Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Magnificent Seven: exactly what I wanted it to be

Good take on the classic plot?  Check.

Denzel Washington being his bad-ass yet ultimately sympathetic self?  Check.

Stunning shots of people on horseback riding across wonderful plains, mountains looming in the background?  Check.

Add a diverse cast, Chris Pratt managing to deliver both comic relief and some intensity when appropriate, and a plucky group of villagers, and you have exactly the movie I had hoped to see.

If you know this story, nothing in the movie will surprise you, but as long as surprises aren't what you're seeking, you'll be happy.  If you aren't familiar with the underlying plot, you probably still won't be surprised, but you will also enjoy the ride.

If you like westerns, this story, or action-packed ensemble flicks, go see The Magnificent Seven.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The movie I most hope to see this weekend

It's an obvious choice, but I do want to see it.

I know it can't be as good as the Kurosawa source film, but I still have high hopes for it.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


is exactly the movie you'd expect Oliver Stone to make from the extremely interesting and controversial case of Edward Snowden.  Stone delivers great shots and excellent pacing as he paints a picture of Snowden as a hero and the government as a massive collection of scheming, Big Brother bureaucrats.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt turns in a strong performance that never goes over the top, and Shailene Woodley delivers a too good to be true girlfriend.

Everything, in fact, is too good to be true.  Everyone likes Snowden.  He never does anything seriously wrong.  His motives are noble.  He's nearly perfect.  The government is almost equally perfect, except evil.

After all, it's an Oliver Stone movie.

Having said all that, I enjoyed it.  Stone is a master craftsman working here in fine form.

I'm also in the group that feels that ultimately Snowden is a whistleblower who did Americans a service by exposing widespread government lies and abuses.  I absolutely wish he had not jeopardized others, and I don't consider his case simple, but I share with Stone a sympathy for Snowden.

I just would have liked a more human portrayal of the man.

If you're interested in the case or like Stone's films, definitely check out Snowden.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

If you can stand looking at me for thirteen and a half minutes

then you might want to head over to the Buzzy Mag site, where you can find an interview that Jean Marie Ward did with me back at this year's Balticon.  Though the hotel was jammed with fans, Jean Marie managed to find an empty hotel meeting room we were able to use.  She set up her small video camera, and we started talking.

My thanks to Jean Marie and the Buzzy Mag folks for including me in their SF/F author interview series.

I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Where I've been

I vanished from these pages for four days, for which I apologize.  By way of explanation, this past Saturday was my daughter's wedding, an event that consumed a lot of my time and even more of my heart and mind.

Over the next few days, I'll catch up with posts about the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and other topics you might find interesting.

For now, I'm still wiped out, so I'm going to try to get a bit more sleep than usual tonight.

See you tomorrow.


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