Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve 2011

Sitting here watching Bubble Guppies with less than 12 to go to the new year. Just want my daughter to feel better. She has pneumonia. Hospitalized her on Tuesday. She came home yesterday. She seems to be doing better, but we probably have a long way to go on it, what with the nebulizer and trying to get her to actually drink some water and juice so she doesn't get dehydrated. She's still getting a fever about every twelve hours, which sucks but is better than every 5 or so that it had been before we took her into the ER to get some fluids. Who knew being a parent was so rough? We haven't even done Christmas yet. Here's hoping for a healthy start to the year.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas! Can't say it's a good one for me this year as my daughter is fighting a virus and has been for the past four or five days. By the way, viruses suck. Nothing like something that you can't get rid of outside of just resting and fighting the fever. Yay for that. I don't even know when you start counting when it starts. Is it with the cough or with the fever? That could make a difference as Cassie started coughing on Monday or Tuesday. That would mean she only has a few days left. The fever, however, started on Thursday morning, maybe late Wednesday. We only know she woke up with it. That would mean she has a lot more left if we count from there. Ugh.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fright Night (2011)

Remakes are always a tricky breed. Most of the time they don't need to be done at all. It just seems like the producers behind them think viewers can't enjoy films from a different era/language/etc. That or they find some cult IP that they want to exploit and reimagine in some "cutting edge" way. I was afraid that Fright Night would fall prey to the latter. Like kids today can't appreciate Chris Sarandon in a sweat suit.

Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised. While my main motivation was to watch David Tennant, I found the whole cast enjoyable. Colin Farrell was a delight as Jerry, the vampire next door, turning the role from one of seduction to an absolute predator. The script was solid and I didn't find many things to gripe about. Even the update of the Peter Vincent character from a horror host to a magician makes sense, considering they're in Las Vegas and also that most people today won't remember horror hosts like Zacherley or Elvira.

There were some clever scenes I liked. There's an escape scene that has a particularly great payoff, that without spoiling it, I didn't see coming but fits with the way bites work. I also like that the Ed and Charlie roles were switched in terms of believing in vampires, with Ed as the one who suspects Jerry at first. Any complaints I might have actually relate to this, as it almost feels like we're brought into the story midway, with Ed having done a bit of research into killings that we don't quite get the feeling are truly an epidemic. Still, it's a minor quibble. I wish that I got a chance to see it in 3d though, as it looks like they had some cool effects for it. As it stands, the movie looks good and is thoroughly enjoyable regardless of the dimension you see it in.

It, like a lot of good remakes, pay a bit of homage to the originals without sounding like they're pandering. You even get a Chris Sarandon cameo. Nothing wrong with that, as he is quite awesome.

All in all, it's a fun film and worthy of the name, Fright Night. Check it out.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Super (thanks for asking)


Finally got around to seeing this little gem from writer/director James Gunn. It's about a man whose wife leaves him for Kevin Bacon and drugs, so he decides to save her and fight crime in the city along the way. Of course, there is a learning curve for this sort of thing and he has quite a few mishaps along the way. Fortunately, he has Nathan Fillion as a Bibleman-ish character on tv to guide him and a teenage girl in the form of Ellen Page who wants to be his sidekick.

And he fights crime with a pipe wrench and the battle cry of "Shut up, evil!"

It's pretty hysterical and dark, which is good for a dark comedy. It brings to mind some of Gunn's previous films like Slither and the also superhero related The Specials. Rainn Wilson is a delight as the lead and Kevin Bacon works well as his foil. Liv Tyler is radiant as usual in the role of his wayward wife and Ellen Page is a fucking psychopath. Seriously. I like her but she seems to play the same role in my mind in every movie I see her in. It was a nice surprise to see her cut loose and not just be the wiseass hipster which Juno has forever cast her in to me.

The movie is a fun take on how crime fighting might go in the real world and Rainn does a great job in bringing us along for the ride. Definitely worth checking out if you don't mind some bloodshed with your humor, because honestly, (spoilers) the last act is a bloodbath. But awesome.

Check it out.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend 2011

I had a nice four days off. Played with my daughter. Played a lot of Skyward Sword. Raked leaves and put up Christmas lights and now I'm sore and watching Walking Dead and knowing that I'm going to be hella sore tomorrow after a good night of sleep. Hope ya'll had a good weekend too. Hopefully I'll get some more movie reviews up soon.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

High School of the Dead


Started watching this nifty little anime the other day. I was intrigued as I like anime and zombies and this seemingly combined the two. How could I lose? Turns out to be a pretty good choice so far as I'm rather enjoying it.

The plot, in a nutshell, is that a zombie outbreak in Toyko occurs and whole parts of the city are ravaged rather quickly. The school that the main characters attend is no exception, and with just one infection, gets taken over rather quickly. The heroes, friends and strangers alike, band together to try and get the hell out of there and to safety and their families--if any are still alive.

It's got some great gore and fun characters and some fantastic zombie killing action. I think that's what drew me in from the start. The running POV that turns into some zombie smackdown is something I absolutely love about the series. It does have its share of fanservice, which gets ratcheted up rather absurdly in Episode 6 and so far in 7 is there as well. I think that kind of goofiness with the occasional humor that they have keeps the series from going too serious and grim and is a welcome change from some of the tough choices that they have to make. Also, the series has the first time I can remember someone having to pee in the middle of a tough situation, which is funny as I would probably have to do that as well. It's a nice touch and really rounds out the characters.

Check it out.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11

No nanowrimo or movie updates tonight. Just me pretending to be the 11th Doctor and trying to overcome some illness. And drinking Jameson. Happy 11.11.11!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Nanowrimo 2011: Day 7

I figured today was a good day to check in on the blog, since I've been slacking with updates. For those interested, I broke 10k words today. Which is a goodly amount. Unfortunately, it's rather short of where I should be, but I've been pretty busy lately so I haven't had time to focus on the writing. Which means I'll be playing catch up later, or at least there's a strong possibility of it. I have been writing every day though so a the very least, that's a good habit to get into.

Truthfully though, I don't need to hit 50k to win this in mine eyes, though it makes me a loser in terms of the rules. I was already at 50k and then some when I started Nanowrimo and now I'm sitting over 66k, possibly more as I haven't checked the full word count in a bit. That has me really excited, as I've made a huge dent in the book word count and I'm on my way to finishing it. My estimated goal is 80,000 words, but if I end up going longer, that works too. Then I can begin the long task of proofing and editing it. I actually like that though so I'm looking forward to it.

Until next time.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The November Grind

It's that time of year again. That's right, fellow writers. I'm talking about Nanowrimo. I haven't done it in a year as I was working on publishing the novel I wrote during Nano a few years ago, but I'm all in again. This time I'm cheating a bit, I guess, as I'm not writing something completely new but using the word count and deadline obsession to help me finish off a novel that I'm already working on. I'm still counting the words I add, rather than what I have, but I might not hit 50k as I think I'm only aiming for 80k total for the novel and I'm at 56k already. We'll see how it goes. Whatever the case might be, it's a fun time, so you should join me over there and get to writing something fun.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Does anyone else out there love this movie as much as me? For me, it's the best of the sequels and really captures the feeling of the season rather well too. It also features the return of Michael stalking his prey like a champ instead of just popping up and killing them like he did for most of the other sequels. In the original, one of the most chilling things is how he just waits and watches his prey and we get glimpses of him in the background before he disappears and eventually ends his victim's life. The mask looks better than it will in the later sequels and Haddonfield feels like a small, midwest town for once.

I like that even though the police are pretty proactive and believe Loomis when he tells them that Michael is back, the Shape always seems to stay a step ahead of them and is rather cunning in the way he plunges the whole town into chaos. Not bad for someone who never speaks a word.

The early showdown between Loomis and Michael in the gas station is great too. I think that's one of my favorite set pieces in the film, outside the scene later on in the film on the streets of Haddonfield where Michael is stalking Jamie and it ends in a rather surprising way.

