Movie Review: TRANSFORMATIONS

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Movie Review: TRANSFORMATIONSImage Entertainment
1988
R

Space pilot John Wolf is attacked by a snot monster that transforms itself into a naked babe and gives him a bad rash. He then crash lands on the penal mining colony of Hephaestous IV, and runs afoul of a priest who thinks that an unspeakable apocalyptic evil is loose on the planet. Ugh…

I felt like I had a bad rash after suffering through this horrid movie. Poorly written, slow, badly acted, with incredibly bad sets. I’m beginning to see where the makers of Alien 3 ripped their ideas from. Actually, watching that sounds like a good palate cleanser. Pass this one up…

Musings On Journaling…

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Musings On Journaling...Why do we journal? Why do we feel compelled to jot down our thoughts, ideas, prose, general brain droppings (as I’ve come to refer to them as) is whatever scrap of paper we have lying around, notebook, computer word processor, actual journal, whatever. Do we think these will be read by someone in the future? Do we think we actually have something deep and relevant to say? Is it out of narcissism? Boredom? Or are we perhaps driven by some inexplicable urge to just write, either on paper or writing inside your head?

For me, it’s definitely the later explanation, with maybe a generous dollop of narcissism thrown in. Being a somewhat semi-serious writer, it just seems like a natural thing to do. As natural as always having a book or two in close proximity, or the slight anxiety I get when I realize I don’t have a notebook and writing utensil handy whenever the urge to jot down my brain droppings.

I don’t ever see myself not writing. I cannot fathom the day when I just lay down my pen, retire my word processor on the computer and whatnot, and say “well, I’m done.” If I lose my right hand, I will learn to write with my left. If I lose both hands, I will learn to write with my feet. If I find myself paralyzed from the neck down, stick the pen in my mouth. I will find away.

I started my first actual journal in High School, when I was required to keep one for my Sophomore English class. All year, I needed to maintain five pages per week. That teacher only counted the number of pages, and didn’t actually read them. So I got away with using wide-ruled paper, and copying the lyrics from my cassette tapes to fill them. My Senior year was different – the Creative Writing teacher actually read the required amount of pages, and jotted down suggestions and comments on them before he returned them. Still, I wasn’t all that serious about journaling then, despite having been bitten by the fiction writing bug at an earlier age. And while I kept a notebook journal off and on in the 1990s, I didn’t really get into it until a couple of years after the turn of the 21st Century. Specifically, when I started my first blog, on Live Journal.

I certainly don’t blog online as I once did when I started in 2004. This has to do most with only having a small amount of time with my computer after the work day is over. I find myself writing in my notebook journals before work and on Thursdays after work while sipping root beer at Sean O’Casey’s awaiting the arrival of the Exalted Geeks. And after all this time, I’m transcribing my scribblings and blog entries into a year-by-year collection on the word processor. Once in a while, I think or find inspiration to publish something on my current blog if I happen to believe it’s interesting enough to share with the entire world. Unfortunately, this has resulted in irregular updates and posts, which just looks lazy. It’s not, but the blog being public, and no one privy to my notebook journals, it doesn’t look as prolific as I really am. Not that I’m all that brilliant. Well, okay, maybe I am, but nobody really needs to know. For whatever reason.

Besides, I have a feeling my Master Journal will never truly be finished until I’ve breathed my last, and my body is found slumped over my computer, or more than likely my notebook.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Sunday A’La Carte – November 23, 2014

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sesame_street_thanksgivingHere we are, the week that includes Thanksgiving. That would be November 27th, here in the States. I realize that this is called the WORLD Wide Web that we’re all surfing about on, so to any non-American readers / followers / lack of better word that doesn’t make it sound like I’m conceited and egotistical about this blog of mine, I hope you enjoy your Thursday. That also goes to all of you fellow Americans who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving for whatever reason. Here’s wishing you a nice day off. Assuming you work at a job that affords Thanksgiving off. I really should derail this train of thought before I start veering off into territory I don’t want to find myself in.

snow skullAs for me, I’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving with my families. Twice, actually. Well, the first time was the second weekend of November, and it was referred to as “pseudo-Thanksgiving”, and featured soups instead of turkey and Gramma’s Cheesy Potatoes. Eh, it was decent enough, what with getting to catch up with family I haven’t seen for a while. The second Thanksgiving gathering happened yesterday, at the nursing home one of my Grandparents was imprisoned residing at. This one was a bit more intimate, but also had the turkey, pumpkin pie and the coveted Gramma’s Cheesy Potatoes that I seem to look forward to each year, despite my growing despondency over the seasons. Speaking of which…

