Thursday, July 26, 2012

Movie Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

Director:     Colin Trevorrow
Writer:         Derek Connolly

Aubrey Plaza     Darius
Basil Harris     Restaurant Manager
Mary Lynn Rajskub     Bridget
Jake M. Johnson     Jeff
Karan Soni     Arnau
David Schultz     Coworker (as David Leo Schultz)
Jeff Garlin     Mr. Britt
Mark Duplass     Kenneth
William Hall Jr.     Shannon
Alice Hung     Shift Manager
Hassan Cristos Messiah     Boyfriend in car
Keli Schurman-Darby     Girlfriend in car
Jenica Bergere     Liz
Lynn Shelton     Uptight Mom

Just how far will a news reporter go to get a good story?  Safety Not Guaranteed puts the emphasis on WHEN in the typical journalistic question when a Seattle reporter and his two young interns travel to a small town to get the scoop on an ad where a man is asking for a partner to join him in time travel.

The reporter’s actually got a mission of his own. His old flame’s still in town and he’d like to see if he can rekindle the romance.  That leaves his two interns struggling and scrounging for the story.

Darius, the young female, ends up being the partner chosen. Every time she thinks she’s got an idea what’s happening, she’s not entirely sure. Is Kenneth really a time traveler? Is he a spy like the Government agents who are tailing them tell her—or is he just plain crazy?

The story’s a fascinating study of human nature and relationships. Tony and I were somewhat disappointed that we got more social science than science fiction; however this was a good watch on a week-day matinee. Audrey Plaza as Darius stole the show. Her downplayed style of acting was perfect for her role—she had Kenneth convinced on-screen as well as the rest of us in the movie. We were definitely on the edge of our seats for the last part of the movie wondering—was Kenneth for real? Was someone going to get hurt?

I don’t think I’ll see this film again unless it came on television. Still, Safety Not Guarateed is one film that will leave you wondering well after you left the theater.  It was definitely worth the matinee price.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: People Like Us

Directed by:
Alex Kurtzman

Written by:
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Jody Lambert

Chris Pine        Sam
Elizabeth Banks        Frankie
Michael Hall D'Addario    Josh
Michelle Pfeiffer    Lillian
Olivia Wilde        Hannah
Mark Duplass        Ted
Sara Mornell        Dr. Amanda
Philip Baker Hall    Ike Rafferty
Dean Chekvala        Jerry
Barbara Eve Harris    Mrs. Haney
David Burrus        Derek
Joseph Wise        Danny
Devin Brochu        Simon
Gabriela Milla        Lucy
Abhi Sinha        Manager
Jon Favreau        Richards

Sam’s a high-rolling agent for a corporate barter system. He’s doing well until he misses just one little detail—boxed tomato soup should not be shipped by train. Next thing he knows, he’s in serious trouble with his boss and the FDA.

The Devil surely is in the details here, because at the same time he’s getting reamed, he hears his father died. The last thing he wants to do is go to LA for the funeral. He almost manages to miss the trip, but the wallet he ‘misplaced’ in the glove box shows up.

He arrives in LA just to get slapped upside the head by his Mom for being late, for not being there, for a lot of things. The next smack is from the family attorney. There’s no money for him or his Mom, but his Dad left $150,000 for a sister he never knew he had and her son, Josh.

Sam’s got a dilemma. He could use that money. He’s $86,000 in debt and will probably have legal fees. But he goes to see the sister and her son….

This is one of the best ensemble casts I’ve seen. The emotions and reactions were spot on and natural. The audience reacted with tears and laughter on cue.

People Like Us is not a film you’ll find easily. Our art house has it with limited times, but I suspect when the awards come out, you’ll definitely see more of it. Here’s just a sample of one of the scenes between Sam and Josh, his nephew: 

The 6 Rules To Live By

Very seldom do I walk out of the theater and see a knot of strangers standing together raving about the star’s performance. That’s precisely what happened when we left People Like Us. Folks were saying Chris Pine could do much more than action films. I had an inkling of this after Bottle Shock and he certainly held his own with Denzel Washington in Unstoppable. But, here we see Pine’s got the chops for drama. And we better be watching out for Michael Hall D’Addario. If he stays in films, he’s going to be a heartbreaker. Well, he already was as Josh.

