Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick 'r Treat, Smell My Blog, Give Me Something Good To Eat!

I figure tonight's post should consist of the same basic thing it did last year; a running tally of the night's activities, etc.

I got up with the wife already off to a pedicure and baby shower (2 separate events), so I just popped in a film in an effort to finally catch up completely on my 31 films project because I knew the afternoon would get away from me completely and I'd soon be interrupted by the incessant ringing of the doorbell.

We had a friend and her 2 year old drop by just after 5:00 PM, indicating the start of our evening, so I got the witch set up with her misting/bubbling cauldron, which looked pretty sweet.

It's just after 6:00 PM as I start writing this, so I'll be popping back periodically to see what's up.

Finishing up some laundry, folding that stuff away.

Cheap Fun Was Had By All6:45: Still no trick or treating action, popped in a cheap copy of Diary Of The Dead for background noise, in that it's something I've seen and don't care if I get distracted from. Morris has made plans to come by with a pizza and just chill out with us later.

6:55: Got our first stranger of the night, by which I mean a kid we don't know ringing the bell, not that I sat on my hand til it was numb, then masturbated. So get your mind out of the gutter. The kid was dressed as a Jedi and seemed really stressed out by the four lb. Yorkie barking at him; I'd have imagined Jedis were much more 'Zen' than that.

7:02: More stragglers begin to trickle by. I checked last year's blog out of curiosity (yeah, I'm that anal), and we got pretty busy around 7:30, after full dark. Curious to see if this year plays out the same.

7:16: Man, this flick hasn't gotten any better on the second viewing, still pretty average all the way around. I had hopes it would somehow get better on repeated viewings, so I threw down the $3 for it when I ran across it on a clearance, so I think I may be getting that money's worth out of it as background noise this evening.

7:20: Morris arrives bearing a pumpkin and snacks, more trick 'r treaters behind him.

7:30: Bouncing Yorkie almost knocks down the dog gate I put in the front doorway onto a toddler dressed as Spiderman; this could be a long night.

7:38: It's falling into the steady stream we usually have each year, consisting of packs of 12 kids, then a few singles, then another pack of children. Yorkie is as irritated as ever, but coping well enough as it gives her something to occupy her time with.

7:47: The animatronic witch actually scared some Jr. High kids away from the door when the Yorkie activated the motion detector. That's awesome. I open the door, they're halfway back down the front walk.

8:05: The Brother In Law dropped by with the nephew, we ended up inviting them in for a bit to watch the pumpkin carving that Morris and the wife were busying themselves with.

8:26: BIL won't leave. Shoot me. Morris leaves to pick up dinner, saying goodbye to the BIL rather optimistically, as they "may not be here when he gets back".

8:50: Seriously. BIL won't leave, they're hunkering down for the night it seems. I would think he'd take his kid to at least a few other houses for candy, if only for the socialization. We eat and half-assed watch the movie that I'm sure his kid shouldn't be seeing, but I'm beyond changing up my evening to accommodate uninvited guests.

9:07: Wondering if we're done with Halloween for the night, we've had very sporadic trick 'r treaters tonight. Moved on from Diary Of The Turkey to Scream on cable, since I won't be able to watch anything and pay attention to it right now with all the other distractions.

9:14: Skeet Ulrich, how did you get hold of Johnny Depp's DNA?

9:25: Wife & Morris decide to pop into a party a few blocks over celebrating a high school friend of theirs who passed away last month. I can't be bothered, plus I figure we may still get a few people here at the door, but it finally rousts the BIL, so that's nice.

9:35: Wife & Morris back already; saw someone they didn't care for in lawn of party, nonchalantly kept driving since no one would recognize Morris' vehicle. I shit you not. Funny stuff.

We called it at 10:30 or so having not seen a kid in an hour or thereabouts, then popped in a final film for the night.

Morris wanted to watch the original Halloween, so we threw that in while I pecked away at this.

I was only able to make it through 30 films rather than 31 for the Halloween holiday, but the evening just got away from me. Oh well, I should've tried to squeeze in a few double-features earlier in the month before everything went to shit there in the middle of the month.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

One Lousy Movie? Dammit!

Today didn't play out quite as I'd planned, as the week's worth of late nights and early mornings finally got the better of me and I fell back asleep after the alarm this morning.

When I finally got moving I headed to the office to finish up a couple of reviews, gulping down some coffee to try and offset the heavy-lidded eyes that I seem to be cursed with.

I found myself strangely emotional in the afternoon, so the wife and I spent some time talking that out, the ins and outs of what might've brought it on are pretty well subconscious elements I'm unaware of. I just found myself in an oddly emotional mood, the wife was able to talk me down a little.

By this time it was pushing 3:00 in the afternoon, so I gave up the idea of going to grab any food, settling for some pretzels instead to tide me over for the party and then dinner with friends we'd planned for the evening.

Stay The Hell Out Of Maine!I popped in the next flick I need to review for Pop Syndicate, the Jack Ketchum written Offspring, which is based on his novel of the same name. The story of people menaced by feral cannibals living up and down the coast of Maine, I was rather pleasantly surprised by this, as the violence is pretty unforgiving towards anyone involved and the shittiness of human nature plays out well. Effort is made to indicate that assholes never change (even under duress) as an abusive ex-husband encourages the cannibals to torture his ex-wife! I mean, they're both in their clutches, and this prick is angling to see his ex in pain just because he can; what a douche. It was a good flick, worth a rental.

