Saturday, September 28, 2002

A Real Hardcase

Have you heard of Dan Simmons?

Simmons' first published story, "The River Styx Runs Upstream," won the Rod Serling Memorial Award. His first novel, Song of Kali, won the World Fantasy Award. His first horror novel, Carrion Comfort, won the Bram Stoker Award. His first science fiction novel, Hyperion, won the Hugo Award.

Even with all the awards, I was only vaguely familiar with his work. I don't read fantasy, and very little science fiction or horror. I do love a hardboiled thriller though! You know, the kind written by Vachss, or Izzi, Hunter, or Stark... or Simmons. That's right! With one book, Simmons has jumped to the top of the list!

Joe Kurtz was a PI... before he was an ex-con. See he killed a man, a couple of men actually. They'd murdered his girl and unborn child. While it's pretty reasonable to me that he threw one of 'em off a six story building, the jury didn't see it that way.

Now, out of prison after eleven-and-a-half years...'d think things would be looking up for Kurtz. You'd be wrong. Too many people want him dead...

Hardcase is the best novel that I've read this year [tied with Jack Kelly's Line of Sight]. For more about Hardcase, click here.

Ever heard of Dan Simmons?

My prediction is that you will. But remember that you FIRST heard about him here!

Hardcase rates an A+

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Emmy Predictions

In the last few years I've found myself being much more selective about the television that I watch. I map out my viewing for the week and then pretty much stick to that. This helps me to not miss the few shows that I really enjoy, and it also helps me avoid "vegging" out in front of shows I don't care about.

The Emmy Awards are on tonight, and while I probably won't watch them [I haven't mapped out the week yet], there are a few shows/actors that I hope win.

In the best DRAMA category, I am pulling for West Wing but I wouldn't be upset if 24 won against CSI, Law and Order, and Six Feet Under.

In the COMEDY category, it would appear that Friends is a lock against Curb Your Enthusiasm , Everybody Loves Raymond, Sex and the City and Will & Grace.

For best WRITING for a DRAMA series, there are several very worthy contenders. I would like to see The Shield • Pilot • Shawn Ryan, Writer win because it was such a groundbreaking episode, but it would be hard to argue against Alias • Truth Be Told (Pilot) • J.J. Abrams, Writer; ER • On The Beach • John Wells, Writer; 24 • Midnight - 1:00 a.m. (Pilot) • Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran, Writers; or The West Wing • Posse Comitatus • Aaron Sorkin, Writer.

The LEAD ACTOR in a DRAMA is another [though not as] tough category. I am going to pull for either Michael Chiklis as Detective Vic Mackey in The Shield or Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer - 24 who are up against Michael C. Hall as David Fisher - Six Feet Under, Peter Krause as Nate Fisher - Six Feet Under and Martin Sheen as Josiah Bartlet - The West Wing.

I'm gonna pull for Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow star of Alias for the LEAD ACTRESS in a DRAMA category. She's up against Amy Brenneman as Judge Amy Gray - Judging Amy; Rachel Griffiths as Brenda Chenowith - Six Feet Under; Frances Conroy as Ruth Fisher - Six Feet Under; and Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg - The West Wing.

The SUPPORTING ACTOR in a DRAMA is dominated by West Wing actors and my choice is John Spencer as Leo McGarry - The West Wing up against Victor Garber as CIA Agent Jack D. Bristow - Alias; Freddy Rodriguez as Federico Diaz - Six Feet Under; Dulé Hill as Charlie Young - The West Wing; Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman - The West Wing; and Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler - The West Wing.

These are the categories in which I am "pulling" for a winner. For the full list click here. I would have given my predictions in other categories but it's time for me to plan out my viewing for the week. ; )

Saturday, September 14, 2002

The Mechanic

Charles Bronson had a long career staring and co-staring in a bunch of great movies. "The Dirty Dozen." "The Magnificent Seven." "Death Wish." "Hard Times." One of my personal favorites is "The Mechanic."

Never heard of it? Well, it's coming out on dvd on October 8th and you owe it to yourself to at least check it out.

Bronson is a hit man... perhaps the best in the business. If he takes a job, the target is as good as dead. Jan Michael Vincent is the son of a mafioso who becomes Bronson's protoge... not knowing that Bronson has recently murdered his father...

"The Mechanic" was directed by Michael Winner [who also directed Bronson in "Death Wish"] with a flair for action without compromising the story. [The opening scene shows Bronson setting up a hit and goes on for several minutes without a word of dialogue!] And although I won't give it away, be prepared for a great "surprise" ending!

I'm looking forward to adding "The Mechanic" to my dvd collection. Watch it once, and odds are you will too!

"The Mechanic" rates an A

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Bobby the Brain

Bobby Heenan. "The Weasel." "Bobby the Brain." Call him what you want, but you'd have to admit that he was an "entertainer."

Heenan spent nearly 40 years in the world of pro wrestling. He wasn't your typical wrestler. He wasn't gigantic. He wasn't musclebound. He didn't fly through the air [unless being thrown by the Bruiser or some other good guy].

Fans loved or hated him, but no one was neutral about Bobby Heenan. He could "rassle" with anyone and make them look better. No one could work a crowd like "the Brain." And Bobby Heenan was witty. His one-liners and off-the-cuff comments were at times more entertaining than the matches themselves.

Bobby Heenan has written a book and he "tells all the stories, names all the names and doesn’t care who gets mad about it." Hulk Hogan, Andre "The Giant," and Vince McMahon are just a few of the many colorful characters that Heenan discusses.

Heenan's book is available now [and at a 30% discount]. So call him what you want... Brain... Weasel... Entertainer... but be sure and add author to the list!

Bobby the Brain rates an A

Sunday, September 01, 2002

The Biz

Isn't the drawing to the left really nice? It's been a while since I've seen a piece of art that has really blown me away like this piece does.

It's by Simon Bizley. The Biz is best known for his work on Judge Dredd... but he is able to do so much more.

Check out this site and you'll see what I mean.