I actually have no interest in this one, I just love this poster.
I actually have no interest in this one, I just love this poster.
–See my previous post where I sing the praises of this film.
Film Noir fan, so this collection of little seen noirs was a must buy. Currently re-watching 1957’s riveting SHADOW ON THE WINDOW by director William Asher (who before he became known for his tv work and teen beach movies, made three notable films, JOHNNY COOL, THE 27TH DAY, and this one). SHADOW ON THE MOON is a thriller, with very ahead of its time sensibilities. One of the earliest films to deal with child trauma, broken homes, latchkey syndrome, and teen violence. It is a surprisingly good film. Unfortunately it is a pretty bare-bones Bluray collection; no commentaries, special features etc. Usually that is reason enough for me not to purchase physical media, however in this case you do get nine well mastered films per collection, for roughly the cost of one film. And the films look great. Purchase Here!
Bought this one, because it was described as a type of ode to THE WILD BUNCH, and it starred Woody Strode. I went for the DVD over the Blu-ray, because the Bluray offered nothing additional, arguably not even a better picture, and the DVD was half the price. Purchase Here.
THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI – An Orson Welles masterpiece, starring Orson Welles and his stunning wife Rita Hayworth, and made when their marriage was falling apart. And it is a testament to Welles as filmmaker, and both of them as actors, that none of that is in the film. Finally remasterd on Bluray and with special features and commentary, and it is dirt cheap. A no-brainer of a buy! One of Welles top 5 films, and from a filmmaker who made arguably nothing but great films, that is saying a lot. Purchase here.
I had never even heard of this movie before, but all the reviews were very strong for this 1945 film Noir imbued thriller. And being directed by the great Joseph H. Lewis (of THE BIG COMBO fame), with a feature reach, remastered Arrow Video release made this the last of this installment’s must buy Dvds and Blurays. Purchase Here!
The Japan and Uk version use similar art for the BluRay, but both are out of print. But they have that blue branding at the top that I can deal with, but does not inspire me to rush out and get a copy. These days I drag my feet before buying anything that doesn’t completely thrill me. Streaming has spoiled us, even us DVD and Bluray fans: today even for an increasing # of us, owning physical media is a luxury that has to justify itself, in an age of Digital.
Digital… meet justification. The German mediabook of EXTREME PREJUDICE…
Yes, I listed THE THING Steelbook last time, and yes it still takes my breath away. SHOUT FACTORY has just knocked it out of the park with this and their other recent Steelbook releases. I own it now and still am impressed with it every time I see it on my shelf. And people, this is nearly out of print everywhere. Pick it up while you can.
And moving on, here are the remaining must own Blurays of today!
The Blue Branding is just a removable cardboard piece, thankfully, and at the price this classic is a must own.
I do not love THE HOWLING steelbook, but it is growing on me. I kinda like it. And it is currently affordable.
Thanks for viewing, leave a comment, like or email or subscribe. It is all appreciated. Till next time… be well!!
And as I mentioned in this range the market is almost exclusively Chinese made products, due to American big business willingness to dismantle domestic operations to outsource everything to the lowest bidder. And Chinese products are often viewed with a certain amount of dubiousness, and unfortunately when it comes to products China exports there have been numerous documented reasons for this outlook.
Whether it is a matter of varying degrees of quality, sub par build due to making tight margins, or orchestrated malfeasance all of these things have been documented when it comes to Chinese products exported to US shores. And again I’m not blaming the Chinese, I’m blaming short sighted American policy, that has in the last few decades dismantled the idea of local autonomy and creation and putting us at the mercy of the lowest common denominator mentality; unchecked capitalism, being indistinguishable from unchecked tyranny.
All that to say, when it comes to products you are putting in your home, you have to use more than usual diligence. The China made Wyse security cameras that everyone is racing to put in their homes and laud for its features ( which I admit are impressive) has perhaps a glaring issue. The same issue that a lot of devices have, but turned up a few notches. The security camera, may actually be invading your security. But that is an article for another day, but it is in the reviews if you take the time to look.
Anyhow, yes when it comes to products from China, you of course will have great products and great companies. The job is finding them.
That brings us to the HOOZO 10 Tablet.
Get yours here:
Other recommends or items of interest this week from the VOD/Streaming service are:
GAME SHOWS or LIFESTYLE PROGRAMMING (I’m not a fan of the term Reality TV)
Still waiting on Season 2 of LEGION and RUNAWAYS to drop on HULU.
