Friday, December 31, 2010

It Was A Hell of a Party

The Lady Nightmare

She is so stylish

A regular clothes horse

She dances all night

in your cranium

If you are doomed

She likes you


When the storms are at their worst, the Snowclops grimble through the blow.  Like most predators they look out for stragglers and the weak.  The storm covers their tracks and trails.  Their only trace is in the missing.

Well Wishes

I wish you all dear readers a great and happy new year.  I hope your every dream comes true and you have all the happiness I am not using!

Today's Secret Code for December 31, 2010

"Some folks are belt and suspenders, and some let their underwear show."  Again:  "Some folks are belt and suspenders, and some let their underwear show."  Today's colour is plaid.  Today's Author is not a chameleon.  That is all, maho maho.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hallway of the Gods

Ghosts and Snow

Cityscapes of the Future

Even as the globe warms, the cities adapt and even form a thriving submarket in artifact diving.

The Rolling Stones on Time

Blackest Night

I finally got a collected edition of the first bit of the "Blackest Night" story line. Of course with the Green Lantern movie coming out the folks at DC decide to change everything. Makes perfect sense to me. Now there isn't just green rings, but there are rings of color of the rainbow including black which isn't a color unless you are goth or a comic book writer.

The idea of blackest night is fairly simple. It's marvel zombies with power rings. A bunch of stiffs are given black rings and can come back to terrorize the living. The collection I have has Batman and Robin being terrorized by undead parents and the Teen Titans being terrorized by zombies of past friends, lovers, and villains.

Ok, the idea has some appeal, but as I noted marvel zombies has already trampled this bit of unreal estate. Also, it just doesn't hang well with the past. Why do the black rings now? It just seems rather scatter shot overall.

Legendary Assassin

It's been a while since I've seen a good kick ass kung fu film.  We have here our assassin Bo, who has taken the head of a drug lord. The rest of the gang will not let this rest and seek revenge.  Meanwhile Bo is playing nice with a lady cop and her sleepy precinct since typhoon Bo is keeping him there on the island.

The hung fu is good and fast paced.  The characters for the most part avoid the "instant dumb" aspect of many chinese film.  The exception is a cop named "Tarzan" who instantly hates Bo and basically continually falls on his ass every time he tries to show that Bo is the bad guy.  Chinese films tend to have a very inbalanced approach in their films.  They'll be deadly serious then at a drop of hat go completely "DHERE."  This film nicely avoids the extreme and keeps things moving nicely.

My personal top ten list of films

10.  House
  9.  How To Train Your Dragon
  8.  Karate Kid
  7.  Despicable Me
  6.  True Grit
  5.  Black Swan
  4.  Kick Ass
  3.  Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
  2.  Toy Story 3
  1.  Inception

House was actually made in the seventies, but I saw the revival of it this year.  There are a lot of kid films, but darn, they were GOOD films.  Kick Ass and Scott might be considered low brow as far ideas but both were so full of energy and good will that they made my year!

Today's Secret Code for December 30, 2010

"The end is just the other side of the beginning."  Again:  "The end is just the other side of the beginning."  Today's colour can go either way.  Today's Author really should write something.  That is all, maho maho.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

From the Halls of Dis, to the Shores of the Styx

Just the Truth of It

Great TV

"So what's your story?"


His voice was a crow's rasp. His face was already soured, and moreso as he frowned. His beard was stiff, white and marked with beer dribble already. He looked like a Santa more Satan than Santa.

"I asked, what's your story. Everyone has a story."

"Naw, most people don't. I don't. A story has to mean something, it has to entertain. I don't entertain anyone, and I don't mean nothing."

He held his beer glass tightly, so it wouldn't get away as he drained it. He didn't bother to wipe his chin.

"Mister, I'll tell you, I'll tell you what. A story, should have a real beginning and a real end. My life. No such thing, amigo. I trudge on. Day, after day, after day, after stupid bleeding God slapped day. I work, I eat, I drink, shit, and sleep. Hopefully in that order. And if I get a little joy for some reason, it lasts about a minute then it is back to the grind. That ain't a story Mister, it's a miserly misery doled out to the good and to SOBs like me alike."

"Sounds, grim. You feel like that, why bother getting up in the morning?"

"Because Mister, it's what you do. Anything else is quiting and I don't quit. I'll don't like no regular work, but I don't quit. Never did. I'll be here till judgement day, and I'll tell the good lord to back off so I can do I high dive into the lake of fire. That's what I'll say."

He began mumbling a little to himself as the bartender came in from the back.

"Did you say something?" He asked.

I look at the old man still drinking and drinking from a glass that never emptied. A man who when the light was strong you can see through him. I turn to the bartender and just smile.

"Just thinking out loud. Say.. what's your story?"

For all the New Years


I admit it, the film intimidated me.

I have had it for a week before I viewed it. I was worried. I was worried I'd be disappointed again by a film given great press that it could never live up to.

I was so wrong, and I'm happy to be wrong. This is an awesome, thought provoking film that is straddles genres and expectations expertly. I am flabbergasted, flumoxed, and fribbled trying to describe how I feel about this. There was a lot of intellectual curiousity as I tried to follow the rules set up for how dreams work in this film. There was excitement that I felt when watching a "caper" film as our team is set up for their impossible task. There was even dread as I found out that yes in this film there are some things worse than death.

Everything about this film is top notch and I'd give Nolan a billion dollars to keep turning out something so fine. I am not going to fan boy drool anymore, just go see it!

Here is a trailer for Dreamscape, a film some wags have pointed to as a spiritual cousin to Inception.

Here is a trailer for Shutter Island which is the other Decaprio film you should see. Actually they are far more spiritual cousins than in the case of Dreamscape.

Here is the inception Trailer followed by my favorite satire of it. Enjoy!

Resident Evil: Afterlife

This is the fourth film of this series, which is amazing to me.  I liked the first one well enough, and I'm not one to slap Director Anderson around too much.  He specializes in light weight, light headed entertainment and I can appreciate it.  But the second film was a dog in my book that was put together seemingly by chimps with parkinson's.  The third is literally zoned out of after about 20 minutes.  I woke up when the credits were rolling.  So now here's the fourth.

