Saturday, June 24, 2017

Morgan (2016)

Finally, it's summer!  And it's about 67 degrees as the wind and rain come bearing down on my house.  Whee, glad it's finally...  here?  You got to love the summer solstice, and the way the news people report the beginning of the season.  My one calendar says the summer solstice was on Tuesday, but the news on one channel reported the first full day of summer on Wednesday, and another channel reported Thursday as the first day of summer.  I don't know, maybe we could all get together and agree on the date at some point, instead of throwing darts at a calendar while blindfolded?  Just an idea.  Throwing darts IS more fun, I guess.

Seems like every film is billed as the best film to come out in forever and a day, and then, 2 minutes after it hits theaters, you never hear about it again.  That's how you know you got a bad film.  If you keep hearing good things about a movie, even after it's been released, then go see the damn thing, because you know it's decent.  Take Wonder Woman.  I haven't seen it yet, but it's doing good at the box office, and everyone is saying good things about it.  I haven't seen it yet, but if it is that good, then DC might finally have a winner on their hands, instead of playing poor cousin to Marvel.

Morgan (2016) was one of those films you hear a lot about at first, then it drops off the radar.  Kate Mara stars as a Risk-Assessment Investigator or some shit, basically a troubleshooter sent in to find out wtf happened at a remote research facility.  If you've ever seen a horror movie in your life, you know remote research facilities are always bad places to end up.  Strange and creepy shit happens in these places all the time.  In this particular case, the research is an artificially-made being, and I'm not giving anything away by telling you that, because that was the whole point of all the teaser trailers and movie promos.  "Morgan" is the name of the artificial being.

I'm not going to say anymore about the film so I don't give anything away, except to mention that Toby Jones, Paul Giamatti and Michelle Yeoh all pop up in various supporting roles.  I like Paul Giamatti in everything he does, and Kate Mara played this part pretty well.  Sadly, I figured out the "twist" ending about 5 minutes into the film, and that's not an exaggeration.  Kate Mara pulls up to the research facility in a car at the beginning of the movie, is welcomed into the place, and I began to suspect the "twist ending" by the time she had set her bag down on the bed int he guest room.  It kinda sucks that I saw it coming that far away, but I guess it was on purpose.  It doesn't take anything away from the enjoyment of the film, really.

I will say this much, that everyone seemed to rave about the performance of the young girl who played Morgan, and I guess she did fine, but I don't think the movie should have focused so much on Morgan's, ah, interest in nature, I guess you'd call it?  Morgan is all going on about some natural wonder at some point, maybe waxing philosophical, I don't know.  I think my eyes glazed over and I fell asleep, because a horror movie shouldn't be waxing philosophical in the middle of the damn action.  Just a personal opinion, because it seemed to ruin the flow of the film, and detracted from the overall enjoyment.

Would I watch Morgan again?  No, but it wasn't horrible the first time.  As I said, having figured out the supposed plot twist in the first few moments, I was even more interested in seeing what happened next, so it wasn't entirely bad that I figured it out.  No nudity, a fair bit of action, not a whole lot of suspense or surprises, but hey, Paul Giamatti!  I think I caught Morgan on one of the premium channels.  Cinemax, maybe?  Can't recall.

House of Cards (Netflix) just ran it's 5th season.  I finished watching it last week, but I can't really say I enjoyed it.  It was one thing when Frank was going around killing co-eds (like Kate Mara) in the second season or whatever, but now that's he got to be president, it's all hushed whispers and intrigue and blah de blah blah.  Politics as usual, I guess.  I like action, goddammit, and House of Cards has been having less and less of it lately.

Look, I may catch hell for having this opinion, but I'm going to put it out there, because that's what this review is.  My opinion.  I am all for Women's lib, and I think women (and men) in Hollywood should get paid their worth in relation to the movie.  We all know the big stars get paid more than the little ones, and the lead roles get more moolah than the extras.  This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, and nobody expects some yokel they hired to play a mud wrestler in a ten-second bar scene to get paid as much as Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse (for example), so I'm just going to come right out and say it.  Robin Wright is no Kevin Spacey.

Look I'm not saying she's a bad actress, and I'm not saying she isn't integral to the series.  But I watch House of Cards to see Kevin Spacey be the evil little gremlin who will kill to stay in power, and seeing him hand over his chair to his wife, well, it just didn't seem to be in character.  Another thing, I could stand Kevin Spacey talking to the camera every so often because I figured he was kind of a narrator.  Normally I hate it when actors break the 4th wall (Deadpool included), but if it's a narrator who happens to be part of the story, it's barely tolerable.  Then Mrs. Underwood is just walking past the camera and starts talking to it this past season, and now I've got two people breaking the 4th wall.  At this point, you're not talking about a narrator, you're talking about a fake documentary, and I hate real documentaries, let alone fake ones.

Suffice it to say, the profound lack of action, the narrative breaking mold, the characters switching roles, I don't know.  I just don't think I'll be watching House of Cards anymore.  Course, the next season probably won't be out til 2019, and I could be dead by then, so who knows.  (shrug)

I managed to barely catch the series premiere of The Mist (SpikeTV) the other night.  I literally happened to turn on my TV and that channel was on and I saw it coming up next.  I was like WHEW! because I literally had no idea there was a Mist series coming out until I saw it coming up on TV.  As it turns out, the series looks decent, but I hope at some point that they explain where the Mist came from.  Neither the novel by Stephen King, nor the movie a few years back, went into detail about that.  Maybe the series will give a brief rundown from a surviving soldier, I don't know.  It's just got me really curious to figure out where the bloody hell this mist came from.  I can only imagine (from the sudden appearance of a military guy) that some army research base accidentally opened a portal to another world, but there's no real indication of anything about that except for all the atmosphere and strange wildlife that seems to be flowing out from somewhere.  I hope the series isn't just another damn "scared people trapped in a store" bullshit like the movie.  I want to know about the monsters, dammit!  If I wanted to see scared people trapped in a store, I'd go visit Wal-Mart after midnight.

That's all I got for tonight, people!  If I don't see any good movies before the 4th of July, enjoy Independence Day, and the beginning of summer.  I will probably be back in July to post again, as soon as I find some good movies to watch.  Until then, enjoy the beers and BBQ!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Series Roundup June 2017

I haven't done a series roundup in a couple months now, so let's take a quick look at what I've been watching, shall we?