The wife and I got showered and ready for a second wedding celebration that was being held this evening for an acquaintance of the wife's and her new husband. The woman and her new man have recently married in a small ceremony, but wanted to have a little gathering with a few friends; how we made this cut is beyond me, as the wife and she aren't all that close, but it was nice of her to include us I suppose. We visited, had a cocktail and a bite of the snacky foods they had on offer, then toasted the new couple before saying our goodbyes, as we had to meet Morris and his mother for dinner. We also invited JH to join us, so we all converged on a Mexican food place near the house, where everyone else had also decided to eat, as they were packed to the gills.

The food was good, our waitress dressed as Raggedy Ann was possibly a little too old for her outfit, but her striped knee socks were kinda hot, so whatever. We said our goodbyes after the meal, Morris promising to come by for a bit of a visit once he got his mother dropped at home. We started to watch some television, but once Morris arrived it quickly became apparent that I wasn't going to be able to listen to anything without blasting it loud enough to drown out conversation, so I gave up on that idea and just muted things and flipped channels to amuse myself while we visited a bit.

Morris split and the wife headed to bed, I came in here to work on this nonsense. I still have four movies to watch before midnight tomorrow night. **Crosses fingers***

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Five Films, One Cup

The wife was off and running early this morning, so I got up a little later and got a few things submitted to this site or that, it's been a nicely productive week, I have to admit. I braved the pissing shitty English weather to go and drop something at the post office and pick up something for lunch.

The wife called while I was in the drive-thru for Starbuck's to see if I wanted a coffee, as she was heading to Starbuck's herself, which is always an amusing moment when we're thinking the same thing. I ran my errands, then met her back at the house where we chilled in the den and caught up on the day so far.

Angela's The Girl With That Little Special Something.I've got 10 movies left for the month to hit my 31 horror films in October goal, so I decided to put the Sleepaway Camp boxset I found at the pawn shop to some use, popped in the first disc. I find this film really interesting if only because it's a random horror film that the wife watched in the past few years, on her own, while I was off doing other stuff. It;s also a movie that I've only seen bits and pieces of, and the wife has watched a second time at a later date, which makes this film a REALLY weird anomaly, as horror isn't exactly the sort of thing she seeks out. I think it's the ridiculousness of the film and the 80's fashion, she's a sucker for that sort of thing. She ended up catching a nap during part of the first film, which I can officially say I've finally watched in its' entirety. Up to now I've known the silly twist, as well as seen most if not all of the deaths, but never actually watched it from beginning to end.

Pass. Just Pass.I popped in Staunton Hill next, which I need to review for one of the sites. Cameron Romero, son of horror icon George Romero made this film, and papa George is quoted on the box saying something about the film being 'as scary as it gets', which is a bald-faced Goddamned lie, and George knows it unless he's that out of touch with reality. The film is about a group of friends hitchhiking who end up led to a remote far, where a family wait to kill them and harvest their skin for some reason that I never really discerned and couldn't be bothered to look into, because it's all paint by numbers horseshit by the end of the film. I was hoping this would be some big revelation, like his father's Night Of The Living Dead, but it was unfortunately more like his father's Diary Of The Dead, which was almost universally viewed as a disappointment. Oh, and there's the odd bit about setting it in 1969, because the kids are headed to a rally in DC, but aside from some redneck saying 'nigger' to the black lead at some point, and news footage in the background of a scene, there's no reason for it to not be set last week, which I found to be an odd choice.

The wife had some kinda bullshit meeting, and Brian was whinging about dinner since we won't be available to feed him tomorrow night, so she asked if I'd care if she had dinner with him, which I flat out refused to upset my evening to do. Left to my own devices, I popped in the second film in the boxset, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers, but after it got off to an amusing start decided to hold it to possible view with the wife when she got home.

I had TiVo'd William Castle's Strait-jacket off TCM, so I gave that a spin instead, as it wasn't anything I was going to feel bad about possibly dozing through a short bit of if it didn't just grab me immediately. It featured Joan Crawford as a murderous older woman, just released from an asylum after killing her husband and his lover 20 years ago. The film was interesting, building a fairly obvious mystery around whether or not Crawford has gone back to her axe-happy ways, but knowing Castle's 'twist' endings, the odds are pretty good that it's not who he's desperately trying to make you think is the killer.

Quoth The Who, They're All Wasted!The wife got home and we ended up plowing through the last two sequels back to back, though while the 2nd part was a fun blender of 80's horror staples, bad fashions, gratuitous nudity and silly one-liners delivered by Angela, the resident killer and pissy camp counselor. The 3rd film, Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland wasn't quite as much fun, as I find out that the print on the DVD is a cut version, with the extra gore and whatnot relegated to a bonus feature of extended scenes elsewhere on the disc. This is pretty irritating, as Anchor Bay is usually a little better about catering to their fan base, I have to wonder if this was put out right before they sold to Starz or whoever is their parent company now.

Good Luck On Your Re-Sell Value! Worse Than The Murder House!We called it a late night after that, and I still have a final five films to catch up with to round out my month. I have one screener to review, so that automatically gets thrown in the mix, but now that it's down to the wire I'm starting to wonder what gets to be 'the' films that get watched on Halloween, as I know we'll have Morris in town, so I don't know if we'll be entertaining him or not on Saturday. I know I'll be watching House Of The Devil, cause I made sure to DVR it off the HDNet Movies channel, it looks like a lot of fun, and I have the Finnish film Sauna coming from Netfux, so that nails down three choices with the screener of Offspring. The final two spots are going to be tricky to fill; do I shoot for something else I haven't seen, or break out an old favorite?

