We watched The Dallas Buyers Club a few weeks ago. Terrific performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, and definitely part of McConaughey's recent "branching-out." His character is a complete asshole who improves only slightly by the movie's end. He accomplishes important things, definitely, and he does grow as a person. But you can't like him much. Worth seeing, though.
We finished watching 24: Live Another Day, and for all of the griping about it being so much lesser than prior seasons... it is still damn good television, and better than most network TV these days. Plus, it is the only show in probably decades that has original music regularly accenting the story and mood. The music is composed per episode as an accompaniment to the story, shifting and changing according what happens onscreen. It isn't even a matter of re-used themes (like the original Star Trek's "Danger Music," or "Pretty-Woman-Onscreen Music"). It's honest, ongoing effort, and I have to laud a show that believes in that (aside from all the other things I already like about 24). We watched it with TeenSon, and plan to go back and watch Season Two (still my favorite) with him now.
I read Insurgent (sequel to "Divergent") this week. There is far more of the sappy teen romance stuff than in the first book (I skipped whole paragraphs—and pages!—at times), but it's still gripping and a good read overall. The sappiness made me think of Reboot, in which an assassin-level kick-ass teen girl meets some random boy and spends the rest of the book mooning over wanting him to hoooold her, and to be "small" in his arms, and a bunch of other crap. Do the authors think that teen girls need that kind of relationship-pandering? Are they afraid that their strong female characters will be too alienating if they don't show a "soft" (i.e., wanting to be emotionally-protected by males) side? Either way, it's annoying as all heck.
I am now reading Circus Galacticus (YA weirdness, fun so far) and have somehow stumbled on yet another author who thinks that shunning quotation marks to indicate dialogue is "edgy" or something: The Bend Of The World. I already ran into that with The Dog Stars, and having to reparse sentences to figure out what is narrative and what is dialogue is truly obnoxious for readers. I call this trend "Hipster Punctuation," and while I put up with it for the first book... no guarantees on the current one. Most of the characters in it ARE hipsters, with the exception of the narrator's best friend, Johnny, a substantial and hairy gay man who dresses in hiking shorts year-round (as if furniture-moving or outdoor activities might happen at any time). Johnny is a thinker, and he gets easily hooked on The Weird (and drags the narrator into his at-work or midnight musings on interdimensional travel and whatnot). The narrator frankly needs a Johnny in his life, to keep him from "whatevering" his way through his 20-nothing existence. Ahem.
So, it has been hell at work for days and is finally easing a little, hence this entry. I'm hoping to get an entry written for LJ Idol, if I can stay awake long enough. This week's prompt proved oddly puzzling, but I think I have an approach I can go with. And now... back to the grind. :(