Saturday, May 22, 2010

THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR!

THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR!

BEFORE IT BECAME A CLASSIC SPY FILM, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR WAS ORIGINALLY SIX DAYS OF THE CONDOR WHEN IT WAS A NOVEL BY JAMES GRADY.

NOW, THE LONE IGUANA BLOG GIVES US 28 TIPS AND TRICKS FROM THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, A SPY COURSE BRIEFING . . .


Three Days Of The Condor is a outstanding spy film, filled with tricks galore. The best part? The star, Joe Turner (played by Robert Redford) is not spy or field agent, but simply a reader of everything to do with spying. In fact, most of the tricks he uses come from comics or other books.

1. Turner is known for being late, and taking shortcuts. In the beginning, he takes secret, unofficial exit to save time, and unbeknownst to him, it saves his life. Take shortcuts, make your paths and whereabouts unknown.

2. After discovering his co-workers massacred, he grabs a gun from desk of co-worker for protection. Make sure you have the tools you need to protect yourself.

3. Leaving the scene of a crime in which he was most likely supposed to be murdered, he leaves his bike to avoid suspicion that he is actually alive. Notice that he leaves immediately, rather than staying there and possibly running into the murderers. Scenes of crimes are usually not safe. Get out.

4. Now suspicious, Turner returns to a familiar apartment, a poor choice, and discovers men coming up the stairs. In order to avoid being seen, he travels further up the stairs, rather than go down, out the window or another apartment. Avoid the unknown as much as possible until safety is assured.

TO CHECK OUT ALL THE TIPS CLICK HERE

GRANTON CITY PULP!

GRANTON CITY PULP!

JAMES REASONER, VIA HIS ROUGH EDGES BLOG, TIPS US TO THESE VERY COOL MODERN PULP STORIES FROM GRANTON CITY PRESS . . .

BLACK WOLF #1: METAL MONSTERS OF DOOM


A noted mechanical engineer has gone missing in Granton City, as has a professor with a past live as an inventor of miraculous machines. That puts The Black Wolf on the case.

The Wolf is a vigilante with a pair of Colt .45s, and the attitude that the cops in 1920s' Granton City can too easily be bought, so he has appointed himself himself sheriff, judge, jury and at times executioner. But can even a bad attitude and a loaded gun solve the newest mystery before the world is threatened by a diabolical menace?

To find out you will have to read The Black Wolf #1 - Metal Monsters of Doom, the first release from Granton City Press, and authors Calvin Daniels and Kevin Lee.

The Black Wolf is a Pulp-era hero who adventures were released as a serialized story on the Yorkton This Week Web Extra website. In the fine tradition of The Shadow, and The Spirit, The Black Wolf prowls the shadows doling out his justice with his twin Colt pistols.

THERE’S MUCH MORE ON THE TALES OF GRANTON CITY WEBSITE.

TO CHECK OUT ALL THE PULPY GOODNESS CLICK HERE

COCKTAIL NATION #125 ~ PENTHOUSE PARTY!


COCKTAIL NATION #125 ~ PENTHOUSE PARTY!

Thanks to Tiki Shark, it’s the Cocktail Nation with Koop Kooper! It’s been a tough week, so Koop has decided to hold a party for C grade celebs tonight. Hopefully they won’t bother us as he does the show.

Coming up, Koop takes us to Hawaii to talk to Brad Parker from Tiki Shark, he’ll also play an Exotica band you might be able to help Koop identify ‘cos he can’t! And don’t miss Koop’s look at the world of swank and the regular segment, Ask Koop.

PLAYLIST:

Frank Bennett ~ White Collar Crime
DJ Bonebrake ~ Tango
Don Tiki ~ China Town Bar Cha Cha Cha
David Carrol ~ By Heck Cha Cha Cha
Janet Seidel ~ Crazy World
Spy Fi ~ Zombie Shuffle
Martini Kings ~ Summer Samba
Richard Shory ~ Moonlight Reflection
Vibes On Velvet ~ Bus Pass
Lena Horne ~ Mood Indigo
Lena Horne ~ I'm Beginning To See The Light
Koke Band ~ Love for Sale
Paul Phillips ~ Harlem Nocturne
Richard Hayman ~ Live Just For Tonight
Combustible Edison ~ Utopia
Ninapinta ~ The In Crowd

TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

LIFE ON MARS/ASHES TO ASHES!

