Guide The Killing Game (Volumes One, Two, & Three of the First Book of The Killing Game Series)

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All the sections are easily jumped to via navigation tools, making it better than the print edition. However, the vocabulary quiz "Word Power" is really easy since on Kindle you can just point at a word and have the definition pop up! Just to be clear, I didn't cheat: I just tested this on a word I knew to see if it would work and it did. I got a 14 out of 16 on the quiz, which isn't too bad, though I obviously need practice as I usually do better.

Another way to get content into your Kindle is to email it to a special email address Amazon assigns to your Kindle. I wasn't too sure about this until I tried it -- it really is cool. It will even convert documents into a Kindle-friendly format if you want, though the formats supported are limited and the results are not always good I converted a PDF and though it was generally readable, a lot of the formatting had been lost making the text awkward.

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I knew that Amazon offered this feature but thought that it cost money. Since Amazon pays for the free 3G service that comes with Kindles, they usually do charge for this. But the new Kindle I have is Wifi-only, so there is no charge! Because of that, I think I will use this. It's a great way to get stuff to the Kindle. From any computer, phone, or iPad, I can instantly email my Kindle one or more documents and within seconds they are on the device.

You do have to register the email address you send from on Amazon's website or this won't work it prevents unauthorized people from cluttering your Kindle , and there are some other limits, but generally this worked surprisingly well. I thought maybe it would take too long but it seemed really fast -- by the time I'd finished hitting send on my computer and picked up the Kindle, the new file was there. As a nice touch, Kindle displays the email address that sent the file next to the file name so you can remember who sent it. I bet family members with multiple Kindles could send things to each other this way as a "You should read this" suggestion.

You can also hook your Kindle to the USB jack on your computer to mount it like a flash drive and copy files to it that. That's how Amazon recommends you get big things like music and audiobooks onto the Kindle. Other Features Kindles can do more than just let you read digital books, but I question the need for some of these abilities.

They add to the complexity and learning curve of the device, and yet I suspect that few use the features. But other things I hadn't expected to like might be useful, so I guess it's fine they offer these. I just don't want the device getting so feature-heavy it tries to be something it's not.

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What appeals to me about it its simplicity and as long as Amazon focuses on reading, it will sell, but if they try to make it more iPad-like, it'll fail. I'd heard that the Kindle has a built-in voice that can read books to you. It didn't sound like such a good thing -- a robot can't read like a real person -- and I didn't think it would be that useful. I still don't think I'd use it often, but I tested it on the Kindle User Manual and it was great for that.

I'm not sure it would work for fiction, but I listened to the manual being read while I fixed my breakfast and it was rather cool -- I could get the gist of what was being said without distracting me from my main task. It's a nice feature and would be useful for reading news reports, blogs, cooking instructions, or other non-emotional material.

I can also imagine using it on a airplane when I'm exhausted of reading but I still want to follow a story. The Kindle can also play real audiobooks and music even music in the background. While there's nothing wrong with such features, they seem superfluous but that could just be because I've got an iPhone for such tasks and I expect they would severely damage battery life. This new Kindle can read PDFs directly, which is really nice in principal. In practice, however, most PDFs aren't formatted for the Kindle screen, so the text ends up microscopic.

Kindle will let you zoom in, but it's an extremely convoluted process, and once you're zoomed in, moving around the zoomed area is slow and awkward you use the arrow keys to pan. One tip is to read to-small PDFs while holding the Kindle sideways. You can do this by going to a menu and telling Kindle to rotate the screen. This works fine, but after using iPhone for years, it feels bizarre that the device can't tell which way I'm holding it and rotate automatically.

It's also weird that all the controls keyboard, etc. When you're working sideways you can't see the full page of the PDF, only about half of it, but the page advance controls work well to let you move through the document in half-page chunks except that now those buttons are on the top and bottom of the horizontal device instead of the sides. In short, the PDF ability is useful in a pinch, but not too practical. Kindle includes a Web Browser under the "experimental" section. It works, but pictures look pitiful in muddy grays and it's rather painful navigating through web pages without a mouse the arrow keys jump you between links and you can push select to open the link.

