Oct 29, 2006

A non-crime related post: A day of remembering.

Today, I went to a service. I really don't know what else I could call it.

The hospice that helped with my grandmother holds a service each year for those that have passed. It is an opportunity for family and friends to remember those they have lost.

Some words are spoken, hymns are sung.

They read the names of the those that have passed.

They close by showing a picture of each we have lost.

Today I cried more than I have since Feronia Mattix passed away on April 15th. While over six months have passed, it felt as though it was yesterday. The tears came long and hard. Not simply those that flow gently down our cheeks as we weep quietly.

There was nothing gentle about it. Every once of my strength was required not to fill the room with violent, loud sobs of pain. My throat muscles were constricted as tight as pos so as to not let those sounds escape. For if they did, there would be no stopping them. Folks several blocks away would have heard my anguish, my loss.

As painful as it was, it was good to remember and to mourn. In those closing moments, as I watched the imagines of folks unfamiliar, I thought about who they might be. About how special they were and how their loved ones had also come to this place to remember them and to cry.

Some pictures were recent, some obviously of many years gone by. Some from weddings, some from birthdays. Some were staged portraits, some were spur of the moment. There was a beautiful one of a lady with a big smile, unfortunately caught as she blinked.

Each of these people, whether they died old or young, have enriched the lives of those of us that had gathered. It was good to come together to honor their memories and to share our grief and our love with others that have experienced the seemingly unbearable loss of one close to them.

Grandmother, I love you and I miss you.

Jeremy Lynch
Grandson of Feronia Mattix
Dec 13th, 1906 to Apr 15th, 2006

Oct 25, 2006


It’s the Wednesday in November when Jon and myself usually climb into the Ranger and head to Muncie. We’ve gotten there several ways over the years. Carpooling is our favorite. To quote David Letterman, “Why Muncie?” The answer is simple. Magna Cum Murder. A two day convention hosted by Ball State University and presented by the lovely Kathryn Kennison and her faithful team of organizers. The programming is always supervised by Jim Huang. It is a great con. So why am I sitting here typing about it rather than on my way to The Hotel Roberts?

You all know that Jon and I are mystery fans. Did you know that we both moderated our first panels under Jim’s guidance and with a support I’m not sure first time moderators could find anywhere else? Did you know that Kathryn Kennison, the events coordinator for Ball State University, is a stalwart believer that in a literary minded world, genre writing needs to be considered amongst the most relevant of today’s fiction? Did you know that every year for one weekend in October Muncie and Ball State give over their town to a group of people that include regional writers, librarians, and fans? Amongst the group annually descending upon this Indiana town are also writers just starting their careers, and those of international acclaim?

It is a cozy con. Nothing like the pinball feel of Bouchercon. I’ve made numerous acquaintances over the years, acquired a lot of friends during these four days and solidified friendships that will last a lifetime. It all comes back to Kathryn and Dick Kennison. The discussion of mystery at Magna is unlike anyplace else. Panels are entertaining and informative and Jim isn’t afraid to think outside the box. Sit down at the bar or in the lobby and you’ll find yourself in a discussion of mystery history, must reads and evolving trends with a variety of people certain to give you a new perspective on our beloved genre. It is also at Muncie that I annually pick the brain of J.D. Singh, who’s introduced me to a group of international books I can’t imagine not having read.

We went for the first time in 2001. We’d met Kathryn and Dick at the Washington Bouchercon. We wanted to spend more time with them and more time with the “live and in person” Mystery community. It was a big step for the Jordans. It was a great step for the Jordans. The Magna staff are relentlessly encouraging in everything the two of us have done within Mystery. They encourage us to do more even when our schedule seems to be woefully short of any additional time.

This year when we looked at the fall schedule we found Magna Cum Murder impossible to fit in. Smack between two editions of Crimespree and two weeks before Murder and Mayhem in Muskego it simply wasn’t going to happen. They’ve created two monsters. Uberfans who work as a team to forward mystery.

Sunday felt wrong this week. I wasn’t packing for Muncie. I was feeling a bit like a waif alone on a raft. So I called Kathryn, just to hear her voice and make small talk for a moment during her busiest month of the year. And I realized that logistically sound decision or not, next year we’ll be Magna bound. You can’t go too long without visiting family, and that’s what Magna and Kathryn and Jama and everyone we’ve met in Indiana are. Family.

I hope that everyone there this year has an outstanding time. I also hope that all of you who’ve never been consider going in 2007. You’ll never regret it.


Oct 24, 2006

Ultimate James Bond volumes 1 & 2 to hit shelves on Nov 7th.

I should have an article up later this week going into detail about the restoration process, but I will now say you will be stunned at how good the older films look.

