Eugene OR

Three Vehicle Crash at 6th & Chambers

crash pic for websiteEUGENE, Ore — Crews responded to the scene of a three vehicle crash on West 6th & Chambers just before 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning.

Eugene Police say all three vehicles were heavily damaged, and one person was transported to the hospital with what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries.

The crash closed the westbound lanes of West 6th for more than an hour.

We will update the story as we receive more information.

 

Toomb’s New Blu Rays (and DVDs)

//

Welcome back Eugeneans! How was everyone’s rain-soaked and yet, oddly sunny weekend? I hope as fun and movie-filled as mine! Coming up thus week we’ve got some good movies on disc to keep you and your family entertained.

First up we’ve got the quintessential British filmThe Kings Speech. Centered around the World War II-time King: George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II, (played by Colin Firth) and his life-time struggle with a stammer in his speech. He takes the help of a rather unorthodox speech therapist, played sublimely by Geoffrey Rush, and over the months and years they form a close friendship. “Bertie,” as King George VI was called affectionately (and not-so) before ascending to the throne after his brothers abdication, manages to conquer his stammer and lead Britain through one of it’s darkest times in History. The Kings Speech is a beautiful film, and frame by fame, director Tom Hooper (the Damned United, HBO’s John Adams, and Longford) guides us through historical circumstances with suspense and tight storytelling. What really shines here is the performances by Firth, Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter. See this movie. The Kings Speech is rated R for some language.

Next Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart star in Rabbit Hole, a “dramedy” from director John Cameron Mitchell (of the fantastic Hedwig and the Angry Inch). A tale about a happy couple whose son dies accidentally, and how they manage to carry on. Rabbit Hole is a strangely comedic and touching film about loss and grief, however it doesn’t overburden the viewer with sadness. It relishes in the positive and the whole film works somehow, hanging on the performances of Kidman and Eckhart. Another must-see released this week. Rabbit Hole is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some drug use and language.

For the family viewing, Disney is opening it’s vault to release the classic, Bambi for a limited time. I don’t know if you know how Disney does this, but it’s a total scam. At any given time it is impossible to find certain Disney movies at the same time. Like for instance, they’ll release Bambi, but will quietly take Sleeping Beauty off the shelf at the same time. Why do they do this? In order to get more money out of us, the consumers. Think about how many times you’ve heard the words, “Never before released from the Disney Vault.” It’s because either A) they haven’t released whatever movie on whatever format is popular at that time (VHS, DVD, now Blu Ray) so they get to cash in on it B) Because we keep spawning new generations of Disney-philes… so when our kids who have never heard of Fox and the Hound see that advertisement they think it’s a new movie, and so on and so forth. Disney is the evil empire, and Mickey Mouse is Darth Vadar.

Anyway, Bambi is out on Blu-Ray and DVD, and I gotta tell you, this movie is horrible. Today’s kids won’t get it. Unless they’ve found a way to 3D Flower or Thumper so that they can breathe a little life into one of the stalest animated Disney movies ever. Bambi is rated G for everyone, but be warned, Bambi’s mom gets it Scorsesse-style at the end.

Last is a gem brought to us by National Geographic called The Way Back. I got the chance to preview this movie and it is very good. It stars Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, and Colin Ferrell, and is directed by the Australian auteur Peter Weir (Master and Commander: Far Side of the World). It tells the true story of prisoners in a Russian Gulag in Siberia during WWII who escape from the prison only to face the harsh and deadly landscape that surrounds them for thousands of miles. The tag at the beginning state something like: “In 1942, three men walked out of the Himalayas claiming they’d escaped from a Siberian Gulag over 4000 miles away. This is their story.” What happens to these men is indescribable, and practically unbelievable. I highly recommend this movie to anyone, it is a triumphant tale of the human will to survive. The Way Back is rated PG-13 for violent content, depiction of physical hardships, a nude image and brief strong language.

Have a fun-filled, action-packed week, and stay classy Eugene.

