Tag Archives: PW

Honest Thoughts on the Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer

On December 7th, I totally, completely forgot about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I actually only realized that it happened because I had to look down at the lower right-hand corner of my laptop so I can use the date as a point of reference for what I actually want to say. Instead of observing the war tragedy that forced an isolationist United States to begin campaigns against the Japanese, I saw the very first teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming.

There was a lot of hype growing in the past 48 hours because that trailer ended up being the trailer for the real trailer that came out late last night. (This is how marketing works now in the 21st century) Tom Holland impressed in the red-and-blue suit during the couple of scenes he got in Captain America: Civil War. The new movie, Homecoming, takes our Spider-Man back to high school and looks like it is really targeting the adolescent audience. The Peter Parker elements, like staring across the lunch room at the girl he’s crushing on alongside his overweight nerd friend, feel like the sort of thing that’d be written in a Young Adult novel. Just the fact that the friend is Asian (that CAN’T be Harry Osborne) makes his character feel more realistic, as though the school actually does comprise of various ethnic backgrounds. So despite the questionable use of MGMT in the trailer, the cast doesn’t resemble a bushel of cauliflower, for once. I’m INCREDIBLY wary about the casting decision for Flash Thompson, however. If you watched Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and thought, “that smol bellhop sure has an intimidating presence about him,” then congratulations! You are fit to miscast bully characters in Hollywood blockbusters.

Image result for tony revolori grand budapest hotel


I do find it peculiar how hard he’s crushing on someone who is neither Mary-Jane nor Gwen Stacy. I’m not familiar with the actress playing Peter’s love interest this time around, but I’m optimistic that she’ll bring something new to the table. The kid’s full of raging teenage Spider hormones, so it makes sense that there’s a girl he’d pine over, but the execution needs to be strong. I don’t like that the trailer already gives it away that he gets with her in some capacity, as having a phone call with her explaining things like he’s in a relationship kind of dropped some of the “will she, won’t she” suspense right from the get-go.

The trailer shows a lot of Tony Stark, too. Which is fine, because RDJ is one of the few reasons to watch any of the Marvel movies anyway. Having him in the movie hopefully means Marisa Tomei is going to reprise her role as Aunt May. That way I can sit in the movie theater and silently, but happily, contemplate whether or not Peter’s loving, old aunt should be that sexually attractive. I mean, this is the same actress from My Cousin Vinny, and the same one who performed a strip tease in The Wrestler. I’m excited to live in a universe where Peter’s aunt is actually a selling point of a Spider-Man movie.

Further strengthening the cast, Michael Keaton’s role as Vulture is one of perfect Hollywood irony. He was once the Tim Burton era Batman. Then he starred in Birdman as a washed-up actor known for his heroic role in his younger days. And now Keaton is actually playing an old man in a bird suit. That’s the kind of fate that is written in the stars and found in tea leaves at the bottom of jade cups. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a great actor, either. This level of experience making up the adult cast ought to help guide the younger stars of the film. The suit and the laser tech used in the trailer are really cheesy, though. They looked like props, and I’m fairly certain that these clips have all seen their go through post-production already, so I’m bracing for schlock.

Tom Holland looks like he has the character nailed down, but he is still a little too small, muscle wise, to completely satisfy what I know to be Spider-Man. The original Tobey Maguire films still have the best version of the hero in terms of body physique, and I don’t think that including the shot of him shirtless in the trailer was needed. It was clearly a thirst trap designed for adolescent females to gif and reblog on their Tumblr pages. A little exploitative man bod never hurt anyone. Literally, he’s still so little. Adorable, but as someone who finds himself vainly and self-consciously staring at themselves in the mirror all the time, it’s very very clear that Tom Holland was flexing with every fiber of his being in that shot. I was hoping some of that Hollywood physical training he’d supposedly been doing in preparation for this film would have added a little more bulk than simply make him more cut. Oh well. As long as he can shoot webs well and the plot isn’t as bad as Amazing Spider-Man 2, then I will happily put up with it.

