December 15, 2012
June 9, 2012
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Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon), who was not reprised in Viva La Madness.
Sidney (Ben Whishaw) and Tammy (Sienna Miller) who also weren’t reprised.
Near the start of Layer Cake, [xxxx] and Morty go to lunch with Geno and Jimmy Price at Pepe’s Barn. As far as we are concerned, that scene and the conversation between [xxxx] and Price at lunch, and then in the bathroom, were outstanding, having perfectly conveyed the path of the book, overall. They are just two scenes of many outstanding ones in Layer Cake, as Connolly is most genius at language, obviously proving that out with giant scenes for Eddy Temple, and Geno and frankly, most of the people who had speaking parts. When [xxxx] gets kidnapped and filled in? Phenomenal. And then again, when Eddy fills [xxxx] in with the layer cake speech at the end. And then, in the movie, [xxxx] shows why he’s already up the layer cake farther than Mr. Temple knows, or Mr. Ryder, in the movie. You know we are bigger on the movie’s ending, where he leaves with a leg up, than the book’s most disappointing outcomes. And you know why. So we’ll not get into that, though as always, I would certainly entertain comments, as it has become a spirited discussion between the fans of the book.
There was no big setup moment. Or good setup moment. And frankly, we thought the first 100 pages were extremely tedious and uninteresting. But the sequel, Viva La Madness, a good ten years in arriving after Layer Cake, perhaps got it done in other ways, as we have walked away about as best we could be satisfied with a story in which Connolly skunked nearly a dozen worthy characters. It bothers us also that he didn’t really write any that were that stirring either. Viva La Madness opens slowly and leaves you wanting for old characters. Look, I think you knew I’d be honest. Gene, Mr. Temple/Mr. Ryder, Tammy, Trevor & Shanks, Tiptoes, Billy Bogus, and many of the flashback characters, in the very least, were all compelling characters who all the fans have really gotten attached to. How could you not?
Here’s another thing, while we are airing the complaints. It doesn’t sound like him in all parts. I don’t really know what’s going on there. But Connolly was using phrases that seemed out of character. Again, comment me on that if you like. It would be too difficult to explain and we do not wish to be so overly critical. We said what we needed to say on that.
But the book does start to satisfy. And when you are in full clip, you are reading this beast furiously. Because Connolly is that kind of writer. He writes a good, compelling, fun story. And because the characters are a bit too drab or a bit too “heads the balls”, you want the two good characters, our man [xxxx] and Mr. Mortimer to win more than ever. Anything else will be indecent. And that is what we always said from the start was the problem from the first book, then corrected in the movie, and then seen to not need correcting in the new novel. The good guys win. Finally.
And they get laid. On my word, [xxxx] gets laid, finally, and the pussy is very good. That’s great. We who are rooting for him want him to get laid. So they gave us that as well. The book is really not as colorful as the first. It’s also not as black and white. It’s quite grey, in fact. And that should be one’s outlook, and perhaps not so black and white. Remember, they are commodities traders, and they do make fair compensation. It is a business at which men like them are successful. That they do not complete the $100M score, and only come out with a several million dollar score is really nothing to cry about. This book goes down over a period of about twenty days. So if you are getting 3M to walk away with, you have been fairly compensated for those twenty days worth of work, especially if you are already a murderous drug dealer.
We have to say we really like it. We liked the ending. More grey. That black and white first book, was really tainted in our mind, by the ending. You don’t have that here. The characters we like are rich and safe. Yay. The plot is well developed, and complicated, and it is a real page turner. Exactly what you want. But we just weren’t feeling these new characters. We are sure that Connolly and Vaughn will punch them up better if/when the movie becomes a reality. So we are not gonna cry about that. If a book is not perfect you are going to have to live with some flaws. Connolly might have had the one truly great story that made Layer Cake the lightning bolt it was. That is not going to be easy to duplicate. But it’s a good sequel to Layer Cake and was well worth buying and reading and anticipating as we did.
Smiler’s alright, but the Venezuelans and the other Brit’s were just brutal, not interesting. Sonny and Roy? The Toff? Ih. He’s alright. Ted Granger? Not really impressed. But this book was funny, and was compelling from about page 100 through to the end. We did not expect this book to be better than or equal to Layer Cake. As we have suggested, that may be impossible for Connolly. But if you like this kind of fiction, drug crime fiction, it’s really the only game in town, and the very big boys who Connolly describes are doing very similar things to the things that Connolly describes, especially in business.
