Saturday, November 6, 2010
-- Maurice Sendak, Author of Where the Wild Things Are and 100 more children's books.
Documentaries - love 'em. My poor darling wife, after watching a doc or two I'll begin to tell her about the current one I've just seen. "You and your documentaries" she says, and just chuckles. She doesn't mind them, just that I like to watch a lot of them. Of course I have to tell her about 'em. Of course. Okay honey, now today I saw...
TELL THEM ANYTHING YOU WANT: A PORTRAIT OF MAURICE SENDAK
Which brings me to to a recent viewing of "Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak" by Lance Bangs and Spike Jonez. Maurice Sendak, author of many, many books, is probably most know for his award-winning and delightful romp "Where the Wild Things Are." My mother gave this to me when I was a wee boy, and on the 25th Anniversary of the book, I gave her a copy in return, to say thank you for giving me a great start in books (just the reading part, who knew I would go on to open a bookstore and publish?). Sendak has received a lot of attention recently with the Spike Jonez helmed film of the book. The film is actually pretty good, and especially considering how do you make a film out of that "little" story book? Watch it and see.
Bangs and Jonez (yes, "Wild" director), was able to bring us some insight to the usually very private Sendak, thus the very appropriate title. The history of the stories and how he applied them to his work was intriguing. He is quite the artist in many respects, and you get to see a lot of his work in paintings, drawings, and of course the books. I was visiting the Stephen King office one day in 2003 and I remember seeing this doll dressed in red up on the shelf, close to the electric chair Frank Darabont had made for Steve during the filming of his novel "The Green Mile." I asked his assistant about the doll and she said that "Maurice Sendak made that up just for Steve as a gift." Gift from the artistically gifted. A Renaissance man? Pretty damn close I would say. If you like his work, then you'll thoroughly enjoy the film like I did. Funny, insightful, sad, and illuminating. Watch This!
WHO IS HARRY NILSSON (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)
Wow! I only use this words on reviews where I have immensely enjoyed the work. Director John Scheinfeld did his homework on this amazing songwriter and singer. At almost 2 hours long it moved along at a good pace. Nilsson, who may be best known by the masses for singing this Grammy award winning song, "Everybody's Talkin,'" (from the film Midnight Cowboy), wrote many hits, and sang with a unique voice. My wife wasn't sure who he was, until she started hearing one song right after the other going "I know this one. Yep, I know that one too." Which leads me to believe that, although Mr. music man here (that would be me) knows Harry's work well, the title to this film apparently hits the mark. Most people know the songs, but the man? Well this film will tell you the whole story, from friends, producers, family, and so on. Including Ringo Starr, John Lennon, producer Richard Perry, Mickey Dolenz, Eric Idle, and too many to name here. It's insightful, entertaining, and heart felt. I learned quite a bit, and I knew most of the songs, and discovered even more about the man and his music. My highest recommendation for you music lovers out there to put this on your Watch This! list. I guarantee you'll be buying a greatest hits CD afterword.
Directors Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio explore an urban legend that always disturbed them while growing up in Staten Island, N.Y. -- a rash of child abductions that struck the area in the 1970s and 80s -- in their gripping documentary. A handyman and drifter named "Cropsey" abducted numerous young kids, setting off myriad motive theories, frightening residents in the community and tripping up the legal system. If this is their first film, then they've done a bang up job. Staten Island's bridge was up and running in the mid 60's and that's when the population started to move in. Before that though, there was one of the largest mental institutions in the US there, and that story, along with "Cropsey," made this a gripping watch to the very end. WATCH THIS!
Daring animal activists arrive with surveillance equipment at a scenic cove in Taijii, Japan, to capture footage of a secretive and heavily guarded operation run by the world's largest supplier of dolphins. Yes I repeat, the world's largest supplier of "dolphins!"As the group sets out to expose the horrifying truths behind the capture of dolphins for the lucrative tourist industry, they also uncover an environmental catastrophe. Louie Psihoyos directs this riveting, Oscar-winning documentary. And you'll be amazed and horrified at what you see here. WATCH THIS!
WEBSITES TO CHECK OUT
GOLGOTHAM: Nancy Collins, author of the Sonya Blue and the VAMP novels (and many, many more), has a new website up - GolGotham- and I suggest you pop on over and take a look. It's gorgeous and informative.
Nancy Collins Golgotham is now online - See It Here!
BOOK: A UNIQUE DEVICE - Check out this explanation of this new device called.. BOOK.. it will change your life
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Brian Williams on NBC's Nightly News reported back in July about Amazon's report that they sold more e-books than hard covers for the previous three months. Now take into mind that's hard covers. That certainly makes sense in some respects considering the price difference between the two and the fact that you could have it immediately on your hand-held device. And yes, that's a lot of books, but more mass market paperbacks are sold in the second life of hard cover editions. When the sales of e-books outweigh paperback sales that feat will certainly be a major turn in the publishing world. And the paper world for that matter. And maybe the trees in Brazil? I dunno... I hope so.
I recently picked up my Mom and Ant (yes, that's how I spell it gang ;-) from the Atlanta airport after their whirl wind tour of Scotland (they saw the Pope drive by! I think he was in a black Mercedes... I digress ) this past week. While I was waiting for them to get through customs, which can take awhile, I stopped into a couple of the airport outlets selling books. I spoke with both managers about the current sales of actual books and if they had noticed a drop in sales. Surprisingly they said no, that book sales were quite brisk. So are magazine sales. One manager mentioned her take saying "people still enjoy the convenience of picking up reading material at the last minute before a flight." she also heard from a couple of customers mentioning they "still like holding a physical book." I think this is easily understood with the generations who grew up with physical books. It's the younger generation that has grown up with computers, I-pods, I-pads, Blackberry, etc the now "every day" devices that make up their world. Oh, it's part of our world too, but not the same way it is for them. In some respects it's the only world they've ever known as they entered the age of staying connected. Almost everything is available at the stroke of a keyboard, a push of a button. I thought my generation was truly progressive, but now that I look back on it, I remember four, count 'em, four TV channels. The phone was rotary. And if you wanted fast food, you still had to walk into McDonalds to place your order. If you don't know what a rotary phone is, you can find the definition, online of course, at dictionary.com. Could today's generation even fathom that kind of life? I've embraced it, and I would even say my wife has embraced it more than I have. It has it's advantages.