Hype Rating: 4.5 Hypes out of 5

 

 

PlayStation 4 Pro – Review

I’m thoroughly convinced that Black Friday and the shopping season in the month before Christmas is inherently evil, like the same sort of evil that tried 638 times to put Fidel Castro into the ground. And my reasoning for this has nothing to do with the midnight doorbuster customers trampling over each other like a flea-bitten hyenas, exposing just how close we are to the animal kingdom after all. Nor am I referring to the guy who got shot, or the fact that capitalism drives mortal men to engage in horrible actions. (Though ‘capitalism’ would be an acceptable answer to the proposed question.) I recently purchased my PlayStation 4 about a week ago due to the psychological compulsion factor of a reduced price, and since then I have seen my life slowly unravel as I found myself losing hours in front of my new gaming system.

I got the Pro model of the system for two major reasons. The first being that the hardware that the system runs on, as advertised, is more powerful than the base PlayStation 4 system that launched three years ago. Certain games that already exist on store shelves, as well as all games moving forward for Sony, are going to include patches where the Pro owner will see noticeably better performance and graphics from their games. And even though how that exactly is done is up to game developer discretion, it still is the most powerful system on the market, and is the more future-proof version of the system.

Secondly, the system comes with a 1 Tb hard drive, doubling the amount of space that the original system came with. I’ve heard and read far too many accounts of players having to diligently micromanage their hard drive space with only 500 Gigabytes to work with. Which makes sense considering the final version of the PlayStation 3 came with 500 Gigabytes of on-system hard drive space. The “Super Slim” model, that I currently own, is capable of storing a mountain of downloaded PS3 titles (so many of which I never even got around to playing) but that’s not the case with PS4 games. The necessary hard drive space of a current generation title is usually between 45 and 50 Gigs. That’s ten times the amount of space needed for a last generation game. That Terabyte was an absolute MUST for me, seeing that I’ve already filled up the hard drive half-way with just the games I bought from Black Friday or got free from PlayStation Plus.

And I really couldn’t be anymore pleased with the system. It is a great console, perfect for pick-up-and-play. A small feature that I’m really impressed with is just the simple ability to actually leave games on stand by, then open another application like the web browser or YouTube, and have the ability to jump right back into the game with no noticeable load time. I know this is something that has technically been on the PS4 since the first release, but it means a lot for someone who has been living the life of a last-gen peasant for three years.

I feel the need to add that this console has really rejuvenated the gamer in me. No lie, I’ve found that I can’t ignore the black box for very long. It’s just a fun thing to own, especially if you have some friends on hand to throw down in Mortal Kombat with. Ripping your friend’s spine from their body has never looked better. As I’m writing this, I actually want to just go turn on the system and dive into the beautifully rendered worlds of Uncharted 4 and Fallout 4. (what is it with all the 4’s this generation, anyway?) Some, like my dad, would probably say that I’ve become a video game junkie again… and, uh, I don’t have a problem. I can quit any time I want… ahem.

In conclusion, I’d say I’m thoroughly pleased with my altogether very-expensive purchase. I honestly haven’t found anything to complain about yet. The controller feels nice, the system flows very easily between tasks. Downloads can occur even while powered down. And it’s got the horse power to really deliver that “wow factor.” It may not be sporting the specs that a PC elitist demands from their gameplay experience, but I’m someone who keeps things relative. I played a few games on an old Nintendo 64 with friends over the Thanksgiving weekend, and really getting to step back and see how much gaming has evolved over the years, allowed me to not only appreciate the PlayStation 4 Pro, but praise it as well.

I can not f**king wait for The Last of Us 2 to come out.

Obligatory Number at the End – 9/10

 

Poems – Vol. 3

Many of my poems were written in my Cold War history class. This could be a stretch, but I believe this is because viewing the world in retrospect is not dissimilar from the introspection caused by traversing back through the individual time line. For me at least, the former tends to trigger the latter.

I do not write poems with succinct and clear definition. Though poetry writing is still a new muscle for me to exercise, I’ve developed a personal philosophy of striving toward conveyance of feeling, driven by lines of sensory provocation and emotional language. I never give the exact “meaning” to any of my poems. Short of a full discussion in which interpretations can be explored, I could never reveal cut-and-dry “answers.” It is important to understand that my experience and your experience can never be the same – only line up within degrees. I esteem that uniqueness of thought, and it’s a quality I try to tap into with my words.

