Recent Film, Book and Music Disappointments

I had great anticipation for these films and books. I often read books by authors I follow or people in the news that have some interesting revelations. I’m very selected about films too, my attention span is pretty short for poorly made or mindlessness. Music is an entirely different matter. I have my preferences, but I make a habit of exploring beyond my favorites.


Blacklight. I thought Liam Neeson was giving up action films. He keeps getting offers, but the quality of the films is decreasing. I cut Neeson a lot of slack because he can take a tired story and breathe life into it. Not here. The trippy editing, bottom-heavy dramatic music, clichéd dialogue and central casting FBI assassins does not substitute for thoughtful and creative storytelling. In the bonus features, Neeson calls this an outstanding idea for a film – he must have been talking about a different idea. Blacklight is not even a good direct-to-streaming film. I still have no idea what the title means. A better title would have been, Take the Money and Run.

This film is so convoluted and generic, I cannot even explain it. It’s quite embarrassing, not in a campy way, it is just bad. Sometimes you want a film to watch that is cleverly predictable and like a comfortable pair of jeans. These acid-washed pants do not fit and went out of style years ago. I hope Neeson got paid a lot of money for this poorly written and low-budget produced film. There are much better Neeson action films.

Licorice Pizza. Highly anticipated and highly disappointed. The film is much different than the trailer. Read my other blog to understand. The film reaches for a lot and comes away with something different. I watched it several times to see if it was worth the squeeze.


The Sweet Remnants of Summer, Alexander McCall Smith. I have read quite a few Smith books and I enjoy his quirky series of books. From The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency to the Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries to Detective Varg to the gang on 44 Scotland Street, Smith writes som charming and low-key character mysteries. He’s the best at these stories that mix lessons with solving rather minor mysteries, but they do not feel minor. The Sweet Remnants of Summer is not one of Smith’s best books, nor is Isabel Dalhousie one of his best series. If you haven’t read an earlier book in the series, the book will not make much sense. I had to force myself to finish the book. A misfire by a great writer.

The Recovery Agent, Janet Evanovich. I thought this was the next Stephanie Plum novel. Nope. This book is the first in what will likely be a successful new series about a recovery agent. I did not event make it through the first 100 pages. Rarely do I give up on a book, especially by a favorite author.

One Damn Thing After Another, William Barr. The former Attorney General’s memoirs is one load of crap after another. Memoirs are usually self-serving and Barr delivers a double-serving. I half-expected a reflective look back at the Trump presidency with a modicum of self-reflection. No, I knew that wasn’t possible. Barr acted like the Trump consigliere, not the nation’s top law enforcement official. Checkout my blog if you want more, believe me, you don’t.


Unlimited Love, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. You get a lot of music for your money, unfortunately, it’s not very good. Average, I’d say, and uneven. A few good songs, but not nearly enough of them. Again, expectations are high.

30, Adele. Not terrible, but few classic Adele moments. I kept searching for the hits. It’s Adele, so her fans will forgive her. Again, talk about huge expectations!

The Tears of Hercules, Rod Stewart. Yikes. This one flew under the radar, for good reason. This might have worked 40 years ago, but now it’s just embarrassing.

What’s It Gonna Take?, Van Morrison. The kindest word for this album: insufferable. If you enjoy listening to music’s king of grumpy old men, go ahead. This album has nothing of value on it, a most difficult thing to say about such a great stylist. His muse is now everything that bothers him. Move other Eric Clapton, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent, you have another club member.

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