It's playing on AMC quite a bit this week due to the impending holiday and I'm quite happy about that. If you haven't seen it before, I would recommend checking it out, as it's the perfect type of movie for your Halloween celebrations.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ed Wood

Missed my horror movie watching on Friday as I was cleaning and fun stuff like that, so I made up for it a little by watching this biopic of the creator of some of the worst movies around. I have to admit that I had never seen this movie before, despite seeing quite a few of the movies he directed. As nothing else was on and I had nothing else to do and was too lazy to look for a dvd, it seemed like a good choice.

The movie is almost a dual biopic that covers all of Ed Wood and also the waning years of Bela Lugosi, who was the biggest star in his films and one of his close friends. Both roles are well played by Johnny Depp and Martin Landau respectively, with Depp as the young, cross-dressing director and Landau as a morphine addicted Lugosi. They're supported by a varied and talented cast that includes Bill Murray and Patricia Arquette as particular standouts.

Director Tim Burton's choice to use black and white instead of color is wonderful. I think it really pays off as you almost feel like you're watching a behind the scenes on the filming of Wood's movies. I think the color choice too, along with the way some scenes are framed, makes you feel like Wood is a mad scientist from Frankenstein, laughing and mad and filled with a frenetic energy that he passes along to those around him.

I am saddened that I never saw this earlier, as it gives a fun and interesting account of Ed Wood that never sagged for me in its two hour run time. It was a fun ride, often hilarious and at times touching too. If you haven't seen it and have an interest in the films of yesteryear, particular z-level horror and sci-fi, check it out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NYCC 2011

In a fit of impulsiveness, me and a buddy cut out of work early to go to New York Comic Con last Friday. No photos as I forgot my camera but I had a good time. I can't believe how big the show has gotten since its inception just a few years ago. Back then, it was about half the size of Wizard World Philly. I think it's probably about 10x larger than that show was now and about 20x larger than when it started. It takes up just about the entire Javits Center, which is ginormous. They have a whole section dedicated to Artist Alley and the rest is dealers and exhibitors. Then there's the game room and autograph room. And the panel rooms.

We were only there for a bit but it was worth it. I picked up a sketchbook from Christina Strain and Adrian Alphona, a TARDIS lunchbox, a GL figure I had been looking for, a GL Ring for my daughter and some other odds and ends. And I saw Felicia Day. Who is gorgeous. And awesome.

I'm definitely going next year. Probably on Friday again as there are less people there than on Saturday, which is usually a madhouse but now is probably exceedingly crazy. And I'll take photos. And get more stuff signed. Or something. Maybe even dress up. Who knows?

Word Count: 10.18.11


55088 / 80000 words. 69% done!

Been awhile, so I thought I'd update this today. Added about 4k since last I posted. Been slacking. Gotta get on that.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Wildman of the Navidad

Bigfoot movies will always have a place in my heart. Ever since I was a young and impressionable lad watching movies like the Legend of Boggy Creek and Curse of Bigfoot. Not to mention reading books on the topic in the library when I should have been reading the Happy Hollisters or something similar. So when I heard about the Wild Man of the Navidad and saw it was playing on IFC last weekend, I had to tape it and check it out.

You see, the little town of Sublime, Texas, has a secret that not many people in town know about. There's a giant of a man, a wild man, if you will, living down in the river bottom area of a local rancher's property. He lives in a symbiosis of sorts with him, getting fed rabbits or something as an offering. The rancher, Dale, falls on hard times when he's laid off from his job and he has to open the ranch during hunting season to make ends meet. As you can imagine, this doesn't sit well with the creature and soon he makes that known in a bloody way.

The movie looks to capture the feel of the 70s drive-in films like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, from the retro titles to the music. Picture-wise, it's a little too clean and could use some grain but the framing is spot on. The acting is a little rough as they used a lot of locals to help keep their budget down, but it ends up being more charming than annoying. The gore is good and great and well done. The attacks leave the victims in quite a state and the director isn't afraid to show it. I think the monster design, while unique, reminds me a little too much of Sweetums from the Muppets and while it looks good in certain shots, it tends to look more goofy than imposing. I think maybe showing either less of him or making it a more traditional Bigfoot design would have worked better for me, but that might just be my personal preference.

I expected more from the film, but I was pleased with what I got. If they tightened it up a little, maybe removed a unnecessary subplot about the pervy helper, it might be a bit stronger. Some more menacing shots of the creature would be nice. Most of the gore shots are pretty static, which in some cases doesn't work out too well. Still, it was a fun ride and if you're a fan of low budget horror or Bigfoot, you could certainly do worse.

Check it out.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Of Unknown Origin

Tonight's film on Friday Night Frights answers the age old question of what you do when an intelligent and malicious rodent is menacing you and your family. If you're Peter Weller, you go fucking crazy and try to kill him using a variety of items like poison, traps and maybe a baseball bat with nails through it. Trust me, it works.

Of Unknown Origin is a fun little movie. Peter Weller plays a banker who just got a new assignment that could further his career. His hot as hell wife Shannon Tweed and his son go up to visit her father and give him a little peace and quiet so he can get the job done. Everything seems to be going fine until a rat starts making problems in his house, like chewing threw the dishwasher hose and flooding his kitchen and chewing threw things. Instead of focusing on work, Weller starts to focus on the rat, learning everything he can about them and trying every way in his power to kill it, eventually becoming obsessed by it.

I for one, can relate to his plight. As a homeowner, when you discover something amiss like pests or some other problem, it starts to consume you, and in your mania, you find yourself riding to Walmart in the dead of night to buy pesticides and the like to wage your own little war on them. Maybe that's just me. Still, it's chilling when you have a home invader in the walls, out thinking and outsmarting you at every turn.

Weller plays the part well, calmly obsessing about the rat in the walls while reading Moby Dick and watching The Old Man and the Sea. He even starts to relate what he'd learned about rats at a business dinner, disturbing the people around him, showing the first signs that he might be snapping. And honestly, I cared about his plight. I wanted to see him succeed not only with the rat, but with business as well.

And I wanted to see Shannon Tweed naked more. I'm only human.

A fun little film. A little dated but still creepy and a quick watch, clocking in around an hour and a half. Definitely worth a watch this Halloween season. Just not if you have pests.

Check it out.

Friday, October 07, 2011

A Night in the Lonesome October a day 2011


It's that time of year again, the yearly reading of Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. Since it's 31 chapters long and each one takes up a day of the month of October, the usual way to read it for me is one chapter a day. It's a pretty fun way to pass the month and a quick read. It also really puts me in the mood for Halloween. If you haven't read it before, it's not too late to get a copy and start your own tradition with it.

If you have one already, join me in the reading and let me know how you do with it.

New Photo.


My buddy Jorge at work took my picture. How do I look?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Troll Hunter

Found footage movies can be a tricky watch for me. The shaky camera starts to get annoying and sometimes there's more filler/introductory stuff than necessary and not enough action. The Troll Hunter, fortunately, avoids that as the camera crew is following the main character before they even know he's a troll hunter, so right away we have all of our pieces on the board.

And what a board it is. Unlike, say, Cloverfield, we actually get frequent and good looks at the monsters in question. There are even several different types of them, each with a different look and characteristics. The camera crew realizes early on that the man they want for their story isn't a poacher at all, but a hunter the like they have never seen before and decide to record the fantastic monsters he fights. From there, they are thrown headfirst into a deadly world where the story of a lifetime might just get them killed.

The Troll Hunter is a fun ride from start to its albeit abrupt ending. I saw trolls. I saw them hunted. We got a great main character in the hunter, whose world weary nature starts to show through as the film progresses. We even get a reference to The Three Billy Goats Gruff. As a plus, we get some beautiful Norwegian countryside in the film as well and it is breathtaking. Also, the CGI is rather good as well.

There's some nice touches in the film that help sell the concept of fighting mythological creatures, mainly in the clean-up, where you find out just how involved fighting one of these things can be, especially when they turn to stone or explode. Most of it gets blamed on bears, and the wildlife official who helps the hunter is rather picky about the types of bears he wants for the job.

I'd rank this up there with Monsters as a fun, low-budget creature film that exceeds all expectations and makes for a pleasurable viewing experience.

