Thursday, April 30, 2015

The ‘Caitlin Star’ compatibility test



Are the “Caitlin Star” books something you might like? 

Why take the chance with your hard-earned cash and limited entertainment time when you can take this officially sanctioned “Caitlin Star” compatibility test and know with absolute certainty if “Caitlin Star” is for you.

0 out of 10 yes answers: Do not read a “Caitlin” book (or anything by the author) under any circumstances.

1 out 10 yes answers: There is a possibility you may like certain aspects of the books.

2 out of 10 yes answers: You will probably enjoy the majority of all three books.

3 out of 10 yes answers: You will be transported to another world and find the books an addictive read.

4 out of 10 yes answers: You will be on the edge of your seat, emotionally involved with the characters, and read at least one of the books twice.

5 out 10 yes answers: This will be your new favorite book series.

6 or more yes answers: You will dream of Caitlin and her world non-stop and re-read each book…twice.



You like Quentin Tarantino films.




You like the “Divergent” series books and movies.




You like the “Graceling” book series.





You like the strong female characters in the films of James Cameron such as Ripley in “Aliens”, Lindsey in “The Abyss”, Sarah Conner and Neytiriin “Avatar”.






You like sword and sorcery books.





You are a fan of the “Star Wars” franchise.





You like the women of D.C Comics; Batgirl/Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn.





You like the “Hunger Games” book and movie series.





You like “Star Trek” and/or “The Planet of the Apes”.






You like Olivia Wilde in "Tron Legacy".





Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blake Lively is sensational in ‘The Age of Adaline’



I have been touting Blake Lively for years and even have championed her as the actress I would want playing ‘Caitlin Star’.  I always knew she had the talent to compete with the top A-list Oscar contenders, and I have been proven right. Blake gives an absolutely extraordinary and emotionally affecting performance in the magical new film, ‘The Age of Adaline’, directed with superb understated elegance by Lee Toland Krieger and written by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz.


Minor spoiler ahead (but is in the trailer).


The film also featured the fantastic veteran actress Ellen Burstyn, who for the second time in less than six months (the other being “Interstellar”) gives a tear-inducing turn by playing the generation older daughter of the main character. The audience I saw the movie with was very emotionally engaged and sat still in their seats through to the end of the credits—a real rarity amid today’s hyper-stimulated bolt for the exits mentality.

I will give a full review/analysis of "The Age of Adaline" when time and creative energy allow me to give this beautiful film the justice it deserves.


Friday, April 24, 2015

'Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians' arrives

Very excited about this book. I know every author thinks their latest work is their best, but for me as a reader, this is truly my most satisfying and thrilling creation. So come, join me, and experience the danger and excitement and wonder of "Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians".




An old-school action pulp adventure with a modernistic edge, Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians is an epic, spectacular, stand-alone sequel to the riveting Caitlin Star and the Guardian of Forever and is book number three in the iconic character’s series.

Caitlin is a warrior trained by Gunner Star in the ways of the Bull Mongoni, a mythic species of hominids that lived long ago. The Bull Mongoni philosophy is to strengthen the mind and the flesh, to protect the earth and its creatures, and to fight for those who have no voice.

Rise of the Barbarians opens up five years after a devastating WW III apocalypse. Caitlin now lives a life of peace and tranquility deep in the rain forests of the Congo among her ape friends, free from the evil and destructive species known as Homo sapiens. All is well until one day a massive cruise ship shows up on the shore carrying hostile invaders commanded by an old arch enemy of Caitlin’s who will stop at nothing to destroy her and the last remaining paradise on earth.


Filled with mythic heroes, sinister villains, political intrigue, relentless action, humor, heart, and even time travel; Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians is an addictive, jam-packed, page-turning thrill ride with an unforgettable ending. 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Inside an author's sketchbook part 2

For those of us lacking in talent, learning to draw can be a daunting and frustrating undertaking, especially if you know someone who can scribble something on  napkin without a second thought and have it look better than your latest artistic opus.

But these initial barriers are worth battling through, and like everything else worthwhile, it takes discipline, practice, and above all passion. But the rewards of creating your own four color crack are enormous and immeasurable, especially for as writer. The creative effect is synergistic, potent, and euphoric. 



"Sucker"  
One of my favorite subjects to draw (and listen to and watch perform), Charli XCX.









"Exotica"
Charli XCX by way of Mia Kirshner





http://smile.amazon.com/Caitlin-Star-Rise-Barbarians-book/dp/1511617330/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1429900346&sr=8-3&keywords=james+caterino


"Queen of the Forest"



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

‘Logan’s Run’, the series



1977 was a watershed year in popular culture. “Saturday Night Fever” took disco from the clubs, put it out into mainstream America, and made Vinnie Barbarino into a superstar. Steven Spielberg was about to unleash a top secret UFO project called “Close Encounters of the third Kind”. And oh yeah, there was a little space opera called “Star Wars”.



