Review: Vanish – Tess Gerritsen

Rizzoli & Isles #5

SYNOPSIS: A nameless, beautiful woman appears to be just another corpse in the morgue. An apparent suicide, she lies on a gurney, awaiting the dissecting scalpel of medical examiner Maura Isles. But when Maura unzips the body bag and looks down at the body, she gets the fright of her life. The corpse opens its eyes.

Very much alive, the woman is rushed to the hospital, where with shockingly cool precision, she murders a security guard and seizes hostages . . . one of them a pregnant patient, Jane Rizzoli.

Who is this violent, desperate soul, and what does she want? As the tense hours tick by, Maura joins forces with Jane’s husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, to track down the mysterious killer’s identity. When federal agents suddenly appear on the scene, Maura and Gabriel realize that they are dealing with a case that goes far deeper than just an ordinary hostage crisis.

Only Jane, trapped with the armed madwoman, holds the key to the mystery. And only she can solve it–if she survives the night. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7.5I must admit, this was infinitely better than that melodramatic Body Double that I read last. I was no fan of that, and you always worry the events of that book would spill over and infect the next one. Luckily for me though, this was not the case. Jane and Gabriel are married, doing alright, and she is literally almost about to pop out her baby. You wonder how this is all going to come together, I mean she is about to have a baby, what kind of case will Gerritsen get to pull this together? But she does, and in an exceptionally entertaining fashion, too. The whole kidnapping/hostage thing gave rise to an interesting and very sad story, to look at how these poor girls got forced into a life they do not want. The story flips between Jane in hostage crisis to her friends and family in the outside, desperate to figure out what is going on, and then to the perspective of a young Russian girl who has been forced into prostitution in a foreign country. Gabriel is also a character that I thoroughly enjoy, so I was pleased as punch for him to feature more prominently in Vanish, anything to read more than a few stray lines about him, he is fascinating! The story is very engaging, and catches you quite early and reels you in. The characters are more entertaining, and there isn’t so much of that exceptional melodrama from the last one (thank goodness). I know I harp on that point, but sheesh. It was enough to put me off of reading more in this series. Vanish is a fast read, and Gerritsen explores a dark, nasty side of people and human trafficking, painting enough to horrify you, but not going that far into things to just be gratuitously disgusting, which is a good balance. I can’t say too much about this book, in fear of spoilers, but I can say that this book is well worth the read.

November Blind Spot Review: The Bourne Legacy (2012)

bourne legacy poster

“Well, if you’re going to reprogram human genetic material, you need a delivery system, and nothing works better than virus. It’s like a suitcase.”
– Dr Marta Shearing

SYNOPSIS: Aaron Cross, a new hero, experiences life-or-death stakes that have been triggered by previous events. – via IMDB

bourne legacy

GRADE 6.5Okay, there we have it. I have finally watched this. After putting it off for so long. Like, forever, because you can’t stamp “Bourne” over something but discard of Matt Damon. Honestly, that’s how I feel. Well, watching this I could think only that this isn’t necessarily a bad movie at all, it just suffers heavily from being cast under the Bourne banner. The movie spent a lot of time establishing that this was going down concurrently with The Bourne Ultimatum, though at a later stage it flicks to Jason escaping, again, Pam Landy being in a lot of trouble, and this story continuing independently. Which would be fine, except what this story was relying on was probably one of the thinnest thread in movie history. Like, really. There is so much potential here, and they got the meat of it down, just the implementation of it was messy. Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross was definitely not like Bourne. Well, trained, maybe, and sporting a great jacket, but aside from that? Totally different. Maybe that has to do with the fact that the original Cross, who was in actual fact Kenneth James Kitsom, was a little bit slower than your average person. Not saying this offensively, he just comes across as more caring, softer. He was emotional. Yes, he will do what it takes to get away and all that, but Marie was initially a necessity for Jason, and that grew into something. I suppose the same could be argued for Cross and Marta Shearing, but it really isn’t the same. The logic didn’t quite follow as cleanly in this installment to the Bourne franchise. Case in point? When the “psychiatrist” started yelling, Marta should have realised something was amiss. One thing that really was super sad for me was seeing Kitsom before he became Cross. It was depressing and sad, and raised a whole bunch of other questions for me. Such as, if he was 12 points shy of the minimum requirement for the US Army, surely that means that he is not legally allowed to consent to them experimenting on him? I mean, if he cannot legally join the military, surely he cannot legally tell them to create a super soldier out of him? Just saying. Interesting avenue to explore right there. I found Cross to be quite endearing towards Marta, and Weisz and Renner worked well together. Renner was a great Cross, and I enjoyed his character quite a bit. There is potential to work with there. I think the biggest downfall of this is that Cross’s story feels like it was shoved in between Bourne’s stuff, to introduce him, but it was done sloppily, and his whole story was a giant thing of survive and get the drugs. No more, no less. I felt as if the exhilaration of the previous three films was missing here. Yeah, action involved for sure, but nothing that really thrills. Small gripe from me, too, is that there were times were there were very awkward attempts at subtle humour. As I said, not necessarily an awful film, it’s just not really a Bourne film. I suppose, like The Godfather: Part III, if you look at it as something that does not belong to the canon, then it isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. But if you compare it to its namesake, it will fall quite short of the mark.


