Books, movies, politics, and whatever I want

Friday B-Movie Pick: Cleopatra

March 22, 2024 – 03:00 | by Mark Urbin

Cleopatra
The Ceil B. DeMille version starting Claudette Colbert, which earned five Academy Award nominations. This was back in 1934, when you got the awards for merit, so definitely worth checking out. This was a major production back then, and I prefer it to the 1963 version.

Friday B-Movie Pick Archive

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Monday Book Pick: The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

March 18, 2024 – 20:49 | by Mark Urbin

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Damien Lewis

Going from adventures in the “Unreal” to adventures in the very real. This book is about creation and evolution of British Special Warfare troops in WWII. The focus is on the creation of the SOE (Special Operations Executive) by Winston Churchill and its eventual merger with the SAS/SBS operating the North African and Mediterranean theaters, including action in Greece and Italy. These were very unconventional warriors conducting very unconventional warfare, which made them much more effective in their ability to tie down or defeat much larger units of German and Italian conventional troops. Adventure in literature is often described as someone else in a lot of trouble, far away. Keep in mind, this book is non-fiction. The collection British, Danish, American, and Greek soldiers put themselves in incredible danger, and didn’t always get away to fight another day. Guy Richie is putting a movie soon based on this book, which I’m expecting to be well done, but do yourself a favor and read the book, including the official descriptions of the actions that won them multiple medals for valor in combat.

Monday Book Pick Archive

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Monday Book Pick: Knight Watch

March 4, 2024 – 22:03 | by Mark Urbin

Knight Watch by Tim Akers

This book had me laughing out loud. Uber-nerd goes the Ren Faire, and his opponent in the sword and board competition turns into a dragon, which he slays by driving his mom’s Volvo into its head. This gets him involved with Knight Watch, an organization that protects reality from it’s mythic past. If you have any experience with fantasy gaming, especially Dungeons and Dragons, you will get a lot of the ‘in jokes.’ The protagonist¬† John is a classic sword and board Tank, and his ex-girlfriend is an Elven Princess with her magical longbow. I really enjoyed this book, and the sequel.

Monday Book Pick Archive

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Monday Book Pick: The Color of Magic

January 29, 2024 – 00:01 | by Mark Urbin

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The very first Discworld novel. The start of a very long comic fantasy series. Loads of fun. Give it a try, and then be prepared to dive into the remaining 39 books in the series.

Monday Book Pick Archive

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Monday Book Pick: Athenaeum, Inc.: Door Number three

November 6, 2023 – 21:30 | by Mark Urbin

Athenaeum, Inc.: Door Number Three by Dan Kemp

To be honest, I knew I was going to buy this when read that author was a former Army NCO and a fan of both John Ringo and Larry Correia. Kemp mixed elements of the Paladin of Shadows and Dead Six series into his own blend, which was a really fun read that I didn’t want to put down until I finished. My major problem with this book is that there no sequel yet. The book was full of Easter Eggs, which I highlighted heavily for future research. Which I admit resulted in my getting a Rocket City Trash Panda hat, despite my serious lack of interest in professional baseball. Be prepared into deep dives into various types of deep nerdness: gun, watch, knife, and Hong Kong tactical tailors. Oh, and his deep obsession with Asian women. As the author says, writing this book was cheaper than therapy. This would make fun movie, and one that Joe Bob Briggs would recommend.

Monday Book Pick Archive

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Friday B-Movie Pick: Samurai Cop

September 15, 2023 – 13:27 | by Mark Urbin

Samurai Cop

This classic from 1991 has the Joe Bob Briggs seal of approval. It’s got gun fu, sword fu, and kung fu. There is also plenty of gratuitous nudity. The production values make you long for the high quality of Dolemite. This is a movie with aspirations of being a B-Movie, which made it so fun to watch. One plus is Gerald Okamura, he raised the value of the acting and the martial ars scenes. In the days of the local video store, it would have been well worth the rental. Check it out.

Friday B-Movie Pick Archive

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Monday Book Pick: It’s Always Darkest

February 27, 2023 – 22:20 | by Mark Urbin

It’s Always Darkest by Frank Schildiner

This book is set in Philip Jose Farmer’s “Nine” universe. I really enjoyed this book, the main character, Langston Dupont, is a mirror universe version of The Shadow with an more Asian flavor, and is one of The Nine‘s candidates. He still makes use of twin .45 semi-automatic pistols and the echoing mocking laugh though. The very select pool of individuals who gain immortality (at least very, very slow aging) at the cost of being the complete servants of the nine member ruling council who have been influencing the fate of mankind for thousands of years. Dupont has turned against his masters after close to a century of service, including his childhood training. The author is a martial arts instructor, and writes really good fight scenes. Something I really appreciate. A fun read set in 1970s and added bonus, a fight scene featuring one of my favorite bladed weapons!

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Monday Book Pick: The Black Mountain

February 14, 2023 – 08:11 | by Mark Urbin

The Black Mountain by Rex Stout

Not only does Nero Wolfe leave the Brownstone in this book, he leaves the country! The murder of his childhood friend, and the violent death of his adopted daughter force him to travel to the land of birth to track down the killer and bring him to justice

I’m day late on this one…Close enough for government work…

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Friday B-Movie Pick: Goncharov

February 3, 2023 – 14:31 | by Mark Urbin

The 1973 Martin Scorsese classic gangster movie with an all star cast. Al Pacino, Cybil Shepard, Gene Hackman, Robert DeNiro, and Harvey Keitel. Set in Naples, it has male and female homoerotic sub stories, but is primarily the story of a Moscow hitman who ‘retires’ to Naples to run a nightclub.

What? You say you have never heard of Goncharov? Really?‚ĶThat is probably because the movie was never made. It was an Internet inside joke (i.e. a meme) from an obscure social media site. Legend has it that someone bought some “off brand” boots, and the label mentioned the 1973 Scorsese movie Goncharov. The nerds ran with it and came up with outline of a plot, a cast, and other details of the film. It got enough traction what Scorsese got in on the joke with a November 2022 tweet: “While Goncharov (1973) never got its full debut like I wanted, it warms my heart to see the younger generations embracing my film, and what it could have been. Seeing it trending gives me a special happiness that I cannot describe.”

Friday B-Movie Picks

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Monday Book Pick: The Last Centurion

November 8, 2021 – 22:40 | by Mark Urbin

The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Given the last year and half (and a bit), I’m going back to an early 2008 pick. John Ringo’s tale of the “time of suckage.”

Monday Book Pick Archive

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