James Bond Ultimate Collection Volume 1

Goldfinger (1964)

Disc 1: Main Feature
Audio Commentary Featuring Guy Hamilton
Audio Commentary Featuring Cast and Crew

Disc 2: Extra Features
Sean Connery From the Set of Goldfinger Screen Tests
On Tour With the Aston Martin DB-5
Honor Blackman Open-Ended Interview
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of Goldfinger
The Making of Goldfinger
The Goldfinger Phenomenon
Original Publicity Featurette
Original Trailers, TV Spots, Photo Gallery & Radio Communications

The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Disc 1: Main Feature
Audio Commentary Featuring Director Michael Apted
Audio Commentary Featuring Peter Lamont, David Arnold and Vic Armstrong

Disc 2: Bonus Features
Deleted Scenes and Alternate Angles With Introductions by Director Michael
Alternate Angle, Expanded Angle Scene: The Thames Boat Chase
James Bond Down River - Original 1999 Featurette
Creating an Icon: Making the Teaser Trailer
Hong Kong Press Conference
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of The World Is Not
The Making of The World Is Not Enough
Bond Cocktail
Tribute to Desmond Llewelyn
Garbage 'The World Is Not Enough' Music Video
The Secrets of 007
Original Trailer & Photo Gallery

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Disc 1: Main Feature
Audio Commentary Featuring Director Guy Hamilton and Members of the Cast and

Disc 2: Extra Features
Deleted Scenes
Sean Connery 1971: The BBC Interview
Lesson # 007: Close Quarter Combat
Deleted Footage - Oil Rig Attack
Satellite & Explosions Test Reel Alternate & Expanded Angles 007
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of Diamonds Are
Inside Diamonds Are Forever
Cubby Broccoli - The Man Behind Bond
Original Trailers, TV Spots, Photo Gallery & Radio Communications

The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)

Disc 1: Main Feature
Newly Recorded Audio Commentary Featuring Sir Roger Moore
Audio Commentary Featuring Director Guy Hamilton and Members of the Cast and

Disc 2: Extra Features

Roger Moore and Hervé Villechaize - The Russell Harty Show
On Location With The Man With the Golden Gun
Guy Hamilton: The Director Speaks
Girls Fighting
American Thrill Show Stunt Film
The Road to Bond: Stunt Coordinator W.J. Millian Jr.
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of The Man With the
Golden Gun
Inside The Man With the Golden Gun
An Original Documentary Double-O Stuntmen: A Look at the Greatest Stunts and
Stunt Performers in the Bond Films
Original Trailers, TV Spots, Photo Gallery & Radio Communications

The Living Daylights (1987)

Disc 1: Main Feature
Audio Commentary Featuring Director John Glen and Members of the Cast and

Disc 2: Extra Features
Deleted Scenes With Introduction by John Glen
Happy Anniversary, 007 Silver Anniversary Featurettes
Timothy Dalton: The New James Bond/Vienna Press Conference
Timothy Dalton: On Acting
Dalton and d'Abo Interviews
The Ice Chase Outtakes - Deleted Footage With Director John Glen Narration
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of The Living
Inside The Living Daylights
Ian Fleming: 007's Creator
a-ha 'The Living Daylights' Music Video
The Making of 'The Living Daylights' Music Video
Original Trailers, TV Spots, Photo Gallery & Radio Communications

James Bond Ultimate Collection Volume 2
Thunderball (1965)

Disc 1: Main Feature
Audio Commentary Featuring Terence Young and Others
Audio Commentary Featuring Peter Hunt, John Hopkins and Others

Disc 2: Extra Features
The Incredible World of James Bond - Original 1965 NBC Television Special
A Child's Guide to Blowing Up a Motor Car - 1965 Ford Promotional Film On
Location With Ken Adam
Bill Suitor: The Rocket Man Movies
Thunderball Boat Show Reel
Selling Bonds - Original 1965 Television Advertisements
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of Thunderball
The Making of Thunderball
The Thunderball Phenomenon
The Secret History of Thunderball
Original Trailers, TV Spots, Photo Gallery & Radio Communications

Die Another Day (2002)

Disc 1: Main Feature

Audio Commentary Featuring Director Lee Tamahori and Producer Michael G.
Wilson & Pierce Brosnan
Audio Commentary Featuring Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike

Disc 2: Extra Features
From Script to Screen
Shaken and Stirred on Ice
Just Another Day
The British Touch: Bond Arrives in London
On Location With Peter Lamont
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of Die Another Day
MI6 DataStream
Additional DVD-ROM Features Available!
Madonna 'Die Another Day' Music Video
Photo gallery

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Disc 1: Main Feature
Newly Recorded Audio Commentary Featuring Sir Roger Moore
Audio Commentary Featuring Director Lewis Gilbert, Production Designer Ken
Adam, Co-Writer Christopher Wood and Michael G Wilson

Disc 2: Extra Features
007 in Egypt
Roger Moore: My Word Is My Bond
On Location With Ken Adam
007 Stage Dedication
Original 1977 Featurette Escape From Atlantis: Storyboard Sequence
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of The Spy Who Loved
Inside The Spy Who Loved Me
Ken Adam: Designing Bond
Original Trailers, TV Spots, Photo Gallery & Radio Communications

A View To A Kill (1985)

Disc 1: Main Feature
Newly Recorded Audio Commentary Featuring Sir Roger Moore
Audio Commentary Featuring Director John Glen and Members of the Cast and

