The Worst Reviewed Movie … Ever?

The other night I was hanging out for the beginning of ThrillerFest–a writer’s conference in NYC–with acclaimed author Thomas O’Callaghan, and writer buddy Jim Chambers. Thomas was telling us about an award they give every year. It’s for the best [i]worst [/i]review of your work posted on Amazon.com. So the review has to be really, really bad for you to win.

Among authors, it’s almost a badge of honor to get a horrible review. Hey, at least someone is reading your work.

So along thoThe other night I was hanging out for the beginning of ThrillerFest–a writer’s conference in NYC–with acclaimed author Thomas O’Callaghan, and writer buddy Jim Chambers. Thomas was telling us about an award they give every year. It’s for the best [i]worst [/i]review of your work posted on Amazon.com. So the review has to be really, really bad for you to win.

Among authors, it’s almost a badge of honor to get a horrible review. Hey, at least someone is reading your work.

So along those lines, I read something yesterday that had me howling with laughter. Cringing. But howling. I started reading what might be the worst reviewed movie … [i]in my lifetime[/i]! As a matter of full disclosure, I have not seen the new movie [i]I Love you Beth Cooper[/i], so I have no opinion about the movie itself.

That said … you have got to check out these movie reviews. Wow. They’re absolutely stunning. The reviews are so hilariously brutal that it almost makes me want to see the movie. I’ve included some highlights below.

I’m fairly certain that when FINDERS KEEPERS comes out I’ll get my share of review kicking my butt, but to get shredded like this movie is really something to read.

NY Daily News-

"I Love You, Beth Cooper" could be called an atrocity, but that might suggest there was something in it that could be ruined. This unfunny, unoriginal, charmless teen comedy is so stunningly awful from start to finish, it’s amazing to think its director has made a single film before, much less a dozen.

Chris Columbus has been derided for easy emotion and pedestrian filmmaking. Still, his blockbusters – including the first two "Harry Potter" movies as well as "Home Alone" and "Mrs. Doubtfire" – indicate Columbus isn’t clueless about what makes mainstream success. His last movie was "Rent," and "Beth Cooper" feels like it was made in the Port-O-John used on the "Rent" set. It stinks that bad.

Hollywood and Lane-

This Chris Columbus film is as painfully unfunny as any movie this summer ? or in recent memory. A chimp could have written this script.

PopMatters –

I Love You Beth Cooper is an abject failure. It?s not funny. It?s not insightful. And just when you think it will wake up and deliver the kind of warm and fuzzy nostalgia that made John Hughes a wealthy recluse, it continuous its path toward complete cinematic incompetence. … If comedy is all timing, then I Love You Beth Cooper is temporally retarded.

Film.com-

I Love You, Beth Cooper is a paralyzingly incompetent, unfunny, unbearable train wreck. … You may recall that Columbus directed Home Alone, which was written by John Hughes, who wrote (and directed) classic teen comedies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, which I Love You, Beth Cooper was obviously inspired by and desperately — desperately — wants to emulate, in much the same way that a crack whore wearing a dime-store tiara wants to emulate Queen Elizabeth.

BrianOrndorf.com –

Perhaps Columbus was involved in a hideous car accident recently that left him partially brain damaged, or maybe tragic senility is creeping up on the 51-year-old filmmaker. I simply refuse to believe Columbus willingly created something as monstrously unfunny and schizophrenic as ?Cooper.?

Yes, it?s worse than ?Bicentennial Man.?

I Hate to Lose at … Miniature Golf?

Taking a much needed vacation, Liz and I went down to Cape May, NJ, last week, and enjoyed several days in the sun. We chilled on the beach, crashed around in the ways, ate well and played … miniature golf.

Liz and I were down at Cape May last year, and in a heated battle to the very end–Liz even nailed a [i]hole-in-one[/i]–on the 12th hole–I squeaked out a one-stroke victory in a sudden death round. Well fought, but a sweet win.

