Monday, June 21, 2010

The Green Room

I enjoy comedy. And when the comedy boon began in the 80's on cable and then grew across America with comedy clubs in the 90's I was in heaven. It seemed that HBO and cable was giving every other comic an hour stand up show. I think what intrigues me the most about comics is the writing and the relevant topics that they tackle. George Carlin's stand up wasn't just hilarious, but he was poignant and showed the world just how ridiculous humanity can be. Bill Mahr's Politically Incorrect (and now just the Bill Mahr Show) gives us this same kind of humor, at the same time addressing real topics. It's summer, and they always give us comedy on cable in the summer. There's a new show out now from Showtime "The Green Room with Paul Provenza" which is a round table of comedians that just has me rolling. Having people like Sandra Bernhard (met her once.. she didn't speak, to anyone she met backstage... I guess I wasn't Madonna. Insert rim shot here.), Roseanne Barr, and Bob Sagat in a recent show, man, no subject is off limits, and they feed off each other. Funny stuff. If you can see it, watch it. Not sure how long it will last but it's a lot of fun to watch them banter and build. Catch it if you can.
The Green Room at Showtime

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grade "A Team"

Take yerself, yer wife and kids (uh, teens on up what with the violence and some language and all gang), rush on down to the local theater. Buy your tickets, sneak a peek in the bathroom (ya don't wanna get up during this action fest), grab yer drink and popcorn and get settled in. The "A-Team" is one smash hit for this summer and a definite popcorn movie. I LOVE popcorn movies, cuz you just leave your brain at the door and enjoy the ride. This is gang busters from start to finish. And I do mean finish - stay after the credits - it's fun. I wait thru credits sometimes to see if there's going to be a surprise. With the history of the TV series, I figgered there would be one here. The comaraderie between the actor/characters is tangible and the audience and I laughed quite a bit at the antics. Especially Mr. T's whining about flying all the time. Hey, it's the A-Team so you know it's full of crash-boom-bang with movie flair. The actors pull it off well and the writers and film makers know what they're doing. Doesn't hurt that Ridley and Tony Scott have also produced this one. If they sell stock for the sequel, I'd buy it, because this is the beginning of a successful franchise. Watch this and have fun. Boom.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Darabont's Walkin' The Dead in My Atlanta This June

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

The Orphan - On the Edge of my Seat Baby!

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


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.

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

A Chance To Win a Stephen King Blockade Set!

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

I Found The Lost Room. So Should You.

Thanks to the DVD release I finally got a chance to take a gander at the original Sci-Fi series, The Lost Room, starring Peter Krause, Kevin Pollack, Julianna Margulies, and in a surprise return, actor Dennis Christopher who's always given us that creepy edge he brings to roles.

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

Ah... Feels Good to Post Again...

YO! I'm back online and ready to start posting again. For those of you who don't know me, I run the Overlook Connection Bookstore and Press. Have been since 1987, and I've seen a lot of people come and go in this biz-o-books. A lot of people still around too I'm happy to say. Running a commercial concern can take up a lot of time, and if you have a family like me, there isn't a lot of time to post some days. But dammit I like to discuss and get out there with what's going on in the world, whether it's a movie, concert, book or whatever! I had a blog once on AOL, but they decided to shut down and I just didn't have time to work up another blog. So here I am big ol' world and I'm ready to sling some wordage and report on some happenings from time to time. I will talk about some of the happenings at the Overlook Connection Bookstore and Press, but mostly I'll just be giving my thoughts on this and that in entertainment. My niece, Lisa, calls me "Uncle Entertainment" just because I enjoy being entertained, and I like to spread it around to my friends and family.

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'


Savagery is Just Around The Bend

I was fortunate to see the cinematic version (cinematic - that other word for "movie" ;-) of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize winning novel THE ROAD this week. Had my brother Chris over and our bookstore shipper Gene stayed for the event. I'm a big fan of keeping myself focused when we watch a "new" film, no talking, etc. It's okay if there's a comment here and there, as long as it's during down times and it's not disrupting the experience of the story. For this showing we were glued to the screen with noticeable tension from the body language in the room. From every-body. Not a lot you'd want to say during this film. For the most part you're just trying to take it all in, and for me, at times, it was imagining what would this be like if it really happened to us. And I mean me and my family. That's just how personal it felt at times. Because that's the thing you see: savagery is just around the corner. We all take it for granted the good life we have in this world. At least here in the US, if you work you can have a good life. You don't have to be rich to enjoy your life (although a few more bucks here and there sure would help :-), but if you work, you can own a home, buy a car, raise a family (might have to have mom and dad working these days), etc. To have the right to be able to do those things is an amazing thing. There a many places in the world where survival is a daily event, forget about the long-term, they're just trying to live day-to-day. All we have to do is get our paycheck, go down to the grocery store and pick up the milk, eggs, and all the other things we desire. If you think about it, t takes a lot of people and operations to get those things into our home. It's hard not to take these things for granted, it's just part of our way of life.

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.