Tagged: Jr.

Box Office Democracy: 10 Cloverfield Lane

I am not prepared to be this afraid of John Goodman.

I don’t remember a time in my life before the Roseanne show. It was a staple growing up, even if I didn’t start watching it regularly until the last few seasons. John Goodman is a lovable funnyman, and no amount of playing shady characters in Coen Brothers movies was ever going to shake me of that conviction. I was not prepared for the sheer mesmerizing terror that was Goodman’s performance in 10 Cloverfield Lane, a role I never would have expected for him but one that he embodies so totally and perfectly that pushes everything to another level. This is the kind of performance that should win awards but never will because every award-giving body has decided to become self-parody at this point and only send home statues for ludicrous acting clichés.

There’s such a pervasive feeling of menace coming off of Goodman in this film and it is honestly incredible. He spends 80% of the time playing Howard as a quiet, almost nervous, man and so his violent outbursts feel so much bigger because of the contrast. There’s also something to be said for the way the sets are laid out and the film is shot, it makes his physical presence feel so much bigger, like a tiger in a subway tunnel a perpetual threat with no way around it. Howard ebbs and flows from genial host to quiet threat to barely contained rage to completely uncontrolled like some kind of inscrutable tide on an alien planet. 10 Cloverfield Lane would be tense even reading the screenplay, but the way Goodman dominates every frame he’s in turns everything up even higher and makes for some unbelievable tension.

I don’t want to underrate John Gallagher Jr’s contribution to this film (he does fine work and has a devastating monologue) but Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the other half of this film. She plays opposite this dominating presence and holds her own. Where Howard is imposing dangerous force, Michelle is calculating and clever. She doesn’t always know what’s going on but she’s always looking for the next thing, the way out, she never lets herself get too complacent. The two feel like equals in an asymmetrical game of chess, but so too does Winstead feel like the equal of Goodman, and that is the highest praise I can give an actor this week.

It’s hard to praise anything else about the movie because it all just seems to serve these performances. It’s well shot, but it isn’t particularly dynamic or new feeling. The script is a fine effort and has enough levels that I was arguing about character motivations on the car ride home, but there isn’t that much that happens. It has the kind of score that seemingly every remotely scary movie has these days saved by a couple great needle drops on the soundtrack. It’s a sign of good filmmaking that these things fade in to the background, there’s more craft in appearing to do nothing than in being as flashy as possible.

The billion-dollar question for Bad Robot and Paramount here is “Does this make Cloverfield in to a credible anthology horror series?” and the answer seems to be a solid maybe. I’ve seen so many social media posts this weekend comparing the twist ending in 10 Cloverfield Lane to The Twilight Zone, and while that’s not giving the former enough credit and grossly oversimplifying the latter it would need to be the model. If they’re all going to be as compelling as 10 Cloverfield Lane, I would happily watch a movie under this umbrella every few years. If they’re going to be more like the original I’m dramatically less interested and there’s the problem; I do not trust the people at Bad Robot to make enough good movies in a row without a prominent franchise to prop them up. I hope they can prove me wrong.

The Point Radio: Ladies Who Make Us Laugh – Eliza Coupe & Sarah Colonna

Two funny ladies share their stories here . First, Eliza Coupe talks about her adventures in series TV (HAPPY ENDINGS, BENCHED) and her delightful new indy film, THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN. Then, meet Sarah Colonna. She’s a stand up comic, TV writer (CHELSEA LATELY) and a NY TIMES best selling author about to hit the chart again with her new book, HAS ANYONE SEEN MY PANTS.

We’re here just once this week, but right after the holiday we are back with a sneak peek at the new season of GHOST ASYLUM, shared by the guys who still have the goosebumps to prove it.
Be sure to follow us on 
Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Box Office Democracy: “Big Hero 6”

I never dreamed that when Disney bought Marvel it would lead to something as precious as Big Hero 6. Disney took a nothing Marvel property, one I had never heard of despite reading comic books voraciously for the first 28 years of my life, and turned it in to something quite fantastic. Big Hero 6 is a great movie and is a great example of something Disney can do for Marvel that isn’t just moving all of the Spider-Man cartoons over to Disney Channel.

The plots in Disney animated films tend to be a bit thin and while I mean that as no insult Big Hero 6 is no exception. There’s a precocious kid and a tragic incident. There’s a crew of friends that must rally around the grieving kid and help him get revenge/closure. There’s a secret to be revealed that will surprise a child but no one who’s ever watched a real mystery anymore but why am I still talking about all of this nonsense when I haven’t mentioned Baymax even once yet?


Mindy Newell: Reading Is Fundamental

Dorothy: What kind of a horse is that? I’ve never seen a horse like that before!

