Saturday, May 17, 2008



Peggie Perkins & Acoustic Alchemy

Celebrating the release of Peggie’s new CD "At Last"

The Coach House
June 26th
33157 Camino CapistranoSan Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Tickets & Dinner Reservations (949) 496-8930
Doors open at 6 P.M.
Show at 8 P.M.
Tickets $17.50 (or better yet, click on the link below)
Order Tickets & CD Here & Save $$

Peggie has always been one of our local favorites – she sings like a dream with looks to match her wonderful set of pipes. Don’t miss out on this chance to see her perform and grab a copy of her new CD!

Acoustic Alchemy are also fantastic. Their Beautiful Game CD is in regular rotation on my Ipod.

When music really, really moves you, it is like a journey. You start out in one place — possibly the act of hitting your CD player’s “on” button — and end up someplace totally different. Maybe it’s the melodies, the grooves, and the instrumentation. Or maybe it is the culmination of experiences that the musicians have had up until the moment of time that they crafted their songs, seeping through the music and into your thoughts. Acoustic Alchemy’s AMERICAN/ENGLISH is just such a journey. It is an appropriate one, coming from a band entering its twentieth anniversary year, whose trans-Atlantic membership and wide-ranging influences make it a conduit for a myriad of sounds and textures. If the band has been entertained by the sounds of jazzy improvisation, late night dancing in a far away locale, or Caribbean grooves, those experiences might well seep into a new Acoustic Alchemy composition.



I had the opportunity to see Florence perform with both a big band and a jazz trio – he was truly exceptional.

Legendary jazz composer, arranger and Big Band leader Bob Florence, who won a Grammy and two Emmy awards during his long career, died Thursday at his home in Thousand Oaks.

His death came five days before his 76th birthday.

Florence was widely acknowledged as a dominant force in Big Band music, keeping the genre alive with his own Los Angeles-based band, Limited Edition. He also was a respected music educator.

"He's been a fixture on the West Coast for over 50 years," said Don Shelton, a professional musician who has known Florence since 1956 and been a member of his band for the past 20 years.

"I've been listening to his music and crying tears of joy," Shelton said by phone from his La Quinta home Friday. "He was a very sensitive man, and he showed that in his music and in his personal life."

Florence won a Grammy Award in 2000 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance for his album "Serendipity 18." He received 15 other Grammy nominations during his career.

He won Emmy awards for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction for the 1990 PBS-TV show "Julie Andrews in Concert," which was in the network's "Great Performances" series, and the 1981 CBS program "Linda Lavin, Linda In Wonderland."

Florence was born in Los Angeles on May 20, 1932.

In an interview with The Star in 2000, he recalled his earliest musical memory as "my mother standing over me with a switch, making me practice."

He was supposed to grow up to be a concert pianist, but he fell in love with the sounds of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Woody Herman. At the age of 19, he dropped his classical music studies in favor of pursuing his passion for jazz.

His first break came in 1959 when he arranged two numbers for trumpeter Harry James' band. That led to work with drummer Louie Bellson and Si Zentner, for whom Florence arranged the 1961 hit "Up a Lazy River."

He also became the pianist of choice for many singers, including Julie Andrews, Vikki Carr, Dean Martin, Andy Williams and Red Skelton, and he wrote charts for Doc Severinsen, the leader of the in-house big band on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" on NBC.

For several years, Florence had been a faculty member at Centrum, a music and arts center based at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Wash., where he led workshops at its annual weeklong jazz festival.

Centrum's associate director Gregg Miller said Florence was highly respected for his composing and arranging.

"What impressed me so much was that, even though he was an older man, his playing was so vigorous and youthful," said Miller. He noted Florence was scheduled to lead the Centrum faculty's All-Star Big Band in a concert of his own music July 26 in Washington state.

Instead, Kim Richmond, adjunct assistant professor of Jazz Studies at USC's Thornton School of Music — and lead alto player in Florence's band — will direct the All Stars in a tribute to him.

