Oceans 12 and 13

Escapist entertainment, I enjoyed both.

Clooney and pals having fun. Matt Damon’s role is amusing.

Click PLAY or watch the Oceans 12 trailer on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch the Oceans 13 trailer on YouTube. Ellen Barken is super.

Thanks Warren.

 

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Dune: books 1-3

If you claim Dune is the greatest Science Fiction novel of all time, I’d not argue.

Recently I reread the first 3 books in the series.

Written 1965, it’s superb. Not at all dated.

Dune was rejected by more than 20 publishers—before being published by Chilton Books, a little-known printing house best known for its auto repair manuals.

Frank Herbert wrote 6 books before his death. As I recall from past readings each sequel was less compelling.

Book 2 is Dune Messiah 1969. I again found it slow, dark and overly philosophical.

Book 3 is Children of Dune 1976. Better than Messiah, but still too slow paced. In fact hardly anything happens in books 2 and 3. It’s mostly interpersonal intrigue.

When his son took over for the 7th book they got even worse.

I actually found things to like about both the 1984 film and the 2000 TV miniseries. Sting was excellent, for example.

Still … it’s time for another version of Dune. Happily we can look forward to that December, 2020. Jason Momoa plays Duncan Idaho.

Liet Kynes will be played by a woman.

Click PLAY or watch a teaser on YouTube.

In June 2019 it was announced that Legendary Television will be producing a spin-off television series, Dune: The Sisterhood, for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max. The series will focus on the Bene Gesserit and serve as a prequel to the 2020 film.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Very good.

Station Eleven is a 2014 novel by Emily St. John Mandel.

… The novel takes place in the Great Lakes region after a fictional swine flu pandemic, known as the “Georgia Flu”, has devastated the world, killing most of the population. It won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2015. …

Critics like the book for it’s unpretentious writing and unusual time-jumping plot line.

It works. Though most, like me, have many questions about this dystopia.

The only thing that ties characters together are two King Lear plays: one the day the plague arrives and another in the near future.

A film adaptation of the novel is in development.

related – NY Times review – O.K., Now It’s Time to Panic

Hanna (TV series) – season 1

I did like Hanna the movie.

Saoirse Ronan

Hanna the TV series is … different. But the new actor playing Hanna is just as interesting. Fierce — yet naive and vulnerable. Lost girl with killer instincts.

She didn’t watch the film wanting to bring her own interpretation to the role.

Esme Creed-Miles

Hanna is a 15-year-old girl living with Erik, the only man she has ever known as her father, in a remote part of a forest in Poland.

Erik once recruited pregnant women into a CIA program, code name UTRAX, where the children’s DNA was enhanced in order to create super-soldiers.

It’s smart. Brave. Multilingual. Good acting. Complex characters.

The fight scenes and explosions are embarrassingly poorly done, however. 😀

A little too much violence for my liking. Still … I might continue with season 2. I’d like to see what happens with those super humans.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME – my review

Totally cheesy. But epicly awesome.

Rockin’ calls blockbusters like this cultural imperatives. I’m glad I saw it. Glad I saw it in the theatre.

Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk was my favourite character. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Ironman as well, of course.

I’m not a Marvel superhero fan. Did not know or recognize many of the characters.

I was pretty meh on both Black Panther and Captain Marvel.

But ENDGAME kept me awake and entertained for the full 3 hours.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

One question …

How does Marvel Studios follow-up?

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I did read Gone Girl. And saw the movie.

Both quite good.

Her earlier (2009) novel is even better.

It centres around a farm family massacred in Kinnakee, Kansas.

The 15-year-old son is locked up as the killer. Only the youngest girl  — Libby Day — survives.

Twenty-five years after the massacre, Libby, in need of money, meets with a group of amateur investigators who believe that her brother is innocent. She starts to believe her brother might actually be innocent.

They made a film of Dark Places (2015) too but from the trailer it looks to me they’ve changed the story quite a bit. It tanked. And has only 24% approval on Rotten Tomatoes.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

So skip the movie. Read the book.

The author was born in Kansas City, Missouri. And this book is set just outside of Kansas City, Missouri.

Grisham – The Firm

Though the story seemed VERY familiar, I don’t believe I ever read The Firm. Until now.

It holds up.

I’m guessing it was the film that stuck in my brain. Many thought the movie was better than the novel.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Firm is a 1991 legal thriller by American writer John Grisham. His second book, it was Grisham’s first which gained wide popularity; in 1993, after selling 1.5 million copies, it was made into a film starring Tom CruiseGene Hackman and Jeanne Tripplehorn. …

John Grisham was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.