Book Review: Kill Shot by Vince Flynn

So back in June I told you about this great book I’d read called American Assassin by Vince Flynn.  Well, I ended up insisting that my husband read it and he loved it just as much as I did.  So, he started buying all of Flynns’ books.  Presently we own the entire series.  The next book comes out in November. 

So the first book, American Assassin, is actually the 11th book in the series but it’s the prequel to the first 10.  This book, Kill Shot, is the sequel to the prequel (say that 10 times fast).  Basically that means it’s the 12th book he wrote but it falls 2nd chronologically. 

Here’s the synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn is back with another nail-biting political thriller that follows the young Mitch Rapp on a deadly mission to hunt down the men responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack.

For months, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet. With each kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians becomes increasingly clear. He is given his next target: a plump Libyan diplomat who is prone to drink and is currently in Paris without a single bodyguard.

Rapp finds him completely unprotected and asleep in his bed. With confidence in his well-honed skills and conviction of the man’s guilt, he easily sends a bullet into the man’s skull. But in the split second it takes the bullet to leave the silenced pistol, everything changes. The door to the hotel room is kicked open and gunfire erupts all around Rapp. In an instant the hunter has become the hunted. Rapp is left wounded and must flee for his life.

The next morning, the news breaks in Washington that Libya’s Oil Minister has been killed along with three innocent civilians and four unidentified men. The French authorities are certain that the gunman is wounded and on the loose in Paris. As the finger pointing begins, Rapp’s handlers have only one choice-deny any responsibility for the incident and pray that their newest secret weapon stays that way, avoiding capture and dying quietly. One person in the group, however, is not prone to leaving things to chance. Rapp has become a liability, and he absolutely cannot be allowed to be taken alive by the French authorities. But it will soon become clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp.

So I got about a quarter of the way into this book and I texted my husband to tell him that he was going to be hell to live with when he started reading this book.  He asked me why and I said ‘because it’s going to piss you off.’  You see, there’s a character in this book (well, several actually) that you just are itching to run over with your car.  He repeatedly does stuff that just infuriates you as the reader!  My husband actually just started reading the book so I’m doing all I can to keep him in a good mood when he comes home.  LOL.  This book was fantastic!  Yes, I was miffed at the characters but I totally got sucked in.  I’m so glad that we’re reading this series!!

Movie Review: White Oleander

 I’m honestly surprised that this movie didn’t win several awards.  It’s very ‘Sundance Film Festival-ish’ and it’s very well done but it only won 3 small awards:  Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Pfeiffer) at the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards, Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Pfeiffer) at the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards, and Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actor (Mark Donato) at the Young Artists Awards.

 Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:  The Oprah Book Club best-seller by Janet Fitch makes it to the big screen in this adaptation from British director Peter Kosminsky. White Oleander recounts the traumatic adolescence of Astrid Magnusson (Alison Lohman), who finds herself an orphan after her short-fused, enigmatic artist mother Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) is carted off to prison on murder charges. Astrid first finds herself in the care of Starr (Robin Wright Penn), a garish, born-again mother of two with a gruff but sensitive boyfriend (Cole Hauser). From there, she’s shunted back to a state-run facility, where she tangles with other troubled teens and finds temporary solace in the arms of Paul (Patrick Fugit), a dough-faced comic book artist with dreams of moving to New York City. Astrid then lucks into a living arrangement with a successful but insecure actress (Renee Zellweger) who offers her unconditional love. But Ingrid’s stifling influence continues to haunt her daughter, whether through the occasional prison visit or via manipulative letters to Astrid’s caretakers.

 Michelle Pfeiffer is great in this, at least in a totally psychotic and selfish way.  She plays a good crazy person though.  I loved her in What Lies Beneath. She’ll piss you off and you’ll absolutely want to run her over with your car, but she’s totally believable as a psychotic girlfriend who poisons her boyfriend in a fit of rage.  Her daughter Astrid (in the movie, not real life) played by Alison Lohman is left to the mercy of the foster care system after her mom is sent to jail.  I found her experiences to be genuine and it did make me wonder if the author of the book that the movie is based on spent time in the foster-care system.  Astrid is placed in three separate foster families as well as a large group home over the course of several years.  I don’t want to give anything away (because I totally think this movie is worth watching if you haven’t already) but let’s just say that you’ll want to laugh, cry, throw something at the tv, and crawl through the tv to hug certain characters.  You should Netflix this one today.

