The Mortal Instrements

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nora Roberts' Angels Fall [2007]

Explore the wilds of the Grand Tetons-and the mysteries of love, murder, and madness-in the engrossing and passionate story.

Reece Gilmore has come a long way to see the stunning view below her. As the sole survivor of a brutal crime back East, she has been on the run, desperately fighting the nightmares and panic attacks that haunt her. Reece settles in Angel's Fist, Wyoming-temporarily, at least-and takes a job at a local diner. And now she's hiked this mountain all by herself. It was glorious, she thought, as she peered through her binoculars at the Snake River churning below. 

Then Reece saw the man and woman on the opposite bank. Arguing. Fighting. And suddenly, the man was on top of the woman, his hands around her throat . . .

Enjoying a moment of solitude a bit farther down the trail is a gruff loner named Brody. But by the time Reece reaches him and brings him to the scene, the pair has vanished. When authorities comb the area where she saw the attack, they find nothing. No signs of struggle. No freshly turned earth. Not even a tire track. 

And no one in Angel's Fist seems to believe her. After all, she's a newcomer in town, with a reputation for being jumpy and jittery-maybe even a little fragile. Maybe it's time to run again, to move on . . . 

Reece Gilmore knows there's a killer in Angel's Fist, even if Brody, despite his seeming impatience and desire to keep her at arm's length, is the only one willing to believe her. When a series of menacing events makes it clear that someone wants her out of the way, Reece must put her trust in Brody-and herself-to find out if there is a killer in Angel's Fist before it's too late.

The film revolves around Reece Gilmore (Locklear), the sole survivor of a massacre at the Boston restaurant where she worked as a chef. Reece wants to escape her life, so she hits the open road with no destination in mind, desperate for a fresh start. When her car gives out in a picturesque Wyoming town, Reece takes a job at the local diner, hoping to earn enough cash to keep moving. But as she gets to know the townspeople, mystery writer Brody (Schaech) in particular, she considers putting the past behind her and settling down.

But then, while hiking, she witnesses a murder. Now, Reece is traumatized again, and not just by the killing; but also because, when the police go to check out the crime scene, there's no evidence of a murder taking place. The townspeople doubt her story, which leads everyone, including Reece, to question her sanity.

My Review:
I might be the only one, but I wished they picked a younger woman to play the part more in her thirties, Heather is beautiful but I found her unsuitable to play the love interest of this guy who looks younger than she is [she's 50 and he's 42 but he looks younger]. In real life, I don't care about age difference, but in a movie, I care. Movies are supposed to be perfect, real life isn't.

But that also happened in Carnal Innocence, the guy who played Tucker looks in his twenties while the woman looked in her forties! I wish they could get a more convincing cast.

But beside that, I really enjoy Nora's stories, and I can't wait to see which book would they adapt next. Finally, they are making good stories with romance.

My DVD Description:
As the sole survivor of a massacre at the Boston restaurant where she was a chef, it's no wonder Reece Gilmore (Heather Locklear) wants to escape her life. 

She hits the open road with no destination in mind, desperate for a fresh start. When her car gives out in a picturesque Wyoming town, Reece takes a job at the local diner, hoping to earn enough cash to keep moving. 

But as she gets to know the townspeople - especially a dashing young writer named Brody (Jonathan Schaech) - she considers putting the past behind her and settling down, until she witnesses a murder while hiking. 

Now she's traumatized again, and not just by the killing; when the cops investigate, there is absolutely no evidence of the murder, and everyone doubts her story - which leads Reece to question her own sanity.

Chapter Selections:
  1. Unexpected Stop
  2. The New Girl
  3. Long Glances
  4. Murder Witness
  5. Small Town Rhythm
  6. Back to Boston
  7. Making Nice
  8. Hunting Cap
  9. Crazy Thoughts
  10. Spreading Rumors
  11. Need to Stay
  12. Feeling Close

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Nora Roberts' High Noon [2009]

I think it's totally silly, not to be able to find so many good photos for this movie when the psycho took so many photos for Phoebe and her life! In any case, this movie was so smart, the ending with the pink rose was amazing and very smart. I loved the love scenes between Phoebe and Duncan. Though I wanted him to take her to nicer places now that he's a millionaire and all.

The film revolves around crisis negotiator, Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara (de Ravin). Phoebe struggles with the pressures of her job, raising her young daughter, and taking care of her agoraphobic mother (Shepard).

