Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Chant Below the Stars

0011 01 10000 0 001 0001 0001 10000100001000 00000000000
(the world is a thing of beauty)
00000000 11111111111111 10101010 111111111111 01 01 10 1001
(I thank those that made me)

Bad Dolls

Dr. Prator,
Your spirit cam seems to show a pernicious influence around these two dolls. They were found in the basement of a house noted for a series of "accidents." Please advise on what course to take next.
(note found in pocket of corpse, no dolls were ever found.)

Come Closer

Come Closer...closer. I won't bite. Really. Well... hardly ever. I'm just a kindly old man. Yes... really. Just .... a... little... closer....

You don't have to be Crazy to like "The Crazies."

George Romero is nowadays like Stan Lee. Both are old men who are cashing in on the fact that long, long ago in a galaxy far away they did something innovative that inspired a legion of fanboys for generations. I don't begrudge either their victory laps at the moment, it is after all earned. It just means that I don't salivate in the mention of the newest "...Dead" film that Romero is working on. I'm sure it will be compentent and have a moment or two of interest, and for a cheap horror film that's more than good enough.

Let's for the moment though hop into the way back machine and see what made Romero so interesting. Let's not look at his zombie films which are now the subject of legions of papers but let's rather look at "The Crazies." It's a hard film to find, and even today if you find the DVD of it you'll notice it was taken from a damaged print and there are some scenes that had to be rather obviously doctored for continuity. It was almost truly a forgotten film. It is the story of a small town infected by a military created virus code named "trixie" ("Code Name Trixie" was an alternate title for the film.) The virus quickly drives its victims insane with a marked tendency for homocide. The military sweeps in to try take care of the matter, but they act so ham handedly that the locals both crazy and not yet infected react as if they were being invaded. The film becomes a three way struggle. A group of non infected try to escape the quarentine zone, the military tries to round up as humanely as possible both the non infected and infected and try to find a cure, and a whole bunch of crazy people are running around with sharp objects. It doesn't take long for everything to break down. The non infected slowly find their numbers dwindling as they become infected or the victim of violence, the military soons find itself overwhelmed and all chances for a cure are lost. You can certainly draw parallels to Vietnam, or Kent State here, Romero is not exactly ever in "subtle" mode. But the film is certainly good enough even without the subtext. These aren't Romero zombies, they are capable of shocking violence and the breaking of all social tabboos. Certainly, it shows the razor edge that society is based upon and how easy it would be to fall to anarchy.

So, given this film's 'forgotten' status, I was glad to see it remade. I was doubly glad to see it star Timothy Oliphant of "Justified" and "Deadwood" fame. If there is anyone who can nail down the reality of the situation it's him. He plays the sheriff who wakes up one morning in his nice little town to find out that people are no longer being nice. It starts off with him having to shoot a man down in the middle of a baseball game, and the ball just starts rolling down hill from there. The film doesn't dwadle that's for sure, and that's a good and a bad thing. I would have liked a little more from the military side of things. On the other hand it whizzes past the usual cliche of "town officials not wanting to start a panic," which I for one could well do without. The military here oddly is presented in a less favorable light than the original "Crazies," I find that odd since the original was made at the height of anti military feelings. The Violence was ramped up thanks to a better budget (the original was made from the change in romero's extra pants), but the tabboo-ness of it was lowered way down. In the commentary, the director said this was a conscious decision and that today's film goers just wouldn't stand for it. If that's true, then that's sad.

Overall, this is a decent little film. And certainly works well in the zombie/28 days after genre. I do like how it is spelled out that, no matter how much you like Timothy Oliphant, if the main characters succeed they might very well likely spread the virus to other places. Certainly, a no win situation for all concerned. It would be enough to drive you.... crazy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Evil Walks Like A Cat

He strides with purpose through the salon. His mask is perfect as is his suit. Later it will need cleaning, and there are some things that can never have the stains removed.

Duke Special - Our Love Goes Deeper Than This

I just fell in love with this. The song is witty, and is a catchy little tune. I think the main singer definitely has charisma even if some folks were afraid he was going to get his dredlocks caught in his piano. The video is lovely and playful, and I'd certainly look at more of their work!

The Wolf Man

The original wolfman is an underappreciated classic of the Universal horror cycle. It moved at a smart pace, had a great gothic visual sense, and let's not forget the make effects which still hold up to this day. It was also one of the few truly shining moments of Lon Cheney Jr.'s career.

The new version has better actors (Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, and Hugo Weaving), and of course new fangled special effects, but is it better? It takes the gothic feel up a couple of notches in some places feeling very Tim Burtonish (specially in the dream sequences), but I think the main difference in the feel between these two versions is in the main actor.

