"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, March 28, 2009

SNMR 6.11: "National Treasure"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "National Treasure" (2004, PG, 131 minutes), starring Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel and Christopher Plummer. The film was directed by John Turteltaub.

PLOT SUMMARY: Benjamin Franklin Gates (Cage) is the latest in a long line of treasure hunters, looking for a tremendous treasure that has been hidden since before the American Revolution and guarded by many puzzling clues. Now on the trail of the treasure, Ben must steal the Declaration of Independence in order to see the next clue. Ben's one time benefactor, Ian (Bean) is now his rival and will do anything to get to the treasure first. In order to do it he has to fool the Director of the National Archives, Abigail Chase (Kruger) and outwit the FBI who is hot on his tail.

MY OPINION: For some reason, this is a film that I always wanted to see but never did until recently. Thought about buying the DVD but the stores I went to only seemed to have the full screen edition and never the wide screen edition. All I can say is wow! I knew that this movie would be good but I wasn't prepared for such a fast paced and amusing tale. Also, I've traditionally been a bit iffy on the talents of Nicholas Cage. This film goes a long way to erasing those concerns. Sean Bean is an excellentactor and makes for a great bad guy that you almost want to root for.

The script is smartly written and the story sucks you right in. The action is constant and the movie has a good flow to it. Sure it's a bit hokey but that's okay. I'm eventually going to buy this DVD (the wide screen two-disc special edition), because this film is worthy enough to merit repeat viewings. I liked this movie and I think you will too.

***** out of *****


Saturday, March 21, 2009

SNMR 6.10: "Eagle Eye"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Eagle Eye" (2008, PG-13, 117 minutes) starring Shia LaBoeuf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson and Michael Chiklis. The film was directed by DJ Caruso.

PLOT SUMMARY: Two strangers are drawn together by a mysterious female voice who keeps calling with instructions. Failure to follow the instructions usually ends up with something really bad happening. Who is the voice and what does she want? Why were these two people chosen? Can they accomplish all the mysterious voice intends for them to do before it's too late?

MY OPINION: I liked this movie. It was fast paced and had plenty of action right from the beginning all the way through to the end. Excellent car chases and crash scenes help to make this an edge of your seat thrill ride. Because this movie is so fast paced, sometimes stuff that was happening didn't make sense and I found that I had to replay some scenes to understand what I was seeing.

The script is nothing you haven't seen before, taking pages from other sci-fi movies like "I, Robot", "The Terminator", "The Matrix" and even "Krrish". Director DJ Caruso does a decent job of holding it all together. Shia LaBoeuf is a talented young actor who will be around for a long time, but in this movie, he and Michelle Monaghan are just serviceable in their roles. This is the kind of film where the actors are almost secondary to the action itself so you could basically insert any other male and female actors with a modicum of talent and you'll wind up with a similar movie. Billy Bob Thornton gives his usual, steady, performance. I thought Michael Chiklis was an excellent casting choice.

Still, if you like action movies then this one shouldn't disappoint. Because of the pacing, I think this is a film that will get better with repeated viewings.

*** out of *****


Friday, March 20, 2009

Vernal Equinox

Spring begins right now in the Eastern United States.

Not a moment too soon, I'd say.

I'll happily be done with winter for a while.

Won't miss it a bit.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Natasha Richardson (1963-2009)

I was wondering who the first notable Hollywood death would be for 2009. Kind of a morbid thought, but now we know. It's always disheartening to me when someone reasonably close to myself in age passes away. My prayers go out to her family. It must be especially hard on her two boys, aged 13 and 12, or it will be as they grow up without a mom. It must be hard for her mom, Vanessa Redgrave, knowing you've outlived your child.

The circumstances of her passing make it all the more tragic. This is just one more example of how fragile life can be, and how fortunate we are to be alive.

Her work isn't as well known to me as that of her husband, Liam Neeson. Still, I remember seeing her in "Nell" and a few other movies. From the articles I've been reading, Richardson, 46, was well liked and respected in Hollywood and on Broadway.

Here's the article on Richardson from people.com.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

SNMR 6.9: "Becoming Jane"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Becoming Jane" (2007, PG, 120 minutes) starring Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, Maggie Smith and Anna Maxwell Martin. The film was directed by Julian Jarrold.

PLOT SUMMARY: This is the biopic of 18th Century English novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817).

MY OPINION: I had wanted to see this film for a while because I think Anne Hathaway is a very good actress and because I have, at present, two film adaptations of Austen's novels among my DVD collection. Hathaway doesn't disappoint in this film portraying the title character, including her decent English accent. What helped her performance is that she's a real life Jane Austen fan (as she reveals in the featurette included on the DVD) and wanted to do the character justice. James McAvoy is good as LeFroy, though one wonders how much artistic license was taken with their relationship in the movie compared to what it was in real life. As usual with these biopic films, the script is basic to bland, yet compelling because we, as an audience, are interested in the life of one of the greatest, certainly now influential writers (if high school English curricula are to be believed) of the English speaking world. It's interesting that Austen was able, in her short life, to overcome her social situation as a female writer and thrive in it, even though not many accolades came her way during her lifetime.

All in all this is a decent film and in no way a waste of two hours of your life. I'd consider adding this movie to my DVD library once the price reaches the $5 mark.

*** out of *****


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Daylight Savings Time begins today

2:00 AM this morning - in just under two hours - Daylight Savings Time will begin in the Eastern United States.

This is always a good sign, when we set our clocks ahead by one hour. More daylight we have. So what that it will be darker when we wake up in the mornings for a while. I'll take that trade-off any day, any time.

Don't forget. You've been warned. Have a nice night.


Happy Birthday, K.

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

No SNMR this week

My laptop is infected with some type of virus right now which I haven't been able to defeat yet. As a result, there will be no SNMR feature this week, since I'm unable to access what I wrote. Not that any of you care or will miss the column, since I get very few comments these days. (I'm using someone else's computer to write this post.)

Hopefully we'll be back next Saturday with a new movie review for y'all.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Books of the Month - March 2009

This month's Book of the Month selections were an easy choice for me to make. After recommending this series in December 2008 and this series last month, it only seemed natural to recommend these two books as well.

This month's selections close out the series of the Belgariad and Malloreon in, what I think, is some of David and Leigh Eddings best work. I generally don't read real life biographical or autobiographical material because I find it very tedious reading. But in "Belgarath the Sorcerer" and "Polgara the Sorceress" you have autobiographies of the two fictional characters that form the pillar of the Belgariad and Malloreon, which intertwines the history of the world the Eddings' have created that is totally engrossing.

I have read the two five-book series many times, but I had only read these two books once before, when they were each first published. I had a hard time putting them down then and an equally hard time putting them down this time. When I finished with "Polgara the Sorceress," I almost wanted to start reading the Belgariad again. Almost.

If you loved the ten previous volumes as much as I did, then these books will be a welcome addition to your collection.

Purchase your copies here and here.

Bonus: For those of you aspiring writers who want to enter the world of fantasy writing, here's how they did it.