Monday, July 19, 2010

Predators Movie Going Experience

Previews... on a Monday Night....

Wall Street: Money Never Dies

Step Up 3D

Lottery Ticket


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Books 31 and 32 of 52 -- Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas

I was lent these two books after watching the HBO show based on this series. I enjoyed this book from the first chapter. Each book is one series in the tv show but there are enough differences that if you have seen "True Blood" you will get more of the background and in depth story telling that makes this series so enticing.

I can honestly say each book gets better and better. There is a whirlwind of mystery, suspicious characters and humor to keep you hooked. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to escape with the help of a great book.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book 30 of 52 -- Jon Katz' Soul of a Dog

Soul of a Dog was a delightful look into the relationship of the author with his farm animals. Although not scientific in the least, he highlights those traits in our relationship with domestic animals that make our friendship so strong. However, he naively believes that the beef he eats at a restaurant in town is somehow different than the sweet bull that he feeds Snicker Bars to. The book was too long for the subject and while fun to read failed to improve the discussion of animal intelligence a single dot or tittle.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book 29 of 52 -- Andre Agassi's Open

For me, Andre Agassi's book is most memorable because we learn that the "real" Agassi is not the Agassi we thought we knew. The disjunction between public image and private reality is rarely explored in an autobiography, and Agassi (and his ghost-writer) have gone into areas usually untouched by people on the public stage. Agassi was, in many ways, an abused and neglected child. He did not know who he was; he was hardly the "rebel" or "enfant terrible" that the press made him out to be. His wrenching struggles and his personal growth took place despite the efforts of the media to tell a pat story about him, and they occurred away from the tennis court.

Agassi's frankness about himself separates this book from most autobiographies. It's not really a book about tennis but a book about how to become a human being. In fact, with a few exceptions, the accounts of Grand Slam matches are not very enlightening to the amateur tennis player on the technical level. But the accounts of Agassi's depression, his self-doubt, and his hatred for tennis are unforgettable.

This book could, however, have been 50 to 100 pages shorter without losing its impact.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book 28 of 52 -- Stephen King's Billy Blockade

Though I consider this "book" to be a minor addition to Stephen King's vast literary canon, I found myself enjoying it. Some of King's books could be a bit of a slog trying to get through. This novella is definitely not one of those. I enjoyed the descriptions of the old time baseball scenarios. The story centered on the super-talented catcher "Blockade" Billy Blakely, whose name was inexplicably removed from the records book (the constant reader does not learn why until near the end of the story). It is a fairly straightforward baseball fantasy up to the time it arrived to its Stephen King trademark twist ending. I really enjoyed it for the fast reading and the thrills. I also read this story from the standpoint of being a potential movie script. I was able to see this story fitting nicely as a cinematic offering. If handled correctly by the right director and actors, it will be a viewing experience that few will forget.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Book 27 of 52 -- Richard Roeper's Bet the House

Fun and light read, but the whole book was pointless.

I like to gamble too and even I was like... uhhh... what?

Despicable Me Moviegoing Experience


Nanny McPhee Returns


Ramona and Beezus

Alpha and Omega


Cats and Dogs - The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Good movie that started a bit slow and then kicked into gear with the introduction of the kids.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Book 26 of 52 -- Phillip Margolin's Supreme Justice

In order to enjoy this book you really do have to suspend belief a bit, because the US Supreme Court is hopefully, no where near as lively and dangerous a place as Margolin portrays it. However, the book is well crafted in the usual Margolin style and weaves several plot lines neatly together to produce a very good summer read, if not the five star effort we have come to expect from this author.

This book follows on from Executive Privilege with many of the same characters from that book getting up to their elbows and eyeballs in a piece of intrigue that is very,very dangerous.

The connector for the storylines is a petition for a writ of certiorari from a convicted murderer in Oregon to the Supreme Court, the granting of which will unravel some very large misdeeds done by some very important and powerful people who are willing to kill to prevent their misdeeds from being discovered.