LIFE ON MARS/ASHES TO ASHES!


LEE GOLDBERG TIPS US TO THIS ARTICLE IN THE BRITISH NEWSPAPER THE GUARDIAN REGARDING THE FINALE OF THE THIRD AND FINAL SEASON OF ASHES TO ASHES. THE FINALLY APPARENTLY TIES UP NOT ONLY THE ASHES TO ASHES STORYLINES, BUT ALSO SOME LEFT OVER FROM THE SERIES’ PREDECESSOR, LIFE ON MARS.


THE THIRD SERIES OF ASHES TO ASHES HAS NOT MADE IT TO BBC AMERICA OR DVD YET, SO DON’T READ THIS ARTICLE UNLESS YOU CAN’T WAIT . . . I COULDN’T . . .


TO CHECK IT OUT CLICK HERE

THE SERPENT OF THE LAKES

THE SERPENT OF THE LAKES


MEL ODOM


HERE’S THE WORD FROM MEL ABOUT HIS NEW STORY . . .


I just posted a 10,000 word novella on Amazon. The story is an American Indian fantasy that involves a young brave fighting a monster for the return of his lover. There's a bit of history in the story, but it's mostly fun and a lot of action. I really enjoyed getting to write animal spirits as characters.


FOR AN EXCERPT ON MEL’S ADVENTURES IN WRITING BLOG CLICK HERE


THE SERPENT OF THE LAKES


When Taregan's Algonquin village is attacked and left destroyed by a rival tribe, the young brave takes up the hunt for his missing love Kaliska. She has been taken by the Serpent of the Lakes, a monster that has preyed on the lake tribes with impunity.


Enlisting the help of the Three Sisters, magical beings that watch over the People, Taregan pursues Kaliska. He's joined by Beaver, Turtle, and Bear, three spirit guides with powerful abilities.


To find and rescue the woman he loves, Taregan must venture to the bottom of the deep lake and face the monster in the dwelling he has constructed from the bones of his past victims.


TO DOWNLOAD THE NOVELLA FOR $1.99 FROM AMAZON CLICK HERE

THE CAPE!

THE CAPE!

OUT OF ALL THE PROPOSED NEW SHOWS FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON, THIS IS THE ONLY ONE TO REALLY STRIKE MY INTEREST. I HOPE IT’S AT LEAST AS GOOD AS ITS TRAILER BELOW . . .



AIRFIGHTERS #2!

AIRFIGHTERS #2!


COMING IN AUGUST!
WRITERS: CHUCK DIXON AND MARTIN POWELL

ART: OSCAR CELESTINI AND FERNANDO PENICHE

COVER: TOM GRINDBERG.


A GREAT COLLECTION OF NEW DARE-DEVIL ESPIONAGE STORIES OF THOSE HARD-HITTING AERIAL ACES: AIRBOY, IRON ACE, FLYING DUTCHMAN, SKY WOLF, BLACK ANGEL, BALD EAGLE, FLYING FOOL, AND CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT!
72 PAGES, BLACK AND WHITE, $5.99.


MOONSTONE BOOKS

PULP CENTRAL: BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER #26!

PULP CENTRAL: BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER #26!

Now available! Blood ‘n’ Thunder #26 weighs in at 108 pages and is packed with the usual array of articles, departments, illustrations, and advertisements.


The Spring 2010 issue begins with a “Convention Corner” update on this year’s PulpFest. “Tricks of the Trade” reprints a 1943 Writer’s Digest article by G. T. Fleming-Roberts, who describes the various gimmicks he used to plot his pulp mystery yarns. “Cliffhanger Classics” presents a beginner’s guide to collecting movie serials, featuring scans of many rare photos and posters. “Adventurous Airwaves” offers the second and final part of a lengthy excerpt from an excellent new book on the Green Hornet radio show, written by Martin Grams and Terry Salomonson. It includes newly uncovered publicity photos taken in 1937 with members of the original cast.

