Bookit Review: The Truth About Leo

Title: The Truth about Leo
Author: Katie MacAlister
Publication Date:  August 2014 (Kindle Edition)
Grade: C

There are times I come across books and I feel like either the Author was told they needed to write the book, or they rushed it.  This is one of those times.  The main characters seem interesting, but we learn hardly anything about them.  The minor characters for the most part are characters from the other books, which is nice.  I found it readable, but perhaps not one I would feel like I missed out on something by not reading it.

The main characters of this novel, the fourth in the Noble series, are Leo Mortimer and Dagmar Sophie.  She’s an impoverished princess whose cousin is the Prince regent of Denmark.  Prince Frederick (actual person in history) is tired of taking care of his cousin (and Dagmar is, from the accounts of her mother, a thorn in Frederick’s side) and tells her to find her way to family, or she will be sent to a French Convent. Instead she marries a wounded soldier, Leo Mortimer, and gets transportation to England where she plans to go into business as a shop owner.

Most of the book deals with the two in almost a honeymoon like phase.  They get over their respective issues with what happened rather quickly.  Some of the books conversations are a little hard to follow because there are so many people in them, and some are even multiple conversations occurring at the same.

It does have its moments, though.  MacAlister has a knack for funny dialogue and banter.  I just find this novel to not be one of her best.

Also the B plot mystery about Dalton’s nephew is missing quite a few pieces.  I feel like there is two stories, trying to fit into one book and failing to do so.

 

The Constitution: Article Two (Part One)

Since its been awhile, here is the previous post in this series. Originally posted July 22,2016.

Sokorra's Blog

So as Article One created the Legislative Branch, Article Two creates the executive branch.  Notably this branch contains the President and Vice President, but it also contains the cabinet and their departments as well as a few other smaller government offices.

Section One

This section sets up the Presidency.  Who it is, how long he/she is in there, and how they are elected.

View original post 695 more words

Film Review: GhostBusters (2016)

A long time ago, I believe I watched the original Ghostbusters film, but to be honest it has been so long ago that I barely remembered it. Going into watching this version of the story I was wondering if it was going to be a different verse, or a continuation or otherwise how it would relate to the original.  The answer was its a whole different universe from the originals, but the actors who were in the original who were still living all make some brief appearances in the film.

I found it hilarious at times, and some random actors showed up that I wasn’t expecting like CHarles Dance (aka Tywin Lannister) and Ed Begley jr who plays another Ed Jr..  Chris Hemsworth’s Kevin was also a hilarious take on the dumb secretary trope.  The cast as a whole was excellent, and the cameos of the original actors were interesting. The longest appearance was by Bill Murray who plays a critic of the ghostbusters who thinks they are making it all up.

For the most part I enjoyed it, though there were one or two times a joke went on too long, and the credits were over done a little.   Also the theme music appeared more in the trailer then perhaps it did in the actual movie.  The soundtrack in general was a little less then what I was expecting.

Considering one of the larger complains I heard prior to watching was that the cast was all female, I don’t think gender had an any effect on the quality of this film.  The cast did an excellent job

So my grade for this movie is a B+.  I’m definately planning on adding it to my collection at some point and I do hope that they get the sequel that they wanted.

In Memoriam: Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds is one of the actresses that always seemed to be there.  On one hand I knew her as Carrie Fisher’s mom, but I also knew her as a classic film actress.  I haven’t seen too many of her films, but her name being on the list was always a point in the favor of the film for me.

Besides the films, a friend and I had been writing various stories together and had come up with this character named Mama Todd.  Debbie Reynolds was our face for the character.

My favorite Debbie Reynolds movie was a bio-pic called ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’, where she played the titular character. Molly Brown is most known for surviving the Titanic.  Its actually one of my favorite classic films.

The Trailer:

Another favorite,and probably more well known, is of course Singin’ in the Rain where she plays Kathy, a singer who plays the voice of an actress when the movie is slated to become a talkie rather than a silent.

Of course the most known scene:

Another movie I recently saw of hers that I found hilarious was These Old Broads, and worth it for this scene:

 

Christmas Movies

I have decided that its time for a list post.  This one is a list of my favorite Christmas movies.  Every year we are given more and more christmas movies to enjoy, and some are good, some are bad, and some are so bad they are good.

But I’ll just stick to my favorite five, in no particular order.

  • Borrowed Hearts

Borrowed Hearts is a 1997 CBS Christmas movie starring Roma Downey and Erik McCormick.  The premise of the movie is a bit cliche:  Sam Fields’ Buisness partner Dave lies to a potential investor that Sam has a family, so they need to hire one for a few days.  None of the actors work out, but in stumbles in Kathryn and her daughter Zoe, who seem to fit.  He convinces her to be his pretend wife for a few days, which due to Mr. Delcampo’s extended stay ends up staying over Christmas.  Its a cute movie, and has Hector Elizondo as DeCampo.

(I would put a clip here, but alas most of the clips on Youtube appear to be either the complete film or another film all together.

