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When does a villain become a villain? At what point does a person reach the tipping point that sends them spiraling into the darkness? Is it a singular event? Or simply the culmination of a thousand smaller moments? Does it even matter?

These are the sorts of questions that power Suzanne Collins’s “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” (Scholastic, $27.99), a return to the world of her blockbuster “Hunger Games” series. Set over 60 years before the events of that first novel, this latest installment looks at the origins of Coriolanus Snow, President of Panem and general big bad of the initial trilogy.

But what goes into the making of a man so brutally and single-mindedly devoted to the systemic dystopia that is Katniss Everdeen’s Panem? This book introduces us to a young man who desperately wants to be perceived a certain way by the world, who wants nothing so much as to be restored to what he deems his rightful place in society … and who uses a combination of aristocratic charm and subtle ruthlessness to try and achieve that goal.

Published in Buzz
Thursday, 27 December 2012 18:20

Film Favorites: 12 for 2012

A look back at some of this year's highlights

This is not intended to be a traditional 'Best Of' list. Nor is it intended to be comprehensive truthfully, one or more as-yet-unseen late-year releases might well bound their way up the ladder (I'm looking at you 'Django Unchained' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' and yes, you too 'Les Miserables.')

No, this list is instead a look back at some of my favorite films of the year. Are there 'better' films out there that didn't make the cut? Absolutely. These are just a handful of films some great, some less so that I really enjoyed in 2012.

Published in Buzz

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