“Seized” Starring Scott Adkins & Mario Peebles – Poster and Trailer!

The poster and trailer for Seized are here.  Glad to see Mario Peebles in this Scott Adkins action movie.  Hopefully it will be a fun couple of hours.

Hiding out with his son Taylor on the Mexican coast, Nero (Scott Adkins, Doctor Strange) hopes to put his violent Special Forces career behind him. But after Nero’s home is attacked and Taylor is abducted, the mysterious Mzamo (Mario Van Peebles, Heartbreak Ridge) orders Nero to slaughter the members of three rival crime syndicates. If he fails, Taylor will die. With bullets flying and bodies dropping, Nero must now complete his mission ― and find Mzamoʼs hideout, to exact his revenge.

Director: Isaac Florentine

“Fargo: Season 4” Trailer starring Chris Rock!

Below is a teaser for the 4th season of Fargo.  I love that each season tells a complete story and the following season, while may be related in some aspect to the previous, features new characters and new situations.

The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two criminal syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have struck an uneasy peace. Chris Rock stars as Loy Cannon, the head of the African American crime family who trades sons with the head of the Italian mafia as part of tenuous truce.

The Breaking Point (1950) / Z-View

The Breaking Point (1950)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Screenplay: Ranald MacDougall (Based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not)

Stars: John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter, Juano Hernandez and Wallace Ford.

The Pitch: “Let’s redo To Have and Have Not but make it closer to Hemmingway’s novel!”

Tagline: There’s nothing more deadly than a gentle man pushed too far!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Harry Morgan was a war hero that doesn’t mean much any more.  Times are tough. Morgan is a charter boat captain with a wife, two little girls and a stack of bills he needs to take care of.  When a sleazy lawyer offers Morgan a chance at some easy money, he turns it down.  Morgan knows something legal will come along.

And it does.  Morgan gets a week’s rental from a business man wanting a fishing trip to Mexico.  Things start to go sideways when the man unexpectedly brings along his sexy, flirtatious girlfriend.  The woman is trouble and she knows it.

In Mexico, the man decides to cut his trip short and agrees to pay Morgan in the morning before they head back.  The next day Morgan learns that the man skipped out and flew back to the states.  Morgan is stuck in Mexico with no money, the guy’s girlfriend and no way home.

Of course the easy money offer is still available…

The Breaking Point is an under-rated gem.  If you like noir, then this is for you.

This is Garfield’s best role.  Patricia Neal is perfect as the sexy, trouble-making young woman with experience beyond her years.  Thaxter is great as the wife trying to keep things together as her husband makes increasingly bad decisions.  Juano Hernandez, as Morgan’s best friend, isn’t there with Walter Brennan comic relief.

I can’t believe I waited so long to finally watch The Breaking Point.  Part of the problem may be the poster and trailer aren’t good indicators of how great the film is.  And that final scene!

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More Better Deals by Joe R. Lansdale / Z-View

More Better Deals by Joe R. Lansdale

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books

First sentence…

I folded the check and put it in my shirt pocket and tried not to grin.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Ed Edwards is a used car salesman and a big believer in buyer beware.  Ed’s not above rolling back an odometer, telling little lies or flirting with a customer if it means a sale.  Ed’s doing okay, but is okay ever enough?  Ed dreams of bigger things than being top salesman in a two man used car lot.

When Ed’s boss sends him to repossess a Cadillac, he meets Nancy.  At first Ed just wants the caddy, but Nancy is beautiful and flirty.  When Nancy invites Ed in for a drink, he doesn’t hesitate.  Sure, she’s married, but that’s on her, right?  Unhappily married as it turns out.  Even better.  One thing leads to another and before too long Ed and Nancy’s hot affair turns to thoughts of murder.

See if Nancy’s big, dumb brute of a husband wasn’t in the picture, she and Ed could make some real money with the drive-in and pet cemetery businesses that her husband owns.  You can guess the rest… except you can’t because Joe Lansdale is writing this tale!