One would think that the producers of “Logan’s Run” had struck gold and September of 1977 would have been the ideal time in all of history to launch a new science fiction show on television. But “Logan’s Run” had the decked stacked against from the beginning with a less-than-adequate budget and a hostile network (CBS) who failed to promote the show and jerked around with the timeslot, eventually sticking it on Monday nights opposite ABC’s “Monday Night Football”, a show with a similar demographic.



Still, even though it lasted only fourteen episodes (three of which CBS never bothered to air), the show managed to make an impact to those young viewers who watched it back in 1977.

The series featured two insanely attractive leads—the charismatic Gregory Harrison as Logan 5, and the beautiful Heather Menzies as Jessica 6. The most frustrating aspect of “Logan’s Run” the series is the lost opportunity to explore the dynamic of these two characters. Both the book and the feature film have a strong erotic quality and the physical chemistry between Michael York and the sensuous Jenny Agutter is one of the great pleasures of the 1976 movie. Of course, in the sanitized world of network television circa 1977 it is understandable this had to be toned down somewhat. But the producers went way too far in the other direction—to the point where the relationship between Logan and Jessica comes off as some sort of neutered down, awkward brother sister thing. If only these two characters were permitted to have an adult, romantic/sexual relationship the show would have been so much better.



Faring much better with the writers was the character of Rem, an android that befriends Logan and Jessica in the 90 minute pilot episode and joins them in their civilization-of-the-week adventure as they travel across the parched post-apocalyptic earth of 2319 in a super cool hovercraft SUV (actually, a really cool functional prop). Rem is an outstanding character skillfully portrayed by the great character actor Donald Moffat. Rem is the precursor to Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. And like Data was on STTNG, Rem is the heart and soul of “Logan’s Run”.



Even though “Logan’s Run” the series was based on a popular novel and hit movie adaption (a semi-hit anyway) and had two network-placed executive producers (Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts), the true creative force being “Logan’s Run” was the legendary “Star Trek” story editor Dorothy Fontana and producer/show runner Leonard Katzman. The two of them were hot off “The Fantastic Journey”, which had received a similar bastard-stepchild treatment by NBC and was criminally axed after only ten episodes.

They bought to “Logan’s Run” the same sense of wonder and imagination that made “The Fantastic Journey” such a pleasure to watch. Most importantly, Dorothy Fontana brought her writer connections with her as well. So the list of writer contributors were some of the best science fiction television scribes of the era (or any era) including Harlan Ellison, Kathryn Powers, John Meredyth Lucas, and David Gerrold, who wrote the show’s best episode, the outstanding “The Man Out of Time”.



Like “The Fantastic Journey”, “Logan’s Run” featured an array of memorable guest stars including Angela Cartwright, Linden Chiles, Leslie Parrish, Christopher Stone, Ellen Weston, Mel Ferrer, Kim Cattrall, Mariette Hartley, and Paul Schenar.



Besides fantastic guest stars, story editor Dorothy Fontana, and imaginative stories from top science fiction writers, there is another thing that “Logan’s Run” shares with “Star Trek” and “The Fantastic Journey”—great music.



The staple of composers who scored episodes of “Logan’s Run” include Jeff Alexander, Jerrold Immel, and one of my all-time favorites, the ultra-talented Bruce Broughton, who would go on to get an Oscar nomination for “Silverado” and compose the scores for “Young Sherlock Holmes” and “Harry and the Hendersons” among many others. But the bulk of the music, including the gorgeous pop-infused main theme (complete with a wailing disco siren) was composed by movie and television veteran Leonard Rosenthal.



Rosenthal is best known for the soaring title music from “Fantasy Island” and he infused “Logan’s Run” soundtrack with the same wonderful sense of melody. His best score is also for the above-mentioned best episode, “The Man Out of Time”, where he creates some very moving George Dunning-esque dramatic cues.  The action and suspense of the series is underscored with exciting atonal cues, similar to the approach Lalo Schifrin took with another short-lived civilization-of-the-week 70s show, the “Planet of the Apes” television series.

Bottom line: Although marred by a neutered relationship between its two main leads, “Logan’s Run” is an imaginative, well-written piece of 70’s sci-fi kitsch with a wonderful sense of adventure, great guest stars, and an engaging performance by Donald Moffat as Rem.




“Logan’s Run” episodes are available on DVD and streaming at Amazon.com. A limited edition soundtrack was produced by Film Score Monthly and is still widely available. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Super Charli XCX breaks all the rules





Charli XCX exists in a unique niche of the musical universe. She is a pop star with a captivating appeal that lures in those who do not go for the mainstream pop divas. She writes music, not only her own but for other artists. And as anyone who witnessed the recent European Music Awards or the MTV movie awards or even her December 2014 SNL appearance can attest to, the girl can rock it like no other. When she takes to the stage, the electrifying presence lighting up those music videos becomes an incendiary force of epic musical artistry with enough kinetic energy to command anyone with a pulse bearing witness to get up and move.