Part of the reason the film’s so real is that it’s based on the true story of screenwriter Alex Kurtzman’s discovery that he had a half-sister.  Below is an interview to tell you more: 

The Basis For The Movie aka The REAL Story

Sometimes, the best stories come straight from the heart. Write what you know is very good advice for anyone who wants to succeed as a writer. This film definitely deserves some accolades.

Now, for the rating. This film was definitely worth full price even with the uncomfortable art theater seating for both the spouse and me. I don’t think I’ll purchase the DVD simply because I’m not that big a fan of drama. Those of you who enjoy family drama may well wish to add the film to your collection.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012


MOVIE REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises (Spoilers)

Directed by:
Christopher Nolan
Written by:
Jonathan Nolan (screenplay) and
Christopher Nolan (screenplay)
Christopher Nolan (story) & David S. Goyer (story)

Christian Bale        Bruce Wayne
Gary Oldman        Commissioner Gordon
Tom Hardy        Bane
Joseph Gordon-Levitt    Blake
Anne Hathaway        Selina
Marion Cotillard    Miranda
Morgan Freeman        Fox
Michael Caine        Alfred
Matthew Modine        Foley
Alon Aboutboul        Dr. Pavel (as Alon Moni Aboutboul)
Ben Mendelsohn        Daggett
Burn Gorman        Stryver
Daniel Sunjata        Captain Jones
Aidan Gillen        CIA Op
Sam Kennard        Special Ops Sergeant
Aliash Tepina        Hooded Man #2
Nestor Carbonell    Mayor
Brett Cullen        Congressman

It’s eight years after Commissioner Gordon and Batman have cleaned up Gotham City.  Bruce Wayne’s still nursing his injuries. Gordon is sticking with the lie that Harvey Dent was the city’s hero.

The Bat Signal’s fallen to disrepair along with the Caped Crusader’s reputation. Wayne has retired from public life and left the Wayne Corporation to run itself after an attempt to create a safe nuclear reactor for clean energy reveals that the device may well work, but could be used as a bomb. His only interaction is with his faithful butler, Alfred, until the Catwoman steals his mother’s pearls. He chases her to reclaim the prize only to discover she was actually after a good deal more than jewels.

Blake, a new officer on the Gotham force, notices one of the young boys from his former orphanage, Saint Swithun’s, is dead. He learns that The Wayne Foundation has cut funding for boys over sixteen and many of the boys are going underground to the sewers because there’s work to be had there. The work turns out to be crime.

There’s a new villain in town and this one may well be the ruin of Gotham City. Bane, the protégé of Ra’s Al Ghul who was first Wayne’s mentor then nemesis, is planning to use the Wayne Industries reactor to blow Gotham to dust. Bane’s an interesting character. To me, he seemed like an unclothed Darth Vader with more swagger than the Sith Lord’s ominous menace.

The first portion of the film was riveting with a daring midair highjack scene that will take your breath away. Catwoman’s escapades are well-done. Anne Hathaway isn’t Eartha Kitt or Julie Newmar, but she’s definitely well above Halle Berry’s insipid portrayal of the slinky jewel thief.

The central act dragged. Bane’s political attack on the stock exchange, etc. was far too heavy-handed. Times I couldn’t tell if he was a 9/11 terrorist or an Occupier. Perhaps that was Christopher Nolan’s intent? Sticking Wayne in Bane’s former oubliette of a prison seemed like a gimme.

No, I’m not telling you the end. I will say the action picked up and the film delivered. It’s a worthy finale for a three-part series, which was mostly good.

What I liked most about the film was the music. This surprised me because James Newton Howard was not involved in this picture as he was the first two. The soundtrack is the best Batman music ever. Hans Zimmer makes every note drive the plot forward. If you want music that will get you moving, consider this soundtrack for a heart-pumping workout. The sound’s definitely the best Dark Knight soundtrack and possibly Zimmer’s high note as well. 

As always, Michael Caine was the best Alfred ever. Christian Bale delivered a stirring performance as Bruce-Batman, and Gary Oldman’s reprisal of Commissioner Gordon was his best in the series. I’m going to be watching out for Joseph Gordon Leavitt, who played Blake. He may well be the next big action hero.

