Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Stella Wolfpack ... A piece of Garbage and a chunk of Gold ... da Bills! ... DOC says ...


The Stella brats & Company were at the Borgata for Charles’ (not Charlie’s) Bachelor Party Part I ... Dustin Stella, Charles’ best man, was the leader of the Wolfpack (you have to see The Hangover to get these references--funny movie), and a fresh graduate of the Carmelo Stella school of craps. Dustin didn’t like the long lines at the $5.00 craps tables and jumped on a $25.00 table to roll some bones the old fashioned way. Word is he had to be restrained from taking the casino down and the fellas didn’t make it back to their rooms until 7:00 a.m. ... but were back up a few hours later for the Part II drive to Manhattan where the Saturday night bachelor party took place for those who couldn’t make the journey to the A.C.

Me, I’m just glad they all made it home without injuries, arrests and/or diseases ... and word is Dustin handled this great and both parties were a blast.

Charles will be married on September 11, 2010 in Delaware ... and we think it’s a beautiful thing. From Francis Albert to Charles (not Charlie) and his beautiful bride, Leslie ...

Inception ... or, as I’m calling it from here on in, Incraption. Arguably the worst movie I’ve ever seen, I lasted all of ten minutes before falling asleep ... but, unfortunately, my sleep didn’t last long because of all the gratuitous explosions and thousands of rounds of M-16 gunfire that never seemed to find their mark ... and an occasional scream just to make damn sure nobody in the theatre could sleep for long.

I won’t review books I don’t like, but movies are another story and fair game (especially since seeing one with a loved one costs the price of 4-5 books). Ann Marie and I saw this one on some movie free-bees we received as gifts. I have a pretty simple rule to guide me regarding movies and most other forms of fictional entertainment. If it doesn’t have an iota of reality to it (or isn’t something that could happen under the right circumstances {i.e., Jurassic Park, The Exorcist, The Andromeda Strain, etc.}), I’m not interested in seeing/reading it. Therefore, I’m no fan of most sci-fi. Never was, never will be.

Even in opera and theatre, if a stage production is too grand, it’s a turn off. Knucks’ theory being: if you have to have a chandelier drop from the ceiling, the play probably blows (even if it is peppered with pretty songs). Two exceptions being Turandot at the opera and Les Miserables on Broadway.

So, agreeing to see this suicide inducing piece of shit after being warned it was a high-tech wonder and totally sci-fi, was a sacrifice to the wife because she LOVES sci-fi and special effects (and pretty much anything else they throw up on a big screen). I’m not baiting her here, it’s just the way things are; the boss likes movies. Me, not so much.

It is rare when we both like the same movie and even rarer when we both love the same movie, but there have been a few. After all, it was La Vita e’bella that brought us together. Imagine, however, how rare it is when we both HATE a movie?

Imagine no longer. Like they used to call them at Yonkers ... “INCEPTION, in front.”

Aside from the explosions and never-ending car chases and bullets that hardly ever found their marks and avalanches, exploding elevators that turn into rocket ships, a van falling (for 25 minutes) off a bridge and whatever happened while I was sound asleep, there was the necessary exposition of one character constantly updating the audience on just WTF was going on. Leo should be ashamed of himself for taking this bomb on and probably should donate the 20 or 30 million he got for it to some film school in the hope they don’t reproduce garbage this bad again in his (or my) lifetime.

But let’s not stop there ... the dialogue in this flick could put a litter of Chihuahuas to sleep. Vaguely, the story behind the dreams (and all their grating levels) has to do with something that happened between Leo and his wife (I think). Then there’s an old Asian dude and some business deal and all the “projections” (of the various paranoid and/or hallucinogenic minds) of whatever the FOCK was supposed to be going on while Leo takes several different elevator rides to the various levels/floors of his past.

Look, when I have to do a double take to make sure Tom Berenger is Tom Berenger, something is seriously wrong with the picture. Nobody should FOCK with Tom Berenger’s looks.

The one bright shining moment in this torture affair was when a freight train appeared out of nowhere (obviously Leo’s past) and started knocking cars out of the way of a very busy boulevard. I briefly wondered what it would be like in 3-D where I’d at least have the hope that said freight train could put me and the rest of the suckers who paid to get in out of our collective misery.