Useful, but definitely not essential. You can shop for books right from the Kindle, which is nice, but I wasn't too impressed with the options and presentation. For instance, it's easy to look at best-seller lists, Amazon's recommendations, etc. This makes finding a particular edition tedious as you have to go through each one and you're fighting with Kindle's cursor-based navigation the whole way. This happened to me when I was looking for some free books -- I kept finding paid versions and yet knew those were old out-of-copyright books that should be available for free I did eventually find some.

The bottom line: while it's handy to buy able to buy books right on the device and it works wonderfully if you know the exact book you're looking for, it does not work so well for browsing the store. For instance, when the lists show thumbnails of book covers, the art is in shades of gray and the pictures are so tiny way smaller than a postage stamp that you can't tell what it is.

It's far more practical to shop for books on a real computer or iPad than on the Kindle. One of my favorite extra feature of Kindle is the ability to see the definition of any word as you read. It's not quite as easy as on the iPad where you just touch the word -- on Kindle you have to use the arrow keys to move to the word which is slow. Kindle also makes it easy to highlight phrases, add notes and annotations, and bookmark places. That's an obvious function, but what I didn't know is that Kindle automatically saves such highlighted text into a "clippings" file.

It's a plain text file you can access on your computer when plug your Kindle in via USB, so it's a terrific way to preserve quotes or copy short passages of text. This is interesting because you can't copy text from Kindle books on the iPad, but this effectively gives you a way to do that on the Kindle device. The drawback is that the only way to access this file is via the physical cable connection -- it would be nice if you could email this to yourself or access it wirelessly.

Interface I had expected the Kindle interface to be horrible. First of all, it's not made by Apple, who are famous for creating elegant interfaces, and second, the device's hardware by its nature prevents certain kinds of interfaces i. To my surprise, the Kindle's not that bad. There's a Home button which takes you to the main screen which lists all your content collections, books, PDFs, music, etc. You move around with the arrow keys, highlighting lines one item per line. If you press the right arrow, you're given some options of what to do with the item open it, delete it, etc.

If you press Select instead, the item opens up to the last page you read in it. Amazon has placed two page turn buttons on either side of the Kindle. These are flush with the device and right in the middle. The bottom ones are taller than the shorter upper buttons. The bigger button is "next page," the smaller one "previous page. Why not just make them both nice and big? I'm also not quite convinced about the placement of these buttons in the middle of the device. If I grip the Kindle with one hand, my fingers wrap around the edges where these buttons are and I squeeze them accidentally.

I can hold it lower in my hand, which isn't too bad, but then I have to use my other hand to press the "next page" button. It's not terrible, but I'm still not used to it, and I haven't quite figured out the ideal position for holding the Kindle and turning pages. It feels like more work than it should to turn a page, but that's probably because I'm too used to iPad, where I can just give the screen the faintest tap with my wrapped around finger the iPad's wide bezel around the screen keeps me from tapping the next page area unintentionally.

The biggest frustration I've found with Kindle is that there is no counterpart to the "back" button. The Back button returns you to the previous screen -- not the previous page within a book, but the previous screen where you had a choice like the view inside a collection where you see the books in that collection. It also works if you follow a link in a book to jump to another section: pressing Back returns you to that original point. This is great and useful, but it's somewhat unpredictable.

I'm not always sure where Back is going to take me. If it takes me to wrong place or I hit it by accident easy to do , I can't figure out to to return to where I was as there's no Forward button. It could be I just haven't explored Kindle deep enough and there is a way to do this, but I haven't found it yet. Another interface quirk that I haven't decided if I like or dislike yet, is the way the purpose of the Menu button changes depending on where you are. For instance, to get to Settings, where you can change some of the device's settings, you must be on the Home screen when you press Menu.