Brockmire (IFC) ended it's first season last month, I think, after maybe 8 half-hour episodes.  When I saw the first episode, I honestly though it was going to be a heartwarming, yet funny story about an ex-broadcaster who finds redemption (and a job) by calling out the plays for a minor league baseball team.  At first, I thought it was a touching idea. A former big-league announcer spends his twilight years becoming a fixture of a small hometown, and ends up recapturing a bit of his lost dignity while the home team recaptures some of it's former glory.  The owner-bartender manages to save the town, which is being slowly destroyed by loss and a greedy oil company.  I don't really like watching sports on TV, mind you, but everyone likes rooting for the underdog, and that's what I thought Brockmire was going to be about.

Brockmire was none of that.  Hank Azaria plays Brockmire, the loud-mouthed, drunken announcer.  Amanda Peet plays the bartender, who's trying to save her town from a greedy oil company.  After that first couple episodes, which showed such promise, Brockmire devolved into a train wreck caused by the main character's own ego.  I think maybe that was the point, but it wasn't really a good end for the first season.  I was starting to root for Brockmire, but then everything went downhill.  I mean, who could abandon Amanda Peet?  Not I!  Just didn't seem right.  And who's going to save the town?  Maybe we'll find out next season, if there is one.

I've had a hankering for murder mysteries lately, and Netflix had a bunch to offer.  First one I discovered was Death in Paradise, a typical fish-out-of-water tale about a London detective sent to a tiny tropical island in the caribbean, to serve as the head of the Police force there.  As you may know, Britain was a naval superpower back in the day, and apparently this island was still under British rule.  I guess there's some law that states an Englishman has to be in charge of the police force, and that's why a replacement detective inspector was sent all the way from London to help sovle the death of the first detective, but that's all the intricacies of British law that I can follow.  In any case, Death in Paradise begins with the death of the first Detective Inspector stationed on Saint Marie.  Another detective inspector is sent to look into the death of the first one, and that's what kicks off the first season.  I think they've gone into 5 or 6 seasons, now.

Death in Paradise worked for me, at first.  The scenery of St. Marie was beautiful, and there were plenty of wide shots of the island beaches and jungles.  The London guy was a brilliant detective, but was totally out of his element in Saint Marie.  Leaning heavily on the local supporting police force, two officers and an attractive, female Detective Sargeant, the London guy manages to solve the case of the death of the previous inspector, and then gets shang-haied into staying on the island as the new Detective Inspector, another intricacy of British law.  Ben Miller played DI (Detective Inspector) Richard Poole, Sara Martins played the beautiful DS Camille Bordey, and I could see right off that she was enchanted with the new inspector.  I expected their romance to be a slow burn over a couple of seasons, and I was right, but just when I thought things were going to come to a head, DI Poole was killed off at the start of the second season.

Kris Marshall took over as the new DI, Humphrey Goodman, probably some cast kerfluffle that I was not privy to, and the series sort of took a nose-dive for me.  Kris Marshall's clumsy, oafish character portrayal seemed almost too similar to DI Poole, and they solved cases in almost an identical fashion.  The show became formulaic, and there was no sexual tension between anyone on the show anymore.  Cases began to focus on a huge buildup before the frenetic explanation of how the crime was committed right at the end of the hour-long show, and there was often little or no evidence presented by DI Goodman to support his fanciful explanation of events around the murder.  I watched supporting cast after supporting cast staring emotionless at DI Humphrey as he rattled off some ridiculous explanation of a crime that made no sense, and it was like the other actors didn't even care to act their parts, anymore.

Death in Paradise had become the DI Goodman Show, where the whole show began to revolve around Goodman's ability to make up some fanciful tale in the last 5 minutes of the show that somehow explained everything that had happened in the last hour, leading to the arrest of someone who often looked totally confused and perplexed by what had just happened to them.  I wonder if the writers had even informed the cast on who was going to be arrested beforehand, or just left it up to the individual actors to try and ad-lib the proper reactions to being arrested.  That would certainly explain the look of confused surprise I kept seeing on the actor's faces as they were led off in handcuffs.  Surely, if they'd actually committed the murder in the fashion that the DI had described, wouldn't there be a look of angry guilt over being caught, instead?  You'd think so, wouldn't you?  I know I did.

Over the course of DI Humphrey Goodman's Reign of Terror, inflicting random supporting characters with imprisonment at his merest whim, the show lost a good portion of the supporting regular cast members.  DS Camille Bordey was replaced by DS Florence Cassell (who, while beautiful, seems to offer no romantic options whatsoever), and one of the local officers was even replaced.  At this point, the only remaining members of the original cast are Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) and Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington) ont he police side, and Catherine Bordey (Elizabeth Bourgine), Camille's mom, who at first ran the local bar and was recently elected Mayor.

In any case, it wasn't long before Kris Marshall was tapped to become the next Dr. Who (from what I've heard), and so he's been written out of the show.  Sadly, he wasn't killed off like poor DI Poole, but his character ended up following his heart to some romantic interlude back in London.  By some amazing coincidence of events, I started watching this show on Netflix, and then just as I finished watching the latest season there, I noticed it was actually playing on my local Public Broadcasting Channel on TV.  That's where I saw DI Goodman heading off to his romantic interlude, caught up on the latest season, and saw that they'd replaced Di Goodman with another DI from London, this one an older man whose wife had just died.  Accompanied by his adult daughter, this mourning Widower is the new DI of St. Marie, so I suppose he'll start solving crimes next season, if there is one.  After losing so many cast members over the last half-dozen years, I would be surprised if the show was already off the rails, and ended up cancelled before it could become a total trainwreck.  Still, as far as formulaic hour-long whodunnits set in exotic locations go, it's hard to go wrong with Death in Paradise.  Maybe next season will get better.  Personally, I think they should bring back Camille (Sara Martins) as the next DI, but what do I know?