Oh, and what the fuck is the point of all this anyway? Why do I bother, that's also a legitimate consideration. If you have any theories, feel free to share.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Welcome To The Hellish World Of Disney?

I was up late last night for no good reason, though I did sit in to listen to a live recording that the (Cool) Shite guys were doing, but that's no excuse, I just wasted my time early in the evening fooling around surfing the web instead of getting my writing and whatnot wrapped up at a reasonable hour.

The wife was up printing her agendas for the meetings that she had today, so I headed to the kitchen, and on a complete wild hair, made breakfast since we had eggs, ham and cheese in the house. The Maid called, putting us off until next week, which we'd originally requested that she do anyway, so that worked out for the best. I got the wife fed before she split to get her teeth cleaned (I'm sure the dentist's office appreciated me sending her off with food, but fuck 'em, they always keep you waiting for no reason), then I headed to the office to get started on a few reviews I had planned for the day.

I got several things nailed down, took a break for lunch with the wife, then she chilled in the bedroom while I forced myself back into the reviews to clear out the last of the notes I had piled up. Once I was done with that I actually lay down with the wife and caught a short nap, then popped in something from Netfux so that I can get it in the mail tomorrow.

The Violence Can't Make It Interesting, But By God It Tries!Deadly Friend was another film that I had always been curious about and finally decided to give it a shot for the 31 films this month. The movie is about a kid who has created a artificial intelligent robot that is his best friend, but when a cruel neighbor lady destroys it, and then the cute girl next door (Kristy Swanson) is killed by her abusive father, the kid decides to put his robots' brain into Kristy to keep her alive and hopefully reconcile the two personalities/intelligences. The film felt a lot like one of those corny Wonderful World Of Disney movies that used to show on ABC, except that every now and then something horrible and bloody would happen. The kids are somewhat precocious, the robot is fairly cutesy, all very Disney-esque, then suddenly Swanson shows up with a bloody nose because her dad belted her; it's a very strange feeling. That said, the film has some hilariously over the top sequences, including popped heads, and a truly asinine ending, but it's amusing enough to five a single rental to if you're a genre fan.

We ended our evening with a new Ghost Hunters, then spent some time picking up the kitchen before calling it a night.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Catching Up On My Pet Project

Before I get too far into things, I'd like to mention that one of my Blogger pals Johnny Yen posted a nice little piece about Macguffin over at his place, he'd only known Mac via the web, but was shocked to learn of his death. I thank him again for his kind words and thoughts for our buddy.

I got a few things submitted to the various and sundry site today, including a couple of new reviews over at the old Big Suck Loser, which can be found here and here.

I also plowed through a few things I had in hand from Netfux, one for review, another just for the hell of it, and even checked out a third film for review for Pop Syndicate.

A Fun Horror/Western Hybrid, Hard To Categorize, But Worth A WatchI finally watched Dust Devil, Richard Stanley's tale of a shape-shifting killer roaming the deserts, stalking a desperate young woman who's just left her husband and is looking to disappear for awhile. The film looks amazing, the scenery is bleak and breathtaking at the same time, and the atmosphere is creepy and bizarre as the killer goes about his activities so casually on the lonely backroads. This film was something I'd always heard about but had never bothered to track down, so I bumped it up the queue for my little horror project for Halloween, then let it sit around with all the other shit that's been going on the past week or so.

The wife was in and out all day with this meeting or that, so I was pretty much left to my own devices, aside from the short time she was home for lunch. We caught up a bit and talked about what was going on for the weekend, etc.

I threw in another selection from Netfux, which I'd already decided I didn't really feel like reviewing, as it appeared to be somewhat paint by number hillbilly horror. The Locals opens with two New Zealanders heading into the countryside for a weekend away, but quickly getting distracted by some girls in 80's dress who invite them to party with them, if they can keep up. Once they (of course) wreck their car trying to follow the girls, things continue to go south as they witness a farmer killing his wife, but this is actually where it started to grow on me a bit. The acting is average at best, but once they start running from 'the locals' you begin to see little hints that there's more at play here than just hillbillies, a more supernatural threat that I hadn't really been looking for and caught me (quite pleasantly) by surprise. I'd say it's definitely worth a rental.

The Clearest Look You Get At These Monster Spirits!The wife got home while I was in the middle of a third film (seriously making an effort to catch up on my 31 films this month), which just so happened to be a review item for Pop Syndicate, a film by Eduardo Sanchez called Seventh Moon. It's set in China on a day where the spirits are free to roam the Earth and menace Amy Smart and her newlywed husband, who are there honeymooning at the worst possible time because that's what happens when you don't hire a wedding planner. The film is shot hand-held, which means lots of shaky cam, it's shot outdoors at night during a full moon, which means that it's murky as fuck, and above all, it feels like a 30 minute or hour-long television episode stretched to feature length. I love me some girl-next-door Amy Smart, but damn, this was pretty blah all the way around.

The wife and I wrapped the evening with some random television, then called it a day. The Maid will be underfoot tomorrow, so I'm sort of planning on holing up in the office and getting several things written up.

I'm out, kids.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

An Abusive Husband Is The Worst Kind Of Ghost

I got up this morning with the intention of drinking some coffee and relaxing with the wife a bit, then hopping online to submit a couple of reviews and maybe spend time getting a jump on a few other films in the late afternoon.

This whole process fell to a dead stop after coffee and donuts, as the PC was moving at a glacial pace for no apparent reason, so I spent basically the entire afternoon defragmenting and running the spyware sweeps to ensure that nothing had gotten into the old girl whilst we tooled around the big bad interwebs this past week, all of which came up clean.