Florence's survivors include his wife, Evie, their two children and grandchildren.

(bio by Rachel McGrath)

Friday, May 16, 2008



American Entertainment Icon. Acclaimed and beloved singer, actor, and dancer. A multi-talented performer, Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded forty albums and made countless film, television and appearances in Las Vegas in his life time.

He was born in Dec. of 1925 in Harlem New York to New York vaudeville star Sammy Davis, Sr., and the Puerto Rican dancer, Elvera "Baby" Sanchez. When Davis was two his parents divorced and he was raised by his father. He began performing at the age of four, and starred in his first film (Rufus Jones For President) when he was six. Coached by legendary tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Davis achieved success on the vaudeville circuit, dancing with his father and adopted uncle in the Will Mastin Trio.

After a stint in the army, the triple threat singer/dancer/ actor launched his solo career. In 1946, Davis recorded "The Way You Look Tonight" for Capitol Records. In the late 1940s, Davis (still with the Will Mastin Trio) opened for Frank Sinatra at the Capitol Theatre in New York, which ignited a friendship that would last a lifetime.

He toured six months with Mickey Rooney and performed in a Bob Hope benefit show. Through Jack Benny, the trio won a booking at Ciro's in Hollywood and an appearance on the Colgate Comedy Hour. After an appearance at the Copacabana in New York, Decca Records signed Davis in 1954 and released his first albums, Starring Sammy Davis, Jr., and Just for Lovers. In 1954, he made headlines when he lost his left eye in a near-fatal car crash while driving back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas.

During his recovery in the hospital, he converted to Judaism, which was bruited about by the press. Davis continued treading on socially-controversial ground by carrying on a series of interracial romances, most notably with actress Kim Novak, and with the Swedish actress May Britt, whom he married in 1960. But even in these racially backward times, Davis came into his own on a professional level.

He debuted on Broadway in 1956 with the Will Mastin Trio in the musical comedy Mr. Wonderful. Davis began making appearances on t! elevision, including, The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1959, he resumed his film career in a breakthrough role as Sportin' Life in Porgy and Bess (1959). In the early 1960s, he appeared with his "Rat Pack" cohorts Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford in a series of films including Ocean's Eleven (1960), Sergeants Three (1962), and Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964).

Davis returned to Broadway in 1964 as boxer Joe Wellington in a highly successful musical adaptation of the 1937 Clifford Odets drama "Golden Boy." Davis was also heavily involved in the civil-rights movement of the 1960s, working with the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others being an international symbol of African-American and Jewish rapport. Davis continued appearing on television variety shows and performing in Las Vegas throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1972, he had a number-one hit on the top-forty charts with "Candy Man." Davis acted in two Cannonball Run films in the early 1980s. After undergoing reconstructive hip surgery in 1985, Davis recovered sufficiently to co-star and dance with Gregory Hines in the film "Tap" (1989). And, after announcing that he had successfully overcome an addiction to cocaine and alcohol, Davis embarked on a concert tour in 1988-1989 with fellow Rat-packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Although he did not show it or speak about it, Davis was said to be sick on the tour. On Sept. 14 1989, Davis publically announced that he had throat cancer and would begin radiation therapy. On Nov. 13, 1989, an unprecedented turnout of stars appeared at taping of Sammy Davis Tribute in Hollywood. Sammy Davis, Jr. succumbed to throat cancer at his Beverly Hills, California, home on May 16, 1990.

His funeral attracted thousands of unknown individuals and the Who's Who of entertainment. Davis funeral was a moving, tear-filled ceremony, punctuated by applause and the standing ovations that characterized his life. A 300-car caravan followed his remains to his Forest Lawn, Glendale, gravesite.