Book Review: Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline

Sadly, I didn’t enjoy this book at all. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  I’m sort of sad about that because this book had great potential if there’d been a completely different leading character.  Here’s the synopsis from Barnes and Noble

Mary DiNunzio has become a big-time business-getter at Rosato & Associates. But the last person she expects to walk into her office one morning—in mile-high stilettos—is super-sexy Trish Gambone, her high-school rival. Back when Mary was becoming the straight-A president of the Latin Club and Most Likely to Achieve Sainthood, Trish was the head Mean Girl, who flunked religion and excelled at smoking in the bathroom.

These days, however, Trish needs help. She is terrified of her live-in boyfriend, an abusive, gun-toting drug dealer for the South Philly mob. Mary remembers the guy from high school, too. She had a major crush on him.

Then Trish vanishes, a dead body turns up in an alley, and Mary is plunged into a nightmare that threatens her job, her family, and even her life. She goes on a one-woman crusade to unmask the killer, and on the way finds new love in a very unexpected place.

Want to know my problem with this book? The main character (Mary) is a big, giant weenie.  I mean we’re talking a total pushover.  No, that doesn’t even cover it… she’s a doormat.  She gets pushed around, insulted, and guilted throughout the entire book and she just takes it.  I just kept wanting her to stand up for herself.  God help the person ever stupid enough to talk to me the way that people talk to her in this book.  Grrrr…. It just made me angry!

If you can get around her being a complete and utter wuss, then the book probably is pretty good.  There’s lots of interesting backstory and it’s a fairly decent ‘who dun it.’  It didn’t sell me though, and although this is the first Lisa Scottoline that I’ve ever read, I won’t be hurrying to grab another off a bookshelf anytime soon.

Movie Review: No Strings Attached

So I finally got around to watching this movie the other day.  I’ve been wanting to watch it since I saw the previews and just never got around to it.  I’m glad I finally watched it but I will say that I’m not sure if I’d buy it.  I would, however, watch it on tv if it came on.

Here’s the synopsis of the movie in case you were living under a rock when it came out and never saw any of the previews:  In this comedy, Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) are life-long friends who almost ruin everything by having sex one morning. In order to protect their friendship, they make a pact to keep their relationship strictly “no strings attached.” “No strings” means no jealousy, no expectations, no fighting, no flowers, no baby voices. It means they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, in whatever public place they want, as long as they don’t fall in love. The questions become – Can you have sex without love getting in the way? And can their friendship survive?

Truthfully I thought it had some good humor but at the same time I was a little bit irritated at the way that they kept making light of the main female character’s issues.  I mean, I get that this is a comedy but that chick has some serious problems and they sort of just joke about them or pretend that they don’t exist.  I thought that the character of ‘Adam’ was actually pretty spot on.  I think guys are more affected by breakups (when they’re the one being broken up with, not doing the breaking) then they’d like us to believe.  He also seems to be an all-around good guy which is nice to see for a change.

I liked that the movie wasn’t raunchy although they definitely could have taken it there if they’d wanted to.

There’s definitely some great lines…

Emma:  Congrats?  For what, having sex with you?

Adam:  You did a good job, so… I thought you deserved a balloon.

Adam:  Don’t call my penis cute. Even if it’s dressed up as a Care Bear and it’s giving you a care stare.

Emma:  Don’t dress up your penis. Ever!

Emma:  The height difference! When we stand next to each other it looks like he’s kidnapping me.

Katie:  [answers phone] Hey! How did it go? Did you find him?

Emma:  Yeah, he was with a girl. It’s his girlfriend. And I was in a bush.

Lucy:  So then when I was, like, 11 I was in therapy because I was, like, obsessively biting my hair and then three months in my therapist died. I know! So that was, like, kind of a bummer. But yeah, that’s why I hate planes.

If you don’t hate Adam’s dad (Kevin Kline) by the end there’s something wrong with you.  Oh, and the same goes for the first girlfriend (Greta Gerwig) who broke his heart.  Selfish whores the both of ‘em.

I honestly don’t have a whole lot to say about this movie.  I laughed.  Overall I thought it was “meh” to good.  It didn’t hit it out of the ballpark or anything.

Have you seen this movie?  What’d you think?

