Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Miss Redmer and the No Good, Terrible, Awful Day

It couldn't have been a nicer day when I finally emerged this morning after finishing Princess of the Midnight Ball. Ran The First Easter Rabbit as I ate breakfast and got organized. The second of three Rankin-Bass Easter specials (and the only one done in 2-D animation) is basically a cross between Frosty the Snowman and The Velveteen Rabbit. Stuffy was once Glinda's favorite toy, until she came down with scarlet fever and he was tossed out to be burned. A kind fairy rescued him from the fire and turned him into a real rabbit. He's now the Easter Bunny, spring symbol to kids everywhere...if he can get past Zero, who wants to keep winter going!

Headed out to get my laundry done around quarter after 11...then went right back. I'd forgotten my money. Thankfully, when I did finally get my laundry in a washer, I had no trouble. I saw maybe three people the entire hour. Good thing, because I had a fair-sized load, including towels and the bath mat. I worked on story ideas and ignored soap operas.

There was a message on my phone when I got home. It was the Acme. Could I come in from 4 to 8:30? One of the late-shift teen cashiers called out. I didn't want to. I hate cashiering. I panic...and they know it. They told me to think it over. I put the laundry away...then called them back and said I'd do it. It doesn't matter what I want. What I want is irreverent. What matters is what my wallet wants. I need money.

I decided to try to write and eat tomato rotini soup for lunch while I did so. That was a big mistake. I knocked the bowl over, spilling soup all over the carpet and all over me. And of course, I just did the damn laundry. (Thankfully, the bowl was nowhere near my laptop when it happened.) By the time I finished sopping up the mess, I was no longer in the mood for writing. I looked over Pinterest and shut down.

Tried to cheer myself up by baking Chocolate Chip Muffins for lunch. Ran two Three Stooges mystery-themed shorts as I worked. The boys are asking "Who Done It?" when a wealthy man goes missing. His niece first tries to poison them...but Shemp is the only one who gets knocked out. When Shemp awakens, they have to avoid the crazy goon the kidnappers send after them.

A kidnapping is also at the heart of "Dopey Dicks." This time, it's the beautiful blond who vanishes after she shows up in a detective's office, claiming she's being followed. The Stooges aren't detectives, but they opt to help her anyway. They seriously regret it when they discover a pair of mad scientists first want her brain for their mechanical man...then theirs.

After all that fuss, work wasn't that big of a deal. It was steady when I came in. Once rush hour ended, so did our customers. I spent a lot of that last hour and a half standing around, working on story ideas. The manager had no cause to worry about survey scores going down because I got upset (which he kept rambling about when I talked to him on the phone earlier). If anything, the customers were far more supportive and understanding than the managers.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spring Cleaning In the Rain

CRASH! BOOM! A thunderstorm jolted me awake around 8:30. I tried sleeping, but the weather just kept making noise. It passed through quickly, though. The clouds were just down to showers by the time I was in the kitchen, making Banana Pancakes for breakfast.

Ran Fairie Tale Theatre as I ate. Since I'm currently reading a book based after The Twelve Dancing Princesses, I thought I'd do that episode. There's only six princesses in this retelling, but they still wear out their dancing slippers every night, to the frustration of their doting father (Roy Dotrice). A solider is determined to figure out how they do it, but the eldest princess (Leslie Ann Warren) distrusts him. She'd rather remain in her dream world. The soldier finally figures out what they're up to...and shows them that a real flesh-and-blood man can be every bit as dashing as the ones in their dreams.

Switched to The Princess Diarist while I cleaned the bathroom. The bathroom wasn't too bad. I mostly focused on the tiles around the tub. I really need something that'll allow me to scrub between the tiles easier without having to struggle to reach over the edge of the tub.

Part of the second half of the book focuses on the actual diaries...which were mainly love poems that revealed just how nuts Fisher was about Ford. Her twenty-something daughter Billie Lourd read this segment for even more authenticity. As late as my own early twenties, I might have agreed with Fisher's drooling over him. Nowadays, I feel sorry for both of them. Fisher was desperate for attention and to spend time with a really manly man. Ford was desperate to get away from a relationship that no longer worked and a job that wasn't what he wanted to do. It was more tragic and a bit pathetic than romantic. Anyone who's seen the movies knows they had chemistry, even as late as The Force Awakens. Sadly, it didn't translate into a real relationship, no matter what over-romantic fans wanted.