Lon Cheney played Larry Talbot as a likeable, normal lug. You could imagine watching a football game with Larry and sharing a beer. Del Toro is more distant figure. He plays an actor and as his father Anthony Hopkins remarks he makes his living pretending to be other people. Becoming infected by werewolfism becomes a process of unmasking for Del Toro and while very sympathetic I just wasn't as engaged as I was with Cheney, though definitely Del Toro is a much better actor.

There is a great scene with the werewolf coming out in front of London's finest men of medicine, and I always enjoy Hugo Weavings eye brows. The Wolfman's design was very respectful to the original and the computer effects blended nicely. I saw that Rick baker had a cameo which is a nice little easter egg. Overall, I liked it but I liked the original better.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Found on an archaeological dig in a tomb without name.

An ancient cameo of the Queen of Eeonia. A small state that existed during the dark ages around where Serbia is today. The Queen's given name is not known. On the other side of the inscription were the words: Regina ago pro populus. Populus ago pro bonus of rus ruris , diligo pro suum regina , quod palma ut Deus.

In the loop of ages

The Gypsy Queen

There is no "The" Gypsy Queen, but she is certainly one of the Gypsy Queens. A Rom of reknown. She sees much, knows more, and has friends in high and low places. She doesn't like you, but if you have the money she still might help you. Maybe.

Duet Z

Horror Express

Horror Express could be considered "steam punk" before it even truly existed as a genre. Set aboard a train hurtling through siberia it has fossile missing links, cossacks, russian monks ala Rasputin, and disembodied alien intelligences. It also has the good fortune of having Kojak, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee. A forgotten classic!

Piece of crock vs. dynomutt or something silly like that

Oh syfy.

This was one of the last films to feature David Carradine. I can't help but to feel it might have something to do with how he ended his life accidently. After being in this flick, choking one's self for pleasure might seem a lot more logical. I'll give him this there was about 20 seconds of acting that made this film good. His nurse forces his heart pills on him and he takes them with a semi sneer. He takes the glass of water from her hand. He then flicks the water out into the pool. He dry swallows the pills and fill the glass with jack daniels and as she pouts with disapproval downs it after the pills. Good show Mr. Carradine.

The rest of the film is a waste, and is only fun if one is wasted or can mentally fake it. The plot is pulp, and the characters are sap. The writing is cliched and dumb: "First you said I stink, now you call me a hillbilly, you must really be flirting with me." The special effects are not special, are bad, and have no character. In short this is a bad film that isn't even a good bad film.

So Sad.

Under the dome, under the gun

I do love me some Stephen King. He was one of the first adult authors I cottoned to, and I'm happy that he's still writing even in 'retirement.' I do believe the future will be much kinder to him than critics of today are. I personally consider him something of the modern equivalent of Charles Dickins. This is not to say he not disappointed me in the past. Stephen King has been known to be lazy in his writing, over sentimental, and folksy to the point of near retardation. I clearly remember several of his novels to start oh so strong and then end in a whimper.

Luckily, "Under the Dome" is not one of those numbers at all.

"Under the Dome," is just that. An accounting of a small town that one day suddenly gets trapped under an invisible dome. It comes down without warning and fast. People are cut in half and planes and cars crash into it. People are also divided into camps. There is Big Jim who runs the town and now intends to control it completely by any means neccessary. On the other there is Barbie, a retired soldier who was ten minutes away from leaving the town before the dome came down, and his friends who just want what is right for everyone. As the outside military and world looks on, it soon becomes open nasty warfare between the two sides. Add several shades of crazy with Big Jim's son who has a brain tumor, nutty drug manufactors with religious delusions, and of course the mysterious "they" who dropped the dome in the first place and you have first class King entertainment.

One thing I like is that the doom is more than a mere barrier. It begins to retain heat, and keep the light out as it gets dirty. It certainly becomes an open metaphor for the global warming debate but not intolerably so. The inclusion of Barbie who was just recently in Iraq also opens up another set of fears that we've seen every day on the 24 hour news channels. There's a lot happening here along with classic King tropes about the darkness hidden in Norman Rockwell's small town america.

The novel moves fast, has some good characters and certainly builds suspense. It is certainly one of the better King novels of the last few years. Certainly a pleasure to know that there is still something of interest under his dome.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rock and Roll!!!

My Design for a Hawaiian Shirt

In the Rigging

The Saint Elmo's Fire is thick in the riggin' and the bo'sun is gone. There's a star shining where none should, and the rain has frozen in the sky. In the end, the last sailor could only raise a hand to either plead or defy the unnatural nature of the moment. Good night, Good night good crew of the Mary Celeste.

What they saw on that summer day in 1962

Some sights should not be seen by the young and innocent. Or Children either.

Mod Dinosaur

Mod Dinosaur is all so cool
He goes Rraowrrrr
and has an apple martini
He goes Rraowrrrr
on the hunt
mating in the big city

Monkeys See

Monkeys huddling under the gaze of the statue in the village of Ku Fu.

