Tweeting Away

Recommends: Some All-Time Faves

Here are some reviews I wrote for my typelists at my previous Friendster blog. I'll put in some new reviews next time.

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby

For some reason I've always been rather fond of overly-articulate, pseudo-depressed, slightly anti-social guys. A lot of people would think of them as dorks or losers - I on the other hand find their rather pathetic state quite charming and funny. Rob Fleming, the protagonist and narrator of this book, pretty much fits the profile - loquacious, self-centered, obsessed with music, bitter over past relationships, underachiever. Like the vinyl record store he owns, Rob too seems to be having trouble keeping up with the times, and as such ends up being a boy trapped in a man's body. His constant musings/rantings about his life and especially past relationships are so sad and pathetic they're funny - as a female reader, I usually went "awww" at his numerous soliloquies. Hornby manages to write about the many pains and disappointments of adulthood in a humorous yet poignant way that leaves you laughing out loud one minute, and feeling a little ache in the pit of your stomach where he hit you spot-on the next. I especially love the part about Rob refusing to purchase a collection of rare vinyls for an unreasonably low price from the owner's wife, who's out for revenge because the guy cheated on her. Hilarious yet all-too-real-it-hurts, it's ultimately a fine read.

Rating: *****

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Puts movies supposedly about teenage sexuality like American Pie to complete and utter shame. Wildly erotic, unapologizing, a hold-nothing-back type of movie, I can't believe I actually slept through most of this the first time I saw it with Jared and Aldous (2 guys and 1 girl - quite a parallelism to the movie don't you think? hehehe. Rest assured, nothing happened in our part of the television screen=P). But I believe my dozing off had only to do with the fact that we had seen 2 movies prior to seeing Y Tu Mama, played DOA3 on the XBox, eaten a massive meal, and by the time we got to watching it, it was already really late into the night. In any case, this movie is one of my all-time faves - Cuaron is a true artist. I've always been intrigued by the idea of road trips, but often movies about them are cheesy and flat-out dull (ahem...remember Crossroads? I wouldn't watch that if you paid me). I particularly enjoyed the background narration on this film about random things, which put a social, even political side to the film. Other memorable parts are the "manifesto" of the Charolastas; Gael Garcia Bernal's butt (hahaha!); and the soundtrack (I love Insomnio, which plays when they're at the gas station). This film's not for everyone, but to the cinematic adventurer, those who are into foreign films, and those who just want a change, it's a must-see.

Rating: *****

Fiona Apple - Tidal

Ten tracks of pure poetry. Incidentally, it has also been ten years since this album was first released, when Apple was a mere 18 years old. I bought this CD during the summer before I went to high school (I think) and distinctly remember it to have showed me, in my young age, how beauty can come from stringing words together...i.e., one of my first sources of inspiration. I was rummaging through my CDs today and chanced upon it. I decided to stick it in my player and out came haunting melodies I had not heard in years, though they sounded familiar still; even more surprising is how I still remember most of the lyrics to the songs. The tracks in the album are varied and distinct, yet are strung together by Apple's haunting vocals and stirring lyrics, ultimately providing the album with an overall somber, morose "feel". To give a taste of Apple's lyrical genius: "My feel for you, boy, is decaying in front of me/Like a carrion of a murdered prey/And all I want, is to save you honey/Or the strength to walk away" (Track 10 - Carrion); "He goes along just as a waterlily/Gentle on the surface of his thoughts his body floats/Unweighed down by passion or intensity/Yet unaware of the depths upon which he coasts/And he found a home in me/For what misfortune sows he knows my touch will reap/And all my armor falling down, in a pile at my feet/And my winter giving way to warm, as I'm singing him to sleep" (Track 9 - Pale September, one of my faves, partly because it talks of the month in which I was born...hehe); "I do not struggle in your web, because it was my aim to be caught/But, daddy longlegs, I feel that I'm finally growing weary, waiting to be consumed by you" (Track 6 - The First Taste).
Amidst the Hanson (cringe), Spice Girls (shudders at the thought), and Backstreet Boys (Oh how it pains me to remember!) albums which took their respective rounds on my CD player almost a decade ago along with this one, "Tidal" is one of the few which, after years and years, still deserves more than a spin (and more importantly, hasn't been thrown away or kept hidden somewhere, never to be found and listened to again.)

Rating: *****

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