I debated all morning whether or not to volunteer at the Oaklyn Library today. The rain finally slowed down enough by 12:30 for me to head out for a walk. Needless to say on a day with such nasty weather, the Oaklyn Library was dead the whole time I was there. It was mainly me, two librarians, and the Weather Channel. I organized DVDs (the adult section was really bad) and shelved picture books.

Since I was only a few blocks away, I opted to just run to WaWa for lunch. Kept things simple and cheap with a pre-made Corned Beef and Swiss wrap in a rye tortilla. (Never saw that before.) The rain was taking a temporary leave of absence as I strolled home. It's really beautiful in the neighborhood now. Far from causing damage, the snow only seems to have made everything greener. The daffodils haven't looked this sunshine-y bright in years, and the tiny white and purple crocuses are perfect. A few people have Easter decorations out; most settle for spring banners or what's in their gardens.

I quickly ate my lunch, then scrubbed the kitchen. Ran Yogi the Easter Bear while I worked. Yogi's in a real jam after he eats all the candy intended for Jellystone Park's big Easter Jamboree. When Ranger Smith threatens to send him to the Siberian Zoo, Yogi takes off with Boo Boo to find the Easter Bunny and Easter Chicken and restock supplies. Meanwhile, a very strange pair of villains are also after the Easter Bunny. They want to replace the real eggs with their plastic imitations...and will stop at nothing to get rid of the Bunny and his actual, edible eggs.

(And I'm glad I got in when I did. The rain returned as I started eating and was on and off for the rest of the day.)

Worked on writing and Pinterest for a few hours after I finished the kitchen. As Cedric and Rusty make their way to Rusty's employers, Henry "Han" Solo and his valet Charles are waiting for Luke and Sir Benjamin at a run-down tavern on the waterfront. What they encounter is Gredono, one of Jenkins Huttman's top henchmen. Jenkins is the biggest crime lord in the kingdom. Henry once did work for him during his pirate days. He lost his last shipment...and Jenkins still wants him to pay for it. Henry shoots him rather than lets him scurry back to his boss.

Finished the night with leftovers and more Kirby's Epic Yarn. Since I didn't have much time, I went back and finally got those two extra rounds in Grass Land I hadn't earned enough beads for the first time. In fact, it took me three tries to figure out how to earn enough for the patches. Definitely preferred the first bonus round, which lets you dig through cotton batting for items as a mole, than the weird second one, where you played as a UFO. Also did the first round of Snow Land, dodging, standing on, and getting stuck in cotton ball "snow" as I made my way up the icy mountain. (Love the cute little skating move Kirby does when he turns on slippery surfaces.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Game's Afoot!

The rain was coming down in buckets when I awoke this morning. I wish I could have stayed in bed, but I had work later. I settled for reading Princess of the Midnight Ball and writing in my journal for as long as I could get away with it. When I finally got up, I had breakfast, then refilled my cookie tin with Stir-n-Drop Oatmeal Cookies from The Betty Crocker Cooky Book. They're simple to make and relatively low-fat, using oil instead of shortening or butter. (I also replaced the white flour with whole wheat.)

To my dismay, when I went to watch the first episode of Sherlock, I couldn't. Disc One was missing, and of course, it held every episode but the final one and the extras. At least I could watch the last episode. "His Last Vow" was inspired by the original Holmes story The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton. A very modern Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) make their way from a crack house to the office of renown newspaper owner Charles Milverton Magnussen, who is blackmailing several high-ranked government officials. To Sherlock's shock, John's wife Mary turns up at his office with a gun, which she then turns on Sherlock. Even after he manages to survive, they still need to catch Magnussen in the act...and figure out who Mary really is and what she's up to.

I can see why these have been a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, winning piles of awards. They sort of remind me of the McBride series, using a similar tactic of allowing us to see what's going on in the hero's head. Unlike laid-back McBride, this "hero" is more of an anti-hero - even Sherlock calls himself a sociopath - but Cumberbatch gives him the right amount of wit and even a bit of charm under all that deducting. My favorite character by far was Freeman's witty Watson, forever at the end of his rope, even as he follows his best friend into ever-more insane adventures.