Check it out.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Neverending Wonder Radio is in the Halloween Zone!

The title speaks for itself, but I can't help but mention that this radio station is THE place to be for Halloween themed music and radio dramas. The operator has an impressively and obsessively deep collection of said audio gems and the site reigns supreme as the best Halloween radio station, hands down.

Check it out.

Neverending Wonder Radio

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NNWC: 9.21.11


51115 / 80000 words. 64% done!

Good session today. Almost a eleven-hundred words. I can deal with that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lost at Comic Con--Now Available!

Lost at Comic ConLost at Comic Con by Eric Mosher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I may be biased since I wrote it, but I enjoyed every minute of it. :) It's a fun a breezy tale of four guys and their adventure at a comic book convention. Available in paperback and on Kindle with more devices to follow.



View all my reviews


Want a copy? Buy it on Amazon.com:

Kindle Version

Paperback Version

Friday, September 16, 2011

Word Count 9.16.11


50087 / 80000 words. 63% done!

Got some good words in. Could write for the rest of the day if I didn't have to work. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Comics for 9.14.11

It's that time of the week again. Wednesday, when new comics come out and joy spreads throughout the land to millions of people. Fuck them, though. I'm only interested in what came out for me to read. :)

ASM# 669: Spider Island continues, with most of the island of Manhattan being infected now and spider powers developing in all of them. Peter and his girlfriend try to get to the bottom of the matter and find out who is behind it all. They're close, but then a new twist in the plot makes the infection worse than it seems. Good issue. Solid art and dialogue. My only complaint is that since it's an event, there are things that are dealt with in issues outside of the main title and we get allusions to them but not much more. My fault for being on a budget and not getting them all, though Venom looks rather bad ass. A fun story. Hard to believe that a few years ago we were all bitching about One More Day. They've certainly turned it around since those few beginning story arcs when even the die-hards like me were thinking about dropping it.

JSI #1: Big thanks to Pete at Comics Plus for snagging the next shipment of DC #1s and getting me this issue which I missed. A fun issue. I think more happened in it than in JLA #1 and even though this had a bunch of relative B-listers by most standards, it was more fun. I might actually have to get this on a regular basis, especially if they keep Guy Gardner in it for my GL connection.

GL#1: An alright issue. Hal is all sad face because he doesn't have a ring anymore and Sinestro is all angry face because he does. More character development than anything. Should pick up in the next few issues. If you were a new reader picking it up, you might be disappointed.

Red Lanterns #1: Also introspective for the lead character, which in this is Atrocitus, but features some decent action set pieces and back story to make it more accessible for new readers. Not only do we learn about his past, but his future may include a mutiny in the very Corps he created. Until he ships the oh so sexy Bleez off to the New Guardians. Good story and great artwork by Benes.

That's all for this week.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bad Teacher

Just watched Bad Teacher last night. Damn, that is a funny movie. Like he did with Orange County, director Jake Kasdan knocks it out of the park with a fun comedy that despite some of the vulgar trappings, offers a little growth and revelation at the end for its characters. But mostly it's Cameron Diaz being a completely drunken wreck of a teacher who does and says what she wants and was almost out of the profession until her boyfriend dumped her because she was a gold digger. Now she has to play relatively nice with her fellow teachers while trying to snag a rich new substitute and avoid the advances of the stoner gym teacher played by Jason Segal.

I didn't have much in the way of expectations going into this one so I was pleasantly surprised. Jason Segal is a blast as the gym teacher and always seems to be a step ahead of the people he mocks. Cameron Diaz, who I'm not really a fan of, is fantastic in this and I found her slutty bitch of a character quite hot. She should do it more often, as it comes across a little more real than the ditzy blonde she plays in films like Charlie's Angels.

Well worth checking out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Elvira's Haunted Hills

I wanted something a little lighter this time around on Friday Night Frights, after seeing the serious yet great All the Boys Love Mandy Lane last week. So I decided on one featuring one of my favorite crushes of all time, Elvira. Given how many times I've watched Mistress of the Dark, it is surprising I haven't seen Elvira's Haunted Hills yet, especially since it came out ten years ago. What can I say, I've been slacking?

Much like it's predecessor film, this movie is more comedy than horror, though unlike the first film, this one seems to be more of a spoof of particular films/genres. In this case, the haunted castle genre with a cursed family to boot. Indeed, the movie brings to mind many of the Poe films of Roger Corman and Black Sunday by Mario Bava popped into mind, especially since one of the characters reminds me of Barbara Steele. Not a bad thing. There's even that old trope of a character being a dead ringer for a dead one. Good times.

The plot revolves around Elvira and her woman servant traveling through the European countryside on their way to Paris. They hitch a ride from a smarmy doctor and soon find themselves at a castle where everyone seems a little batty. Elvira and friend rightly want to get the hell out of there, though a hunky stable hand does sway her a bit (he's even dubbed, which is a nice throwback to the old Italian films).

There's bad jokes, cleavage shots aplenty, some funny characters and decent send-ups of older horror movies. Elvira herself is an anachronistic chaotic force in this 1800s set film but that's a lot of her humor. I think Mistress of the Dark is a more complete film, but this one certainly entertains and titillates. You can do worse as a way to kill some time. Incidentally, the tenth anniversary edition is coming out in October, so if you haven't seen it before, that would be a good one to pick up.

Check it out.

Friday, September 09, 2011

New Novel Word Count: 9.9.11


48603 / 80000 words. 61% done!

Got some good writing in during lunch today. That's what happens when you forget part of your meal at home. Now I'm satisfied at my productivity but craving yogurt.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

New Comics: 9.8.11

Light week this time around, considering I'm not buying all of the 52 #1 issues. I would have picked up JLI and Swamp Thing but they were sold out so I didn't get them. Might get the trades on them if they're good. Next week is a little heavier, especially if I get Mr. Terrific for some Karen Starr action. Assuming she's in it.

Anyway.

Godzilla - Gangster and Goliaths #4: Monsters are attacking Tokyo and a Yakuza member seems to be in charge of everything now that he possesses the Elias. Fortunately, our favorite detective isn't down and out yet and he's got a plan. Mostly a set up issue with some fun monster fights. The final issue should be fun with the return of an old favorite. I love the way this is tying into the ongoing series and it's a joy to see the movie monsters in it. Too many series had to make up other monsters because they didn't license anything other than Godzilla. Not so here, and it shows with awesome action.

Danger Girl vs. The Army of Darkness #3: Most of this issue is backstory on Sydney Savage, which is pleasant as I don't remember any on her before. Then we're back in on the story with her springing Ash from jail because they need his help to destroy the Necronomicon. More set-up but with some fun action and buxom women and our hero Ash doing a little butt kicking of his own. Decent fun for a team-up that actually does make some sense in a weird sort of way. I'm enjoying it.

The Boys #58: It's the beginning of the end as events move the Boys into conflict with the Seven. Good issue and the next issue looks like it's where shit starts to go down. I think the end is near, as I remember Ennis saying it was supposed to run 60 or so issues in total. Some say it's crass and childish. I think it's a fun ride that titillates yet raises some questions about superheroes and whether they do more harm than good with all the power they have. Plus Hughie looks like Simon Pegg. That's pretty damn awesome. Can't wait to see how it all ends.

That's all for this week.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Thor


You know, after hearing all of the comparisons between Thor and Green Lantern, I expected it to be better. People were downright brutal when at heart, they're very similar movies, with each learning how to become a hero. Thor does have Anthony Hopkins and dudes being smacked by a hammer, so there is that.

That's not to say it's a bad movie, but the way people raved about it, I thought it was going to be the bees knees. I can't say I'm much of a Thor fan though I do enjoy the character in the comics. He's a fun guy. Drinks. Fights. Drops lightning bolts on people. In this case, we're exposed to the more arrogant, not yet a hero version of Thor. He is the son of the king and feels pretty entitled to being the heir and doing whatever the hell he wants. Unfortunately, that backfires and he's exiled to earth to learn a little humility. That's ok though, since he's palling around with Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgard.

If that's what exile brings you, sign me up, because it sounds pretty fucking awesome.

