The Mortal Instrements

Monday, February 27, 2012

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.

To get the DVD, check

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!

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