Bolt

[Amazon Link]

Another fine outing from good old Dick Francis, a follow up to Break In (which I blogged here).

Break In's protagonist, jockey Christmas "Kit" Fielding, is beset by numerous problems. He races for Princess Casilia, whose husband is being pressured by an evil French businessman to sell out. He's engaged to the Princess's niece, the lovely Danielle, but fears he's losing her to Prince Litsi, a dashing, handsome, rich sophisticate. And he's still being persecuted by his old family nemesis Allerdeck. And someone is killing the horses he rides with a humane "bolt" gun—hey, just like in No Country for Old Men.

I say this a lot: I avoided Dick Francis because I don't care about horses that much. That was a mistake.


Last Modified 2012-10-14 10:24 AM EDT

Stardust

[Amazon Link] [3.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

This was a good movie with some laughs and excitement. It's a PG-13 fantasy, which means (in this case) that some characters sleep with each other, and some other characters kill each other with varying degrees of gruesomeness. It's not for the kiddos, or for those who would prefer their fantasies more along the lines of Live Free or Die Hard.

The premise is that the normal-world remote English village of Wall is separated from the magical land of Stormhold by, well, a wall. One with a gap in it. One brave Wall adventurer dodges the gap guard, visits the adjacent magic village, gets seduced by a comely slave wench. Nine months later a baby arrives… the action picks up again when the baby grows up and ventures back into Stormhold for reasons of his own.

The plot is complex, and there's a lot to keep track of. (That's the downside of movies that have magic in them: everything grinds to a halt while it's explained what the magical rules are. Why P can do X magically, but Q can't do Y.)

Claire Danes is in this as a literal fallen star, and she's fine. Robert De Niro plays a gay pirate, and shows that he can embrace offensive homosexual stereotypes just as well as Robin Williams.


Last Modified 2012-10-14 10:24 AM EDT