Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Lone Ranger and Tonto FistFight in Heaven Book Review

The Lone Ranger and Tonto FistFight in Heaven is a book written by Sherman Alexie who is a Native  American writer and poet.It was given to me by a close friend who has Native American ancestry and it proved to be a very interesting read.I think its great to read about a life or culture that is totally different to your own and this book certainly did not disappoint.It is a collection of 22 short stories and each is unique but connected by life on the Spokane Indian Reservation.All I really knew about Native Americans was probably from the movie Dances With Wolves and the usual cliches that you see in Westerns.I did like the movie Dances With Wolves as it was sympathetic to the Indian plight but I know in TV and movies they take a lot of liberties with the truth! Just look at most movies where Ireland is depicted or Irish accents and they nearly always are wrong!!

So it was good to read something that is written by a Native American about life on a Reservation even though its fiction.I read that Sherman Alexie (pictured above)called the work a "thinly disguised memoir," as the stories are compiled from his memories and observations of life growing up.Its a very different type of book to what I have ever read and the stories range from the sad,fun and fantasy to the compassionate and uplifting.They revolve around Victor Joseph and Thomas Builds-the-Fire as they live on the Spokane Reservation and the tales go into a lot of surreal imagery, flashbacks, dream sequences, diary entries, and extended poetic passages to create stories that resemble prose poems more than conventional narratives.As I am not used to reading this kind of writing, it felt very disjointed but maybe that's what the author was trying to convey about life on the reservation.Alcohol seems to play a big part in their lives as the think of the old Indian ways and how their life is now and I could not help but draw parallels with the way the Irish drink also.They yearn for the days before the White men came when they could live free but are now on a reservation.What is interesting is the different conflicts not just between Indians and Whites but the conflicts between reservation Indians and urban Indians(Indians who don't live on the reservation), men and women and between modern Indians and traditions of the past.What is also good to read is how they love to play basketball which is not something I would have known and how they love to eat potatoes which is again very like the Irish.I remember reading in school about how when there was the Great Famine in Ireland and how the Choctaw Nation donated money to Ireland and it always amazed me.How a people with their own problems and troubles gathered money together to help a people they would never meet  really impressed me.As I have read this book I think the Irish and the Indians have a lot in common so the stories did resonate with me in that sense.

After reading the book, I was a bit unsure about how the title fits in but I assumed it was to do with the relationship between Indians and Whites.Then I read online that Sherman Alexie said the title came to him in a dream where they both are fighting and the winner goes to heaven but the loser to hell! Obviously he cheered on Tonto! He is quoted as saying the following...
Kemosabe in Apache means "idiot," as Tonto in Spanish means "idiot." They were calling each other "idiot" all those years; and they both were, so it worked out. It's always going to be antagonistic relationship between indigenous people and the colonial people. I think the theme of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is universal.
It definitely is universal as in Ireland we were occupied by the British but while its important to never forget its time to move on also.Which I think is what Sherman is trying to say in the book.New relationships need to be forged but it can be hard for some people.People want to progress but not forget the old ways.

I liked this book and I thought it had good stories.It did feel a bit disjointed though and wont be for everyone.If you like to read something different though then this book is great.It reminded me of a poem that you read and it will take several re-reads to understand it all.To some people this will sound annoying but I think that is the purpose of a good book.It should stay with you and have you still thinking about it long after you finished it.I think its studied in school in America and I can see why.There are a lot of layers to each story and different dynamics going on.There is also a movie called "Smoke Signals" that I hope to see sometime.Its based on one of the short stories in this book called "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" So If you like a book different to others then I suggest you read this now!!

The Lone Ranger and Tonto FistFight in Heaven 7/10

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark Movie Trailer.

This is the new trailer for the upcoming horror movie remake of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark which stars Katie Holmes(Yes, that does not bode well for this movie!) and Guy Pearce. It is about a young girl who is sent to live with her dad and his girlfriend. She finds out that there are creatures in the house which want to make her one of their own. I am not sure what this one will be like, but I will hold my judgement until I watch it. It is out in January so until then, enjoy the trailer!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas from Jigsaws Lair!!!