Local Writer L.J. Sellers Spotlights Eugene With Fictional Detective Series

//

EUGENE- Wade Jackson is a detective for the Eugene Police Department, Homicide Division, a good man who loves his family and his home town. He’s been through a divorce, a child in danger, and had to solve some of the worst crimes Eugene has ever seen… and he’s not even a real cop.

Local author L.J. Sellers made him up. “Jackson is a composite of the first two detectives I interviewed [when researching the novel], with a little of my husband plus some imagination thrown in.” Detective Wade Jackson has been in 5 novels now starting with The Sex Club, and the latest Dying for Justice just came out in March. All of the thrillers have received resounding reviews and Detective Jackson has gained quite a following both in the local community and around the world. “I originally considered setting the first book, The Sex Club, in Salem because it’s the capital. Then about halfway through, it occurred to me that the detective would make a great series character, and that it made more sense to write about Eugene, where I live. Why not?”

Seller’s fictional Eugene is not much different than the one we live in, an ex-logging town turned burgeoning meth-o-polis/backwoods San Francisco. We’ve seen violent crime increasing as our population and our problems grow out of control, meanwhile our government can’t even afford to pay someone to teach our kids. On the other hand these problems are not unique. The Emerald City is also a thriving community with heavily dedicated people that really do have our best interests in mind. “Local readers say my series is very reflective of Eugene. My protagonist, is aware of the escalating violence in Eugene and my series reflects that, with the last two books, Passions of the Dead and Dying for Justice, containing more violence than the first three.”

When it comes to character however, Detective Jackson defies the “Homicide Cop” norm. “I purposefully didn’t want Jackson to be the typical cop that you see in so much crime fiction: alcoholic, bitter, lonely, and dysfunctional. So I wrote about a stable, good-hearted family man who struggles with all the same things we do: divorce, financial troubles, and family issues.” Said Sellers, “Readers have responded very well to the character.”

L.J. Sellers was born in Santa Rosa, California, but moved to Oregon at a very early age, the third of six kids. Growing up in Cave Junction almost her entire life, Sellers was tired of the small town, and at 18 packed her VW Bug and drove North towards civilization. She graduated from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication with a degree in Journalism (same here!) and has been writing non-fiction since… but never gave any thought to writing fiction. “One day, I was reading a particularly bad novel and tossed it to the floor, thinking I could write a better story than that… On August 7, 1989, I sat down to write my first novel.”

Years later, after coutless sumissions, scripts, screenplays, stories, etc… LJ published the first Detective Jackson story, The Sex Club. “I feel very passionately about the subject matter, so it was a story I had to write, even knowing that it might never be published.” It was, and not only is she continuing to get published, Sellers is one of the many authors helping to reinvent the way we think about publishing.

It all started when the economy tanked. With both her and her husband being laid-off, the bills were piling up and freelancing was not cutting it. LJ had two book deals going for two stand-alone thrillers she’d already written, and her next follow-up Jackson novels were being published (by a publisher) to Kindle. The problem was, all of these were set to release in the near-future, all set up along an old-school publishing schedule. That wasn’t going to pay the mortgage, so Sellers gambled on herself, withdrew from her book deals and her publisher, and self-published all of her works on Amazon. What do you know it? Money actually began to come in. She was writing furiously, getting more Jackson novels online, cutting prices, and guest blogging to get the word out about her novels. It worked.

“In January of 2010, I had one book on Kindle and sold 31 copies. I had two print books on the market with a small publisher, and they weren’t selling much better. In December, I had six books on Kindle and sold over 10,000 copies.” She wrote earlier this year on a guest blog.

How did all of this start? Well in 1971, Project Gutenberg became a volunteer effort to digitize important works in order to encourage the future creation and distribution of eBooks. 30 years later the nation’s largest book chain has filed for bankruptcy due to the decline in popularity of the printed word. In July of last year (2010), Amazon.com reported that sales of ebooks for Kindle outnumbered the sales from hardcover books for the first time ever.

