Saturday, September 02, 2006
Actually, Brick is done well. Sort of. Some of it takes place at Low Budget High, a school which seems to have no teachers and only a couple of students other than those involved in the story. (In the oddly deserted school, however, the drama department stands out. Its four of five students appear to be there at all hours of the day and night in constant rehearsal.)
Not only does the school seem to have no students, the students seem to have no parents. Well, there's one parent, but she's the mom of the drug kingpin (who's cleverly called "The Pin"). He's not a student, though. I liked it that his office was in his mom's basement. And I liked his mother. She serves cereal, apple juice, and cookies to the hero after the Pin's enforcer beats the crap out of him.
When I watch a movie from the '40s with Bogart or just about anybody, I can understand the dialogue. It's spoken crisply and cleanly. One reason Brick didn't quite work for me is that the actors seemed to be mumbling or whispering about half the time. (Possibly I have a hearing problem, like other old guys of my age. And while we're at it, you damn kids get off my lawn!) I liked a lot of the dialogue I could hear, though.
Another problem is that if you're familiar with film noir or '40s detective flicks, you pretty much know where things are heading. There are no real shocks or suprises. The wrap-up indicates that the plot's as complex as the one in The Big Sleep, but you can probably keep up with it just fine.
Would I recommend Brick? Sure. It's a little slow in spots, but it's fun to watch, even if you know what's coming. Check it out.
She had no idea what was yet to come.
That seat belt ticket – the only blemish on her driving record – would result in a harrowing three-day stay in a crowded holding tank at the Dallas County Jail last week without a chance to see a lawyer, bail bondsman or judge."
Friday, September 01, 2006
The author credits Hermione Granger with 11 top exam results in the first hardback edition of book six, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.
But in book five — Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix — we are told she takes TEN examinations.
Publishers Bloomsbury have corrected the paperback edition to give Hermione nine “outstanding” and one “exceeds expectations” in her Ordinary Wizarding Levels."
The reptile was sunning itself on the basketball courts just outside the gym at Parrott Middle School. It wasn’t moving at first, but then Williams looked outside and saw it start to slither.
She called for help.
“This is not a little gator,” she said. “This is a big gator.”"
American novelist, creator of the world famous character of Tarzan, one of the indispensable icons of popular culture. Burroughs also published science fiction and crime novels, some 26 books dealt with the Apeman. Critics have considered Burroughs's fiction often crudely written and chauvinist. His books, however, are still widely read and usually more interesting than the films. It is true that Burroughs often portrayed Africans, Arabs or Asians as evil or comic, but the stories also contain several elements that have kept them 'politically correct': Waziri warriors are brave, and his cave girls Nadara and Dejah Thoris, the princesses of Mars, are courageous and resourceful characters.
"As the body rolled to the ground Tarzan of the Apes placed his foot upon the neck of his lifelong enemy, and raising his eyes to the full moon threw back his fierce young head and voiced the wild and terrible cry of his people." (from Tarzan of the Apes, 1914 )
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Official Deborah Gibson Website: "The 'Original Pop Princess' Deborah exploded on to the pop music scene at the age of 16. An entertainment prodigy, Deborah became the youngest person ever to write, produce, and perform the number one single, 'Foolish Beat”, a record she holds to this day in the Guinness Book of World Records. Among Deborah’s many impressive career achievements include her album Electric Youth which soared to #1 on the pop charts and her #1 hit single 'Lost In Your Eyes'."
Scarlett Johansson stars in the video for the first single from Dylan's critically acclaimed new album 'Modern Times.' Directed by Bennett Miller of 'Capote,' the sexy throwback video will make you think of old home movies. "
Thanks to Walter Satterthwait for the link.
Happy Paris Hilton Day - TMZ.com: "Sin City just got a little more sinful.
Yesterday the Mayor of Las Vegas proclaimed August 29,2006 Paris Hilton Day and gave the budding popstar the key to the city. News of the impending apocalypse to follow.
Comedian Jeff Beacher introduced the heiress in front of a packed crowd at a Vegas block party.
Hilton proclaimed her love for Vegas saying it's her 'favorite place in the world to come to party.' Considering her good time girl reputation, that's a huge compliment."
Whether the series stands up well after almost half a century is another question entirely. All the early episodes were supposedly based on Erle Stanley Gardner’s novels but – as I’ve confirmed by rereading several of the books after watching their TV incarnations – it would be more accurate to describe most of them as using parts of Gardner’s plots and some of his characters in new and much simpler stories, completely lacking the breakneck pace and dynamism of the novels. "
Hattiesburg American - www.hattiesburgamerican.com - Hattiesburg, Miss.: "Vanilla Ice is still sizzlin' - on the college circuit anyway.
