I am not a spy. I just read books! We read everything that’s published in the world. And we… we feed the plots – dirty tricks, codes – into a computer, and the computer checks against actual CIA plans and operations. I look for leaks, I look for new ideas… We read adventures and novels and journals.
We watched this film in a class I was a teacher’s assistant for, America at the Movies. Some of you might not feel that isn’t a mystery but more of a political drama, but au contraire, this film won the Mystery Writers of America’s 1976 Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. So it counts!
To all you haters
I loved this film. You have a movie that centers on reading books
And stars Robert Redford!
The film starts out with Joe Turner (Redford) just doing day to day “office work”. Turner works at the American Literacy Historical Society-preserving the books that are important to the culture and history of our times.
Just kidding-that is the cover story. In reality Turner works for the CIA, codename Condor. His division reads mystery and spy novels looking for secret messages, plots, concepts, ideas, etc. It’s an easy job, pretty much all you do is read all day. Sounds perfect to me!
Turner reads one novel and submits it to CIA headquarters as the book has a few questionable elements and has been translated into many languages.
One day Turner steps out to get lunch for the staff. While he is gone, armed men enter the building and promptly kill the six staffers on duty. When Turner arrives, he discovers the dead bodies.
Scared, Turner follows protocol and reports in, giving codename “Condor”. He is supposed to meet his head of department, but it all turns out to be a trap. Now Turner is in a cat-and-mouse game, trying to outwit the CIA and assassins.
I love this as it is so similar to The 39 Steps or other Alfred Hitchcock films. Just normal guy, doesn’t really know what is going on and gets caught up in this big huge adventure.
The only thing we are missing is a beautiful blonde.
Enter, Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway), a woman he encounters by chance that he forces to take him to her home and keeps her hostage, using her apartment as a hiding place.
What a jerk
This doesn’t last as the man after him, Joubert, discovers his hiding spot and sends the hitman after him. Turner does manage to overcome the hitman disguised as a mailman. He gets a name and address of Leonard Atwood, Director of Operations of the Middle East and why the killings happened.
Joe Turner: What does Operations care about a bunch of damn books? A book in Dutch. A book out of Venezuela. Mystery stories in Arabic.
Joe Turner: What the hell is so important about…[He stops as he sees the connection] Oil fields. Oil. That’s it, isn’t it? This whole damn thing was about oil! Wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?
Atwood: Yes, it was.
The book was fictional, but hit too close the truth and the story had to be eliminated, and those who had read it. Joubert comes on the scene and kills Atwood, the head of the CIA determining that he is too much of a liability. They have decided to let Turner “go” for his ingenuity-but will they really? Joubert warns Turner it will never be over. Just like in The Godfather, he gives him notice of how the hit will go down.
Joe Turner: I’d like to go back to New York.
Joubert: You have not much future there. It will happen this way. You may be walking. Maybe the first sunny day of the spring. And a car will slow beside you, and a door will open, and someone you know, maybe even trust, will get out of the car. And he will smile, a becoming smile. But he will leave open the door of the car and offer to give you a lift.
Turner meets with CIA operative Higgins in public-Times Square. Higgins talks more about the “plan” Turner stumbled on.
Joe Turner: Do we have plans to invade the Middle East?
Higgins: Are you crazy?
Joe Turner: Am I?
Higgins: Look, Turner…
Joe Turner: Do we have plans?
Higgins: No, absolutely not. We have games. That’s all. We play games. ‘What if?’ ‘How many men?’ ‘What would it take?’ ‘Is there a cheaper way to destabilize a regime?’ That’s what we’re paid to do.
Joe Turner: Supposing I hadn’t stumbled onto a plan; say, nobody had?
Higgins: Different ballgame… the fact is, there was nothing wrong with the plan. No, the plan was alright; the plan would’ve worked!
Turner wants out and has insurance to protect himself. He gave The Wall Street Journal the whole story-anything happens to him it is published…or will it?
Higgins: Hey, Turner! How do you know they’ll print it? You can take a walk. But how far if they don’t print it?
Joe Turner: They’ll print it.
Higgins: How do you know?
It is a powerhouse of an ending. Is Turner safe? Will he be protected? Or will he be living his life always looking over his shoulder?
We will never know. That’s the beauty of its creepiness.
