Archer #5

In this season the team moves from being a spy agency (after it is revealed ISIS was never sanctioned by the U.S. government), to embarking on a life of crime as they attempt to sell cocaine.

50 “White Elephant”
ISIS is raided and disbanded by the U.S. government when it transpires that the agency was never sanctioned by them. Cyril, Pam, Cheryl, Krieger and Ray promptly spill the beans about all of ISIS’s operations, while Lana and Archer creatively break out of custody, only to find that Malory has managed to get everyone off the hook, on the condition that ISIS be dismantled immediately.

51 “A Kiss While Dying”
Disguised as a doctor and nurse, Archer and Lana take twenty kilos of cocaine – hidden in plaster covering Pam’s entire body to a deal with an unknown buyer.

52 “A Debt of Honor”
The gang decides to use the counterfeit money to buy guns but Pam takes it instead to buy amphetamines from the Yakuza. They trace Pam down (as she had left full and detailed listing of living at Cheryl’s mansion at her old apartment) as the Yakuza boss, Mr. Moto demands the drugs be returned.

53 “House Call”
As the gang discusses their diminishing coke supply and sending Pam to rehab, an FBI agent knocks on the door. Because he was invited in by Woodhouse, the gang fears they will be incriminated by their coke pile under the plain view doctrine.

54 “Southbound and Down”
With Charlene on the verge of discovery, Archer pays for an extravagant tour bus to get the gang to Texas for her debut performance.

55 “Baby Shower”
With Krieger operating an online pharmacy to distribute the cocaine to buyers, the gang has the free time to throw a neglected Lana a baby shower.

56 “Smugglers’ Blues”
Without Malory’s knowledge or permission, Archer takes some of the cocaine to South America, dragging Cyril and Ray along.

57 “The Rules of Extraction”
When the jeep carrying them crashes, Archer, Cyril and Ray (who has supposedly become paralyzed yet again) have to navigate their way through a jungle river, forcing Archer to confront his fear of crocodiles.

58 “On the Carpet”
Archer avoids crash landing in a dangerous swamp only to come face-to-face with a shady arms dealer.

59 “Palace Intrigue: Part I”
Archer and the rest of the ISIS gang are the guests of Gustavo Calderon, dictator of fictional Central American country San Marcos, and his wife Juliana.

60 “Palace Intrigue: Part II”
Archer tries to keep his fling with the dictator’s wife a secret while Krieger bonds with his clone-brothers.

61 “Filibuster”
Cyril becomes the new president of San Marcos and forcibly takes Juliana as his wife, Charlene becomes the first lady of country music, and Archer becomes a resistance fighter.

62 “Arrival/Departure”
Archer and later Malory and Pam help Lana with the delivery of her baby while Krieger, who after fighting and defeating his clones does not sufficiently prove to Ray that he isn’t actually one of the clones. Lana reveals to Archer that he is the father of her baby girl, since she took a sample of his sperm due to his physical specimen and her attraction to him.

Mech 0

Mech Zero: The Dominant
(Imperium #0)
by B. V. Larson (2012)

Out along the rim of the galaxy hangs a loose configuration of some sixty stars known as the Faustian Chain. This whorl of sparkling suns is rich in planets and occupies an irregular volume of space some twenty lightyears in diameter. From an external viewpoint, the Chain presents a colorful display of plasma-streams, luminous nebulae and sparkling pinpoints of light.

The human colonists who settled the Chain were aware the region had recently been populated by other species–beings that had all but vanished after waging devastating wars thousands of years in the past.


This a a short novelette length prequel to the series. Two civilizations, one peaceful, the other Militaristic.
On tries to take over, but encounters an unknown alien. Things go badly.

Entertaining as usual from B. V. Larson, this is a mash-up of Starship Troopers and Alien.

Postscript: The next book turned out to be not very good. Surprisingly confusing plot for this author.

Archer #4

 

37 “Fugue and Riffs”
Archer has amnesia, brought about by the trauma of watching his mother get married, and believes he is now a fry cook at a burger joint called Bob’s Burgers.

38 “The Wind Cries Mary”
Archer sets out to clear the name of a former ISIS agent who was his best friend, but there is more to him than Archer believes.

Timothy Olyphant as Lucas Troy

39 “Legs”
Krieger offers to give Ray the power to walk again.

40 “Midnight Ron”
Ron Cadillac’s past is revealed and step-father and son bonding occurs as Ron rescues Archer from Montreal.

41 “Viscous Coupling”
Katya enlists Archer’s help to bring Barry back from space.

42 “Once Bitten”
A snake bites Archer’s taint during a covert operation to blow up an oil pipe.

43 “Live and Let Dine”
When there is a threat against the Albanian ambassador, the ISIS agents investigate the threat undercover in Lance Casteau’s restaurant.

Anthony Bourdain as Lance Casteau

44 “Coyote Lovely”
Sterling Archer’s weakness for beautiful women bungles a Border Patrol mission.

45 “The Honeymooners”
Archer and Lana go undercover as a couple on their honeymoon to catch North Korean terrorists attempting to buy uranium.

46 “Un Chien Tangerine”
Archer and Lana extract an agent from Morocco only to find out his bark is worse than his bite.

47 “The Papal Chase”
Archer, Lana and Pam are sent to the Vatican to try to prevent an assassination on the Pope by using Woodhouse as a decoy.

48 12 “Sea Tunt: Part I”
ISIS is sent on a mission to recover a hydrogen bomb from a crashed B-52 with the help of Cheryl’s brother and his girlfriend.

