xXx: State of the Union

[Amazon Link] [0.5 stars] [IMDb Link]

Whoa. This movie is impressively bad. Boring, I fell asleep a couple times. A complete waste of time. It's like an action-thriller parody where they forgot to put in any humor whatsoever. There are a couple good actors here, but they deliver their lines as if they were concentrating on calculating how many dollars per spoken word they were getting paid. Special effects by Industrial Light and Magic, but they must have contracted with their bargain-basement department specializing in cartoonish-looking shots.

And I actually kind of liked xXx, the previous movie in the series. But this movie is obviously aimed at coldly extracting money from the pockets of idiots who mindlessly see action movie sequels. Uh, like me.

Ebert gives this two and a half stars, which further cements my opinion of him as nearly totally worthless.

Avoid at all costs.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 5:56 AM EDT

School Days

[Amazon Link]

The indefatigable Spenser returns once again, and this indefatigable fanboy lines up to read about it once again. In this series entry, our hero is hired by a no-nonsense older woman to clear her grandson of a mass shooting at a snooty suburban private school. The only problem is that the kid seems undeniably guilty. So Spenser concentrates on trying to figure out what really happened, which nobody really wants him to do.

If you follow the series, this one is notable by the minimal presence of Susan Silverman, who's out of town for nearly the entire book. And Hawk is entirely absent. Lacking these two usual conversational foils, Spenser starts talking to Pearl, Susan's dog, quite a bit. Also himself. I appreciated this, because as much as I love Hawk and Susan, the conversations between them and Spenser have long since gone utterly predictable.

In a disturbing development, however, Spenser wears a Pittsburgh Pirates ballcap at the beginning of chapter 22. What's up with that?


Last Modified 2012-10-26 5:56 AM EDT