Finished just in time to head out for work. I had a rough time bagging early this afternoon. We had the opposite problem from yesterday - we'd gone from having not enough help to there being too much. They had two other baggers rounding up carts and bagging for most of the afternoon, plus one of the cashiers didn't want anyone bagging for her. I was happy to return to the gift card "mall" peg board and get all that organized for the last couple of hours.

It did get busier in the afternoon, and that may have had to do with the improved weather. The rain stopped even before I had breakfast. By the time I was heading home, the sun was out, and the temperature had jumped into the upper 60's. I opened as many windows as I could and changed into lighter clothes.

Had leftovers for dinner and worked on a crocheting project while watching the other Sherlock episode I'd managed to find, The Abominable Bride. This technically picks up where "His Last Vow" left off...sort of. Sherlock dreams himself into the 19th century setting of the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories, replacing the planes and cars with hansom cabs and carriages. Holmes and Watson find themselves trying to solve the puzzling case of a bride who shot at people in the street before killing herself. Later that night, she seems to reappear to murder her husband. Holmes is intrigued by her seeming ability to come back to life. There's no such thing as ghosts, he insists. He takes another, seemingly unrelated case, about a man who whose life is threatened after receiving five orange pips. How are the two cases related...and how do they relate to the present-day Sherlock and the return from the dead of one of his most notorious archenemies?

A bit strange, but otherwise just as much fun as what I saw of the show...and if you're a fan of historical mysteries or the original Holmes stories, this semi-adaptation of The Five Orange Pips may be even better. The switching back and forth between the present and the past can get confusing, and the ending is a bit strange. Also, major warning that, like the original books, these can be fairly dark and do feature some blood, violence, and more than a few references to Holmes' drug habits. They're not for young detectives, but teen mystery, police procedural, and Holmes fans will find much to enjoy.

Finished out the night with more Kirby's Epic Yarn. Took on Water World this time. More than half the rounds were set partially or entirely underwater...which was actually a lot of fun, when you figured out how to get your fish to move with the currents. I loved being a dolphin - it's a lot more fun than trying to draw tracks for that darn train. You can leap into the air and through hoops, gathering beads and other items. The squid-like main boss wasn't much of a problem, either. I had no trouble getting the two extra levels, including more fun with the dolphin.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's Always Something

I had barely enough time for breakfast and my Mousercise record after I did my morning reading and writing before work. This was Disney's exercise-themed album from the aerobics craze of the 1980's, and one of the first kids' records we got. I was delighted to find it again at a yard sale a few years ago. While there's a couple of cute numbers on here, my favorite has always been the hilarious "Get the Money (Uncle Scrooge's Money)," with the Beagle Boys' attempting to steal from Uncle Scrooge's money bin (at least five or six years before the debut of Duck Tales).

Work was a total pain in the rear. We were busy for most of the day, thanks to a huge four-say sale. I'd no sooner start bagging for someone than another person would want me to return something, and then someone else would want me to check a price. All I did was panic. About the only thing I got completely done was mopping the bathroom floors this morning. It got worse in the afternoon, when the other bagger who was doing carts went home. I had no help with the carts, and they kept calling me in to return cold items or gather baskets. The one other bagger ended up in a register. They even called me to do returns while I was on break! I'd bring carts to the front, and they'd vanish in seconds. I never did get caught up with them.

I couldn't get home fast enough. When I got in, I went right on the computer to cheer myself up with some writing. Leia, Cedric, and Rusty get involved in a food fight after the Crimson Hawk leaves that eventually encompasses half the fair. Leia gives Rusty the blueprints and tells him and Cedric to get them to an authority figure - her aunt and uncle, or Senator Mothma, or Sir Benjamin Kenton. Leia no sooner sends them off than she's promptly captured by Baron Vader, who knows she has some kind of involvement with one group of rebels or the other.

Meanwhile, Rusty has dragged Cedric over to a junk pile behind the old stone fortress on the edge of the park. The Junk Pickers, a group of peasants who gather cast-off items for their junk  yards and sell them, frequently round up trash from here. They stow away on their cart for a quick ride out of the fair under Vader's nose.