Disc 2: Extra Features
Film '85 BBC Report
Float Like A Butterfly Test Footage
Deleted Scenes & Expanded Angles with Introductions by Director John Glen
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of A View to a Kill
Inside A View to a Kill
The Music of James Bond
Duran Duran 'A View to a Kill' Music Video
Original Trailers, TV Spots & Photo Gallery

License To Kill (1989)

Disc 1: Main Feature
Audio Commentary Featuring Director John Glen and Members of the Cast
Audio Commentary Featuring Michael G Wilson and Members of the Crew

Disc 2: Extra Features
Deleted Scenes With Director John Glen Introductions
Bond '89
On the Set With John Glen
On Location With Peter Lamont
Ground Check With Corkey Fornof
-- 007 MISSION CONTROL Interactive Guide Into the World of Licence to Kill
Inside Licence to Kill
Production Featurette "Behind the Scenes"
Kenworth Trucks Featurette
Gladys Knight 'Licence to Kill' Music Video
Patti LaBelle 'If You Asked Me To' Music Video
Original Trailers & Photo Gallery

Oct 20, 2006

Deadwood's Timothy Olyphant to play villan in Die Hard IV.

Timothy Olyphant, best known as Seth Bullock on HBO's Deadwood, has signed on to play the nemesis of John McClane (Bruce Willis) in Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth installment in the popular series. Olyphant's character will be a master of the high-tech espionage whose plan includes attacking the nation's computer infrastructure. Sadly, he does not count on the actions of John, a regular cop that always seems to be drawn into these nasty situations.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been cast as the daughter of Mr. McClane. She is best known for The Ring Two and Final Destination 3. Hey, you have to start somewhere. Anyone want to bet she is taken hostage at some point?

Oct 19, 2006

Film Preview: The Prestige

Red Hot director Christopher Nolan (Momento, Batman Begins) brings Christopher Priest’s award-winning novel to the big screen. He and his brother Jonathon wrote the screenplay. For those of you that are wondering just what ‘the prestige’ refers to, it’s the part of a magic trick that shows you something unexplained, the last part of a magic trick.

The Prestige, set in turn of the century London, tells the story of Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale), a couple of young magicians on the rise. What begins as friendly competition turns into something darker. Things escalate to the point where lives are in danger as each will stop at nothing in their quest for magical supremacy, endangering themselves and everyone around them.

In addition to Jackman and Bale, the cast includes two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine as a sort of mentor to Robert. The film also features Scarlett Johansson and rocker David Bowie. Bowie plays legendary scientist Nikola Tesla.
Initial reports are mixed on The Prestige. Almost everyone says visually it is impressive, with twists and turns galore. But most of the complaints appear to be directed to the very fact that the film contains lots of flash and trickery, so much it overwhelms everything else.

If my weekend goes right, I will be seeing this in the next day or so and will give everyone my own two cents.
Click here for trailer.
Click here for official web site.


DVD Review: Numb3rs season 2

Numb3rs season 2
Paramount Home Entertainment

Revisiting Numb3rs in season 2(CBS Paramount) is a lot like revisiting old friends. Well drawn characters with just enough peccadilloes to be real and not cartoons and chemistry to spare between Alan, (Judd Hirsch) Don, (Rob Morrow) and Charlie, (David Krumholtz) as father and radically different sons. Their interplay is low key magic.

I came late to the party as the premise-Genius uses math to solve crimes-sounded like a yawn to me. It's not, in fact the deftly handled segments have become another character and I look forward to the two or three interspersed in the action. Which brings me to two of my favorite players: Navi Rawats' Amita should put to bed the old saw that guys don't like smart women. She's big time smart and girl-next-door sexy. Yum .And Peter MacNicols' Professor Larry Flienhardt is masterful, eccentric in just the right degree and at times heartbreakingly wise. One of the great characters of recent memory.

The players seem more at home in their respective skins than ever which is all to the good. Charlie having bought Dads' house when he sold puts an interesting dynamic in the mix, along with his deepening involvement with Amita and the new depths of respect and affection between he and Don.

The six disc set has the full twenty four season 2 episodes of an above average cop show with the above first rate elements, along with cast and crew commentary and blooper reel and an interesting section on the math that's worth a look, plus some behind the scenes looks for the curious.

Diane Farr replaces Sabrina Lloyd as the woman of the office. I'm sure her mother's pleased. With a voice that could etch glass one wonders how she got into acting school, much less out.

On a happier note, Lou Diamond Phillips reprises his role as the aptly named Edgerton, a thoroughly dangerous man, in Toxin, with a very nice twist at the end. And Amita takes on her largest role to date in the disquieting Harvest, a shaming look at organ buying from the poor of the third world.

The series gives you a lot to like and not much to dislike, which puts it head and shoulders above most TV fare.

Lee Crawford

Trailer for The Good German online.