Naturally, Liz was hankering for a rematch, whichTaking a much needed vacation, Liz and I went down to Cape May, NJ, last week, and enjoyed several days in the sun. We chilled on the beach, crashed around in the ways, ate well and played … miniature golf.

Liz and I were down at Cape May last year, and in a heated battle to the very end–Liz even nailed a [i]hole-in-one[/i]–on the 12th hole–I squeaked out a one-stroke victory in a sudden death round. Well fought, but a sweet win.

Naturally, Liz was hankering for a rematch, which I was more than happy to provide.

And things went just as well as I hoped. Only the opposite.

It wasn’t that Liz beat me, she crushed me. An all-out shellacking. For the 18 hole-course, she beat me by ten strokes. Count ’em, ten strokes, including sinking not one, but [i]two[/i] holes-in-one, both on the back nine.

$#@!

So now I’ll have to wait until next year to try and scrape my miniature golf manhood off the floor …

Russ’s Newsletter: Vol. 3, Issue 7 – Happy Holidays

Hi Gang-

It indeed has been a long, strange year, but one that ends on a high note. So with this final–and holiday–update of the year, here’s what’s new in my adventures in publishing, and what lies ahead in 2010:

* Finders Keepers is under discussion with two publishers. Talks will head into January as we break for the holidays, so along with plenty of potato laktes, we’ll see what the Chanukah candles bring me this year (besides Wii Fit; thanks Liz!).

* Speaking of Finders Keepers, I’ve got some brand new artwork coming your way, and from the early chats I’ve had about it, it will be another eye-popping addition. Once the images are done, you’ll be sure to get an eyeful. Gonna be sweet.

* As for my other major project, Crossline, the first draft is almost done. Just an itsy bits smidge-and-a-half to go and I’ll be passing it along to my writer’s inner sanctum for feedback. So as Finders Keepers makes its way down the publishing home stretch, Crossline won’t be far behind. (And yes, I’ve got book #3 queued up and ready to go after that.)

* Moving onto all things Webtastic, the online universe has changed by leaps and bounds over the last year (Facebook and Twitter and iPhones, oh my), and it’s about darn tootin’ time I changed with it. So as promotions for Finders Keepers and Crossline pick up, look for a brand, spankin’ new web site from yours truly, set to launch in the first quarter of 2010. Webmaster Ron and I are working on the layout. The new site will be quick, clean and easy, and, most of all–fun. I think you’re gonna dig it. I’ll be sending out a special notice for its launch.

* And last, though certainly not least, in this issue’s holiday shout out, I want to thank … you! Your ongoing support and enthusiasm is remarkable, and truly appreciated. You always hear that there are so many people to thank when it comes to projects like mine, and I can vouch for that. I may be the one writing the stories and sending the updates, but to all of you … my friends, family and fans who keep rooting for me and cheering me on … I genuinely, deeply thank you.

Every note you send, every word of encouragement, every email, every Facebook post you drop by … they all bring a smile to my face, and make we want to keep on keepin’ on more than ever. So keep ’em coming! I’ll take all the love I can get.

And with that I wish you and your families a festive and happy holidays, and look forward to sharing my writing adventures with you in 2010.

Thanks!

Russ

www.findersk.com

R.I.P. – Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcet

Celebrities come and go, but it’s rare that two so bold–two cultural icons–die on the same day.

Can you forget Farrah Fawcet in the red bathing suit? Or Michael Jackson’s moonwalk?

Neither one were saints–or even sane, at times–but they sure left an imprint. In my lifetime I saw them rise, rise again … and fall. Hard. Farrah had a comeback as a serious actress after her cover girl days were over, and then got kinda strange, before finally–sadly–succumbing to cancer.

And MiCelebrities come and go, but it’s rare that two so bold–two cultural icons–die on the same day.

Can you forget Farrah Fawcet in the red bathing suit? Or Michael Jackson’s moonwalk?

