Friday, May 25, 2012


This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Single mom Lizabeth Kane isn't exactly carpenter material – she's never picked up a hammer in her life. But she desperately needs the construction job that builder Matt Hallahan is offering. And even though he knows trouble is ahead, Matt can’t refuse Lizbeth’s irresistible smile. Matt Hallahan isn’t exactly relationship material – he has always been too busy working on other people’s houses to make a home of his own. And even though she knows better, Lizabeth can’t stop thinking about the rugged carpenter.

This is the second book in the Elsie Hawkins series.

One for the Money

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. You’ve lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car’s been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month’s rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do? If you’re Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter. But not just a nickel-and-dime bounty hunter, you go after the big money. That means a cop gone bad. And not just any cop. She goes after Joe Morelli, a disgraced former vice cop who is also the man who took Stephanie’s virginity at age 16 and then wrote the details on a bathroom wall.

A film version starring Katherine Heigl was released on January 27, 2012.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wicked Appetite

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Following a long line of famous men who have sought the Seven Stones of Power, Gerwulf Grimoire finds himself lusting after Elizabeth Tucker, the only person who can lead him to the ancient artifacts. Recently moved from New York to Boston, Lizzy is still settling into her new job at Dazzle’s Bakery. However, everything takes a wild turn when she meets Diesel, a man whose wild side will lead her into temptation.

This is the first book in the Diesel series.

Motor Mouth

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Racing spotter Alexandra “Barney” Barnaby figures her hunky NASCAR driver and sometimes lover Sam Hooker should have grabbed the checkered flag at his latest race. But Sam took second, and Barney smells a cheater on the circuit. A seasoned mechanic, she needs a peek under the hood of the winning car to prove her claim. So she and Sam steal the 18-wheeler carrying the suspect vehicle. But their hot hauler holds an unexpected bit of cargo, too – a dead body.

This is the second book in the Barnaby series.

Haywire (2011)

This is a solid movie. Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) enters a diner in upstate New York and is joined by Aaron (Channing Tatum) who gets into an argument with her that leads to a fight. She tells Scott, another customer, that she needs to use his car and for him to come along for the ride. She says that she works for a private firm hired by the government for covert operations. The firm's director Kenneth (Ewan McGregor) sent her on a mission in Dublin to pose as the wife of a British MI6 agent, but she discovered that it was a setup. Now she needs to determine whether Kenneth is the one responsible.

Russborough House is a stately house situated near the Blessington Lakes in County Wicklow, Ireland, and is reputed to be the longest house in Ireland, with a frontage measuring 700 ft. It is an example of Palladian architecture, and was built between 1741 and 1755.

Metro Girl

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. When her not-so-bright brother Wild Bill, a boat captain, goes missing in Florida, Alexandra “Barney” Barnaby leaves Baltimore to take up the search. As she follows Wild Bill’s trail of brokenhearted bimboes, Barney battles sunburn and humidity-induced bad hair. And then there’s sexy NASCAR driver Sam Hooker – who’s hoping to take Barney for a test drive – and whose missing yacht just might lead to Wild Bill.

This is the first book in the Barnaby series.

The Darkest Hour (2011)

This is a solid movie. Ben (Max Minghella) and Sean (Emile Hirsch) travel to Moscow to sell their social networking software. Upon arrival they learn that their Swedish business partner has cut them out of the deal and sold a copycat version of the program. They visit a nightclub and meet two American women. Mysterious orbs start appearing and destroying any person or animal that comes in contact with it. The four Americans hideout in a storeroom for several days. They meet an electrical engineer in a nearby tower and he shows them a microwave gun capable of harming the aliens.

Filming was temporarily suspended due to the 2010 Russian wildfires.

Fall from Grace

This is an okay book written by Richard North Patterson. World-renowned author Ben Blaine has been murdered, and his CIA agent son Adam wants to know why. But to get to the bottom of his father’s murder, Adam may have to go digging into his family’s personal lives. While he’s well aware that one of his own family members may be the killer, he’s not prepared when he uncovers dark secrets about his family’s past, and dark secrets about himself as well.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Left for Dead

This is an okay book written by J.A. Jance. When Santa Cruz county deputy sheriff Jose Reyes, one of Ali Reynolds’s classmates from the Arizona Police Academy, is gunned down and left to die, he is at first assumed to be an innocent victim of the drug wars escalating across the border. But the crime scene investigation shows there’s much more to it than that, and soon he and his pregnant wife, Teresa, are both under suspicion.