Black Friday is coming up! You know what that means! Yep, the annual Holiday-Induced Downward Spiral! It’s that time of year that, due to my working retail during what is deemed the later part of the so-called “Golden Quarter” in business for several years, I grow more and more disillusioned with humanity as a whole as lip service is given to JOY, GOOD WILL towards their fellow MAN, GIVING and all sorts of other empty buzz words that have been sucked hollow yet tossed about like Pez candy, yet the actions of the very same people belie the ugly truth of the matter–namely, nobody really cares. It’s a means to an end. Shiny tinsel and bobbles on a dead and rotting tree. I will share in the worship in remembrance of the birth of my Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus, and I shall enjoy time with my family. But for me, December is probably the worst month out of the year.

And in case you were wondering: No, I’ve actually had a pretty good day today. Let’s move on to some lighter stuff, shall we?

on top of itFrom the Tempting Fate Department, this headline says it all: MICROSOFT HIRES DALEK-STYLE ROBOCOPS TO GUARD SILICON VALLEY HQ. I get the sense that, whoever decided to implement these things, maybe are the type who would read Brave New World and 1984 and think, “Hey, these are some great ideas, here!” Still, relieved they didn’t use The Terminator as a brainstorming session.

Blimey Cow is one of my subscriptions on my YouTube account, because it makes me laugh. And it has that off-beat sense of humor that seems to be missing from a bunch of youth groups I’ve helped out at over the decades. Here’s one listing the Ten Kids You Meet At Every Youth Group. Then, watch this one on How To Write A Worship Song In 5 Minutes (Or Less). Then, sit back and let the time-wasting happen.

From the different kind of irreverent awesome, over at Metal Sucks dot Net, they posted what metal lyrics would be like had they been penned by the Bard himself, William Shakespeare. The Disturbed one is spot-on.

Speaking of Metal Sucks dot Net, this past week featured a special podcast episode that featured a co-interview between Chuck and Godless of the Metal Sucks Podcast, and Matt and Toby from the Bad Christian Podcast. It’s a very honest and genuine dialogue between a couple of atheists and a couple of Christians talking matters of faith in an upfront and respectful way, something that’s sadly lacking when it comes to conversations of this sort. I dare everyone to listen to the entire thing back-to-back, and actually listen to both sides of the coin. Part one of the podcast is here, and part two is here.

And finally, here’s a post over at The Church Of No People blog that nails it as to why Sunday worship services aren’t exactly my cup of black, bitter coffee.

the crocking deadAnyway, on to the STUFF I’VE WRITTEN: Mostly reposts again, as with the coming of the Holidays comes the Mandatory Overtime that comes with it. Regardless, I managed to post some misadventure that befell me when I was 9, looked back at the time immediately following having quit smoking, and an amusing list of signs you might be an old metalhead. Then, I posted movie reviews of Survival Of The Dead, Terminator: Salvation, Terror Toons, Thank You For Smoking, Ticks, 2001’s The Time Machine, and the Troma classic The Toxic Avenger. And as for music reviews, I have some for Goredeath here, one for Grace For The Fallen here, one for Grave Forsaken here, two for Grave Robber here and here, one for Graveyard Bats here, one for Grim here, one for GROMS here, one for Gryp here, six for Guardian here, here, here, here, here aaaaaaand here, two for Haven here and here, one for Head here, one for Heaven’s Rage here, and two for Holy Blood here and here.

bapticostalSo, that’s all for this week. And since, as I mentioned above, Thanksgiving happens this coming Thursday, I’m going to share a yearly tradition that I’ve been doing since taking part in it at the radio station in college back in 1994. Namely, the playing, in its entirety, of the song “Alice’s Restaurant”. I really don’t have anything planned, as I’ve already did Thanksgiving, so I’ll probably use that time to catch up on my writing. Meanwile, I have to get up at 5:30 on the morrow to take care of two hours of mandatory overtime at work. Yippy. Cheers, my wonderful freaks.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Movie Review: The TOXIC AVENGER

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Movie Review: TOXIC AVENGERTroma Entertainment
1985
R

“For your information, everyone knows monsters prefer blondes.”