Day 26) Z is for Zombie: Choose a Zombie Retelling of a Classic Novel
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
When I saw what Z stood for I knew that this was going to be the book I was going to review for it. First of all I have read very little Zombie themed books as that is just not really what I am in to. And secondly, pass up a chance to talk about Jane Austen?
So I remember when this book was first released. It was right as the teen book world was moving out of wizards (Harry Potter) and Vampires (Twlight, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, etc.), and was searching for a new thing to fill this niche. They settled on Zombies.
But not just Zombies. They decided to take it one step further and pair it with Jane Austen.
And not just her. After this book, almost every classic was getting some kind of overhaul. We had Little Vampire Women,Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, Jane Eyre: Vampire Slayers, etc.
It was a pretty bad time.
Anyways, back to this book. So when it first came out it was a big hit. Everyone was talking about it. Everyone was reading it. The library was backlogged in holds.
I wasn’t really interested until my friend Elise recommended it to me. She really liked it and told me she would let me borrow her book. I was a bit wary as I didn’t understand why Austen needed any “makeover” or “spin” as her books were amazing the way they are. But I’m a sucker for a free book and borrowed it.
I should have remembered:
So I read it. And how did I feel afterwards?
I HATED this book. I thought it was badly done and the parts inserted by Seth Grahame-Smith were horribly written. And a lot of it made no sense.
But that was seven years ago. Could I still feel the same way?
IT IS HORRIBLE! JUST HORRIBLE? HOW CAN PEOPLE LIKE IT? THEY RUIN AUSTEN. Grahame-Smith IS HORRIBLE! EVERYTHING IS HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT….I could go on for hours.
But you don’t want to hear that over and over, instead let’s dissect everything I hated about this book.
A) So Seth Grahame-Smith takes Jane Austen’s work and doesn’t really write a new story but just swaps out pieces for zombies.
B) Mr. Bennet’s Motivation
So the first biggest problem is Mr. Bennet not wanting his daughters married but “engaged in the deadly arts”. But that doesn’t change that the house and money all revert to their cousin because the estate is entailed.
So if these girls don’t get married how will they live?
C) Mr. Bennet Hates His Children
And the way Mr. Bennet hates his daughters? He didn’t hate them in the original book. He thought they were silly and not worth his time, but he didn’t have an outright hatred for them like in here.
That’s not how it was in the book!
D) The “Warrior” Code
In this world “the warrior code demanded she avenge her honor” for the insult that Darcy gave her when he said she wasn’t handsome enough for her. If they can kill for that why didn’t Darcy just kill Wickham?
I mean it makes no sense. Yeah, he doesn’t want what happened to his sister to taint her or make her an outcast in society, but in this world you can kill someone for an insult. Why didn’t he just kill Wickham and make up that he said an insult. The rules of this world just don’t work.
E) Elizabeth is a Jerk
Lizzie is so freakin’ cruel. She is incredibly mean to her sisters and everyone around her. Just downright cruel.
F) More “Rules” of Society That Don’t Make Sense
It is “unladylike” to bring more serious weapons than daggers and knives to a ball, but is okay for them to kill, flip around, kicking and showing off their lady parts (no underwear like us), etc. Wow Grahame-Smith you aren’t confusing at all.
G) No Knowledge of Martial Arts
Does Grahame-Smith know anything about martial arts? He has Elizabeth get into a crane position to attack the zombies, but then does a chop on the thigh. That makes no sense at all. Crane positions are for kicking, kicking! Why would you get ready like that and then chop on the leg? It is completely weird and wasteful of energy.
H) None of the Characters Have a Heart
Mrs Bennet says all Charlotte Lucas deserves is a “crust of bread washed down with a cup of loneliness.” You see? Grahame-Smith is so cruel. None of these people were that mean. They all had faults but they wren’t downright heartless. How does removing the heart and soul of the characters make them better? Huh, Grahame-Smith? How. Well I’ll tell you, it doesn’t. It makes it horrible.
Or an author
I) Mr. Bennet is Abusive
Seriously, the way Mr. Bennet talks to his wife is downright abusive. Thanks Grahame-Smith for ruining a fantastic book.