Feature articles include “A Chronology of Clubfoot,” in which Daniel J. Neyer exhaustively analyzes the all-but-forgotten series of adventure/espionage novels written in the years between the two World Wars by British author Valentine Williams; “Hopalong Cassidy: Birth of a Legend,” Ed Hulse’s comparison of the first Hoppy movie to the 1910 Clarence E. Mulford novel from which it was adapted; and “Unholy Jitters: Sex and Sadism in the Red Circle Horror Pulps,” reprinted by popular demand from the long out-of-print second issue of BnT. The issue closes with “Seven Doughty Doughs,” a lengthy Arthur Guy Empey novelette reprinted from the January 1931 issue of Battle Stories.

Please make your checks or money orders payable to Ed Hulse and send to him at 2467 Route 10 East, Bldg. 15, Apt. 4B, Morris Plains, NJ 07950. Ed also accepts Paypal payments at
bnteditor@yahoo.com.

AWARD WINNING PULP!

AWARD WINNING PULP!


CONGRATULATIONS TO AGE OF ACES AS THEIR PUBLICATION OF THE SPIDER VS. THE EMPIRE STATE: THE COMPLETE BLACK POLICE TRILOGY RECEIVES TWO NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE® AWARDS FOR 2010!


CHRIS KALB'S INCREDIBLE DESIGN WASN NAMED THE WINNER IN BOTH THE COVER FICTION AND BOOK INTERIOR DESIGN CATEGORIES.


FOR MORE DETAILS CLICK HERE

AGE OF ACES PRESENTS!

AGE OF ACES PRESENTS!


DOWNLOADABLE PDF AIR WAR PULP STORIES!


NEW THIS WEEK:


THEY HAD WHAT IT TAKES

PART 3: SIR CHARLES KINGSFORD-SMITH

ALDEN MCWILLIAMS ~ APRIL 1937 FLYING ACES


This week we bring you the third installment of Alden McWilliams’ illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation. It features Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, the Australian pilot renowned for his trans-Pacific exploits. Look for part 4 next week which chronicles the record smashing speed flying of Captain Frank Hawks.

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

SCI-FI CORNER: FLIGHT OF SHADOWS

SCI-FI CORNER: FLIGHT OF SHADOWS

SIGMUND BROUWER


I’VE BEEN READING BROUWER FOR MANY YEARS. I PARTICULARLY ENJOYED MANY OF HIS Y/A SPORTS TITLES. HIS ADULT THRILLERS USUALLY CARRY A CHRISTIAN THEME GETTING HIM RELEGATED BY THE MAINSTREAM AS CHRISTIAN WRITER, WHEN IN REALITY BROUWER IS SIMPLY AN EXCELLENT THRILLER WRITER AND DESERVES TO BE MORE WIDELY READ . . .


FLIGHT OF SHADOWS


Futuristic speculative Christian fiction is rare, and Brouwer (Broken Angel) does it with the skills of an episodic storyteller that make a reader wonder when the movie is coming out.


In a postapocalyptic setting, people live in their cars, called soovies, the government has runaway power, and social classes are stratified into Influentials, Industrials, Illegals, Invisibles. When Caitlyn, an Invisible whose life was a government DNA experiment gone bad, breaks free, she is pursued by a bounty hunter for the Influentials.


What's darkly horrifying about the book is the plausibility of the story, built on world conflicts in which water causes war, ethicless DNA testing turns a profit, and immigration is intended to create a labor class bordering on slavery. With vivid character description and fascinating details (implanted credit card chips in the finger tips are used for purchases), Brouwer paints a fierce future.


The world as he sees it could decay to this dismal degree without the redemption found in the Judeo-Christian ethic and renewed democracy that puts power under people rather than over them.

AN EVENING AT BUDDIES LOUNGE #99!

AN EVENING AT BUDDIES LOUNGE #99!

Join the BIG W every Friday evening as he continues to explore, with drink in hand, the Space-Age Pop Hi-Fi musical sounds of the 1950’s and the 1960’s in LIVING STEREO!