Well, I didn't zone out.  Our hero Alice is still looking for a zombie less place to call her own.  The evil Umbrella organization is still mucking around the world.  There are still enough cliched humans for Alice to try to save.  So it's business as usual.  Here at first she's flying planes around until finally landing on the roof of a fortified building to help a bunch of people get to Zombie free land.  The evil Umbrella corporation led by a Matrix-y dude still want Alice, and the zombies want to eat.

This is still a mess story wise, and I didn't give a damn about anyone.  That being said, I have to say there were some fairly cool action scenes.  There's a scene where an army of Alice clones attack Umbrella headquarters, and there's another scene where Alice is in the showers against a giant zombie armed with Daddy of all axes.  I liked that one a lot because the giant reminded me a lot of Pyramid Head from "Silent Hill."  So in the end the film plays to the director's strength of being both light headed and light weight, but it kept moving enough that my interest was secured.

Today's Secret Code for December 29, 2010

"The book is my totem, and boy do I tote 'em."  Again:  "The book is my totem, and boy do I tote 'em."  Today's colour is is kicky.  Today's author has a library card.  That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ghala Tor the Mountain God

Serene and stylish in his cap of clouds, Ghala Tor surveys the world and smiles. 

It's so cute when they torture the animals

Kitten Tiny Tim


Heather Graham looks so frail at first in this film it's hard to believe when after a nasty break up she beats up a total stranger for being a jerk.  That hidden hostility is what ExTerminators is about.  She's sent to an anger management class and there she meets women who are also carrying a lot of rage in their cages.  One of  them,Jennifer Coolidge, runs a pest control business.  Soon she starts expanding her business to the two legged variety of pests.  Will Heather help her, or will she fall for the nice cop who's on the case?

It's not quite a female "Fight Club," but it moves fast enough and light enough to be engaging viewing.  I really do like Heather Graham and I enjoyed this film.

What's Your Story

"So what's your story?" 

I down the scotch, and I eyeball the gentleman before me.  Dressed well enough, but still a shabby aura.  He wore of all things a top hat, and he had a smile that would be always called a leer.  He held the bottle of scotch and refilled my paper cup.  His choice of furniture was odd, disturbing, and macabre.

"My story you don't need to hear.  It is old and boring.  Now this old boy.  Here is your story."  He smiles/leers again and kicks against the coffin he has been sitting on.  Not just a coffin, but the king of coffins.  Made of lead and the size of a king size bed. It was the coffin made for someone you might not be too sure they were dead enough.

"Ok, I'll bite.  What's his story?"

"Ah, now that's a story.  Here lies Renny LeMere.  The greatest hoodoo man of his time."

"Hoodoo?   Do you mean voodoo?"

"Dear Sir, if I meant voodoo I would say voodoo.  While hoodoo is related to voodoo they are different schools.  Like the difference between the German language and English.  There are many similarities, but they are very different in flavor.  Now Renny here was known as a fixer.  You had a some one throw a hex at you, and Renny could take it off.  He was as smooth as silk and fast as hare on fire."

I take another snort from the paper cup. 

"So, is there a reason that Renny is taking the big nap?  He couldn't have been that fast."

Again that smiling leer, or leering smile.

"Oh Sir, no one is that fast.  No one at all.  But, it is true that Renny's work finally caught up to him.  See there was another hoodoo man at the time named Pappy Lupe.  Now Pappy Lupe was the opposite.  You payed him to throw the curse, the bones, and a dead cat just for fun.  Thing is though, every curse Pappy Lupe threw, ol' Renny he takes it off.  Gets ol' Pappy hopping mad.  Just so mad he could bite tin clear through I say." 

"Well, one day Renny was getting himself ready to go stepping out.  He was dressed sharp and enjoying what he saw in the mirror.  That is til he saw Pappy behind with a gun.  Before Renny could turn around it was all over.  There was a big hole where Renny's heart was.  Well he turns around, and he says, 'You foolish old man.  You don't think I didn't see murder in your heart.  The Barons are my friend and I'll be coming back for you."  With that he falls down dead, deader than sin on Easter morning."

The man takes a swig from the bottle and cocks his head back as if he was letting the scotch slowly flow down his throat.  Finally, he takes a sighful breath and turns to me.  His eyes blacker than night.  I felt very chilled.

"Dear Sir, Pappy was no fool.  The Barons are not ones to fool with.  So he grabs the bag of bones and takes it home.  He had his own plans you see.  There at home there was this coffin all ready.  He places the body within, then begins pouring molten lead into the coffin with it.  When the coffin was full he puts the top on and bolts and welds the box shut.  He then draws on his voodoo to forever seal ol' Renny in the box.  Let the Barons bring Renny back, but he'll always be Renny in a box."

"So what went wrong, something had to go wrong or there be no use telling me the story."

"Oh dear, dear Sir, nothing at all went wrong.  Pappy's hoodoo was strong, and Renny is in the box still.  Will always be in the box."

The man kicks against the coffin with a sullen thud.  Suddenly, the coffin lifted into the air.  His leering smile was now far bigger than his face.  It hurt to look at him.

"Renny, learned to move his prison.  Dear Sir, I tell you Pappy was never so suprised when he was hit by several tons of metal at the speed of a locomotive.  Not much left of Pappy after that.  At least in the body, the rest fell to us.  We Barons can be petty when we feel someone tries to cheat us.  Now Renny is still with us as you can see, and certainly he can help you.  He has a price, and you can consider me his manager."

The man's mouth opens and he eats the bottle. 

"Now Sir, Dear Sir, what is our help worth to you?"

Today's Secret Code for December 28, 2010

"Someone once said, 'If it's the rapture grab my steering wheel.'  Myself, I'm walking."  Again:  "Someone once said, "If it's the rapture grab my steering wheel.'  Myself, I'm walking."  Today's colour is gold.  Today's author feels unbeholden.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, December 27, 2010

spider child

spider child spider child
where do you roam
spider child spider child
who's heart do you call home?

about my reaction the first time I heard it...