I made the edits to these standing behind the register of my burger flipping job and I present them here now, sophomoric warts and all. This first one is dedicated to the United States during the early 1970s.


Smog Lung Song – 11/29/2016

Fill it with everything but me
Knuckles bleached, ingrown splinters, Knives, half-hearted crimps of lip
Fill it and let me be pale
These nations towed by Neolithic barbers, ancient ruts
Skin taut, grips on void
Deserted moments lousy with squatting, loathing browbeaters
Abandoning paths paved black and boiling
Clenched, crooked mouth, strain eyelids shut and obscure
Passive, soot-bathed bodies breathe polluted winds
Flickers of forgotten flames, mistaken beliefs breed
Swarms of dragonflies flash frozen black and white
Laying now heart and head on that baked gravel pavement
Borne into the end         invisible gashes bleed no more


A Fascination with the Fluorescent – 11/29/2016

A fascination with the fluorescent
Today a small triumphant
Moment lost in opaque landscapes opaline
A pretentious peasant’s scribbled lines
Oft-remember pigments stitching life
Shifting shades in monochrome kaleidoscope
Weave gray in persistent pessimism
Soul sipping toxins through bendy straws
Bales of hate feeding honor-starved mares
Emaciated steeds dragging steady
Scabs and bones I once called me

 

Sci-Fi Movie Trailers Extravaganza!!! (Valerian)

 

In my last post, I briefly mentioned how I didn’t like Lucy. That movie where Scarlett Johannson “unlocks full brain potential,” as if our brains are normally just inactive heaps of jelly that slosh around in our skull. Well, that director is back. Luc Besson, whom the trailer humbly refers to as “visionary” for sticking Chris Tucker in a cheetah print dress and attaching a loofah to his head like some sort of bath time rhinoceros (i.e. the best part of The Fifth Element), is now adapting an ancient, French comic series that no American has ever heard of. He will also be selling tickets to see it on the big screen next summer. Initially, my first viewing of the Valerian trailer was one of dismissal. Image result for chris tucker fifth element gifThere’s so much cartoon CGI for the eye to feast on, replete with vivid colors and lush worlds that were likely made by a small army of artists and designers in front of computer screens. I like videogames, don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate some nice CGI, but when an entire movie looks like it was made exclusively in green and blue screen studios, it tends to trigger my flashbacks of Viet-Attack of the Clones.

I spent a little time researching into the source material, and there’s a strong foundation for science fantasy in Valerian. I couldn’t get too familiar with the series since Wikipedia had its hand out begging for money again (they must not understand that Trump is president now), but apparently the Valerian and Laureline comic series is one of the most inspirational works in the genre, even having supposedly influenced the original Star Wars. So looking at it again with this in mind… I still see an advert for 4K ultra hi-definition televisions. Really. This doesn’t scream “visionary” to me. This screams “I’m really comfortable with not having to do much in the actual creative process and still getting top billing for the work of countless others who will be packed into the credits like brown people in slums.”

I don’t hate the idea of a cartoon, because that’s what this is – a film with eye candy as its main selling point to lure kids’ butts in theater chairs. But with Disney’s move toward more practical effects and sets in Star Wars, this trailer sets a tone of consequence free adventure stuck in the computer generated ideals of the 2000’s. The giant monsters don’t pose a real threat, the characters aren’t presented with any dimension or conflict, and the laws of physics apparently don’t apply. The last shot in the trailer shows Valerian in the middle of a free fall several stories high, narrowly avoiding the CGI ships zooming around the CGI world before crashing through a tube walkway with enough force to shatter glass, landing on his knees with not a single indication that it hurt. Is he a super person? Does that space suit conveniently also protect the wearer from breaking every bone in their body? No and no, are the answers. It conveniently keeps the script on track. This is a movie about spectacle for spectacle’s sake, to say nothing about the characters or the story other than “it looks cool.”

