Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oh mais oui: Trailer for "Red"

As if Dame Helen Mirren wasn't awesome enough in so many ways, in the upcoming movie Red she gets to use a machine gun. Check it out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Review: Anno Dracula

My review of Kim Newman's fun alternate history novel Anno Dracula is up at

Monday, June 7, 2010

Review: The Reaping

My review of the merely OK Biblical plague horror film The Reaping is up at

My heart just went "wingardium leviosa"

Because I watched the teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Can. Not. Wait.

Thank goodness I'm reading the books to Young Master (we've just started on Goblet of Fire). That should make the wait more bearable.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Here thar be treasure, arrrrr

Now playing on the iPod - "Il mercenario" - Ennio Morricone

Did some shopping this weekend at a couple of used bookstores, and came away with some nice finds, and some that border on being treasure (arrrrr).

I usually tend to buy books new. It's a way of supporting my fellow writers (let's face it, this isn't the most lucrative gig, so every sale helps). But I like used bookstores as well, and do my best to support those as well, whether it's donating books I don't need any more or making purchases.

One of the stores, a little hole-in-the-wall, was a blast. I love stacks of paperbacks that you can tell were published years (even decades) ago, just by looking at their covers and typefaces. Here I found Anno Dracula by Kim Newman, which I'm going to give to my friend Gerry as I know he'll get a kick out of it. And for myself, two of the out-of-print and hard-to-find Matt Helm books by Donald Hamilton: The Silencers and The Interlopers. (I'm particularly pleased by the Matt Helm books because they're gritty, realistic stories of what it's like to be a spy. Don't base your ideas of the books off the Dean Martin movies - Helm is no drink-addled playboy but a foot soldier in the Cold War. He never wears a tux, he drives a beat-up truck, and his missions don't take him to Monte Carlo, but to the desert of the American Southwest or to an industrial town in Sweden. Excellent stuff.)

More recent but still exciting finds at another store:

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
To Hold the Crown by Jean Plaidy
Courtesan by Dora Levy Mossanen
Molokai by Alan Brennert
The Flavors of Bon Appetit 1997 (I don't mind that it's from '97 - there's good recipes from before the magazine got a bit esoteric for my tastes - I mean, really, green tea cheesecake?)
And from Writer's Digest Books fantastic "Howdunit" series, Amateur Detectives: A writer's guide to how private citizens solve criminal cases - this will be essential for researching my next project, a mystery tentatively titled Sideshow.

Last but not least, I got a new copy of Dan Simmons' Drood.

Treasure! Lots of treasure! Arrrrrr.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What if "Jaws" were made today?

I consider Jaws to be a nearly perfect film, and what makes it doubly awesome is that most of its good points were happy accidents. It's the sort of movie that could never be made today, as the CHUD (Cinematic Happenings Under Development) site makes plain.