Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 15, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 15, 2012 




Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 

Review By Sean Kayden


ROOM By Emma Donoghue

 This next choice shall take readers back into the 
works of fiction but it is one that will not disappoint 
you. ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue is one that really 
challenges the reader to use their insight and sense of 
perspective at the same time as they will be viewing 
this whole piece through the eyes of the main protagonist, 
five year old Jack. 

The colorful, childlike scrawl of the title ‘Room’ holds 
much more significance than the first impression it 
makes upon the reader, and as soon as the introduction 
is made from the narrative of Jack, the reader will 
be set for an emotional journey that does not just test 
the simple boundaries that Jack perceives of his world, 
but also those of his mother and the reader as well. 
Even if one does not put themselves into Jack’s frame 
of mind, the reader will still be able to experience the 
tide of emotions, confusion, and the fear of change 
that is brought when the reader starts to feel the experience 
of what Jack is going through. Although Jack 
is the five year old protagonist along with his mother, 
this novel is meant for mature audiences as there are 
themes of abduction, abuse, and confinement within 
a certain amount of space. 

The fluidity and tone will not be lost on the reader, and the reader will still be able to comprehend 
where the seriousness lies in ‘Room’; how Jack narrates what goes on through his 
eyes, how he tries to understand what his mother tells him and what she goes through to 
protect him, and how they both view the character “Old Nick”. 

Receiving praise as a national bestseller from sources such as the San Francisco Chronicle 
and Boston Globe, ‘Room’ will go on to prove that triumphs, new discoveries, and finding 
inner strength to move forward in life can be found in many walks of life, even in childhood. 

 Have you ever been so 
amped up to see a movie 
after initially seeing its 
trailer? That was the case 
for me with “Killing Them 
Softly.” An apparently badass, old school crime 
movie destined to be a memorable one, if not a 
classic. On the contrary, I quickly found myself 
in a theater utterly disinterested by the political 
undertones, straightforward storytelling, and the 
way things were heighten so greatly, they simply 
came across as phony. When writers attempt to 
tell a tale about the enigmatic crime underworld 
with the involvement of gamblers, degenerates, 
and derelicts, most appear to have no real life 
experience with the potentially dark environment. 

 That’s the problem with Andrew Dominik’s 
adapted screenplay. Perhaps, I’m being too critical, 
but something is awry when you’re shaking your 
head at characters’ choices and feeling a sense of 
bewilderment by the actions characters would 
take to solve a problem. “Killing Them Softly” 
looks beautiful, but physical appearance wears 
off thin. Underneath the aesthetics, you have a 
one-trick pony that’s riddled with clichés, buried 
with political drivel, and about as monotonous as 
watching paint dry. 

 “Killing Them Softly” begins with a man named 
the “Squirrel” (an owner of a dry cleaner) who hires 
two lackeys for an easy, “get in-get out” job. They 
are going to hit up a poker game hosted by Ray 
Liotta’s character, Markie. By the way, Ray Liotta is 
about as washed up as the cities Hurricane Sandy 
just pummeled through. He offered nothing and 
is only associated with this movie because Liotta 
is a perennial wise guy. As I digress, the reason 
it’s described as an easy, no strings attached job 
is because a few years ago Markie hired two guys 
to rob his own game. Not too long after, high on 
his own supply in a sense, Markie professes what 
he did at a random poker game to others. They 
all had a good laugh until word got back to a man 
named Dylan and his muscle, who apparently are 
the enforcers at these back alley gamers. They don’t 
take too kindly to the news and rough up Markie 
a bit. Therefore, if Markie’s game gets hit again, all 
fingers will point to him. 

