I’ve never been an anime fan and for many years, it was simply the economics of collecting that kept me at bay. I used to occasionally peruse the anime section of Suncoast when I started buying my favorite films on VHS, and there were plenty of titles that caught my interest. If memory serves, however, those tapes were always priced higher than whatever stuff I was buying, and since I never knew where to begin, I never wound up rolling the dice on anything.
One strategy I don’t share in this business is the need to pump out books like clockwork. If you can do it well, then good on you! I both admire and envy you. But I can’t. Sometimes a book just falls out of me, but more often than not it’s a struggle. Books can be like a stubborn child at bedtime: anything but cooperative. And in those instances, it’s real hard to commit to a schedule.
For many years, most of them pre-Internet, I lived inside my own bubble where everybody liked Ghostbusters II. I assume that’s because I grew up in a small-ish town where the majority of my friends were equally large Ghostbusters fans of around the same age. I was too young to be aware of the film’s tepid critical reception, and it wasn’t until I joined Twitter that I learned how divisive it is.
Some people say you should believe in signs. That Serendipity is a thing. When I was writing Island Red, my music selections were so eclectic that I thought it might be fun to include a little “this book was written to the sounds of…” section at the back. As I neared the manuscript’s completion, I got my hands on one of Brian Keene’s recent books, The Complex, and saw he had done that very thing. And while I intended to include my own compilation of track lists at the end of Island Red, I never got around to it, which makes it the perfect topic for today’s blog post.
Rob Zombie has style. Whether or not you like it is another story. It’s impossible to deny that “white trash pastiche” is his thing. He’s enamored with unwashed 1970s aesthetics, wears his love of unflinching brutality on his sleeve, and speechifies his characters with more profanity than the entire mobster genre combined.
I’m halfway through Jeff Lindsay’s fourth Dexter novel, Dexter By Design and it’s fantastic. I’m a notoriously slow reader, but I’ve been trying to be better about that. I’m also fiercely protective of any ongoing series that I enjoy. I don’t like to read more than one installment a year, and I try to savor each while working through it. It’s why I’ve yet to finish F. Paul Wilson’s superb Repairman Jack series, and why I still don’t know whether or not Roland reaches the Dark Tower. I get attached to certain characters, and that makes me reluctant to reach the ends of their stories.
If you know me then you know I’m kind of a fanatic when it comes to BioWare’s Mass Effect games. Despite my disdain for the ending of Mass Effect 3 (something which I’ll channel into its own rant down the line), I remain a big fan of the overall game, the series, and of BioWare in general.
The sequel to the 2011 Fright Night remake is coming in hot this October, and a first look at the trailer leaked online yesterday. Unsurprisingly, it looks awful. Cringe-inducing line readings, an overly familiar story and lots of recycled bits from yesterday’s Fright Nights put it firmly in oft-traveled territory. But that’s not the biggest problem. It’s the almost aggressive lack of creativity that has come to define this project.
For many, word that Dario Argento has made a bad film isn’t exactly news. I get it, even though I largely disagree with that stigma. I’m under no illusion that there’s a pretty sizeable gap between his greatest works (everything pre-1990) and “modern” output (everything after it). With the exception of Phantom of the Opera, I’ve found lots to like about his later canon: the lingering and haunting psychological devastation of The Stendhal Syndrome, the playful homage of Do You Like Hitchcock? and the gonzo what-the-fuckery of Mother of Tears. Sure, it’s lesser Argento, but I’ve always had fun.
It’s hard not to get excited about something that was practically booed off the screen at Cannes. I know that sounds a bit contrarian, but the awful truth is that I consistently find myself on the opposite end of popular opinion when it comes to matters of cinema. So when the early word was that audiences absolutely hated Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, I knew there was a good chance I was going to be happy with it.
And I was.