So we have to say kudos. We were immediately satisfied. We sat on writing this for many months, as we read it fairly immediately upon release. And our opinion hasn’t changed any. We’ve seen a lot of people reading the ‘Layer Cake Sequel Approaches’ post, so we may as well let you know our thoughts.
Viva La Madness should be a satisfying read for Connolly fans. And they should want to see it on the big screen, where once again, the book will outdo the movie. But we say all this while fully acknowledging that Connolly is a master in the genre, and we have to thank him for bringing some compelling stories to us. Thanks JJC. But if we could suggest for next time, please bring back some of the old guard. There would be no questions as to any book’s interest level with some of those characters in the mix.
March 25, 2012
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January 31, 2012
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When the latest WTA rankings became public today, we found ourselves scanning the page a little bit, for it isn’t every week that the previous week’s #1 drops all the way down to four in one week’s time. Then again, Wozniacki isn’t like most other #1’s. Like the kind who earn their way there by scoring both major and minor tournament victories, and not just via the latter. We all knew that things were going to be different for the Dutch miss when she woke up this morning than it had been in quite a while, and frankly, Azarenka, Kvitova, and Sharapova, the new top three, have earned their new spots by playing great tennis and by also dominating Wozniacki. So finally, the rankings system is working again in the women’s game. As the great John McEnroe explains in his book, You Cannot Be Serious, that when a player falls from #1, each slipped notch represents a great divide, and that #1 is say, so much better than #2, and #2 is so much better than #3 and on down. Now you might be thinking, not so, when applied to the current men’s game, and not even so when looking at the top two women’s spots, even this week. For there is obviously, at least based on Melbourne, not a great deal separating #1 and #2 and #1 and #4, having watched Djokovic-Murray and then Djokovic-Nadal.
But these men are different. We haven’t had an unworthy men’s #1, a non major champion #1 man in ages. And for our money, Kvitova is the real #1 on the women’s side, and she has the edge over Azarenka, whether she has the ranking or not. As for Wozniacki, there is no question that she has been undeserving (and under serving), or that she was worthy of this startling demotion. As a #1, she made zero major finals last year, and lost a staggering 17 times, for a 63-17 record. Clear cut compiling, by virtue of amount played, ala Jelena Jankovic, the other most blatantly undeserving (and under serving) #1 in recent memory. Wozniacki lost once every four and a half matches, which wouldn’t even see her reach the semis, on average, at masters level events. And what about who she lost to?
We haven’t racked the annals of the record book yet, but we’ll ask when a world #1 of any sort lost two matches in one year to players ranked 70th or lower? Last year, Wozniacki lost to Sofia Arvidsson (#73) and Christina McHale (#76), and only the latter has been on an upward trajectory. Too many losses, too poor a quality of loss, and very bad losses at majors, such as to Hantuchova (#29) in the round of 32 in Paris and to Cibulkova (#24) in the round of 16 at Wimbledon, after winning the first set 6-1. Since almost all American tennis coverage comes filtered through ESPN, heavily invested in promoting athletic personalities for reasons such as promotion, like all the players they put in their Sportscenter commercials, a group to which Wozniacki belongs, it isn’t surprising that lead female voice, Mary Joe Fernandez, was pubbing for Wozniacki hard all of last year, constantly on the stump about how well the rankings system works, and how deserving Wozniacki was. MJF has to be so careful though, what with all her and ESPN’s conflicts of interests and all. So when she says things like ‘winning at Indian Wells is just like winning a major’…um…take that with an ocean of salt.
While we do stand by our title, and feel Wozniacki, like Jankovic, is for all intents and purposes done at the top, she is far from done as in cooked. Yet. The first thing that Wozniacki needs to do, like so many in her position or a similar one, is ditch dad. In Jankovic’s case it was mom. Wozniacki has her ex-soccer star father coaching her, and as you can see, nowhere in that byline is the word “tennis.”
Plenty of girls have success as slap hitting pushers. Just look at Kim Clijsters. But Clijsters comes up with shots when pushed while Wozniacki comes up with…losses. She needs a drastic remodel on the forehand side, and she needs to find a way to hang on to her serve in pressure situations against mediocre and top talent. That’s a big job and it will start in practice. As we suggested for Jankovic, we suggest for Wozniacki. She must cut weeks from her playing schedule and add weeks to her practice schedule. We don’t think the homely Jankovic was in demand as a model, so it wasn’t like she needed to worry about that, but Wozniacki does. But Wozniacki is no Kournikova. She is not so hot that people will want to take her picture when the tennis part is done.
