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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 in 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, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Monday, December 7

Mockingjay Part 2 & Spotlight

I and millions of others felt compelled to see the last of the Hunger Games quartet, Mockingjay Part 2. I say “compelled” because once one has invested well over six hours in the first three episodes, one simply can’t ignore or skip the last two hours.. It was only okay, and now I’m glad it’s over. I’m sure that Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, and the rest of the cast are just as glad to see the end of it. We got to see Jennifer Lawrence bloom from that girl in the first “Games” to the woman she became in the last one, a woman who has become one of the most sought after actresses in the world. The film was about three stars out of five—lots of action and running around trying to get into the city, a neat tying up of all the loose ends from the first three segments. But also a kind of tiredness about the outcome. The script faithfully followed the book and even if one hadn’t read the books, we all knew where that final arrow was going. No more Hunger Games, but the conclusion sort of dolefully suggested that mankind would feel a need in the future to crave power, to require more games to satisfy our “hunger’ for death and destruction. It’s a dark side of human nature to enjoy the pain of others, sort of like what the spectators in the Roman Coliseum must have felt when they cheered the bloody deaths of the Christians, having the power of thumbs up or down for the combatants. I’m not sure whether I’d give Mockingjay Part 2 a thumb up or a thumb down. But I’m happy to be saying goodbye to Katniss and Peeta. May they live in peace. Maybe.

And now I turn to a five-starrer, Spotlight. I can’t imagine any film more unlike The Hunger Games. As with All the President’s Men, we witness the inner workings of a big-city newspaper as its reporters dig into the unsavory story of Catholic priests and their abuse of young men and women. And the especially unsavory cover-up by the church hierarchy for too many decades of that abuse. It’s 2001 in Boston, and the paper is the Boston Globe. The Spotlight unit is made up of three reporters headed by their chief, Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton)—Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matty Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James). At the insistence of their new editor, Marty Baron (Live Schreiber), the four of them agree to stop what they had been investigating and instead look into allegations of abuse by several priests in Boston, a city made up of 53% Roman Catholics. Their investigation would not be well-received by that majority of Bostonians nor the Church and its priests and bishops and cardinals. The film chose not to sensationalize this story by flashing back to scenes of abuse; we only hear of it in the interviews with victims. One young man, when asked if the sexual activities were consensual, just shook his head, his face anguished as he replied, “How do you say no to God?” He went on to explain that it was more than a physical rape, but a spiritual rape. The extent of the abuse and the extent of the cover-up became apparent by movie’s end. It was an appalling story but one that had to be told. The film as well as the acting of Keaton and Ruffalo will very likely be nominated for Oscars, as well they should be. This is not a movie I’ll soon forget. See it, and you won’t forget it either.

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