We'll be showing the 1965 James Bond thriller Thunderball in the second floor meeting room on May 14th beginning at 6:30 pm. This will be part of our continuing Cult Films program. Watch for future posts on this upcoming event.
Meanwhile, here's the original trailer for the film:
Tough guy private eye Mike Hammer returns in a "new" thriller, Kill Me, Darling, begun in 1954 or thereabouts by Mickey Spillane and completed very nicely by Max Allan Collins. (Click here to reserve our copy.)
Set in the aforementioned 1954, Hammer comes out of a four month bender (set off when his secretary Velda had left him with little explanation) to investigate former colleague Wade Manley's murder. With the help of old buddy Captain Pat Chambers of the NYPD, Mike discovers a connection between the murder victim and Velda, the latter now the latest girlfriend/mistress of Miami Beach gangster Nolly Quinn. But what connection does Quinn have with the case? Mike decides to head down to Miami to find out. And then stuff happens...
Fun from start to finish, Kill Me, Darling (the title is uttered by a character during the end of the book) is a good roller coaster ride with plenty of sex and violence (lots of hoods get dispatched by Mike) to please the audience. While the plot uses some familiar tropes -Hammer's bender was eventually used by Spillane in his 1962 novel The Girl Hunters (pointed out by Collins in his nice introduction), plus there's a surprise revelation at the climax about another character that harkens back to an earlier Spillane Hammer novel*- , there's still plenty of unexpected twists to be found. I loved hearing the reasons behind other gangsters wanting to hire Hammer to take out Quinn, for example, as well as the backstory that connects Hammer, Chambers, AND Velda to the late Manley.
Kill Me,Darling is definitely recommended!
*(If I tell you which Hammer novel, you'll know what I mean.)
Greenwich Library Cult Films will be showing 2001's Donnie Darko, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, in the second floor meeting room this Thursday, April 9th, beginning at 6:30 pm. Details here. To say more would spoil your enjoyment of this powerful film. It's THAT good!
Spectre, the next James Bond 007 film starring Daniel Craig, is due to open in theatres this November. Yesterday, the producers released the first official trailer for the film:
Boy, I can't wait to see this! They even have a new modified version of the old SPECTRE pinky ring that was seen in the Sean Connery Bond films in the sixties! And just who is that guy in the shadows at the end?
Check out our online catalog for all the James Bond-related material we carry here.
In connection with the current "Ka-Pow! When Comics Imperiled America" show in the Flinn Gallery, Greenwich Library's Friends Friday Films will present Tales From The Crypt on Friday March 27th beginning at 8:00 pm. The 1972 British film adapts five short stories from the infamous EC Comics horror line that were published between 1950-55. (Although, oddly enough, only two of the stories in the film are from the actual Tales comic; the other three were adapted from EC's companion books The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror.)*
Five people get separated from a tour group in a series of catacombs and find themselves trapped in a strange stone crypt. A mysterious hooded crypt keeper (Ralph Richardson) appears and proceeds to tell each one of them their possible future. Or is it their future...?
"...And All Through The House" (from Vault of Horror #35) stars Joan Collins as a woman who murders her rich husband on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, a homicidal killer dressed as Santa Claus is prowling the neighborhood. "Reflection of Death" (Tales FromThe Crypt #23) depicts a businessman (Ian Hendry) abandoning his family to run off with his secretary, but unforeseen events intervene. "Poetic Justice" (Haunt of Fear #12) has a rich snob (Robin Phillips) harassing an elderly garbage collector (horror legend Peter Cushing!) to force him out of the neighborhood, with deadly results.
"Wish You Were Here" (Haunt of Fear #22), an acknowledged retelling/revision of W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw", focuses on a newly bankrupt arms dealer (Richard Greene) whose life takes a turn for the worse after his wife (Barbara Murray) foolishly makes three wishes to regain their lost fortune. And "Blind Alleys" (TalesFrom The Crypt #45), the best of the five stories, has mistreated blind rest home residents get revenge on the institution's uncaring director (Nigel Patrick).
