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Media Round-up
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Many weeks worth of books and movies. Not really very interesting, just a way of keeping track of what I've read and seen, since my memory doesn't seem to want to store all this stuff in a reliable way anymore.

Promise Me by Harlan Coben. A parable that helps you understand why you never go into a room alone with two teenage girls. Suspense, well-written prose, just enough thuggish behavior to be interesting, and a satisfying resolution. The wealthy pretty-boy-who-is-really-a-tough-SOB character made me visualize the actor who plays Dr. Chase on House. All roads rellay do lead back to Hugh Laurie.

Once Upon a Day by Lisa Tucker. Lisa's books (this is her third) should be on all sorts of best seller lists and book club lists and she should be on Oprah and Letterman and the View (although I wouldn't really wish that on *anyone*). Her writing is luminous and shimmering and she tells a story of what happens when you take protecting your children to the extreme. The best book I've read this year.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornsby. I tried to like this, because the movie was so enjoyable and his most recent book (Long Way Down, I think it was called) was wonderful, but this was just a long whining, tedious ramble.

Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston. I read the sequel to this, Six Bad Things, before this one but it didn't matter because they're both terrific books about how the sequence of events can cause a chain reaction of unimaginable proportions. Far more thuggery than in Promise Me, but just right for the story.

Already Dead by Charlie Huston. I never read "Vampire Lit" (Anne Rice is the Tom Clancy of this genre - way more detail than I'll ever be able to absorb or care about), but Huston's Vampyres who are infected with the Vyrus are just tough guys who are differently-abled in the areas of blood consumption and sunlight avoidance. I really wish this guy would hurry up and write about a dozen more novels.

Elizabethtown. Great soundtrack (at least two CDs have been releases with music from this movie), but the story is a watered-down version of Garden State. And Orlando Bloom is no Zach Braff.

Derailed. Another parable, this one superficially about why marital infidelity always leads to bad endings, but in reality about why you should never trust strangers bearing gifts, especially on trains. Mostly entertaining, not as engaging as the book.

Lonesome Jim. Devon pointed me to this and it was terrific. Roger Ebert called it a "little masterpiece of mood" and it's hard to sum it up any better than that. Except to state that Casey Affleck is by far the better actor of the Affleck brothers.

Code 46 - Throughout this movie I kept trying to remember where I had seen the female lead (Samantha Morton) before. Only by looking her up on IMDB did I realize that she was one of the "pre-cogs" in Minority Report. Anyway, the movie was an odd little sci-fi romance thing that I did enjoy, but I couldn't really tell you why or how this came to appear on my Netflix list.

Fun With Dick and Jane. Execrable. This makes me wish that the mind-wiping thing they had in Code 46 was available so that I could erase the memory of the 30 minutes I spent watching this piece of crap.

Garden State - I watch it every time I see it appear on the cable guide as I'm trying to determine whether to watch another Law and Order. It would be a tough call between this and CSI, however.

Blind Horizon - Strange, but strangely compelling as well. I only saw the last half and spent that thinking about how much Val Kilmer has aged in a very good way.

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