Thursday, June 10, 2021

Movie review: The Comeback Trail


Movie producer Max Barber (Robert de Niro) and his naïve but starstruck nephew and partner Walter are in dire straits with yet another movie (Killer Nuns?) bombing at the box office. Trouble is, they owe a lot of money to a mobster called Reggie Fontaine (played by Morgan Freeman). Reggie wants his money. Now. While on another set, Max sees a terrible accident in which the leading man is killed by falling off a building during a shoot. No worries, he’s insured. Slowly but surely the seeds of a plot unfold as Max convinces ageing has-been spaghetti Western star Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones) to pick up his cowboy hat and star in a new movie. Duke, who was contemplating suicide, having nothing left to live for at an old age facility, agrees. The trouble is, Duke seems to be unkillable. And Reggie wants his money. Now!

The Comeback Trail is a remake of the 1982 film so is set in the era with the same movie making techniques, the same dinosaur attitudes to women – the director is a female – and the same old Western cliches which are evergreen and appealing. Don’t expect an Oscar-worthy film here but do expect a lot of laughs, some nostalgia for how it was way back then, and actually a kind of admiration for how they shot movies and somehow managed to pull together some very watchable stuff. Freeman, De Niro, and Jones have some memorable comic moments and there are screamingly funny scenes which they play deadpan and heaven knows how they do it. Make popcorn, sit back, and have a very good laugh. I know I shouldn’t but I’m rating this 5 stars for sheer chutzpah!

 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Blog Tour: The Shadow of Atlantis

  


This is where the mystery begins – a mystery that will soon turn into a magical journey, a quest to unlock the secrets kept hidden by an ancient book bearing the title "Shadows from the Past"…



By Wendy Leighton-Porter

Title: THE SHADOW OF ATLANTIS
Author: Wendy Leighton-Porter
Publisher: Silver Quill Publishing
Pages: 128
Genre: Middle Grade Literature / Time Travel / Adventure

 

My Review

Ten-year-old twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot get the shock of their lives when their parents disappear without a trace and with no explanation. The only clues are a mysterious old book that had belonged to their father and a piece of jewellery belonging to their mother … something she always wore. The only witness to part of their disappearance is Max, their unusually talented Tonkinese cat. Months pass with no further information, and so the twins begin a new life with their Uncle Richard, a professor of archaeology. Although he hasn’t any kids of his own and isn’t very good at parenting, luckily his wonderful housekeeper, Mrs. Garland, makes the twins feel at home. Uncle Richard said Max (short for Maximus) could stay too, so, apart from deep sadness about their parents, the twins settle into a new routine. Charlie Green, the shy boy next door, soon becomes their best friend.

 One rainy day, the twins decide to look at their father’s old book. In an amazing magical moment, they manage to open the book and, accompanied by Charlie and Max, are transported to the lost city of Atlantis. They befriend a kind family but the disaster facing the city soon becomes their problem. The trouble is, only a few people believe their warnings. Can they escape dangerous enemies, save the city, and get back to their own world before it’s too late? And where are their parents?

I loved this story. The kids are all clearly defined and bring their own thoughts and personalities to this well-paced adventure: Joe always daring and often impetuous; Charlie a little hesitant but getting braver; and Jemima, sensitive and perceptive. Max is a unique character all on his own: wise beyond his years, observant, and alert to any hint of danger. He adds a lovely touch of humour with his cryptic comments. Wonderful descriptions bring the past to life and create a sense of otherworldliness mixed with reality. The story of Atlantis is one of those incredible mysteries that people aren’t quite sure is true or not. I’m a firm believer and I really enjoyed how much authentic detail the author includes in describing the history and legends of Atlantis and its origins. Greek mythology interweaves nicely with the story and makes for easy and interesting learning for young readers. This book is the start of a series that takes Joe and Jemima on new and exciting adventures into the past. Highly recommended. 5 Stars.



“Author Wendy Leighton-Porter’s Shadows from the Past children’s series is an outstanding collection of books that would make an excellent addition to any home or school library. Written in an engaging style with characters that will have great appeal to young readers, this page-turning collection will be as enticing to avid book enthusiasts as it will be for reluctant readers.” CHILDREN’S LITERARY CLASSICS BOOK AWARDS

“The Shadows from the Past series is perfect for a rainy day and a must-have for a child’s shelves.” READERS’ FAVORITE BOOK REVIEWS

The Shadow of Atlantis is a well-written story with a collection of likable main characters, a solid plot line, snippets of educational facts about a historically important location and event, and, is filled with mystery, magic, and suspense. This book grabbed me at the prologue and had me hooked until the end.” MOTHER DAUGHTER BOOK REVIEWS









After teaching French, Latin, and Classical Studies for almost twenty years, Wendy’s career took a new direction when she turned to her first love – books – and decided to devote herself to writing children’s fiction. With the old adage “Write about what you know” in mind, when she first came up with the idea for her series of time-travel adventures, she jumped head-first into the ancient world of classical history and mythology which formed the backdrop for her first three books. As the series moves forward in time, she sets each story in historical periods that have always fascinated her. Although no longer in the classroom, she seeks to entertain her young readers, to engage them, to foster a love of reading, but also to educate. As she takes them on a thrilling journey into the past alongside her three young time-travellers and their talking cat, Wendy hopes that her love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them along the way.



Website: https://www.wendy-leighton-porter.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WLP_author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WendyLeightonPorterWriter







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