The initial subject of this post was to have flogged Properly Stirred, the 2013 Slow Boat Media explicit exploits extravaganza. (Properly Stirred is available through Amazon Kindle.) However, incipient background upheaval and a timely dovetailing of international relations with anecdotal observations favor the topical subject.
President Obama’s recent cancellation of bilateral discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin has set the “be afraid, be very afraid” segment of America into full peek in the closets/check under the beds mode. For them, the sudden spate of bug-out embassy and consular evacuations was soothing music. More sanguine Americans saw these closures as large scale security theater panic.
Aware of history and the threat against our nation, menace cannot be discounted. Yet in the 21st century haven’t we yielded common sense vigilance to Bernard Breakdown instances of quivering uncontrollable fear?
Similar to Breakdown, a Dick Tracy villain from the early 1980s, it takes little to disrupt the security apparatus’ coping mechanism.
Continue reading Frolic and Friction
Demise ignites “One Above and One Below,” the fourth and concluding story from Reveries. Actresses Valerie Quennessen and Consuelo de Haviland inspired “One Above and One Below.”
While glimpsed from today’s vantage, events occur in the pivotal year of 1989. In this telling, Caleb Abercrombie joins Paul Knox, one of his best buds from his undergraduate years, in a European sojourn. Perhaps their travel might be seen as a last gasp of irresponsibility and irrepressibility. Continue reading One Above and One Below
My new gig drags me by plenty of evocative sites. On one hand, these cameos across former stages dent the job’s drudgery. On the other, being an older and worldlier actor permits clearer vision and better excavation of how certain scenes skewed wrong.
Nothing like going past a boyhood marker and confirming that age’s innocence to have been blessed ignorance. Knowledge, truly a two-edged sword for adults.
In the setting and people behind this post I merely occupied the periphery. Events unfolded outside my modest Quarropas neighborhood. All this occurred before money became an even greater determinant. Was ours the last generation in which affluence remained understated and character a worthier gauge? Continue reading Elsewhere on Earth
Mine won’t be the usual lament about the end of summer. The season did not zip by. No flings that thanks to the heat’s affect on our emotional states ballooned into unwieldy romances pricked by calming September’s inevitability.
There’s nothing I wished I’d done. Since the season did not present me with opportunities, none slipped away.
Maybe as an adolescent I may’ve regretted the passing of yearly unstructured seasonal idylls. Today, though, an adult, I have much greater appreciation of idling.
However, what Summer 2012 lacked, the last several actually, is the absence of accidental street music. (That, as well as the chatter which accessorized it.) If loud enough, then the insistence of incidental thrum and declaim. Ear buds and the prevalence of automobile air conditioning have mightily limned the noise.
No more ghetto blasters. Far fewer rolling boom boxes. Continue reading Summer Snippets
We’re dumbing down Sherlock Holmes. If the recent Robert Downey, Jr., efforts making “Sherlocking” more accessible for the earbud/self-absorbed set weren’t puerile enough, BBC TV has gone whole-hog to render Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective and his associate Dr. John Watson relevant for 21st century viewers.
No need to wonder what Conan Doyle might’ve made of those revisions. He would’ve looked at them as if H.G. Wells had monkeyed with his template. On absinthe.
The Downey reboots were jarring. Are jarring. Will be jarring. Holmes as imagined by Sax Rohmer. Or H. Rider Haggard. Ripping yarns instead of Victorian Age mysteries. Holmes mirrored his time. Downey’s Holmes distorts it. Continue reading Not Your Father’s Blue Carbuncle
Had my former employer been more of a parent and an attentive businessman, I never would’ve written GREEN VENOM. But he wasn’t. So I did. Read GREEN VENOM. It’s terrific! Available through Amazon Kindle.
Will our current despondency bring forth new versions of restoration farces? Aren’t the conditions ripe for mocking?
Or have we now reached a period whose circumstances prompt responses more pointed than ridicule? Continue reading Less Pie
Isn’t the best part about movie remakes comparing them against the original? Or given that today’s moviemakers take such license, the “source material.” Title and characters remain unchanged but the newer efforts detour and slalom moments after the premise has been established.
Recently the 2010 remake of And Soon the Darkness lent me an opportunity to see how far storytelling has advanced. My interest in both films stems from a distinctly modern actress, Amber Heard. She’d been a bunny on NBC’s short-lived Playboy Club. Maybe that program would still be in production if Frank Ballinger from M Squad, and Crime Story‘s Mike Torello and Ray Luca (all characters from TV series also set in early 1960s Chicago) had run tabs there.
Heard filled out her bunny costume and shook her tail nicer than I remembered happening inside the actual clubs themselves. Of course today I have much greater appreciation of such nuances. Continue reading Sinister Sojourns
Several years ago, the Brooklyn Museum extended the bounds of good taste by exhibiting pulp magazine covers. For those too young, pulps supplied literary thrills and adventures from the late 1920s into early 50s. Labeled “pulps” because the editions guts were printed on coarse paper, the appellation could’ve extended to the covers as well.
Although glossy, the wraparounds didn’t bother teasing prospective readers about the contents. Rather, lurid covers promised all sorts of dicey situations filled with malevolence. Be assured rare was the denouement that promoted uplift and redemption.
Some chapters might’ve aspired to The Four Feathers, but none ever neared that level of daring-do.
The stories were turgid and churning. The covers reflected that assiduously. The Manhattan-based Society of Illustrators just wrapped up its own retrospective of pulp magazine covers. Dames in distress, gunsels, hop heads, fortune seekers, and space aliens were displayed.
Unlike our contemporary criminal chronicles which mine present-day fears, those long ago entertainments made no effort to hold mirrors against then-society.
Skip reflection or deep-seated introspection. Just the thing committed for the basest reasons. Which is why I’m so enamored with Argentine crime. Continue reading Fulfilled Women, Empty Men
Marcello Mastroianni got name-checked in my last post. He, perhaps with Steve McQueen and Robert Mitchum also at the apex of their celebrity, possessed the easy to notice but nearly impossible to attain quality of cool. Continue reading A Cool Digression
One of the pleasures Netflix threatens by its streaming-only service is discovery and enjoyment of obscure films. Oh, certainly, the Emmanuelle series and the Adam Sandler/Jack Black/Will Ferrell oeuvres will always be among us.
Those as well as loud expensive action movies that emerge from games played by arrested adolescents under sugar shock are also safe. Present-day Hollywood is at it’s most creative when it comes to sequels, tie-ins, spin-offs, no?
Dispute that? Okay. The last engaging character driven film you watched which lacked a telephone directory long special effects end credits was … ?
The emphasis in streaming video will pluck fresh product, regardless of how insipid. As years proceed, “classics,” or should you prefer, mostly black & white code movies which relied on clever dialogue, suggestive camera angles, moody lighting, and smarter-than-today’s audiences, will be dispensed in eye-dropper fashion.
This constriction will further burden and limit foreign language movies. (Americans can’t be bothered with subtitles. Machete don’t text and Americans don’t read. All that lip moving gets noisy in theaters.) Continue reading Without Sin