Monday, October 31, 2011

The Spectres Choose And the Choosen Are Rarely Seen Again

The Knight of Halloween

The Knight of Halloween
rides out
across the lands
making sure the Undead
treat and not trick

Once Upon A Time.... again....

Well the crazy is still there, but I can't say it's sticking yet. Our Emma is staying in town despite the Queen/Mayor being subtle then not so subtle (as in I'm going to frame you for a crime) in letting it be known she's not wanted. Her reason for staying is still somewhat nebulous. She sort feels there's something weird going on, and she does like the kid that's also her son that she abandoned long ago. But she's still fairly sure the kid's crazy, and really a life as a bailsbond person really doesn't give her an insight in dealing with fairy tale curses. Hopefully, they'll strengthen her resolve to stay as time goes on.

The episode was mostly a flashback as to how the Queen/Mayor actually cast the Mother of All Curses. Turns out it was no where near as easy as she made it out to be when she announced to everyone they were going to get a cursing. To finish the curse she had to make a deal with Rumplestiltskin, and just happen to kill her own father and rip his heart out. Oh, and then of course she had to follow all the yahoos she cursed to the place of ultimate despair which is Maine. Doesn't that make her cursed as well? It's a strange strange thing. By the end, we see that Rumplestiltskin in this world might remember a bit more than the other story book people and he's definitely a first class villain. In fact, he might actually out class the Queen, there are hints he's pulling her strings as she pulls the strings on everyone else. That at least is pretty interesting.

Last Night's Walking Dead

Well, in many ways this is a better episode than the previous two. The trouble is they are still doing the same things that are annoying me, and so my annoyance has grown. First, enough with mindless wandering. Yes, yes I know they were STILL looking for the little lost girl, but since they didn't find any sign of her it dramatically worked out to mindless wandering. This is beginning to turn into "Waiting for the Walking Godot."

The second problem is they still can't write for the Mother's role without me wanting to just put my fingers in my ears to stop the whine. Last week she was tearing the helpless doctor a new one for not being that good of a doctor when she should be on her knees saying "Thank you Lord, for giving us ANY medical care." This week the writers went the other side of the fence. In a fit of depression she briefly considers letting her child bleed out cause the world is such a crap hole. Look people, scour around I'm sure there's anti depressant pills somewhere around. Find them and keep her dosed and away from sharp objects.

Other than that there was some fun things. They found someone who was bitten who then hung himself. Suicide is a bitch for the undead let me tell you. T Dog is feeling better after getting some meds in him. Dale is looking out and looking worried. We get some stories like about how Shane stole the school principle's car before he became a police officer. That Shane he does havea wild streak.

Oh, and speaking of Shane well he certainly took a step to his own personal dark side. Now there would be some that would judge him harshly for what happened to Otis, but unlike a lot action in this series there was a definite logic to it. After all, you don't have to be faster than the zombies (who are definitely much faster than first season!), you just have to be faster than the last man. I thought it was good that Shane seemed a bit shamed by what he did, it still shows he's a human being. But now, what else is he capable of, specially since he still yearns for his best friend's wife.

This could be interesting...

Monster of the Day: splinter

Source:  Splinter
Location:  woodlands
Threat Assessment:  7.  I don't understand why it hasn't taken the world over already.  It's a parasite that can take over any creature and use that body for sheer mayhem.  Every bit of it is deadly and mobile and taking out the head while helpful doesn't end the problem.
Limitation:  Animal intelligence, and fire.

Today's Secret Code

"It is better to treat than to trick."  Again:  "It is better to treat than to trick."  Today's Colour is softer in moonlight.  Today's Author is not so thick.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boo You! Happy Halloween!

Zombie Apocalypse

Well I'm pretty burnt out by now on Syfy films, but this one did make me curious. There were three reasons I was willing to see "Zombie Apocalypse," the first is that is stared Ving Rhames who's enough of a name usually to avoid a Syfy film.  Secondly, being near the climax of their 31 days of Halloween festival I had some hopes they left something good for the end.  Thirdly, there was a brief shot of a zombie tiger that is awesome.

So....

Well, I'll say this; they didn't waste any time.  Basically, a french virus makes virus and it spread to the rest of the world.  To stop the spread the US government rained down EMP bombs.  Now, it's several months latter and practically everyone is dead, or deadish.  My first indication of lack of quality was right in the credits.  This is an asylum film.   Asylum does crappy horror and "We'll rape any property so fast we'll beat it into theaters."   The second one was that the first actor I could recognize was NOT Ving Rhames.

It was the crabshack guy in "My Name is Earl."  Who still had his mutant afro intact.  Now I'm sure this guy is a good actor.  I loved him in "My Name is Earl."  But when I see that mutant afro waving free in the breeze it pulls me out of the idea that this is suppose to be a serious horror film.  Luckily, we get to Ving Fairly quickly as survivors begin to hook up after the zombies have taken over.  Unfortunately, strike three occurs during this first battle.  I've said it before, I'll say it again:  yes CGI gunfire is safer and cheaper, but if you want to do it RIGHT use practical effects.  This fight looks more fake than pro wrestling with midgets.

So, the plot of the film is these survivors want to reach the coast and then the Catalina Islands.  In the meantime they have to fight through a zombie horde.  The zombie fights grow boring quickly, and the character development moments are even worse.  Ving doesn't embarrass himself and comes off as a good old fashion bad ass.  Two ideas are brought into play but not much is made of them.  The first is there can be animal zombies, and the second is that the zombies are getting smarter.  That both ideas are given about thirty seconds of consideration is sad.

Finally, we reach the end.  At the end we FINALLY have the zombie tiger.  It actually is kinda of awesome.  Even the bad special effects don't kill the scene too much.  We could have had an entire film with zombie tiger rather than boring two hours of zombie zombies. 

Oh you, Syfy.

Reason Why the Brave and the Bold Was So Great And Why It Will Be Missed

Happy Halloween

Monster of the Day: Michael

Source:  Halloween
Location:  Midwest
Threat Assessment:  6.  With many films under his belt, the chances you are going to avoid getting killed by this near unstoppable killing machine is pretty much nil. 
Limitation:  Not ambitious.  Obsessed with naked teenagers and family ties.

Today's Secret Code

"May your adventures tonight be safe and .......interesting."  Again:  "May your adventures tonight be safe and ........interesting."  Today's Colour is in the bag.  Today's Author is on a full moon quite the wag.  That is all, maho maho.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Beast Rises From the Dark

Grimm

Well the take I've been hearing about this series is that it is "Fables done Buffy style." After seeing it, I can agree to the basic truth of that thought. However, I do see some potential here and honestly I had some fun watching it.

The plot is pretty simple. A cop suddenly starts seeing CGI on people's faces. He learns from a dying relative that he is one of the last Grimms, people who can see the secret monsters. He's given some weapons and some books and now he has to figure out how to stop monsters. Is he suppose to arrest them? Kill them? Are they even all evil? One of the monsters he meets is "reformed," and actually helps him.

Overall I liked the show. It didn't take itself too seriously, and avoided getting nutty with the back story like "Once Upon a Time." I could definitely watch this every week.

Monster of the Day: Evil Ed

Source:  Fright Night
Location:  Suburbia
Threat Assessment:  3.  He's a vampire, and he seems to like it.
Limitation:  He's a dork, and can't seem to help it.