What the plot will be about is anyone’s guess. I’m guessing intergalactic Jerry Springer Show. My original idea was that it’ll be about a terrifying, parasitic life form that attaches to the faces of Valerian and Laureline, compelling them to engage in summer blockbuster nonsense. Then I realized that was just their eyebrows. Speaking of which, the casting seems rather curious. Cara Delevingne didn’t “wow” anyone with her role in Suicide Squad. In fact, the only “wows” that film generated were followed by “Jared Leto really needs to stop talking like that,” and “Suicide by firing Squad doesn’t sound like a bad option.” I don’t know what it is with Luc Besson casting models as the lead female parts in his science fiction, nor do I understand why he loves making the most ugly aliens in science fiction. And why Rihanna is in this film at all is a big question mark that needs to be addressed. Though she could never match him, her crazy blonde hair leads me to believe that she is a callback to this fabulous creature:Related image Luc Besson has some explaining to do. As for me, I think I’ll watch this movie if I happen to sustain some blunt force trauma to the head sometime between now and July.

Hype Rating: 2 Hypes out of 5

(end of all parts)

 

 

Sci-Fi Movie Trailers Extravaganza!!! (Ghost in the Shell)

Now here is a trailer that has been getting a lot of internet backlash. Scarlett Johansson stars as a killer android in the cyberpunk universe of Ghost in the Shell. Based off the Japanese anime film from the 90s, this live action interpretation looks gorgeous visually, but a lot of fans are worrying right now about how well it is going to adapt the story of the lauded film/manga. Because although the trailer seems to indicate a successful transfer of the anime’s futuristic world and aesthetics – minus the lighting and composition, which is disappointing, but I digress – there is no telling if the original’s themes are going to be simplified for general audiences as Hollywood often likes to do.

And this is fair criticism, especially considering the director at the helm here has only one other big-budget film under his belt. Rupert Sanders directed the 2012 film, Snow White and the Huntsmen, which currently has a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t even trust Rotten Tomatoes considering how often cinematic scat manages to find high freshness ratings on the site, a constant reminder that the human race is a sickness to the earth, but that still means the only other movie he’s made is hot garbage in the eyes of many. Not exactly an amazing track record. Then again, maybe he was disillusioned by the Hollywood factory line. Perhaps he didn’t care to put effort into Kristen Stewart pretending to be a fairy tale character in a film that turned out to be nothing more than a forgettable but stinky fart in long string of shitty, overly-produced fairy tale movies.

I think that’s what everyone in the comment section really has to be wishing for, anyway. With fingers crossed, we all just have to wait and see and hope that this Sanders guy, who probably doesn’t even know the first thing about being a senator in Vermont or getting robbed by the democratic party, can deliver something worth watching. Not just a regrettable kidney stone in a long string of shitty, overly-produced adaptations and remakes.

With ScarJo’s name attached to the project, we can at least say that she is definitely one of the coolest actresses in Hollywood. Black Widow, Lucy (which was stupid but whatever), and Mindy from The Spongebob Squarepants Movie. That’s the kind of person that runs on walls with dual pistols and enjoys it. I appreciate that at least one person working on this film is enthusiastic in making it aside from the set designers and maybe the cinematographers. Because really, the original movie looks golden. An anime that isn’t also an embarrassment is rare, so I definitely will be watching that to see how this remake stands up.

If nothing else, I can see this movie being a decent collection of colorful lights to have play in front of your eyes as you gorge on popcorn in a dark room alongside the other bipedal apes who enjoy the act of sitting in dark rooms and gnashing loudly on butter and salt. In the scenario that this movie does turn out to be doodoo, then hey, there’s always that 1995 anime and Ms. Johansson’s low-quality noods somewhere on the internet.

Hype Rating: 3.5 Hypes out of 5

Hype for watching the Anime: 5/5

(end of part two)

Sci-Fi Movie Trailers Extravaganza!!! (Rogue One)

Hollywood really wants us to go watch science fiction movies. We’re all plenty aware that Disney is going to bombard general audiences with annual Star Wars movies from now to 2020. In addition to the numbered entries in the series, we’ll also be getting side stories of characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo as individual films. I personally can’t wait to find out more about Dexter Jettster™ and his 50’s themed diner.