As for the rating,  The Dark Knight Rises was worth matinee price. While I have the other two films in the series, I am not sure whether I will purchase the DVD or not. I didn’t like The Dark Knight Rises as well as either of its predecessors.

I suspect this film will be forever tainted by the shootings in Aurora, Colorado on the night of its opening. Whether the shootings are a direct relation to the film or not may never be known. What I would like to say is remember the film’s message. Batman’s mission is about heroism, taking care of your fellowman and helping those who need it. My hope is the fans of Batman will rally around the victims. If you want to help, here’s a link: 

Giving First

PARENTAL ADVISORY:  This film is rated PG-13 for violence. Please do not bring your little children to the theater. One child in the audience with us was screaming and begging to leave. If your kid isn’t old enough to handle this kind of film, do them and the audience a favor and leave them home.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Director: Lorene Scafaria
Writer: Lorene Scafaria (screenplay)

Brad Morris         Radio Announcer
Steve Carell         Dodge
Nancy Carell         Linda
Mark Moses         Anchorman
Roger Aaron Brown     Alfred
Rob Huebel         Jeremy
Trisha Gorman         Crying Woman
Keira Knightley     Penny
Adam Brody         Owen
Tonita Castro         Elsa
Leslie Murphy         Amy
Connie Britton         Diane
Rob Corddry         Warren
Kasey Campbell         Danny
Melanie Lynskey     Karen

World-wide headlines read, "Space Shuttle Deliverance Mission Failed! World Ends in Three Weeks." This is no fake evangelical scare. This is an astronomical event with a sphincter factor of 9.9. Asteroid Matilda is coming and she's taking us out when she arrives.

So what are the doomed denizens of the planet going to do for the last twenty-one days of their life?

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World shows the best and worst of humankind. Looting in the streets as citizens play the game of "he who dies with the most stuff wins," abandoning homes, pets and families, and then, there's Dodge.

Dodge is in crisis. His wife's just left him for another man and he's vulnerable and alone at the worst possible time. When he gets a neighbor's letter by accident, he returns the envelope to her only to discover the somewhat ditzy English bird has three years of his mail that she's forgotten to deliver.

Among those letters are some from the girl who got away. Dodge now has a mission. He's also got a partner in his journey, the neighbor who wants to get home to her family in England.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World earned high reviewer and audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn't really that common, though most people I know haven't even heard of the film. If you enjoy high-irony count dark humor, you're going to like this film. The experience really causes you to think about your own life and what you'd like to do with it.

What would you do if you knew you had twenty-one days left? What would you do if the world had only that much time?

On my ratings scale, the film was worth the matinee price; however, I doubt I could handle seeing it again.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012

Movie Review: Bernie (Spoiler Alert)

Director:     Richard Linklater

Writers:     Richard Linklater (screenplay), Skip Hollandsworth (screenplay)

Credited cast:
Matthew McConaughey Danny Buck
Jack Black Bernie Tiede
Shirley MacLaine Marjorie Nugent
Rick Dial Don Leggett
Grant James Mr. Estes
Tommy G. Kendrick Larry Brumley
Sonny Carl Davis Lonnie (as Sonny Davis)
Mona Lee Fultz Cashier
Brandon Smith Sheriff Huckabee
Ira Bounds Cursing gossip
Brady Coleman ... Scrappy Holmes

If you’ve heard of the Bernie Tiede case, you already know the outcome of the story. For those needing some reference, here are a few links. The top link from Texas Monthly is what actually drew director, Richard Linklater, to the case and won the author the chance to co-write the film’s screenplay.

Magazine Article That Inspired The Movie

Wikipedia: Bernie Tiede

Briefly, the story’s about a young assistant undertaker named Bernie Tiede, who was quite popular in the East Texas town of Carthage particularly with the blue-haired ladies. He befriends a widowed heiress Marjorie Nugent, who was at best, a pill. As their relationship, develops, Nugent is more and more dependent on Bernie and ties him down to her, excluding him from the town residents, who mostly like him very much. This exclusion and her actions are the marks of a domestic abuser. Bernie snaps, shoots Mrs. Nugent in the back four times and kills her, then stuffs her in a freezer where he kept the cold-hearted woman on ice for nine months.

