A History Of Violence

I’ve never been a big David Cronenberg fan, but I liked A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, though it could have been so much better. It’s a shame the mobsters were played, costumed and directed,  so cartoonishly over-the-top…had they been as realistic and controlled as the rest of the characters (and performances), this movie really could have soared.

There was a reason FIREFLY was cancelled after eight episodes…

I saw SERENITY last night.

I know I’m in the minority here, but I thought it was a loud, boring, uninspired mess…that played like what it was: a hyped up episode of a not-very-interesting TV series. Even so, the movie wasn’t nearly as well-written, well-acted, or exciting as a typical episode of the new BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (proving, once again, that what’s on TV these days is better that what’s in the theaters). It had a real TV pilot feel… despite an entire universe to play with, the action was mostly limited to four soundstage sets that looked like soundstage sets.

The cast, with the exception of the captain (Nathan Fillian) and the bad guy (Chiwetel Ejiofor), have no discernible range and no chemistry with one another.  The characters themselves are one-dimensional cut-outs that only a true fan of the short-lived series could care about.

The special effects had a cheesy, computer-game feel…as did the story  (the bad guys, the flesh-eating RESIDENT EVIL-esque zombies, are just so much target practice…and blandly reminiscent of the cannibal aliens on STARGATE ATLANTIS).

The action set pieces and the plot seemed cobbled together from STAR TREK episodes, old westerns, and Hong Kong movies and I got tired of the constant  "take-a-cliche-line-from-another-movie- and-add-a-petulant-whine-to-it" style of dialogue ("Do you want to be Captain of this ship?" "Yeah, I do." "Well, uh, you can’t.")… when they weren’t using phrases from old westerns or speaking Chinese. 

I really wanted to like this movie but came away disappointed.

Can HELLO LARRY Be Far Behind?

Lotsaluck_completeseriesAfter years of letter-writing, praying and dreaming… the long wait is finally over. All 22 episodes of the 1973 flop sitcom LOTSA LUCK, starring Dom DeLuise, are coming out on DVD.

And if you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who’ve been pining for the DVD release of the 1967 flop sitcom GOOD MORNING WORLD, the complete series of 26 episodes starring Ronnie Schell is  also headed to a Best Buy near you. While you’re there, don’t forget to pick up the complete series sets of THE JOEY BISHOP SHOW,  FAR OUT SPACE NUTS, THAT’S MY MAMA, NED AND STACY, TABITHA and PINK LADY AND JEFF.

The End of Sex

Deniserichards1That got your attention, didn’t it? UPN has shut down production on the Denise Richards series  SEX LOVE AND SECRETS after only one airing and with just eight of the show’s 13 episodes shot. Daily Variety reports that the network will air the seven remaining episodes  and then re-evaluate the show’s future (yeah, right). Barring a miraculous, sudden surge in ratings, the show is dead.  NBC’s fertility clinic drama  INCONCEIVABLE and FOX’s police procedural KILLER INSTINCT may be the next shows smothered in their sleep.

With ""Inconceivable"
going nowhere at 10 (prelim 1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million), and Fox, with "Killer
Instinct" a distant fourth at 9 (prelim 1.5/5, 4.6 million), were well behind
CBS with a 1.6 average in 18-49. Both almost certainly will make sked
changes before November sweeps.

Meanwhile, Bob Saget is returning to television…no, not in yet another season of AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS, but as the star, producer and co-writer of EDDIE’S FATHER,  which Variety described as an "R-rated version of ‘The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.’"

Saget will play a divorced dad who works as a gynecologist in Phoenix. Show will
focus on the character as he balances raising a 14-year-old son while trying to
lead as active a social life as possible.

"The show is my son and I going through adolescence at the same time," Saget
explained. "What makes it exciting is that because I’m working with HBO, I’ll
get to use the same language in the show that I use with my own kids, which is
just very honest and real."

An iUniverse Book That Might Actually Do Some Decent Numbers

WITHOUT GRACE by Carol Hoenig is an iUniverse title that is likely to sell better than most of the company’s self-published novels. It’s not because of Pod-dy Mouth’s rave review, or the blurbs from Malachy McCourt and Michael Malone, or even this casual mention. So why might it sell to more folks than just Hoenig’s friends and relatives? Because Hoenig  has an edge most POD authors don’t have: she’s National Events Specialist for Borders Group…and already has signings set at five Borders stores with, undoubtedly, more to come.

Marvin H. Albert

You may recall that I’ve got a guilty-pleasure-passion for the Frank Sinatra’s TONY ROME and LADY IN CEMENT movies, both of which were based on books by Marvin H. Albert (who also co-wrote the screenplay for LADY). Novelist, editor and paperback collector Bill Crider  has written an interesting article about Albert for this month’s issue of Mystery*File magazine. The article includes a complete bibliography of Albert’s work, compiled by Steve Lewis. Albert was an amazingly versatile, if unappreciated, writer whose work included screenplays, novels in several genres, and even movie tie-ins. He was one of a dying breed. 

Judging Books By Their Covers

I have to apologize to Kit Tunstall for making fun of her name…it was a cheap shot (I gambled that there was a 50/50 chance that  it wasn’t a pen-name and I lost). Her comment about all the money in e-book erotica made me curious about her…so I checked out her site. There may be, as she claims, a oodles of cash in the smutty e-book biz, but obviously none of the profits are going towards cover art. It turns out that the cover of her e-book PHANTASIE, so brilliantly lampooned by the Smart Bitches Who Love Trash Novels, is not half-as-bad as some of her others…

I Found a “Fucktard’

Weekly27Each Sunday, my brother Tod dissects the letters to Parade Magazine’s Walter Scott and, from among that collection of idiots, christens someone a "fucktard." But this week, I’ve got Tod beat, whether he picks Jan G. from San Diego ("Robert Redford is as blond as ever. Why doesn’t he let his hair go gray?") or E. Zimmerman of Amana Iowa ("What’s with those tabloid photos of Jennfer Aniston cuddling Vince Vaughn? Are the two lovers?").Fred_thompson Because the biggest fucktard of all this Sunday won’t be found in Parade but in the TV Q&A column in the TV Times. J. Higa of Carson, California asks:

I see former Sen. Fred Thompson in the news and he looks just like the Fred Thompson on the TV show "Law and Order." Is he the same person?

No, Mr. or Mrs. Higa, it’s not the same person. They are identical twins with identical names, you fucktard.