Telling you more about the plot would do the book a disservice because the story has many unexpected and unforseen twists and turns which are the hallmark of this author. The court is in session....

Friday, July 09, 2010

Book 25 of 52 -- John Heilemann & Mark Halperin's Game Change

This is an entertaining look at the 2008 Presidential election from a couple of Washington insiders who viewed some of it up close and personal, and had a lot of connections and sources to fill in the blanks. Since the campaign itself immersed a lot more of the population in process, this is a good look back for a lot of readers. There is a slight Obama slant, but the public gets to see far more of the "warts" of politics at this level, and really, has to wonder why anyone would choose to insert themselves into this crazy process.

I tried to ignore the early gossip about the book and the "reveals" and just evaluate it on the face of my own reading experience.

Edwards, Palin, McCain and Bill Clinton take the most hits of any other figures in the book. Hilary, while at a loss in the race, comes off as the most believable and heroic of all the figures (and I'm a fan!). There is good support for all the smart moves made by the Obama campaign and realistic introduction of some of the criticsm of his past connections. All in all, a fascinating account, without any particularly laudable skill in the phrasing or historical significance.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Book 24 of 52 -- David Baldacci's Deliver Us From Evil

In this sequel to The Whole Truth, Shaw accepts the job of 'extracting' Evan Waller, a millionaire whose legitimate businesses launder the profits from trafficking in sex slaves and selling weapons-grade nuclear materials to Islamic terrorists.

Unknown to Shaw, Regina Campion, an assassin from a shadowy British vigilante organisation, plans to kill Waller, who she knows to be Fedir Kuchin, a KGB officer who continued Stalin's genocide of Ukrainians until the collapse of communism. Waller/Kuchin also has the character flaws of many movie villains: bad taste in henchmen, and a weakness for overly complicated deathtraps.

Action-packed, with little else to distract.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Book 23 of 52 -- James Patterson's The 9th Judgment

Some of the old James Patterson faults are there, such as, a not very interesting sadistic serial killer who targets mothers with children. This sort of murderer appears in most Patterson books. Then there's a female cat burglar/lesbian with a cruel husband. She just happens to be romantically involved with the sadistic killer's wife. Weird. There are also obligatory heterosexual scenes that are thrown in for the fifteen-year olds who may read this book.

But there are fewer obvious errors of fact and syntax, silly errors that a good editor should have caught. And there are no insulting passages in bold lettering to tell the dimbulb reader that This Is Important. In the past these have been standard fare. However, the book runs about twenty pages longer than it should. The author had a very good final line and they kept right on going.

This is not a mystery novel. As usual Patterson lets us know from the start who the killer is. Thus, there are really no surprises. We know that the come uppance is coming up and we know who is going to get it. This would have been much better had we not known the killer's name and motive--a la Agatha Christie, for example.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Book 22 of 52 -- Stuart Woods' Lucid Intervals

First let me say that I have read all of Mr. Woods books. His books are usually amusing and light with enough action and romance to keep it interesting.

On the other hand I do get a little tired of the Airplane jargon when it does not really pertain to the story that much. Its in all his books and this leads me to believe that Mr. Woods has a healthy interest in planes and flying them. That being said I don't believe this was one of his better books. It dragged in a lot of places and did not hold my interest as his books usually do. Case in point I now know way to much about planes.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Book 21 of 52 -- Sarah Silverman's The Bedwetter

Ok, I admit to being totally smitten with Sarah Silverman. I find her smart, funny, clever, ironic, outspoken, and cute as a button.

So it's no surprise I would be receptive to her book.

Sure it's a quick read, and there are lots of photos and other nonsense, but she offers plenty of insight too, on her life growing up a Jew in very gentile New Hampshire, her problems with depression and bedwetting, and her rise through the comic ranks in New York, through SNL, Jesus is Magic, and finally her hilarious (now cancelled) Comedy Central show. She also touches on some controversies in her career and explains quite directly why she doesn't plan on making fun of Mohamed any time soon.

A fun, easy read.