Dec 31, 2006

The Dresden Files - JIM BUTCHER

Maggie Griffin told me to read Jim Butcher. When Maggie tells me to do something I usually do it.
I proceeded to get all the books, the first six are paperback originals, the latest two are hardcover.
It took a while but I started reading them.

And I love them.

Dresden is a PI in Chicago. He works with the special crimes unit. He's also a Wizard, a bit of a mavarick wizard usually on the outs with the wizard council. These books have all the classic elemants of great PI books, and the supernatural elements really makes them fun. They are being turned into Television fare by the SCiFI channel.

I strongly urge you to try them out.
Jim Butcher's Website


Almost here, roaring in on the heels of 2006, 2007 looks to be a great year. January sees the first books from Sean Chercover and Marcus Sakey, both writing from the Chicago area. The books are both great. Richard Katz of Mystery One Books compares Chercover's book to early Amos Walker by Loren D Estleman.

Love is Muder is happening again in February and it looks like a nice line up. Ruth and Jennifer and I will be there and beween us I think we're on at least 6 panels.

I'm doing a little thing with Alison from Bleak House about how to attend a convention, good for authors and fans. We may not have all the answers, but we hope people walk away feeling good and ready to have fun.

Crimespree Magazine has the covers picked out for the next four issues and I think they are going to look pretty damn good. We like to think the magazine keeps getting better. Of course we feel no pressure to do that after winning the Anthony Award!

The l;ibrary event we work with In Muskego Wisconsin (just outside of Milwaukee) is already ining up folks for next November, including:
Robert Crais, Laura Lippmann and Gregg Rucka. Also on hand will be Chris Mooney, Maggie Griffin, Sean Chercover and Libby Hellman. @006's was great, we hope this coming year is even better.

Have a safe night tonight my mystery comrades!

Dec 30, 2006

The Departed DVD to be released on Feb 13th.

The dvd of the critically acclaimed The Departed will be released on Feb 13th. It will be available as a single disc or a two disc special edition. The two disc will feature nine deleted scenes with intoductions by director Martin Scorsese as well as two other featurettes (”The Story of the Boston Mob”, "Crossing Criminal Cultures").

Dec 24, 2006

DVD releases for Dec 26th.

Just a few crime related titles for the day after Christmas, the main one being Brian De Palma's adaptation of James Ellroy's Black Dahlia.

Airwolf: Season Two Five-disc set with 22 episodes, $39.98. (Universal).

Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine star in this series about a pilot that runs missions, using an advanced prototype copter, for a secret U.S. agency.

The Black Dahlia (2006) Dir.: Brian De Palma; Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner, Mike Starr, Fiona Shaw. Extras: "Reality and Fiction: The Story of The Black Dahlia" featurette with James Ellroy, "The Case File" behind-the-scenes featurette, "The De Palma Touch" featurette on De Palma's unique and shocking visual style. (Universal).

De Palma put together an impressive cast for this film and his vision gives it a very visually appealing style, but that is not enough to save it from a weak script. This edition also tells the now familiar story of author James Ellroy and the death of his mother.

Haven (2006) $27.98 Bill Paxton, Orlando Bloom (Fox)

“On the idyllic shores of the Cayman Islands, Shy (Bloom) and Andrea (Saldana) share a secret her parents can never know – they are in love. But a night of passion leads to their discovery and a devastating act of vengeance by Andrea's brother (Mackie). Meanwhile, a shady American businessman (Paxton) has fled with his daughter to the Islands to avoid federal prosecution, only to be drawn into a dangerous web of deceit. As lives intersect and truths are revealed, a chain reaction of violence is set in motion that will determine whether love can survive the fall of paradise.”


Dec 23, 2006

Trailer for Shooter ( Featuring Stephen Hunter's Bobby Lee Swagger) is online.

Stephen Hunter's Bobby Lee Swagger is coming to the big screen in Shooter. Loosely based on the novel Point of Impact, Shooter is about a former marksman ( Swagger) living in a self imposed exile until he is lured back into the service of the government. Swagger is brought back to help foil an attempt on the President's life. He is betrayed and framed for the assassination attempt, sending him on the run. Swagger must find the guilty parties and clear his name.

Mark Wahlberg (Boggie Nights, The Italian Job) and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple) star.

Shooter hits theaters in March 17th, 2007.