If you press Menu while on a different screen, the options on the menu are completely different. This context-sensitive menu can be helpful by eliminating unavailable choices, but it's often hard to remember where you saw an option. You remember that there was a way to move a book to collection, for instance, but when you press Menu, that option isn't listed. So where is it? You eventually figure out that you have to be on a book's nav page right arrow to find it. If you're inside the book or elsewhere, that option isn't available, which can be frustrating.

Keyboard Earlier versions of the Kindle were hideously ugly. This new Kindle is far better, but unlike the clean and simple iPad, it does kludge the design by including the tiny keyboard across the bottom. It wastes a lot of real estate on the pad with something you won't use that often unless you're really into typing notes on the books you read or do a lot of searches. If they can ever get a touch-screen Kindle with a virtual keyboard, I'd go for that option any day. For those who think a hard keyboard is so much better, it's actually not: on a device this small, neither is optimal and a hard keyboard isn't faster.

Its disadvantages -- no automatic rotation, no foreign language support, and real estate wasted when you aren't typing -- outweigh any benefits of a hardware keyboard. Since this Kindle's not touch, the hard keyboard is far better than a virtual keyboard navigated by arrow keys, but it's still not great. The layout is poor, with dangerous keys right next to each other. For instance, there's a return key right below the same-sized Del backspace button, so when I was attempting to type the name of a Collection I'd created and needed to erase a typo, I accidentally hit return which accepted the incorrect name.

In that case it wasn't fatal, as there is a rename feature, but in other situations return accepts the current or default answer to a question which could be something important like, "Are you sure you want to delete this? I found I kept confusing Home and Back. Home is the most important, but Back is the bottom rightmost key which is the easiest to find by feel. Personally, I'd have put Home in the bottom right, Back above the directional pad, and the less-used Menu to the left of Home this assumes I'm keeping the layout the same and just rearranging the keys. The five-way arrow pad with select button in the middle is tiny.

It works, but though I have small hands and love small things, it's really too small for me. It should be twice the size as it's the main thing you use on the device far more than the keyboard. I do like the feel of the keys. They are solid without being too hard to press, and they aren't so raised as to make the device feel thicker.

But I don't know why more thought wasn't give to the layout. Why are so many keys the same size? Several control-type keys, such as Symbol and the "Aa" text resize button, seem stuck in random locations where there was some leftover space, and there's not even color distinction to show that these keys are different from regular letter keys.

Another oddity is the naming of the Alt key which is used for keyboard shortcuts like Command on the Mac or Control on Windows which seems needlessly different from the Alt key people are accustomed to on computers. I've only had it for a couple of days so it's still too early for me to judge if it's something I'll use long-term or not.

Right now it feels like I would, but my enthusiasm could wane. We shall see. I have a day return option, so if I actually use it, I'll keep it. What I like about the Kindle compared to iPad : Size. Remarkably and delightfully small and light. Makes me want to read. Single purpose. I pick it up when I want to read novels.

No distractions of other functions. What's good about both iPad and Kindle: Long battery life. With three weeks of reading time on the Kindle, it's nice to not have to worry about the battery at all. But in truth I don't worry much with iPad as its battery lasts more than a full day for me and it's no chore to plug it at night before bed. Clear screen. For reading a good screen is vital. The iPad and Kindle both excel in this area. Some prefer one over the other, but that's a personality thing. Kindle definitely wins for outdoor reading, but how often do you do that?

Kindle is definitely far worse in poor lighting which to me is a more often occurrence than the need to read outside but then I live in Oregon where it rains all the time so we're indoor creatures here. I like both of them. Overall, the Kindle ecosystem -- hardware, digital store, software readers on every platform -- is very nice.

Using the Kindle you really get the feeling that this is the future of books. As a science fiction fan, this Kindle is something I would have imagined and lusted over as a child when I could never find enough books. The idea of a thin pad that holds thousands of books and can get any book over the airwaves in seconds is a dream.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

The future is here. For instance, I could keep one in my room for reading before bed. Why carry one around when I can have several and just use Wifi to keep them all in sync? Shoot, if they get cheap enough, you could have one in every bathroom instead of a stack of old magazines! While I worry a little of Amazon's tactics to extort publishers, at this point the digital book market is still tiny and Amazon's monopoly is a problem for another day.