This has been a good year for movies and books etc and we appreciate your input and your interest in our blog. We both hope that you have a great Christmas and a very happy New Year. We hope that next year will  be an even better year for movies and entertainment. We will be watching more movies and posting more great TV shows.....We are going to watch plenty of movies this Christmas and eat even more!!!Have a great Christmas from Jigsaw and Amanda at Jigsaw's Lair!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ticking Clock Movie Review 155

Ticking Clock is a movie that starts off with Neal McDonough playing someone who is after seemingly killing a woman in a bathtub and he cradles a baby saying that now life will be better.He is covered in blood but we do not know why he has killed the woman. Then we cut to ten years later and we see Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. as investigative reporter Lewis Hicks who becomes convinced that there is a serial killer at work.He is separated from his wife and has a small child and has a relationship with Felicia Carson played by Veronica Berry.After he has an argument with her, he goes over that night to make up but comes across her dead body and a fleeing killer that we see is Neal McDonough again! He gives chase and has a fight with him in an alleyway but he gets knocked out and when he wakes up the killer is gone.The good thing is that he finds a journal that the killer has made about all his killings and more importantly, future killings.It has future dates and times of murders so Hicks sets about trying to track the murderer down. 

The problem is no one believes him and as he has previous personal issues with the main detective played by Yancey Arias, he does not tell him about the journal that he has found.Hicks gets help from his only friend in the police Gordon played by Dane Rhodes.Every lead that he gets seems to point to a 9 year old orphan who is living in a Boys Home.The problem for Hicks is that as he knows where the killer will strike, he is seen at every crime scene and becomes the chief suspect in all the murders.So Hicks must find the Killer to prove his innocence before the police finds Hicks.

Ticking Clock is only an hour and 40 long so it does not go on for too long.Its the typical serial killer type movie and isn't too bad.Its more of a mystery type movie than an action movie and it did hold my attention until the end.Its not too hard to figure out what is going on but its still worth a watch.The one thing that I did not like was the Hollywood happy ending as it seemed too perfect and too neatly wrapped up.I like Cuba Gooding Jr. but I wish he was in more high profile movies.he is a good actor and is always very likeable in his movies.This movie has an element of Sci Fi mixed in and felt like an episode of Quantum Leap or Star Trek but that's not a bad thing in my view!! Ticking Clock is an average movie that is just about watchable as I was not bored and was interested in it until the end.If you see it on DVD and theres nothing else to watch then it will keep you interested for the hour and a half or so but its not going to blow you away!!! 

Ticking Clock 5/10

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hells Kitchen, Season 8, Episode 14 Recap

Last week, nobody went home. We are down to four chefs again as the competition becomes tougher.

The next morning they are informed that two people will be going home. Their challenge is to create a fusion dish. They get to pick two countries and they have to make the different types of food go together. Some chefs are brought in to judge. Trev's dish is panned. Russell is delighted. Nona's dish is criticised also. Russell the ass is up next. His dish is not liked either. He cannot believe that the chefs would dare criticise him! Gillian has some luck with her dish. For some reason, they like it. She is delighted with her win. She gets to have dinner at some flashy restaurant. The others have to move everything out of the dorms. They are all complaining as usual. Gillian is bragging and she is so irritating. She gets to have dinner with her family too.

In the kitchen, Russell is throwing his weight around and bugging Trevor. He just comes across as a total creep. That night, each chef is getting  a chance to run the pass. They are all delighted. First up is Russell. He shouts his way through service. He has no communication skills at all. He is not a leader, he is a bully. Nona is next and she doesn't spot the deliberate sabotage of one of the dishes by Chef Scott. Trevor steps up to the pass and he spots the sabotage straight away. He is totally disrespected by the others. They just ignore him.
He is having a hard time. Gillian is last but she shouts way too loud. She gets carried away and the others are irritated by it. She doesn't spot the sabotage at all. Trev is having a hard time as Gillian screams at him. He gets a tongue lashing from Ramsay also.

That night, they have to choose two people to go home. In the end, Trevor and Gillian end up getting the chop so the two finalists are Russell(boo) and Nona.....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Horror Part 2

I have been seeking  out some funny and evil Christmas themed movies. There are a few and I have put a couple on for you to enjoy...

Firstly, this movie is called Jack Frost and it is so bad it's good. Here Frosty gets his rocks off with a young woman....She was a bit cold.....

 Next, this woman in Black Christmas was having a look in the attic to see if there were rats..What she found was a bit larger than a rat.....Don't go up to the attic is the moral of this story....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hells Kitchen, Season 8 Episode 13 Recap


Last week, Gail was given the boot and rightly so. It was her time to go home..Now there are only four left.