Unknown Gnome.

It's the little things in life that give life meaning, or take it away.

Bouncing Tina

Bouncing Tina never had children. Well she had children for lunch, but never to raise. She put all her love, what little she had, into her doll Roma. Maybe there is a Blue Fairy. Maybe wishes do come true. There is certainly a family resemblance.

Wolf Moon

Wolf Moon was a pretty boring affair. A low budget film about small town and werewolves. I can say it had a nice muscle car. I can also say that Sid Haig, and Billy Drago, both good old war horses of low budgetness make little appearances that liven up the deary affair. I can't help but notice that both are also listed as producers which means they gave money to help produce this. For their sake and their past work, I'm looking at you Captain Spaulding, I hope it pays off for them.

Quincy, M.E.

Before there was CSI and Bones there was Quincy. I have a deep man love for Jack Klugman, he always plays a put upon man of the people and he's no different here. Quincy is always butting heads with the people in power. It's just so wonderfully seventies!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Queen of FIre

The Queen of Fire
She has no Sire
She only requires
her every desire
her love though is most ..... dire

A Beautiful Truth

Children can go anywhere with their imagination. Very useful since they don't have driver's licenses and parents often tell them not to cross the street, climb the trees, and stay off the roofs. Parents can be so unreasonables.

The Stare of the Wardens

Don't be afraid. They aren't looking at you. They are looking THROUGH you. Oh wait, maybe you should be afraid. Do you know what is behind you? Don't turn around! You will tip it off, and it may go on a rampage. It has meat hooks you know. Don't be afraid.

Happy Birthday Robot

Happy Birthday robot is a wonderful little game for children. It teaches cooperation and creativity in a great non cloyingly way. Basically the game has every one taking turns telling the story of Robot's birthday. Each story starts with the sentence "Happy Birthday Robot," then everyone takes turn as the story teller. The story teller rolls dice to see how many words he or she can write down. Some of the dice will go to the person to the left and right of the story teller. Don't have enough words for what you want? If you ask nice people will give you words represented as pennies. Eventually a story will emerge and it looks like good fun for a rainy afternoon!

Futurama is BACK!!!!

Well Futurama is back folks and good news! It's mostly unharmed from the transition from Fox show, cancelled show, back on DVD show, now on comedy channel show. The old gang is here and there is a lot of good will behind and in front of the camera one can feel.

The first episode ties up the loose end of the last DVD and in Futurama fashion plays fast and loose with issue of loss of a loved one. After a horrid crash where Leela is put into a coma, Frye builds a Leela bot and falls in love with it. Any more I would say would be criminal, so I won't.

Watch it folks, let's keep Planet Express flying!!!!

Greg the Bunny

I liked "Greg the Bunny" when it was on Fox. It was a nice little bad show about a world where puppets were 'real' and subject to real problems. They had sex, they went to the bathroom, they had relationship problems. It was like "Meet the Feebles" brought down to the level that you could show it on TV. Plus it starred Seth Green who I love and wish I could adopt as my own son.

I seemed to have been the only one to love Greg the Bunny. It headed to the great cancelverse almost as fast as "Firefly." But like some shows it bounced back. This time on IFC. Here on the Independent Film Channel Greg and friends make parody of various films. Whereas if they were on the Comedy channel they would focus on blockbusters, here on IFC they 'channel' more esoteric fare. So if you want to see puppets do their version of "Blue Velvet" here's your chance.

I still like Greg the Bunny, but it has lost a little something. I liked it more when it was in its own weird universe. Still this is pretty decent for TV, if I actually got IFC (in all senses of that phrase) I would watch it.

Queen's Blade


Queen's Blade is one of those anime. Not down to the level of TP (Tentacle Porn) but not so far away. I see it is based on a video game, and I think I know why some controllers stick. If you read the blurb it sounds vaguely feminist; women partaking in a tournament to prove who is worthy to rule a kingdom. Wonderful. How empowering. These aren't whimpy some whimpy Princess a waiting for her prince charming.

Then you watch the first five minutes.

First off you notice that these ladies are ... enhanced. Over endowed. Be tata'd. Boobie overdrive. Good Lord is it even medically possible? Do the Japanese have a word for 'top heavy?' Then we get to the first fight. Princess in regal, flowing, and very flimsy silk ....well I guess we'll have to call it a dress. She fights a.... no.. really? Ok, she fights a shape changing demon, who chose to look like a bunny girl with her hair turning into hands in the end to grasp her enormous boobies so she can squeeze them covering her foes in acid.


Beyond THAT sort of creativity and relationship hells ("I'm your sister and I'll make any man you marry rue the day, can I sleep with you now?"), it is the very base cliche of fantasy universes. The type of fantasies where someone can say, "I'm queen of the good bandits" with a straight face. Certainly one can avoid watching this show and not miss much.

