Movies + Beer: HELLBOY 2019

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MOVIES + BEERhellboy 2019

James is joined by Brian and Andrea at Sean O’ Casey’s, and discuss the new Hellboy reboot…among other things…

::END TRANSMISSION::

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NSR: April 14, 2019

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Featuring Cuts From: A MARTYR’S OATH, ANIMA MORTUUM, FINAL PROPHECY, FINAL SURRENDER, HOLY BLOOD, I.N.R.I., NATTESORG, R.A.I.D., RAINFORCE, REVULSED, RITUAL SERVANT, SHADOW PUNCHER, UNBLACK METAL FIST, USYNLIG TUMULT, and XIII MINUTES…

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Featuring cuts from:

A MARTER'S OATH - 2019 - Ignorance Is WoeANIMA MORTUUM - 2019 - Goat Destructionfinal prophecy - reawakeningfinal surrender - fallen identitiesHOLY BLOOD - 2019 - Voice Of BloodINRI - religionnattesorg - lord of this worldraid - unbreakablerainforce - rock and rollrevulsed - into the pitritual servant - metallum evangeliishadow puncher - one path to the heavenly kingdomUNBLACK METAL FIST - Unepochusynlig tumult - voices of the windsxiii minutes - obsessed

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Mandatory March: DEMON HUNTER

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Featuring Cuts From:
demon hunter - demon hunterdemon hunter - summer of darknessdemon hunter - the triptychdemon hunter - storm the gates of helldemon hunter - the world is a thorndemon hunter - true defiancedemon hunter - extremistdemon hunter - outlivedemon hunter - wardemon hunter - peace

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Movie Review: SUMMER OF ’84

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summer of 84Gunpowder & Sky
2018
NR

“Even serial killers live next door to somebody. Tough pill to swallow, I know, but it’s true.”

Summer, 1984: The perfect time to be 15 years old and free. But when neighborhood conspiracy theorist Davey Armstrong begins to suspect his police officer neighbor might be the serial killer all over the local news, he and his three best friends begin an investigation that soon turns dangerous.

Nostalgia-based movies are, admittedly, rather fun to watch. Especially movies based on a year in a specific decade I remember living through. Which is to say, the 1980s. There have been horror movies that have been set in the 1980s that I’ve watched with varying degrees of success. The better ones happen to be the ones where the actual year they’re set in is merely a backdrop to the story, and not bogging down the movie with hamfisted nostalgia references. I seem to hold these kind of movies to a higher standard, mainly because of ties to my own childhood. I know when I’m being pandered to.

That was one of the concerns I had when going into watching the recently released Canadian mystery / horror flick Summer Of ’84. Was this going ot be gimmicky, or is this going to be a rather good mystery thriller with a good story that I can get lost in, with the year itself being merely the backdrop? All indications were to the later, as the various horror movie blogs and sites were giving Summer Of ’84 an enthusiastically positive thumbs up. So, I went ahead and took a gander at this little movie. Kinda glad I did.

Right off the bat, I’ll say that the story behind Summer Of ’84 borrows heavily from the Hitchcock classic Rear Window, with elements of Fright Night (without the vampires) and pretty much any 80s movie that involves a bunch of young teenagers banding together to solve a mystery in their small town. There are several nods to other horror movies, as well as to the classic Hardy Boys Mystery books that I recall devouring in my own youth.

As far as the year that it’s set in, Summer Of ’84 manages to not over-saturate the nostalgia factor, avoiding the temptation to go the “Hey, this is a thing that happened! Isn’t that NEAT?!?” Instead, 1984 is really the backdrop to the overall story, which is one that could have been set in any time period and still would have worked as a movie.

All of the actors were really good in their rolls, and the characters were written in a way that were spot-on, and made you care about their situations. There’s some actual depth to this movie, and not just your run-of-the-mill mystery thriller horror flick. Of course, for the majority of the run time you seem to think that you’ve got everything figured out, and expecting the upbeat type ending. But then, the final 20 minutes bucks the usual conventions and ends the movie with a chilling twist that, even if you did see it coming, will leave you with a hollow bleak feeling. The movie jukes us into a very unconventional ending, and I like that.

Overall, though this movie’s very limited release before being released on VOD came nowhere near Omaha, I would have like to check it out on the big screen, had I been given the chance. Regardless, The Summer Of ’84 was a rather enjoyable and engaging throwback of a movie with a resolution that will stick in your head long after the end credits. Recommended.

Music Review: DIVINE SYMPHONY – The History

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divine symphony - the historyDIVINE SYMPHONY
The History
Extreme Records
2008

The second full-length release from Brazilian symphonic black metal band Divine Symphony–The History–is a concept album that goes through the history of the Christian Church. Ambitious? Sure. And concept albums are pretty neat, if not having the potential to become overblown and cumbersome. But, that’s besides the point. What’s the music like?

The album opens pretty apically with the song “Martyrs”, which begins with a synth opening, then blasts into a heavy plodding riff before it settles into a blended symphonic black metal hook that features chilling male choral vocals along with the standard black metal shriek vocals. I find myself stunned at the horrible beauty of this, and we’re only one cut into the album. The pace is set, with following cuts “Giants”, “Darkness” and “High Ideals” blending fast paced and blistering black metal tempered with slower symphonic music and…

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Movie Review: REALITY BITES

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reality bitesUniversal
1994
PG-13

“At the beep, please leve your name, number, and a brief justification for the ontological necessity of modern man’s existential dilemma, and we’ll get back to you.”

A small circle of friends suffering from post-collegiate blues must confront the hard truth about life, love and the pursuit of gainful employment. As they struggle to map out survival guides for the future, the Gen-X quartet soon begins to realize that reality isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Ah, the 1990s. The decade of pretentiousness, covered with a shellac of false altruism. The time of the late 20th Century where cynicism became a fashion accessory, and everyone became willfully ignorant of their own rank hypocrisy. And the music sucked, too.

That is to say, there’s not a lot about the 1990s that hold fond memories for me. Maybe the first two years or so–’90 thru ’92–but that was when the decade was young and still shaking off the hangover from the ’80s. Otherwise, regardless of being part of the so-called “Generation X” that the news media foisted upon our age group, I still scratch my head whenever I hear someone claim that the ’90s was the greatest decade of the 20th Century. There were some bright spots, certainly, but overall, no thanks.

Which brings me to this review of the movie Reality Bites. I had originally watched this movie in the second-run theater, back in 1994, when the ticket price there was $1.50, and a small bag of popcorn ran about $5. After watching it, I was rather ambivalent as to whether I liked it or not. Essentially, my thought process was along the lines of, “Well, it was a movie, by golly.”

Revisiting Reality Bites twenty-five years after the fact, I still find myself rather unmoved with the movie. At best, Reality Bites is essentially a long episode of Friends without the wit or humor and interesting characters. The irony being that Friends debuted a few months later that same year. At worst, this is an uninteresting dramady that tries a bit too hard to be smart, relying on the kind of insipid bumper sticker philosophies that was rampant in that decade. Not that things have changed much nowadays, mind you.

Overall, Reality Bites is the perfect encapsulation of everything I despised about the ’90s. I’m sure there are those who disagree. I’m sure you look on this decade–and this movie–with fondness. You might want to have those nostalgia cataracts removed from your memory, there.

February 10, 2019

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