More Podcasting Is More Better


Hello everyone,

 

Sorry it’s been a few days since I posted anything. It’s been a busy time. I have been working like crazy. As some may or may not know I’m a cab driver and you can hear a story about that on the latest episode of The Gorram Nerd Hour. Besides working I have been trying to find time to sleep. That hasn’t been happening so instead I’m just throwing myself head first into more podcasts. Besides The Gorram Nerd Hour I have been doing a limited series under the Gorram banner called Holodeck Malfunction with my good friend Isaac Hulke. It’s a show about Star Trek if you couldn’t guess that from the title. 

In each episode of Holodeck Malfunction we pick a series or movie and talk about it for an hour, sometimes two topics. It just depends. We have recorded eight episodes so far and just started putting them up. So, you will be able to hear me twice a week on the Gorram page. You can also hear me and some free music on a new show I’ve started with my friend Ryan Ford. It’s called From The Underground and it will focus on indie bands of all genres. You can read more about it by following the hyperlink above. 

Lastly, I want to talk about the Abnormal Entertainment crew as a whole. These folks are awesome. I love each and every one of them…even Taylor Made from Bank On Action. He may not realize it since I do nothing but make fun of him all the time but I do appreciate him. David Hayes, one of the hosts of Cinema Head Cheese has a new book out. Follow the link on the other pages I’ve already hyperlinked and you’ll find it. It’s called American Guiginol. 

Thanks to everyone at Abnormal Entertainment. I’ve had a blast working with you all and can’t wait to see nearly everyone in one place for Phoenix Comicon.

Joe Hill, Alexander Aja and Daniel Radcliff? Color Me Excited


Joe Hill’s second novel, Horns, was a great read. When it comes to writing messed up stories that feel real Hill definitely inherited a heap if talent from his dad, Stephen King. Horns is about a man who wakes up one day to notice he has horns coming from his head and they come with a power to influence people to do really messed up things. As the book progresses the powers grow.

The book was optioned a while back to be made into a movie. Alexander Aja, director of High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, Mirrors, and Piranha will be directing the adaptation. Word just came out that Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliff, will be playing the main character in the film.

I am a big fan of all three of these people. Hill’s work in both novels and comics has been outstanding and I am a big fan of Horns. Aja’s work has had its ups and downs but he is a hell of a director. Radcliff did a great job in the Potter films but when I saw The Woman In Black I became an even bigger fan. He has grown into a fine actor and seems to be comfortable in making a career out of working in genre films.

I can’t wait to see what this collaboration brings. Hopefully this doesn’t fall apart like Hill’s attempt at making Locke & Key into a television series.

Literary Favorites – Nick Hornby


I’m not ashamed to admit that I didn’t know who Nick Hornby was until 1999 when John Cusack unleashed High Fidelity on the world. As soon as I left the theater I immediately went to the store and got a copy of the book it was based on and the soundtrack. My life was never the same after that day.

High Fidelity was a near perfect look at men and how we view relationships. It pulled the curtain back and revealed a lot of how we think and feel. But Hornby was far from being a one hit wonder. About A Boy was a beautiful look at how a man-child and boy acting older than his years taught each other how to be what they should. The book also dealt with that moment in music when Kurt Cobain died and everything changed for so many young people of that generation. And, although the third act changed dramatically in the movie it still worked.

Fever Pitch was a non-fiction book Hornby wrote about juggling his romantic relationships with his obsession for soccer. It was ruined by making a fictional American film about baseball and cast Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. There is a British version of the movie that is much better.

When How To Be Good hit bookshelves I was very excited. It was written in the first person from the perspective of a woman having marital problems. This seems to be a great companion piece to High Fidelity, using similar themes but showing things through the eyes of a woman. I had my sister read the book immediately after I finished because I wanted to know if he got it right. She said it felt like he really understood women and got into this characters head completely. I would love to see the movie adapted to the big screen.

I’d love to talk about all his books in great detail – A Long Way Down, Slam, Juliet Naked – bit there is much more to him than even his wonderful books.

A couple years ago Nick Hornby wrote an original screenplay for a sweet, romantic, sad, beautiful film called An Education. It was Carey Mulligan’s star making performance. This film put her on the map, and rightfully so. She was amazing in it.

Hornby, an avid music lover, wrote a book of essays about his favorite songs called Songbook. He chose a song by Ben Folds Five called Smoke. This started a friendship between him and Folds that resulted in Hornby writing a song for William Shatner on the album Has Been that Folds produced. Later they went on to work together on an entire album. Horny wrote the lyrics, Folds wrote the music and performed the songs. The result was Lonely Avenue, a great addition to Folds’s already impressive catalog.

