Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Jason Statham Quits Transporter Franchise

When I happened upon the movie The Transporter, as I was channel surfing one day, I was impressed with the actor Jason Statham. It was the first time I had ever seen or even heard of Jason Statham, and he became one of my favorite actors based on his performance in that movie.

And The Transporter became one of my all time favorite movies. I was thrilled that they turned it into a franchise, and I looked forward to the two additional sequels. Of course I wanted it to continue, and a fourth Transporter movie is coming out soon. But I was very disappointed to learn that Jason Statham is no longer the actor in the franchise. I learned that he turned down the role, due to insufficient payment and because the scripts of future films were not available at the time they wanted him to sign.

To me, it's equivalent to Sean Connery quitting the James Bond franchise. Jason Statham was the transporter. Just as Connery was Bond. And now I no longer care about seeing any more Transporter movies. I will pass on this fourth one coming up. Just think if Vin Diesel quit being Riddick! That's how I feel about Statham as Frank Martin in The Transporter.

Again we have an example of the owners of a movie franchise blowing their franchise by being cheap when it comes to paying the actor who made it work. This new guy, whose name I forget, is not Frank Martin, the transporter. He has no charisma and is not a convincing hero by his looks, actions, or personality. Hollywood disappoints. But it's not unusual.

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