Monday, September 19, 2016

Revenant (2015), Fall Series Lineup

Okay, quick review of Revenant, and then right into the fall series' new and returning show times.  Keep in mind, this isn't an exhaustive list of all the new and returning shows, just the ones that I may or may not watch.

Revenant (2015) stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, an 1820's guide leading a bunch of fur trappers through a trapping excursion in the wilderness.  I don't know where this exactly happened, but it's cold there, and there's mention of Pawnee, so, wherever they live, I don't know.  Anywho, Mr. Glass and his half-indian son are with a bunch of rough and ready trappers who get attacked by indians, and have to fight their way back through the wilds to a nearby fort.  Along the way, Leo gets raped by a bear.  Hey, that's what I heard!

Revenant is all action, really.  It starts out with a hunt, moves to the indian attack, and only gets more action-y from there.  There's not a lot of character growth, everything happens over the course of maybe a week at most, and there's a lot of dying going on.  Dialogue is at a minimum, and there's no explanation along the way.  I found myself having a hard time distinguishing one group of fur-cloaked, bearded men from the next, and they were all just shooting and going all stabby on each other.  I think there was a coherent plot in there, if you could suss it out, though the ending could be a little confusing.  I wouldn't watch it again, mostly because there wasn't really a monster in there (unless you count the bear), and none of the action was particularly innovative, as far as I could tell.  I guess it was an exciting movie, as I said, all action, but none of it seemed to leave much of an impression on me.  Revenant is on HBO if you want to catch it yourself.

Now, on to the series.  Let's start with the ones that premiered already, that I missed.  Turns out that I missed the STRAIN (don't know when it premiered at all) but it's on sunday nights at 10 on FX.  The Strain is a drama about Vampires in modern day NY being tracked and hunted by a Vampire Hunter and a doctor from the CDC.  I saw the first couple seasons but it's kind of dragging on now and I don't know if I'll watch any more of it.

DUSK TIL DAWN premiered its third season a couple weeks ago on El Rey.  It's on tuesday nights at 9 pm, I think?  Another vampire show, this one based off the quentin tarantino / george clooney movie, From Dusk Til Dawn.  The movie itself spawned 2 sequels, and the first season of the series was basically a detailed retelling of the movie, from the vampire perspective.  I missed most of last season due to sheer boredom, and this season is so confusing now, I have no idea what's going on.  It's not that the main characters (the gecko brothers) aren't back (although played by two different actors, of course), it's just that, I don't really know why they are doing any of this.  There's a vampire queen from the first movie that I think could use some more character development, but she has about 30 seconds of screen time per episode.  This season, I noticed Tom Savini (who was actually in From Dusk Til Dawn) showing up, which is cool, and it looks like all the various characters are coming together in some sort of vampire/human Scooby Gang, but I'm not sure if I can catch up on what's going on.  Seems like nobody ever really dies in this show, and the enemies of last season are this season's heroes.  I'm a bit lost, and that's never a good way to watch a show.

LUCIFER (9 pm mondays on Fox) begins a second season tonight (9/19).  Satan comes to earth to start managing a bar during an extended vacation, falls in lust with a detective (played by lauren german, so I can understand why), and then the show turns into a buddy cop drama/comedy.  I believe that's referred to as a "Dramedy" but I hate shortening two perfectly good descriptive words into a misunderstood mish-mash of garbled communication.  Lucifer is supposedly based on a comic book that the show has already substantially deviated from, as I understand it, but that's just from reading what's been said on the internet.  I've never actually read the comic, but I do like watching Lauren German.  Highlight from the first season is Chloe (Lauren) divulging her pre-cop career as a porn actress.  Giggity, as they say.  Giggity, indeed.

Marvel's AGENTS OF SHIELD (10 pm tuesdays, ABC) premieres on the 20th of September.  I love this show, and apparently, Ghost Rider is joining the cast.  Not the Nicholas Cage version, either.  After losing several regular cast members last season, I only hope the show is still good.

The 21st of september (wed) had two premieres that might be interesting.  LETHAL WEAPON (8pm, Fox) is (hopefully) based off the buddy cop series of movies that Mel gibson and danny glover started back in the 80's.  I know mel Gibson is almost universally despised nowadays, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't show up in this series.  But, the movies were fun to watch, and for nostalgia's sake, I may check out the series.  Also premiering is DESIGNATED SURVIVOR (10pm, ABC), a new Keifer Sutherland vehicle about an unimportant member of the government who becomes commander in chief after all the superior leaders of government die in some artfully-contrived "accident" that keifer probably planned all along.  Don't give me that shit, I know he planned it!  He planned it ALL!  But, I may be wrong.  I'm going to find out, maybe by watching it, maybe by just forgetting I ever made the prediction in the first place.

Friday the 23rd brings 3 series premieres.  MACGYVER (8pm, CBS) is a re-hash of the old 80's series that richard dean anderson used to star in.  I'm pretty sure it's not going to be renewed for a second season, because there's no way this show will fly today, but I may watch the series premiere just to see how bad it is.  After that, there's EXORCIST (9pm, Fox), which is apparently a retelling of the scariest movie of all time.  The only hype i've seen about this is actress Geena Davis (good to see her returning to some sort of starring role) saying that the series is freakin scary.  Sounds good enough for me.  At 10pm on Syfy, it's VAN HELSING.  I don't know anything about this show, but after seeing the Van Helsing movie with Hugh jackman, knowing Van helsing from his numerous mythical battles with Dracula, and generally being a fan of things that kill vampires (sunshine, garlic, wooden stakes...  wait, what?), I'm going to see how bad Syfy can muck it up.

Quite a week lined up!  The rest of the month (and next) isn't as exciting, with a few minor exceptions.  LUKE CAGE premieres on Netflix on the 30th of September, obviously there's no date or time for that, and I'll probably binge-watch the whole series the first week.  ASH VS EVIL DEAD begins a second season on Starz at 8 pm on October 2, and right after that, WESTWORLD premieres n HBO at 9 pm.  Westworld is apparently a serial remake of the Westworld movie from the 70's (80's?), about subservient vacation-bots run amok, and looks intriguing.  I don't have to tell you about Ash vs evil dead, do I?  Come on.  It's actually got Bruce Campbell returning to the role that made him an A-list superstar (I may be exaggerating a smidgin).  There's some other things premiering in October, but I don't have descriptions for what they are, so all I can do is check them out, and make recommendations later, if they are any good.