Today's Secret Code

"Jack O' Lanterns were originally carved from turnips."  Again:  "Jack O' Lanterns were originally carved from turnips."  Today's Colour is in the fire.  Today's Author is all he aspires.  That is all, maho maho danlingo.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Johnny Blue 23

Johnny Blue 23
is a space criminal
and uber grifter
He's wanted
by the law
and
Lori Red 7

Franken Josie

fans..
can't live with them
can't beat them to death with tire irons
after the unfortunate death of the band
Josie and the Pussycats
One fan with a plan
managed to resurrect
the lead singer
there
were
complications



Attack the Block

This is a great little science fiction film that just keeps rocking from beginning to end. Set in a London Housing Project a bunch of young hoods led by Moses are tearing up the place and doing some robbery. They certainly aren't good kids, but they are still young enough that they have to keep calling their mums and dad to give excuses on why they are still out galavanting into the night. Things get more interesting when a meteor takes out a car and out pops a frightful little gremlin thing. It bites at Moses so in gangster style he takes it out. His gang proud to kill the first known ET on Earth take it Ron's Weed Room for safety.

Things get taken to the next level when a whole army of aliens start falling from the sky. They are big, mean, and have LOTS of teeth. Our boys lacking common sense decide to fight back. Then after a bit of reality gets bitten into them, it becomes a tense game of just trying to stay alive and keep other people safe. Things aren't helped by the fact that these beasties seem to be honing in on Moses. Moses may be the baddest bad boy of the group but he feels guilt that he's brought all this trouble on his turf, so amazingly he finds the better side of himself and becomes something of a hero. Not too much mind you, still got to keep your reputation don't you know?

This film gets it all right. It moves when it needs to, takes it time when it has to, and never is so busy as not to lighten the mood a little. I can't think of a science fiction film of late that was just so much FUN! Definitely worth a watch, but americans might want the subtitles on as the british slang can get good and deep. Klingon is sometimes easier to understand.

Not Another Not Another Movie

Once upon a time, there was a golden time for films that spoofed other movies.  "Airplane,"  "Police Squad," and even "Hot Shots," threw enough jokes against the wall that there was always something funny.  Then something funny happened, not funny "Ha ha" but funny "who took a header into Columbia's supply of blow?"  Spoof movies became horribly unfunny.  They became anti humor.  The worst that I've allowed myself to see was "Disaster Movie."  Oh so well named, what can you say about a film that thought Amy Winehouse as a sabertooth gasoline drinking tiger dream seer was a GOOD idea?

So now we reach "Not Another Not Another Movie," a spoof movie about making a spoof movie.  This is like the bad trip version of 2001 and now the genre is the shakey old man reaching out to himself.  So is this  the star child that will bring the genre back?  Oh hell no, this film sucks rocks.  It is, however, several levels better than "Disaster Movie," so I guess that's some hope.

What makes it better?  Well it actually pretends to have almost a plot and almost a character you can care about.  He's a doofus but he has heart.  Unfortunately, they put just a little too much on the character like narcolepsy and memories of childhood abuse that don't make him endearing, just weird.  The other thing that makes the film a little fun is there are several rathre famous old dudes who dropped in for a check.  There's Burt Reynolds and Chevy Chase and they hang and chew scenary for about a minute and politely walk out a little richer in the bank and a little poorer in their soul. 

Anyway that's "Not Anotehr Not Another Movie."  I've damned it faint praise, and praised it by damning it enough.  It's not worth a view unless you are a completist or are willing to provide your own entertainment.

Cooking and the Living Dead

Well, now you have a nice base, and have been working on some DIY projects to pass the time. Now comes a real problem. Food. Sure you think can foods are going to get you there, but honestly canned foods can only last so long specially as the seasons cycle through. Even if you manage to lay in a good a supply there will be problems. It will be hard to get a balanced diet out of canned goods. For the first time in modern era survivors might have to fear scurvy. Even if you have enough food, and have the right dietary balance, you might find yourself getting bored eating the same thing again and again.

Obviously, someone is going to have to foraging for food. Ideally, more than one, because you need a look out. The buddy system works. One trouble will be finding protein. As seen in the first season the Walking Dead will eat things besides people. They were shown to eat a horse, and a deer. There has been a real lack of dogs and cats seen, so it seems clear the local animal population has seen a real dip. Protein wise it would seem logical that the only wild game that is probably still intact will be fowl and fish. Both inhabit environments the dead don't seem to like much (you don't see too many zombies climbing trees.) Fruits, nuts, greens, should all be available but you should have either a person who knows what is what or a very good book else you might accidentally serve up a plate of very bad mushrooms and save the zombies the trouble.

Ideally the foraging party should set out traps for the protein and then spend the rest of the time gathering greens. Then on the way back they can check the traps they set the day before thus make most efficient use of time outside the base.  Remember, safety first.  A 12 point buck is not worth accidentally running into a mob of zombies. 

Monster of the Day: Intergalatic Teddy Bears of Death

Source:  Attack the Block
Location:   Space, low rent areas of London.
Threat Assessment:  5.  Glowing blue teeth, claws.  Able to blend very well into the night.  Seems to have great sense of smell.  Can attack in mass.
Limitation:  Seemingly animal intelligence.  Can be killed with conventional weapons. 

Today's Secret Code

"A black cat crossing your path isn't near as bad luck as one down your pants."  Again:   "A black cat crossing your path isn't near as bad luck as one down your pants."  Today's Colour is orange as a pumpkin enlightened with a candle.  Today's Author is enlightened enough without need of a candle.  That is all, maho mao maho.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Bone Shee

Made from the bones of martyr'd dead
the Bone Shee
seeks company
and warmth
shame the company
grows cold
so soon

Captain America

A while back I was probably needlessly harsh in my review of "Green Lantern," but there was a reason to it.  I wanted to show just how the screen play and simple editing can make all the difference between good and klunky.  Well, "Captain America," proves my point very well and is the good twin to Green Lantern's not so good twin.  Both are about a superhero that are fairly difficult to realistically present in cinema.  Both have dense details and back stories.  But one works and the other... well not so much.

Captain America begins not with a crawl of words or some voice over from a Morgan Freeman wanna be.  Instead it's a nice cold teaser.  Literally.  Somewhere, north of the artic circle a very odd craft is discovered and as it is explored we get a brief glimpse of a certain hero's trademarked shield.  The end.   Short, simple, and leaves us wanting more.  THIS is how you begin a film.

Now we shoot back to the past, 1942 to be exact.  For the moment we are following two stories.  In New York a scrawny Steve Rogers tries again and again to join up only to fail because he's a scrawny runt.  In Europe, on the other hand, we have Johann Schmidt (played by MVP Hugo Weaving) who leads the Nazi created Hydra organization.  He's super strong, and incredibly intelligent and he's gathering the materials to...wait for it...take over the world.  He's aided by scientist Arnim Zola who at this point still has his head (ask fan boys about it, or look at the Monster of the Day).  The point being Schmidt and Rogers couldn't be more different.  A few brief strokes has created a perfect hero/villain dynamic that will help drive the film.

Back in New York Roger's friend Bucky takes him to World's Fair.  Bucky is should be pointed out is a superior physical specimen to Roger's and they are of equal age.  This is different from the canonical Bucky who was one of the first teen age side kicks.  This change works very well for the movie and will make for a nice reversal when Rogers becomes Captain America.  At the World's Fair we get a little fan service first in a brief glimpse of the first Human Torch, and then at Iron Man's dad Howard Stark who thinks the future will be in flying cars.  Mostly this section though is for the introduction of Steve Rogers to Dr. Abraham Erskine who might have a way to help Steve with his problems.  Dr. Abraham is played by Stanley Tucci who I tend to find plays his roles too broad but here dials it back just enough.  He's got vulnerablity and humanity but doesn't hit you over the head with sainthood.  A very good performance.