What I saw

I saw her
waiting for the doctor
she didn't abided
but ironically endured

She had raven hair
framing her face
like spartan helmet
but with a ponytail
and red flower

She had something
stuck behind her ear
no THROUGH her ear
a long metal prong
piercing through the top

She wore suspenders
red and thin
and a t shirt
from a bloody bad film
and sensible boots

She got on with nurses aids
who wore pastel scrubs
adorned with adorable puppies
You would never guess
For all that
you'd have to look
to see this tough looking lady
was a scared girl

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


If Fire ball was not made for the SyFy network then it is a remarkable coincidence in non style. A story of a wronged man who becomes a flame spewing unkillable mutant. Like any such mutant he wants revenge, starting small with people and then deciding that blowing up a nuke plant for a finale. Can our plucky heroes stop them? (guess) It's low budget and at least zings at a fairly fast pace but it certainly is a fairly bland affair.

The Atomic Dead

Atomic Number 666. The Atomic Dead arose first from the waters of Bikini in 2056. They are both fissionable and fissures in space and time. They burn their victims exactly six minutes and six point six seconds before they actually touch them. They known to speak only two words: "Ssssssssssschrodinger" and "Brainzzzzzzzzzz"

A family that warps together

The Barber family in mid warp. They are a devoted family and encourage Mr. Barber's crime fighting hobby and neo-euclidean magic. Little Dorthea is still afraid of the warp, but there wasn't much choice as the Echo gange reverberated upon their location. As father, mother, and sisters faded into the cosmic stream; big sister Newtonia leaves a cryptic encryption to their fans.

Hotel for Dogs and Phoebe in Wonderland.

Hotel for Dogs is a very cute film. To hate it would be like kicking the proverbial puppy. Two foster kids get the ball rolling on creating the perfect home for dogs without families. They enlist other kids and gather some of the cutest mutts ever. I love the 'rube goldberg' feel of the film. The kids create all sort of devices and doohickeys to make every dog's dream come true. I think my favorite is a series of doors that whenever the dogs gather to bark at one causes the other door to knock or chime so the dogs have endless fun racing from one door to the next.

Definitely kids will like this one.

Phoebe in Wonderland is something of a problem for me. You can't reference 'Alice in Wonderland,' without getting a little darkness in the subtext. In Phoebe though it gets a bit much for me personally. It follows the meme of 'imaginary friends help child with life,' but there are a few problems. First I don't see the imaginary friends being much help. Worse, though, the child is not just delightful imaginative, or even "eccentric" she's on the verge of real mental illness. Her constant hand washing, and counting and such point to OCD, and she's having real anti social problems like spitting on other people. I don't think imaginary friends, or completely the school play are going to help in the end. I'm at least glad they are taking her to therapy. Visually the film is ok, but I found it odd that her imaginary films are clearly other actors in theatrical costumes of their alice character. Being that it is her imagination (or delusion) I would think that humpty dumpty would really look like an egg not someone wearing an egg costume. That's a minor bitch however. The film is well acted and I did find it engrossing. I always enjoy seeing Bill Pullman even in a minor roll.

Over all it is worth watching, but I don't know about letting kids watch it.

Misfit Toygirl

Not all the toys on the island of misfit toys were good, if morose, members of the child entertainment industry. Some carry grudges. It wasn't Baby Molly's fault that instead of saying "Mama" she would say the most horrid things when her string was pulled. It was a prank by some nameless factory drone, and Baby Molly suffered for it. But she decided she wouldn't suffer alone. Sometimes at night, certain workers of the Jollytime Doll Collective would wake up in the middle of the night, seeing a tiny shadow in the dark. They wouldn't see much more, and afterwards they never had much to say.

♫♪ TDWT-Come Fly With Us ♫♪

So I am so totally nerd in my love of Total Drama Island, the reality show cartoon. So I'm happy to see the world tour. Most of the old gang is here, along with a few new faces including a crazed internet-blogstalker. This time they are travelling the world doing silly things each week for the chance of winning a million dollars. I just love the characters of the show and crazy Lizzy has jumped to my top ten cartoon gal list (though don't worry there will always be Velma, JINKES!)

Oh one added feature is each week they have to sing to avoid elimination. Fun.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Read the Book in the Movie

"The Book Of Eli," is a suprisingly deep post apocalypic film. Eli has been wandering the wastes for 30 years with a special book in hand. Gary Oldman wants the book and leads his band of neer do wells against Eli. By the way, to quote from "Braindead" "Eli, kicks ass for the Lord."

Really there's nothing I can say to do this film justice. It is well acted, the design is good, the burnt out colour is just perfect. It also has a great twilight zonish end.