George Clooney, Cate Blancett and Tobey Maguire star in Steven Soderbergh's film based on the Novel by Joseph Kanon.
The Good German takes place in the ruins of post-WWII Berlin, where U.S. Army war correspondent Jake Geismar (George Clooney) becomes embroiled with Lena Brandt (Cate Blanchett), a former lover whose missing husband is the object of a manhunt by both the American and Russian armies. Intrigue mounts as Jake tries to uncover the secrets Lena may be hiding in her desperation to get herself and her husband out of Berlin. Tully (Tobey Maguire), a soldier in the American army motor pool assigned to drive Jake around Berlin, has black market connections that may be Lena's way out -- or lead them all into even darker territory.
Click here for trailer.

Oct 18, 2006

Trailer for Don Winslow's Death & Life of Bobby Z is online.

As many of you probably know, Don Winslow's novel The Death & Life of Bobby Z has been made into a movie. While no release date has been announced, the first trailer has hit the internet.
Click here for trailer.

Oct 17, 2006

Greg Rucka's Whiteout appears to have new lease on life, cinematically speaking.

Once upon a time, Reese Witherspoon was slated to play Carrie Stetko, a U.S. marshal sent to Antartica to solve a murder, in the big screen adaptation of Greg Rucka's Whiteout.

Sadly, the project languished in developmental hell for the last few years and appeared dead.

Now producer Joel Silver has piccked up the rights to the project. While Witherspoon is no longer attached, Silver's interest in the project bodes well for it. Silver has produced some amazing films including Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and V for Vendetta.

Silver plans to have the cameras rolling sometime this winter, with a release in 2008.

McDonald's Lew Archer may be coming to a theatre near you.

Random House films and Focus Features have announced plans to turn Ross MacDonald’s The Galton Case into a film. The Galton Case features McDonald’s legendary Lew Archer.

Almost twenty years after Anthony Galton disappeared, along with a suspiciously streetwise bride and several thousand dollars of his family's fortune, his mother wants him back. She hires Lew Archer to find him. What turns up is a headless skeleton, a boy who claims to be Galton's son, and a con game whose stakes are so high that someone is still willing to kill for them.

No word as to whether or not they plan to update the story to a modern setting, or place it at the time of the novel, which is the 1950s.
The producers see the same potential in Galton as L.A. Confidential.

As always, I will keep everyone informed of any forward movement on the project.

I have read some of McDonalds books, having been introduced to his work by the always fantastic Jennifer Jordan, but not this one.

So a question to everyone: Who do you see as a good fit for the role of Lew Archer?

Oct 14, 2006

DVD review: The Unit season one.

Fox Home Entertainment

The Unit it is based on the Inside Delta Force books by Eric L. Hanely, and was created for television by David Mamet (yes, that David Mamet, who wrote Glenngary Glenn Ross and The Untouchables).

For those of you who use to watch Felicity and think "Damn, I would LOVE to see Scott Foley shoot down a helicopter with a stinger missile!", this is the show for you...but let's face it, if you watched Felicity, you are probably NOT going to watch a show about an elite military squadron that espionages (made up word?) all over the globe and assassinates bad guys.

When I started watching The Unit, all I knew about it was that the cool guy from 24 and the Allstate commercials was in it. The cool guy is, of course, Dennis Haysbert, who is so commanding on The Unit when they do flashbacks to when he wasn't the leader of the squad, you still expect him to give out all the orders...but they give him a mustache that makes him look like Carl Weathers from Predator or Richard Roundtree, so you are OK with him taking orders. (Do you remember when Mr. Haysbert played Pedro in the “Major League” series of movies? I didn’t.) Since they needed someone rough and tough--who you could see giving Dennis Haysbert orders--to play his commanding officer, they went out and got the Terminator himself...(no not that one, the OTHER one). That's right, the ONE Terminator that legally could run for president: Robert Patrick (who would have kicked Arnie's ass in T2, to put it in Scooby-Doobian terms, "if it hadn't been for that meddling kid").

After the first two episodes I thought "this show is OK, but I have seen better." (Maybe it was because I was watching Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell” at the same time...which is a damn good show; not just because it has a nude Melissa Sagemiller, guns, and the sexy, “damn I wish I were gay,” Michael Ealy and Oded Fehr, but because it is interesting and scary at the same time. Scary in the “Oh, crap! This is probably really going on,” kind of way...not in the “BOO!” kind of way.) But as I kept watching and got to know the characters, and as the cast began to gel and become more comfortable with each other, I began to really enjoy it.

Two people who acted their asses off were Regina Taylor and Abby Brammell. Ms. Taylor plays Dennis Haysbert’s wife, who comforts and shows the ropes to the new Unit member’s wives. Ms. Brammell plays one of the Unit wives that would be unlikable if played by a lesser actress (...not to mention she wears t-shirts that make me go all Drooling Homer on her!).

The extras for season one include one episode with commentary, and an Inside Delta Force documentary in which you get to hear David Mamet say that trying to get The Unit made was like hitting your penis with a hammer for six months. Now that's dedication.

All in all I would say the The Unit is a VERY good show, with something for everyone...guns and espionage for guys and drama on the home front for the ladies.

