Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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July 2007: Book Reviews

This is an archive of my shorter book reviews and notes, which historically have been posted over at the 50 Book Challenge on LiveJournal, but which I’m starting to move over here. I’m posting them with altered date-stamps, but they might show up in my LiveJournal cross-post anyway. Bear with me, please.

Note: Many of these books also have full reviews available in the book review podcast (RSS).
Continue reading July 2007: Book Reviews

Why I Almost Missed the Simpsons Movie (no spoilers)

First, the review:

The Simpsons Movie is terrific for fans of the Simpsons, but also for anyone who wants to enjoy a ninety minute animated film that isn’t for your five your old. And it’s definitely not for your five year old. There is strong language in the movie. Nothing you don’t say when your five year old lubricates your computer with grape juice, but definitely not what you want on a wide screen visual display.

The movie is more than an extended episode of the TV series. True, they have done better storylines in the 19 year history of The Simpsons show, but the movie is definitely good viewing. The plot is a good, solid Simpsons plot, the characters are true to form, and there are things that happen that shake the foundations of the Simpsons canon.

I think if you enjoy the Simpsons and you are thinking of waiting for DVD, that you should go out and watch it in a theater. The theater experience is worth it to really appreciate what they’ve done with this film.

This is especially true if your “theater experience” means you go to the Camera 12 in downtown San Jose this weekend, like I did. See, I bought my tickets last weekend online and gave them to John as a present. I picked the Camera 12 because I knew it was not too far from the convention I’m attending this weekend, and I figured it wouldn’t be too far to get there. John could drive me up, we could see the movie, and he could then drop me off at the convention after the movie.

Well….

Everything went as planned. We went up early so I could drop off the video equipment in advance, and then we planned to leave at about 2 to get to the theater in time to stand in line if needed.

It wasn’t needed.

We left at about 2:15 and followed directions from the bell clerk– take 87 to San Carlos, and take San Carlos to 3rd. Seemed easy, so we got on the road.

Here’s what we didn’t anticipate.

Not traffic.

Not construction.

Oh, no. The impediment standing in the way of us seeing the premier of The Simpsons Movie?

A major car race called the Grand Prix.

Seriously.

WTF? A ginormous car race in the middle of downtown San Jose on a Friday afternoon.

Who comes up with these events?

I mean, I can plan around commuter traffic, and I can plan around holidays, and I can even plan around major movie releases. But unless you’re the kind of person who loves car races, in which case you would actually be at the Grand Prix, there is no earthly reason you would know or care that there’s a major car race going on in San Jose– except, of course, that the city completely shuts down all infrastructure to accommodate this adrenaline-junky sport.

Every street through San Jose was closed. We had to drive to Bascom Avenue (basically out of the downtown area) to get around the closures and come up around behind the car race. We parked in a garage that was a block over from the one where the movie theater validates (sigh), but at 2:55, we were cutting it too close for comfort already (movie started at 3).

Fortunately, we were some of the only people in the world stupid enough to buy movie tickets for downtown San Jose on Grand Prix weekend, and so getting seats, once we were inside the theater, was a trivial enough matter. We were easily able to sit together with plenty of buffer room between us and the other moviegoers.

In short, the movie was great, with the minor exception of having a ginormous car race almost prevent us from reaching the theater.

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