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Aussie Guy Pearce is one of those square-jawed white teeth actors that are not quite handsome enough to be the leading man, often masking that by playing oddball or cool characters, his defining role being the tattooed character in Memento. He has been second banana to fellow Anzacs Russell Crowe and Hugo Weaving and he has never really gone on from that and hard to recall a recent film he was in, even though he has been in loads.
Slick jukebox salesman Jimmy Starks (Pearce) has car problems in a dusty New Mexico town. While being fixed he visits fortune teller ‘Vacaro’ (J.K. Simmons). For 15 bucks he tells him he will have good fortune soon, naming a job in Dallas and a big sports betting tip. But when pressured to look deeper he relates the information that Jimmy’s future is blank, and he is safe only until the first snow of winter, beyond which there is no future to foretell.
Although slightly unsettled Jimmy thinks nothing more of it. In a business meeting later that day his boss (Tom Morelane) informs Jimmy he has got an unexpected bonus for his effort and promoted to Dallas. On the same night his team wins at basketball. Jimmy gets thinking this guy is the real deal and rushes back to Vacaro to see of he is indeed going to be no more come the first snow.
As paranoia kicks in Jimmy tries to work out how it will come. Will it be an auto accident, maybe food poisoning, or perhaps someone from his past? But there is a suspect, ex employee Lopez (Rick Gonzalez), who he got fired, threats in Jimmy’s mailbox evidence of. But there is also jailbird and childhood friend Vincent (Shea Whigham), who is back in town and wants a word with Jimmy.
It’s not bad but it does drift along a bit as we try to work how he is going to meet his maker or wait for the twist that sadly never comes. You can’t argue that Pearce has screen presence and that’s what keeps you interested. It’s reasonably taught but it soon dribbles out to buddy thriller and the psychic side of things fogged.
It’s not particularly violent or intriguing. Once the parameters of mystery have been resolved it quickly slips into TV movie territory. The first half-hour is good as the premise is set up but you just yearn for it to be as cool as Pearce looks on screen as far as dialogue and plot goes.
It will appeal to those who like Pearce more than those expecting a stylish thriller. It’s a shame it doesn’t quite reach the good category as it explores those themes of chance, redemption and probability other films have been more successful with. Some flashback scenes may have helped but just not enough mystery to really dig this run of the mill rust belt drama.
It seems like a lot of the books we have in our house are about animals in the snow, not sure why but we seem to collect a lot of them and this book, entitled The First Snow is another one in our collection.
The first snow features a cute little deer as its main character who is just simply named Little Deer. I think deers are amazingly cute and my daughter likes reading about them as she loves Bambi and actually this deer has a bit of a Bambi look about him, he is obviously a baby and is just seeing snow for the first time. hence the title, The First Snow.
Little Deer was so excited when he woke up to see snow but at first wasn't sure what to make of it. ""Yikes!" he squeaked. "Where's everything gone?" Everywhere looked different. The wood was covered with a hugh white blanket."
With the help of his two little friends, Rabbit and Squirrel, Little Deer goes on his first winter adventure. At first he found it very strange and cold but then he started to have fun. The friends make a giant snowball and then go skating on the frozen pond. THe book finishes by telling us that, "Little Deer's first snow had been such a surprise, but it had been the best fun ever!"
We just find this a really cute little story that has become one of our bedtime favourites. It's especially fitting at this time of year because the ground around us is covered in snow and the kids like to do the same things that Little Deer got to do.
The book is wonderfully illustrated. There are lots of cute wintery scenes so the book is very blue and white and what we also like is that each page has some glitter on too. It's done subtly but for example there is some glitter on the branches of the trees to give the snowy branches a bit more of a sparkling winter look and I think its very effective. Little Deer, rabbit and squirrel are all really well drawn and look like proper animals so that is nice when you are teaching kids all about the different animals.
We have the paperback version from Little Tiger Press, ISBN 978-1-84506-976-6 and it costs £6.99.