Watch it please.

world's fastest

The world's fastest boy was almost caught by the world's fastest villain. They raced through Spain, France, and through the Chunnel. It finally ended as they caused the entire Thames to steam as they made a quick, frictiony stop. Police were on hand, enquiries were made. Dr. Thaddeus Thunderbolt was detained for questioning and Speed Boy was released to his parents. Film at 11:00

The Witch of the Mire

The Witch of Sheldon Mire can see through all the creatures of the Mire. For a price she will share her visions or her bed. It's not suggested you take the later. You will always dream of that night, but you will always find long hairs in your food for the rest of your life.

A Monster

There are monsters in the world. Invisible. They stalk the lines inbetween blurbs of bad novels. They haunt the dreams of people once mad but on medication now sleep walking through life. They live in the drawers of politicians who are considering trips to public washrooms. There is one behind you now. Don't look, it never helps.

Baby Bright

What are babies hearing before the filter of symbolic thought is put upon them? Songs of Angels? The heartbeat of the world? Dreams of the mothers? We will never know. Sometimes all is lost with innocence.

TV wrap up

TV sucked on Sunday night.

ABC had the Hills which tried to be "True Blood" with "Desparate Housewives." Desparate indeed. More yawn inducing. Boring. Trite.

SyFy had "The Phantom." Ok, I liked the Parkour angle, even though they did not make the connection between the old phantoms going through the jungle compared to the new one's effortless jaunt through an urban jungle. Like the authors working for SyFy are going to spot a subtle character point. But what steams me, is you have a lithe acrobatic character and what do you do? You put him in the ugliest assortment of gear laughingly called a costume that makes him look like a teenage mutant ninja turtle and as about as agile as a rock. It is a truly awe inspiring aweful costume.

Oh the story sucked as well. Some one is doing subliminal mind control commercials and they recruit Kit Walker as the next Phantom. His organization looks very james bondish and they are definitely skittish about the whole native and jungle angle of the orginal phantom series. Oh well, even Billy Zane couldn't do much with the Phantom, why did I have any hopes SyFy could???

Wrapping it up

"The Landlord" is a ...funny.. horror movie. Eh. Well, honestly it isn't horrible. The situation actually works. A put upon landlord has people eating demons in one of his apartments. He has to keep getting new borders because that's his actual job and he's being paid good money by his sister the cop. But he hates his job, other cops are always hasseling him, and he has to deal with demons and body parts. His sister is all "boo hoo" I have demon troubles of my own. Any hoo, all this changes when a girl who hits the landlord's fancy becomes border number 17. Will she survive, will the landlord finally collect rent? It's actually good enough to watch to the end.

"Bare Knuckles" is sort of odd. It rips off both "Million Dollar Baby" and "Every Which Way But Loose," except of course without Clint Eastwood, or even orang atangs. Lady falls into the seedy world of female bare knuckle boxing to pay for her son's medical bills. You can set the words processing program on "puree" from this point. It's not so bad though as a B (ok C) movie. It moves along jauntily.

Astrópía Trailer for the US

Astropia makes me happy? Why? Because it is proof that WE HAVE CONQUERED THE WORLD. When an Icelandic dork has to resort to "The Force is Strong in this one," (in ENGLISH) it is proof that our uber culture has taken pernicious root everywhere. Let's all share a mountain dew and revel in our glory.

After that, actually watch Astropia. It's a great little film from Iceland. Hildur is a beautiful woman living a beautiful life till her boy friend gets put in the slammer. Now dealing with real life she gets the very unreal job of dealing with geeks in a comic book store. She is slowly brought into the culture and finds herself having a great time. Really it is to warm any geek, dork, nerd's heart to think that any beautiful woman is just a dice throw away from LARPing with gay abandon.

All the geeks are great characters. I like the geek girl who is at first wary of Hildur because she threatens her place as "the one with breasts" at the store. I also like the DVD geek who is trying to push films like the Exorcist to the six year old in Hildur's care. His argument was that he was still young enough to appreciate the magic of a film like "The shining" and not worry about things like special effects. Heh. Yah, the magic of "The Shining." That particular scene ended with him babbling something icelandic that translated as, "Oh hey, "Cuju" you like doggies right!?"

Parent of the year material.

Oh, this film is also called Dorks and Damsels.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

code monkeys ( full song )

Code Monkeys was a small little TV show about making video games in the eighties. Given the subject matter it makes perfect sense that it is animated in 8bit style. It's crude and rude and very funny, if you don't see someone that reminds you of a person you know, well then you aren't spending enough time with the right people.

Or the Wrong ones.

Great song too.

Oban Star-Racers Opening

Remember how the pod racing scenes in "The Phantom Menance" almost didn't suck? Well someone thought they'd suck less as a tv show in Japan. Oban is full of the usual cliches like the "Plucky Female Hero Out To Prove Herself," but it is all in good fun. The style of animation mixes an a retro old school sensibility seamlessly with CGI ship racing. Some of the aliens are fairly interesting in design and execution. I like the ones that come off like brass stick figures and seem to have magic of some sort.