PLAYLIST:


• She Love Me - Steve Lawrence

• And The Band Played On - Vic Schoen

• No Moon At All - Ann Richards

If I Were A Bell - Billy May

• Corrine Corrina - Dean Martin

• The Black Knight - Johnny Williams

• Pleasures And Palaces - Lena Horne

• The Odd Couple - Al Caiola

• East Of The Rockies - Bobby Darin

• Stardust - Nat “King” Cole

• Swinger’s Holiday - Marty Paich

• Friendliest Thing - Eydie Gorme

• Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - Peggy Lee

• Roman Blacksmith - Nick Perito

• The Bob From Ipanema - Sarah Vaughan

• The Flight Of The Bumble Bee - Ray Martin

• Please Please Me - Keely Smith

• Some Enchanted Evening - Frank Sinatra

• Here Comes Charlie - Ella Fitzgerald


TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

Thursday, May 20, 2010

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE KILLER MINE!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE KILLER MINE!

HAMMOND INNES


YIKES! I’M POSTING THIS UP EARLY TODAY AS I’M OFF TO SLAY A COUPLE OF DRAGONS AND NEED TO GET MY ARMOR ON AND PICK UP MY LANCE FROM THE DRY CLEANERS . . .


Published in 1947, The Killer Mine, was one of the early novels establishing Innes’ reputation for tension and high adventure. Set in England, three years after the end of World War II, Jim Pryce, a miner by trade, but a deserter from the British army, has just returned to England from Italy. He has made his way to the Cornish coast in the hopes of securing a no questions asked mining job through his friend, Dave Tanner.


When Jim finds Dave, his friend is in trouble with the law for liquor-running. Nevertheless, Dave follows through on his promise and sends him over to talk to Captain Manack, the owner of a local mine.


When he does, Jim discovers Captain Manack doesn’t want to work the old tin mine for profit, he wants Jim to blow a hole through the top of an undersea shaft and flood it. That way, they can create an underwater entrance for illegal liquor to be unloaded into the mine. Will Jim take the job?


THE KILLER MINE


Smuggled illegally into his native land after many years’ absence, army deserter Jim Pryce finds himself deposited on a Cornish beach. Little does he suspect, setting out along the road to Penzance, that he is about to walk straight into a mine disaster, and into a story involving his own history.


On the run, a deserter from the army, Jim Pryce returns to Cornwall. But the familiar places of his childhood are not the welcoming villages they once were. And when the ruthless modern-day smugglers who operate along the deserted coast need his mining expertise, Pryce has no choice but to aid them. The crumbling mine which is his workplace becomes a nightmare killing ground when his usefulness is over. For the smugglers are quite prepared to kill to keep their secrets. And death is the ultimate silence…


Hammon Innes is one of the holy trinity of high adventure writers along with Desmond Bagley and Alistair MacLean. Bagley wrote stronger characters, while MacLean did man-against-nature better than anyone, but nobody can beat Innes when it come to action sequences that thrill while remaining grounded in reality.


Innes, like Bagley and MacLean, is out of favor today in this world of over the top non-thrilling thrillers. Do yourself a favor and seek out one of the masters. The Killer Mine is a great place to start.


A HAT TIP TO JESSE OVER AT THE SFF AUDIO BLOG FOR BRING THIS TITLE BACK TO MY ATTENTION

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

HARKER!

HARKER!

THERE’S A NEW BRITISH CRIME COMIC OUT THERE AND LEW STRINGER OVER AT BLIMEY! IT’S ANOTHER BLOG ABOUT COMICS GIVES US THE LOWDOWN . . .


Wouldn't it be great if there was a new UK adventure comic? A nice quirky crime story perhaps, set in the UK, by British creators, and published every month? Imagine such a comic, there just out of sight, in the corner of your eye.

Well, one such comic is real and has been coming out every month since April 2009 and, to my shame, I hadn't gotten around to plugging it properly on this blog until now. (Sorry lads!) Harker is it's name and it's written by Roger Gibson and drawn by Vince Danks. Issue 12 has just been published and there's also a graphic novel collection of the first six issues to buy under the title The Key of Solomon with another collection, The Woman In Black, due soon.

FOR THE FULL POST CLICK HERE

TO CHECK OUT A FREE ISSUE IN PDF FORMAT CLICK HERE

TV COP SHOW WEEKEND!

TV COP SHOW WEEKEND!

YES, THAT’S MY PICTURE POPPING UP OVER AT THE TAINTED ARCHIVE BLOG.