All the Good Musicians are in the Underworld

The Future is Coming

So What's Your Story?

I take another sip from the chipped cup.  It's good.  I look her in the eye.

"So What's Your Story?"

She doesn't answer at first, she looks out the window.  Then she looks back at me.  She gives a smile.  It is a small smile, but it dazzles.

"I guess you can say, my story is my mother's story.   She came to this country, legally I might add, to make a new start.  She had married a doctor, and she herself was well educated, specially when you consider that she came from a small village.  At first, they were very happy.  But that happiness ended when he found out he was sterile and unable to give his wife a child.  He of course wanted a boy, but he knew he could not divorce her since the problem was his.  Each day without a child soured everything for him and in turn for her."

She took a sip, then another.  Her tongue licked a drop from the edge of the cup.

"About that time his brother came to stay with them as he went to see America.  The brother was very nice, and things were almost as they were at the beginning.  But it could not last.  The brother left, and soon the doctor found new faults with his wife.  She was getting fat and often moody."

"The brother had an affair with your mother," I said.

She shrugged.

"I doubt it was anything so grand as an affair, but it did happen.  She was very scared and didn't know what to do, so she just plowed on hoping some answer would appear.  It was near the end that she felt a sudden prick on her finger as she was digging into an old flower pot in the patio.  She pulled her finger back and there upon it was the gleaming black body of the black widow.  She did not want medical attention as they would find the baby so she treated as best she could.  As her fever grew, it was if she was going back in time when she was just a simple village girl."

"She must have known that the poison wouldn't be good for the baby, did she hope to miscarry?"  I asked a hard question but it didn't feel hard.  The warm sweet coffee has left me feeling very mellow.

"Perhaps, that was a hope.  But mostly it was fear.  But soon, there was nothing to be done.  The poison burned her body as if it was a fire and her husband came home finding her half naked in the living room.  In such a position her other condition became obvious that even he could not deny it.  He demanded to know who she had laid with.  She looked up at him and she pointed her finger now black at the end at him.  'Anasi sent one of his children to bite me and give me a child.  It is Anasi's child!!'"

"Of course he did not believe her, and in his rage he struck her.  Struck a sick, scared woman.  She could only wail and again she cried out, 'It's Anasi's child!.'"  I will tell you now, the old gods still exist and they still sometimes meddle.  When the doctor struck her again and for the third time she declared the child belonged to Anasi, Anasi himself heard it.  In that instant, he took paternity of the child."

She came to me and took my cup from my unfeeling hands. 

"My mother was damaged physically and mentally, but she was still my mother.  My human father, the doctor, beat me and treated me as if I was a mere nuisance.  He's dead now.  My true father Anasi, taught me many things as I grew older.  For example, certain herbal compounds that can paralyze.  Like the one you just drank.  Do not fear, I will not kill a guest.  But you will not stand in my way."

"This is my story."

A Wild World

I kid someone I know for watching "Horders" because basically it's rubber necking.  It's an hour of TV devoted to carny freakshow snapeshot of someone's unfortunate life.  Well, here's the sad truth, we are all rubber neckers at one time or another.  For me, it was "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia."  My Hellbilly white trash now has a face, and that face is the whites.

This documentary, produced by the folks that gave us "Jackass," follows for a year the crazy life of the huge White family.  None of them have a proper job, and they spend most of their time doing drugs, alcohol and parties.  This often leads to interesting sidelines like shooting your uncle in the face and the following police stand off.  Local law enforcement opines that if the Whites weren't around their crime rate would drop by half.

The odd thing is there is a soul of art running through this misbegotten ragtag family.  The family patriarch invented some new dance steps and was getting to be quite famous before he died.  After he died his five boys tried to follow in his dance steps.  Three died in various stupid ways, one ran off to the midwest to become legit, and the last is now something of a local legend.  Maybe a loco legend, besides dancing he's done things like huff gasoline for ten years.  He's not quiiiiiite stable.

I admit this was just fascinating to watch, but I'm glad I live far far away from the Whites.

Today's secret code for december 27, 2010

"The wise don't always have the most fun, but they tend to live longer so it averages out."  Again:  "The wise don't always have the most fun, but they tend to live longer so it averages out."  Today's colour is sky blue.  Today's author is not wise but is a wise guy.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Last Fairie Tale

The Last Fairie Tale can only be found in small bookshops with lots of cats.  It is written in the language of birds, but that is not a burden to the imaginative reader.  It is said that when it is read all darkness will be banished, and all things will be wild and wonderful.

The Choir'd

Emiko Under the Red Tree

Under the red tree
Emiko waits
she waits for the dead who pass
and the living who might not

Dolly for the Holidays

Hercules Secret Invasion

The Spiderman musical might be the final nail on the coffin of super heroes in mass media, but it won't be the first.  There have always been troubles in adapting comic book properties to the screen.  One problem, is that comic books have gone on even as most people grew up and stopped reading them.  Most people would be surprised to know for example that batman was considered dead for a bit and has a son.  Trying to reconcile the present with the nostalgia most people have for comics is always a challenge.

Another challenge are the "Big" events.  Comic book publishers have long ago discovered that their base is very suggestible (dare I say gullible?) and with a little prompting they can be counted on buying issues of magazines they don't usually buy.  Hence, huge events that occur through out that comic "universe" and you wind up having to buy ten different titles to follow the story.

Which brings us to Hercules:  Secret Invasion.  In the Marvel Universe, Hercules is super strong generally fun loving and less smart than Thor but smarter the Hulk.  He's a walking frat party in a leather dress who can crush a tank on his forehead.  As fascinating as this might sound he's never been on Marvel's A list but has bounced around for years. 

The Secret Invasion was a big event in which the skrulls, shape shifting aliens with a bad case of finger chin, seriously try to conquer the earth.  The big draw was that skrulls have been infiltrating the earth in the shape of various characters that the heroes of the earth call friend and family.  So you read it to see who was going to betray who.  Is Aunt May a skrull?   You better buy amazing spiderman #346 to find out.

