California Literary Review

Thrillers

The Weekly Listicle: The Stage On Screen

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December 17th, 2011

As the holiday season builds to its peak, we movie watchers face a release pattern that seems a bit less robust than usual. However, there are plenty of perfectly interesting options out there. In addition to the major franchises sequels like Sherlock Holmes and Mission Impossible, there are a few titles running on the outside […]

May Day! May Day! It’s Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Tree

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December 14th, 2011

Early press for The Wicker Tree has not been overwhelmingly good, but one might say it has been encouragingly mixed. The original Wicker Man did not become known as “the Citizen Kane of horror films” overnight, or even during the horror boom of the 1970s. It vanished into relative obscurity for some time before its rediscovery, and look at that baby burn now!

The Walking Dead Recap: Pretty Much Dead Already (Season 2, Episode 7)

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November 29th, 2011

So far in this season of The Walking Dead, the writers can’t seem to figure out what to do with the characters, and in the interest of prolonging a suspenseful plot point (Sophia’s disappearance) they let the protagonists dig their own graves with us discontented viewers. Look, I get it: these people are barely surviving […]

The Walking Dead Recap: Secrets (Season 2, Episode 6)

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November 21st, 2011

The name of this episode, which marks the middle point of season 2, should be “Open Secrets.” In last week’s “Chupacabra,” AMC poked us awake – prodded us into caring after the first half of the season put us to sleep. (The heated comments on my snarky review of last week’s episode bear witness to […]

The Weekly Listicle: Celebrating Monstrous Matchups

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November 20th, 2011

“Vampires versus werewolves” is only one of the time-tested feuds that film and television have offered for our amusement. This week, Brett Harrison Davinger and I (Dan Fields) take a look at some other monstrous matchups, scary skirmishes, and curious critter clashes.

The Walking Dead Recap: Chupacabra (Season 2, Episode 5)

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November 14th, 2011

Following last week’s romantic gestures, last night’s episode of The Walking Dead treated us to some frustrating reversion. Shane won’t quit harping on his duty to Lori and Carl; Andrea manages to take one step forward and two steps back. We finally get another dose of Merle’s vicious hatred (though not in the way you’d […]

The Walking Dead Recap: Cherokee Rose (Season 2, Episode 4)

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November 7th, 2011

Three long episodes ago, Carl got shot and Sophia went missing. It’s only now, a third of the way through the season, that we’re beginning to think the kids might actually be all right. With Hershel’s help and at the expense of Otis’s life and Shane’s sanity (which to be fair was already slipping), Carl […]

Trailer Watch: Sherlock Holmes 2, The Woman In Black, Chronicle

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October 20th, 2011

This week is rife with compelling but problematic new trailers. Compelling but problematic but informative. Without excessive judgment before the fact, here are a few early impressions.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Premiere: Suffer the Little Children

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October 17th, 2011

Officers Friendly and Crazy to the rescue. (Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC) Despite the fact that AMC’s “The Walking Dead” drew larger numbers of viewers in its first season than the channel’s frontrunner “Mad Men,” the channel allegedly fired creator Frank Darabont and drastically slashed the show’s budget, even while stretching out this season’s length from […]

The Weekly Listicle: Method In Our Movie Madness

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October 7th, 2011

The practice of blessing mass entertainment with the bard’s prose confers a kind of loftiness upon it, or at least that must be the idea. A quick glance indicates that Shakespeare has provided titles for an alarming number of Star Trek episodes, just for starters. This week, lend your ears to Brett Harrison Davinger and me (Dan Fields) as we look at some of our favorite films to borrow a title from the works of Shakespeare.

True Blood Recap: Season 4 Bites Deep (But Doesn’t Suck)

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September 12th, 2011

For those who have not been scared off by now, I think we could all use a stiff drink before tuning in next summer for Season 5. Which I know I will. Season 4 had a few too many stops, starts, and jerky turns, but True Blood seized its bloodthirsty mojo back at the finish line.

The Weekly Listicle: There Goes The Neighborhood

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August 19th, 2011

Forget good fences, and forget good neighbors. Characters in movies and television are far more compelling when not acting the least bit neighborly.

A Brief Apology To Final Destination 5

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August 17th, 2011

My recent review awarded Final Destination a moderate “star” rating – for the benefit of the general public, who at the most basic level may have no interest in the concept – but hopefully the article (as well as this one) makes it clear how much fun I had watching it. As with books, food, and other pleasures, there is a big difference between movies that are no good for you, and ones that are simply no good. Fortunately, a lot of you out there will enjoy this as one of the former.

The Weekly Listicle: The Art Of The Heist

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August 12th, 2011

This week, I join forces with Brett Davinger to chronicle some of the best heists, rip-offs, and holdups ever put on screen. So just sit quietly and keep your hands away from the phone, where we can see them. This won’t take long.

Book Review: The Craigslist Murders by Brenda Cullerton

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July 26th, 2011

An interior “desecrator” who despises the bored super-rich housewives who can afford her services, she lives amongst people for whom money has dissolved away the real world, and takes her revenge by smashing their heads in with the poker which she carries wrapped in a yoga mat.

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