Davis was married three times, first to Loray White, a dancer; to actress May Britt, with whom he had one daughter and adopted two sons; and his wife at the time of his death, Altovise Gore, a former showgirl. Davis also wrote three autobiographies, Yes I Can (1965), Life In A Suitcase (1980) and Why Me?

(bio by: Curtis Jackson)



Another icon has passed away. John Phillip Law, star of The Voyage of Sinbad and Danger: Diabolik passed away at his home in Los Angeles. He was 70. No cause of death was announced.

Law was obviously a fan favorite, known for his good looks and penetrating eyes. Proper tributes to him can be found at both Atomic Pulp and Double O Section.

Thursday, May 15, 2008



This is so cool! A 48-year-old extreme sports enthusiast has taken human flight to a new level by strapping on a pair of jet-powered wings and performing figure eights above the Swiss Alps. He plans to cross the English Channel later this year.



You’ll pretty much have to live in England to take advantage of this deal, but
The Times, one of London’s main newspapers, is giving away free Bond novels with their next week’s editions.

For secret agent 007, international espionage can be a dirty business. Whether he is tracking down a wayward major who has taken a deadly secret with him to the Caribbean, or touching down in New York to stop a former operative falling into the clutches of the KGB, James Bond always closes the case – with extreme prejudice.

This Saturday 17th May, you’ll find the Ian Fleming final Bond release, Octopussy, inside your copy of The Times. Then pick up five more titles – one each day from Monday to Friday – when you buy The Times in a WHSmith bookshop (the British version of Borders or Barnes & Noble).

On Monday: Casino Royale

The first Bond novel introduces agent 007 – charming, sophisticated, handsome, and chillingly ruthless. His mission: to neutralise a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called ‘Le Chiffre’ – by ruining him at the baccarat table and forcing his Soviet spymasters to ‘retire’ him. But some people refuse to play by the rules, and Bond’s attraction to a beautiful female agent leads him to disaster and an unexpected saviour.

On Tuesday: Live and Let Die

Beautiful, fortune-telling Solitaire is the prisoner and tool of Mr Big – master of fear and voodoo Baron of Death. James Bond has no time for superstition – he knows that Mr Big is also a top SMERSH operative and one of the most dangerous men that he has ever faced. After a trail leading through the jazz joints of Harlem to the Everglades and on to the Caribbean, not even the enigmatic Solitaire can be sure how their battle of wills is going to end.

On Wednesday: Moonraker

At M’s request, Bond goes up against Sir Hugo Drax at the card table, on a mission to teach the millionaire and head of the Moonraker project a lesson he won’t forget. But there is more to the mysterious Drax than simply cheating at cards, and once Bond delves deeper he discovers that both the project and its leader are not what they pretend to be.

On Thursday: Diamonds are Forever

Meet Tiffany Case, a cold, gorgeous, hard-boiled blonde; the kind of girl you could get into a lot of trouble with – if you were lucky. She stands between James Bond and the leaders of a diamond-smuggling ring that stretches from Africa via London to the States. Bond uses her to infiltrate this gang, but the hunter becomes the hunted and 007 is in real danger until help comes from an unlikely quarter…

On Friday: From Russia with Love

Every major foreign government has a file on James Bond. Now, Russia’s deadly SMERSH organization has targeted him for elimination, and they have the perfect bait in the irresistible Tatiana Romanova. Her mission is to lure Bond to Istanbul and seduce him while her superiors do the rest. But when Bond walks willingly into the trap, a game of cross and double-cross ensues – with 007 both the stake and the prize.



Every once in awhile, you'll hear a statistic so striking you can hardly believe it's true. Our first impulse is to repeat it, because knowing interesting things tends to make people like us better.

Unfortunately, some people are so desperate for interesting facts to quote, that they'll just pull them right out of their ass. Then those facts get repeated, by--you guessed it--people like us.

www.cracked.com gives us the list of:

The 6 Most Frequently Quoted BS Statistics


Real terrorist plots tend to have two steps: blow stuff up, take credit. Maybe if they're feeling creative they'll blow themselves up or light their shoe on fire first.