That's all I got for now!  Enjoy Lucifer later, and have a good premiere week.  Next month, October Horror movie review-a-thon begins!  :-D  I know, you guys been waiting all year for this.  I hope I won't disappoint.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Diablo (2015)

Still trying to gear up for my Halloween Horror Movie Review-a-thon, so without further ado, here's two reviews at once.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) is my first star wars movie review, I think.  About 30 years after the events of episode 6 (Return of the Jedi, I think?), Luke has disappeared after one of his new apprentice Jedis goes rogue and kills all the other students.  The First Order, the new government now in control of the former Empire, is looking for Luke, but can't find him.  Why are they looking for Luke, you ask?  As it turns out, the First Order is also controlled by a Sith Lord (I think), who is looking to stop Luke from recreating the Jedi, as they understand that Luke was looking for the first jedi temple before he went missing.  So, a Resistance (formerly the rebels) pilot has a piece of a map to where Luke has gone, and he gets captured by the First Order, but hides the map piece in his trusty droid, BB-8 (this plot sounds strangely familiar).  Enter Rey, a scavenger, who finds BB-8 and thickens the plot with some Force Action!

Okay, if you're wondering why the plot sounds familiar, it's extremely similar to Princess Leia hiding the plans for the Death Star in R2-D2 and having the Empire go after it.  Also, the similarities between Rey (a scavenger on a desert planet) and Luke Skywalker (a farmer on a desert planet) are strikingly similar.  I think if they had made Rey a guy, everyone would have thought this was a remake of the first movie.  Also, there is, of course, The First Order, led by the Sith, who are eerily similar to the Empire, led by the Emperor.  So, is this pretty much just a retelling of the same old story, by just changing the sex of the main character?  Sounds like it, so far.  Sure, there's appearances from the old characters, Han Solo, Chewie, Princess Leia and so on, but why is everything the same?  Didn't the action of the first 6 movies have any effect whatsoever, or teach anyone any important lessons, like, don't mess with the Jedi?  Nope!

This movie didn't seem terribly good, more like George Lucas looking for more money, but then, I've always been a Trekkie at heart.  Now that I've cleared that up, let me tell you what I don't like about this movie.  As I've already said, the plot hasn't changed any.  The characters are pretty much the same.  The droids are the same.  The settings are the same.  The plot is almost exactly the same.  The writing?  Well.  That has gone downhill.  I'll try really hard not to spoil this for you if you're a die-hard Star Wars fan, but at some point in the movie, a random character picks up a lightsaber and manages to almost hold his own against a trained Sith apprentice.  If you've seen any of the previous movies, you know this is just ridiculous, because it completely destroys the Jedi/Sith "mystique," and I'm sure I don't even need to explain the why to you.  Just seeing it pissed me off, and I don't even care that much about Star Wars.  I can't even imagine what it's done to you Star Wars fans.  And then...  it happened again.  Twice!  In the same movie!  Oh, George.  Tsk, tsk.

The Force Awakens is playing on Starz! if you want to check it out for yourself.  As it's a Star Wars movie, I can see why you'd want to view it yourself, and make your own decision about how awful it is, without just going by my review.  I understand completely.  I was just thinking I might watch it again just to see the laser fights, special effects, and cool-looking droids, but there weren't any.  So I guess I'll wait for the next one, and hope it gets better from here on out.

On a side note, I couldn't help but recall the recent passing of the actor who played the Stormtrooper in the first Star Wars movie who bumped his head on a metal support.  Typically remembered as the only Stormtrooper who could actually hit anything (his head, if nothing else), I watched the Stormtroopers in this movie to see if any of them could hit anything.  Nope!  Also, the actor who played R2-D2 recently passed away, as well.  R2 didn't have a huge part in this movie, more a cameo appearance, but it was just a reminder that the original cast is getting on in years.  Princess Leia was almost unrecognizable, and I felt rather bad for Carrie Fisher, after seeing pictures on the internet of her gallivanting in the ocean between scenes of Return of the Jedi in her "slave Leia" costume, and another of her getting her chest groped by Chewie.  Ah, the old days, when you could grope a woman's breast, and not go straight to the gas chamber.  Just goes to show you, it's always the quiet ones.

Also under review this week is Diablo (2015), a movie starring Scott Eastwood, Clint Eastwood's kid.  This movie is about a civil war veteran whose wife is kidnapped by Mexican Banditos, and he sets out to track her down and get her back.  To say more about the plot might ruin the movie for you, and I don't want to ruin the surprise, so I will just say it's playing on Epix Drive-In, and move on to my specifically vague review.

Diablo is almost two movies, to be perfectly honest. It starts out as your typical western, with Scott Eastwood shooting at some bandits as they ride off, with his homestead in flames around him.  He sets off on horseback to track down his wife's kidnappers the next morning, and I have to be honest, I was thinking the movie sucked already.  The dialogue seemed stilted and weird, and the frequent cameos by various well-known veteran actors seemed more like favors owed to Clint Eastwood to try and get Scott's flailing acting career off the ground.  Things got so confusing I was actually considering switching it off, when the real movie came out.  The horror movie.  Oh yes.  Diablo is actually a horror movie, and if you saw the beginning and thought "This movie is the goofiest western I have ever seen, next to Blazing Saddles," you wouldn't be alone.  Trust me, it gets better, right around the time Danny Glover makes his cameo appearance.  I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised, and the movie wasn't even that good.  Confusing, too, but still, a decent entry into the western/horror genre.  Come to think of it, it may be the only entry in the western/horror genre, unless you count Cowboys vs Aliens, which was only a horror movie because Daniel Craig tried to act in it.

Okay, that's it for today.  I will hopefully have some more reviews for you guys before the end of the month, as I am trying to get used to posting more frequently.  The movie review-a-thon in October requires me to review a horror movie a day, and so far, I've managed to do it for about 5 years, now.  Can I do it again?  Only time will tell!  :-D

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pay the Ghost (2015)

Hey, it's almost the end of summer already!  It's been a hot one, around here.  No records or anything, but generally high 80's and low 90's.  Drought around here was so bad this year, Crickets didn't even start chirping til almost August.  But enough about the weather!  You guys want to know how I've been doing!  Well, I...  What?  You don't give a shit about me, you just want to know about the movie review?  Well, fine then!  Let's get to it.

Pay the Ghost (2015) starts out pretty well.  Nicholas Cage plays a college professor, who has mostly ignored his family in his quest to get tenure.  On Halloween, he finally finds out he's got it, and rushes home to take his son to a Halloween Carnival or something.  Only, the young son has been seeing things lately, things like a lot of very evil-looking vultures flying overhead, and some cloaked figure outside his window at night.  While at the Carnival with Professor Nick, the son mysteriously vanishes, and the professor can't find him...

