Friday, October 9, 2015

A Movie and A Book from 1999

In recent days I have aught up with an old book and an old movie, both of which hit the marketplace, coincidentally, in 1999.

The first was the following movie...

My long aversion to prison movies long outweighed my liking of Tom Hanks, so I had never seen this Academy Award nominated movie (it didn't win).  However, at the urging of my friend Bill Montrose - he loaned me his DVD of the flick - I finally watched this, and, yes, I liked it.  It was long and leisurely (three hours), and well acted.  Like "The Shawshank Redemption" (another prison movie that I finally got around to watching thanks to Mr. Montrose), it was directed by Frank Darabont and based on a story by Stephen King.

I thought Shawshank was a better movie.  Green Mile leaned a bit too heavily on mystical or supernatural elements for my tastes, but that's Stephen King for you, and I've never been a fan of his.

Still, the movie featured Tom Hanks and that can never be a bad thing.

After one has seen an older movie like this one, it is interesting to go on line and read reviews off the movie that came out when the movie did.  "The Green Mile" was far from a unanimous hit with the critics back in 1999.  It has, however, stood the test of time fairly well, thanks in large part, I believe, to the performance of Tom Hanks.


The book that I read was "Majic Man" by Max Allan Collins. This was another in his series featuring private eye Nate Heller, and if you read this Blog, you know I love these stories.  

This one takes place in 1949, and finds Nate working for real life Secretary of Defense James Forrestal.  Along the way, Nate also gets involved with muck-raking Washington DC columnist Drew Pearson, the supposed UFO landing at Roswell, NM in 1947, has dinner with Harry Truman, gets beat up and kidnapped by the Air Force, almost gets killed, has sex with a beautiful woman (of course, he does!), meets up with several other real life historical figures, and offers an alternative theory to Mr. Forrestal's suicide in 1949, and a theory of what REALLY happened in Roswell.  Like all of the other Heller novels, it's a really fun and terrific read.

Max Allan Collins has written fifteen Nate Heller novels, and, I am sad to say, that only one, "Chicago Confidential" (2002), remains for me to read.  I think I will put of reading that one for awhile, because I know that there will be no more Heller stories left once that one is done.  

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