation.
 The zombies are gross, the witch is scary, the sidekick is funny, everything you want in this type of movie. Best of all, the characters are actually developed, not stock cliches. A surprising plot twist provides an unexpected motivation for the witch and the zombies, leading to a spectacular (and scary!) end confrontation between Norman and the witch. This movie might become a Halloween staple at our house once it comes out on DVD.

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