It’s a tale that only the champions of bad taste- Troma- can tell with a straight face. Nerdish pansy Melvin is a hapless fitness center janitor who’s constantly tormented by the clientele…most notably a couple of sociopath coke-heads and their equally freaked-out girlfriends. After a prank involving a pink tutu and a sheep goes horribly wrong, Melvin falls into an open vat of toxic waste (don’t ask), and he’s transformed into the monstrous Avenger, a cross between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mr. Potatohead. Now Toxie fights injustice wherever he finds it…with a little help of a mop and his blind girlfriend…

Like any Troma film, the word “subtlety” is thrown out the window. This is not for the squeamish. The gore is flowing, read and vivid. People are dismembered, burned, disemboweled, deep fried (seriously), impaled, and ran over (and then backed over again for good measure). There are graphic sex scenes that teeter on the brink of hardcore porn. Every stereotype is played up for trashy over-the-top outrageousness. It’s also darn funny, in an “I can’t believe I’m laughing at this” kind of way. I could have done without the nudity and sex. Otherwise, The Toxic Avenger is one of those Rite Of Passage type horror comedies that anyone serious about the genre has seen at least twice. Not for the teenybopper Scream crowd…

Movie Review: The TIME MACHINE [2001]

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Movie Review: TIME MACHINE [2001]Warner Bros. Pictures
2001
PG-13

“You think I don’t know you Alexander? I can look inside your memories, Your nightmares, your dreams. You’re a man haunted by those two most terrible words, What If?”

Bit late, yes? Not if you consider I waited until tonight to shell out the $4 to rent this updated piece of cinematic crap. But, to make this needless post a worthwhile read (of sorts), I’ll go ahead and count the many ways this movie didn’t do it for me…

First of all, this movie pretty much represents everything I don’t like about Hollywood’s modernizing, or “re-imagining”, older movies. They generally take the classic it’s based on, and cast aside the substance that made it a classic to begin with (the wonderment of the cinematic magic from a bygone era) in favor of slick production and visuals. Throw in characters you can’t really connect with, a script with plot holes big enough to slide a Mack truck through, very stilted acting, and a 90-minute edit job that left the entire product feel disjointed at points, and what you got is nothing more than a modern B-movie for late-night cable…

For those who’ve read the H. G. Wells classic that it’s based on (and that’s a very loose term here, btw), the book was a sci-fi commentary on class struggles, socialism and other philosophic issues of the day. Of course, it took the author’s great-grandson, Simon Wells, to turn it into a mindless popcorn flick. From what I remember, Simon fell ill during the last shoots of the movie, and was replaced by another director for the rest of the production while he recouped (I don’t know the name of the guy, does anyone else?). That, and the movie was constantly pushed back for release dates, going from Fall of 2001 to December of 2001…

Anyway, the movie starts off pretty decently, setting things up with a doomed romance, authentic turn-of-the-century settings and Guy Pearce looking pretty hunky (not that I’m gay, mind you). Then he steps into that time machine…and things lose cohesion very quickly. The motivation is lost from the main character almost immediately- Pearce starts off on a journey to reinvigorate someone who was lost to him in the past, but after he lands on The Planet Of The Morloks, he inexplicably forgets all about his previous years of hard work, dedication and passion, and decides that getting involved in the lives of some jungle-people, who he only met for one evening, is suddenly the greater priority. Needless to say, the rest of the movie is spent in that future, with lil’ ol’ scientist man turning action-hero on us, with the (subdued) hots for a jungle lady with a kid who looks suspiciously like a young Boba Fett from Attack Of The Clones…

This leads to the second mistake Hollywood made here: Time Machine didn’t know what kind of movie it wanted to be. It starts off as a period-piece romance (expected), down-shifts into sci-fi, then settles into an action flick, with little originality, enthusiasm or involvement for the viewer (namely, me). So I didn’t care about the main character because he apparently gives up on the dream, I didn’t care about the people in the far-off future because of the two-dimensional portrayal by the actors (I’m supposed to believe that out of all the inhabitants, only the woman who found Alex can speak English…and fluently, I might add?), and to top it off, a couple of the main stars here seemed like they were just limping through their parts on autopilot. I speak of the “head Morlok” played by the otherwise superb Jeremy Irons. His brief presence there was quite the waste, turning into nothing more than a lame explanation of his kind, and a couple of BOO! moments that fell flat in the execution. Orlando Jones pops in as a photoelectronic hologram from the year 2030, that inexplicably survives the decimation of “modern society” into the far-off future, with no electricity or for that matter anyone else discovering him during the long centuries underground…

Can I say anything nice about this flick? Well, um…the time travel sequences were cool. Otherwise…my advice would be to read the book. Then watch the 1960s version…

Movie Review: TICKS

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Movie Review: TICKSRepublic Pictures
1993
R

“When in doubt… squish!”

