An Almost Made Up Poem

“Sleep”: Murakami Short Story Leaves Reader Awake
June 26, 2012, 5:15 am
Filed under: Article, Book Review | Tags: , , ,

“Sleep”, one of Haruki Murakami’s short stories in his “The Elephant Vanishes” collection, still sends a shiver down my spine every time I think about it. I got done reading the collection about a month ago, yet I can’t stop thinking about this one short story. Without giving away too much, it centers around a woman who has not slept in 17 days and finds real exhilaration in living in a world without rest, a world where she can make whatever she wants out of her life. No longer does she have to succumb to the everydayness.

Time becomes irrelevant. But with all this liberation comes great terror. Soon her reality starts to escape her as it escapes the reader. The short story leaves the reader with a myriad of questions and most of them disturbing. Murakami does an excellent job of making the reader feel like he or she is in a dream—one that is hard to recall but even harder to forget. Leave it Murakami to work the human mind into an existential crisis with only a few pages of text.

Here’s a link to another blog that has the whole short story: Check it out if you want to question reality or simply if you want to read one hell of a good short story.


Unhappily Ever After: Why “Snow White and the Huntsman” Disappoints

Even the sexiest of evil queens and the handsomest of huntsmen could not save “Snow White and the Huntsman” from being greatly disappointing. If you are a fairytale fanatic, like moi, I am certain you really want to watch this adaptation of the Grimms’ classic. Immediately after watching the visually stunning preview, I was ready to purchase my ticket.  Nothing gets me more excited to see a movie than beautiful cinematography and a sweaty Chris Hemsworth.

After I revved myself up for an epic take on the fairy tale classic, I came into the theater very optimistic that the movie would deliver. I believed this action-packed movie would share a different perspective of the story, one that is darker and more sinister. I thought the characters would excite me in a different way than they had when I read the story as a child. I wanted to know more about the Huntsman and his journey with this new kick-ass version of Snow White.  Instead, I got a very different movie from the one I visualized. Kudos to whoever edited the preview because they managed to turn a boring, slow-paced, and flat film into an awe-worthy 3 minutes.

In “Snow White and the Huntsman,” Snow White (Kristen Stewart) escapes from stepmother and soul-eater (Charlize Theron).  The evil queen realizes Snow White is upstaging her and she will soon become a mere lowly runner up in the Fairy Tale Beauty Pageant. The Evil Queen ain’t having it. The Evil Queen hires a drunk, hapless Huntsman to kill the fair princess. This is where the story is supposed to engross the viewer. Instead, the film lags, spending way too much time showing the viewer how weird the Dark and Enchanted Forest appear (look at all the pretty, artistic things in the scenery!)  and not enough time engaging the viewer with its characters. By the time you meet the seven dwarves, you might be snoozing. The lack of character development left me not caring about the fate of the characters. I started rooting for the Evil Queen (does that say something about me or the movie?).

Although some of the acting is stellar (Theron and Helmworth do a great job), every other character seems like an afterthought. Snow White, who is supposed to be the main focus, is upstaged by the Evil Queen and the Huntsman. Stewart’s version of Snow White is no different than her version of a lovesick Bella in “Twilight”. That’s why when Snow White decides she needs to kick some evil queen ass, her transition to fearless Joan of Arc-esque warrior is more than a stretch—it is unbelievable.

Now, there are some redeeming qualities about the film. Like I mentioned before, the cinematography is amazing. You really feel like you are looking at an art book, not a movie. The stunning dark scenery, noteworthy acting, and deviance from the traditional story make the film a worthwhile rental (well, maybe more like a good Netflix instant movie option). However, for the average movie watcher and lover of all things fairytale, “Snow White and the Huntsman” lacks plot and character development, falling short of happily ever after.


I’m a poet who can whine…
June 1, 2012, 4:23 am
Filed under: Book Review, Mini Review, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

“I’m a poet who can whine in meter,” is a great quote from writer Sherman Alexie. However in “Flight” Sherman Alexie’s whining seems more like a loud cry. Alexie is known for his essays, short stories, and novels centered around Native Americans and their cultural struggles. “Flight” centers around a 15-year-old Indian misfit, Zits, who bounces from foster home to foster home, displaced in society, just like his Native American ancestors. Zits finds a way to time travel into the body of various individuals, and in the process, he finds his own identity. “Flight” is worth the read, even though at times it seems a little contrived and sweet. Alexie writes beautiful prose and really knows how to bring a sense of humor to extremely dark situations. Check out “Flight” if you like Alexie’s essay “Superman and Me” and want to the same themes play out  in his coming-of-age novel.