Action movie terrorists, on the other hand, like their plans to have as many interlocking steps as possible, like an intricate Rube Goldberg machine of death and maniacal cackling. Since we have entirely too much time on our hands, we're saluting the villains who contrived the most needlessly convoluted terror plots in action movie history.

www.cracked.com gives us the list of:

The 5 Most Needlessly Complex Terror Plots in Film History



I personally hated Leonardo Dicaprio in Titanic and his next few follow-up films did little to change my mind. However, with Gangs of New York and The Aviator, Dicaprio began to come into his own for me and I had to admit the guy had developed some acting chops. With The Departed and Blood Diamond, Dicaprio really became an ‘actor’ in my personal take on things, and I look forward to seeing what he can do in this proposed new role.


By Jay A. Fernandez, Special to The Times

Leonardo DiCaprio may one day be able to add Ian Fleming to the list of real historical figures that he's impersonated on screen.

The Oscar-nominated actor's Appian Way company recently came on as producer of "Fleming," an original screenplay written by Damian Stevenson about the life of the British author and journalist who created James Bond.

"It's going to be very different from the Bond films," says producer Andrew Lazar ("Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," "Get Smart"), who first championed the project. "There are a lot of different ways to crack biopics, but we're not trying to emulate a Bond movie . . . The idea that this guy's life informed the James Bond character is pretty fascinating."

In fall 2005, just before the lucrative Bond franchise rebooted with Daniel Craig, Stevenson made his first script sale to Warner Bros. He then spent months mollifying the WB legal department about the historical accuracy of the Fleming story and worked through dozens of drafts with Lazar.

"It's the real James Bond," says the 35-year-old Stevenson, who previously worked as a development executive at Kopelson Entertainment and DreamWorks. "In England, Ian Fleming's exploits are much better well known. Talking to people out here, no one had any idea that M was based on a real person, Miss Moneypenny was based on a real person."

The London native scoured the underground stacks of the University of Oxford's centuries-old Bodleian Library for out-of-print Fleming biographies.

His latest version of the screenplay begins on the eve of Fleming's Jamaica wedding in 1952, just before his first Bond novel, "Casino Royale," was published (a wedding present to his new wife).

It then flashes back to Fleming's years as a Reuters journalist stationed in Moscow and then a Commander of Naval Intelligence (MI6 code name "17F") during World War II who devised innovative spying plots.

Fleming later drew from his own playboy life and his espionage contemporaries' to invent one of literature and film's most enduring characters.

During the writers' strike, DiCaprio showed interest in Fleming and his world, but he's looking to take the script in a different direction with a new writer.

The next Bond film, titled "Quantum of Solace" after a Fleming short story, will be released by MGM on Nov. 7.



Italian comic artist Donald Soffritti drew very funny cartoons of what super heroes and villains would look like in old age! Doc Ock above doesn’t seem too thrilled having all those arms to carry grocery bags home. And old Flash and Spidey appear to have seen better days!

Tons of other excellent drawings of super heroes as fat, middle aged men and women: Link

A tip of the fedora to www.neatorama.com



Robert McGinnis is hands down my favorite painter of paperback covers. His work is exceptional, contemporary, and enticingly beautiful. Now, Robert McGinnis – Painting The Last Rose Of Summer, a wonderful tribute documentary by Paul Jilbert is due to be release.

Robert Edward McGinnis was born in Cincinnati in 1926 and grew up in rural Wyoming, Ohio. His artistic talent was first encouraged by his dad, "Dutch," who helped his son draw such things as his favorite cartoon character, Popeye. Later, despite Robert's complaint that he would rather play ball with his friends (he was athletically talented and keenly competitive), Robert's mother, Mildred, insisted that he attend a drawing class held on Saturdays at the Cincinnati Art Museum. After high school, McGinnis hitchhiked to California and worked as an apprentice at Walt Disney Studios, drawing Mickey Mouse and other characters and learning about cartoon animation. Then World War II interrupted production of animated films, so McGinnis returned home and studied fine art at Ohio State University and took night classes at the Central Academy of Commercial Art. He also played the position of left guard on OSU's football team .