Russell and Gillian bitch about Trev yet again. Then again, Russell bitches about everyone. He is a dick.He thinks that he has it won already. In the challenge, Trev and Gillian are one team and Nona and Russell are another. They  have to come up with a dish which Chef Ramsay tastes. He can tell what ingredients are in the dishes by tasting. He wants the others to do the same thing with his dish.Nona wins the challenge and she gets to go to a spa and relax. The others have to do laundry and prep both kitchens. Nona gets to pick someone to come with her to the spa and she chooses Russell. Gillian is pissed off that she wasn't chosen.

Trev and Gillian want the other two out and they are annoyed that they seem to be ahead all of the time. Chef Ramsay takes Gillian up to his office and has a chat with her. He tells her that she is slipping and she has lost her confidence. He wants her to do better(see video above). That night, service begins.Gillian has a good start. Nona can't seem to cook her risotto properly. She puts too  much pepper into her dish and she has to start all over again. Russell gives Chef Ramsay raw scallops and he flips out. Trev is getting a little behind as he is on the meat station and everyone seems to be ordering meat. Chef Ramsay steps in and helps him out, much to the annoyance of the others. He is going down, but the others don't seem to far behind him.

Russell messes up his fish once again. He is well able to criticise everyone else but when it comes to himself, he seems to think that he is perfect.Russell and Trevor argue once again. That Russell is an ass and he doesn't deserve to remain in the competition. Nona gives Chef Ramsay a dud risotto AGAIN! How is she still in the competition??She messes up a lot. That night, they have to pick two people to go home. They pick Trevor and Russell. I was really hoping that Russell would go, but he didn't. Chef Ramsay decides that they have done so well that nobody will go home..He brings in their families so cue lots of tears etc......No loser this week...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Horror Part 1

 So, we all know the most famous Christmas horror movies. I want to do something a bit different here. I have been trawling through videos and I have picked out some which embody that Christmas cheer and goodwill that we all love so much. Take a look at these and feel the love.....

Firstly, that feelgood movie we all know and love- Silent Night, Deadly Night....You don't want this guy telling your kids some Christmas stories....

Next, Black Christmas(the original and best)...Poor Claire should have got the hell out of there when she heard the cat squealing like that....But, she had to go and look....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Walking Dead, Season 1, Episode 6

Last week, the survivors arrived at the CDC and were allowed in by a mysterious man.....

This week's episode begins with a flashback to when Shane was at the hospital as the outbreak began. He tries to get Rick out of the hospital, but it is overrun with Walkers. He left Rick, assuming that he was dead. There are military guys storming the hospital, shooting anything that moves so he has to get out. Cut back to the CDC and the survivors led by Rick. They enter the building and they meet the stranger who is Dr.Edwin Jenner(Noah Emmerich). He is a bit suspicious of them and their intentions at first. He agrees to let them stay if they consent to a blood test to  make sure that none of them have the virus. The place that he inhabits is called Zone 5 and he is the only survivor in the building. He gives them food and drink and they all relax for a while.

He tells them about what happened as the outbreak began. A lot of people committed suicide and some of the others tried to escape. Lori and Shane fall out once again and she scratches his face with her nails. The next, morning they wonder how he got them, but he explains it away. The doctor takes them to his lab and he shows them his research on a Walker. They see that the brain is infected and he shows them how the brain dies but regenerates without the human part. Jenner tells them that his fuel has run out and that the place will be in darkness soon.He wants to give up and kill himself. Zone 5 begins shutting itself down and the survivors are trapped with Jenner who tells them that it will better if they all stay and just blow up with the building.

Rick is not willing to give up and neither are some of the others. Andrea begins to give up too. She is upset after her sister's demise and she doesn't think that there is anything left. They discover that Jenner's wife was bitten and that she was the test subject that he showed them earlier. He cannot go on so he lets them out, but stays himself. Another of the survivors stays with him. Andrea wants to stay too but she is convinced to leave. Before Rick leaves, Dr. Jenner whispers something in his ear which we cannot hear! They escape by blowing out the windows withe a grenade that Rick swiped from the tank at the beginning of the series. They are out when the whole building explodes.....

