Apr 29, 2006

FREE Comics Day

In one week the fifth annual event "Free comics Day" will take place. Industry wide participation has helped make this a success and this year should be even better.

What this is exactly is a chance to go and get some free comics from participating comics stores and hopefully get new readers interested in comics.

The link above will take you the the site which has a list of stores involved, and outlines the Faqs and details. Many stores are also hosting signing events with creators. It's a great idea and actually does help bring new readers to comics.

Maybe someone should try to organize a free mystery novel day...

Only Two Seasons

Here in Wisconsin we have two seasons, Winter and Road Construction.

Well, winter is over.

What I want to know is who is the city or state officail making the decisions about the constuction. I know I would recognize them because their head will be firmly in place in their ass.
I mean come on dude! A toddler could do a better job of moving traffic. Does it really make sense to have five or more exits that go into downtown shut down? Or what about taking all three southboubd lanes and having them all get off the freeway and drive through one of the busiest streets instead of finding a way to keep at least one lane open? And the fact that it's taking as long as it is taking is stupid. If I wanted to live like this I'd move to Boston!

My guess is that the person behind all this doesn't even live here.

The rotten bastard.

And hey! What about that pot hole at the end of my street you self absorbed jerk!
Not only is it hard to get around, it's espensive too.

On the upside, for the first time in a long time a tank of gas costs more than a carton of cigs....

Apr 26, 2006

Things to do if you aren't going to the Edgars

While the mystery community converges on New York City this week some of us are staying home for what ever reason. So, what to do while they are all partying and carrying on....

1- Pile all the dvd's on a scale to see how much the movie collection weighs (86.5 lbs in the Jordan household)*

2- Rearrange books on the shelf by color (looks stupid) and put them all back.

3- Practice making sincere faces in the mirror.

4- Finally get around to rereading all the Nero Wolf novels, in Spanish.

5- Practice evasive manuvers to escape from Bryon Quartermous at Bouchercon.

6- Rearrange keys on keyboard ( bed idia)

7- Memorize dialoge from OFFICE SPACE

8- Call Jennifer on her cellphone ever twenty minutes to ask if she's having fun. ( Email me for the number)

9- Work on Voyage to Bottom of The Sea/ Stargate crossover fan fiction

10- Oh Yeah.... I have a shitload of books to read.

* this weight is now 91lbs.

Apr 23, 2006

April 25 2006

Apr 25 2006
The Last Detective, Series 1
(2003) Contemporary British mystery series, based on the popular "Dangerous Davies" novels by Leslie Thomas. Stars Peter Davison and Sean Hughes. Two-disc set, $39.99. (Acorn Media).

Law & Order: Trial by Jury

Three-disc set with the complete series, $59.98. Extras: Deleted scenes, profile of Jerry Orbach, profile of Bebe Neuwirth. (Universal).

Mercenary for Justice

(2005) Steven Seagal, Luke Goss Jacqueline Lord. Direct-to-video. Extras: Making-of featurette. (Fox).

Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Double Feature

Two-disc set features "Murder Me, Murder You" and "More Than Murder," the two telefilms that launched the successful "Mike Hammer" TV series, starring Stacy Keach. (Sony).

Nero Wolf Megaset
Complete series (starring Maury Chaykin and Timothy Hutton): 20 episodes, $99.95. Extras: Pilot: "The Golden Spiders," cast biographies and filmographies, "Silent Speaker" two-part episode in an exclusive 16:9 letterboxed version. (A&E Home Video).

The Replacement Killers Extended Cut

(1998) Dir.: Antoine Fuqua; Chow Yun-Fat, Mira Sorvino, Michael Rooker, Kenneth Tsang, Jurgen Prochnow, Til Schweiger, Danny Trejo, Clifton Collins Jr. Extra 10 minutes. Extras: HBO making-of featurette "Where the Action Is," exclusive featurette: "Chow Yun-Fat Goes Hollywood." (Sony).