This is not only your typical giant insect movie, but it’s a giant insect movie that sports some impressive B-list talent. The premise is fairly typical: A couple of youth group leaders take some stereotypical “troubled youths” out camping in the middle of nowhere, to a place that happens to be a breeding ground for giant, mutated ticks (hence the title, in case you haven’t figured it out yet). The “breeding ground” in question is a dilapidated building where three burned-out demented “hippies”, lead by the ever-present Clint Howard, are growing steroid-enhanced marijuana. You guessed it- the toxic sludge mutates these blood-sucking arachnids to softball-size, and wackiness ensues. Add to this the usual cast of “troubled teens”: you got the kleptomaniac gang member (played by Alfonso Ribeiro, better known as the cousin to Will Smith’s on The Fresh Prince Of Bel Aire), the nerd kid (a then-unknown Seth Green), an introvert Asian girl, and a couple of horny kids. Viola! We’ve got a plot! The only problem is, during the ensuing mayhem caused by these giant but crappy special effect ticks, only one of the kids are offed. Wha? A forest fire manages to kill off all the ticks before any more of the teens are devoured…except for one that escapes on the bottom of the van at the end of the film, that is. So, the only saving grace is the possibility of all of them getting picked off by one by this lone survivor off screen. Anyhoo, I watched this and literally got physically sick soon afterwards. Lactose intolerant, be ye warned…

You might be an old metalhead if…

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old metalhead…you ever wore multiple colored bandanas around your legs.

…you wished you could wear the sawblade cod piece that Blackie Lawless sported in the 80’s.

…you wear a denim vest covered in patches and buttons over your leather biker jacket.

…Saxon’s “Denim & Leather” is your call to arms.

…you know what an SMF is.

…your idea of having fun is headbanging at a concert.

…you ever owned any album on 8-track tape.

…you bought Kiss’ Alive as a new release.

…you remember learning about new bands from tape trading and from compilations.

…the hair growing out of your ears is as long as your hair use to be on your head.

…a black concert shirt without any holes in it is your idea of dressing up.

…you know what the initials for NWOBHM mean.

…you remember the death of Phil Lynott and Bon Scott.

…you remember when Metallica was a metal band.

…you actually get Spinal Tap and laugh every time you see it.

…you remember buying a baseball tee from a concert.

…Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer were all new bands you were into in high school.

…you ever pounded nails into a leather wristband so that you could look as cool as Kerry King.

…your collection of concert/tour books is beginning to turn a little yellow.

…you still have a small vinyl collection sitting next to your CD player.

…you ever owned a “Disco Sucks” t-shirt.

…you ever owned a pair of parachute pants.

…you ever intentionally ripped you blue jeans because it was cool.

…you make fun of all the kids with the baggy pants today because they look like they have a load in their pants.

…you have your Chiropractor on speed dial so that you can reach him quickly after a concert.

…you ever tried on spandex!

..you ever dressed up like Kiss and did a mock Kiss show in your back yard.

…your girlfriend ever wore a roach clip with a feather in her hair.

…you are familiar with the PMRC.

…you can finish this sentence, “What do you wanna do with your life? I _______ ______!”

…you remember when Slayer use to wear make-up.

…you can finish this phrase, “bang your head, metal health will ___ ____ _____.”

…if you know what S.O.D. stands for or if you know who S.O.D. is.

…if some of your favorite albums are almost 30 years old.

…if you ever were a member of the KISS Army.

…when you are playing a show with your band and the opening band tells you they were big fans of you when they were kids.
…when many of the albums you love never saw the light of being released on CD.

…when many of the albums you love WERE released on CD, but in the title of “Classics”, etc.

…when some of your favorite bands’ members have kids who are now in bands.

…when YOU have kids who are in bands.

…you have less hair growing out of your head and more growing out your nose, ears and other unmentionable places.

::END TRANSMISSION::

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