For now, I'm pretty happy with it and the Kindle store. I really have the best of both worlds owning both iPad and Kindle. If you're a reader, I encourage you to check one out in person they're being sold at Staples and Target stores, I believe. Like the iPad, it's the type of device that is best experienced versus just reading about it.

Now that I've had a chance to use my Kindle a little more, I am more comfortable than ever with my original impressions: size, weight, and readability is great hardware user interface is poor One of the most interesting things that happened to me recently was on two occasions, I got "lost" in the book I was reading. What happened was that I picked up the sleeping Kindle, turned it on, and started to read. But I couldn't quite remember where I was in the book, so as I often do with a paper book, I flipped back a page to begin reading at an earlier point to refresh my memory and catch up to where I'd been.

Only with the Kindle, I was suddenly in unfamiliar territory. None of the text was remotely familiar. I hit the Previous Page button again, and then again, and then several more times in a row. Bizarrely, the Kindle kept showing me text I had a never seen. From my perspective, the Kindle had mysteriously jumped some unknown number of pages forward in the book!

My first thought was that I was encountering some strange syncing bug. As you may know, the Kindle has a feature where it will remember what page you are on even between devices. This allows you to read a few pages on your iPhone while in line at the grocery store and then when you get back home and pick up your Kindle, it jumps forward to the new location where you stopped reading.

Very convenient, but it seemed feasible that the software could become confused and think I'd read further ahead than I really had. Initially that was my conclusion to the strange problem. When it happened a second time -- and again it took me quite a while several minutes of paging around to find where I'd stopped reading -- I was really frustrated.

If this was going to happen all the time, it would really make the Kindle a useless gadget. I wondered why I hadn't heard of this bug before. But while I was trying to get back to my reading place, I suddenly noticed something. Occasionally, as I was trying to page through the book, I would hit the big lower button on the left side of the Kindle. If you're familiar with the Kindle hardware, there are four page turn buttons, two on each side. The upper two are smaller and mean "Previous Page. It seemed excessive and pointless. Why not just have Previous on the left and Next on the right?

But it didn't seem like a critical design flaw, only an annoyance. I am changing my opinion of that now: the four buttons are a major design flaw. You see, I finally realized that the Kindle had never jumped to a future reading point without my control.

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There was no sync bug. What happened was simple: when I intended to go back to the previous page, I hit the button on the left -- the big button. In my mind, that was the "Previous Page" button. After all, it's on the left. Left is previous and right is Next. That's just natural at least with books that read left-to-right. So I hit the wrong button. I told the Kindle to go to the next page when I intended it to go to the previous page. The result left me baffled and confused, and in a panic, I hit the button several more times, but again, I was going right in the book instead of left, but still thinking I was going left.

It was the strangest feeling: like running toward your home and getting further away with each step but not being able to understand why! The key is I wasn't thinking. I was operating on instinct. I wasn't conscious of what I was doing. I wasn't sitting down at a computer, interacting with a machine. I wasn't thinking, "How do I operate this machine? I was focused on my goal, on the content in front of me, and the machine was essentially invisible. That's a good thing. It's part of the purpose of the Kindle. But in this case, because of the confusing design of the buttons, the machine did not respond in the way my mind expected.

That's poor design. Now that I know this, I don't think I'll have the same problem again. I am aware of the situation and can compensate. For instance, if I go to a book and it's on an unfamiliar page, I won't start hitting the button a bunch of times to turn back pages. Instead I will concentrate to make sure I'm hitting the correct button for what I need the device to do.


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But just because I can learn my way around the machine's flaws, that doesn't mean there is no flaw or the Kindle shouldn't be corrected. I find this situation a fascinating example in design. Apple, for instance, would never have designed a reading machine like this. Apple always goes for fewer buttons.

