King Kong: A First Look

King Kong 2005

Although it's not scheduled for release until December 13 in New Zealand (December 14 in the United Sates), the first review of Peter Jackson's $207 million epic King Kong is in. In the upcoming December 5 issue, Newsweek's senior writer, Devin Gordon, who was flown to New Zealand for an exclusive screening, gushes over the "surprisingly tender, even heartbreaking, film" and claims Jackson has "proved once again that he might be the only guy whose films are worth getting on a plane and flying halfway around the planet to see." Click here for the full review and a trailer.

’Tis the Season

To let David Sedaris put the Holidays in perspective. If you haven’t had the joy of listening to Holidays on Ice yet, you’re in for a treat – a wry, hilarious, subversive treat. His review of the elementary school Christmas pageant cannot be topped. Add this to your seasonal classics list along with Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation.

That Love Bug is Back

If you're looking for family entertainment, you could do a lot worse than Herbie Fully Loaded, the latest remake of the '60s movie The Love Bug. The new film is a lot like the old ones, as a fiesty VW comes alive and wins races against all odds. Ridiculous and fun.

Satiric Saga Skewers Shopping

Sellevision: A Novel by Augusten Burroughs is a wickedly funny book, as it skewers the on-screen personalities of a fictional shopping channel. I read the book in two evenings for a book group, and frankly, it was much more fun than shopping.

Religious CD Honors JFK

After President John Kennedy was assassinated Nov. 22, 1963, his widow Jaqueline Kennedy commissioned Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers in his honor. The composer and conductor was Leonard Bernstein. Based on a Catholic mass, the piece was both controversial and memorable. Some selections may sound familiar, particularly “Almighty Father“ and “A Simple Song.”

Can She or Can’t She?

Ashlee Simpson has just recently released her second album I Am Me. The burning question is – Can she even sing? Critics and fans have been arguing this question ever since she emerged from her sister’s shadow (famed reality star Jessica Simpson). Of course, her lip-synching fiasco on Saturday Night Live didn’t help prove her talents. Either way, her CD has been booming since its release. The first single ‘Boyfriend’ peaked at #19, and is currently positioned at #47, on Billboard’s Charts (a song that she claims is NOT about Lindsay Lohan and Wilmer Valderrama).

Adoption Books are Rich and Plentiful

November is National Adoption Month, and amid all the publicity, adoptive parents can usually pick up a few good reading recommendations. Our family’s all-time favorite titles are Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies by Ann Warren Turner, and Pablo’s Tree by Pat Mora.

Pat Morita 1932-2005

Actor Pat Morita, best known for his role as Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid series of movies, and as Arnold in the television series "Happy Days" died of natural causes yesterday in his home. He was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 1984 for his role in the first Karate Kid movie, and then went on to star in three sequels.

Morita originally wanted to become a comedian, but in the 1950's in California, he did not feel there was very much hope for a Japanese-American stand-up comedian. At the age of 30 he finally was able to enter show-business full time.

Boarded up for the winter

Why does snow always make me want to read about boarding schools? Something about the idea of a cozy wood-paneled room, a roaring fire, and the promise of institutional food at the end of the day ...

If you feel the same way, here are a handful of stories set at boarding school to help you get your fix:

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, in which Lee Fiora copes with being both invisible and an outsider at the East Coast prep school to which she has won a scholarship.
Boy by Roald Dahl, in which the author explains how to mask burned toast and keep from being thrashed. (more below the cut)

Living Longer and Healthier

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