There's another series of murder mysteries called the Midsomer Murders (also on Netflix, also British-made).  These are actually closer to two-hour movie murder mysteries, but star the same recurring characters.  DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) Tom Barnaby begins the first season (which consisted of 5 hour-and-a-half-or-so movies), and Netflix just added season 19.  With the actual movies being made over the course of the last 20 years, from 1997 when the series began to 2017, there have obviously been a few cast changes.  Tom Barnaby is played by John Nettles where I am in the series at the moment, but as I can see from IMDB, he was somehow replaced in 2011 with Neil Dudgeon, and the series is still still going.  I am only up to season 7, I believe.  As each "episode" is an hour and a half to two-hour movie, and each "series" consists of 4-8 movies, that easily adds up to well over 100 movies!  :-o

So, if you're looking for an Agatha-Christie-Style whodunit, steeped in the idyllic small-English-town life of the (imaginary?) villages of Midsomer, look no further.  The acting and production values are exemplary enough for British television, and while the murders and plot twists are sometimes easy to figure out, there's enough variety to keep most people guessing.  At the rate I am watching these things (one movie every few days) I expect to be caught up to the latest series by the year 2020.  Yeesh.  I need to binge-watch this shit one of these days, but there's only so much dry British politeness I can handle at one sitting.

Saving Grace (also on Netflix, but not British this time) is another option.  An hour-long police drama series starring Holly Hunter, I first checked it out when it aired on TV about a decade ago.  Basically, it's a show about a police detective named Grace Hanadarko (Holly Hunter, and yes, Hanadarko is an odd name, I agree), who solves crimes in Texas, but is randomly visited by an angel (played by Leon Rippy).  Grace is essentially the poster child for functioning alcoholics, and ends up nymphomaniacally sleeping with any number of extras and male cast members along the way.  The angel (Earl, by name) is apparently Grace's "Last-Chance-Angel," meaning she's got to mend her life of drunken debauchery, or risk going to Hell.  Grace is stubbornly resistant to all of Earl's interference in her affairs, and I for one was almost turned away by the constant religious message underpinning the entire show.  Still, Leon Rippy made a great angel, and Holly Hunter did several nude scenes just in the first season, which kept me coming back, to see just how much nudity the show could get away with on TV.  I stopped watching after the first season, but Christina Ricci pops up in the second season as a temporary replacement for Grace's partner, who is doing undercover work.  I am hoping to catch the rest of the shows that I missed (just to see how much longer Holly Hunter can rock that older but in-shape naked body) before Netflix drops the show in early July.

Finally, I'm going to cap off this post with a quick review on Neil Gaiman's American Gods, on Starz (I think).  Ian "Tits-and-Dragons" McShane is Mr. Wednesday (Wotan or Odin), looking to recruit a bunch of old European gods to do battle with the new American Gods, presumably to try and recapture their glory days and get someone to worship them again.  I think there's only 8 episodes, and I've seen 7 of them, with the last episode of the first season to air next week.  Ricky Whittles plays Shadow Moon, an employee of Mr. Wednesday, and Emily Browning plays his undead ex-wife.  There's a medium-sized supporting cast, but this is no Game of Thrones.

Now, I'm not trying to say that the show is boring, but, the most exciting event in the last 7 episodes was a game of checkers.  And then, in the next episode...  they played checkers again.  I dunno.  I guess Neil Gaiman is some high mucky-muck or something, and everyone is supposedly all abuzz about this show, but watching guys play checkers just doesn't do much for me.  Emily Browning might have done a few nude scenes in the last couple episodes, OR that might have been just a body suit, because under all the undead make-up, it's hard to tell.  The series has felt really short, mainly because everything is all build-up leading up to the season finale, but if nothing exciting happens, I can only hope it'll be the end of the series.  There's only so much watching-people-play-checkers that I can stomach, before I turn to watch Friday the 13th part 2 for the 87th time, just to see some action.

That's all for tonight.  Same bat-time, same oh-you-know.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Accountant (2016), Bye Adam West

Seems like we're losing a lot of celebrities so far this year, but trust me, it's nothing like 2016.  You'd hear about a celebrity death, and then before you could finish tweeting out your sympathies, there was another one on top of it.  While your mouth was still hanging open, someone else died.  Crazy shit last year.  But before I get to the obit, let me do the review.

The Accountant (2016) is a story about an accountant.  Yep, pretty much your basic, everyday, ordinary accountant, who launders money for drug cartels, third-world dictators and mafia families.  He also kills people on weekends, or any day ending in "Y."  Yep, it seems the accountant is also an assassin, but he doesn't do it for money.  Nope, this assassin has a moral code, and if you break his code, well, then, this accountant is going to balance your books, by any means necessary.

What, no?  You saw the "balance your books" comment coming, huh?  Yea, I can only make an accountant sound so exciting.  He's an accountant, fer chrissakes.  It's not like they do exciting work.  Or maybe they find it exciting, who knows.  It's alotta numbers.  My eyes glazed over after 2+2=yawn.

So, the Accountant stars Ben Affleck as Christian Wolff, the afore-mentioned "Accountant."  Anna Kendrick is Dana Cummings, another... uh...  accountant...  and J.K Simmons is a...  forensic....  ok, he's basically just another accountant.  There's an amazing supporting cast, though, with John Lithgow, and Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a very interesting...  ok, he's an accountant too.  Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick.  Okay, look.  There's a little bit of eye candy, at least.  Cynthia Addai-Robinson is an...  Analyst!  Hah!  You thought I was going to say Accountant, didn't you?  FOOLED YOU!  BWAHAHAHAHAAAAA!  Okay, yea, you're right.  Analyst still sounds pretty boring.

So Christian Wollf is basically a high-functioning Autistic kid with Aspergers Syndrome, or something, who grew up and became, you guessed it, an accountant.  I will say this much.  I think Ben Affleck has found his, uh, "acting strengths," or lack of a better phrase.  He should play abnormal guys who show absolutely no emotion from now on.  He totally nailed it!  At no point during this movie did I say to myself "That's Ben Affleck!  He's playing an emotionless dork!"  Well, maybe once or twice, I...  Okay, it was every minute.  You caught me.

I don't want to give anything away, but if you didn't already guess John Lithgow was the villain, you're an idiot.  John Lithgow has been playing psychotic villains since I was in my teens, and he's a master at his craft.  It wouldn't surprise me to find out John Lithgow actually is a psychotic villain.  Actually, that would explain a lot.  Hmmmm.

So, The Accountant was an action movie, with a lot of action in it.  Between accountants.  Yeah.  It wasn't bad, I guess.  The supporting cast was pretty good.  I love J.K. Simmons, and Anna Kendrick is...  uh.  Accountant...  ish...  and there's John Lithgow!  How can you go wrong here?  Well, I saw most of the "plot twists" coming a mile away, but I guess the movie wasn't going for surprises.  Just lots of action, and some fights, and hey, no explosions, but that's okay.  You don't expect explosions in a movie called "The Accountant," right?  Right!  Would I watch it again?  No.  Did I like it the first time?  Yeah, I guess.  Would I watch a sequel?  Maybe.  That's all I got.  The Accountant is on HBO, if you want to check it out for yourselves.  Moving on.