Guardian of the Emerald City Gates:  And never will again, I fancy. There’s only one of him and he’s it. He’s the Horse of a Different Color you’ve heard tell about.

—The Wizard of Oz, 1939

I love to read.  I read every chance I get, including always bringing a book with me to read on my lunch hour.

I don’t get people who don’t read.

They make me crazed.


Martha Thomases: MoCCA My Socks Off

mocca_logoAs a writer and a long-time nerd, I’m used to spending a lot of time alone.  Especially after the winter we’ve had, I can go for days not only not leaving my apartment, but not even wearing anything my mother would recognize as pants (sweatpants didn’t count).

And then, this weekend, just as the snow finally melts and the sun comes out, is the MoCCA Festival .  All of a sudden, instead of talking only to my cat (who doesn’t require much sophisticated banter), a lot of people I enjoy will be conveniently assembled in one place.

MoCCA is certainly a lot bigger than it was the first time I went, back in the days when the museum was separate from the Society of Illustrators.  Still, compared to the behemoths in San Diego, Chicago, and even across town at the Javitz Center.  Instead of Hollywood previews and video game demonstrations, MoCCA’s non-comics exhibitors tend to display hand-made crochet monsters or cal figurines.

I’ve seen people I admire on the floor of this show, just as I’ve seen people I admire on the subway and on the sidewalk. But celebrities?  In San Diego and New York, I’ve seen people like Robert Downey, Jr. and Whoopi Goldberg on the floor.  They are easy to spot because they are surrounded by bodyguards.  And they need to be.  Fans have to be kept away or the celebrity will be mobbed, even physically hurt.  This year’s MoCCA celebrity spotting?  Probably the most high-profile will be Macy’s Charlie Brown parade balloon.  Fans aren’t tall enough to maul him.

That’s cool.  At MoCCA, the books are the celebrities.  And this year’s assortment of new books looks especially wonderful.

MoCCA has books for kids and books for grown-ups without either feeling forced, because, for the most part, the people creating the books are creating what they want to read, not (necessarily) what they think the market wants.  MoCCA is fan-friendly in a way that doesn’t require special events for cos-players. Nor do they need security guards to protect women and/or children and/or queer people and/or other minorities from assault.

Sometimes the aisles get too crowded, and sometimes it’s too hot, but it’s a very friendly show, with plenty of good will.  I wish all comic book shows could be this pleasant.

In case that isn’t enough people for me, I’m also going to one of the two big benefits my family enjoys attending every year.  A cancer charity throws a big party that is attended by huge celebrities, like these from last year.

Come by, if you find yourself with nothing to do in the middle of MoCCA.

Emily S. Whitten: Interview with Raphael Sbarge

Whitten Art 131008Currently, actor Raphael Sbarge is playing the character of psychiatrist Archie Hopper (a.k.a. Pinocchio’s conscience Jiminy Cricket) on the modern-day fairy tale show, Once Upon A Time, in which fairy tale characters have been transported to the “real world” town of Storybrooke, Maine, and robbed of their real memories by a powerful curse. It’s a lot of fun!

If you somehow haven’t encountered Once Upon A Time and Sbarge’s character there, however, you may also remember him as one of the main characters on The Guardian, Jake Straka. And if you’ve missed both of those shows, I can pretty much guarantee you’ve seen him in something. Why? Because Sbarge is one of those great TV actors who shows up in pretty much every show I’ve (or anyone’s) ever watched. From Prison Break to Quantum Leap, and Avatar: The Last Airbender to Murder She Wrote, Sbarge has also been on Star Trek: Voyager, 24, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, Numb3rs, Dollhouse, Lie to Me, Rizzoli & Isles, Dexter, Burn NoticeCastle, and many more.

I always enjoy Sbarge’s roles and guest appearances, so I was delighted to sit down with him at Dragon Con this year for a fun chat about his career and current work. We talked about everything from his background and first forays into acting as a child; to his experiences as a stage, TV, and voice actor; to his diverse TV career and his roles on The Guardian and Once Upon A Time. Sbarge also told me about On Begley Street, a web series he is currently executive producing and directing, which “explores the building of North America’s greenest, most sustainable home” by actor Ed Begley, Jr. and his wife Rachelle Carson-Begley. I haven’t encountered a premise like that before and it sounds pretty cool; so be sure to check that out!

You can watch my full interview with Raphael Sbarge here (and yes, I am actually in this video). And don’t forget to check out Sbarge on Once Upon A Time…and whatever multitudes of other TV shows he might appear on next!

Enjoy! And until next time, Servo Lectio!