In the mid-Fifties he moved to New York City with his wife Ferne, who is also talented, artistically and musically. (They subsequently had three children, and they have lived in Connecticut since 1960.) McGinnis went to work creating advertising posters at the Fredman-Chaite Studios. One day by chance he was introduced to an agent by a fellow artist. The agent took McGinnis's samples to book publisher Dell. As a result, McGinnis was able to shift his career into high gear, and in the ensuing decades he produced an astounding body of top-quality, highly expressive illustrations and fine art paintings.

Available in July 2008. Reserve your DVD copy today as this is a limited release. Price $25.00 plus tax, shipping and handling. This is a pre-order only. You will be sent final payment information a few weeks before mid-July release date. E-mail theillustrators1@sbcglobal.net

“One of the best documentaries of 2008. A highly original and insightful film about one of the great contemporary artists, wonderfully crafted and thoroughly enjoyable” - Lee Pfeiffer Cinema Retro Magazine

“Bob McGinnis and I have been contemporary artists throughout our illustration and the fine art careers. His work has always been of the highest quality. He is a well trained artist, respected by his peers and is an example for all of us. I feel Paul Jilbert’s documentary is a tribute to his career and a must for all his fans to see.” - James Bama



The Art of Manliness blog has a huge archive of the manly things manly man should do, like How to Break Down a Door, or How to Hug like a Man, so it’s refreshing to see something different.

Here’s a neat list of the 100 must-read books, the essential man’s library, created by Jason Lankow, Ross Crooks, Joshua Ritchie, and Brett McKay:

There are the books you read, and then there are the books that change your life. We can all look back on the books that have shaped our perspective on politics, religion, money, and love. Some will even become a source of inspiration for the rest of your life. From a seemingly infinite list of books of anecdotal or literal merit, we have narrowed down the top 100 books that have shaped the lives of individual men while also helping define broader cultural ideas of what it means to be a man.

Good to see some of my favorite books listed, (yes, they’re not *just* for guys). Link



According to Sun Media, Tina Sinatra is claiming Martin Scorsese as the director of a major forthcoming Frank Sinatra bio-pic for Universal. Apparently, the film will not be a Sinatraized version of Scorsese’s gangster classic GoodFellas – while Sinatra did socialize with organized crime figures, the script "dismisses scurrilous rumors that Sinatra was a stooge for the Mafia." Instead, the combative singer-actor, who did socialize with crime figures, will be shown as innocent of any true involvement with the Mafia or other gangsters. In Sinatra’s own words, "I never drove the getaway car."

Sinatra's youngest daughter, Tina, also produced the Emmy-winning and awesome 1992 mini-series "Sinatra." She admits, however, it is premature to officially announce Scorsese for the biopic. So, while the rumors are flying and everyone is giving the news a nod and a wink, there’s apparently still ink to be applied to contracts.

After watching A Man And His Music II on Turner Classic Movies This past week, I’ll be one of the first in line to buy a ticket. Sinatra is arguably the greatest crooner of all time, made so not just by his voice and musical savvy (which alone could carry the title), but by the legend he created around himself. The man epitomizes the word “iconic.”



Need names for your novel’s cast of thousands? Unled has you covered. Visit the page and you’re presented with 4 random names drawn from, as I understand it, census data (or maybe phonebooks, or maybe even Google — in any case, some suitably large database of actual people’s names). You get two men’s names and two women’s names, one of each based on the commonality of the first and last names, and one a totally random draw. So, for instance:


Not based on percentage

Based on percentage


Not based on percentage

Based on percentage

You can just see them, can’t you? Rita Fritz, the long-suffering personal assistant to Dudley Sultan, rich, eccentric, and exceedingly stupid corporate maven. Rita has her eye on Daniel Sibley, the new junior executive with the easy-going smile and the love of all people. Unfortunately, so does boardmember and man-devourer Taryn Wardlow, rich, beautiful, and ruthless.