First off, I'm not a fan of Nicholas Cage, but if you can ignore him, this movie starts out pretty good.  The vultures are pretty spooky-looking, and the cloaked figure outside the kid's window is vague enough to be anything at all.  I love that nobody else sees anything that the kid is seeing, but it seems like they might have, if they'd looked a little bit faster.  Almost like whatever the kid is seeing is totally real, and the adults are just missing it, somehow.  Then, the whole story behind the vultures/cloaked figure comes out, and frankly, I have no idea what the vultures have to do with the cloaked figure, but they're still cool.  I've seen vultures up close in real life, and honestly, I was a little creeped out, but I was at the end of a dead-end road, and they were literally clustered atop the sign that read DEAD END, staring me the fuck down.  So.  Yea.  Spooky, horror-movie type shit.  I did pee myself.

Then, the movie starts to break down, and here's where the spoilers come in.  After the kid vanishes, they fast forward a whole year, and I hate fast-forwardsessss.  I HATESS THEM, MY PRECIOUSSSS!!!!!  Sorry, haven't done Gollum in ages.  Gollum!  Then there's this typical wife-hates-the-husband-for-losing-their-child bullshit, that they put into EVERY missing kid movie.  I mean, isn't there one goddamn woman out there who goes "I know my husband loved my missing/abducted/lost child as much as I did, and I know he did everything he could to save him.  It's not his fault."  NOPE!  Not one.  So, of course, most of the movie revolves around Nick trying to repair his damaged relationship with his estranged wife AND find out what happened to his kid at the same time, which doesn't have a shit-ton to do with horror.  Gets a bit boring, quite honestly.  If I had known who the villain was at that point, I probably would have started rooting for the bad guy (which I sometimes do anyways).

Then things start to perk up again.  There's this nice little back-story that we find out through research (one of the professor's colleagues is a historian or something) about an innocent witch who is blamed for a plague during the old colonial days, and she and her three kids are burned at the stake.  before she dies, the witch vows to take 3 children every year to replace her own burned kids, and from the missing persons info, it looks like she has been.  There's this little side-bar where we find out the witch's name, as if this is supposed to be important, somehow, but it never comes up, because the colleague is killed right after she imparts the info to the professor.  Now, I'm not sure why the witch-ghost would bother to kill the professor's colleague for passing along this info, because the historian doesn't have a damn thing to do with the missing kids, and the info doesn't seem to mean a damn thing.  But, it happens.  Just for kicks, I guess.

Then things fall apart again, and instead of a meaningful encounter with an angry ghost, we get Nick Cage pretending he's in an action movie.  At his age.  With some crappy special-effects-bullshit ending.  Yea, long story short, some good parts, but not enough to recommend the movie, and not enough to watch it again.  Not sure where I saw it, as I was visiting friends again, but if you get the chance to see it, don't, I guess. :-)  I'm certainly not going to watch Nick Cage twice unless I have to.  He's looking old, and a bit creepy.  He should start doing horror movie villain roles, I think.  He looks the part.

That's all for this month, hope everyone had a nice summer, and yes, I'm going to try and gear up for this October's Halloween Horror-movie Review-a-thon.  Again.  It's kind of the only reason I keep my blog going, at this point.  Horror movie therapy.  BEST.  THERAPY.  EVER.  :-D

Til next time, enjoy your Labor Day holiday (if you have one) and if you're going back to school in a few weeks...  HAHA!!!!  I don't have to do that any more!  Yes!  Yes!  YESYESYESYESYES!  Hah!  Sorry.  Always hated school.  I'm a total introvert.  :-D  Seriously, I feel bad for you, but you'll probably look back on school with fondness.  Post-school reality is really kind of boring.  :-/  Still...  Yes!  No more school!  Yeah!  Homework was my downfall.  I hated homework.  Homework is DA DEVIL!  Wooohooooo!  No more school!  No more school!  No more...  Well, you get the idea.

(snoopy-dances his way through the rest of the weekend)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Deadpool, Spectre, Sharknado 4

Oh, yea, I saw Deadpool.  Forgot to mention that, last post.  Been a busy month.  So let's start with that one.

Deadpool (2015), in case you haven't heard, is about Ryan Reynolds putting on a superhero costume and playing himself.  Or, a guy who finds out he doesn't have very long to live, goes to a superhero jump-starter program (seriously) and ends up with some kind of mutant healing thing (like wolverine) that helps him survive.  Honestly, I found the whole plot to be rather convoluted, but it's really a love story.  Yea, I know.  I tried to tell my mom it was a love story to get her to watch it, but she didn't believe me, either.

There was a lot of talk on the internet about Ryan Reynolds being born to play this part, but I've seen Ryan Reynolds playing Green Lantern and it really just seems like the same guy, so, maybe it's just a case of a sarcasm meets red latex.  Morena Baccarin plays Deadpool's love interest, and she seems pretty cool, and is also just plain pretty.  There's a bit of a revenge story thrown in there, and Colossus and some other apprentice X-Man shows up to help.  Sort of.  Other, than that, your basic boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-ends-up-fighting-for-girl-against-mutant-super-villain story.

I thought Deadpool was okay.  It was a comic book story for adults, which is rare in today's day, since Disney bought Marvel.  Enjoyable watch, some funny moments, but not otherwise outstandingly spectacular.  Would I watch it again?  Meh.  Not sure if it's that exciting.  Didn't even seem as well-done as the other superhero movies, and kind of felt longer, like it dragged in parts.  Not even sure where I caught Deadpool, to be honest.  Watched it while visiting relatives, sooooo, yea.  Got nothing.  Moving on.

Caught Spectre (2015) on Epix, I think.  Spectre is another Daniel-Craig-pretending-to-be-a-straight-James-Bond-and-failing movie.  I think his acting has improved slightly since I saw Casino Royale, but I wouldn't bet money on it.  Maybe I'm just used to him delivering his lines like he was a cheap extra in a bad zombie movie.  This time, Bond tracks down a ring that leads him to Spectre, one of Sean Connery's arch-enemies from his run of movies back in the 60's.  I think Daniel Craig is trying to mimic Sean Connery's style of Bond movies, but he's just doing such a god-awful job, I can't tell.  As you can guess, I'm not a huge fan.

Can't quite recall what happened during this movie.  There were some badly-acted fight scenes.  Some badly-acted explosions.  Some badly acted...  other things that happened.  The bond girl wasn't even that attractive this time around.  At this stage in the game, I think my 83-year-old mom could end up a Bond girl and somehow end up lending some class to the series.  And I'm not even that big a fan of my mom.

