NCIS: My love/hate affair

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ncis

I am a totally invested couch potato when it comes to the shows that I watch. Every season, I have a spreadsheet that I concoct filled with information that I use to persuade my family and friends into which shows they should be watching, I have even been known to enforce this on unsuspecting co-wokers at times. Just the same for the past few years NCIS was always at the top of that list. I had fallen in love with Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his rules. I loved the way he says so much with his eyes and body movement and so little comes out of his mouth. He has an efficiency with words that I could never quite master in my real life. I always thought that if I could hold back a bit more and keep it simpler, life might be a bit simpler, but that is not always the way of things. I could sit here and wax poetic about how cool Tony DiNozzo is, or how cool McGee is and how much I love Abby and her quick wit or Ducky and his bowties. The truth of the matter is that, while I loved Kate (Sasha Alexander) before she was fatally shot to death on the roof of that building, the love affair was not totally solidified until Ziva David walked onto the scene. Ziva is an assassin for Moussad and she can kill you with her thumb. That is something to aspire to if only in your imaginary mind. I loved that she couldn’t drive and didn’t care what you thought about how bad her driving was. She had this quiet warmth about her underneath the tough exterior that spoke to me. Hell, I would give anything to be able to gut punch someone and have it really hurt when I did it. I strongly doubt that I could deliver that kind of blow without simultaneously breaking something on my person like my foot, when I should have used my hand. She and Gibbs had this understanding, he had held attributes that her father never showed. He wasn’t a kind man, and while he was her father, he had a distance in him that translated in the things that he did and never said. So when he was killed, I figured that it would change her. There is always guilt in a situation like that, and I worried that she would have a hard time coming back from it. I didn’t expect her to decide to up and leave the dang show though. So to be honest, it has taken me quite some time to come to terms with it. Now if you know me, then you know that I will boycott a show in heart beat if I strongly disagree with the direction that they have taken; relegating a once beloved show to me into something I have collecting in my DVR to never to be bothered to watch again. You can feel free to reference my CSI years here. The minute that they got rid of Grissom I was done with them, and while I love Ted Dansen even he was not enough to bring me back from the brink. So when Ziva left and Tony had to watch her go, I just figured that I would be fair. I didn’t want to give up on yet another show. I tried, I really really tried people. I have barely watched this season. Its actually recording right now and I am not watching it. I have given my full attention to Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, hell I have even given my full attention to How to get away with murder, but I cannot bring my self to care about the story anymore. I feel listless watching it because I always figured that my true love was Gibbs, and that over time I would be ok with Ziva leaving. Now I am starting to feel like, maybe I was wrong and this feeling will not be going away any time soon. Its not that I don’t still love Gibbs, but honestly, I feel like we need to get a new assassin or something. Not a replacement for Ziva because that won’t work, but something a bit different. I don’t know maybe someone who is more challenging for Tony or heck I would even be ok bringing on that Coast Guard commander who is like the female version of Gibbs. I couldn’t be a writer on this show, honestly but I literally feel like I can’t be the only person who is not feeling the love this season. Jeez, I can barely sink my teeth into NCIS: New Orleans and that is literally one of my most favorite places in the whole entire world. So who out there has had something like this happen to them. I can’t possibly be the only one. This is literally almost as bad as replacement of ‘becky’ on Roseanne. So who can commiserate, I know I couldn’t possibly be the only one annoyed over here…..Anyone?

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Skull Flowers by Jason Dion Fletcher

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Skull FlowersSkull Flowers by Jazon Dion Fletcher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was recently granted the opportunity to read Skull Flowers, a new novel being distributed by Backwood Press. I was drawn in by the difference in the writing style for this book which was a very different approach. This one reads more like an intricate movie script.

The story depicts a future world, that is torn and divided by different factions all working toward the inoculation of the people in the area. A tale unfolds that brings the existing differences in each of the factions into stark relief pitting the groups against each other in a play for domination and control.

The premise of the story is solid and has a number of moving parts that are meant to add to the over all futuristic element of the story. I even like the different characters that are present like the loveable 808, and the very complex Officer Whistle Britches, and the charming and fiesty Alexis.

My issues with the story are a bit complex, similar to the story. The first issue is that while the story is written in play format, the format doesn’t translate to eReading and detracts significantly from the quality of the story, by making it difficult to fully understand which aspects of the story the author is desiring the audience to follow the closest. For example, there is a section in the story that describes a dock style area where the heroine, Alexis is driving up in order to attend a fashion show. The fashion show is the backdrop, the docks is simply wallpaper. The issue is that the writer takes great detail in the things the characters are using like 808’s grimoire, which sort of starts out as a pager style device but that sort of morphs into a handheld smartphone, that streams video and uploads. The point is that all of these elements are taking away from the bigger issue which is the assassination of a critical member of the Checkmate Club, Governor Champagne.

