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We call this episode Shane Black & The Nice Guys for a certain reason. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are actually the back-up singers to Shane Black’s lead voice.  Black’s words comically swagger from the page to the big screen in this 70’s hard-boiled Pulp mystery.  Holland March is the private dick and John Healy is a freelance enforcer. Both at the bottom of their respective game but get called up to the Noir big leagues to find a missing girl.  With the help of Holland’s young daughter Holly, the pair might stand a chance against the likes of Blue Face and John Boy. Yeah, this film becomes gonzo in the best way.  All on this SPOILER full episode of The Abysmal Brutes!

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We are all spies at heart. Watching and being watched is a part of our everyday lives. So it is no surprise that the Spy genre holds so much appeal to us. Intrigue, power, paranoia and politics.  The Abysmal Brutes debrief the Spy genre.  We discuss the evolution from Cold War espionage to radical terrorist cells depicted in novels, movies, TV and comics.  Ed Brubaker’s Velvet, John Le Carre, Len Deighton, Ian Fleming, the influence of 9/11 on modern Spy genre, Tom Clancy, Warren Ellis’ James Bond, Jason Bourne, The Americans, I Spy. The emotive style and substance of these intelligence agents imprinted deeply on the Abysmal Brutes storytelling psyche as well as millions of fans. 

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Ben Venice never lacked for spirit but he has been an apparition of a man ever since he came back from the Second World War. Then he gets the opportunity to ply his skills again and becomes an Agent of G.H.O.S.T.  Rocko Jerome discusses his latest fiction endeavor with the Abysmal Brutes.  Fast cars, cool jazz, femme fatales and secret cabals. You can’t ask for anything more.

Find Rocko Jerome’s writing at:

http://www.amazon.com/Rocko-Jerome/e/B017WEWZYK

https://rockojerome.com/

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What makes you put off sleep to finish one more page in the novel you are reading? What snags your attention to a movie in a darkened theater filled with popcorn munching strangers? Somehow a connection is made between you and the story on the page or on the screen.  You transport to a shared realm of imagination.  And if the storyteller is good the immersion is seamless. The Storytelling Connection complete. Rob and Bill discuss recent pop culture attempts at creating this connection. Laird Barron’s Man with No Name, Zach Snyder’s Batman v. Superman, Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, Will Arnett’s Flaked and Doug Petrie & Marco Ramirez Daredevil Season 2 are all explored by The Abysmal Brutes this episode.

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman engage in a close-quarter battle for her character’s psyche in the taut thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane. A defined film of terror that falls loosely in the J.J. Abrams Cloverfield universe, based on a script “The Cellar” by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken. The screenplay polished up by “Whiplash” screenwriter/director Damien Chazelle and tightly directed by Dan Trachtenberg punches movie goers in the…well, gut. Welcome to Gut Check with the Abysmal Brutes. SPOILERS ahoy!

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The filmmaker sprung forth from a cracked open VHS tape in the 90’s, a fully formed titan of caustic pop cinema. No, he was struck by a ball of lightning as he watched a Sonny Chiba matinee double feature at a scummy LA grind house theater.  Or did he acquire his screenwriting aesthetics fighting neo-noir jocks in an alley behind the local comic book store? Legends are born somewhere in the margins of damn lies and half-truths.  Like baseball, jazz, cowboys, rock and roll and the hamburger, Quentin Tarantino is an American Original. Or is he? Rob and Bill shine a light on the storytelling conceits of Quentin Tarantino in this episode of the Abysmal Brutes. 

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Scenes are the links in the chain of a story. What does he want? What stands in her way? Motivation. Conflict.  Advancing  the plot. These are a few elements of what a compelling scene must reveal.  The Abysmal Brutes inspect an individual link in the story chain on Breaking Down A Scene.  This episode focuses on a scene from The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe. Eddie Lacrosse is a world worn sword jockey on the hunt for a missing princess. Rob and Bill get their hands dirty pulling apart the scene to see the hard work behind the crafting of an Eddie Lacrosse novel.

http://alexbledsoe.com/

Please contact us at email@theabysmalbrutes.com

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There is so much to discuss about The Force Awakens that it took two shows. After listening to Part 1 faithful listeners you have heard some of the Abysmal Brutes more salient points. Such as; The Abysmal Brutes are passionate Star Wars fans. Bill detests JJ Abrams as a director. Detests! Rocko abhors the shoehorning of the original Star Wars into this soulless Disney money grab especially the depiction of Han Solo. Rob savors his second glass of Bulleit Bourbon while mediating this Star Wars: The Force Awakens slumber party. A cold splash of water awaits Star Wars fandom in this latest episode. 

Rocko Jerome has written about Star Wars. You can find his work at his Amazon page.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is JJ Abrams Muzak masterpiece, a simple movie that plainly harkens back to George Lucas’ beginning.  Elevator music generally contains highs and lows that do not distract the consumer but encourages them to fall deeper into buying goods. Abram’s Star Wars is all highs that lull the viewer into missing plot holes and contrivances. A watered down George Lucas rehash that is comfort food for the nerd soul. The film doesn’t challenge a viewer so much as it slips them into a nostalgic coma. Rob, Bill and Rocko attempt to rouse the audience from their slavish slumber. Surely the Force can withstand a critical eye. Or can it?

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The philosopher and scientist Sir Francis Bacon said, Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few are to be chewed and digested.And the Abysmal Brutes masticated the hell out of some novels in 2015. Paul Tremblay, Lauren Beukes, Adam Rapp, Paolo Bacigalupi, Victor Gischler, Kim Gordon, Warren Ellis, Donald Westlake, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Malcolm Mackay. Rob couldn’t devour books fast enough. Bill actually read some novels published in 2015. We answer the question: If you could take one book from 2015 on your one way trip to the Mars settlement, what would it be?

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