Click here for trailer.

almost that time

It's 5:00 am on the 23rd, two days away from Xmas.

Stores are opening in an hour. 6:00 am till midnight for people who didn't think to shop till now. I think it's corporate greed, but that just my cynical side. Another part of me likes shopping at odd hour, the hours I'm actually awake and ready to do things and everyone else is usually asleep. Of course the year Ruth had to work those bullshit hours it really sucked.


I do love this time of year, but it seems weird for some reason, like it's come to fast, too soon. We are kind of caught unaware. Plus there's no snow. A lot of rain, but no snow. But don't worry, President Bush says there's no global warming so I'm sure it's just a strange coincidence. Meanwhile, where's my damn snow!?

I wrapped gifts today. I enjoy doing it though I'm not all that good. They look presentable enough. Getting married increased the number of gifts I buy and wrap, not just for the woman I love, but her family too. Plus the increased fun of shopping for more people. I like the shopping. I actually like the crowds and the hustle and bustle of it all. Of course I'm not working in retail , so my take on it may be a little different than some people. I guess I really am a consumer.

Ok, I'm going to go get dressed and go shopping. Maybe I should bring a camera?

I hope every one has a merry xmas.

Dec 21, 2006

Trailer for Ocean's Thirteen online.

Danny Ocean and the boys are back for one last caper. This time they are joined by Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. Al is the baddie in this one. If nothing else, I am looking forward to watching Al oozing his special kind of menace towards the ever charismatic Mr. Clooney.

Click here for trailer.

The Crimespot Xmas Carol

“9-1-1, how can I help?”

“There’s a bunch of hoodlums out on my porch and they won’t leave.”

“Hoodlums sir?”

“That’s right. A bunch o young people making noise and singing and threatening me.”

“Threatening you how sir?”

“They said they won’t leave until they get some figgy pudding, whatever the Hell figgy pudding is. And thjey sang that to me all together.”

“Is that all sir?”

“No, I think they might be pyromaniacs too. They all have candles. In fact looking again they may all be in a gang, they all seem to be dressed the same and wearing red and white hats”

“ Why do you think they are dangerous?”

“Well they must be druggies. They keep using street slang for doing drugs, roasting chestnuts, let it snow let it snow let it snow… And what the Hell is a Blue Christmas?”

“Sir I have some people on the way to help”

“ Well tell them to hurry I’m getting a bit nervous.”

“Sir, are you the same person who called last year about this time about a man on your roof?”

“A man with animals on my roof!”

“Sir, I need to ask you, do you have a gun in the house?”

“I was cleared of those charges! He came right in to my living room through the chimney, it was self defense!!!”

“Sir, I need you to…”

“Hang on, someone’s at my back door now too!”

“SIR! those are the men I mentioned! SIR!!”

“Who are you?!!?? What do you…”

Joe Pike winked at Elvis and punched the man with a fast left. The phone fell towards the floor.



“It’s Inspector Rebus, we have this under control.”

“Thank you sir. Merry Christmas.”

Rebus punched the off button and tossed the phone. Harry Bosch was there to catch it and put it back on the recharger. In the front of the house Patrick and Angie explained to the carolers that everything was fine and they should move along. Bubba gave them a wad of cash.

Banks stuck his head in the back door and gave a yell.

“Who’s for the pub?!”

Tess mentioned she needed to feed her dogs first, but would meet them there.

Walker calmly said he’d drive and they all headed out to the van.

“You guys are going to love THE CRIMESPOT, the guy who runs it, Graham is really great. Plus its really good for finding out what’s going on” Moe Prager close his door, rolled down the window and added” plus a lot of the rookies are hanging out there. Nice to see the future’s in good hands”

Pike tied up the crazy old man and locked the door. As they walked away Robicheaux mentioned that the old man reminded him of someone from high school, and Pike just rolled his eyes.

As they drove away Spenser and smiled at Hawk.
“I think the kids have it under control.”

“They do” said Scudder as he started the car they were hiding in, ”I think this generation has it under control just fine, the next generation too.”

Have a mysterious Christmas.

and hey, thanks for
Crime Spot

Dec 20, 2006

DVD Releases for Dec 19th

A Scanner Darkly (2006) Dir.: Richard Linklater; Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder. Extras: Commentary by Linklater, Reeves, Isa Hackett (daughter of author Philip K. Dick), two making-of documentaries, more. (Warner).