One more thing on the subject of the "online world." Music. Again it has it's advantages, I've no real complaint with it. But it's missing something. There was more to the music than just the latest hit you can download. These artists create whole albums, and some of them deserve a listen. The old argument was "I only want the hit song." Today that's possible. But I have heard so much good music from many of the albums I've played over the years. In those days I got to know the band. Read the liner notes on the album sleeves, etc. I remember one year I couldn't wait for Paul McCartney and Wings live album to come out, Wings Over America, a two record set of the now famous 1976 tour. It came with a poster, lots of info to read, a gate-fold cover. In fact I was so excited the day of it's release, that I walked past it because the title was in fine letters at the top of the album as you can see here. No band picture, and not very discernible. It's the painting of the side of a plane with the door being opened and the light coming out from within. As in "the show is here!" Perfect. I couldn't wait to get it home and put my vinyl on the record player, listen to the music, and read the album packaging. A lot of times they printed the lyrics, which cleared up a lot of questions during those lead vocal moments of "slurring." It was a positive experience in so many ways. That was my past, and my experience. Hey, as long as they're enjoying the music, then cool. It was just different for our generation ( you know who you are ;-).
Speaking of books getting a new medium, here's something that I recently discovered. Artist Thomas Allen's work with old pulp fiction paperbacks. Rather I should say his work on the actual book itself. He's converted these old paperbacks into works of art, and you see a few of them pictured here. He's actually taken the cover art, cut it to fold out and / or inter work one or more covers with each other to form these unique settings. A simple but good idea. You might think this would be abhorrent to a bookseller / publisher like myself. Let's face it, at this point there have been billions of books published, and from the looks of some of the books he's using, he's given them a new life. I find it intriguing. Check them out if you get a chance. Online of course :-).
Y'all keep shining out there.
The artwork seen here is courtesy of Thomas Allen and the Foley Gallery.
See more of Thomas Allen's Pulp Book Artwork at the Foley Gallery
Monday, September 13, 2010
This video of Frank Zappa on Crossfire from 1986 hits the mark on censorship. As much as we've gained in the last thirty years, we need to remain vigilant with people like Palin, and the voices of the right. Frank Zappa takes on the government in this CNN Crossfire episode when music was on public trial for a time. The Right (or The Wrong as I like to call them from time to time) was trying to blame the ills of the youth on music and art. I would agree that we need to shelter the little ones from adult themes, but otherwise as long as it isn't hurting people who are old enough to understand, then let this country remain free with it's speech and creativity. You don't have to agree with it, you don't have to listen to it or even watch it. But to force your sense of morality or ideals into other lives, when they don't ask for it, is just plain wrong.
You hear me.. "Right."?
When Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks said her peace to a UK audience apologizing for Bush being from Texas, and taking us into war, she caught hell for it from many here in the US. Is there something wrong with "not" wanting to be at war people? Being in a free country, she is allowed to have her opinion. But if you let folks like country artist Toby Keith, who criticized them heavily and saying "We support our troops" then turned around and at his shows featured a backdrop depicting Maines and Saddam Hussein as lovers. What?? Her statement was obviously against the war (not the troops), and this outlandish singer puts her in bed with the enemy? It's unfortunate that Mr. Keith was so misguided (but he certainly used it to promote himself at the same time), and he led a lot of other people (lemmings, these are lemmings I tell ya) into this (CD burnings? - c'mon people). But 'cha know what? It's a free country, and he's allowed to voice his opinion in WORDS and ART. And I say Hallelujah!
Isn't that what makes this country great?
This Crossfire clip really brought it back for me. Images of the band Wasp, with their "saw-blade-crotch" album cover, Tipper Gore, and Dee Snider all comes to mind from these times in the mid 80's.
So here we are back at the video clip I offer up for you to view. John Lofton of the Washington Times is one of the guests on this program. He repeatedly tries to work over Frank Zappa on what words are acceptable in public, and which are not. As a writer for the Washington Times, you would think that John Lofton would fight for everyone's rights to freedom of speech. Watch how he really lashes out at Frank, and tries to rile him up.
As of this posting this video had been viewed over 1.5 million times. I'm here to try and help raise that number. Everyone should see this.
As soon as anyone begins to silence you, me, us, this country is in trouble. Stand up and keep your rights.... and remember.. if you don't like it, turn the channel, don't buy the book, but let others have the right to do so.
Thanks for the WORDS Frank. We miss ya, but your WORDS are still heard.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Recent Articles of Interest
Spielberg Readying Joe Hill comic book show
CASE 39: Horror film, starring Renee' Zellweger and Bradley Cooper, is finally seeing a future release after four years since production wrapped.
Read more on CASE 39
Universal and Ron Howard to begin filming the TV and Film versions of Stephen King's The Dark Tower. Read On...
