Hump Day Classic Movie: The Kid (1921)

Hard to believe considering how much of a movie buff I am, but until recently? I hadn't seen a Charlie Chaplin movie. Weird, I know.

The Kid is considered one of his best movies, and it's easy to see why. Despite the lack of dialogue and the weird, double speed that sometimes occurs in silent films, this movie is hilarious, sweet, heartbreaking, and never dull.

I was also struck by how earthy the movie was. There's unwed motherhood, drinking, violence... Something that in today's Puritanical movie ratings would earn this film at least a PG rating. If you haven't watched it yet, I highly recommend it.


Tardy TBR Challenge Review: Power Play by Sophia Henry

Format: ebook (read as a print ARC)
Pub Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Flirt (Random House)
Length: 236 pages
POV: 1st, past
FTC: print ARC received for free from the publisher during RT16
TW: rape, suicide

Yes, it's me, the tardy TBR person. I always seem to lose track of which Wednesday posts are supposed to be up by, and then life just seems to mess with me. Anyway, this month's theme is something different, and since I DON'T read NA, this one definitely qualifies.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but...there's not enough hockey in this book.

People who know me would be laughing at what I just wrote because I'm not a sports person at all. AT. ALL. I don't even watch the Superbowl, which is the one event even non-sports people watch. I watch my kids in their soccer games and that is it. But since this book has "A Pilots Hockey Novel" on it and features a hockey player as the hero, well...it kinda needed more hockey

This ebook-only story is category length, so I'm assuming it's supposed to be light on details, but even so...you'd think it would be centered around hockey. Not so. It's centered around a family grocery business which recently expanded to include a gift shop.  The narrator is our heroine, Gaby Bertucci, whose family has run the business in Detroit for generations, and she has a major crush on minor league hockey player Landon Taylor.  She flirts with him whenever he visits the store, but nothing happens until her father collapses of a heart attack while Landon is there. His quick thinking and calm presence force their interactions beyond the generic pleasantries they normally exchange and open the door for more.


Quickie Review: Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: May 2016
Publisher: Kensington
Length: 308 pages

As the conclusion of the Black Blade trilogy, this book did its job, wrapping up various threads in a neat and tidy way. For me, it was almost TOO tidy.  Warning: there be (minor) spoilers ahead.

Overall, I think the first person, past POV works to the series' advantage, but in this book? I think it really hurt being able to connect deeply with the action. Lila is pretty inured to violence and death, but there's A LOT of death in this book. A lot of gruesome stuff. And she just doesn't spend a lot of time or emotion on it. It might be consistent with her character, but I think it hurts the overall impact of the story to have her not really be affected by some of the things that happen, and because we experience the story through her, we don't really get a lot of time with the other characters' reactions, either.

I really enjoyed the monsters in this book...probably more than in the other books. They had a more central role, and made it feel much more like an Urban Fantasy novel this time around. There's plenty of action and drama to make up for the lack of romance, though, and this is probably the most action-packed of the three books.

My only disappointments were that this does not stand alone (at all!) and that it skirts any really deep emotion. I wanted a bit more angst, which this book just didn't deliver.

My Grade: B-
The Blurb:

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.
Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families—and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…


Hump Day Classic Movie: Dead Ringer (1964)

Dead Ringer is a creepy movie.
It's not the first time Bette Davis played a twin, but this performance is extra eerie. The plot is pretty straight forward: estranged twin sisters meet again at the funeral of the person who caused their estrangement: one sister's husband, whom she stole from the other.

After finding out that her sister had lied about being pregnant to steal her love away, the other sister plans an elaborate revenge: she kills her sister (faking suicide) and assumes her glamorous life.

With today's modern gore standards, this is fairly tame. It's the intimate undressing of her dead sister's body that really bothered me. She strips the stockings from her dead sister's legs, and switches clothes.

She soon finds out that pretending to be her sister is harder than it appears, and the deception begins to unravel...only to have a surprise twist at the end.

The first half of the movie is masterful...the second half isn't all that great. Still worth watching, though!