That’s it for this installment. Come back for more, or feel free to suggest a VOD channel you want me to do an installement on. Till then be well, be kind, and don’t let big media decide your Gods or your Demons.
Proof positive I do this blog to educate myself as much as entertain anyone else, is this post on Hugh Holton.
I knew Hugh Holton was a high ranking, highly decorated Chicago Police Officer.
I knew he was a fantastic writer from owning and reading three of his books.
I knew he had passed in 2001.
I did not know he had as many books, above and beyond the ones I own. Given his responsibilities as one of Chicago’s Top Cops, that he was able to be as prolific (and going by the novels I’ve read, as consistently good) as he was, is quite amazing.
So without further ado, today’s Recommended Writer is HUGH HOLTON:
Police Lieutenant Hugh Holton was a twenty-nine year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. He authored several bestselling novels, including, Time of the Assassins, The Left Hand of God, and Violent Crimes. At the time of his death, at the age of only 54, Hugh Holton was the highest ranking active police officer writing novels in America.
1994. Presumed Dead
1995. Windy City
1996. Chicago Blues
1997. Violent Crimes
1998. Red Lightning
1999. Left Hand of God, The
2000. Time of the Assassins
2001. Devils Shadow, The
The following three titles were published posthumously, which is why they came as a surprise to me when researching this post. I’ve heard REVENGE was an early discarded rough draft of his, so it’s not up to Hugh Holton’s high standards. It’s something he would have tweaked/perfected had he known it was being published. So take that into consideration when reading it. It’s basically just an early draft, the publisher decided to put out there, so judge it as such, and not as representative of Hugh Holton’s usual great work.
I was turned onto Hugh Holton’s fantastic Larry Cole mystery series a while ago, and they are pulse-pounding procedurals and thrillers, grounded by the experience of someone who knows intimately the facts behind the fictions… he writes about.. My personal favorite of the three novels I’ve read so far is the juggernaut-like TIME OF THE ASSASSINS. In terms of pacing, and just keeping you racing till the end, it’s the strongest [the others I own are WINDY CITY, and VIOLENT CRIMES].
It was a great starting point for me to the excellent body of work Hugh Holton left us with, but I think I’ll now go back, pick up all the books I’m missing and read them all chronologically.
REVENGE, by all reports should not be considered part of the chronology, it’s something that (again according to reports) was not ready for publication, and was put out as a cash grab by the family and the publisher. It’s a curio, at best, and I would have less problem with it if the family had put their name on the novel(his Daughter I believe signed off on this version), rather than just Hugh Holton’s.
Being a writer, the idea of assigning sole responsibility to me, for something I didn’t have the chance to proof/edit… well that would bug me even in the grave. A writer’s books are his reputation.
And Hugh Holton has a well earned, and well deserved reputation as a great writer. Try the books for yourself at the links below! And tell’em HT sent ya!!!
L. R. Giles is a three-time contributor to the Dark Dreams anthology series edited by author Brandon Massey for Kensington Publishing (Dark Dreams, 2004; Voices from the Other Side, 2006; Whispers in the Night, 2007), a recipient of the 2006-2007 Virginia Commission for the Arts Fiction Fellowship, and a Top 10 finalist in the 2009 Tor UK and SciFiNow War of the Words competition. He resides in Chesapeake, VA with his wife.
L.R. Giles is also one of the authors paving the way for this new e-book phenomenon. Specifically I’m speaking of his support of the e-book format. You can find his e-books available on SMASHWORDS (which supports the popular and industry standard Epub format) as well as on AMAZON.
Or if you are like me and still enjoy having the real book in your hands go here.
Okay enough with the public service announcement 🙂 onto the interview…
HT: Hi LR, First Welcome to Heroic Times. And second, a big thank you for taking the time out of your booked schedule to answer these crazy questions. So taking that into consideration, we’ll start with an easy one. What is your favorite genre or genres?
LRG: This one is tougher than you think, so I’m going to cheat a little and say it’s a tie between fantasy and horror. I grew up on both, and a bit of science fiction, too. See how I snuck a third one in?
HT: What is the favorite thing you’ve written?