These two things, a Greek geek god and a sf invasion, don't seem to work together.  The writers of Hercules though came up with a rather fun idea.  The basic plot is Athena gathers the Earthly Gods (who aren't God Gods, but more like super power prod nosers that can't resist meddling and property damage) to do their bit to stop the invasion.  Athena's plan is to gather a "god Squad" and go to where the Skrull Gods and kill them.
Hercules is in charge, followed by his mortal friend who is supposed very smart, Snowbird a Canadian Goddess Hero, Ajak who is a loser of a loser from the old Eternals comic, the Japanese god of darkness, and the God Eater. 

As you might imagine having Hercules lead this crew might not be the wisest of things and at no time whatsoever they get lost and have to go to Nightmare for directions.  Things get worse from there.  It's all a good excuse for a series of beat downs of godly proportions.  Some of the ideas are good, and some bits of dialog are choice.  Overall though, it doesn't hang together.


Two bits of good news for Venture fans.  First, there will be some sort of fifth season coming out.  There was some concern that the last episode felt something like series finale, so it's good to know there will be more craziness.

Second, they have released their yearly christmas song.  This time it is by Hank Venture's band "Shallow Gravy."  Listen to it here:

Today's Secret Code For December 26, 2010

"Memories of presents are still under the tree."  Again:  "Memories of presents are still under the tree."  Today's colour is silver.  Today's author wishes he had some gold.  That is all, maho maho.

Friday, December 24, 2010

There is no Secret

Thank you all, you have touched me deeply just by putting up with my nonsense. I wish you all only the very best and all the happiness I'm not using.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

have a venture christmas!

The Owl Can be Totally Silent

Great for hunting,
bad carolling

The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle

Well with a title like that you know you are going to be in for an odd experience.  A young man who is trying to find his spiritual side is on a downward spiral.  So he takes the job as a janitoral which is in many ways the perfect job for him as it keeps him away from the general populance.

He and his crew though fall under the sway of a marketing company that secretly uses them as test subjects.  They are fed cookies that have something very special added to them.  It has some odd effects like visions and that immaculate conception of the title.  Things to say the least get very weird.

This is a rather self absorbed indy film but it is fairly good.  Visually it has some just stunning moments.  Worth a look for those into the indy scene.

Today's Secret Code

"Every year we bring a tree into our house, but do we bring our hearts out into the world?"  Again:  "Every year we bring a tree into our house, but do we bring our hearts out into the world?"  today's colour is ever green.  Today's author has a big nice list.  That is all, maho maho.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Archers of the Lunar Guard

The Archers of the Lunar Guard are always at the ready when the Dragon Eclipse attacks the moon.  Firing moonbeam arrows they scare the dragon away.

Tidings of comfort and joy

An Odd Dream

I had an odd dream where I was talking to Santa Claus' son. He was a big man but not fat and he was far less jolly than his dad. We were sipping coffee together watching the rain and he was telling me about his list. Like his father he just knew things about people, specially about who was naughty or nice. Who was beating his wife. Who was abusing their children. Who was robbing the weak. All year long he kept very specific lists.

Because on one special day a year he had all the powers of his father. He could get into any place. Slow down time. Basically a cross between a genie and Superman.

And on that day he had his lists.

"Don't worry," he said, "You are on the nice list."

Best Worst Movie

This is a fun documentary about what many consider the worst film ever made, "Troll 2."  If you haven't seen it, I can assure you it is indeed a very bad film.  The documentary follows the various people that were involved in the film as the film itself gains ground as a cult film.

My favorite is one actor who is a successful dentist.  He's sort of a crazy fella who at first enjoys his new found status.  He goes from showing to showing at first basking and drinking up all the attention.  However, he finds there are only so many times you can shout, "YOU DON'T PISS ON HOSPITALITY!" and get something from it.

Most of the cast knew they were in a strange dog to begin with but the Italian director, shooting in Salt Lake City, didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with his film.  To this day, you can see it rankles him that this is considered a complete and utter dog of a film.

Best Worst Movie is a fascinating glimpse of both the process of filmmaking gone horribly wrong, and of fandom.  It is certainly worth a watch.

Today's Secret Code

"If I could I'd give you all you want, if I was wise I'd give you all you need." Again: "If I could I'd give you all you want, if I was wise I'd give you all you need." Today's colour is under the tree.  Today's author is a 00 secret santa.  That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The bells, the bells

Robo Geisha

Again Japan has gone into another weird dimension and pulled out this picture.  In the new future an evil corporation is taking young women and turning them into psycho, cypered up killers.  They choose two geisha sisters for their crowning achievement.  Each sister has a love hate thing for the other so they strive to out do the other.  By the end they are filled with goodies like being able to turn into a geisha tank, or most embarrassingly to have a sword pop out your butt.

This is a crazy film that never slows down or stops to wonder just how crazy it is.  The special effects would be bad in any other film but here lend a cartoonish charm.  What other film has killer breast milk?  Yeah, killer breast milk, let that sink in before you decide to watch!

Today's secret code

"Never get too wrapped up in your gifts, or else you might mail yourself."  Again:  "Never get too wrapped up in your gifts or else you might mail yourself."  Today's colour red and white.  Today's author is happy and bright.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today's secret code

"If you made a boat for dogs, would it be an ark of barks?" Again: "If you made a boat for dogs, would it be an ark of barks?" Today's colour is runny. Today's author is damp.

Sugar Hill

 HEY!  How is everyone?  I hope you are all full of the holiday spirit, or just spirits if that's your thing.  Today I'm doing another film club for the Final Girl web site,
So without further ado, after the jump, we will do us some Sugar Hill and find it mighty sweet!               

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Seventies Weren't Kind to Elf Fashions

My Niece is Named Holly

Captain Beefheart has Died

Movies I Would Remake: Creepers

Ah, Italian horror movies.  Often enthrilling, easily galling, and yet so often completely imcomprehensible.  They tend to treat plots as an after thought and well rounded characters like a vampire in a garlic shop.  "Creepers" staring Jennifer Connelly and Donald Pleasence represents both the worst and the best of this particular odd sub genre.  It has some arresting visuals and you can't say it's dull.  On the other hand it is a witch's brew of maggots, girls with special powers, psycho killers and mutants.  It just asks for the audience to juggle too much weirdness without any connective tissue.