Randy Otteson

Oct 13, 2006

DVD releases for Oct 17th

CSI: New York – The Complete Second Season (Paramount)
Gary Sinese stars in CSI:NY. Nice to see the franchise hire on such a talented actor. After hiring David Caruso for the Miami show, I was a little worried they might go with Steven Segal for the Big Apple.

Deadfall (1968) Michael Caine, Emilio Rodr’guez, Giovanna Ralli, Eric Portman, Leonard Rossiter, Nanette Newman. Thriller about a thief (Caine) whose adulterous adventure leads to a huge jewelry heist. (Fox Cinema Classics Collection).

La Femme Nikita: The Complete Fifth Season $39.98 Extras: Unaired scenes from select episodes, Season 5 Internet teaser, “Declassified” – a lowdown on Season 5 as the creative minds behind the series and select cast members discuss the show’s last 8 episodes. Warner)
End of the road for the successful series.

The Magus (1968) Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn, Candice Bergen, Anna Karina, Paul Stassino, Julian Glover. Thriller based on John Fowle's novel about a teacher (Caine) who accepts a job on a small Greek island and falls under the spell of the wealthy "magus." (Fox Cinema Classics Collection).

Murder She Wrote Season 4 $49.98 (Universal)
Jessica Fletcher conitues her reign of terror. If you knew her, would you really invite her to visit? And if you were driven to kill, would you not just wait until she left town? Some criminals never learn.

Peeper (1975) Dir.: Peter Hyams; Michael Caine, Natalie Wood, Kitty Winn, Michael Constantine, Thayer David, Timothy Carey. Comedy-mystery about an L.A. detective (Caine) hired to track down a wealthy man's missing daughter. (Fox Cinema Classics Collection).

Starsky & Hutch: The Complete Fourth Season Five-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.95. (Sony).
At the time, they were so cool. Starsky had the best car. Looking back, the show’s early 70s style is more than a little humorous. Still far better than the horrific movie with Stiller and Wilson.

Oct 11, 2006

Film of Steve Brewer's Lonely Street completes filming.

Steve Brewer not only sold the film rights to his novel Lonely Street, he actually got to see his book turned into a movie.

Lonely Street recently wrapped up principal photography and will be in editing into the new year. Lonely Street is the first in the Bubba Mabry series. Jay Mohr is playing Bubba. Steve had a chance to visit the set and was impressed with what he saw, particularly with Mohr's performance and felt he was an excellent Bubba.

My column in issue 15 of Crime Spree talks about it, but if you want to get an idea as to what you can expect, click on the video tape on the home page for the movie.

I think the clip is great and am looking forward to the final product. Steve will be telling us about his experiences on the set in a future issue of Crime Spree. To learn more about Steve and his other books, click here.


Court TV® is hosting the Search for the Next Great Crime Writer ContestTM in conjunction with the new series, Murder By The BookTM. Click here to learn how to get a shot at landing a book deal with Regan! Need some inspiration? Watch Court TV on November 13 at 10PM ET/PT to hear five best-selling crime novelists discuss the
real-life crimes that influenced their work.

Oct 10, 2006

Crimespree Magazine Website Updated

Our website for Crimespree Magazine has been updated. You can see the book reviews from issue 14 and the DVD reviews as well.

We also have a bonus for you, the full un edited interview with Martin Waites by Ray Banks.
The link is on the front page.

We are finishing off number 15 as I type this. Look fro James Crumley on the cover and an interview with the Main Man himself by Laura Lippman. It should ship in early November.

Oct 9, 2006

DVD releases for Oct 10th

A-team Season 5 (Universal)
“I pity the fool!” Sorry, I could not resist. George Peppard costarred with Audrey Hepburn in the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and ended up working with Mr. T. Somehow that does not seem fair. I suspect the steady paycheck likely softened the blow. This, the fifth season, is the final season of the show and a lot of the initial charm had since worn off.

Black Dahlia (2006) Dir.: Ulli Lommel. Thriller about a modern-day serial killer copying the 1947 "Black Dahlia" murder. Extras: Commentary by Lommel. (Lionsgate).

Black Rain (special collector’s edition) Extras: Director’s Commentary, Black Rain: The Script, The Cast, Black Rain: Making the Film (2 Parts), Black Rain: Post Production (paramount)
Ridley Scott directed this edgy Michael Douglas thriller. I really can't think of anything else to add EXCEPT that Ridley Scott also directed Demi Moore in G.I. Jane. Demi then went on to star, with Michael Douglas, in Disclosure. It really is a small world!