Tales From The Crypt was produced by Milton Subotsky (who also adapted the original stories for the film) and Max J. Rosenberg, and directed by Freddie Francis. All three had worked together before on such horror films as Dr. Terror's House of Horrors and The Skull (both 1965), and Torture Garden (1967). With a solid cast, script, and direction, along with some welcome black humor, Tales From The Crypt is a lot of good scary fun. (Yes, there is some gore; a character's final fate in Wish You Were Here" is especially graphic.) Rated PG-13, Tales runs 92 minutes. Check it out. If you dare!
*(Ballantine Books released paperback reprint anthologies of Tales From The Crypt and The Vault of Horror in 1964-65. The stories in this film were taken from these two editions.)
Fans of the classic EC Comics line may want to check out the Flinn Gallery's new exhibition "Ka-Pow! When Comics Imperiled America" that opens tonight at 6:00 pm and will continue until April 29th. It'll spotlight Robert Reiner's original art collection of these highly sought comics. Greenwich Time ran a very good story on the show here. And yours truly contributed an article on the library's collection of hardcover reprints of some of the EC books here.
Sony's PlayStation 4 may soon be able to make gaming more easier for people with disabilities. In this online article, the Huffington Post's Damon Beres writes about a possible "firmware update" that "could add new features catering to people with visual, auditory or other impairments". The update would include PS4 settings like "text-to-speech, color inversion, text enlargement, closed captions and button reassignment, among others".
However, Sony itself hasn't yet confirmed that the updated settings are coming anytime in the immediate future. For more info, click here.
This Thursday night we'll be showing as part of our celebration of Teen Tech Week the 2014 film X-Men: Days Of Future Past in the second floor meeting room. It's a thrilling science fictional/action adventure/superhero movie and I discuss it more in this blog post. Meanwhile, here's a trailer for the film:
Check it out if you stop by the library this Thursday night. The movie is a LOT of fun!
Greenwich Library's Cult Films program will be taking a vacation during the month of March. But it'll be back on April 9th with a showing of 2001's Donnie Darko starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Details here. And here's the trailer for it:
Thursday night, February 19th, beginning at 6:30 PM, Greenwich Library Cult Films will present From Russia With Love in the second floor meeting room. Click here for more details. And check out the original trailer below:
This 1963 film, the second of the long running James Bond 007 series, stars Sean Connery as Bond and a powerhouse cast including Lotte Lenya and Robert Shaw, was adapted by screenwriter Richard Maibaum from a treatment by Johanna Harwood, and directed by Terence Young, who helmed the previous 007 thriller, 1962's Dr. No. Composer John Barry makes his series debut with a terrific musical soundtrack as well.
Taken from Ian Fleming's 1957 novel (reviewed here by me), the filmmakers slightly altered the plot to reflect more then-recent contemporary times. Instead of the Russians wanting revenge on Bond for repeated assaults on their operations in such novels as Casino Royale, Live And Let Die, and Moonraker, now it's the SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) organization, first introduced in Fleming's 1961 novel Thunderball, out to get Bond for taking out their agent Dr. No in the previous film.
SPECTRE's chief strategist Kronsteen (Vladek Sheybal) devises a plan involving getting Bond to travel to Istanbul to pick up a Soviet Embassy clerk, Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), who wants the British to help her defect to the West. In exchange, she'll provide Bond (with whom she claims to have fallen in love ) the valuable Russian code machine, the Lektor.
Actually, SPECTRE agents Rosa Klebb (Lenya) and Donald Grant (Shaw) are to retrieve the Lektor from Bond (allowing SPECTRE to charge the Russians an expensive fee/ransom in exchange for its return) and implicate Bond and Tatiana in a murder-suicide scandal that'll kill our heroes, avenge Dr. No, AND embarrass the West! Even with help from British Intelligence Station Chief Kerim Bey (the great Pedro Armendariz), will Bond and Tatiana be able to find out and stop SPECTRE's plan?
A fun, exciting Cold War-era thriller with some welcome tongue-in-cheek humor (get a load of Bond's lethal attaché case!), From Russia With Love is essential viewing to fans of the series, especially since the upcoming new 007 film starring Daniel Craig as Bond that's currently in production is titled SPECTRE. When that film opens this fall, it'll be fun to note how the organization has been "updated".
From Russia With Love is rated PG, runs 115 minutes, and is in color. Admission is free.