Neither one were saints–or even sane, at times–but they sure left an imprint. In my lifetime I saw them rise, rise again … and fall. Hard. Farrah had a comeback as a serious actress after her cover girl days were over, and then got kinda strange, before finally–sadly–succumbing to cancer.

And Michael, well … he’s another sort, who just became bizarre and sad and something else entirely, too, until cardiac finally arrest took him down.

Now that they’ve died I’m certainly not going to say that we should immortalize them as being more than they actually were, that we should ignore their flaws, but for the fun, for the magic they brought … they’ve earned a few permanent smiles.

I remembering watching live on TV Michael Jackson’s moonwalk performance at Motown’s 25th Anniversary special. No matter what I thought of his music at that time, it was an extraordinary moment. Mesmerizing. And I also remember Farrah Fawcet on Charlie’s Angels in all it’s cheesy terribleness that you just had to watch because, well … you know.

For reasons I’m not entirely clear about, over the years we’ve been putting more and more importance on celebrity–on fame–despite how ludicrous it usually is. But sometimes people pass through the collective consciousness that just become part of the fabric of how we experience life.

And better or for worse–and with some remarkable highlights in between–Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcet were two of those people.

Subway Stories: That Ain’t No Venus Fly Trap

The morning started off quite nicely. I had a decent night’s sleep, a quality work out at the gym. Simon got his walk, and I was showered and ready for the day. I was feeling good. On the way to the train, it wasn’t too hot, nice breeze came along. Thursday was shaping up.

When my subway came–the good ole F train–I didn’t have to wait; got a seat …

But squeezing in was a little bit of an issue. There was an empty spot in the corner of an L configuration, so I had to squeeze in betThe morning started off quite nicely. I had a decent night’s sleep, a quality work out at the gym. Simon got his walk, and I was showered and ready for the day. I was feeling good. On the way to the train, it wasn’t too hot, nice breeze came along. Thursday was shaping up.

When my subway came–the good ole F train–I didn’t have to wait; got a seat …

But squeezing in was a little bit of an issue. There was an empty spot in the corner of an L configuration, so I had to squeeze in between a middle-aged woman, and jackass in a suit, wearing sun glasses. Yep. That kind of a jackass. Okay. Fine.

Well, the woman gave me a dirty look as I tried to squeeze through (no, she didn’t move an inch to make it easier), and I’m-too-cool-school next to me, at one point, gave me a nice hard elbow. Grrrrrrr…. okay. I’m still not letting them get to me too much, just reading my paper, but still.

Along the trip the woman gave me a dirty look every time I turned a page or reached down to my bag, and Mr. Sunglasses gave me at least one other good bump.

Still … staying cool, feeling good. Just reading my paper, not going to let these wonks ruin my day …

And when I finally get off the train, glad to be away from them … I realize that my fly was open the whole time!!

My Right Hip is Five … Millimeters to Short?

I was at the chiropractor’s office the other day, and got a look at the x-rays taken of my back.

He put them up on the screen, and instantly said, "oh, no wonder you’re in pain." So I’m looking at the x-rays, checking for fractures or spots or … something … and going [i]yes, hmm, interesting, interesting … [/i]Meanwhile, I don’t know what the heck I’m looking at. Then he points to the x-ray and says, "here. look."

And then it was obvious.

Turns out, my hI was at the chiropractor’s office the other day, and got a look at the x-rays taken of my back.

He put them up on the screen, and instantly said, "oh, no wonder you’re in pain." So I’m looking at the x-rays, checking for fractures or spots or … something … and going [i]yes, hmm, interesting, interesting … [/i]Meanwhile, I don’t know what the heck I’m looking at. Then he points to the x-ray and says, "here. look."

And then it was obvious.

Turns out, my hip on the right side is four or five millimeters shorter than my hip on the left side! I’m uneven. Like he said, no wonder I’m in pain. It’s like having one tire on the car with less air the others. Eventually, you start tipping to one side, putting all the pressure on that one spot. Now, in the grand scheme of things, four millimeters might not seem like a lot, but when it comes to my back, those four millimeters are the difference between pain and relief.