One thing I found absolutely ridiculous (and that made me just ignore the rest of the movie) was that Bond gets his head drilled by a Spectre agent...  And yes, I'm giving away spoilers.  It doesn't matter.  The one or two people who read my blog regularly won't give enough of a shit to actually care that I ruined this movie, because they agree that's it's a steaming pile of bat guano...  So, Bond gets his head drilled, in several places, and just hops off the table and gets up to continue kicking ass like it was nothing.  No.  I'm pretty sure if you get a hole drilled into your brain, you're going to at least need some recovery time.  Yes, longer than 22 seconds.  He wasn't even bleeding.  Big, sad sigh for whoever wrote that ridiculous shiat.  Quit your day job, and take up something that requires less thought, because you're not up to it.  End spoilers, and please, someone take the bond series out back and shoot it in the head.  Put it (and us) out of its misery.

Did I enjoy Spectre?  Would I watch it again?  Are you kidding?  I'm sorry I watched it in the first place.  Moving on.

Sharknado 4 (2016) is another steaming pile of bat guano.  Okay, I thought 2 and 3 were bad.  What began as a novel but ridiculous idea (sharks being sucked up into a tornado and staying alive enough to eat people as the storm sweeps through LA), has been dragged out long enough.  You're beating a dead horse, people (or jumping the shark, as the case may be).  I get that Syfy (and Asylum entertainment, who produced this)  are trying to wring as many dollars out of this thing as they can, but come on.  The ideas can't be all gone, can they?

Do we really need to see Ian Ziering batling through another wave of flying sharks?  His whole family's been replaced by a new slew of actors, though David Hasselhoff returns to play Ian's dead, and sadly, these two actors are the only ones anchoring the entire movie.  Look, they've been in movies before, they are veteran actors, and I know work is sometimes hard to find, but, well, let's be honest, these guys are not Oscar-winners.  Anchoring an entire movie around them is kind of risky.  Thankfully, my one spot of enjoyment in the movie was watching Carrot-Top get eaten.  No offense, Carrot-Top, I thought your stand-up routine was mildly funny at one time, but you're like a scary, annoying clown at this point.  You should totally go with that.  The scary-annoying-clown thing.  You'd be a great Pennywise.  Alexandra Paul (and someone else probably from baywatch) show up for 5 minute cameos and joke about their baywatch past with David Hasselhoff, but I could feel the shame radiating from these poor people, slutting themselves out for money.  I hope they got paid well for selling their souls, and I don't fault them for their bad decisions.  They're obviously hard-up for work.

In one movie, they manage to go from a Dust-Devil to a Sharknado to a boulder-nado to an oil-nado to a fire-nado (Yes, finally, a real type of nado), to a nuke-nado (with radioactive sharks).  And no, don't worry about the spoilers.  It's just ridiculous.  I stopped watching when the 5-year-old pulled a toy saw out of a plastic rock like Arthur yanking out Excalibur, and proceeds to gut sharks.  With a plastic chainsaw.  That was in a plastic rock.  Sitting in the middle of a field.  For no particular reason.  For god knows how long (presumably until the boy-king was able to come along and pull Excali-Saw from the stone, and the kingdom of Sharkington was saved).  Jesus.  H.  Christ.  On a popsicle stick.

On the plus side, all this happened at Niagara Falls, and they mentioned my hometown of Buffalo, New York!  Yay!  So, there's that.  And Carrot-Top getting eaten.  Those were the only high points.

That's all for this time.  Yea, several stinkers in this bunch.  I have been trying to watch Bloodlines on Netflix, but I thought it was something of a murder mystery.  Then I found out it's a soap opera.  Yeah.  I'm sad now.  There's a second season, but after realizing the soap-operatic-style-shiat was just going to keep continuing, I gave up before finishing the first season.  Nobody interesting in Bloodlines, but the story starts out good before going rapidly downhill.  Maybe I'll just cancel my Netflix subscription until they actually come up with some good programming, since I've already watched stranger things.  It'll be a good year before the next season, if there is one, so I have time.  Can save a year's worth of money!  heh

Halfway through summer, and I'm bored and hurting.  Hope you guys are doing better than I am.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Pack, Stranger Things, Scout's Guide...

Yea, I know it's been a few weeks.  I suffer from periods of intense physical pain followed by periods of depression, caused by the pain.  But this isn't a pain blog, because that would be silly.  You can only say "It hurts super bad" so many ways before shit gets boring.  This is a movie review blog!  Well, sometimes movies, sometimes series, and sometimes, reviews of completely random shit that nobody asked for, but somehow, I still have an opinion on.  Yea.  Nutty.  Then again, my background of being in pain half the time, and depressed the other half, might give you some clue as to why this blog is called "Rambling Discourse from the Insane One."  Maybe.  If you're smart.  If not, you're probably off playing Pokemon Go somewhere, and not even reading my blog.

I watched several movies and series over the past few weeks, and I been wanting to review them, but just haven't been up to it.  So, I'm going to do them all at once, just in case I fall off the internet for a few weeks again.  Don't worry, I'll be back eventually.  Probably.

Let's start with Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015).  This movie is about a very small group of teen-aged boy scouts (I thought they expelled you when you hit your teen years, I swear I did, but I've never been a boy scout.  Or a girl scout, for that matter.  does dressing up as one count?  I don't think so) who happen to run across the Zombie Apocalypse in the middle of their hometown.  As many people know, Boy Scouts are always prepared, but how can you prepare for the zombie apocalypse?  Practice killing zombies on live people!  Well, they're dead after you kill them, right?  Right!  I think the real boy scouts actually have a badge for that now, the Zombie-Apocalypse-Preparedness badge.  I could be wrong.

I liked Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.  The film pretty much plays fast-and-loose with the origins of the zombies, leaving the technical aspects of it to your imagination, which makes sense for what is basically a comedy of errors along the way.  Then there's a slow build of interconnected events which make you understand that the virus is spreading, all while you get to know the main characters.  Then, when all hell breaks loose and the whole town is infested with zombies, you basically have your characters just being themselves, and that's pretty much what makes a good story, am I right?  Am I?  I'm not sure.  I think I am.  I could be wrong.  I'm probably wrong.  No, no, I'm definitely wrong, but it was a good watch, nonetheless.