While talking down a suicidal man, Phoebe meets his ex-boss, Duncan Swift (Sergei), who can't resist her take-charge attitude, and attempts to earn her affections. Though she tries to resist his charms, Phoebe soon realizes no amount of negotiation will keep Duncan at arms length.

After being attacked and handcuffed by an unknown assailant in the staircase of her precinct, Phoebe starts receiving a series of mysterious and threatening messages. Soon, she discovers she is the target of a psychopathic killer, out to destroy her after the death of his fiancee in a bank robbery. He believes that her death is Phoebe's fault, as she was the negotiator working the case.

My DVD Description:

The hit suspense thriller based on the best-selling novel by Nora Roberts stars Emilie de Ravin as Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara, an expert hostage negotiator juggling a high-pressure career while caring for both her young daughter and mother [Cybill Shepherd].

When Phoebe meets handsome bar owner Duncan Swift [Ivan Sergei], no amount of negotiation will allow her to resist his charms.

Phoebe is assaulted by an unknown assailant, and later receives a series of mysterious threats. Suddenly Phoebe's the target of a psychopathic killer out to destroy her personally and professionally.

Police Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara found her calling at an early age, when a violently unstable man broke into her family’s home, trapping and terrorizing them for hours. 

Now she’s Savannah’s top hostage negotiator, who puts her life on the line every day to defuse powder-keg situations. Phoebe knows when to reach out and when to pull back - and when to jump in and take action, even if it means risking everything. 

It’s satisfying work - and sometimes those skills come in handy at home when Phoebe deals with her agoraphobic mother, still traumatized by the break-in after all these years, and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Carly. 

It’s exactly that heady combination of steely courage and sensitivity that first attracts Duncan Swift to Phoebe. After watching her talk one of his employees off a roof ledge, he is committed to keeping this intriguing, take-charge woman in his life. 

Phoebe’s used to working solo, but she’s finding that no amount of negotiation can keep Duncan at arm’s length. 

When she’s grabbed by a man who throws a hood over her head and brutally assaults her, Phoebe can’t help being deeply shaken. And when threatening messages appear on her doorstep, she’s not just alarmed but frustrated. How do you go face-to-face with an opponent who refuses to look you in the eye? 

Now, with Duncan backing her up every step of the way, she must establish contact with the faceless tormentor who is determined to make her a hostage to fear - before she becomes the final showdown.

T o get the DVD check amazon:

The movie's name was taken for the old movie "High Noon". It is a 1952 western film directed by Fred Zinnemann. The psycho following Phoebe always whistle the tone of the movie indicating revenge at 12 O'clock, because the woman he loved was murdered under Phoebe's watch around noon and because his name is Cooper.

Nora Roberts' Blue Smoke [2007]

Fire is born in heat and smoke and light, feeding on what has given it life. It takes what it wants, without remorse, without mercy.

A terrible beauty, that changes everything in one instant, and once it touches you, you are never the same.

I've been waiting a long time to walk into fire, to see the flames beckoning from behind a door. To touch the door, and feel the breath of the beast behind it, and open it anyway and let it out.

I first met fire on a cold November night 15 years ago, when I woke up with a stomach ache and saw the dancing lights in the window of my family's restaurant across the street. They looked so pretty.

[Reena thinking and remembering while doing her test] Of course it was blocked [the tunnel] I never really thought it was going to be easy.

I knew it even that night, when I saw the firemen fighting for Sirico's and losing. Our restaurant burnt to the ground, but it was so beautiful. I felt it almost like a pain inside me. Flames everywhere, sometimes violent, sometimes teasing, but always dancing.

And I wondered what it was like inside the fire, where the firemen went. And then I saw my dad was crying. And so was my mom. And I felt ripped in two, that something that filled me with so much wonder was hurting the people I loved. And that would be the story of my life.

As I walked out that night among the firefighters, as those brave men took those little cups from my tray, there was no other place that I would rather have been. And now, no other place I would rather be.

But darkness always follows fire, and in the morning, Sirico's was a dark, sad shell of its old self. I'd grown up here. I'd learned how to crawl on its floor. It has been the heart of my family. The whole neighborhood, really. And now, our heart was gone.

And then I saw him [talking about John Minger, her future partner] He walked right into the wreckage like this was where the work began. He would make sense of this. He would fix this. I knew he would, and I wanted to be just like him.

And I knew for all its beauty, fire is the color of anger. Fire is the color of hate.

If I had only know then what I know now. Some fire continue to burn and burn. That was the day my childhood ended. From that day on, my dreams were haunted by fire.

