Fight Card: Get Hit, Hit Back

G’day folks. The latest Fight Card novella, Get Hit, Hit Back – written by John Kenyon (as Jack Tunney) is now available for kindle.

After last months diversion into MMA, Fight Card is back with an old school boxing story (but MMA fans, don’t worry – there’s more MMA take down action coming later in the year – I think there’s one called Rosie the Ripper).

I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet, but the early reports suggest the one has a nice twist in the tail, that has caught a few people off guard. Sounds great.

Here’s the spiel.

Ottumwa, Iowa 1954

Griffin McCann’s small-town world is rocked when the bank where he works as a guard is robbed. He chases the robbers out of the bank and into a gun battle, leaving one hood dead and one on the lam. Left alone with a dead robber and a bag full of cash, McCann makes a rash decision …

Knowing he’s made a bad mistake, McCann wants to return the money, but life is never that simple. He needs a plan, so he turns to the one thing he knows best – boxing. Now, his moment of weakness has put him in the ring against a deadly opponent who wants to destroy him.

But McCann remembers the most important thing Father Tim, the battling priest, taught him back at St. Vincent’s Asylum For Boys in Chicago: When you get hit, hit back …

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Fight Card: Get Hit, Hit Back

The Man From Nowhere (2010)

Country: South Korea
Director: Jeong-beom Lee
Starring: Bin Won, Sae-ron Kim, Tae-hoon Kim, Hee-won Kim, Seong-oh Kim, Jong-pil Lee
Writer: Jeong-beom Lee
Music: Hyun-jung Shim

There’s a tough little sub genre of spy films, I like to call the ‘messed with the wrong guy’ spy film. It usually features a band of villains picking on a person or group of civilians (often a family), and it just so happens that these people have been befriended by or related to a retired bad-ass spy. To the villains, the spy just seems like an old codger (or a nobody), but we know, despite the wrinkles or low-key personality, this guy is a lethal weapon.

Generally these films tends to play more like a revenge flick and have a tendency to be rather violent. And that’s the perfect lead-in to The Man From Nowhere, which I think is one the best of these violent revenge flicks to come out in the last few years. Some people say that these films aren’t actually spy films, and in a way they are right, however, it is the skill set that these characters have learned through their spy training that allow them to perform the deeds that they do. And often these offensives against the bad guys, are planned and carried out, just like an espionage mission.

Here the ex-agent in question is CHA Tae-shik (Won Bin), and he used to be a highly effective deep cover agent. However, his life is shattered, when some evil doers retaliate against him, by killing his pregnant wife and of course, attempting to kill him. But after the death of his wife, CHA leaves the service and becomes an unkempt recluse, running a pawn shop in a poor area of town. His only connection to the outside world is his neighbour’s daughter, So-mi (Kim Sae-ron). Her mother, is a junky, and when she steals a shipment of heroine from an underworld syndicate, the mobsters come after her, killing her, and taking away So-mi, and simply housing her until she comes of age, where she her organs can be harvested and sold on the black market. Naturally, CHA steps up, and goes searching for So-mi.

As you can imagine, so of the themes in this film are pretty bleak, but it is a wild, emotional ride over the duration of its running time. And I hate to admit this, but I was crying like a girl at the end. So the film has a certain emotional content that resonated with me, but the real reason to watch this film is for the amazing fight scenes. They are tough, brutal and realistic, and almost hurt to watch. If you haven’t caught up with The Man From Nowhere, it’s worth tracking down.

The Man From Nowhere (2010)

Robotic Jellyfish

Via CNN.

In the interests of bringing you the latest in spy news, I give you Cyro, the robotic jellyfish. I must admit this amused the hell out of me.

Designed by a team of researchers at Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, the robot is 5 feet, 7 inches wide and weighs 170 pounds but is stealthy enough to one day be used as an underwater spy for the military.

That’s the spirit – I want to see more ridiculous spy gadgets in the real world. In Skyfall, Q says that they don’t go in for ‘exploding pens’ anymore… no, well Q-Branch better get with the program.

Apparently…

The Navy has been involved with robotic jellyfish in the past, but none has been of this magnitude.

You can read the full article here.

Robotic Jellyfish

Charles Boeckman Presents Johnny Nickle

A press release from the good people at Pro Se Press.

* * *

It isn’t often in the modern market that a Publisher gets the opportunity to work with the characters of a Pulp Writer from the Classic era of Pulp Fiction with the involvement of the author. Pro Se Productions, a leading Publisher of cutting edge Genre Fiction both looking to the future and firmly rooted to the past, proudly announces the debut of a new imprint bringing new life to characters created by prolific Pulp Author Charles Boeckman!

“CHARLES BOECKMAN PRESENTS…” states Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “came from the source itself, honestly. Charles Boeckman, now 92 years old, was a writer of many stories back in the heyday of Pulp and beyond, mostly suspense/mystery and western tales. Due to his publishing of a collection of his mystery stories, I became aware of his work and absolutely fell in love with the characters he created. Not only were the stories taut and exciting, but the characters, all of them just appearing the one time, so many of them had series potential. So, an email or three later to Charles and his wonderful wife, Patti, and I asked about his permission to have modern writers take on some of the characters he’d written into life. He was enthusiastic and encouraging and now we have the debut of CHARLES BOECKMAN PRESENTS JOHNNY NICKLE!”

