Friday, October 18, 2013


When my girlfriend suggested we see PRISONERS the other night I said okay only because she is my girlfriend and guys are supposed to let their girlfriends pick the flicks sometimes.


I mean, the last few films we had seen together were, admittedly, more up my alley than hers. Superhero stuff. IRON MAN and the like.

I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about PRISONERS because I thought it was a movie about a couple of guys breaking out of a prison, an assumption I made simply from the title. I didn't know who was in it or bothered to search YouTube for a trailer.

When I said I would see PRISONERS I discovered it was anything but what I thought. Turns out it's not about bad asses breaking out of prison (thank goodness, because when was the last really good prison movie? I'm thinking SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION?).

PRISONERS is the terrifying story of two families struggling with the disappearance of their daughters  and a cop who is trying his best to help them find the kidnappers.

The film stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Both are fantastic but for me it's Gyllenhaal who steals the show. I just love this guy. He is one of those actors I could watch in just about anything. In PRISONERS he shines as a young cop with a dark past (it is really only hinted at by the dark circles under his eyes and the tattoos scattered over his body, particularly his neck and fingers). He exudes law enforcement intelligence and the seeming ability to see past peoples cleverly built walls.

The film is very atmospheric. Lights and darks and the weather playing important mood settings from scene to scene. In one of the most electric scenes between Jackman and Gyllenhaal characters the weather outside smoothly switches from a torrential downpour to wet snow. Other scenes take advantage of shifting shadows during a candle light vigil for the missing girls that shifts amazingly into a frantic backyard chase in cold darkness.

I highly recommend PRISONERS. It's a perfect fall season mystery thriller. Don't miss it!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013


I just love Doug TenNapel's graphic novels. CARDBOARD was one of the most decent books I have ever read. Pure genius!

TOMMYSAURUS REX is another terrific middle school romp kids will get the biggest kick out of. It is an engaging, heart-pulling, heart-warming, funny, and relevant (it's got an anti-bullying message to it) book.

After the accidental death of his dog, Ely is sent to spend the summer at his grandfather's farm to get his mind off things. There, in the woods behind the farm, he makes a T-Rex sized discovery...literally.

TOMMYSAURUS REX is another amazing display of imagination and creativity from TenNapel. Checking it out is a must!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I've had this one sitting around for a long time and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. I have WORLD WAR Z (the movie) to thank. Like a lot of people my apatite for zombies has long since been drained after the last decade of non-stop zombie overload.

Some stuff has been excellent, but much of it has been mindless garbage. One author who consistently delivers quality zombie stories is Brian Keene.

If you haven't read THE RISING or DEAD SEA or some of his other zombie related stories, you're definitely missing out. THE RISING is one of the best zombie apocalypse novels I've ever read, and one of the best books in terms of escapist entertainment value.

Last week, after a long period of zombie avoidance, I sat down and watched WORLD WAR Z and felt that old pang for some zombie action. The movie was good, so if you haven't seen it yet, I recommend it. Lots of action and gore and good flesh chewing fun!

After the movie I dug through my pile of unread novels and pulled out Keene's ENTOMBED.

ENTOMBED, while not strictly a zombie novel (it takes place during a zombie apocalypse), is a balls to the wall thrill ride from beginning to end. Think THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. Think LORD OF THE FLIES. Think DIE HARD, with sprinkle of THE MIST and THE LOTTERY. I think then you'll get the picture.

When Pete becomes the first chosen to become dinner for the rest of the survivors inside a labyrinthine underground bomb shelter he has two choices. Fight for his life, or die. The rest is pure hardcore action and thrills.

Keene's ENTOMBED is a hell of a fun read and I comes highly recommended.