Showing posts from August, 2012

Snapshots - #38: Only the Brave, Jane, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Only the Brave (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Based on the true story of the effort it took to get a municipal crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, certified as Hotshots. After battling thousands of wildfires since their inception, the Granite Mountain Hotshots answered a call to battle the Yarnell Hill fire—about 30 miles away from Prescott—along with several other crews. How they got to that point and what happened is what this movie is about.
Only the Brave is a drama with some thriller on the side, and excellent performances to boast of. It's got a dynamic pace, engaging plot, amazing shots of wildfires, fun camaraderie, and great music to underscore the action. As an audience, we care for the journey of that crew, individually and as a group, and as heartbreaking as the closing scenes are, we stand in awe at the sacrifices that firefighters and their families make every day of their lives. Only the Brave is a darn great tribute to them, and elite firefighters such as the Granite Moun…

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (♦♦♦♦½)

Hector Bowen, a.k.a. Prospero the Enchanter, is a well known magician who has a prodigy daughter named Celia. When Prospero discovers that Celia’s illusionist skills are beyond her years, he begins to train her for a challenge that will forever alter her life.

Mr. A.H., a.k.a. Alexander, used to be Prospero’s teacher, but when Prospero challenged Alexander’s theories and views, a perpetual duel began. Henceforth, Prospero and Alexander kept training students for the fight of their lives, only the rules of the game were never properly disclosed. When Prospero puts forth his daughter Celia as a contender for the latest challenge, Alexander searches for his own candidate. Enters Marco, a nine year old boy who has grown up in an orphanage and is glad to see the world for a change.

Years go by and Celia and Marco are trained constantly with unorthodox methods, each one without ever meeting the other; that changes with the genesis of a unique circus called Le Cirque des Réves or Circus of …

The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva (♦♦♦♦½)

Retired Israeli spy Gabriel Allon is spending time in the Vatican restoring a Caravaggio’s painting, but when the body of a Vatican curator is discovered one morning in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Luigi Donati, Pope Paul VII’s private secretary, secretly asks Gabriel to conduct a private investigation for Donati’s eyes only. Gabriel reluctantly accepts, convinced that the death of the woman is not a suicide but a murder; her broken neck, a missing piece of jewelry and her apparently deliberate barefoot-ness tell him so.

When Gabriel begins to dig deeper, he discovers that the late curator had been calling a phone number outside Rome and he visits the house, only to find the owner has met an untimely, gruesome demise. Enters General Ferrari, an Italian policeman in charge of the Art Theft division, who tells Gabriel the story of the dead man’s true occupation: a capo zona of tombaroli, tombs robbers who deal with valuable antiquities.

When General Ferrari suggests that Gabriel have a talk…