In addition to going Clear, Tom Cruise has also gone clean — as in clean out of his mind. His oft-repeated death-defying stunts in “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” are clearly the actions of a crazy person. Has he no sense of self-preservation? Apparently not, because the world’s most famous Scientologist (and rare achiever of the religion’s goal of getting “Clear”) is willing to do just about anything to entertain the pants off of you. And he succeeds at every turn, whether it’s clinging to the fuselage of an ascending airplane in Minsk or racing motorcycles at 100 mph along a narrow, snaking road in Morocco. He even holds his breath for more than three minutes under water — in a whirlpool! Which is only right since we have to hold ours for two whole hours, as “Rogue Nation” delivers thrill after thrill to the point where your nerves can’t take it anymore.
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Some published novels should never see the light of day. Ernest Hemingway’s reputation has suffered from the posthumous release of such wretched drafts as “True at First Light.” Papa Hemingway didn’t release them in his lifetime, and we can tell there was a good reason.
Eight bits isn’t just the style of the video games celebrated in “Pixels”; it’s also roughly how much you should pay to see it.
“The Spiral Notebook: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence Committed by American Youth,” by Joseph and Joyce Singular. Counterpoint, Berkeley, California, 2015. 289 pages. $26.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18.
“The Mountain Story,” by Lori Lansens. Simon & Schuster, New York, 2015. 312 pages. $26.
Sherlock Holmes without his sharp mind and elephantine capacity for deduction would be a lot like Popeye without his spinach, or Thor without his hammer. He’d be useless, much like he is in director Bill Condon’s poignant “Mr. Holmes.” It’s Sherlock like you’ve never seen him, full of guilt, regret and self doubt, as aging proves to be the one case he cannot crack. And he couldn’t be more compelling, especially when the portrayal of the beloved sleuth has been entrusted to an actor as sainted as Ian McKellen.
“Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories,” by Jerome Charyn. Liveright Publishing Corp./Division of W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 2015. 223 pages. $24.95.
Osteoporosis is a common cause of spinal compression fracture in our society. The treatment should address both the associated pain and the underlying process of osteoporosis to prevent further fractures. Treatments have improved dramatically in the last decade. The majority of fractures heal with pain medication, reduction in activity, medications to stabilize bone density, and a good stiff close-fitting back brace. Most people can return to their everyday activities. Some people however, may need further treatment, such as surgery.
Sometimes you have to defend people who aren’t around to defend themselves. Just such an occasion presents itself now.