It seems there is nothing Hornby can’t do. Whatever comes next you know I will be there.I just hope that he doesn’t give up one type of writing to focus on another.

The Woman – review


I love Lucky McKee’s movies. He’s been a bit of an inspiration to me. When I first saw May I was amazed at how creepy and funny and brilliant it was. Angela Bettis’s performance was perfect. Then there was Roman. McKee wrote it as a companion piece to May. He switched places with Bettis on this one, she directed and he starred. I found it to be a very well done piece of movie making. The Woods was a nice eerie little movie that got dumped by MGM because of financial problems. His Masters Of Horror episode, Sick Girl, was funny and weird and one of the highlights of the short lived series. Red, based on the book by Jack Ketchum, presented more problems for McKee. Nobody will say what happened but he walked away from the project after directing 2/3 of the movie. And it was still a great film.

I have long been a fan of Jack Ketchum. His books are dark and horrific without going into the supernatural…most of the time. His first novel, Off Season, was a fascinating story of a tribe of feral cannibals hunting and killing people on vacation. He later wrote a sequel called Offspring. Strangely that one got made into a movie even though Off Season never did. The Woman is a sort of sequel to that story, also based on a novel by Ketchum and McKee.

The Woman centers around the Cleek family, the parents and their three children. Each member of the family is keeping some sort of secret. One day the father is out hunting when he spies the woman in creek. He then decides that he is going to capture her and try to train her. He chains her up in the cellar with the help of his family. I’m sure you can see where the movie goes from there.

Visually this movie looked great. The performances were good. Pollyanna McIntosh, returning as The Woman from Offspring was both scary and sympathetic. McKee favorite Angela Bettis was great as the beaten down wife and mother too scared to leave. McKee also played with subtlety in a way that really shows his growth as a director. The moment when Mr. Cleek was alone in the bedroom with his daughter and Mrs. Cleek slowly works her way into frame standing, almost guarding her daughter without ever saying a word was beautiful.

The one problem I have with any Lucky McKee movie is his love of placing indie pop songs by his friend’s bands throughout his films. It worked fine in May and Sick Girl. He was wise to leave it out of The Woods and Red. But I felt he made a poor choice by including them here in what should have been mire powerful moments in the film, moments that would have been more powerful had they been silent or a traditional music score were used. For all the strides McKee has made as a filmmakers it seems this is the one thing he doesn’t want to change. It is a shame, too. The climax of the film could have been much more effective without the pop music playing.

Overall, this movie was very good. I would add it to my collection for the story alone. McKee and Ketchum, two of my favorite things together makes me a happy man.

The Dresden Files – Too Soon To TV


I have long been a fan of Jim Butcher’s wonderful character Harry Dresden…even before the failed SciFi/SyFy television show. It’s quite a shame what happened there. Although, as a network they tend to screw things up more than they get them right.

The books offer such a rich and fun world for the characters to play in. Not only is there the real world Chicago, full of earthly badness like mafia types, corrupt cops, and many other things. There’s also a great world underneath that Harry plays in. It is filled with vampires, fairies, and wizards. It also plays with religious themes once the character of Michael was introduced. There is danger, humor, pathos, and well crafted characters. The world of Harry Dresden is a fun world to get lost in.

But then there’s the television series. The episodes were linked yet aired out of order. The writing was bland and lost nearly all the humor that made Harry such a likable character. It just seemed like the network didn’t care. But given that just a couple years later Showtime premiered Dexter, based on a series of books, to great ratings and glowing reviews, and HBO pemiered True Blood, also based on a series of books and got great ratings you would think that someone would revisit The Dresden Files.

I met Morgan Gendel a couple times. He wrote some of my favorite Star Trek episodes, including The Inner Light. He is highly talented and was a producer on The Dresden Files television series. He told me the first time we met that he would life to get the rights back to books and make a movie. I asked him about a month ago if there was any progress there and he said, “did I say that? I don’t remember. But it’s a great idea. The problem is SyFy still owns the rights and I wouldn’t be able to do anything right now.”

It really is a shame given that, whether it’s a movie or a new show, it could be great. Instead it sits in this place of limbo where fans can only dream, all the while SyFy pumps out movies like Sharktapus, wasting their money and giving fans inferior product. If it wasn’t for Farscape, Eureka, and Battlestar Galactica I would say SyFy has no brain whatsoever.