Image result for dexter jettster

As for non-Disney controlled properties, a film adaptation of a French comic series and a live-action adaptation of a popular anime are both coming soon to silver screens near you. One of which has the director of The Fifth Element on board, and the other has Scarlett Johansson looking practically butt nekkid. As god-king, I will now pass my ultimate judgements for these movies based on their trailers. Will they find the land of milk and honey that is my favor? Or will my growing sense of apathy toward Hollywood damn them for eternity?


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I suppose we should just start with the morbidly obese elephant in the room: the Star Wars. Sometimes when I’m alone, I think. And sometimes when I think of the hideous mass of tumors that is Disney’s empire, with it’s lumpy, misshapen form lousy with boils, and dollar bills strewn about its gurgling, amorphous figure clinging to its sticky, milky flesh… I sometimes forget that I actually enjoy some of the viscous waste goo excreted from its various udders.

Certainly not all of it. If someone puts Mickey Mouse™ ears on my body when I die, they best know I’m waking tf up and dragging them to hell with me. I don’t like Disneyland. I don’t like musical numbers. Pixar’s lost their touch. Disney princesses are about as interesting as a glass of hot dog water. And the next person who tells me The Lion King is “just like Hamlet,” is getting a collected volume of Shakespeare across the temple.


Image result for rogue one

It just so happens that one of Disney’s many tentacles is currently absorbing the nutrients of Lucasfilm’s monolithic franchise (and therefore my childhood), so I have to put up with it. So far, it only seems like the dialogue is awful. That’s the right word. Awful.

Cliches and lame excuses for interesting dialogue have been evident since the first trailer’s “This is a rebellion… I rebel,” quote broke my ankles and stole my SSN. I thought that would be the worst of it. But then the “Rogue… Rogue One” line in this trailer threw bleach in my eyes and laughed at me for ever thinking that. Now I’m Brailling it.


Image result for rogue one secrets

Speaking of severely debilitating vision impairments, Donnie Yen’s inclusion as a blind guy-with-stick is a rock solid casting choice. I’m very happy to see my Ip Man cross-contaminated with my Star Wars, even if it is just an obvious ploy to net the elusive Chinese dollar that Force Awakens totally and hilariously missed.

Unfortunately, the yin to to Yen’s yang comes in the form of the theatrically stunted oaf, himself: Forest Whitaker. Thus raising the question: “Who let this happen?” Really, I will be taking note of casting during the credits. How has Morgan Freeman still not been cast as the sagely, old Star Wars character yet? The guy will read the script of a high school stage production if you promise him a scalp massage and two coupons to the Long John Silvers. How could he deny this check?

I would call this a let down, but naturally I’m saving those feelings of disappointment for when Darth Vader shows up in the film for 5 whole minutes of screen time. I can’t wait to see his nondescript face plastered all over cereal boxes, toys, clothing, and adult novelties, accordingly.


Image result for rogue one

Stepping back from the flaming roast I’ve just created, I would be lying if I said the cinematography in Rogue One  doesn’t look stellar. I actually want to pay money to see the action scenes in this film. The practical effects look great, and considering the production pedigree, I can expect an amazing soundtrack to play over the whole nonsensical thing. Never mind all that story stuff when you got good pew-pew lasers. Who watches movies for good stories anyway? Certainly not this red-blooded American, that’s for sure.

Hype Level: 2.5 Hypes out of 5

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(end of Part 1)

28 Days Later – Review

Donald J. Trump. Donald J-Muthafuckin Trump is going to be the 45th president of the United States.

As if the universe finds personal gratification in making my life a more miserable thing to endure specifically, it would appear South Korea is also experiencing its fair share of presidential woes. Typing “president” into Google this morning resulted in the expected and ubiquitous Trump articles, in addition to pictures of Obama’s exhausted face. But news of hundreds of thousands of Koreans marching through the streets of Seoul last night also made headlines.

Apparently they’re demanding their own scandalous president’s resignation. With drums banging and horns blaring, the candlelit protesters yelled out for Park Guen-hye to step down in response to her alleged, widespread corruption. Yikes. There goes my back-up plan.