J) You Need to Reevaluate Your Career Choices
All the girls say that they could make great lives as assassins, bodyguards, or mercenaries. Really? Really? You think with all those in the military eventually coming out of the service that won’t be a problem? And how many people need a bodyguard or assassin? And if they are rich enough to hire assassins, bodyguards or mercenaries, why wouldn’t they just get ninjas from Japan or something? And to top it all off you are really only trained to kill zombies, not people. Slow moving, barely threatening zombies. Not the same thing at all. You don’t have the same training for the others.
K) You Can Pretty Much Kill Anyone for Anything
Mary almost kills Mr. Collins when he insinuates that one of them did the cooking. Now, don’t get me wrong, that is a serious insult. He implies that they are so poor they have to take on the role of a servant putting them on the same level of a domestic. But hey, if that is open for murder why didn’t Darcy just kill Wickham? I mean seriously, I just keep circling back to that.
L) People Do Not Understand the Levels of Class
I hate how everyone praises that Mr. Bennet says the girls aren’t trained in the kitchen but are trained as warriors. Only one problem, they were never trained for the kitchen. They were too wealthy for that. I blame the Pride & Prejudice (2005), in which they are made to look really dirty, muddy, with animals running all over the place. They made them look really poor, but the Bennet family wasn’t. They were well-off; the only problem was the estate was entailed and the wealth they had wasn’t theirs to keep, like in Sense & Sensibility. And the reason there is an issue with marrying Mr. Darcy is that his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is in line for the throne. I mean a lot of people would have to die, but still hypothetically she could become the next queen of England. That means it would eventually come down to him, so who he marries is a big deal.
Get it right!!!!!
M) Why Wasn’t There a Duel?
So we have Wickham’s big pack of lies about Darcy and how he dishonored himself and Wickham by not giving him the legacy that was originally promised. One issue with that, if in this world you can kill someone for insults why didn’t Wickham do a duel with Darcy or kill him? Why doesn’t Elizabeth think of that?
N) All the Innuendo
The sexual innuendo. Come on Grahame-Smith, is sex all you think about. I feel like the girls in Grease 2, refocus your mind.
And that’s what makes Austen so great. She didn’t need cheap paltry things. She created a fantastic novel full of great wit and amazing work. Every sentience piece of art, delightful storytelling, Grahame-Smith not so much.
O) Front Lines? You Mean No Lines
Elizabeth writes to her aunt that she is on the front lines of battle and prefers it to marriage, love, and family. Only one issue she’s on the front lines of nothing. She’s just hanging out in the country. Front lines would be the battlefield with the soldiers, but Elizabeth isn’t a soldier! She talks as if hired by crown but why isn’t she paid? And she’s only battling the village zombies she’s not even out there fighting where the hordes are coming from. Get off your high horse.
P) Why/Where Did the Zombies Come From?
And that’s another thing that bothers me. Why did this happen? How? Why don;t they ever explain?
Q) Grahame-Smith is a Child
Grahame-Smith is a ten-year old boy. I mean think about it. His obsession with body fluids (poop, pee, vomit, farts, etc.) and likes saying balls as much as he can. It’s the only explanation.
R) Charlotte a Zombie?
I hated how they turned Charlotte into a zombie. I thought that was a dumb decision. How can no one notice but Elizabeth? Really?!
S) Fifty-Five? Schfifty-Five
Fifty-Five years of zombie attacks? How are there that many zombies in existence to keep living? Why did zombies even start? Explain!!!!
T) The Battle Scenes are the Worse
Let’s talk about my least favorite part-when Elizabeth fights the ninjas. First the way that Lady Catherine talks about being taught by Ninjas. False, ninjutsu wasn’t something you were taught, but passed through families as they were assassins.
Second Elizabeth fights at least three of them according to the illustration, but when she takes the time to strangle one with its own intestine why didn’t the other ninjas kill her?
The second ninja she blocks the throwing stars, and then grabs the last one midair and throws it back unharmed. You grab something moving that fast that sharp, no way. She would have cut her hand. And hands bleed like crazy.
The third ninja she just throws her katana and kills him. That easy?! Really Catherine with all her money and fame, that’s the best she could hire.
Oh, and I forgot. Elizabeth did that all blindfolded. Hmm, maybe she was hit by the same radioactive stuff that Daredevil was hit with because I don’t think she could have done that.
U) Elizabeth is a Cannibal?
She rips the heart out of the ninja and starts eating it. First that is serious zombie signs right there, I would have killed her. And second, eating human parts, i.e. a cannibal, makes you go crazy and get extremely sick. She should be totally insane right now.
