Category Archives: Movies

I’m back

Been away due to chronic illness and resulting depression. However, have had a lot of time to read so let’s get started back up.

Currently reading The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw and Adventures of a Surgical Resident by Phillip Dobrin.  As it is 5:41 am and I feel unwell, I will update on those later.

Will just leave on a question.  Why is the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy being done in three films?  Certainly not artistic value.  More like rampant greed.  Who’s behind this?  Peter Jackson?

You want a good Peter Jackson film?  Go buy a six-pack of beer and rent Bad Taste.

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August 29, 2013

You know the type of person who, when you tell them something, always says, “I knew that.”  It doesn’t matter how obscure the fact may be, they knew it already.  That would be this next author.

tracker

Tracker:  Hunting Down Serial Killers by Dr. Maurice Godwin

It’s said that hindsight is 20/20.  For Dr. Maurice Godwin, hindsight means he was right.  As far as I can tell from reading this book, “Doctor” Godwin has never solved a case yet.  Why?  Well either the police don’t consult him or, if they do, they don’t listen to him.

FBI profilers (John Douglas, Rob Ressler, Roy Hazelwood) are all WRONG!  They’ve never solved a case!  Mr. Godwin however is brilliant and had he only been listened to, INNOCENT LIVES would have been saved!  But fear not FBI profilers and average citizens, Dr. Godwin is now on the case.

You may notice that I didn’t post the copyright or the publisher.  This is because I sold this piece of crap before I could write down that information.

explorers

Explorers of the Infinite:  The Secret Spiritual Lives of Extreme Athletes – and What They Reveals About Near-Death Experiences, Psychic Communication and Touching the Beyond by Maria Coffey, copyright 2008, published by Penguin Books

The first half of the book seems to consist mostly of, “I hiked Mount Everest and found God.”  No doubt they did.  Especially the ones who went without oxygen.  Some, like Robert Falcon Scott, found God in a more permanent manner.  During his return journey in the South Pole (1911-1912) when frostbite “forced Scott to stop walking.  His team opted to stay with him, dooming them all to die.”  Only a bunch of men would think that was a good plan.  Women on the other hand would have built a travois and pulled Scott the final 11 miles to the supply depot.

So, for most of the book no near-death experiences, no psychic communication.  “Spirituality” abounds however.  That’s fine, but it’s not what I want to read about.  The last few chapters of the book finally get more into the paranormal and the stories get quite interesting.  I would have enjoyed reading more.

Looper

Looper is a 2013 sci-fi/action film written and directed by Rian Johnson and starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt.  In the film, time travel is invented by the year 2074 and, though immediately outlawed, is used by criminal organizations to send those they want killed into the past where they are killed by “loopers”, assassins paid with silver bars strapped to their targets. (Wikipedia)

Except for the fact that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s overly darkened eyebrows made him look like a clown, this was an entertaining, fast-paced movie.  Oh, and the part where Bruce Willis takes out a building-full of trained, heavily-armed assassins all by himself was completely unbelievable, even if he is Bruce Willis.

Still, I would recommend this film for a good night’s entertainment.

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July 8, 2013

Kill me

Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson and Marshall Karp, copyright 2011, published by Grand Central Publishing

Plot:  Dumbass steals diamonds and owners of such will stop at nothing to get the diamonds back.

What is there to say about a Patterson book except that it’s a Patterson.  They’re fun and simple, the literary equivalent of cotton candy.  Fluff.  A lot of subterfuge on the part of Patterson in this book (or maybe that’s Patterson’s style and I haven’t read enough to recognize it).  Holding back facts on characters and situations just so you can pop a zinger in later seems like cheating to me.  Lay it all up front.  My next complaint was the excess of sex.  If these characters had sex this often, nothing would ever get done….except sex.  I was looking for some light reading after A Thousand Lives and damn if I didn’t find it.  James Patterson’s books are good for airplane flights (or delays).

jack reacher

Jack Reacher – 2012 – Directed by Christopher McQuarrie – based on Lee Child’s  book “One Shot”

“When a gunman takes five lives with six shots, all evidence points to the suspect in custody. On interrogation, the suspect offers up a single note: ‘Get Jack Reacher!'”