Broke for dinner around quarter of 6. I had leftovers while listening to Donna Summer, then played more Kirby's Epic Yarn. Finished out Treat Land. My favorite level in this land is by far the music-themed one. Walking on pianos and swinging across harps create musical notes with beads in them. Kirby gets to jump on cymbals and pound drums. I didn't do very well at it, but it was still cute. Had to do the "Squashini" boss round twice to get the extra rounds, but I did get them. I did better with the train round (when I finally figured out how to draw the tracks) than the haunted house-themed one.

Next time I play, I'll be doing the water-themed world and probably going back to the first round to check out some side games.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Little Springtime Showers

It was just cloudy and damp when I woke up this morning. Did a quick round of Max & Ruby while eating breakfast. "Ruby's Easter Bonnet" is a confection of flowers, ribbons, and a water can that it's creator hope will win the Bunny Scouts Bonnet competition. Max just wants his froggy buddy to jump for him. Ruby and Louise are having fun coloring eggs. Her brother would rather use them to lead "Max's Easter Parade." "Max the Easter Bunny" keeps hiding the eggs his sister and the Bunny Scouts find. They think they're finding a ton of eggs, but they're really finding the same eggs!

Work wasn't too bad when I came in. I spent the first half of my shift bagging and gathering trash. Ended up in the register for a manager at one point as well. I'm glad I got outside when it got busy later in the afternoon. While still cloudy, it had also gotten warm, windy, and humid, too warm to be inside! After I finished, I quickly bought a container of Breyers cherry vanilla ice cream (they were on sale, and I love their cherry vanilla) before heading home.

(Oh, and I got my schedule this morning. Slightly later hours on Thursday; slightly earlier hours next Saturday. Otherwise, everything is the same, including my days off.)

I had just gotten out of the shower and started writing when the rain began. Spent the rest of the afternoon writing as a nice, steady shower fell outside. Leia and Rusty Arlington manage to knock out several of Vader's guards before they can go after the Crimson Hawk and his mentor. It's clearly a different man insulting Vader on the top of the ancient stone fortress, not at all the Crimson Hawk who kissed Leia at the ball.

Broke for a quick Italian chicken skillet dinner (made even quicker with canned chicken) and chocolate cake with ice cream around 6:30. Finished out Max & Ruby while eating. Ruby is upset when she loses her tooth in "Ruby's Tooth." She won't let Max have his muffin until they find it! "Ruby Scores" against Roger when she and Louise practice soccer kicks with him, despite the interference of Max's toy robots. They're "Getting Crabby at the Beach" when Ruby wants to build a sandcastle...and Max would rather watch his new crab friend.

Finished out the night with last year's PBS version of Anne of Green Gables. We pretty much get a condensed version of the first half of the book. Anne (Ella Ballentine) is an orphan who is accidentally sent to sensible Marilla (Sara Botsford) and her soft-spoken brother Mathew (Martin Sheen) in place of the boy they originally wanted. They finally agree to keep the girl while finding her a better family. Anne, however, proceeds to become a staple of the community and their lives, making friends with Diana Barry (Julie Lalonde) and taking care of Matthew when he's ill. When they do finally find her a family, will they send her away...or will she really become Anne of Green Gables?

I really wish they'd at least extended this to two hours. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the 80's miniseries that was able to include far more, including seeing Anne grow up. As it is, it's all right, particularly Botsford's sensible but loving Marilla. Not the best version of this story, but far from the worst - not a bad way to introduce younger kids who couldn't sit through the entire miniseries to Anne's world.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Very Busy Spring

Started off a cloudy day with another Rankin-Bass Easter special. Here Comes Peter Cottontail was also the first of three spring specials they did, and may be the best-remembered today. Peter (Casey Kasem) is in line to become the new Easter Bunny, but he loses the job to nasty Irontail (Vincent Price) when he oversleeps and never delivers any eggs. With the help of peddler Seymour S. Sassafras (Danny Kaye), he goes back in time to try to hand out eggs. Irontail follows him, determined to remain chief Easter bunny.

Made my bed after eating breakfast, while the special was on. The blankets have a habit of sliding off during the night in the winter, probably because I usually sleep under three or four of them. I suspect that trying to organize them during the night may be part of of the "noise" people are complaining about.