And You Thought YOUR Dead Ex-Husband Was An Asshole...I did take the time to watch something on the laptop, if only to feel as though I'm getting my money's worth from Netfux. I had been curious about 100 Feet for quite some time now, so I gave it a spin to kill some time and see if Famke Janssen was interesting bumping around a house by herself for 90 minutes. The film was surprisingly engaging considering the sparse cast and action, as the first 20 minutes do little except sketch in her abusive life with a cop husband that she eventually killed and hint at what's to come with creaking floorboards and strange noises in her empty brownstone. The reveals of the husband as a smoky insubstantial spirit look alright, and the film held my interest to see what she could figure out to do to get this asshole off her back once and for all. One oddly amusing moment was when she actually asked her priest (who knew she'd killed her husband) if he could bless her house and he flat-ass refused! I mean, can they do that? Is there a comment card or something for the parishioners to fill out where she can bitch about her lousy priest service?

The flick was an okay watch, and it successfully killed the time it took the PC to pull its' head out and get the game face on.

I basically killed the afternoon returning e-mails and getting a few things done online, then the wife and I headed over to the Mother In Law's to have dinner, as she'd gotten a wild hair and cooked beans and cornbread. We ate and visited for a bit, the wife showed the MIL the two pieces of art she'd purchased while out of town via the gallery's website, she seemed to like them, but I dunno if her tastes and ours truly meet, or if she was just being polite. Oh well, it's not for her house, right?

We headed home and watched a few things off the old TiVo. A new Heroes, which continues to limp along leaving me watching out of habit and morbid curiosity, then we dove into last night's Desperate Housewives, which I still find somehow interesting, as cheesy as it is.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cinematic Sunday One Hundred Eleven

Once more, with trailers:

Here's a short (and I mean SHORT, like 30 seconds) teaser for the next Nicolas Cage film destined to be used in numerous mashups on YouTube. Season Of The Witch is directed by Dominic Sena, and stars Cage as a 14th Century knight transporting a woman accused of witchcraft to an abbey full of monks who specialize in exorcisms. That said, the line "The head, CUT OFF THE HEAD!" will probably soon replace "The bees, NOT THE BEES!" as the most overused soundbite on the web.

Next we have something from True Legend, from director Yuen Woo-Ping, legendary choreographer of virtually any martial arts film worth watching. The actual plotting is evidently about a man who loses everything and becomes the "king of beggars", and I'm pretty sure I spotted Michelle Yeoh in there somewhere as the female lead, but overall this looks to be more of a sizzle reel than an actual trailer and I'm honestly not all that familiar with the male lead, Vincent Zhao. That said, the stunt work looks amazing, I'm sold on this film on general principal.

Finally I'm closing with a simple trailer that I ran across over at Twitch this evening, a Thai film called Haunted Universities. I'm including it because I was shooting for three trailers this evening as I usually do and this fits nicely into padding out that roster. The last Thai film I saw was Sick Nurses, which was surprisingly fun, so I'm willing to give this a look. The film is directed by Bunjong Sinthanamongkolkul and Sutthiporn Tubtim, two names that mean absolutely nothing to me right now (just being honest folks), but their first films' trailer is an interesting look at word-of-mouth, 'urban legend'-esque tales.

I'm out, kids.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Will You People Stop Breeding For A Few Minutes?

Was up late, slept in, same as it ever was.

The Yorkie was kind enough to join me in the bedroom, following her pre-established patterns for the wife's absence. The first night she sleeps in the sitting room off the kitchen, waiting for her to return, the second night she gives up and retires to the bedroom, the third night she follows me around quite a bit & sleeps in the bed, then usually (God willing) the wife is back the next day.

And A Dawson Shall Lead Them...I picked up some lunch, then ate while watching something else for my 31 horror films for Halloween project, a film I grabbed on Showtime a few weeks back, Clive Barker's The Plague, which stars James Van Der Beek as an ex-con who returns to civilization as a major catastrophe happens. Ten years earlier all the children above age 9 had fallen into comas, now they re-awaken with a murderous rage to kill all the adults. The film fills in the lead actors' back stories on the fly, through different conversations or actions, which is a nice approach, but it ultimately doesn't say much. By the time you figure out why the kids are doing what they're doing (the explanations of which is fairly vague) it doesn't even make all that much sense, this honestly felt like it would've been better served as a novel or even a series of comics, which would give more room to expand on the ideas. Oh well, I'd say pass unless you're just into the Van Der Beek, because this has sweet fuck all to do with Clive Barker, he must've sold them his name as a producer or something, because he neither wrote nor directed this turkey.

**Werewolf Not Included**I spoke to the wife on the phone, nailed down her arrival time for tomorrow afternoon, then spent a bit of time on the computer before being struck with a total wild hair to go and look for the little action figure of Sam, the burlap sack adorned kid from Trick 'r Treat, which I was pretty sure I'd spotted somewhere in the past. I was happy to snag it with no problems, as well as a few cheap used DVD's and some blank CD's that I needed anyway, it turned out to be a useful trip.

Back at the house I ended up on the phone with some friends in succession, all calling to check up on me and see how things were going, and also spoke to the wife again while I was settling Sam into his spot on the desk in the office. The wife was happy to have bought a couple of pieces of art at a gallery in Denver in her down time from the convention.

