Book Review of Lisa Jobs Memoir

I had six likes on Good Reads and decided to post it here:
Small FrySmall Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Lisa Brennan-Jobs new memoir, Small Fry, is searing in a Mommy Dearest expose` way, with me exclaiming and throwing the book down on at least three occasions, with a, “He did what?!”.

And that’s saying something for a former high school counselor, who’d thought I had hardened to any shock at inconsistent parenting and emotional abuse. So let me tell you, Steve Jobs takes the Apple cake. But instead, pick up a copy of Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ book and let her tell you in her very rational, yet compelling writer’s voice.

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Spike Lee’s Signature: Blackkklansman

I enjoy Spike Lee. God Bless him, seriously, every movie he makes really tries to do what his first big film was actually titled, “Do The Right Thing”. And every movie he makes definitely has his signature. Kooky graphics, mystical camera tricks, and ‘hit you over the head morality’. He also has the gift of Scorsese, meaning he’s rich enough that he can pour everything but the kitchen sink into one film, without having to regard any advisers or editors going, “Maybe you could trim back a bit”.

The acting was rock solid. John David Washington, the star of the movie, didn’t have to show great range, yet, he was terrific. Adam Driver, also, isn’t the king of stretching, but can be damn serious and still interestingly watchable all day long. The poor saps that had to play the angry Klansman (Topher Grace as David Duke) were all good, too, even though cringe worthy to watch such hate or even fathoming that type of person existing in the world.

I thought Colorado Springs was an interesting setting choice, being ignorant to the Klan and merely assuming it was mostly south of the Mason Dixon line. And wow, if you check out History vs. Hollywood, you’ll find out just how true the movie is AND, having not read John David Washington’s IMDB bio, I just learned that he is the son of Denzel Washington! Having not seen many interviews or entertainment shows, I think it’s great that they didn’t lead with this, letting JDW stand on his own merit. So a two-fer for me in learning important history as well as trivial movie relationships.

Blackkklansman is definitely worth seeing. Is it a perfect film? No. Spike wraps the plot up too quickly and neatly for deep emotional resonance in order to make his other points, but that’s ok, that’s Spike and I like him. He’s trying to get us to wake up and be nice and there’s nothing ever wrong about that.

Eighth Grade, Moving On Up!

Eighth Grade was incredibly moving, especially if you were or are a good Dad to a teenage daughter. It’s also great for anyone who’s been in 8th grade within the modern era. Even though I was in 8th grade long before technology, I could relate to the film. If you were or are a school teacher who loves kids, all the better.

But hold up. That’s not how I started out feeling about the film written and directed by Bo Burnham. At first, I thought the film suffered from the Netflix show “Love”‘s third season syndrome, meaning musical interludes substituting for plot or that the NYT review was true, intimating the people most interested in this film would be those whom it’s about, meaning adolescents.

But the beauty of seeing a film in a theater is you’re strapped in for the long haul. The beginning I now understand was simply the slow burn to a semi surprising and escalating finish.

The acting was gorgeous, particularly everyone! But specifically the lead, Elsie Fisher and then definitely, (hey I’m still a hot blooded woman) for Josh Hamilton…where have you been hiding? I literally looked up the theater company he helped produce in NYC (since closed, bummer) In all seriousness, his monologue during the last quarter is genius, as good as Michael Stuhlbarg‘s shorter, but also poignant’s in Call Me By Your Name. Nominate this man, Josh Hamilton, he’s truly deserving for vulnerability extraordinaire.

By movie’s end, I could have really unleashed a bucket of tears (not easy for stoic me), but held myself in check as not to blubber in front of my friend Carrie. Great film, go see it!