Joe crafts More Better Deals with the dark humor and memorable characters that we’ve come to expect from this master storyteller.  I blazed through loving every page and unexpected twist.  If you’re a fan of noir and stories like The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity then More Better Deals is for you.  (And don’t say I didn’t warn you about a scene so creepy it will stay with you for days!)

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Dia de los Muertos by Riley Rossmo and Friends / Z-View

Dia de los Muertos is a paperback that collects the three issue mini-series published by Image Comics.

  • Scripts: Ed Brisson, Alexander Grecian, Joe Keatinge, Alex Link, Christopher E. Long, Dirk Manning, Jeff Mariotte, Kurtis J. Wiebe, Joshua Williamson
  • Artist: Riley Rossmo
  • Colorists: Riley Rossmo, Nick Johnson, Megan Wilson, Jean-Paul Csuka
  • Letters by: Kelly Tindall
  • Cover Artist: Riley Rossmo

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

Inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, artist extraordinaire Riley Rossmo (Debris, Green Wake, Cowboy Ninja Viking) joins forces with nine different writers to tell tall tales from beyond the grave!

Riley Rossmo teams with 9 different writers to present 9 stories set against the backdrop of Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations.  There is a supernatural undercurrent running through each tale.

It is interesting how Rossmo changes his art style to compliment each story being told.  I enjoyed each of the tales, but I’d the standout for me was Mine by Joshua Williamson and Rossmo.  It has a great set-up and leads the reader to a surprise ending.  If you’re a fan of Rod Serling’s The Night Gallery, then you should like this collection.


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Midnight of the Soul / Z-View

Midnight of the Soul is a paperback that collects the five issue mini-series published by Image Comics.

Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letters by: Ken Bruzenak
Cover Artist: Howard Chaykin

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

Joel Breakstone, a GI liberator of Buchenwald and brutally damaged goods, follows a path of vengeance that leads to redemption in a violent journey into his own heart of darkness―in a spiritual adventure from comics’ contemporary master of crime and punishment, HOWARD CHAYKIN.

Joel Breakstone is having a bad night.  Of course every day and night since coming back from the war five years ago has been rough.  Breakstone can’t shake the memory of an incident that nearly killed him.  He and his buddy had come upon a Nazi about to execute a POW.  A shootout occurred and when the smoke cleared his buddy, the POW and the Nazi were dead and Breakstone was severely wounded.  He lived, but came home with a drinking problem.

But back to Breakstone’s bad night – After a bad argument with his wife, she leaves for work. Breakstone while looking for some booze finds evidence that his wife has been working as a hooker.  Still half drunk, Breakstone grabs his gun and jumps on his motorcyle to find her.

His wife is with one of her best clients, a musician under contract to mobsters.  Suddenly a man busts in and kills the musician.  Breakstone’s wife barely escapes.

Breakstone is on the hunt for his wife.  The killer and the cops are also looking for her.  Before the night is over she will be found.  Who will get to her first?  And will it matter?

I’m a big fan of Howard Chaykin stories and art.  Often Chaykin doesn’t hold back on the adult situations in his tales and this is one of those. If that’s offensive, this yarn isn’t for you.

Midnight of the Soul has a lot going on besides the hunt for Breakstone’s wife.  There is also the mystery of why the musician was murdered.  Plus Breakstone’s foggy memory of the incident that left 3 people dead and nearly killed him.  All will be resolved before the night is over.

I like that the action takes place over the course of one night.  As Breakstone tracks down his wife his journey takes him across the city to strip bars, diners, and jazz clubs.  Along the way we meet a wide variety of characters some who are also looking for Breakstone’s wife.

Chaykin is at the top of his game with the art in Midnight of the Soul.  Jesus Aburtov’s colors enhance the story without drawing attention to his work in a “look at these hues” sort of way.  Often I think Chaykin’s art works best in black and white, but not this time!  The story reminds me of an old movie with a modern sensibility (or an “R” rating).  Chaykin’s heroes, or in this case, anithero, don’t always do the noble thing, but they do what is right for their character.