Based on Lee Child’s “One Shot” from her Jack Reacher series, Tom Cruise purchased the film rights in order to showcase himself as Jack Reacher, an ex-military cop he doesn’t even slightly resemble.  He’s too old and too self conscious of his “boyish good looks.”  The plot has holes Tom could have driven his muscle cars through with ease.  But my eyes didn’t start rolling uncontrolably until Jack Reacher strolls casually into a bar only to have every 20-something female stop and stare at….what?  I’m sorry but a 20-something wouldn’t start at Jack Reacher unless she knew he was Tom Cruise and plush with cash.  The last film I was able to stomach Cruise in was War of the Words.   If however, you have a thing for guns and are interested in seeing how exponentially Rosamund Pike’s breasts have grown, check it out.

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It’s a little hard to tell from this shot, but this woman should have no fear of drowning. . . . ever.

In conclusion, get the book “One Shot” from the library and save your money for some beer.

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June 10, 2013

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My latest taste test was Ace Perry Hard Cider from the California Cider Company.  Unlike the Mr. Pineapple beer, I could actually taste the fruit in this drink.  I found the cider to be crisp and smooth, and as Gollum would say, “Drink it, drink it, while we can!”  It is a little known fact that in the first draft of the Lord of The Rings, Gollum dragged a cooler around with him and still had a few Ace Perry Hard Ciders inside when he ran into Frodo and Sam in Emyn Muil.

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Cursed in New England:  Stories of Damned Yankees by Joseph A.Citro

I wouldn’t say this was a very good book overall, but it had it moments.  I tend to get giddy when a book I’m reading ties in with another book I’m reading or one I’ve just read.  Not only was there a tie in between this book and Haunted Happenings as posted earlier, but also with Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivors.  Really, I’m giddy!  This coincidence concerns a couple of ships named Phoenix.  You’d think they’d quit using this as it never lives up to its name.  No matter how often a Phoenix has sunk, it has never risen again.

Our first Phoenix in Cursed in New England was a 146-foot paddle wheeler that went down in flames on Lake Champlain in 1819.  Phoenix (#2) Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivors was a propeller boat that went down in flames on Lake Michigan in 1847.

Now, if two ships named Phoenix going down in flames isn’t odd enough, both their captains, Capt. Jehaziel Sherman (Phoenix #1) and Capt. G. B. Sweet (Phoenix #2), became incapacitated on the first day of travel and the ships were taken over by the first mates.  Synchronicity or mere coincidence?

My biggest complaint towards Mr. Citro is his use of the adjective “mucus-colored” to describe storm clouds.  One wonders what mucus-colored clouds drop.

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City of Bones by Michael Connelly, copyright 2002, published by Little, Brown

This book was lent to me by my friend D.  Apparently Mr. Connelly is quite popular, having written Lincoln Lawyer.  I’ve neither read Lincoln Lawyer nor seen the movie, but as for City of Bones, it should be called City of Boredom.  Serious snooze time here folks.  ‘Nuff said.

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Death Race 3 Inferno is the next movie that has been ordered by Netflix by the hubby. After seeing some previews, I feel this movie should be titled Tits and Tires.  I will not be reviewing this movie as I have to change the cat litter that night or some such thing.

I am now going to go read, and you’re not going to believe this title:

Cannibals and Evil Cult Killers:  The Most Unthinkable and Heinous Crimes (the darkest, innermost, secrets of cannibals and evil cult killers are revealed).

I’m pretty sure this is one of the longest book titles I’ve ever come across.  And just so you know, the longest song title is:  How could you believe me when I said I loved you when you know I’ve been a liar all my life?

Fun facts people.  I look forward to your comments.

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June 2, 2013

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A rather dull day beer-wise.  I had one celebratory Michelob Ultra for managing to figure out how to configure my notebook to work with my dad’s monitor, keyboard and mouse and two Bud Lights with dinner.  I promise to branch out at Native New Yorker this week at trivia night.

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Cursed in New England:  Stories of Damned Yankees by Joseph A. Citro, copyright 2004, published by Pequot Press

Like many books published lately, I was notified that no part of [the] book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means.  No doubt a curse would be forthcoming.

