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Knives Out is Terrific

Knives Out is Terrific

Knives Out was the best movie I saw in 2019. To borrow a line from Red Dead Redemption 2, “The competition ain’t too fierce.” I think this past year saw us go to the theater less than any other. I don’t mean to diminish the movie’s excellence with this, though—it’s terrific, and I would think so if I saw eight or eighty movies last year. Written and directed by Rian Johnson (probably best known for The Last Jedi, which everyone…

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Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok (let’s just call it Thor 3 for short) is raucous, good fun. It features good action scenes, some great images, plenty of laughs, and a story that moves the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) forward. There are some moments where it’s a little too cheeky for its own good, but you can look past them and enjoy the ride. The movie: Fresh from stopping the demon Surtur (voiced by the great Clancy Brown–yes, the guy who is both The Kurrgan and…

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Review: Little White Lies

Review: Little White Lies

Robert B. Parker’s Little White Lies, by Ace Atkins. Little White Lies is Ace Atkins’ sixth Spenser book since the Robert B. Parker estate chose him to continue the series following Parker’s death. The books have ranged from just OK (Kickback) to quite good (Wonderland). Little White Lies lands solidly toward the very good end of the scale. The venerable Spenser gets a referral from his longtime lover Susan Silverman. Connie Kelly wants him to find M. Brooks Welles, an…

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Review: Wonder Woman

Review: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is easily the best movie in the DCEU. Considering the competition, I’m sure you could interpret that as damning with faint praise. It’s not. This movie is great. It’s a shining light in a sea of otherwise dreary and mopey grey. The movie: Young Diana, the princess of the island of Themiscyra, wishes to train with her fellow Amazons. Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) initially refuses, but, as Diana grows into a teenager, tells Antiope (Robin Wright) to train…

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Review – Logan

Review – Logan

Preamble: this movie review, and others you’ll see on this site, will focus on both the movie and the writing. This is, after all, a site about writing by a writer. This review covers the recent movie Logan, the final entry in the Wolverine saga. Yes, I’m lame enough that I missed it in theaters. The movie: Logan is set in 2029. In this dreary future, no mutant have been born in the last 25 years. No longer going by…

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Review: No Middle Name, by Lee Child

Review: No Middle Name, by Lee Child

No Middle Name collects all the Jack Reacher short stories into one volume. Whatever your opinion of Reacher, this collection won’t change it. I’ve read all the books (and seen both movies), so I like the character. However, I also recognize that he has his faults. Reacher can be pretty pompous and annoying at times, bordering on insufferable in some moments. The good and the occasionally vexing are all in here. The good wins out. I’ll focus more on the…

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Book Review: Smart Baseball by Keith Law

Book Review: Smart Baseball by Keith Law

Smart Baseball, by ESPN senior writer Keith Law, is a comprehensive and entertaining look at the world of baseball statistics, both the better new ones and some older ones that have lost relevance. Yes, I’m something of a baseball nerd. Over the years, football has become my favorite sport to sit and watch on TV, but baseball is still my favorite sport to follow. A large reason for that is the game’s statistical history and depth. I collected baseball cards…

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Review: Marvel’s Iron Fist

Review: Marvel’s Iron Fist

Marvel’s Iron Fist (hereafter Iron Fist) is the fourth of the Marvel Netflix series (joining Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage). It’s also the last one to be released before our heroes join together in The Defenders. And as a lead-in to The Defenders, it’s . . . fair. This show has not been reviewed well. Some of the complaints levied in those reviews are legitimate. The two that ring truest are the pacing and the quality of the fight scenes….

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