Richard Linklater’s intriguing adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s story. The film itself is fine, but the visuals is what makes this special. Looking at the cast. We have a who’s who of troubled young talant. Well, I don’t think Reeves has ever been in trouble with the law, but some would argue that everyone involved in the making of Sweet November should have been locked up. (We at the Central Crime Zone would like to say that while Mr. Reeves was indeed in that wretched turkey, he was also in Bill & Ted’s excellent Adventure which certainly should get him at least one get out of cinematic jail free card).
While not a classic, Darkly is interesting enough to warrant picking up.

The Wicker Man (2006) Dir.: Neil LaBute; Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan, Frances Conroy, Molly Parker, Leelee Sobieski, Diane Delano. Extras: Commentary, alternate ending. (Warner).

After witnessing a car accident that kills a small child, officer Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage) struggles to put his life back together. He gets a letter from a former girlfriend asking for help locating her missing daughter.
Edward travels to the small town of Summersisle to look for the child. Upon reaching there, some seriously weird shit happens.
I am pretty certain Mr. Cage sold his soul to Satan for his Oscar (Leaving Las Vegas). If you look at his career since then, it ranks up there with that of Paulie Shore and Stephan Baldwin….except with bigger budgets.

The Wicker Man Special Edition (1973) Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland. Two-disc set with the international version (fully restored from original vault materials with 11 more minutes of additional, rarely seen footage) as well as the U.S. theatrical version. Extras: Interviews with Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and Ingrid Pitt, director Robin Hardy, producer Peter Snell, writer Anthony Shaffer, editor Eric-Boyd Perkins, art director Seamus Flannery, assistant director Jake Wright, U.S. distributor John Simon and legendary filmmaker Roger Corman; commentary by Hardy, actors Lee and Woodward; TV spot; radio spots; talent bios. (Anchor Bay).

The original, more creepy version starring Edward Woodward (Americans might better remember him from the Equalizer) and Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings and a zillion horror films). This set has the U.S. version and the longer international version as well as interviews of with virtually everyone that had anything to do with it. While I am a sucker for bonus materials, how important is it to hear from the assistant director?


Dec 17, 2006

Trailer for Live Free Or Die Hard (AKA Die Hard IV) is online.

Mr. John McClane is coming back to battle those that wish to harm us. In the fourth installment of the Die Hard series, McClane is up against a villian (Timothy Olyphant) that is attacking the U.S. computer infrastructure.

Click here for view the trailer.

Dec 11, 2006

AFI names top films, television shows of 2006.

The American Film Institute announced their picks for the top ten films and television shows of 2006.
The Devil Wears Prada
Little Miss Sunshine
Happy Feet
Inside Man
United 93
Half Nelson
Letters from Iwo Jima

Personally, I am a little surprised to see Devil wears Prada make the list. While Devil has some amazing performances (Meryl Steep is amazing.), I can't see listing it as one of the best of the year. Anyone that has spoken to me knows I consider Brick to be the best film of 2006. I would also include Lucky Number Slevin before putting Borat on the list. But then any with Sacha Baron Cohen makes me itch.

Television shows:
Battlestar Galactica
Elizabeth I
Friday Night Lights
The Office
South Park
The West Wing
The Wire
Great to see The Wire and Dexter make the list. Both are fantastic and use the freedoms that cable allow to their advantage, making both shows truly special.


Dec 6, 2006


Thismorning as I was getting ready to leave for work Ruth and I were sitting at the desk in our office, the very desk I'm sitting at now. At a little after 8:00 am we heard a huge booming noise and the whole damn building shook. Ruth was on the phone and we both looked at each other and swore at the same time. Ruth opting for "Holy Shit" and I said "What the fuck".

As it turns out there was an explosion at the Falk Corporation a mile from where we live. All over the TV news all day.

Dec 4, 2006

Monk - December 22 Episode

A very special episode of Monk is coming up just before Christmas. A film noir episode done in Black and White. A classic femme fatale, a missing millionaire, and of course a murder.

It's a very fun episode and I thought the way they shot it really did feel like a noir movie.Great camera angles, and they really took advantage of the black and white.

It's also really entertaining because this time Monk isn't the only one dealing with a phobia....

If you get a chance, check it out.