The Sunday Review

Cadillac Records  (2008) directed by Darnell Martin, starring Adrian Brody, Jeffrey Wright, and Beyonce Knowles

Where I Got It: Music Man picked it out at the library.

Genre: Musical biopic, DVD

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Amazon gives it four stars and so do I, but if you’re interested in the stories of early recording artists, this is a good movie for you. Cadillac Records tells the story of Chess Records and its importance to the growth of rock and roll. I’ve always wanted to go to the museum, and this movie reminded me to put it on my list. I gave it four stars because there’s some important history either left out or reworked to make the story have more box office appeal. The actors are compelling and it was fun to see Adrian Brody when he wasn’t being The Pianist or Salvador Dali.

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

Where I Got It: Library

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Rating: 4/5 stars

It’s not a perfect story, but it’s not about a perfect person either. Kate Alcott used a real-life survivor of the sinking of the Titanic to create a historical fiction novel about a young dressmaker who hitches her star to famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon. While the publication of this novel was clearly timed to coordinate with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, it’s still worth a read. I encourage you to read Kate Alcott’s essay on the Amazon site about why she chose this topic.

Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly

Where I Got It: Library

Genre: Romance with a little Mystery thrown in

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Love in a Nutshell wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. It’s very light reading with a typical innocent romance between a needy female and a strong handsome male. I couldn’t find any other articles about this book online, but as several of the Amazon reviewers say, the book doesn’t have much Janet in it. It feels like she put her famous name on a friend’s story to help it sell. It has a super cute cover, though. 🙂

The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Where I Got It: Netflix

Genre: Action Adventure, Mystery

My Rating: 5/5 stars

I finished up the Swedish versions of the trilogy via Netflix; I was totally hooked. I loved how Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist just picked up where they left off in the first movie and developed Stieg Larsson’s characters even more. I watched them all the way through in two sittings. Totally recommended!

Cannery Row (1982) starring Nick Nolte and Debra Winger

Where I Got It: Music Man got it from the library

Genre: Fiction/Musical

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Imagine John Steinbeck’s novels (Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday) turned into a stage play filmed as a movie. It’s an interesting construct that in my opinion worked very well. Nolte and Winger are believable as the crusty scientist Doc and the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Suzy, and they are surrounded with a cast of equally strong actors. In researching this movie I found out that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Pipe Dreams was also based on Cannery Row and I thought I knew everything about RnH. If you decide to check out Cannery Row, just remember that I’m a musical theater nut and that may have colored my rating, but some reviewers called it underrated.

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