Movie Review – The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Hitman's BodyguardThe Hitman’s Bodyguard is an action adventure comedy featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds. And you would be surprised, there really is not much violence and swearing…who am I kidding, this is a Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds film, you will get everything you expect. However, the movie also has some poignant messages about life in general.

The story centers around a hitman, Darius Kincaid (played by Jackson), who is in custody and needs to be escorted from the UK to The Hague in the Netherlands to testify against a dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (played by Gary Oldman). However, a traitor from within Interpol sets up the protection detail and they get slaughtered down to almost the last officer.

The surviving officer, Amelia Roussel (played by Elodie Yung) was previously involved with a protection agent who has fallen from grace, Michael Bryce (played by Reynolds). She brings in Michael to help her get Darius to The Hague before the deadline for testimony passes.

The bulk of the movie involves competing agendas between Michael and Darius and the comedy that ensues from that conflict. I found myself laughing throughout the movie (as did the rest of the audience in the theater). Additionally, there is also a mentee / mentor relationship where Darius helps open Michael’s eyes to a different world view than the one he had been so certain of at the start of the film.

If you take the movie for what it is, a fun (and sometimes a little over the top) flick featuring a couple of unabashedly vulgar men kicking asses and one teaching the other to not take himself too seriously, you’ll enjoy the film.  I give The Hitman’s Bodyguard 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Campaign Log: 1.07 – Arrangement of Death

Campaign Log

GevtonThe adventure continued last Wednesday at Pawn & Pint. Rocks had been acquired, but those who were looking for the party to provide swords were not fooled. In fact, several members of the party had grown worried that they had made some powerful enemies and death might be a real threat.

With the City Watch departing to leave the holy warriors to deal with the body hanging from the rafters in the barn, Wilby joins the others from where he had been watching. Immediately he suggests:

It may be time to arrange your deaths.

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Campaign Log: 1.06 – A box of rocks

Campaign Log

Campaign MapThe prior Wednesday at Pawn & Pint a portion of the party almost turned pirate. The temptation remained great, but with none of them actually knowing how to sail a ship, the odds were stacked against them. Instead, they turned the ship and goods over to The Crown and to Felis.

Last Wednesday, in the sixth session of the campaign, we will see how much attention the team has drawn to themselves. If they have gained the notice of powerful people, what is likely to be the result?

Additionally, without Iolaus’ moral compass to steer them along a path to honor Felis, what other trouble might they see. The holy warriors’ abandonment might make room in the party for a barbarian pirate more familiar with the god Denar.

The night Howl, Gemma, and Simon drop off the ship, Wilby and Rowan manage to make it back into Antar and the party is able to rest in their normal accommodations, either in the temple’s barracks, or The City Watches’ barracks. The sailors from The Urkack that went free use the money they took from the ship and find a nice room in the city.

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Campaign Log: 1.05 – They turn pirate?

Campaign Log

Campaign MapWe returned to the adventure last Wednesday at Pawn & Pint. That night, there was a Paint and Take event where you could pick an unpainted miniature, paint it, and take it home. I know a couple members of the party took advantage of that.

In the fifth session of the campaign we will see if some of the party turns rogue and decides to become pirates on the high seas. The temptation is great, but then again, so are the risks.

As the party returns from Elinart, minus the formidable Iolaus, they reach the small city of Ivar that sits just a couple miles north of Antar. Ivar straddles the Uthen River, with most of the city actually to the south of the river above the flood plain. While Antar sits high on the rocky cliffs overlooking The Sea of Tet, Ivar is in the Uthen River valley and much closer to the sea level.Merchants will send their goods down the river to be unloaded at Ivar and then transported to Antar, where the deeper harbor has not with debris from the river.

The small city prospers as merchants will send their goods down the Uthen to be unloaded at Ivar and then transported to Antar, where the river dela has not filled the harbor with debris. North of the river valley, the formidable cliffs overlooking The Sea of Tet resume.

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Campaign Log: 1.04 – No one dies

Campaign Log

Campaign MapThe Pawn & Pint again hosted the fourth session of the campaign on Wednesday. While no one died, an existential crisis has befallen one of the group and many others are questioning the side they are fighting for.

