Hunter's Moon

[Amazon Link]

Amazon helpfully points out that I bought this back in July, 2008. So I'm running about 3.5 years behind on my Doc Ford catchup quest... At least I squeezed it in before 2013 ran out.

It's a darn strange book, not at all similar to previous entries in Randy Wayne White's series. But (as I've said before): it's not as if we have a lot of control over what happens in Doc Ford's life. We're just watching it happen.

What happens in this book: Ford is recruited to a secretive mission. The book's narrative gradually reveals details about the recruiter. His wife has perished while on a humanitarian mission to Nicaragua. He's well-known. He's under heavy Secret Service protection. Ford's first task is to spirit him out from under that protection, so that they might travel to Central America and check out the shady circumstance of his spouse's death.

I might as well tell you the spoiler (it's revealed on the back cover of the paperback, so it's not a huge one): Ford's recruiter is an ex-President of the United States, Kal Wilson.

Surprisingly, some reviewers found this scenario far-fetched.

Equally as unconventional: not much happens for more than 200 pages in the middle of the book. Ford, ex-President Wilson, and the ever-present Tomlinson hang around for a darn long time before anything reasonably approaching action occurs.

But, as I said, if White says that's what happened, who are we to doubt him? The climax is filled with major and minor twists, and I would be lying if I didn't keep turning pages to find out what happened.

The Heat

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

According to its IMDB trivia page, the script for The Heat was sent out to the director with the title 'untitled female buddy-cop comedy'. And, at base, it feels pretty much that prefabricated, as if those parameters were fed into script-writing software, sliders were adjusted, buttons pushed, boxes checked, and out comes this.

Sandra Bullock plays a by-the-book ambitious FBI agent. She is brilliant but arrogant, and her co-agents despise her. Her boss (played by the great Demian Bichir) sends her off to Boston to track down a drug kingpin. There, she butts heads with a loose-cannon police detective played by Melissa McCarthy. Their relationship is initially fractious, but…

Oh heck, you could probably predict how the whole thing goes from there. (In fact, I spotted the mystery villain right from his first appearance, simply by applying this guideline.)

Much of the humor derives from the salty language employed by Melissa McCarthy's character. To call her foul-mouthed is a major understatement, like calling Natalie Zea "pretty". It's a running gag, and (honestly) her tirades are probably the most imaginative components of the movie, and can be pretty funny.

Jane Curtin is wasted playing Melissa McCarthy's mom, only a few scenes, fewer lines. Sigh. Will have to wait until she's back in Unforgettable.