In other news, Adam "Batman" West died yesterday, at the ripe old age of 88.  Most of you younger folks probably know him from his voice acting on Family Guy (I think he played Mayor Adam West, in case you missed him there), but I never watched Family Guy, so I'll always remember him from Batman, the TV series.  And no, I don't mean Gotham.  I mean Batman, 1966 and 1967.  It may have gone on for more years, but not even I, as old as I am, was alive back then, so I have no idea.

I remember one episode of Batman, where Batman (Adam West), Robin and Batgirl were all captured by a bunch of costumed villains, like the Penguin and Catwoman and probably the Riddler.  So, of course the bad guys don't just kill the three of them, no, that would ruin the series.  No, they tie Batman, Robin and Batgirl into a "Human Pretzel" or a "three-way knot" or something that sounded obscene, but actually wasn't.  So, of course Batman has studied these things, and there is absolutely no way out of the human knot, and the more they struggle, the righter it gets, until all their bones crack and they die, EXCEPT...  in their inexperience tying humans into knots, the villains have done it incorrectly!  Batman can still wiggle his left earlobe!  :-o

Okay, let's just take this a piece at a time.  One, how DO you get experience tying humans into knots?  I mean, just how many people do you have to tie up before you get it just right?  Two, batman and Robin and Batgirl are all sitting there tied into a knot, talking to each other about the knot, and moving their jaws, and tongues, and mouths.  Three, how the shit do you wiggle your left earlobe, and how, by the sweet blood of Jesus, do you untie yourself that way?

Of course, a few seconds after Batman is supposedly wiggling his left earlobe, they all fall out of the "Human Knot," and go after the bad guys.  I never actually saw his earlobe move.  But seriously, it takes an actor of enormous talent not to freaking crack up laughing while trying to act that "human knot" scene.  I swear I saw smiles on Robin AND Batgirl, but Adam West was straight-faced the whole damn time.  That's skill, right there.  Consummate skill.  Okay, he may have been grinning too, I honestly can't remember, but come on!  Ridiculous!  So, Bye Adam West, you awesome, awesome actor, you!  You will be missed.

In other other news, Bill Maher said the "N-word" on his show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and everyone's shit hit the fan.  I guess he apologized, and some non-caucasian person (I don't know who, because I don't always watch Bill Maher) came on his show and said it was a "teachable moment" for Bill Maher.  I guess the guy said something about it feeling like a knife twisting inside of him when a white guy said the N-word, but not when a non-white person said it, and that black people were "taking back" the N-word.

Okay, I have a few problems with this, from a purely logical standpoint.  Now, I'm going to fess up and admit that I am white, but I am not racist, so that shouldn't matter, at least insofar as I am making my points out of pure logic, here.  I will also point out, before I begin, that I have never, and would never, use the N-word myself.  It's like using the C-word to describe a woman.  Yes, technically, they are just words, but it's a bit too crude for my taste.  I feel all slimy inside when I even think about them, just because of the negative connotations, and also because I am a bit of a wuss.

So, my points.  Okay, first, Bill Maher is an entertainer, and as far as I am aware, he's not racist, either.  He didn't call anyone else the N-word, but used it in reference to himself, calling himself a "House n---a."  Yes, definitely a joke in poor taste.  Yes, a socially embarrassing faux-pas.  But, he's a comedian.  This is what they do.  They dig deep for jokes, and some of those attempts at humor are shockingly brutal attempts at making you laugh.  So maybe some of them aren't as funny as others, and maybe some are even offensive.  They can't all be gems.  Remember Don Rickles, who also just died?  He made his living insulting people, and was widely loved.  Yes, he was also a comedian.

Point two.  Three words.  Freedom of Speech.  The First Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteed to every American Citizen by the oldest laws of our nation.  It's a basic right.  I don't recall who said it, because I am getting old, but the saying goes "I do not agree with a thing you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."  Telling Bill Maher he can't say the N-word is a form of censorship, and we shouldn't be agreeing with that.  Censorship kills the spread of ideas, even if those ideas aren't necessarily good ones, like the N-word.  I know freedom of speech gets a bad rap in this politically correct 21st-century world, but we shouldn't walk all over it, just because we can.

Point three, Bill Maher's "teachable moment."  Do you really think Bill Maher doesn't know it's wrong to use the N-word?  I'm pretty sure everyone knows that by now, even the people who still use it, which brings me to my next point.

Point four.  I saw Luke Cage, on Netflix.  I don't know who wrote the dialogue for that series, but they say the N-word every 3 and a half minutes or so (and no, I didn't time it).  Seriously, non-whites, if you want people to stop using the N-word, don't you think, I don't know, maybe you should stop using it so much, too?  Because at this point, non-whites are using it a hell of a lot more often than white folks, and keeping it in the common vocabulary.  But hey, what do I know?  I'm just making a suggestion.

Point five.  How do non-caucasians "take back the N-word," exactly?  By using it constantly, and getting mad when white folks say it?  By telling them that it's a "teachable moment" when a white person uses it, but saying that it doesn't hurt when non-white-folks say it?  So, it's totally okay for non-whites to say the N-word, but not whites?  Let me recap the logic of this position, to see if they've thought this one all the way through.  Non-whites are saying that, because of the color of their skin, they get special privileges?  Gee, doesn't that sound a bit, I don't know, racist?  Isn't that why non-whites were so mad at white people for so long, because of that very attitude?  Isn't that a bit hypocritical?

So, to sum up, yes, Bill Maher screwed up, and no, Bill Maher is not a racist prick (as far as I know) who needs to apologize for the rest of his life because he said a naughty word.  If there's any defensible logic to anyone saying that they have special privileges because of the color of their skin, then I'd like to hear it, because that shit just doesn't make a lick of sense, and it never has.

Some of you may be wondering why I even brought this up, because I don't like to get involved in current events, but this isn't politics, and it's not religion.  Bill Maher's an entertainer and a comedian, and I like to consider myself an entertainer and a comedian, on my better days, so I thought I'd open my big yap and speak up.  It was probably a mistake, but I'm not exactly known for my better judgement.  :-)

That's all for tonight.  Tune in next time, same bat-time, same bat-channel!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Snakes Hunting in Packs! :-o Bye, Roger!

