Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Bullet Points: May Day Edition

• British critic-cum-boulevardier Mike Ripley is back with another installment of his Getting Away with Murder column for Shots. The May edition includes observations about Elizabeth Wilson’s new 1950s-set political thriller, The Girl from Berlin; David Hewson’s 611-page novel version of the original Danish TV series, The Killing; a new collection of letters detailing Agatha Christie’s year-long “British Empire Expedition” of 1922; and an early film adaptation of Philip MacDonald’s The Rynox Mystery. All that and more can be found here.

• The latest issue of Sally Powers’ bimonthly newsletter, I Love a Mystery, has also been posted. It includes reviews of Matthew Pearl’s The Technologists, David Dickinson’s Death at the Jesus Hospital, James Sallis’ Driven, and Blood Relations: The Selected Letters of Ellery Queen 1947-1950, edited By Joseph Goodrich.

Evan Lewis’ write-up on the 1983 TV spy flick, Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair, makes me want to watch it myself. Fortunately, a DVD version was released in 2009.

• HBO-TV has decided to pick up the new cop drama True Detective, starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. The show “was given an eight-episode order by the premium cable network after being shopped around to networks earlier this month,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Written by Nic Pizzolatto (who has written for the AMC series The Killing), the first season will center on a pair of detectives, Martin Hart (Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (McConaughey), whose paths cross while searching for a serial killer in Lousiana. Subsequent seasons will feature a new cast and story--similar to the approach of American Horror Story on FX.”

• Wow, a 1970s TV series I remember nothing about: Time Express, a Fantasy Island/Love Boat rip-off from 1979 that put “the great horror star Vincent Price” in a Mr. Rourke sort of role. Time Express lasted only four episodes. No wonder I don’t remember it ...

A clever West Wing reunion--for a healthy cause.

• I’m pleased to see a review, in Blogging for a Good Book, of Edward Marston’s 1999 novel, The King’s Evil, the first of six books starring “ambitious young architect Christopher Redmayne, and a Puritan constable, Jonathan Bale.”

• And yesterday marked a full 100 years since the founding of Universal Pictures. As Terence Towles Canote of A Shroud of Thoughts writes, “[Universal] would become one of the eight major motion-picture studios that dominated Hollywood from the Thirties to the Fifties (the others were MGM, Fox, Paramount, Warner Brothers, RKO, Columbia, and United Artists). Today it remains one of the most important studios in the world, surviving some of the studios that were bigger than it was. Indeed, it is the oldest Hollywood studio (Paramount is second, having been founded 8 May 1912).” What’s more, Universal was behind The NBC Mystery Movie, which is the subject of an ongoing Rap Sheet celebration.

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