IN JUNE, GARY DOBBS (WHOSE NOVEL, A POLICEMAN’S LOT, I’M EAGERLY ANTICIPATING) WILL BE HOSTING ANOTHER OF HIS GREAT THEMED WEEKENDS ON THE TAINTED ARCHIVE.

THIS ONE WILL FOCUS ON TV COP SHOWS AND GARY HAS ASKED ME TO THROW MY HANDCUFFS INTO THE RING IN THE FORM OF BOTH A GUEST BLOG AND AN INTERVIEW.


THIS SHOULD BE FUN . . . ASSUME THE POSITION AND STAND BY FOR MORE . . .

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

RAT PACK CENTRAL: BIRTH OF THE BLUES!

RAT PACK CENTRAL: BIRTH OF THE BLUES!

THIS SHOW IS AT KIEL OPERA HOUSE IN ST LOUIS, JUNE 65.

CARSON HOSTED....

CARSON HAD THE TONIGHT SHOW.

THE RAT PACK WERE PLAYING VEGAS.

THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE ONLY TIME CARSON SANG IN PUBLIC.

QUINCY JONES WAS CONDUCTING THE BAND, AND HE IS VISIBLE IN THE BACKGROUND.



RAT PACK CENTRAL: THE ORIGINALS!

RAT PACK CENTRAL: THE ORIGINALS!

“You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together, and blow.” ~ Slim (Lauren Bacall), To Have and Have Not (1944)


BOGART AND BACALL STARTED IT ALL AND THE MINUTE A DAY ABOUT MOVIES HAS STARTED A COOL SERIES OF POSTS THIS WEEK ABOT THE RAT PACK STARTING WITH ITS ORIGINS . . .


TO CHECK OUT THE COOLNESS CLICK HERE


THEN FOR PART TWO CLICK HERE

NOIR CENTRAL: ILLUSTRATOR RUDY NAPPI!

NOIR CENTRAL: ILLUSTRATOR RUDY NAPPI!

TWO-FISTED TALES OF TRUE LIFE WEIRD ROMANCE IS LOOKING FOR INFO ON THIS ARTIST - RUDY NAPPI - AND IS FEATURING A POST ON SOME COOL ILLUSTRATIONS OF HIS COVER ART . . .

TO CHECK IT OUT CLICK HERE

FANTASY CORNER: THE SCARECROW MEN

FANTASY CORNER: THE SCARECROW MEN

SWORDS OF ALBION BOOK 2


MARK CHADBOURN


1593: the London of Elizabeth I is in the terrible grip of the Black Death. As thousands die from the plague and the queen hides behind the walls of her palace, English spies are being murdered across the city. The killer’s next target: Will Swyfte.


For Swyfte, adventurer, rake, scholar and spy, this is the darkest time he has known. His mentor, the grand old spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, is dead. The new head of the secret service is more concerned about his own advancement than defending the nation, and a rival faction at the court has established its own network of spies. Plots are everywhere, and no one can be trusted. Meanwhile, England’s greatest enemy, the haunted Unseelie Court, prepares to make its move.


A dark, bloody scheme, years in the making, is about to bear fruition. The endgame begins on the night of the first performance of Dr Faustus, the new play by Swyfte’s close friend and fellow spy, Christopher Marlowe. A devil is conjured in the middle of the crowded theatre, taking the form of Will Swyfte’s long-lost love, Jenny – and it has a horrifying message for him alone.


That night Marlowe is murdered, and Swyfte embarks on a personal and brutal crusade for vengeance. Friendless, with enemies on every side and a devil at his back, the spy may find that even his vaunted skills are no match for the supernatural power arrayed against him.

FANTASY CORNER: THE SPIRIT THIEF!

FANTASY CORNER: THE SPIRIT THIEF!

RACHEL AARON


Eli Monpress is talented. He’s charming. And he’s a thief.


But not just any thief. He’s the greatest thief of the age – and he’s also a wizard. And with the help of his partners – a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls – he’s going to put his plan into effect.


The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he’ll need to steal some big things. But he’ll start small for now. He’ll just steal something that no one will miss – at least for a while.


Like a king.

STEAMPUNK CENTRAL: VAMPIRE EMPIRE!