Did a quick cartoon while getting organized for errands. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is enjoying a "Springtime Serenade" in a rare Universal color short. A grouchy groundhog is determined to spoil their fun with a snowy weather report. The other animals, including Oswald, don't listen...until the snow arrives and they wonder if he might be right.

Headed to the Acme around 11 to do this week's grocery shopping. Didn't really need a huge order. I've been eating out of the refrigerator all week. Mainly did some restocking - canned chicken, brown sugar, cereal (Kellogg's was on sale - went with basic Cheerios), crushed pineapple, olive oil, pads (needed those badly - I had one left), chocolate cake mix, bananas, eggs, skim milk. Found a $1.99 bag of small oranges to go with breakfast. Bought Italian chicken sausage with a manager's coupon for dinner tonight.

To my annoyance, when I got home, I discovered I had crunched one of the eggs. Most of the food in the bag seemed to be fine, but the container itself and the bottom of the bag were a soppy mess. I cut the bad part of the egg container off, then moved most of the eggs to the previous container that had two eggs left.

Did another Good Eats episode while I cleaned and got ready for more errands. Alton shows how "Milk Made" food can be downright tasty with a yummy-looking recipe for Tres Leche Cake that I may try. I'm less interested in Dulche Du Leche. I'm not a fan of caramel, and I've never been good with candy. May attempt making my own cottage cheese from skim milk sometime, though.

First stop after I went back out was a new restaurant down the street and around the corner on West Clinton Avenue. The Square Meal replaced the departed Viola's International Deli a few weeks ago. Sort of the same idea, but this time, the emphasis is on wholesome, hearty, local food that's good and good for you. I had a Roast Chicken Sandwich with cheddar and greens. The roast chicken was real sliced chicken, just over-seasoned deli chicken or bagged strips. It was on a thick, crusty Ciabatta roll and washed down with free lemon water in mason jars. Yum. Huge, filling, and tasty.

Rode across Newton River Park on my way to Westmont. By this point, the clouds were vanishing, and the sun was coming out. Despite the improving day, Newton River Park was relatively quiet. I only saw two people strolling by and a lot of Canadian geese looking for a late lunch. People were missing out. Spring is just starting to emerge. Bright green tufts of grass are poking their way through the yellow patches. Dandelions and buttercups have begun to sprout along the riverbanks.

The Haddon Township Library wasn't quite as busy as last week, as revealed in a full but not overwhelming return cart. I settled for organizing DVDs and shelving audio books and the few new returns that had come back in. Thought I'd leave the DVDs for the kids after school.

I've heard a lot about the BBC modern TV version of Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous detective and Martin Freeman as Watson, but I'd never seen it. Haddon Township had Series Three and a TV movie that put the two back in the series' original late 19th Century setting. Also took out Star Trek Beyond, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and a recent retelling of Anne of Green Gables with Martin Sheen as Matthew.

Also grabbed two books this week. I've enjoyed the East of the Sun, West of the Moon story I'm reading so much, I found a book retelling The Twelve Dancing Princesses by the same author, Princess of the Midnight Ball. Mom recommended the BBC series Miss Fisher's Mysteries to me when I called her earlier this week, and I know Linda Young likes that show too, but neither library has it. I thought I'd try the books instead, starting with Blood and Circuses.

To my surprise, Cabana's Water Ice was open on the corner of Cuthbert and the White Horse Pike. It does seem to be a bit early - Phillies Yummies probably won't open for another couple of weeks - but I was thirsty and grateful. I wasn't the only one. Two gaggles of girls and a mother with her kids on the way home from school joined me as I ordered a small orange cream water ice. Too sweet, but at least it did taste something like orange.

Made a short stop at Studio LuLoo next. Though Sarah was out of town doing another project, Roxy and another volunteer were helping kids with more crafts. I cut out stars from silvery cardboard while the little girls turned paper coffee cups into different but equally nifty starts. I helped them paint the inside of the cups gold to hang up for a "shine"-themed party.

Worked on writing for a few hours when I got home. Leia and the droids try hiding from Vader as they flee. As they're attempting to avoid him, two of his men reveal that guests have been robbed and the Wookie native slaves who were working in the cargo hold and boiler room were freed. The Crimson Hawk appears in a puff of smoke...then reappears outside to tell the citizens of Naboo that he'll continue to fight for truth, justice, and the Jedi way.