What she does have in common with Jankovic is plain old greed. When Wozniacki should be practicing or resting, she is playing. When she needs to be practicing for Wimbledon, where she sucks, she is playing indoors, clearly picking up the paycheck. When she needs to be resting the week before the US Open, she is playing New Haven, the only top player in the world who doesn’t skip it. When she should be preparing for red clay, she is playing on green clay, which does not make you in any way appreciably better on red clay. For the paycheck.
So Wozniacki must also exercise some common sense as well. We understand the demands of sponsors and all this other nonsense, but those demands will lessen quickly if she is out of the top twenty next year, which can also happen. Not that we care to see her improve. Just being honest. And while we’re at the honesty thing, we feel no real imperative to suggest a coach, as we might do for a player we like. You know we were thrilled to see today’s huge, if not stunning reversal in rankings. This kid does not play the right way. Kudos WTA.
September 9, 2011
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The new release date is now November 1st, 2011, according to www.borders.com.
September 3, 2011
George Harris and Daniel Craig in Layer Cake (above).
“This monkey business is in your blood, under your skin. You aren’t getting out, you’re just getting in. You’re only getting started…”
Eddy Temple, or Ryder is it? We hardly knew ye. For it is fact, now confirmed, the rumor that author J.J. Connolly has only reprised one other character in his soon to hit sequel to Layer Cake, Viva la Madness. That character, as we have speculated, is Mr. Mortimer, pictured above with [xxxx], played by Daniel Craig.
It’s not as though we have a problem with Morty by any means, but some might ask how dare he skunk so many other dynamic characters, especially Eddy Ryder and Gene? Well, we’ve got other news also gleaned from Connolly interviews. He has not sold the rights to Viva la Madness and doesn’t sound positive that it will make it to the big screen. Connolly said he hopes to hear from Matthew Vaughn who he hopes will ring Daniel Craig.
Everyone should remember that Layer Cake was done on a tight budget, that Craig was not yet a movie star at that time and that Vaughn was a rookie director on the film, most certainly an expense saved. And now, Craig is just about the biggest movie star on the planet. That Layer Cake helped get him the role of 007 though does in no way ensure that Craig actually reprises the role of [xxxx].
If your return visit to the Layer Cake has been decidedly negative so far, take heart. Whatever the machinations are of Hollywood and big business, we are very confident that this sequel will do what is almost impossible in the realm of entertainment, which is to succeed on an artistic level. But Crack, haven’t you trashed Connolly for being a cheap artist who uses cheap tricks like the unrevealed narrator, and who writes in the first person, making for standard junk fiction?
Yes and no. We aren’t expecting the second coming of War and Peace, some great achievement in high fiction. What we are expecting is the second coming of Layer Cake, only more expansive. Layer Cake goes international. Connolly might not write high fiction, but he is definitely in the Premiere League of regular fiction. We have missed his sterling dialogue and have waited anxiously for this sequel, which you can pre-order now in advance of its September release.
Crack, didn’t you pan Connolly for Layer Cake’s inconsistent ending, crediting Vaughn for cleaning up the story and making for a better film than book, something rarely done in the history of fiction to motion picture? Yes. Connolly though also had a major hand in the way the story was reworked (he wrote the screenplay), and while we don’t necessarily agree with what he did with [xxxx] at the end of the book to get an innocent American tourist killed in the park instead of Klaus, the Amsterdam pill syndicate’s gruesome henchman, we do now understand his logic, as a major advocate of legalization, that the illegal drug world is chaotic and violent and that the more involved people are in it, the less control they will have over their lives.
Obviously that is true, and is perhaps an even better rationale for legalization than financial exploits. After all, a book is a different entity from a movie, and Connolly didn’t have the same interest in keeping [xxxx] likable as say, Sony and Columbia Pictures did. Connolly does have a keen interest in presenting his world, where the dons are the least trustworthy of all, and we feel he has a lot to work with even without the embarrassment of riches that were the bulk of his original book cast. With Mort having sufficient connections in the Caribbean and in the cocaine world, with that world being [xxxx]’s only real trade, and now having him relocated to Venezuela, a stone’s throw from the coast of Colombia, we are expecting to see all the tricks on the highest level of that trade, including the latest in international smuggling and money laundering that Connolly has now had about ten years to research and write up.
Whether he makes it to the big screen again or not, take heart friends, for [xxxx] is indeed alive. Watch the alternate endings on your DVD! Sidney does not kill our protagonist on the steps of Pepi’s Barn with that gun shot. As you may know from the end of the book. And as you also may know, [xxxx] is forced to relocate to the Caribbean or risk being prosecuted for killing an American tourist.