I Watched It Alone, Don't Believe The Hype...I decided to try and squeeze in another movie since I'm so far behind in my viewing for the month (this was the 14th flick out of 31, I'ma have to really stack up the latter part of this coming week to get caught up) so I finally threw on It's Alive! while I opened my used DVD purchases to ensure that they weren't all cocked up, 'cause ya never know. I'd never seen the film, and it was pretty interesting, though I dunno if it'll be anything I come back to more than once every few tears at most, but since it was in the $3 stuff at Big Lots I think I got my money's worth out of it. The father was played by a character actor I've seen before, but Jesus Christ, he was such a Guido-looking nightmare in this film, he was actually a little hard to look at. He had this strangely aggressive look, tempered by the slight hint that he just might be smelling shit, which caused his nose to curl just so; God, I was more scared if his face than the creepy mutant baby puppet that the film is actually about.

Having rounded out my evil children-related viewing for the day, I paused briefly to slam my nuts in a kitchen drawer, because obviously children are nothing but bad news and I would be best served to not have one, then headed to the office to chill out for the evening.

I caught a live recording that the (Cool) Shite folks were doing, which was a nice diversion. I really enjoy the crowd they have on the show as well as the other fans, always a pleasure.

I'm out kids, gotta get some sleep so I can be up to grab the wife from the airport. That's the sort of thing you sleep through that really fucks up your life.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Post For Your Skimming Pleasure

So I was up doing my standard blogging bit last night when Blogger completely shit the bed and left me with only an error message for my trouble, so said the hell with it and headed to the bedroom to watch some television before calling it a night. That would explain why most of you read yesterday's post sometime after 5:00 PM today, when it finally dawned on me to post the fucker.

Back to last evening:

I watched a couple episodes of South Park with the On Demand function on the DVR, then started reading some of the little re-caps I've been checking out on the Lost show, just to ensure that I'm not missing any huge details in my marathon viewings. I look up and it's almost 4:30, and I'm really not all that tired. I forced myself to try and relax enough to sleep, because I knew I had the Yorkie to deliver to the Groomer this morning.

I woke up to a text message from the wife buzzing through on the phone and startling me awake.

I'd slept through the alarm, it was now 11:00 AM, the dog wasn't going to the Groomer's today, which I almost didn't feel that bad about considering she never ate yesterday as part of her typical nervous hunger strike that happens when any element of the routine changes around here, e.g.: the wife's absence.

Everybody Likes Redheads, Including Sandahl BergmanI was rather hungry since I hadn't eaten in 24 hours or so, so I dressed and went to pick up a sandwich and drop something off at the post office, then chilled in the den with Red Sonja, because it was on cable and I've never seen it. Aside from being pleased with myself for spotting a young Ernie Reyes Jr. and one of the slobby looking fuckers from Dune in another role, the film wasn't really blowing my skirt up. I suppose I was expecting something with Schwarzenegger basically turning up in the Conan role in another film (especially since they gave him top billing!), but when he just turns out to be some other mercenary douchebag who happens along and has a thing for redheads, I started to lose interest quickly. I transferred stuff from one app in the iPhone to another to try and ever get the Movie Catalog thing current, watched the end of the film, then took the Yorkie for a bit of a chase around the back yard to see if that might liven her up a bit.

The Mother In Law called and invited me to dinner again with she and her new Beau, so I agreed because I thought it might be good for me to get out of the house and make sure that I actually ate something this evening.

Not As Bad As I Expected? Is That An Endorsement?I watched one of the films I desperately need to review for Pop Syndicate, a surprisingly watchable police procedural called Streets Of Blood that is set in post-Katrina New Orleans and features the typical goings on among shady cops who operate in a very grey area of society. Not too shabby, I was pleasantly surprised, though I'm also wondering if my current state of mind was just so hungry for something to take my mind off my private life that I'm giving this thing more credit than it deserves..

Dinner was good, we waited a few minutes for a table, but the service was fine and it was cool to get to know the MIL's new Beau a bit more, most of our socializing has been in the middle of other stuff, or in a large enough group that individual conversations may fall by the wayside.

They dropped me back at the house after dinner, where the Yorkie greeted me as if I'd been declared dead in a plane crash 5 years ago or something; it's nice to feel wanted. I ended up spending the evening piddling around with a few things in the office and kitchen, picking up the house a bit and cleaning out iTunes of some odds and ends that have either been listened to or made their way to CD.

I'm out, heading to bed to try and watch a bit of tube before a (relatively) early bedtime.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Comedy & Puzzling Indonesian Film

The wife had to leave this afternoon for a non-profit related conference in Denver, so I drove her to the airport, leaving a rather disappointed looking Yorkie watching us through the window as we headed to the garage with luggage, but without her. She always gets excited when the luggage comes out, so it always makes me sad if we're not taking her with us, or especially if it's just the wife leaving, as I get to try and talk the dog through the coming miserable weekend.

I grabbed a burrito or two on my way back into town from the airport to punish my body a bit.
Jesus died for your sins. I'm doing it for your mere entertainment dollar.
I spent some time watching the Doug Stanhope DVD I got in the mail awhile back, I really, really dig that guy's work, he's hilarious.

The wife's friend Scrawny McTall stopped by to say hello and check up on me (which was sweet of her), and gave the Yorkie something to be excited about, then I chilled out and watched an awful film that 'd been hanging around from Netfux just so I could return it to them.

The Off Season is a fucking boring movie, nothing happens for an hour, then they throw boring plot/mystery elements at you for 30 minutes, credits roll. Don't waste your time, I was actually wondering how the hell it made it onto my Netfux queue in the first place.