It's a decently written movie with good performances from the cast and good special effects. I particularly enjoyed the way they had the advanced civilization of the Asgardians be portrayed as gods. The outfits are a step up from the comics, too, though honestly the only one that would be a problem is Loki, as he's kind of goofy. They do his costume justice here.

I think the high point of the film is the appearance by another Avenger in it. I think that got the biggest thrill from me as the dude in there is quite a badass. Just another way that Marvel shows they know what they're doing with their universe building. They name drop other heroes and they show up in the films and it makes you feel like there's actually some substance to it all. Contrast this to the DC world where the heroes never meet.

All in all, Thor is a fun film, but I think Green Lantern hit more of the right notes for me as a fan of the comics. That doesn't mean I'm not psyched for Avengers though. I cannot wait for that movie.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Novel Word Count: 9.4.11


47104 / 80000 words. 59% done!

Looks like someone was productive today. Might be this guy right here.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Amber Heard

You know, after wiki-ing Amber for a bit for research, I think she might have bad luck with horror movies. First All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is still unreleased and then John Carpenter's The Ward is delayed a year or so with it finally getting picked up during the summer. Odd. A shame too, since she's a talent that needs to be seen. And I need to see more horror movies.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

Unreleased movies can be hit or miss. A lot of times they're unreleased they're terrible and I guess the studio doesn't think they can make their money back on it and don't want to release a dud. Other times, it seems like they've just fallen through the cracks due to one reason or another. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is one of the latter. It has been finished, it had a distributor that dropped it and now it seems like nobody wants to pick them up. Yet it has a release in Europe on dvd, which is where I got it. It's a shame, too, because it's a really good little slasher movie that people should be able to watch.

Amber Heard stars as Mandy Lane, the titular girl and an outsider that, well, all the boys love. She gets invited out to a weekend getaway at a friend's Texas ranch and they all pile into the car and go out there. Unfortunately, it seems like someone else is following them and once they get there, the kids start getting picked off one by one. It seems like someone might love Mandy Lane enough to kill for her.

It's not a groundbreaking film and won't change your views on slasher movies, but it's a solid flick. The acting is tight and Amber Heard shines in the lead. I can believe all the boys want her. She's beautiful. The rest of the kids are decent and despite a lot of them being kind of dicks and only wanting to nail Mandy, you actually start to care a bit for them before they start getting offed. They're not terrible people. They're just kids.

And the cinematography is gorgeous. There are some shots that are absolutely breathtaking in this movie and they make the most out of their environment with great shots of folks running in the fields and great use of color too. One of the best looking horror movies that I've seen in awhile.

The story is pretty lean but kids go to party all the time so that's not a stretch and they all have some interesting backgrounds and are fairly fleshed out. The killer's identity might not come as a surprise but then again, since his identity ties into Mandy, it makes sense, which is more than I can say for some other films.

Random note: before watching this movie, I thought it was a different type of movie. I didn't expect it to be a slasher film. By the title and some out of context shot on the net, I thought it would be like that Valentine's Day episode of Buffy where Xander casts a love spell and all the girls in the town want him and try to get him by any means necessary, with Mandy fending off the guys and maybe having to kill him. I was kind of disappointed when it wasn't but not much, since it's a fun movie. And now I can make the other one. :)

God knows when you're going to be able to see this movie, but the dvd is region free if you find a place to import it from. It's definitely worth a watch.

Check it out.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Comics for 8.30.11

Got some new comics today and they were pretty damn good.

JLA#1: The first issue released from the 52 issue reboot of continuity by DC Comics. It was good. Definitely an opening issue to get people on board with the forming of the league, and it mostly centers on Batman and Green Lantern meeting for the first time. Well drawn and well written, my only complaint would be that I already know they know each other in the other continuity so I just want to see them go kick ass. It's a set-up issue but worth your time if you want to check out an iteration of the league that features the big guns.

ASM #668: Spider-Island continues, with the infestation brawl from last issue concluding thanks to your friendly, neighborhood...Peter Parker? Good issue. I love the chaos that's spawning from a bunch of NY citizens getting spider powers. Great appearances from other heroes and there an ongoing mystery I must have missed in previous issues concerning the identity of one of the researchers at Horizon Labs, where Peter works. The character is hidden and we only get vague references to their identity. Wonder who it is?

Angel & Faith #1: Spoilers, if you haven't been reading Buffy and pick this up just for the title characters like I did, you will have parts of that series ruined for you. I didn't really care as I dropped off that series about halfway through. This is a fun little issue, following the legacy of a character and how Angel and Faith are going to make things right. I love both characters so having an series with them in it is rather fun. I believe it's a mini, but I'll probably get it all now.

Goon #35: Pick this issue up. Seriously. It's hilarious. Guest writer Evan Dorkin spins a tale of the Goon and Frankie and a mysterious carnival. Fantastic stuff. It seems like every panel has a gem of a quote in it and I couldn't stop laughing at it. The art, as always, is beautiful and by Eric Powell. One of my favorite series and I'm so glad it's back off of hiatus. Everyone needs to be reading this series. For crying out loud, I did a spit take during this issue, though to be honest, I tend to do one with every issue of the Goon. It's just that good and I should really know by now not to be drinking anything when I start perusing the pages of a new installment. Cheap whiskey went everywhere.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Doctor Who: The Monsters Inside

Doctor Who: The Monsters InsideDoctor Who: The Monsters Inside by Stephen Cole

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A decent little read that finds the Doctor taking Rose to her first alien planet. Unfortunately, this gets them locked up in the local prison system and now they have to get out before an old enemy takes them out for good. Not my favorite monster of the Doctor's but one that is put to good use in the setting and I love reading more of Christopher Eccleston's Doctor and his adventures. A pleasant way to pass a warm summer evening.



View all my reviews

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Jeez. In a week where we already had an earthquake, we get hit with a Category 1 hurricane named Irene. Granted, the earthquake was just a little wobbling, this was a much bigger deal, especially when you're near the shore and there's a possibility of flooding and downed trees and the like since that was the zone it was likely to hit. I'll admit I was nervous. Not to a crazy degree like some people who went mad buying supplies, but I made sure my ducks were in order, that is for sure with crank radios and cell phone chargers and water and the like. And it was my first hurricane in the new house, so understandable I was a little shaky hoping my home would stand up to it.

How was it?

Well, it wasn't as bad as I expected, but it was still a little scary. The winds around 9pm on were terrifyingly strong and blasting the house with rain, of which we got a ton. And it went on forever, it seemed. Eventually there was a tornado warning and we vacated to the basement of the house where it was much quieter and I actually fell asleep down there on an inflatable mattress. Still some residual stuff to pass through right now and then hopefully we'll be done by, I dunno, tomorrow? I had been through hurricanes before but I think that was the slowest one and Saturday seemed to go on forever waiting for it.

I hope those others out there who went through it got out alright and everything is ok with your and yours.

Also, we cleaned up the yard but left a straggler out there in the hurricane. Fortunately, he survived and didn't budge an inch.



Go VT gnome!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake!

Really odd day today. It was a normal day at work and I was done with lunch and getting back to work when I noticed I was wobbling in my chair a bit. I thought someone was fucking with me but when I turned around, nobody was there moving the chair and it was moving me of its own accord. Then I noticed that other things in the room were moving and when I stood up, the wibbly-wobblyness continued.

After going out into the hall and conferring with other bewildered co-workers, we figured it was an earthquake and then it was pretty much over. Turns out that there was a 5.9 magnitude quake in central Virginia and we felt the shocks all the way up in NJ. Hell, they even reached as far as Toronto.

No damage and I checked to make sure my family in VA was ok. They were. Odd experience. I mean, nobody really expects an earthquake so having one hit you is a rather unusual feeling. I'm glad everyone is ok.