But here’s a Temporary Knucksline blurb for the movie anyway: Inception, a piece of shit from start to finish with a very long and shitty interval between start and finish. Run your fingers through a meat grinder. It’ll be more fun.

Kudos to author and all around great guy, Keith Rawson for nailing my Facebook tease about this piece of shit movie.

The Last Station ... and now, the Gold ...we finally got to see the movie based on the Jay Parini book I read about a month ago and it was a pure delight (for both Mrs. and Mr. Knucks). Helen Mirren is a beautiful woman (at whatever her age is) and she was absolutely masterful in the role of Countess Tolstoy; a mother and wife determined to retain the fruits of her husband’s literary labors (whether he likes it or not). Tolstoy rejected all things material toward the end of his life and a greater good humanitarian society was created in his honor (The Tolstoyan movement). Headed by Paul Giamatti’s character (Vladimir Cherktov), the movement seeks to have the author of Anna Karenina and War & Peace give up all his works to the people of Russian in the form of a new will that will leave his wife and children on their own. Tolstoy’s wife is in a back and forth battle with Cherkov, with both using James McAvoy’s character (Bulgakov) to learn what the other side has planned. Unlike her husband, the Countess is not anxious to give up the better things in life for the sake of the Russian (or any other) people. The back and forth between husband wife is wonderful stuff, as was all the dialogue in this masterpiece about the circumstances surrounding one of the greatest authors ever. Kudos to the entire cast; they were wonderful.

And The Last Station is a brilliant film I’ll see several times in the future.

And then there are my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills (grazing, as you can tell by the picture above) who not only managed to give up 42 points to the Washington Redskins this past week, they managed to injure both their rotating backs. Great. Maybe our genius management up in Orchard Park will bring back the no-huddle again. Last year they nearly killed poor Trent Edwards with that brainstorm of an idea. This year, now that we’ve signed a great kick and punt returner (C.J. Spilling from Clemson), we can probably count on kick-offs being our best offensive plays (since other teams will be scoring so often) but let’s face it, he’ll probably get to rest on the punts ...

Vey iz mir ...


And the DOC says ...

Dear Charles,

The amicis and I really have to thank you for these glimpses you provide of your world. Knucksworld really is a fabulous place. Everyone reads four books a week. The worst crisis you’ve had in recent memory is a movie with too many elevators and the bullets didn’t hit enough people to suit you. Then of course there is Sunday when you watch the Buffalo Bills, a football team that is set up like a government entitlement program… lots of expenses, nice uniforms, pretty cheerleaders and no results. The Bills couldn’t win a game if they were backed up by a squad of snipers. Lala-land has nothing on you, brother. You have Kindle, a set of drums that’s worth more than your car, a hot tub on the deck, a Buffalo Bills tattoo and a talking mouse. God is good!

MEANWHILE, in the real world:
Our First Lady, Chewbacca came back from Spain to a PR nightmare. (That would be Public Relations, Chaz, not Puerto Rican. A Puerto Rican nightmare is an ounce of weed and no rolling paper). They needed a quick cover story to justify the $75,000 per day junket. Luckily for the Wookie, one of her traveling buddies had just lost her father, so that became the alibi. Michelle just wanted to spend some quality time with her grieving friend… and her daughter…and 38 other non-grieving friends. Maybe I’m just cheap. When my friend’s father died I just showed up at the house with a bottle of Southern Comfort and a bag of Doritos.

Her new, hobby program to battle childhood obesity is starting soon. It needed funding, so they took the money from… FOOD STAMPS. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s actually a good idea because those little fat bastards are always slowing up the line at McDonalds.

The Bamster once again strayed away from his teleprompter and put his full support behind the Ground Zero Mosque. He did this after his Ramadan dinner. So let’s see, he doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but he has a Ramadan dinner, but he’s not a Muslim. I had a friend who used to knock off a few beers after breakfast. He said he wasn’t an alcoholic. He just liked to carb-up before work.

Tell me you don’t see the resemblance.

Have a good week in Knucksworld, Chazmeister