One of the funniest moments for me is when the scouts come upon a skinny zombie with a Britney Spears T-shirt (I think it was britney spears...  I'm about as expert on popular music as I am on playing Pokemon Go, which, when I translate it for you from crazy-speak to whatever language you're reading this in, means I have no farking idea what Pokemon Go is, though I have heard of Britney Spears), alone and unarmed, and realize the zombie is actually mimicking their movements instead of just trying to eat their brains.  Without weapons, there's little more the scouts can do but start a Zombie sing along to one of britney spears' songs!  Yea, that's right, this is likely the only movie where you'll ever see humans and zombies rocking out together to "Hit me Baby one more time," a song from a former Disney Mouseketeer!  If that shit doesn't blow your mind, I'm not sure what will.

Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse was playing on Epix, but I'm not sure if it still is.  Worth watching more than once, too, if only for the hot zombie stripper and ginormous zombie cop-boobs action, and totally disregarding the funny moments, of which there were quite a few.

Now on to several things straight off of netflix, who is coincidentally raising their prices next month.  Standard package was $8 per month, and now I'll have to pay $10 just to decide if I want to keep the service.  It may not sound like much, but it's an extra $24 a year to a guy who hasn't earned a single dollar since 2011.  :-/  I'm surprised I'm still chubby.  I should be starving at this point, from lack of food.  Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers, if by strangers I mean family, which I do.  They are pretty strange.

The first thing I want to review is The Pack (2015), a movie about some feral dogs that go people-hunting in rural Australia.  Much like Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, the Pack does a decent job of building up the story, even if the characters aren't as likable as the Scouts and Strippers.  A man is losing his sheep farm, and the few local animal cases his veterinary wife gets, just aren't helping him make the payments to the bank.  The teenage daughter is a jerk and the son has a problem with sticky fingers, which seriously makes me root for the feral dogs.  It doesn't end well for the dogs, sadly.

I wasn't fond of The pack, for one basic reason.  Whoever wrote the book has never owned a dog in his or her life, nor did they do any research on feral dogs, animals, wolves, or have a basic understanding of nature.  Also, they contradicted themselves, big time.  Yea, sounds harsh, doessn't it?  Let me explain!

First off, there's like one line where the veterinary wife mentions that the dogs (who are now hunting her whole family, at this point) aren't acting like normal wild animals.  No duh, but that's as close as a nod to the truth as you're going to get.  One, these feral dogs are HUGE, almost wolf sized, and they're certainly not underfed, which gives them absolutely no reason to hunt down every single member of the family and try and kill them.  If they had looked skinny, or maybe an explanation was given that they liked to eat human flesh (or even rabies), I could maybe have bought their savage behavior, but let's be honest.  No clear-thinking animal is going to continue to try to hunt you down when it's been seriously wounded.  It's going to hide and try to heal, much like Officer Mcclane in Die Hard.  You just don't go on fighting the good fight when there's no hope of survival, and dogs are a lot more practical about these things than people are.  The dogs would have realized that this family of people was a lot harder to get to than the previous victims, and move the f on.  There's just not enough meat on a human for a pack of dogs to go and waste every last member of their pack to try and eat a well-armed, healthy person.  It's a matter of survival, and if there's one thing feral dogs would know about, it's survival.

Second, have you ever come home from a long day at work, to find your dog either waiting innocently by the door for you, or pretending to sleep on the couch, only to find your entire collection of shoes torn to bits and dog poop on your bed?  Yes, had you walked in the door seconds earlier, you might have found your dog tearing your closet to shreds, but you didn't, because your dog heard you coming.  That's because their senses are a lot better than ours.  They can hear you breathe, hear your heart pounding out of your chest, and smell your fear from 100 meters away.  In this movie, out in the wilderness, the dogs can see in the dark, track you down, smell you and know exactly where you are.  That much makes sense.  Then, one slips into the house, and suddenly, it's deaf, dumb and blind.  The mother plays cat-and-mouse with it, hiding on the other side of a grandfather clock, just a few feet from where a supposedly killer feral dog is roaming down her hallway.  Does the mutt sense her?  Nope!  Just wanders into the next room, like a zombie with no eyes, ears, or sense of smell.  I'm sure it was done to heighten the suspense, I mean, there's only so much danger when you can just lock the animals out of your house and wait til morning, but come on.  At one point, the mother hides in a small closet, turns off the light just before the dog rushes in, and hops out in time to close the door on the beast, thus trapping it.  Wtf?  Are you kidding me?  Look, these dogs can see in a dark forest, in the dead of night.  I don't care how dark your house is, or how familiar with it you are, if you can see well enough to find your way around, the dog can see better.  There's no freakin' way you're going to trick it with the old rush-into-this-room-while-I-rush-out gag.  You just aren't.  Plus the fact that she had just turned off the bulb, after looking up at it, which would not only destroy whatever night vision she had going, but leave her staring at total darkness until her eyes adjusted.  The dog would have made short work of her innards while she was trying to find the exit, and that's when I stopped caring about whether the humans lived or died.

So, not too fond of the Pack, mostly for the unforgivable sin of bad writing.  Also, the characters weren't very interesting, and the action was kind of predictable.  I wouldn't recommend watching it on Netflix, but if you simply must get your Australian killer-dog fix, then knock yourself out.  Personally, I'm hoping Netflix gets wind of Razorback, an old 80's-era Australian flick about a killer boar, and decides to add it to their line-up.  Not enough killer pig movies, if you ask me.  We need more of them.

Stranger Things (2016) is a Netflix-made series I just finished watching.  It's essentially about a group of boys who live near a government research lab, who lose their friend to an experiment one night and spend the rest of the series looking for him.  Yes, it's an 8-episode series, and I wonder where they could possibly take it next season, if there is going to be a next season, since they pretty much wrapped everything up in this one.

You can tell in the first few minutes of the first episode that the series is well crafted.  There's little music playing through the background, and it's more of a very quick trip down a very dark rabbit hole, where the rabbit is an eight-foot-tall monster and the hole is a toxic wasteland between life and death.  I have watched all 8 episodes in the last week, and I honestly wasn't disappointed with the story, the acting, or any of the effects.  There were a few minor things that irked me, but all in all, a win for the Duffer brothers (who directed it, I think?) and though each episode seemed to be written by a different person, the story flowed together very well.

I have read reviews that exclaim how realistic and faithful to the 80's that it was, and recall just about every 80's movie that was ever made to try and tell you where Stranger things came from.  I'll sum it up for you.  If "Stephen King's IT" had a lovechild with "Super 8" from 2011, you'd get Stranger Things.  Bunch of kids try to fight an otherworldly monster with an 80's background.  You don't need to mention every 80's movie ever made, or bring up Stephen King's entire line of movies, to draw similarities.  That's it.  Super 8 + IT = Stranger Things.  Maybe I'm leaving some stuff out, but meh.  Close enough.

