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Book Review: Chokehold by David Moody
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Chokehold By David Moody Header

Chokehold
The Final War #3
Paperback | Kindle
Written by David Moody
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: November 19, 2019

Maybe it’s simply due to having already read One Of Us Will Be Dead By Morning and All Roads End Here, the previous two novels in David Moody‘s The Final War trilogy; or maybe it’s because I’ve gotten used to the raw carnage of his post-apocalyptic horror world; or maybe it has to do with Moody’s unique – yet still quite natural – format of storytelling in which each novel has a completely different feel; whatever the reason may be, whatever special circumstances set the third and final novel apart from its predecessors, there is no doubt that I absolutely loved Chokehold.

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Book Review: In the Hall With the Knife: A Clue Mystery by Diana Peterfreund
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FunWithDeadTrees   |  @   |  
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In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund

In the Hall with the Knife
Hardcover | Kindle
A Clue Mystery: Book 1
Written by Diana Peterfreund
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release date: October 8, 2019

A storm is raging both outside and in Maine’s elite Blackbrook Academy. The outside storm is threatening to cut off the island-bound Academy from the mainland stranding what few students were not already evacuated. The one inside is much worse. Among the remaining nine students and one staff member could be a cold-blooded murderer, one who just killed Headmaster Boddy… with a knife… in the hall…

Sound a lot like the classic game of Clue? That’s because it is. In the Hall with the Knife is the start of a brand new book series for young adults based on the board game. We have a lot of the classic characters here — although their titles may be different because they’re boarding school aged and not the adults to which we’re accustomed — such as Peacock, Green, Mustard, Plum, Scarlet, White, and Boddy (the original victim). But for those of us still playing our old childhood copies of the board game who may not be accustomed to recent developments, what you must realize is that Mrs. White is no longer a playable character in the game. She was retired in 2016 and replaced with Dr. Orchid McKee. While Mrs. White is still in this book, she’s a background character playing the role of house mom in Tudor House where a vast majority of this story is set. Orchid is part of the book as well as a student who, like all the rest, has motive.

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Movie Review: Frozen 2
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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FROZEN 2

Frozen 2
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Writer: Jennifer Lee
Cast: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, Jeremy Sisto, Santino Fontana, Ciarán Hinds, Alan Tudyk
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
Rated PG | Minutes: 103
Release Date: November 22, 2019

Even six years after its release, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen never stopped being a magical phenomenon as it continued on to thrive with its animated short Frozen Fever and its made-for-TV special Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. While both were fun expansions on the franchise, they weren’t really the deep dives into the original film’s characters or mythology that we would expect to see. Though Frozen 2 is not as narratively strong as the first, it is a rare Disney-animated musical sequel that is still a force to be reckoned with because of its emphasis on character development and continuing to echo the themes of female empowerment, while pushing the boundaries in its music and visuals. My full review of Frozen 2 here below.

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Movie Review: The Report
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Adam Driver The Report

The Report
Director: Scott Z. Burns
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Ted Levine, Michael C. Hall, Tim Blake Nelson, Corey Stoll, Maura Tierney, Jon Hamm, Matthew Rhys, John Rothman, Sarah Goldberg
Distributor: Amazon Studios
Rated R | Minutes: 120
Release Date: November 15, 2019

There is nothing more shocking and revealing than the truth. Scott Z. Burn‘s The Report is based on the true story of Daniel Jones’ investigation into the infamous Torture Report that followed after the September 11 attacks. The film takes a deep dive to uncover the heinous torture crimes committed by the CIA, and how they and the White House tried to cover it all up. While it is a slow and tedious political thriller, it is something that is filled with fast-paced dialogue, outstanding performances from Adam Driver and Annette Benning, and shocking revelations that will surely evoke anger and frustration.

Above all, The Report highlights the absolute necessity for investigative reporting. My full review here below.

