As the end of the year approaches, good holiday movies are in high demand. “Love Actually” is the perfect romantic comedy for the holiday season. It may be sappy at times, but there are both happy and sad stories in the mix, so there is a little something for everyone. The time around Christmas is…
Erica Dettmer-Radtke is a senior at Mines. She is editor in chief of The Oredigger. Erica is a Statistics major and came to Mines from Boulder, CO. In her spare time, while not studying or working on the paper, she enjoys being outside, reading, photography, and cooking.
“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson is about as quirky as the title suggests. The title may be a bit long, and perhaps a bit strange, but the book itself is definitely worth the read. It was originally published in Sweden in 2009. It was translated from Swedish…
“The Maze Runner” is based on the best-selling young adult novel by James Dashner. Like so many movies before it, it is distinctly about a dystopian future, think along the lines of “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent”, although that is not revealed until the end of the movie. Like many movies based on books, “The Maze Runner” does not always accurately reflect the book that it is based off of. That’s probably to be expected, it’s rare these days that a movie really encapsulates the book it is based on.
The Pacific Crest Trail (aka the PCT) stretches approximately 2,650 miles from the Mexican to the Canadian border. It travels through various terrains, including the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range. At age 26, Cheryl Strayed hiked from the Mojave Desert to the Bridge of the Gods alone, traveling around one thousand miles. “Wild” tells the extraordinary story of her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. Although she hiked the trail in 1995, “Wild” was published in 2012, and since then her book has been quite the success, becoming a #1 New York Times Bestseller.
Many people have seen the movie, but much fewer have read the book. “The Princess Bride” (1973) by William Goldman is everything that the movie is and more. Although lengthy, it is worth the read. Goldman claims that his book is the abridgement of “The Princess Bride” by S. Morgenstern which his father read to him as a child. That book does not exist, but Goldman’s claim of his version of “The Princess Bride” having only the good bits is definitely true. That claim helps Goldman tell the story with a narrative twist on the classic style of the novel.
Miyazaki, director/writer of “Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004) and “Princess Mononoke” (1997), brings his top game in “Spirited Away.” Studio Ghibli, the studio responsible for this piece of art, outdid themselves with this movie, and it is possibly one of the best movies that they have made. It has won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. “Spirited Away” follows a young girl, Chihiro, as she journeys into a strange magical world filled with witches, spirits, and a magical bathhouse.
Salman Rushdie has written a variety of adult books including “Midnight’s Children” and “The Satanic Verses.” While these books are great reads, they are complicated, long, and at times very confusing. “Haroun and the Sea of Stories” (1990) is the lightest and most accessible of Rushdie’s books. It was written for Rushdie’s son after Rushdie was separated from him for a significant period of time. Although this book could technically be categorized as a book for young adults, it tackles important societal problems (that are especially relevant in India, Rushdie’s home country) and has themes that are relevant to people of all ages.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” takes a step away from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Entertaining, humorous, with a surprising amount of heart, this movie is one wild ride. Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, the first women to be given credit for working on a screenplay of a Marvel film, and directed by Gunn, “Guardians of the Galaxy” stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voice the two main CGI characters, and arguably the most lovable two characters. Other well-known actors such as Lee Pace, Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Benicio del Toro, and Stan Lee (in his usual brief cameo) help bring the movie to life. The storyline of a band of misfits coming together for the greater good is hardly original but “Guardians of the Galaxy” is fresh, exciting, and filled with charming characters who steal your heart.