Monday, September 19, 2011

The Word of Tarmok: My top ten films and why

The Word of Tarmok: My top ten films and why: Want to get to know someone? Do you have a need to explore below the surface, dig deepert, and find out what emotional conflicts are lurki...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Action Figure

24 meets Falling Down in the relentless pulp thriller



The words spun around my aching brain in an endless loop
as I marched through the dense heat of the urban brush.
"You're too nice a guy Jackson."
That may have been true before this morning.
But as of 9:17 AM this morning, the moment Fat Head's nightstick rocked my dome, I started to transform into something else--something primal, something strong, and in many ways, something long overdue.
A sleeping giant of buried rage had been awoken.
I thought about Tarmok and the rage of the Bull Mongoni.
The barbarian within me had taken over, this time for good.
I began too feel pity for anyone who dared stand in my way
as I began my dark journey of escape.

I am Wes Jackson.
I am ignorant in the Hollywood Barbell Club sense of the word.
Wes Jackson Lives.



It's all about who you know. It's all about networking. It's all about who is the best bold-faced liar. It's all about listening to your instinct when it screams run. Meet Wes Jackson. A burned out shell of a man leading a life of quiet desperation. Then one day, he has a fateful encounter with two security guard goons. The confrontation escalates and turns deadly, and now Wes Jackson is a man on the run. He is a hunted man-a man who has been reborn and re-invented. And a man who is determined to succeed in his dark journey of escape, no matter who or what stands in his way. Action Figure is a lurid, relentless, adrenaline filled, avant-garde, action-packed, roller coaster ride of adventure that never lets up from start to finish.


Action Figure now available in paperback and Kindle and Nook.



Monday, September 12, 2011

Video Noir

An excerpt from the science fiction mystery thriller Video Noir.


Caitlin could feel the change inside her skull the instant it happened.

It sort of felt the first time she had a new memory of Rick but this time it was much stronger and nowhere near as pleasant. This time it actually hurt. Caitlin felt a wave of physical pain engulf her.

It felt like someone had just stabbed her with a syringe full of flaming neurons and injected them directly into the base of her cerebral cortex.

They were new memories and Caitlin could feel them being created.

She could see the video cameras everywhere.

She could see all the food.

She could see Kathy and all the other guests.

But now she could something else too; and someone else.

It was the generic-suited creep with the gogglelike glasses—the freaky man in black from American Bistro. He was the catalyst who had started it all. He had set everything in motion that night when he had handed Caitlin that business card with the words “Video Noir” on it.

Now, whenever Caitlin thought about Zeke’s graduation party, the freak in black was there on the patio alongside Caitlin, Kathy, the Scraggs clan, and Boca Raton’s finest.

A new memory had been created. A new reality had been forged.

Someone who’d been filming at the party must have already uploaded some footage to YouTube, LiveVideo or wherever. The sinister men behind Video Noir must have already gotten a hold of it and processed it with the Light Wave technology. Then the freak must have watched and became part of it.

A new past and a new reality had been created.

Caitlin had a new memory. She had literally felt it come alive like a new network of neurons searing to life inside her brain. She could still remember the original past—the one where Zeke’s party had been free of lurching, sinister, creepy, men-in-black types. But the original memory—the real reality—was already slightly faded. Maybe the brain could only handle one time line and one reality at a time.

A new reality had been created. The past had been changed.

Caitlin realized that Troy Matheson was right.

It was possible to travel back in time.

It was also possible to alter reality.

Caitlin knew her dark adventure was only beginning.

Read more about Caitlin's adventure she battles the shadowy forces behind Video Noir.
Now available in Paperback, Hardcover, and  Kindle

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

She

A dramatic reading from the science fiction femme fatale thriller She by James J Caterino.





Saturday, September 3, 2011

Best movie summer ever

Best movie summer ever...

Well, not really. That will probably always be 1982 (E.T., Blade Runner, Poltergeist, Star Trek II, etc.). Although the best overall year in my books would be 1968 (2001, Planet of the Apes, Barbarella, Night of the Living Dead) with 1987 (Empire of the Sun, No Way Out, Wall Street, Robocop, The Untouchables) as a runner up.