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Movie Review: Ford v Ferrari
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Ford v Ferrari Christian Bale Matt Damon

Ford v Ferrari
Director: James Mangold
Writer: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller
Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, Ray McKinnon
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Rated PG-13 | Minutes: 150
Release Date: November 15, 2019

Great sports cinema goes far beyond what happens on the field, the court, or in this case, the racing track. It explores the unseen drama and relationships that are created off of them. Ford v Ferrari, directed by James Mangold, is just that kind of film as it chronicles the building of a better, faster, and stronger American car, while also elevating the story with a real-life grounded human drama.

Though it may check off all the boxes when it comes to biographical sports films, it also makes and checks off a few more with its editing and technical designs in sound, production, and costumes, and has audiences consuming what they are watching thanks in part to terrific performances from Matt Damon and Christian Bale. Check out the full review below.

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Blu-ray Review: Road Games (Collector’s Edition)
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-Ray Review: Road Games (Collector's Edition)

Road Games
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Richard Franklin
Screenwriter: Everett De Roche
Cast: Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, Grant Page
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated PG | 101 Minutes
Release Date: November 12, 2019

Directed by Richard Franklin (Psycho II, F/X2) from a screenplay by Everett De Roche (Razorback), 1981’s Road Games is anxiety in motion. An amalgam of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Steven Spielberg’s Duel, the Australian horror-thriller is now available on Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

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Book Review: The Reckoning (A Dark Storm Novel) by Kris Greene
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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The Reckoning header

The Reckoning
A Dark Storm series, Book 3
Paperback | Kindle
By Kris Greene
St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: November 12, 2019

I have not read the previous two books in this series. There, I got that out before I start reviewing The Reckoning. Also, I am quite aware that this is the third and final book in the Dark Storm series from Kris Greene. So what I have to say is based around all of these facts and my own personal opinion. Keep reading, if you dare.

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Movie Review: Last Christmas
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Last Christmas

Last Christmas
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Bryony Kimmings, Emma Thompson
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13| Minutes: 103
Release Date: November 8, 2019

George Michael‘s “Last Christmas” is an essential track for any Christmas playlist. And though “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away / This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special,” is a bittersweet lyric, it does play a huge role in Paul Feig‘s holiday romantic comedy Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding.

The film is breezy, tender, warm, and sweet at best, though it is a bit weighed down by its predictability. Still, looking past its flaws and embracing the cheerful hope it joyfully expresses, Last Christmas can go from essential track on any Christmas playlist to essential watching during the holiday season. Check out my review below.

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Comic Review: The Magicians #1
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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The Magicians #1 header

The Magicians #1
Created by Lev Grossman
Written by Lilah Sturges
Art by Pius Bak
Colors by Gabriel Cassata
Letters by Mike Fiorentino
Covers by Qistina Khalidah, Alexa Sharpe
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: November 6, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

Lev Grossman made my year when he wrote The Magicians. But he made my millennium when he continued the series and made it a trilogy. Syfy went a step further and turned it into a (not so accurate) television series that is still ongoing. And a few months ago I reviewed The Magicians: Alice’s Story. I therefore felt that I should alert any and all fans of the franchise to The Magicians #1, the first comic in a five-part mini-series.

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Movie Review: Marriage Story
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Marriage Story

Marriage Story
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Julie Hagerty, Merritt Wever
Distributor: Netflix
Rated R| Minutes: 136
Release Date: November 8, 2019 (Limited Theaters)| December 6, 2019 (Netflix)

Writer and director Noah Baumbach‘s Marriage Story is an emotionally crushing, yet very compassionate depiction of a collapsing marriage between two people and the irony of the realization that they must come together in order for them to go their separate ways. It also may be one of Baumbach’s greatest pieces of work.

Films about divorce rarely explore the heartbreak of two people who could not make it work with such honesty. But with Marriage Story, it feels raw and unnerving. The film moves like a stage play with its characters (played brilliantly by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver) pouring out their souls for all of us to see as they go through one of the most difficult points in their lives.

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