Jack Ketchum's BROKEN ON THE WHEEL OF SEX: The Jerzy Livingston Years is now available in the 100 copy Signed Sterling edition. This is the complete collection of Jack Ketchum's short fiction from various magazines in the '70's, which also include all of his "Stroup" character stories. Now available in the Overlook Connection Press Sterling edition of 100 copies. Signed by author and artist, as well as slipcased. Bound in a unique material, with autograph stamping, and unique end-papers. A gorgeous production produced with the collector in mind. You can see more pictures of this edition by visiting the link below.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
But what happens if the tables are turned on one of the Repo Men? And he starts sympathizing with the repo-ees (?) because now he's one himself? And his gung-ho partner, who's always enjoyed his "job," is now out to take care of him? Does this story line sound familiar?
I remember a little ditty by William Nolan and George Clayton Johnson in the 70's called "Logan's Run." Anyone remember that one? Sure ya do. When you turn 30 in this future world, your time is up, and you have the chance to win a lottery of sorts to be reborn. Problem is, some people, "Runners," would rather run than take their chances with the lottery. Now a "Sandman" hunts you down to take your life. In this case Logan, a Sandman, is also friends with another Sandman. They've been through thick and thin together, but what if one of these Sandmen have now become a runner? Eh Logan? And your buddy, the other Sandman, starts to hunt you down. It's his job ya know. Dammit. Ain't life a bitch?
Okay, so the scenarios are very similar to say the least, I do realize there are very few original stories out there. Repo Men, although it had the right elements, didn't really pull it off. And that's what I expect. Give me something that has some meat in the story. Something I can grab on to and sink my mental teeth into. Entice me. This one just didn't cut it. Sorry, but the ride for this flick was just "so-so." Watch it if you will, again it's not a bad movie, just not much there I haven't seen before. It needed more story. I should have cared more about these characters "on the run.".
Onto another film mah friends. I was looking around to find out more about an odd flick (weird would be too simple a term for this cinematic entity) I saw recently, BAD BIOLOGY, and the people behind it. I found my answer at BestHorrorMovies.com , with a very apt and studious review by James Lasome. I couldn't have written it better myself. As to the film itself, I couldn't help but think when I began this movie I thought I had entered "Edward Lee Filmland" ala The Bighead, etc. It's that kinda horror-freaky-weird. Although I found the movie to be fairly basic, the lead, played by Charlee Danielson, did a good job. This is not a role just anyone can play. Or that anyone would play. I'll definitely give her credit for that. I'm sure some editing had to cut out break out laughter from her at times during filming. With that said, this is only for the horror fans with the freak at heart. Not for the overly sensitive or squeamish. And ONLY for mature audiences. I am not recommending this for everyone. Check out Lasome's review here, his review hits the mark.
BAD BIOLOGY FILM REVIEW
And check out the Best Horror Movies web site. These fans are dedicated to the genre and have plenty of reviews and discussions. I learned quite a bit in the short time I was there. One more bookmark for Dave.
Best Horror Movies.com
Friday, September 3, 2010
There's a light snore coming from my left. It rises, falls, then a pause and it begins again. I take a quick look: it's our high schooler who is now snoozing on the couch after a long seven hours tonight. He performs saxophone in his high school band. Snoozing isn't quite right... a light snore is more like it. At this rate he'll sound like his pop here. Naturally in the course of 40+ years, I've earned mine ;-)
It has been awhile since I've been to the Friday night lights of high school football. To attend my family's participation in it that is. But here in Georgia, school is now in session, and the sacred ritual of going to the Friday night game and festivities have begun. Second week in fact. This weeks game is at South Paulding High School (this is an away game for us) and we're here to hear our son play in the Hiram High School Band. This is his freshman year, so the next four years of Friday night lights, at least for the Fall, are now set for us to attend. The Hiram Hornets played against the South Paulding Spartans this evening. As we arrived to the game, the sun was out, but waning. On the way over to the game the temperature dropped 4 points down to 90 degrees. It was a time to rejoice! This time last week it was 98 degrees! This week the humidity is receding, and tonight was especially low. What? Does this mean that Fall will come this year? After a record heat this summer (July was noted as the hottest month on record in this country), I was beginning to wonder. I wasn't expecting any relief until October. So we're off to a good start!
My wife and I approached the field tonight with anticipation in the air. The concession stands...
Wait.. our young man (I almost wrote 'boy', where did that boy go?) is now turning over on the couch. A quick snort to catch his breath and he's back to his light snooze. I just noticed he's still wearing his band pants. I thought they were shorts he put on. It seems these pants can collapse, while on the person. Being horizontal helps of course. However the socks are definitely off. I think the socks were the first clothing to hit the floor when he hit the door as we got home.
Okay where was I?
stomach strings. You know, when you're watching that film and they show you the sad scene that pulls on the 'heart strings'? well I have 'stomach strings' and the pull was getting stronger. Maybe I could sneak in an order of fries later. Maybe. When the wife goes to powder her nose. Maybe. A sip of the Diet Coke and my focus is back on the game ( but maybe... tug, tug).
The beginning of the game showed promise for the Spartans. A slight worry for the Hiram Hornets. The way the Spartans were taking that ball down field against our boys had me more than a little concerned in the first few minutes of the game. Wifey said "nah, now that coach has seen what they can do, they don't have a chance." She was absolutely right. It wasn't an easy kill, but kill 'em they did. Maybe kill is a harsh word, a severe beating is more like it. They put up a good fight and it was an entertaining game. Hiram Hornets 31 to their 7.
And the band? I am very impressed with the HHS Band. Wow! They are good. Very good. Yes, I'm biased, but I would also be the first to tell you they need work. I'm sure they do, but I couldn't tell you where, and I have a fairly good ear. They're in good hands with Dr. Davis and Mr. Gibson at the helm. Looking forward to hearing more. I've been through this before at Lassiter High School with two previous sons (and I've sold lots of hot dogs in their concession stands at home and at the now defunct Atlanta Stadium too) who were also in marching band. It's a good feeling helping out and being a band parent again.