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Shaker by Scott Frank / Z-View

Shaker by Scott Frank

Hardcover: 335 pages
Publisher: Knopf

First sentence…

A swarm of nearly seven hundred small earthquakes – most in the 2.0 to 3.0 range – rattled the Mojave Desert between June and September.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Following a major earthquake, Ray Cooper is sent to LA to kill a man.  Cooper has the experience and a reputation for getting the job done efficiently without blowback.  Despite the chaos the quake caused, the hit goes well.  As Cooper walks back to his car he stumbles on to a mugging. Given the option, Cooper would prefer to keep walking, but the muggers see him and things quickly escalate. An old man is killed and Cooper is shot twice as the gangbangers run away.

It doesn’t take long for the police to show up at the hospital where Cooper is recovering.  A video surfaced showing Cooper standing up to the hoods as they kill the old man. Cooper is seen as a hero!  The press is running with this angle and the video has gone viral (which is the last thing a hit man would want).  The cops and the press have questions.  Cooper knows that it won’t be long before the police are able to figure out his alibi for being in the area doesn’t hold water.  Once that happens it’s an easy connection to the man he executed a few blocks away.  Despite his weakened condition Cooper has to go on the run.

Running won’t be easy.  The gangbangers that Cooper disrespected (for the world to see thanks to the viral video), want revenge.  The cops want Cooper for questioning.  And Cooper knows that someone far scarier than him has been sent to LA to “fix” the situation.

Scott Frank has created a crime novel with twists you won’t see coming by developing a believable cast of characters.  Many authors hint at backstory, but Frank has the ability to move the story forward while at the same time showing us past events that have shaped the characters.  I look forward to more novels from Scott Frank.

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“Hard Kill” starring Jesse Metcalfe & Bruce Willis – the Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for Hard Kill are here.  Pretty generic looking on both counts, don’t ya think?

The work of billionaire tech CEO Donovan Chalmers is so valuable that he hires mercenaries to protect it, and a terrorist group kidnaps his daughter just to get it.

Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now / Z-View

Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now is a paperback that collects the four issue Dominic Fortune mini-series published by Marvel Comics under their MAX imprint.

Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letters by: Jeff Ecklebarry
Cover Artist: Howard Chaykin & Edgar Delgado

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The depression’s going strong, so when Dominic Fortune is hired to bodyguard Jock Madison, Vaughn Lorillard, and P.T. Oakley, three drunk and disorderly Hollywood stars, he jumps at the chance to pick up what looks like a few easy bucks, and maybe have a few laughs in the bargain. But when the trio of old school hambones and horndogs prove to be a bigger pain than he anticipated – and he accidentally stumbles across a conspiracy headed by mysterious American businessman Malcolm Upshaw and Delatriz Betancourt, the recklessly sexy granddaughter of Confederates who fled Reconstruction for South America – Fortune finds himself in hot water… with the fate of the USA at stake!

Dominic Fortune is an adventurer, but  the depression has left him with few opportunities.  So when Fortune is offered good money to babysit three out of control Hollywood movie stars, he takes the offer.

The hardest part of the job is keeping the three boozers from getting drunk enough to kill each other or make the papers.  That is until Fortune stumbles across a potential Nazi plot to attack the United States.  Fortune follows the clues and learns that the plan is real, the President’s life and the future of our country are at risk.

I’m a big fan of Howard Chaykin and Dominic Fortune is one of my favorite characters that he’s created.  Because this story first appeared under the Marvel Max imprint (which was designed for mature readers), Chaykin doesn’t hold back on the adult situations.  Yep, that means there is nudity and profanity.  Not all Dominic Fortune stories are for “mature readers”,  but this one is, so if that offends you, this yarn isn’t for you.

I had fun reading  Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now.  The adult content didn’t bother me (but could have easily been toned down without effecting the story).  Dominic Fortune going against Nazis is a natural.  Chaykin’s art is always a plus.  Delgado’s colors were nice.  He and Chaykin made a good team.

