Monday, August 31, 2015

Mel Odom Reviews Cast in Dark Waters by Gorman-Piccirilli








Now only $3.99 on Kindle


5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Pulp 12 May 2011
By Mel Odom Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This jim-dandy little novella is just begging for a sequel, and I don't want to be kept waiting. Cast in Dark Waters seems like it just came out of nowhere, but it has a history as a limited release hardcover book from Subterranean. I missed it then, but I'm glad I caught up with it now.

This is old-school pulp writing, folks, and it reads like something that would have come from the typewriter of Robert E. Howard or one of his contemporaries. The story is set in the Caribbean in the 16th century and feels like a pirate movie from the heyday of when Hollywood did them big and did them right. I love the current Pirates of the Caribbean stuff that's going on now, but I still remember watching Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk and being blown away.

The opening of the story is immediately intriguing, but it's the female sea captain, Crimson, that steps onto center stage and owns the show. She comes in swinging, too, in a wild bar brawl that is a sheer pleasure to read and made me feel all of ten years old again discovering the pulp stories that shaped me into the man I am now. Growing up in southeastern Oklahoma meant there was a lot of cowboys architecture in my male role models, but thanks to the reading material I had at hand there was a lot of pirates, private eyes, and science fiction as well.

The relationship Crimson has with her father (although no one dares suggest to either of them that they're related) is at once absorbing. Tangled relationships are great fiction fodder, and the one between Crimson and Welsh is a great one.

But Gorman and Piccirilli don't stop there. Crimson's husband, Tyree, has gone missing on the island of Benbow, which is believed to be the home to nightmares and bloodsuckers. In this first story, we think we know what the truth is, but we don't receive the final answer. And in that, the authors have us snared. I hope to see a sequel soon.

The seafaring action and the fights on the island are very well done. I felt like I was staying in step with Lady Crimson when she set sail and when she set foot on the island. The mythology of the things she's hunting is very well laid out and I enjoyed the "almost knowing" everything that was involved. After all 16th century pirates don't know everything we know these days.

The atmosphere is very well done and the Caribbean landscape and the lifestyle of a pirate are marked on every page. The authors did some good research and blend it seamlessly into their pirate-horror-adventure concoction.





blend it seamlessly into their pirate-horror-adventure concoction.

Mel Odom Review Cast in Dark Waters by Gorman-Piccirilli








Now only $3.99 on Kindle


5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Pulp 12 May 2011
By Mel Odom Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This jim-dandy little novella is just begging for a sequel, and I don't want to be kept waiting. Cast in Dark Waters seems like it just came out of nowhere, but it has a history as a limited release hardcover book from Subterranean. I missed it then, but I'm glad I caught up with it now.

This is old-school pulp writing, folks, and it reads like something that would have come from the typewriter of Robert E. Howard or one of his contemporaries. The story is set in the Caribbean in the 16th century and feels like a pirate movie from the heyday of when Hollywood did them big and did them right. I love the current Pirates of the Caribbean stuff that's going on now, but I still remember watching Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk and being blown away.

The opening of the story is immediately intriguing, but it's the female sea captain, Crimson, that steps onto center stage and owns the show. She comes in swinging, too, in a wild bar brawl that is a sheer pleasure to read and made me feel all of ten years old again discovering the pulp stories that shaped me into the man I am now. Growing up in southeastern Oklahoma meant there was a lot of cowboys architecture in my male role models, but thanks to the reading material I had at hand there was a lot of pirates, private eyes, and science fiction as well.

The relationship Crimson has with her father (although no one dares suggest to either of them that they're related) is at once absorbing. Tangled relationships are great fiction fodder, and the one between Crimson and Welsh is a great one.

But Gorman and Piccirilli don't stop there. Crimson's husband, Tyree, has gone missing on the island of Benbow, which is believed to be the home to nightmares and bloodsuckers. In this first story, we think we know what the truth is, but we don't receive the final answer. And in that, the authors have us snared. I hope to see a sequel soon.

The seafaring action and the fights on the island are very well done. I felt like I was staying in step with Lady Crimson when she set sail and when she set foot on the island. The mythology of the things she's hunting is very well laid out and I enjoyed the "almost knowing" everything that was involved. After all 16th century pirates don't know everything we know these days.

The atmosphere is very well done and the Caribbean landscape and the lifestyle of a pirate are marked on every page. The authors did some good research and blend it seamlessly into their pirate-horror-adventure concoction.





blend it seamlessly into their pirate-horror-adventure concoction.

