Archive for the 'Books' Category

Star Wars: Dooku – Jedi Lost (Audio Drama Review)

Though it has been a few months since the release of the Star Wars: Dooku – Jedi Lost in both audio and print form, it was only recently that I concluded the nearly six and a half hour audio format of the story from Random House Audio. It is important to note that this is not an audio book, but rather an audio drama, and the difference between the two is quite significant. There is a full cast of actors complete with the musical accompaniment of John Williams’ work and cinematic sound effects to boot. As for the book form, it is important that fans know it is not a novel and instead reads exactly like a script. With all that in mind, let us take a deeper look at Dooku – Jedi Lost.

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True Indie: Life And Death In Filmmaking By Don Coscarelli (Book Review)

Being a huge fan of both filmmaker Don Coscarelli and his impressive and original body of work, reading his new memoir entitled True Indie: Life And Death In Filmmaking for me is a no brainer.  But what about those who aren’t so aware of his famed exploits – can a mere film student or average fan also get some insight via Coscarelli’s prose?  In taking on the book for dissection in all pertinent avenues, that’s exactly what we’re here to find out!



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Worth Watching by Tyler Smith (Book Review)

It’s an interesting position to be put in when it comes to writing a review of a book that is full of movies reviews and essays. The idea would be to examine the writing and determine whether or not it has enough of a voice found within the words to appreciate and champion as an excellent example of cinematic criticism and critiques. Of course, there is also the matter of how this book is structured. Why these specific reviews? Is there an overarching purpose to combining a select number of online posts and written essays into a trade paperback? Based on what I found in Tyler Smith’s “Worth Watching,” it became apparent that Smith has not only figured out a way to combine a number of his strongest pieces of writing into a handy book but uncovered a method for getting across why he explores his thoughts on cinema as more than just a hobby.

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‘Thrawn’ by Timothy Zahn

In 1991, author Timothy Zahn was tasked with the duty to write a trilogy of Star Wars novels that were the sequels to Return of the Jedi. From the get-go, these stories were magnificent and featured an array of new characters (Jacen & Jaina Solo) as well as ones we were already familiar with (Luke, Han, Chewie & Leia). One character that arguably stood out above them all in those books was the then newly created Grand Admiral Thrawn. He was such a hit with fans that even Disney couldn’t overlook him. It’s been out for about a month and a half now, but the alien commander has his own book.

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Shaprio Glickenhaus Book Review + Sam Firstenberg Cannon Book Kickstarter (Book Review)

Nothing is more fascinating to a true movie geek than the history of films told by the folks who lived it.  German film critic and author Marco Siedelmann fully understands such a cinematic need and for fans of all things B-movie he’s got you covered.  The founder of the online Magazine Hard Sensations and Publishing House Editions Moustache has already created an extensive examination of the Shapiro Glickenhaus Entertainment (SGE) era with his book The Untold, In-Depth, Outrageously True Story of Shapiro Glickenhaus Entertainment which houses everything from candid interviews to archival photographs.  But the movie savvy Siedelmann didn’t stop there as his love of all things 80’s has led him to a new novel subject – that of former Cannon Films in-house Director Sam Firstenberg.  The filmmaker behind such classic outings as Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III: The Domination (go Lucinda Dickey!), Breakin’ II: Electric Boogaloo and American Ninja has many stories to tell and Siedelmann is putting together a must-read book titled Stories From The Trenches: The Official Sam Firstenberg Book guaranteed to knock some socks off.  So to bring some attention to the Kickstarter campaign (only 7 more days to go people!) for the new novel we both giving the details below plus giving a review of his first book on SGE for those looking for a little more critical insight before purchasing.  So grab your nunchucks and colorful headbands – the 80’s cinema scene via some good reading is back in full swing!

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Comic Review)

Star_Wars_The_Force_AwakensThere are some writers, some artists, and some properties which carry such gravitas it becomes all but impossible for a fan to pass by. An issue one of Star Wars, The Force Awakens, written by Chuck Wendig is a fine example. There was basically zero chance I was going to pass this book up. So it is with great disappointment that I must report that it brought absolutely nothing to the table.