If you go back to when I first started this blog, you would see my posts on Haunted Happenings by Robert E. Cahill.  You remember Mr. Cahill?  The guy who took photos of Barbie and claimed it to be a spirit?  Oddly enough, or perhaps not odd at all, Mr. Cahill features in this current books as being among the cursed.  As a one-time sheriff of Salem, he believed that he suffered from the Curse of Giles Corey, a poor sod who cursed the town of Salem and its authorities whilst he was being tortured to death for an accusation of witchcraft.

How was Mr. Cahill cursed you ask?  Well, during his tenure as Sheriff, he suffered a rare blood disease, heart attack and a stroke and was forced to retire and photograph Barbies.  He also claims that all the previous sheriffs as far back as he could trace, also suffered heart troubles.  Hum Twilight theme here.

My favorite story so far is the Curse of Black Agnes.  Black Agnes is, in my opinion, a rather attractive piece of graveyard statuary located in Montpelier, Vermont.

agnes 2

It is unknown why the statue became known as Black Agnes, but the rumor goes as follows:  If you dare to sit in her lap by the light of the full moon, you will suffer seven years of bad luck and possibly even death.   After further reading it turns out that Black Agnes is a carving of Thanatos, the Greek God of Death.  That’s right.  Agnes is a he.

iron

Now for the film of the week.  I use the word film much in the same way one would call the No-Tell Motel a hotel.

The Man with the Iron Fists was written and directed by rapper RZA (which explains the bad hip-hop soundtrack) and produced by Quentin Tarantino (which explains the abundance of blood).  RZA also stars (i.e., attempts to act) in this badly written ripoff of Rocky, Enter The Dragon, X-Men and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  Costuming was apparently provided by Hair Bands R Us.  The sales rack.

hair     hair2

Russell Crowe and Lucy Lui should be embarrassed.

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May 31, 2013

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Broke the beer mold today and had 2 glasses of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio instead.  I’m waiting for Silenus, the God of Beer, to strike me down.  Apparently there are multiple beer gods (see http://socyberty.com/folklore/10-ancient-gods-of-beer/), but Silenus seems to be top god.  Frankly, I say whoever is paying the tab is top god.  Had a quiet late lunch/early dinner at Red Lobster with the hubby.  I prefer Joe’s Crab Shack, but I also prefer to have some money left in my wallet after a meal.

books

J. and his wife M., lent and/or gave (I can’t remember which) me 3 mystery books.  The first one, Faithless, has already been discussed in an earlier post.  I didn’t think much of Faithless and I think even less of this next book.

Compulsion (An Alex Delaware Novel) by Jonathan Kellerman, copyright 2008, published by Random House is another typical whojunit, except for perhaps the transvestitism.  Couldn’t say.  I don’t read that many mystery books but I am upping my count.

I had high hopes for this book as it had a much higher body count than Faithless.  However the brain cell count was at a minimum.  Ever read a book, reach the end and have to ask yourself what the hell you just read?  I had a definite what the fuck moment when I closed this book.  I know who died, I know who killed them and I know who solved the crime.  What I need is a side order of Why and the wine list. 

Before I discuss this book further (and it won’t be much further), I would like you to stop here and ask yourself what your definition of “broad daylight” is before reading further.

My definition of broad daylight would be during the day, say 12 noon.  The sun has fully risen and has not yet begun to set.  Thus broad daylight.  I found it interesting that in summary of the plot on the inner sleeve, we are told that a retired school teacher is stabbed in broad daylight.  Yet, when the moment came in the book, she was actually stabbed at 6:32 a.m.  The author was precise about the time of the stabbing.  6:32 a.m.  Nothing broad about that daylight.

And finally, just a few passing comments on our favorite detective, Nancy Drew.  I chose this book cover for a reason.  I won’t be covering this book on my blog, but I want you all to notice where Nancy is shining that flashlight.  Apparently the window must be hidden up the peacock’s ass.