Now after this, we have to worry about the fucking hurricane that's heading our way. Joy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Novel Word Count: 8.22.11


44197 / 80000 words. 55% done and climbing. I need to take a day off and write. All of this stopping and starting just kills me. Though honestly, I'd probably just end up playing MW2 so this lunchtime writing is good for now.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Monster X Strikes Back/Attack the G8 Summit

I decided on some lighter fare this time around on Friday Night Frights, so I popped in the copy of Monster X Strikes Back from Netflix. This film, a not-serious sequel to The X from Outer Space, is mainly a comedy and parody of giant monster flicks. The plot revolves around the G8 Summit, where leaders have gathered to discuss the state of the world. They're rudely interrupted when Guilala, the X from space, decides to crash land on Earth and wreak havoc. Now, the leaders are faced with a true crisis that they seem to be unable to handle. Meanwhile, two reporters have stumbled upon a remote village where they might have the scoop of a lifetime when the village god, Take-Majin, decides to answer their prayers and get involved in the fray.

This god is played by and meant to represent Takeshi Kitano. That is awesome. The rest of the movie is decent as well. I think it can be enjoyed by all, but a knowledge of monster movies will help you get the most of it, as there are references to several Godzilla films, Daimaijin and more that you might miss otherwise. The score even resembles that of some of Akira Ifukube's more popular themes and music from the Godzilla movies. Most of the tropes involved should be familiar enough to even passing fans though so I don't see anything being lost.

The acting by the Japanese members of the cast is good. The English speaking cast members? Not so much. That might be part of the humor too, as they're regularly terrible in Japanese monster films, though there are exceptions. It's a comedy though so I'm not looking for much, though I guess hammy acting would have been better than the cheese we got. I did get a kick out of the UK representative of the summit, who had no accent whatsoever. Could have tried a little bit, I think. Ah well.

It's not the best monster movie, or even the best monster movie comedy, but it's a decent effort and the nuttiness and charm win you over rather easily, especially after a beer or two.

Check it out.

Hobo With a Shotgun

It was a tale of two movies last night, though ultimately I only watched one all the way through. We had started off with Sucker Punch, as I didn't think I could go wrong with girls fighting ridiculous creatures with guns and swords. I found out that indeed, I could. I was bored to tears, even during the fight scenes and abandoned the movie after about 25 minutes, which is unusual. I mean, I sat through freaking Octaman. Anyhow, after that dismal choice of a film, I booted up Netflix and convinced the wife to watch Hobo with a Shotgun instead.

Now THAT was a fun flick.

Done in the style of the 70s/80s thriller exploitation flicks, Hobo with a Shotgun stars Rutger Hauer as the titular character who comes to Scumtown, where the Drake family rules with a deliriously crazy fist and murder people in the streets. Well, the Hobo has enough of that early on and due to some events that leave him beaten and scarred, decides to clean up the town with, well, a shotgun. And clean it up he does, as heads are blown off, chests are exploded and limbs are amputated with pump action fury.

And it has Stanley Tweedle in it. You know, the janitor/captain from Lexx? No? Well, go hunt that down if you want some additional lunacy. He turns in a great turn as Drake, who stages most of the murders in the town with the help of his sons, who are also maniacs. Hauer is fantastic as the Hobo, gruff, yet compassionate and also full of some righteous, rail-riding anger.

There's blood, guns, guts, boobs and more and it comes together well in this gleefully violent romp. I'd say out of the two movies I watched, this one actually delivers to the audience and keeps you wanting more. It might take a bit before the Hobo starts shotgunning people, but you're actually interested in his plight. Wish I could say the same for Babydoll and friends in Suckerpunch.

As I said on twitter, I should start up a Saturday Night Splatter tag, though I have enough trouble rocking out the movies on Friday, that to take the tv from my wife for two days in a row might get me in trouble.

Check it out.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ghost Story

Ghost Story (The Dresden Files,  #13)Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


WARNING: Spoilers for Changes, the previous books, within. Though they are on the book cover so it might not be necessary.

Jim Butcher knocks it out of the park again with the latest in his Dresden Files series. Ghost Story picks up where Changes (and by extent Side Jobs) left off with wizard Harry Dresden dead but not out of the picture, as his ghost has returned to earth. What's he doing there? He figures it's to help out a few of his friends and maybe help stop Chicago from going to hell without him.

It's a fun tale, even if the main character is dead, and we adapt to his new situation as he does. It's interesting to see Dresden, who is a rather gung-ho character, have to stop and think this time around instead of brute forcing his way through everything. After tearing through the previous novels last summer, I've been waiting for this novel for awhile and it doesn't disappoint, hitting all the notes that are expected in a Dresden novel, answering some questions and setting up others for future novels. And after the way this one ends, I can't wait for the next one either.

Check it out.



View all my reviews

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Novel 8.19.11


43493 / 80000 words. 54% done!

More words. Not a big jump today. I was fixing up some previous entries so there wasn't much new stuff put down on the paper.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Novel Word Count


42922 / 80000 words. 54% done!

Because, why not? I don't really know if 80k words is going to be the end/limit of this novel, but it seems like a good number to me. I'm about halfway there and it feels like it, story-wise. I've been writing for awhile but haven't thought to put a meter up. I like it and it helps keep me motivated and now I can share with everyone.

The name of the novel? The Secret Life of Astro-Girl. It's a superhero novel and should be some fun.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

MTG Playmat

Finally finished a custom MTG playmat that I had begun awhile ago. I ordered the playmat months ago and had the art created in Photoshop and printed onto iron-on transfers but I lacked one important thing. An iron. I also didn't have some paint that I wanted to use to color in the top and the bottom of the playmat and doing that with the iron-ons might have been difficult in terms of lining them up. It also made it a little less plain as the images on the white mat might not have been enough to bring it all together. Then last night I got an iron and finally had some time to do it today. I think it came out well for a first attempt.

I was working on the art for two mats concurrently, though I'm not sure if I'll use that for the next one. This one, obviously, is of a few Green Lanterns. Namely, my favorite, Kyle Rayner and the two loves of his life, Soranik Natu and Jade. Though Jade's costume is more Savage Land in the art I found than GL. And I put in Power Girl too. And green Dalek that appears to be startled by Power Girl's crotch. I'm a pervert though so that's probably the reasoning behind it. That and I like Power Girl and Daleks and it seemed like a good way to fit them in.

The next playmat I had art for would actually be all Power Girl. I might try something a little less benign for play in the store though as I don't want to weird people out. Though maybe that could be an advantage for me if they're distracted while they play.

The ironing method of playmat creation seems to work pretty well so far, though I haven't tried any durability test or anything on it. It looks nice though there are a few spots where it burned a bit during the overlapping transfer paper. Note to self--don't do that. Also, getting the backings off of them was difficult as I cut them around the art and that makes it tricky around arms and legs and smaller parts of the art. Next time I might just make some rectangles or squares to put on instead. Might look nicer and give me a cleaner border.

It's cheaper than getting a custom one printed via a few of the online venues and better looking I think than some of said online ones where it's not a playmat but some other thing like a doormat or bar mat that you're basically re-purposing. I might try one of the online ones later on but at 30-50 bucks a pop. This came out way cheaper at around 20 for the mat and the paper, maybe a little less.

I'll report more on it as I get some use out of it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Octaman

From the depths of, um, a river, comes a horrific horror the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. Behold, the eight armed maven of massacre, the OCTAMAN! That sentence right there, kids? That's more excitement than you'll find in the movie, and I just made that up. Still, tonight's Friday Night Fright was entertaining in its own, charming way.

The plot of the movie follows a scientist studying the pollution levels around an area in Mexico and wondering if the radiation will have any effect on the wildlife. He needn't have wondered, as these conditions have already spawned a horrific creature that is part octopus and part man and all nutty. Though honestly, I'm not sure the radiation/pollution angle was responsible for the monster as apparently he attacked some dude's relatives in a flashback, which makes it seem like the creature has been wandering around for awhile.

And wander he does. While the scientist captures the Octaman's children and stuffs them scientifically into buckets, the monster wastes no time in moseying on down to the RV that the people are using as a base and freeing them, usually with some hot tentacle slapping action and possibly a strangulation or two. For a creature seven feet tall and covered with suckers, he sure manages to sneak up on people quite a bit. I can't imagine that he has ninja-like abilities, but apparently, he can pop in and out faster than the Majini zombies in last week's RE: Afterlife. Also, he can turn around and blend in with the terrain, if you think that the back of a rubber suit matches said terrain, that is.