Another element that seems to be lacking is a more concrete establishment of the characters, you are given snippet insights into them. A good example is the interaction between 808 and Alexis. At the start 808 comes off as a R2D2 style droid that is experimental in his existence. The thing is that he somehow becomes badass by the next couple of scenes and one has to wonder if they didn’t have another character in mind at the time of writing this.

The last item that I will point to is the fact that while the writer is attempting to give the story a spin that is different, like the elements of a creole style that are added at the beginning with the french nuances, they are missing in other parts of the story and could have been more consistent to give it a more concrete feel. Do not be mistaken, this is a story that should be read, however, it is one that could benefit more from some refinement and tweaking that would polish the piece and make it more palatable to the reader. Rather than give away too much of the story, I’d rather you take some time to read the book for yourself to determine how it sits with you.

In my opinion, I would love to see something like this as a movie instead of a book, mostly because it would give a clearer picture to the viewer/reader of what the writer is trying to convey. Considering that I find writing to be one of the most difficult things imaginable; especially given that it is a piece of the writers feelings and soul, I will say thank you for your bravery as it is not easy to put yourself out there.

Out of 5 stars I am only going to give Skull Flowers 3.5, however, I am more than willing to revise that if there is ever a version update that is easier to read on a kindle fire. All the best to you in your future writing/reading.

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Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James….4 out of 5 stars

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Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I finally broke down and read this book. I initially shied away from it because I didn’t feel up for what was being called by some critics a Twilight knock off for a house wife. I have to admit, by the time I was done I could understand both sides of the argument. The story is of a young, socially closed off young woman named Ana who is in the last week of college. She by chance ends up meeting this very mysterious gentleman named Christian Grey.

At the beginning of the story Grey comes off as the proverbial doucher, making these bold statements that while possibly fact for this alternate universe are really very pompous and don’t necessarily make him someone you want to curl up with. I will say that as the story unfolds and you begin to learn more about the characters then you find that he has become this way due to some seriously deep seeded personal issues that can cause the end of their very premature relationship.

Why should you bother to read this book?
My answer to that is simple despite the prose in some sections of the book you come to love both Ana and Christian. What’s more the story is at least quasi realistic and not so far fetched that you can’t overlook some lesser elements of the story that might make you cringe. I think the best thing to do is to lower your expectations and not expect literary genius. Instead seek out a decent plot and characters that you want to know more about. That will get you through a great deal of this first installment in the 3 book series.

I am giving this one 4 out of 5 stars because overall, I really did end up routing for these characters and it served to give me a few hours of decent entertainment.

I will say that there are some very intimate scenes that are graphic for those of you like me who tend to blush at that sort of thing. So…if that makes you uncomfortable then you might consider steering clear of this series, but if not. Happy Reading. I’d love to hear what you think…

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Stephanie Meyers book the Host gets a big screen shot

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While most people know of Stephanie Meyers for her epic Twilight Saga, they may not have noticed that she wrote another book during that time.  The ugly step-sister to that saga was The Host.  A science fiction book for those that are more or less not really into science fiction.  The book basically takes place after a mass invasion of the worlds population has occurred and the last of the uninhabited humans are being rounded up to take on the remaining invaders.

The book sold very well for many who were clambering for more content in-between their long waits for another Twilight installment.  I myself did not bother to read this book because I just wasn’t really interested in it.  Which it turns out may serve me well given that they have decided to make a movie based on the Stephanie Meyer novel.  Yippee movie goers, because they actually seem to have pulled together a worthy cast.

The movie of the same title is due out March of 2013, and is set to star Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, The Lovely Bones), Diane Kruger (National Treasure), Jake Abel (I am number four, Percy Jackson: The lightning Thief), and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood).

Honestly, I like the mix and think, if they did the right thing by the book and script integrity, they have a pretty decent movie on their hands.  Not to mention who isn’t up for one of those movies that gives you all the bits and pieces of genres you don’t want to love.  I took a chance and checked out the teaser trailer – give it a shot and tell me what you think.

P.S.:  Look for more from Max Irons, he’s Jeremy Irons son and if he is anything like his father his acting will knock your socks off.  Until next time….

I’ve been gone too long…..what on earth is the world coming to?????

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Greetings all of my movie/tv/book reading peeps!  

I have been gone for too long apparently since there is a ton of strange and bizarre goings on that all point to what I can only call or refer to as MANIA!!!!! I will do a brief recap, since I am literally what feels like months behind.

OK, so we had a few good titles come out on DVD, lets see. First up,  True Grit with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.  Loved this movie, the reason – it was an honest and unrelenting portrayal of the time.  Just reference the hanging of the native american man approximately 7-12 minutes into the movie.  The entire movie is like that, even during the “trippy” scene toward the end.  Out of 4 stars it gets the full 4 for honesty and GRIT.  (Super sorry, I couldn’t resist)

Next up is, Killer Elite with Robert DeNiro, Jason Statham, and Clive Owen.  Not bad, there was plenty of action from start to finish and of course the gun play worked on a number of levels.  The story line for many who watch Statham films will feel like a re-hash of  The Mechanic (with Ben Foster), the premise for the most part is very similar.  Why both to rent it?  Well you have the action factor but the most fascinating element; his deformed eye and porn stash that Clive Owen rocks through the whole thing.  So for that rent it, the very sight of it will bring a small smile to your face once the credits role.