No horror movie or game review today, just an update on some news you may not have heard about, that I personally think is of great concern.  In addition to being a horror-movie aficionado, I consider myself a well-read individual.  I browse the internet for scientific articles on a daily basis, expanding my knowledge and stretching the limits of my brain.  So it comes as no great surprise to me, when I read this article on the Mother Nature Network today, about snakes hunting in packs.

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/snakes-found-hunting-packs?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Now, if you're a horror movie fan, you know the whole animal-attack thing is a reliable theme as far as monster movies go.  If you're a consistent reader of my blog, I'm sure you've read dozens of my own reviews about animal-attack movies, from "Grizzly" to "Godzilla," and that's just the movies starting with the letter G!  THERE ARE 26 LETTERS IN THE ALPHABET!  OPEN YOUR EYES, PEOPLE!  TWENTY-SIX!

If you read between the lines of my movie reviews, or just keep up to date on my "in other news" portions of my blog (usually at the end of a review), you know that I am terrified of spiders and centipedes, those creepy-crawly little bastards that invade your home and crawl into your orifices while you sleep.  I've been told that's an internet myth, but is it?  Who knows what happens while you're asleep?  I sure don't!  Who's to say for sure?  Nobody I know!  Has there ever been an actual study done on how many spiders crawl into your poop-chute while you sleep?  I highly doubt it!  Where would they get the funding?

Now, I've been saying for years, to anyone who will listen, that spiders hunt in packs.  Sure, there's no scientific evidence for that yet, but mark my words!  Some day in the future, scientists will figure it out, just like they caught the snakes hunting in packs!  Spiders are just sneakier about it, those wily sons-of-bitches!  They sit up there in the shadows at the top of your garage rafters, plotting and planning and waiting, and sure, they eat flies and bugs and shit, but they REALLY want to be feasting on you!  I mean, think about it!  Who wants a dried-up scrap of flying chicken mcnugget, when they can have a hearty Whopper dripping with Special Sauce?  Nobody!  Those spiders LOVE your special sauce, you bet they do!

So they plot and they wait and they plan and they skulk, and one day they sneak into your house in droves when you leave the back door open half an inch, and next thing you know, you're sound asleep one night, and there's a HORDE of hungry, angry spiders crawling all over you, looking for the softest place to chow down!  And then it's NOMNOMNOM while you sleep!  Gives me the willies, every time I think about it!  (shudder)

You scoff, sure you do.  But you haven't seen what I've seen, either.  If you only knew!  I walked into my bathroom one day, and you know what I saw?  A big hairy centipede, upside-down, ON MY CEILING!!!!  That's right.  The Spiders are trying to teach their allies, the centipedes, to crawl upside down on the ceiling, so they can drop onto our faces!  DEATH FROM ABOVE!  It's an old spider trick, one that's been tried on me dozens, if not hundreds of times.

But I am wise to their sneaky ways.  I look up at my ceiling every 14.2 seconds, because that's how long it takes a fast-running spider to cross from the corners of my bedroom to the center of the ceiling.  I've timed it!  They will never sneak up on me whilst I am awake, but I can't stop those creepy bastards from having their way with me whilst I lay there, sound asleep, naked and helpless.  I have nightmares just thinking about it, while I'm awake.  I may be having one now!  AAUUUGGHHH!!!

Luckily, that centipede I mentioned hadn't quite mastered the DEATH-FROM-ABOVE trick, and fell to the floor whilst I cowered in terror, about ten feet away.  I was able to run and get help, and that is one less centipede who will pass on the ceiling-walking tactic to his friends.  So that's my warning to you, everyone who reads my blog.  The animals are banding together to come after us, and we have only one option.  Safety in numbers!  If we don't band together, they are bound to take us all out!  The animal uprising is only a matter of time!  MARK MY WORDS!

I've been warning people about spiders and centipedes for years.  Now, Snakes are learning to hunt in packs.  Think of that Alfred Hitchcock movie, the Birds!  Wolves already hunt in packs!  So do lions!  What's next?  Bears?  I read a story about deer feasting on human remains just a few weeks ago, at a body farm where they do CSI training to show people about the decay rate of human remains.  Once deer get a taste of people, what's to stop them from hunting in packs?  Can you imagine a whole herd of antelope, deer, elk or even moose, coming after you, looking to munch on your flesh?  Maybe cows are next!  Surely, they owe us payback for all the burgers we've chomped over the years!   GAAAHHHHH!!  It's horrific!

I was camping in a state park a few years back, and a young man came running up to me, saying he had seen a raccoon at the edge of the woods, and had thrown stones at it til it retreated.  At the time, I wondered at the audacity of a man hurling stones at a poor helpless raccoon, in the raccoon's own backyard.  I wondered how the guy would like it, if he'd gone out into his backyard one day, and had raccoons throwing stones at him?  But now, I realize, maybe I got it all wrong.  Maybe that guy had it right.  We need to start hunting these bastards in packs, people!  Grab whatever weapons you can find!  It doesn't matter what sort of animal it is!  Raccoons, bunnies, newts, it doesn't matter!  KILL IT!  SMASH IT WITH A ROCK! *

In other news, I was disturbed to hear of the passing of Sir Roger Moore a couple days ago.  When I was a kid, from when I was 3 to the time I was 15, there were no other Bonds.  I didn't even find out about Sean Connery's turn in the bond movies until after Roger Moore was ready to retire.  At the time, Roger Moore was the epitome of cool, and as a totally-uncool geeky nerd, I endeavored to be as smooth and sophisticated at Roger Moore.  I never achieved that level of suavity, and quite honestly, pretending to be British only got me beat up more often.  That's Amurrica for ya.

Sure, Roger Moore's Bond was more verbally witty and less physical than Sean Connery's rough-and-ready look, but Timothy Dalton's Bond was way too high-strung and serious for my taste.  I mean, just think of the villains!  Remember Richard Kiel's Jaws?  The guy with the metal teeth?  What Bond Villain has been as memorable since then?  I can't think of a one.  And it was Roger Moore who took Jaws down, outsmarting him time after time.  At the time, I was a little guy in a world of bigger, less-intelligent brutes, and I could readily identify with Roger's Moore's David-and-Goliath tactics.  Later on, Pierce Brosnan was probably the best actor to ever play Bond, becoming what I thought to be the most believable of the bunch.  I started this blog back in 2009 to rail against the horrible acting of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, and how he'd ruined everything that Bond stood for, so I won't go into that again.  Suffice it to say, I can't wait til they replace Craig with someone else, and won't watch a 007 movie with Craig in it.

