Saturday, March 1, 2008

SIGNS YOU'RE HAVING A BAD DAY!

1) YOU WOKE UP IN A STRANGE PLACE.



2) YOU HAD TROUBLE GETTING OUT OF BED.



3) YOU WASHED YOUR HAIR AND COULDN'T DO A THING WITH IT.



4) YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE A HANGOVER AND YOU WEREN'T EVEN DRINKING LAST NIGHT.




5) YOUR NEW DIET DOESN'T SEEM TO BE WORKING.



6) YOU PULLED A MUSCLE WHEN YOU TRIED TO EXERCISE.




7) YOUR NEW HAT LOOKED BETTER ON YOU AT THE STORE.


8) YOUR OLD HAT DOESN'T SEEM QUITE RIGHT EITHER.



9) THE DRY CLEANERS SHRUNK YOUR FAVORITE OUTFIT.



10) YOU KEEP LOSING THINGS.


11) YOU HAVE A STIFF NECK.


12) YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME.


13) THE BOSS CHEWED YOU OUT AT WORK.



14) YOU GOT CAUGHT IN THE RAIN AT LUNCHTIME.


15) THE LUNCH YOU HAD DIDN'T SEEM TO AGREE WITH YOU.



16) YOU GET NO RESPECT.



17) YOU FEEL TRAPPED.



18) TRAFFIC ON THE WAY HOME WAS BRUTAL.


19) UNINVITED GUESTS SHOWED UP AT DINNERTIME.


20) DINNER LEFT YOU FEELING A BIT QUEASY.



21) YOU THINK YOU'RE COMING DOWN WITH THE FLU.

22) YOU'RE ALONE IN THE HOUSE AT NIGHT AND YOU HEAR A NOISE IN THE BASEMENT.

RECENT READING


DEATH OF A VILLAGE is one of the strongest entries in M. C. Beaton’s excellent and comfortable tales of Scottish village constable Hamish Macbeth. In this outing, Macbeth’s determination to get to the bottom of the strange events happening in Stoyre, a minor village on his beat. This larger tale is played out against a series of unrelated minor mysteries – all of which Macbeth clears up in his inimitable highland style.

The trademark charm of the series – quirky humor, eccentric characters, and dark overtones – is in full swing in this 2003 outing. It's easy to dismiss M.C. Beaton's books as light – and they are – but she's a solid writer. She creates characters in a sentence or two and even gives them some depth. Her characters have self-defeating flaws as well as heroic virtues. Her books are relatively short by today’s fist sized tomes, but you get a real sense of people and place – the result of tight, careful writing.


SCORPIA is the fifth outing for teen super spy Alex Rider. Once again author Anthony Horowitz takes his cue from the filmatic James Bond to provide a rip-roaring tale – international criminal organizations (led by meglomaniacal, quirky villains) bent on world domination battling a gadget happy teenager with the luck of the devil. It’s all nonsense, but it’s also incredibly entertaining.

The initial Alex Rider feature film Stormbreaker under performed in its American debut – mostly due to being mishandled by its American distributor who simply dumped it on the market without any sort of coherent advertising campaign. As a result it’s unlikely a sequel will be produced. The books, however, continue to provide fresh thrills and ingenuity and remain the best of teenage spy genre – ahead of even the young Bond series by Charles Higson and Robert Muchamore’s Cherub stories.


In BE MY ENEMY, Christopher Brookmyre, the British answer to Carl Hiaasen, continues his winning formula of mixing intrigue, humour, politics with a good dose of violence and caustic wit. Now, while I agree with the critic’s comparison of Brookmyre to Hiaasen, I have to admit I’ve never been able to finish a Hiassen novel. Brookmyre, on the other hand, always surprises me and constantly makes me laugh at inappropriate times. Maybe it’s the Scottish setting, or the dry British humor I grew up on, but for me Brookmyre stands up just fine outside of Hiaasen’s shadow.

Here, the protagonist of Brookmyre’s earlier books, the wry Jack Parlabane, makes a welcome reappearance. As the novel begins, he is asked to take part in a weekend of "corporate team building" in the comfortable surroundings of a secluded estate. But what sort of course is this? Jack's instincts as a no-holds-barred hack, skilled at uncovering unpalatable truths, warn him something unusual is in the offing, but he's not quite prepared for the extremely dangerous sideshow accompanying these corporate makeovers.

Brookmyre’s narrative is wonderfully abrasive stuff, full of the scabrous insights readers expect from him. But behind the satirically biting prose are some actual ideas – things to take away when the last page is turned – one being we all harbour certain fascist tendencies while stifling our desires to put paid to those who go against us.