Magnum P.I.: The Complete Fifth Season(uni)
Tom Selleck is back as the viet nam vet turned P.I. that lives on the estate of a wealthy mystery writer and drives his ferarri. As a child, I could think of no better life. Come to think of it, that sounds damn good right now.
Numb3rs: The Complete Second Season Extras: Audio commentary on select episodes, Blooper Reel, Behind the Scenes with Nicolas Falacci, Behind the Scenes with David Krumholtz, Crunching Numb3rs: Season 2. (Paramount).
This is the second season of the math based police procedural. As the gimick of the shows grows older, they continue to develop the characters to make this show deeper and deeper.
A Prairie Home Companion (2006) Dir.: Robert Altman; Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, Virginia Madsen, John C. Reilly, Maya Rudolph, Meryl Streep, Yolanda Johnson, Lily Tomlin. Backstage fable about a fictitious radio variety show that has managed to survive in the age of television, based on the real radio show. Extras: Audio commentary with director Robert Altman and star Kevin Kline
Deleted scenes with optional commentary, “Come Play With Us: A Feature Companion” behind-the-scenes featurette, “Onstage at the Fitzgerald: A Music Companion” extended music performances and advertisement segments, Soundtrack Preview, Theatrical trailer(New Line).
While I have never been particularly fond of A Prarie Home Companion, I am a fan of Robert Altman. This is certainly vintage Altman. You don’t have to be a fan of Altman and APHC to enjoy the film, but if you hate them, then this is not for you.
Simon & Simon: Season one
Jameson Parker and Gerald McRaney star as brothers who couldn’t be more different, yet make their trade together in San Diego where they own a private detective agency. (Universal)
Simon and Simon followed Magnum P.I. for years on Thursday nights on CBS. Season one is enjoyable enough. The early years are better than the latter ones when their mother was a regular character. Apparently they wanted to reach both the P.I. fans as well as the Murder She Wrote ones. The result is something sitting mushily in the middle. As I said though, the first seasons were the best.

Waist Deep (2006) Dir.: Vondie Curtis Hall; Tyrese Gibson, Meagan Good, Larenz Tate, The Game. Extras: "Going Deep: Analysis of a Scene" follows the choreography of the crucial car-jacking scene, "Drive-By Filmmaking" behind-the-scenes featurette, "Bad Girl" music video, additional scenes not shown in theaters. (Universal).
Tyrese Gibson has his car stolen, with his son in the back seat. This tight thriller follows the labors he must go through to retrieve his son.


Oct 8, 2006

DVD Review: Hard Candy.

A captivating and very disturbing psychological horror/thriller that will leave some viewers in a fetal position and requiring extensive therapy. Hard Candy is a movie that gets in your face, manipulates your emotions and then hits you when you aren’t looking.

A teenage girl(Ellen Page) decides to meet a photographer (Patrick Wilson) whose acquaintance she made online. Soon after that, they decide to go to his place for drinks. This film is a true game of cat and mouse, but who is the mouse?

Ellen Page is amazing in her role as Hayley. I have not been this captivated with a young actress since Natalie Portman came on the scene with Leon: The professional. This film could/would have been just another independent exploitation flick if not for the quality acting of Page and Wilson.
While Hard Candy is a good film, it is not for everyone as it is very intense and will prove to be too much for some. Having said that, I think this is far better than the gorreffic flicks that are dominating the horror market these days.

Jeremy Lynch

Oct 6, 2006

DVD releases for Oct 3rd

21 Grams (Special Edition)Extras: " 21 Grams: In Fragments" - An Insightful Look at the Making of the Film (Universal)
Not sure what makes this special. Don’t get me wrong, the film is fantastic, but this edition features little that would deserve a closer look.

Body Double Special Edition (1984) Dir.: Brian De Palma; Melanie Griffith, Craig Wasson, Deborah Shelton, Gregg Henry, Dennis Franz. Extras: Four new featurettes including interviews with De Palma, Griffith, Shelton, Henry and Franz: "The Seduction," "The Set-Up," "The Mystery" and "The Controversy." (Sony).
If Scarface is an example of De Palma shining, this is an example of what happens when a film gets away from him. Not all bad, but it is a bit of a mess. One can see where there might be a good film in there someplace, but the final product leaves something to be desired.

