Monday, March 7, 2011

Treachery in Death

I recently picked up Treachery in Death, the thirty second book in J.D. Robb’s In Death series.  The series is set in the future in New York City and features a different murder mystery in each book. 

Since Treachery in Death is part of such a long running series, the characters and very well developed and the situations are well established.  While the plots of each book can mostly stand alone, I do think it is best to read the books in order.  Certain things about the characters will make more sense if the books are read in order.

Eve and her partner Delia get a new case that isn’t that complicated and Delia has her first chance to be primary on an investigation.  The case is closed fairly quickly and then Delia stumbles into a dangerous situation involving corrupt cops.  She reports what she discovered to Eve and an investigation is launched.

The murder that Delia is primary for isn’t that important to the overall plot of Treachery in Death.  That whole situation is really just a set up for Delia to over hear the corrupt cops and cause that investigation to be started.  That does add a bit of mystery to what is going, though it isn’t as strong as some of the mysteries in other In Death books since it is known fairly early who the corrupt cops are.  That doesn’t make the book less interesting, but it might disappoint some readers.  There is also a bit of romance in the book through the relationship between Eve and her husband Roarke.

J.D. Robb is actually author Nora Roberts.  Both groups of books are very similar, so fans of one group of books may end up liking the other group of books as well.  The In Death books usually have stronger mysteries and they can be more violent. 

Treachery in Death is another very entertaining book in the In Death series that is well worth reading.

I did get a review posted on Epinions.

Treachery in Death

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Green Hornet

Since I have at least somewhat liked most of the movies I’ve seen about superheroes, I wanted to see Green Hornet even though I didn’t know much about the character and I don’t care that much for Seth Rogen.

There was a Green Hornet television show and the characters has been featured in comic books as well.  I sort of remember seeing some of the television show, but I don’t remember much of anything about it.  Even without remembering much, I’m sure that the movie is a lot sillier.  I also don’t think that the main character, Britt, was such an obnoxious jerk, in the television show.

Green Hornet manages to be an entertaining movie overall.  It has a decent origin story for how Britt decides to fight crime as the Green Hornet.  The plot isn’t overly complicated, and some of the developments are rather weak.  The subplot that I didn’t care for the most deals with Lenore, the attractive woman that Britt hires as his assistant.  Britt and Kato are both interested in her and sort of chase after her, with Britt acting like a big idiot about it.  That aspect of the movie just didn’t work well for me.  I also felt like Cameron Diaz didn’t really fit the part either.

There is a decent amount of action in Green Hornet and a few scenes get rather violent.  The action scenes are done well, though there is some slow motion and other odd effects in a few of the scenes.  I think the odd effects were somehow tied to the movie being released in 3D as well.

Britt and Kato are interesting, though Britt is such a jerk, it is hard to like him or be interested in him at times.  He’s rude and obnoxious much of the time.  I think a big reason for that is that Seth Rogen played the part.  He is also one of the writers of the movie.  Rogen’s characters have seemed like jerks to me in some of his other movies as well.  In interviews that I’ve seen of Rogen, he comes across the same way.  He acts like a self absorbed jerk with a very high opinion of himself and his acting abilities.  Britt just seems to be a thinly veiled version of Rogen.

While I have issues with how Britt acts and certain plot elements, I did enjoy Green Hornet overall.  It manages to work as an entertaining superhero type movie.

I did get a review posted on Epinions after seeing the movie in the theater.

Green Hornet

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The King's Speech

I became interested in seeing The King’s Speech after seeing some of the previews for the movie.  Unfortunately, it did take a while before the movie came to the theater here.  It wasn’t here that long, so I’m glad that I was able to see it.

The King’s Speech is focused on how King George VI of England managed to deal with a stutter and be able to make speeches on the radio during World War II.  As the second son, he only became king when his older brother, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to marry a twice divorced American woman.  I remember learning about Edward VIII abdicating, but I don’t remember learning that much about King George VI.  I found the movie to be very interesting and entertaining, though I know some people who thought it was boring.  It isn’t going to appeal to everyone.

The King’s Speech is serious for the most part, though there are moments of humor in it as well.  Some of the sessions with Lionel Logue, the speech therapist, are shown.  Lionel uses some unique methods to try to help his patients.  One of the funnier moments has the then Prince Albert swearing after it is discovered that he doesn’t stutter when angry or swearing.  He uses one particular word several times in a very short time.  The use of that particular word is why the movie was rated R.  I didn’t think the word was offensive with how it was used, but some people may disagree.  I’ve heard that an edited version of the movie has been released with a PG-13 rating.

The cast for The King’s Speech is wonderful, especially Colin Firth.  He does an amazing job with the part of King George VI.  He definitely deserved all the awards he’s won for the part.  Helena Bonham Carter does very well as Queen Elizabeth, George VI’s wife.  I think this is the most normal part I’ve seen her play.  Geoffrey Rush does really well as Lionel.

The King’s Speech may not appeal to everyone, but it is a very well done, entertaining movie that is worth watching.

I did get a review posted on Epinions.

The King’s Speech


The Office: Season Six

It took me a while to start watching The Office when it began to air.  I saw an episode every so often and I knew who the main characters were.  I didn’t start really watching the show until it was in syndication.  After that, I decided that I enjoyed the show enough to pick up the DVD sets.  I picked up The Office: Season Six when I found it on sale.

Since this is the sixth season of The Office, the characters are very well developed and situations have been established.  The show is a bit different since it is set up like a documentary film crew is filming the employees of a fictional paper company.  I don’t remember ever hearing why a film crew was filming them.  It is stretching believability a bit that they would still be filming after so long, but it does give the show an interesting set up.  The show is funny, though it is a sort of twisted humor that some people won’t appreciate.

The main development in the sixth season of The Office, at least for me, is that Pam and Jim get married.  I like that they are happily married and I loved the wedding episode.  It had just the right blend of sweet moments and goofy stuff.  I know that some people have complained that the show isn’t as good since Jim and Pam got together, but I don’t agree with that at all.  I don’t think that a couple has to be kept apart to keep a show entertaining.  I’ve stopped watching shows in the past because of that nonsense, so I’m glad it isn’t happening here.

The Office: Season Six is available on DVD and Blu-ray.  I picked up the DVD.  I really don’t like the case.  Two discs are stored on a panel, with one slightly on top of the other one.  To make matters worse, the edge of the disc that goes on the bottom has to go under the thing that holds the top disc.  This has become my least favorite DVD case because of that.  I hope this crappy design isn’t used on future sets of the show. 

The Office: Season Six has a decent amount of extras.  The show does deleted scenes wonderfully well.  They aren’t just random bits that don’t seem to fit with what is in the finished episodes.  Instead, they add to them and help to embellish them.  The deleted scenes are pretty entertaining.  The bloopers are funny and last a decent amount of time.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Office: Season Six and think the DVD or Blu-ray set is worth picking up for fans of the show.  I think the series is still entertaining and worth watching.

I did get a review of The Office: Season Six posted on Epinions.

The Office: Season Six