Or, things that have occurred to me to say, later the same day as the preceding post.

    ? I’ve watched the movie To Catch a Thief one and a half times since David Vineyard reviewed both the book (by David Dodge) back about a month ago. The first time was upstairs on our small 24″ TV, which was OK, but when I started watching it again downstairs on our large screen with the commentary on, the difference was like night and day.

    What a spectacular movie! The colors are magnificent, and the people — well, who could ever outshine Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in a movie together? The fireworks are what everybody remembers, but the first time she turns and gives him a kiss at her hotel room door, that was something else again. The stuff dreams are made of? You’d better believe it.

    ? After reviewing the 1937 movie made of H. Rider Haggard’s novel, King Solomon’s Mines, I soon afterward watched the one that came out in 1950. The later version starred Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger and Richard Carlson, and was nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture of the Year.

    It didn’t win the big one, but the film did pick up two Oscars anyway, one for Best Cinematography (Color), and one for Best Film Editing. The characters were shuffled around some from both the book and the earlier film, leaving Richard Carlson with not much to do, but the photography, as the small safari made its way further and further into unknown bush country, was once again spectacular, if I may use the word again. The plot is fairly simple, and some people leaving comments on IMDB complain about the slow pace, but that’s only to be expected after Indiana Jones has come and gone.

    ? Looking back over the past month, I see that I’ve read only two books, one a science fiction novel by Alan Dean Foster entitled Quofum. I thought it was a stand-alone, and in a sense it is, but it’s also Book 8 in the author’s “Humanx Commonwealth” series

   And as such, while tremendously inventive in itself — a strange planet is discovered with an unbelievable abundance of strange fauna and flora, plus many incompatible forms of intelligent life within miles of each other — it’s also spinning its wheels in anticipation of the next book to come along — a fact the reader (me) doesn’t realize until the book is over, only to discover the story’s not finished.

    ? The other book I read this June perhaps ought to have its own post, but since I never got around to writing the review, I think this is all the space it’s going to get. After tackling and mostly enjoying One Shot by Lee Child, the first “Jack Reacher” adventure I’ve read, but #9 in the series, I tried another.

   This one was Nothing to Lose, which is #12 out of fifteen Reacher books, so far. The reason it took me all month to read it, or one of them, is that it’s 544 pages long. But another reason is that after a great opening setup — two adjoining towns in Colorado connected by a single highway, one called Hope, the other Despair — most of the 544 are not necessary. I think the technical name for this is “padding.” Lots of repetitious action, in other words, plus the female chief police officer of Hope has personal problems that Reacher of course takes on as his own.

   What I really found amusing — I think that’s the technical term — is that this book has gotten a terrific panning by the reviewers on Amazon. Some 169 reviews, out of 420, have given it only one star. A typical comment goes something like this. Well, to be truthful, it goes exactly like this:

    “I found it impossible to buy into the far-fetched ‘conspiracy theory’ with its pathetic ‘villains’ and was surprised at Child’s foray into political opinion (putting his opinions into Reacher’s mouth — which completely changed Reacher’s character). This was totally out of place, I thought, and awkward at best.”

   Turns out that the main villain is a born-again Christian with delusions of grandeur, and that Child’s foray into political opinion are some statements that come up relating to the war in Iraq.

   In any case, it looks like I’ve just reviewed the book after all.

    ? I think I’ve reviewed here all of the movies I’ve watched in June, except for the last two, which will be posted soon. I shall have to start forcing myself to take some time for reading, else I shall be falling even more behind. Otherwise I have been making my way through various TV shows on DVD in box sets, which I seldom report on here.

   To fill in that particular gap, though, at least in a small way, here are the ones I’m currently watching: Stargate Atlantis, the final season; Vega$, the one with Robert Urich, the first season; The Professionals, a 1970s British series about the fictional adventures of CI5, a high-powered governmental agency that handles security issues inside the country; NCIS, the first season; and Have Gun, Will Travel, also the first season.

    ? Tomorrow marks the 3.5th anniversary of this blog, which I believe has finally found its niche. It’s taken a while, having had no goals in mind to begin with, but the current mix of old and new reviews seems to be working. I don’t think many people celebrate their 3.5th anniversaries, and I probably won’t do anything out of the ordinary, but since it just occurred to me that that’s what it will be, I thought I might mention it.