Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book – Wild Storm

Note: This is part of my ongoing reviews of the Castle television show’s seasons, the books written by “Richard Castle”, and some events related to the show.  For the parent post with links to all of these, please click here.

This is the second real Derrick Storm novel to be published under the author’s name of Richard Castle – the fictional character on the TV show Castle.  When the show opened Richard Castle was the popular author of a series of thrillers that all had the main character of Derrick Storm.  He was just publishing his final Storm book, though.  He had killed off the character since he was bored with him.  He soon got an inspiration for a new character of Nikki Heat, an NYPD detective based on the Detective Beckett character he was working with on the TV show.  During the course of the show we have seen the Castle character write six Nikki Heat novels. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Book – Raging Heat

Note: This is part of my ongoing reviews of the Castle television show’s seasons, the books written by “Richard Castle”, and some events related to the show.  For the parent post with links to all of these, please click here.

Raging Heat is the sixth Nikki Heat book by “Richard Castle”, the fictional writer on the TV show Castle.  The actual author of these books is speculated to be one of the real authors who have appeared on the show (i.e. Michael Connelly, James Patterson) or one of the show’s creators (i.e. Andrew Marlowe).  Like the first five books, this one has events or plot points similar to things that have happened on the Castle TV show in the prior season.  This book is more standalone than the last one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Here are the Official Changes for the 2014 Edition of the 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Plus the Renumbered List

I received the 2014 edition of the 1,001 Movies book from Amazon U.K.  Note to anyone else who is thinking of buying it from them: unlike Amazon U.S. they don’t ship books in a box that protects them; they simply wrap a thin piece of cardboard around the book apparently to keep dirt off it.  The book arrived battered at both ends from knocking against other packages.  I paid full price (plus shipping “across the pond”) for a new book and received one in used book condition.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

TV – Castle Season 6

Note: This is part of my ongoing reviews of the Castle television show’s seasons, the books written by “Richard Castle”, and some events related to the show.  For the parent post with links to all of these, please click here.  In the coming days I will also post reviews of the latest books.

Note 2: There are spoilers for Season 5 in this post.

This season picks up right where Season 5 ended.  Castle has just proposed marriage to Beckett.  The context at the end of Season 5 was one where it seemed more likely they were going to break up than they were going to get engaged.  It was then surprising for the fans that show runner Andrew Marlowe actually had her accept.  Most fans had grown cynical of Marlowe’s apparent continued dislike for the two of them as a couple.  It’s possible the network had a word with him and told him that they wanted ratings, which meant giving the fans what they wanted to see – Castle and Beckett as a couple, or “Caskett” as some fans referred to them. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Is This the Most Iconic Music Video of All Time?

I happened to catch part of a music video recently that did a different kind of spin on the image from a popular 1980s music video.  That reminded me of how many times those images had been repeated in videos over the years.

Now “iconic” means different things to different people.  Those old enough to remember when Mtv actually stood for “music television” might be thinking Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer.  It certainly was played a ton of times and it wouldn’t surprise me if it holds the record for most times played on Mtv.  While the claymation aspect of it was entertaining, other than Gabriel’s next video I don’t think too many other people have copied the look of it. (Weird Al Yankovic did do the train around the head bit in his Lady Gaga parody “Perform this Way”.)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Movie – Yojimbo (1961)

Yojimbo from writer/director Akira Kurosawa has been remade twice – the first time as a spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood (1964’s A Fistful of Dollars) and the second time as a Prohibition era action film starring Bruce Willis (1996’s Last Man Standing).  Those two films show the universal nature of the story by seamlessly shifting the setting from feudal Japan to the old American West to 1930s small town America.  The fact that one version was an out and out western shows once again how Kurosawa’s films were often influenced by American westerns, especially the films of John Ford.  I consider Yojimbo to be the best version of the three movies, although Eastwood’s is certainly the best known.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Movie – The Sundowners (1960)

The Sundowners is based on the 1952 Jon Cleary novel of the same name.  There is also a 1950 American film of the same title, but it has nothing to do with either the novel or the 1960 film.  The story is set in the Australian outback in the 1920s.  The Carmody family are sheep drovers and they live in what is, for all intents and purposes, a covered wagon.  Change the sheep to cattle, and the setting to the American west in the 1800s and you’d have an instantly recognizable western.  Director Fred Zinneman had previously done High Noon (1953) and Oklahoma! (1955), so he knew his way around the look and feel of the old west.