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Category: Books

Point Blank (1967)

Posted in Books, Crime, Movies, and Z-View

Point Blank (1967)

Director: John Boorman

Screenplay: Alexander Jacobs and David Newhouse & Rafe Newhouse based on the Donald E. Westlake novel written as Richard Stark

Stars: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn, Carroll O’Connor, Lloyd Bochner, John and James B. Sikking

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s get Lee Marvin to star in a crime movie!”

Tagline: There are two kinds of people in his up-tight world: his victims and his women. And sometimes you can’t tell them apart.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Walker (Marvin) is double crossed and left for dead after helping his friend steal money to pay off his friend’s mob debt.  Walker recovers and vows to get revenge and his share of the money.

 

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Jonathon Maberry Interview!

Posted in Authors, and Books

I was stoked to learn that Jonathon Maberry will be a keynote speaker on July 8th at the Orlando Book Festival.  Maberry will also be a featured speaker at the graphic novel panel.  It is always cool to meet a favorite author!

Here’s a recent interview with Mr. Maberry where he speaks about the Orlando Book Festival, writing and a whole lot more.

Frank Miller’s Sin City TV Series One Step Closer to Reality

Posted in Books, Celebs, Comics, Crime, Movies, and TV

Deadline is reporting that a Frank Miller’s Sin City tv series is closer to becoming a reality.

…Glen Mazzara, the showrunner whose resume includes The Shield, The Walking Dead and The Omen…

…would take over the writing chores with  Len (Luficer) Wiseman set to direct.

If this comes to pass on a network like AMC, or FX or one of the other networks that’s not afraid to make Sin City without wholesale changes, then I’m all over it.  Bet you are too.

Nights of the Living Dead by Jonathon Maberry and George Romero

Posted in Authors, Books, Horror, and Movies

Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology, edited by Jonathon Maberry and George Romero, has a pretty cool framework.  All of the stories take place during the first 48 hours of the zombie outbreak that started it all…. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

I love this concept.  To me, zombie stories are the most exciting when things are just starting to happen and no one knows quite what is going on.

Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology will feature…

…Brian Keene, Carrie Ryan, Chuck Wendig, Craig E. Engler, David J. Schow, David Wellington, Isaac Marion, Jay Bonansinga, Joe R. Lansdale, John A. Russo, John Skipp, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Max Brallier, Mike Carey, Mira Grant, Neal and Brenda Shusterman, and Ryan Brown. Plus original stories by Romero and Maberry!

Michael Mann’s “Heat” Prequel Drops Next Year!

Posted in Authors, Books, Crime, and Movies

Michael Mann’s Heat will finally get the prequel we’ve been hearing about for years.  It will come out next year… as a novel.

That’s right, a novel.

Mann will co-write along with Reed Farrel Coleman (an award-winning author).  All of the main characters from Heat including Detective Vincent Hanna (Pacino), Neil McCauley (De Niro), Chris Shihirlis (Kilmer), and Nate (Voight) will appear in the prequel.  The novel will be released through Michael Mann Books from publisher Harper/Collins.

Source: /Film.

50 Years of Richard Stark’s Parker

Posted in Authors, Books, Comics, Crime, and Trivia

If you’re a fan of Richard Stark’s Parker you’re going to love the 50 Years of Parker site.  Here’s a taste…

Parker’s Rules

  1. Don’t ever show a gun to a man you don’t want to kill.
  2. Don’t talk to the law.
  3. Always split the money fair.
  4. Each man for himself.
  5. Don’t kill somebody unless you have to. It puts the law on you like nothing else.
  6. Never leave a guy alive who’d like to see you dead.
  7. Don’t let yourself be framed in a lit doorway.
  8. Don’t meet in a town where you’re going to make a hit.
  9. Don’t stay in the hotel where you’re going to make a hit.
  10. Don’t take a job on consignment.
  11. Don’t work with anyone you can’t trust or don’t respect.
  12. When there’s no place to hide, stay where you are.
  13. Any job that requires more than five guys to be pulled can’t be pulled.
  14. For a big enough score, any rule can be broken.

The Top 10 Stephen King Movies of All Time

Posted in Authors, Books, Horror, and Movies

Alex Maidy and JoBlo.com present their choices for the Top 10 Stephen King Movies of All Time.  Using just their choices here are my top three…

#1 – THE MIST

Frank Darabont films represent three of the films on this list but it is THE MIST that deserves the number one spot. A perfect representation of King’s sense of horror combined with a master filmmaker’s eye for framing and storytelling. Couple a stellar ensemble cast led by Thomas Jane with one of the most gut-wrenching endings in movie history, THE MIST shows what can be accomplished when a Stephen King novel is given the best treatment possible.

#5 – STAND BY ME

Based on King’s novella “The Body”, STAND BY ME is a movie that represents an entire generation. Helmed by Rob Reiner, this is a movie about growing up that proved Stephen King was more than just a writer of horror stories. This film encapsulates the adventure young kids have gone on for generations but mixes it with very real and candid conversations about life and becoming adults. Reiner would go on to adapt another King novel but this one shows he should definitely make another.

 

#6 – CARRIE

The first Stephen King novel published was also the first turned into a film. Despite a lackluster sequel and remake, Brian De Palma’s original CARRIE remains a classic. Owing more to Hitchcock than any true horror inspiration, CARRIE is an examination of what it means to be a teenage girl growing up with the threats of abuse, bullying, and psychological trauma. CARRIE remains to this day a great movie and one hell of a scary one at that.

 

If it was my list I would have included The Dead Zone but it sure would be hard to decide which of these three to remove.