The once-famous hip-hop artist of the early 1990s, will take the stage at the Phi Kappa Tau house at 10 p.m. Sept. 9 following the University of Southern Mississippi's first home football game of the season.
'We were looking to do something bigger and popular than the bands we usually go with,' said fraternity president Dylan Mezey, 21, whose brother is the booking agent. 'He was able to get in touch with some artists in our price range.'
Mezey said the show's cost is about $10,000.
'We were able to get this kind of event through sponsorship from businesses around town,' Mezey said.
Vanilla Ice is scheduled to play a few of his old-school hits and some new songs.
'He's gone back to his rap roots,' Mezey said.
Tickets are $10 and can be bought at the fraternity house. For more information, call (601) 266-4806."
Clutter blamed in fatal Houston home fire: "HFD says piles of paper helped the blaze quickly spread, hindering a woman's rescue
By MIKE GLENN
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Family members had regularly offered to help make order out of the chaos of books, magazines and papers that filled Marilyn Berzeny's modest northwest Houston home.
But the 64-year-old woman always refused any assistance, they said. Relatives now believe that resistance may have cost the woman her life early Wednesday when a fast-moving fire burned through the clutter she refused to move."
WASHINGTON — Glenn Ford, a rugged but amiable leading man who appeared in nearly 100 movies, died Wednesday at his Beverly Hills, Calif., home, police said. He was 90.
Police found him dead about 4 p.m., Sgt. Lincoln Hoshino said. No foul play was suspected. Mr. Ford had suffered a series of strokes in the 1990s.
Three of Mr. Ford's best films were "Gilda" (1946), "The Big Heat" (1953) and "The Blackboard Jungle" (1955). In them, he was a gambler, a police detective and a schoolteacher, respectively. As varied as the parts were, all benefited from his low-boil technique. He also was the Man of Steel's adoptive father in "Superman" (1978).I remember Ford in so many movies that it's hard to count them. Besides the ones mentioned above, The Sheepman is a favorite. He was one of those guys who could play almost any role and play it well.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Rockabilly singer and songwriter Jumpin' Gene Simmons, who worked with Elvis Presley and had a top 20 hit in 1964 with the bouncy "Haunted House," has died. He was 69.
He died Tuesday at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo after a long illness, according to Holland-Harris Funeral Directors.
Simmons - not to be confused with the Kiss bassist with the same name - was in show business for more than 50 years, working with such names as Sam Phillips and the Bill Black Combo.
The setting of the story is Venice in the 16th century. Maybe that's what attracted me. Or maybe the fact that it's narrated by a dwarf who's in partnership with a courtesan caught my attention. Anyway, I read it. I didn't find it particularly involving, but there was at least a slight mystery element (I'd figured it out long before the answer even occurred to anyone else). I'm sure the historical details were very good, and I found the picture of the city the best part of the book.
Here's what I'd like to ask about. The book begins with Bucino, the dwarf, narrating the story in the first person, past tense. Then there's a brief section of third-person narration. Then there's a switch to first person again, but this time in the present tense. All before page 50. Why? (The narration doesn't change again.) I suppose that if I were teaching a class and this book were one of the assigned texts, I could make a case for the changes, but I found them irritating. Maybe I just don't have a high tolerance for Art.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
He spotted a 2-foot long alligator sunning itself on the bank.
Harlan Robb and his wife, Jackie, who works in the Monitor circulation department, called the Concord police.
"We just were afraid that some child would come down and go fishing," Jackie Robb said.
Rudy Rucker and Paul Di Filippo
Elves of the Subdimensions
Billy and the Circus Girl
Strategy for Conflict Avoidance:
Memo to the Commander-in-Chief
Tittle-Tattle Too: Paris Hilton Celebrity CD "Paris" Headed For Certain Obscurity - The Post Chronicle: "It just goes to show.. just because you have the name doesn't mean you have the talent. And Paris Hilton is learning yet another very public lesson -- celebrity isn't going to save her highly touted CD 'Paris' from almost certain obscurity.
'Paris' sales are being 'widely seen as a certified flop' says Page Six. 'Her career as a pop star is fizzling as quickly as one of her blink-and-you'll-miss-it relationships.'