The acting is wooden and the plot lifts a bit from Gorgo, but the creature costume is where the movie really shines. The design is interesting, albeit executed not as well as it could be, with some shots of it really making it look horrific and covered in slime and imposing, whereas others (most of the film) look like it just rolled out of storage for a quick take.

And they don't skimp on the monster action. In too many of these films, they hide the design and the action scenes are few and far between. It might not be for the best, but Octaman shows off the creature during the opening credits and its rare for the movie to go more than ten minutes without him popping up in either an impromptu attack or just to leer at the lady in the film, who sadly, remains clothed. Or maybe gladly, as it didn't seem like she had assets that would improve the film.

If you're a fan of men in rubber suits for your monsters, I would check this one out, simply for some nostalgia of when they tried to make some good monster flicks for TV. This may not be one of them, but as a kid watching horror host shows on Saturday afternoons, this would have been a gem.

Check it out.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Hercules

I have to hand it to the Italians. Just as I was entering a funk over my vacation ending, I find a film that turns it all around with its insanity. That gem is Hercules, as recommended to me by The Vicar of VHS and his numerous tweets celebrating the insanity of the film and persuading me to watch it.

I'm glad I did, for the movie is a veritable smorgasbord of bizarreness and hysterical production choices. As you guess from the poster, the film is a very science-fiction inspired version of Hercules, replete with flashing lights and cyborg creatures and of course, SCIENCE! In what could be one of my favorite opening sequences ever, we're treated to a retelling of the origin of the universe that involves a computerized Pandoras's Box breaking open and ample explosions and lens flares. And it goes on for about five minutes, where we're finally treated to the idea of Hercules as he is fashioned by Zeus up on the moon and sent to Earth as a ball of light that invades a baby and takes him over.

It only gets better from there.

After being saved from the murders that claim his real parents, Hercules lives the life of a farmer with his family until his father is killed by a bear, which our hero promptly tosses into space and his mother I believe is killed by what proves to be the first of many robots. I was rather inebriated by the film though so I might be misremembering. After that, he torches the family home and heads out for adventure where he meets Cassiopea and her kingly father and then becomes embroiled in a battle to save the world from King Minos and his fabled science and robots. And Sybil Danning. In the process he befriends a sorceress named Circe and performs many feats of derring-do.

What kind of feats? Cleaning stables, fighting a clockwork hydra, throwing beams into space. The usual.

This movie is a fantastic cure for the summertime blues. It's played straight and that makes it all the more fun as Hercules fights ridiculous foes and situations with a serious face and sometimes dodgy effects. The stop motion is actually rather good in this movie and one of the highlights whenever it shows up. There are a lot of lens flares and other extraneous effects but they just make it more over the top and fun. The only complaint I might make is that there was a severe lack of nudity, but that might just be because I expect it in my sword and sorcery flicks.

As with most Cozzi films I've seen, this one rips off quite a few others, like the Beastmaster (bear killing the father). It's all in good fun and spotting the possible influences just adds to the experience.

Check. It. Out.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

I don't get out to the movies often as of late, but somehow I managed to go see Green Lantern and now Captain America this summer. Cap was my first 3D movie too, unless you count Nightmare Before Christmas when that was released in 3D awhile back. They were both done in post, so I'll allow it. I have to say, I'm not really sold on the technology. It annoys me to wear glasses over glasses and I don't really need to see scenes of Steve Rogers doing push ups in 3D. I'd rather they did what some of the Harry Potters did in IMAX and just have you put them on for certain scenes. Might be easier on the eyes too.

But I digress.

I thought Captain America was well done. It really captured the feel of the comic and also the look of the old serials, which isn't a surprise and Joe Johnston, the director, was also responsible for The Rocketeer, which also captured the 40s well. If you're not familiar with the story, it's basically about how a young man who isn't a prime physical specimen but has a good heart becomes a super soldier after scientific experiments. As far as origins go, it's simple, but they draw it out rather long and while it is done well, I think it detracts from what could have been more action later on.

The cast is great. I think Evans is a fair Captain America. He does well with the material and I'm a fan, but I think his look is a little off and someone like John Barrowman might have a more Captain America-ish look. Tommy Lee Jones is great as his commanding officer and the love interest in the movie, whose name I can't be arsed to look up, is pretty and charming and kicks some tail. I think the real scene stealer is Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull. He takes what could have been someone who just stands around laughing maniacally and gives him some real depth and determination in his quest to conquer the world.

It's a fun flick, though I'd see it in 2D instead, unless you're a fan of 3D, in which case do whatever you like. Personally, I hate paying more for it and then they ask me to recycle my glasses afterward. Fuck that noise. I paid for them. They be mine and are coming home with me.

Anyhow, for a fun popcorn movie this summer with superheroes, check out Green Lantern. If you can't find that, Captain America will do you just fine.

Resident Evil: Afterlife

It took awhile, but I finally saw Resident Evil: Afterlife, the latest and greatest RE movie. I was going to watch it awhile ago on Netflix, but Sony wigged out and had their shit removed while they hammered out a contract that I still don't know if they finished. So I taped it off of Starz. Works for me. Unfortunately, the film didn't.

Honestly, it was boring.

And that's a cardinal sin for an action horror film. I can't say that the third movie was fantastic, but it at least kept me interested and the first two films I think are great fun. The movie did look pretty and had some interesting set design and zombie choices, in particular the majini zombies and the executioner, who is my nemesis from RE5. The characters were interesting enough for the film too, but they just don't get much to do. Alice spends quite a bit of time flying around talking to the camera, eventually finding Claire and then flying around and talking to the camera. Which is a letdown after watching Alice multihandedly take down an Umbrella base in the beginning.

The deaths were few and uninspiring. A lot of the cast gets taken quickly and without a lot of gore by the majinis, who are like ninjas, apparently. The others don't die in an interesting manner. The effects, when used, were well done, however.

It was nice to see more of the human side of Alice, since we're used to her being an unstoppable killing machine and you get some fan favorite characters making their appearance in the series, or reappearance, if you count Wesker having more to do. He doesn't get used well though. You see him in the beginning and I'll spoiler nothing really in saying he's the bad guy at the end, who doesn't show up until the movie is almost done. I think that's the big problem with the plot. You basically have several situations to deal with. Alice is looking for a place called Arcadia and can't find it. Then she goes to a prison and they have to get out before they're overrun. Then you deal with the villian. It seems like the two points could have been saved for separate movies, with finding Arcadia being one and maybe the prison being another. As it is, you don't spend enough time to care about them.

A lackluster entry in a fun series, but there's not much excitement or a body count in a series that has killed off the entire earth. They might have jumped the gun there and if they had drawn it out and maybe only infected some countries.

If they make another using the villain they have set up, I'll be very happy though. Just saying.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Drive Angry

No, it's not what I do on the GSP. Ok, it's not just what I do on the GSP, it's also a movie starring Nicholas Cage and it is fantastic. Cage stars as a man who is hunting down a charismatic cult leader before said leader can sacrifice a baby to the Devil. Cage, named John Milton, has a few secrets of his own, having escaped from what he refers to as "prison" and everyone he meets seems to think he was dead. He is joined on his quest by a waitress, played by Amber Heard, and stalked relentlessly by a man who calls himself The Accountant (William Fichtner). Oh, and Milton has one hell of a special shotgun in a wooden case in the back of his car, along with his trusty pump action shotgun, which he uses to great effect.

I loved this movie. I had heard almost nothing on it, save for a few blurbs in Fangoria that said it was fucking awesome and to check it out as nobody did in theaters. I'm glad I did. It's an action-horror film, complete with gore, cultists and some supernatural elements. And really sweet cars. It seems like almost every scene is a car chase or a gunfight in the cars, when they're not having gun fights out of the cars. It's fun and doesn't take itself too seriously and I think even works as a companion piece to the Ghost Rider films, though this one is clearly a little more on the violent side of vengeance.