Book Review: My Man, Michael by Lori Foster

Do you guys remember the last book I told you about and how much I reeeeeeally didn’t like it?  Well I’m so happy to have read this book afterwards because it was fun and entertaining and I blew through it in two days.  This book is in a “series” of books that Lori Foster has written called the SBC Fighters Series.  Basically they all center around MMA fighters but you don’t have to read them in any particular order for them to make sense.  In fact, they don’t even reference each other (besides some similar characters).

The Hubs bought me a box of books from Half Price the other day and this was one of the books in there.  Honestly I’ve just been grabbing books off of my bookshelves and reading them without putting any thought into what book I’m picking out.  But, as we’ve established, I prefer it that way.

I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I checked to see if there was another Lori Foster book in the box that the Hubs bought and low and behold there was – I’m reading it now so I’ll give you a review soon.  This book is definitely a romance book and there are several steamy scenes but they’re well written and believable.  I tell ya, you might seriously want to have your significant other give you some sparring lessons and get all hot and sweaty and then read this book together.  It’ll definitely get your motor going. 

I’ll admit, when the book starts, it’s a little ‘out there.’  As in literally.  We’re talking people from the future.  Nope, I’m not kidding.  However, once you get past that part, it’s really enjoyable (and you honestly kinda forget about it).  It’s a breeze to read (assuming you don’t go back and re-read the steamy scenes) and you’ll kinda fall in love with the main characters.  The only part that bothered me was that Kayli’s mom & sisters go from seriously-need-to-be-bitch-slapped to no-problem-at-all in the flip of a page and there’s no real explanation as to why.  Also, you’ll totally see the ending coming but that didn’t stop me from wanting to get there! 

Here’s the synopsis from the author’s website:

On the verge of a title shot match, fighter Michael “Mallet” Manchester is injured in a car accident. And just as quickly as his career was taking off, it’s over. Then Kayli Raine appears, offering him a second chance at becoming whole. Even though Mallet thinks it’s the pain medication talking, he accepts her challenge. And on an extraordinary journey with Kayli, he’ll get a chance to fight again—to save the woman who has saved him.

Movie Review: Battleship

So you know how yesterday I posted about going to a drive in movie theatre for our May date night?  (Well, the double feature that we saw was The Avengers followed by Battleship.  Now, I told you a few weeks back how much we loved The Avengers and I have to say, we didn’t mind sitting through it a second time in the least.  I didn’t possess a really strong desire to see Battleship except that the Hubs is ex-Navy so the moment he heard about a movie showcasing the Navy he was super excited and I knew we were going to go. 

The Hubs loved it, but I have to say I think he’s biased.  I thought it was mostly a fail.  Taylor Kitsch who plays the main character Lieutenant Alex Hopper is just sort of a putz.  You want to slap him.  A lot.  Also when their ship is hit and a lot of people die I also find it seriously hard to believe that a guy with six to seven years of experience is now the most qualified person on the ship and therefore becomes captain. 

There’s also some plagiarized scenes in the movie.  For the life of me I can’t find a picture or a clip of this scene but do you remember in the movie Titanic when Titanic is about to go completely underwater and they’re struggling to climb up the deck because it’s nearly vertical?  Then they climb over and hold on?  Yeah, it’s in there.  Oh!  And there’s a scene from Transformers 3 in there as well.  This scene was in all the trailers for the Transformers movie.  It’s where this office building gets cut in half and falls to the ground in slow-mo.  Yep, it’s in there too.

Basically it feels like they spent all of their graphic design money on these little spinny weapons of destruction that the enemy has.  That’s it though.  I realize that the aliens are supposed to be humanoids but really?  This was the best you could come up with?  An inbred face circa ‘Deliverance’ with lizard eyes and a porcupine goatee?

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Oh, and their great weakness is apparently sunlight except it’s used surprisingly sparingly against them. 

Rihanna does ok in the movie surprisingly.  I think what sort of irks me the most is the best actor in the entire movie is Liam Neeson and he’s only in there for about five minutes. 