Murder isn’t funny, the real Danny Buck, prosecutor in this case asserts, and I have to agree with him. But, I promise you that if your sense of humor runs to the dark side, you will be laughing throughout Bernie. No, I couldn’t laugh at the crime. It’s the East Texas phrasing, the way the entire cast plays their parts, and the utter weirdness of small towns that brings the laughter forward.

Real residents of the town of Carthage are up on screen talking about the aspects of the case throughout the film. They’re saying things like, “Bernie made us look beautiful. It’s a shame we were dead and couldn’t see it.”

Shirley MacLaine never disappoints when she plays a cranky old woman. Her Ouiser from Steel Magnolias describes Marjorie Nugent pretty well. “The only reason people are nice to me is because I have more money than God.” What else can one say about a woman whose own family sued her? 

Jack Black is masterful as Tiede. When I initially saw the first news reports of the crime, I recalled the young undertaker’s mannerisms and Black’s got them down. Just so you could see how closely Jack Black represents Bernie Tiede, here’s an interview of the man himself from prison:

Bernie is one of those films you’ll enjoy if you’re amused by Texas Southern humor and gossipy small towns. If your sense of humor doesn’t extend to the dark, like me you won’t be laughing at the spots which smack too much of schadenfreude. Ignore the portions of the audience who are laughing and concentrate on the sociological aspects of the Tiede case. What extreme abuse could bring a young man raised in Christian kindness and Southern chivalry to shoot a woman in the back? Who would the town side with—a woman who lorded her riches over them or a young man who spent the widow’s money lavishly to make their town a better place, yet taking none of it for himself? 

For my personal ranking. Bernie was definitely worth the matinee price; however, I doubt I’d own the film when it comes out on DVD. The case is interesting and good for a laugh, but I don’t think I can see the murder again. The case is real. Lovable or not, a woman died. And a man who still cannot answer why he did it will spend a life sentence in a Texas prison.

If you ask Tiede, he’d tell you he regretted the crime and he wishes every day of his life he hadn’t done it. I don’t regret for one minute seeing this delightful film. Whether you’re watching for the hometown humor or the case itself, you’re going to enjoy yourself.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012

Move Review: Ted

Directed by
Seth MacFarlane
Written by
Seth MacFarlane (story)
Screenplay by
Seth MacFarlane

Alec Sulkin

Wellesley Wild

Mark Wahlberg
John Bennett
Mila Kunis
Lori Collins
Seth MacFarlane
Ted (voice)
Joel McHale
Giovanni Ribisi
Patrick Warburton
Matt Walsh
Jessica Barth
Aedin Mincks
Bill Smitrovich
Patrick Stewart

A cinena-wise friend of mine said: “We’re going to get remakes until the economy improves.” Well, we’re getting clones of television shows, too. Liking Family Guy is not a guarantee that you will enjoy Ted, which is essentially a clone of the show.
 Tony and I didn’t like Ted. It’s rare that I walk out on a film and ask for our money back. I can think of two instances: The World According to Garp and Ted.
 When I first saw the previews for Ted, I thought I was going to love the film. I’m fond of cinema of the weird. I like bears and the trailer was hilarious. Somehow, I suspect they saved the best for the trailer.
 I actually did laugh a few times during the first few minutes of the film, but I quickly lost interest. The basic storyline is cute: young friendless kid wishes his Christmas gift would come to life so he could have a companion.
 And presto—the bear’s talking without someone physically activating him. Ted becomes a celebrity, making appearances on nighttime talk shows and signing autographs.
But, twenty-eight years later, they’re still together and they’re still basically kids. It’s Peter Pan without pirates or a starship to make the action interesting. Instead, you’ve got mostly lame jokes and relationship angst. John can’t commit to his girlfriend of four years and Ted’s—well, Ted’s only serious love is Mary Jane and I’m not talking about a girl, I’m talking about weed.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to legalization and I actually think some weed-based frat boy humor is funny. I liked Reefer Madness and I love Cheech and Chong. Ted just went over-the-top stupid.
Normally, when I buy a ticket, I’m in for the long haul but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend another hour to find out if all ended well for the duo or not. Nothing about any of the characters induced me to care. The action figures Seth MaFarlane creates for Sideshow have more personality.
Can I recommend this film?  Only if you really like Dumb and Dumber type films and just want to see more. On opening night, the theater had thirteen people in it and two walked out. When we approached the manager, he wasn’t at all surprised that we’d asked for a refund—it’d already happened a few times before that day. His feelings:
“Some people like it. Some people don’t.”
So, if you go—be sure to check and see if you can get a refund if you leave. Before I’d recommend investing the time and money, just wait til it’s out for a $1 rental and watch at home with friends and beer. Or weed. Weed might well make this film the best you’ve ever seen.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Directed by:

