A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lotsa stuff

The following are ten things on my mind that I'll likely be writing about at greater length in the days to come. But for now here's a little snippet on each topic. Hope you enjoy...

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two was a pleasing, well-crafted and satisfying conclusion to the eight-film Harry Potter saga. Bravo to Warner Brothers and director David Yates for a job well done.

2) Transformers: Dark of the Moon delivered an actual caper plot and not just mindless action. Also, when the action does come, it's truly epic. Yeah, the movie's ultimately kinda juvenile, but isn't there a little bit of kid in all of us?

3) Captain America: The First Avenger is sweeping and well made, with a lot of heart at its core. I do wish Cap squared off against more Nazis, but, hey, that's just me. And, yes, the musical number by Alan Menken is indeed one of the best things in the film!

4) My wife and I are now working our way through the awful but somehow wonderful films of Ed Wood on DVD. You haven't lived until you've seen Glen or Glenda, Wood's 1953 transvestite epic starring Bela Lugosi!

5) I'm really enjoying Jeffery Deaver's James Bond novel, Carte Blanche. The main villain's creepy obsession with death and decay was an imaginative and brave choice on Deaver's part, as the villain feels more like an element of a disturbing arthouse film rather than a slick Bond adventure. But the result is immersive fun.

6) Fellow blogger and career law enforcement officer Paul Bishop has been tapped to star in Take the Money & Run, a terrific sounding reality-style game show to appear Tuesdays on ABC starting this August. Read more about the show on Paul's blog, Bish's Beat. This show really sounds like a lot of fun.

7) I know, I know: I'm writing too often about Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone mysteries these days. Let me just throw in that G is for Gumshoe and H is for Homicide (both of which I recently completed) were smart, satisfying reads, as prior entries in the series have been. But I'll wait a while before filing full reviews of each.

8) Enjoy animated adventures? Check out the recent direct-to-DVD titles All Star Superman and Thor: Tales of Asgard. The former adapts the sharp and slightly storybook-ish DC comic book series and the latter is a nice companion piece to the recent Thor theatrical film. Both animated features are well-crafted and entertaining.

9) In The Garden of Beasts is Erik Larson's latest "non-fiction yet reads like a novel" offering, telling the story of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first American ambassador to Nazi Germany. What was it like for Ambassador Charles Dodd and his family to discover, first hand, the growing Nazi menace, before the Nazis were actually our enemies? A fascinating read.

10) I'm now in the midst of Ben Mezrich's Sex on the Moon, the true story about a young man's planned caper to make off with a large supply of moon rocks! So far I'm enjoying this unusual, quirky heist story, though I'm starting to have some issues with it (which I'll discuss in my eventual review).

As said, I'll be writing more about many of the above topics, but for now I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse of what's been stirring around in my mind these days.

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