SO...MUCH...CHEESE...I later watched Dangerous Seductress, which was an Indonesian film that I'd found a used copy of several months back, and was directed by the same guy who brought us Mystics In Bali, though I think I ended up digging this film more than I did Mystics, possibly because I knew more of what I was getting into this time around. The film is utterly ridiculous, the special effects look to have cost several hundreds of dollars at the very least, ever dollar of which is up there in the screen. A witch is awakened by one of two blonde sisters living in Indonesia, then possesses one of them and uses her to kill and collect the blood that will revive her fully, which if memory serves is somewhat similar to the Mystics film, in the possession angle at the very least. The movie has so many ridiculous moments, it's well worth a look based on the corny music, fashions, effects, etc. I think I may be slowly becoming one of those types who seeks out the sillier films out of morbid curiosity, which will then become a genuine preference for this type of schlock over 'normal' cinema.

I finally spoke to the wife around 10:30, it'd taken her the entire day basically to get there and settled in the room. I don't envy her.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Habitual Ritual

I'll be stopping in here as normal in an effort to keep my mind occupied, as dealing with this week seems to be easier if I'm not left to my own devices to stew on Macguffin's suicide, or discussing it with others, which always stirs up the emotions. Lookin' Good Sir. Ellen Aim wrote a sweet post about him over at her place, which is where I stole the photo, snapped of Mac at the wife and I's wedding, I don't think I had seen it before, I'm glad she had it.

I drank three quarters of a bottle of Scotch last night, wrote the blog post and then crash-coursed through the final 5 episodes of Lost season 4 just to keep my mind on other shit instead of Mac.

I slept poorly, finally got to sleep for more than an hour at a stretch around 9:00 AM this morning, slept until noon, then got up because I didn't want to waste the entire day away.

The wife had a few errands to run, which she asked me if I wanted to tag along for, so I drove her to do her bits of rat-killing here and there, then we grabbed lunch and came back home.

I spoke to Mac's mother in greater detail about the events of Monday, then worked my own phone tree to relate new details to everyone I spoke to yesterday about things.

Mac's mother called again later and we spoke at greater length about the past month or so, I think she was looking for the comfort of knowing that her son had at least a few happy moments recently, which I can assure her that he did. I mean, there was a melancholy that accompanies any break-up/divorce, but the man seemed to genuinely be in a better place than he'd been in the past 5 years or more, which makes this recent turn of events all that more surprising and tragic. His note and burial requests are in his mother's hands, who seems set on carrying them out, but I don't know exactly what that will mean for his friends & acquaintances who might want to gather to mourn their loss or reminisce, or at the very least let his mother know what her son meant to them.

I'm out, hopefully I will sleep soon.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Everyone I Know Goes Away In The End

My best friend of 16 years killed himself yesterday.

Stevo's loss in SLC Punk has always resonated with me, as I felt that it would mirror Macguffin passing out of my life, as his myriad health problems and depression had plagued him since I've known him.

"Now what am I gonna do for a friend?"

Rest in peace my friend, I hope you find the relief that you never had in this life; mine was better for having you in it for this brief time.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

A $30 Lesson In Forced Obsolescence

I have recently tried to use an option we have that neither the wife and I ever really indulge, which is the TiVo's capabilities to burn a copy of this or that to DVD, usually something I can't buy a legit copy of due to it being out of print for whatever reason. Well, the lesson we've recently learned is that the TiVo is such an antique that it won't burn anything on a DVD-RW or DVD-R that's designed to burn any faster than 2X the normal speed. Since I don't do this sort of shit ever, this is probably common knowledge to anyone with even remotely savvy technical skills, but it's like Grandpa Mob here suddenly woke up living in Star Trek or something. The biggest problem here is that no one on the face of the planet makes a disc that only burns at this speed, some burn at up to 16X, etc., but it seems that pesky up to option seems to flummox the player and it gives an error message saying that the disc is unsupported or what the fuck ever.

This happened with the spindle of 25 discs (!) we bought several weeks back that I finally cracked open to burn something with, and since it'd been several weeks and the receipt had long since gone the way of the trash can, we're now stuck with $30 worth of useless discs.

The real kicker to this whole tale of whinging and bitching is that the discs that have worked in the past (Fujifilm DVD-RW 2X 4.7GB 120min for the record; if you find any, buy those fuckers and I'll reimburse you) are still fairly easy to find from various parties on the interwebs, but they all want to charge some sort of unGodly shipping & handling fees for a small stack of 5 of them in the standard pack. I'm more than a little offended by the idea that I can pay someone around $4 a disc for what is essentially obsolete material that no retail outlet wants to carry anymore; how is this possible? I'm not talking about a rare magazine or some hard to find jewel, it's outdated technology, dammit! If someone tried to sell you a large, black rotary dial telephone you'd tell them to go fuck themselves, now I'm being asked to pay some dude a $2.50 'handling fee' to free up a dusty shelf in a warehouse somewhere.

I also love that we're basically being punished for not managing to destroy the 10 yr old TiVo that is still working pretty damned well even after extensive daily use for the past five years; I can't speak to the wife's usage before I came on the scene. I just think it's fucked that it's probably more expensive to burn copies of certain films than it would be to buy a legit one thanks to places like Big Lots.

I was up early today because I wanted to get some things done before the lunch hour rolled around. The wife had a lunch meeting, so while she got ready for that I checked e-mail, then loaded up recycling, something I had to mail, and the second pack of DVD's that I'd tried to gamble on over the weekend, only to find out that they wouldn't work either. I was able to return them since they were purchased yesterday afternoon, which was a relief, as I wasn't looking forward to making a scene in Staples this early in the morning. I dropped off my recycling piles and got my package safely posted before the wife called me about lunch, since her meeting was canceled unexpectedly.

