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.



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dustin Clare in Strike Back

I had become somewhat of a Dustin Clare fan after seeing him in the STARZ show Spartacus, and I had been thinking he'd be right for the role of my Killer of Killers' main character Trent Smith, if a dream came true and it was made into a movie. But after starring in Spartacus and stealing the show, so to speak, Dustin Clare has been invisible on the big and small screens. Meaning he's had no significant roles in any show or movie since Spartacus.

I was glad to learn that he was going to return to TV in CineMax's  Strike Back series, and I was eager to see him again as a character in an Action show/series. But he only made an appearance in one or two of the episodes, and they were very small parts at that. Maybe he'll come back in some future episodes, but even so, the character he plays seems to be an underrepresentation of his potential.

Spartacus made the most of his potential, and he sprang into the world of TV shows with the character Gannicus, a gladiator champion. The role, albeit not the starring role, which was Spartacus himself, was still a major character in the Spartacus series, and in the prequel, which introduced the character Gannicus, he was the main character. And what a great job he did. He had a natural presence on the screen, and he pulled off the role beautifully.

I was convinced he'd make a great Trent Smith. Ideally, a real life martial arts champion would be cast in the role of Trent Smith, seeing as how I proclaim the character to be the world's greatest martial artist. But the great martial arts actors are getting too old at this time. Jean Claude Van Damm, Steven Seagal, and even Jet Li are in their fifties by now. But even in their prime none of them were right for the part. Of the three, only Jean Claude Van Damm might have worked. But he's a Belgian, and Trent Smith is American, and unless Van Damm was able to lose his French Accent, he wouldn't have been right for the part. Jet Li is Chinese, so that would eliminate him, because Trent Smith is not Chinese. And Steven Seagal, being a tall man, would not have been right for the role either.

It's about acting, however. The Kung Fu star David Carradine played a great martial artist, and he knew nothing of the martial arts. But it didn't matter. He was an actor, and he acted. That's why they call it acting. If anything it proved experience as a real life martial artist is not necessary. Dustin Clare has proven to me he's a solid actor, and even though he's from Australia, he could act like an American, which is what he plays in his role in Strike Back. If nothing else, his role in Strike Back proves he could play the part of an American.

I hope the Strike Back role expands for Clare, and if it does, he can show his acting ability is more than up to the task. Then he'd be ready to tackle his breakout role: Trent Smith, the world's greatest martial artist in Killer of Killers.


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