Showing posts from 2015

Movie review: Spectre, on the Saturday Evening Blog Post, Edition #18

J ames Bond is more than a character in film and liter a ture . James Bond is an icon , a fact that makes it exponentially more difficult for the direct ors, pro ducers and actors o f any given Bond film, who have--in addition to ev er ything else-- poste rity to face. Bon d films endure; Bo nd films collect on shelves and cases ; Bond films are a genre of their own . And so I am sure t hat it was not without some trepidation that director Sam Mendes se t about making Spec tre, the 24th Bond film i n a 52-year era. As any Bon d fan can tell you, the opening scene from a Bond film sets the stage for the movie -- in dramatic fas hion --and the opening s ce ne in Spectre sets the stage in classic Bond style , b rash and spectacular , leaving you r mouth watering f or more. The cinematography is consistent and excellent , subtle in p laces and over the top in the others , another trademark of the g enre. The locations are every thing you have come to expect ; sp lashy, histo

Fifty is the New Fifty: The Saturday Evening Blog Post, Edition#17

We have all heard it before, Sixty is the new Forty, and now, the recent corollary, Fifty is the new thirty. Well, having turned 51 this past March, I am taking objection. Yes, that's right, you heard me: I am fifty, dammit, and I don't want to be thirty again. Being thirty again would mean I would have to give away 20 years of hard-earned experience, and I am not willing to do that. Being 30 again would also mean I have to: Throw out two decades of learning and knowledge. Hell NO! Wipe clean nearly a quarter century of memories, both good and bad. Nahhhh. I earned every grey hair and wrinkle, and I am going to keep them. There is a greater point here, though, (and sooner or later I am going to get around to making it.)   We live in a culture that is dominated by youth. If you need evidence of this, just turn on the TV. In less than one program, you will be assaulted by advertisements promising you that you can look younger, feel younger, and, yes, even be younger. (J

The #MINI Book Review: The Girl on the Train

There is a trick to reviewing a book. The trick is this: don't lose sight of the forest through the trees. It's hard to do, I have to admit, but you have to remember that a novel is a story, and while it is intellectually satisfying to judge the plotting and the pacing and the characterization etc, a novel lives and dies by the story it tells. I tell you this because I just finished The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and there were several times I lost sight of the forest through the trees, several times I forgot that a good story was being told because I was too concerned about flaws in the writing, the multiple Point of View issues, the problems with voice etc. But there is a reason I couldn't do anything (including basic hygiene) except flip the pages as I neared the conclusion: I wanted to get to the end of the story, to see what happened. The  Girl on the Train is a good, suspenseful read, and if that is your cup of tea, then click on the link below and get rig

Good Health, Longevity and the Hunter-Gatherer Diet

It's so easy, even a Caveman can do it, and, no, I am not talking about saving fifteen per cent with Geico. I refer to the #paleo diet, of course, which I like to call the Hunter-Gatherer Diet. If you: need to lose some weight; have sugars on the high side; can't see your toes. The H/G diet (or lifestyle) is for you! Wait a second! How is it (you ask) that I am extolling the virtues of the Hunter-Gatherer Diet when the average life expectancy of a Hunter-Gatherer was 25 years of age? It's a good question: Here's my answer: Hunter-Gatherer's died of three things: a)infection, b) infant mortality, and c) their environment. a) Hunter-Gatherers didn't have ready access to antibiotics. Remember that penicillin was discovered less than 100 years ago. Infections, especially respiratory infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, and gastrointestinal infections such as amoebic and parasitic infections as well as dysentery, were usually lethal to the H/G. b) Est

The Mia Thompson Interview

Today, I have the great privilege to announce something new and exciting on PeterHogenkampWrites: the AuthorInterview series, because if you know what an author's favorite cookie is (see question #9) you are much more likely to buy her books. My daughter Abby's favorite author, Mia Thompson, is in the spotlight today, and I have to say that Mia did a masterful job of answering the questions. Thanks, Mia. Before we begin, a quick bit about Mia: ​ Mia Thompson was born in Sweden and moved to the United States at the age of 19 to attend the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. She graduated with a degree in screenwriting in 2007 and has since become the author of a bestselling New Adult Thriller series about Beverly Hills heiress and vigilante, Sapphire Dubois. The series’ first two novels, STALKING SAPPHIRE and SILENCING SAPPHIRE, were published by Diversion Books in 2013. Q#1: If you could rewrite one of the scenes from Game of Thrones, which scene would you

The Rant of the Season: Pumpkin belongs in Pie. Period.

Pumpkin belongs in Pie. Period. (And maybe bisque, especially if it's finished with sherry.) But there should be no Pumpkin flavoring in bagels, coffee, vodka (really?), tortilla chips and beer. Pumpkin flavored Pringles (no, I do not jest) are an abomination against natural law. Allow me to illustrate what happens when the epidemic of flavoring everything with pumpkin gets out of control: I was in a hurry, trying to get a cup of coffee at the airport before my flight boarded. The line seemed pretty short at Starbucks, so I decided to brave it. And things started well--although I should have known that the lady in front of me carrying her dog was going to be a problem. "How are you today?" the dog lady asked. No answer from the barista, just a harried smirk. "You got any specials today?" The barista indicated the chalkboard, where a Pumpkin Spice Latte was featured.  "Pumpkin Spice, eh? What does it taste like?" (Editors