Leia's wonder just what's going on here. The Crimson Hawk is familiar...but it's not the same Crimson Hawk she saw at the ball. He's shorter and far more slender than the one who kissed her. She and the servants head down the hall to solve at least some of those mysteries.

Broke for Italian sausage with sauteed mushrooms and scallions and steamed green beans for dinner around 7. Ran Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince while I ate. Events are heating up at Hogwarts following the fight in the finale of the previous film. Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) has hired former Potions teacher Horace Slugworth (Jim Broadbent) back when Snape (Alan Rickman) finally gets the Defense of the Dark Arts job he's wanted for years. As it turns out, Dumbledore has his reasons for wanting Slugworth at Hogwarts. His memory has a crucial piece of information that he wants Harry (Daniel Ratcliffe) to retrieve. Harry's not so sure this is a great idea. He's having his own problems with his long-time nemesis Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), whom he believes has joined the Death Eaters, the evil jailers first seen in Prisoner of Azbekstan. Meanwhile, Hermione (Emma Watson) is having a hard time getting Ron (Rupert Grint) to see how she feels about him, especially after he's given a love potion by a fellow student and starts drooling all over her.

Slower-moving and less action-packed than the previous film...until the sad and touching finale that features the death of a beloved character at another character's hand. (What, you think Star Wars is the only franchise to do stuff like that?) Once again, you really need to know at least the last two or three books and/or films to understand what goes on here. If you've at least seen Order of the Phoenix or read the books, proceed right to this one.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Do You Believe In Magic?

Got up with enough time before work this morning for an episode of Sailor Moon during breakfast. In the early second season, a busy Rei is in charge of her school's big festival. She's even singing her own music in the talent show. The two aliens An and Ali are determined to steal the spotlight...but when they attack the songs she worked so hard on, Rei reveals her true powers.

Work was relatively quiet for most of the day, especially early on. Today was my long shift, and while I did round up carts for about an hour when I got in and another half-hour in the middle of the afternoon, I was mostly bagging and gathering baskets or trash. By the time rush hour was kicking in and it started to get busier, I was on my way out. At least it was a nice day for it. It was sunny and breezy, but not too windy, probably in the mid to upper 40's.

When I got home, I went right in the shower, then worked on a little writing. Leia, Jyn, Cassian, and the servants are caught by Vader's men in the main cabin. Jyn and Leia took out a bunch of crew members getting upstairs and in an attempt to help what Leia is sure is the Crimson Hawk's crew saving Wookies. Leia and the servants flee with the blueprints while Cassian and Jyn hold them off. Unfortunatly, she runs into an angry Vader, who just realized the Wookie slaves working in the boiler room and cargo hold have been freed...

Broke around 7 to have leftovers for dinner. Ran another episode of Sailor Moon while I ate. It's spring, and the girls and their teacher are enjoying a day beneath the cherry blossoms at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The fun and frolic turns frightening when Ali and a jealous An unleash a horrifying tree demon that devours energy, including the Sailor Guardians'. Usagi has to find a way to defeat the creature...with a little help from her original mother in the Moon Kingdom...

Put on Now You See Me 2 as I went online. It's been a year since the previous film, and the Four Horsemen, the quartet of magicians (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, and Lizzy Caplan) who swindled millionaire Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) in the previous film, haven't given a performance in over a year. They've been waiting for orders from the mysterious Eye. The Eye reveals himself to be Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), an FBI agent. He tells them about a corrupt businessman (Ben Case) whose new phone steals data for his usage and intrudes on privacy. When the Horsemen try to expose him, they themselves are exposed by the thought-to-be-dead twin of one (also Harrelson). They're caught by Case's ex-partner Walter (Daniel Ratcliffe), who wants them to steal the information. But what's Walter's real game? Is he the Eye...or is there someone else who wants the Horsemen dead or discredited?

Caplan and Ratcliffe prove capable additions to this fun franchise. They're both having so much fun as the rough-and-tumble street magician and the smug businessman that they elevate a story that can get too confusing for its britches at times. If you love magic, the cast, or the first film, this one is an equally twisty tale.