The great site Vulture does very well by the great Wes Craven






Wes Craven, the director, writer, and producer known for such iconic slasher movies as A Nightmare on Elm StreetScream, and The Hills Have Eyes, died Sunday afternoon in his L.A. home,according to reports. The 76-year-old had been battling brain cancer, according to his family, who made the announcement. The auteur notably created the notorious Freddy Krueger character for Elm Street and reinvented the teen-horror genre over the course of a prolific film and TV career that spanned more than four decades.
News of Craven's death was announced amid the 2015 MTV VMAs telecast, during which MTV released the following statement:
Wes Craven was a tremendous visionary whose sensibility for scares has connected with generations of MTV fans. We are honored to have worked with him and proud to carry on his legacy with Scream. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.
Craven was born in Cleveland to a family of strict Baptists, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He always had an eye for the arts and humanities, though, and wound up studying English and psychology at Wheaton College, as well as philosophy at Johns Hopkins. Consequently, he enjoyed brief stints as a college professor before kicking off his feature-film career in 1972 with The Last House on the Lefta shocking revenge movie that gave hints at Craven's ability to forge engaging box-office hits. Craven's early résumé also included credits on two doses of The Hills Have EyesSwamp Thing, and Invitation to Hell. It wouldn't be till 1984, however, that he would leave a major mainstream mark — for then came Elm Street and Johnny Depp.
In a Vulture oral history, published last year, Craven recounted the fateful inception of his most iconic film:
I’d read an article in the L.A. Times about a family who had escaped the Killing Fields in Cambodia and managed to get to the U.S. Things were fine, and then suddenly the young son was having very disturbing nightmares. He told his parents he was afraid that if he slept, the thing chasing him would get him, so he tried to stay awake for days at a time. When he finally fell asleep, his parents thought this crisis was over. Then they heard screams in the middle of the night. By the time they got to him, he was dead. He died in the middle of a nightmare. Here was a youngster having a vision of a horror that everyone older was denying. That became the central line of Nightmare on Elm Street.
Elm Street would cement the director's status as a significant force in the horror genre, and lead to a long-running franchise of Freddy sequels, some of which the director would return to co-write and helm. He found similar success in the mid-1990s with Scream, which grossed more than $100 million domestically and also led to a long-running franchise. 
Between Screams, Craven notably ventured into non-horror territory with the Meryl Streep–starring Music of the Heart, about a music teacher who worked with underprivileged schoolchildren in Harlem. "We had a very difficult time getting an audience into a theater on my name," he said of the film, according to THR. "In fact, we moved toward downplaying my name a lot on Music of the Heart. The more famous you are for making kinds of outrageous scary films, the crossover audience will say, 'I don't think so.'" Streep, however, received a Best Actress Oscar nom for her work with him on the film. 
Craven's most popular original works — especially ScreamThe Hills Have Eyes, and The Last House on the Left — have been reimagined as reboots and remakes for new generations of viewers. His most recent finished flicks include 2010's My Soul to Take and 2011's Scream 4. Before his death, Craven was executive-producing MTV's new Scream series reboot; he had also reportedly written the Thou Shalt Not Kill portion of the Weinstein Co.'s forthcoming Ten Commandments miniseries. (You can peruse the entirety of his extensive filmography here.)
Ever the scribe, Craven additionally published a novel, The Fountain Society, and penned a monthly column, "Wes Craven’s The Birds," for Martha’s Vineyard magazine, according to THRVariety adds that he was also tinkering on a graphic-novel series, Coming of Rage, for Liquid Comics. The multihyphenate is survived by his wife, sister, son, daughter, stepdaughter, and three grandchildren.

This story has been updated throughout.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

In Conversation With Quentin Tarantino from Vulture-


For the entire interview go here:
http://www.vulture.com/2015/08/quentin-tarantino-lane-brown-in-conversation.html


We’re five months from the release of The Hateful Eight. How close to finishing are you?
We’ve got a little bit more than an hour finished right now. I just got back from seeing an hour of the movie cut together.
Are you happy with it?
I’m not committing suicide yet. It is what it is. We’re rushing and trying to get to the end. Then you go through it and try to make it even better. But first, you just get to the end.
Every movie I’ve ever done, there has always been some date we were trying to meet, whether it was with Reservoir Dogs, trying to meet the Sundance date, or Pulp Fiction, meeting the Cannes date. But we always pull it off. And this way you don’t have that situation where you finish the movie and then the people who paid to make it get to sit around and pick it to death. 
So you don’t get notes from the studio anymore?
No, you do. Oh, yeah.1
Is it different now, coming off Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds? Those were the biggest hits of your career.2 Did that box office change things?
I don’t think so, as far as me making the story I want to tell. But I learned a big lesson with Grindhouse,3 and I try not to repeat the mistake. Robert Rodriguez and I had gotten used to going our own way, on these weird roads, and having the audience come along. We’d started thinking they’d go wherever we wanted. With Grindhouse, that proved not to be the case. It was still worth doing, but it would have been better if we weren’t caught so unaware by how uninterested people were.
You’ve talked at various times about how, when you’re directing, you like to play your audience like a conductor does an orchestra. As time goes on and audiences become more sophisticated and accustomed to your style, does that become harder? 