The summer of 2011 cannot compare to any of those years.
But with one instant classic (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), two immensely entertaining, well crafted comic book blockbusters (Thor, Captain America), a fresh and shockingly good addition to a tired series ( X-Men : First Class), a super teaming of two storytelling geniuses from different generations ( Super 8), and a sleeper smash hit surefire Oscar contender (The Help) - this past summer was easily the best movie going season in many, many years. Perhaps even back as far as that fabled summer of 1982.

My favorite seven things from the summer films of 2011.

1) Chris Hemsworth in Thor

Fantastic casting (in all of the roles) and what a find Chris Hemsworth is. Finally, a young actor with the both the charisma and the physical presence of Vin Diesel and The Rock.















2) The period setting of X-Men: First Class

Setting the film in the story fertile early 1960's was the perfect way to invigorate a movie series that was based on a comic book created in the very same era.
















3) Elle Fanning in Super 8

There is a quiet scene in Super 8 when Elle Fanning’s and Joel Cortney’s characters are watching some home movies. Elle Fanning’s work in that scene, and her entire performance in this film, is astonishing.















4) The art direction of Captain America

The director of the underrated The Rocketeer seemed like the perfect choice to visualize Captain America into a movie. Boy was he ever. Every frame of the movie is a beautifully designed piece of retro pulp art.















5) Viola Davis in The Help

Thanks to the smashing success of The Help brought on by good old fashioned word of mouth, this unsung actress is finally getting some long overdue recognition.
















6) Climb Caesar Climb


When a young Caesar first sees the Redwood Forest and soars up into the trees, it is a wonderful, soaring, euphoric, moving moment of pure movie magic. My favorite scene in my favorite film of 2011 so far.










7) The music of Patrick Doyle.




His scores for Thor and Rise of the Planet of the Apes were the best one two punch by a composer in the same summer in a long time.

Gunner Star Lives: a sneak preview


A special ten page sneak preview of the next Gunner Star book, Gunner Star Lives. A follow-up to the irreverent action adventures Gunner Star, Action Figure, and Rise of the Bull Mongoni.

FADE IN

EXT. SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

A car pulls into a driveway.
The car has a custom NASA plate and a bumper sticker that reads SCIENCE WILL SAVE THE PLANET.

A MAN IN A WHITE SHIRT AND TIE MAN steps out of the car.
Thick glasses, flat top buzz cut, like he just finished giving a lecture on rocket propulsion.
He pulls his briefcase out of the car, turns around to take a step...

His path is blocked by a mob of angry neighbors.
There are dozens of them, men and woman of various ages.
Some are holding shovels.
A few are clenching baseball bats.
One is gripping a glock handgun.
They are armed.
They are angry.

They begin to circle in on the Nasa Man.
A seething, hideous TROLL of a woman steps forward.
The TROLL LADY is the leader of the hate-filled mob.

TROLL LADY
Here in Arcadia we worship God and shun all those who would dare work in the name of the false Pagan beliefs.

The Nasa Man seems familiar with this routine of harassment.

NASA MAN
And I will tell you again. I am a scientist. It has nothing to do with religion or gods and stay out of my business and away from my family. You have no right to tell me what to believe, in America we have the right to religious freedom and...

A lumbering REDNECK GOON lunges forward and slams Nasa Man up onto the hood of his car.

REDNECK GOON
You want freedom? I’ll give you the freedom to die and burn in hell you devil worshipping secular fascist commie.

The WIFE of Nasa Man opens the front door and is CRYING hysterically.
She screams.

WIFE OF NASA MAN
Leave him alone! What’s wrong with you people?

Nasa Man is still in the clutches of the filthy paws of Redneck Goon.

His wife tries to run to him, crying for them to let him go.
She is immediately met by a SNEERING FAT WOMAN and a TALL MAN in a hunting jacket and hat.

Sneering Fat Woman and Tall move in on Nasa Man’s Wife.
They Grab her.
They SLAM her to the ground.
They begin to BEAT HER...and beat her...
The sounds of fists and clubs against flesh and bone ECHO across the front yard.