Two weeks, two wins. I'm liking this. And I get to hear great music (with our boy - he'll always be "our boy') from the HHS Band. Watching them perform at half-time is always a treat. They work hard all week to bring us these Friday nights. What else could 'cha need?
Well maybe a dog and some fries (the smokin' grill was just too much for me). Just grabbing my dog here and..OH! It's naked! My dog is naked! Mustard! Somebody pass me the mustard and quick!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
The premiere trailer is now up and it's very enticing. I've just read that it has now been picked up for a second season. Talk about some major support from AMC two months before it even airs! Now that's what I call faith people.
You'll notice that they've inserted The Walker Brother's 1965 hit "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" which is just hilarious.. it fits. Kudos to whoever added this, it gives the trailer a little brevity in all the death muck that comes with this zombie tale.
Check it out... let me know what 'cha think. Dave
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Excuse me, I digress... Python's song "Sit on My Face and Tell Me That You Love Me" is one of my all time teenage favorites (see how I try and throw that back to my "teenage" years... hoping that my peeps will think I am more mature these days. Hey! I heard that back in the peanut gallery!). Along with the skits like Dead Parrot, Cheese Shop, and the Bookstore that was a front for secret agents, all the shows, and the fil-ems. And of course I've followed most of their solo careers as well. Thanks to Kelly and Matt, they took us to see Spam-O-Lot last year - what a riot! I wondered how they could pull this off on stage. But Eric Idle (and I believe Neil Innes?) wrote some great new songs for this show. They revisited The Holy Grail, and gave us new and entertaining bits as well. Heh, heh, I said "bits."
I bring up the Python's because I finally got a chance to see their wonderful 2009 documentary, "Monty Python: Almost the Truth." It's six episodes, running about 5 hours in length, that take you down memory lane and then some. With the back story of so much of this troupe's career, and the where and why of so much that was just happenstance creation (hey, really, isn't most of it all just happenstance?). It really was great fun with to visit with them in new interviews with the Python's (except for Graham Chapman of course, who passed away) along with many guests and regulars from the show who share their often hilarious moments.
I did learn in this show that Terry Jones, one of the Python's, actually "saved" all the episodes we see today. The BBC, instead of keeping a lot of the shows they taped, they would save the 90 pounds per tape and "re-use" them! What you say?! You read that right. There is a lot of material that was not saved, especially from the 60's, that is not available because they "taped over" these original shows. Terry Jones told them he would buy each tape from them to keep the shows history. Ironically, it was the BBC who came to him years later and asked if they could borrow the tapes to play the shows! If you remember in our country, it was actor/creator Jackie Gleason who had his shows taped for future presentations. Of course at the time the studios couldn't foresee these would be seen again. And that was in the 50's. So thank you Terry Jones, and Jackie Glesason, for insuring that we all got to see your shows, again, and again, and again.
So a big WATCH THIS goes out to Monty Python: Almost the Truth. It's perfect for us fans, and if you've never seen the Python's, this is a good introduction to this kooky, wacky troupe.
Friday, August 20, 2010
This brings me to Invasion: Earth, a six episode BBC series from 1998. Yes, that's right, I've just seen it 12 years later (thank you NetFlix!). This one does have a story, and I began to get involved with the characters, I was hooked. So this is where it gets interesting, the aliens are infiltrating (I won't tell you how or why) our system, our world as it were. And of course they're coming to take over the UK first! Better call up Manchester to come and kick some arse (that and a few pints of Guinness at their side). As we go along in the story, you have to wrap your head around the fact that this story is dealing with some weird avenues of "science" fiction. Which they continue throughout the whole series. They didn't just plop a little science fiction down in the first episode and then start kicking the alien ass. No, there is science all over this bad boy. But again, they kept a story going, with characters you like (and dislike) that makes you want to continue to tune in for the next episode. So if you have a chance, watch this, it's not your SGC or Star Trek, but I dare say it's a thinking mans story. Not that I have any idea about some of the science in this, ( certainly, mostly fiction ) but it was very interesting. As I'm watching the credits, (yes, I'm one of those), I see one of the names under "Story" is none other than Stephen Baxter. Yes "that" Stephen Baxter. The science fiction writer, who is known for "heavy in the science" department of his fiction. Which brought me back to yes, this is a science fiction story. Truly.
On science fiction in text, as well as film, that I've really found informative is The British Science Fiction Society for a lot of up-to-date happenings, interviews, and the like. Those British have a lot going on, (thankfully!) and of course a lot of their work gets published over here in the US as well. Some very specialized releases are coming from PS Publishing in the UK these days, in signed and limited releases from science fiction and horror writers.
You can get a great idea of PS Publishing in one of their Postscripts anthologies. The Michael Marshall Smith issue is particularly good and if features many authors like Chris Fowler, Rick Hautala, Connie Willis, Tim Lebbon, Joe Hill, Mark Morris, Stephen King (you've heard of him ;-), and a lot more.
You can see more about POSTSCRIPTS 10 at the Overlook Connection Bookstore.
Visit the British Science Fiction Association home page HERE!
I love a good story, no matter what the format. Don't we all? I think my beginnings in hearing good stories began when I was very young. As a family we were constantly on the move. In fact I figured out that we moved about every two years until my sophmore year in high school. At least I was able to graduate with my class mates of, count 'em, "three" years. One of the wonderful things I discovered of traveling, moving or otherwise, was late at night they played a radio show I'll never forget. Our father would always search these out on the AM stations and eventually he'd come across it, around 11 pm or, (theme music here please) midnight! It was the CBS Radio Mystery Theater hosted by E.G. Marshall who would intone "Come in... Welcome" with the drums in the beginning, and the weird trumpet eliciting the hairs to stand up on the back of my neck. Hey, I was a kid, and this was scary stuff! The show featured actors from all walks of life. Anyone out there remember those? Man, that was some cool listening material. Some of of it was mystery, but some splashes of supernatural and un-explained, were thrown in there too. At least that's how I remember it. And yes, this is the official logo for the CBS Mystery Theater.