We rejoined the party as they finished loading the severed heads of the bandits into a cart and returned to Antar with a single hostage (a.k.a. Julia the new Felis convert). The journey was uneventful (aside from questioning if they had a proper number of heads, as it would not be good to arrive with too few or too many).

They arrived in Antar well after dark and reported to the respective commanders. Iolaus provides a detailed summary of the events to Lord Artest and hands over the token they found on the leader of the bandits, which Julia said was a man named Samual. Lord Artest recognizes it as belonging to Lord Alistar Burdger. The presence of the token is worrying, but Artest is unwilling to accuse a member of Duke Burdger’s family, even if Lord Alistar is just a first cousin, once removed.

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Campaign Log: 1.03

Campaign Log

We rejoined the campaign on Wednesday at Pawn & Pint.

The party is scattered around the northwest corner of the manor house. They successfully took down four men who had been trying to approach them under cover. One of the men was so muscular that he appeared to be wearing armor.

Two additional members of the Antar Watch, who had been with the party all along, but had spent last week guarding the rear, heard the noise of combat and had already rushed up the embankment and through the gap in the wall. They arrive at the manor house just as the last of the four bandits falls.

Andrew, a young shepherd from the hills, who hopes to hide his unnatural connection with nature from the world, rushed forward and tried to break through the service door at the northwestern corner of the manor. Unfortunately, he lacked the necessary strength and the door held. Simon, an experienced soldier, joined the effort, and together they forced open the door. Luck was on their side and the crossbow bolt fired by a man behind a wall of debris and rubble flew past the two of them and went harmlessly into the night.

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Campaign Log: 1.02

Campaign Log

We returned the campaign on Wednesday, Jul 5th, at Pawn & Pint. The room, as normal, was filled with people playing numerous games, including a D&D session with at least 11 players.

Last week, we left the adventurers fresh off a successful first assignment. Iolaus, Howl, and Gemma turned over the prisoners, weapons, armor, and money to Lord Artest, their Holy Warrior commander. Wilby and Rowan reported back to The Guard, having found themselves a little wealthier for the coins they happened to find.

With a report of more bandits at an abandoned manor house to the west, Lord Artest asked Iolaus to once again gather his team to investigate. He suggests starting with the only manor he knows of that might fit the description: Lord Tarin’s manorial home.

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Campaign Log: 1.01

Campaign Log

Map of CothelOn Wednesday, Jun 28th, we started a new campaign based on a period of time just before the start of Mother’s Curse. I really enjoyed meeting the five other people that joined this session at Pawn & Pint, which I might add was filled with many other groups having a great time. I am looking forward to next Wednesday for the second session.

Some minor spoilers beyond this point

Late in the year 434…

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Hiking Bennett Springs Mo

Bennett Springs

If you like to fish and live near Missouri, there is a good chance you have heard of Bennett Springs. If you are not into fishing … well, there are a couple of trails and plenty of car-camping sites.

Bennett Springs

A couple weeks ago we decided to take a short weekend trip out to Bennett Springs to check out the trails, specifically the Natural Tunnel Trail. It is listed at 7.5 miles, but the GPS reported our trek at closer to 9.5 miles. We found the trail fun, but bring bug spray and keep checking for ticks. Also, bring a second set of shoes for water crossings.

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Minimalism Status Update

Minimalism

Ball of TwineEarlier this year I came up with a brilliant idea: get rid of 2017 items in 2017 as part of a minimalism challenge. The idea’s purpose simply to purge items in my life that were just taking up space and not providing real meaning. Take the proverbial ball of twine that our lives become and try to unwind the noise and get back to the core.

So, where am I? Did I say the idea was brilliant or completely crazy?

The short answer is that I am behind. I had a strong start early on, but over the last couple of months, I had become rather busy with other activities and stopped actively going through my possessions to see what I can live without. I have resumed the effort in the last couple of days, but I went from needing to get rid of just over five items per day to just under 8. The old adage of why do today what you can put off until tomorrow … wait, I think the one I wanted was, make hay when the sun is shining. Continue reading