Saturday, 28 February 2015

Dead Skill

Oh, I didn't expect this to be good, and just the first five minutes are enough to put anyone off, but I stuck it out... for some reason.

A kid's father dies, and he grows up to be a photographer. Randomly, his grandfather dies and leaves him a house and an old camera, which he loves and immediately uses, causing people to die a day or so later is horrible (amusing from an effects view) way. Turns out the grandfather was a psycho, and the camera trapped people alive inside a negative world, and he killed the father and trapped the man and his own son inside the negative world, and...

This is a great example of how to take an interesting premise 'camera captures people's souls', and utterly ruin it. I had a hard time getting through this movie, because it was so terrible and dull that I just couldn't keep my attention on it.

For some reason Ben Browder is in this, as is Ray Wise, but even their performances are not good. Still better than the others, but that bar isn't high.

Another crappy movie for the pile.


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Friday, 27 February 2015

Apocalips Now

Yeah, it's another of those big movies that everyone talks about, and now it's on my seen list.

Willard goes up river to find someone who went really up the river, and in doing so ends up up the river himself. While Kurtz is insane, every aspect of the army we see is just as crazy, which is partly the point, and seeing that and what trying to be sane does to you, drives you doolally as well.

Damn, but this is a well done movie. Although it could be taken as army propaganda, that view doesn't stay long. Coppola right deserves credit for this, the scenes are well shot and the performances are fitting. This was a movie I wanted to keep watching because of how well told the story was.

And the names, Marlon Brando (who's hardly in it, to be honest), Martin Sheen, Dennis Hopper, Lawrence Fishburne, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall...

I saw the Redux (so far longer) version. Well worth the watch.


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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Yacob's Ladder

I've heard of this as a great horror movie. I love horror movies, so I definitely wanted to check this out.

Something happens to Jacob in Vietnam, and after returning to his normal life, he slowly sees strange things, weird events happen to him, and demons are around. And other members of his platoon are also suffering this, but investigation into what happen draws a little too much attention. Reality collapses around him, and images of his dead son haunt him. Will he ever find out what is going on?

Which I guessed early on. Because I've seen the same idea used elsewhere, so I could see it coming. And I think it works well enough, not too overplayed, and if you haven't got it yet, it does seem outre... but horror? I'm not feeling it. Not in the normal horror sense anyway. Mental trauma horror, maybe, but it's not like people are attacked. Or there's a slow build of anything threatening. Drama and mystery, yeah, suspense, definitely, but horror? It's not.

There's good acting, and there's nice camera work. The big effects are basically people moving their heads fast, which was overused when it was invented and just feels dated now., I'm probably missing something?


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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Beg Libowski

All right, all right. Everyone goes on and on about this, so fine, I've now seen it... And?

I doubt I need to talk about the plot, considering that everyone else has already seen this movie, most likely many times, and could tell me what happens. A wee tale of a dude that gets caught up in events that quickly spiral out of control before a final resolution that is typical for this sort of movie.

And by 'this sort of movie', I mean Coen brothers. This is a good Coen brothers movie, don't get me wrong. But what I'm not getting is why is this a huge smash hit over, say, Burn After Reading, which I was reminded of at many times in terms of 'little people caught up in big events'. As it is, I'm now putting this in my 'watched' pile, with no big intention to ever dig it back out for a rewatch.

The Dude Abides. Good for him. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got other stuff to do.


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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Flunkinstin vs the Moomy

Well, I had Franky. And the Mummy. So why not this, the one vs the other?

In one movie, Victor F is a doctor of medicine and is slowly building a corpse in a basement and is intent on reanimating it. In another plot, his girlfriend brought back a mummy that mentally infects a professor to kill people to feed it life. After two hours, these plots finally combine for the last ten minutes and we have the title 'vs' we've been waiting for.

At least this isn't shaky cam or any other gimmicky video shooting style. This is straight forward camera set up, and I appreciate that. It's still a ridiculous movie that's far too long and stars nobody anyone will have heard of, but at least it doesn't make me want to throw up visually. The effects are all right, but mummy and franky are practical suits, but there's still nothing really here to recommend it.

Right, perhaps I should watch a good film now?