It all makes for a great beginning for Viva la Madness, which we think will provide us with a look into a world which combines gritty London gangster, tropical locales, and an episode of Locked Up Abroad in South America. Jimmy Price, London’s godfather and chief rat, had his brains and those of his boxers splattered all over his backyard. The London underworld is out of whack, pardon the pun, and coke prices, even at insane wholesale levels, have skyrocketed, as Connolly also set up well at the end of Layer Cake. Re-enter [xxxx] later this month.
How does [xxxx] actually re-enter the United Kingdom? And how are we to forget the characters we have come to love? We’re confident leaving all that to Connolly.
June 10, 2011
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Green Fleur di Lys with a full range of their reagent test results (above).
Perhaps you’ve noticed that the page has been light on hits these months. Indeed it is so. We figured that we may as well mirror the times, with so little decent product in the form of pills popping up to peak our attention. We aren’t crying about it, don’t get us wrong. Why would anyone make a real pill that’s illegal, when they can make a totally legal bunk knockoff? Especially when a lot of the people out there are too stupid to know the difference.
Bringing us to mincha23 and his girlfriend and their trip report, recently filed with www.pillreports.com. Take a look:
|Date Submitted:||June 6, 2011, 4:14 am GMT|
|Submitted By:||mincha23 (member since June 6, 2011)|
|Logo:||New Orleans Saints|
|Report Quality Rating:||(5 stars, 1 vote)|
|Description:||If this is your first time, DO NOT TAKE..|
|Suspected Contents:||Piperazine + Another|
|User Report:||1030PM: Popped the first one with some friends1045PM: Took another, no feeling1130PM: Took another, very light feeling but nothing major.1150PM: Dropped one last one.1240AM: All of them kicked in and kicked my ass. Feeling good, looking at the lights and felt amazing. Not as good as the other pills I took.
200AM: Same feeling but slowly coming down. These pills made me feel really lazy, and did not want to do anything.
400AM: Able to drive about 25 miles to go home. As soon as i started to drive felt really sick, and my gf threw up as soon as we got home.
600AM: Went to sleep, slept well. Easy to sleep on.
1200PM: Woke up and felt really lazy, went back to sleep.
600PM: GF still feels sick cant get out of bed.
900PM: Still sick and cant move!
So mincha23 popped ’em and kept popping them until he had a piperazine overdose. And his girl too. Brilliant. Bravo. This kid truly was born yesterday. Certainly not the responsible reporter the likes of the kaspkes, chemlovers, and jm6755s of the world. Honestly, I don’t think I’d have shared that bit if it were me. With this level of stupidity, we doubt it would have mattered if he had known the proper name of the pill, but apropos nontheless that he’s tagged them as Green Saints.
Have we not been over and back with this? But who are we, really? Just an army of one, but we’d like these pills off the market already and have only been calling for all of North America to avoid these pills for more than a year now. Even www.pillreports.com knows what’s up with these biscuits. We don’t commonly refer to hits as biscuits as some do, but in this case, the texture of the pill calls that word to mind. If you have handled these pills, you’d notice that they are kind of airy, kind of porous.
Now we’ll begin to put the current state of affairs in Layer Cake like terms, as we are getting very juiced for John Connolly’s sequel, Viva la Madness, set for release in a mere 3 months time. Part government indifference, part shameless greed, and part user stupidity have teamed to give us a market flooded with piperazines, because they are legal, much like the way that MDMA replaced MDA in the scene several years ago. Why take the risk to keep MDA alive when it went schedule I when chemists could add an extra methyl group and gain 16 years of legal freedom, prior to analog laws? Where did it get us?
Well, MDA, the real deal, has been backburnered into obscurity, and today’s crackhead is lucky if he can tell the difference between MDMA and piperazine, and needs pillreports to sort it for him. How’d you like to be the guy to roll in, pardon puns, to the ER having been the fucking dope to stroke out on ringworm medicine and industrial lubricants.
Nowadays, the really pukkah gear is not pressed all fancy in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is done. Pukkah gear is manufactured by pharmaceutical companies in sketchy places, and shifted as powder, so as not to have a logo on it. It’s piperazine pills that have the fancy stamps, for the most part. Pressed shit is a must test, and we mean, chemical test, unless your boys really, really know the deal, as we laid out for you in the case of those luscious Red Diamonds. If your gear tests really well, up and down and back and forth, chances are, powder got shifted here and pressed here, unless you are out west, where Mexico has got the game on lock.
It’s 2 years later, and this firm is still passing off these pipes, and they aren’t even changing the colors up anymore. We hope all of the community starts paying attention, but our hopes are dim.