John Green Nails the Writer’s Life

John Green, the author of the wonderful book, The Fault in Our Stars, which sits on the precipice of a huge, huge opening weekend, offers an apt metaphor for what the writer’s life actually is: a game of Marco Polo.

The sandy-haired author said the process of writing a book is like a long, lonely game of Marco Polo.

“In which you’re in your basement alone for years and years, saying, ‘Marco. Marco. Marco. Marco. Marco. And then if you’re lucky, someone writes you and says … Polo.”

Reboots: What Batman Can Learn from Bond


The arrival of Skyfall at my house this week, along with the announcement that Star Wars will be doing spin-off stories, has had me thinking quite a bit about reboots. It’s funny that a franchise like Bond, which was wallowing in its own mediocrity not even a decade ago, could become the poster child for how to reinvigorate an intellectual property, but I guess stranger things have happened — like J.J. Abrams sitting astride two of the most beloved sci-fi universes that have been or ever will be created. Or Daniel Craig turning out to be one heck of a Bond. Seriously, did anyone see either of those things coming? Continue reading →

In Which I Confess to Cinema Ignorance


I’ve got a bit of a confession to make. As much as I know and love movies, there is a tremendous gap in my experience when it comes to classic films. I can’t really pinpoint why, but for some reason or another, I haven’t seen a few movies that many consider to be among the all time greats.

Naturally, this results in a lot of balking and the “What?! You’ve never seen (movie that everyone claims is mind-blowing) before?! And you call yourself a movie buff?!” line of questioning that just makes me want to hammer punch people in the throat before they can finish the sentence. I think some day, some poor soul’s utterance of these words will finally make me snap, and then things will get very real. Continue reading →

The Movie “Sick List”

Empire Strikes Back

I’ve talked about this on the blog before (and a number of other places), but I’ve never been one of those people that cares too much about spoilers. Granted, I’m not going to go out and search for them to satiate that “I gotta know” need, but I’m also not going to flip a dude for accidentally spilling some details. In fact, one of my biggest pet peeves is when I tell somebody that I loved a new movie or an episode of a show, only to have them contort their bodies and shout “don’t tell me!”

To me, the thrill of any story or movie is its execution, the beats that stories take as they unfold, the sharpness of the characters and the journey that the storyteller takes you on. Because really, if a story is only as good as its twist or its ending, then it falls apart upon the scrutiny of a second viewing.

As such, I’m the kind of guy that can watch a movie a dozen times over and never grow tired of it. Continue reading →

On Westerns and Capers

WesternThere is nothing quite like that moment when you realize the end of something is in sight. When running the Houston half marathon earlier this year, there comes a point when you round Allen Parkway and you’ve got only about 2 miles left until you cross the finish line and promptly die. I remember hitting that point and getting so singularly focused that it was surreal, especially as I entered beneath the canopy of skyscrapers of Houston’s downtown that rose on each side of me. And when I rounded the last bend, I got a bit emotional, simply because it was a goal that took so long to achieve.

Now, with writing my book, I doubt I’m going to get emotional, but I’m coming around that bend now where the end doesn’t seem like some mythical idea but a tangible goal. Last night I came over the 87,000 word mark, and I’m looking to hit somewhere around 120,000 when all is said and done. That means I probably am only about 6 weeks away from finishing. After the rough draft is done, I will take 4 weeks away to start something new and get in a different mindset.

In that time, I need to do some key reading and movie watching. And I need some help. Continue reading →

Movies That Need To Be On Blu-Ray

Yesterday, I saw a cool piece of news regarding Jurassic Park video games being made by Telltale Games, the creators of the new Monkey Island episodes as well as the critically acclaimed Sam and Max series. Even though I’ve already expressed my love for this, I can’t overstate how giddy it made me to read that. The idea of playing an old school adventure game in the world of Jurassic Park has a definite draw for me.

Needless to say, all this nostalgia made me want to watch the movie again. But then I remembered… it’s not out on Blu-ray yet. I’ve never really considered myself much of an audio or videophile, but lately I’ve become obsessed with Blu-ray. The switch happened when our new TV arrived, and now I’ve been hording whatever Blu-ray I can get a hold of, like some kind of technology pack rat keen on depriving the world of its disc-ish goods. Continue reading →