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Archive for February, 2008

Probably not!… so here’s a little more  INDIANA JONES…………

For your Indiana Jones Wish List:

The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films (Paperback)
by J.W. Rinzler (Author), Laurent Bouzereau (Author)

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (May 20, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0345501292

…and a little more for your Wish List??…
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Hardcover)
by James Rollins (Author)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (May 20, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0345501284
Ok.. here’s one you don’t have to wait to get!..
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (February 26, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0345501276
Indy Trilogy Back in Print and on Shelves – NOW!

The Adventures of Indiana Jones
Book cover

If you are looking for away to pass the time waiting for The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull premiere, go to your local books store and check out the new all-in-one collection of The Adventures of Indiana Jones. The paperback featuring the Drew Struzan Last Crusade teaser poster art contains the adaptations of Raiders of the Lost Ark by Campbell Black, Temple of Doom by Dr. James Kahn and Last Crusade by Rob MacGregor.

If you haven’t read them before this a great chance to reacquaint yourself to literary Indy and read about some characters and back-story that were left out of the films. Read about Indy‘s trip to Nepal, Willie’s encounter with the evil Chattar Lal after Indy and Shorty are captured by the Thuggee’s, and details on the quest for the Grail are just some of the lost scenes that came from the respective author’s imaginations.

The 608 page book from Del-Rey retails for $18.00 and is due for release on 2/26,

And if you are like me you probably need to “update” the old vhs tapes to dvds..*sigh*

It sure looks like the blitz concerning “Indiana Jones” is well on it’s way..

Be it Action Figures, Posters, Movies, Books, Trading Cards… you name it, this is the year of Indy (once again!) .  I hope if you are an Indy Junkie that you find at least one thing to satisfy your craving!!

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I took the day off from reading… sortakinda…   and read Dinotopia , written and illustrated by James Gurney!

ISBN-10:   0060530642
Pages:   159
Dimensions:   9.67″ l x 10.41″ w x 0.54″ h

In 1862, after being shipwrecked in uncharted seas, Professor Arthur Denison and his twelve-year-old son Will find themselves washed up on a strange island where people and dinosaurs live together peacefully.

… as you can see there’s not a lot of reading!.. but enough to keep you turning the pages!

…could you even imagine living with dinosaurs?

let alone… talking to them!

this was a very enjoyable book.  A journal of Arthur Denison. A man and his son who were shipwrecked and would have died if not for the dolphins who brought them safely to a very strange island…. the Island of Dinotopia.

If you haven’t read the book.... maybe you watched the movie on television???  Both are very enjoyable.

And when all that was done,….. I watched (the extre-e-e-emly lucky) Barbara Walters and her interview with Harrison Ford.    Sixty-five years old and he’s still got “it”!!  (woof!)  And more clips from his new Indiana Jones movie!   Gads I can’t wait for that movie to be released!!   (and who can hear John Williams play the Indy theme and not find yourself smiling?!)

( I have to say: Karen Allen looks fantastic!)

(my ONLY disappointment is that John Rhys Davies didn’t at least have a small part in this movie)

…And as if that’s not enough?…………..  Once again Drew Struzan is the artist for the best Indiana Jones Poster.   (Although I had to sell off much of my collections years ago, I still have a few Drew Struzan posters!!)

(May can not come fast enough!!!)

Oh yeah… and after that Harrison Ford interview I watched the Oscars! 

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The Belgariad:  Book 5:  by David Eddings

Enchanter’s End Game:  310 pgs.

Well, this took a few days longer to finish than I thought it would.. but that’s ’cause I got sick.  So sick I didn’t want to read.  It  had something to do with my whole head hurting and being nauseous..  but enough of that… the headache was gone today and I finished the last of the Belgaraid.

But not without a number of tears.  (sheesh)

Enchanters’ End Game brings about the climax to Garion‘s long quest to fulfill the Prophecy.

Of course, the question is “which Prophecy”?  All along  the Mrin Codex has talked about two prophecies, and until it happens no one really knows which one it will be.

After Garion, Belgarath and Silk had taken off (sneaked out)  to go and fulfill the prophecy with  the God Torak, and after Polgara has the biggest hissy-fit anyone could possibly have, she and Ce’Nedra get down to business of trying to make a diversion for Garion in the form of a war.

Ce’Nedra (finally realizing she loves Garion) rallies the biggest Army possible as they move towards their goal of helping Garion, so that he might get to Torak before he wakens.

What actually happens when they meet Torak is for you to find out when you read the books. 

It is the ultimate group of endings to many things in this series. 

You don’t realize how many things would be left “unfinished” had Mr Eddings not taken his time in making the ending as he did.  …  as I said earlier.. I had a few moments of tears, even though this is not the first time I’ve read these books.

The Belgaraid is one of a handful of series that I reread every so often.. and I’m happy to say.. they never disappoint.

Eddings has written other series, that, although they are good, they don’t hold a candle to The Belgaraid.   If, in your reading, you are character driven, and like fast moving adventure… this set of books is one I’d suggest you try!   They surely rank up there with a half dozen or so of my absolute favorites!

