What is the Corral about?

Well, simply, it is a place to round-up ideas, thoughts, comments and anything else you may like to hear about. My original intention was to have a forum but the time to manage such a gathering is really beyond me at this stage. But via email I can gather up your input and get it into the Corral.

So, would you like to make comment?

What is your favorite western story, either as a book or a movie?

Want to tell us why?

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to (regardless if it is a Western or not)?

What do you want to see in future Western stories (grit or romance, maybe both, gunplay or justice, grim reality or happy endings)?

Anything you would like to see in one of my stories?



March 2011

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July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012








The ‘spaghetti’ Western is about to return to the big screen this Christmas with the release of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained; and in the meantime stand-by for some saturation marketing that has already commenced, even before filming and editing of the final movie has been completed. The big San Diego Comic Convention (Comic-Con International 2012) marked the start to the hoopla with a star-studded actor’s panel followed by a Q & A, which included writer and director Tarantino leading the charge.

The studio has cleared the decks for the release of this movie by pushing back the release date of The Great Gatsby by six months, to June next year, that would have seen two Leonardo DiCaprio films released at the same time.

So, what are we to make of Django Unchained?

Well, for a start it will have no relevance to the first movie that sported the name Django, made in 1966 with Franco Nero playing the lead; or the 1968 Viva Django with Terence Hill in the lead. But it will probably have the same level of violence that characterized both those earlier ‘spaghetti’ movies, although Tarantino is pretty good with placing and pacing vicious acts within the context of a story, as opposed to the straight out gratuitous nature of the earlier ‘spag’ versions.

It is also interesting to see that the official trailer has now been released before the final edit of the movie, as storylines have been known to change in postproduction. But in this new age of digitization and Internet distribution, I guess that it easy and relatively inexpensive to rejig and re-release a trailer leading up to the immediate release of the movie in theaters.

Now, will I be charging off to see this movie as soon as it appears on the big screen? Of course I will, but I won’t have any great expectations. While I loved Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs; my favourite Tarantino movie is the much-underrated Jackie Brown that was adapted from the 1992 Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch, and it will take a lot to knock that movie off its perch. I expect that Django Unchained will be in the style of Inglorious Bastards with black comic humour and an over-the-top storyline. Good fun but no sleeping classic.

Was it any surprise that Tarantino decided to make a Western? I don’t think so; not if you stop and look at his list of top 10 movies that includes The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Rio Bravo. And it is sometimes forgotten that Tarantino is also a writer – a damn good writer. His medium is the screenplay, and he won an Academy Award along with long time friend and co-author Roger Avary for Pulp Fiction. Not bad for a kid who dropped out of school at 15. So this writer/director/movie fan of the highest order knows his stuff, and that includes the power of the Western. So, it was just a matter of time for him to get into the saddle, and that precise time (for us, the lovers of all things Westerns), is December 25. And all I can say is ‘Feliz Navidad.’



September 2012

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