Two SMALL CHILDREN are watching the sickening mayhem from a window inside the house.

TROLL LADY
You were warned for the last time non-believers. It is has been decided that we must now enforce the word of God.

A SCOWLING CHUBBY FACED WOMAN takes a roundhouse swing of a baseball bat. It SMASHES across the skull of Nasa Man sending a THUD into the air.
An screaming MAN IN A GLENN BECK T-SHIRT pulls out a knife and plunges it into the chest of Nasa Man.

Blood slowly SPRAYS up into the air inciting the Mob to the next level of murderous blood lust.
Troll Lady looks on with gleeful delight.

TROLL LADY
God’s will must be done. Our children must be protected from the evil ideas of non-believers. Secular fascism science is the work of the devil. The only laws are the laws of the bible and they shall be enforced.

The sadistic beating goes on and on...
Until Nasa Man and his wife are left lying on the street as lifeless bloody corpses.

TROLL LADY
Get in there and get those children. Deliver them to the CRC for orientation. They can still be saved if they can be properly re-educated in the word of God.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. HILLSIDE - RIVER BANK - DAY

WE MOVE IN ON RAILROAD TRACKS.
TRACKING SHOT UP ALONG THE RAILROAD.
ABANDONED STEEL MILL LOOMING NEXT TO A RIVER.

INT. ABANDONED STEEL MILL DAY

A massive cathedral of iron and rust.
Streaming light from a dusty sky windows cuts down into the dark chamber illuminating a work area far below.

MOVE IN - DOWN INTO THE FORTRESS OF RUST AND STEEL
A set of monitors glows amid the ghostly industrial cavern.
Computers...a work table...
An ominous looking METAL TORTURE CHAIR with chains and shackles -
A mix of high tech, low tech and barbaric
There is a an IMPOSING FIGURE moving about the work area.
At first, we see him only from behind -
A living statue of hard sculpted flesh emerging from the shadows.
Clad in black fatigue pants and a white Action Figure shirt that appears painted on his armor of sinewy flesh...
It is GUNNER STAR.

He is intensely focused working a touch screen in one hand and a computer mouse on the other.
He looks up at one of the monitors.

ON THE MONITOR -
PRESIDENT MICHELE LECHER steps out from behind a massive Tea Party emblem.
She stares slightly off to the right of the camera as she addresses the television and internet audience.
There is no media in room. Only fellow Tea Party enablers and several heavily armed sinister goons. They are all uniformed with a insignia “CPF” surrounded by the words “Christian Peace Force”
A fearsome HENCHMAN stands by President Lecher’s side. He looks like a clone of Steve “Stone COLD” Austin of WWF fame.
Gunner takes notice of this Henchman and shakes his head. This is a man he knows.

PRESIDENT LECHER
My fellow Americans. My fellow children of God.
Her blank robotic stare is made all the more creepy by the fact she does not seem to know where the camera is. The attractive, yet sinister leader continues to stare off to the right side of the screen as she speaks.

PRESIDENT LECHER
When the American people spoke and elected me as the voice of our great nation, they also elected the voice of God. Because as our founding fathers said, this was intended to be a nation of God. A land for true Christian believers. A place where we could be free to preach and live the word of God as told to us by him in the bible.
Gunner Star watches a SECOND MONITOR playing a newscast.

ON MONITOR 2

REPORTER
A bible study group of Christian citizens bravely took matters into their own hands and challenged a gang of fascist secular extremists who posed a grave danger and continually harmed the children of the peaceful community by promoting radical ideas about evolution and climate change.

ON MONITOR 2
A digitally altered photo of NASA Man that makes him look like a deranged serial killer.
Gunner Star watches with intensity. He clenches his fist. An vascular river of flesh swells across his forearm.

ON MONITOR 1 -

PRESIDENT LECHER
And when we are threatened right here on our own soil by the evil cancer of those who do not believe and try to spread the false lies of Pagan gods and elite thinking, it puts all Americans in danger. So we need to take action as Americans.

Gunner Star marches over to another work bench. He straps on a black combat vest form fitted to his swollen sculpted torso like a second skin.

