Trouble with the curve [videorecording DVD]

From  Jackie Cantwell
Author:  Randy Brown
Title:  Trouble with the curve [videorecording DVD] 
We’ve all seen Clint Eastwood play a crusty old codger before. He does it well. In this case he is Gus, an aging baseball scout with the Atlanta Braves, whose lawyer daughter, Mickey (played by Amy Adams), joins him on a scouting trip to North Carolina. She hopes to heal the strained relationship she has with her father. Johnny (Justin Timberlake), a former pitcher and scout with the Boston Red Sox, makes the moves on Mickey.  I didn’t buy the chemistry between them. They are attractive people, yet the lighting, cinematography and wardrobe didn’t do them any justice. All the colors seem washed out. The music is intrusive; it’s cued at the precise moment we’re supposed to feel something in case we missed it from the stilted performances. For instance, the song lyrics “Do you feel the way I do?” are pumped up at the moment Johnny and Mickey go out together. The actors at times seem like they’re merely reading their lines; there’s no emotion. The best performance just might be by John Goodman, who plays Pete, Gus’s boss and friend. The villain, (Phillip, another scout, played by Matthew Lillard,) is a caricature, as are most of the other characters. Subtlety is lacking. The plot is contrived; the ending is so tidy that it borders on the preposterous. This movie wanted to be a baseball story, but it feels like a chick-flick.

Insane city [sound recording CD] : [a novel]

From Jackie Cantwell
Author:  Dave Barry
Title:  Insane city [sound recording CD] : [a novel]
This laugh-out-loud romp could only be brought to you by Dave Barry. We meet our protagonist, Seth, as he’s heading to his eco-friendly wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne.  He’s set to marry Tina, a beautiful, Harvard lawyer from a wealthy family, who really should be out of his league.  The zany characters include strippers, an escaped orangutan, angry cops, angry pimps, an Albino python, Haitian refugees, etc. Hilarious situations include a hijacked pirate ship, a misplaced batch of marijuana brownies, and a billionaire whose wish is to join a secret society. This is a real page turner (or disc turner) as the reader wonders “Will the ‘groom posse’ rescue Seth from himself?” and “Will the wedding go off as planned”?

Klonopin Lunch: a Memoir

From  Jackie Cantwell
Author:  Jessica Dorfman Jones
Klonopin Lunch: a Memoir
What happens when a married lawyer with a hum-drum life gets a taste of Sex, Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll? Read this well-crafted memoir to find out. Jessica, a product of New York’s Upper East Side, always played by the rules, which included excelling at the finest schools and marrying her college boyfriend. Enter a handsome guitar teacher, and at the age of thirty, she forgets the life she knew. Their flirtation becomes a full-blown affair, and she starts to take illegal drugs, gets tattooed, and fancies herself a rock star. She writes songs with the guitar teacher’s pal, becomes the lead singer of a fledgling rock band, and stays out ‘til all hours of the night, thus testing the limits of her husband’s understanding and support. This tale of sexual obsession and codependency is painfully honest. She often doesn’t come across as very likeable or sympathetic. Yes, she’s selfish, and yes, she ought to know better. There are very funny sections, including the lunch with her gay pal, where the book gets its title. It could be said that New York City is another character in the book; the evocative descriptions of Manhattan are such that you can almost smell the spilled beer and cigarette smoke in the clubs. There are graphic depictions of sexual activity and drug use, so this book is not for the squeamish or the prudish.

Defending Jacob

From Rosemarie Jerome
Author:  William Landay
Defending Jacob
A teenage boy is murdered.  Andy Barber is the assistant district attorney on the case.  His world, and his family, is shattered when his fourteen year old son, Jacob, is charged with the murder.  Is he guilty?  Was he framed?  How far will a father go to protect his son?  Is his son a monster?  This is a  riveting, suspenseful legal drama that has a truly shocking ending.