If I have any consistent weakness when it comes to my entertainment, and mean this in any form, it’s tough women. I’ve read comics with tough women and books with tough women and watched movies with tough women and written books with tough women. I’ve even roleplayed my share of tough women back when I was into that sort of thing. Give me a tough woman and I am already halfway toward being wholly satisfied with whatever you put in front of me. Consequently this film, entitled Fight Night, garnered a lot of goodwill from me right from the get-go.
And a good thing, too, because Fight Night is a boxing movie, and if there’s any genre that hews closely to its tropes in nearly every outing, it’s the boxing story. There’s a lot in Fight Night that you’ve seen before, so if you’re looking for something totally original, I can tell you right now that you are not going to get it from this movie. Consequently you can make your decision about whether to continue reading this review immediately.
Fight Night begins with the travails of professional grifter Michael Dublin, played by Chad Ortis. Despite his ever-present suit, Dublin is not a classy guy, though he can pretend to be. His line is making a buck any way he can, if there’s a quick and dirty route to that buck, so much the better. In his very first scene he attempts to convince a bare-knuckle fighter to throw a match so they can both make some cash, but things go quickly awry. He follows this up not long later by selling a faulty rocket-fuel booster to a guy in a street race, only to see the guy’s car explode on startup. He’s in the middle of catching a beating for that escapade when he’s rescued by an itinerant fighter named Katherine Parker (Rebecca Neuenswander), who turns out to be a match for any man, even if he’s twice her size.
It seems that Neuenswander’s character wants into the underground boxing circuit that Dublin has access to, and he grabs hold of the opportunity to “manage” her on her fight to the top. This will require long road trips, some brutal hand-to-hand fighting and more than a little baring of souls along the way.
I have a somewhat interesting past involving Star Trek that’s maybe a little more confused than most. In my early childhood I was only vaguely aware of Star Trek as a thing. I had some hazy memories of seeing Kirk fighting a guy in a lizard suit as both actors moved in slow motion and there was an alien with a pulsing vein in his head, but that was about it. It was only when Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out that I was brought into full awareness of the series. Little did I know that in that film I was getting the most thoughtful and adult approach to Star Trek that had ever and would ever be made. In many respects Star Trek: The Motion Picture was not representative of the series at all.
And then all bets were off. The year 1982 rolled around, and with it Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It was the diametric opposite of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, larding on action where once there had been introspection and substituting broader good/evil archetypes for the more subtle shadings of the previous film. But that didn’t matter because I thought Star Trek II was totally awesome, and so did everyone else. To this day it remains the single most popular Star Trek thing ever, and that’s saying a lot after all the various spinoff series and movies that have cluttered up the franchise for decades.
As you are more than likely aware, Star Trek had fallen on hard times by the time the ’00s rolled around. No TV shows. No movies. No nothing. Pocket Books was still putting out novels, but that was about it. Maybe there were some comic books, too. Star Trek was not exactly the mass-media entertainment juggernaut it had been since the early ’80s.
Over the past three weeks I’ve written the remaining three novellas that make up the Camaro Espinoza quartet of interlocking tales. They were a lot of fun to write, for reasons I’ve explicated before and won’t repeat here, but a person cannot subsist on a diet of little, snack-sized pieces that run 24,000 words. Eventually one must get back to the big meals, and that’s what I’m doing today.
I’m not starting cold, which has been the case in the past. This new novel, called One-Night Charter, is another Camaro tale, only this time told on a much larger canvas. If I’m able to write this thing properly (not always a given), it will function not only as a satisfactory continuation of the story told over those four novellas, but also as a standalone introduction to the character who’s been taking up so much of my time lately. While the novellas are all intended for the self-publishing end of things, my plan is to have my agent offer One-Night Charter to traditional publishers as the first in a series.
There is an ideal situation here, and I’ll lay it out for you. On the one hand I can pitch One-Night Charter as an exciting debut for an all-new character but on the other hand, and only if certain circumstances prevail, I can also sell it as a character with a proven track record. What are those certain circumstances? Good ebook sales.
I have been perfectly honest with you folks about how Juárez Dance has done over the last four months. Even with reviews in prominent and not-so-prominent outlets, I’ve barely been able to move the thing. You think giving it away for free would make a difference, but when I did that less than 200 people took advantage of the deal. Consider that for a minute. People didn’t even want it when it cost them nothing! And it’s not like there were bad reader reviews to scare them away, either.
In a way that’s a microcosm of the fate most of my Mexico novels have seen: apathy or outright rejection. For whatever reason, publishers and readers alike — in the US, I should say, and not in the UK or France and Germany — have no interest in stories about Mexico. Why? Who the heck knows? That’s the prime reason I have chosen to abandon Mexico as a setting. It would be a waste of my time to write further about that country, even as its disastrous drug war grinds on.