Jul. 19th, 2016

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It's been a long time since I've left the theater thinking that I wanted to see that movie again. That was what I felt after seeing the new Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters did the smart thing by not going in as a remake of the original, nor as a reboot. You won't see gender-flipped versions of Venkman, Ray, Egon, and Winston. This was a good call. The Ghostbusters (Erin, Abby, Holtzmann, and Patty) are not identifiable analogues of the original characters; even though Holtzmann bears a passing resemblance to Venkmann, the resemblance is only vague and superficial, as their personalities are worlds apart.

They also made the right call by making the plot totally unlike that of the original. The three surviving original Ghostbusters all had cameos (some more substantial than others), as did Sigurney Weaver and Slimer.

The addition of Chris Hemsworth as Kevin puzzles me, as he doesn't really add to the movie aside from being gorgeous; frankly, I won't be upset if they find a new receptionist in the sequel, unless they somehow electrify Kevin and get the rest of his brain cells working.

Stay for the (the dance sequence is amusing)...and definitely say for the Marvel-esque post-credits scene.

Verdict: I recommend the living daylights out of this movie, and I will be seeing this again. I would even be willing to pay full price for it, it was that good.

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 Lullaby Town is not a bad book. But it's not a particularly good book either. Nor is it memorable. What it is, is predictable and formulaic.

In its defense, the story is well written, and the last few chapters were riveting. But that's like saying that a team scored two goals late in the match, when they were down four-nil in the seventieth minute. A valiant effort late, but they still lost.

All the major characters were cookie-cutters and had little depth or definition. Hard-boiled private eye who served in VietNam? Check. His partner, former special forces? Check. Movie executive who doesn't think about anyone but himself? Check. Single mother? Check. Mafia of various types? Check.

The main plot starts with the afore-mentioned movie exec who was married, had a son, got divorced, and never gave his family a second thought until ten years later when he suddenly wants to be the boy's father? The why is never really explored. The other main plot is that his ex-wife is a new life, a new name, and is involved in a money-laundering scheme with the Mafia that she wants out of. Why did she get involved in the first place? It boiled down to "I needed the money." Again, very unsatisfying.

Lullaby Town winds up being a lackluster and disappointing novel, in large part because the story wasn't bad, but with some thought and effort, it could have been so much better.


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December 2016

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