At most Apple would have had a single page turn button on each side of the device. Such a design would be far simpler and clearer. Brains are good at left-right distinctions and once I learned which button was which, I would be able to operate the thing forever without once getting confused. The way Amazon designed the Kindle, however, dramatically increases the chances of problem operation: I might press the wrong button subconsciously like I did.

I might press the wrong button because my fingers happen to be in the wrong place. I might press the wrong button simply because there are so many I'm not sure which is the right one. Some may think this isn't a big deal, or that Amazon's approach is better because it gives the user more choices and it allows one-handed operation.

But that is only true for a tiny subset of users. The vast majority of users want simple and transparent and could care less about choice. That is the difference between Apple and Amazon. I'd never seen this "classic" musical. It's not bad, but not as good as I expected. I'd actually heard of few of the songs before, but most are forgettable and I didn't particularly like style of music too old fashioned for my taste. In fact, most of the acting was bad, typical of musicals: singers are cast instead of actors.

I can see that at one time this might have been more interesting, back when going to Siam was an exotic and rare journey, but these days with a global community at the touch of dial, it's rather pedantic. A slight disappointment, mainly because it doesn't really achieve the levels it aims at. It's good. The cinematography is amazing, the acting is excellent, the story's not bad: but the whole doesn't add up to a great film.

I did like that the creators came up with new perspectives on the King Arthur myth: this is different from the stories you've heard before. In this version, Arthur's a Roman who's stationed in far-away Britain, leading a troup of knights who've been conscripted to serve Rome for 15 years. He and his knights fight against the native Britons, blue-painted savages who live in the forest and are led by a mystic named Merlin.

But when the Romans decide to leave Briton, abandonning it to the vicious Saxons of the north, the Britons need a leader, and Arthur ends up becoming that man. Yes, he's leading the people he used to fight against. Interesting twist, though I have no idea if it's actually based on any real evidence. It's an epic film with some good battles. The most spectacular scene is the battle on the ice where we have awesome shots from below the ice of soldiers marching across the frozen top.

Overall it's an excellent film, but somehow feels empty and lacking by the finish. There's a spark missing. Everything's too pat, too polished, the grand speeches too obvious. Trimming it would have helped it's much too long at And the luminous Kierra Knightly doesn't show up until an hour in, another mistake the story is much more interesting with her in it. I liked it, but I wouldn't bother watching it again, if that tells you anything.

There's just not enough depth. Really impressive film. I didn't remember the original that well except for the cheesy special effects , but this one gives it epic scale and realism the story deserves. In terms of special effects, I was slightly disappointed: while the digital animals and such are amazing and completely believable, it seems compositing is still a skill that needs work, as in several scenes the assemblage of people and digital creatures seemed slightly fake.

But that's a minor complaint. Overall, the film and story work. It's a fun adventure ride with a real story behind it. This is a classic French film I first saw in a film class back in the s. It's wonderful, one of my favorite films of all time. It's set at the end of WWI I, not II , in a small town where the Germans have left leaving behind a bomb that will destroy the entire town.

But their plot has been leaked to the British and so they send in a soldier to disarm the bomb. He's selected because he speaks French, not because he knows anything about explosives. But meanwhile the town has been evacuated, except for the residents of the looney bin, who escape and take over the town. Thus when the soldier arrives he thinks the crazies are the regular townspeople and when he uses obtuse code words the gibberish he gets back drives him batty. No one can understand anyone! That's just the beginning of the chaos, of course, as the film mocks the "rationality" that brings people to shoot each other and in the end, insanity seems the much saner choice.

Extremely witty, clever, and wonderful. A must see film. I'd been wanting to see this documentary since I first heard about it, but by the time it was actually available, it had dropped off my radar. I discovered it on Netflix streaming and watched it. It's a fascinating story about setting the all-time scoring record in the Donkey Kong videogame, but the structure's awkward as it doesn't follow a traditional storyline. That's because it's real life, but it seems like something that could be fixed in editing. I don't want to spoil the story, but let's just say that it's difficult to see who the heros and villains are, making for uncomfortable viewing as we aren't sure who to root for and against, and the story's ups and downs often left me frustrated because I couldn't see where we were going there's no important foreshadowing like in a fictional tale that prepares us for bad news.