A Touch of Frost Seasons 9 and 10
Two-disc set with five episodes, $39.98. (MPI Home Video).

Jon and Ruth' Movie Weekend

Jeremy's listing will be up a little bit later today.
Ruth and I are following our new tradition of renting a stack of DVD's after the latest issue goes to the printer. This weekend, six movies, a couple we'll be buying.

Jeremy loved it, I agree. A great movie that had surprises and was realistic and wonderful. Very human. I will be buying this soon.

A documentary with comedians all talking about one joke. I really did laugh till it hurt. Another to buy.

Another action fick based on a video game I don't know when this trend started but it strikes me as lazy. The movie is very very similar to Resident Evil. Good action, nice looking monsters, but not worth having on your own shelf.

Surprisingly good horror flick based on a Ray Bradbery writing. Religous overtones, right and wrong, not over the top gore. Very fun and even a bit clever.

WOw. Wortth the hype. Amazing to watch and a loving remake of the original. We'll be buying.

One to go, can't remeber the name, some straight to video suspense thing.....

Ok, off to watch the last one and then I'll come back and put up the wonderful Jeremy's update.

Apr 21, 2006

Bouchercon - Madison MADCITY BABY!!

Bouchercon 2006 in Madison Wisconsin.

First a bit about Madison, skip down for the pitch on the convention

Madison is home of the University of Wisconsin Madison and has been rated one of the top ten college party towns by Playboy. This means funs stuff to do people! Being a University town this big also means smart people, and smart people do cool things.

Like eat at really good restaraunts, and Madison has tons of them. Check out this Madison Dining Guide. And heres A List of Madison Dining Guides

They also have one of the best micro breweries in the county.
New Glarus Brewery was around right before I sobered up and I still rember loving their beer. Everyone who comes to our house has had a chance to try it. It will be even better in Madison.

Madison also has a lot of bookstores. Here's A List of Madison Bookstore and Another List of Madison Bookstores And don't forget the mystery bookstore, Booked for Murder (profiled in Crimespree #1!)

Nightlife!??!!! Hell Yes!!!
Madison Bars LIVE MUSICPubs

Voted by Forbes Magazine a the best Metro place for business.
Even More stuff about Madison!

The end of September will be perfect weather, not too hot, maybe a lit jacket and you're good to go. The leaves will be turning and it will be beautiful.
Does Madison rock?! Check this out

The new Bouchercon Madison website will be up and running soon. Despite rumors, everything is under control. There is no Madison Home Game that weekend, there are still hotel rooms near the host hotel. Madison doesn't have a single hotel big enough, but they are close and it's easy to get around and warm enough to walk.

The people who are putting on this years convention (UNPAID VOLUNTEERS), are working hard.
The ladies heading up the panel are starting to contact people who have registered about the panels they want to do.
The goodie bags are already shaping up too.
Once Big Al Abramson has he will be in contact with people. Keep in mind, that Al took over as the lead on this very late last year. He's doing just fine and this will be a great convention.
have never been to a Bouchercon where I didn't have fun, and with this city for a backdrop there is no way to lose. ROBERT PARKER! NEVADA BARR! MC BEATON! WILLIAM KENT KRUEGER! They have a specail guest for every reading taste.

So let's look at this seriously.
This is going to be a great convention. And it's not to late to volunteer to help out and make it even better. And if you are just going to attend and enjoy, goovy, you will have a great time. Trust me.

One last reason to go? Hey, My Mom's coming!

Apr 20, 2006


Three nights in a row after working extra hours on a ruch job for GE Energy Systems I've stayed up late in front of the computer. But, issue 12 is now in the hands of the printer and should ship only about a week, week and half late.

Val McDermid on the cover, I did my longest interview since Interrogations with Robert Crais, Todd Robinson going on about cursing.... a lot of other stuff. Updates on the site soon. Looks good, even through blurry eyes.