As an added bonus lets revisit Arrested Development….two words people, ‘Never-Nude’  you must get yourself an Amazon prime membership and rent it or get yourself to the rental store/open a Netflix/Blockbuster account and get the series, its well worth it to watch the unraveling of this family that is completely whacked out of its skull.  Plus listening to them call Michael Cera, ‘George Michael’ well worth it.

That concludes the DVD segment of this post.  On to more fun stuff….Television.  There is clearly a ton of stuff to watch but here is what you should add to your DVR list while you have time…

Archer – This FX show just doesn’t quit and basically can’t get any sicker.  Guns, Sex, Violence, Inappropriate and politically incorrect anecdotes, its all there and then some.  I rather not give away too much if you aren’t watching it but just imagine a cartoon where they pretty much say and do all the things that you might want to say while at work or when dealing with your family and co-workers.  Funny one liners don’t even begin to cover it.

House of Lies – If you’ve read this far you are noticing a theme.  Basically, this one has a nice mix of people who should all be heavily medicated, and probably are.  There is a son who is screaming for attention, a mom that lives on the edge of insanity literally, a dad who is a spin doctor and a ton of crazed and depraved clients, the best part is that is mostly covered in the first two episodes. Don Cheadle does a great job of pulling them all together for the madness-coaster that is this show.  His character has a brutally honest voice that rings clear in the crazy adventures that these people find themselves on.

Spartacus: Vengeance – Mostly naked men running through the forest with swords and abs of steel.  This one gets even more twisted this time around.  As Spartacus becomes legend among the poorer folk.  Fans of the last season of Spartacus:Blood and Sand will appreciate the way in which it somehow actually seems to be gorier and laced with even more sex and violence than last season.  The story unfolds in due course and all will love homage they pay to the ancient times.

Tosh.0 – Daniel Tosh is a very very very sick man….he pulls together web cuts from all over the internet and then basically comments on it.  That’s the show in a nutshell, what makes it watchable (yup creating my own words – this is me multitasking) some of the stuff he finds is so off the charts you sit in awe of the fact that Comedy Central is actually running it.  You have bits like ‘Cannon Ball Dookie’, try not to read too much into it but its pretty much what it sounds like.  Or what I now consider famous the Web Redemption – here he gives web embarrassed fools a chance to redeem themselves, but basically he’s only twisting the knife and making them get more embarrassed all over again.

I have been reading a ton of books, but most of them are not for the faint of heart so I will hold most of those for others posts, but I did finish Tina Fey’s Bossypants….read it people.  It was funny, honest, and irreverent.  You will not be disappointed.

Until next time….

Glades Season 2 begins June 5 on A&E

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I am really looking forward to the second season of the Glades.  The same cast comes back so you get Matt Passmore and Kiele Sanchez, hanging out in the swamp lands of Florida solving cases. 

Or as A&E puts it:

“Recently renewed for its second season, THE GLADES™ follows Jim Longworth, an attractive, brilliant, yet hard to get along with homicide detective from Chicago who gets shot by his captain after being wrongfully accused of sleeping with his wife. After being exiled from the department, Longworth relocates to the sleepy, middle of nowhere town of Palm Glade, Florida, where the sunshine and golf are plentiful and crime is seemingly at a minimum. Only this town outside the Florida Everglades isn’t quite as idyllic as he thought, as he finds people keep turning up murdered. Each case pulls Longworth off the golf course and reluctantly into his element as one of the sharpest homicide detectives to wear a badge.” (A&E.com, http://www.aetv.com/the-glades/about/)

 If you have never seen the show, please carry yourself over to Hulu so that you can catch up before the new season begins, its an instant ‘want to watch’. 

Bite Club…Is Shanetastic!!!!

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Bite Club (The Morganville Vampires, #10)Bite Club by Rachel Caine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dearest Rachel Caine, kudos and bravo 5x over for this latest installment in the saga that is Morganville Texas.

I hate to give away **********spoilers*******

However, Shane is so bad-ass in this one he does himself harm. The best part is that the story is told from both Shane and Claire’s perspectives, which gives the story a really good balance as it progresses along.

Then there is the whole bombshell between Michael and Eve, that I didn’t see coming. I mean, they always seemed serious just not that far into it on some level.

Plus there are all of the questions that are left in the aftermath, like well where does this leave them all as friends in the end? Can Shane and Claire really weather what’s going on? What’s the deal with Amelie and Oliver?

I could go on forever, just know that the landscape is completely open for interpretation as to where the next installment will lead, but I totally plan to be on that ride. Wihtout a doubt.

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