Three Fast Things, Plus More

  • The Golden Compass is one of the more amazing movies I’ve seen all year. Best fantasy since Pan’s Labyrinth, I’d say. Too, so, so sad I didn’t read the book first. No way to remedy that now, of course, but, can try to make up for it anyway. Also on-list: Inkheart.
  • The Girl Next Door is, yes, look-away-from kind of disturbing. It’s like if you took Stand By Me and The River’s Edge and The Lord of the Flies then dialed the squirm factor up to about fifty. Too, I really like the way Farrands and Nutman rerigged the Ketchum ending. It works.
  • Two movies I can’t hardly wait for, and don’t care if saying it like that’s about seventy-five percent of a double-negative: Hack ‘N Slash and Semi-Pro. Too, I’ve got a couple of relatives in Walk Hard, but would have been there for that anyway.
  • My story “The Ones Who Got Away” just got picked up for the Prime Books 2008 Anthology PHANTOM, edited by Paul Tremblay. So, summer, early fall; right around the time of Ledfeather, I’d guess. Very excited about the story getting out there, too. For me, it’s got the same-whatever that that story “Carbon” from Bleed Into Me has, or “Screentime,” or “Venison.”
  • Too, almost forgot to say: I’m likely in the minority here, but I really liked the Darabont-ending for The Mist. Though I really really really could have done without all the screaming, all the posture-y ‘inarticulate howl’ about the essential unfairness of the world, etc. Would have much rather [ spoilers here abound, hardy hearty traveller ] had the guy kind of just shut down, then retreat back into the mist, still chasing that ending he’d gambled on.
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    Dung Butterfly Teeth Man Box

    Man, the subject lines of my junkmail are just getting better and better. There’s a thousand monkeys out there, and they’re cranking out something, anyway. But, not what I’m here to say this time. What I’m here to say: Woody Harrelson makes movies better. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, though he’s just in it for a bit, coudn’t have really happened without him either, I don’t think. To say nothing at all of the over-the-top just plain old coolness of having Stephen Root and Barry Corbin in the same movie. I mean, on-screen it was CHEERS and NEWSRADIO and NORTHERN EXPOSURE, all swirling around in some THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA-version of Tommy Lee Jones. Excellent. Loved it. More than the novel even. Too, just as an example of the Coen Brothers’ attention to detail this time around: when Chigurh’s studying Moss’s phone bill, the area code for Odessa is “915,” which is what it was in 1980 (and up until a few years ago). I don’t know — give the Coens a good, dry place, and they’ll cook you up a good movie, I think. RAISING ARIZONA, BLOOD SIMPLE. Maybe in the desert, whether the horse has a name or not, the only thing to really focus on is a craggly face and a sarcastic line or two, delivered perfectly then punctuated by a lot of nothing. Which the Coens can handle and handle well.

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    Trick or Treat

    Just three four FIVE fast things, as I’m spending most of the day being properly foolish:

  • What I wouldn’t give to be hitting this haunted house.
  • That Asimov’s with my “do(this)” is on the shelves (the cover’s below the fold here, here. click it to go to the site).
  • This is great (“Reaper Madness”).
  • I’ve got a post over at Slushpile today, here.
  • The NBA’s going again, which, you’d think it’d greatly slow down the thing I’m writing right now (a slasher screenplay), but, it usually works the other way. Kobe & Co. pretty much just serve to remind me that writing’s what I do. Or, I mean, what I do, anyway, it’s definitely not basketball, at least not how they play it.
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    Slasher Prerequisites

    Working on a new slasher right now, and leaning towards making it a screenplay, mainly so the form can keep it reined in for me, somewhat. Too, this time, I’m doing what I’ve never done: thinking it all through ahead of time. Which has involved a lot of re-watching, a lot of thinking. And, on the idea that reasoning from first principles (or at least memory) is somehow a pure way to get to something at least in the area of truth, I’ve been intentionall ducking Carol Clover and all the other slasher analyses out there. Just because I want to figure out what the slasher is, not simply agree with people smarter than me. And, here’s what I’ve got so far — those pieces without which a slasher isn’t really a slasher, and in no really good order :

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    Joe R. Lansdale: the experience

    Was lucky enough to host Joe Lansdale around town the last couple of days. Great guy, amazing writer, living legend, walking icon, Texas institution, bonified stuperstar, and all around nice guy. Anyway, below, four pics of his reading. Click on that little flash/arrow button-player thingamawhatever, too, and bam, listen to him read and discuss and just generally entertain. There may be thirty or so seconds of cluttered silence up front, but that’s just because I have no clue how to edit an audio file. This was also my first time to ever try to navigate an iPod. And this one even had an “iTalk” latched onto it like some kind of parasite. But it all seemed to work. Oh, and yeah, that foolish guy umming his way through the intro, don’t know who he could be. Just somebody who wondered into the auditorium probably, hijacked the mike for a minute or two then stumbled off into the night, trying to intro everything else he bumped into, in hopes he would someday learn how.

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    Z is for Xombie / Zombie Bake-Off

    That novel I started all the way back in . . . was it August? Finally tapped out those final words on it. According to my handy-dandy Word stats, it took me some 30133 minutes to do it, too. If I knew what to divide that by, or how to divide, I could figure something out. Revision number ‘525’ too. Not sure what counts as a ‘revision,’ though. Anyway, it started out as Zombie Bake-Off, and who knows, may go back there. Tonight I’m liking Z IS FOR XOMBIE, though (Xombie’s a main character — it’s a soccer mom vs WWF story, with some zombies in the mix, and set here in Lubbock too). Anyway, the epigraph, taken, like ninety percent of everything else in the world, I suspect, from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.:

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