A fun ride from start to finish with some solid performances from the actors involved and well worth checking out. Too bad I didn't see this on Friday, as it could have been part of Friday Night Frights. Maybe I can do Monday Night Maniacs too? We shall see.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Balthor EDH

Finally got a card order last week so I could finish off my build of a Balthor, the Defiled EDH deck. I went with a zombie tribal theme, so much so that all of my creatures are zombies in one form or another. I know a lot of others use utility cards and other creatures to support them but I chose not to do that. It could work against me, but I have my hopes. I am also lacking a lot of the standard acceleration items for it and other staples. Not because I don't have them physically, but more because I don't think they necessarily fit the theme I had going. I can always throw them in later, but I want to see how it fares first. I am very creature heavy though so I might end up cutting some in favor of some equipment or more spells. It was hard finding spells that fit what I wanted to do and were cheap, too. I wouldn't mind blowing a fat wad of cash if I had lots of expendable income, but I don't, so even something like 10 bucks a card is a little pricey for me.

I'll have a full list posted sometime soon. No time now. Then I'll ask for some suggestions. I'm happy with it and can't wait to test it out. My bro is coming up this week so maybe we can try some EDH games, though I'm not looking forward to trying to shuffle 100 sleeved cards. Yikes.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Storm Front

No, not the Dresden novel, which is awesome. I'm talking about the hellacious storm that hit NJ last night and apparently my section of town the hardest of all. Trees and limbs down everywhere. For quite a while, it was a wall of white water outside the door and you couldn't see farther than a few feet. Lightning was striking everything and the thunder was shaking the houses. Even though we are on the hospital grid, power was out until midnight. It was like judgment descending on us. And thus I watched no horror movies last night and have to bust out my axe and chop some limbs. Tree limbs, that is. Hell of a night.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rotting Legion 3D




Finished off a Rotting Legion 3D card. Sounds like a movie. It's not. But it certainly lends itself to layers. Probably could have done more but I didn't trust myself with the small cuts yet.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Workspace



For those curious, this is a shot of my work space. Nothing permanent, as I usually have to move everything before dinner. A cutting mat is key as it helps you prolong the life of your blades. I use an exacto knife and #11 blades, though others might suffice. I find them rather durable and flexible though so I stick with them. To paste them together, I use Aleene's Tacky Glue. Just a dab will do you and it doesn't seem to permeate and warp cards like Elmer's White Glue does.

3-D Magic Cards

Besides movies and comics and customs, one of my other hobbies that I picked up is making 3-D renditions of Magic cards. Basically, you cut out several layers and toss in some spacers and glue them all together and then you're done. That's more of a simplification of it but it can be rather simple, as I've illustrated below with a few tokens.


Goblin Token with new background


Myr Token


Germ Token


Soldier Token with new background

It's a fun way to pass the time and invest myself in something I love. I also make life counters out of them, which is a little more involved, but not much more, as it just means cutting out a space for some counters.

Enjoy.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Doctor Who and the Daleks

I decided to keep my fare a little lighter this Friday as I was short on time for a movie. I chose Dr. Who and the Daleks as my film of choice. This non-canon production was part of two movies developed by Amicus for the big screen and featured Peter Cushing as Dr. Who. Yes, he's actually called Dr. Who in this one.

Dr. Who builds TARDIS and with Susan, Barbara and her boyfriend Ian, they take it for a spin and end up on a world ravaged by war between two races, some peace loving farmers who look like Stuart from MadTV and the titular Daleks. The Daleks look really striking in this movie, coming in an assortment of colors that makes me want to catch them all. I think one was even in D&H livery, which means I have trains on the brain from work. They're appropriately menacing and devious and I always like seeing them on the screen. Dr. Who and his family are well done too, actually feeling like a unit as they try to survive.

It has decent effects for the time and the Daleks actually look more imposing than the ones on the little screen from around the same time, standing taller. I'm looking forward to watching the sequel soon as it brings the Daleks to Earth to cause some trouble. The film is definitely worth a viewing just for completionist's sake and Cushing makes a great Doctor, even if it isn't canon. I enjoy the doddering inventor take on the character though he handles himself well in crisis.

Check it out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Planechase: Zombies will murder you

Ok, so that's not the name of the deck. I think it's Zombie Empire but I can't really be bothered to check right now. I bought it awhile ago but since my playing partner has been MIA, it has languished as I prepare to break it up for an EDH deck. I wanted to play it at least once though so I jumped at the chance to use it today. I basically played it as is, though I dropped in Lashwrithe because I wanted to use that badly.

First game wasn't very stellar. It did show me some of the limitations of the deck and also of my bad shuffling. I landed some good creatures but the deck I was playing against (Dragons from Knights vs. Dragons) had just too much removal or damage and I got burned from the board and then to death. I will place a little blame on letting my opponent just draw lands from the bottom of his deck and not shuffle afterward because it was casual. Never again. For all I know he could have been top decking all the good stuff he was playing. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered. Maybe he would have drawn better stuff if he had shuffled. Still, I lost and I didn't really have any answers or good critters in hand to do any damage.

The second game went a little better. I pulled my seven and forgot to cut my deck so I shuffled again and let it get cut and then drew. I had a better hand than the one I did originally, with 3 swamps, an Ascendant Evincar, a Dark Ritual, Lashwrithe and something else being the draw. The first two turns I played swamps and a weak zombie I pulled. Turn 3 I played a swamp and Dark Ritual for the Evincar, giving my zombie a buff and destroying 3 of my opponent's creatures. Turn 4 I land another swamp and play Lashwrithe and then pay 4 life (2 Phyrexian Mana) to equip it. Then I swing with the Evincar. On my opponents turn he plays two 1/1s that immediately get sent to the grave, one of them dealing me some damage as the result of an ability. Turn 5 I play another swamp and a Profane Command that I had pulled a previous draw and choose to do him three damage and put three -1/-1 counters on his wall, killing it. Then I swing for the win.

A draw like that is pretty baller though lucky, considering I only had one Evincar and Lashwrithe in there. That's they way the deck is built though, with few duplicates of cards as it is mainly a toolbox type of build. I like the deck. It has the potential in the long game to get some big beats onto the board with its lords and features some recursion to bring back a threat. It's a little light in the weenie department and I could have benefited from some quicker guys to get in some hits early on. Something like a Drudge Skeleton or a Re-Assembling Skeleton would be perfect, as I could chump and recur and with the ability of the Death Baron, buff them and make them even more deadly blockers. I think it could use a better mana curve, too. Yes, there are some means to get the big guys out fast as I did the second game, but I wouldn't rely on them unless I upped the Dark Ritual or Cabal Coffers count, the latter of which I didn't see at all.

Of course, some of this might be to blame on Planechase, as the deck is clearly meant to take advantage of the different planes that come with the deck. Perhaps next time I can use them.

Offhand, I can think of a couple of additions. One or more lords. Another Warchief and Death Baron or two would be perfect, especially with the low cost of the DBs and their ability to buff skeletons as well, of which the two I mentioned would be perfect. More removal would be nice, or some more recursion. Maybe both. I had some clever stuff, but I would have killed for a Doom Blade that first game. It's too good not to have in. Coat of Arms could be interesting, though it could work against you depending on your opponent's deck. Vampire Nighthawks I think would be great. They're still undead so kind of thematic, get buffed by the Evincar and provide some flying bodies that will deter dragons and other annoying creatures from striking at you. When equipped with Lashwrithe, they're absolutely stellar. By turn 4 or earlier, you could be hitting them for 8 life and gaining that much, which helps offset Phyrexian mana usage and the Phyrexian Arena.

Overall, I like it. I might hold off breaking it up for the EDH deck (I'm missing the general anyway) and give it another shot once I meddle with it a bit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Memorial Valley Massacre

I got delayed a bit on Friday as I was watching Torchwood: Miracle Day, so I didn't get a chance to check out this gem until Saturday evening. I got it on a Brentwood dvd set that I'm finally going through, initially only watching the two blind dead films on it. I was missing out on a lot and I can only hope the others are this good.

