Category: Film

The Psychology of Superheroes

I recently bought a Smart TV, because my son hit the old plasma hard enough it started smoking, but on the upside I discovered Netflix! I’ve binge watched 2 seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, and I hunger for more. Not to mention my giddy anticipation of the Defenders, my absorption of all big screen Avengers, Thor and Captain America flicks … and can I just say ‘Wonder Woman’! How come this hardcore Game of Thrones-reading, Heinlein-quoting, Shakespeare-analyzing intellectual loves superheroes so much? My husband and writing partner has asked me this question many times as I drag him to yet another X-men movie on our limited date nights. I’ve put some thought into—PhD-wielding, intellectual level thought—and here’s my answer. Who doesn’t want to be a superhero!? It’s Freudian wish fulfilment...Read More

Penny Dreadful, Suckerpunch and the joys of there not being crap on TV now

Is it me or has TV deteriorated even more of late? For a while it was a bastion of creativity exceeding film--Rome, Game of Thrones, Hell on Wheels ... some great stuff, mostly from the pay channels. Now, Doctor Who isn't doing it for me, and I can't watch more than an episode of the latest Supernatural, Falling Skies or Continuum or whatever without going *meh*. I've been re-watching my DVDs instead and catching up on series I missed. Here's two of my great finds. Penny Dreadful I liked season 1 enough to tune back in, but season 2 is where it comes into its stride. I had a whole season to catch up on, and there's nothing better than having a marathon of a good show. Vanessa Ives was always my favorite character...Read More

Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie is a must read if you love mystery. She set the cliches. And she was always innovating. I was watching the 1974 movie version of Murder on the Orient Express as research for the next Eva Thorne novel. I wanted to remind myself of a few of those trendsetting and memorable ideas later immortalized in cliche, so I could turn a few on their head for the funny. It's obviously been a long time since I read the book, because I didn't see the ending coming. I won't give it away, but simply say Agatha had a tremendous sense of humor. I think this one must have turned a few mystery tropes on their head in her day. If you haven't read the book, read it. Whether or not you've read...Read More

A Dame to Kill For

I know I said I'd be watching "Casablanca" next. I'm so ashamed. But "Sin City: A Dame to Kill" For was out on iTunes, and I said "What the hell. It's noir." Sin City is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I won't say I'm a fan. Overall, I never find them an enjoyable experience, but I do love the black and white style interspersed with vivid colors used to lend a character a bit of...well 'character' is the word. I also like an over the top protagonist or villain now and then. The characters are all over the top in Sin City, which is why the whole suffers, but a few quirky or truly hate-worthy evil characters are great to liven up a story. The gem I found in this particular installment...Read More

Another 1941 Masterpiece

I re-watched The Maltese Falcon and realized I hadn't remembered a thing form the first time I saw it thirty years ago. My memory is slipping. At least it was like getting to watch it new! I loved the detective, Sam Spade, played by Humphrey Bogart. He was always surprising me. I couldn't be in his head as you'd be in a novel, a I kept wondering just how low could this guy go? He robbed his femme fatale client blind, extorted more money from the bad guy she was hiding from… and then put them in a room together! The femme fatale was great too. At first, she seemed like a non-entity to this 21st Century gal, but then the extent of her unending and compulsive lying became clear, and I gradually...Read More

Were people smarter in 1941? What I learned re-watching Sullivan’s Travels

Sullivan's Travels (1941) is a must for classic movie buffs like me. I was re-watching it the other day to see Veronica Lake, an early inspiration for my soon-to-be-published mystery heroine, Eva Thorne. I realized they're not the same at all, but that's fine. Veronica and this movie were fantastic to see again, and from the start I began to wonder if people weren't smarter in 1941? A few items of note: People were more patient, of course, as there was the long intro credits to sit through and I found myself fidgeting there There was dialog! I've written a few screenplays and have read all the advice on paring down dialog to the bare minimum and letting pictures tell the story. Sullivan's Travels had a whole silent montage scene that did just that,...Read More