Jennifer and Mary Reagan will be among the Crimespree folk at The Edgars next week, along with sister Sarah and fellow contributer Reed "Mr. Vice President" Coleman. If you see them offer to buy drinks. They love that

Apr 17, 2006

Con Misterio

Everyone I talked to had a great time last year and this year looks even better.
This could be this years hot ticket convention!

Press Release:
ConMisterio – Texas only mystery convention returns to Austin on July
14-16 at the Austin Doubletree Hotel.
Our Guest’s of Honor will be
Margaret Maron and James Crumley.
Toastmaster will be Bill Crider;
Professional Guest is Dennis McMillan of Dennis McMillan Publications and
Fan Guests of Honor are Jan and Elmer Grape.

Also scheduled to attend are Megan Abbott, Lillian Stewart Carl, Reed
Farrel Coleman, Robert Greer, Libby Hellmann, Harry Hunsicker, Julie
Kenner, Lee Killough, Radine Trees Nehring, Anthony Neil Smith, Leann
Sweeney, Duane Swierczynski, Steven Torres, and Lono Waiwaiole,

This will be a three day conference which will feature panel discussions,
author readings and autographing as well as a dealers' room with tables of
new, used and rare books. All mystery readers and fans are welcome to

Memberships which include a banquet are currently $100.00 until May 31, 2006.

More information is available at Con Misterio or e-mail

ConMisterio is presented the Austin Literary Arts Maintenance Organization.

Apr 16, 2006

DVD Release and Review

This week has a lone crime release: Remington Steele season 3. Going back and watching this, I am amazed that the producers of the James Bond franchise did not make better use of the humor and charm of Pierce Brosnan. One look at Remington shows us that he has a lot more to offer than we ever saw in the Bond films. And if RS does not make you a fan, just wait until The Matador comes out later this spring. That will show you a Brosnan you have never seen before.
Jeremy Lynch
Entertainment Editor

DVD releases for 04/18/06

Remington Steele: Season 3
20th Century Fox
Season Three Four-disc set with 22 episodes, $39.98. Extras:
Commentary on select episodes. (Fox).

When I was asked to review season 3 of Remington Steele, I found myself afraid, very afraid. Having loved it when it was on TV, I was afraid it would, like others I have revisited, fail to stand the test of time.
But with in the first half hour of the first episode I realized it had not lost any of its charm or wit. What I can now realize, that I could not when I was thirteen, was WHY I liked it: the unbelievable chemistry between Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist. Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond) adds more comedy as the rough but lovable former IRS Agent turned secretary for Remington Steele, Mildred Krebbs. She garnered the series only Emmy nomination for her performance in the third season.

Brosnan displayed not only comedic timing, but an ability to be suave and debonair one minute and a hilarious buffoon the next, AND make you believe it. Reminiscent of Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace. Movie producers of today need to go back and watch Remington Steele to see just how good Mr. Brosnan can be. He was able to show it a little bit in The Matador, but he has "So much more to give." But that is only my opinion as a movie goer, so what the BLEEP do I know?

For those who do not know, the premise is: Detective Laura Holt (Zimbalist) is having trouble getting work because “nobody wants to hire a woman detective.” So she invents a boss, named Remington Steele, starts getting cases, and a good reputation. In the Pilot, a handsome and mysterious con man and art/jewel thief (Brosnan) is mistaken for the renowned, but fictitious detective. Hijinks ensue (I could go into detail, but this is not a review of the first season) and they decide to carry on the charade (for 5 seasons).

By the start of the third season Mr. Steele and Miss Holt have revealed their feelings for each other, but have not yet acted on them. This adds to the sparks between the two while they are solving all the murders of the season, and there are a lot of sparks and murder. If it starts out as what seems to be a benign case, just wait, someone will likely die.