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The Belgariad: Book 4

The Belgariad:  Book 4:  by David Eddings

The Castle of Wizardy:  326 pages.

I can’t possibly say enough about this series of books.  But you have to love when you have a book (or in this case bookS) that you just can’t put down!

In book 4  Garion finally finds out just who he is.. and who he turns out to be is nothing less than the Rivan King, heir to the Orb and Overlord of the West. (that was certainly a rude awakening!)

The Orb is finally safe in Riva and set back in the pommel of the great sword that hangs behind the Riven King’s throne.

Ce’Nedra is aghast when she realizes that not only is she to be Queen of Riva, but the one she will wed is none other than Belgarion. (can we say the brat threw a fit?! )

While Belgarth is still recovering, Polara is concerned that the old man may have lost his Will and Word. (in other words: his powers).

After only about a month’s reprieve Garion reads the Mrin Codex and knows now what he must do.  He alone must face Torak, the maimed faced God, and somehow kill him.  But can a mortal kill a God?  With this heavy on his mind he and Belgarath and Silk sneak out of Riva and begin their journey towards the inevitable.

When Polgara finds out that they left without letting her know she nearly destroys everything in her room with anger. (you don’t want to be near a ticked-off sorceress!)

When things calm down Ce’Nedra begins to grow up.  She takes charge of the armies beginning to gather to help Garion and Belgarath be able to reach Torak.  The little Princess/ soon to be Queen, and Polgara leave with the kings and their building armies and head out to gather even more men in all the countries.  After all, Torak is a God , and Garion needs a diversion in order to get to him.

Will the little Queen succeed?

Will the army provide the necessary diversion?

Will Garion succeed in killing a God?

These and other questions are answered in the last book of the Belgarian series, Enchanter’s End Game.

David Eddings has made such great characters to carry his story.  There’s not a one of them that you don’t, sooner or later, feel as if you know them, or have met them before!   In their journey’s there seems to be nothing that you don’t see or feel, and .. and.. (repeating myself ).. you really can’t put the books down! 

(small blurb on amazon)

The strength of the series is the development of the wonderful characters, the smooth plot and of course the dry humour.

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A Good Movie Day

On Sunday Turner Movie Classics had a day of Katharine Hepburn movies.  Katharine happens to be my favorite female actress.  I don’t think she’s ever made a movie I didn’t enjoy.  And I especially enjoy her old black and white movies.  In total Katharine made 52 movies.

They began the day with the movie Dragon Seed. (1944) I own this movie on vhs.  Not only does it have Katharine Hepburn but also another love of my heart, Turhan Bey.  So, of course I watched the movie!

Also co-starring in the movie was Walter Huston.

  This is the only time I can remember a movie where Katharine’s makeup made her not look like the Katharine Hepburn we all know.  In this movie Katharine and her “husband”, Turhan Bey fight the Japanese Invasion of a small village in China.

The movie that followed is another movie I watch whenever it is on  The Lion In Winter.

In this movie Katharine plays Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.  Henry the II (played by the fabulous Peter O’Toole) calls his family together to choose his successor. Which may include killing his 3 sons . (nice fellow..heh)

The third movie I watched was The African Queen.  Co-starring the great Humphrey Bogart.

While watching the African Queen I immediately remembered that John Huston directed this movie and I began to think of him.   This man has long been a favorite director of mine.  He had presence about him and he had one of those voices that you instantly recognize.

John Huston was born in 1906  and died in 1987

Director/ Screenwriter/ Character Actor John Huston
Father of 4 among them Angelica Huston.

John Huston‘s mother, Rhea Gore, was a newspaperwoman, his father was character actor, Walter Huston.

He was a tall man, 6’2″ and his interest varied.

He began his adult life as a Amateur Lightweight Boxer, his trademark broken nose was the result of the endeavor.

By 1925 he married his childhood sweetheart and did his first Broadway show. Within a year he was restless and abandoned both and went to Mexico and became an officer in the cavalry. Shortly after he returned to America, tried reporting and even screen writing but then left for London and Paris to study painting and sketching.

In 1933 he returned again to America and decided to focus on his writing skills.  He also married for the second time.

Warner Bros. were so Impressed they hired John to screen write and direct his first film:  The Maltese Falcon (1941). By 1946 he was married for the 3rd time to actress Evelyn Keyes.

In the following years John Huston wrote (and or)/ directed such films as:
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
Key Largo (1948
The African Queen (1951)
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
The Red BAdge of Courage (1951)

Moulin Rouge (1952)
Moby Dick (1956)
The unforgiven (1960)
The Misfits (1961)
Freud (1962)
The Night of the Iguana (1964)
The Bible: In the Beginning (1966) (directed and acted)

 (He played Noah, and was the voice of God.. and what a commanding voice he had!)

Disgusted by Hollywood’s Blacklisting he moved to Ireland and married his 4th wife ballet dancer Enrica Soma (mother of Angelica) (1950-1969).  He had a 5th wife, Celest Shane, 1972-1977.

