Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hitting the High Points

• We dodged a bullet earlier this year when a remake of The Rockford Files was cancelled. But thanks to the success of CBS-TV’s rebooted Hawaii Five-O, and an evident lack of new ideas in Hollywood, we may still be treated to an unfortunate smorgasbord of warmed-over small-screen shows from the past. Next up, it seems, is a new version of The Wild Wild West (1965-1969), which was already butchered in a 1999 remake starring Will Smith. As TV Squad’s Bob Sassone puts it--and I agree--“This both thrills and terrifies me to my very core.”

• Speaking of comebacks, editor and bookstore owner Otto Penzler plans to relaunch The Mysterious Press as an imprint of Grove Atlantic next fall.

• Following close on the heels of Kieran Shea’s “The Takedown Heart” comes another boxing story from Beat to a Pulp. This one is called “First Man Falling,” and was written by Tucson resident Garnett Elliott.

John Ashley is a new name to me, but probably like you, I’m very familiar with his voice as a TV narrator.

• The blog Sea Minor continues its revealing series of author self-examinations with Ray Banks interviewing himself, Ian Rankin putting questions to himself, and Cathi Unsworth talking to herself.

• Didn’t we just hear that a movie version of the 2004-2007 TV series Veronica Mars was off the table? Well, never say never.

• J. Sydney Jones has a good piece in his blog about Irish criminal “mastermind”-turned-novelist Sam Millar. Read their exchange here.

• In an interesting post for Mystery*File, Victor A. Berch traces the origins of the word “detective” back to the early 19th century.

• Chicago film critic Roger Ebert has made an interview he did with novelist John D. MacDonald in 1976 available online. (Hat tip to Spinetingler Magazine.)

Strand editor Andrew Gulli recaps his magazine’s history.

• Kooky right-winger of the week: “The highest-ranking House official in charge of environmental and energy policy,” The Huffington Post reports, “may soon be a Republican legislator who denies climate change on the grounds of his belief that nothing bad can come of the Earth unless it is preordained by God.”

• Read along with The Avengers here and here.

Twenty “essential” works of noir fiction.

• Earlier this year I posted the opening from the 1976 TV film Sherlock Holmes in New York, which starred Roger Moore and Patrick Macnee. I thought everybody else had forgotten about that picture, which only shows up every now and then on cable movie channels. But All Pulp is just out with a complimentary review.

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