So how can we make a better version?

Well let's start with a basic question.  In the movie, Jennifer plays a school girl who's rich and famous father drops her off at the weirdo academy in the middle of the "Swiss Transyvania."  Why?  The place has like maybe 20 girls and half the buildings are in repair.  This was the best he could do?  In the world?  Obviously if the screen writer wasn't doing jello shots he would have to find some compelling reason for him to dump her here.  It might be cliched but how about she was born here, and her mother died here giving birth to her.  In his clumsy way it is her father's way of saying, "Hey, I don't want to be with you now, but go ahead and see if you can look up your family roots."

So now we have a girl who can talk with insects coming back to the place of her birth.  A place that happens to have a crazy, disabled, scottish bug doctor who has a knife wielding chimp and takes a rather creepy interest in Jennifer.  Now with the new back story the crazy doctor can be a part of it, maybe he was part of a group that was doing secret research in human insect communications... or breeding.

Now we can add in the crazed killer who's one clue is he seems to like rolling around with maggot filled corpses.  Is he linked to Jennifer's past as well?  See, now it all sort of hangs together.  Maybe it's a bit conventional but at least it won't leave the audience feeling they've been kicked by a mule.  Go over the dialogue a few times wouldn't hurt either. 

And that's what I would do...

Today's Secret Code

"The trouble with life is that life is grate."  Again:  "The trouble with life is that life is grate."  Today's colour is cheesy.  Today's author is hole-y.  That is all, maho maho.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hal, It's Full of GIFTS!

ads from christmas past

Tales From the Gimli Hospital

Right o, this is what would happen if David Lynch tripped into a time warp and was directing films in the early thirties in Iceland.  Well, actually this is happens when Guy Maddin a rogue canadian gets his hand on a camera, but I think you get the gist of the experience.

A mother is dying and so to distract the young children a tale is told.  It involves a plague and Einar the Lonely.  Having been afflicted, he must stay at the Gimli hospital where the helpful nurses put on a puppet show to keep patients minds off of their ongoing surgerical proceedures.  In the bed next to Einar is Gunnar who keeps everyone happy by telling strange tales of Iceland.  Einar becomes jealous of Gunnar, but it is Gunnar that discovers a terrible secret the binds them both.

This is definitely worth watching for the patient viewer.  Guy works hard to recapture the feel of old movies and I certainly floated along with it.  Give it a look.

To Dream

To dream
               of you
Is all
       I want to do

To be dreamed
                       by you
Would be
              everything I'd want to be
To awaken
Would be
               all together heaven

Today's Secret Code

"Never call mad scientists crazy, they HATE that." Again: "Never call mad scientists crazy, they HATE that." Today's colour is in the test tube. Today's author has a Ka-RAZE-EEE idea. That is all, maho maho.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not Every Christmas Memory Is A Classic


Chronos has be released now as a re-released as a DVD and it's a good time to watch it again.  Guillermo Del Toro has certainly moved on to bigger projects like "Hellboy," but "Chronos" early on showed his wonderful creativity.  It holds up today just as strong as when it was first made in 1993.

It begins with an alchemist who thinks he has found the secret to immortal life.  Four hundred years later a very much transformed alchemist dies in Mexico.  The authorities keep quiet what they find in his house and sell what the can.  Years later a grandfather and granddaughter discover something special in the bust of an angel.  Unfortunately, a crazed industrialist and his dangerous nephew know about what was in the statue as well.  Grandfather learns a sad, hard lesson in imortality.

The film has a wonderful visual sense with its clock work bug engine.  It also has wonderfully drawn characters from the grandfather and granddaughter to the evil Angel with his fetish for plastic surgery.  Certainly a great film to introduce Del Toro's work.

Today's Secret Code

"The Key is in your heart, the Lock is always behind you."  Again:  "The Key is in your heart, the Lock is always behind you."  Today's colour is grey.  Today's author is drinking Earl Grey.  That is all, maho maho wundabar.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

St. Calibas

St. Calibas is the only European city that still has a temple dedicated to Bast.  Still even the temple moves with the times and at Christmas they give out free mice to the cities cats.

LOLs in Hiding

Christmas is bearing down on us

Cry Me A River

Cry me a river
Sing me a sea
dream me a moon
who's tide quell
the sea

Find me a lady
an extradinary lady
dream me her name
so I can call her
to me

Cry me a river
Call me a storm
Whisper me Rain
To raise the river
to take us out
to sea

Films that could be remade "Don't Open Til Christmas."

You know what no one has done right yet? A christmas serial killer movie. Oh, they've tried. Oh yes indeedy, but good? no. No, no, no. So why not take one of these turkeys and try to do it something good.

This one has a good hook, someone is killing anyone in a santa suit, be it a bum, a rich guy at his office party, or a bimbolicious model. This can work, you start of with a couple of murders, and then cops clue in to the MO. Then you can go all sorts of ways. How would the holidays be affected in say New York, if it was five days till Christmas and already seven Santas were dead. Could be a very interesting way to take on mass media in murder culture.

Most of the original film's plot and character I would chuck. The boy friend who might not be what he seems, the girl friend who's in peril even though she's not in a red suit, and the ever present calm arm of the law are way too stock for this weirdness. We need some punch for this and we don't need to construct this as a mystery because shows like this always end up as scooby doo when done as a mystery. "Mr. Jenkins??? I'd get away with it too if it wasn't for you meddling kids."

Anyway that's my thoughts.

The Other Guys

I'm not a Will Ferrel fan to say the least.  I tend to not like man childs.  That's not to say he hasn't done funny things, it's just I'm not going to be first in line to one of his films.  This one is one of those exceptions that keep at least interested in what he's up to. 

"The Other Guys," is a parody of cop flicks and action movies and is pretty decent.  It starts off with super cops, played by Samual L. Jackson and "the Rock", doing what super cops do best.  Massive property destruction.  I loved spinning the double decker bus around and shooting the already crashed cop car out of it into the bad guys.  It was so loopy over the top the film won me over right there.

