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Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Writer's Life 3/11 - Staged

I've enjoyed the action-packed Bourne series, even The Bourne Legacy (2012), which starred Jeremy Renner and not Matt Damon, who appeared only in photographs in that installment. Last night I caught up to Jason Bourne (2016), courtesy of Netflix. It fills in a little bit more of the puzzle of the super-agent's past but never rises above a solid action flick. It begins with a hacking of the CIA, which is topical given the news of the past few days but, make no mistake about it, the story is all about thrills, not commentary on government. Fans of the genre will be satisfied with the two high-speed vehicle chases, the soaring body count, the fist fights and the exotic locales. It is a fast-moving two hours, but I doubt I'll remember much of it. There are so many movies like it. Tommy Lee Jones, looking very old, lends his usual expertise to the part of the rogue CIA leader out to eliminate Bourne. Frenchman Vincent Cassell is excellent as "The Asset," hot on the hero's trail. Julia Stiles plays the hacker who sets the plot in motion. I've always been impressed by her work. Unfortunately, she is hardly in anything that interests me. Sweden's Alicia Vikander, with whom I was unfamiliar, makes a good impression as an agent who comes to Bourne's aid. Matt Damon has the role of one-many-army down pat. This was Paul Greengrass' third collaboration with the star in the series. He co-wrote the screenplay with Christopher Rouse. Robert Ludlum created the character and delivered three best-sellers from 1980-'90. Eric VanLustbader has written nine more entries. Time will tell if Bourne endures as Sherlock Holmes and Dracula have. 141,000+ users at IMDb have rated Jason Bourne, forging to a consensus of 6.7 of ten. On a scale of five, I say three. I would be surprised if there isn't another film in the series. Made on a budget of $120 million, it earned $162 million in the USA alone. The soundtrack was done by Moby, whose music I've always found interesting in his TV appearances. I wish I'd paid closer attention to the score. It seems IMDb has discontinued the commentary section on films. I'm not surprised. Although I occasionally gleaned insights from it, it was usually dominated by negativism.  

Some people have a twisted sense of humor. An Ohio couple staged a murder scene in a bathtub, using ketchup, and then sent pictures to friends and relatives, the male "confessing" to the foul deed. Officers arrived after getting calls from three people who were "hysterical." The couple, in their twenties, were arrested, charged with inducing panic. Both pleaded not guilty. Here's the pic they sent out to social media, courtesy of

I didn't expect to be selling books on the street today, as the forecast predicted wind chill in the teens. As I walked to Burger King, it wasn't very windy. There was enough sunshine to take the bite out of the cold, so I thought I'd give it a shot for a couple of hours. I'm glad I did. My thanks to Mr. Conspiracy, aka Steve, who purchased the beautiful pictorial Encyclopedia of World History, to the young woman who bought two obscure novels, to the one who bought three Iris Johanssen thrillers in hardcover, to the elderly woman who bought two Danielle Steel romances in Russian, and to the young man who bought Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman. I felt like I got away with something.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
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