I actually totally agree with this excerpt from a movie review website called Silver Screen Saucers the reviewer says this:

In December 2011, Peter Berg shared with journalists in Santa Monica the details of Battleship’s elaborate cinematic conception: “I went and talked to the guys at [toy company] Hasbro. I said, ‘I want to do a film about naval warfare, the modern navy.’ They said, ‘What’s the story?’ I said, ‘I’m not sure what the story is, but I’ll figure one out. But I’m your guy…’ [and]For some reason they were like, ‘Okay, you’re our guy.’” And that, apparently, is how two-hundred-million-dollar movies get greenlit in Hollywood today. As it turns out, Berg never did “figure out” a story for his big screen board game; but then, who needs a story when you’ve got Rihanna, massive guns, aliens, and Rihanna shooting massive guns at aliens? Alright, technically, Battleship does have “plot”, albeit a “plot” so weak that the word “plot” must, out of respect to real plots everywhere, remain in inverted commas throughout this review.

Honestly if you like reading movie reviews you should read this review (the one mentioned above).  This guy does a heck of a lot of research when he writes his reviews.  This one at least, is thorough and on point.  I have to leave you with yet another blurb from the aforementioned review that just totally cracked me up….

As 2,796 words is 2,795 more than Battleship deserves, I’ll abandon ship now with a desperate appeal: please, Hollywood, shining beacon of creativity and wonder that you are, end your relationship with the military – creativity and destructivity do not a good marriage make. And while you’re at it, end your sordid affair with ‘that’ toy company. To date, working side-by-side, Hasbro and the DoD have assaulted us with two G.I. Joes, three Transformers and a Battleship. One shudders to think what might be next…

April Date Night

So this weekend was crazy busy but as I told a friend, I’m relatively certain that’s just the new norm for our lives.  The hubs and I make a good team though.  We knocked out quite a lot in one day. 

Saturday night we took some time out to just hang out and spend some time together.  We schedule one date night a month every month without fail.  We usually book the weekend in advance just to be certain not to book anything else on top of it.  We allow ourselves a budget of $50 to spend on the date night.  Well, we’ve saved some money over the last few dates so we had some extra $$$ in our date night envelope.  We decided to forego the original date night plan (which I can’t tell you what it was because the husband doesn’t know what it was and I don’t want to risk ruining the surprise) and instead we went for the good old standard… dinner and a movie.  The hubs and I love to go see movies and haven’t been in quite a while so we headed out to Benihana’s for dinner and then went to go see The Raven.  Benihana’s was WONDERFUL, as always.  It’s hands down one of our favorite places to eat.  I’d been craving it for a while too so I’m super happy that we got the chance to go.  There’s only one thing I don’t like about Benihana’s and that’s the price.  I always get the same thing… the Hibachi Chicken.  If you go for dinner the price of the Hibachi Chicken (at our local Benihana’s) is $17.60.  However, if you go for lunch instead and order the EXACT SAME ITEM it’s $9.50.  As far as I can tell, there’s absolutely zero difference between the dinner and the lunch items.  Even the portion size is the same.  With both you get a salad, onion soup (which is to die for), a grilled shrimp appetizer (which I give to the husband), grilled onions and zucchini, fried rice, and, in my case, my grilled hibachi chicken with mushrooms.  That’s A LOT of food.  Truthfully I don’t mind paying $17.60 for all that.  What erks me is the fact that there’s an $8.10 difference in price just because of the time of day.  Usually if the hubs and I are going to head to Benihana’s we try to hit it up during lunch hours.  It didn’t work out that way this time though.  Either way, the food was AMAZING. 