So now Rogers is in the army and of course he's failing all the physical courses.  Still, this section shows that Steve is a thinker when he manages to get a flag no one else could, and that he has heart when he jumps on what he thought was a live grenade.  We are introduced to cooly British Peggy Carter and the brusk Colonel Philips (played by Tommy Lee Jones).  Again a great section, the film never feels like its hitting you over the head with how much heart Steve Rogers has.

Once its official we get Steve turned into Captain America.  It really is a show stopper of a scene.  I LOVE that at one point Steve is screaming but then says when they start to stop, "No I CAN TAKE IT."  It's a perfect note of heroism that almost makes the unveiling of Captain America's body unneeded.  At this point, I should say the best special effect of this movie is the one you didn't see.  How they managed to keep one actor with two such different bodies is just amazing.  I wish all special effects were so seamless.  At this point, we lose the doctor to assassins which of course now makes Captain America unique.  This then leads to an incredible scene that shows just what a super soldier is capable of and that dear friends is just jaw dropping. Just imagine someone who could win a gold medal at any olympic event but is also about 20% better than that. 

After that incredible section we have a bit that should have been just a drag on the whole movie but amazingly wasn't.  Instead of making Captain America a real military asset the powers that be use him to sell bonds and make movies and such.  Cap hates this of course, but this sectioni is important.  Cap was already a hero first in his heart than his body to match it, but he didn't know how have that heroic presence.  Here he learns that without even realizing it.  He's so nervous at first that he has to read cue cards attached to his shield, but by the end of the sequence he's cheerfully lifting blondes on motorcycles over his head as an elaborate dance number occurs around him.  You can see his self confidence has grown.  It takes a hit though when he tries his routine on real troops who have no respect for a false "Captain."

Things go worse when word is that Bucky has been killed or captured by the Red Skull, aka Schmidt.  Finally, Captain America truly goes into action in a mission to free the prisoners.  It's amazing that more than half the film passes before we finally get to Captain America, but I think it really works out.  I like that they took real time to let the characters grow naturally in a very unnatural environment.  Of course the first meeting of the Skull versus Captain America sets them up for nemesis for life.  From this point on the true legend of Captain America begins.  Again, the film takes real time to show this.  I remember the 1990 version of Captain America, there was ONE mission in WWII before Captain America was frozen til the modern day.  It felt so callow and wrong that it really set the tone for one of the worst superhero ever.

Luckily, we are in far more capable hands here.  This film speeds along at this point and is just wonderful.  I enjoyed it totally and I think this is the capstone (heh, CAPstone) for their whole multi picture wonderland.  It really marries all the other films together and sets up the Avenger's film perfectly.  It certainly makes me want to see what happens next.

Today's Monster: Arnim Zola

Source:  Marvel Universe
Location:  Some secret lair
Threat Assessment:  5.  He may not seem much, but he's a master plotter and scientist specializing in biological monstrosities.  His best work is himself.  He's cloned himself a body without a head, dumping the brains into his chest.
Limitation:  Ex Nazi, and extreme hubris

Today's Secret Code:

"I don' wanna be buried inna pet semetary."  Again:  "I don' wanna be buried inna pet semetary."  Today's Colour is found on the pinhead.  Today's Author had a teenage lobotomy and wasn't impressed.  Does your mother know you are Ramones?  That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Great No

He has the power of No
He has done nothing
The Great No
is famous for it
it has been said he would stop
breathing if he was asked to breath
No one has put it to the test
In case it is true

Demonic Hair Day

When your hair is possessed
washing won't be enough

Phase 7

Phase 7 is a rather interesting film from Spain.  That along with "The Last Circus" makes it two for two from Spain this month.  Maybe there's some sort of revival of Spanish filmmaking, or maybe its just the luck of the draw.  Hard to be sure without more research.

Anyway, Phase 7 is about a plague.  A lovely young couple in an apartment building first don't even realize they are in the midst of a pandemic.  As they shop and love natter at each other, folks are rushing in full "shotgun and canned food" mode.  It's only when they get home that they learn there's a new super virus that is taking out nearly everyone.  The UN declares it a phase 6 emergency and the apartment is put into full quarantine.  At first, everyone is nice enough but soon it becomes neighbors vs. neighbors.  Our hero only "friend" is the ultra paranoid, extremely well armed Horatio.  Our hero dances a fine line between fighting homicidal neighbors, keeping crazy Horatio happy, and trying to keep his very pregnant wife from knowing just how bad things are.

This film moves fast, but it isn't MTV style flash and sizzle.  The story just naturally unfolds at a fast pace as everything falls to chaos.  Our leads are very charming.  I love Horatio even though I can't entirely trust a person who keeps his own personal bacterial contamination suits.  The film plays more naturalistic than most plague films.  It's far more science fiction than horror.  Definitely a breath of fresh air, even if filtered through a contamination suit.

DIY and Walking Dead

Say you took my earlier advice and decided to hunker down and wait for the dead to rot out.  One problem you have to face is cabin fever.  There isn't going to be any TV in post zombie land, and the nights get long.  All those post traumatic stress problems are going to start popping up with your people.  What you need to do is find some make work projects to keep everyone busy.  Now a roof top garden is nice, but not really satisfying so I suggest working on a simple pit trap.

First, make sure the area is fairly clear of the dead.  They seem to move around if you aren't rattling the cages so its fairly likely you can find a day where they are somewhere else.  Have one look out and at least two people with guns.  Make sure you have a knotted rope handy so folks can get out of the pit quickly.  If you have access to a back hoe that would be great, but since this is a more a make work project it actually works better with just a bunch of folks with shovels. 

Start the pit in front of the main entrance, say about thirty feet away.  The pit doesn't have to be too deep, I wouldn't go much more than eight feet really.  Make sure to pack the soil on the side of your dwelling.  Also be sure to post a warning of some sort.  A bright bit of fabric would be enough.  Wouldn't want to thin out any more survivors now.

When you get it to a good depth start putting sharp things in the bottom.  My preference would be sharpened rebar.  The point isn't that is going to kill a zombie.  The chance of a zombie falling and getting a rebar through the head is at best 50/50.  The point is that the zombie is going to get pierced somewhere and that will probably make it even less agile.  Don't worry if it doesn't seem big enough at first.  It's a work in progress.  Say your goal is to completely surround your base, there's no hurry in reaching that goal.   Always remember safety first.

As your pit gets used by zombies you will have to deal with clean up.  Generally I'm not in favor of setting zombies on fire because it takes a bit for them to take enough damage from the fire and until then you have to deal with both zombies and fire at the same time.  However, for the pit its a good way to clean up.  Bring a little gas and a match and then step back and let nature do the work.  After the smoke clears if you have some lime be sure to shovel a little into the pit.  It will keep it from stinking up the place too much. 

In no time at all your group of survivors will have an excellent little defense against the zombie hordes.  They'll feel proud and have a sense of accomplishment, which will go a long way to help morale.  It might even inspire some to create their own traps.  You might, however, want to discourage traps involving explosives and/or gunpowder.  Remember, safety first.

Monster of the Day: facehuggers

Source:  Alien
Location:  Hopefully not on earth
Threat Assessment:  5.  Full of acid blood.  Great strength.  If it succeeds in face hugging you are not going to have a good day.
Limitation:  Small.  If you are quick you might survive an attack.

