Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 3, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 3, 2012 




Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 

Review By Sean Kayden



By David Moody 

Although Halloween has passed, it does not mean you have to 
jump into the holiday spirit just yet. If one is still in the mood for 
something dark, then this next title should suit you. ‘Hater’ by 
David Moody is one set for a mature audience but will not disappoint; 
although copyrighted in 2006, ‘Hater’ has and still receives 
positive feedback even today, with praise coming from Fangoria, 
Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. ‘Hater’ is the first in Moody’s 
“Hater Trilogy” series, and focuses on the rather weak-willed and 
passive protagonist, Danny McCoyne. The reader will immediately 
be able to relate to him because he is presented as an “Everyman”: 
he works, dislikes his job, and struggles with his wife 
and kids. However, the reader will sense and feel the change that 
occurs when Danny becomes a “Hater”. This is what gives ‘Hater’ 
its core: the change is sudden, random, and the only hints provided 
are from random characters and their perceptions when 
the ‘hate’ occurs to them. Danny is no different, but what the 
reader may find exciting is the outside perspective of the ‘hate’ versus Danny’s perspective 
when it occurs, and how he handles the events that lead up to his transformation. Moody 
is not afraid to get dirty when it comes to his writing, and the graphic details of the acts of 
‘Hate’ prove just that. The themes of bravery, cowardice, and the dynamic of “me against 
the world” shine through Moody’s words, and those who have read it will not beg to differ. 
‘Hater’ is an exciting read, one that decides to build up to the climatic event but also adds in 
a surprise to keep its contents fresh. David Moody’s ‘Hater’ and the rest of his trilogy series 
is meant for those who can keep a straight face, but with a taste for something raw. And for 
the reader, you will like it or hate it.

“Smashed,” tells the cautionary tale about a young married couple who share 
a mutual connection to music, laughter, and drinking…especially drinking. 
The film, shot in just one month, first premiered at the 2012 Sundance Festival. 
It’s a very small human story and how the effects of alcohol have on people in 
all areas of life. While nothing expressed on the subject matter was entirely 
innovative, it was the small, intimate moments in the film that were great. However, those are 
few and far between while sometimes the film kind of just flows at steady, tame stream instead 
of erupting into anything wild and rampant. The lovely Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a superb, 
genuine, and breakthrough performance as the protagonist. If anything, her acting prowess is 
worth the price of admission. 

 Winstead portrays Kate, an affable 1st grade teacher who is struggling with her alcoholism 
(something she doesn’t think is a problem at first). Her husband, Charlie played by Aaron Paul, is 
an online music journalist that stays home all day writing and you guessed it, drinking. He doesn’t 
really see his drinking as a problem because frankly it doesn’t have the same negative effect on him, 
or so he likes to believe. 

 Things start to unravel a bit when Kate vomits 
in front of her class and the kids inquisitively ask 
her if she’s pregnant. Without knowing how to 
answer them sincerely, she fibs by saying yes. She 
lets the lie carry on, which ultimately is going to 
be a problem. Mr. Davies (Nick Offerman), the 
vice principal, knows Kate was drinking (from 
a flask) prior to class as he spotted her doing so 
in the school’s parking lot. He confronts her about it, but doesn’t squeal on her. We soon find out 
this seemingly straight-laced middle-aged man is 9 years sober. He extends his hand out to Kate 
after things get worse with her extracurricular activities at home with her husband. He suggests 
accompanying him to AA. With slight trepidation, Kate attends the meeting and it ultimately 
becomes the first day of her new life. She forms a stronger friendship with Mr. Davies as well as finds 
a sponsor that’s super supportive. All is seemingly well, but things at home begin to deteriorate.

 This was James Ponsoldt second feature film, which he co-wrote with Susan Burke. It’s a fine effort 
on his part coming from a script that has some weak spots. What really elevated the screenplay 
came down to the casting. Winstead isn’t going to be nominated for an Oscar, but she should score 
a much-deserved Independent Spirit Award nomination. She’s absolutely terrific as a young woman 
trying to save herself from self-destruction. Aaron Paul, mostly known for playing Jesse on the TV 
series “Breaking Bad,” is solid in this too. He really shines at the end in a deeply moving scene that 
leaves the viewer somewhat melancholy on their way out of the theater. Overall, I found “Smashed” 
to be decent and driven from mediocre to better than average with its wonderful lead actress, tender 
moments, and flashes of humorous lightheartedness. At any rate, the only thing that didn’t make 
sense to me was how Kate was having the most fun when drinking, but when she stops, it takes a toll 
on both her personal and professional life. Maybe happiness is neither found in recklessness or pure 
serenity. It could be that everyone needs to find middle ground between the spectrum of careless 
and carefree. 

“Smashed” is something like that, a middle of the road movie that is a reasonably commendable 
excursion, but the ride could have been so much more worthwhile if the pit stops along the way were 
extraordinarily out of the ordinary. 

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Directed by: James Ponsoldt

Written by: 

 Susan Burke and James Ponsoldt 

Rated R for alcohol abuse, language, some 
sexual content and brief drug use 

Release Date: October 12th, 2012




I hear it all the time in class: “I’m just not flexible”. I always say the same 
thing, “yoga is how you get flexible”.

But really, it’s not about being flexible at all, it’s about the journey. You don’t 
have to be flexible, or strong or young or old. You can be Catholic, Jewish, 
Protestant or Hindi – none of that matters. All that matters is your journey; 
where you are on the path at that very moment. It’s not who you vote for, 
it’s that you are putting thought, research and energy into it, and actually 
voting. In other words, it’s about what you are learning along the way. You 
can learn so much about yourself. We think we know, we think we have it figured. But what are we 
really looking at? We are looking at the world through the eyes of who we have become. All our trials 
and tribulations have made us who we are. Could we have been someone else? Maybe if that had not 
happened I would have been a pilot or an Olympian. Then, instead of enjoying the journey – we are 
blaming the journey and looking to the future or living in the past, or being swept away by the river of 
life without a choice. None of those things are teaching us about who we really are, who we are deep 
down inside, apart from all the things that have happened in our lives.

 What does all that have to do with yoga? The answer is EVERYTHING.

We start with the physical body and move deeper. By being present and open to the experience of 
lengthening your hamstrings you can learn about the way you make decisions, about the way your 
ego behaves, about the competitiveness in you, or the defeatist in you. Just that one stretch, done 
very mindfully, in a supportive environment, can lead you down the path to overcoming the obstacles 
blocking your way. Take what you learn there and apply it in meditation and you will learn mega 
things about yourself. What you like and don’t like, what you want to change and what you want to 
develop. The yogis have a science, a science that complements your life and enhances your experience. 
It all starts in yoga class and you don’t need to be flexible.

Have a great week, full of learning, and don’t forget to VOTE! Namasté, René