STEAMPUNK CENTRAL: VAMPIRE EMPIRE!

CLAY & SUSAN GRIFFITH


STEAMPUNK VAMPIRES ~ WAY COOL!


In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once great cities were shrouded by the grey empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to reestablish their shattered societies of steam and iron amid the mosques of Alexandria, the torrid quietude of Panama, or the green temples of Malaya.


It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming.


Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. She is quick with her wit as well as with a sword or gun. She is eager for an adventure before she settles into a life of duty and political marriage to man she does not know. But her quest turns black when she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan. Her only protector is The Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans.


The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire is the first book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, The Greyfriar brings epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.

KILL ME NOW!

KILL ME NOW!

STEVEN SEAGAL ~ SONGS FROM THE CRYSTAL CAVE (2004)


HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THIS BLUES OUTING? HOW COULD I NOT POST IT ONCE JENSENBRAZIL MADE IT AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD?


TRACK LISTINGS:


01. Girl It's Alright

02. Don't You Cry

03. Music

04. Better Man

05. Route 23

06. My God

07. Lollipop

08. Not For Sale

09. Dance

10. Jealousy

11. War

12. Strut

13. Goree

14. The Light


TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

MOVIE REVIEW ~ HARRY BROWN!

MOVIE REVIEW ~ HARRY BROWN!


Watching master of his craft Michael Caine is the only reason to see this unrelentingly grim British mash-up of Death Wish and Gran Torino. Watching Caine, however, as he starts out as a lonely old man who has lost his wife and best friend before gradually letting out the monster he had become as a British marine in Northern Ireland – a persona he locked in a box and put away years earlier – is almost worth having to sit through the glorified violence, graphic sexual perversity, an uncomfortably extended scenes featuring an array of nightmarish characters.


At 77, Caine’s quiet intensity in the many lingering close-ups rivets viewers as his character builds like a ticking time bomb to explosion point. Caine is the British equivalent of Eastwood as an actor, both men aging gracefully while the quality of their theatrical chops continue to grow and fascinate. However, Harry Brown the film is a poor imitation of the ground Eastwood trod in Gran Torino.
While Gran Torino was a film about social growth and human interaction, Harry Brown little more than a revenge film with as much social depth as Death Wish 5.


While Caine is note perfect in his role, Emily Mortimer as the young police inspector who suspects his actions is completely miscast. Whenever she and Caine are on screen together, his mere presence dominates before any dialogue is spoken. Mortimer is physically frail, playing her part with long lank hair and scared eyes. In an early scene, a subordinate detective asks Mortimer’s character why she would volunteer to work in the hellish ghetto that is their beat. Mortimer tells him to mind his own business, but it is a great question that is never addressed – leaving her character rootless and floundering. Perhaps there were one too many scenes left on the cutting room floor.


The human landscapes in both Harry Brown and Gran Torino are as bleak as can be. Harry Brown doesn’t even have a lawn to keep people off. There is little hope and even less justice. But when Eastwood’s Walt Kowalski character makes his tragic sacrifice, it is completely selfless – his actions bring hope, bring strength, make a difference.


However, Caine’s Harry Brown is simply motivated by anger and despair. He has lost everything, wanting only to die after taking as much scum with him as he can. There is nothing redeeming in Harry Brown – he was a torturing hard bastard in the British marines, and he loses dignity by returning to this psychotic persona.


There is one telling line of dialogue in Harry Brown that cuts through the horror of the violence. Caught in the middle of a youth riot in a London slum, Mortimer’s police inspector tries to calm Caine down by pointing out they are not in Northern Ireland. Caine as Brown verbally explodes, agreeing and telling the inspector the people he fought against in Northern Ireland had a cause, something they believed in, something worth fighting for, whereas the youth rioting around them are simply doing it for entertainment.


One line of trite dialogue, however, no matter how well delivered, does not a movie make. If you are a diehard Michael Caine fan (I am) then wait for Harry Brown on DVD and use your remote judiciously.

THE AVENGERS: A CELEBRATION!

THE AVENGERS: A CELEBRATION!

C.O.B.R.A.S. AGENT TANNER OVER AT THE DOUBLE O SECTION BLOG DECLASSIFIED THIS NEWS YESTERDAY . . .