The first season of The Walking Dead was brilliant. I really enjoyed it. It is a well made, interesting and exciting series. We haven't seen too many of these great shows and I am really looking forward to the second season. Bring it on!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jigsaws UFC 124 Predictions!!!

UFC 124 is almost upon us!! It will be St-Pierre vs Koscheck.If you have been watching The Ultimate Fighter show like I have then you will have seen the build up to this fight.Koscheck revels in the bad guy role and St- Pierre does not like to say anything bad so its clearly set up to be a good guy versus bad guy fight! When you realise that the fight is in St-Pierres hometown of Montreal,Quebec, Canada then its obvious Koscheck will do his best to annoy the crowd and they will love St-Pierre!

If you watched the Countdown to UFC124 show then you will have seen Koscheck having a tough upbringing so I don't think he is that bad a person.He likes to get under peoples skin and he seems to use this to motivate himself to do better.As he didn't know his father, he likes to be the underdog in everything and loves to show people that he can win against the odds.St-Pierre likes to train with different people and everything is put into making him a better fighter.He has a different trainer for each aspect such as a Muay Thai guy,a ground guy and so on.From the Ultimate Fighter show its clear that St-Pierre is a better trainer and teacher whereas Koscheck believes that is is up to the fighter himself to put in the hard work required.It struck me from watching the show that they both have different styles.Its easy to say that Koscheck had no interest in his guys but I don't think that's true.He thinks its up to each guy to train himself hard and he was not going to make them do it.Its like an older mindset of training whereas St-Pierre has everything scientifically thought out.Each component was broken down and worked on.Its set up to be an interesting fight!!!!!!!

Georges St-Pierre versus Josh Koscheck

All logic points to a St-Pierre win here.Its his hometown and he has all the tools required to win.The only thing that I think is suspect is his chin as Matt Serra showed that if you connect then the carefully laid plans fall apart.I think Koscheck will have to pressure St-Pierre and try to use the crowd to put even more pressure on him.Then St-Pierre will feel everything coming down on him and may or may crack.Koscheck will have to try and get a few Takedowns.He needs to get on top and put the punishment on St-Pierre.There is only 2 ways that I see Koscheck winning.He has to literally bully St-Pierre around the Octagon like he does in the verbal battles and go head hunting.If he does both of these then I could see him getting on top of St-Pierre and it getting stopped due to strikes or a knockout.

The only thing is that its a lot easier to see St-Pierre winning.I can see him knocking Koscheck out and/or getting him down an submitting him.He is more versatile than Koscheck and will adapt better to any surprises that happens in the Octagon.He tends to do well against wrestlers and I see this like the Matt Hughes fight (the rematch of course!) So in this fight I predict a Georges St-Pierre win by submission.

Joe Stevenson versus Mac Danzig

I like both these fighters and I would give Danzig the advantage in striking but Stevenson in submissions.I think Stevenson is better overall so I will give him the nod here.So I will go for Stevenson by knockout.Even though Danzig is better slightly in stand up, I see him getting knocked out.

Thiago Alves versus John Howard

 I am not that familiar with John Howard but I do know Alves.I like Alves a lot so just because I know him better I will go for Alves by Knockout!!

Matthew Riddle versus Sean Pierson

I think I have seen Riddle before but not Pierson so I am a bit uncertain on this one.I will go for Riddle by a decision.

Joe Doerksen versus Dan Miller

I know of both these guys and Doerksen has good submissions but I like the work rate of Miller a lot.So I will go for Miller by knockout.

Stefan Struve versus Sean McCorkle

I think I read McCorkle was talking trash on Twitter so this may be a Fight of the Night! Struve is very good but seems very slight in the weight department whereas McCorkle looks a lot heavier.I think that gives him an advantage so I will go for him by Knockout.

Jim Miller versus Charles Oliveira

I like the Miller brothers a lot but I think Oliveira is unbeaten so I will go for him by knockout.

There are 4 other fights listed on the Fight Card but I don't know the fighters at all.It would be a complete guess for me to pick one so I wont.I know I guessed in a lot of the fights above but in those I have at least either heard of the fighters or seen them before!! I am obviously no expert in UFC but it will be fun to see how many I get right.Its most likely that I get all wrong!! I am looking forward to the main event so hopefully UFC 124 will be good! Who do you think will win? Comment now before the fight to see if you are right!!!!
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