Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Best of Arnold

So Arnold Schwarzenegger has a new movie out. "The Last Stand" where he plays a small town sheriff who is trying to protect his town as the bad guys roll through. Let me pause to tell you I am not going to review this movie, though I think the drawn poster is awesome. Instead I want to talk about my and your favorite Arnold films.
     I'm in my early thirties which means I grew up watching Arnold and the rest of the cast of Expendables kick ass on VHS I rented from BlockBuster every Friday night. Looking back I use the same filter we all do with Star Wars. (I'm sorry but you do) So which Arnold film do I think is best and lasted the tests of time? Well there is no doubt Terminator is one of the best science fiction movies ever. Its got all the great elements of time travel, robots, car chases and awesome 80's hair. But is this really a Schwarzenegger film?
     I sadly would not classify it as such. Arnold had what two lines in that whole movie. Of course those words are immortalized now (and I will not repeat them). Of the films Arnold stared in I would have to go with Predator.
     Predator is a great movie for a ten year old boy living on a USMC base in southern California. I spent countless weekends with my friends traipsing through the woods dressed in fatigues carrying packs and wooden rifles. We even painted our faces green. We were always on the look out for the Predator.
     No longer a Friday night movie, it does hold up on a Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A little too much of The Duke or maybe not enough

     What do we get when the counter culture is the culture of today? We get the Anti-Hero now the established and expected hero. Gone are the days of white hats vs. black hats. Everyone wears a black hat except for the guy just doing his job like the night security guard or average beat cop. He gets bumped off. I've been writing crime fiction now for about two years. My second published novel Division Six is a sci-fi/mystery sort of a book, and my latest novel Blood Oranges: A Chamberlain Cotton Novel just came out by Forker Media. So as a writer in the genre, I follow the blogs like Shot Gun Honey and read Needle. If you've seen my blog before I have a story up at Powder Burn Flash.
     I can't get into the anti-hero, I just can't. So where has John Wayne gone? My characters are not glimmering white knights and the damsels they save are not always pure as the driven snow but they choose right from wrong at the start. In The Collectors, two brothers are security guards who get jobs as licensed debt collectors for legitimate mobs. Because debt collecting from loan sharks is legit now they have badges licensed by the state of Florida. A badge doesn't make you a hero or on the right side, I know that seeing as how I am currently waiting to hear if I got into the local police academy. That is where everything starts to get grey. Suddenly now we have the crook and the deadbeat team up to exact revenge on another crook and deadbeat and there is your modern crime thriller. Not in my books, not ever. I have to call in John Wayne with a giant pair of sheers and cut out the grey leaving only the black and white.
     So maybe my books won't sell in these grey times of bad guys being the one you root for. We'll see in twenty years if the counter culture finds John Wayne and welcomes him back.