Titan Books will release a 160-page hardcover book this fall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the greatest of all spy shows: The Avengers: A Celebration - 50 Years of TV's Most Stylish Show by Marcus Hearn.


According to Titan's product description, "Hearn has been granted unparalleled access to the show’s production archives and has collected together a fabulous array of material to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Avengers. Lavishly illustrated, with many unpublished stills, behind-the-scenes photos, and snaps from the ABC & LWT private archive, this is a spectacular portrait of the world's best-loved cult action-adventure series, and its classic sequel, The New Avengers."


FOR THE FULL POST CLICK HERE

Monday, May 17, 2010

THE HAUNTER OF THE DARK!

THE HAUNTER OF THE DARK!

NEW FROM 19 NOCTURNE BOULEVARD . . .


WRITTEN BY JULIE HOVERSON FROM THE STORY BY H.P. LOVECRAFT


FIVE FRIENDS GATHER FOR ANOTHER STORY – THIS ONE OF AN ARTIST DOOMED FOR HIS CURIOUSITY.


WHAT KIND OF A PLACE IS IT?


WHY IT'S ANOTHER BROWNSTONE DINNER PARTY, CAN'T YOU TELL?


TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

THE BIG BANG!

THE BIG BANG!


J. KINGSTON PIERCE OVER AT THE RAP SHEET INTERVIEWS THE EVER ARTICULATE MAX ALLAN COLLINS ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LATE MICKEY SPILLANE AND THEIR CO-WRITTEN MANUSCRIPT THE BIG BANG – A NEW/OLD MIKE HAMMER TALE GATHERING CRITICAL AND FAN MOMENTUM EVERYWHERE . . .


. . . Spillane was right to tap Collins--author of the hard-boiled Nate Heller private eye series, as well as myriad other crime-fiction and movie tie-in works--as his post-grave promoter. Reviewing The Big Bang for the Web site Bookgasm, Bruce Grossman calls it “a fantastic read for longtime Hammer fans who have wanted to see their hero return to form. And wow, does he ever. This is the brutal, go-for-the-throat, bashing-in-heads and take-no-prisoners Hammer that we all know and love . . . Collins does a great job of capturing the Spillane speak and storytelling.”


FOR THE FULL POST CLICK HERE

MODESTY BLAISE ~ DC GRAPHIC NOVEL!

MODESTY BLAISE ~ DC GRAPHIC NOVEL!

I JUST PICKED UP A COPY OF THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL FROM EBAY, BUT BACK IN 2007, VIA HIS GUNS IN THE GUTTER BLOG, CHRIS MILLS GAVE US THE RUNDOWN ON THIS TALE FEATURING DICK GIORDANO’S TAKE ON THE ICONIC HEROINE . . .


Originally announced as a miniseries by DC Comics, this adaptation of the first Modesty Blaise prose novel by creator/author Peter O'Donnell and veteran comics artist Dick Giordano, was ultimately released in trade paperback form as an original graphic novel.


The character of international adventuress Modesty Blaise first appeared in a British newspaper strip in 1963, written by O'Donnell and illustrated by Jim Holdaway. The strip ran until 2001, with O'Donnell always scripting, and featuring extremely fine art by a number of talented British and European artists. (Many of these strips have been reprinted over the years, and I'll get around to reviewing some of those reprint collections here eventually.)


In 1966, a big-budget feature film was produced, with the first-draft screenplay by O'Donnell. Unfortunately, the movie, which starred model Monica Vitti and Terence Stamp (The Limey), was something of a campy, incoherent disaster, but cunning O'Donnell turned a sow's ear into a silk purse by adapting his original script into prose, which kicked off a highly-regarded series of Modesty Blaise adventure novels, including Sabre-Tooth, I, Lucifer, The Impossible Virgin and The Xanadu Talisman.


This 1994 graphic novel is based on the first book, Modesty Blaise, and it's a globe-trotting action-adventure story in the finest tradition of the genre.


FOR THE FULL POST CLICK HERE

AD TALK: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

AD TALK: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?


BLOG BUDDY MARCY MASSURA HAS TURNED ONE OF THE MOST HUMORUS PARTS OF HER GLAMOROUS LIFE BLOG INTO A BOOK . . .


