Monday, April 26, 2010

Dead Air

What happens when you have two respected actors from the NOTLD remake get trapped in a radio station during a zombie-like outbreak and directed by Corbin Bernsen? Why, you get Dead Air, of course. Bill Mosely, better known for his work in TCM2 as Chop Top and Patricia Tallman, known as Barbara in the NOTLD remake are the on air talent and producer respectively and they're going about their night for the radio show. Across town, a terrorist attack has gone off sooner than expected and unleashed a gas into a stadium that turns the hapless victims into zombie-like maniacs who can infect you with a scratch and murder you just as quickly.

Our two heroes and their friends quickly realize that barricading themselves inside the building is the best idea, but with Bill's family outside, it seems like they might have to venture forth into the dangerous streets to save them, especially when the station isn't as safe as they hoped.

The film, a first for Bernsen, I believe, is a pretty solid little thriller with some good gore, good scares and decent comedy. The cinematography isn't anything groundbreaking but it's pulled off very well and the film is pleasing to look at and there are no glaring errors. You're drawn into the plight of the characters quickly and can relate to them. They're as bewildered as everyone else as the night turns into one of terror and they try to keep order and people informed when every other station is switching to the emergency broadcast system.

I hear Pontypool does a similar thing but with better results but the film is definitely worth checking out if you're a fan and even if you're not. Mosely turns in a great performance as an ass on the air who just wants to save his family and Patricia Tallman is still as sexy as ever. Check it out.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rise of the Eldrazi Release Event Tournament Report

Okay, so today I played in a sealed deck tournament at Collector's Corner on Harford Road. There were 8 people there and I went 3-0 (6-0)! Let me just say, white/blue levelers kicks major ass. Here is my deck as it was in the final match:

Rise of the Levelers 1.0 (2010-04-24)

1 Dawnglare Invoker C
1 Ikiral Outrider C
2 Kabira Vindicator U
1 Kor Spiritdancer R
1 Soul's Attendant C
1 Totem-Guide Hartebeest C
1 Champion's Drake C
1 Enclave Cryptologist U
1 Frostwind Invoker C
1 Hada Spy Patrol U
1 Sea Gate Oracle (FOIL) C
2 Venerated Teacher C

1 Guard Duty C
1 Drake Umbra U
1 Narcolepsy C

2 Regress C

1 Skittering Invasion U
1 Survival Cache U
1 Distortion Strike C

1 Ogre's Cleaver U

1 Evolving Wilds C
8 Plains C
8 Island C

40 Total

Originally I had Ulamog's Crusher in there, but after holding it in my hand most of the first game I swapped it and Lone Missionary out for Distortion Strike and Guard Duty. I don't think I ever played Distortion Strike, but Guard Duty was very useful. I probably should have taken out the Skittering Invasion for a second Distortion Strike also. I also had Fleeting Distraction in there at one point, but that card seems kinda like a waste as all it really does is cycle a card and maybe save you one point of damage.

First game was against Matt. He was playing a white/red/green deck (looked pretty fat, maybe around 60 cards). Matt basically died both times to Ogre's Cleaver on a flyer. I thougth Ogre's Cleaver was bad until I realized how crazy it is with evasion. Matt did have the 2/2 green death touch creature which was tough to get around until I got some fliers out. I also learned that bouncing a creature with an umbra on it is awesome. I got rid of his Bear Umbra that way. I was able to neutralize his big threat with Narcolepsy and then Matt just didn't have anything to stop the fliers I got out. Second game I was also playing with major card advantage as I got off a Survival Cache on turn three with two card draws and I got the Enclave Cryptologist leveled all the way up for an extra card draw each turn.

Game two was against George (1-0). George had some of the big nasty black and green levelers, but my Kabira Vindicator's were able to get big enough to block all his threats most of the time. I took some early hits trying to hold out to get my levelers up. Levelers in combo with Venerated Teacher are ridiculously good. Second game was similar, but this time I was able to get both Vindicator's out pumping all my creatures. He had a lot of creatures out, and was able to hold off another turn by playing Momentous Fall which got him some life and creatures, but they couldn't deal with the size of my creatures that were getting +2/+2 and +1/+1 from my Vindicators.

Game three was against Kieth (2-0) for the top spot. Kieth had a pretty nice red and green spawn deck. Unfortunately he got mana screwed in the first game and stuck with 3 lands while my Hada Spy Patrol was pumped all the way up and swinging away. He scooped before it was over and we went to game two which was a really close game. I drew a lot of land and he was starting to get spawn out quick. I had to play the Venerated Teacher just to get a blocker out. Two turns later though I was able to paly Totem-Guide Hartebeest which I was able to fetch my Drake Umbra with. That is a great card and I was able to make the teacher a 5/5 flyer on the next turn and still have a 2/5 blocker. Keith got out Bramblesnap which I was able to nullify with Guard Duty and he also got out Brimstone Mage which he was able to level all the way up and also Raid Bombardment which was really hurting with 2-3 0/1 spawn attacking in addition to other creatures. In the end it came down to 5 life each, but at the end of my turn I bounced his Brimstone Mage with Regress which allowed me to survive his last attack and then swing for the match next turn.

Some other notes:

Soul's Attendant is great for some life gain, especially with all the spawn that land on the board. The major difference between this and Soul Warden is the word 'may'. You now have to pay a lot more attention, because if you miss it, you're out of luck. If your opponent has one, you do not need to point it out if they miss it now.

Dawnglare Invoker was a nice 2/1 flier for me but died pretty quickly most of the time. I never used her 8 mana ability, but I can tell you from my experience last week if you can generate enough mana, that can cripple your attack if they play it right after your untap phase.

Kor Spiritdancer I probably could have left out since I only had 1 Aura to cast on her, but in the one game she came out she got bonuses from the Vindicators, so I lucked out.

Hada Spy Patrol is great if you can level it up quick. Last week I got two, but they died quickly the one game I tried making a second deck from my sealed pool with blue/white levelers for fun. Just remember if you level up to 3, I believe umbras will fall off. I believe they still get the Vindicator bonuses though because they are not targeted, it affects all creatures.

Thats about all for now...this is a really fun sealed format so check it out if you haven't!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Sixth Ward

My buddy Bill from the Ginkers doc has an album out with his band, the Sixth Ward. You can check them out here: and buy the album on iTunes. I'm listening to it right now and loving every minute of it. Also, Bill looks like Ben Affleck.

It's always refreshing to hear some good, new rock music and this is some of the best I've heard in awhile. I'm going to have to go to one of their shows now or he'll never let me live it down. Check them out.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Zombie Jesus Day

It's Easter and I'm sitting here in the sun and relaxing before I have to go for dinner, thinking about Magic decks. Nothing in particular about them, just that I want to make some more and it's hard when your daughter keeps trying to take the cards from you to play with. Maybe I should move to the table. That or work on the script for Script Frenzy.

Thanks to Caitlin, I'm doing that this year. I've got about 12 pages in already so I'm actually ahead of the game right now. Hell, it might even be 13. I don't really find it as tough as Nanowrimo. Most of my scripts are dialog and that flows pretty easy and for scripts it's easy to find yourself doing five pages without even thinking about it. I think that is probably the more helpful part, as it is a standard thing like page count as opposed to word count, which can be difficult to gauge depending on what you're writing, novel-wise. Time to knock out some more.