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Austin Comic Con 2013: It’s ‘Just Another Zombie Love Story’

book squareDays 1 and 2 of the Austin Comic Con are in the books and it was the usual fun and sensorary overload to be found on the exhibitors floor. Actors such as R.I.P.D.‘s James Hong and The Walking Dead‘s Laurie Holden were found strolling about. Fans could be found adorned in the threads of their favorite superhero or steam punk attire. And then there is the merchandise. Yes, sensory overload indeed, but amidst all the artwork and collectibles stood a writer and his book.

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WHO Won?!?: An Irreverent Look at the Oscars: 1927-1943 (Book Review)

who won whysoblu-001Many people have thoughts on how accurate the Oscars are.  Many people wish certain things could have happened differently on Hollywood’s biggest night.  Many people are also unaware of how much history repeats itself.  Author Robert James has taken it upon himself to provide a very thorough look, from his perspective, at the history of the Oscars with his book, WHO Won?!?: An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, which is just Volume One of a multi-volume book series.  It should honestly not have taken me so long to finally let more people know about this book.  Call it a busy schedule and obligations regarding my weekly movie reviews, but as both a film fan (to say the least) and a history lover (it was my major), I was really happy to dive into this book and take in a lot of insight in regards to where the Oscars began and what can come from a detailed analysis of every winner and nominee, from a much more current (and humorous) point of view.  Continue on to learn more about the first volume of Robert James book series, WHO Won?!?

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ZOMBIE CAT: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty (Book Review)

When the press release for this one came across my desktop many months ago the subject matter was so sick and pictorially disgusting that I knew I had to have a piece of it.  Of course I’m talking about the ever-popular world of zombie cat apocalypses.  ZOMBIE CAT: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty, from the creative and humorous mind of author Isabel Atherton, is the latest body of work tackling the zombie cat epidemic that’s currently afflicting our nation.  Illustrator Bethany Straker brings the adult picture book to life courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing.  Reminiscent of Adam Mansbach’s 2011 unforgettable children’s book, Go the F@#k to Sleep, ZOMBIE CAT is the perfect addition to any horror fan’s collection of truly unique, but equally disturbing and grotesque items.  And I mean that in a good way. Continue reading ‘ZOMBIE CAT: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty (Book Review)’


Introducing…Zombie Cat: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty

Between you and me, I think I heard it all now.  First there was Zombieland, then there were Zombie Strippers.  Now, low and behold, there is Zombie Cat.  I just think we, as a society of people all united for a single purpose, just can’t get enough of the fictional monsters to the extent where we have to “zombify” animals now.  Thank God there are still CCW laws in effect and valid when there are zombie cats preying on us in the world.  I betcha those critters are fast too.  And probably have mad jumping skills.  Wanna know more?  Hit up the press release below, check out the book’s trailer and by all means…pre-order yours now!

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Now A Terrifying Motion Picture! (Book Review)

We’ve all had the conversation at some point in our lives. “The movie was okay but the the book was so much better”…or vice versa.  James F. Broderick’s Now A Terrifying Motion Picture!: Twenty-Five Classic Works of Horror Adapted from Book to Film takes us behind the scenes of both medium giving horror fans a double dose of insight into the creation of 25 horror classics ranging alphabetically from Altered States to Village of the Damned.  Intrigued yet?

