Stephen King – End of Watch

First off, let me say how much of a fangirl I am of Stephen King’s writing.  I can’t say of the man because I have never actually met him, but his writing – OMG!!  I discovered Mr. King in the fall of 1984.  I was in school and found his book, IT, in the school library.  It was a hardcover without a dust jacket.  It was gray all over with IT in red letting that looked almost slashed into the cover.  I was intrigued as I had not read a horror story before – the book cover gave no clue what genre it was and I didn’t bother to look at the inside of the book.

Anyway, I started reading the book, and I couldn’t put it down.  I read it far past my bedtime, I read it during lunch at school and even in some of my classes when I got my work done early.  It took me three days to read the entire book and from then on, I was hooked.  My second book by him was Carrie as I wanted to start from the beginning.

Now, almost 34 years later, I am still a major fan of his work, and the most recent book of his I have read is called End of Watch.

From the moment I opened the book and began to read, I was hooked.  Just like with It, I couldn’t put the book down!  Unlike IT, it took me less than 24 hours to read it from cover to cover. I was disappointed not to see the Dear Reader missive I’ve gotten used to seeing at the end of the book – there was Author’s Note instead.  Ah well, things do change….

End of Watch is related to two other books written by Mr, King: Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers.  It brings the story thread full circle in fact, and the ending is one you should definitely get to.

The main bad guy in this book is Brady Hartsfield, a major psycho if ever there was one.  The good guys are Retired Detective Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney with some help from Jerome Robinson.  Mr. King has fleshed out these characters so well you loathe the bad guy and really dig the good guys.  I actually cried about one of them, and I don’t usually cry over fictional characters so kuddos to you Mr. King.

Brady is a mass murderer who killed 8 people with a car and injured quite a few more in the first book to introduce him.  Holly stops him from killing hundreds more using a bomb by smacking him in the head with a sock containing ball bearings – big ones.  In this book, Brady has learned how to leave his wasted body and “ride” along inside of other people’s brains.  He’s also learned a lot about mind control and hypnosis.  Combining all this, he plans to kill a whole lot more people – kids mostly – and not get blamed for it.  He is the “prince of suicide” after all.

Bill has retired from the police force since Brady was captured, survived a heart attack and opened up a detective agency with Holly.  Now, he’s been told he has pancreatic cancer, and it’s pretty bad.  Once people who survived Brady’s rampage with the car begin committing suicide, he thinks of Brady right away.  He puts off treatment of his condition until he finds a way to stop the once perceived brain dead man with the help of Holly and Jerome.

The story is often fast paced with heart pounding action Mr. King is wonderful at creating!  The feasibility of what he proposes could happen is what is more frightening than anything else in the book.  Violence is a bit graphic but not unduly so – be fair warned.  The book, as a whole, is happily fantastic and well worth reading!

As usual, don’t take my word for it.  Read it, or not, as you wish.  I know there are some people out there who don’t like Mr. King’s writing (oh say it isn’t so!!), and that’s their prerogative.  I’m not a literary expert or anything and even if I was, you should make up your own mind and not follow what everyone else thinks.  You can miss out on a lot of fun experiences that way.

Thus ends my review, I’ll see you all on the flipside.  Don’t forget your towels or your sonic screwdriver – someone may need a bureau made at them! 🙂

Wristcutters: A Love Story(2007)

Before I begin, let me just say that this movie review in no way advocates suicide, or self murder as it used to be called and should still be imho.  If you are feeling suicidal, please, get help!!  I know how hard it is to reach out and ask for the help you need, I tried to murder myself three times; the last time would’ve killed me if I hadn’t been found in time.  It was then, in a hospital bed with an IV in my arm and tears running down my face from all the pain, inside and out, that I finally asked for help.  I don’t want you to even get that close.  Talk to someone, anyone!

If need be, call the Suicide Hotline:1-800-273-8255

You are not alone, I promise.

Now, to the review:

I was sitting here, bored to tears, and I hopped on Hulu just to see what movie might catch my eye.  I scrolled through a bunch before I saw the grouping called Cult Classics.  It looked interesting so, I started looking for movies I knew.  I ended up seeing this really odd movie title: Wristcutters: A Love Story.  Wait, this was a Cult Classic??  Why hadn’t I heard of it before if it was good enough to be called that?  Surely, one of my friends has seen it before.  I’m going to ask Joshua today; he seems to be up on all the odd and rarely seen movies.

So, this movie is a dark comedy like Pulp Fiction or Juno – fair warning.  It’s also pretty weird – just like Pulp Fiction.  It stars Patrick Fugit as Zia, our erstwhile hero.  He is known for his roles in Gone Girl and Almost Famous.  I haven’t seen either one.  There is Shannyn Sossamon as Mikal, our leading lady.  She is known for her roles in Wayward Pines and A Knight’s Tale. I’ve watched bits of the first and all of the second.  Then, to round out our trio of leading actors/actresses is Shea Whigham as Eugene.  He is known for his roles in Take Shelter and Non-Stop. I’ve not seen either one of those before.

The movie is produced by No Matters Pictures, Crispy Films and Adam Sherman Inc.  The soundtrack mostly features songs performed by Gogol Bordello(never heard of them) including the song the actors sing or listen to so much it became annoying: Roof n Underground.  The rest of the songs were fairly weird too if you paid attention to them.

Now, the movie begins with our young lad, Zia, offing himself (their words, not mine).  His only reaction as he lay on the bathroom floor bleeding out is not that he was dieing, it was that he’d left dust bunnies behind the bathroom door after meticulously cleaning his efficiency apartment.  Cue the weirdness.

Zia narrates some of the movie by the way.  He ends up in a city just like the one he left, living a life just like he’d led before – only they’re worse.  Not one person every smiles, not because they’re happy anyway.  Not one person is happy.  This place is like limbo for all the people who have committed suicide.

Zia meets Eugene in a dive bar, and after sharing how they killed themselves – Eugene’s death is NOT something anyone should do – they become friends.  They go on a journey looking for Zia’s  ex girlfriend, Desiree, when he finds out she also committed suicide.  He had been in a relationship with her before he killed himself.

Anyway, they’re go off looking for Desiree in the countryside because Zia is sure she’s not in the city they were in.  Along the way, they pick up Mikal who is hitchhiking.  She tells them she’s not a suicide and she’s looking for the People In Charge(PIC) because she’d been sent there by mistake.  She didn’t off herself, she OD’ed.  Cue more weirdness .

Along the way to finding both Desiree and the People In Charge,  Zia finds himself in love with Mikal – she reminds him of the nice things of life that he was now missing.

I won’t ruin the movie for you.  It’s not all doom and gloom.  It’s more like watching a train wreck and not being able to pull your eyes away from the horror and mayhem you believe you’re about to see.  Relax, it’s not all that bad.

I’d rate this movie a 3 out of 5 simply because the only thing I really liked about it was the acting.  This is definitely a character driven movie.  Enjoy, or not.  Drop me a line either way if you do watch it and want to share your feelings about it.

Time to fly so see you all on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!