By all reports, Sir Roger Moore was a gentleman, a philanthropist, and one helluva nice guy, as well as being a devoted father.  According to his family, he passed amidst a sea of loved ones.  He was humble as well, saying that his success as an actor was 99.9% luck, the mere act of being in the right place at the right time, and the other .1% was just his modest contribution.  I honestly expected Sean Connery to precede Roger Moore as far as dying was concerned, but I only recently found out that Roger Moore is actually 2 years older than Sean Connery.  Not that I would have preferred Sean Connery to go first, as Mr. Connery's movie career consisted of more blockbuster films than just the Bond series, and he will probably be recalled for the bulk of his movie work when he does eventually pass on.  Still, it was sad to hear of Roger Moore dying, because he was the Bond I grew up with, the one I had aspired to be, if only for a short time (before I was beaten up for pretending to be British).

I will say one thing, in closing.  If I ever hear that spiders had anything to do with Sir Roger's death, there will be vengeance.  Spiders, if you're reading this, take note.  VENGEANCE!  (shakes fist at screen)

That's all for now, people!  Til next time, remember: there's 26 letters in the alphabet.

* (Do not actually go into the woods and smash a newt with a rock.  Newts are poisonous, the venomous assassins of the animal world, and you cannot take them without decades of specialized rock-bashing-training.  Trust me on this.  I've tried, and barely escaped with my life.  I still have the scars to prove it.)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Reviews - Suicide Squad, It Follows

Wheee, that's it, people!  We made it through another 40 Days without Sex!  Or, whatever it was you gave up for Lent.  I gave up Pink Unicorns, which, well, let me tell ya, it was HELL living without for 40 days.  HELL.

Suiceide Squad (2016) is all about a guy who also, by some strange coincidence, loves Pink Unicorns!  :-o  He also throws Boomarangs, and is an aussie, which, I mean, can you get any more stereotypical for an aussie?  Ugh.  DC Comics, you're killing me, guys.  Killin me.  There's also some other "meta-human villains" as they called them in the movie. Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (no idea who played her), and a bunch of other, lesser known actors playing other super-powered villains.  As we all know by now, Harley Quinn is the Joker's sidekick, who makes a few brief cameo appearances in this movie, though I'm not sure how they managed to convince him.  Offerred him some dirt on Batman, maybe?  Meh.

So, erm, the plot, which, takes a VERY slow and plodding 45 minutes to build up, basically revolves around a sort of demonic possession similar to the Exorcist only without Linda Blair and with a little less split pea soup.  The "Suicide Squad" is a group of villains who are recruited by the star league to defend the frontier against Xur, and the Ko-Dan armada...   wait.  No.  Wrong movie.  That's the Last Starfighter.  Suicide Squad is about a group of Villains recruited to fight bad guys, yes, yes, that's it.  Sort of like throwing a hand grenade at another hand grenade to render the explosion from the first hand grenade moot, or maybe that would just make a bigger explosion or something.  I guess at that point, you really don't care about making a bigger explosion?  Meh.  Not sure about the logic behind the whole thing.

So, was the movie any good?  Well, I almost turned it off half an hour in because it was taking so long to get anywhere, but I kept watching because the possessed girl was really hot.  After it got less talky talky and more fighty fighty, the action moved along pretty fast, so I suppose they had to toss that 45 minutes of filler into it to make the movie make sense, or just have it last slightly longer than your average episode of Grimm.  I thought there was a little too much CGI, but I guess that's where all the action is in movies, nowadays.  Would I watch it again?  No.  Not much else to see, and nothing particularly exciting or original about this movie.  I've never really been fond of DC comics for some reason.  It's like the heroes are, I don't know, too fake, or something.  Viola Davis is always fun to watch, though.  Good actress.  Suicide Squad is on HBO this month, if you want to watch it.

It Follows (2014) is about what may possibly be the worst STD ever.  This poor girl sleeps with her new BF for the first time, and he ends up Chloroforming the shit out of her.  When she wakes up, she's tied to a wheelchair in an area that looks like the underside of a highway, and not in a good way.  Apparently, there is now something following her, and only she can see it.  What follows (HAH I MAKE JOKE!) is not exactly scary, but filled with a few jump scares and the kind of horror that simple camera tricks can achieve, because this movie apparently didn't really have a big budget for special effects.  Meh,  I guess it was okay?  Didn't exactly power my vibrator, as the saying goes.  What, that's not really a saying?  Well, it is now.  It Follows is on Showtime Women (where i saw it), or also on Netflix, I believe, if you'd care to have a peek at it.

That's all for tonight, peeps.  Heh.  Peeps.  Cuz tomorrow is Easter.  Geddit?  Yeah, I'm laugh-a-minute guy tonight.  See you next time.  Enjoy your break from Lent until next Fat Tuesday!  Go have sex, ya heathens.  Or eat chocolate bunnies, whatever powers your vibrator.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

PC Spring Game Review Roundup

By Special Request of my blog fans (ok, the only one I know of), it's time for our Spring Computer Game Review Roundup!  Yay!  Just in time for Easter, when the Easter Bunny brings all good girls and boys baskets full of computer games!  Or Chocolate.  Or chocolate-coated computer games.  Hmmm.  That would be AWESOME.  Also, very messy, and somewhat crunchy.  Yeah.

I'm going to spend a few minutes talking about ESO, also known as Elder Scrolls Online.  I played this very briefly, for free, during the development phase about, oh, maybe a year or two ago?  Fresh off the success of Elder Scrolls 5, which was all about... umm...  Skyrim, yes, that was it, they came out with Elder Scrolls Online, a multiplayer version of Elder Scrolls.  Skyrim focused on the snowy lands of the far north, and was my most-played game in all of steam, listed by hours, which can be misleading, because I spent about 500 hours just goofing around in Riverwood, making and remaking my character.  Yeah.  Good times.  So, Elder scrolls online.  Much like Skyrim, you could use a weapon in each hand, and the more you used each weapon, the more skilled you became with it.  I vaguely recall not liking the magic system in ESO, and because I love using magic in just about every game I have ever played, I became disappointed with ESO and stopped playing it.  What was wrong with the magic system, exactly?  I don't recall.  I think you could only ready one spell, or something like that, and there weren't very many types of magic to start with.  Things may have changed by now, and maybe I'm not recalling them correctly, but this was a long time ago.  Plus, I'm old.  I may have imagined the whole thing.  But, like a toddler who doesn't like a new toy, I threw it away and cried like a little girl.

