Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review Day! Silver Linings Play Book Film Review + Abundance Book Review

So I've heard a lot of buzz--who hasn't?--abouit Silver Linings Playbook, but I never did run out to see it. Not that I would have minded. It just wasn't at the top of my list. Then my sister, who I live with, got a bug about it, which surprised me. Playlist might have gotten a lot of buzz and been a festival darling, but my sister isn't one to like indies. Especially ones with eccentric characters. Yet, because of the buzz she wanted to see it. Which was fine with me. She brought it home from the Redbox over the weekend and we watched it together.

And I'm happy to say it was fabulous! I laughed a lot! Jennifer Lawrence does her usual awesomesauce job with the character she's given. But the real treat is Bradley Cooper. I'm not always his biggest fan, but this case, he's fantastic!

**Warning. There's a lot of cussing in this film. Check out the high rating. When I'm referencing it, I'll just go with 'bleep.'

So at the beginning of the film, Cooper is released from a mental institution on the conditions of taking his meds and moving back in with his parents so they can supervise him. His parents--especially the great Robert De Niro--are quirky, and the kind of people that have a lot of trouble with the fact that their kid has problems. Not that they're mean or unsupportive, but you can tell they just aren't sure exactly what to do with him.

He meets Jennifer Lawrence and they hit it off in a really disfunctional way, mostly because she's a lot like him: dark, unnatural sense of humor and ridiculously awkward in social situations.

It's such a great story! Off-kilter, quirky romance films of the Nora Ephron variety have never resonated with me. I always got bored. But this one just grabs your attention and tugs at your heart. These two misfits deal with their own and one another's problems, sometimes by helping one another, other times by lashing out. Sometimes they succeed and you smile. Sometimes they fail and your heart just breaks for them. Other times they fail with such hilarity that you fall of the couch laughing.

Hysterical, oneupsmanship fights culminate in a hysterical dance sequence--and I just couldn't get enough.

One of my favorite moments: in one of the first scenes of the film, Cooper stays up reading a Hemingway book late at night. I didn't even notice which one it is but I'm sure one of the classics. He reads the end, his mouth falls open and he freaks out! He throws the book out the window--literally! The window breaks and the book lands in the street. He then goes into his parents room and wakes them up to rave about how terrible the ending of the bleeping book was. (His words.) He goes on and on about 'she' died at the end and how could the stupid author have ended it that way after all they went through. Can we all say, 'he really ought to start a book blog?'

Anyway, overall a very enjoyable film. One that deserves all the hype it's gotten. I would recommend it to anyone, but especially bookish people who enjoy light-hearted stories, eccentric-but-lovable characters, and...we'll call them discussions of classic novels. :D

Abundance by Peter Diamandis

So I've totally been reading this book FOREVER!!! Not because it's boring or anything, but because it's a non-fiction that can be read a chapter at a time, and I keep back-burnering it. Glad to say, I've finally finished. And guys, this book is awesome! I guarantee it will get you thinking about things you've never heard of before.

Diamandis is basically a friggin' genius. He's a millionaire who funds all kinds of cool technology and inventions. In fact, he put together the X PRIZE--a five million dollar pot for the team that invented a personal space ship that could take private citizens into space. Now there's a standing prize of the same amount for whoever invents the medical tricorder from Star Trek.

This book is about all the awesome star trekkian technology that's being invented right now. Most of it doesn't get much press until it's packaged cheaply and available to the masses, but it's so cool to know what's being done. Everything from 3-D printing (which will eventually develop into Star Trek's food replicators), lab-on-a-chip medical devices, and vertical gardens that will eventually eradicate global hunger.

Example: Did you know that from the beginning of time until 2003, the human race produced 5 exabites of digital information. (An exabite is a ten with eighteen zeroes.) By 2010, we were producing 5 exabites of digital info every 3 days. As of 2012, we're producing that much every 10 minutes.



Stark Trek's medical tricorder
Near the end, Diamandis says that there are dozens more projects he didn't include. Technology is increasing at such an exponential rate that it's almost impossible to keep up with. The subtitle on the book cover basically says it all: "The future is better than you think." This book claims that abundance is not just a socio-economic state of being, but also a mindset. Most people on the planet are so competitive--which isn't bad by itself. In fact it's the vehicle for most of these inventions--but what people don't realize is that there is plenty for all and to spare. Soon we'll reach a point where we have the means to keep everyone on the planet living in abundance. If we can't achieve it, it will be because of politics or dictators that are trying to oppress others, but not because we don't have the technology.

This book is exciting and Diamandis speaks with an excitement about all this work that's contagious. It's fun to find out what projects are under way that the masses don't know about and get excited about what the future holds.
"For the first time in forever, we don't need to figure out how to divide our pie into more slices, because we now know how to bake more pies. Everyone can win."--Peter Diamandis, Abundance
This book is for anyone interested in invention, science, technology, and the state of our world outside of the negativity of the media and the masses. I would highly recommend it. :D

Have you seen Silver Linings Playbook? Anyone think they can invent the tricorder for $5 Mil?

1 comment :

  1. I haven't seen the movie yet, although I want to watch it. Not something I'd run to the theater to see either.