All in all good fun.

The Ghost of a Beautiful Scarecrow

All that was left was film in a camera circa 1964. All other traces of Allen Gryer were never discovered. Nor was the subject of the few recoverable frames of film was ever found in that field. All that is know is that in 1964 Allen Gryer told his wife he heard crying in the wheat field. Three days later the entire field wept blood from each golden head of wheat. The field has been sensibly plowed and is now a parking lot of a Rite Aid. All rumors of miraculous cures are false.

The Innsmouth Look

She's got the look, she's got the look... come on sing along....

The Foole Crowe

The Crowe makes a horrid foole. Even with funny hat. The Crowe never wants your smile. The Crowe wants your eyes. Eyes oh so shiny.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Captain Will See You Now

Doom Glooms.

Flying in formation, the Doom Glooms are on patrol. Since they were leathal larvae the Doom Glooms knew they were the divas of doom. As they fly, they sing arias of dirges. Sonotas of the all nothing. They bring clouds to tears.

The Night Watch

The Night Watch is here. They brought a lunch.

Anarchy Rangers

Anarcy Rangers
Fight the power!

Sweet Little Devil Gals

She waits at the door. She skipped there before dawn. Sweet Little Devil Gal. Her name is probably Sal, or Mal. She no doubt giggles as she does her dirty work. How can anyone hate a Sweet Little Devil Gal?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Look, Don't Look

Don't Look
Don't Swallow
Don't Listen

The Crabbles

The Crabbles are never too happy. They learned about mirrors long ago and do not appreciate the joke. But they are philosophical. "If you can't raise the bridge, lower the river," is their motto. Box cutters their tool of choice. Your face. Their canvas.

Nuke Girl

Nuke Girl is not the prettiest of mutants. She was never one of Xavier's cheer leaders, never got to ride in the cute, black jet. But she's not bitter, just radioactive.

The Saint of the Sun

The Saint of the Sun is fickle. Her remains are bleached and tanned even though they have been in the crypt for decades. If you light a candle smeared with sun screen, she may favor you so that you never burn. But to others it is the slow death of skin cancer. None can say why she chooses as she chooses, except don't ask her favor if you are a red head.

Middle Man

Ah, well I would wonder why it is the smart shows that get cancelled, but "The Middle Man" appeared on ABC Family channel so the question basically answers itself in this case. That is such a crying shame though. The Middle Man is truly truly funny.

It's the story of Wendy Watkins (known as "DubDub" to her roommate) who's an artist and a temp worker. Thanks to her innate ability to accept cosmic weirdness she comes to the attention of the Middle Man. The Middle Man, along with his snarky robot assistant, has the job of solving 'exotic' problems and Wendy is now his side kick.

Each episode is a unique universe of high nerdy weirdness. The first episode, for example, had computer controlled, mentally enhanced, machine gun toting, tai chi performing gorillas taking over the local mafia. Oh Middle Man you had me at the tai chi. That and nerd shout outs to Gorilla Grodd.

The actors have great chemistry together, and are able to rattle off quickly the techno babble which is one of the charms of the show. The special effects are mostly suprisingly good. Also, there was an attempt at a continuity that really brings out the comic book universe of the Middle Man. It may be unfair to compare the one season of "The Middle Man" to the years that the "X-Files" had to work with, but I had to say that "The Middle Man" did a much better job of keeping each episode to the same high level.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Down the galleries

The Heroic Black Phoenix, arose again. This time in the ashen tomb of his oldest foe. Why he arose there he at first did not know. Was this an omen of some dire threat in the future? Was his foe now some revengeful revenant awaiting his return? He could only pace down the halls, one by one. Somewhere there would be answer that he would read in his own blaze.

From the Gallery

Face of old stone, flesh petrified by time and depravity. Dorien was but a pup compared to him, and unlike Dorien the portrait was done in his own hand. These are my pigments, mixed by my brush. In the end, I hung myself.

Moon Kiss

She loved the moon
She was the moon
She was not
and she was
always and nevermore

Mary and Max

After two duds I finally get something I can be happy I saw. I LOVED this film. First off, it is just beautiful visually. It's done in a stop animation style and it has oodles of wonderful quirky details.

The story is of Mary who's a little girl in austrailia. She's having a terrible time. Her parents don't understand her, she has no friends, and she has a rooster for a pet named Ethel. Looking for something to do she picks a name at random in America and writes a letter. The person in question is Max. Max is in New York and he too has no friends. He also suffers from Asperger's which makes the world for Max a very chaotic place.

Mary's letter first destroys Max's self ordered life. He is confused and doesn't know what to do, but then he writes back and that starts a 20 year relationship. Not always an easy or nice one, Mary doesn't understand Max's mental condition and sometimes her early letters would almost literally blow Max's mind.