Sporadic Scene: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) – Church Massacre

You know, Kingsman had a lot of good things going for it, really. It was entertaining, carried by a good cast, had an interesting story, contained good humour and it was shot well. I think one scene that captures how well this was shot and how crazy it could get was definitely the church fight that Harry Hart finds himself in. It is plain down weird. Everything went from perfectly normal, to dissing, to straight up action and insane fights – all choreographed and shot beautifully, keeping you riveted for every second the bloodshed senselessly continued.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.

Rapid Review: The Quiet Ones (2014)

the quiet ones poster

“What if you could prove that the supernatural was merely a manifestation of what already exists in the mind, the subconscious?”
– Professor Joseph Coupland

SYNOPSIS: A university professor and a team of students conduct an experiment on a young woman, uncovering terrifyingly dark, unexpected forces in the process. – via IMDB

the quiet ones

GRADE 4I know that this wasn’t necessarily a favourite for most people, but I still wanted to check it out for Sam Claflin, I actually like him. He’s a pretty good actor, and holds his own in a film. This was no exception – he did the best he could with the material, but unfortunately it was bland. I mean very bland, and this could have been something. I understand what the filmmakers were trying to do, they just didn’t get it down. The film itself also had no real idea as to what it wanted to do with itself, and that is painfully evident for the duration of the film. The “relationship” or attraction between Brian and Jane popped up far too quickly for my liking, and the movie wove in and out of semi-interesting and mediocre, but the majority of the time in languished in the boring field. The acting was alright, but nothing groundbreaking. I suppose that is par for the course in this genre, though it was better than most. I am looking forward to seeing more of Claflin in future, and it was nice to see Olivia Cooke here, too. It took me a while to recognise her, I have gotten so used  to her in Bates Motel. Ultimately it was nothing like what I was hoping for, thoroughly forgettable, and this was a movie I was quite looking forward to. So disappointing, and I don’t really have much  more to say about it.

Rapid Review: Jurassic Park III (2001)

jurassic park III poster

“With the best intentions? Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions.”
– Dr Alan Grant

SYNOPSIS: Adventure runs wild when renowned paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant agrees to accompany a wealthy adventurer and his wife on an aerial tour of Isla Sorna, InGen’s former breeding ground for prehistoric creatures. But when they’re terrifyingly stranded, Dr. Grant discovers that his hosts are not what they seem, and the island’s native inhabitants are smarter, faster, fiercer and more brutal than he ever imagined. – via IMDB

jurassic park 3 spinosaurus vs t-rex

GRADE 6.5Alrighty, and we are back! I must admit, that when I was a kid I went and saw this, I was not a fan when I left the cinema. Maybe it is because I watched the crap out of Jurassic Park because there was a VHS available, unlike The Lost World. However, rewatching this recently, I much preferred this one to the last one. It just worked better. I was so happy to have Sam Neill’s Alan Grant back – as fun as Ian Malcolm can be (and Golblum played him wonderfully), he certainly needs a character like Alan to level him out. Well, here we were, with the serious, grouchy, awesome Alan Grant, and he is thrust back into the world of dinosaurs and it is so not what he needs. Ellie is in for just a tad, and then she is gone, which is a pity because she was very cool. The spinosaurus was also pretty badass and a refreshing change from what we have seen. The one scene that showed a proper creepy moment for the spinosaurus is when the family is, of course, reunited, and you hear that satellite phone ringing, and when Alan and Eric turn around, the spinosaurus is just watching them, sizing them up. I think the dinosaurs looked pretty good, and I could even deal with the flawed logic (again!!) that presents itself throughout the movie because we are on an adventure. Maybe not the best, but an adventure nonetheless. Some of the humour was exceptionally juvenile, which I was not a fan of. The story is also pretty unimaginative and mostly bland, but still better than the last. I also really liked how this was more like the first movie in the sense of a smaller group of people on an island, out to survive. That isolation was something I missed so much in the last movie. Something that grated on me was Téa Leoni’s Amanda. I just wanted to slap her silly the whole time. She was hysterical and annoying. I really am not a fan of the way that Jurassic Park has a strong female lead, and then all the other female leads thereafter have to be these excessively whiny, silly women. It’s offensive. For serial. While not a perfect movie by a long shot, I feel that Jurassic Park III endures far more hate than is necessary. 