In the spirit of the end of days, I finally watched 28 Days Later for the first time. And you know what, I’m more in favor of national demise via zombie apocalypse than by way of Trump presidency.


Image result for 28 days later

Danny Boyle’s then-original idea of “zombies that run” takes everything we know about zombles in the over-saturated realm of popular culture now, and sets it in the early 2000’s – a simpler time with simpler pleasures. The good old days when Britain was part of the E.U. and jet fuel could melt steel beams.

The story begins in a Cambridge laboratory, where a group of chimpanzees have been introduced to an experimental virus that is only described as “rage.” Once PETA-with-guns comes storming in to liberate our poo-flinging cousins, it only takes 28 days for 99% of the island’s population to go feral. If only we could be so lucky.

Our protagonist, Jim (Cillian Murphy), wakes from his coma and joins a small handful of nomadic scroungers surviving off snack cakes. There’s romance, strife, family bonding, and a pre-teen on Vicodin. The film focuses largely on the human interactions between survivors, rather than on mowing down the infected horde. But that’s every zombini movie, even the not-so-decent ones. And “decent” is really all I can say about the writing in 28 Days Later.

This could be because of the film’s age and how many zombaloos we’ve seen since 2002, but the threads of the plot aren’t tightly woven and didn’t engage me as well as they could have. For instance, the only zombizzle that Jim kills is an infected boy that attacks him in an abandoned diner midway through the movie. The experience is supposed to be an emotional and harrowing moment for Jim. But aside from one brief back-and-forth on the subject, it’s entirely forgotten as Jim proceeds to brutally murder an entire militia alongside an infected soldier.

This, as well as the fact that no other character seems interested in sharing any expository information on their pre-outbreak lives, their interests, or opinions on much of anything, makes the cast of characters come across as somewhat hollow. The film runs for nearly two hours, but the script seems largely pre-occupied in setting up beats of action rather than use the time to engage with the characters closely until… oops one died, and oh, I guess they’re making out now.

Moments like the grocery shopping scene and the tense drive through the zombo-infested tunnel, though well-shot and edited, could have delivered more impact had there been more scenes to flesh out characters beyond “she’s tough, he’s a dad, and she’s a girl.”


Image result for 28 days later

Cinematography is the highlight of 28 Days Later. The eerie views of a desolate London are spectacular, and the frenetic close-ups of the rabid zombipperkins does an excellent job of transitioning that sense of panic into the frame. Composition and lighting was also very well done. The climactic scenes were utterly dominated by the imposing use of shadows and lightning. I didn’t take particular note of the film’s score, but it wasn’t something I disliked either. It was serviceable, neither spectacular nor awful.

Danny Boyle’s made a name for himself since 2002. The director now claims a total of eight Academy Awards, and boasts an impressive filmography including Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire. If you dig film and have yet to see 28 Days Later, give it a shot. It’s not particularly horror-intensive either, so don’t let that stop you. The film has a lot to teach on the framing and lighting of scenes, intense or otherwise. If you’re not into movies like that but are concerned for your country’s future political leadership, then watch the movie anyway and hope for a sick chimp to bite your neck.

Obligatory Number at the End: 7/10

Image result for 28 days later chimpanzee

O Bernie, Where Art Thou?

Election day is finally here, and the fate of the White House and the United States as a whole is only a few grueling hours away. Will the nation’s people choose the soulless Borg queen, who is so cold and calculating she makes Margaret Thatcher look like the girl-next-door? Or will our democratic system prove to be a broken mess once and for all, historically electing the first Cheetos Puff into office? It’s tough to predict considering we ended up with the two most disliked candidates possible to represent the two (count them, two) major parties. Thus begging the question, what ever happened to Deez Nuts?

Considering I’ll be flipping patties for the next six hours, I suppose I’ve been spared the nerve-wracking anxiety and sweaty palms that accompany this four-year tradition. Although I’m not convinced either candidate will accomplish much as el presidente, I still have my reservations. Mostly because only one of them would compel me to buy a plane ticket out of the country.