  • White Christmas

So here’s my traditional movie on the list.  I grew up watching this movie.  Even though its a little oddball (Its a part musical, so its not suprising) its a fun movie to watch.  Plus I love Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney has a wonderful voice to listen to.  There are two main plots to this story. Phil and Judy want to live their own lives, so they push Bob and Betty together an in attempt to get the two to focus on something else for awhile.  Except it backfires when Betty gets some misunderstood gossip from the General’s personal assistant about Plot #2.  That plot involves Bob and Phil trying to pull together a show and a special reunion of their war buddies to aid their favorite commanding officer whose hotel in Vermont is not doing as well as he would hope.

Its also Irving Berlin Music which shows up in a lot of musicals of the time.   And then there is this scene:

  • Love Actually

This is a lovely assembly movie. It begot a bunch of less awesome assembly holiday based movies, but I can forgive it.  For one it has an awesome cast including Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Andrew Lincoln, Martin Freeman, Emma Thompson, Laura Linney and many many more.  Although some of the various plots are a bit annoying (Poor Andrew Lincoln for example plays a creepy best friend in love with Best friend’s wife) the overall film is cute and the various examples of love and relationships are splendid.

  • Nightmare before Christmas

This is a Christmas movie AND a Halloween movie.  The premise of the movie is that Jack, the king of Halloweentown, finds himself bored with his life.  It never seems to change.  One day while walking his ghost-dog, he stumbles into Christmas Town and Suddenly is awash with new things to do.  He’s going to do christmas up in style.

Except things don’t go as planned, because its hard to explain Christmas to citizens who live Halloween.  This is my favorite Tim Burton film.

  • The Holiday

Another cute movie (my big requirement for a christmas movie is it be cute) where two woman switch places for a vacation before Christmas to Take a break from some crappy life happenings.  My favorite plot line of the move is the one for Kate Winslet, who not only finds happiness, but also finds her own personal strength and ‘gumption’ through friendship with her temporary neighbors.  Sure, its ultimately a romance, but the friendship is one of the highlights of the movie.

Bookit Review: Second Impressions

Title:  Second Impressions
Author: Amy George
Publication Date:  August 10, 2016 (Kindle Unlimited version)
Grade: C

The concept of Second Impressions is an interesting one.  In this, Darcy ends up holding up the engagement to Anne Darcy, and Elizabeth travels to America to visit some family there in an attempt to get over her heartbreak.

A few years later she returns to help her sister who’s expecting a baby and she is reunited with a depressed Darcy whose wife has died.  SHe and Darcy have to reintroduce themselves with who they are now.

The issue however, is that the book doesn’t really live up to the concept. In fact, the story seems to be almost more about Elizabeth’s gutsy futuristic cousin Emmeline Poston.   There is her awkward romance with John Dalton, and the side plot that really only shows up in the last third of the book where an Ex of Emmeline’s shows up and decides to kidnap her at Elizabeth’s wedding.

The positives of this book include an expansion of character with Charles Bingley, Jane, and Kitty.  They start to have more of a personality then in Austen’s original novel.  Although Jane seems more outgoing then she really was in the original material.

I feel like there are two novels in here, just both didn’t have enough so she threw them together and they didn’t meld as well as perhaps the Author hoped.

Although it should be noted that I didn’t realise it was a novella (despite that being listed on the cover) till I was finished with it.

The Trump Problem

It’s hard to find inside myself the ability to respect Donald Trump.  I respect the office he has now won, but not him although I will be respectful.  There are many reasons why I don’t find it easy to respect him, some of which I can only explain by saying that he just gives me a bad feeling, that’s all.  But others are a bit more clear-cut then that.

  1.  He promotes racism
  2. He actively taunts other countries to try to attack us
  3. He lies about things easily checked
  4. He promotes violence towards those who are different
  5. He mocks the disabled
  6. He generalizes in his opinions of groups of people and then uses those generations to set policy.
  7. He has no respect for women.  He’s even admitted this.  I’d go as far as to say he is misogynistic.
  8. He has little respect for anyone outside himself, including his own children.
  9.  He promotes hatred towards immigrants and minorities.
  10. He is incredibly easy to taunt into a reaction, and does not seem to have a diplomatic bone in his body.

Now in the end, he’s still going to be president.  However I ask people to deal with the Trump problem (and yes, it is a problem) by getting involved.  Make sure you vote in your local elections even when its not a presidential election year. Contact your representatives both locally and nationally.  Keep an active participation in your government.  Hold Donald Trump to higher standards and demand he meets them as they are the bare minimum of being President.

If you see people using Trump’s election as validation of their hateful behavior, stand up against it.  Show your fellow Americans that you see them, and don’t stand for what is happening to them.  Don’t share racist/ablest jokes on Facebook.  When someone decides that Trump’s so-called “locker room” talk is acceptable, tell them it is not.

Don’t let the Trump Problem become something that stands for us as a Nation.  Show that despite Trump being President, we aren’t going to stand for that kind of behavior in our citizens.  We are better than that.  This is America, and we should treat people better then Donald Trump treats people.

There are already instances of violence attributed to people using Trump’s win as an excuse.  Clearly they see Trump’s win as some sort of nod that their behavior is socially acceptable now.  Make sure they know it isn’t.  I don’t blame Trump for these actions, but his behavior makes these people feel their behavior is acceptable.  They see it as vaildation. They see it as someone saying “Yeah, you are right, that is how you treat someone!”

Don’t become part of the Trump Problem.