June 29th, 2006
A Movie and Two Books

A Movie….

J and I watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang last night. I was skeptical at first because J’s recent choices have left me wondering if I shouldn’t revoke his status as Netflix Master (He who decides which movies to order), but Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was pretty damn good. It’s part noire detective story, part comedy, part mystery. The main character is an ex-thief turned accidental actor who ends up in L.A. and is played by Robert Downey Jr. (I’m attracted to this guy’s fucked-upedness). Val Kilmer plays a gay private eye (Gay Perry) and Michelle Monahan plays the sweet yet slutty love interest who has been obsessed with a series of pulp fiction P.I. novels since she was a little girl. I loved all these characters and the acting was fantastic.

It’s cheesy (esp. the ending) and cliched in places, but the dialogue was fast-placed and clever and had me laughing through the whole thing. Plus it’s got that edge of dark humor that I love so much. Definitely worth a look if you like this kind of movie. I don’t often talk about the movies I see, which means I really liked this one.

Two Books…

The Compass Rose, by Gail Dayton
The Barbed Rose, by Gail Dayton

These are two of the only Luna books I’ve been to swallow whole so far. On the surface I’d say this particular line would be right up my alley — significant fantasy with a touch of romance. Maybe it’s the books I’ve been selecting. *shrug* In any case, I found myself totally caught up in the “Rose” books and I’ll be watching for the release date of the next book about Kallista Varyl and her ilias.

The stories center around Kallista Varyl, a Naitan with the ability to direct lightning and a commander in her country’s military. When war breaks out and her people are getting the snot knocked out of them, she calls upon her God and is imbued with massive amounts of magic in return. She’s also “godmarked” with the symbol of the compass rose on the back of her neck. Throughout the first book she discovers other people who are also godmarked and finds that they each carry magic in them which she has the ability to direct. Each godmarked person lends a different quality to the magic as a whole — joy, order, creativity, ect… They all of them marry each other and form an “Ilian,” a family. Together they must defeat something far more powerful than simply a neighboring country who wants to invade them.

The books are incredibly well-written and I loved the characters….and there are a lot of them. I kept waiting for Dayton to lose control of all of them, but she never did. Each character is as well-fleshed out as the next. I’m really looking forward to the next book.

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