V) Grahame-Smith’s Mind
Ball joke after ball joke and now fingering? Austen is rolling over in her grave. If she became a zombie and hunted Grahame-Smith down, I wouldn’t mind at all.
W) Why Won’t They Explain About the Zombies?
They travel to the Orient multiple times? Is the zombie plague just in Europe? Western Europe? In America as well? It would be nice if Grahame-Smith gave a moment to EXPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On pg. 169 Jane and Elizabeth punish Catherine? Catherine who? Do they mean Kitty? Why call her Catherine suddenly? Strange.
Y) Grahame-Smith Does Not Understand Women or Sisters
Elizabeth dreams of cutting off Lydia’s head? Really? Grahame-Smith doesn’t really know how to write female characters or sisters. First he has Elizabeth being mean to Jane, then Mary, and then Lydia. So completely cruel. And that is one of my biggest problems with this book. I hate Elizabeth! She is mean, cruel, harsh, rude, judgmental, and just downright nasty. I dislike her and don’t want to read more about her as I just can’t stand her. Yes Grahame-Smith, you actually took a character I lived and made me hate her. Good job.
Z) Not Hatred, Circumstances
In this book Grahame-Smith makes Mr. Bennet hate Mrs. Bennet as he finds her stupid and dumb. That’s not how it was in the real book. Mr. Bennet married Mrs. Bennet and didn’t realize that they werent well suited until much later on. They lived well together, spending all the money as no need to save, they will have sons. When no sons came each went to the opposite extreme. Mrs. Bennet became so worried and crazed over her “failure” that she threw all her efforts into trying to catch husbands. That’s why she puts the girls “out” all at once, she wants them settled as soon as possible or they will be worse off then the Dashwood sisters. Mr. Bennet took the failure of no male heir and money a different way, he isolated himself in his library and books, trying to escape reality. They didn’t hate each other, they just didn’t really suit each other, drawing farther and farther apart.
AA) Elizabeth is a Freak
Elizabeth enjoys listening to the screams of burning zombies. What a sadist and creep.
BB) Return of the Bad Fight Scenes
The fight between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth is horrible as well. Leaping all over the place like they are taking part in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or something, The way Lady Catherine attacks, Elizabeth should be dead. Elizabeth stabs Lady Catherine in the stomach but Lady Catherine survives? What, that isn’t even possible. She’s dead, end of story.
CC) Ew, Yuck, and Gross
Words some Catherine’s lips “After I behead her, ninjas you can do what you want with the body”, Grahame-Smith has some serious issues.
So yeah I hated it.
Grahame-Smith just plagiarized someone else’s work changing a few words here and there and making it horrible. Grahame-Smith offends me to my very core. Destroying talented writing with his scribbles.
This is what I would like to do to him
Grahame-Smith doesn’t even know how to write. His characters are unlikeable, story underdeveloped, and just all around bad, bad, bad. Only one thing left to do:
So The Terminator is one of the best Horror-ScFi films ever! It is also one of the best Sci-fi films ever! It is one of the best ’80s films ever! It is one of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger films ever! It is one of my all-time favorote films!
I think it is incredibly awesome! Did you know the initial draft for the movie was sold to James Cameron’s wife, Gale Anne Hurd for the price of $1 only.
So the film starts off in May 12, 1984 (We just celebrated it’s 30th anniversary. That’s why I had to review it) with two beings from the year 2029 (we have 15 years left! I’m going to be alive then, woah!!!) Anyways, one is the Terminator T-800 Model 101, the cyborg assassin who is there to hunt down Sarah Connor and take her out before she can get pregnant and give birth to the father of the future resistance and the only threat to computer control. I just love this opening scene as you see how BA and hardcore the Terminator is.
Arnold Schwarzenegger originally wanted to play Kyle Reese. But James Cameron had a different idea and saw Schwarzenegger in the title role of The Terminator. After all as Cameron told Schwarzenegger, “This movie is not about the hero. It’s about The Terminator”. Just like Barney said:
The second person is Kyle Reese, sent by Sarah’s son to protect her. I love this actor as I just think he is so cute! And its funny, because everything I see him in I always think of him as Kyle Reese.
Anyways, so as Reese is tracking him down, the Terminator is looking for Sarah. He starts going through the telephone book and just mowing down every Sarah he runs into.