Season three also has lots of guest stars. Well some are guest stars; others just haven’t become famous yet. Star Trek geeks (such as me) will recognize Armin Shimerman as one of Miss Holt’s neighbor’s that tries to get her kicked out of her apartment. Baseball greats Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford appear as themselves in a baseball camp episode. Screen legends Virginia Mayo, Dorothy Lamour, Lloyd Nolan appear in an episode about….wait for it….screen legends. Lloyd Nolan is very funny trying to teach an annoyed Remington how to be a detective. Stephanie’s father Ephrim Zimbalist Jr also reprises his role, from season two, as Remington’s mentor from his days as a con man. John Larroquette, Robert Pastorelli, Geena Davis and Jean Smart also appear.

Randy Otteson

Apr 11, 2006

New Releases for April 11th

DVD releases for April 11th
Just a few titles this week. From here on in, I will try to add some comments regarding each title after the details. Watch for a complete review of Mission Impossible coming in the next couple of days.
Jeremy Lynch Entertainment Editor

Fun With Dick and Jane
(2005) Jim Carrey, Tea Leoni. Extras: Commentary by director Dean Parisot and screenwriters Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller; gag reel; deleted scenes; publicity junket comedy outtakes reel of Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni taken during interviews from the theatrical publicity campaign. (Sony).
This is the remake of the classic humorous caper flick. Dick and Jane are an upwardly mobile couple whose life falls apart when Dick loses his job. After some initial struggles, they turn to robbery as a way of keeping the kind of life they have grown accustomed to. The original had George Segal and Jane Fonda, this version has Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni. There is a huge difference in the quality of acting of the two versions. The original also has some commentary on the class struggles that were going on in the 70s. This version has…..not much. Still, fans of Jim Carrey should find it worth their money.
Buy the Fun With Dick And Jane
Buy the Original Fun With Dick And Jane

Mission Impossible: Special Collector's Edition
(1996) Dir.: Dir.: Brian De Palma; Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Redgrave, Kristen Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Beart, Henry Czerny, Jean Reno. Extras: Featurettes: "Mission: Remarkable -- 40 Years of Creating the Impossible," "Mission: Explosive Exploits," "Mission: Spies Among Us," "Mission: Catching the Train," "Mission: International Spy Museum," "Mission: Agent Dossiers," "Generation: Cruise"; photo gallery; Easter Egg. (Paramount).
There will be a complete review of this release coming on this site.
Buy Mission Impossible

Wolf Creek
(2005) Peter Alchin, John Jarratt, Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath, Andy McPhee, Kestie Morassi. (The Weinstein Co.).
Based on a true story. Three tourists face danger in remote Australia when they meet a seemingly friendly local.
Buy Wolf Creek

Lucky Number Slevin - Now Playing

Lucky Number Slevin:
In the case of Slevin, vengeance is sweet indeed.

I will start out by saying that Lucky Number Slevin is about revenge; on the surface, and at the heart of it. I make mention of both because things are not what they appear to be. Some of the negative responses I have heard regarding this film are, in part, because of the nature of it. If you are a fan of noir and hard-boiled cinema and fiction, you are in for a treat.

Josh Hartnett plays Slevin, a young man that seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. When he is found in the apartment of his pal Nick Fisher, a couple of hoods assume he is Nick. They take him to see the Boss (played with charm by Morgan Freeman). It seems Mr. Fisher owes the Boss a lot of money. This debt can be wiped clean if Slevin/Nick does one little favor: Kill a man. The Boss gives Slevin the night to think about it.

No sooner has he gotten back to Nick’s place, when two more hoods (this time, Hassidic Jews) pick Slevin up to see another crime lord, this one known as the Rabbi (Sir Ben Kingsley). Why is he called the Rabbi? …Because he is one. It seems Mr. Fisher owes the Rabbi a fair amount of money. The Rabbi wants it.

One more thing…the man that Slevin is supposed to kill is the Rabbi’s son. It seems there is a long standing grudge between the Boss and the Rabbi. Recently, the Boss’s son was killed and the Boss, convinced the Rabbi was behind it, believes in an eye for an eye.

So the Boss’s men are watching Slevin, the Rabbi’s men are watching Slevin, and the police (headed up by Stanley Tucci) are watching him because they want to know what he is doing meeting with these other men.

