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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life is the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure. In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, you can find an archive list at the bottom of this page.

Wednesday, December 3

Mockingjay & All Is Lost

What to say about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I? Well the title’s too long, for one thing. What else? It shamelessly ends on a really big cliffhanger, forcing its fans to sit anxiously waiting for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part II (also too long a title). I say “shamelessly” because of the obvious attempt to milk this franchise for every dollar possible. I wasn’t nearly as impressed with this one as I was with the first two in the series. Jennifer Lawrence is still the heart and soul of the series, but most of the others may as well have stayed home, offering next to nothing to the plot. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Elizabeth Banks as Effie could have just called it in, as neither character had much to do this time. Plot? Not much. Katniss wakens in the depths of District 13’s underground hideaway, with President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and her deputy Plutarch Heavensbee (the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman) trying to convince Katniss to be the figurehead in the districts’ war against the Capitol and the nefarious President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Sutherland can smile in a way that makes the viewer want to just slap him upside his head. They want to use Katniss in a series of propaganda films to enlist the aid of the other districts in their battle against Snow and his totalitarianism. She agrees and finds herself in opposition to her beloved Peeta, who has been brainwashed by Snow into making televised pleas to get Katniss to stop her campaign. And there you have it—the plotless plot. What should have been one movie, with an actual conclusion, is split into two, with a highly dysfunctional Part I.

Netflix gave us a chance to see a film that came and went from our theatres in a blur, Robert Redford’s one-man show aboard a floundering schooner in the vast Pacific, All Is Lost. I was reminded once again that of all the places I’d rather not be, first on that list is alone on an ocean on a sinking boat. Almost no dialogue, since he’s alone with no one with whom to converse, lots of sky and lots of water. His sailing ship has encountered the corner of a shipping container that is mysteriously afloat in the Pacific. He awakens to find seawater pouring into the cabin. He manages to disconnect his boat from the container and patch the hole, but not very securely. And he now finds himself without electricity and radio connection. And yes, sure enough, a storm happens and the sea once more comes pouring into the cabin. He transfers food and water to a blowup lifeboat along with a sextant and maps. And then watches as his ship bids farewell and sinks. Okay, he can navigate with the sextant and aims for the transportation corridor from Orient to the U. S. Surely a ship will spot him and pick him up. Naah. Who, on a boring voyage from China to the U. S. is looking for a tiny lifeboat? No one. Well, you get the drift. I was also reminded of a movie from way back in my memory (1944) called The Lifeboat, in which five men and three women are on a lifeboat after a German submarine has torpedoed their ship. Lots of anguish among the eight of them as they try to survive this ordeal on the Atlantic. Yupp, and that one too told me I never wanted to be aboard a tiny boat in the middle of an ocean.

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