I guess they tried really hard to adhere to the 80's style of dress, hair styles, and a few of the songs and movies.  But where were the leotards?  The exercise gear?  Wasn't everyone in the 80's obsessed with their bodies?  And how about the headset that suddenly pops up in the 7th or 8th episode, on one of the kids?  Seriously?  Look, headphones back then were about the size of earmuffs worn by sentient rabbits in the cold wastelands of hell, meaning, they were enormous, hefty things that would stop a bullet if you got shot in the ear.  Yet suddenly, one kid has a set of earphones on while riding a bike, hooked into his walkie-talkie.  Did they even HAVE headphone plugs in walkie talkies back then?  Why would they?  What would be the point?  You have a walkie-talkie in your hand.  You hold it to your head like a flip-phone, for those of you who were born after the year 2000, and know what a flip-phone is.  Why do you need to go hands-free?  The answer is, you didn't.  Maybe there were earphone jacks on walkie talkies back in the 80's, and I am just completely wrong about this, but I was alive back then.  I don't recall seeing earphone jacks on those massive things, but I do recall my head being so completely bowed down by earphones that I could barely move.  And yes, I was as geeky as those nerds in Stranger Things back then.  I also played D&D.  And no, you don't kill Demogorgon or a Thessalhydra with a single fireball.  Dorks. Get your 80's shit STRAIGHT.

I did like Stranger Things, despite the minor technical glitches.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes horror movies, monster movies, or, you know, pretty much any movie ever made in the 80's.  Also, I think Matthew Modine missed his calling.  He plays one seriously creepy scientist, and I hope he makes it into season 2, if they have one.  Even Winona Ryder, who I don't even normally like, did a halfway decent job with this, though again, I don't normally like her, so maybe I'm being too hard on her.  Maybe she was awesome, and I just don't know it.  (shrug)  I'm not exactly a good critic, I'm just trying to give the thing a fair review, from a layman's perspective.

Oh, in other news, speaking of the 80's.  I recently read a fan theory about the Thing (a poster of which features prominently in Stranger Things), where it says Childs was the Thing, at the end of the movie.  The theory goes, Macready gives Childs a bottle of Gasoline (one of the molotov cocktails they were using earlier in the film, although there's no way to tell that from the movie, it just looks like a bottle of booze), and Childs drinks it without reacting to it, which gives away his identity as an alien, and makes the film even darker (because it means the Thing survived, which was exactly what Macready didn't want).  I've always viewed it from a different perspective.  Macready is the Thing.  From the beginning of the movie.  I know, you're going WHAT?  THAT MAKES NO SENSE!  It does.  Bear with me a moment...

The Thing starts with the dog, running from the helicopter.  What happens?  The malamute (or whatever the frig kind of dog it is, I'm not really an expert on anything, if you've noticed) licks the one guy's face, all over, and this totally pisses of the Norwegian with the rifle, who shoots the guy in the leg.  Granted, he was aiming for the dog, but he's a lousy shot.  The dog takes off, the guy who just got shot falls to the ground, and Macready (played by Kurt Russell) runs over to help.  He sets aside his flask of liquor, runs over to put out the fire from the blown-up helicopter and the guy with the wounded leg promptly picks up Macready's flask, and drinks from it.  At this point in the movie, we don't know that the dog is the Thing, and that every cell in its saliva could infect others.  Let's say, the saliva is left on the face of the guy the dog licked (Benning?  Can't quite recall his name), and it's transferred onto the rim of the liquor bottle.  Macready comes back, presumably retrieves his liquor, eventually takes a pull from his flask, and voila!  Macready is infected.  It would explain why someone finds a set of long underwear with MACREADY on it later in the film.  Macready assumes he's being framed, but looks at the underwear confusedly.  What if he wasn't being framed, but was actually the Thing?

Now here's where shit gets interesting.  Like someone in the movie later says (I do believe it was Childs, ironically), "If I was a copy, a perfect imitation, how would we know?"  Let's run with that.  What if, not even macready knew he was really the Thing?  Wouldn't that be the ultimate disguise?  Not even you know you're an alien, so you act 100% like a real human being, which would include trying to destroy the other things?  OR, another angle, what if macready is killing off the other things to fit in better with the remaining humans, purposely making himself the "hero" so the other human beings will accept him as one of their own.  it would have been easy enough to fake the blood test in the late part of the movie.  Macready was running the whole test, and could have easily switched the blood samples.  Or (and here's where I'm going to really mess with your head), what if Macready was the only Thing who was left alone long enough to progress to sentience?  What if the Thing, in its natural state, is actually a highly-intelligent, mostly-peaceful alien, just trying to survive?  I mean, think about it.  Macready wakes up from a long nap, realizes his cells have gone a little haywire, and infected half the camp.  He knows the best way to remain hidden is to have things just go back to normal, but his cells are trying to survive by taking over half the camp, and in their violent, not-thinking-straight kind of way, and actually causing havoc.  Havoc is the surest, quickest way to being discovered, and that means, if Macready wants to ensure his own survival, he HAS to kill off the other infected people.  It is just like the movie "Innocent Blood," where Anne Parilloud (I hope I spelled that right) has to run around hunting down her late-night snacks, so vampires don't run amok and make it harder for her to eat.  Pure survival, killing off the youngins so the older, more experienced members of the species can survive.  Seems to happen in a lot of vampire movies (The one about the vampire Lestat, just for example).  Why not The Thing?

So yea, there's my theory.  Macready is the Thing from day one, runs around capping off his out-of control brethren so he can ensure his own survival, and whether he knows he is the Thing or not, doesn't really matter.  His plan is to survive long enough to freeze, get found by the rescue team come spring, and BAM.  The sequel is born.  Personally, seeing as Kurt Russell is now substantially older, I would pick up the story 30 years later, one of two ways.  Either macready's body is finally recovered (seems unlikely, but maybe) and infects a whole new team of people, OR macready was rescued, and ends up running around and acting like a human being for 30 years.  So we recast Kurt Russell as the Thing, older and wiser, and while the events of the sequel unfold, we wonder just wtf the Thing has been doing, the last 30 years...  Sounds good, no?  I like it.  :-)  But, nobody asks me for my story ideas, do they, Pinky?  No, Brain, no, they don't.