It also ultimately felt a little empty, without any moral or conclusion. It could be that is the point -- that people who spent zillions of hours mastering an ancient videogame are engaged in a pointless endeavor -- but I wanted at least a hint of something more. All that said, I'm a huge fan of Donkey Kong and that alone makes me love this film. Donkey Kong was the first videogame I ever played I'm showing my age. I still have vivid memories of my eighth grade year when I walked to school every morning and stopped by the on the way and spent my lunch money on Donkey Kong yes, DK was more important than food.

I'd play again on the way home from school, too, and then I didn't have quite such a deadline. While I never achieved anything close to the scores of the phenoms in this film, Donkey Kong is still the one videogame I did the best at I never had enough time for videogames after those halcyon days : I used to get groups of admirers watching me play as I was way better than most. I once made it to the third pie factory, if that tells you anything. This film resurrected a lot of memories.

The endings is a little unsatisfying, but that's mostly because it takes textual explanation at the closing credits to really conclude things I would have much preferred that to be filmed as part of the story. But it's definitely worth seeing, and if you're a fan of classic videogames like Donkey Kong, it's a must-see.

Lear, played by Star Trek's Patrick Stewart, is a ruthless ranch owner with three daughters. After he divides his property among them, they throw him out. Good stuff, with complex gray characters, though it goes downhill a bit when it gets into action stuff at the end. Grisham's books lately all seem to be about money with no plot. This one's no exception: a penniless lawyer becomes a multi-millionaire overnight, then foolishly loses his fortune. It's a lightweight morality tale against greed.

However, Grisham does tell a good tale, and while a lot of the book is numbers -- the costs of everything the guy is buying -- it's still an intriguing read. Very lightweight, but it's fortunately not preachy like the unreadable The Chamber. Similar in style to some of Edgar Rice Burroughs' stuff, this book was okay, but the foreshadowing was so strong it made the story too predictable. It's basically about a quest to find the lost diamond mines of King Solomon, and of course there are lots of trials and adventures along the way.

Fun for a quick read, good for kids. I would have liked it more when I was younger, but somehow I missed it. I thought this was more of a political thriller and wasn't too excited, but it had a lot more action than I expected and I liked it. On the other hand, my mom didn't like it for exactly that reason.

The action is extremely realistic, sudden and chaotic, and deadly. It's a decent story about a terrorist attack on U. They are hampered by Saudi officials, red tape, and politics, which is realistic but frustrating to watch. In the end it's the killers who attack again and give themselves away.

The last thirty minutes or so are non-stop action and it's excellent and the best part of the film for me -- though the trailers don't do a good job giving you the proper feel for the film. The ending is a bit depressing, implying that nothing has been accomplished. My reaction was, if that's the case, why even make the movie? It's definitely my genre. It opens with Dillon killing off his fiance in a shockingly calm way, and then killing more people to hide his crime.

He later marries his dead fiance's twin sister and we learn that this is all a ploy to get to her rich father. It's a simple enough concept and we've seen similar stuff more recently, but I'm sure this was rather innovative twenty years ago. But despite all these flaws, the film is still interesting and above average. I rather liked it.

Pretty good crime drama flick with odd coincidences and mistaken identity themes. Not quite as good as I was led to believe by reviews, but decent enough. Cool action flick with Jet Li chopping up bad cops in Paris. He's a Chinese cop brought in to help take down a Chinese criminal, but the corrupt French inspector kills the crook and frames Jet with the crime. From then on Jet's on the run, dashing all over Paris and beating up anyone who gets in his way. Good action, excellent fighting, and a decent though predictable story.

Great fun. I saw the film a while back and it confused me enough I wanted to read the book. The book's typical annoying Patterson, pretentious and overly dramatic. But a few of the scenes are good, and some of the characters are well done. The casting in the film had always bothered me, but reading the book, I realized it was dead on.