Full House

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Billie Pearce, the epitome of stability, represents everything polo instructor Nick Kaharcheck has ardently avoided. While the two have nothing in common, Nick finds himself irresistibly attracted to his opposite. When Billie offers to share her home with Nick’s crazy cousin, Nick finds himself visiting often. And while each is slowly seduced by the other’s charms, neither one knows that danger is lurking, and a killer is closing in on them.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Contraband (2012)

This is a solid movie. Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) abandoned his life as a smuggler and now works installing security alarms and lives with his wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), and their two little sons in New Orleans. When his brother-in-law, Andy, botches a drug deal by dropping the loot into the ocean, his ruthless boss Tim Briggs threatens to kill Chris's family if the money is not repaid. Chris decides that the only solution is to bring in a load of counterfeit money by ship to settle the debt. He assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian, to head to Panama and return with millions in fake bills.

This is a remake of the 2008 Icelandic film Reykjavík-Rotterdam. The title of that film refers to the capital of Iceland and the second largest city in the Netherlands which is also one of the largest ports in the world.

Plum Lucky

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Stephanie Plum has a way of attracting danger, lunatics, oddballs, bad luck and mystery men. And no one is more mysterious than the unmentionable Diesel. He’s back and hot on the trail of a little man in green pants who’s lost a giant bag of money. Problem is, the money isn’t exactly lost. Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur has found it, and like any good Jersey senior citizen, she’s hightailed it in a Winnebago to Atlantic City and hit the slots. With Lula and Connie in tow, Stephanie attempts to bring Grandma home, but the luck of the Irish is rubbing off on everyone.

The Innocent

This is an okay book written by David Baldacci. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn’t seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable. He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape his own people. Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward girl, a 14-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn’t an ordinary runaway – her parents were murdered, and her own life is in danger. Against all of his professional habits, Robie rescues her and finds he can’t walk away. He needs to help her.

This is the first novel in the new Will Robie series.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Visions of Sugar Plums

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. It’s four days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for fugitive apprehension agent Stephanie Plum. She hasn't got a tree. She hasn't bought any presents. There’s not a twinkle light to be seen anywhere in her apartment. And there's a strange man in her kitchen. Sure, this has happened before. Strangers, weirdos, felons, creeps, and lunatics are always finding their way to her front door. But this guy is different. He’s mysterious, sexy – and he’s a man on a mission.

Unnatural Acts

This is an okay book written by Stuart Woods. When a hedge fund billionaire hires Stone Barrington to talk some sense into his wayward son, it seems like an easy enough job. But as Stone and his erstwhile protégé, Herbie Fisher, probe deeper into the case, he realizes that even he may have underestimated just how far some people will go to cover up their crimes and plan new ones.

This is the 23rd novel in the series.

Catch Me

This is an okay book written by Lisa Gardner. Detective D. D. Warren is hard to surprise. But a lone woman outside D.D.'s latest crime scene shocks her with a remarkable proposition: Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston's top detective to handle her death investigation. Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21st, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.

This is the sixth novel in the series.

Plum Spooky

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Stephanie returns to town with her comrade Lula, along with an array of crackpots and felons searching for love. The famous Diesel makes an appearance, adding fuel to the fire, and a possible glimpse of the Jersey Devil also leads to excitement.

The Jersey Devil is a legendary creature said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many different variations.

Plum Lovin’

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Mysterious men have a way of showing up in Stephanie Plum’s apartment. When the shadowy Diesel appears, he has a task for Stephanie – and he’s not taking no for an answer. Annie Hart is a relationship expert who is wanted for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Stephanie needs to find her, fast. Diesel knows where she is. So they make a deal: He’ll help her get Annie if Stephanie plays matchmaker to several of Annie’s most difficult clients. But someone wants to find Annie even more than Diesel and Stephanie.

Sizzling Sixteen

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. When bounty hunter Stephanie Plum inherits a lucky bottle from her uncle Pip, she discovers that it brings both good and bad luck. Her cousin and employer, Vinnie, has racked up a huge gambling debt with the mob and disappeared. Now Stephanie is responsible for paying off the debt and making sure Vinnie stays out of harm’s way.