Today's Secret Code:

"Nothing says tradition like candy corn-no one wants it but it is there every year."  Again:  "Nothing says tradition like candy corn-no one wants it but it is there every year."  Today's Colour is black which isn't a color.   Today's Author is not a famous unicorn which wouldn't be an author either.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Flenser

The Flenser
is neither demon
nor strange angel
nor spirit
or fay
The Flenser
is to itself
true
It's calling is removal
of troublesome things
...
live life lightly
or else the Flenser might call

The Giant Brothers Jotonahem and Rotanohem Strides the Winter Storms

Madhouse

Sorry, I've run out of patience.
This film sucks.
sucks bad.

We've seen it all before.
Scary mental institution.
Doctors without sanity.

The type of place with cameras
and guards and yet
a person can be dragged into a room and killed

and no one sees

BS/crap/merde

Walking Dead Riding Horses

Well I think last night's episode was a step up from the premier. It didn't suffer from the extra bloat time and it tried to establish the characters a bit better. Not everyone shares my views here. Some thought it was too talky, and one person was pretty cynical saying it was all false dramatics since you KNOW they aren't going to kill the kid.

Ok, that's true. But you know in House they aren't going to kill Dr. House, right? At least not in episode 2. The point of the exercise is how the other characters react to the crisis not whether the crisis is "real" or not. On that basis I think it works cause we got the normally super heroic Rick to lose his mind a little at the thought of losing his son. That's good we need to see a few cracks in the super cop or this is going to become "High Noon" with zombies.

So, anyway, yes Rick's son was shot. The idiot that shot him, and to be fair it could be a true accident since he clearly shot the deer first and Rick's son just was in the way of frag, takes him to his group of survivors one of whom is a doctor. Lucky group, let me tell you in a zombie aftermath the person you are least likely to meet is a doctor. They are going to be in the concentrations of zombie infections and most of them are going down. In fact, if you see a doctor after a zombie aftermath be suspicious.

Meanwhile, everyone is wandering around everywhere. Most are still looking for the lost kid. T Dog is having his own bad day, his wound now infected he's fast becoming a little delirious. They could have gone round and round like this all day except one of the other group comes over to tell folks what's what. Oh and to kill a random zombie. That she does it from horseback with a baseball bat that she keeps in a speciah sheath on her horse is just a little super cool icing on the cake.

So now the group makes plans to meet with Rick and the new group while still keeping a post in case the lost girl comes back. Mr. Redneck reveals a stash of drugs including some antibiotics that should help T Dog. Mr. Redneck is becoming the go to guy of the group. Meanwhile, Shane and Otis (the shooter) are sent to a school that was medical station for more supplies or the kid might die.

When the mom finally gets to the new group and is told the situation she immediately susses out that the Doctor isn't a "real" doctor. He is in fact a vet. She gets pretty snitty about it, and let me tell you it plays all the hell wrong. If there's one thing this series shares with "Breaking Bad" is that the writers don't seem to be able to write the female lead's role without a heaving helping of bitch. I mean, yes he's a vet lady, but what are you going to do without him? Rick, is also at the moment having bouts of the stupid in terms of his dialogue but at least he's excused in that he's already given blood twice.

Another little bitch of my own here, the zombies at the end are a good deal faster than the standard we've been given last season. They are just a bit below the running dead. There is now a little lack of consistency in what the dead are and are capable of. Another symptom of letting their main creator go? I don't know, but I hope the zombies don't start sprinting.

Monster of the Day: Phantasm sphere

Source:  Phantasm
Location:  Anywhere around the Tall Man
Threat Assessment:  5.  If it latches on it will do bad things like drill a hole in your head and pump all the blood out.  It seems to have different settings of mayhem.
Limitation:  Can be dodged.

Today's Secret Code:

"Never play leap frog with a unicorn, nor share a brandy with a dragon, and never go shoe shopping with a sasquatch."  again:  "Never play lep frog with a unicorn, nor share a brandy with a dragon, and never go shoe shopping with a sasquatch."  Today's Colour stinks.  Today's Author is bright.  Until next time moustacheteers, maho maho.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Better to Light Candles...

The Last Circus

This is the type of film I wish I would see more of its type. Well, if this film had a type, it really is a very singular affair. Set at first in Spain 1937, several clowns (literal clowns) get pressed into a battle between the forces of the Spanish Civil War. When one complains he's told that a clown in a dress with a machete would be the most terrifying thing on the field.

They weren't far wrong.

In the end the clown with the machete (a happy clown) is captured. His son tries to free him. The clown tells his son he will grow up to be a sad clown unless he gets vengeance. The son instead tries a jail break but his father is killed.

It's now 1973. The son has grown up to be a passive sad clown. He gets work in a no account circus. The leader of the show isn't the owner but the happy clown who is anything but happy. He's a raging drunk, and just plain raging. He mistreats his girlfriend horribly, beating her often. The trouble is, she likes it. Our clown is pulled into an odd game as the girl uses him to make the happy clown even more crazy with rage.

This can't be good.

The movie though is very good. It is odd without being some Tim Burton whack a thon. It has an interior logic and universe that makes everything work. The actors do a very good job. I love the "Bad" clown. Though he's a jerk, an asshole, and whatever else you want to call him, he's also an incredible professional when it comes to children. He's a villain that you are never QUITE sure how much you can hate him. Would things have gone different if he went to AA? Also, how much can you hate a man for beating up a masochist?
What's the old joke?  The worst thing you can do to a masochist is nothing at all.

Definitely worth a watch and shoots up on my list of favorite clown movies.

How Far Can the Walking Dead Walk?

I'm not going to criticize the survivors of "The Walking Dead" too much. They've been through hell. They are obviously in traumatized in all sorts of ways. Still, their current strategy of survivor is pretty counter intuitive to their observations if they had time to think about things.

Here is what I've seen. The dead are a natural phenomena, that is they are bound by the rules of science and not magic. Though they are moving by some unknown means they are still dead. They are rotting. The ones in Atlanta, clearly first victims were often the ones least capable of complex movements. Obviously as time goes by rot is going to make further in roads in how dangerous the walking dead can be.

Therefore, driving around the country is probably not the best way to deal with this. They are bound to keep coming in contact with dead, and moreover more likely to find fresher walking dead away from the major areas of infection.

My suggestion would be to gather as many supplies as you can, specially water and find an isolated building of four or more stories high. Occupy the top level and destroy the stairs. Then just wait it out. Even if the walking dead are not rotting as fast as a normal corpse might, they are rotting. And even if new walking dead are created each "wave" will be smaller and smaller as there are less living. By all rights by next summer it should be safe to move around again for the most part.

Of course as drama that's not so exciting. So I can understand if the writers of the show want to keep everyone on the road.

Monster of the Day: Nasty Ass Vampires With Suckers

Source:  Blade II
Location:  EVERYWHERE!!
Threat Assessment:  8.   Everything a regular vampire is ramped up to ten.  Meth head vampires that are berserkers, incredibly hard to kill, and have long sucker mouths.  Definite nightmare fuel.
Limitation:  Daylight, ultraviolet light, penetrate the heart if you can get through the natural body armor.  With the exception of the leader they don't seem to exhibit too much intelligence and have a junkie mentality.

