I love stories in all forms, from books to movies to TV shows to video games to music. Stories bring us together, move us, and can inspire self-reflection. Several years back, I discovered how audiobooks can make a good story great by having a deft narrator breathe it to life. John Lithgow is one such narrator. His iconic voice has served him well in a variety of roles, including the narrator of his autobiography entitled Drama, which I bought through Audible and thoroughly enjoyed. With this in mind, I was eager to listen to Stories By Heart, an Audible Original that’s part of the Audible Theater collection of audiobooks.
On its face, the film appeared to be a predictable thriller. But as I peeled back its layers, a well-constructed plot, inspired by the Agatha Christie novel, And Then There Were None, presented itself.
The film’s director, James Mangold, best known for Girl, Interrupted and Walk The Line, did an excellent job. Identity moved at a nice clip, had a dark mood and interesting flashback transitions.
While all of the actors turned in solid performances, Ray Liotta stole the show, quickly followed by the always consistent John Cusack. Amanda Peet also did a fine job of injecting her enigmatic character with humor and sarcasm.
If you’re a fan of mysteries and thrillers, Identity is worth your time. It’s an enjoyable film that will keep your interest from start to finish.
John Lithgow is one of my favorite actors, and I’m currently enjoying listening to the audiobook version of his autobiography, Drama: An Actor’s Education. Whether he was playing a serious Shakespearian role or a hilarious goof, Lithgow’s versatility as an actor garnered him numerous awards and fans over the years.
Below are two videos: One is a fan-made compilation of some of Lithgow’s best work on 3rd Rock from the Sun, and the other is an interview about the aforementioned autobiography.
In 2002, M. Night Shyamalan released one of my all-time favorite films: Signs. While the premise – aliens invading Earth and using crop circles for navigation purposes – sounds uninspired, at the heart of the film you’ll find a story about a man questioning his faith. It dealt with love, loss, family, and resolution, and it did so beautifully. The entire cast did a fantastic job, but Mel Gibson stole the show; his ability to convey emotion without uttering a word is marvelous. The script was suspenseful and well written, and the score, composed by James Newton Howard, was breathtaking.
What are your thoughts on Signs? Did you love it, hate it or feel indifferent about it? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section.
Below you’ll find my favorite scene from the film as well as the official trailer.
“One more time? For the audience?” he says. His voice isn’t angry. It’s hollow, which is worse. Already the boy with the bread is slipping away from me. I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I will finally have to let go.”
“Katniss,” Gale says softly.
I recognize that voice. It’s the same one he uses to approach wounded animals before he delivers a deathblow. I Instinctively raise my hand to block his words but he catches it and holds on tightly.
Don’t,” I whisper.
But Gale is not one to keep secrets from me.
“Katniss, there is no District Twelve.”
“You love me. Real or not real?”
I tell him, “Real.”