Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I just saw Kick Ass and I loved it. Now I have to shuffle my list of greatest comic book movies. Kick Ass has got to be in the top five, maybe the top three.

I'm thinking. . .

Spider-Man 1
Spider-Man 2
The Incredibles
Dark Knight
Iron Man 1
Superman Returns
X-Men 1
Blade 1
Batman Begins
Iron Man 2
My Super Ex Girlfriend
Blade 2
Hellboy 1
Hellboy 2
Incredible Hulk (Ed Norton)
Spider-Man 3
The Incredible Hulk (the artsy one)
Sin City
X-Men 2
Road to Perdition
Daredevil (director's cut)
Fantastic Four 1
X-Men 3
Fantastic Four 2
Ghost Rider
The Spirit
(Note: This list does not include pre-CGI movies)

Kick Ass:

Nicholas Cage is back!! He's one of my favorite actors, but every now and then he stars in a stinker. But Man Oh Man, he is great in this one as Big Daddy. The real star of the film, however, is Hit Girl, who plays his butt-kicking preteen daughter. The chemistry between them is powerful stuff--powerful enough to bring a chuckle to the heart and a tear to the eyes. Hmmm. Kinda reminds me of another great Nicholas Cage performance, MatchStick Men. He teamed up with a butt-kicking daughter in that one too. I think we're on to something here. Nick Cage makes a real good albeit twisted father figure.

Hit-girl, We never . . . what?
Turn our backs to the wall. Sorry, daddy.

The now infamous "Rescue Scene" cracked me up and saddened me at the same time, with lines like:

Take cover, Child!
Switch to Krypton Light!
Robin's Revenge!
The show is over, Motherf**kers!
I'm proud of you!

And after she disposes of all the bad guys, we have that tender moment when she wraps the body of her dying father in the cape to kill the flames. I'm a comic book fan from way back, and I can honestly tell you that I have never felt such genuine emotion in a comic Book flick. Death of Uncle Ben--close, but no. Death of the first Night Owl in Watchmen--close, but no. Superman on his getting whipped by Lex Luther--nice, but no. How the heck does a campy, half-serious film manage to push all of the right buttons?



Lipshitz 6

Lipshitz 6
Reading T Cooper for Christmas

Punk Blood

Punk Blood
Jay Marvin

Breath, Eyes, Memory

Breath, Eyes, Memory

Anonymous Rex

Anonymous Rex
Reading Eric Garcia for Christmas

Vinegar Hill

Vinegar Hill
Reading A. Manette Ansay for Christmas

Nicotine Dreams

Nicotine Dreams
Reading Katie Cunningham for Christmas

Junot Diaz

Junot Diaz
Pulitzer Prize Winner!!!

Edwige Danticat

Edwige Danticat
New Year's Reading


This Brother Is Scary Good

One More Chance

One More Chance
The genius Is At It Again/The Rapper CHIEF aka Sherwin Allen

Sandrine's Letter

Sandrine's Letter
Check out Sandrine's Letter To Tomorrow. You will like it, I insist.

All or Nothing

All or Nothing

Editorial Reviews of All or Nothing

New York Times--". . . a cartographer of autodegradation . . . Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu — the chained (mis)fortunes of the players, their vanities and grotesqueries, their quasi-philosophical ruminations on chance. Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict’s daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand."

Florida Book Review--". . . Allen examines the flaming abyss compulsive gambling burns in its victims’ guts, self-esteem and bank accounts, the desperate, myopic immediacy it incites, the self-destructive need it feeds on, the families and relationships it destroys. For with gamblers, it really is all or nothing. Usually nothing. Take it from a reviewer who’s been there. Allen is right on the money here."

Foreword Magazine--"Not shame, not assault, not even murder is enough reason to stop. Allen’s second novel, All or Nothing, is funny, relentless, haunting, and highly readable. P’s inner dialogues illuminate the grubby tragedy of addiction, and his actions speak for the train wreck that is gambling."

Library Journal--"Told without preaching or moralizing, the facts of P's life express volumes on the destructive power of gambling. This is strongly recommended and deserves a wide audience; an excellent choice for book discussion groups."—Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH

LEXIS-NEXIS--"By day, P drives a school bus in Miami. But his vocation? He's a gambler who craves every opportunity to steal a few hours to play the numbers, the lottery, at the Indian casinos. Allen has a narrative voice as compelling as feeding the slots is to P." Betsy Willeford is a Miami-based freelance book reviewer. November 4, 2007

Publisher’s Weekly--"Allen’s dark and insightful novel depicts narrator P’s sobering descent into his gambling addiction . . . The well-written novel takes the reader on a chaotic ride as P chases, finds and loses fast, easy money. Allen (Churchboys and Other Sinners) reveals how addiction annihilates its victims and shows that winning isn’t always so different from losing."

Kirkus Review--"We gamble to gamble. We play to play. We don't play to win." Right there, P, desperado narrator of this crash-'n'-burn novella, sums up the madness. A black man in Miami, P has graduated from youthful nonchalance (a '79 Buick Electra 225) to married-with-a-kid pseudo-stability, driving a school bus in the shadow of the Biltmore. He lives large enough to afford two wide-screen TVs, but the wife wants more. Or so he rationalizes, as he hits the open-all-night Indian casinos, "controlling" his jones with a daily ATM maximum of $1,000. Low enough to rob the family piggy bank for slot-machine fodder, he sinks yet further, praying that his allergic 11-year-old eat forbidden strawberries—which will send him into a coma, from which he'll emerge with the winning formula for Cash 3 (the kid's supposedly psychic when he's sick). All street smarts and inside skinny, the book gives readers a contact high that zooms to full rush when P scores $160,000 on one lucky machine ("God is the God of Ping-ping," he exults, as the coins flood out). The loot's enough to make the small-timer turn pro, as he heads, flush, to Vegas to cash in. But in Sin City, karmic payback awaits. Swanky hookers, underworld "professors" deeply schooled in sure-fire systems to beat the house, manic trips to the CashMyCheck store for funds to fuel the ferocious need—Allen's brilliant at conveying the hothouse atmosphere of hell-bent gaming. Fun time in the Inferno.

World Series of Poker


At Books and Books

At Books and Books
Me And Vicki at Our Reading


Preston L. Allen is the recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature and the Sonja H. Stone Prize in Fiction for his short story collection Churchboys and Other Sinners (Carolina Wren Press 2003). His works have appeared in numerous publications including The Seattle Review, The Crab Orchard Review, Asili, Drum Voices, and Gulfstream Magazine; and he has been anthologized in Here We Are: An Anthology of South Florida Writers, Brown Sugar: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction, Miami Noir, and the forthcoming Las Vegas Noir. His fourth novel, All Or Nothing, chronicles the life of a small-time gambler who finally hits it big. Preston Allen teaches English and Creative Writing in Miami, Florida.