Review: Now That She’s Gone – Gregg Olsen

now that she's gone

Waterman and Stark #2

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

GRADE 3.5I wish I had known this was a sequel, it would have explained so much. Things make more sense that I know now. Not that it changes the fact that this was a real chore to read. No, sirree, nothing will change that. I had big problems with the fact that this book comprised of some of the flattest, most boring, one dimensional characters I have ever had the misfortune of reading about. Not only are they bland and boring, they are uneven. There are few things that annoy me as much as character inconsistencies, and Olsen’s characters are riddled with them, which is just unacceptable. I got this book to read about the promised serial killer. Come on, that psyche is something that has always fascinated me. A female one? We get so little of that, so much potential. Nope, not what I got. I got a plain, silly Brenda Nevins with her fake boobs and immensely lacking character. She was lame, she did not scare me or fascinate me at all, which was a real pity. I so wanted more. I felt not one ounce of fear or urgency at any single part of this book. When I come to read a crime thriller, I expect those aspects to be present, and I was sorely disappointed to not have them feature here. I feel that there was no backstory for anything that happened in this novel, though I am unsure as to whether or not that is because I missed the last one. Indeed, if that is the reason, Olsen should have given us enough material to move us along in this one and not leave the reader feeling bewildered and confused within the first two chapters. I found that there were absolutely no characters that I liked or wanted to back and support at all, which is not really what you want from a story. I also found the plot lines to be exceptionally forced. I know this review is harsh, and it really is not what I envisioned, and not what I wanted to write, but the book really just did nothing for me, and then just ended, leaving me hanging with nothing wrapping up, and I cannot stand that in a book. I cannot recommend this book, especially not to those who enjoy thrillers, and expect a page turner, gore, a serious story, and an antagonist and protagonist that will draw you in.

Rapid Review: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

bourne ultimatum

“This is Jason Bourne, the toughest target that you have ever tracked. He is really good at staying alive, and trying to kill him and failing… just pisses him off.”
– Pamela Landy

SYNOPSIS: Bourne is once again brought out of hiding, Jason Bourne is now hunted by the people who made him what he is–legendary assassin. Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, he is undeterred by the barrage of bullets and a new generation of highly-trained killers. Bourne has only one objective: to go back to the beginning and find out who he was. – via IMDB

bourne ultimatum

GRADE 8.5Ah, Jason! Just as you think the story is over, a way is found for Jason to be back in the cross-hairs of the United States Government – and really, where else would we want him? Well, for our entertainment at least. The Bourne Supremacy features more shaky cam than I would like, and the end, while brilliant, is a little bit saddening because it took away the whole conspiracy aspect if he made the choice himself, doesn’t it? Matt Damon, of course, was simply excellent here, though we expect nothing less. Joan Allen returns as Pamela Landy, and she still is a wonderful person to hunt Bourne. She is definitely not like the others though, and has a totally different view of Bourne, and I highly appreciate it. Little bits and pieces of Jason Bourne/David Webb’s story come about, and it just continues to ensnare, interest and entertain. The movie is fast paced and thrilling, with a super smart story and excellent performances to carry it. David Strathairn’s Noah Vosen was such a crooked dude, and so necessary for the story. I loved the strife between him and Pam, it was intense, and at extreme opposites to the relationship that has been forged between Pam and Bourne. Nicky Parsons got some more time in this outing, and that was also pretty good. The movie is shot exceptionally well, the performances are spot on, visually the film is great and that choreography? Again absolutely mesmerizing. The Bourne Ultimatum proves why the Bourne trilogy (and yes, people, in my mind it is a trilogy only) is so successful – each installment is equally as gripping and entertaining, and they are all smart. I had an absolute blast revisiting this franchise, it has been well worth the time.

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