Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wanderlust (2012)

This is an imperfect-but-creditable movie. George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are an overextended, stressed out Manhattan couple living in a studio apartment. After George is laid off from his job due to downsizing and Linda is unable to sell her vulgar nature documentary to HBO, they find themselves with only one option: to move in with George's annoying, but well-off brother in Atlanta. On the drive there they seek out a place to stay for the night and stumble upon Elysium, a hippie commune populated by colorful characters who embrace a different way of looking at things.

Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston co-starred together in 18 episodes of the sitcom Friends. The two also co-starred with Alan Alda in the 1998 comedy The Object of My Affection. Filming took place in a number of places in Georgia: the Gwinnett Diner in Lawrenceville (which was also used for a scene in the film Road Trip); a subdivision called Miramonte Way off Ozora Road in the Lawrenceville, Georgia area; and in Habersham County, off of New Liberty Road.

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

This is an imperfect-but-creditable movie. After his wife's death, Dracula (Adam Sandler) builds a five-star resort where monsters from around the world can come and relax, away from human interference. His other goal is to protect his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and keep her from exploring the outer regions. On her 118th birthday, Mavis is given permission by her father to explore a little bit and visit a nearby village. The people in it seem really dangerous and see immediately comes back home. One day a 21-year-old hiker named Johnny shows up and Dracula is shocked that a human could reach his hotel. Mavis becomes interested in the young man, but Dracula tries to keep them away from each other.

The film set a new record for the highest-grossing September opening weekend. It is also the highest grossing debut for Sony Pictures Animation.

Blue Heaven

This is an okay book written by C.J. Box. Annie and William Taylor are running for their lives after they witness a brutal murder in the woods. The killers, retired police officers, end up leading the search for the young children, and the four men are willing to do whatever it takes to keep these witnesses quiet.

This was the author’s first standalone novel.

Night Watch

This is an okay book written by Linda Fairstein. 48 hours after Alexandra Cooper arrives in France to visit her boyfriend and famed restaurateur, Luc Rouget, her vacation in paradise is cut short when a young woman from the village is found murdered. The only evidence discovered on the body is one of Luc’s matchboxes promoting his new restaurant in New York. But before the investigation begins, Alex is summoned back to New York to handle a high profile case. Mohammed Gil-Darsin, the distinguished and wealthy Head of the World Economic Bureau, has been arrested and accused of attacking a maid in his hotel.

This is the 14th novel in the series.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Lost Years

This is an okay book written by Mary Higgins Clark. When Mariah finds the body of her father, a biblical scholar who claimed to possess a letter written by Jesus Christ, police suspect her mother, Kathleen, to be the murderer. Believing otherwise, Mariah pursues the priceless letter and the truth behind the suspicious killing.

Severe Clear

This is an okay book written by Stuart Woods. Stone Barrington is in Bel-Air, overseeing the grand opening of the ultra-luxe hotel, The Arrington, built on the grounds of the mansion belonging to his late wife, Arrington Carter. The star-studded gala will be attended by socialites, royalty, and billionaires from overseas, and according to phone conversations intercepted by the NSA, it may also have attracted the attention of international terrorists. To ensure the safety of his guests, Stone may have to call in a few favors from the CIA.

This is the 24th novel in the series.

The Woman in Black (2012)

This is a solid British movie. In the early 1900s, Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a widowed lawyer whose grief has endangered his career. When he is sent to a remote village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased eccentric, it soon becomes clear that everyone in the town is keeping a terrible secret. Although the locals try to hide the town's tragic history from Kipps, he soon learns that his client's house is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is looking for someone and something she had lost, and until she finds it, no one is safe from her vengeance.

It is based on the 1983 novel written by Susan Hill. The film became the highest-grossing British horror in 20 years. A sequel is being planned.

Look Again

This is an okay book written by Lisa Scottoline. Reporter Ellen Gleeson is astonished when the subject of a missing child flyer bears great resemblance to her recently adopted son. Although her adoption was legal, Ellen cannot help but feel immense guilt and decides to investigate.

This is the 13th novel in the series.

Tiger’s Claw

This is an okay book written by Dale Brown. Tensions escalate between China and the United States, bringing the two superpowers to the brink of destruction. As China rapidly advances its naval technology, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Patrick McLanahan strives to maintain American superiority in the Pacific.

This is the 18th novel in the series.