Why it’s a torrid romance novel, I don’t know. Maybe Taryn Wardlow is a Seeker, a red-haired adventurer chasing down the clues in tales of lost lands, trying to reach the Greatest Treasure of Them All one step before the evil Rita Fritz captures its power and puts the entire kingdom under her control. I’m not feeling Rita Fritz, the Evil Witch-Queen, but who am I to argue with the Muses?

In any case, if you’re not feeling it, just hit “Refresh” and you’ll be presented with an entirely new list of names.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008



Today May 14, 2008, is the tenth anniversary of the passing of Francis Albert Sinatra. He still pervades our culture as an icon who will never fade. The legend endures!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008



Author and friend Bob Randisi tells me he’s been getting the best reviews of his (extensive – 400+ novels) writing career for his two Rat Pack Mysteries, Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime and Luck Be A Lady, Don’t Die. The books feature Eddie G., a pit boss at the Sands who the “guys” go to for help. I've blogged about these books in the past - they're a blast!

Bob tells me he has been having a great time exploring the hay days of the Rat Pack in Vegas in the early '60s during the shooting of the original Ocean’s Eleven, and connecting with the next generation of those related to Sinatra, Jack Entrada, Dino, and Sammy. He promises a lot more for the next two books in the series starting with Hey There (You With The Gun In Your Hand) coming this December.

If you love the Rat Pack and haven’t caught up with the first two books in the series, get your mitts on ‘em now so you’ll be all caught up for adventure number three. Below in an advance look at the cover art for Hey There (You With The Gun In Your Hand).


It's Siamese Car Racing - the guy on top steers, the guy below accelerates.



Finally available in an American edition, Guardian Angel, the first book in the Moneypenny Diaries arrives in U.S. bookstores today.

My heart breaks for James — so begin the explosive, true, private diaries of Miss Jane Moneypenny, personal secretary to Secret Service chief M and colleague and confidante of James Bond. Bound by the Offcial Secrets Act not to reveal anything about her work, Miss Moneypenny is forced to lead a secretive, clandestine life. But, contrary to popular belief, she was not simply a bystander while James Bond saw all the action.

Miss Moneypenny’s experience with mystery stretches all the way back to her childhood in Africa, when her father inexplicably disappeared in action during World War II. Now, as a young woman in 1960s London, Miss Moneypenny unknowingly stumbles upon her father’s trail. In a position like hers, there’s no file she can’t access, and no document she can’t read. Yet Miss Moneypenny is forced to decide whether it’s worth risking everything—-her job, her safety, and even international security—-for the possibility of finding her father alive.

A life of espionage has personal as well as political ramifications. For Jane Moneypenny, the price is high. Romantic relationships with outsiders are necessarily built on lies, and she automatically questions the motives of every man she grows close to. For as her diary quickly reveals, Miss Moneypenny is involved in far more than office politics.

Guarding so many secrets and with no one to confide in, she finds herself breaking the first rule of espionage. Unbeknownst to anyone, she keeps a diary charting her innermost thoughts and state secrets.
These diaries should not have been written. They were never supposed to be read…

Don’t miss out on this great series. You’ll be hooked by this first entry and will propbaby be shelling out the extra cash to buy the British editions of the next two books already available through www.amazon.co.uk



News courtesy of Brian Pendreigh in the London Times On-Line.

He may appear in the guise of the undead but Christopher Lee will make history next month by being among the first living non-royals to be portrayed on a British stamp.

The 85-year-old actor will appear as Dracula on a set of commemorative stamps next month marking the 50th anniversary of the Hammer horror and Carry On films.