On Slevin’s side is Nick’s neighbor Lindsey, played with gusto by Lucy Liu. She has some of the best lines of the movie. One in particular is when she asks Slevin that if he is still alive when she gets off work, would he like to go to dinner?

Then there is Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis), a world class assassin that is in town. He has not taken a job in New York for two decades; why is he there now?

So now you have the players, you must see the movie to see who is doing what and why.

Overall the film plays very well. It is clever without going overboard. In the end, everything makes sense without feeling convoluted. Those that pay close attention will understand everything. There was only one thing I did not see coming (but perhaps I should have).

The cast is fantastic; but what can you expect with Morgan Freeman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Danny Aiello, Stanley Tucci, Bruce Willis, Josh Harnett and Lucy Liu? Everybody does an amazing job. The one performance might not be quite as revelatory is that of Bruce Willis, simply because we have seen him in this kind of role before.
I am going to wrap this up by mentioning something that I already said in regards to Brick. This is a clever film that is great because of fine acting and a damn good script. We should all see it if only to send a message to Hollywood that there is still a market for good films that have substance as well as style.

Jeremy Lynch

In Theaters now: BRICK

Fans of hard-boiled literature and cinema MUST see Brick. This is a fantastic small film (made for $500K) that is refreshing in this day and age of exotic locals and huge explosions.
Brendan, our hero, is a loner that sits on the edge of society. He coolly watches the world around, often with disdain. This changes when he gets a call from Emily, his ex-girlfriend. She is in trouble and does not know what to do. By the time he tracks her down, she tells him to forget her and walks away. The next day, she is found dead.

Brendan, driven by his still-deep feelings, climbs out of his self imposed exile to find out what happened. He digs into the criminal underworld to seek justice. He begins looking for the shadowy criminal ringleader known as The Pin. Brendan is determined to make sure the parties behind her death are brought to justice.
Oh yeah, it is set in high school. Now before you smirk or say “how cute,” this is unlike any high school film you have ever seen. This is a hard-boiled film through and through. First time director Rian Johnson credits the Coen Brothers for the creation of Brick: once he found out that their film Miller’s Crossing was inspired by the work of Dashell Hammett, he poured through the author’s works and that prompted him to write Brick.
Some nice acting from Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brendan) and Lukas Haas (The Pin) but Nora Zehetner is awesome as Laura the dame that may or may not be helping our hero. She has the charisma to lead men to their doom, and have them not even mind it.
As I said, the budget for Brick was only $500K, but the sparse feel really works for the film. It helps create the stark world that Brendan and Co. inhabit.
In this day and age when the studios seem to place more importance on star power and big budget effects, it is nice to see a film that is powered by a good script and fine acting. Brick is a must see if only to send a message to Hollywood that well crafted films still have a place in society.
Jeremy Lynch

Apr 7, 2006

My Dad

Armand Jordan 1938-2006

We lost him today. For months he fought the odds. His life force wouldn’t let either himself or us give up. Conversations were held when there was no windpipe. The man in the hospital bed delivering words of encouragement to the people for whom he made life complete. Does it seem impossible?
Not for Armand Jordan.
I fell in love with his son. Armand folded me into the family. Unconditional love from the second meeting and trust from the first. Sure it took Monty Python and Billy Connelly’s fart jokes, not to mention a shit load of Mexican food but Armand had two perspectives, good and not good.
Monday morning grunts of approval from Jon’s Dad came to mean as much to me as weekends with the son. Strange? probably. Unusual? Certainly. But no one who knew him will be surprised by the declaration.
This is a man who upon seeing his first child buy a house was too happy for words. He was a man who once told me his second daughter could paint anything, and when she decided what she wanted to paint no one could touch her. Of Jon he often said, “he’ll make it happen.” and of the first daughter, he said “she can write words that reach other people.”
He’s so proud of them all. Paul and Jon and Jen4 and Dianne. His eyes twinkle as he discusses them. They’ve come to realize dreams and they’re not half done yet. the world is full of possibilities and he’s raised this group to reach for the stars.
For Karen he has only the deepest love. “Marriage isn’t easy,” he says on those Monday mornings. “But it is the best thing in life if you love the person you’re married to.”
“You love Jon? Don’t you?” And for a second I see papa bear. Promise to myself I’ll never let the father down. I love the son. I’m happy I got to love the father. Tonight I love Jordan. Period. Memories, future, and now. We are who we are in no small part due to this man. He has taught us all to reach for what we will become and we will be more for what he gave us. He is here. Always. I love him and so he continues to be.

