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Showing posts from June, 2016

Avenger by Frederick Forsyth (♦♦♦♦)

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I could never do justice to Frederick Forsyth in summarizing his plots. The following blurb of Avengerhas been taken from Barnes & Noble:
Attorney Calvin Dexter hangs his shingle in a quiet New Jersey town, has a reasonably successful practice, and takes the hills strong while triathlon training. But Dexter is no ordinary man.
The summer before he goes to college, Ricky Colenso travels to Bosnia to volunteer as an aid worker. A few weeks later, he disappears and is never heard from again. A family grieves and is offered little hope—in the fog of that horrible time and place, the killer, too, has vanished.
Or so it would seem. For in a world that has forgotten right and wrong, there are few like Cal Dexter who can settle the score. And so, years later, a worldwide chase is on and Dexter begins to draw a net around the killer. But this time CIA agent Paul Devereux must find a way to stop Dexter before his quest for vengeance throws the world into chaos.
Avenger has a more modern feel th…

Snapshots - #3

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TV shows...
Penny Dreadful (♦♦♦♦♦): Several months ago, I discovered the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, featuring archetypal horror characters such as Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, Van Helsing, Dr. Jekyll, a werewolf, witches, and vampires. Season 1 was about devil possession and the harboring of dark secrets. Season 2 was based on witchcraft and its power to do evil. Season 3, the one currently available, deals with vampires. All evil forces aim to win the soul of Miss Vanessa Ives—a young woman conflicted about her past and her belief in God. Will Vanessa surrender this time to the charms of no other than Dracula? Or will her friends be able to save her?
I started binge-watching the first two seasons of Penny Dreadful towards last year's end, and couldn't stop until I digested it whole. As you may have realized, it is very dark, gothic, but also mouth watering addictive. It isn't exactly scary, though there is a lot of gore sometimes, with just the right dose of evil …

Snapshots- #2

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TV shows…
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (♦♦♦♦): This BBC adaptation of the eponymous novel by Susanna Clarke, recounts the feud between the two greatest British magicians of the age: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange, who came to restore English magic as prophesied by the book of the Raven King. Only when a faire king—or is it the devil?—enchants Arabella Strange, Jonathan’s wife, and steals her away, Jonathan and Norrell join forces to bring her back and fulfill the entire prophecy.
This period drama takes place during and after the Napoleonic Wars. It is a quintessential British drama with magic as a twist. It has great (but not Hollywood style) special effects. I confess myself curious of what premium cable channels like HBO, Showtime, or Starz, would have accomplished with the same material. Addictive, entrancing and very, very dark, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is a cautionary tale for those who dabble in magic, as they may summon forces beyond their control.
Black Sai…

The Revenant (♦♦♦)

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Glass is the guide of a fur enterprise in the American West. His son Hawk, a half Indian, is everyone Glass has left in the world. When, running from Indians, Glass is severely mauled by a grizzly bear, the remaining members of his expedition must carry him.
Faced with a rocky incline, the Captain offers money to Hawk and two other members of the expedition to stay behind with Glass until he meets his Maker. Only Glass refuses to die. Hawk is killed, and Glass is left for dead in the midst of a brutal winter. But he discovers that his will to survive at any cost, and the need to avenge the death of his son are stronger than any obstacle man or nature puts in his path.
I am a fan of Alejandro García Iñárritu, who directed, wrote the script and produced The Revenant. His best known movies like 21 Grams, and Babel, have a circular storyline in which characters' fates meet in the end. I like that. Lately, however, Iñárritu has abandoned that non-linear narrative in favor of more linear …