Today's Secret Code

"Never play dice with the devil or chess with an angel."  Again:  "Never play dice with the devil or chess with an angel."  Today's Colour is the color of bones.  Today's Author is considering a new gambit.  That is all until the checkmate, maho maho baby needs a new pair of shoes.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Strange Angel of the Last Bloom

The Aztec used to worship
A god of Flowers
with the face of a Skull
Lorias Ma Xzil
Was their model
He's more refined now
Dressed as Baron
but he still represents
the last bloom

The Northern Neon Seer Speaks with Two Mouths but One Vision

Howling Reborn

You know I always link "The Howling" with "The Wolfen" both were big budget (well big for horror movies)films with some major talent behind them. I find it interesting that in the years since their release there has been a god awful amount of Howling sequels, rip offs, and name rapes but there hasn't been one peep from "The Wolfen" side. Now admitedly, it didn't have the same effect as "The Howling" in mass culture, nor did it make as much money, and honestly it's concept is a lot tougher to pull off. Given all this however you have to weigh on the other side that in hollywood (or nearby) are folks who'd sell their own mother's wholesale for a name property. The short answer is that the people who hold the name and property that is "The Wolfen" have had the foresight to not just let it go for the song. The people behind the Howling on the other hand let theirs go even if you can't hum.

So here we are, "Howling Reborn." I believe its the tenth in a less than proud series. The last howling film I saw sported line dancing as a large part of the film couple with black scenes not so different than what you have seen on "Hee Haw." In other words, there is no other place to go but up. The film hits a good note by being based on one of the Howling books of the original author so at least they are trying to get back to something sort of authentic.

Or at least that was the intent at one point.

The story is basically, high school kid who's a nerd finds he's going through the "changes." Yes, this is a dark version of "Teen Wolf." He is madly deeply in love with a tough girl who is surprised to find that she has feelings for him as well. His friend is planning on stealing a TV signal on graduation day to show his horror movies. Things hit a snag when a bunch of over thirty high school "kids" move in and are actually bad werewolves.

Honestly as straight to DVD goes, its not horrid. It's by the numbers, it takes a few pages from "Twilight," and as I said before "Teen Wolf." It does try to make you care for some of the characters. Overall though, I admit I wanted to just doze off by the end. It wasn't connecting with me and I fear by tomorrow I'll forget all the details of the film.

Still, for the Howling series this counts as a plus. Who knows maybe in the next one they might find some excitement, logic, frights, or anything to bring back some honor to the name. There's always hope.

Monster of the Day: Ymir

Source:  20 million miles to earth
Location:  Venus and Italy.
Threat Assessment:  5.  Though it just wants to be left alone it is capable of incredible growth.  It has great strength, a lashing tail and teeth and claws.
Limitation:  Animal Intelligence, just wants to be left alone.

Today's Secret Code:

"An eagle cannot run a four minute mile.  Ask it if it cares."  Again:  "An eagle cannot run a four minute mile.  Ask it if it cares."  Today's Colour is in my head.  Today's Author would have rather stayed in bed.  That is all till the cows come home, maho maho.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Troll Shamen

Troll Theology is simple
We are alive so we give thanks for what we kill
When we die we no longer have to kill
we no longer need to give thanks
we are freed
until then give thanks
shake the bones
and listen to
 shamen

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was this brilliant fellow who decided to retell classic stories in the modern day. He created a graphic series called "Fables" and everyone loved it. One day, ABC bought the rights to it. "It's perfect!" they said. "It will be a fine TV series," they enthused. So it went into pre production.

It was never heard from again.

Oh well, ABC has so many incredible ideas. Who needs a series about a bunch of fairy tale characters in New York. Why ABC has just made "Once Upon A Time," and what's that about? Why it's about a bunch of fairy tale characters in MAINE. See, totally different and original. Kudos to you ABC, I hope you feed your lawyers raw meat.

So is there more to this? Well yes, the basic plot goes a little like this. In a fairy tale world Prince Charming awakens Snow White and they get married and live happily ever after. Well except that the witch queen comes back with a real mother of a curse. Basically, she's going to suck everyone into a place of damnation and punish them forever. Yeah, place of damnation being Maine. Well... that does explain a lot about Stephen King now doesn't it?

So what to do what to do? Well they consult Rumplestiltskin and he says that their daughter will free them in 28 years. So when the curse comes they basically throw the baby into a magic wardrobe and do a Seigfried. It's Maaaagic. Now it's today. Our baby is now a babe and she's a bail bonds person. That means she's really tough even when wearing high heels. On her 28th birthday her birth son whom she gave up ten years earlier shows up to drag her to Maine. Boy's a tad odd. I say he's a bit light in the head. He has this book and keeps claiming that folks in his town are actually fairy tale characters but don't know it. His adopted mom is the mayor and she's not happy.

So that's about the plot from the pilot. What do I think. Well they didn't skimp on the production values, that's always good. I can see why the writers preferred this approach in that it could lead to a different character being revealed their true self every week.  The two leads are ok, the kid is fine if odd.  I'm just going to have to see another episode or two before forming a real opinion though.  There was nothing that rocked my world here, but there was nothing that made my hit my forehead repeatedly.  I'm hoping for a happy ending.

Koihime Muso

sigh....

You know one thing I liked about anime is that it often features strong female characters. On the other hand, they then stick them in a series like this. On the face it sounds like a good idea. All the men in china at this time are off at one war or another so bandits are going across the land taking everything not nailed down. Only our plucky gal martial artists stand between them and the common people.

Sounds good. Then we get the big boob jokes, and the lesbian jokes, and the just plain weird jokes. I mean, I must be missing a cultural clue but I don't get dressing girls in nothing but a pair of panties with a huge swan head poking out for an entrance exam for a government job. Color me weird like that. Anyway, it's no better or worse than the fifty or so other animes of this stripe.

And now a word and a note....







Monster of the Day: Teen Wolf

Source: Teen Wolf
Location: Suburbia
Threat Assessment: 2. Some folks are afraid of werewolves, but here he pretty much has full control. He uses his ability to become a super athlete. It should be noted that werewolves can make some people pee their pants with just a growl.
Limitation: Public prejudice.

Today's Secret Code:

"We all wear masks, but we all do not have faces underneath."  Again:  "We all wear masks, but we all do not have faces underneath."  Today's Colour is found in nature.  Today's Author is happy the world has not ended, but dreads the coming hour of the unmasking.  That's all till the sequel, maho maho.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

That's a Wonderful Costume

That's a Wonderful Costume You Have
It Deserves the Special Treats
Deep Inside My House
Come Inside
Come
What is the Matter Dearling?
Is my Mask Slipping
Sliding
Don't let it worry you
it is halloween
and you
should never refuse a special treat
so my dearling poppet
come inside
come

Electric Stormtroopers Were Never Popular

Monster of the Day: Mr. Fantastic Zombie

Source:  Marvel Comics
Location:  An alternate earth too near you
Threat Assessment:  8.  Zombies are bad news, but generally only because they attack in groups.  Here we have an example of a super zombie.  First off he kept his intelligence and he's one of the smartest folks in the multiverse.  Bad news.  Worse, his body is nearly infinitely elastic.  The ol' bullet in the brain is just going to bounce off.  Be afraid, be very afraid.
Limitation:  Low impulse control.