Those that know me well are already aware of my ideal nation to flee to should we decide to make America great again. For those that don’t, it’s a wonderful place where the idols are beautiful and the Wi-Fi is plentiful; a land of kimchi, and Starcraft players so unthinkably competitive they could probably beat Nike, Goddess of Victory, in a 1v1. This country also just so happens to have what may be the most comically evil twin living just across the Demilitarized Zone.

Do I really know anything substantial about South Korea’s culture, history, or language? Not terribly so. Do I have a tendency to jump into things with both feet and a devil-may-care attitude? You bet that sweet blog-reading ass I do.

So regardless of whose name you throw in the ballot box today, prepare a back-up plan in case your nominee of choice doesn’t win. A negative outcome for either party would be disastrous at this point. And if you’re a “Bernie-bot,” as my old man would say, then join hands in prayer, my friends. Pray that Bernie, the second coming, parts through the clouds and flies down from the heavens on the back of his glorious white steed. And pray that with his Progressive Blade of Student Loan Debt Forgiveness raised high in his right arm, he frees us from the two party system that has left us with the crappiest election in recent memory. Hey, if there’s one thing Bernie Sanders supporters are known for, it’s wishful thinking.

Poems – Vol. 2

Saying a lot by saying a little. A simple poem made simply for the making of poems. Getting in touch with my roots.

Let Her – 11/4/2016

Let her

Whether now or never

Let her

Tell her pleasure

Rhyme and measure

I met her

Eiffel Treasure

Oasis in desert

Recollect her

Remember

Yesterdays forever

Never forget her


One of my earliest poems. Inspired by Alea’s “The Last Supper”, Rage Against the Machine, and my own appraisal of the modern American life.

Umbilical Chords – 9/15/2016

somewhere deep
festering, blistering creep
thorns born from motherboards
strum umbilical chords
cut throats on stolen swords

an omen and a fetish
dive-bombing albatross
surrounded by those that relish
in one’s own dross
front-facing self-love
toxic wings carry quick-judging doves
clockwork flight patterns
in unending rotation
bask
in validation
coal-walking temptation
don’t ask
for liberation
escape from the plantation
means trial and tribulation

In time
null rhymes
seasons without reasons
All is reclaimed by sands
take fate in your own hands
‘fore they do it for you
lords and priests and pharaohs who
will put foot to back
limbs chained in the rack
masters count the lash
rise up serf and slave
there’s freedom for those who crave
nothing past the grave
not just angry mobs
these maroons and exiles and braves
the fist of the common man throbs

the steel dagger cloaker
the cane sugar joker
the fish bone choker
the wish bone broker
the barbed pyre stoker
the dead leaves smoker
inhale man’s hate
petrified and irate
pawns corner kings
a check and a mate

ebony, ivory the eclipsing twin
blood moon knights shield a corona day
the only way to win
is to never play


Sometimes it just feels good to feel bad, man.

Misery in Misty Eyes – 9/24/2016

misery in misty eyes
phantom sensations and blighted cries
tell me your lies
pipe dreams to memorize
words of forgiveness
tongues tied
can’t deliver this
a feeling that’s long since died
but the coffin shakes
still alive, zombified
unearthed and bleeding
dragging and leading
grey flesh beckons me
no heart beating

Halloween III: Season of the Witch – Review

Any horror fan worth their salt is already all too familiar with the story and mystique of the classic Michael Myers character. Not only did John Carpenter’s silent, lumbering serial killer propel the teenage slasher to heights surpassing Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but it solidified Hollywood’s revival of the horror genre. This Halloween, I took the time to re-watch the 1978 hit, as well as its two most immediate sequels, Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the Witch. It’s this last one that would inspire me to write this piece, however. Season of the Witch isn’t a perfect movie, and its plot has nothing to do with Michael Myers or the protagonists of the first two films, but it is an uncut gem buried under a mountain of slasher schlock. Season is both a sorely underrated title with new and interesting themes, and a vast missed opportunity for a more interesting Halloween franchise.

It didn’t happen immediately. My opinion on the series didn’t suddenly flip-flop like a politician discussing gay marriage. No. Much like the first film, the idea of Halloween III’s secret greatness lurked in the shadows like a returned Myers.