If you purchase the trade paperback, bonus material is included that was not reviewed above.  The trade also contains a previously only digital story: Astonishing Tales: Dominic Fortune written by Dean Motter and drawn by Greg Scott, along with the Dominic Fortune stories from Marvel Preview #2 by Howard Chaykin and Marvel Premiere #56 by Chaykin and Terry Austin.


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“Godless” / Z-View

Godless (2017)

Director: Frank Scott

Screenplay: Frank Scott

Stars:  Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Merritt Wever, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Tantoo Cardinal, Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterson and Keith Jardine.

The Pitch: “Scott Frank, the screenwriter of Logan and A Walk Among the Tombstones has a screenplay called Godless.  It’s really good, plus he’ll direct it!”

Tagline: Welcome to no man’s land.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The wild west in the 1880s was at times a Godless place.

Roy Goode is on the run.  He’s being hunted by the notorious outlaw, Frank Griffin and his gang of marauders.  Griffin has let it be known that he will kill any person, family or members of a town that provide comfort or safe passage to Goode.  Although that sounds like an idle threat, every man, woman and child living in the town of Creed was brutally murdered by Griffin and his gang when they learned Goode had spent time there.

Now Goode, recovering from an injury, has found himself in LaBelle, a small town where a mining accident killed almost every man living there.  If Goode leaves town, Griffin and his gang will still kill the townspeople.  If Goode stays, he’ll die with them. One thing is for sure… when Griffin and his gang get to LaBelle there will be a reckoning.

I can’t sing the praises for Godless enough.  Scott Frank, the writer and director has created a classic.  Godless features a big cast and each role was filled perfectly.  Each character feels real and we’re provided their backstory seamlessly as the story moves forward.

The story is told in 7 episodes and although I hated to see Godless end, the story was done.  An advantage of being a self-contained story (and Frank makes excellent use of) is that all bets are off on who lives and who dies.

Godless is one of those rare shows/movies that resonated with me in all aspects and gets my highest recommendation.

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Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out / Z-View

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out is a four-issue mini-series and paperback published by Dark Horse Comics. .

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Gyula Nemeth
Colorist: Gyula Nemeth
Letters by: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover Artist: Gyula Nemeth 

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

I first became aware of Steve Niles nearly two decades ago.  Niles was the author of two novels (Savage Membrane and Guns, Drugs & Monsters) featuring Cal McDonald that I highly recommend.

McDonald is a tough as nails detective who deals with things that go bump in the night. After the two novels, McDonald appeared in a number of comic book mini-series written by Niles teaming with different artists.  And that brings us to Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out

Supernatural detective Cal McDonald, found wandering the streets as a disheveled vagrant, is ripped from his self-imposed retirement to resume his monster-killing career.

But Cal is reluctant to return to the fray. What has the hard-bitten investigator so shaken? It’s a long story that begins with a beautiful woman who happens to be a vampire . . . and ends with a bang.

It’s great to have Cal McDonald back.  Who doesn’t love a cynical tough guy who sees the real monsters that walk among us?

The Big Bleed Out follows McDonald as he meets and begins to fall for a mysterious woman who happens to be a vampire.  The romance doesn’t seem to have much of a chance since McDonald is normally a vampire killer.  Meanwhile, Mo’Lock, McDonald’s quasi partner, has gone into the sewers of LA to see if he can discover who/what is down there killing people.

Being a Cal McDonald fan I was excited to see his return.  This was my first time seeing Nemeth’s art and I liked quite a bit of what he brought to the table.  It was interesting to see McDonald falling under the spell of a vampiress and unintentionally venturing into a nest of them.  The romance and its eventual outcome moved at a pretty quick pace with a few surprises along the way.  And let’s not forget that Mo’Lock has his hands full with a sewer monster!  Overall, this was a fun read.

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out is a nice addition to the Cal McDonald universe.


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