Jessica Day George

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Opinionated? Me?

All right, fine, I admit it: I have opinions, and I'm not afraid to use them. I loooooove to review books and recommend books and tell people, "Please for the love of all that is good and fluffy, don't read that book!" Which is why I am grateful for Goodreads. Goodreads is the greatest website EVER if you're a book nerd. You can review books, meet other people who like the books you like, sort the books you've read, make a to-read list, and take endless quizzes about books to make you feel smart (or dumb, it depends). Sometimes people disagree with me on books, and that's fine. Occasionally they REALLY disagree with me, which I actually enjoy, because if nothing else, it reminds me of the Moviesurvey days.

Aaaahhh, Moviesurvey! How I miss thee!

What's that? You've never heard of Moviesurvey? The greatest website known to man? Back when websites were rare beasts indeed, things that your grandmother had never heard of, things that only weirdos really knew about, there was started as a project for the BYU Statistical Department. When the American Film Institute came up with their Top 100 Movies of All Time back in the early 1990's, statisticians everywhere flipped their lids. These weren't movies that were selected by a large, random group of people, thus representing the American Public. Nor were they even the big box office movies of all time. Instead they were selected by the members of the AFI, some of them on the basis that they'd heard the movie was ground-breaking, without having actually seen it all the way through. (Birth of a Nation, which was in the top five, is literally unwatchable because most of the reels have disentegrated.) So the BYU Stat Dept. put together a website where random voters could log on and vote for their favorite movies. Star Wars was in the top five, if not number one (I can't recall). Ghostbusters was on there, and so was The Princess Bride. It was fascinating to compare the two lists . . . and then the project was over.

Or was it? My husband was one of the people behind Moviesurvey, and when the project was done, his professor turned the website over to him. And we went crazy with it. We turned it into a movie review website for ourselves and a select handful of friends. We'd have monthly special features, reviews, and heated arguments. One of our friends, Sherry, gave Drop Dead Gorgeous five stars and called it the funniest movie she'd ever seen. My husband and I saw it, didn't crack a smile, and I counter-reviewed. Sherry's sister leapt into the fray in the comments, and it went on for days . . . and all in good fun! One of our readers used to argue with pretty much all of my reviews. Bizarrely, if we liked or disliked the same movie, he would argue that I had loved or hated it for the wrong reasons. Then he asked to be a reviewer, since I wasn't doing my job correctly. We told him NO! with great pleasure!

And then . . . we all had kids. At the same time. All boys even. In a random twist of fate, all three households involved in Moviesurvey had their first baby within a five month span and suddenly none of us had time anymore. Alas for Moviesurvey! We hung on for a while, but then . . . the dream died.

Which is why, today, I cannot resist. There's a little bit of Moviesurvey magic in the air tonight, folks, and I thought I'd give you a quick list of good movies I've seen lately.

1. How To Train Your Dragon So hilarious, so darling, so exciting! I loved every minute of this movie!

2. Clash of the Titans Just as fun as the original, with its sweaty men in tunics make witty remarks as they battle ludicrously large scorpions and other such baddies.

3. Alice in Wonderland Other than the bizarre dance sequence at the end that was fortunately only a minute long, this is a trippy, freaky, awesome sort-of-sequel to the original.

There! How's that?

Oh, did you want some book recommends?

Well, I just read Wintergirls and could not put it down! I've also been on a Barbara Hambly kick lately, with her Benjamin January historical mysteries. So good!


Megan said...

I actually remember the moviesurvey days! I did not participate, but I visited frequently before seeing a movie. lol You always did have excellent taste in movies!

Shanda said...

I took my daughter and her two friends to see "How to Train Your Dragon" in 3D the day it was released. I absolutely loved it! The girls said they liked it, but personally I don't think 9 year old girls are capable of fully appreciating what makes "Dragon" so great :).

Hubby wants to take me to see "Clash of the Titans." Not sure if that's one I want to see in 3D though.

What do you think, Jessica? Are the sweaty men in tunics worth seeing in 3D?

Windybrook Spinner said...

Loved, loved, loved How to Train Your Dragon as well!

Taffy said...

All my kids, from teens to 7 yr old LOVED Dragon! We walked out of hte theater and everyone said, "we have to buy that one!" So I know it's gotta be good.
I couldn't put "Wintergirls" down either. What an amazing story and voice. I probably won't read it again. But I would recommend it to mothers of teens who have eating disorders.

sthruby said...

goodreads is the best!!! I am sooooo addicted. It's actually how I found your first book too.

Wendy Swore said...

Jessica, it was wonderful visiting with you at the "winners" table in Provo. Your company was delightful, even if the music, less so. *wink*

My daughter is delighted with the princess comment in her book and the dragon stamp too. Thank you thank you, and I look forward to buying your next book.

See you next year!