Originally appearing in Boeckman’s story, ‘Run, Cat, Run,’ Johnny Nickle was a trumpet player on the run from his own past. And now, in CHARLES BOECKMAN PRESENTS JOHNNY NICKLE, this unlikely hero makes a return engagement to perform TWO exciting new hits. NOTES IN THE FOG written by Richard White and THE DEVIL YOU KNOW authored by Brad Mengel push Johnny into mystery and out of it hopefully on a high note.

“This character,” Hancock explained, “is neat on several levels. A sort of sub genre that is very popular among Pulp and Crime fans is that of the Musician Detective/Hero, usually a Jazz type, like Jack Webb’s Pete Kelly. Mr. Boeckman’s work is replete with these sorts of characters and each one stands apart, no cardboard cutouts. Johnny has an edge to him in the original story that both of our authors have maintained, utilizing the rich background Johnny has a trumpet player as well as his own personal background. It’s even more wonderful that Mr. Boeckman is a professional Jazz Musician and band leader as well, so the original stories come with an authenticity that definitely influenced Richard and Brad.”

CHARLES BOECKMAN PRESENTS JOHNNY NICKLE features a fantastic cover by Adam Shaw as well as cover design and print formatting by Sean Ali and ebook formatting by Russ Anderson! Edited by David White, these two tales are your backstage pass to see Charles Boeckman’s Johnny Nickle tackle mystery and murder with a soundtrack that cooks with red hot women, ice cold killers, triple time thrills and smokin’ jazz! From Pro Se Productions!

CHARLES BOECKMAN PRESENTS JOHNNY NICKLE is available from Pro Se’s own store and at Amazon for $8.00! Available for $2.99 for the Kindle at http://www.Amazon.com , the Nook at http://www.barnesandnoble.com, and in other formats at http://www.smashwords.com!

For more information concerning Pro Se Productions, go to http://www.pulpmachine.blogspot.com and http://www.prose-press.com.

Charles Boeckman Presents Johnny Nickle

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

Country: United States
Director: Mike Nichols
Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Writers: Aaron Sorkin (screenplay) / George Crile (book)
Music: James Newton Howard

Charlie Wilson’s War cops a lot of flack for being revisionist view of America’s involvement (or lack thereof) when the USSR invaded Afghanistan. It’s sort of along the lines (and of course this is a very simplified version) – the Mujahideen warriors who fought the Soviets, believed that the Americans idly sat by when the Soviets invaded. However this movie shows that the U.S. did take action, but an under the table action that wouldn’t draw attention, and cause the conflict to escalate to a showdown between the two super-powers. The thing is, the Mujahideen evolved into the Taliban, yep, those guys. One of the principal enemies in the war against terror.

The movie appears to be saying ‘Hey Taliban guys, I know you think Americans are the enemy, but in fact, they’re not. They helped you guys out – but just didn’t tell anybody’. I guess it is a pretty ham-fisted message. None-the-less, politics aside, Charlie Wilson’s War is a great film. I don’t think it is going to cause any terrorists to re-evaluate their war, but as far as entertainment goes, the film is top notch.

This is primarily because of the big name Hollywood stars in front of the camera. Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman, do what they do best – entertain, in a movie that is briskly paced and thoroughly engaging.

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

Cypher (2002)

Country: United States / Canada
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Jeremy Northam, Lucy Liu, Nigel Bennett
Writer: Brian King
Music: Michael Andrews
AKA: Brainstorm

A film like Cypher is almost impossible to describe in a few short paragraphs – in fact discussing the style, plot twists and machinations, and underlying themes could fill a small book. The film is a slightly futuristic high-tech thriller, that while being totally spy – in some ways, in the Best Bondian tradition – is a complete ‘mind f*ck’. Furthermore, I challenge anybody going in cold, to predict where the story is heading.

Morgan Sullivan (Jeremy Northam) is a normal guy trapped in a dull passionless marriage. He dreams of a better, more adventurous life, and applies to a company named Digicorp to become a corporate spy. After a thorough assessment regime, he is accepted, and assumes the identity of a man named Jack Thursby. Thursby is everything that Sullivan is not, but wishes to be. He drinks single malt whiskey, smokes exclusive cigarettes, and tell tales of exotic world travel. And naturally, he is also a ladies man; the object of his desire is a mysterious lady named Rita Foster (Lucy Liu).

However Sullivan’s top secret missions don’t appear to be too exciting. He is shunted across the United States to attend various mind numbing sales seminars where he is required to record the sales pitch and relay the signal back to headquarters. Seminar after seminar, Sullivan continues to make recordings and send them back, but slowly he is losing his sense of identity. The Morgan Sullivan persona seems to diminish, and the Jack Thursby persona begins to take over.

For those who like comparisons, the film is a cross between Total Recall (with bad, bad Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Goldeneye, and it is a film that presages Christopher Nolan’s Inception. If you haven’t seen this one, it’s well worth your time.

Cypher (2002)