The Highland country house in Be My Enemy functions as a hot house in which certain ideas along these lines can be explored – and Brookmyre's conclusions are just as likely to upset politically correct leftwingers as they are to ruffle the feathers of staunch conservatives.

Don’t, however, get the idea the novel is some kind of political tract. Brookmyre is a man who knows ideas in novels must always serve the narrative. Jack Parlabane's one-liners are as spot-on as ever, and the juggling of violence and black humour is perfectly judged.

AN IRISH COUNTRY DOCTOR by Patrick Taylor is for fans of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great And Small series and its many imitators. It’s 1939 and Barry Laverty, MD, can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland.

The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice. At least until he meets Dr. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly. The older physician, whose motto is "never let the patients get the upper hand," has his own way of doing things, which definitely takes some getting used to.

At first, Barry can't decide if the pugnacious O'Reilly is the biggest charlatan he has ever met, or possibly the best teacher he could ever hope for. Ballybucklebo is a long way from Belfast, and Barry soon discovers he still has a lot to learn about country life. But, of course, if he sticks with it, he will end up finding out more about life-and love-than he could ever have imagined back in medical school.

A nice pleasant undemanding comfort read. I’ll be there for the next installment, An Irish Country Village due out in April.


THE LAST KNIGHT by Hilari Bell is set two centuries after the demise of all heroic knight errants. However, the younger son of an aristocrat, Sir Michael Sevenson, naively declares himself the last member of this esteem group and revive the noble profession of doing daring good deeds. Assisting him on his task is the wily Fisk, a con-artist given the choice of spending a long time resident of the kingdom’s prisons or becoming Michael's squire. The two young men couldn’t be more different – whereas Sir Michael believes the glass is half filled, Fisk would slice off the top empty part and claim the glass is filled full.

Fisk is a reluctant recruit, seeing Sir Michael as more of an idiot than a hero. This is proven true after Sir Michael rescues Lady Ceciel from her prison tower, only to learn she is not a damsel in distress, but an accused murderess. In their attempts to return her to justice Sir Michael and Fisk (each telling alternating chapters) forge a surprising friendship clearly designed to lead to further adventures.

In a world filled with magica, a gift allowing its possessor to perform extraordinary tasks, it is still Michael and Fisk's bravery and wits on which they rely to solve their problems. The fantasy world here is well created and provides a perfect landscape on which to play out the story’s moral core – the importance of truth, the value of friendship, and the need for staying true to oneself. The Last Knight is another young adult novel both teens and adults will enjoy.

NEW IRONMAN TRAILER!

GOTTA SAY, EVERY TIME I SEE SOMETHING NEW FOR THE FORTHCOMING "IRON MAN" FILM, IT JUST GETS BETTER AND BETTER. WHILE I'VE BEEN UNDERWHELMED BY MARVEL'S COMIC BOOK FILMS OF LATE, THIS FLICK, STARRING ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. AS BILLIONAIRE INDUSTRIALIST TONY STARK SEEMS READY TO HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK. DOWNEY WAS BORN TO PLAY THE SNARKY DRUNK WHO BECOMES A SUPERHERO.

Friday, February 29, 2008

CHARIOTS OF FIRE -- THE SEQUEL

REASONABLY CLEVER IF NOT QUITE HYSTERICAL REMAKE -- THINK JACK BLACK IN 'BE KIND REWIND.'

CHARIOTS OF FIRE

ONE OF THE BEST SPORTS MOVIES OF ALL TIME -- ONE OF THE BEST MUSICAL SCORES OF ALL TIMES!

R.I.P. MIKE SMITH -- DAVE CLARK FIVE


R.I.P. MIKE SMITH -- LEADER OF DAVE CLARK FIVE DIES


Mike Smith, lead singer of the popular 1960s Beat group Dave Clark Five, has died. He was 64. Smith was admitted to a London hospital earlier in the week and passed away on Thursday after contracting pneumonia. The illness is believed to have arisen after the singer suffered a chest infection, stemming from a 2003 spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed.


Dave Clark Five were one of the British invasion groups popular in the 1960s and the band enjoyed successful runs on the US Billboard chart with singles such as I Like it Like That, Glad All Over and Any Way You Want It. The band, originally from north London, were immortalised in the 1965 feature film Catch Us If You Can, the plot of which centres around a glamorous young couple on the run.


Earlier in the year, it was announced that Dave Clark Five will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

PINKY AND THE BRAIN

THE TWO AND ONLY!