The other guys are Ferrel who is a geeky police accountant and Walberg who is the wanna be super cop.  After the real super cops die in a fit machoness, Walberg feels it is his turn.  Their quest is befouled mostly by themselves who are just not super cop material. 

Ferrel is particularly amusing as a nerd who somehow attracts every beautiful lady to him.  Walberg has his moments specially when he confuses a ballet studio with a strip club.  Michael Keaton is a stable anchor of comedy as their boss who also has a second job at bed, bath and beyond.  Steve Coogan once again shows he should have been in Monty Python with his wonderful delivery.   A great fun film, and if you look closely at the final credits you might learn something.

Today's Secret Code

"Everyone wanted a horse as a boy or girl, but it's awful hard to fit inside a stocking."  Again:  "Everyone wanted a horse as a boy or girl, but it's awful hard to fit inside a stocking."  Today's colour is chestnut.  Today's author is beetlebalm.  That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Workplaces Need a Choir

Knight and Day

I am on record for NEVER liking Tom Cruise.  He was always a smirking ball of ego, and that was before couch jumping and telling folks to get over their mental illnesses already.  I have to be dragged into watching each of his films.  The damned thing though, is often as not he comes up with a good enjoyable film.  It's galling to like the film of someone you hate, but there it is.

Life is never easy.

In this one, Cameron Diaz is just on her way home and bumps into Tom Cruise in full crazy mode.  Turns out Tom is a super spy and is now basically killing everyone around Cameron Diaz as she understandably freaks out.  Tom Cruise is also putting on some "smooth moves" on her and drugging her at the drop of the hat.  Ladies, have you ever had a date like that?

The whole thing revolves around a tired and boring maguffin (some sort of super battery) and the villains are mostly boring.  Still, this is an engaging, silly film that never forgets that it is at heart a silly film.  There is some chemistry between Cruise and Diaz, so it becomes something like "True Lies," but with better diction (sorry ahnold), and is definitely worth a watch!

The Things I Watch.

Oy Vey.

It's not easy reviewing things sometimes specially if you want to find those little oddities forgotten by the media as a whole.  So I watch a bunch of stuff, and generally I don't look at the hype before  I watch.  This blindness helps keep my expectations in check before a viewing.  Anyhoo, this all explains how I came to view "Otto, up with Dead People" one winter night.

The Title left me hopeful.  Maybe it was a comedy about dead people.  It didn't sound like it took itself seriously.  Ah, then I found it that it was from Germany.  Not to diss our European neighbors but Germany is not well noted for light laughter.

Still thre was hope...

Then it turned out that this was not to be.  See, the plot had some German artist lady trying to finish her big "Capitialism sucks" art film, and finding little zombie Otto was going to be her keystone to her monument to how bad blue jeans are. 

Ok, so maybe this can be a fun satire... I can be up for satire...

This nitwit decided that the best way to satirize capitialism is with zombies, gay zombies.  Gay zombies.  Sorry, I think I just blanked out there.  I mean, I just don't see zombies as being gay.  Ok, there was CHUD 2, Bud the Chud, but I think we can agree that that was really just a nightmare and didn't exist.  But I digress, I was sort of hoping for a light comedy and instead I get a German art house movie about gay zombies.

The things I watch....

Today's Secret Code

"If you've seen the movie you know that courage of the heart is very rare, but the stone has the power when it's there."  Again:  "If you've seen the movie, you know that courage of the heart is very rare, but the stone has the power when it's there."  Today's colour is a hot one for a cold day.  Today's author still looks for Mrs. Frisby.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Candycorns are seasonal mythical creatures.  Their candy cane horns are filled either with great magic or taste, I can't remember which.

The Sorrows Of Quality Control

Today's secret Code

"Men are guided by lights, but bound by darkness." Again: Men are guided by lights, but bound by darkness." Today's colour is warm. Today's author is trying to remember if it is one or two lights. That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Funny Til The Bunny Gets Your Nose

David Bowie wishes you a Merry Christmas


Doghouse has that old standby of a bunch of annoying bastards who probably deserve killing. It's better than 90% of such films because, after a bit you actually sort of like them enough to only hope they are maimed.

They are a bunch of old friends who decide to go on a pub crawl to get their recently divorced friend out of the dumps. They decide to go to a little burg in the middle of nowhere. They need a better travel advisor. See, a virus has busted loose in the town and now all the women are ravenous cannibal freaks and all the men are now dead. Can our boys survive?

This is fairly well done, the "Zombie" style mutant ladies are interesting. Slightly smarter than your average zombie, they are also a bit faster than average. Overall, above average.


War has always been hell, but on the whole i'd rather be blown up than chopped into little pieces. Just my own personal thing, and to each their own. That's why I find a film like "Centurion," gripping in a horrid way. It's all about different ways of being cut to pieces.

The film begins with our hero, roman Quintas Dias, in dire straits. He narrates however, that this is neither the beginning nor the end of his tale. What has happened is he is the only survivor of a pictish attack. Said attack started when some poor Roman bastard went to take a pee off the fort wall and wound up with a spear stuck up his water works. Things didn't get better after that.

Escaping from the picts he finds his way to the Ninth Legion led by General Virilus. He plans on using a mute pict girl to help route out the picts. Things don't work there either and soon Qintas and others are on the run in the middle of annoyed pict country.

This is a well done and well acted action film. It leaves out the stylization of say "300" and keeps things relatively gritty. Certainly worth a watch, just so you know what bad asses our ancestors were.

The Sun is a Gas

They Might be Giants has always been a fun geeky group.  Recently they releashed a CD of science based songs for kids and adults.  They are delightful.

Today's Secret Code

"Happiness is a form of courage." Again: "Happiness is a form of courage." Today's colour is bold. Today's author is bolder still. That is all, maho maho.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Early Santa Bots

Before losing their good names to the Santa Bot of Futurama infamy, the santa bots did much good in the world.  They took toys to children in other time lines making the entire universe a happier place.

