George V. Reilly

Review: What We Do In The Shadows

Title: What We Do In The Shadows
Director: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2014
Keywords: mock­u­men­tary
Watched: 13 May, 2016

What We Do In The Shadows is a mock­u­men­tary about four vampires living in the suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand. They are being filmed by a doc­u­men­tary crew in the months running up to the Unholy Masquerade Ball, the highlight of the social season for the local vampires, witches, and zombies. Not well adapted to modern life, Viago, Vladislav, and Deacon are all hundreds of years old. 8,000-year-old Petyr turns a new vampire, Nick, who brings his human friend, Stu, a computer programmer, into their circle. Stu—who the older vampires like continue.

Review: Spy

Title: Spy
Director: Paul Feig
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Released: 2015
Keywords: action comedy
Watched: 12 May, 2016

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), a self-effacing, overweight, desk-bound CIA mission controller, spends her days in a verminous CIA basement talking into the earpiece of her glamorous field agent coun­ter­part. When he’s killed before her remote eyes and other field agents are com­pro­mised, she goes into the field for the first time and soon blossoms into a deadly agent.

I had never seen McCarthy in anything before and I assumed that Spy would be a dumb, gross-out comedy. It was better than I feared and genuinely funny at times. McCarthy inhabits several personas, ranging from the initial doormat of an analyst through continue.

Triple Chocolate Cookies

I saw a packet of triple chocolate cookies and I wondered, “Triple chocolate?”. I googled and found several recipes, all of which used cocoa powder with either a couple of varieties of chocolate chips, say semisweet and white, or a couple of varieties of chocolate, such as dark chocolate and milk chocolate, often melted.

The Keebler’s cookie was un­mem­o­rable. The recipes sounded better.

Review: Jurassic World

Title: Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Released: 2015
Keywords: action, sf
Watched: 10 May, 2016

Jurassic World is an un­nec­es­sary retread of the Jurassic Park franchise. New, scarier, smarter monster Imperator Furiosa¹ breaks out of its enclosure and wreaks havoc, killing humans and dinosaurs for pleasure. Plucky kids—or are they darn, meddling kids?—aided by unlikely romantic couple—and by ve­loci­rap­tors and a T. Rex—manage to save the day. Meanwhile, greedy human villains plan to profit off the mess but get eaten before the end to audience applause. Chris Pratt delivers scruffy heroics while Bryce Dallas Howard runs around the entire movie in ridiculous heels without breaking either an ankle or a heel.

¹ continue.

Review: Ant-Man

Title: Ant-Man
Director: Peyton Reed
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2015
Keywords: Marvel, superhero
Watched: 9 May, 2016

Ant-Man is a light­weight but appealing entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Decades ago, Hank Pym discovered the Pym Particle and invented the Ant-Man suit, which allowed him to shrink to the size of an ant. He buries the technology, believing it’s too dangerous. Now his former protégé Darren Cross is close to perfecting the Yel­low­jack­et shrinking suit and selling it to Hydra. Pym and his daughter Hope recruit Scott Lang, a former burglar, to don the Ant-Man suit to stop Cross.

Much of the movie is played for laughs. Unlike Deadpool, these are PG-13 laughs. Paul Rudd continue.

Sixteenth Wedding Anniversary

We married on May 6th, 2000. We went to Vancouver for the weekend to celebrate our sixteenth an­niver­sary. It was our first trip out of town since August, when we returned from two months in Europe. We drove up on Friday, stopping in Marysville to have lunch with a friend and to buy some clothes at the Outlet Mall.

On Saturday, we went up Grouse Mountain for the first time ever, to enjoy the views on a clear day. After that, we drove along the coast in West Vancouver as far as the scenic village at Horseshoe Bay and the Whytecliff Park. We concluded the day with a fine dinner at Adesso.

On Sunday, Emma continue.

Review: Let's Hear It For The Deaf Man

Title: Let’s Hear It For The Deaf Man
Author: Ed McBain
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Copyright: 1972
Pages: 229
Keywords: crime
Reading period: 30 April–6 May, 2016

It’s Spring and crime is heating up in the 87th Precinct. A hippie has been found crucified, a cat burglar is leaving kittens at the scene of the crime, and the Deaf Man is taunting the detectives again, sending them clues of his upcoming crime. We see blackly humorous slices of life in the big city as the cops work their cases.

Review: Captain America: Civil War

Title: Captain America: Civil War
Directors: Anthony & Joe Russo
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Released: 2016
Keywords: Marvel, superhero
Watched: 5 May, 2016

The United Nations wants to rein in the Avengers, after the huge damage due to their various battles, notably in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Tony Stark (Iron Man) is feeling guilty about the deaths they’ve caused and wants to go along. Steve Rogers (Captain America) has grown dis­trust­ful of government agendas and doesn’t want to sign the Sokovia Accords. When his old comrade, Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier), is framed for a terrorist attack, Rogers and some friends end up outside the law and Stark and others try to stop them.

This is continue.

Review: Spy Sinker

Title: Spy Sinker
Author: Len Deighton
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Harper­Collins
Copyright: 1991
Pages: 434
Keywords: spy
Reading period: 24 April–3 May, 2016

Spy Sinker, although it was written after Spy Hook and Spy Line as well as the previous Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match trilogy, tells the parallel story of how Fiona Samson came to be one of MI6’s most effective double agents without her husband Bernard’s knowledge. Told from the per­spec­tives of Fiona and of her case runner, Bret Rensselaer, we see her under increasing strain as the date of her “de­fec­tion” to East Germany draws near, which is compounded once she’s alone in East Berlin. She never quite cracks continue.

Review: Victory of the Hawk

Title: Victory of the Hawk
Author: Angela Highland
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Carina Press
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 211
Keywords: fantasy
Reading period: 22–29 April, 2016

After the Vengeance of the Hunter, the Anreulag, the creature known as the Voice of the Gods, has gone rogue, waging war on the Adalonian empire that controlled her for centuries. The Order of the Hawks have found the long-hidden stronghold of the elves. The humans of Nivirry and the elves are throwing off the shackles of Adalonia, but the Anreulag has no regard for anyone’s lives, human or elf. Faanshi, Julian, and Kestar may be able to stop her but it won’t be easy.

A satisfying conclusion to continue.

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