Later, as an adult, I learned writers for this show were Alfred Bester (who received the first Hugo Award ever given for Best Novel for The Demolished Man in 1953), and Henry Slesar ( many episodes of Alfred Hitchcock presents, Man From U.N.C.L.E., Twilight Zone, Tales of the Unexpected). And then there's Sam Dann, the writer that wrote 311 (out of 1,399) episodes of the CBS Radio Theater between 1974 and 1982. Where's his award? Whew!
Actors? Let me tell ya.... Roy Thinnes ( lead actor in The Invaders), Richard Crenna, Kim Hunter (Planet of the Apes "Zira" for the sci-fi geeks, but she was in decades of film) was in about 25 episodes, Jerry Stiller, Ruby Dee (The Stand), Amanda Plummer, Ed Ames, Kathleen Quinlan, Jerry Orbach, Agnes Moorehead, Kevin McCarthy, (Original Invastion of the Body Snathers), Casey Kasem (the voice of Top 40!), and did you know John Lithgow was in ten episodes! Too many more to mention here.
For years I wanted to share these with my family, but as far as I know they were never produced for public sale. I recently found an MP3 set of all the episodes for a few bucks! For me, this was a wonderful find. I would think there would be market for these episodes. But then again, I grew up in a world of four - FOUR - TV channels, and a few radio stations. Now, you could stay awake 24-7 and "never" be able to see or do all that's available today. Movies, video games that can take days (weeks) to complete, tv series, et el. What's funny about that is, I remember when television stations would go "off" the air at night. They would show the American Flag of the US and play our anthem, and then fooossssshhhhhh white static until the morning programs. The youngun's today can't even imagine a world like that. Hey, don't get me wrong, I like a lot of what I can do today with the technology that's been passed around to us. But in many ways it seems just too busy. With that said, it's time to go out and throw the new Frisbee I bought for the family. Something we can do "outside" and physical. Of course, if we're not sure what we're doing with it, or how to throw it, this Frisbee came with a DVD. Go figger.
Listen to episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater HERE!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
BY HILLEL ITALIE
NEW YORK -- Elaine Koster, a publisher and literary agent with a knack for new talent who gave a second chance to an obscure horror writer named Stephen King and took on unknown Khaled Hosseini and The Kite Runner, has died... Read complete article here.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Visit the official Haven web site here!
This series is pretty damn good so far (I'm on the 2nd episode as I write this). Check it out when you get a chance. Of course you can view episodes at the SyFy web site too. We'll see where it goes as it has added some extra "thangs" in this story.
Of course we have copies of the original novel, The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, in paperback and signed hardcover releases at The Overlook Connection Bookstore if you need a copy. Just Click HERE!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Netflix! Oh you wonderful idea of a company YOU! I remember when Netflix first began, my first thought was, hell yeah! This is a "no brainer" (yeah, why didn't I think of this?). My actual first thought was, "okay, wait, wait, wait, let me get this straight. Yer tellin' me that I can sit home, pick out my movies on the 'puter, and 3 will arrive immediately (based on your subscription - you get what you pay for - more funds, more movies, less funds, etc.)? Then wait, wait, let me make sure I understand this second part, there are NO LATE CHARGES? I remember when I told my local Blockbuster this a few years ago, they said "oh, but you don't have the ease of this, that and the other." They had to be kidding. Of course they were boasting the no late charges "anymore" too. Yeah, right, they still charged after a certain time frame. Not Netflix! In fact, I discovered that all those indie movies, those special sets, documentaries, all those odd, weird and cool films that I had been looking to see for years, was now a day or two away. Add to your Que and voila! there it was.. waiting in the wings for it to get to my door.
And then, just when I thought I had it all... they go and do something just plain GREAT! I can watch thousands of movies, TV shows, you name it, on my computer. Instantly! Better than that, I can now plug up my DVD player (on my network) and play "any" of those shows on my TV!! Now how great is that! I'm gonna put a refrigerator and a special commode (don't ever here that word anymore do ya?) right in front of the TV. Better yet, why don't I just.... wait.. wait.. my lovely wife is telling me.. if I want to keep a marriage that I will stop my Monty Pythonesque ranting right here. Right.. on with the show... (sorry honey).
RECENT VIEWINGS I MUST... TELL.. YOU... ABOUT... I .. MUST!
THE KILLING KIND: This film starring an effective Andrew Howard and directed by Paul Sarossy, was nothing that I could have foreseen. This is a thriller, killer, psychological mind screw that is predictable one second, and then turns left when you think it's gonna jog right. Jon is dedicated to his job. A job of killing, but a job he has perfected, from start to clean up finish. Although obviously controlled much like a puppet in a Punch and Judy show, he does his job well, and he's effective. Thorough. His boss makes sure he is taken care of, just as long as Jon is doing his dirty work for him. When a chance encounter with an old mate begins to bring him back to humanity, this is when the ball of this tightly wound yarn of a man begins to unravel. Where it goes from there is just funked up. Yes, a very violent flick, you should know this up front, but it has it's down moments as well. Well.. maybe one or two.