And I would learn firsthand all the pain it could bring, and the grief, and the terror, and how I couldn't let that stop me. This was my battle, and I was going to go for it.

I just had faced fire and come though it, but many I loved had not.

The blaze that night at her family's pizzeria changed young Reena Hale's life. For as Reena beheld the fire's brutal beauty and destructive power, her destiny began to take shape. She would understand and master its terrible force - and one day become an investigator herself. But she is not the only one fascinated by the flames. . . .

When Reena joins the arson unit, her strength and wits are constantly tested. Then she meets Bo Goodnight, who seems different. He's been trying to find Reena for years, and now that she is close enough to touch, he has no intention of letting go. 

Nor does the man who has begun to haunt Reena's life - with taunting phone calls and a string of horrifying crimes. And as Reena tries desperately to trace the origins - of the calls, the fires, the hatred aimed in her direction - she will step into the worst inferno she has ever faced.

My review:

This movie was the second movie I watched for Nora Roberts' Lifetime apdaptions, I got all three movies I found on DVD sale on a leap of faith. And from then on, I bought all the movies that have been released, now I'm a Nora Roberts fan, her movies lead me to her books, but that's another topic all together.

Reena's obsession with fire isn't something I could understand. I mean, yes, fire is beautiful to look at from a safe distance but Reena actually loves to get so close, dangerously so, and she always stands still entranced instead of putting the fire down.


Besides the fire obsession, this is actually a very romantic story. I love that Bo actually fell in love with Reena from the first sight, literally! I mean he saw her four years later and again he recognized her, calling her "The girl who stopped time". I love her Italian family and their gatherings.


One of the things I loved and noticed [at least about Robert's movies] is that all her characters (women) are strong and very independent, that for some reason there is always a move to a new home [moving is always fun in her movies], that the leading men are always understanding the woman they love and charming to the others. That when you think the crime wave is done, we discover another criminal, more dangerous than the first.

Chapter Selections: 
  1. Story of My Life
  2. Heat of Battle
  3. Facing Fire
  4. Someplace Quiet
  5. Special Occasion
  6. New Start
  7. Panic Stir
  8. Love Fire
  9. Research Findings
  10. Happy Flowers
  11. Family Plans
  12. Finding Fire

The first meeting between Bo and Reena:

Reena [walking outside checking her new garden, just saw her new neighbor]: Hey!
Bo [Not believe his eyes]: Oh, my God. It's you! Son of a bitch! There you are.
Reena [taken a back]: Yeah. Here I am. Yeah. [Coming closer to shake his hand] Catarina Hale. I just bought the house.
Bo [in awe]: Catarina Hale. Man...
Reena [get nervous] It's nice to meet you . I'm going to go back inside now.
Bo [not hearing her]: All these years. You're better than I remembered. How about that!
Reena [cautious]: Do I know you?
Bo [Still not hearing her]: I can't believe it! You're just here. Boom! Or maybe I'm hallucinating!
Reena [creeped and police observant]: Maybe you are. Does that happen to you often?
Bo [Not hearing still]: You were there, then you weren't. And you got away. You got away before I could reach you. And now you're here. You're talking to me and I'm talking to you.
Reena [backing away]: Not anymore!
Bo [waking up]: Wait. [Jumping over the fence] Wait.Wait.Wait.
Reena [pulling her gun]: Stay where you are! For God's sake, don't make me arrest you. I haven't even moved in yet.
Bo [admiring her in awe]: A cop? You're a cop? That's so cool. And you look really good. Okay. Hold on. Hold on. If I sound like a crazy person, it's just the shock. Please don't shoot me, at least until we get to know each other better. College Park, fall 2000. A party, crap! I don't know whose house it was. Group house off campus. Jill. Jesse? No. Jan. I think Jan somebody lived there.
Reena [intrigued and careful]: Keep going.
Bo: I didn't know anybody. I came with Brad, a friend. And I saw you across the room and you were wearing this little pink top and your hair was longer, just past your shoulder.
Reena [confused]: So I met you at a party?
Bo [as if she didn't speak]: The music stopped. It was a moment for me. And I saw you and I was like... Pow! By the time I got across the room you were gone.
Reena [really confused]: Let me get this straight. So you saw me across the room at a party six years ago and you remember what I was wearing?!
Bo: I've seen you several times in the past six years, but we were always going in different directions, but at that party, for a minute, there was just you. I know that sounds weird, but there it is. I thought I made you up, but I didn't. [Bo backing away now, because he could see that he scared her] I mean, look, you're here.
Reena [with humor]: Well, you're still a weirdo.
Bo [coming closer again]: Not criminally. You can invite me in for coffee.
Reena [her face is saying "is this guy for real!?]: I don't have coffee.
Bo:  Well, you could come over to my place. I live right next door. You could come over for a beer or a soda or the rest of your life. [Bo getting excited again] Why don't I make you dinner? Take you to dinner? Take you to Jamaica? [Reena got scared and careful again] Man, I can't believe how completely I'm screwing this up. Let me start over. Bo. Bowen Goodnight.
Reena [laughs finally at Bo's name, and he knows it and doesn't care]: No!
Bo: Yeah.


