Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

A happy holiday to you and yours, from The Den of Mystery. We hope you gobbled it good today.

Bonus holiday dinner thought to ponder, courtesy of Hooper: "I can't take anymore stuffing!"*

Bonus holiday question to ponder, courtesy of Buck:

Can you watch any scene in Iron Man where Jeff Bridges is enjoying a drink and not picture The Dude nursing a White Russian? (Granted, you probably need a passing familiarity with The Big Lebowski to make the connection.)

-The Management

*(That's what she said.)

Read on, faithful few!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Buckshot: Mini-Review: Quantum of Solace

Is it better than Casino Royale? Well, no, at least not in my opinion. But I also don't feel it deserves the bad rap it's getting. Based on reviews I'd seen, I was expecting the Bond equivalent of a Michael Bay film (And I say that with complete love and admiration for Michael Bay. Have you seen Bad Boys II?). You know, non-stop action with little time for plot or character development. But I was quite pleased with the film. It continues the story where Casino Royale left off, opening with Bond and M interrogating Mr. White, whom Bond captured at the end of the previous film. From there we follow James around the world as he learns more about the mysterious organization known as Quantum and seeks some measure of closure in the death of Vesper Lynd.

Is there a lot of action? Yes, but I don't feel it's at the cost of story. Daniel Craig gets more comfortable in Bond's skin and the supporting players all do an admirable job. I was particularly impressed with Olga Kurylenko as Bond's ally Camille. Her character was given a decent amount of backstory, and Bond didn't even try to sleep with her! This may be the first Bond film where he doesn't bed the female lead; at least I can't think of any others (come on, Bond devotees, are there any other instances?). In fact, we're two films into this new era of Bond, and he's only slept with two women (on-screen, at least). My, what an age we live in.

So go enjoy Quantum of Solace. You could do far worse at the theater this weekend.


Read on, faithful few!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Buckshot: Martians Go Home!

After finishing my War of the Worlds post a couple of weeks ago (which Hooper described as "amazing"), I found I still had Martians on the brain. So I did some more investigating on the interwebs and updated the post with many more links and accounts of other invasion broadcasts that followed the original by Orson Welles in 1938.

It's good stuff, so check it out.


Read on, faithful few!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Buckshot: Let's Get Maverick-y

"And I'll tell you something else: I got so damned sick of that 'Maverick' crap. The original Maverick was James Garner."

~ The usually Republican-voting Papa Buck, discussing the election with yours truly.


Read on, faithful few!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Audacity of Joke

The following is available from Red Bubble on a t-shirt:

Politigeeks, try to tell me you don't need to change your pants after seeing that.

This is, of course, a parody of:


Read on, faithful few!

Michael Crichton, 1942-2008

The Den of Mystery takes a moment to mark the passing of author Michael Crichton, who lost a battle with cancer this past Tuesday.

I devoured much of Crichton's oeuvre in my formative years, with The Andromeda Strain, Sphere, and Jurassic Park being my favorites. In fact, I just finished re-reading Jurassic Park last week. I must confess that aside from Prey, I haven't read much of his more recent work. I remember not loving it, but perhaps I'll take the time to revisit it now, as well as checking out State of Fear, Next, and the as-yet untitled work that will sadly be his final novel, to be released next year.

When I started reading with real intent, Crichton was one of the first authors I really took to, absorbing much the same books as Buck mentioned, as well as Congo, The Lost World and the brilliant The Case of Need (writing as "Jeffrey Hudson"). His prose was always clear, crisp and accessible, without speaking down to the reader. No one will confuse him with Faulkner; his writing was mainstream and any messages weren't to be hidden by complicated stylistic structures or obtuse characters. My dad's favorite is undoubtedly the Viking-centric Eaters of the Dead, which only shows Crichton's range as an author. Hard Case Crime is re-releasing his early mystery novels, published under pseudonyms, in affordable paperbacks. If you love to read, you'll love the blend of science, thrills, humor and excitement that Crichton brought to the craft. He will be dearly missed. (He is the second of my favorite authors to have died this year, following the (cowardly; that's right, I said it) suicide of David Foster Wallace.)

-The Management

Read on, faithful few!

Buckshot: More Election Fun

Well the results are in, and thankfully, no one went with this candidate:

However, after becoming aware of this party, I can't help but think that we as a nation have made a horrible oversight:


Read on, faithful few!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Buckshot: Election Day

E-Day is finally here. And whether you're voting the environmental ticket:

Voting for true change:

Casting a vote for truthiness:

Or voting for the Goddamn Batman:

Get out there and vote!


Read on, faithful few!

Monday, November 3, 2008

TPH: Make Your Case (Part 2)

The Political Hoedown!
Noting the irony in the phrase "Red America"

Jump on over the the Political Hoedown to see near-daily updates (that's right - it now pays to go there daily) as well as the last in a batch of Cases for or against the Presidential candidates:

He Ain't No Maverick: The Case Against John McCain
by Jim Jubilee

Based on Merit: The Case for Barack Obama by Townser

Rebuild: The Case for John McCain by Nashville Sticks

Aside from those, there are a bunch of other posts including a look at media bias (in the form of a letter to the editor), what's become of middle-ground politics, Obama's superior position going into election day, last-minute polling numbers and the resulting head-scratching, and a heartfelt, open letter to Sen. Obama by a small businessman from Texas that is absolutely essential reading on both sides.

Remember to vote tomorrow if you haven't, and do so for the candidate you think will do the best job, not the one your party supports or your parents taught you to like. Ignore the outside noise and focus on the country and the issues facing it. Who has the best chance of meaningful change? Which candidate believes in your version of American and her dream?

Walk proudly into the voting booth and make your choice. I only hope I've helped inform it a little these last ten months.

(And yes, you will hear from me tomorrow.)

Best regards,


The Political Hoedown

Advancing the Conversation

Read on, faithful few!

Night of the Smelly Basset

Yeah, Mandy and I might have gone a touch overboard with the full-body skunk costume for brave, twice-sprayed Neville. It's like waterboarding...for a dog.


Read on, faithful few!

Buckshot: Really?

A teenager has changed his name to Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined.

Now, I could get all comic geek nit-picky and point out that Spider-Man should have a hyphen, and while he's referred to as "the Flash," his name is just Flash, not The Flash...but what's the point? Instead, I'll just say this:

Kid, you're an idiot.


Read on, faithful few!