MAN IN A SUITCASE

ONE OF THE ICON SHOWS OF THE '60s, NOW LONG FORGOTTEN -- AND A GREAT THEME SONG!

THE AVENGERS!

THE BEST THERE EVER WAS!

THE KANE TRIPLETS- MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (1968)

NEVER KNEW THERE WERE WORDS TO THE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE THEME!

LATEST GET SMART TRAILER!

THIS LOOKS AS SILLY AS THE ORIGINAL -- AND THAT'S A GOOD THING!

RIP WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR.


RIP WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR.

www.doubleosection.blogspot.com checks in with the following info:

Most obituaries will cite his achievements / notoriety in other fields, but among the many hats worn by the late conservative icon was that of spy novelist. Buckley's amorous hero, Yale-educated CIA agent Blackford Oakes (not to be confused with John Gardner's Boysie Oakes) was perhaps most distinctive among his fictional colleagues for bedding the Queen of England in his debut adventure, Saving The Queen (1976). Interesting, Oakes' Cold War adventures were not contemporary. While they were written between 1976 and 2005, they took place between 1952 and 1987. This enabled Buckley to work his protaganist into real-world intelligence operations. The final Blackford Oakes novel was Last Call For Blackford Oaks.

BURN NOTICE COMING TO DVD THIS SUMMER!


BURN NOTICE COMING TO DVD THIS SUMMER!


It's hardly a surprise to know that Burn Notice: Season One is on its way (presumably timed with the start of Season Two on USA this July), but TVShowsOnDVD has confirmation of that today, if not a date or any tangable information.

Monday, February 25, 2008

LEATHERHEADS!







LEATHERHEADS!

THIS LOOKS LIKE FUN!

WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB UPDATE!


WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB UPDATE!

ABC has found a new showrunner for "Women's Murder Club," paving the way for the show to return, at least briefly, in the spring.

The first-year series, which earned decent ratings on Friday nights in the fall, will produce three more episodes this season, the showbiz trade papers report. Production should pick back up in the next couple of weeks, which means the first new installment will likely air in April.

The show's return this season was contingent on finding a new executive producer and showrunner following the dismissal of creators Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain and showrunner R. Scott Gemmill earlier this month. ABC and 20th Century Fox, which produces "Women's Murder Club," have hired Robert Nathan, a veteran of "ER" and the "Law & Order" franchise, to take the reins of the series.

Despite the behind-the-scenes shakeup, the studio says it expects no major changes to the show, which is based on James Patterson's novels about four women -- a detective, a prosecutor, a medical examiner and a reporter -- who pool their resources to solve crimes in San Francisco. The series stars Angie Harmon, Laura Harris, Paula Newsome and Aubrey Dollar.

"Women's Murder Club" averaged a little under 9 million viewers during its fall run, leading its Friday-night timeslot in total viewers. Its adults 18-49 rating, however, was only 2.0, which trails the season averages for time-period competitors "Friday Night Lights" and "Moonlight" (both are at 2.2).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

STEPHEN MARLOW - R.I.P.



STEPHEN MARLOWE – R.I.P.

Stephen Marlowe was a mystery writer (creator of the P.I. Chester Drum stories among many other novels) during the golden age of private eye fiction, and as such he was the first to bring European and international sensibilities to the hardboiled, slightly tarnished, two-fisted, knights. His passing leaves yet another hole in the pantheon of greats who changed the mystery genre forever.




WILLIAMSBURG, Va.—Novelist Stephen Marlowe, best known for a series of books featuring private detective Chester Drum, died Friday at a hospital after a long illness, his family said in a statement. He was 79.

Marlowe began his career as a writer of pulp and science fiction and wrote more than 50 novels. His series featuring Chester Drum began with 'The Second Longest Night' in 1955 and concluded with 'Drumbeat Marianne' in 1968. His more recent work included fictionalized biographies, including 'The Memoirs of Christopher Columbus' in 1987, 'The Lighthouse at the End of the World' in 1995 and 'The Death and Life of Miguel de Cervantes' in 1996.

Marlowe was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1949 with a degree in philosophy before serving two years in the Army. He spent decades of his working life overseas, mostly in France and Spain, and founded a writer-in-residence program at his alma mater in 1974.

Marlowe received France's Prix Gutenberg du Livre in 1988 and the Life Achievement Award of the Private Eye Writers of America in 1997.

He is survived by his wife, Ann, and two daughters.

BASSETT HOUND BEATBOX

A LITTLE HOMOR! I KNOW - VERY LITTLE -- BUT IT MADE ME LAUGH!