NIGHTCRAWLER is a 2014 movie that is described as a neo-noir crime thriller. The movie stars a very thin looking Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom. He’s a loner and a thief leading a directionless life in L.A. During most of the film he looks sleep-deprived. Lou Bloom is somewhat memorable character. Most of his dialogue makes him sound kind of off even though he makes sense. Hard to explain but he misses social cues and his interactions with people makes him seem weird. In a nutshell, he gives off weird vibes. Continue reading Film: Nightcrawler (2014)
WOLF TO THE SLAUGHTER (1967) is an early Ruth Rendell title and sorry to say it was a disappointing experience. There’s a risk you take when going back to read the earlier entries in a long running series. I usually don’t go back but with Rendell I did go back because I was so impressed with her standalone novel, A JUDGMENT IN STONE. Well, I had some problems with WOLF TO THE SLAUGHTER that you usually will find with early books. The prose style not yet polished and disjointed; there were multiple characters to keep track of and the narrative never took off. Continue reading Wolf to the Slaughter, Ruth Rendell
So, I finally watched HBO’s documentary, THE JINX. Actually, I just finished watching it. You may or may not have watched it or cared to watch it. I was in the “didn’t care to watch it” group until all the publicity and talk that surrounded the series caught my attention and made me curious. My rambling, unfiltered thoughts are after the break. Continue reading HBO’s The Jinx
LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE DEAF MAN (87th Precinct Novel) is the 27th entry in the series by the prolific writer Ed McBain (1926 to 2005). To date I’ve read six books in the series. Hardly a dent since there are 55 books in the series. I keep coming back to McBain, who also wrote under his legal name, Evan Hunter, because his books are short, quick reads.
As you can ascertain from the title, a notable villain makes his return to give the men at the 87th Precinct trouble. Trouble they don’t need because the murder rate is up. They are also chasing an unknown suspect that is burglarizing apartments and leaving kittens behind as his calling card. Meanwhile, Detective Steve Carella, our main hero, is mostly tied up in a murder investigation but is targeted by The Deaf Man for his next caper. Continue reading Let’s Hear It For The Deaf Man (87th Precinct Novel, Ed McBain
No Orchids for Miss Blandish, written in 1939 is a noir crime novel written by the prolific British writer, James Hadley Chase aka René Lodge Brabazon Raymond (1906 to 1985). The length of the story is about 176 pages and it reads fast in third person POV. Online I learned that this novel had been heavily revised in 1962 for “modern sensibilities.” I found a copy of this book at Munsey’s. My intention was to read the original text but I’m not 100% sure which version I read. The original 1939 version was said to be controversial at the time for its depiction of “sexuality and violence.”
Note: It’s a known issue too that some of James Hadley Chase’s books were edited by Harlequin. I prefer to read the original books if I can find them. I really hate it when editors/publishers feel they must remove offensive material from vintage novels to sell them to a “modern audience.” That is not cool and I’m not down with that practice at all.
Billed as Chase’s “dark masterpiece,” the story is set in Kansas City and opens with two small time hoodlums looking to make some quick money. Bailey, described as a “leg man”usually passes off tips to the local gangs. He hears about the John Blandish shindig. The word about Blandish is that: “he’s worth a hundred million” and he’s throwing his daughter a party to celebrate her 24th birthday. And at this birthday celebration he’s giving her the family diamonds that are worth “fifty grand.” Continue reading No Orchids for Miss Blandish, James Hadley Chase