Mark Andrews
Brenda Chapman
Steve Purcell
Written by:

Mark Andrews (screenplay)
Steve Purcell (screenplay)
Brenda Chapman (screenplay)
Irene Mecchi (screenplay)

Cast: (Voices)

Kelly Macdonald … Merida
Billy Connolly … Fergus
Emma Thompson … Elinor
Julia Walters … The Witch
Robbie Coltrane … Lord Dingwell
Kevin McKidd … Lord MacGuffin/Young MacGuffin
Craig Ferguson … Lord MacIntosh

Pixar created some of the best long and short children's films, but something's been lacking. They've had many brilliant female characters: Jessy in Toy Story, Sally Carrera in Cars, Boo in Monsters, Inc. just to name a few, they have not had a female lead until now.

Merida's worthy of being the first. A Princess constantly at odds with her mother, Queen Elinor, she's at wits' end when Mom gathers the four clans of the kingdom together to determine which of the eldest sons will be her husband. And they're deciding that fate based upon an archery contest? Merida snatches up her bow and wins her own hand.

The problem with this is, their kingdom is still new. The alliances they’ve forged are not strong. Merida’s actions are tantamount to a declaration of war. And, let’s face it, there’s nothing Scots like better than a row.

When she goes out to seek her own fate, Merida realizes the consequences of a not so well-thought-out wish can be disastrous. Can she save her kingdom and herself from her own wish?

I've been waiting for this film since the first trailer started showing up online, but I was afraid too many trailers spoiled the story. Not true. There's still plenty you don't see and seeing the whole story carefully woven together is a delightful experience. The Celtic music is beautiful, just enough bagpipes to be appropriate and not turn the haters off, and there's enough laughs to keep everything interesting. Of course, I'm prejudiced. It's a Girl Power film and it's based on a mythical form of Scotland!

Like many Disney films, I'm not sure portions of this film are good for really small children. That being said, the kids five and above in the audience seemed to love the film. Don’t take the littlest ones, there are spots many of the youngest got afraid.

I liked Brave well enough to go see it again. I own the soundtrack and I'll buy the DVD when it comes out. Is it worth 3D? 3D gives me a headache and I'd probably try seeing the show the second time as a matinee.

Do stay for the credits. There's a cute Easter Egg at the end.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

COMMENTARY: He was such a nice man.....

Ahem years ago when Tony and I were buying our wedding rings we met the nicest man. He was the manager of the jewelry store where I fell in love with a few rocks and a bit of gold.

Tony made me look all over town before I decided, but I wanted *that* ring.

So, we came back and the manager chuckled, "Knew you were coming back."

He was a lovely man who wished us the best on our marriage. A well dressed and impeccably groomed man. Nothing really stands out on his appearance. Caucasian male, about 6'0", slender, brown hair and eyes....A really great smile and a strong handclasp. That day, he told us about his wife and kid and how happy he was to be married.

Every time we visited the mall, he'd greet us with a smile. Sometimes we'd stop and visit, sometimes we'd be on a time crunch and just exchange quick pleasantries. We came to think of him as a friend and we knew about his wife and young child.

Then, his jewelry store had a 25th anniversary contest. Seeing the placard, I went in to register. The grand prize, to be awarded at every store in the chain, was a diamond solitaire.

The manager motioned us to come with him.

"I want you to win," he told me. Then, he handed me three whole pads of the entry form. I had tears in my eyes, but I filled them out and I put them in every time we were near the mall.

Yeah, he handed me more forms and smiled every time I put an entry in. I didn't have his faith in me--but he knew I was going to win.

Only it wasn't his store. We made a trip to Tulsa for I-don't-know-what reason and I forgot to bring any forms. I filled out two forms at that store. Tony filled out his one and only entry.