I must mention Geraldine O'Rawe whose kind hand and gorgeous face, was perfect for this role. If you have any clue how this film is going to turn out, then I want you to read my palm - you're a miracle worker! I liked to be surprised in a story (although at my age, surprise isn't what I get much anymore :-). I'm not sure surprise is the word I would use here for this film, but like many others before it, I just waited to see where we would go next. Glad I saw it. Not sure how to recommend it, but recommend I do. I think writers will get a kick out of it. Now it's your turn.
GHOST MACHINE: Another one that I enjoyed. A nice surprise actually. Some weekend warriors decide to borrow some high-tech computers, set up some gadgets all over an old prison, and begin playing in cyber space. But with a twist: the gadgets, again placed all over the building, put the cyber gamers within the walls of this prison. As they shoot the "bad guys" coming after them, and around every corner, they fail to see that they're not alone... well... at first. It seems There is now a "Ghost" in their machine, and it is very angry, with deadly intentions. And for good reason it seems. As you're led down the path of the inevitable destruction, some with a really big chain and hook at one end (no Pin Head here), you get caught up in the "what's around the corner" thrills and chills of this ghostly mayhem. There's more going on here than meets the proverbial "eye" and the story is played out well. The actors, mostly unknowns, are a good cast that work well together. A cyber thriller with a nice splash (splashes?) of horror within. A lot of fun and definitely worth watching. All the way to the end. Clink, clink.
Up Next: The Runaways! (with Dakota Fanning? I dunno... I'll let 'cha know next time).
Friday, July 30, 2010
MONDAY: First day: Hey buddy, why don't you go lay down for a bit." he said, "no, I'm okay, I'm not tired, I'm just exhausted." Exactly :-).
After a shower, he plopped himself down on the couch, and sitting up, promptly went to sleep with his chin propped up by his arm.
TUESDAY: End of day two: We're out at our local favorite Mexican establishment for dinner, enjoying the chips n' salsa. He says, "I'm not sure I can do this. There is so much music to learn, I just don't think I can do it." I told him, "listen my man, it's only been two days. You can't learn it all in two days. Cut yourself some slack." Fortunately he's an over achiever, but the side effect is you can put too much stress on yourself. Mom and I are giving each other the "look" across the table.. uh oh.. is this the beginning of the end of high school band? We put our own fears aside and see what tomorrow brings.
WEDNESDAY: Day three - hump day - here we go: I worked late so I was up late. Mom reports that our band camp survivor was energized this morning, ready to go. After last nights comments, this is a glimmer of hope. Mama decides to go pick him up a bit early, to hear the band. She is quite impressed at what they've learned in two days. He comes home and goes next door to play with a friend. This is a "normal" thing here. This is a very good sign.
THURSDAY: Which day is this? After mama's comments yesterday I tell her I want to go early today and hear the band myself. We enter the band room, my first time, and the band is playing. Frankly, I'm quite impressed. Such a full wall of sound assaulting us. My first impression is simply, Wow! Our band camper is obviously feeling the energy being a part of the band. This band director knows what he's doing, and the band follows his commands promptly and at attention. I've been thru this before with 2 other sons in high school band, and it was much larger than this one. They won a national award one year as the Best High School Band. So to hear our boy's band, although much smaller, put out such a wonderful sound, I am quite impressed.
FRIDAY: Last day. Band camper tells us "I wish this wasn't the last day of band camp." Mama and I almost fall out from this announcement. As we pull our jaws back up off the floor we realize he's made it! He gets it! He's become a part of the team, and he feels the pride and accomplishment in being involved in the band, which he also realizes his band sounds good.
And he went armed with his super soaker for the "after" activities which involve squirt guns and water balloons. So "this" is what it's like to be in band :-).
Tonight we dine! (at the band camp dinner for students and parents). What desert to bring? Hello, bakery? Yes, we'd like six dozen lady fingers for the wood wind players. 2 dozen eclairs for the tuba section, and how about a big ol' chocolate cake for percussion? Yep.. that sounds about right.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Stephen King's cover art for his next release, FULL DARK, NO STARS, is featured here and is expected November 9, 2010 from Scribner. Coming in at 384 pages, FULL DARK, NO STARS, continues his novella series releases that began with DIFFERENT SEASONS decades ago. Great title, and the cover has me curious about the content.
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Scribner (November 9, 2010)
The story titles and plot synopses for Full Dark, No Stars are:
The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.
A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage.
THE ENTERTAINMENT KING.
Uncle Stevie, aka Stephen King, has been writing for Entertainment Weekly magazine for several years now with reviews, views and the like. If you've missed any of it or just want to revisit, you can. You can view his entire output at the EW site.
Stephen King's Entertainment Weekly columns and reviews - You can view all of them here.
The American Vampire, an original series by Stephen King and Scott Snyder, has just completed it's first story arc. Definitely for mature readers, this American vampire lore grabbed me by the boo-boo from the get-go and I've enjoyed each and every issue that's been delivered here at the Overlook Connection Bookstore. You can read more about it and pick up a complete first printing set at our store. You can also read more about the series below.
ORDER a First Printing set of AMERICAN VAMPIRE at the Overlook HERE!
SCOTT Snyder continues on with the American Vampire series, Stephen King departs.
VISIT The Stephen King Catalog website HERE!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Hey, if we're ever in the area, I'll be ordering a double shot of choc while searching out the peeling halls. My son pointed out to me that Ghost Hunter's has also been there recently. That must be some good chocolate.
See more about The Shawshank Redemption Prison here!
See the Official Website of Mansfield Reformatory Prison
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Read a Local Article on Stand By Me HERE!
