Monday, December 26, 2011

26 Films: World Gone Wild

World Gone Wild is a 1988 post-apocalypse which is based on the model of the classic Western The Magnificent Seven. It's got a pretty simple plot, a village in the desert is being pillaged by a roving cult which takes the young men. The village needs to hire protectors and well you can pretty much guess the rest. 

I saw this film in the theater when it was released and have owned my VHS copy for a number of years. It's not a great film, but it's watchable and entertaining in it's own way. Stars Bruce Dern and Michael Pare carry the film with enough grit to keep it real, and of course Catherine Mary Stewart is always a welcome addition to any 80s film. As far as I know this is not on DVD and it's likely to be (but it would be a great double disc with Neon City) any time soon.

So this is the last of the films I am covering for 2011. I am not planning to keep the same every other week film write up, but I will have some movie coverage in the coming year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

FFB Thieves World

I am pretty sure that I first heard of Thieves's World from my cousin Dan, which is strange in that Editor Robert Asprin was my brother's Cub Scout troop leader. Anyway, Thieves's World was a series of 12 anthologies set in a shared world, written by a cadre of Sci Fi and Fantasy authors.

Set in the city of Sanctuary the stories are range in topics from the stories of city administrators to that of Shadowspawn the thief. The Shadowspawn stories were my favorites, and I did end up reading the spin off novel Shadowspawn by Andrew J Offutt. I think I read almost all 12 of the volumes and even stayed on after the original set of authors left the series. 

Later on there was a Role Playing Game and a Graphic Novel incarnation of the series, along with a series of spin off books and an relaunch of the series in the early 2000s. I have fond memories of the books and their covers and have been tempted to revisit series in the last couple of years but have yet to pick up and crack one open.  I have to wonder what a Crime Anthology called Thieves City might look like from todays new Noir and Crime Writers.

Monday, December 12, 2011

26 films: Off Beat

The best dancing cop film ever… maybe the only one I know of as well.  The plot is kinda on the wacky side. After messing up a undercover drug bust, Joe Gower (Judge Reinhold) is pressured by his buddy police officer Abe Washington into taking his place at the try out for a charity dance performance. Shocking I know but Joe gets caught up in the moment and manages to get selected for the dance… in part because he has fallen for Meg Tilly.

It’s a kinda strange film; on the one hand you have this comedic set up with the whole dance bit, which has some fun moments and elements. There is a waiting for Guffman tone to that part of the film. Also the classic getting tough guys to do something girly trope is deployed in those scenes.  The other hand is a story of a man who has let life happen to him and finally is able to take charge of his life and step up and take control.

The two story elements don’t completely gel, and there is a fair amount of humor that is very dated. However the performances are solid, and both Reinhold and Tilly are likeable enough to leave me wondering why they didn’t have more leading roles and why have both seem to have vanished from film in the last couple of decades. I honestly didn’t have a lot of hope for this one when I started it, but found it to be a charming, fun little romp.

Friday, December 9, 2011

FFB License Renewed by John Gardner

This was the first Bond book that I read. I only recall that we were on a family trip out east when I was reading it, but nothing about the book or the plot. It was a big deal that these new Bond books were coming out in the 80s and I read most of them long before I cracked any of the Fleming books. Looking back I am really not sure that there needed to be new Bond books in the 80s, and I am not sure that they need new ones now... at least not ones set in the current landscape. I might be on board with some retro adventures set in the 50s, 60s, and maybe even into the 70s.

I'm going to open this one up to the readers, thoughts, comments, anything that you recall about the Gardner Bond?

Friday, December 2, 2011

26 Soundtracks: Demon Knight

Yet another 90s Hard Alt Rock soundtrack, Demon Knight is of note for the inclusion of Pantera and Filters best songs. Really not much else to say  other than if you are looking for another document of the era this one is worth rescuing from the dollar bin.

1. "Cemetery Gates" - 5:47 (Pantera)
2. "Tonight We Murder" - 3:56 (Ministry)
3. "My Misery" - 4:28 (Machine Head)
4. "Diadems" - 4:17 (Megadeth)
5. "Instant Larry" - 4:06 (Melvins)
6. "Fall Guy" - 3:53 (Rollins Band)
7. "Beaten" - 3:10 (Biohazard)
8. "PolĂ­cia" - 1:46 (Sepultura)
9. "Hey Man, Nice Shot" - 5:20 (Filter)
10. "1-800 Suicide" - 4:17 (Gravediggaz)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Monthly Reads: Nov 2011

The Topless Tulip Caper (1975) by Lawrence Block 
This Chip Harrison novel was a fun romp with just enough drive to keep it going. A tank of fish have been killed along with a stripper and Chip and his boss have to figure out who done it.

Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music edited by Greg Prato.
This oral history of the Seattle Grunge Scene gives a good over  view of the major moments and major events of the late 80s early 90s scene. I do wish that it had gone a little more into the also ran bands and some of the hidden gems, but if you are looking for a solid overview you can't do much better than this.

yep that's been pretty much it for the month. I started and put down a couple of others,... but hey I hope there will be more next week.