Arnold Schwarzenegger worked with guns everyday for a month to prepare for the role; the first two weeks of filming he practiced weapons stripping and reassembly blindfolded until the motions were automatic, like a machine. He spent hours at the shooting range, practicing with different weapons without blinking or looking at them when reloading or cocking; he also had to be ambidextrous. He practiced different moves up to 50 times.
Meanwhile, Sarah is unknowingly is going on with her normal life. She makes plans to go out to the club, while her friend is going to hang out at home with her boyfriend. When Sarah’s out she sees a news report on the TV about Sarah Conner’s being murdered and calls her friend at home to warn her. Unfortunately, she’s just missed her. She has already been terminated.
I know, i know
The Terminator hears her message and tracks her down there. Before he can kill her, Reese makes it in time and knocks the Terminator down.
Back off bot!
Of course he hasn’t actually killed him, as that is extremely hard to do, but he has managed to buy him and Sarah enough time to take off.
As the two are driving off, Kyle tells Sarah about the future. In the year 2015 (NEXT YEAR!!!), Skynet, a computer defense system, will become self aware and begin a nuclear war against the humans. Sarah’s unborn son, John, is the one who will lead the rebellion against the machines and is the only chance for humankind. With the resistance on the verge of victory, Skynet sent a terminator back. A Terminator is a being with a metal endoskeleton covered by a layer of living tissue, so that he looks more humanlike and harder to determine as cyborg.
Sarah is so freaked out that she doesn’t know how to make heads or tails of the whole issue. She doesn’t have very much time, as the Terminator has caught up with them and is chasing them down in a truck. Their two cars crash and the police show up.
The Terminator goes off to heal himself, and it is an uber crazy scene!
They take Reese into custody as they think that he purposely killed a man (the Terminator). They interrogate him, but think that he is crazy as they cannot find any proof that the Terminator exists. While Sarah is making a statement, we have one of the best and most quoted scenes of all time. 🙂
“The Terminator: I’ll be back.”–The Terminator (1984)
Sorry about that. I’m back on track now. So While the Terminator marches in and starts killing all sorts of people, Kyle and Sarah escape.
They flee to a cheap motel where Sarah questions Kyle more about why he was picked to go on this dangerous mission as he can never return home. Reese tells her he volunteered. John had a picture of her and Kyle fell in love looking at it and hearing about her. He didn’t care if he couldn’t go back as it was worth it to be with her. Sarah is touched by his words and the two have sex.
Look at that hunky man
The next day Reese takes off to get supplies and leaves Sarah alone in the motel. She calls her mom to let her know she is okay. That would be great…except that her mom is already dead and the woman she is talking to is actually the Terminator mimicking the voice. Than Sarah does the stupidest thing, she gives her “mom” the phone number of the place she is at. Why would you do that when there is a killer on the loose Sarah? Why? You know he already knows who you and is hunting you down.
So Kyle comes back and teaches Sarah everything she needs to know about creating her own weapons out of common products. While the two are having this sweet scene, the Terminator has tracked them down. Luckily, the dog belonging to the motel’s owner starts barking, warning Reese.
The two get involved in a second car chase in which Kyle throws pipe bombs at the Terminator to try and stop him. Reese is wounded and the momentarily stop the Terminator, burning off all his flesh.
He chases the two into a nearby factory. This part is pretty cool, as Sarah takes control of the situation, giving us a preview to how BA she will be in the sequel.
Reese attacks the Terminator, but realizes he doesn’t have much time left, as he’s wounded too bad. He stuffs a bomb into the Terminator’s stomach, the explosion killing Reese and severely injuroing the Terminator. It continues to try and take Sarah down, who leads it to a hydraulic press and crushes it. The only thing that survives is an arm.
Sarah is later taken out of the factory by an ambulance as Kyle’s body is taken away and buried.
Months later a pregnant Sarah is traveling through Mexico and is recording audio tapes for John when he’s older. This is where we are introduced to the amazing Terminator paradox. John is 20 years older than his father. Sarah is like 45 years older than her child’s father. Plus John has to care for Kyle Reese and make sure he survives until he can send him back or else he won’t be born. Crazy! Makes your head spin.
And if you want the really abbreviated version, go to 30 Second Bunnies
Now even though I absolutely love this movie, I will say that How It Should Have Ended did a pretty good job.