It's a beautiful story. It's wonderfully written. I can quote from that movie more than almost any recent film. I particularly like, "Jurors are upstanding citizens who haven't killed anyone..yet." Also, special kudos to Philip Seymour Hoffman who was the voice of Max.

WATCH THIS!!! Even if you don't like "Cartoons" it is well worth your time!

Double Ugh.

"Run! Bitch! Run!" is a grindhouse reinterpetation of "I Spit On Your Grave," which in itself is not the height of art. It was a film that ran afoul when Siskel and Ebert were in their glory days. Their point was it was a revenge film that used the protagonists need to revenge as an excuse for sorid violence. I do believe that Ebert said it was the type of film you needed a shower after viewing.

"Run! Bitch! Run!" is not an improvement. It's about on par with "Hostel" but with a slightly lighter touch. That again, doesn't make it better. Inhumanity with a wink and a nod is almost worse in fact.

Don't watch.

Sucking Scraping Sound

So you people remember "Theodore Rex?" You Don't? Gee how can you not remember Whoopie Goldberg and dinosaurs? Or how it was at the time the most expensive movie to go straight to video (now DVD). Maybe because it was a godawful mess, if you don't believe me on that check out the Nostalgia Critics rip on it.

The point being is sometimes, for reasons unknown to us the little people, stars will do some godawful mess for a check. Rarely though have I seen so many shining so little in one place. In "Super Capers" we have Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Clint Howard, Michael Rooker, Joe Polito, and Tom Sizemore in various states of non, or over acting. Only Clint Howard and Tom Sizemore, as "Mugger" and "Lawyer" respectively, keep a little dignity and provide a very little bit of entertainment.

The rest of "Super Capers" involves a useless guy in the suit with the name of Ed Gruberman (A name which is a steal from the incredibly funny "Boot to the Head" sketch to which the writer/director should be profoundly embarrassed for soiling) who is ordered by a court to be a part of a team of super losers. Said losers are for the record: A professor X type with mother issues, a very cold woman, Mr. Super Vanity, and a guy who turns into a puffer fish when scared. They try to fight crime from their mansion and super winnebago.

Really I was hoping for a little dumb fun. What I got was a long stretch of no fun at all. If you want to see a fairly funny zero budget super hero film let me suggest "The Specials." Not, however, "Super Capers."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ballerina in Hell

The Dancers in hell are all on point. On their toes, on their toes. What a sight. There is beauty in even the pit. A terrible beauty to be sure. The sheen of snake scales, the gleam of venom. And they dance, oh how they dance.

Dark and Fancy Free

Some things in literature are to use the cyber term positively viral. Look at fantasy novels. Now, for the most part they have either accepted the Middle Earth template of J. R. R. Tolkein or have to fight against it. Mention elves to a reader of fantasy novels and there will be for the most part the same elves as envisioned by J. R. R. Tolkein.

Now sometimes these "viral" templates, memes, what have you, can go through a strange mutation. Many decades after J. R. R. Tolkein released (or unleashed) his "Lord of the Rings," something new was created in the dungeons around the Great Lakes. Here Gary Gygax and his merry crew invented "Dungeons & Dragons," and therefore role playing games giving parents of the world one more thing to worry about. Gygax and gang embraced the J. R. R. Tolkein theme whole heartedly to the point of lawsuit (Short form: "Hobbits" are "Halflings" and "Orcs" are still "Orc.") Then something strange happened.

Role playing games was never made big money, but it certainly was a money maker. It's small fan base was both willing to spend money and wanted more. More rules, more adventures. In race to keep up with demand someone in Gygax's crew decided to create the "anti-elf."

Thus the Drow were born.

The Drow lived under ground, not in some beautiful woodland glade. The Drow have skin that is jet black because fantasy readers know that is an evil colour (Note: Most fantasy readers are white males, why do you ask?) The Drow are evil, evil, evil. They worship spider demons and other icky stuff. Well everybody LOVED the Drow. They had oodles more class than some lowly Ork, and they had better toys to loot. So as demand for more on Drow arose from the masses, folks were willing to oblige for just a little money. So, we then found out that the Drow are a race of Matriarchs, that they are cultured and refined with numorous clans and spent at least half of their time fighting each other. Soon there were Drow novels, and things spun out of the control of Gygax and his crew.

Now we ave "Drowtales: Moonless age," a manga featuring a cute Drow. The idea of a cute Drow sort of goes against the original idea of "anti-elf," but you can see how things like this get a life of their own. To be fair, after reading one chapter, I have to say it's not bad.

Drowtales so far concentrates on Ariel who is only ten years old. Being that Drow are EVIL (don't forget that) her mom has no time to raise her, so gives her to older sister and says bring her back to me in ten years and we'll see what you've done. This is much worse than having to baby sit your little sister for the afternoon, and the sister being both EVIL and selfish acts accordingly. So poor little Ariel is in a tiny, soul less cell and forced to read and remember by heart big books that don't mean anything to her. And her sister will come in and yell at her and beat her senseless. Luckily, Ariel is a plucky little girl so sometimes she sneaks out of her cell and spends time with her big brother. One month before her tenth birthday, big brother gives her the best gift of all. A cute kitten!