ON MONITOR 2 -

REPORTER
And we just want to grab a quick word with the hero of the day here in Arcadia. A true believer with the courage to stand up for the word of God.

TROLL LADY
Poisonous ideas that contradict the bible will not be tolerated in a fine Christian community. We have to fight to protect our children so we can raise them with the word of God. And here in Arcadia we support President Lecher and her effort to root out all the secular fascists who are anti-America and go against our founding fathers.

Gunner grabs a Cutlass broadsword from the work bench.
His thick back muscles flair out and ripple as he hoists the sword and CUTS it through the air with frightening intensity.

ON MONITOR 1 -

PRESIDENT LECHER
And so we must use the special Christian Peace Force that I created, to go into our neighborhoods and separated the pro-Americans, from the anti-Americans. This is the only way we can protect our children.

Gunner Star snatches a wooden Fight Stick from the work bench.
SWOOSH -
An instant later the tip of the stick strikes the power button to off, silencing the hate-filled call to arms of President Lecher and the Troll Lady.

Gunner swings the Cutlass broadsword over one shoulder, the fight stick over the other, then marches out into the darkness.

CUT TO:

EXT. CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CENTER - DAY
Appears to be a typical suburban school campus...except for the armed Christian Peace Force guards at the gated entrance.

An Audie pulls into the parking lot and a MAN steps out.

He is dressed in a conservative dark suit. He walks over to the passenger side. Inside is a woman in a dress.
She is distraught.

DISTRAUGHT WOMAN IN CAR
David, don’t do it. They’ll kill you too. Let me call the police. We have every right...they are...those poor kids...

She is too upset to finish the sentence.

DAVID
We talked about this. These lunatics have the law on their side now. But fuck the law. I want justice. And I am going in there and I am going t walk back out with our niece and nephew. We have a funeral to go to and we are going as a family.

David is not a physically imposing man, but his eyes burn with the fierce intensity of a man who has been pushed too far.

He turns and marches across the parking lot...
He does not hesitate.
Straight past the guard station...
Every step he takes, his adrenaline cranks up one notch higher.
Two UPTIGHT GOONS dressed in white polo shirts with a CHRISTIAN MILITIA emblem step out to block his path.
One is tall but SLOPPY looking.
Other one looks like the real deal, LEAN and mean.
Both are firmly gripping their sidearms.

SLOPPY GOON
This is private property. State your business or you will be fired upon.
David does not flinch for a second.

DAVID
I am here to pick up my niece and nephew.

LEAN GOON
By whose authority.

Lean Goon step in front of David’s path to cut him off.
Sloppy Goon draws his sidearm and takes aim.

DAVID
I am going to walk right past you and go in there and get my niece and nephew and if you plan on stopping me you will have to kill me.

LEAN GOON
That can be arranged. No one in this town will question another dead secular fascist. Hell, we’ll be heroes around here.

Lean Goon steps aside to let David walk by and looks over to Sloppy Goon.

LEAN GOON
As soon as he crosses the perimeter, kill him.

There is a BLUR as searing WHOOOSH rips across the air.
The CRACK of a bone being snapped into a hundred pieces.
Then a SCREAM from Sloppy Goon as a Fight Stick turned into a rocket javelin STRIKES straight into his wrist.

The sidearm falls to the ground as Sloppy Goon keels over grabbing his shattered wrist as he cries like a baby.

GUNNER STAR (O.S.)
Then you’ll have to kill me too.

FROM OUT BEHIND A TREE -

Gunner Star EXPLODES into the scene -
Lean Goon reaches for his sidearm -
Gunner LAUNCHES himself into a sprint -
The sidearm is pulled out -

Gunner gets closer...he reaches over his shoulder -
He draws his Cutlass broadsword -
Just as Lean Goon is about to fire his weapon -
Gunner RELEASES the Cutlass.
It ROCKETS out of his hand and instantly turns Lean Goon’s shoulder into a river of gushing blood.
The sidearm falls to the pavement.

Read more about the anti-hero antics of Gunner Star and the Bull Mongoni philosophy in Gunner Star, Action  Figure, and Rise of the Bull Mongoni.