Now, on to more recent conquests.  Conan Exiles is the most recent Conan-like game of all the recent Conan-like games out there, right now, that don't actually feature Conan.  However, the intro movie does feature a very Conan-like Cimmerian striding through a desert with an axe, who frees a prisoner tied to a cross.  Crucifixion was punishment for your character's various random crimes, like sexual congress with a gorilla, or skullduggery and impersonating a temple priest.  Put them all together and you get skullduggery with a gorilla while impersonating a temple priest, which, as we all know, is how I spend my weekends.  In any case, Conan cuts down the prisoner, and VOILA!  You're off to character creation, as the prisoner that the Conan-like Cimmerian has just cut down.  Wtf is skullduggery?  I have no idea, and I'm not sure I actually want to find out.

Conan Exiles is still in Alpha, but the game looks beautiful, and features the, ah, the Full Monty, as far as nudity goes.  You basically run out of the desert, collecting resources from bushes, rocks, and branches to make clothes, tools and weapons, and you get the ability to make a greater variety of stronger tools, armor and weapons as you level up.  A variety of infernal, primitive and normal animals wander about, just waiting for you to run up and kill them for lunch (cooked meat is really the only option here, as farming is currently forbidden by order of the gods, or just isn't in the game yet).  Hyenas, rhinos and gazelles (at least, I think they were gazelles, they ran away very fast) are just some of the normal animals featured, and I typically spent most of my game-time swimming across the extensive river and island system you come to, as you flee the dryness of the desert.  Food and water are required often, or you die of thirst and starvation.  You can also get food poisoning, and die of that.  Or, you can be bitten in half by a crocodile, which is not as fun as it sounds.  Trust me.

Content is currently a bit limited, but there are apparently dungeons full of scary monsters hidden somewhere, and like most survival games out there, you can host your own server, and get taken over by Chinese Hackers!  I think getting taken over by Chinese hackers is even currently an option in the server settings, and is ON by default.  I guess the game designers are working on a fix to get it turned off at some point, but no luck so far.  I've only played the game single-player, so far, but there are little gatherings of AI-controlled humans you can bonk on the head, drag back to your place, and convert them to your cause via the appropriately-titled Wheel of Pain.  Once converted, your new slaves work for you, and are called Thralls.  Some of the thrall professions are fighter, cook, archer, and dancer, to name a few.  I guess there are also priests you can use to summon Avatars, gigantic world-smashing Godlings capable of crushing your enemies, driving them before you, and making their women lament.  But, that's all high-level stuff, and nowhere I've got close to, yet.

In addition to clothes, armor, tools and weapons, you can also make a house for yourself.  Basic structures are made of sandstone, and although you need to collect a lot of wood for support, you can't actually make structures out of just wood.  I guess it's not strong enough to keep away the giant killer crocodiles that want to bite you in half?  Who knows.  At later levels, different kinds of stronger stone are used.  The game designers also promise the use of sorcery, which I am looking forward to, but it's not in the game yet.  Also, there's supposed to be sacrifices, which is great for me, because I frequently get thrall slaves who bug the shit out of me for various reasons, who I'd love to sacrifice.  The game is frequently updated, sometimes once or twice a week, so the developers certainly seem on-track to finish the game, eventually.  They just added a bunch of new weapons, and catapults.

Do I like Conan Exiles?  Sort of.  It's a survival game, like 7 Days to Die, or even Minecraft.  You spend most of your time trying not to die of hunger and thirst, avoiding hungry crocs, and like living in Australia, everything in this game wants to kill you.  I spent a lot of time building a small house on a tiny island in the middle of a river, which was visually awesome, but I tended to die every time I left my island to go hunting.  Meh.  Probably didn't put enough points into Vitality, or something.  Also, Crocs can swim across rivers, just like you, which I had to find out the hard way.  Also, they bite very hard, and plant fiber clothing doesn't stop croc teeth.  Overall, I'd say the game needs more content, but I haven't been able to explore very much, or find a dungeon yet.  I pretty much die too easily to get very far.  It's not just the crocs you need to worry about.  The game would probably be better with friends, but I don't have any to test it with.  Thankfully, there is a cheat system in place if you happen to be the server admin, which is a given if you're playing single player.  Somehow, I still die a lot.  Apparently, being a demi-god doesn't prevent you from dying of falling off a high cliff.  In Conan Exiles, even the dirt can kill you.  Hopefully, they'll implement the sorcery and magic system soon, and I can start my career as a master spellcaster, charming crocs and making them go fetch food for me.  We'll see how that goes.  They'll probably eat me when they get back.

Our final review this time around is on Conclave, a cheap little RPG with very simple graphics.  I've only managed to play a few of the beginner quests yet, but it's pretty much a D&D clone dumbed down to the basics.  You get 5 classes, 5 races, and a max level of ten or so, as far as I can tell.  There's runecasters (mages), Beacons (cleric), and a scattering of other classes.  There's no cheating in Conclave, because it's entirely online (even single player), so I am having a bitch of a time getting past the first few quests.  It's not un-fun, but I would suggest bringing friends, if you want to get very far.  Soloing is quite difficult, and I don't see any sort of loot system.  Not even sure if it's a finished game, or they are still working on it.  One thing that bugged me is, you can't change the screen resolution any, so you're pretty much stuck with the default graphic settings, which amounts to a small window in the middle of your screen.  In this day and age, those of us used to varying our graphics settings for best resolution, might be a little disappointed.  Still, it has no effect on gameplay.

That's all we have time for, boys and girls!  Dinner's almost ready, and I'm sure I'll have some new movies to review pretty soon.  Until then, I'll be in my bunk.

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Series Reviews - Iron Fist, Grimm, Firefly

Like any large, hirsute mammal that comes out of the cave after hibernating all winter, the first thing I do is catch up on the series I've been missing out on.  Let's start with Netflix's Iron Fist, and work our way back to Firefly.  Yes, I know Firefly is 15 years old.  I been hibernating.  Don't judge.