10 Self-Defense Tips from Boxer Jack Dempsey

Posted in Books, Celebs, and Sports

Jack Dempsey, the Heavyweight Champion who many call the Greatest Heavyweight Fighter of the 20th Century wrote a book on self-defense.

Jake Rosen and Mental_Floss present 10 Self-Defense Tips from Boxer Jack Dempsey.  If you click over you can see all 10 tips as well as a pdf of Dempsey’s book.  In the mean time, here’s my top three tips…

3. KNOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT.
Has a hooligan drawn you into a physical confrontation? Before you even think about raining blows upon him, consider your arena: “Let me suggest that any time you are about to be drawn into a fight, keep your head and make a split-second survey of your surroundings,” Dempsey cautions. “Decide immediately whether you have fighting-room and whether you have good footing. If you haven’t, try to force your opponent to shift to another battleground, where your knowledge of fighting will leave the percentage in your favor. Yell at him, for example: ‘Okay, wise guy! You want to fight! Let’s see if you’ve got the guts to come out into the street and fight me like a man!’”

This, Dempsey says, will allow you to avoid obstacles and crowds, “so that you’ll be able to knock his head off when you get him where you can fight without footing handicaps.”

7. NEVER SWING, UNLESS YOU WANT A RIDE IN A HEARSE.
Any pro will tell you that straight punches are the key to victory: Wild, looping punches dilute your guard and lack precision. Dempsey is no different. “Some current fighters attempt a long-range right upper-cut called the ‘bolo’ punch. They even attempt to lead with it. Let me warn you that the bolo is more showy than explosive. It’s more dangerous to the user than to his opponent. The bolo, or any long-range uppercut, is merely an underhanded swing. And you know that any type of swing, against a good straight puncher, signals to the mortician.”

10. FINISH IT QUICK.

The number one obstacle to victory in any altercation, Dempsey writes, is fatigue. “True, your opponent also may be getting fatigued; but you can’t be certain about his exact condition unless he’s blowing and staggering. You know for sure only that you’re nearly ‘all in,’ and that he’s still out there swinging at you. Accordingly, the longer he keeps fighting, the less chance you have of winning; but the greater chance you have of being battered, cut up, knocked down, knocked out, or injured.”

The “Manassa Mauler” has practical advice to combat this issue. “Because of the danger in a fist-fight, it is imperative that you end the brawl as quickly as possible; and the best way to do that is by a knockout. The knockout is far more important in fist-fighting than in boxing, YOU’VE GOT TO KNOCK ‘EM OUT IN FIST-FIGHTS.”

TCM’s Noir Alley!

Posted in Books, Celebs, Crime, and Movies

Film Noir fans are going to love TCM’s Noir Alley.  Each week at 10am Eddie Muller will introduce a classic film noir that will then run on TCM.  Fans will live tweet as enter “a shadowy cinematic world populated by tough guys, femmes fatales and assorted thugs and slugs.”

First up is the Maltese Falcon staring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet in the classic adapted (from Dashiell Hammet’s novel) and directed by John Huston.

Click here for the full TCM Noir Alley schedule.

Child 44 (The Child 44 Trilogy) by Tom Rob Smith

Posted in Authors, Books, Crime, and Z-View

Child 44 (The Child 44 Trilogy) by Tom Rob Smith

First sentence…

Since Maria had decided to die her cat would have to fend for itself.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

1953.  Soviet Russia. Leo Demidov, a young decorated war hero, now an idealistic security officer, is beginning to see the hypocrisy of the Soviet government.  Because all are equal there will be no crime.  Murder, especially is a symptom of Western corruption.  Soviet murderers like all criminals must be mentally ill.

When Leo looks into the case of a boy supposedly killed when struck by a train, he discovers the boy may have been murdered by a serial killer of children.  Told to back off, Leo refuses and finds himself at odds with not only his fellow officers but higher ranking Soviet officials.  Soon enough Leo and his wife are under investigation and from there the book really takes off.

To say more would deprive the reader of a great ride.  Child 44 has more twists and turns than any book in recent memory.  Tom Rob Smith has created a page turner that shocks, surprises and thrills.  I loved every page of it and look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

 

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Better Dead: A Nathan Heller Thriller by Max Allan Collins

Posted in Authors, Books, Crime, History, and Z-View

Better Dead: A Nathan Heller Thriller by Max Allan Collins

Publisher: Mysterious Press

First sentence…

I was there when the Commies took over.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

 

Better Dead is actually two interconnected novellas.

In the first Nathan Heller is hired to find evidence to exonerate Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a married couple sentenced to die for providing Russia with secret information on how to build nuclear bombs.  Senator Joe McCarthy, who is leading the hunt for American Commies, wants Heller to serve as a double agent and provide him with whatever information Heller learns about the Rosenbergs.  Before long Heller is on the wrong side of government agents and gangsters and a possible death sentence of his own.

In the second story, Heller learns about government-funded mind control experiments on unknowing subjects from a scientist who has a change of heart.  When the scientist turns up missing, Heller knows that he’s next up unless he can figure a way out.

I’m a huge fan of Max Allan Collins’ Nate Heller series.  Heller is a fictional detective who finds himself in the middle of real crimes.  Heller ages as the series progresses and fiction is mixed with extensive research and historical fact.  It’s fun watching Heller interact with famous (and infamous) folks right out of our history books.  Equally enjoyable is Collins’ take on the crimes and what may have really happened (if it is not as we’ve been taught).

In Better Dead Heller interacts with Joe McCarthy, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Roy Cohen, Bettie Page, Bobby Kennedy and others.  I also like that Heller in these outings is a bit more hardboiled.  Perhaps it’s the decade.

Better Dead is another great addition to the Nate Heller legacy.  I’m hoping for more!

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