The plan now is that he’s ordered me a small heel support for my right shoe, which, in theory, will even me out as I walk, and give me relief. We’ll see. I’m truly hopeful this is the answer, because it’s been about six years with this, and it would be soooooooooo nice to get this taken care of. Finally ….

Movie Review: The Hangover

All you really to need to know about [i]The Hangover [/i]is this: it’s Old School on steroids.

So if you liked Old School, you’ll The Hangover.

It’s about a bachelor party in Las Vegas gone very wrong–or right–depending on your point of view. The groomsmen wake up in their plush hotel suite the next morning–the room is trashed, they’re beat to hell–and the groom is missing. And they can’t remember what the heck happened.

So the rest of the movie is about these three guys retrAll you really to need to know about [i]The Hangover [/i]is this: it’s Old School on steroids.

So if you liked Old School, you’ll The Hangover.

It’s about a bachelor party in Las Vegas gone very wrong–or right–depending on your point of view. The groomsmen wake up in their plush hotel suite the next morning–the room is trashed, they’re beat to hell–and the groom is missing. And they can’t remember what the heck happened.

So the rest of the movie is about these three guys retracing their steps to find out just what they did, where they went … and if the groom is even alive.

If you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud crowd pleasing romp, this is your movie. You will laugh. Hard. A lot.

Russ’s Newsletter: Vol. 3, Issue 6 – Fall Convention Updates! Horror! Suspense!

Hi Gang-

My schedule has been absolutely nutty of late, with tons of fun to report, including the last wave of conventions for the year. So here goes with a heaping scoop of updates:

* The Baltimore Comic-Con was an absolute blast. I bought comics, hung out with partners-in-crime Rich Henn and Jim Chambers and promoted Finders Keepers like gangbusters. To see all the pics, and catch up on the action, check out my blogs and the PHOTOS section on my site (www.findersk.com). I’ve also got pics up on Facebook.

* The Big Apple Comic-Con in New York City was also great. I bought even more comics, hung out with the guys, drank a LOT of beer and ate bratwurst up at Heidelberg on the Upper East Side. And I had a very good meeting with a publisher. So that was encouraging. For more pics of that weekend … oh, you know the drill. 🙂

* So what does all this activity all mean for Finders Keepers? The publishing opportunities are starting to take shape, with talks in place for a 2010 book launch. Patience is part of the game  …. grrrrrr …. so I’m letting the process unfold as it does. Sit tight for updates (must … stay … patient … musn’t … black … out …)

* Meanwhile, I’ve been doing my darnedest to keep up a rigorous writing schedule these days–probably my most ambitious pace in years–and so far so good. I’m getting close to the half way mark on Crossline, with things looking good for completion by year’s end. So with a little good fortune I’ll have a first draft circulating to my writer’s inner circle for review in early 2010, and then after some revisions on my end, off to my agent and the publishers.

* I may be little late to the game on this one, but, hey … at least I’m here now. Going forward, look for more Facebook posts from me mixed in with my Web site blogs, pics, and musings about my adventures in publishing, plus all the other random goofiness that comes dripping out of my brain (I’ll tackle Twitter another day).

* In the spirit of Halloween weekend, fellow writer dude and master of horror and suspense Jim Chambers has a big announcement of his own. Dark Regions Press is publishing Resurrection House, a collection of his short stories and horror musings. DRP is issuing it in two signed hardcover editions (one of which includes 2 extra stories) and a paperback edition, with a cover and illustrations by Jason Whitley.

To purchase Resurrection House, or check out the online excerpts and story samples, go to:

http://www.darkregions.com/resurrection_house.html

http://www.jameschambersonline.com/story.htm

* For those of you who have been following the rise of the critically acclaimed independent movie Drawing with Chalk from buddies Todd Giglio and Chris Springer, you’re in luck, because DWC is playing in NYC! Come join the NYC movie premiere on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 9 pm at the Quad Cinema. And there will be a party afterwards. Hope to see you there! To order tickets, go to:

http://www.movietickets.com/house_detail.asp?house_id=216&rdate=11%2F14%2F2009

*And last but surely not least, Liz and I are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary on Monday. That’s seven years married, nine years together. It’s been great every step of the way. The gods have been very kind to me …

Well, that’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back around the winter holidays with some festive thoughts, and all the news that’s fit to print.