Is it memory if you see the eyes twinkling or the grin that means trouble? Those are here now. Armand will be here always.
Ruth Jordan

There are many things I take for granted. Every time I pick up a wrench or a screwdriver I have every confidence that what ever I take apart will go back together and be better than when I started. Ever time I pick up a wrench or a screwdriver it’s my Father’s hand that is guiding it. He started teaching me early. Not just mechanics, but about life and people and the world around me. Not a day goes by that I don’t have his influence driving something I do. He told me never start a fight and never loose one. So far so good. He taught me that if I wanted to do something all I had to do it. Trust God he said.

He was there to teach me lot of things. He was also smart enough to know when to let me learn some of life’s lessons the hard way. And if I stumbled or fell he was there to pick me up and dust me off. No judgment, just acceptance.

He worked eighty hour weeks when I was younger, coming home and falling asleep before dinner. Yet he still had time for us. Every Sunday the family went somewhere and he made the day special. He would later tell me he wished he had spent more time with us. He spent as much time with us as he could, and the truth is there would never have been enough.

In the past 6 months I had a bit too much time to think about things said and unsaid. Too many what ifs and whys. And now what’s said is said and what’s done is done. I know my father was proud of me and my brother and sisters. I just hope he knew how proud I was of him and how much respect I had for him. He did some pretty amazing things in his life time. Not change the world amazing or cure cancer amazing, but amazing none the less. He touched a lot of lives and made a difference to a lot of people.

I know he was happy for who we had become. I hope he knows that who we are is because of him.
Who am I?
Armand Jordan’s son Jon

Apr 6, 2006

Armand Jordan

My Father passed awy today so if I'm hard to get a hold of for a few days don't take it personally.

This sucks.

Apr 5, 2006


Last year saw the first annual Ross Thomas Award given out for best first line.

This year the award is taking on a little bigger scope with a pretty impressive list of judges from the mystery community.Intermediate judges to whittle the list down and final judges to pick from the short list.

Nominations are open to any thriller or mystery or crime fiction book from 2005 in the English language. The nominations are open to the public and you can enter as many first lines as you'd like. Nominate first lines here

Here's the official press release:
For immediate release
Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine jon@crimespreemag.com
Jim Huang, The Drood Review


The Drood Review and Crimespree Magazine announce that nominations are now open for this year’s Ross Thomas Prize, given annually to the best first line in a thriller or mystery novel. This year’s contest will include a significantly expanded panel of judges, and is expected to attract over a thousand entries.

Nominations must be made at Ross Thomas Best First Line Award by July 1, 2006. The first lines of all novels published in the English language in the calendar year 2005 are eligible, including hard covers, paperbacks, and electronic novels released by commercial presses or self-published. Nominations can be made by readers, publishers, publicists, agents, and authors. Authors are encouraged to nominate their own work.

A short list of finalists will be announced August 1, and the winner will be announced September 28, 2006, at Bouchercon in Madison, Wisconsin. Judges this year include librarians, critics, booksellers, authors and industry experts. Among those serving are Lee Child, Laura Lippman, Bleak House Books’ Ben Leroy, Raymond Kearney, Bill Fitzhugh, Mark Billingham, Cara Black, Sarah Weinman, Maggie Griffin, and David Montgomery, plus many others.