We met for some Mexican, then she headed out to run one a few more errands while I headed home to get a few things submitted to the various sites, including a review of Blood On Satan's Claw over at our place.

Not Too Shabby!I caught a 30 minute catnap in the mid-afternoon, then popped in something else I had to review for the Pop Syndicate folks. This was a film I'd signed up for, but once I got it in hand had been kind of dreaded slogging through it, as it appeared to be a French subtitled musical, which sounded just hellish. The story actually turned out to take place in and around a theater, and there are a few songs here or there, but it's not a straight up musical, which was a relief, and the film looked amazing. I'd recommend checking out Paris 36, it's a great looking period piece and was actually a good bit of fun.

The wife had a quick evening meeting, then brought home some Thai food for dinner and we caught up on some television. TiVo managed to fuck around and not record tonight's Goddamned episode of Heroes, which is irritating, because the machine manages to record most everything asked of it, but here and there (with no rhyme or reason) the sensor doesn't work to change the channel as it should, and there's little to be done about it. The machine will literally record a show, change channels properly, record again, then suddenly fail to change channels for another scheduled recording for no reason. I shake my fist at the sky every time this happens, accompanied with some choice words, especially when it's something like this that I have to track down online instead of being able to watch 'on demand' on the DVR.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cinematic Sunday One Hundred Ten

It's my day off, so here's your trailers.

First up is an indie drama called Uncertainty, which is co-directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lynn Collins and the divine Olivia Thirlby. The plotting isn't 100% clear to me from the trailer, but appears to involve two different realities as a couple chooses to head to either Brooklyn or Manhattan at the toss of a coin. One eventuality leads to murder and intrigue involving a found cellphone, while the other involves family dinners and love, and I'm pretty sure someone's pregnancy factors in there somewhere as well. I'm sold on the cast alone, so keep an eye out for this one in November.

Next up is something I have to mention as a movie nerd, and that's Sylvester Stallone's film The Expendables, which stars Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin and virtually anyone else who was in an action flick in the past 25 years. There's a plot of some kind, but who the fuck really cares? If you're interested in seeing this to begin with, all you're going to be looking for is fistfights, sweaty dudes and explosions, which this short trailer delivers in spades. I'm a little disturbed by how interested I am in seeing this film, as it looks to be a non-ironic, corny-ass throwback action film, but why kid myself? I wanna see this as soon as it hits theaters.

And finally we have Edge Of Darkness from Casino Royale director Martin Campbell. It stars Mel Gibson as a police detective whose daughter is killed in what is initially thought to be an attack on him. Further probing begins to indicate that she might've been killed as a threat to national security, and Gibson's investigation allies him with government agent Ray Winstone in a mission to get the truth out of Danny Huston, who you might recall as the lead vampire in 30 Days Of Night. I adore a good revenge thriller kind of film (Taken, I'm looking at you), so this is right up my alley.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pulling The Curtain Back Again

The wife was volunteering for the day at a charity event, so I woke up alone shortly before noon today, wondering what the day might hold. I gave El Vox a call, because he'd mentioned going to a large garage sale today, but we'd never really confirmed one way or another.

I got his machine, so I left a message then called Macguffin and visited with him for awhile before Vox called me back and made plans to head to my place.

I got dressed and was out the door when Vox arrived, we hit up the sale, I found a copy of Bruce Campbell's first book in hardcover for $.60 cents, which was awesome, along with a few other odds and ends.

We wandered through a couple of pawnshops, where I also happened to find the little Sleepaway Camp box set for $7, then grabbed a late lunch before winding up the day with a browse of Best Buy.

The wife had mentioned that the Mother In Law wanted us to have dinner with she and her new beau, but by the time I got home from my running around the idea of getting dressed up for a visit to the country club sounded about as much fun as waterboarding, so I begged out of that and we spent the night in. I took the free time to give the decorations a final pass before settling in to watch some television.

The decorating thing is finally done, as I unboxed the super-sweet witch that the MIL had gifted me with to get her set up in the entryway. She's shipped headless, and the body contracts for storage, so she pops up to about four feet tall, perfectly creepy height for kids. She is also shipped without her hair and hat attached, which prompted the wife to comment "no wonder my niece is scared of the thing", because one was also given to the Older Sister, who recently lamented that her 13 yr old daughter acted terrified of it!

Gonna Get My Hair Did...

Here's a closer look at the velcro strip meant to attach her wig and hat to her head, which seems like ingenious technology to use once you start to lose your hair. I've made a special note to myself should I ever be in the market for a rug.

So Super Handy

Here's a shot of the rather wide hips she seems to sport; presumably she turned to the Dark Arts in an effort to find a spell to make herself more attractive to the opposite sex. Her experiments in this area have thus far proved unsuccessful, hence, her big giant ass.

Witchy's Got Back!

Here she is once you get the wig/hat attachment settled into place. She has a stick with which she stirs a little cauldron; you add water to it and the thing magically does a 'boiling' mist bit, which probably amounts to a wet floor and a lawsuit from a trick or treaters' parent once they fall. Thus, I placed her away from the door so it's my life I'm taking in my hands once she gets going. Notice how she's checking herself out in the mirror to her left, camera right: The vanity on this one.

Cue Suspiria Theme...

Once the motion sensor is triggered and she get's going, the thing's eyes start to light up (!) and she jerks around while stirring the pot vigorously from side to side. This is also when you get the added horror of noticing how much her hips get into things.

Holy Fuck Why Are The Eyes Lit Up?!? Send It Back To Hell!