I went into the third film knowing very little: That it would be about Halloween masks, and that the film ended with a man screaming at a television. And that was an image that’s stuck with me since childhood, when I caught the last couple of minutes on TV. Other than that, I went in completely blind. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a unique plot revolving around a mysterious novelty toy company’s sinister intentions for October 31st.

Unlike the first two films, the titular holiday actually plays an important role in the film’s plot, as opposed to simply setting an interesting day for the events to unfold. In Season of the Witch, protagonist Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins) partners up with Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin) to investigate Ellie’s father’s murder, as well as uncover the Silver Shamrock company’s diabolical intentions for the upcoming halloween. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away considering how well the mystery thread is utilized. It kept me wondering until the very last act, when the film changes gears to a more suspenseful nail-biter, culminating in an ending more impactful than Halloween 2’s yawn of a resolution.

I will say that there is a pretty healthy helping of 80’s cheese in Season of the Witch. However, if that’s not a problem for you, then there’s plenty to enjoy. I actually howled in laughter at certain moments in the movie because of this. The suddenness of the obligatory sex scene was unintentional comedy gold, and the final fight that Dr. Challis gets into is nothing short of genius slapstick. Neither of these moments diminished the tense conclusion, though, demonstrating the film’s real strengths. In addition to a strong B-movie cast, a crew of skilled film makers created tension in the atmosphere of an otherwise silly spook story.

On the acting front, special commendation should be directed to Tom Atkins. As Dr. Challis, Atkins is not the pretty face typical of horror film leads. His character is an older divorcee with two children, and a tempered but rugged masculinity. I think it’s because of the mustache. As he gets sucked into a plot far larger than he could have anticipated, Atkins portrays the audience’s curiosities and rising stress levels admirably and intelligently. Very rarely does his character suffer from that profound lack of logic symptomatic of slasher protagonists.

I wish I could say the same for his co-star, Stacey Nelkin. Though her performance isn’t awful, it’s nothing special either. Bad script writing is partially to blame for this, as her character is a bit underdeveloped. It’s the “Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker” problem, really. She could have benefited from a mustache… However what Season lacks in co-star, it makes up for in antagonist. As the owner of the Silver Shamrock toy company, Conal Cochran, Dan O’Herlihy fully embraces his character’s demented menace. In a particularly low point for Dr. Challis, when everything seems hopeless, O’Herlihy delivers what may be one of the best “evil plan” speeches of all time. In all of the Halloween series, this is the only villain who speaks, and that is a treasure all its own.

I was inspired by the remaining elements of the film: direction, cinematography, and soundtrack. To start, John Carpenter and Alan Howarth scored an original soundtrack for Season of the Witch, replete with high tempo synth over a gloom of deep, bassy beats. And yet again, Carpenter’s mastery of the movie theme song is showcased in Season. And though it never reached the enormity in pop culture that the Myers theme achieved, the Halloween III theme is an amazingly dreadful piece that is second to none other than its own movie franchise.

Behind the camera, Season was led by Halloween vets. Both director Tommy Lee Wallace and cinematographer Dean Cundey worked on the first two films. Interestingly, Cundey had been nominated for an Academy Award for his work in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and his experience shows in Halloween III. The scene setting shots of the desolate company town of Santa Mira stand out in particular. Kudos to Wallace as well, who nearly transformed Halloween from a simple slasher series to an anthology. Had this film been successful, the series would have seen different stories with new directors for each entry, but instead we got one film lost under a pile of Myers sequels whose quality range from “ok, I guess” to “I guess the monkeys with typewriters actually got something out.”

It’s really too bad what ended up happening to Halloween III. Upon release, audiences and critics panned the film for diverging away from the masked killer. Only after decades of drowning in never-ending Jason Voorhees trash, Scream’s parody of the genre, and the torture porn of 2000’s horror did this film get looked at with welcome eyes. Now a minor cult classic, I’ve come to spread the good word of Season of the Witch. The masks central to the film’s story perfectly capture the difference between this entry and the rest of the series. Both look really damn cool, but one is iconic, and the other is actually in the spirit of Halloween. Next October, give the movie a shot. Halloween III gets far more right than wrong, and deserves a spot in the annual scary movie line-up.

Obligatory Number at the End – 7.75