After watching a fire burn her family's Baltimore pizzeria to the ground, 11 year old Reena Hale (Witt) decides she wants to be an arson investigator when she grows up. And with the help of mentor John Minger (Bakula), who she met during the investigation of her family's restaurant, Reena recognizes her dream.

Years later, the grown up Reena buys a house in the old neighborhood, moving in next door to carpenter Bo Goodnight (Settle). As Reena and Bo embark on a relationship, a psychopathic arsonist from her past begins wreaking havoc on her life. Reena's stalker threatens her life, and those of her loved ones.

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My DVD Description:
Get ready for a suspenseful ride with a movie that's all about passion, family, foot and fire! After witnessing an uncontrollable blaze burn her family's pizzeria to the ground when she was just 11 years old, it's no wonder that Reena (Alicia Witt) decides to become an arson investigator.

Now, years later, our all-grown-up heroine decides to visit the old neighborhood, where she finds true romance with a hunky carpenter named Bo Goodnight (Matthew Settle). But Reena is swiftly knocked off cloud nine when she discovers that a psycho connected to her past has resurfaced to wreak havoc in her life.

It turns out this villain has an unhealthy obsession with torching things or people who are near and dear to Reena. Now she must use her sleuthing skills to snare this pyromaniac before her life and love go up in flames - literally!

Woman on Top [2000]

Woman on Top must be one of my top favorite movies! I've seen it so many times to count. I love everything in it. It makes me laugh and sigh with every passionate dish and kiss. Monica alone should have her own show, she is hilarious!

Once upon a time, in the land of bossanova, lived a girl named Isabella. When she was born, the gods blessed her with extraordinary beauty... but overlooked one itty-bitty flaw: motion sickness.

Her parents tried everything. Conventional medicine, organized religion... alternative religion. Nothing worked.

Until Yemanja... Goddess of the Sea, took pity on the child and compensated her with a gift. Too frail to play with her friends... Isabella spent her days in the kitchen with the family cook.

She blossomed into a shy but dazzling girl... who could melt the paletes and the heart of men. Isabella dreamed of traveling the world and becoming a famous chef. But when she laid eyes on the dashing Toninho, all her dreams took flight.

It was love... at first bite.

They fell so madly in love that they knew nothing could ever keep them apart.

With Isabella's exotic dishes, Toninho's new restaurant was the hottest spot in Brazil. She did all the work. He got all the credit.

And though she got job offers from all over the planet... Isabella's dreams of worldwide glory would melt away in Toninho's irresistible embrace.

Now, Isabella could control her motion sickness only by controlling her motions. If she always drove, if she always led, if she always stayed on top, everything was just fine.

Ah, but some men must always appear to be men... No matter what it may coast.

[Toninho cheats on Isabella and she prays for Yemanja to make her strong enough to leave him]

Her prayers were answered. And thus begins our story of love, motion sickness, and the art of cooking. 


All her life, Isabella has suffered from motion sickness. Because of her illness she couldn't play much with other children. She stayed at home and learned how to cook, becoming a renowned chef as an adult. She fell in love with Toninho and they opened a restaurant together, with Isabella stuck in the kitchen and Toninho out front taking the credit.

The only way for Isabella to control her motion sickness is to control her motion. She must drive, take stairs instead of elevators, lead while dancing and must be on top during sex. Toninho feels emasculated by this and has an affair with a neighbor. 

Isabella flees Brazil for San Francisco and her friend Monica, an African-American transsexual who spent her early years in Isabella's fishing community in Salvador. Despite old job offers from a number of restaurants, Isabella is unable to find a job until she takes over a cooking class at a local culinary school.

"I think that to cook well, you must bring all your feelings and experience to the act of creation... Let's start with my passion: chilli peppers. The come from the Americas, and were found here long before the arrival of Columbus. Hold them in your hand. Notice the colors. Now sniff."