Jon Hamm as Captain Hazel “Hank” Murphy,
Kristen Schaal as Tiffy

49 13 “Sea Tunt: Part II”
Murphy threatens to detonate nerve-gas missiles over the Eastern Seaboard unless his demands are met.
It is revealed that Lana is pregnant.

1917

1917 is a 2019 British epic war film directed, co-written, and produced by Sam Mendes.

The film stars George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, with Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

The film tells the story of two young British soldiers during the First World War who are ordered to deliver a message calling off an attack doomed to fail soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich in 1917.

The film won Oscars for Cinematography, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.

This is an intense film. From the start the tension is on as the young soldier is given a task. And he’s off. The single continuous shot style adds to the tension, dragging the viewer along through the trenches, across fields and through a hell-scape of fire damaged buildings. It’s an impressive visual feat. But it still delivers an emotional impact.

The story is very simple, but my issue would be with the Mark Strong character. He should have understood the importance of the task and assigned soldiers to help.

An impressive film, and deserving of its ten Oscar nominations.

 

Deepfire

Deepfire: A Jack Scarlet Adventure
by Dan McGirt (2017)

Danger waits beneath the waves…

A desperate call for help propels action ace Jack Scarlet to the Gulf of Mexico to stalk a sea monster, battle an army of ruthless mercenaries, outwit a scheming dictator, and find a vanished research ship and the sexy scientist who disappeared along with it.

Jack Scarlet is some mix of the Lone Ranger, James Bond and Houdini. McGirt is probably better known for his comedy fantasies.

Here he takes on a thriller, but without the humour. Instead it’s an over the top action adventure where the hero escapes almost every encounter to defeat the bad guys. And when he doesn’t, it’s just to that we can get lots of exposition from the villain regarding his evil plot.

Not the best of its type, but fun and fast paced.

 

 

Rabbit Jo

Jojo Rabbit is a comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi, based on Christine Leunens’s book Caging Skies.

Roman Griffin Davis portrays the title character, Johannes “Jojo” Betzler, a Hitler Youth member who finds out his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic.

He must then question his beliefs, while dealing with the intervention of his imaginary friend, a fanciful version of Adolf Hitler (Waititi). The film also stars Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, and Sam Rockwell.

Jojo Rabbit was chosen by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute as one of the ten best films of the year.

At the 92nd Academy Awards, the film received six nominations, including Best Picture and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Johansson, and Waititi won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

At the 77th Golden Globe Awards the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – Musical or Comedy for Davis.

Parasite

Parasite is a 2019 South Korean dark comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Han Jin-won.

It follows the members of a poor family who scheme to become employed by a wealthy family by infiltrating their household and posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals.

The film became the first South Korean film to win the Palme d’Or and the first film to win with a unanimous vote since “Blue Is the Warmest Colour” at the 2013 Festival.

It was then released in South Korea by CJ Entertainment on 30 May 2019. It received universal critical acclaim, and has been hailed as one of the greatest South Korean films ever made and one of the best films of the 2010s.

Parasite won four awards at the 92nd Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film.

It became the first South Korean film to receive Academy Award recognition, as well as the first non-English language film to win Best Picture.

At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, it won the award for Best Foreign Language Film.

It received four nominations at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, winning Best Film Not in the English Language and Best Original Screenplay.

It also became the first non-English language film to win the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

 

Archer #3

24 “Heart of Archness: Part I”
Malory hires an adventurer named Rip Riley to find Archer, who has been missing since Katya Kasanova sacrificed herself to save Archer on their wedding day. Rip finds him on a tropical island, but Archer has no interest in leaving.

David Cross as Noah.

25 “Heart of Archness: Part II”
After being captured by pirates, Archer emerges as Pirate King, but he has bit off more than he can chew, getting little help from his first mate, Noah.

26 “Heart of Archness: Part III”
Archer, Rip, Lana and Ray try to escape the island. Meanwhile, Cyril realizes he hid all the agency’s money while drunk and has to find a way to get it back.

27 “The Man from Jupiter”
Archer is overjoyed when he meets personal hero, Burt Reynolds, only to find out that Reynolds is dating his mother, Malory.
Burt Reynolds as himself

28 “El Contador”
Against her other agents’ wishes, Malory promotes Cyril to field agent and sends him with Archer and Lana to capture a drug lord, where they find out he might actually have a talent for it.

29 “The Limited”
ISIS helps The Royal Canadian Mounted Police capture a Canadian terrorist while on a high speed train.

30 “Drift Problem”
When his birthday present of a spy car is stolen, Archer’s quest to get it back leads to a conflict with the Yakuza.
George Takei as “Mr. Moto”

31 “Lo Scandalo”
Malory claims to have been framed for killing her long-time lover, the Italian prime minister, and the gang have to help her cover up the crime fast.

32 “Bloody Ferlin”
Archer and Lana discover that Ray has been faking his paralysis all along when he’s caught stealing weapons from ISIS.

33 “Crossing Over”
When Barry becomes the head of the KGB, Jakov decides to defect to the U.S.

34 “Skin Game”
Krieger revives Katya as a cyborg but Archer is jarred by her inhuman nature despite his love for her.

35 “Space Race: Part I”
The team receive emergency Space Training; before heading to The Danger Zone, this time an international space station called Horizon where murderous mutineers have apparently gained control.
Bryan Cranston as Commander Tony Drake

36 “Space Race: Part II”
Archer and the rest of ISIS are held captive by mutineers on the Space Station Horizon.