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Comic-Con 2012: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Book Signings

You know how they used to and still do introduce Kiss as the hottest band in the world?  Well, the same can be applicable with every housewife’s favorite S&M book title, Fifty Shades of Grey.  Next month, E L James, the author of the Fifty Shades trilogy, will be signing books July 12, 4-5:30 at the San Diego Convention Center.  The ticketed afternoon event is free.  This is the author’s first book signing on the West Coast.  First published in May 2011, Fifty Shades of Grey follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.  Subsequent novels in the series, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed explore the couple’s deepening relationship.  Since Vintage Books acquired the books in March 2012, the trilogy has sold 16 million copies in the U.S. in all formats.  I guess my question is legitimately, how are they going to make these movies with even a an R-rating? Continue reading ‘Comic-Con 2012: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Book Signings’


Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture (Book Review)

There are a few vacations I’ve taken that greatly overshadow any others I’ve been on. Ilha Grande, Brazil. Red Rocks National Park in Colorado. The San Diego Comic-Con. Ah Comic-Con, the only man-made stop of the aforementioned trio. After attending three Cons (’08-’10), I can honestly say I was extremely disappointed on missing last year’s and have been suffering from withdrawal ever since. So when a book came across my desk to review, aptly titled Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, I took notice and gladly accepted the task to cover its content. What started out as a literary whetting of the convention appetite, turned into one solidly educating and entertaining read.

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Seth Grahame-Smith’s ‘Unholy Night’ (Book Review)

Mash-up genre author Seth Grahame-Smith’s career is one I’m watching very closely and with great admiration for my own selfish reasons.  I last visited his work in 2010 with my review of his masterpiece, in my opinion, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (see my book review here).  Coincidentally, Grahame-Smith was able to adapt that story to the big screen making it along with Prometheus, one of my most anticipated films this June (see the theatrical trailer here).  In addition to next month’s big screen debut, Grahame-Smith has been keeping himself very busy with his first motion picture writing credit, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, his resurrection of the Beetlejuice franchise, development of a stop motion animated B-movie monster film, Night of the Living, and of course, the reason we are all here, last April’s release of his third full length novel, Unholy Night. Continue reading ‘Seth Grahame-Smith’s ‘Unholy Night’ (Book Review)’


Screenwriting Tips…You Hack (Book Review)

I know what you are already thinking.  Believe me.  You are probably thinking the same thing I thought when I received the press release for this book we are about to cover here.  Oh yes…I’m talking about your temper flaring and accusations accosting as you proclaim out loud how many damn, boring screenwriting books can you possibly read.  But what if I told you there was one out there that was a completely different take on the art that’s both bold and refreshing to read?  Would you believe me?  I wouldn’t.  But that’s where you and I would both be dead wrong.  Sure, there’s no replacing Syd Field’s Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting or Blake Snyder’s heralded Save The Cat!, but perhaps there’s a companion book that would bode well sitting next to these two classics on your writing desk.  Would you write off such a possibility?  I sure hope not because that’s exactly why you are still reading this.  Isn’t it?  Like me…you want to know all you can about the art of screenwriting.  Well, that’s good!  Because that means you’re in the right place.  Read on! Continue reading ‘Screenwriting Tips…You Hack (Book Review)’


Star Wars Novels on the Horizon

What was once a small collection of Star Wars novels that set the foundation for the Expanded Universe, has now grown into a seemingly endless library of material spawned from mere name-dropping in the films or additional backstory from the many Star Wars video games. Two such novels due to be released in the coming months are Revan and Darth Plagueis.

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‘Archie’ Celebration Book Debuts at MoCCA Fest

IDW Publishing and YOE Books are happy to announce the upcoming release of Archie: A Celebration of America’s Favorite Teenagers. This collector’s book will be presented in a deluxe hardcover coffee table format.  It will truly be a work of art for reading or displaying.  They really went all out on this one.  Archie: A Celebration of America’s Favorite Teenagers will be available at comic book stores everywhere April 20th, 2011.  Continue reading ‘‘Archie’ Celebration Book Debuts at MoCCA Fest’


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Review)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Book Review)I’m not much of a reader.  I probably only read about one piece of fiction during any given calendar year.  I know.  It’s sad, especially coming from a guy who calls himself a writer.  It’s not that I hate reading, but I’m usually too busy juggling so many projects and efforts that I simply don’t have the time to commit to a full blown epic-sized novel.  However, that all changed the minute I heard about Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Continue reading ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Review)’