Still not cranking out as many movies or books that I would like, and nothing really blew my skirt up this week. With one exception. Friday Night, the wife and I traveled on over to the Fall For The Books festival at George Mason University. There we saw Stephen King read from Doctor Sleep, the upcoming sequel to The Shining. How cool is that? I'd heard rumors of the sequel before but was shocked to hear that he was practically done with the book. Here's what they say on his website:
"It's now official--Stephen is working on Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. This weekend Steve read an excerpt from this at his appearance at George Mason University. They have given us permission to post their taping of the event here on Steve's site which we will do as soon as we receive the file. Dr. Sleep's plot includes a traveling group of vampires called The Tribe which is part of the passage he read from."
And afterwards I got my hardcover copies of The Shining and 'Salem's Lot signed. I've had a lot of amazing dork encounters this year (John Landis, Stan Lee, John Carpenter, etc...) but this was my favorite by far. King was instrumental in my literary/cinematic growth. If I had never read The Dead Zone when I was 12 years old than I most certainly wouldn't be fiddling around on this blog today.
MOVIES OF THE WEEK!
Rollerball: James Caan won't quite the team just cuz and that makes The Corporation very unhappy. Strange dsytopian sci-fi centering around a mondo bizarro future sport involving motorcycles and roller skates. John Houseman is exceptionally creepy as the scowling corporation figurehead and Moses Gunn is awesome cuz Moses Gunn is awesome.
Hesher: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is kinda brilliant as the mysterious Metal God Agent of Change and I love how he storms into the world of depressed pre-teen Devin Brocu and his even more depressed beardo dad Rainn Wilson and devastates their sad existence. But as the film rambled on towards its climax I found myself rather annoyed with the predictable turns of the narrative. And Natalie Portman's mousy cashier was ultimately boring and pathetic. Meh.
Meek's Cutoff: Grizzly Adams Bruce Greenwood doesn't so much lead a wagon train across the Cascade Mountains as much as he just dumps them in the wilderness of frontier America. Meek's Cutoff feels true to the Oregon Trail experience and it's absolutely terrifying in its depiction of the unknown. But it's not really a fun movie. Great performances from Michelle Williams and Bruce Greenwood. But can I ask, what's the deal with that manga Williams poster?
Straw Dogs: A hammer meet nail remake of the brutally uncomfortable original film, Staw Dogs definitely has an interesting take with its cast but half the time I just wanted to shout my annoyance at the screen. To give you an idea, James Marsden's screenwriter (no math here) literally explains the title to the audience. Ugh. Still, I really liked James Woods' drunk Coach performance and Dominic Purcell was actually good in the David Warner role. And it's always nice to see Walton Goggins on the big screen. Seriously though, who was asking for this remake? No one.
The Big Clock: Charles Laughton's murderous Charles Foster Ka--I mean, media baron Earl Janoth attempts to run circles around Ray Milland's investigative journalist. Fine performances all around, but the Columbo-like narrative seemed to lack suspense and the odd bursts of comedy from the shrill Elsa Lanchester (The Bride of Frankenstein!) pulled me right outta the tense bits. Know lots of folks who really dig this film so I'll give it a go another day.
Cujo: A strange, little horror tale. Dee Wallace's family melodrama is put on hold when a rabid St. Bernard holds her & her son (Danny Pintauro from Who's The Boss) hostage within the confines of her Hades hot Gremlin. And Wallace knocks out an amazingly intense performance as the sweaty mess of a Mom fighting for her child's survival. And I love how you can't hate the beast of the flick, just a poor sick puppy.
COMICS OF THE WEEK!
Hellboy Volume 11 The Bride of Hell and Other Stories: Before this trade I've never been a big fan of the blending between Mignola's stories and Richard Corben's art. That being said, "Hellboy in Mexico" and "Double Feature of Evil" that lead off this collection are spectacular. Reading the team-up adventures of 1950s Hellboy and the luchador brothers has me aching for more, plus that El Diablo Turkey? Genius. The collection has some other fun bits involving Hammer-esque vamps and Cow-Boy aliens but the Mexico stuff is the tops. Volume 11 is my favorite Hellboy short story collection since Volume 4's Right Hand of Doom.
Creepy Presents Bernie Wrightson: More horror goodness from one of the all time great comic illustrators. One of the best bits comes right at the beginning. "Jennifer" written by Bruce Jones is a gross little EC-type tale about a woodsman who enjoys the pleasures of a deformed women a little too much. It was adapted by Dario Argento for Showtime's so-so anthology series Masters of Horror. If you're at all interested in horror comics than this is an absolute must.
TV OF THE WEEK!
Supernatural Season 6: I love this damn show. Watched the entirety of Season 6 in four days. Now that the Apocalypse has come and gone, the show has taken a few dips and dives. But there are still several fun eps to be had. The Boys vs. Fairies and The Boys vs. The Old West being my favorite. Still, what the hell is going on with Cass. Not sure I like where this season is taking their relationship. We'll have to wait and see this year.