Ever see a vintage advertisement and ask "What were they thinking?", well humorist Marcy Massura has the answer. Through the use of comedic dialogue and commentary she takes these retro jewels and turns them into entertaining comedy. Perfect gift for vintage and humor lovers alike!


FOR A PREVIEW CLICK HERE

MOVIE REVIEW ~ ROBIN HOOD!

MOVIE REVIEW ~ ROBIN HOOD!


Ridley Scott was clearly not paying attention in history class. The latest take on Robin Hood, directed by Scott and starring a very low-key Russell Crowe alongside the ice queen Cate Blanchet (does she ever smile?) and current villain of choice Mark Strong, has no basis in any kind of historical accuracy. In fact, it’s as if historical inaccuracy was Ridley Scott’s point for making the film, because he makes it again and again and again, and yet again . . .


To belabor the point: The continuity of the death of Richard the Lionheart is out of context; The French under King Phillip did not invade England; You can’t cross the English Channel in flat-bottomed skiffs loaded with horses and men and not capsize; Nobody, let alone the French, had D-Day style landing craft in the 12th century; Archers stayed on the high ground and picked off their enemies, they did not fire two volleys of arrows and then charge in to do hand to hand combat carrying their now useless bows and arrows with them (read Bernard Cromwell’s Agincourt for the real story of how this worked); Most archers had no idea how to use a sword or ride a horse into battle as they were mostly too poor to own swords or horses; Just because the Lost Boys from Peter Pan are living in Sherwood Forest does not mean they each have their own Shetland pony to ride; Russell Crowe is cool, but he isn’t cool enough to be in two places at once – he can’t be high on the cliffs directing archers one second and down on the beach leading the knights in a cavalry charge the next.


Okay, so I’m being picky, but I really wanted to like this film and my willing suspension of disbelief was snapped so often by glaring idiocies I couldn’t lose myself in the story.


Robin Hood is a mediocre film worth seeing on the big screen for the cinematography and the well shot, rousing, battle scenes, otherwise add it to your Netflix queue. Whatever you do don’t watch either the Errol Flynn version or the Disney version of Robin Hood first. Watch them afterward and see what Robin Hood is actually all about.

FANTASY CORNER: WOLFSANGEL!

FANTASY CORNER: WOLFSANGEL!

M. D. LACHLAN


The Viking King Authun leads his men on a raid against an Anglo-Saxon village. Men and women are killed indiscriminately but Authun demands that no child be touched. He is acting on prophecy. A prophecy that tells him that a child of the Gods will be found among the Saxons. If Authun takes the child and raises him as an heir, the child will lead his people to glory.


But Authun discovers not one child, but twin baby boys. Ensuring that his faithful warriors, witness to what has happened, die during the raid Athun takes the children and their mother back to Norway and the witches who live on the perilous mountain known as the Troll Wall. He places his destiny in their hands.


And so begins WOLFSANGEL, the first of a stunning multi-volume fantasy epic that will take a werewolf from his beginnings as the heir to a brutal Viking king, down through the ages. It is a journey that will see him hunt for his lost love through centuries and lives, and see the endless battle between the wolf, Odin and Loki – the eternal trickster – spill over into countless bloody conflicts from our history. This is the myth of the werewolf as it has never been told before and marks the beginning of an extraordinary new fantasy series from Gollancz.

FANTASY CORNER: LEX TRENT VERSUS THE GODS!

FANTASY CORNER: LEX TRENT VERSUS THE GODS!


ALEX BELL


Law student Lex Trent’s world is inhabited by fearsome magicians, aging crones and a menagerie of Gods and Goddesses. And while Lex is seemingly dedicated to his legal studies he’s always enjoyed a challenge – which is why he leads a double life as the notorious cat burglar ‘The Shadowman’ who has been (luckily) evading capture for years.


But Lex’s luck is about to run out because the Goddess of Fortune has selected him to be her player in the highly dangerous Games. Losing is not an option for Lex (particularly as it so often involves dying) but can he really win each of the perilous rounds?


Given that the reward for doing so is money, fame and glory – all things that Lex is quite keen on – he’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure he will ... and he’s certainly got good experience of cheating.


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