Bläeckfisk is the Swedish translation for the word octopus. I am not Swedish, but I do own a lot of furniture from Sweden and I like octopuses while admiring their multi-tasking ability. I would like to travel to Sweden at some point, plus I think it is a pretty cool looking word. Anyhow, speaking of words, I guess you could say that is why we are here. Words are the foundation for way we try to wrap our thoughts around everything in the galaxy. The tendrils that lead to emotions and curiosity. I am not here to solve the mysteries of the universe, just to discuss words in general. Specifically words written by other people and have been printed off and slapped between two slices of thin card stock. Many of these sandwiches go on to bigger and better things, some bigger and better than others. So, I guess we will be talking about those as well. If you share an interest in words or enjoi seeing what they can look like in action....välkommen! (Swedish for welcome.)

Monday, February 27, 2012

F15: Safe House-Directed by Daniel Espinosa

"You know what you are? Well, I know what you aren't."

Surprisingly, this movie was quite good. Most action films released this time of year are best suited for rentals, but this film was rather absorbing. I must confess that Ryan Reynolds is not my favorite nor was I longing to see a movie about a covert CIA "safe house".  That being said, RR was solid and the plot was engaging. The story goes something like this: Matt Weston (Reynolds) holds a backwater, entry post with the CIA in South Africa and is responsible for "keeping house" at a hidden government holding center. Weston is eager to prove himself with something a little more vigorous, when legendary traitor and spy Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is dropped into his lap for safe keeping. Frost has been swapping intel on numerous intelligence fronts and has been the subject of countless manhunts for the past ten years when he is finally snatched in Johannesburg. Unluckily for Frost, someone he has crossed in the past becomes privy to the location of his holding and unleashes hell to try and silence the slippery operative. Believing this is his one chance to impress the people that be, Weston eludes the ambush and powers across the city with Frost in tow.

This is probably the closest film I have seen to one of my favorite all time movies, Man on Fire (also starring Washington). The gritty, gloomy lighting that this movie was filmed in adds a dark feel to the action and establishes a serious tone to what could have become a silly story line. The acting is admirable, the chase scenes epic and the creative use of the camera angles really consummate a quality movie. Espinosa develops both main characters and takes us along for the ride of their individual self discovery, ultimately leading us in a direction we didn't see coming. It will not change your world, but I really enjoyed Safe House. It's getting cold out there and the movie house is beckoning. If you are going to go, you might as well go see a good one.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

B9:11/22/63 By Stephen King (849 pages)

"We're all mad here was what the Chesire Cat told Alice. Then he disappeared. Except for the grin, that is. As I recall, the grin stayed awhile."
This latest enduring novel by Stephen King may be a touch sluggish but is worth reading. It has been a long time since I have read anything from Mr. King and I feel that the content of this new work is more or less a new frontier for him. Apparently he tried to pen the book back in the 70's but buckled under the weight of research that was going to be required to flush out his historically exorbitant story. I love the topic of anything JFK and admire King for undertaking such a delicate and temperamental topic. Nobody knows exactly what happened that dreadful day in '63 but I am sure everyone can agree upon the fact that if Jack Kennedy lived, our world would be completely different. Would we have gone to Vietnam? Could Regan's Cold War have been avoided? How about the present day tensions in the Middle East? An alive and well 35th president surely would have touched these and undoubtedly many other aspects of our nation's history. These questions lounge beneath the cover of this book and working under the pretext that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman, beckon…..what would the world have been like had “Ozzie Rabbit” been stopped that November afternoon in 1963?
The idea of time travel is not new. However, King puts his own spin on the matter and provides some interesting guidelines.  After stumbling upon a “rabbit hole” Jacob Epping is transported back to the year 1958.  Every time Jacob returns to the future and re-enters the time portal, history is re-set to the original way it was before the initial entry.  As we find out later though, these entries come at a cost and have their own effect on history, or “butterfly effect”. No matter how long you spend in the past, only 2 minutes of real time in the future will elapse. Our 35 year old protagonist sets about making his way from Maine down to Texas with a plan to prevent the assassination of JFK. Along the way he encounters some salty characters ranging from bookies to detectives to murderous types getting ready to commit crimes Jacob knows they are about to commit. As his level of involvement deepens, Jacobs begins to find himself struggling with the distortion of living in this new reality.  Meeting a pretty young lady only adds to his confusion of whether or not he is doing the right thing by proceeding with his plans. Should he stay and attempt to drastically change the course of US history or abandon his quest and return to the comforting confides of the future?
I would recommend this book, but must mention that it is long and at times tediously slow. I am not sure why it was written to be as long as it was, but the ending in my opinion makes up for the several chapters that you will surely breeze over. It is no Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, but definitely a solid read. The topic is absorbing and crawls into your thinking. If you had a chance to go back into history to make some changes, would you? Being my nutty history loving self, I'd be all over it. But hey, that’s just me.