The Dinner is the first movie we’ve walked out on in a long time. The trailer made it look interesting. Maybe we should have read the reviews. I only noticed now that it received NO STARS. We couldn’t agree more. The movie was as stupid as its title.
After twenty minutes we looked at each other and commented how it was slow and boring. Around forty-five minutes into the yawner we considered leaving, but we thought we’d take the chance that something would happen any minute. Wrong.
We left the theater after an hour, I was surprised to see that no one else followed suit. Even with Richard Gere and Laura Linney, the movie was actually painful to watch. Steve Coogan had the main roll and he had both of us squirming in our seats after only a few minutes of listening to him.
The plot hung there, somewhere, but we didn’t stick around to see it unfold. The point of the story was to see how far parents would go to protect their children after they did something completely stupid and horrific. I saw enough of real-life drama during my police career to know the answer to that question.
Cathryn and I give The Dinner a big fat 0!
The 9th Judgment (Women’s Murder Club, #9)
by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Maxine Paetro
I grabbed this book out of a pile, thinking it was James Patterson, but like many other books that have his name blazoned across the cover it was written by someone else. This one’s by Maxine Paetro, my least favorite in the top dog’s kennel.
The plot is descent and I do like the Lindsay Boxer character, but I thought the author pushed the envelope a few times in the story, making it a bit ridiculous. I think it’s the author’s voice that just doesn’t do it for me, with words like “kiddo” that are repeatedly used to describe children.
Being male, I felt this novel was written for a female audience. Almost all the main characters are women and the author’s femininity weighed heavy in the story. It didn’t sit right with me, being a former cop who worked with many women and found it a lot different than what’s depicted in this book.
With all the teenage and kiddie movies on this past month or so, Going in Style is a treat for us folks in the over fifty crowd. The comedy about three golden aged gents who lose their pensions and decide to rob a bank is guaranteed to make you smile and give you more than a few laughs.
The cast of Michael Kane, Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman and Ann Margaret bring characters to life that will easily remind you of ourselves or someone you know. It’s a feel good story that has a bit of gun play, but no body count, and a few twists that keep you rooting for the “good guys” right until the end.
Cathryn and I both enjoyed the movie and rate it 8 out of 10.
Memory Man (Amos Decker, #1)
by David Baldacci (Goodreads Author)
If you like a crime drama that builds slowly, teasing you all the way, only giving you enough details to guess who done it, Memory Man by David Baldacci is a story you should read.
The elements of the plot were familiar, with cops and killers, but the characters were special, each in their own way. Amos Decker is not a super cop, but he has a super brain – from an injury, that makes him more of a super freak. His condition gives him an almost perfect memory, which is a help and hindrance to him in solving a mass murder case.
It took me a while to get into the story, but once I was hooked I enjoyed the ride and raced to the end. A great read!
The New Centurions
by Joseph Wambaugh (Goodreads Author)
I first read this book back in the late seventies, when I was a rookie cop. Wambaugh’s books and movie were all the rage way back then. The New Centurions was his first book, which he wrote while he still worked as a Los Angeles Police Detective. Wambaugh pioneered the crime fiction genre, taking readers where they’d never been before, inside the police car, to learn about the men and women behind the badge.
We see how the job affects cops as opposed to how they affect their job. The New Centurions in this story are three new recruits. The story follows them from the police academy to the streets of L.A. in 1960, where they learn the hard realities about life on the street.
I found the prose a bit mundane about half way through the book, but that is how police work is most of the time…95% boring and the other 5% running around with your hair on fire. This story takes you to the dark side when one of the cops gets shot, and later, during the race riots.
If you want the real story on what lies behind the badge, this book is a must read. The forward was done my Michael Connelly.
On a personal note, Joseph Wambaugh was my inspiration, and has given me some personal advice for my own writing.
* NEW RELEASE *
SECOND EDITION – Re-edited, with More Stories
A Casual Traveler is a collection of short stories and poems that chronicle my adventures and misadventures around the world.
Let me take you to exotic countries in Southeast Asia, and Central or South America, to explore great cities like Buenos Aires or Seattle, and ancient sites like Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu.
I’ll introduce you to interesting people from around the globe, and share my culinary experiences with strange and gourmet food.
Sail with me on a wooden Junk boat in Ha Long Bay. Take an exhilarating motorcycle ride across the country or to the top of Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains.
Get off the beaten path, I dare you. Follow me to places that you have only dreamed of. Take a trip with A Casual Traveler.
Personal (Jack Reacher, #19)
by Lee Child (Goodreads Author)
I’ve read a few of Lee Child
‘s Jack Reacher novels now, and I have to say Personal
was probably my favorite. I found a little more dry (Reacher) humor in this one, and a lot less of Child’s sometimes painfully slow narrative.
I liked the characters and the plot moved well, with a couple of twists to keep you guessing right until the end. For me, it was a fun read!