 After these two lost souls do the deed, Markie gets 
some heat from the guys upstairs. This is where 
Brad Pitt’s character comes in. They realize Markie 
probably didn’t do it, but someone must pay. 
Shortly afterward one of the guys who part took 
in the poker bust, a heroin addict of all people, 
gloats about what he did to a guy who works for 
this mysterious man named Dylan (played by 
Sam Shepard). Dylan handles these dire situations 
where someone must pay for their wrong doings. 
Long story short, Brad Pitt’s too cool for school 
character must take care of the two gu

 ys involved as well as the “Squirrel” 
who orchestrated the heist. He brings in James 
Gandolfini, an old school hitman looking for work 
by figuring this is a two-man job. With recession 
prices to boot, they get Gandolfini for less than 
he normally would ask for. Anyway, his character 
Mickey is obscene, rude, and a perpetual drunk. 
He’s only in two scenes, but they are the longest 
and worst scenes in the movie. He goes on a tirade 
about his previous heydays, women he’s fornicated 
with, and whatever else that is still holding him 
together. Bottom line, Gandolfini’s outing is 
embarrassing and sadly one that’s reminiscent of 
his old alter ego, Tony Soprano. He’s gone from 
the movie rather quickly, but by that time, you’re 
already feeling the pain from sitting through the 
first hour or so.

 You can argue all you want that the picture is a lot 
deeper than what appears at face value. However, 
if you want be reminded about the recession then 
just open up any US circulated newspaper or better 
yet take a hard look at your own financial structure 
if needed. Brad Pitt may be smooth as silk but even 
is strong presence can’t overtake the barebones 
storytelling, incompetent character decisions, and 
serious lack of thrills and chills. 

 The only redeeming quality of the film perhaps 
takes place in the final scene. Brad Pitt’s character 
Jackie goes on rant about Thomas Jefferson and 
his hypocrisy and President Obama’s outlook on 
the American people. Jackie boldly states America 
not being a country but a business. It’s definitely 
a thought provoking claim on how what this 
country is transitioning into, which is a pitiful 
scenario nonetheless. This may cause ire for many 
viewers, but same thing goes for those anticipating 
a great 21st century crime film this holiday season 
and instead come away with a big lump of coal. I 
rather be killed off softly than sit through “Killing 
Them Softly” for another go around. 

Grade: 1.5 out 5

Written and Directed by: Andrew Dominik 

Based on the novel “Cogan’s Trade” 

 by George V. Higgins

Rated R for violence, sexual references, 
pervasive language, and some drug use

Release Date: November 30th, 2012



What to give yourself for Christmas:? You thought I would say yoga. BUT, 
that's just part of it. The best thing you can give yourself or your loved 
ones is practicing the art of receiving. You may think that you know how 
to receive, but basic receiving, Receiving 101, is about learning how to receive your breath and make 
it smooth. 

Receive every breath like the most beautiful gift you could ever be given. Well, it is the most beautiful 
gift! With gracious receiving of each breath, we train ourselves to receive everything else with grace. 
All of our life lessons are gifts, even if we don't see them as such most of the time.

 Receiving, or cultivating gratitude, is the number one recommended cure for depression. See in 
yoga, we view depression as an energy imbalance, and the number one way to fix that is with breath 
practice. The perfect way to prepare for breath practice is - yoga!

 It also helps with stress management, weight control, detoxification and sleep. Somewhere in the 
back of our minds we long for that super carefree holiday of warm fireplaces and loved ones, relaxed 
days and free time.

 So the next best thing to receive is a good diet, one that keeps us light on our feet and nourished. 
Eastern philosophy looks at overindulgence as toxic. Eating hard-to-digest foods while stressed out 
is toxic. A natural by-product of practicing yoga is body and diet awareness. Whole, unprocessed 
foods, good fats and lots of fruits and vegetables are a lovely gift to receive (and leave a little room, 
don't over-do). Lots of good sleep, nourishing foods and less clutter will make a very happy, receptive 
and relaxed Santa.

 Cranky, stressed out, broke, overstimulated, over caffeinated, over fed, lumps of coal do not make 
nice elves! If you need help along the way, just call.

With lots of love for The Holidays, Namasté, René