This has been Zoidberg approved
(\/)_(^,,,^)_(\/)

Today's Secret Code:

"No one not on the payroll mourns a tyrant's death."  Again:  "No one not on the payroll mourns a tyrant's death."  Today's Colour is hopefully the color of freedom.  Today's Author is rereading Animal Farm, but won't eat the crackers.  That is all, maho maho.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Demon Cahadrial

Cahadrial loves gold above all things
It is best not to meet Cahadrial if one has
gold fillings
Other than that Cahadrial is good company
and is well loved in some quarters

Banner Man

The bottom has dropped out of patriot heroes
One Captain America excepted
but still there are those that are more than proud
to wear this nation's colors
may they never fade

Monster of the Day: King Kong Bugs

Source:  King Kong
Location:  Skull Island
Threat Assessment:  6.  The dinosaurs are bigger.  These are grosser.  They are poisonous.  They are fast.  They are quite able to take out a armed platoon of men.
Limitation:  Dumb.



zoidberg approved
(\/)_(^,,,^)_(\/)

Today's Secret Code:

GATACAACCTGGATAGARAGATAGGTCCAACATAG  Again:  GATACAACCTGGATAGARAGATAGGTCCAACATAG  Today's Colour is recessive.  Today's Author is far to aggressive.  That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Greey

An cousin to a more popular species of alien
the Greey don't care about humans
but have been known to
ahem... "Probe"
cats
which explains some very odd noises at 3 AM

The Executiontrix Awaits

Red State

Kevin Smith is known for his comedies. He's known for his profanely jocular college rants. He's known for being too fat to fly. He's known for making Batman pee his pants. He's not been know as a creator of horror movies until now with "Red State."

He still might not be known as a creator of horror movies.

Honestly, after watching it I really don't know what to think about it. It might have started with the tropes of a standard horror film but by the end it was way off the reservation. If anything this film in the end reminded me more of "No Country For Old Men."

The film starts with horny boys basically daring each other to do something sexually risky. In this case, all of them going out for sex with one woman who advertised online that she was horny. They go (Not before accidently sideswiping the car of sheriff) and at first looks like a scene that you might see in "Porky's." Unfortunately, the lustful interests of the boys are dashed with the help of drugged up beer. They wake up the prisoners of Westboro like church/creepy cult. Unlike the Westboro jerkerinos these guys (lead by Michael Parks) are more than bark. They plan to take out one sinner at a time.

Things look dire for the boys, then a series of events occur that alert the law that there is an arsenal under the church. Now things look dire for everyone as ATF agent John Goodman tries to keep things in control.

He fails.

Badly.

Things go all Waco and a lot of folks we were introduced to earlier are gunned down fairly quick like. Things get darker and darker, and then something happens that I'm only going to describe as a miracle. In some ways, this IS the scarey part of the film. When you are dealing with a religious crazy nut and something that might be a miracle happens it sort makes you question which side of the fence you are on. That's not a comfortable thing to think about in the best of times, and when everyone is holding an AK-47 it is by definition not the best of times.

There are points in this movie where Kevin spices things with his usual wit, but he wisely keeps it down. This is a very grim affair. I doubt you'll finish watching this in an upbeat mood. Thoughtful, perhaps. Upbeat, not so much. I think it's a good effort, and I would recommend this to others as long as they understand they are not going to feel comfortable watching it at times.



The next is Not Safe for the Workplace

Monster of the Day: Randall Flagg

Source:  The Stand
Location:  Wherever he wants to be, Las Vegas
Threat Assessment:  9.  He can do what he wants.  He is the Beast. 
Limitation:  He can be thwarted by the free will of man.  Also, God just doesn't like him.

Today's Secret Code:

"Never trust a man with a wooden eye and a glass leg."  Again:  "Never trust a man with a wooden eye and a glass leg."  Today's a furious blue.  Today's Author is serious to few.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Martian Entertainment Machine

Very rare antique
over five million years old
It was designed with the pleasure of Martians
in mind
A proper warning
to the rest of us

Halloween is around the corner

Day of the Dead 2

Right this takes a little explaining. We all know George Romero did "Day of the Dead," the third movie in his living dead trilogy. Well, for some reason someone got hold of the title and years later made "Day of the Dead," which has nothing to do with George Romero or good sense. It was a horrifically bad film that was just horrifically bad enough to be a fun view. Well someone thought that deserved a sequel.

Except it's not a sequel, it's just a case of name rape. Anyway, decades ago a bunch of zombies get out of control forcing the army to take care of things. One fellow ALMOST escapes and tosses out a thermos of ...something into the bushes. Cut to the present day, there's now a mental institution and we get a fairly by the numbers "One flew over the Cuckoo Nest" sub plot with a side order of dedicated yet unorthodox doctor.

This group discovers the thermos and opens it. I was surprised, it wasn't filled with zombie gloop. Instead there was an alien chickenbone that opened up and gave everyone a contact high. Next morning though they all have sores and peeling skin. Turns out they are now the first level of infection. Unlike regular zombies they keep intelligence and in fact have a pyschic link with each other. As long as they don't start noshing on human flesh everything will be fine.

Guess what?

Well it wouldn't be a zombie film without noshing so soon, once again there's a horde of zombies in the area. It's a pretty by the numbers affair, but I appreciate them trying a different tact with the whole zombie thing. So oddly enough, this gets a passing grade from me.

Walk in with the Walking Dead

Well last night was the premier of the second season of "The Walking Dead." Frankly, it left me a bit worried. I was already concerned because I heard they fired their number one guy, Frank Darabont, because he was upset over basically doing twice the number of episodes for half the price. Well last night show did seem to keep up the production values, but their other indications that show the ship has lost its captain.

First, there was pure and simply a lot of bloat last night. They padded the premier by an extra thirty minutes but seemed to have forgotten to add an extra thirty minutes of story. The result was an absolutely killer beginning that then meandered into long stretches of nothing. Now sometimes a quiet lull can be used to build tension, but this was not one of those times. Quite frankly, they seemed lost and were treading water till the end scene.

Even the first part when the crew had to face a flock of zombies (flock, herd?) had a part that was less than stellar. The scene in the RV with the zombie just felt wrong. First the zombie's make up was off, you could practically smell the grease paint. Secondly, there was something in the actor's performance that threw that zombie off from the rest. Most of the zombies in this series are aggressive in a way like an alligator. It has a primal brainlessness to it. Here there was just too much glint in the eye, almost as if it was personal. Finally, when the zombie finally got killed there sure was a lot of screaming going on. Now dramatically that makes a certain amount of sense, but by the rules of zombies in this series that should have drawn every walker into the RV like flies to honey. It just didn't work.

There's still a lot of promise here in this series, but it needs to tighten things up. It also needs to make the characters a bit more interesting. I understand they want a naturalistic feel, and to be quite honest a few of these characters are on the low side of the grade curve, but that's no excuse for dull dialog. Overall, I feel this was an opportunity wasted and I can only hope things pick up from here.

Monster of the Day: The Walken Dead

Today's Secret Code

"Nature is truly unfair; irritate an oyster and get a pearl, irritate me and get a pimple."  Again:  "Nature is truly unfair; irritate an oyster and get a pearl, irritate me and get a pimple."  Today's Colour is opalescent.  Today's Author clams up.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A blast from the Past: The Walken Dead

Remember tonight is the second season of "The Walking Dead"

The Mucklack

The Mucklacks have been cyborgs
for a million years
they no longer see a difference between
the organic
and preformed high performance parts
Something to consider
when the Mucklacks are looking for spares

The Seconds of Celebrity Sadly Tick By

More More Halloween

Green Lantern

Well I knew I'd be disappointed before watching this film. So, in actual fact I can say it was not as bad as feared. Ryan Reynolds does a really good job grounding his character and the world of the Green Lantern. It is the movie that fails him, and it fails most squarely in the department of the script. Shall we have a look?

The first problem is that the film has too many beginnings. It's like being greeted by Porky Pig on meth. Beginning number one is just an expositionary scene telling us all about the the Green Lanterns. Is this needed? No. You didn't need someone starting the Matrix by saying, "EVERYONE LIVES IN A COMPUTER!." Pace yourself movie, really. It's like dating, you have to get to first base first. Since though the movie brings up the whole Lantern Corps I would like to add a question here. Now the little blue guys have divided the universe into 3,600 sectors and in each sector they have a Lantern basically acting as galatic cop. The question I have, is how do you think that even with a super weapon that 3,600 cops is enough to police the universe? If you were some cosmic bad guy you'd have to realize that your chances of being nipped by a Lantern would be like winning the anti lottery. I just don't see it as workable.