Christmas past

Christmas light is a slower light
a lingering light
Christmas light will still keep a home warm
with its glow

Even in summer, even is fall
even at midnight specially at midnight
the Christmas light will still be there
felt if not always seen

Do They Know It's Christmas In Japan?

The Mirror is Sometimes Cracked

"Gun Smith Cats" is the most sincerest form of flattery.  It is anime that is set in Chicago of all places and is mostly about what makes America great: fast cars and guns.  It's about a female bounty hunter, Rally Vincent, and her friend who has a grenade fetish going about Chicago causing mayhem for money.  Mostly though, this is a show that wants to show of pretty girls, hot cars, and big guns.  I guess that's better than Big girls, pretty cars, and hot guns.  But to each their own.

Today's Secret Code

"TV used to have knobs, what won't TV have 50 years from now?"  Again, "TV used to have knobs, what won't TV have 50 yearsfrom now?"  Today's colour snowy.  Today's author is in the future. That is all, maho maho.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fish don't tend to be deep thinkers

Lonely Love Bots

Love Bots often fall into holiday depressions.  Love Bots should seek program updates at this time of they year.

Happy Holidays

The Super Hero Squad Show

In Japan there's a thing called SD, aka Super Deformed. It's an animation style where you give a recognizable character a really big head and exaggerated features and play it for fun. Basically the Super Hero Squad Show is the Marvel Universe done in SD. The plotline is simple. Dr. Doom wants to put back together the infinity sword for ultimate power and sends his minions to get the pieces. He is thwarted by Iron Man, Falcon, Hulk, Thor, Silver Surfer, and Wolverine. Other heroes and villains pop in and out. I like it, it's good dumb fun, and besides they basically make MODOK into a mascot. Aww isn't that cute?

Japan just gets creepy

We've looked at some pretty weird things that have been done in Japanese media.  "Gunslinger Girl" isn't a freak fest like say Kekko Kamen.  If anything the series is very understated.  So it slinks down from weird to creepy.   The plot is simple, in Italy a faction of the government has created high tech assassins.  To make these assassins they find little girls who are orphaned and sick and give them new bodies, and brain washing, and guns.  They are then assigned to adult agents that act something of leash holder/big brother.  Its just really creepy watching these girls being given the illusion of hope just to be squashed later on.  Even the beginning credits give this feel with a moody song mixed with I would say inappropriate joy. 


Today's Secret Code

"Why is coffee like a bra?  Because 3 cups is one cup too many."  Again:  "Why is coffee like a bra?  Because 3 cups is one cup too many."  Today's colour is black like coffee.  Today's author is as sweet as cream.  That is all, maho maho.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peace Through Love

It's not generally known but Earth's biggest export is mistletoe.

Today's Secret Code

"If the world were fair our next president would have the voice of Morgan Freeman, the mind of Albert Einstein, and command persona of Captain Kirk."  Again:  "If the world were fair our next president would have the voice of Morgan Freeman, the mind of Albert Einstein, and the command persona of Captain Kirk."  Today's colour if figurative.  Today's author is liberliteral.  That is all, maho maho.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

testing the air

In the Jungle

From Atlantis

The Statue has suffered from the slings and arrows of time and tide.  Even as it floats in it tank it gives off the aura of age.  Literally.  Those who view it find seconds turning to minutes all too fast.  A safe viewing is only ten or so minutes.  After that things accelerate badly.

"They don't bruise if you hit with a bag of oranges," Family Guy

Pillars of the Earth

The Anarchy is well named period of English history. With various claims to the throne and armies roaming the like wolves, the average person in England was lucky just to be spat upon and treated like a bit of bum wipe. It is in this era that the mini series and novel "The Pillars of the Earth," is set.

It's a sprawling story, but it finds it center in the building of a cathedral. Tom Builder and his family align with church to build something new and revolutionary. Of course, not everyone wants that, so they have to fight for every stone and worker. On a larger scale, there is much fighting for the throne. One of the players being an evil church member played by Ian MacShane. Another is a lady who has such an ugly birth mark I keep wanting her to wipe her face.

This is a compelling series and is beautifully shot. There's one episode where the dawn is a very important plot point and it is shot just is such an awesome beautiful way that it is easy to see it as a miracle of God. Never boring and always well acted it is certainly worth a look at.

Christmas Guilty Pleasure that Should have been

There should have been a Cheech and Chong Christmas Special.  I can see it clearly.  Have it guess star Pee Wee Herman, and Lewis Black.  Have George Clooney as a special guest star, and a very special suprise guest star in President Obama.  Of course they would have to play this song...

Today's secret code of december 8th, 2010

"If you put a pickle for a bell clapper will it chime 'ping pong ping pong?'"  Again:  "If you put a picle for a bell clapper will it chime 'ping pong ping pong?'"  Today's colour is falling leaf yellow.  Today's author is going over his list.  That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Guilty Pleasure

"The Snowball Express," isn't really a Christmas film, but I see it every Christmas and it is indeed a guilty pleasure.  Made by disney it is a Dean Jones  vehicle, which must be something like a gremlin.  Anyway, our hero is a put upon dad and husband who quits his boring old job and takes the family to Colorado when he inheriets a hotel.   Said hotel is a dog though, perhaps not so much a dog but rather a child's drawing of a dog left on the floor to be stepped on by muddy shoes.  Yeah, it's bad.  But Keenan Wynn wants to buy the place, so it must have some worth.  Dean decides to make it a ski resort with the help Harry Morgan who is chock full of fronteir gumption. 

It's a cute little film that I shouldn't like half as much as I should.  Mostly I like Harry Morgan who manages to keep dignity even while saying something like "flippery didgets."  Dean is at best mild for a comedian but he's likeable enough, and Keenan gets to growl like he really is some bad ass. 

Today's Secret Code

"Mark has marked another year of excellent excellence, good job!" Again: "Mark has marked another year of excellent excellence, good job!" Today's colour is on the cake. Today's author is wishing the very best. That is all, maho maho.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Seen on a Winter's Day

Despite what you have heard, some dinosaurs did manage to adapt.  And adapt still.