Thanks!

Russ

www.findersk.com

Drunken Dog Walking is a Trip!

So last Saturday Rich Henn and I went to the Big Apple Comic-Con (me for just an hour), and then started a long night of boozing it up … with some unexpected consequences.

We started off at Dallas BBQs on 23rd Street and 8th Avenue for some crispy wings … and Texas-sized margaritas. For those of you who haven’t seen what a Texas-sized margaritas looks like … well … it’s big. 20 oz. Then I had a Texas-sized beer. And then another.

And then we went up to Hiddelberg on the UpperSo last Saturday Rich Henn and I went to the Big Apple Comic-Con (me for just an hour), and then started a long night of boozing it up … with some unexpected consequences.

We started off at Dallas BBQs on 23rd Street and 8th Avenue for some crispy wings … and Texas-sized margaritas. For those of you who haven’t seen what a Texas-sized margaritas looks like … well … it’s big. 20 oz. Then I had a Texas-sized beer. And then another.

And then we went up to Hiddelberg on the Upper East Side, and had another jumbo beer. Henn literally drank out of a giant glass in the shape of a boot.

Apparently, I found that perfect level is being completely blasted without quite realizing just how blasted I was. And then I had to go home. And walk the dog. Which is when things got really interesting. (Liz was away for the weekend, so Simon was all mine …)

Now, I’m pretty new to being a dog owner, so my experience walking dogs is limited to just the past few months. But I’ve learned anything, it’s this: drunken dog-walking is [i]waaaaaaaay[/i] different than sober dog walking. Or, more to the point, the dog walked [i]me[/i].

Simon did just fine. I, on the other hand, had quite the adventure, bobbing and weaving, stumbling from one corner to the next, with 21st Century Breakdown (Green Day’s new album) blasting on my iPod.

But some miracle, I made around the neighborhood without causing any damage I’m aware of …

And as much fun as it was, I’m in no hurry to try it again. Especially when Simon got me up at 6 am for his next walk … and I was still blasted. Now that was no fun. My head was spinning, my body ached … not good.

So if there’s a lessen to be learned here, it’s that, if I’m going to go out for beers, make sure Liz is home to walk the dog for me!

Thundercats Ho? Hardly. More Like Thunderdog.

Last night … late … maybe around 2 a.m. or so, there was a massive storm. Thunder. Lightning. If I hadn’t known better, I would have sworn it was World War III.

[i]KR-KAAM! [/i]

[i]KABOOM![/i]

Crazy stuff. Still, I kinda like storms, think they’re cool.

When Alex was roaming our place, storms didn’t seem to bother him. He usually just slept right through them. He’d look up when some thunder would go off and give a look of … [i]huh? did I hear something?[/i] … and go bLast night … late … maybe around 2 a.m. or so, there was a massive storm. Thunder. Lightning. If I hadn’t known better, I would have sworn it was World War III.

[i]KR-KAAM! [/i]

[i]KABOOM![/i]

Crazy stuff. Still, I kinda like storms, think they’re cool.

When Alex was roaming our place, storms didn’t seem to bother him. He usually just slept right through them. He’d look up when some thunder would go off and give a look of … [i]huh? did I hear something?[/i] … and go back to sleep.

But Simon? The poor little guy. He scurried up onto the bed, right in between Liz and me, shaking. He was trembling so hard I would have thought he was literally freezing to death. His teeth were chattering. Simon was utterly terrified. Truly and utterly terrified.

We felt really bad for him at the time, but as Liz reports, he’s back in action today, being the loveable goofball that he is …

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