IRON FIST (2017):  Okay, Iron Fist is the most contradictory hero of the Marvel universe.  I thought Luke Cage was a bit mired in the 70's era, but Danny Rand makes Luke Cage look like the most together man in the multiverse.  I get the backstory, which I'm not going to ruin for anyone who hasn't finished the series on Netflix, but let's tackle the basics.  Danny spends 15 years learning martial arts.  He's beaten when he fails at something, which is apparently often, and supposedly learns to control his mind, body and emotions.  He says he always wins, and has fought his way to earn the Iron Fist by challenging and defeating all comers.  Which, is funny, because the first time he gets his butt kicked, he's whining about how he feels like one big bruise, and winces at the first touch of disinfectant on some tiny cut he has on his arm.  He also flies into a rage at the first hint of frustration.  So, does that sound like a guy whose taken a beating before?  And is completely in control of his mind, body, and emotions?  Nope.  So about halfway through the series, minor spoiler, Danny Rand tries to take back control of his company, the Rand Corporation, but is ousted by the Board, which is just glad they never actually gave him a position at the company.  So, Danny buys a sports car with his millions, and takes the private plane off anywhere he needs to go.  Which is awesome, except...  where's he getting his millions exactly?  He's been ousted by the Board, he's not pulling down a salary, and he has no position at the company, so how exactly is he getting these millions?  Especially without an address, and never visiting the bank?  Pretty sure Danny doesn't even have a computer, so, what, he does his banking via... snail mail?  And how does he rate a Rand Corp private jet?  I don't get it.  A lot of people are blaming Finn Jones for screwing the whole thing up, and yeah, maybe he's not the best choice for the role, and maybe a horrible actor, but everything I just mentioned?  That's all just bad writing.  The actress who played Colleen Wing and Rosario Dawson were some of the few bright points in a otherwise very predictable and monotonous plot.  The "end boss fight," I'm going to call it, wasn't even worth going through all 14 episodes.  Horribly convoluted and ridiculous plot.  Madame Gao was pretty cool, though, gotta say.  The rest of it?  Blech.  I've heard some media company decided that Iron Fist was actually the most popular show on Netflix, and it sounds like they're going to renew it for a second season.  I think it's absolute rubbish, and if Netflix renews it for another season, then I don't know WTF they are thinking.  Wouldn't be the first time some crap show made it to round 2, though.

GRIMM (2017):  For those in the know, Grimm (NBC) ended tonight.  Not quite sure how many seasons it was on (6, maybe), but it had a decent run.  I been watching it religiously since the first episode, when it aired in October a half dozen years back, and it was all about horror (just like me).  :-)  There was a whole "Zerstorer" plot line running the last few episodes, and the beastie basically had control of what I'm going to call the Spear of Destiny, which the show never said, but which was what I got out of it.  And Nick ended up with it, so that's nice.  Maybe we'll see a Grimm movie at some point in the future, who knows.  I like how the series ended, and there was a very brief appearance by a couple of the actors at the beginning of the Series Finale who said goodbye and thanks and all, so that's nice.  Broke the 4th wall a little bit, but they didn't do it during the show, which was great.  Sure, Deadpool was great for people who like adult-oriented Superhero movies, but stop playing to the camera, Ryan Reynolds/Deadpool.  You're not a goddamn beauty queen.  I like to see the actors outside of the characters they play, from time to time.  Reminded me of the last episode of Family Ties, way back when, when Michael J. Fox and the rest of the cast came out on stage and took a bow.  I wish more series did stuff like that at the end.  I checked the IMDB pages for the Grimm actors, and unfortunately, many of them don't have any other credit lined up for 2017.  I know, Grimm just ended and they are probably on vacation after a good run, but I hope they will get some good roles after this.  Would be a shame if they all faded out somewhere, they all seem like decent actors and actresses.  And Claire Coffee (Adelind)?  Jesus, she's smokin' hot.  I know she's married and all, but, wow.  Gotta see her in other stuff.

FIREFLY (2003):  Yea, okay, so, I'm a little behind the times on this one, but I just caught up on all the episodes I missed via Netflix.  The series is going off Netflix's streaming service tonight, so I had to hurry.  Firefly was a pretty good series, and I'm sorry I missed it during it's initial run.  Sadly, I was probably working nights at the time, so I had good reason to miss it.  They came out with Serenity, a movie based off the show, which was also pretty damn good.  One thing I'd like to mention, I had heard the phrase "I'll be in my bunk" quite a number of times on the internet, and had even used it myself on occasion.  I mean, I knew what it meant by inference, but had no idea where it had originated from.  Turns out, it was probably the episode of Firefly where Inara (the Companion) entertains a female customer, and the sexual tension they exude seems to inspire Jayne to spend some extra time, uh, polishing his weapons, as it were.  As the "Jayne Cobb" of my cohort of friends and relatives, I know how he feels, at times.

Let's take a quick look at the actors and actresses of Firefly, 15 years later, shall we?  Nathan Fillion (Mal) has 4 different projects coming out in 2017, including a role in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, so, he's doing awesome.  I loved him in Slither, because I love monsters, horror and Sci Fi, and that pretty much encompassed all three of those genres.  Gina Torres (Zoe) has been busy, and just finished up a series in 2017.  Alan Tudyk (Wash) has been super-busy, and I loved him in Tucker and Dale vs Evil.  Morena Baccarin (Inara) is hugely famous now, and was obviously in Homeland, Deadpool and Gotham.  Adam Baldwin (Jayne) is, at least still working.  Apparently, he's not actually one of the less-popular Baldwin brothers, and no relation to Alec.  I did not know that until just now.  And, now I feel awkward.  Moving on.  Jewel Staite (Kaylee) was adorable on the show, and was working as of last year, according to IMDB.  Sean Maher (Simon) is working in voice acting and has other projects coming out in 2017.  Summer Glau (River) was still working as of last year, and I have seen her in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse, the Cape, and Knights of Badassdom, most recently.  Sadly, we lost Ron Glass (Shepherd Book) late last year, the year of a billion celebrity deaths.

And that's all we have time for tonight, boys and girls.  Things to do, and I wanted to get this post out in march, which ends in 12 minutes.  :-)  Hopefully, I'll catch you guys up soon on what other shows I been watching lately, crappy or otherwise.  Til next time!