The Rise of the Guardian (The Guardian Series) by Jennifer Ogden




There is good news and bad news here…  * 

Normally I would not be reviewing a children’s book but was intrigued by the premise of this one so here is an honest gut reaction.

The good news is that as a children’s book, the story would be perfect for a child who is learning to read, or for an adult to read to their child. There is a moral regarding things which can be used for good or bad depending on one’s approach and attitude, an excellent lesson for all of us. The story is simplistic which does make it a good children’s tale.

The bad news is the reason for the one star review. The author appears to have written and published a first draft. Because of that the book suffers from a lack of editing, correct spelling, and structure. All the major criticisms of self published books are present here. The author states in her bio that they have a passion for writing. This is a good story, that just needs a passion for good writing.

The Counselor

one cigar

One cigar


One might think that a movie with Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, and Carmen Diaz would be fairly good.  If you did, this film proves you wrong.

Michael Fassbender plays a character that we never really understand.  His motivation is not clear and the film does not produce any conflict to be addressed.  Any good story should have at least one of these two.  This one lacks both.

Being the generous reviewer that I am , I am giving this one cigar, because if I showed you an empty box you might not get my meaning, kinda like this movie.

The Wolf of Wall Street

two cigars

Two cigars


Having been in sales most of my life, I enjoy a good movie that shows the ups and downs of a salesman.  One of my favorites of this type was “Glengarry, Glen Ross”.  While “Wolf” is okay, I felt it was not all that great.

Based on a true story it does show the excess of too much too soon, but as a film I found myself not buying it.  Truth be told Leonardo Dicaprio does a good job acting the part of the real life Jordan Belfort, but one good character does not make a movie.

Probably the scariest part of this story is the greed that is so easily tapped into, but that is a review of a different kind.   This one gets two cigars out of five.

Dallas Buyer’s Club

two cigars

Two Cigars



Okay, sorry, going against the grain on this one.  The film was well done and well acted, which the Academy Awards recognized.  But it was not all that great.  While the acting was good, no way in my mind was it better or even close to that of American Hustle.

I like Matthew McConaughey as an actor and in “True Detectives” he was fantastic, but there was nothing spectacular in this film.  The movie drags as the story develops and nothing about it amazed me.

Going to have to give this one two cigars out of five.


Captain America (The Winter Soldier)…

three cigars

Three Cigars



Or as my wife likes to say, Captain USA.

As super heroes go I could never quite get into this guy.  Even as a kid who read all (or most) of the super hero comic books, this was one that never got me interested.  Because of that background I had skipped the first movie, but after reading all the rave reviews of this one I had to see it.

I will say I was surprised.  The acting is good, the story line almost believable, and the special effects did not overpower the film.  As with any of these types of movies one can’t look too close to some of the scenes, especially when our hero falls way too far to end up clinging to the side of an airship.  But it kept my interest and even though it is long I never felt the need to leave early.

I won’t spoil any of the plot but there was not anything that you couldn’t predict here.  One of the reviewers that I read said that this was the best super hero movie in a long time.  I will agree if by long time he means since the first Thor.

So with all that I give it three cigars out of five