Humphrey Bogart: The Signature Collection Volume 2 Seven-disc set with "The Maltese Falcon Three-Disc Special Edition," "Across the Pacific," "Action in the North Atlantic," "All Through the Night" and "Passage to Marseille"; $59.92. "The Maltese Falcon Three-Disc Special Edition" will be available separately for $29.92. (Warner).
The Maltese Falcon Three-Disc Special Edition (1941) Dir.: John Huston; Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Elisha Cook Jr. Extras: Disc One: New digital transfer of 1941 movie from restored elements; commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax; Warner Night at the Movies 1941 short subjects gallery: vintage newsreel, Oscar-nominated Technicolor musical short "The Gay Parisian," classic cartoon "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt ," trailers of "The Maltese Falcon" and 1941's "Sergeant York." Disc Two: Two previous movie versions of the classic Hammett caper: "The Maltese Falcon" (1931) with Bebe Daniels and Ricardo Cortez; "Satan Met a Lady" (1936) with Bette Davis and Warren William; trailers. Disc Three: New documentary "The Maltese Falcon: One Magnificent Bird"; Robert Osborne hosts "Becoming Attractions: The Trailers of Humphrey Bogart"; "Breakdowns of 1941: Studio Blooper Reel"; audio-only bonus: three radio show adaptations featuring the movie's original stars including a version starring Edward G. Robinson.
Across the Pacific (1942) Dir.: John Huston; Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet. Extras: Warner Night at the Movies 1942 Short Subjects Gallery: vintage newsreel, patriotic Technicolor short "Men of the Sky," classic cartoon "The Draft Horse," trailers of "Across the Pacific" and 1942's "Captains of the Clouds"; new featurette "Hollywood Helps the Cause"; "Breakdowns of 1942: Studio Blooper Reel."
Action in the North Atlantic (1943) Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey, Alan Hale, Julie Bishop, Ruth Gordon. Extras: Warner Night at the Movies 1943 short subjects gallery: vintage newsreel, musical short "Cavalcade of Dance," classic cartoon "Greetings Bait," trailers of "Action in the North Atlantic" and 1943's "Northern Pursuit"; new featurette "Credit Where Credit Is Due"; audio-only bonus radio show with George Raft and Raymond Massey.
All Through the Night (1942) Humphrey Bogart, William Demarest, Jackie Gleason, Phil Silvers. Extras: Commentary by director Vincent Sherman and Bogart biographer Eric Lax, Warner Night at the Movies 1942 short subjects gallery: vintage newsreel, Joe Doakes comedy short "So You Want to Give Up Smoking," classic cartoon "Lights Fantastic," trailers of "All Through the Night" and 1942's "Gentleman Jim"; new featurette "Call the Usual Suspects: The Craft of the Character Actor."
Passage to Marseille (1944) Dir: Michael Curtiz; Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet. Extras: Warner Night at the Movies 1944 short subjects gallery: vintage newsreel, Oscar-winning patriotic short "I Won't Play," and short "Jammin' the Blues," classic cartoon "The Weakly Reporter," trailers of "Passage to Marseille" and 1944's "Uncertain Glory"; new featurette "The Free French: Forgotten Unsung Victors"; "Breakdowns of 1944: Studio Blooper Reel."
To say I am excited by this release is a massive understatement. I am a HYOOOGE Bogie fan. Bogie is the freakin' man! This set gives The Maltese Falcon a royal treatment and offers us some films that have never been released on DVD. Even if you are not a Bogie fan, but enjoy the films of yesterday, this is worth picking up. I will be posting a complete review as soon as my copy shows up. Usually the review copies arrive weeks prior to the release but not this time.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Locked 'N Loaded Edition (Unrated Director's Cut) (1998) Dir.: Guy Ritchie; Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham, Steven Mackintosh, Nicholas Rowe, Nick Marcq, Charles Forbes, Vinnie Jones. Extra footage. Extras: Featurettes: "One Smoking Camera," "Lock, Stock and Two F**cking Barrels." (Universal).
This is the extended director's cut of the film that started more than a couple of careers. One could argue that Ritchie hit his peak with his feature film debut. While scenes are added, I don't think they really make the film better. If you already own this, I honestly can't see the need to buy it again.

Medium: The Complete Second Season Extras:Collectible 3-D glasses included
The Story Of Medium, Season Two, Medium In Another Dimension: a special on the making of the 3D episode, A Day In The Life Of The DuBois Daughters, The Museum of Television and Radio Q & A with Cast and Creative Team, Gag Reel (Paramount)
Patricia Arquette is talking to the dead. How did the dead manage so many years without voices on network TV?

Midsomer Murders, Set Seven Four-disc set with four feature-length mysteries involving murders in the quaint English village of Midsomer; $49.99. Extras: Midsomer map, cast filmographies. (Acorn Media).

Scarface Platinum Edition (2005) Dir.: Brian De Palma; Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Two-disc set with new sound effects and audio mix. Extras: "Scarface Scoreboard": Keep track of the number of times the "F" word is used and the number of bullets fired; deleted scenes; "Making of Scarface: The Video Game"; "The World of Tony Montana" featurette; "Scarface: The Rebirth" featurette with Pacino, De Palma, producer Martin Bregman and screenwriter Oliver Stone examining the history of "Scarface," from the original 1932 classic to shooting the script; "Scarface: Creating" featurette; "Scarface: Acting" featurette; "Scarface: TV Version Montage" montage of film clips that compare and contrast the theatrical release to the network version of Scarface. (Universal).
This De Palma film has become a cult classic, with phrases like “let me introduce you to my little friend” becoming recognizable even to those that have never seen the film. Al Pacino stars as the latino drug dealer.This edition is loaded with some great extras really talk about how the film came to be and give insight into what went into the filming. And if this special edition….sorry, “platinum edition” does not fill your need for Mr. Face, there is a new video game out in which you play the feisty Latino Kingpin.

Thank You For Smoking (2006) Dir.: Jason Reitman; Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Cameron Bright, Adam Brody, Sam Elliott, Katie Holmes, David Koechner, Rob Lowe, William H. Macy, J.K. Simmons, Robert Duvall Extras: Cast and director commentary; deleted scenes; "The Charlie Rose Show" interview with Jason Reitman, Aaron Eckhart, Christopher Buckley and David O. Sacks; "Making of Thank You for Smoking" featurette; "America: Living in Spin" featurette; more. (Fox).
Ivan Reitman’s son Jason directs a star-studded cast in this very black comedy about advertising, marketing and American greed.