Frankly, sophisticated audiences are not a problem. Dumb audiences are a problem. But I think audiences are getting more sophisticated — that’s just a product of time. In the ’50s, audiences accepted a level of artifice that the audiences in 1966 would chuckle at. And the audiences of 1978 would chuckle at what the audience of 1966 said was okay, too. The trick is to try to be way ahead of that curve, so they’re not chuckling at your movies 20 years down the line. With Pulp Fiction,people were like, “Wow, I have never seen a movie like that before. A movie can do that?” I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I’m not talking ridiculously over anyone’s head anymore. I think people watched Djangoand Inglourious Basterds and thought they were really out there, but they got it. They felt themselves on solid ground. It wasn’t just, “What the fuck was that?” And people understand what I’m doing with genre. They’re not befuddled. They don’t think I’m doing it wrong. They get it. 
Speaking of genre, what is it about the Western for you? There aren’t many being made right now.
There are a few coming out. Antoine Fuqua is doing Magnificent Seven,starring Denzel Washington, so that’s one. Django did so well I’m surprised that there’s not even more.
One thing that’s always been true is that there’s no real film genre that better reflects the values and the problems of a given decade than the Westerns made during that specific decade. The Westerns of the ’50s reflected Eisenhower America better than any other films of the day. The Westerns of the ’30s reflected the ’30s ideal. And actually, the Westerns of the ’40s did, too, because there was a whole strain of almost noirish Westerns that, all of a sudden, had dark themes. The ’70s Westerns were pretty much anti-myth Westerns — Watergate Westerns. Everything was about the anti-heroes, everything had a hippie mentality or a nihilistic mentality. Movies came out about Jesse James and the Minnesota raid, where Jesse James is a homicidal maniac. In Dirty Little Billy, Billy the Kid is portrayed as a cute little punk killer. Wyatt Earp is shown for who he is in the movie Doc, by Frank Perry. In the ’70s, it was about ripping the scabs off and showing who these people really were. Consequently, the big Western that came out in the ’80s was Silverado, which was trying to be rah-rah again — that was very much a Reagan Western.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Parker as Parker: The Long Road to the Big Screen



Parker as Parker: 

The Long Road to the Big Screen

for the entire piece go here

http://www.wordandfilm.com

/2013/01/parker-as-parker

-the-long-road-to-the-big-screen/

From Word and Film

Jennifer Lopez and Jason Statham in ‘Parker’/Image © 2013 FilmDistrict
Richard Stark's Parker, the hard-bitten antihero of twenty-four crime novels, finally comes to the screen on January 25 under his own name. The film, "Parker," starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez, is based on the 2011 novel Flashfire, a thrilling story in which the master criminal seeks revenge on the crew who double-crossed him and left him for dead. Oscar nominee Taylor Hackford of "Ray" fame directs this movie adaptation.
Moviegoers have seen about a half-dozen earlier versions of Parker, none of them eponymous. Creator Donald E. Westlake (writing under the name Richard Stark) didn’t want to use the character’s name in a film unless the filmmakers agreed to produce the books as a series, according to Paul Westlake, the late author’s youngest son and caretaker of his dad’s website. The new film’s production company purchased the rights to multiple books.
British action star Statham might seem an odd choice for this “definitively American character,” but his “subdued mannerisms,” low-key performance, and efficiency in the action scenes are a good fit, Paul Westlake writes. He continues, “Overall, this is an excellent first installment of what we hope will become a successful introduction of Parker to a larger audience.”
The Parker novels are but a small part of Donald E. Westlake’s illustrious career. This Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America penned more than 100 novels and short stories, as well as screenplays. Here’s a look at some of his forays into film.
"Point Blank" (1967)
Based on the first Parker novel, The Hunter, this film casts Lee Marvin (here called Walker) as the criminal aiming to recoup money his cohorts stole from him. Angie Dickinson co-stars, providing sexy backup. The same book was the basis for 1999's "Payback," starring Mel Gibson (as a vengeful character named Porter) and Maria Bello. Brian Helgeland's "Payback: Straight Up – The Director’s Cut" had a limited theatrical release in 2006.
"The Split" (1968)
This adaptation of the Parker novel The Seventh casts Jim Brown (here called McClain) as a thief after his share of the heist during a football game at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
"The Hot Rock" (1972)
Robert Redford portrays Westlake’s other popular creation, John Dortmunder -- a thief whose capers comically tend to collapse -- in this adaptation of the novel of the same name. Here, Dortmunder and his cohorts (including George Segal) repeatedly attempt to steal a diamond that keeps eluding them.
"Cops And Robbers" (1973)
Westlake wrote the screenplay for this film, adapting his comic crime novel of the same name. Cliff Gorman and Joseph Bologna play two New York City cops who encounter one mishap after another while trying to steal $10 million to supplement their pensions.
"The Outfit" (1973)
Robert Duvall stars in this adaptation of the novel of the same name, featuring the Parker character (here called Macklin) hitting the mob on its own turf.
"Hot Stuff" (1979)
Westlake co-wrote the original screenplay for this comedy about three cops -- played by Dom DeLuise, Suzanne Pleshette, and Jerry Reed -- who establish a pawn-shop sting operation.