Monday, July 19, 2010
NO OIL! Had a ten day vacation with the family down in Panama City Beach and took a load off for a few days. Lots of seafood, especially raw oysters and beer! One thing we love to do is go down and have have a mess load of shrimp and crab legs steamed in Old Bay and/or lemon pepper seasonings. MMmm Mmm good people. No oil on the beach! They did have people checking in the mornings combing the beach up and down, but nada.. nothin' clean as a... well you get my meaning. Water was almost sauna warm at times. If you're ever down that way you should visit some local favorites like "Dusty's" on Front Beach road. This place is always busy, even in the off season, because it's a favorite with the locals. They shuck oysters right there in the bar and Scotty O' has been the world shucker champion 3 times! I believe he had to go to Ireland for that one. He's been there for at least 15 years or more. Another fave of ours is "Hunt's" in downtown Panama City. Their cajun baked oysters and fried seafood platter are the best (no honey, I SWEAR I didn't eat no fried food.. ;-).
We always save some of the summer movies to see while we're down there in PCB and TOY STORY 3 is just fantastic. Do yourself and your family a favor and make a night of it - fun dinner, see the movie, maybe a double scoop afterwards (we had Dippin' Dots - man they're making a fortune offa that). It's a wonderful film and yeah that had ten years to make this and tweak that, but the proof's in the pudding. And the writing in this film is just plain good. I've been catching every Pixar film when it's released (The Incredibles being a real fave of mine) and if you've been watching the Toy Story series, this is a nice coda to it all. I was surprised at the emotion that I, and my family, felt during this story. That's a big pat on the back to Pixar, Woody and Buzz.
A TREE DOWN: A couple of days back and recouping from vacation (funny how that happens) and had a wind storm that was almost a tornado. Might as well have been.. it took down our 80 yr-old Oak tree in the backyard, which took down another huge Maple tree. Thankfully it went backwards and not forwards - which would have been our house. These trees covered our wonderful courtyard and pavillion and we are truly in mourning here at the Hinchberger hacienda. We have to be thankful that we're all okay, and the house is in one piece. Everything has been cleared away now, and I haven't seen this much sun in our backyard - ever. I am making some good out of the bad though... the Oak tree, which was ten feet in radius!, was cut very high, and we're going to build a gazebo around it! No joke! It's going to make a great bar and a new addition to our back area. And we still get to enjoy the ol' red Oak we've loved for all these years. But this time we'll just be sharing a Tecate (with lime) on it. I'll work on putting some pics up for all to see.
My son and I went to see GROWN UPS the new Adam Sandler flick with Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, and David Spade. A lot of fun, and what my wife calls a "boys movie" and she's probably right in this case. However, as with a lot of recent Sandler films, he's been working on more family friendly films, this is one you can enjoy. Certainly there is suggestive material, but it's not flagrant. Being that I'm around the same age as Sandler, I always enjoy his music picks from the 70's and 80's - let's me go back... time to make another CD collection ;-).
Brian Keene's THE LAST ZOMBIE first issue arrived! The long-awaited original story (with more story arcs to come as I understand) has begun. The artwork, by Fred Perry, is good, effective. I do wish it was a little lighter in their faces, but it's a personal preference and doesn't change the fact that I am already intrigued and looking forward to issue no. 2.
You may have noticed the the front page to The Overlook Connection Bookstore website has been updated. We've worked on making it a little more uniform and easier to see what we have in stock, and what's coming up. Let me know what you think. In fact I'm open to any suggestions and ideas you might have to make it easier to visit our store.
Hey, that's it this time out, but I should be back soon with a lot more
Monday, June 21, 2010
The Green Room at Showtime
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
RECENT NEWS & HAPPENINGS June 18th, 2010
Nick Mamatas at SyFy gives the LOWdown on the new JONAH HEX movie, the hoedown on the horror flick SPLICE, and some news on the new Speilberg TV projct TERRA NOVA.
THE LAST ZOMBIE - 2nd Story Arc In The Works!
Brian Keene's post on The Last Zombie original comic series and the announcement that he is indeed writing for a second story arc!
THE WALKING DEAD
Frank Darabont's THE WALKING DEAD - Residents of Atlanta have posted photos from set! Sneak Peek HERE!
Review of Stephen King's Blockade Billy from Bookhound is now up.
Justin Cronin On Good Morning America on his vampire novel The Passage with a Surprise Visit from Stephen King!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Frank Darabont and Executive Producer Gale Hurd discusses The Walking Dead.
New Photo From The Atlanta Set of THE WALKING DEAD!
Wait until you see the REST of this zombie's body.. they're not holding back on this one at AMC! Awright!
Robert Kirkman's original, and very popular zombie series, The Walking Dead, is getting first class treatment with a six episode TV series this fall from director / writer Frank Darabont. They're filming the series here in Atlanta for the month of June.
For those of you new to this original graphic series, the story centers around Police officer Rick Grimes, who leads a group of survivors in a world overrun by zombies. I think one of the reasons that this series has been so popular, is the writing of the characters and the struggle they go through is very real. The artwork is simple, effective, and lends itself well to a story that is driven by humanity and survival. Which means, yes, you do have to bash alotta zombies to get through this new life. Another apocolyptic tale for the Dave man here. Love these stories! Why? Because it's interesting to see what the possibilities are. The horror of it all. Believe me I'm happy to read or watch from the comfort of my comfy chair, but then that's what's attracted me to "the horror of it all."
It's not surprising that Frank Darabont has taken on the Walking Dead story. This is a natural fit for Darabont, who does wonders with character drivin tales. From his first short film, Stephen King's The Woman in The Room, the Jim Carey film Majestic, and of course the ever popular films The Green Mile and the movie of hope, The Shawshank Redemption. Frank Darabont knows how to tell the tale and I am certain that AMC has a great team with the right director with creator Robert Kirkland's The Walking Dead. We'll see this fall!