Continue reading this article below
Hilton reportedly worked hard to make this music CD (we saw her 'struggle' through the grueling ordeal of picking out a sexy partner for her 'Stars Are Blind' music video), but it seems the monotone nature of the single didn't thrill clubgoers.
A second single 'Turn It Up' was released as well, but it didn't stem the downward slide."
As I've noted on previous occasions, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (now edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin J. Grant) usually leaves me feeling less enthusiastic than Gardner Dozois' counterpart SF anthology--but this nineteenth anthology is one of the more solid entries in recent memory. Granted, the editors' poetry selections continue to puzzle me--most of the poems are unexceptionable and, quite frankly, rather unmemorable free verse--but the fiction this time was frequently of high quality. "
Monday, August 28, 2006
Restless Records to Release "Butchering The Beatles": Financial News - Yahoo! Finance:
Features Over 50 of Rock's Most Notorious Stars
NEW YORK, NY--(MARKET WIRE)--Aug 22, 2006 -- On October 24, 2006 Restless Records will release 'Butchering The Beatles' -- featuring the BIGGEST, the BADDEST, the HEAVIEST all-star line-up ever assembled to honor what is arguably the greatest band ever -- THE BEATLES. All-in-all, over 50 internationally known recording artists bring their unique bone-crushing slant to these remarkable songs.
By Kimberly Maul
"Romance publisher Harlequin has launched four new digital initiatives, designed to bring more of the company’s readers into the online arena.
“Harlequin is the brand in publishing that is trusted by women around the world to provide them with great entertainment,” said Donna Hayes, publisher and CEO of Harlequin Enterprises Limited. “We are uniquely positioned to serve their needs and offer entertainment in new digital formats. Put simply, a lot of women are already there, and those who aren’t trust us to help them navigate the evolving digital space.” "
Thanks to Karin Montin for this Wikipedia link. I didn't know that the building was discovered by the guy who played Baldrick on Black Adder.
In new movie Casino Royale 007 Daniel Craig, 38, asks a waitress: “A dry Martini, please.”
The line, breaking a tradition started by Sean Connery in 1962, is part of an image change for the superspy."
Guardian Unlimited Arts | Arts news | Pink Floyd guitar solo sits comfortably in first place: "Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb' has the best guitar solo of all time, according to a new poll. It was chosen ahead of the opening riff from 'Sweet Child O' Mine' by Guns N' Roses. Third was 'Freebird' by Lynyrd Skynyrd, while 'Eruption' by Van Halen was fourth and Guns N' Roses' 'November Rain' fifth. Led Zeppelin classic 'Stairway to Heaven' was in sixth place.
The radio station Planet Rock asked listeners to come up with a top 40. The rest of the top 10 featured 'Sultans of Swing' by Dire Straits, 'Aqualung' by Jethro Tull, 'Hotel California' by the Eagles and Child In Time by Deep Purple."
The circular structure was built by Edward III in the 14th century to house the round table intended to seat the original 300 Knights of the Garter. Archaeological proof of the building was uncovered by members of Channel 4's Time Team in the castle's quadrangle.
Although the stones have been removed, rubble in-fill where they were originally located remained in place. The show's presenter, Tony Robinson, said the discovery could help settle years of debate among historians over the existence of the building. 'The round table building is one of our most significant ever archaeological finds. It is something that helped to establish Arthurian legends of the knights of the round table."
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Just click right here and you'll find the link, a link to the tiny ship, that set off from a tropic port and washed up in TV history, the S.S. Minnow from Gilligan's Island.
You could take a slew of three-hour tours on what is one of four versions of the boat from the famed 1960s series, according to the show's fan club Web site.
The American Boat Listing Web site puts a $99,000 price tag on the 1964 40-footer, now docked in British Columbia, Canada, that sleeps five. But move fast. If not for the courage of the fearless bid, the Minnow could be lost."
JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD: John Scalzi
Fan Artist: Frank Wu
Fan Writer: Dave Langford
Professional Artist: Donato Giancola
Professional Editor: David G. Hartwell
Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: "Doctor Who," "The
Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances"
Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: SERENITY
Best Related Book: Kate Wilhelm, STORYTELLER
Short Story: David D. Levine, "Tk'tk'tk"
Novelette: Peter S. Beagle, "Two Hearts"
Novella: Connie Willis, "Inside Job"
Novel: Robert Charles Wilson, SPIN
Special Award: Betty Ballantine, for lifetime achievement
Special Award: Harlan Ellison, for fifty years of publishing fiction