That's all for tonight.  I've plumb worn my fingers down to the nubs!  Til next time I catch a good movie, or something so bad I just have to lambaste it, enjoy the long hot summer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Okay, let's just call this a review of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight.  Specifically, a review of the most heroic actions I have ever seen a talk show host perform.  If you're wondering what I am talking about, on Sunday night's show (two days ago) he was doing a piece about debt.  I've been watching Mr. Oliver's show for years, and have mentioned him in my blog in the past.  Normally, what happens on Mr. Oliver's show, is he explores some piece of news that seems absolutely ludicrous when you really think about it, and then we all have a good laugh.  Typically, this does a lot of good, as it showcases the lunacy underpinning the thing he's exposing, and then it goes away, never to be seen again.  Mr. Oliver's been trying to do this to Donald Trump for months, but so far, has failed to make Trump go away.  I wish Mr. Oliver more success in that regard in the future, but for now, let's review Sunday night's show.

John Oliver mentioned how easy it is to obtain records of old debts that people owe, in order to hound them to pay up, even if they have already paid their debts or there's no hope of doing so.  To demonstrate how easy it was, Mr. Oliver started a company called CARP, specifically to purchase a bunch of people's old debts.  It cost him $60,000 to do so, purchasing almost $15 million in hospital debt from 9000 different people.  Then, because Mr. Oliver has better things to do with his time than call people up and demand they pay him money, he forgave these people's hospital bills.  A clearer picture of the process can be found here:

However, as explanatory as this article is, by someone named Jordan Wiessman, supposedly Slate's senior business and economics correspondent, I beg to differ with his conclusions.  Let me elaborate.

The headline of the article is "Sorry, but John Oliver Did Not Just Give Away $15 Million," and the final conclusion of his article is that John Oliver did not give away more than Oprah in her $8 million dollar car giveaway.  In a way, that's technically true, because it only cost John Oliver $60,000 to purchase the debt in the first place.  But is it entirely accurate?  Let's look at it a bit more closely, just like John Oliver might do, shall we?

Oprah's giveaway (and I admittedly did not see her do this, because I am not a fan of Oprah, not because I have anything against her, but merely because she's never been in a monster movie...  and no, John Oliver hasn't either, but he's often on HBO just before the Game of Thrones re-show on Sunday nights, so, close enough?) involved Oprah giving away cars to, I assume, everyone in her studio audience.  So that's, what?  A few hundred people, tops?  And the cars were worth, what, 20 to 25 grand apiece?  Somehow, it added up to 8 million dollars, according to the Slate article link I posted above.  Now, while giving someone a car is nice, and allows them to get around (if they didn't already own one, which was unlikely), it also adds some payments onto their lives.  As anyone who owns a car knows, you almost always need insurance on it (those monthly costs add up) and it takes gas to get anywhere (gas is cheaper now than it was then, I think).  So, by my calculations, that's about $25 grand per person, minus insurance costs and gas money for the life of the car, because I know Oprah's not chipping in for those things.  Let's just assume repairs on the cars aren't needed at any point, for the sake of argument, because that would only add to the downside, and complicate the math.

Now, let's take John Oliver's giveaway.  He spent $60,000 (of his own, or HBO's money, either way), and gained $14.9 million in debt.  Right there, that sounds like a good deal, so John Oliver certainly seems more business-savvy than Oprah.  Now, technically, there wasn't really anything else he could do with that debt, other than sell it to someone else and continue the cycle, or try and collect on it.  Instead, he forgave the debt.  For 9,000 random people.  Unless Oprah was taping her talk show in a sports stadium, I doubt she managed to fit 9,000 people in there.  So, technically, John helped more people.  A LOT more.  Now, as for the money, here's where things get a bit tricky, and Slate gets it all wrong.

Let's stop for a moment and think about what would have happened if John HADN'T forgiven the debts.  Let's say CARP was a real collection company, and they spent years trying to reclaim those debts that they had purchased, trying to get a profit out of the $60,000 grand they had spent.  That's how many people, spending all day on the phone, calling up those 9,000 people?  Over and over again?  The cost of paying those people alone would be way up there, and the company would lose much more the 60 grand just paying the wages of the collections agents they employ.  Then, like the Slate article says, the debt was all "out-of'statute" meaning that nobody could legally sue over it.  However, like the article states, the companies that would buy out-of-statute debt in the first place, are usually the lowest of the low, the ones who would take all of these people to court, just to sue them anyway, despite how it's illegal to do so in the first place.  According to the Slate article, this DOES happen.  Now, keep in mind I have no personal experience with any of this, so I'm just going by what Mr. Weissman and Mr. Oliver have reported, but a company that would buy these types of out-of-statute debts would probably also have no problems about issuing 9000 lawsuits to get their money back.  And, as the Slate article clearly states, if you are sued about an old debt, you should ABSOLUTELY go to court to fight it, because the greedy debt holders are assuming you won't show.  If you don't show up to court, the judge has no option but to award the suit to the plaintiff, or in this case, the assholes who just bought the rights to try and collect on your old debts.  At that point, you have to pay your debt by Judge's Order, which is a LOT more legally binding than just some guy calling you on the phone and going "Hey, pay up."

So, let's just say for a moment, that you are a rare mix of both of these groups.  You're driving to your court case to repudiate your old $80,000 in hospital debt (like the man featured on Mr. Oliver's segment), in the car that Oprah bought you.  Sure, you got your car for free, but now you have to deal with gas money, court costs, missing out on work, and that's not even counting the pay of the judges, stenographers, and bailiffs who have to show up to hear your court case.  You're missing out on probably a full day of work, running the risk of damaging your Oprah-bought car in a random accident, so you can get the money-hungry debt sharks off your back, the ones that have been calling you up night and day and threatening to have your daughter's dog arrested and eaten while you're away at work.  Your daughter's terrified, your marriage is in shambles, your job is on the line, and you're not sleeping well because these collection agencies know no limits to their greediness.  Plus you have to spend what little money you've earned, driving yourself to your dead-end job in the car that Oprah bought you, to pay for your lawyer, because you DON'T know that these companies can't sue you for old debts beyond a certain date.

Honestly, whose gift are you going to appreciate more, right at that moment?  The fact that Oprah bought you that car, or the fact that John Oliver cancelled your $80,000 hospital debt, saved your marriage, let your daughter keep her beloved family pet, and gave you the peace of mind to sleep at night, so you could drive yourself to your dead-end job in the gas-guzzling car that Oprah bought you?  As Cousin Eddie would say, John Oliver's gift is "the gift that keeps on giving."