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis Discusses Paul Levitz

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold Discusses Newspapers and Slow Death


Panel Fest Episode 22: Pulpfest 2013 Doc Savage Panel

The panelists

The Book Cave’s Art Sippo hosted the Philip Jose Farmer panel on Doc Savage at this year’s PulpFest convention in Columbus, Ohio. Rick Lai, John Small, Christopher Paul Carey, and Win Scott Eckert share their knowledge with the listeners.

Listen to Panel Fest Episode 22: PulpFest 2013 Doc Savage Panel here.

About the Philip José Farmer’s Doc Savage panel:
Since 2011, PulpFest has hosted FarmerCon, a convention within a convention. FarmerCon began in Peoria, Illinois, the hometown of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Originally a gathering of Farmer fans figuratively, and literally, right outside Phil’s back door, FarmerCon offered presentations, dinners, and even picnics at the author’s house.

After the passing of Phil and Bette Farmer in 2009, it was decided to take FarmerCon on the road to broaden its horizons. By holding  the convention alongside events like PulpFest, Farmer fans get a variety of programming and a room full of pulp and book dealers to enjoy. This year, PulpFest is once again pleased to welcome FarmerCon VIII to the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

As it has every year since 2011, FarmerCon will provide some of PulpFest’s evening programming. On Friday, July 26th, at 7:30 PM, our FarmerCon friends turn their attention toward the Grand Master‘s work related to Doc Savage with a panel entitled His Apocalyptic Life, Escape from Loki, and The Mad Goblin.

The earliest of the three works, The Mad Goblin, was first published in 1970, paired with The Lord of the Trees as half of an Ace Double. Both novels were sequels to an earlier work, A Feast Unknown, that introduced Lord Grandrith, a thinly disguised Tarzan, and a “man of bronze” known as Doc Caliban. In Feast, Grandrith and Caliban learn that a powerful secret society known as The Nine has manipulated their lives. The two heroes go to war against their tormentors: The Mad Goblin tells the story from the point of view of Doc Caliban, while The Lord of the Trees presents Lord Grandrith’s version.

Although he published over fifty novels and 100 short stories during his career, Philip José Farmer may be remembered best for his Wold Newton Family. According to the author, the radiation from a meteorite that landed near the village of Wold Newton caused mutations in the villagers’ descendants, making them smarter, stronger, and more driven than most. Including among the offspring was Lord Greystoke, Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, Fu Manchu, and Dr. James Clarke Wildman, Jr., best known as Doc Savage. Much of Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, first published by Doubleday in 1973, is devoted to this idea.

The last of Farmer’s works of bronze was Escape from Loki, published by Bantam Books in 1991. Shot down behind enemy lines during World War I, sixteen-year-old Clark Savage, Jr. finds himself in a German baron’s notorious escape-proof prison. Here Doc and his future aids come together to match wits and derring-do against the sinister baron, who Doc believes is intent on wielding a weapon of mass destruction that could very well mean the end of freedom and victory for the Kaiser.

Moderator Art Sippo, author of Sun Koh: Heir of Atlantis, a 2010 Pulp Factory Award nominee for Best Pulp Novel, and his panelists will dissect and analyze the Grand Master‘s contributions to the Doc Savage mythos. Joining Art will be Christopher Paul Carey, the co-author with Philip José Farmer of Gods of Opar: Tales of Lost Khokarsa, and the author of Rick Lai, well known for his articles expanding on Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe concepts, recently collected into four volumes by Altus Press; Win Scott Eckert, the co-author with Philip José Farmer of The Evil in Pemberley House, and the author of its forthcoming sequel, The Scarlet Jaguar, featuring Doc Wildman’s daughter Pat; and John Allen Small, an award-winning journalist, columnist, and fiction writer whose work includes “The Bright Heart of Eternity,” a tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs and Philip José Farmer, and “Into Time’s Abyss,” anthologized in The Worlds Of Philip José Farmer 2: Of Dust And Souls.

Exiles of Kho, a prelude to the Khokarsa series;

Meteor House premiered a new, expanded edition of Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life at PulpFest 2013. Featuring dust jacket art by Joe DeVito (pictured above) and essays by Win Scott Eckert, John Allen Small, Keith Howell, Rick Lai, Art Sippo, Christopher Paul Carey, and current Doc Savage writer Will Murray, it will be available as a deluxe hardcover. Altus Press will be publishing the softcover edition. It will be available at PulpFest through Mike Chomko, Books.

You can listen to Panel Fest Episode 22: PulpFest 2013 Doc Savage Panel here.

The panelists autographing books.

Cagliostro Takes Flight

Cosmic Comet Publishing has announced the release of New Pulp Author Ralph L. Angelo, Jr.’s latest novel, The Cagliostro Chronicles in paperback and ebook.

