Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dear Charlie:

Well, I'm gearing up for the print release of my book, My Gigolo: The Care and Feeding of a Male Prostitute. Eee!

As of April 5, you can hold it in your hot little hand. Hey, that's what I'm gonna do. It's available for preorder at the Samhain site (linked above) or at Amazon or almost any of your favorite book-buying sites. Gotta love that.

I really, really can't wait to have it in hand. And hopefully, I'll be adding to it soon. The novella is coming along swimmingly, and I hope it catches my editor's attention. It's contemporary, which again surprises me, but hey. When both your steampunk and your urban fantasy characters turn their backs on you, an author's gotta do what an author's gotta do.

Take that, Alex. Take that, Diplomat. Ha.

And on a less personal but still fun note, I just realized I've never gotten around to enthusing over RocknRolla. I was so enamoured with The Phantom of the Opera that I, of course, couldn't not think of RocknRolla. Yes, my brain works in odd ways. The only thing the two have in common is Gerard Butler, but even a tenuous link works for my poor little mind.

I do remember blogging here on how annoyed I was that the flick wasn't coming to the big screen anywhere around this area. I really wanted to catch this one at the theater. I guess I kinda lost steam on it after that.

But after it came out for rental and I watched it, I just never got around to enthusing properly. Oh, I said lovely things about Mark Strong (not enough lovely things can be said about that man), but not about the movie itself.

So, here goes.

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels was fun. Snatch was a riot. RocknRolla is just a beautiful thing. It has all the great stuff from the earlier flicks, but amped up with the director's experience. It's like the difference between a brilliant high school research paper and a best selling novel. Both are nice in their own way, but the latter has... I dunno... polish.

Usually. But that's another story. Just making an analogy here.

You know, I didn't like Johnny Quid the first time I watched this flick. Everyone kept calling him absolute class, and I just didn't see it. A junkie through and through, I found him self-serving and just plain annoying. Of course, that means he's well-acted, but hey. Just didn't like him.

I've watched it several times since, and he's growing on me. He still takes a distant back seat to Archy and the Wild Bunch, but I can definitely see the class. He's a nutter, for sure, but he's bought his crackers with blood and come out with a sense of humor (warped, of course) on the other side. I'll call that class.

Archy is the man, but I've already talked about him, though I'm too lazy to go back for the link.

This post is for the Wild Bunch and for Guy Ritchie himself.

Now, Ritchie flicks -- the killer British ganster dark comedies, anyway -- revolve around convoluted plots interlocking and coming free and interlocking again like the inner workings of a clock. At some point, all those separate, spinning cogs come together for the payoff, but in my opinion, it's how well they perform separately that makes the payoff really spend the money.

One of those cogs, the Wild Bunch, cracks me right the hell up. Half the reason is because I remember when a member of the old college group suddenly realized what the rest of us already knew -- that another member was gay. Bless his heart, but he just about lost his mind.

Gerard Butler nails that reaction. I laugh so hard each time, picturing poor Mikey trying not to remember wrestling matches and so forth. Heheh.

And, as in the flick, it didn't take long for him to realize that the other guy being gay didn't mean he was gay. Nor did it mean he wasn't his friend.

When you find art that imitates your own personal life, it's always an experience.

But beyond that, the Wild Bunch is an absolute riot. They're just trying to get along the best they can in a dog-eat-dog world, doing the odd job now and again to keep afloat, not realizing they're pissing in their own pool until they're all but drowning in it. Heh.

That second robbery is a scream. If Dave and I got together for a bit of slipping about, I'm pretty sure our plans would end up in just that kind of chaos. There'd be a helluva lot of running and crashing and hitting people with golf clubs. In other words, we'd screw it up royally enough to maybe laugh about later. If we lived.

And the Russians?

And the look on Archy's face when he breaks into poor One Two's private party with said Russians?

God, I love this flick. It has its serious moments, of course. The funny wouldn't be as fun if it weren't balanced. Johnny Quid wouldn't be a proper junkie if he didn't break down into convulsions (and smell like a rotten goat). Archy wouldn't be the real rocknrolla he is if he wasn't capable of such swift and heated retribution when he discovers who's been snitching on them all. When he discovers how his unswerving loyalty has been repaid.

There is a certain honor amongst thieves. They don't take snitches lightly. They might be bad lads, but they don't turn on each other. Those who do... pay the price.

But there's humor to be found even in such black material. Even in a botched robbery that nearly kills the whole group. After all, if not for those oh-so-determined Russians, we'd never have this lovely line:

"Realize? What, you didn't realize that they had guns? Big, long, dangerous machine guns? With war criminals attached to the trigger?"

And there lies Guy Ritchie's strength. He finds that humor, and that's what steps his flicks up from the rabble. He makes these bad guys into good guys. There's rarely a "good" character in a Ritchie film, but you just don't care. The bad guys are too much fun.

Bless their dark little hearts.


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