LRG: There’s a story called “The View” that’s part of my indie published short story collection THE SHADOWS GALLERY. It’s about a man who opens a window to Hell so he can confirm his wife’s dead murderer is being properly punished. I wanted to play with the idea of divine justice and pose a question. Can a need for vengeance ever be truly satisfied? It’s one of my darker stories. Difficult to write. That’s probably why I like it so much.
HT: Name 5 classic or genre writers who inspire or impress or influence you?
LRG: Poe (for “The Tell-Tale Heart), Shakespeare (for many works, but *MacBeth* in particular), Lovecraft (mostly for “The Dunwich Horror”),Nathaniel Hawthorne (for “Young Goodman Brown”), George Orwell (for ANIMAL FARM). With the exception of Lovecraft, I think I just gave you the reading list from my sophomore year of high school. Nevertheless, that was a formative time for me and those writers/stories stuck.
HT: Name some current or new writers, whose work you’ve recently read or discovered and blew you away.
LRG: Tananarive Due & Steven Barnes, they’re a husband and wife team who write an incredible mystery series starring a former male prostitute turned detective named Tennyson Hardwick. The first book in the series is called CASANEGRA and I HIGHLY recommend it.
Charlie Huston’s fiction really impresses, particularly THE SHOTGUN RULE.
And I recently read DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor; it’s incredible and I can’t wait for the upcoming sequel.
HT: Going along with the above name an author or authors (either new or old) who you think don’t get the attention they deserve, and everyone should be reading.
LRG: I have to go with Tananarive Due & Steven Barnes here. They’re veteran genre writers (horror, fantasy, and sci-fi), but people may not know how incredible their mysteries are. Reading their series inspired me to take a crack at the mystery genre, the resulting novel is WHISPERTOWN, a book I sold to HarperCollins last year. I can’t sing their praises enough.
HT: Name 2 or 3 of your favorite horror short stories
LRG: I’ll try not to borrow from my previous answers, though I certainly count those. For the sake of freshness, let’s say “The Barrens” by F. Paul Wilson, “The Man in the Black Suit” by Stephen King, and “The Yattering and Jack” by Clive Barker.
[I couldn’t find any of these stories available online, but you can listen to a different F. Paul Wilson short story here.— ht]
HT: Anthologies are usually theme based, so you have your Poe anthologies or Lovecraft etc. If you could do a short story for such an anthology, if you could decide/choose, what would the anthology be about.
LRG: Lovecraft, for two reasons. 1) The concepts of the Old Ones and universes running parallel to our own fascinate me, and I’d love to play in that sandbox. 2) Given some of Lovecraft’s musings on (human) races different than his own, I’d like to think that if he were still here, I could help show him we CAN have mutual respect for one another despite having different backgrounds.
[I love that take on Lovecraft. A writer I myself have very little love for :). But I do acknowledge his imagination and influence.–ht]
HT: Name 5 Favorite films, horror or otherwise.
LRG: I could probably give you 50, but here we go:
BLADE – Say what you want, Wesley was a badass and, sadly, one of the few heroes of color to grace a genre film and survive. This will always be at the top of my list.
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION – I could recite lines from this film all day.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS: DREAM WARRIORS! Don’t wanna dream no more!
TERMINATOR 1 & 2 – Cameron just knows how to make entertaining films. Period.
SEVEN – I still squirm at the end, and I KNOW what’s in the box.
HT: What do you think can or should be done to get more writers of color producing genre fiction:
LRG: I think the first thing we need to do is keep discussing the image systems that dominate novels, comic books, and scripts that become television shows/feature films. Writers of color* producing genre fiction?
Believe it or not, there are tons of them. The problem is there are few opportunities for them to showcase their talents when they’re writing about characters *who look like them, *particularly lead characters.
This is nobody’s fault, per se. There’s nothing productive about pointing a finger at Hollywood, or Big Publishing, or ‘The Man’. Numbers talk, and major successes for writers/characters of color have been few and far between.
If we want more writers of color making names for themselves in genre fiction, we have to reach a point where the general buying public is more open to the variety of stories such writers bring to the table and start voting with dollars. The great thing is, I think we’re getting closer every year.
Time will fix this. I want to be clear, when I say color I don’t just mean black writers. There are many stories to be told, and many writers who want to tell them.
HT: And finally in closing with a little less than 10 months left in 2012, what are you looking forward to?