Last year’s winner was Jennifer Apodaca of Los Angeles for the first line of Ninja Soccer Moms:

“The thing about revenge is it takes a woman who is well and truly pissed to get it right.”

The Ross Thomas Prize is given with permission of Ross Thomas’s widow, Rosalie.

Apr 3, 2006

Rick Riordan on Tour

Rick Riordan is on tour with his latset book, the second in his young adult series featuring Percy Jackson. The book is called THE SEA OF MONSTERS and it is a follow up to last years THE LIGHTENING THIEF. Three more are planned for the series and a script is being written fo a major studio film by the sripter from Shrek. The books are amzing and grand fun.

Fans of the Tres Navarre series need not despair, the next Tres book should be out next spring.

I am so happy to see things really going well for Rick, he's a hell of a nice guy and a hell of a writer. At tonights event he had both kids and adults eating out of his hands. It's a great presentation that gets the young and old interested. Rick really is right at home telling stories.

Now go get this great new Book!!!!


Apr 2, 2006

Two More DVD reviews - Crash and Blue Thunder

Crash (2-Disc Director's Cut Edition)
Lion’s Gate home entertainment

Since Crash won the Oscar for best picture; views on this film seem to have become fairly passionate. While many feel it was the best film on 05, others are suggesting it is the worst film ever to win the Oscar. Anne Proulx, author of the story that Brokeback Mountain is based on, called the film “trash”. Of course this was in the middle of a diatribe that would cause even a ten year old to question her maturity.
My own thoughts are this: Crash is a very good film with some absolutely amazing performances. They got great performances out of Ryan Phillippe and Sandra Bullock for God’s sake! When you put together a cast featuring Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Terrance Howard, Brendan Fraser, it is hard to make a bad one. Having said that, Crash is also a bit heavy handed and overly preachy at times. Considering the subject matter, it would be hard to avoid these accusations. Crash seems to want to teach us something in every scene and, as a result of this, the films suffers. I think if they had stepped back in a couple of scenes, the impact of the overall film would have been greater.I am in no way suggesting Crash is a bad film, it is worth seeing. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to suggest that everyone does. It will make you think, regardless of your own views on the ethnic groups around you. Is Crash the best film of the year? Perhaps not, but certainly a must see movie.
Special Features:
The two disc edition features outstanding commentary by Director/writer Haggis, co- writer Bobby Moresco and actor/producer Don Cheadle. The commentary really adds some insight into the intentions of the writers as well as how Don felt about the film and the people in it.
Also included are deleted scenes with comments from the director, 3 featuettes (Behind the Metal and Glass: the making of Crash, L.A. The other main character and Unspoken) as well as looks at how screnes changed from the script or storyboards to when the scene was actually shot. You also get some musical montages and the video of Bird York’s In the Deep.
The featurettes show just how strongly felt about the material. This really shows just how powerful the script is and how deep the emotions run when it comes to the stereotypes that are common is everyday life.
Even if you bought the first DVD, it would be worth picking up this special edition.
Jeremy Lynch

Blue Thunder: (Special Edition)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

LAPD helicopter patrol pilot Frank Murphy is assigned to test-pilot the Blue Thunder, a new hi-tech helicopter designed for riot control at the 1984 LA Olympics. The Blue Thunder has been built with heavy weaponry targeted through the pilot's headgear, infra-red cameras, armor casing, silent rotors and has computer access to all government files. But as the tests begin, Frank discovers that the plans for Blue Thunder include not just riot control but assassination and government surveillance as well. Frank decides that his only recourse is to steal the Blue Thunder. But this has him hunted through the skies of L.A. by the Blue Thunder's designers, who are determined to bring him down.

