Showing posts from July, 2017

Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Snapshots - #20: Westworld, The Young Pope, and more…

TV shows...
Westworld (Season 1), (♦♦♦♦♦): Welcome to Westworld, a theme park, populated by A.I. called hosts, which caters to every person's desire. In Westworld the system is rigged, for the hosts always lose, but out of the blue, some irregularities are discovered in some of the hosts' programming... Are the hosts alive and have reached a level of consciousness, or is it internal sabotage?
This HBO production, an adaptation of a movie script by author Michael Crichton, is wonderfully written, directed, and acted by the whole ensemble led by Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, and Anthony Hopkins.
Westworld is a series unlike any I have seen—Ex-Machina comes to mind when one is trying to define it. The script is smart and cutting edge, the plot unfolds slowly, though one is trapped in this world from the very beginning. Westworld is whimsical, dark, intriguing, addictive, and uniquely imaginative. It imagines a future where A.I. pass for humans with deeply unsettling results.
The …

To Love and Be Wise by Josephine Tey (♦♦♦♦½)

Inspector Alan Grant Mystery Book 4
Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is invited to a party to celebrate the launch of the latest book by writer Lavinia Fitch. At the door, Grant meets a dashing young man looking to be introduced to Miss Fitch's nephew. Grant handles the introduction. The man name is Leslie Searle, a renowned American photographer to movie stars. Lavinia is so taken with Searle, that she invites him to spend the weekend in her company, her sister's, her nephew's, and her nephew's fiancée's at her country home in Salcott Saint Mary, a community of artists by the river Rushmere. Within days, nobody knows of Searle's whereabouts for he has vanished without a trace. Is Searle's disappearance the result of accidental drowning, murder, or something entirely altogether?
When I read The Daughter of Time earlier this year, I forgot to thank Dorothy @ The Nature of Things for introducing me to Josephine Tey. I found that novel short and so endearing t…

Snapshots - #19: Outlander, Fences, Silence

TV shows...
Outlander, Season 2 (♦♦♦♦): After Jamie is tortured in Wentworth Prison at the end of Season 1, Murtaugh, Jamie, and Claire embark on a trip to France to heal, and, if possible, to thwart Prince Charles Stuart's rebellion from the start. A lot of political maneuvers and counter-maneuvers will be necessary, however, because Charles Stuart, while in need of funds to raise an army, will keep his trump cards close to his chest. Eventually, the action moves back to Scotland, where the Jacobite uprising will face outside challenges as well as some from within, such as lack of food, and a divided hierarchy.
Lavish houses, manicured lawns, the excess and glamour of King Louis XV court, together with sumptuous costume designs and jewels, and new supporting characters that compare in depth to the ones we already know, make the first seven episodes of Season 2 a feast for the eyes. Even the cover soundtrack has gotten a makeover, with one portion of the Skye Boat song sung in Frenc…