Shirley 2020 Film Poster

Film Review: Shirley (2020)

After watching a film, one thing I like to do is do a little research on it as typically there’s something I’ll learn. It could be something simple such as finding out it’s based on a novel, it could be that the film is an adaptation of another film, it could be information about what went into making the film, anything really. With Shirley, I learned in the credits that it’s adapted from a novel of the same name, but it gets even deeper than that: the novel is a homage to a real person. That person would be Shirley Jackson, who is known for her works of horror and mystery, consisting of several novels and many short stories. Admittedly, I’ve yet to read any of her works.

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Stuff and Dough 2001 Movie Poster

Film Review: Stuff and Dough (2001)

Up until seeing Stuff and Dough, the first film from director and writer Cristi Puiu, I had never seen a Romanian film before, so I was interested in seeing what this film would bring to the table. Virtually screened as part of the Philadelphia Lightbox Film Center’s “The Romanians: 30 Years of Cinema Revolution” collection of films, this one caught my attention and sounded worth checking out. In addition to being Puiu’s directorial debut, for two of the three main characters, this is also their film debuts. This was Alexandru Papadopol (Ovidiu) and Ioana Flora’s (Betty) first credited roles, whereas Dragos Bucur (Vali) had one previous role in 1998’s “Next Stop Paradise”, a film I also want to check out sometime down the road.

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Inheritance 2020 Film Poster

Film Review: Inheritance (2020)

Although its plot is a bit farfetched, Inheritance, the first feature length film from screenwriter Matthew Kennedy, makes a good story. One day when out and about in New York City, Archer Monroe (Patrick Warburton) passes away suddenly. He’s the father of a political family: his son William (Chace Crawford) is a politician running for re-election, and his daughter Lauren (Lily Collins) is a Manhattan District Attorney. She’s always felt that her father likes her brother, which is only solidified when Archer leaves William $20 million and Lauren “only” $1 Million in her will. After the will has been read, their family attorney Harold (Michael Beach) privately tells Lauren there’s one more thing, something just for her.

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The Wild Goose Lake (2019) Film Poster

Film Review: The Wild Goose Lake (2019)

It’s hard to believe I’m nearing a year since I saw Long Day’s Journey Into Night, another Chinese neo-noir film. Ironically, just like Long Day’s Journey, I too was unable to attend the screening of The Wild Goose Lake at the Philadelphia Film Festival back in the fall. When I saw the folks at Film Movement were streaming it online as part of their virtual cinema as of last week, I made sure to pay for a virtual ticket so I could catch what I had previously missed.

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Written in Dead Wax (The Vinyl Detective #1) by Andrew Cartmel

Mystery Review: Written in Dead Wax (The Vinyl Detective #1) by Andrew Cartmel

A few months ago, right around the time I purchased a few records for the first time, I saw a tweet from Titan Books that highlighted this book. Intrigued, I searched my library’s catalog for it, and was pleasantly surprised when I saw they had a copy.

I really, really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t consider it your typical cozy mystery since there is some language, weed smoking, and a touch of sex, but it’s far from your regular run of the mill police procedural mystery since the protagonist is your average joe, albeit with a great knowledge when it comes to vinyl. What I find interesting is we learn everyone’s name but his. We only know him as the Vinyl Detective, as he calls himself on his business card.

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Against All Silence (SOS #2) by E.C. Myers

Thriller Review: Against All Silence (SOS #2) by E.C. Myers

If you’ve been reading Devin’s Book Hub for a while now, you may recall me reviewing The Silence of Six by E.C. Myers about a year and a half ago, after winning a copy of the novel via a Goodreads giveaway. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of the upcoming sequel, Against All Silence, which will be available next week.

Just like the first book in the series, it is jam packed with action. This time, however, the stakes are even higher. The story takes place where the previous one ended: after everything that went down with Panjea, Max went on a trip to France to get away from the media and let things cool down for a bit.

While waiting in line at the airport to go home a few days before Christmas, he decides to check his private email, which is where he sees a several day old email from his friend Penny, one of the members of his hacking group, Dramatis Personai. She says that she is in Berlin and would like him to meet her new friend, Ada Kiesler, who is a whistleblower. Instantly I thought of Edward Snowden and his whistleblowing, which I’m guesssing heavily influenced Myers when writing this.

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F Train by RIchard Hilary Weber (A Brooklyn Crimes Novel)

Review: F Train by Richard Hilary Weber (A Brooklyn Crimes Novel)

The book’s synopsis is what piqued my interest, as it’s not your typical murder. All the murder books I’ve read usually involve a gun or knife, whereas this one has to do with a poisonous gas in a subway car. Pretty original if you ask me.

The first 25% of the book seemed interesting. Then the next 50% was really dull. Then for the final 25% it picked up again. Even though the final 25% was decent, overall still felt “meh” to me.

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