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, March 3, 2016

Favorite Sci Fi Movies

I was writing about how my favorite Sci Fi franchises, like Star Wars and Star Trek ended up taking turns for the worse as they moved forward. I stressed how Star Wars, after their second movie, never recaptured the magic of the first two releases, and how Star Trek, after the original series, never could put out a decent movie if its life depended on it.

But that doesn't mean there weren't some great Sci Fi movies. There certainly were. Here is a list of my all time favorite Sci Fi movies, not necessarily in any particular order.

Dune
I know there has been a lot of criticism about this movie. But as someone who never read the book, I was very much impressed with this movie. I thought the writing, the plot, the actors, the casting, the directing, and the overall production were nothing less than great.








2001: A Space Odyssey
Unlike Dune, this movie had no one criticizing it. And rightly so.











Forbidden Planet
I think this movie is vastly underrated. Imo, it was a movie way ahead of its time.









War of the Worlds
The original, of course. The George Pal production. It was an excellent updated version of the HG Wells novel. Those Martian war machines were awesome.






Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
Yeah, the title is corny as hell. The acting and production are dated. But this movie is a sentimental favorite. Those flying saucers by Ray Harryhausen were amazing. Liked the aliens, too.




Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back
The first two installments of the Star Wars franchise definitely make my list. But only the first two.











Sure there's a lot of other Sci Fi movies that would probably make other peoples' lists. Like Avatar, the original Day the Earth Stood Still, Blade Runner, Close Encounters, Terminator, Alien, and many more... But for me, the above listed movies are my personal favorites. Sadly, as I was saying yesterday, not a single Star Trek movie makes this list. That's too bad, because if I were talking about TV series, then the original Star Trek would be #1.


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