I'm looking forward to visiting The Walking Dead set next week and get a sneak peek into Frank Darabont's pilot episode for the series. So check back as I'll report in soon.
The Overlook Connection Bookstore has many of the books in the series if you'd like to see what all the commotion is about :-)
The Walking Dead at the Overlook HERE!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
In a word, WOW! I actually ordered this from NetFlix and it was on the way to me yesterday when The Orphan popped up on HBO late last night. I was working late on my piece for The Walking Dead set visit and still a bit tired from the sweltering the day before on set, but... The Orphan had just started and I've been looking forward to seeing it. So I stayed up. Much to my body's chagrin, but here I was, slowly being swept up into the slow, but climbing tension filled story of The Orphan.
The pace of the film is almost hypnotic as you become involved with the characters one by one. A family of four decides to adopt after the couple has lost a child during pregnancy. Visiting a local orphanage, they find Esther (or did she find them?), a 9/10 yr, old and bring her home. Esther's true colors begin to show fairly quickly, and step mom picks up on the manipulation. But mom can't quite put her finger on what is happening to her home and family. Esther, is obviously young, but shows many elements of being "beyond her years" and this is what keeps mom, and us, on the edge. If you think you know what's going on, fugghet about it, just watch and be entertained.
And speaking of being on edge, this film kept me there throughout most of it's 2 hours. David Johnson's writing is very good in this film. Everything about this production is good from the directing, editing, and acting. This is one of those films that I'm sure didn't receive a lot of screens when it was released, but as a DVD will survive and grow with word-of-mouth (as of today, Netflix had 144,000 ratings! Impressive). So here's my vote of "watch this" and be sure to grab a drink and pop the popcorn first. You want to stay in your seat, well, at least on the edge of it, for this suspenseful and disturbing tale. I won't be adopting anytime soon.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
RECENT NEWS / HAPPENINGS
If you're in NY today, on June 15th, you can see Neil Gaiman and Joe Hill & others reading from/talking about STORIES, the new anthology just released. http://bit.ly/929Srx.
David Johnson, screenwriter of the horror film, Orphan (starring Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga), sat down and talked with Lance Carter during Comic-Con. I met David, who was Frank Darabont's assistant, during the filming of The Green Mile back in '98 (man.. has it been that long?). I knew David was working on his own screenplays, and it's good to see him out there and getting films! He's also worked with Stan Lee recently as well. He's been getting a lot of attention with ORPHAN recently. So check David out.. I think we'll be seeing more of his work soon.
Interview with David Johnson, screenwriter of Orphan.
Publisher Dave Barnett puts Necro Publications on hold. Back catalog will still be available. Read more here.
10 Stephen King Stories That You Didn’t Know Were Being Made Into Movies
Well... some of these you probably did know, but there are new reports and updates here to check out.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Simon and Schuster is having a giveaway on Stephen King's Blockade Billy for all you interested readers and fans!
Simon & Schuster has announced a new contest open to US residents in the 50 states and District of Columbia who are 18 or older which will run from June 11th-30th. Ten winners will receive a limited edition Blockade Billy poster, a copy of Blockade Billy, and a copy of Under the Dome. Twenty runners up will receive a limited edition Blockade Billy poster and a copy of Blockade Billy.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Directed by Craig R. Baxley who has previously brought several Stephen King yarns to the screen such as Storm of the Century, Rose Red, and the Stephen King Presents Kingdom Hospital series. The suspense that Baxley gave us in Storm of the Century he shows us again in The Lost Room. I had to watch every episode on this 2 disc set, no waiting, no taking time out for lunch, I wanted to see what was going to happen next!
Krause's character ends up with a unique motel room key, which can be used with any door, that always opens to the same motel room in a desert. Unknown to him, his daughter begins experimenting with the key and she eventually becomes part of The Lost Room. Thus begins his quest to find his daughter, and along the way he meets some very interesting characters to say the least. This eventually leads us into a much bigger story that goes back to the event, which began the origin of The Lost Room. And then the ball really gets rolling.
The series, although only one short season, is good storytelling with some adept acting by all involved. Krause's style of acting is not one I'm very fond of. However he did a fine job in this roll. I would say his acting chops certainly lent itself to making this series what it is. Obviously this series could have continued if they had found a large enough audience and I would have enjoyed seeing it go a little further. However they did bring it pretty much full-circle, if a little hastily, it was still an enjoyable few hours and I highly recommend it.
So get lost in The Lost Room, and be sure to have some popcorn at the ready.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
So come on by and sit a spell sometime and I'll pass along what I find and let you know what I think. Oh, and crank up some Pink Floyd will ya? I'm feeling a bit 70's this evening.
Y'all keep on Shinin'
Now imagine your world, as in THE ROAD, is gone, and money, electricity, plumbing... that's all gone. Due to the wars, or whatever caused this apocalyptic event, the weather is colder and the sky seems to be a permanent gray. Growing crops doesn't seem to be much of an option, and people are disappearing. No food, no hospitals, no infrastructure. Damn, what a horrible place to live and actor Viggo Mortenson, in the title role, along with his son (played effectively by Kodi Smit-McPhee) show us just what a struggle it is. Trying to stay clear of the cannibalistic marauders, who rove in packs, or hole up in mansions with their own version of a "fridge" to hold their "meat" is very disturbing. The son asks several times during their moving around, "we're the good guys, right?" He was born after the "event" so he has no real idea of the world his father left behind. The scene with an un-opened can of Coke, discovered hidden away, that the son got to enjoy was a simple and very poignant moment.
Hard to imagine, but this story is very close to home. Not that we live it, but someday, we could. Savagery is just around the corner. I say we leave it on that corner and walk the other way. The alternative is just to horrible to imagine. The movie is good, but one viewing will hold me a lifetime.