Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Back With A Vengance, and it feels good"

I feel like that bear just coming out of it's cave after a long winter in hibernation. Having just wrapped up another school baseball season and taking a month long sabatical from writing, it's good to be back. If you check in to this site regularly, I have a suggestion for what to do in the future during one of my sabaticals due to coaching. Type in and head over to Jed Ayers website "Hardboiled Wonderland" and you will instantly feel at home. During my absence from my site I have been reading, catching some movies, watching some TV series, and gathering new writing material. Their were 3 items inparticular that I was going to write about, the new TV series BOARDWALK EMPIRE, the film, THAT EVENING SUN (based on William Gay's novel) and the film ANIMAL KINGDOM. Here's what I'm gonna do, you know that address I just gave you above for Hardboiled Wonderland, well head there now because Jed already hit on all 3 of these and did a better job than I ever could. He continues to amaze me, as I really think his site just keeps getting better and better. I'm even gonna steal Jed's tagline (sort of) for his Barnes & Noble column (Ransom Notes) since they say theft is the greatest form of flattery. So, Jed consider yourself flattered my friend.

Random Thoughts: In my time away I got quite caught up on some things I had been missing. I watched all 3 seasons of Deadwoood...amazing, great actors, vulgar, and dead on. I caught Season 2 of Sons of Anarchy & I thought it was even better than season 1. I watched Season 4 of Dexter and it was by far the best season yet thanks to the terrific John Litgow & the explosive finale. I loved the premiere's of Boardwalk Empire and The Event. I also caught a couple episodes of Justified and loved it. I'm really looking forward to Season 1 coming out on DVD.

I did get a chance to catch 4 movies over the last month. I got to see WINTERS BONE for a second time at The Avon Theatre in Decatur, Il. I liked it better the second time if that's even possible. I caught things that I missed on my first viewing. I was awed by its slow pacing, and its visceral beauty. Shot in the Ozarks it is rugged & brutal but beautiful as well. I hope that come Oscar time it gets the BEST PICTURE nod it richly deserves.

Another fine film I caught at a private screening at The Avon was "LEAVES OF GRASS". It's directed by Tim Blake Nelson a Coen Bros. favorite and his work here will remind and please those die hard Coen Bros. fans. The film stars Steve Earle, Keri Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Tim Blake Nelson and Susan Sarandon but it is Ed Norton" who steals the show. Norton plays two different characters, brothers who are actually in scenes together. Some tough feat that is to pull off. However, it works here. You can catch it on DVD as it hits video stores in early October.

I caught 2 films at The Tivoli in St. Louis, ANIMAL KINGDOM & MESRINE: KILLER INSTINCT and I would highly reccomend them to any fan of gritty crime flicks.

I also caught some really good films on DVD, the best of which were "The Red Riding Trilogy", "The Take" a 2 Pt. BBC miniseries, La Sierra, Harry Brown, That Evening Sun, and "The Square".

For those looking for a good book to curl up to here in the Fall, I would like to recomend the following: "The Cold Kiss" by John Rector, "Savages" by Don Winslow, "Think of A Number" by John Verdon, "Still Missing" by Chevy Stevens, "The Poachers Son" by Paul Doiron, and "The Hanging Tree" by Byran Gruely. I also read Larry McMurtry's "Hollywood" but I won't advise you to read that one. Go back to his first (of his 3 memoirs), which is about his time as a book dealer & book scout and stop there.

The Fall also brings some great new books from James Ellroy, John Rector, Reed Farrel Coleman, Tom Franklin, Tom Schreck, and Scott Phillips to name a few.

Well all I can say is you can see I used my time wisely and that we'll have much to discuss in the near future...and some really cool interviews are headed your way starting with Martin Strel ( THE MAN WHO SWAM THE AMAZON).. all I can say is it's great to be back & be good to one another till next time.


  1. Thanks Rod. I am soooo looking forward to Mesrine and Leaves of Grass

  2. Yeah, I don't know why neither has showed up here yet. Nice list, Rod.

  3. I finally got to see WINTER'S BONE this past weekend when it opened (finally) in Missoula. Absolutely loved it.