Twelve Sharp

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. While chasing down the usual cast of miscreants and weirdos, Stephanie discovers that a crazed woman is stalking her. This stalker carries a 9mm Glock, has a bad attitude and a mysterious connection to dark and dangerous Carlos Manoso…street name, Ranger. When somebody dies, the action turns deadly serious, and Stephanie goes from hunting skips to hunting a murderer.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

This is a noteworthy movie. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is going to college and the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, have joined with the military to eradicate Decepticon resistances hiding all over the planet. Sam finds a shard of the AllSpark, which uploads its Cybertronian knowledge into his mind. Mikaela, Sam and Leo are captured by the Decepticons, who torture Sam to obtain the whereabouts of the Matrix. Optimus and Bumblebee arrive and battle the Decepticons. The Fallen taps into media signals and broadcasts a demand that the people of Earth deliver Sam to the Decepticons or be annihilated if they refuse.

This is the second film in the series. Filming locations included Egypt, Jordan, Pennsylvania and California, as well as air bases in New Mexico and Arizona. It was the second most successful film of 2009 (behind Avatar) and set the record for best Wednesday midnight debut. Kyle Busch drove a Revenge of the Fallen decorated car at Infineon Raceway on June 21, 2009, while Josh Duhamel drove a 2010 Camaro at the Indianapolis 500.

The Three Musketeers (2011)

This is an okay movie. In Venice, Italy, at the beginning of the 17th Century the Three Musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, steal airship blueprints made by Leonardo da Vinci. However, they are betrayed by Athos' longtime lover, Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich) who gives the blueprints to the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). Upon returning to France, the Musketeers are forced to disband by Cardinal Richelieu. Milady steals Queen Anne's diamond necklace and takes it to the Tower of London to frame Queen Anne as having an affair with the Duke of Buckingham. Queen Anne's lady-in-waiting Constance Bonacieux discovers Richelieu's plan and asks the Musketeers to stop him.

The film is a new take on the novel by Alexandre Dumas. Location filming was done in Bavaria, Germany. The first manned balloon flight occurred in 1783.

Hard Eight

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Although she’s not quite a detective, Stephanie can’t refuse to help a family friend whose daughter and granddaughter are missing. The trail leads to a particularly nasty crook Stephanie is warned to avoid. But what good is a warning if you can’t ignore it? Pursued by a thug in a bunny suit, tormented by carefully placed snakes and giant spiders, Stephanie is determined to crack the case – even if she blows up a few cars along the way.

This book is notable for the introduction of Albert Kloughn, an attorney and soon to be brother-in-law of Stephanie.

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

This is a solid movie. Curious young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) purchases a model three-masted sailing ship at an outdoor market in Europe. It is broken during a fight between his dog Snowy and the neighbor's cat. A parchment scroll slips out of the ship's mast, but Tintin is unaware of it. After his apartment is broken into, Tintin discovers the scroll and places it in his wallet which is then stolen by a pickpocket. Tintin is abducted and taken aboard a ship. He meets captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), whose family legend includes a connection to the model ships and the parchment inside of them.

This is the first-ever animated film for both director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams. The movie won the award for Best Animated Feature Film at the Golden Globe Awards, making it the first non-Pixar film to win the award since the category was first introduced in 2007. The film is based on a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Hergé (real name Georges Remi). An animated television series aired for 39 episodes in 1991 and 1992.

Real Steel (2011)

This is an okay movie. In 2020, the sport of boxing is changed when robots are put into the ring to fight instead of people. Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a washed-up fighter who earns a little money by piecing together low-end robots from scrap metal. After his ex-wife dies, Charlie attends a custody hearing for his son Max (Dakota Goyo) and agrees to let the boy be raised by a wealthy aunt and uncle. However, Charlie allows Max to stay with him for the summer. Max finds an old robot that he thinks has potential. At first Charlie is reluctant to support him, but then decides to give the boy a chance.

The film is based in part on the 1956 short story "Steel" by Richard Matheson. A 1963 episode of The Twilight Zone is also based on the story. Filming took place primarily in the state of Michigan. Animatronic robots were built for the film. Boxing hall-of-famer Sugar Ray Leonard was an adviser on the film and also gave Jackman boxing lessons. The studio collaborated with Virgin America to name one of their Airbus A320s after the film, and one of the film's robots is pictured on its fuselage. The score was composed by Danny Elfman. Although unrelated to the movie, there is a toy called Rock'em Sock'em Robots that was released in 1964 and includes two dueling robot boxers.