LRG: Other than THE AVENGERS? 🙂 I’m just looking forward to finishing up a couple of writing projects and meeting more authors and readers. That is, by far, the best part of this gig. I hope to be doing it for a long time. 10 months +.
HT: LR, Those are great answers! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to introduce me and the HEROIC TIMES readers to not only your work, but great work from writers old and new. Thanks again!
THUNDER AGENTS 2. Hearing nothing but good things about Nick Spencer’s work on this series.
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Vol. 1
BLACK PANTHER 527. Great Francavilla cover highlights this issue. I’m going to pick up the trades.
Saw some pages of this horror story that takes place during the era of Napolean. Looks promising.
X-MEN 23- Too many X-MEN books, translates into me being uninterested in reading any of them. That said, that’s a great cover.
AVENGERS ACADEMY 24- Simialy too many avengers books, means I have no interest in reading any of them. That’s the problem with MARVEL/DISNEY comics, they saturate the market, choking their own products/brand to death. It’s like a garden with too many plants, too close together, fighting for soil and light… they all end up dying. That said, another great cover.
VESCELL 5- That’s a great cover. Unfortunately the interior sample pages were just a bunch of talking heads, gabbing on about nothing. Too bad, the cover showed promise.
VAMPIRELLA VS. DRACULA- Great cover.
BLUE ESTATE TPB VOL II- That is a phenomenal cover. Unfortunately the interior art that I saw doesn’t look anything like that, and the writing was pretty darn pedestrian/boring. You can decide for yourself.
FATALE 2- Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have for the last few years been making some of the best comics available, and one of the few you really should be buying monthly rather than waiting for the collected edition. Though you can’t go wrong with their CRIMINAL DELUXE EDITION. Their take on pulp noir is always highly recommended.
That is just a staggering amount of work, and a staggering labor of love, particularly when you factor in they are providing all this great entertainment free to you the listener. But for them it is definitely costly in terms of time, energy, and expense.
I realize the massive expenditure of time and energy and effort, and yes expense, that a blog can take, so a multi-cast pod-cast is an even more staggering commitment of time and energy, that you have to try and juggle in between your pay the bills jobs, and responsibilities of hearth, home, and family.
So yeah, the crew at CGS deserve much appreciation, and respect for their work ethic, because it is a massive undertaking. Made all the more impressive because not only are they prolific, one of the most prolific pod-casts of any kind, but they do it while also putting out a consistently excellent and fun to listen to product. And here they are in 2011, years later, still going strong. And still gaining new listeners.
Now all that said, a 174 episodes could could make it daunting for people coming in to CGS in 2011 and trying to decide where to start. The obvious question to most newcomers trying to get a handle on a new show is… ‘What episodes are the keepers?’.
Well that’s going to change depending on everyone’s interests. Some people like to start from the first episode, some people from the latest episode.
But most everybody at some point wants a best of list.
Recently needing to free up some drive space, I had to delete some episodes, which gave me a good excuse to go through 2011 and determine, which episodes for me were keepers. Which episodes did I see myself listening to or referring to again?
So it was a good bit of house cleaning I’ve just completed (freeing up gigs of Data), and I’ve decided to share the results with you.
As far as which type of episodes factor most prominently in my too-keep list?
Well, for purchasing reasons I find the ‘Previews’ episodes good ones to revisit, as they help me when I’m looking for stuff to pick up in trade or collections, that I might have missed the first time around. So the bulk of the episodes I’ve saved from 2011 are ‘Previews’ episodes ( A preview episode is, as the name implies, an episode where they look at upcoming books to be released).
Also the ‘Drunk Cap’ and ‘Uncle Sal’ episodes figure high on my to keep list. So I’m going to give you a string of numbers, and your mission if you choose to accept it is to head over to the CGS site (link below) where they give you the description and download link to the episodes I recommend.
So without further ado my biased list of the essential Comic Geek Speak episodes of 2011:
Conveyors of Common Sense...
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Keep It Locked And Loaded Right Here! We Are Your Destination For Everything Action!
Reviewing every superhero and comic book movie ever made... eventually.
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Comic Books, Horror Movie Reviews, Videos, Podcasts, Words
The Best Deals, Coupons, Promo Codes & Freebies
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A look back at some really old comics by an even older comics fan
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I'm Technically a Writer - **On Indefinite Hiatus**
Cult, classic and crazy movies you must see, might see and maybe miss