Her sister kills it.

So, on her tenth birthday she is presented to her mom. Her mom just sees a half starved, beaten little girl who seems fearful and weak. She asks her, "What does your heart most want you to do." And ariel says "Kill my sister!" Mom says, "Do it."

Of course Ariel doesn't, which proves to her mother that Ariel is weak and not worth being her daughter (remember she's EVIL). Big Brother intervenes and promises to hide and teach Ariel to be a proper Drow. Big Sister is taken away, but I'm sure we'll see more of her later.

All and all Drowtales does well, and I'll read more of it.

The Monk Abides

There are times where one must not move on. Stay still. Breath deep. The world will move for you, and you will not miss all that heavenly glory.

You and I Against the World.

I haven't really pinged on Michael Cera before. No doubt it's partly because he doesn't tend to do the films I specialize in, and also cause he's the type of person that blends in. He's a slight person with a voice that has the softness of a whisper to it. He's definitely well suited to play characters like the one he plays in "Youth in Revolt." He is the emblem of those people too smart for school but have to stay there and get to be the punching bag of everyone else.

The real problem though is more of a personal nature. His character is still a virgin and he wants to do something about that. He finally finds the girl that he wants to help him with his problem but she is attracted to another and in a different town.

His solution? Well it's a bit radical. He creates in his own head a radical, dickish alter ego ala 'Fight Club.' Why? Because as many people have noted, a lot of women seem to be attracted to rather dickish men. Let's not even start to discuss why. So now with his bad boy alter ego, his next step will be to be bad enough so his mom will kick him out of her house and he'll have to live with his Dad in the town with his girl target. The problem is there's a fine line between bad and a five million dollar fire.

Honestly, I didn't need the alter ego bit. Everything that happens in the film could have happened for the most part without him. The two characters do have some rather funny lines as they "talk" with each other, but really it seemed a little too cute. The film is saved by Michael Cera who grounds things with his low key acting. It doesn't hurt that Ray Liotta and Fred Willard pop in here and there for a dose of the crazies.

I certainly liked the film, and while not five stars, it gives me even more hope for the "Scott Pilgrim" film. Hooray!

Persons Unknown

A miniserie from NBC that appears after "Last Comic Standing." Could not get into it. Way too whiney. It's like a reality show without the prize at the end. A whole bunch of boring people, including whiney rich girl, find themselves in a deserted town. There is an invisible fence around the town so you can't get out. By the way NBC, great frickin' production values. An INVISIBLE fence ... oh reely. Are they going to be tormented by mimes in future episodes?

NBC you've done it again.

Twitchy Witchy

Witch Girls Adventures is a multimedia enterprise. It's a website and a game, and promises to be a comic book and other interesting things including a magazine for teen witches. The muse for this is of course the boodles of cash a certain boy wizard and school has raised for its author. Nothing wrong there, as Mark Twain once said "Great artists don't borrow, they steal."

The difference here is of course girl power. In the world of Witch Girls Adventures only the ladies get the ju ju juice. Having blossomed magically at a young age they are sent to various magical schools to hone their gifts, and socialize them so they aren't turning everyone into toads. Like in the Harry Potter series the magical world and the mundane world have made a quiet deal of "separate but unequal," and most everyone is happy. Of course, there are some witches that will break these laws and they are dealt with if caught. There are mundane witch hunters as well, and generally they get what is coming to them. Here I will have to say there is something very silly yet somehow frightening seeing a fellow with a shot gun, a gas mask, and a puritan high hat including brass buckle. Not someone you want to see in your yard at midnight.

The series seems to center around a small gaggle of girl witches from a small school. Being a game though if you wish to play that, you can be anyone you want and there is a huge list of what you can do magically. Of the characters I saw i think everyone's favorite is Lucinda. She is a wicked witch, no need for quotes around the wicked (she loves to turn people into things, which tells you she pretty much believes people ARE things.) Lucinda is not only wicked but a princess from some magical sub dimension that she's exiled from, but she's still a princess and woe to anyone who forgets that. The other girls stand lucinda's bratty, wicked ways mostly cause she has the best toys. Once they went camping and Lucinda's pup tent was just a little bigger on the inside. Including 23 servants. Oh, and a jacuzzi. For the audience a character like Lucinda is always some much needed spice. Even Riverdale needed it's Reggie.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The Mutamime can change its shape somewhat. Touching one is like touching a bag of moldy tomatoes. The Mutamime lives a life of invisible walls and winds and so walks a rather odd tippsy turvy way. But the joke is over when it catches you. Then it is you who are silent.