Movies

Mystery Month: Spoofs

Mystery Month: Spoofs

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Burt Bacharach.” When Austin Powers (Mike Myers) looks directly at the audience and introduces the famed composer in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, you know this isn’t your typical mystery spoof. As silly as it is, it’s also sly and daring: as much as it’s done on television these days, you […]

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Reading the Screen: The Informant!
By March 12, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Reading the Screen: The Informant!

Here’s why Steven Soderbergh is a genius. Kurt Eichenwald’s The Informant (2000) is a wonderful book, a business book the way they’re meant to be written, with an exciting story (whistleblower exposes price-fixing in major industry), compelling characters, and a seriously out-of-left-field plot twist (whistleblower turns out to be a liar with an, um, especially […]

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Reading the Screen: Hannibal trailer
By February 26, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Reading the Screen: Hannibal trailer

Months and months ago I talked about the forthcoming NBC series, Hannibal, based on the characters created by Thomas Harris. The series takes place before the events in Red Dragon, the first of the novels featuring Hannibal Lecter, and the only one featuring Will Graham, the FBI profiler who’s the star of the NBC series. […]

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Reading the Screen: 2013 Oscar Nominations
By January 18, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Reading the Screen: 2013 Oscar Nominations

I don’t know if this means anything, but five of this year’s nine Best Picture nominees for the Academy Award are based on books. They are: Silver Linings Playbook, based on Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel of the same name. Argo, based on Antonio Mendez’s 1999 memoir The Master of Disguise (written with Malcolm McConnell). Mendez is […]

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Reading the Screen: Jack Reacher: Good Title or Bad?
By November 28, 2012 1 Comments Read More →

Reading the Screen: Jack Reacher: Good Title or Bad?

I haven’t seen the movie yet, of course, but here’s my thinking on the title-change from One Shot to Jack Reacher: It’s a bad idea. Here’s why. One Shot, Lee Child’s title for the 2005 novel, is a great title for a thriller; that, plus Tom Cruise, plus some good ads, should be enough to lure people […]

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"Lincoln": Lessons for Historical Fiction
By November 27, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

"Lincoln": Lessons for Historical Fiction

As an abiding student of history, I hold our sixteenth president in the highest regard. Lincoln is my greatest hero because I am a son of Lincoln Land, born in Vandalia, the second capital of Illinois,  where he served in the state legislature, and raised in Mattoon, only a few miles from the farm wrested by […]

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31 Horror Films in 31 Days 2012: The Bloodcurdling Conclusion
By November 1, 2012 4 Comments Read More →

31 Horror Films in 31 Days 2012: The Bloodcurdling Conclusion

The fourth annual 31 Horror Films 31 Days Challenge is accomplished. And for the third year straight (let us never speak of 2009!) I claim victory. I prepared a full statement last night. And I quote: Bwa-ahaha-aha-hhah-ahahahaaha-a-ha-a-hahaha-hahh-ah-ahahahaah-ahah-haa-hah-ahahah-hahah-hahhha-a-ah-aaa-ha-ha-ah-aa-ha-haha-ha-ha-haha-a-aha-ha-ah-a-ha-hah-ah-a-aa-hahahaha-aha-ahah-h-ah-a-ha-haa-ah-a-ha-h–ha-hahhahahah-ah-ah-h-a-a-a-ha–a-h-ah-a-h-ah-a-a-h-ahhahahaha-ha-a-ha-h-ahaahhaa-h-a-ha-ha!!!!!!! End quote. This “victory” I speak of was not a comfortable one. I clawed through my 31st film […]

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Q & A: David Moody
By October 31, 2012 2 Comments Read More →

Q & A: David Moody

David Moody, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, is the author of the Hater and Autumn series of post-apocalyptic novels. He’s also written a standalone novel, Trust, which features a group of aliens stranded on Earth. While very different in many ways, his books share a common theme: ordinary people tossed into […]

The 31 Horror Films in 31 Days Challenge: 2012
By September 27, 2012 4 Comments Read More →

The 31 Horror Films in 31 Days Challenge: 2012

You thought you killed it in 2010. You saw it buried beneath eight feet of rotten earth in 2011. But… good lord… what’s that coming out of the fog? Just like that demon-dog who whizzed on Freddy Krueger’s grave, thereby resurrecting him, the 31 Horror Films in 31 Days Challenge rises again. A FETID FAQ: […]

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Hostile Questions: Roger Ebert
By September 4, 2012 1 Comments Read More →

Hostile Questions: Roger Ebert

Who would have the cojones to publicly antagonize Pulitzer Prize-winning film reviewer, essayist, screenwriter, and memoir-ist Roger Ebert? Well, let me tell you a story. In a former life, I, too, was a film reviewer (I guess my Pulitzer got lost in the mail?) and on my first day at the screening room I accidentally […]