There's definitely something a tad unnerving about animatronic stuff to begin with, but when it lights up like a Silver Shamrock Mask about to turn your head to bugs and snakes, they reach a new level of hellishness. This thing will be set to motion activation on the big night, and I will shout that it's never done that before and scream for the children to go get help each time it starts moving, because I like to amuse no one but myself.

2 More Weeks To Halloween, 2 More Weeks To Halloween, Silver Shamrock!

I had planned to maybe pick up a clamp style spotlight to use in the second window with the jack-o-lantern creature, but I remembered that we had a derelict lamp in the storage. The lamp's shade hadn't survived the last move, so I grabbed it and set it up with a green bulb in the window, positioned on the floor, along with a fresh timer.

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Bitch!

I can happily say that the timer worked this evening, so both windows went out at the right time, but not before I snapped another pointless shot for your viewing pleasure.

Alternate Angle Number 11

The wife and I called it a night around 10:30, so I hope to be in bed early for a change and get a fresh start in my day tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Always A Work In Progress

So today was the day for Halloween to descend on our house like the candy filled plague, as I'd decided that as much as I'd like to do this shit for a month straight, without kids in the house I honestly feel a little silly doing too much in the way of decorating too early. If we just threw up a skeleton decal on the front door or whatever, I'd go for the full 31 days of nuttiness, but since my decorating in the front room blocks off both windows and the entryway pretty completely, I've decided a full 2 weeks is a nice safe median to shoot for. That way it's not in the way to the point of being annoying, I still get to enjoy it, and maybe we get a few compliments on Halloween night.

That process has left me feeling stuffy and irritable, I dunno if it's a combination of the various faux-rotted cloths that I use each year to box off the windows, or if some asshole coughed on me while we were out to dinner this evening, but my nose has been going crazy ever since I got things put up. I sincerely hope it's just an allergy to the dust and whatnot stirred up by the decorating (as the boxes used to block off the front windows are kept in the garage storage room), rather than me actually getting sick or something.

Since I did very little today besides listen to ShowShow's archived show from last year's Spooktacular, which was a whopping three hours and change, I was able to get a good deal done on the decorating, with just a few annoying tweaks to deal with tomorrow afternoon.

Here's the first bit of things that I started slapping together, using a derelict CD tower for the body of a character to place in the second window, which I normally just cover with the same blood stained cloth. This year I was inspired to try something different and use one of the jack-o-lanterns as his head, an old telescoping closet storage bar for the arms, then drape the whole mess in the bloody cloth that I normally blocked out the windows with. I was rather happy with the result, though I want to tinker with placement and the timer on the lighting used, as the lights didn't go off at midnight as planned, so the timer must've gone tits up on me. Oh, and ignore the piles of boxes in the background, they're what I use to box off the windows, so all those moving boxes have come in rather handy these past few years instead of being drug off to the recycling bins. The ideal situation would be me planning ahead one of these years and constructing something from PVC pipe to hang the cloth from and eliminating the need for the boxes altogether, but inspiration hasn't struck yet.

Southern Engineering At It's Finest...This is the final result, placed in the window for the evening. As I said, the location may shift slightly, as the windows have a large divider that blocks the view (faux-French door style, annoying as fuck for displaying anything, be it Halloween or even a Christmas tree) unless it's arranged just so to one side or the other. I used a normal accent lamp to light the area, but I'm thinking I want to switch to a green bulb to see if it brings out the display any, as the little tiny bulb wasn't really cutting it this evening, serving as more of a test run for the new display. Hell, looking at the picture I don't even think you can tell that there's any lighting coming from below at all.

Bloody Pumpkin King To Greet You AllSecond window is basically the same as last year, same witch suspended from above, jack-o-lanterns strewn about, though I added one of the rats the Mother In Law gifted me with the things this year. Witch closeup & the fuzziness of an iPhone pic in the half-light always reminds me of Dan Brereton's comic The Nocturnals, which is a lot of fun if you've never checked it out.

Witch-ay Woman, See How High She Flies...Closer look at one of the jack-o-lanterns, as well as the little skulls in the urn he rests upon. I kinda like him because he looks rather anxious about something with the wild round eyes and grimacey mouth.

He Looks A Little Constipated, Doesn't He?Other jack-o-lantern in his spot beside the partially burned Goth-looking candle, the unavoidable look at the back of the little lamp lighting everything on the far left of the picture, as well as a peek at the large rat. The detail isn't good, but I think his large paw and teeth are pretty evident to the left of smiley pumpkin.

Aw, Rats!Moving into the door/entryway area, this is the area that I think I'm getting bored with, as the set-up has been basically the same for the last few years, bloody cloth overhead, rotted cloth to box it off a bit on the left, then strewn about with props: bones, skulls, corny lil' vampire bust, etc. I feel like the display is stagnating a bit, but I don't know what I want to change up about it exactly. The bloody ceiling gets compliments each year, so I don't want to start trying to cut that bolt of cloth up for other use only to realize I preferred it in the original form.

Knick-Knacks Galore!I tried to offset my boredom with this general area by skewing the cloth on the ceiling a bit harshly to the left where ti drops to the floor, so as to give more of an off-kilter appearance to the room. I doubt anyone will care but me. Also threw a few femurs into the cauldron full of candy at the back of the table, just to see if any of the kids notice on the big night.

Same Old Same OldThat's all I did today, set this nonsense up and snapped a few photos, almost making myself ill in the process, so I may want to look into a new hobby if this is what I get for my Halloween troubles. If I actually do anything significant to the display, of the addition of the different lighting in the one window changes anything, I may post more pics tomorrow, otherwise, Happy Halloween everyone, lets start getting ready for Christmas.

Be seeing you.

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