At casual first glance to the uninitiated, Charli might appear to be a mainstream pop star, albeit one with a memorable look and infectious energy. But this is a once in generation talent who cannot be so easily categorized as to neatly fit into one genre.  The British born rocker’s distinct visual and audio stylings have given her an enthusiastic cult following, much the same way as another one of kind transformative talent, Lana Del Rey.


 Although the two artists are coming from completely different approaches (Lana is a storyteller, a poet really. Charli is a rocker chick in the historic sense of the world, whose been packing clubs and underground raves since she was fourteen years-old), both of them are retro artists reborn from the pop culture past.  Charli channels a sultry early 80’s punk/new wave vibe merged with 90’s pop culture in the same fashion that Lana Del Rey represents a musical and stylistic recreation of the Nancy Sinatra and 60s/70’s and ‘Mad Men’ era Americana. Like Lana, Charli is an astutely aware of her antecedents and has a keen sense pop culture sensibility, both past and present.



After seeing one of my drawings at a comicon, someone unaware of who Charli XCX was asked me to describe her. Obviously this person was not exactly up to snuff on the current music/pop culture scene, but I knew he was a film buff and did know 80s music, so this was my Charli XCX elevator “pitch’ I gave to him.

“Imagine taking the Mia Kirshner character from the 1994 film “Exotica”, but instead of being a dancer at high end arty strip club, you make her a singer. But not just any singer, a rousing alternative pop rocker girl with a touch of punk, an addictive style, and a voice like Martha Davis of  ‘The Motels’.”






Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cover reveal, 'Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians'

Available April 28th 2015 in paperback at bookstores everywhere and on Kindle at Amazon.com


 http://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Caterino/e/B002F5AKL2/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1



An old-school action pulp adventure with a modernistic edge, Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians is an epic, spectacular, stand-alone sequel to the riveting Caitlin Star and the Guardian of Forever and is book number three in the iconic character’s series.

Caitlin is a warrior trained by Gunner Star in the ways of the Bull Mongoni, a mythic species of hominids that lived long ago. The Bull Mongoni philosophy is to strengthen the mind and the flesh, to protect the earth and its creatures, and to fight for those who have no voice.

Rise of the Barbarians opens up five years after a devastating WW III apocalypse. Caitlin now lives a life of peace and tranquility deep in the rain forests of the Congo among her ape friends, free from the evil and destructive species known as Homo sapiens. All is well until one day a massive cruise ship shows up on the shore carrying hostile invaders commanded by an old arch enemy of Caitlin’s who will stop at nothing to destroy her and the last remaining paradise on earth.


Filled with mythic heroes, sinister villains, political intrigue, relentless action, humor, heart, and even time travel; Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians is an addictive, jam-packed, page-turning thrill ride with an unforgettable ending. 




Monday, April 13, 2015

More of my top ten in everything

Here is the link for part one of my self-indulgent and obsessive need to make lists. Below is part two featuring the runner-ups in TV shows, movies, and songs.








TV shows (all genres and formats)

Cosmos - PBS (1980)




Roots - ABC (1977)




St. Elsewhere – NBC (1982-1988



Revolution - NBC (2012-2014)



The Outer Limits – ABC (1963-1965)



Taken – SyFy Channel (2002)



Battlestar Galactica – SyFy (2004-2010)



Millennium – FOX (1996-1999)



The Fantastic Journey – NBC (1977)



Land of the Lost – NBC (1974-1976)




Movies

E. T. The extraterrestrial (1982)



Basic Instinct (1992)



Exotica (1994)



Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)



Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970)



Ferngully (1992)




Robocop (1987)



Enchanted (2007)



To Live and Die in LA (1985)



Jackie Brown (1997)




Songs

Temptation Waits – Garbage (1998)



What's Going On – Marvin Gaye (1970)



Take On Me – ah-a (1985)



Love Lives On –   Bruce Broughton, Cynthia Weil and Will Jennings, performed by Joe Cocker (1987)



Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Rey (2012)



Let the rivers Run – Carly Simon (1988)



Summer Days - Tony Romeo, David Cassidy, performed by David Cassidy (1971)



O-o-h Child – Stan Vincent, performed by Five Stairsteps (1970)



Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks (1981)




Break the Rules – Charli XCX (2014)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Emerald City Comicon wrap-up picture blog

I had a table at 2015 Emerald City comicon to promote the soon-to-be released "Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians". No form of social media can ever compare to the impact of in-the-flesh, real-life, face to face interaction. Here are a few visual highlights from a spectacular weekend of celebrities, pop culture, geekdom, and four color crack overload.




Me with the luminous actress Julie Benz from the SyFy Channel's "Defiance". She was super nice, even more beautiful in person, and so very Caitlin-esque.





Thursday night.




Manning the station.




Yeah, I have a thing for Supergirl. Love the New 52 look! Spot on!





Classic Trek. Well done!






Cosplayer Candy.





Friends.





Love this! Has the Caitlin Star vibe about it.






Candy day 2 kicking ass and taking names.






Indeed.




Action figure femmes.




Cool!




Getting the game face on.




 A Bigfoot sighting.




Me and Supergirl.




EEEC wrap-up pic. See you next year :-)!