The basic premise of the story revolves around a brand new campground that is opening on Memorial Day. Unfortunately, there have been some strange happenings around the site and soon those happening escalate to murder. Also, they're being perpetrated by a caveman-like hermit. Honest. Anyhow, quite a few people up and leave right at the beginning, leaving us with our cast that ranges from likable, like the hero and his love interest, to despicable, which would be a rude little fat kid who steals things. Throw in some horny campers, bikers and some ex-military folk and have a dynamite mix.

Memorial Valley Massacre teeters on that fine edge of greatness and crap. Some of the characters are honest, simple sorts. Others are rather ludicrous, resulting in some fine moments like the impromptu cocktease dance in the rain (to no music!). Then there's the caveman. Much like feral kid from the Road Warrior all grown up, the caveman stalks and hunts his prey and is prone to sudden fits of smashing things. He doesn't like dogs or campers very much and hates ATVs. Also, he might try to get a little boob grab in when he's attacking you. A caveman has needs, I guess.

If you're looking for the best slasher set in a campground on Memorial Day in Memorial Valley, look no further. Watch it with some friends and get your drink on and you have a good and short way to kill some time. The kills are decent too, with some spears through the chest, some neck breaking, explosions, an axe to the chest and even death by pickup truck. Check it out.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

It Came From The Attic


When I get bored on a three day weekend, unproductive things happen. This is one of them.

Monday, July 04, 2011

The H-Man

TCM was really knocking it out of the park with some fun sci-fi marathons on Thursdays last month. Most of them were movies I had seen already, but last week they showed one that I had sadly never seen before--The H-Man, a science-fiction film from director Ishiro Honda. It was rather amazing.

After a nuclear explosion, some creatures are formed. These monsters are a living liquid that creeps and crawls and dissolves people, which is their way of eating people. They also can take on ghostly, monstrous forms, which also dissolve people. A scientist, the police, a night club singer and mobsters are all woven into the tale which pits them against each other and the creatures as they try to survive.

It's a quick and fun movie, with decent special effects. The dissolving scenes are rather creepy and the ooze itself is well done, looking better than a similar monster in The Blob. I found it interesting that at its heart, the movie is a mobster movie with the monsters really playing more of an incidental part until the end scenes in the sewers. The similarities between these scenes and the remake of The Blob lead me to wonder if the latter film took inspiration from this movie. Any movie with a scantily clad cadre of night club singers is fine by me as well.

Well worth checking out.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Green Lantern

I miss the days when I could just run out and see a movie opening night. Having a baby necessitates that I must reign in such desires, at least until I can get a baby sitter. Well, with a sitter gotten, the wife and I rolled out to see our first movie in awhile, and it was Green Lantern, one of my favorite super heroes. Being a big fanboy for GL, what did I think of this film that seems to be reviled by most? I loved it, of course.

I'm sure my fanaticism for it helps fuel my liking for it, but really, it was actually quite good. Is it going to blow you away? Maybe if you're a big fan. I think if you liked something like Iron Man, you'll enjoy this. There's a lot of material that they try to fit into the movie and I'll admit that distilling the essence of the early Hal Jordan stories, most of which was expanded on over multiple issues, is a daunting task. There's Hal Jordan's history and his friends and family. There's the history of the Corps itself. There's Parallax, the villain of the piece. Can't forget Hector Hammond, a sympathetic villain who is actually used better than in the comics. And more. It's all balanced rather well and we jump from Earth to space and back again and cover quite a lot of territory in the sub-two hour run time. And it's necessary. By getting this out of the way, we are free to frolic in a sequel. But that's the future.

Ryan Reynolds is great as GL. He brings a humanity and humor to Hal Jordan that is missing from the comics, where the character comes off as rather bland. He's a real great in and out of costume and does a fantastic job acting against a green screen and in a mocap suit for most of the movie. Blake Lively is sexy and confident as his boss/friend, Carol Ferris. Mark Strong is suitably tough as Sinestro and Peter Skaarsgard is a sniveling Hector Hammond.

The effects are top notch and I had little complaints about them as they brought to life Oa and multiple members of the Corps in their fights against Parallax. Indeed, any complaint I might have is that we didn't see enough of the Corps. I could just watch as the camera panned from member to member, but that wouldn't have been very exciting for everyone else, but the ones we're left with like Tomar Re and Kilowog are fantastic.

It might not be everyone's cup of tea and maybe a knowledge of the comics would help more people, but I think the movie does a fine job of providing an intro into the world of Green Lantern and sets us up with plenty of places to go in the next installment.

Check it out.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy

I make no secret of it. I love men in rubber suits. Not the bondage kind, the monster kind. Godzilla. Gamera. Ultraman. I think the movies and tv shows are fantastic. So you can imagine my glee when I booted up Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy where I got to see just about every Ultraman and a slew of monsters that they face duke it out as the good guys try to stop the evil Ultraman Belial.

Ultraman Belial, the aforementioned villian, once was a hero. He tried to take the light that keeps the planet of the Ultramen alive and was exiled for it. After combining with an evil monster, Belial tried to take it again but this time was imprisoned by Ultra King. Well, it's years later and some enterprising monster decides to free Belial so that he can have his help in conquering the universe. That goes over well as can be expected with an immediate betrayal and Belial succeeds in his quest to steal the light after fighting every Ultraman that gets in his path, plunging the planet into freezing night. It's up to a cadre of humans working with Ultraman, Mebius and Seven as well as the new Ultraman, Zero, to get the light back and rid the universe of the menace of Belial and save the world.

I won't tell you if that happens, but what I will say is that this movie knows how to deliver. It's almost constant action, with fight after fight from the opening minutes to the very end. Single combat. Group battles. Space battles. This movie has it all in spades. I have to say, it was awesome seeing Ultraman and Seven back in action again, as I grew up with them, as well as seeing all the other different Ultras that I have a passing familiarity with. The new monster design is off the chain too. Belial looks like Lord Zedd mixed with Carnage but not hilarious. Instead, he's very sinister and monstrous. The end monster is a fantastic creation that needs to be seen to be believed. Epic is the only word to describe it. And maybe creepy. I could almost throw this under a horror movie tag just for that creature alone.

I wasn't sure if I would like Zero but I think he's pretty badass, if a little overpowered in some of the fights, though he needs to be considering the power level of his opponents. He even has an almost mega-smasher-like finish. That gets cool points. Chest beams are cool. Trust me.

There's a sequel I'll have to check out now. If it's anything like this one, I'll be very entertained. Check it out.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wizard World Philly 2011

It was that time of year again. A time when comic fans from all over congregate in the city of Philadelphia for the Wizard World in our neck of the woods. This year was my first in awhile and my buddy's last for a bit. I had no real agenda this time around, having lost my Starman list of remaining issues I need for the whole set of floppies. We basically just rammed around jumping from booth to booth and checking out things that caught our eye.

The first thing we noticed was the largest line for WWP that I've ever seen. I've waited in line to get in there before, but that was usually before they opened, not an hour afterwards. It moved pretty quickly, but it was still annoying, though a larger turnout this year might mean a larger setup next year, which would be key, as it was still a relatively small show compared to past years when it felt like I could wander for hours and not see everything.

There were a bevy of stars there like Bruce Campbell, Pam Grier, Richard Roundtree, Nicholas Brendon, Torrie Wilson (so hot), Kristanna Loken (so hot) and more. I was more interested in the half priced trades and picked up two volumes of Morrison's New X-Men and the Jason vs. Freddy vs. Ash sequel that I trade waited on. I was hoping someone would have the new Commander decks but the few places I saw that might have them were sold out on Friday so I'll have to wait until new shipments come in.

I did pick up some new prints though not all that I wanted. One guy had a sweet Darkhawk print but I couldn't find another one he had that would let me take advantage of his pricing scheme. 15 for one was a little high but 20 for 2 is a little better. I did get three prints of the Doctor (4th, 9th and 10th) and a sweet Greg Horn Power Girl painting. Hopefully he finishes the one with the model train in it so I can get that too. I would have settled for the b&w art but that was not for sale.

It's not the biggest show, but it's a fun one and easy to get to for me since I just take 95 all the way in to the convention center.

Now to save up for NYCC in the fall, which should be a real blast if I can go.