The stamps, which break more than 80 years of convention, will be released on June 10. They feature six original film posters, including Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, and The Mummy. Lee appears on all three of the horror posters, albeit heavily bandaged in one and partly obscured in another. In the Dracula poster, he is preparing to sink his fangs into the neck of a victim.

The first-class stamp shows Shirley Eaton, now 71, and Dora Bryan, 84, among the cast of Carry On Sergeant. Eaton is best known for her role as the gold-painted girl in the James Bond film Goldfinger.

The use of living nonroyals is at odds with the Royal Mail’s policy, going back to 1924, that they can appear on stamps only if they are part of a larger group – such as the 2005 Ashes-winning England cricket team.

Michael Wolff, a member of the Royal Mail’s stamp advisory committee, admitted the ban was being gradually relaxed.

“Everything has got to move on,” said Wolff. “I think it [the ban] will gradually fade away.”

The stamps have not been welcomed by fans of Hammer films, who described the poster reproductions as “terrible” because, being so small, they are nearly illegible.

Bruce Sachs, owner of Tomahawk Press, which has published several books about Hammer, said: “These are a real embarrassment.”

Royal Mail said the stamps were of movie posters that showed film characters rather than of individuals.

Buckingham Palace said new designs were personally approved by the Queen.



The Young Bond Dossier gives us a tip off to the current issue of Starlog magazine (#366) with a main feature interview with Samantha Weinberg, author of The Moneypenny Diaries (hitting the U.S. bookstores today) and a smaller article about the other 2008 Bond releases.

Like the moderator of The Young Bond Dossier, when I was younger, in a pre-Internet world, I also relied on Starlog magazine as the best source of scoop on all my fan interests. It’s nice to see the mag still thriving.



The covers for the Centenary editions of Ian Fleming’s Bond novels are very rerto-cool, but what about the spines? Wonder how they’ll look on your shelf (die hard fans tend to think of these silly things)? Here’s two images: the first is the full jacket for Casino Royale. The second is all the spines lined up.

These new hardcovers designed by Michael Gillette will be available on May 29th, just one day after Ian Fleming’s 100th birthday and the arrival of Sebastian Faulk’s Devil May Care among other Centenary events and releases.

A tip of the fedora to K1Bond007



I’ve never considered an anteater as a pet, but these pics and videos provide a convincing argument. Check out more at Anteater Coolness

Also make sure to check out this frequently-updated blog, documenting the owners' eventful life with TWO anteaters in the house.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Homeless 007 - Watch more free videos





Life On Mars was one of the most fun and hippest cop series to come out of the BBC in years. A mixture of farce, sci-fi, and every bad ‘70s cop show you could name – weird but it worked. Now writer/producer extrodinaire David E. Kelly is Americanizing the concept for ABC.

ABC is determined to make Jason O'Mara into a TV detective.

O'Mara, who starred in the network's Philip Marlowe pilot earlier this year, has now landed the lead role in Life on Mars, David E. Kelley's adaptation of the BBC series about a cop who wakes up 30-some years in the past. His casting allows the pilot, which had been put on hold while Kelley and Co. searched for a lead, to move forward again.

"This is a complicated character with many colors. After an exhaustive search, we're thrilled to have cast Jason O'Mara," Kelley says in a statement. "He's a tremendous talent, and we are confident that he will live up to the potential of the character and of the series."

Life on Mars centers on Sam Tyler, a present-day detective who, following a serious car accident, wakes up to find himself in the early 1970s. He's not sure if he's actually gone back in time, is in a coma or just crazy, but in working cases in the earlier time period he gets clues to his present-day state.

The two seasons of the British series aired recently on BBC America.