"So now here's my favorite: Malagueta pepper. Don't be fooled by it's size. On the heat scale it is a very hot ten. But what I love most about it is its smell. Its aroma. And a flavor you can never forget."

"So when you work with chillies, remember to coat your fingers with oil. So your skin won't burn. The smooth flavor of a chilli is found on the outside part. The part that burns are the ribs and seeds. That's where the fire comes from."

Cliff, a neighbor and local television producer, smells her cooking, follows her to class and signs her to host a live cooking show, Passion Food.

She makes Monica her assistant on the show. Isabella performs a sacrifice to Yemanja, a Brazilian sea goddess, to harden her heart and make her never love Toninho again.

The ingredients to forget Toninho:
Find 4 fat Mephistophelean crabs.
Two ripe female mangoes.
12 drops of midnight rain.
The feather of a black rooster.
The eyes of two boiled catfish.
Sprinkle the ashes of an old burnt photograph on top.

Back in Brazil, Toninho's restaurant is foundering without Isabella. Toninho curses Yemanja and the fishermen stop catching any fish. He figures out that Isabella has gone to Monica and follows her to San Francisco.

On Passion Food Live, Isabella ends her show by advising people: "The last and most important ingredient is to share it with someone you love."

He spots her on television and tracks her to the studio.

Toninho: "How could she? Squeezing her coconuts for all the world to see!
The Taxi Driver: "Your girlfriend's a stripper, man? Mine, too. You get used to it."

Toninho telling Isabella: "Your skin tasted of salt and your hair held a scent of cinnamon. And when you kissed me your lips burned with chilli pepper. It made my head spin."

Toninho: "Isabella, I swear on my mother's grave, you are the only woman I ever loved."

Isabella: "Your mother is still alive."

With a group of local street musicians, Toninho sneaks into the studio and onto the set, serenading Isabella on the live broadcast. Cliff hires Toninho and the musicians for the show over Isabella's objections. Isabella pursues a relationship with Cliff but Toninho continues trying to win her back.

Toninho: "You wouldn't understand. You're not a man."
Monica: "Toninho... that's probably the nicest thing you ever said to me.

Monica: "Why don't you try to be her friend?"Toninho: "Her friend?"Monica: "Trust me, I watch a lot of Oprah. Friendship is the basis of any relationship."Toninho: "A relationship. We didn't have a relationship. We were in love!"Monica: "Like Romeo and Juliet?"Toninho: "Yes!"Monica: "Or Tristan and Isolde?"Toninho: "Yes!"Monica: "Sonny and Cher."Toninho: "Yes!"Monica: "They all ended up dead, except for Cher."Toninho: "Dead, but in love."

Network executives offer to syndicate Isabella's show nationally, but only after demanding a number of changes, including firing Monica. With the restaurant closed, Toninho apologizes to Yemanja, but tells her to "stay out of [his] business" with Isabella. He quits the show and makes another attempt to win back Isabella. Isabella goes after him but has to take an elevator, and her motion sickness slows her enough to allow Toninho to depart. Isabella also quits the show rather than accept the changes demanded by the network.

Isabella, with her love still gone but now wanting it returned, tries to cook another sacrifice to Yemanja but finds her cooking talent is gone. Undaunted, Monica substitutes some boxed macaroni and cheese. Isabella makes the second offering but nearly drowns. She has a vision of Yemanja, who rejects her new offering.

Isabella goes to collect her things from the television studio. Toninho, sent by Monica, shows up and suggests they cook something together. As they cook, the fish return to the village waters and Yemanja returns Isabella's original offering along with her love for Toninho.

The film closes with Toninho and Isabella operating a new restaurant as equal partners and with Cliff and Monica as a couple.

The Soundtrack [Music by Luis Bacalov]
  • Flor E O Espinho
  • Falsa Baiana by Paulinho Moska
  • O Ultimo Por Do Sol
  • Obsessão/Não Me Diga Adeus/Pois E/A Flor E O Espinho by Maria Creusa
  • Nos Bracos de Isabel 
  • Berekeke by Geraldo Azeredo
  • É Doce Morrer No Mar
  • Sonho Meu
  • Acordei 
  • Cinzas (The Breaker of Hearts)
  • Chão de Estrelas
  • Você
  • Falsa Baiana [BossaCucaNova Remix]
  • Brazil 
  • Aquarda de Brasil by Katla Morses
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The movie's posters and DVD:

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