Archive | February 2009

Film: Taken

Taken

Yes, it is a formulaic action thriller the likes of James Bond and Jason Bourne, but it’s cool to see Liam Neeson (Byran Mills) in a role like this. Besides, who doesn’t like James Bond and Jason Bourne flicks?

Mills is an ex-government operative who retired to be near his seventeen-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) because he missed much of her life. His ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) argues with him every step of the way, but she and Kim convince him to sign authorization papers to allow Kim to travel to Paris with her friend Amanda–alone. Mills is quite reluctant to allow his precious daughter to go, but he agrees as long as Kim will keep in touch with him. Right after her arrival in Paris, Kim fails to call Mills, and when he finally gets her on the phone, Kim witnesses Amanda fighting with strange men who have entered the apartment.

Mills only has a 96-hour window to save his daughter, and he pulls all of his resources together to do so.

The film is fast-paced once Kim is taken by an Albanian sex trafficking ring, and that scene alone is heart-pounding when Mills speaks to one of the men on the phone: “I don’t know who you are, but if you don’t let my daughter go, I will find you, I will kill you.” Of course, there’s quite a bit more to that line, which is intense as hell. “I don’t have any money, but what I do have are a certain set of skills that enable me to find men like you.” And the intensity does not stop there. Once Mills arrives in Paris, it is non-stop action, go, go, go. The film is quite alive with violence, car chases, and great fight scenes. All of which I absolutely love.

My favorite part of the film, however, was the fact that there were no over-the-top stunts. I fully expected Mills to drive a car onto a boat, but he didn’t, and it was awesome. Why, you may ask? Simply because it makes the scene more realistic.

Luc Besson is the producer and co-writer of this film, who directed the films The Professional and La Femme Nikita. Some call the film “clichéd and predictable,” but aside from the obvious outcome, the film is far from predictability, in my opinion, and there are a few surprises.

If you like action and suspense, this film is a great one to see.

 

1 Jinx (look at my Jinx guidelines to the left)

 

(On a personal note, I found the whole sex trafficking thing amusing because I recently wrote a scene in one of my novels where such a thing takes place, though it is not the center of the story.)

 

Advertisements

The ABNA Contest

If you don’t know by now, Amazon.com is having their second Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, which opened to submissions on February 2nd and will only take submissions until February 8th or until they reach 10,000 entries, whichever comes first. That’s a lot of novels! Holy crap! And you’d better have a good pitch, too, because the first round of judging is on the pitch alone, where only 2,000 entries will be selected.

So, if you have a novel and would like to test the waters and possibly win a publishing contract, go to the ABNA website here.

Good luck!

I hope they pick mine for the next round. =)

Dusk of Death Pitch

This is my first attempt at actually writing a “pitch”:

Armen Leza does not recall exactly how she became human when she fell from Hell, much as she did not understand her sins when they cast her into the Darkness after falling from Heaven. All she did was give birth to a Nephilim, and in her eyes, such an act should not have meant condemnation or damnation. It is the very reason she no longer speaks to her Father and doubts her faith in why He does things.

Now all Hell has broken loose and Armen must find out why in her Father’s name the demons are after her. With the aid of handsome detective Terry Armstrong, whose father was a Catholic priest and is now a demon wrangler, she must hunt those she resided with in the Darkness of Gehenna-something she never thought she would have to do-while trying to dissuade Terry’s interest in her outside of the professional realm.

In the grand scheme of things, Armen and Terry face an impending apocalyptic event that will throw this world into Gehenna forever, leaving the fate of all humanity at the hands of demons for eternal torture. In order for this to happen, Armen must die. Somewhere along the way, perhaps Armen can rediscover her faith in her Father, and maybe help Terry find his again because he also has a special gift.

Dusk of Death is a horror thriller that uses such literary devices as cliffhangers and suspense, fast-pacing and frequent action within each chapter, and an unlikely acerbic heroine who was once a demon, but is now a forensic scientist. While demon hunter novels are growing in popularity, this novel takes on a different approach with the protagonist’s past while also adding a bit of humor in the interaction between two of the main characters.

So, would you read this, and why? And how’d I do? =p

How about now? I moved the first paragraph to the last.

Stem Cell Research

Found this article by way of Twitter (someone I follow–thanks S.M. Duke–check out his blog to the left) and felt it important to post not only because a friend of mine has Multiple Sclerosis, but because I am a supporter of stem cell research and all it’s wonderful possibilities. Didn’t I say in a blog recently that life is full of infinite possibilities?

Well, here is one of them:

Multiple Sclerosis ‘Reversed’ with Stem Cell Therapy