ABC's pilot, written by Kelley and directed by Thomas Schlamme (Studio 60, The West Wing) was originally considered for the fall. After having difficulty finding someone to play Tyler, however, the producers and ABC pushed the project to midseason. It's now scheduled to go into production in August for possible midseason consideration. Rachelle Lefevre (What About Brian), who was initially cast as the only female detective in the 1970s department, remains attached to the show.

O'Mara became available for Life on Mars after ABC passed on Marlowe, a pilot updating Raymond Chandler's iconic detective, this spring. He's also had a recurring role on ABC's Men in Trees and starred in the short-lived In Justice during the 2005-06 season. His credits also include The Agency and Band of Brothers.

The future of Life on Mars looks more certain at ABC, now that the network has renewed Boston Legal for a fifth season.

David E. Kelley's Emmy-winning legal drama will return to ABC in the fall, albeit with a somewhat tighter budget. The network and 20th Century Fox TV, which produces the show wit Kelley's company, negotiated a somewhat lower license fee, which will likely mean some paring of the show's cast (Saffron Burrows, for one, has moved on to an NBC show).

The pickup of Legal likely paves the way for Life on Mars to make its way to the network, the showbiz trade papers report. ABC wants the series -- an adaptation of the BBC series of the same name -- and has lined up the October Road team of Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg to serve as showrunners.

Kelley, however, owns the rights to the show and had to approve any such deal. ABC's willingness to renew Boston Legal helped lead Kelley to OK the deal for Life on Mars. The trades say that while a deal is not completed yet, it's fairly certain that Life on Mars will have a place on ABC's 2008-09 schedule.

The network will announce its lineup for next season on Tuesday (May 13). NBC import Scrubs and the Ashton Kutcher-produced game show Opportunity Knocks are expected to join Life on Mars on the fall schedule, which will be light on new series. Modestly rated freshman shows Eli Stone and Miss Guided are reportedly in contention for spots either in the fall or at midseason.


Months after a near-fatal car crash somehow sends him hurtling back to the year 1973, Manchester Police Detective Sam Tyler has begun to give up hope that he'll return to his former life. Nonetheless, he has risen through the ranks of the department, where he continues to clash with his morally lax and technologically challenged boss, Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt. Sam gets a further surprise when a new member joins their team: Glenn Fletcher, a fresh-faced new recruit who, Sam knows, will grow into the formidable chief inspector who mentors Sam back in his future life.






David Mamet's stage reputation is built on his glorious dialogue, pushed far beyond any sense of realism into a verbal symphony of intertwining solos built on staccato bursts of profane words elevated to terse poetry.
But when it comes to Hollywood, his most interesting films are his genre pictures -- heist films, murder mysteries, con movies, all generally male-centric narratives that he reworks with his own brand of professional pride, machismo and male honor. It's a man's world and he revels in it.

Redbelt takes Mamet into territory no one otherwise would have predicted, a martial-arts thriller of honorable expert fighters, international competition and sinister organizers who corrupt the process. The sport here is Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, but Mamet hews to the samurai code, with Iraq vet and poor but proud Jiu-jitsu instructor Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor, all quiet dignity and modesty) as his honorable warrior in a dishonorable world.

The plot gets Mike involved with a self-loathing Hollywood action star (Tim Allen) and a big martial-arts bout promoted by the star's agent (Mamet favorite Joe Mantegna). Betrayed by those he trusted, Mike (of course) ends up defending his honor in a very public way.

It's glorious pulp fiction elevated to genre art, full of Mamet's cynicism about the corruption of big business (just substitute Hollywood for the martial-arts league) and his romantic ideals of men in military service and men dedicated to a higher purpose.

For all the physical sequences, the screenplay is pure Mamet: characters trading questions that never get answered, lines repeated like a mantra, dialogue jumping topics like the transcript of an ADD convention, but always landing back on topic A.

Mamet is more respectful than exciting as an action director, but his fascination with how things work, be it the mechanics of designing and promoting a big pay-per-view event or battling a world-class Jiu-jitsu master, makes it all quite mesmerizing.