John Huston acted in 51 movies, directed 47 movies, wrote screen plays for 38 movies and was producer of 10 movies.
 

For many years I’ve had Huston‘s Biography: An Open Book  (1980).  Now that it’s been brought back to mind, I may have to add this to my list of rereads!  He was certainly an interesting man.. some of the movies he directed are among my all time favorites. 

If I think about it.. I can still hear his voice.  He’s probably the only other man I can think of  that could have played Gandalf and carried it off as well as Ian McKellan did.

Anyway… that’s where my mind was on Sunday!

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Magician’s Gambit

The Belgariad:  book III

Magician’s Gambit: by David Eddings

The God Aldur (Belgarath‘s master) summoned  Belgarath and the others back to the Vale, where Belgarath‘s tower still stood.

We get to meet Belgarath‘s twin brother’s Beltira and Belkira and the ugly, misshapen, dwarf, Uncle Beldin; who remains dirty and unkept and in a way not understood by the companions, insults Polgara.  In turn she throws insults back until the two hug in total laughter. “He is beautiful beneath the ugliness, she tells Ce’Nedra.  Looks are not all that counts.”

During the time in the Vale, Belgarion begins to understand some of his power. But not without problems.

From the Vale they journey to the land of Ulgo and meet with the Gorim beneath the mountain.  The God Ul comes and commands one of his own, named Relg, to do Belgarath‘s bidding and help the company to steal the Orb back where it belongs.  For safety reasons Ce’Nedra is left in the care of the Gorim while the others go in search of the Orb.

Danger seems to come in many forms and in any direction they take as they continue towards  Rak Cthol and the Orb and a battle between Belgarath and Ctuchik

All the while Belgarath continues to gather parts of the Prophecy around him.  By the end of book three he believes he has all that he needs: the pure and innocent child that carries the Orb (Errand)..

The Hope of  the World (Garion)

The Nimble Thief (Silk)

The man with 2 lives (Durnik)

The Blindman (Relg)

The Dreadful Bear (Barak)

The Knight Protector (Mandorallan)

The Horse Lord (Hetter)

Queen of the World ( Ce’Nedra)

Mother of the Race that Died ( Taiba)

But the chances of War are still at hand………….

I can’t remember when I have read 759 pages so quickly !  (Part II made up of just 2 books:  The Castle of Wizardry & Enchanters End Game is nearly as long!)  These books are so good and so exciting you just can’t set them down!! 

And the characters!  You just keep learning more and more about each of them, and every time you do you begin to feel that much closer to actually knowing them.  You begin to worry, that maybe this time they won’t get thru the problems they are facing.  You begin to care.  … a dangerous thing to do when they are in such turmoil and danger!

Now on to Part Two: Castle of Wizardry and Enchanter’s End Game…

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The Belgaraid. Book II

The Belgaraid: part One/ book II

The Queen of Sorcery… that would be Polgara!  Yes, sweet Aunt Pol is a full blown (very old) Sorceress!! (no big surprise, we already knew that but of course Garion was having a hard time believing.  But by the end of this book he believes!)

Belgarath, Polgara and Garion along with their friends, DurnikBarak, and Silk pick up even more companions as they continue to search for the Orb and continue to believe in the Mrin Codex Prophecy. 

Lelldorin and Hettar and a Knight named Mandorallan join the company.   Along the way they run into troubles (naturally) and worst of all they meet up with Chamdar, or rather the spirit of Chamdar, a nasty Grolim Priest, who doesn’t intend very nice things on Belgarath‘s troop.  Each time this Grolim’s name is even mentioned Polgara wants to “take care of the problem”.

As they move through different territories they meet with the resident King , and Belgarath warns them of the impending trouble should the Orb reach it’s destination of the damaged God Torak.

During one such meeting we meet Ce’Nedra, a very spoiled princess, who runs away and winds up … you guessed it.. with Belgarath.  He is not pleased.  But Polgara takes the girl under her wing letting her believe they will take her to her relatives the Dryads, but in truth, she has no intentions on letting this young lady out of her sight. on her 16th birthday she must present herself in Riva as a possible Queen.  Ce’Nedra thinks not!  Polgara knows better. heh.

In this book Garion learns his real name is Belgarion and that he has powers.  He’s not a very happy fellow about it all, and wants nothing more than to be just a boy.. with no powers.

Still following the trail towards the Orb the group splits up with Belgarath and Silk going one way and all the others go on a ship to Nyissa.. the land of the snake people, and their Queen Salmissra, who takes Garion and intends on keeping him to herself. 

Polgara thinks not!  You quickly learn just how powerful this sorceress is when she meets Salmissra and her God Issa. (Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to have Polgara ticked off at ya!!)

This second book just gets better and better.  The more that happens the more you have to keep reading to find out just how they get out of the latest mess or where they are going next!!!   I love this book every bit as much as book I.    Eddings not only makes great characters but along they way he reveals more and more about each the people in which this adventure is happening to… more and more  you find yourself feeling like you know each and every one of them.

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