Robert Crais, known to lovers of suspense and crime novels for having written many New York Times bestsellers, including Suspect and Taken, has just completed The Promise, his twentieth novel and the latest in his Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series.
The manic energy that Verhoeven is renowned for was evident throughout our chat, and was infectious. By the time our all-too-brief lunch was over, I found myself waving my hands while I spoke in rapid clips, and using more bounce than usual in my stride.
Despite a few narrative bumps -- including a not-all-that necessary b-plot about a mad bomber -- the film, directed by the twin Spierig Brothers, is handsomely mounted and nicely told. So what got the film shunted to the armpit of the release year?
Centered around a highly advanced humanoid alien race known as the Aurocearians, victims of a devastating blow when the titular Gods (a mercurial bunch), angry with the race's arrogant behaviors, curses them by vaporizing every female hindering any hope for breeding. So what is a cursed race to do?
Like all mind-altering substances, endorphins must be used responsibly. Sure, the endorphin-high is the safest way of getting high, but there are also hidden dangers -- the greatest of which being overtraining.
Fred Kaplan's enlivening 1959: The Year Everything Changed, argues that the '50s -- a decade that saw the invention of the microchip and the creation of explosive art -- has been misunderstood in hindsight.
Iron Man 2, entertaining as it is, and I like it, is a big missed opportunity. It could have been a lighter version of The Dark Knight, exploring deeper themes in a pop context with a more congenial cast. Instead, it's confused.