As to the "sensational" plot, it was overdone and forced. Can't he write about anything but psychotic killers? My understanding is that genuine psychotics are rare, but he makes it seem like every one of us has one for a neighbor. It gets old after a while, especially with no explanation. Not a badly written book, but one that promises more than it delivers.

At least it reads fast. That's one thing I do like about Patterson's stuff. I wanted to see this again after reading the book recently, and it's better on second viewing. I didn't like it that much the first time -- I thought it was confusing and a bit trivial. There are parts of the book that are much better, but the ending of the film is far better than the book's lame ending. Not bad, but just trimmed and sanitized too much compared to the book. Interesting film which questions the whole sexual identity thing. A perfectionist woman who has yet to find Mr.

Right, ends up falling for a girl. But she's so conservative and unsure about her sexuality that she doesn't want to admit the relationship to her friends or family. Though it tries, there is nothing earthshattering here Chasing Amy covered similar territory , but the characters are different and the dialog occasionally innovative Amy was more consistently brilliant. Unfortunately, the film doesn't really enlightened us about anything important and seems more like it's trying to capitalize on gay popularity.

I knew little about this going in -- so little I thought the title was a metaphor. It turns about to be about kids flying kites in Afghanistan apparently they do that there, though it seems an odd hobby for such a place. While overall this is an excellent movie, I found the beginning confusing: we open with a writer receiving a batch of his first book in the mail and the way it was shot you only caught a glimpse at the title and I must have been halucinating because I could have sworn in one shot it was a copy of The Kite Runner , which made me think the author's character was the author of the movie and that the extended flashback was everything that had happened to that author when he was a kid.

Instead, it turns out the story is utter fiction -- but that confusing premise at the beginning weakened the film for me. Why not just show the book clearly so we can see what's going on? Why purposely play coy with the book like that?


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It was an odd directing decision that hurt an otherwise excellent film. The story is a powerful one of redemption: two boys grow up together in Afghanistan, but apparently one is lower class, the son of the other's family servant this was also not clearly presented in the film until too late. When the rich boy doesn't rescue the servant boy he resents him for he reminds him of his guilt and he contrives to have the servant boy -- his former "best friend" -- sent away. Later the rich boy and his father must flee the country when the Russians invade and they end up in America, where the boy becomes an author, but he's still haunted by the way he treated his supposed best friend and returns to Afghanistan to make ammends.

Some people I was with seemed shocked or horrified by the Afghanistan lifestyle quite brutal under the Taliban , but I was much more intrigued by the bond of the two boys and felt that should have been explored more in the film as that was the core subject. Still, despite a few flaws, this is an excellent film and I highly recommend it. A month ago I was playing soccer at a local indoor league and I twisted my knee. It was still bothering me last week, so I went to see an orthopedic surgeon who had me get an MRI on Monday.

Today I got the results: my ACL is completely torn. The only way to fix that is reconstructive surgery. It will never heal on its own.

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That means getting a tendon from a cadaver and inserting it into my knee to replace my ligament they screw it in with screws that dissolve over time. The recovery time for such an operation is long: at least six months before I can be physically active again, with a few weeks on crutches and physical rehab during that time.

After that, I'd probably have to wear a brace during athletics for the first year. Not the most fun. The other bit of news was slightly more encouraging. ACL tears normally don't cause continuing pain, and are mainly an issue if you're wanting to be athletically active. The reason I've been having pain is that I have a bone bruise between the two leg bones. Such bruises take a long time to heal: one to three months. Though there is no actual fracture, they heal like one. Thus the pain I am feeling that is causing me to limp will hopefully fade as the bruise heals it has been getting better, so I am hopeful.

Fortunately, there is no huge rush to get the surgery done. It doesn't sound like waiting a few months to see how my knee heals and feels will hurt anything. I could even choose to not repair the knee, though that would limit my mobility, increase my chances of problems later in life arthritis, etc. For now, I'm holding off making a decision. I will wait and see how I heal. There are many factors to consider, such as the cost insurance won't cover a significant amount , healing time, and so on. I have a feeling it's something I'll need or want to do, but I'll see how feel as the bone bruise heals.