After dinner we went to the nearby movie theatre to watch The Raven.  I like scary movies but I’m not a fan of gore so this was right up my alley.  In truth, it’s not really a scary movie.  Nothing jumps out and says ‘boo.’  It’s really more of a thriller.  And, fortunately, there’s very little gore.  There was a part or two where I looked away and plugged my ears (it’s really the SOUND that the gory scenes make that bothers me most) but nothing major.  It’s not like trying to watch Saw III (I and II I could watch but there’s a scene in III that will haunt me until the day I die).  The hubs and I both thought the movie was really well done.  We also thought that John Cusack did a great job (which is impressive considering that I can’t name a single other movie he’s even been in, much less that I’ve liked, which is generally a sign that I’m not a fan).  (Sidenote – I just checked IMDB  to see what other movies he’s been in and he did star in Runaway Jury & Con Air, both of which I loved).  Anyway, the movie was really enjoyable and I definitely recommend that you watch it.  … But (there’s always a but isn’t there)… I might recommend that you watch it at home.  Sometimes, I don’t know why the hubs and I go to the theatre.  Not too long ago we went to a different theatre and a HUGE cockroach was flying around right in front of us.  I HATE BUGS and that totally freaked me out and we haven’t been back to that theatre since… and probably won’t for a long long long time.    Fortunately there were no cockroaches this time but man-oh-man that does not mean that I didn’t want to smack the lady next to me with my shoe.  Fortunately for her, there were three seats between us and my arms aren’t that long.  This lady, and her husband, boyfriend, pimp, whatever he was, found the need to have commentary during the ENTIRE MOVIE.  It’s not a football game people.  I don’t care about your opinion.  If you really need to chat, then at least have the decency to whisper.  She also apparently had popcorn kernels stuck in her teeth.  How do I know that you wonder?  Because she was making these God-awful teeth-sucking noises for about 30 minutes.  Maybe I should have gotten her number in case I ever need someone to siphon gas out of my car or something.  Anyway, after about 45 minutes of this I turned to the hubs and told him I needed a gun.  Being the wonderful, amazing, incredible man that he is, he offered to switch seats with me because that’s just the kind of guy he is (or, perhaps, and maybe more likely, he just didn’t want to have to bail me out of jail).  So, we switched.  Strangely having him on the opposite side of me really helped.  I’m not sure if it’s because he blocked some of the sound or because I knew my chances of crawling over him to crack her head open weren’t good.  Either way, it helped.  HOWEVER, about 10 minutes before the movie was over I looked over in her direction and noticed that she’d taken her shoes off and proceeded to put her nasty, crusty feet on the back of the chair in front of her… with someone SITTING IN IT!  Now, if this had been me (the person in front of her) there would have been no restraining me.  I don’t even have a problem with feet.  I have a problem with rude, disrespectful people.  She qualifies.  I’m super glad that it wasn’t me sitting in front of her or else the hubs probably would have had to bail me out of jail.  I think the hubs and I are probably going to stick to our matinee movies and lunches out for the most part.  The people are nicer and the food is cheaper.  It’s a win win. 

Anyone else see any good movies this weekend?  Have any to-die-for food?

Washing Machine Woes

Remember the other day when I mentioned that our washing machine was leaking?  Well, Mr. Washing Machine Repair Man came to the house yesterday to fix said washing machine… except he didn’t.  When I got home the machine was still leaking and now it’s making some sort of grinding noise that it wasn’t making to begin with.  I had a rough day yesterday so when the hubs got home I basically ran into his arms and told him I just couldn’t take one more thing right now and he had to call the repair guy and get it figured out.  So, the guy is coming back again today and meeting the hubs at the house to get things sorted out.  I just want to be able to wash laundry people.  Are clean socks too much to ask?

Whirlwind of Clusterfuckery

A friend sent me this blog post today and told me she thought of me.  I’m fairly certain she thought of me because this is totally something I would bitch about.  Then again, I’ve been guilty in the past of some of these things too.  I totally hope I’m getting better at it.  Worth a read.  Check it out!

I don’t want to be arrogant here, but I’m an incredibly attractive man. I can’t help it, I don’t try to be, I just am. When I was a kid my mother’s best friend used to tell me that I was gonna be a little heart breaker. Turns out she was right. ~ Nikki in the movie ‘Spread’

Warning: if you’re a dude you might as well just stop reading right here… unless you want to see pictures of a bunch of half-naked sexy men.

Hi there ladies, and, err, some men…  this is totally not a typical post for me but I got into a discussion the other day about hot male celebrities and thought this might be worth sharing.  Get your drool cups ready. 

I realize that what each person finds attractive in the opposite sex is totally dependent upon their personal tastes.  Well here are mine:  a great smile, pretty eyes, and big, muscular arms.  I tend to lean towards either the clean-cut all American boy, or the bad boy.  Very little in between.  Yes, personalities totally matter.  I used to think David Boreanaz was really hot until I found out he’s a lying, cheating bastard.  He’s not so hot anymore.  Anywho, for the purposes of this particular post, I’m talking solely about physical attributes.  Although, as you’ll notice, David didn’t make the cut (just can’t get that lying, cheating bastard part out of my head). 

Here goes…

Shemar Moore

 
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Channing Tatum


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Vin Diesel


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Ryan Reynolds


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Adam Levine (the dude is waaaaay to tiny for my taste but he’s got a seriously drool-worthy bad boy face)


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Cam Gigandet


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You’re welcome.