The second beginning starts in the "Lost Sector." Ok, this annoys me right there. How do you LOSE a sector on a map. I mean you'd just go .."sector one, sector two, sector four.... hey!" "Abandoned Sector," or "Forbidden Sector" would make more sense. Oh well, a bunch of aliens release the evil Parallex who will be your villain for the night. Never heard of Parallex? Well then you aren't a fan boy. Congratulations. So in comics Parallex is basically a horrible excuse of a villain. Literally. Ok, check it out. A lot of humans over the years became Green Lanterns, so the writers got a little cheeky with the first Green Lantern Hal Jordan. After all, they had spares. So, they destroyed the Earth city that the Green Lantern called home. This caused Green Lantern to go crazy. He went and tried to steal all the powers of all the other Green Lanters to bring his city back. He failed but became the evil villain Parallex? Got it? Good, there won't be a test later. Parallex then became something of an anti hero, and then heroically died saving the universe. Then he is resurrected as the new Spectre, then he's brought back as Hal Jordan Green Lantern. Hooray he's a hero again. Trouble is, folks would say "Hey Hal what about all those people you killed?" Soooooo, they came up with the excuse that Hal was actually possessed by a yellow spirit of fear called...PARALLEX. Tada, not Hal's fault, everything's butter baby. So Parallex is the equivalent of the note saying the dog ate my homework. Luckily, in the movie Parallex is a little better. Here he is possessing one of the creators of the Green Lantern Guild and that works a lot better.

So we come to beginning number three. Abin Sur the greatest Green Lantern is in his space ship. Ok, stop right there. Green Lanterns can fly through space at faster than light speeds on the power of their own rings. Why does he need a space ship? Is he just cruising? Is it a styling ship that the other Lanterns go, "Whoah dude." Never mind, anyway Parallex attacks aAbin cause Abin was the one that locked him up the first time. He deals a mortal wound but Abin escapes in the emergency escape ship. See my above comments on Green Lanterns and space ships.

sigh.

Now we get to beginning number four, and where the movie DAMN well should have started. WITH THE HERO. We finally meet Hal Jordan. Hi Hal! Ok, so we get a series of scenes in the life of Hal Jordan. First, he pops out of bed with the wench of the night, he's late so bounces off. He then is driving like an insane man or an angelino as he's trying to wrap a gift in newspaper. Then he's at his job and he's getting ready to fly. He's having friendly, witty, snitty, repartee with Carol Farris who is the true love of his life when they both realize that. Then he's flying against drone fighters. Then he's crashing. Then he's reliving his daddy issues AS HE'S CRASHING. Then he doesn't die crashing but wishes he had cause he gets his butt chewed by everyone. Then he goes to deliver gift then a green ball of light picks him up.

Stop.

Now, each scene is ok. It's how they are put together that doesn't work. Getting up, and driving like a maniac works. What doesn't work is there is no reason to be driving while wrapping the gift is he's not going to deliver the gift right then. Makes no sense. So instead of work he should have stopped where the party would be. He could apologize for not being able to make it, and folks would say you are so irresponsible Hal which is what they were aiming for in this segment anyway. THEN he could go to work. Everything works there till the daddy issue flashback. First, it is as subtle as a sledgehammer between the forks. Second, it looks like they stole it from "Hot Shots." When it looks like you are stealing from Charlie Sheen, STOP IT RIGHT NOW. What should have happened is this is when the green light should have stolen Hal away. Then he would have been blameless in causing the crash (even though everyone would blame him) and it would cause Carol to worry as they look for him.

Ok, so from here Hal meets Abin who's his Green Lantern Daddy Figure Number 1. He represents the Legacy that gets handed down. He gives him the ring and the lantern and dies. Oh, when a Lantern dies their cute uniform disappears. So much for dignity. Anyway, here we have a stupid government paranoia meme pop up as Hal and his friend run away before the Gov finds the space ship and aliens. There's no real reason for it, except of course it protects his secret identity later. Again, not subtle.

Now there's a bit of a split. We have amusing scenes where Ryan tries to learn how use the ring. We also meet Hector Hammond. Guess what he has Daddy issues. Whereas Hal overcompensates by being a hot shot jack ass, Hector has become a creepy passive agressive type. He's called in by a THIN Amanda Waller (sorry fan boy rearing up there) to do an autopsy on Abin and he gets zapped by Parallex's yellow energy snot.

Meanwhile, our Green Lantern is whisked to Oa, home of the Green Lanterns, and he meets his other Daddy Figures. There's the wise and compassionate Father represented by Tomar Re who teaches him to fly. There's the gruff, tough, but secretly compassionate father represented by the huge Kilowag who teaches him to fight. Finally, there's the Father figure to impress. The remote Sinistro (yeah, there's a name to inspire confidence) who teaches him that Hal Jordan is no damn good, and would do more with a ring through his nose than a green lantern's ring on his finger.

Hal goes back to Earth to think on these lessons. Meanwhile, Hector gets ugly and psychic. Double meanwhile, Sinistro goes to war against Parallex and gets his pointy ears handed to him. This leads to Hal first fighting Hector and then Parallex. I think I've done enough on this movie so as not to go on about the end but I do want to make special mention of one thing.

At one point, Parallex chases Green Lantern from the earth. The Green Lantern tries to hide in the asteroid belt but Parallex grinds through it like is nothing. Hal sees the sun ahead of him and gets an idea. Now, I'm used to a lot of science errors in movies. But really people, if you are moving from the earth to the asteroid belt you will not find the sun, it's the OTHER FRICKING WAY.

Like everything else in this movie, it is seeking the brightest light in the wrong direction.

Monster of the Day: sigmund

Source:  Sigmund and the sea monsters
Location:  the beach
Threat Assessment:  -2.  But an ugly puppet.
Limitation:  Bad relatives.  Ugly.  Naive.  Ugly.  Did I mention Ugly?

Today's Secret Code:

"A hag fish doesn't know it is ugly, but a cat knows it is beautiful." Again: "A hag fish doesn't know it is ugly, but a cat knows it is beautiful." Today's Colour is found in the glint of a Siamese's eye. Today's Author is considering a story about Muhammed and a cat. That is all and more, maho maho.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Father Turtle

Father Turtle
always advocates patience
and a hard shell

The Sign of Bobby Dagon's Bar and Girl

Because Halloween is Near








Trollhunter

Done in the faux documentary style made famous by "The Blair Witch Project," "Trollhunter" is about several students following who they first think is a bear poacher.  In actual fact, turns out he's a real live troll hunter.  He's tired of his job, and so he allows the students to follow so that maybe they can blow the lid off the whole troll conspiracy.  See, the government doesn't want people to realize there are trolls.

It's a well realized and fun film.  The students have all the character of a stick with a painted face, but Trollhunter Hans more than makes up for it.  He's gruff and burnt out, but you can tell he sort of likes trolls. They fascinate him.  He obviously wishes there was a better way of dealing with trolls than flash frying them with UV lights.  The trolls themselves are both well realized and well executed.  They never wear out their welcome.

One thing that interests me is this.  In the movie the trolls hate christians.  If they smell a christian they go berserk.  So our Trollhunter tries to make sure that none of the students are christians.  Now here's my problem.  Let's say I'm an athiest.  I find an animal that is capable of smelling the difference between a person who's a christian and one who is not.  I'd have to ask myself what makes the difference?  That might challenge my athiesm which in this case might make me an instant martyr of troll food.  An interesting problem, no?

