Thursday, January 05, 2006


Being back on my own, I decided to plow ahead and spend my evenings reading this week, especially since I have had a couple of books on loan since the summer/fall. Lent to me by Mare, I finished The Da Vinci Code, a fun, fast read, and I found myself looking forward to the upcoming movie. I found it easy to get engrossed in, which is exactly the reason I like to read: I forget about my surroundings, and envision the plot, characters and scenes in my head. I now understand why the book has been released again as an illustrated version. Not really knowing anything about art or Da Vinci's works, it would have helped to have had pictures right there to refer to when the paintings were described. Yeah, I could have jumped up and gone to the Interweb, but I was comfy on the couch and didn't want to put the book down. So if you haven't read this one yet, get the illustrated version.

Next I picked up the other book that was loaned to me, this one by Scott M, Kevin Murphy's A Year At The Movies. Kevin Murphy operated Tom Servo on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and wrote a book about his year of going to a movie every day. An interesting read so far, I am about 2/3 through. I especially took notice of the part where he did the drive-in tour of southern California, and stopped at the Smith's Ranch Drive-In, located in none other than Twentynine Palms, CA - hometown of my desert rat boyfriend, whose Dad still lives there. 29 has a population of 25,000 people, which, hey, makes SJ look large. Smith's Ranch is the only movie theatre in town, a fact which I would like to confirm with aforementioned bf, but his internet connection is currently down, which is why I am writing a blog right now instead of chatting. Like we need any more time apart. Grrrr. Anyway, on with the blog.

Kevin also mentions the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood as being one of his most favourite theatres. Hmmm, I thought to myself. I want to spend a day doing touristy LA things, maybe I should make this a stop since we both love movies and I do have a fondness for things Egyptian. So I looked up the schedule on the internet to see what would be playing while I'm there. The schedule for February isn't up yet, but the schedule for this month is. I started reading what was on in January just for fun, when I realized I was missing a Hitchcock festival. Hitchcock. On the big screen. I am going to cry now. I can't believe I'm just missing this. Not that I will be actually in Hollywood the whole time. But still. What a treat it would be to see any Hitchcock film in a theatre.

Ah, bf is back. Let the chatting begin.


John said...

To the best of knowledge, Smith's Ranch is the only movies in 29. There is a small theater on the Marine Corps Base and there is a theater in Yucca Valley (25 miles away or so).

I'll have to find directions to the Egyptian, but we can add that to the list. It is too bad we're missing Hitchcock. I enjoyed the movies of his we watched at your place.

I still don't care for the end to Da Vinci Code. I think it was too pat, too obvious. I'm hoping that the inherent differences between books and movies will allow this ending to be better in the movie version.

mare said...

i am a big enough nerd that i DID look up the pictures as i went along, and liz can confirm that the bookmark for the davinci code is a postcard reproduction of the madonna of the rocks.

i agree that the ending is the weakest part of the book. there are a lot of problems with it, actually, but i enjoyed it nonetheless. i shut off my brain and just read it.

i usually prefer umberto eco for the intellectual mystery - i highly recommend foucault's pendulum, or the name of the rose. especially the latter.

Shawn said...

Another good one is the prequel to the Code, "Angels & Demons". I actually found this better than the DaVinci Code (not that I didn't enjoy it, as it is a great read). A&D is a bit more out there in terms of the plot, but the whole story seems much more intricate and the action moves along at a great pace and has more swerves to it. Mind you, there is a rather large 007'ish swing to the ending that's a little goofy, but it's excusable!!

Lisa said...

I want to read The DaVinci Code but everyone seems to have their copies on loan to other people. Can I please borrow the next available copy? Please?! (I have also heard that Angels & Demons is a more satisfying read, but I want to see the movie.)

liz said...

Actually, I did read Angels & Demons before Da Vinci, on suggestion of Chris, who also lent me the book. I think I agree, it was a better read. Wonder if they'll make a movie out of that too?

Cyn said...

I think the best theatre I have been in for movies was in Hamilton. It's a small old style theatre where the box office is a box outside. There are velvet line marker chain thingies. The popcorn maker is not quite so industrial looking as they are now. Popcorn is served in cups. And the seats don't feel prefab - they're actually quite comfy. Big poofy curtains that open at the start of the movie and close at the end. It's just a great feeling place!

mare said...

liz, if you're coming to games night, can you bring the davinci code and then i can lend it to lisa! :D

Liza said...

The Smith's Ranch drive-in in 29 Palms, CA has been in the Smith family for years: I taught with their daughter, who was also once one of my high school students. Yes, it not only is the only theater in 29 Palms, but it is one of the few surviving drive-ins in the state of CA. It has been written up often, including a recent article in the local Palm Springs newspaper.

My favorite theater is the Arlington in downtown Santa Barbara, CA. It is styled to resemble an outdoor Spanish presidio, and the coolest thing about it is the "stars" twinkling in the roof (little holes with lights shining through). As a child, it was a big deal to go to the movies at all, but to go to the Fox Arlington was totally special. Believe it or not, for a quarter, I could go to the movie and get both soda and popcorn. Ah, the good old days.