About The Cagliostro Chronicles:
In the year 2089 man’s first faster than light space flight is about to begin, but where it ends will be filled with action, adventure and the unknown! The Cagliostro is an experimental space craft which is destined to begin mans first faster than light voyage beyond his solar system and into a greater universe filled with dangerous adversaries, intrigue and a deadly conspiracy set to tear humanity apart! Join Mark Johnson and his crew of adventurers as they travel beyond our wildest dreams and into a universe fraught with mystery and danger!

Is now available in paperback here and for Kindle here.


PULPED! returns with a two fisted discussion like no other! Hosts Tommy Hancock and Derrick Ferguson return to PULPED! with more guests than You can shake a Pulp Magazine at! Featuring Lee Houston, Jr., Andrew Salmon, Michael Brown, Jeff Deischer, B. C. Bell, and Teel James Glenn, this podcast explores a question that has popped up increasingly in the last few months! New Pulp-Just What Is It’s Connection to Classic Pulp? A controversial topic amongst fans of both, Whether or not New Pulp is a descendant of Classic Pulp, a mutation, or something all its own is explored, discussed, and debated within this SPECIAL episode of PULPED!



Pro Se Productions once more proves to be a leader in genre fiction with its latest release. A man of the far future plying his dangerous trade like one of the past.  1950s Sensibilities collide explosively with Science Fiction Action and Danger once again as Lee Houston, Jr. follows up his debut 2012 collection with HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: CATCH A RISING STAR! 

Thick, red lips were just a shade darker than her crimson skin tone, but both were in striking contrast to her long orange hair. Her eyes appeared to be only irises, as black as a starless corner of the universe resting on a field of white, but that toothy smile was brighter than a supernova. She was dressed in white like everyone else, but her outfit was a sleeveless, short hemmed number at least one size too small, that did everything possible to accent every aspect of her figure.

“Do I have the pleasure of addressing Hugh Monn, the private detective?” asked the older man with an accent I couldn’t place. After all, it’s a pretty big universe and xenology wasn’t one of my strong

suits, so I couldn’t identify any of their races or species. Besides, the woman was the only one present any insensitive jerk would call ‘alien’. Outwardly, all the men appeared to be as human as me.
“There’s no pleasure involved from my perspective,” I said, while motioning my head to indicate his traveling companions. 

Hugh Monn, the private detective of the far flung future, is back in his first full length adventure! 
In Lee Houston’s latest installment of his 1950s style detective in the future, Hugh is hired as a security consultant when actress Ruby Kwartz comes to the island nation of Galveston 2 to record a new vid.  What is supposed to be an easy assignment turns deadly when Monn discovers that everyone around Ruby has a hidden agenda and someone wants to make sure this production will be her last.  Can Hugh Monn catch a rising star before she falls? 

“After writing short stories for his first book,” states Houston, “I wanted to create longer adventures for Hugh in a second anthology, but CATCH A RISING STAR took on a life of its own and became his first full length novel.  Fans of the private detective in the far flung future not only get more action, adventure, and mystery in this tale; but more Big Louie too.”

“We’re excited,” comments Tommy Hancock, Pro Se Partner and Editor in Chief, “to not only have Hugh back for another adventure, but to see Lee push both himself and this wonderful world he’s imagined into a full length novel.   The definitely different mix of Science Fiction with the Detective genre as well as Lee’s placing of Hugh somewhere along the center of the Private Eye spectrum makes the concept a fun, exciting one and one that appeals to many types of readers.”

As for Hugh Monn’s first adventures, Ron Fortier, noted Reviewer, Author, and Publisher stated-What is particularly refreshing in these tales is that Houston wisely opts not to make his hero a hard-boiled, typically cynical type. Hugh Monn is a genuinely nice guy who likes people and aliens alike and is sincere in trying to make his world a better place for all to live in. He’s a good guy I liked meeting and hope to see him again real soon.

HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: CATCH A RISING STAR features an excellent and evocative cover by David L. Russell as well as stunning cover design by Sean E. Ali and Ebook formatting by Russ Anderson!  Available in Print at Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/n47oso2 and from Pro Se’s own store at https://www.createspace.com/4362923 for only $15.00! This stunning addition to Hugh’s adventures is also available for $2.99 as an Ebook! Available for the Kindle at http://tinyurl.com/makex3b, via the Nook at http://tinyurl.com/mnzgyww, and at Smashwords in

multiple formats at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/335096!

For More Information on the author, visit his Pro Se page at http://prose-press.com/lee-houston-jr-staffauthor.  For more about Pro Se itself, go to www.prose-press.com.

For interviews, review copies, and questions, contact Morgan Minor, Director of Corporate Operations at MorganMinorProSe@yahoo.com