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In The Clue of the Black Keys, a criminal “leered triumphantly” at Nancy.  Definitions:  Leer:  An unpleasantly lustful look.  Triumphantly:  Having achieved victory or success.  When I asked Bing and Google to bring up images of a triumphant leer this was their best result.

leer  Seems more of an apathetic indifferent leer of triumph to me.

When Nancy, in The Mystery at the Ski Jump asks a hotel clerk for a description of a man who had just checked out, the clerk replies, “Oh, the usual type.  Small and slender.  Dark eyes.  Slick patent-leather hair.”  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know that patent-leather toupees were sold.  Let me Google that. . . .  Well, I found a lot of patent-leather shoes and some patent-leather hair bows, but no patent-leather hair.  You would think this guy would be east to catch as that sort of ‘do must stand out.  He must cover it with a mohair hat.

The Man With The Iron Fists is our next Netflix pick.

iron

2012 – Combining kung-fu action and hip-hop style, this martial arts thriller relates the saga of a Chinese blacksmith caught up in a battle between clans. Forced to defend his own village, the blacksmith channels primeval forces that make him invincible.

Like me, I bet you’re all looking forward to hearing about this gem!

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May 25, 2013

I’m working on this post while watching the Arizona Diamondbacks play San Diego.  Badly.  I’m beginning to think the Diamondbacks should have their name changed to the 9th Inners as they often seem to start a game well only to crash in the last few innings.  I had hoped for better things once Putz was out with an injury.  Now there’s a pitcher who lives up to his name.  Putz.

putz

Shave your face while you’re at it.  Looks like his Hitler mustache slipped down his lip a bit before coming to an unattractive stop.

The Devil in Dover

The Devil in Dover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Devil in Dover:  An Insider’s Story of Dogma V. Darwin in Small-Town America by Lauri Leba, copyright 2008, published by New Press covers events in 2004 when a school board in Dover, Pennsylvania, tried to get creationism back into the school’s curriculum by calling it intelligent design.  This book covers the first school board meetings to to the end of the court proceeding which ensued.

This was a pick for our June nonfiction group meeting by S. (the teacher).  I was afraid to start this book because I was worried that the writing (considering coverage of a court case), would be dry.  I was happily mistaken.  This is a great book!  I finished this in about 2 hours, staying up until 3:00 a.m. to do so.  The author has a personal connection to the subject which keeps her writing fresh and energetic.  I wholeheartedly recommend this book.  It is available at the library so go check it out.

Cover of "Dead in Their Tracks: Crossing ...

Cover via Amazon

Dead in Their Tracks:  Crossing America’s Desert Borderlands by John Annerino, copyright 1999, published by Four Walls Eight Windows.  A journalist follows illegal immigrants as they try to make their way through the desert to what they hope will be a better life in America.  Contains photos that some (and you know who you are G.) may find disturbing.  Frankly the subject of illegals crossing the border is a subject that people get very touchy about so I will only say that I found it well written and fully researched.  If this subject interests you, by all means read this book.  You might also try Illegals:  The Unacceptable Cost of America’s Failure to Control It’s Borders by Darrell Ankarlo, copyright 2010, published by Thomas Nelson.

beer

My latest adventure in beer tasting at the Native New Yorker led me to Batch 19 Pre-Prohibition Style Lager, brewed by Coors.  If this was what they had pre-prohibition, it’s no wonder they prohibited it.  Probably in the hopes that someone would come up with a better brew.  I can only think they brought it back to make post-prohibitionists aware of the crap they were spared from.  Or maybe it’s like a form of liquid flagellism.  Be prepared for bitter-beer face.

sinister

Three out of three people watching agreed that this movie was so crap that we turned it off with 40 minutes left to go.  No murder or mayhem.  No fear or fright.  Much boredom and apathy was experienced by all.  Remember how bad I said Silent Hill Revelation was?  This is worse.  No really.  Worse.

pyramid head

Pyramid  Head needed to go ballistic on the people in this film.  In fact, the film would have been greatly improved had a mosquito gone ballistic on the characters.

cruella

Cruella Deville is much more frightening than anything  you’ll find in this film.   You might think I’m overstating the facts, but if you really want to be frightened, turn this movie off and go watch the news.

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