Happy Neurons

Movies I would remake: The Ape Man

I have long had the opinion that remaking good films was fairly pointless.  It was good the first time, right?  It would seem to me to be more profitable to find a film they screwed up and doing it right.  In that spirit, there are few films so hysterically wrong as "The Ape Man."

It starts with people waiting for a ship to arrive.  One is a tough journalist type of the period who's doing a last round of stories before reporting to duty, after all there's a war on you know.  A strange hickish looking fellow is going around saying things like, "You are Dr. Bellows and you are looking for the missing Dr. Jello," or "Hey, go see that girl over there.  There's a good story there."

There is indeed an interesting story.  Bela Lugosi has been doing some odd experiments that have left him looking like a muppet version of Bela.  He's pretended to be missing so folks won't comment on his need to go to the salon.  Now he just needs to keep murdering people for their spinal fluids so he can try to cure his condition.  Of course, our reporter and his girl monday-tuesday-wednesday-friday figure it all out and save the day.

The reason I want to remake it is this:  remember that hick character I was talking about?  Well at the end of the film he pops up again and the Reporter asks him who he is.  He smiles and says, "I'm the writer of this film!"  The end.  I love that they went bizarrely meta for a monogram cheapie.  One can take this and go in all sorts of direction.  Wouldn't a character love to ask his creator questions like, "Why did you kill all those people?" or more importantly, "Why did you do all this to me?"  This could turn into quite a fun movie as a remake.

The End of the Walking Dead

Well.. the end for this season.  Though I really don't see how you can call it a "season" with only six episodes.  A miniseries would be more fair.  Oh well, that's a minor quibble to a fairly good show.  Rumors are already flying about the second season.  Right now there is some confusion over whether the writers have been fired or not.  Time will tell how all this will go down, but how about last night's finale?

Well, it certainly ended with a literal bang.  Our heroes have just gotten inside the CDC building manned by suicidal scientist.  They have one night of near peace before finding out they have to figure how to get out of the CDC fast or get fried.  If I had a problem with the episode it is that it opened up the CDC plotline then closed it too soon. It just felt a little contrived in places.

On the other hand, Shane shone as a character.  First there was a flashback to last days at the hospital.  It showed that Shane really did have reason to believe his best friend was dead.  It made him a bit heroic again.  Then they took this good will and dashed it to the ground when a drunken Shane shows how not to win friends and influence people.  Hint for Shane:  There's no handle there bud no matter how hard you grab.

I can see what they wanted to do with this episode and why it was the final one.  They were given a choice here.  Go one and eventually die a horrible death in all probablity, or stay and go out in a quick nearly painless blaze of glory.  Before this, survival was an automatic action.  Here, they finally had to say, "Yes I will try to survive."  So, it was a fitting finale for the first season.

Today's Secret Code for December 6th, 2010

"Cindi Lou Who knew just what to do."  Again:  "Cindi Lou Who knew just what to do."  Today's colour is grinchy.  Today's author is playing a suess-a-phone with tambingers and lama dali lama hambangers.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rainbow Ghost

The rainbow fades
and the sun shine bright
something still remains
if you have the second sight



Hull Zero Three

Imagine if you will that you are near the end of a wonderful journey.  You and your friends are all together and laughing over old times.  The mood is of joyful anticipation.  After centuries of travel today you are about to set foot on a new planet.  Your planet.

Then you wake up.

Now you are freezing and naked and everything is wrong.  There's no planet, only the ship.  The ship is sick and broken and full of monsters.  Things like heat and gravity are fickle and inconstant.  Every step fraught with danger and your memories are too scrambled to be of much help at the moment.  Your only help is a small girl, and what is she going to do about the monsters?


This is how Greg Bear's "Hull Zero Three," begins.  It's safe to say that things get worse for our hero who is for the moment named only "Teacher."  When not scrambling for survival the questions that haunt Teacher are daunting.  What happened to the ship?  How can I fix it?  Why don't my memories that I do have match with the reality of the ship?  Can I even be sure of my own identity.  Greg Bear handles these questions with a quick wit and never lets our character get too Hamlet-y which is a good thing. 

This novel moves at a fast clip.  It's full of fascinating ideas.  I can't think of a bad thing to say about it.  Definitely read it.

Have an explosive holiday season

Today's Secret Code for December 5th, 2010

"Just sitting on a corn flake waiting for the morning bus."  Again:  "Just sitting on a corn flake waiting for the morning bus."  Today's colour is English tan.  Today's author its the egg man.  That is all, maho maho goo goo ka choob.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Miss Brit

During the Blitz this superheroine flew over London as the bombs dropped.  She was more than just a hero, she was a symbol that nothing were going to keep the people of Great Britain down.  She does not age, and was last reported living in a cottage in Workshire Low.  When she is needed she will come.


Sym-bionic titan

Well last night was the season finale for "Sym-Bionic Titan."  First don't get me started on the whole thing about short seasons.  "The Walking Dead," has only six episodes for its first season?  Come on.  Seriously, its time we insist as consumer the return to some standards.  I hate blinking and finding my favorite series in hiatus.

Saying that, it was a pretty good episode.  Finally, the earth's secret anti alien squad moves in on our gang of friendly aliens.  I know the bell bottom and scarf look is a call back to the seventies giant robot style fasions, but  I can't shake the idea they are probably all have low morale thanks to the uniform.  "Do I have to wear the yellow scarf?"

Be that as it may, and it may not be much, they certainly kicked our heroes to the curb.  Captured they are interrogated until they managed to escape with the help of another prisoner.  Of course, we the audience already guess that the helpful prisoner is really Solomon the leader of  the G3.  Not to many folks have that silvery mane, but since our heroes haven't been introduced as yet, it all works dramatically.  In the end they do escape but not without realizing that now they have another threat to worry about, a threat that just happens to have some of their tech already.  Where did that come from?

The season as a whole has been great.  I love the robot Octos/Newton the best of all the characters.  Since he has to take the role of both nerdy friend and father figure, he is constantly having to deal with and learn about humans in all sorts of odd situations.

Let's see Hal deal with that.
Oh and to be fair, Solomon's gang isn't any worst dressed than these rubes..