Maybe if I wait long enough Ombamacare will kick in and pay for the surgery. Yeah, I'm dreaming. There ain't no free lunch. Labels: Medical Soccer.


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I saw this a long time ago but only recently got the DVD when it came out. This is Roman's first film and it's a masterpiece. It's very different from Hollywood productions. The story is unbelievable simple and complicated. There are only three actors in the entire production, a woman and two men. The gorgeous young woman is married to a wealthy older guy and they are going sailing for day and night a quick hour trip.

On the way they meet a young hitchhiker and for reasons we aren't clear about initially, bring him along. Later this makes sense when the woman acuses her husband of bring the boy along just so he can show off and that makes a great deal of psychological sense. On the boat, the young man is clueless and repeatedly humiliated by the older man who's an expert sailor, but the young man has heart though he's not too intelligent he's young. Of course two men and one woman is asking for trouble and that's exactly what we get.

There are all sorts of emotions brewing below the surface: the mysterious relationship between the husband and wife; the relationship between the young man and the older one; the relationship between the boy and the woman. Eventually this leads to the violence we are expecting: the boy is killed by the man. Or is he? There's some question about that initially and soon we're wondering if it's the boy who will kill the old man. Or maybe the woman will kill her husband.

Or maybe none of that. The entire film is essentially a setup for a dozen possibilities and I won't reveal the actual outcome, but just say that it's brilliant and very non-Hollywood. The final scene is so telling about the relationship of the husband and wife, and the final frame is amazing, and reminds me of the great short story, "The Lady or the Tiger. It's all about what could happen rather than what does. It's one of the best psychological thrillers I've ever seen. Fascinating and you could watch the "harmless" discussions over and over they are so filled with depth and drama and an undercurrent of potential horror.

When I first saw the short trailers for this I thought it looked awful. The story made no sense and it looked incredibly lame, especially because of the big stars and budget. But then I saw the full trailer in a theatre where they explained the part about Tom Cruise's character possibly being a rogue spy or mentally unstable. That sounded at least a little interesting and so I went to see it. It's not a hugely complicated movie, but it is fun, quick-paced, and not boring. The "plot" is basically Cruise running into Cameron Diaz in an airport, and eventually kidnapping her and taking her on all sorts of wild adventures as people try to kill them.

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She's never sure if he's sincere or lying through those perfect teeth of his. That aspect is quite delicious and fun and Cruise is perfectly cast. Cameron does her job really well, but she still felt out of place. I really liked her in places and at other times she seemed miscast. But that's a niggling thing: most of the time the casting works great and the film's a fun roller-coaster that doesn't stop. The plot is gimmicky and doesn't make much sense, but this isn't an intellectual thing by any stretch. It's a fun shoot-em-up and watch-the-pretty-people-fall-in-love film.

By that yardstick, I had a great time. Surprisingly good film. Yes, it's predictable, and yes it's fun, but it has a few moments of actual decent dialog and an occasional thought. The plot's simple: a peasant boy takes over for a dead knight and becomes the best jouster in the world. Her love and study of photography soon became a professional passion, and she spends hours photographing and laying out her book covers.

She films and produces her book trailers and, in the future, plans to make short films. Purchase Links:. In the process, he unveils a secret from her past, linking her to a hunted bomber, who is threatening her life while leaving cryptic clues to a twisted conspiracy. After an exhausting game of calculated mental chase, the decisive moment arrives, and everything goes wrong when Ives and the bomber come face-to-face leaving Ives wondering what he can do to save the day in the Complete Three Volumes of The Chase, Book Two in The Killing Game Series, a romantic suspense thriller series by The Black Rose.

When he returns to reality, a peculiar stranger with an extraordinary proposition pays him a visit. At the request of the leaders of an obscure German political organization, this stranger endeavors to recruit Ives to head their intelligence division.

Concerned by their offer, Ives initiates an investigation to discover the truth about them. Not knowing where she is or how she got there, she learns more about the people surrounding her.