Point Break Pure Adrenaline Edition (1991) Dir.: Kathryn Bigelow; Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C. McGinley, James LeGros. Extras: Deleted scenes, "It's Make or Break" featurette, "Ride the Wave" featurette, "Adrenaline Junkies" featurette, "On Location: Malibu" featurette. (Fox).
Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey star in this thriller about surfers that rob banks. I swear I am not making that up. Witness riveting scenes between Swayze and Reeves. There are so many jokes just waiting to be made.
While this has become a favorite of many, only a gun to my head is going to get me to watch it again. Having said that, we will have a review in the couple of weeks.

Oct 2, 2006

Anthony Award 2006

Crimespree says Wow!!

Thanks guys, an Anthony. So aside from being speechless on Saturday, not having prepared anything and getting the award from Jim Huang and Kent Krueger it’s a little hard to follow up Barbara Seranella. It’s telling that all three of these people have done something for Crimespree. So in essence they were giving themselves an Anthony. And you an Anthony too.

For those of you unaware, The Jordan clan hasn’t had the best of years. Saturday was a highlight. And how typical of the Mystery community to rally around and lift you up. It’s why we cannot get enough of this thing called mystery.

Blogging allows us to now thank the folks who need thanking.

We have other editors at Crimespree. They spend as much time on the mechanics as we do. Jeremy Lynch continues to elevate the Entertainment section of Crimespree. His energy for and love of what he’s doing is great to be a part of. And with the incredible Jill at his side I suspect he’s only just beginning.

Mary Regan’s photos are fab and she manages to get her camera everywhere. The one on one feel of Crimespree is largely due to the photos she somehow gets to match the articles we are running each and every issue.

Sister Jen not only is finding some of the best short fiction out there she is our rock. She gets us through the day to day and travels roads both rocky and lined with gold right beside us.

The content? Well what can we say…. The names are many, so many and hell, when we ask people “Could you…. And oh we don’t pay…” the answer is always, “I’d love to…. What’s the deadline?” Because many of the folks who write for us out of their love for the genre are actually making money with their writing and like us, work comes first.
You all come through for us time after time. If we haven’t tapped you yet, be assured, we will.

And our reviewers, each time you type out a review, realize not only are you reviewing a book, you’ve just given Jon and myself an extra five hours in our lives. To work on the rest of the magazine, make time for the day job, sleep a little or make buttons, a lot of buttons.

We had two parents there and one waiting at home for the results. They gave us our love for reading and that’s where it starts.

We love mysteries. We love Bouchercon. No matter what else is going on in our lives we know that we can rely on this community. We’ve known it since we both ventured on line and typed “mystery” into the search engine. Ram, 4MA, Dorothy L, Book Sense. There are people everywhere who share our obsession. And then we met you all in person. And now…. We hope Crimespree will help to bring more people to this community, these books and our genre for a long, long time.
That said, this award belongs to everyone who’s ever picked up a mystery but more than any other two individuals our Anthony goes out to the two who weren’t there; our dad and Jeremy’s grandmother. They believed in us first and loved us best. Thanks you two.

Oct 1, 2006

Showtime’s Dexter is disturbing, somewhat creepy and very entertaining.

A while back, in my Eye on Hollywood column (featured in each issue of the fantastic Crime Spree magazine) that Showtime was bringing Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter character to the small screen. I mentioned that this was going to be a difficult task as the many of the things that made the novels so alluring would also turn off many potential viewers. A main character that is an unfeeling serial killer (albeit of other killers) is not something that many folks will connect with.

Early in his life, Dexter survived a traumatic event, one he can not remember. His foster father, Harry, a former policeman, learns that his son lacks the emotions most of us have, and that he is filled an urge to kill that he can’t ignore. Harry channels Dexter's homicidal urges into good, teaching him to kill only those who deserve it. He also helps Dexter to blend with other folk, teaching him how to emulate the human emotions he doesn't actually feel so that he doesn't draw attention to his extracurricular activities.

After watching the first episode, I have to say that they have stayed true to the overall feel of the books. Watching it, my feelings ranged to disgust to glee. This show left me wanting to take a shower, yet unable to wait until the next episode
The creative forces behind this series have worked on such Cable hits as Six Feet Under, Oz and The Sapranos. They take full advantage of the creative freedom that cable offers and deliver a show that stands alone in its content. Something like this would never make it on network TV. Actually, something like this would never even make it to network TV.

Michael C. Hall, of Six Feet Under does a wonderful job of capturing Dexter. After watching one episode, his character from 6FU is but a faint memory. Hall does a fantastic job of bringing this odd character to life. He plays the role with a certain spark that will help some viewers get past the horrific aspects of Dexter.
This show certainly is not for everyone, but fans of the books should be thrilled with Dexter. Dexter airs on Showtime on Sunday nights at 10pm et/pt.

Jeremy Lynch