A new car is nice for a while, but getting a debt collections company off your back is a miracle.  How much is it worth, in the long run?  Certainly much more than the $60,000 John Oliver spent.  Most likely, much more than the $14.9 million that John Oliver forgave, in the long run.  And when you think about it, how much is it worth to you, not to have to end up in an extended legal battle with a bunch of lawyered-up greedy debt collectors?  "Priceless," as the old Visa commercials used to say (at least, I think it was Visa).  Now, multiply that feeling by 9,000  individuals, who no longer have to deal with a debt collector driving them batshit crazy.  Honestly, shouldn't Mr. Jordan Weissman, Slate's Senior Business and Economic Correspondent, know the effects of these things, about its effect on business, and the economy?  So, did John Oliver REALLY not give away $14.9 million, Mr. Jordan Weissman?  I'd say, he gave away a whole lot MORE than that, and if that doesn't give him the right to say "Fuck you, Oprah!  Fuck You!" then I'm not sure what would.

In my mind, it makes John Oliver the greatest talk show host of ALL TIME, because he's the first one who's ever done more for his viewers than mostly just talk.  If, what he does is a talk show, that is (news show?  I have no idea, as I said, I don't do this for a living).  Let me be the first to say it.  JOHN OLIVER FOR PRESIDENT!  No, don't even bother arguing, you know he'd do a much better job than any of the people we have running now.  Maybe he's not a natural-born US citizen, and so what?  The government has basically repealed every single one of our rights in the Bill of Rights.  Let's just repeal that whole statute about the president having to be a natural born citizen, and let John Oliver run for president.  Fuck it.  If the government, who is supposedly working for us, can chop off all the parts of the Constitution that it doesn't like, then we, the American people, can repeal some other aspects of the Constitution that we find bothersome, and suit it to our needs, too.  Repeal the part about not allowing a non-natural-born US citizen to run for president, and say it with me.  JOHN OLIVER FOR PRESIDENT!  JOHN OLIVER FOR PRESIDENT!

Yes, I know, I hate politics, but it's mostly because I hate politicians, who lie to us to get us to vote for them, and then do whatever the lobbyists working for the big-name companies want them to do anyway, once they get into office.  Just irks me, sometimes.  I should probably just stick to watching horror movies.  It's what I'm good at, and it keeps me calmer.  Til next time.

Review - Evidence (2013)

Wheee back to my first love, horror movies!  Sure, my first love didn't exactly put out in the back seat of a Volkswagon, but if she had, I'd be dead now, because that's what happens in horror movies.

Evidence (2013) is another entry into the found-footage genre, which I have long hoped would go away, but it seems to be sticking around.  This one isn't too bad, as they involve some non-found footage in the picture, and have a reasonable excuse as to why normal people would want to watch the crap that most amateurs videotape.  At the scene of a horrific murder and fire at an abandoned garage or something, the police recover two cameras and two cell phones.  Obviously interested in what the cameras and cell phones picked up for possible evidence of the crimes (referred to as the "Unblinking Eye" by the movie's introduction), the police detectives review the footage in bits and pieces (as recovered by a technician from the damaged electronics), trying to piece together what actually happened.

I did not particularly find this movie enjoyable, but I give it props for reasonably integrating "live" and found footage together to create a fairly coherent narrative.  Also, unlike most found footage flicks, they have two veteran actors doing most of the heavy lifting.  Stephen Moyer (of True Blood fame) and Radha Mitchell (who I know as the co-pilot from Pitch Black) play a pair of detectives trying to sort through the video evidence.  Reasonable performances from them pretty much carry the whole movie, because the cast of relative unknowns who play the victims was hard to follow, what with all the "features" of found footage: crappy camera angles, bad editing, poor lighting, and dismal special effects.  I imagine they saved all their money on filming the decrepit found footage portion, and spent it on the veteran actors, which, in hindsight, wasn't a bad call.

One of my biggest problems with this movie (possible major spoiler coming, because I just don't care) is near the ending.  Okay, so let's recap.  The police recover two survivors, and a bunch of video footage, and while reviewing the footage, they think they know who committed the crimes (several times, as the movie progresses, but that shouldn't surprise you).  So here's this guy (Stephen Moyer), a detective reviewing the footage, and he gets information from one of the survivors about one of the victims, who is now dead.  He runs down to the morgue, searches the body for evidence, finds what he's looking for, and rushes back up to the video recovery room (or whatever it's called), only to find out that the person they really need to be talking to, is the survivor he just spoke to.  All this happens in the movie in about 5 minutes time.  Then he sighs, saying, "Oh, but they released them hours ago."  What?  They were just in a holding cell five minutes ago, where you talked to them.  You're telling me, while the police are still reviewing evidence, while you took like 10 minutes (and I'm stretching it) to find and review the latest info, the other police (without your okay) went behind your back, and cut loose one of the key witnesses to a horrific murder?  HOURS ago?  Nuh-uh.  Sorry.  That one, I just don't buy.  End spoiler.

Other than that, the movie wasn't godawful.  I wouldn't watch it again, but there weren't any weird monsters or aliens in it (which is what I prefer), so maybe my opinion is biased.  It wasn't horrible the first time around, and I don't want the hour-and-a-half of my life back, so I guess it wasn't entirely wasted.  The detective Stephen Moyer plays had a little side-plot about how he's just returning to the force after a sick leave (a death in his family) and I think if they had tied THAT in with the main story somehow, things would have approached a serious level of spookiness, but, they didn't (unless I missed something important).  It's just a little character background, which was kind of interesting, but went nowhere.  I guess it counts toward character development?  What do I know?  It's not like I do this for a living.

So, it's on Netflix, if you want to check it out for yourself, and leave a comment (if you feel like it) about how I am all wrong about this movie, and I should stick to my day job.  I would stick to my day job, but I don't have one.  If you're wondering why, after 5 years of unemployment, I'm still not working, I'll tell you.  I have a disability.  It causes me some serious pain a lot of the time, and it's difficult to do much of anything.  It's basically one of the reasons I took a few months off at the beginning of the year, and didn't post to my blog.  I don't want to go into specifics because they aren't relevant, but let's just say my injury requires a LOT of pain management techniques, and painkillers when (not if) those prove to be ineffective.  Typically I wouldn't even reveal that much about myself, as I am a fairly private person, but this blog is located in what I'd consider the "backwoods" of the internet.  There's not a lot of traffic, and what people do come here, aren't surprised when they run across horror.  Which is what my blog is mostly about, right?  Right!  Can't get much more horrible than crippling agony, I always say!

That's all for right now.  I have more to post later, but I wanted to do that separately, so I'll be back in a bit.