Several weeks later, we got a call from the Tulsa store. We'd won the grand prize.

We drove up there in an excited frenzy. Turns out, TONY won the grand prize. But being the wonderful person he is, he let me have it. I got a gorgeous designer ring that was on sale instead of the solitaire and I've loved that ring all these years.

We came back and showed the ring to our friend.

"Knew you'd win," he said with utter confidence.

I don't know how many months later it was, we passed the jewelry shop while running errands and saw police tape up in front. When we found someone to ask, they told us the manager of the store shot and killed his wife and child, then turned the gun on himself. They were divorcing and he just snapped.

"He was such a nice man." Everyone said it. "He didn't look like the kind of man to do that--especially knowing how much he loved his family."

Othering--it's a word I just heard today from a dear friend who created it to explain our tendency to want to make people who commit horrific acts to look like something other--as if appearance can predict actions. There was nothing other about this man. He was a church-going, loving husband and father from all appearances. An upstanding citizen.

Yes, he did carry a concealed weapon. He also made substantial deposits to the bank and occasionally was required to carry jewelry as part of his job. The gun was a necessity.

There was nothing Tony or I or anyone else who knew him could think of that would make him want to kill the two people he loved the most. He certainly didn't look like someone with that kind of problem. But, circumstances got beyond his control--and he snapped.

I choose to remember him as the man who helped a pair of newlyweds cement a bond that's lasted years. And even more important, a man who taught me about confidence. Don't ever let anyone tell you that confidence is not contagious. His faith drove me to try for that gold ring and that faith kept me trying. I learned a valuable lesson from him--one I'll never forget.

I only wish he'd had confidence in his ability to make it through his own trials. The world is a lesser place without his smile and his kindness.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Black Hats -- Patrick Culhane

I owe author Joe R. Lansdale a huge debt of thanks for turning me on to this book. I've been searching for a copy in good condition for quite awhile and finally found one. It's a pleasure to hold a real book in my hands for a while, but I'm learning another advantage to tablet readers. You can simply wipe away the dust.

I will say that Black Hats is well worth every eye-watering moment and probably a couple of doses of Sudafed as well. Ever imagine that Wyatt Earp, the hero of Tombstone and the winner of the infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral would meet Al Capone?

In this tale, Earp's hired by Big Nose Kate, aka Katie Elder, the former companion of his old friend Doc Holliday. You see, Kate and Doc had a son who Doc never knew existed. When John Junior, Doc's full name was John Henry Holliday, learns his father was a dentist, he naturally follows in the old man's footsteps. Those immortal footsteps were in the field of dentistry until John Junior's beloved wife dies in childbed. Bereft, the man turns to alcohol and grief and becomes a true son of Doc Holliday. He's running a speakeasy now instead of working on people's teeth.

The problem is, Holliday's business venture runs afoul of organized crime, in particular Al Capone. This is New York City and Prohibition is just beginning. The "forties" or fortieth street, has speakeasies springing up like "mushrooms" according to Wyatt Earp, who's been hired to get Doc's son out of trouble.

Earp had no idea what a Tommy Gun was until he reached New York City and learned from Bat Masterson, who is now working as a sports editor. Can a man who shoots a six-shooter successfully go up against a gun which shoots 1,500 bullets per minute?

Every writer aspires to a few good lines. Culhane's got so many, I honestly cannot keep track. Just thought I'd share a few with you:

Referring to his current reading:

"This Hamlet feller is a talkative man. Wouldn't have lasted long in Kansas."

Referring to the relationship between Doc Holliday and Kate Elder:

"Never had two walked the line between love and hate as unsteadily as Doc and Kate."

Snap! That last one even rhymes.

Culhane's also done his homework. The story resounds with great detail of the factual events surrounding Earp as well as creating a realistic environment for the alternative history portion where Earp meets Capone.

If you enjoy tales of the Old West mixed with the roar of the Twenties, Black Hats is definitely a book for you. The story's well-written and deserves to come out of mothballs for a movie. It's going to be tough to find a good copy of the book. I suggest Powells Books in Portland, OR ( for your best chances at a good price.

NOTE: Patrick Culhane is the pseudonym for Max Allen Collins, who's probably most famous for The Road to Perdition, but also has more books and novelizations to his credit that I can name in this space.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012