“The whole publishing industry is teetering on the edge of collapse, and the big presses will have to reinvent themselves if they want to stay in business. They may have to give up their expensive Manhattan offices and contract out more of their services. They’ll also have to start offering writers better royalties on digital books. Amazon pays indie authors 70 percent of the cover price, which authors set themselves,” Said Sellers. “Print books won’t disappear, but they will become more and more scarce, especially in fiction.”

In the meantime, authors like LJ Sellers and her Detective Jackson stories will only continue to see increased popularity online. “…I get emails every day from people who urge me to write faster so they can get their next dose of Jackson.”

 

Toomb’s New Blu Rays (and DVDs) Harry Potter Edition

//

Let’s talk Harry Potter. When author Joanne Rowling was walking to the corner cafe in Edinburgh, carrying her baby daughter in one arm and an old typewriter in the other, she had absolutely no idea the book she was writing (that she’d thought up on a delayed train ride) would one day make her a billionaire. In fact, did you know that Joanne (JK) Rowling is the only person to ever become a billionaire from writing? Her books have set sales records worldwide and her characters are household names, yet she was on government assistance when she started it all.

I have never read the books, however I’ve seen the movies. Harry Potter is Daniel Radcliffe, and unfortunately for Daniel Radcliffe, he will always be Harry Potter. I can think of worse things to be known as for the rest of my life- there’s got to be a royalty clause in his contract somewhere. As long as he doesn’t pick up a nasty heroin habit, I’m sure everything will work out for young Daniel. I’ve literally watched this boy grow up before my eyes, and despite having a unique hatred for the first few movies (ok the first 4, who am I kidding?), The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, and The Deathly Hallows have all been amazing movies… I know that they would not be as great if there wouldn’t have been four before them. I now appreciate the foundation all of the mythology, back story, and character development have provided. I’ve watched all of these kids grow up, and go through the most astounding things- in the most wonderful world a kid could dream of…. and that’s what it’s all about… even though Rowling has been aiming her books toward an adult audience since about Goblet of Fire (4).

This Tuesday marks the Blu Ray (I’m really not going to cut you DVDers any more slack, it’s 2011 already, adopt!) [haha] release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt1. This is the first part of the series’ finale that started 7 books and 6 movies ago, and as such, is the beginning of the end of an era. HP will go down in history and be remembered forever, possibly even remade one day, it’s that good… if you can get past all the godawful names. Seriously, when Harry Potter is the most normal name in an entire series, you’ve got to re-examine a few things. At certain points it just seems like JK Rowling is just messing with us with all of the “Humble-tee Bumble-tee, Bibbity-Spiffity.” There’s nothing more heroic than watching kids yell “Stupify!” whilst flicking wooden sticks toward each other.

In HP7, Harry, Ron, and Hermione must find the remaining Horcruxes in order to stop evil Lord Voldemort from subjugating the “muggles” as slaves and ruling the world… and before you ask- muggles are us, the non-magical humans. From the beginning of the film, which is quite terrifying as Lord Voldemort is a rather nasty snake (played superbly by Ralph Fiennes), the action never really stops. The race is on as Harry and Co. “apparate” (instantaneous travel) across the beautiful English countryside unraveling the mystery of the Deathly Hallows. This movie rocks. It’s a deeply personal movie for the characters, as friendships are tested and love is found… but isn’t that the core of the series? The importance of love in the face of evil? After all Harry Potter’s parents gave their lives to defeat Voldemort and save Harry when he was a baby… and those of us who can predict the ending know that ultimate sacrifice and that love is the key to defeating evil.

H arry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt1 is simply gorgeous in High Definition. The movie is as dark as can be (literally and figuratively), and wh ile often thought of as kids movies, they have not been in quite some time. The last one ended with the nice-guy wizard getting tossed off the tower for pity’s sake! The transfer on Blu Ray is immaculate and the sound mix is amazing. Do yourself a favor and pick this movie up and I’ll see you at the theater in July when the last one drops.