Roy Schieder plays Frank and brings a sense of everyman to the role. Daniel Stern plays his sidekick and the late Warren Oates (who passed away before the film was released) is their grumpy but good captain. Hey, what is a police film without a grumpy captain?
Malcolm McDowell is deliciously foul as Col Cochrane, one of the Blue Thunder designers and somebody that Frank worked with in Vietnam.
Blue Thunder is average fare. It is a fun, thriller that plays up the potential for a Big Brother government right before the year 1984 actually came about. If you did not see it in the theatres, it is worth watching. I would call it the kind of film you want to spend your weekend afternoon watching. Not spectacular, but certainly a good time.
Special features:
Featurettes that cover the making of the helicopter, the making of the movie, and a promotional piece from 1983. Also included are storyboard galleries, director’s commentary and the original theatrical trailer.
Jeremy Lynch

Apr 1, 2006

DVD releases for April 4th

We start off April with some nice titles. Picture of the year Crash has 2-disc set that is quite nice. One of my favorite films of my early teens, Blue Thunder, is now out with some extras. While it is not a great film, it has held up surprisingly well over the last two decades. In addition to these, MCA has put out seasons of A-Team, Knight Rider and Magnum P.I. Gotta love the 80s. Check out the reviews for some of these titles than be found in other posts here on Crime Central.
Jeremy Lynch
Entertainment Editor.

Apr 4th
A-Team: Season 4
(1985-86) George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, Mr. T. Three-disc set, $49.98 Extras: The Great '80s Flashback. (MCA)
Buy A-Team Season Four Here
Blue Thunder: The Special Edition
(1983) Dir.: John Badham; Roy Scheider, Malcolm McDowell, Daniel Stern $19.94 Extras: Commentary by Badham, the film's editor and the film's motion control supervisor; "Ride With the Angels" making-of featurette; "The Special" building the Blue Thunder helicopter featurette; 1983 promotional featurette. (Sony).
Buy Blue Thunder Here
Crash Special Edition
(2005) Dir.: Paul Haggis; Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Ludacris, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate, Tony Danza. Two-disc set, $26.98. Extras: Introduction by writer-director Paul Haggis, commentary by Haggis and Cheadle, deleted scenes, "Behind the Metal and Glass" making-of featurette, featurette on Haggis, "L.A. - The Other Main Character" featurette, "Unspoken" featurette, music montages, script-to-screen comparisons, storyboard-to-screen comparisons, Bird York "In the Deep" music video. (Lionsgate).
Buy Crash The Special Edition here
(2005) Dir: Chris Fisher; Cuba Gooding jr., Clifton Collins jr., Cole Hauser. $24.96 Extras: Commentary with Director Chris Fisher and Cinematographer Eliot Rocket, Deleted Scenes, "Gettin' Dirty" Premiere featurette, Skateboarding/Breakdancing featurette, "Chump" Music Video by OH NO. (Sony)
Buy Dirty here
Knight Rider: Season Four
(1985-86) David Hasselhoff. Three-disc set, $49.98 Extras: The Great '80s Flashback, K.I.T.T. Blueprints (MCA)
Buy Kight Rider here
Magnum P.I. Season four
(1983-84) Tom Seleck Three-disc set, $49.98 Extras: The Great '80s Flashback. (MCA)
See Review on this Blog
Buy Magnum PI Season 4 here

Magnum P.I.

Magnum P.I. – The complete Fourth season.
MCA Home video
Release date: April 4th, 2006

Season 4 of Magnum P.I. saw the series win it’s first Emmy as Tom Seleck picked up the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Overall the season is a strong one that starts out with a truly great episode that is one of the best of the series.
Home at Sea. After a boating accident, Thomas is left treading water in the ocean. As the hours go on, an increasingly fatigued Thomas relies on memories of his childhood to give him strength while waiting for rescue. A very emotional episode with an ending could bring even the strongest man to tears. Home At Sea by itself is worth the price of the season 4 set.
This season also sees the debut of Eugene Roche as Louis Dobbs, an old school P.I. from St. Louis. Roche appeared in five episodes throughout the series and two of them are featured here.

All in all, season 4 was as strong as any in the series. The writers and cast had clearly developed a good sense of the characters and had some great chemistry. I write this with a smile, having just relived some wonderful times with Magnum and co.

Jeremy Lynch