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Showing posts from April, 2017

Movie Review: 'In the Line of Fire'

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In 1993’s suspenseful In The Line of Fire, director Wolgang Petersen pits Clint Eastwood's Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan and John Malkovich's potential Presidential assassin Mitch Leary.

Working from a screenplay by Jeff Maguire (Gridiron Gang, Timeline), Petersen gives audiences an intelligent thriller which examines the psyches of its two antagonists as they play a deadly cat-and-mouse game in which the life of the President of the United States hangs on the balance.

In the Line of Fire tells us that a now 50-something Agent Horrigan was a young and hard nosed Secret Service agent in charge of President Kennedy's security detail in Dallas on November 22,1963.  

Like his real-life counterpart Clint Hill, Horrigan is haunted by the fact that he lost the President of the United States under his watch.  

As a result of Frank's slide into depression and alcohol abuse, his marriage ended and his career with the Secret Service has stagnated.  Instead of overseeing the age…

Book Review: 'Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End' (Book Three of the Aftermath Trilogy)

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On February 21, 2017, Random House's Del Rey Books imprint published Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End, the final volume in author Chuck Wendig's Aftermath trilogy. Set in the turbulent days after the Battle of Endor, the destruction of the second Death Star, and the deaths of Emperor Sheev Palpatine and Darth Vader, Wendig's trio of canonical Star Wars novels reveals some of the events that occur in that "galaxy far, far away" between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. 

Wendig begins Empire's End with a short prologue set before the Battle of Endor. Emperor Palpatine, perhaps sensing his approaching demise, orders Imperial Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax aboard the still incomplete Death Star II to receive his final instructions:

"I need you to be ready."

"I am always ready."

"It may soon be time for the Contingency." 

At that, Rax's throat tightens. My destiny...

Palpatine continues: "You will go far away from here. Yo…

Book Review: 'Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt'

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Although Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath - the first volume in the Aftermath series - received mixed reviews from Star Wars fans, it was the first “new canon” novel to answer the question What happened in that galaxy far, far away after the Battle of Endor and the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader? Despite a few idiosyncrasies in style and use (or lack thereof) of Star Wars-like slang in some bits, Wendig’s 2015 Star Wars: Aftermath was a New York Times-bestseller because it still tells an exciting story about how Rebel pilot Norra Wexley and her team disrupt the plans of the Imperial Future Council and run into the gunsights of Imperial Grand Admiral Rae Sloane.

On July 12, 2016, Del Rey Books, an imprint of Random House, published Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt, which unites Norra, her teenage son Temmin and his refurbished battle droid Mr. Bones, former Imperial loyalty officer Sinjir Rath Velus, New Republic commando Jom Barell, and bounty hunter Jas Emari with Prin…

Book Review: 'The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future - Fourth Edition' (2016)

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Over the past quarter century, the publishing world has released four editions of Michael and Denise Okuda's The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future. The first three editions were published by Simon & Schuster imprint Pocket Books, the same license holder that has produced hundreds of paperback and hardcover books based on Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek: The Original Series since 1979. 

The first edition of The Star Trek Encyclopedia was published in May of 1994, just as Star Trek: The Next Generation's seven-season run in syndication wound down. Due to the vagaries of the book's production schedule, this edition - co-written by the Okudas with Debbie Mirek - covers Star Trek: The Original Series in its entirety, the first six theatrical films, most of Star Trek: The Next Generation (but not much of Season Seven), and part of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's premiere season. This edition was published as a hardcover (which was tough to find in thos…