Snuff

Any new book by Terry Pratchett is an event in my life. I love his disc world series and I doubly love the books that deal with Sam Vimes, the copper. In past adventures we've found that Sam and the country do not mix. In his first foray out of town he was hunted down by werewolves and in his second he was half possessed by a dark spirit of vengeance and half drowned. So, its natural that he is reluctant to go on vacation at his wife's country estate. Unfortunately, if Sam Vimes is the unstoppable force, his wife can be (very sweetly) the immoveable object.

This forms the beginning of "Snuff," but like in any book with Sam Vimes it soon becomes a crackerjack of a crime story.  As he deals with problems of class, and the country which is far too noisy in all the wrong way for his tastes, Sam becomes aware that there is something not right.  Following his instincts it leads him to goblins.  Goblins are considered nothing but vermin, perhaps helped by the most unfortunate religion to ever afflict a race.  Goblins are charged with collecting all their nail clippings, ear wax, and snot to be buried with them in ceremonial pots.  That the pots are beautiful and valuable (without the innards so to speak), makes for another reason why goblins and the rest of the world do not get along.

The crimes though go far bigger than that.  Sam soon finds crimes within crimes within crimes.  He also finds a rather nasty customer who is a born killer.  This leads to some real excitement, the scene involving a paddle boat, a storm and a hell of a fight should not be missed.  In the end can Vimes solve the mystery, grab the bad guys, and still have vacation time with his young son who has reached that stage in life where poo is very interesting indeed?  Well, of course he will, but as always its in the how that makes the book a fun read.

A fun read it is.  Full of typical Pratchett bits of wit that always makes me smile.  My favorite was in describing a pig as "His father was a wild boar.  His mother was surprised."  For some reason that made me almost do a spit take on my e reader.  The book moves, heck it jogs, it runs, it doesn't slow down for a moment.  If there is one criticism its that I didn't like where Mr. Pratchett (oh sorry SIR Pratchett he's a knight now) took the character of Sam Vimes.  Sam was always a very salt of the earth type he didn't deal with any magic high muckiness (well, sometimes he'd cheat but that's Sam Vimes).  Well, in this book the events of the previous book "Thud" have marked Sam more than I thought.  The dark force that almost possessed Sam is still around and they seem.....chummy.  So much that the darkness lends some power to Sam allowing him to see in the dark and understand the Goblims.  Now, I can see the character of Sam Vimes using the tools given to him, but I don't like the direction it takes the character on the whole.  I want to keep Sam grounded.  Keep him away from magic powers, swords, powders, and for god sake mechanical owls.  That's just my feelings on the subject.

Again, a great book.  If you've not read a disc world book please start.  I would suggest "Men at Arms."  It's a good introduction to Sam Vimes.  Enjoy!

Monster of the Day: Trolls

Source:  Trollhunter
Location:  Norway
Threat Assessment:  Up to 8.  All trolls are deadly being hugely strong with great sense of smell.  But a 200 foot tall troll sort of takes the cake.
Limitation:  Not bright, and UV light is bad for them turning them to stone or making them blow up.

Today's Secret Code:

"Ambulate erect and prod buttocks."  Again:  "Walk tall and kick ass."  Today's Colour is bright and cheery.  Today's Author is having a sundae with a cherry.  That is all, Miss Gloria, maho maho.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Goddess of the Closing Door

Remember that opportunity?
The One that would have changed EVERYTHING
Then do you remember
(of course you do)
that instant when you saw it all
go away
that is when
Gollia Goddess of the Closing Door
made her visit

You.. Said...There... Would...Be....CANDY!!!

Books I'd Make into Movies: The Whole Man

John Brunner is simply a genius. I have loved his books and find his ideas exciting. Even books that have been somewhat lapped by time like "Stand On Zanzibar," are incredibly readable today and still shine. "The Sheep Look Up," is still so painfully timely that really you just need to change the name of the wars we are in and who we owe money to and it still has punch today. "The Whole Man," isn't Brunner's top shelf, but it is the best book of his to be made into a film.

It's about telepaths. Well, it's about a lot more but it starts with telepaths. In the future we find telepaths, we train them, and we make them stronger. They don't make heads explode like in scanners, instead they are incredibly useful in medicine and communication. They help transform the world and make it a better more peaceful place. The trouble is, for all their powers telepaths are people as well.

Our story starts with a brief biography of our hero. He was born poor, and he was abused and neglected as a child. Worse, he was born deformed and was always the outsider. Is it any wonder one day he'd start to fantasize about something better? It is then that his telepathy kicks in, and boy howdy does it. Telepaths in outer space pick up on his transmission and there's an instant crisis. See, a telepath can turn inward creating his own fantasy world. Worse, he can drag others into his world both making it stronger and trapping normal people. Now the strongest telepath ever recorded is about to enter such a fugue.

The book cuts to years later. Our hero is now a very well respected man. He's not only the most powerful telepath on record, but he has made it his calling to do the dangerous job of freeing dysfunctional telepaths from their fugues. He not only risks his mental self in doing this, but since he often appears in these fugues as "whole" it causes him great distress. He is alone, and alienated almost literally by both his power and his body.

The book then has two tracks. One track the second most powerful telepathy creates a willing fugue with other willing partners. The dangers of entering this world are great as it is a careful creation not some trauma fantasy. When our hero enters the fugue he finds himself a great warrior in a fantasy world somewhat like ancient china. He has to find the real people among puppets in this world and find out how to break it up before it swallows him whole.

On the other track, he gets involved with some non telepaths. He's painfully shy, but they are good people and he gets drawn into their problems. Can he exist in the normal world? Can there be an accomodation reached?

This is a novel of great heart, soaring imagination and great images. Surely a good movie can be made of a person suddenly appearing into another world fighting dragons. It would be like "Sucker Punch" with a brain. I could see a younger Edward Norton for the main roll. Someone who can be vulnerable with a bite. It could even be made into a TV show. Just tell a TV executive that your idea is "Psychic House!"

Monster of the Day: Werewolves from Down Under

Source:  Howling 3
Location:  Australia
Threat Assessment:  4.  They have teeth and claws and are hard to kill.  Oh and pouches.  That's not a threat, just gross.
Limitations:  Just want to be left alone to breed.  Not really picky who they breed with.  A little too close family wise.  ewwwwwwww.

Today's Secret Code:

"Love is not a necessary state of existence, it is the optimum state of existence."  Again:  "Love is not a necessary state of existence, it is the optimum state of existence."  Today's Colour is Rosy.  Today's Author's report is filed under Prose Z.  That is all, fight the good fight, maho maho.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Mage Doesn't Like to Be Bothered

It's OK to Look at a Munga's Chest, that's where some of its EYES are....

Party like it is Halloween!





Monster of the Day: Trick or Treat Imp

Source:  Trick or Treat
Location:   Anywhere
Threat Assessment:  3.  A small, probably undead thing.  It is quick and tricksy.   Can kill with a lollipop.
Limitation:  Follows the spirit of halloween.

Today's Secret Code:

"That whole 'Is that a light saber in your pocket or are you just glad to see me' joke is only funny if you also have a forcefield in your pants."  Again:  "That whole 'Is that a light saber in your pocket or are you just glad to see me' joke is only funny if you also have a forcefield in your pants." Today's Colour is azure.  Today's Author does indeed have a forcefield in his pants, but a gentleman never brags.  That is all, maho maho.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011