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Monday, 23 February 2015

May of the Dummy

How do you make a movie with two main guest stars (at least, I'm guessing one of them is a main star, he doesn't seem to have been in stuff I've seen), but not actually have them out of location so you can shoot the movie with a bunch of c-cast stars? Answer, a shaky cam movie!

Jack Wells is the most amazing man in the world evah. He gets the womens without trying (and surprisingly, the person acting him did not write the script or direct this). He is brought on to find out what happened to a previous expedition, so he joins a group of five people to wander into the desert, find a cave, and promptly fail to do anything competent. And, after 60 minutes of this 75 minute movie, find a monster mummy thing. Which looks decent enough, but clearly just someone in a mummy outfit. Then have a copout ending that doesn't mean anything.

So the stars in this movie are Danny Glover, who only appears in an insert shot, so all his scenes were probably shot in a day in his own room. And William McNamara, the guy with the camera in his glasses so we see a shot with an overlay and see occasional body parts, but only see his face in like three scenes, but otherwise is just ADR. Which was clearly done in a different time and place to the rest of the audio which sounds like it was shot with a can around the microphone.

The rest of the cast is expendable men, except for the one woman who of course ends up having sex with Jack Wells because of how world amazing he is.

Yeah. No. But I knew that going in, and just wanted to see something rubbish.


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Sunday, 22 February 2015


It's manga time! This was something I picked up a while ago and only now got around to reading. Taimashin The Red Spider Exorcist.

This is weird supernatural horror... from Japan, so it's actually good. The first story arc has a young woman wandering around a city, getting attacked, trying to be with her boyfriend, and getting attack more. Fortunately, she now has Akamushi to protect her... who is a priest type character that is actually a spider. And he controls spiders. Hey, I said weird supernatural horror. In the other arc, a young girl (and I mean she's 13!) spots Akamushi and wants to be his bride, but although he's not up for that, he is drawn to her and finds out about her families history with the Laughing Face. Yeah, it gets weird.

One thing that's a shame about this is that it's in black and white. So many good Japanese horror manga... so many limited by a lack of colour. Greyscale can only convey so much.

I've gotten three volumes so far, and there are six to date (this being a regular monthly thing, I have no idea how many there will be). I will get the others, and recommend them to you.


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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Aye, Fronk-in-schteen

Oh dear gods, I knew this had bad reviews going in, but at least I thought I'd be able to enjoy the effects part of it. But the story... the story...

So Frankenstein created a monster, and then died, and then demons came to get him, but then gargoyles came to get them, and then its present day, and the demons and the gargoyles are having a fight, and the demons have this HUGE underground place of dead bodies and they want to reanimate them and they live like THREE BLOCKS away from the gargoyles and the creature hooks up with the doctor and they are all 'no, we must not let this be', but the gargoyles are angels so they win, the end.

Did a five year old write this? How about the part where anything with a particular symbol on it becomes INSTANTLY deadly to demons? Why not put a monument in the water reservoir? Or put the symbol on bullets? Just one touch seems to be enough, so imagine any kind of spray weapon. And they've been fighting for over two hundred years but couldn't spot the main bad guys base is RIGHT THERE! But at least they are hidden from mankind, with their overly flashy death explosions absolutely no-one would spot (optical illusion!).

Oh, this is just painful. Do Not Watch.


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Friday, 20 February 2015

TR: Season of the Witch

Now, this is the comic that's set between the games. And being a comic, it's far more visual and more evocative of the games, moreso when they repeat locations.

By which I mean they go back to the island of Yamati. Really? This is the worst kind of sequel which is just a repeat of the first go. There's something odd going on, which ties back to events on the island, so it builds to a climax there... which is kind of disappointing. Gail Simone could have gone anywhere, but this? This isn't trying. Maybe there'll be a volume 2? (Especially as the 'witch' never turned up.)

However, this Lara is far more the PC we played. She has the same equipment, and is ready to kill to defend her friends and stop the bad guys. ...which does make me wonder how she ends up in therapy for the next game? She seems very well adjusted for all this. Yes, you can talk about loopy negative disco dance in video games, but I'm getting it from the books as well!

Despite the attention around the comic, of course the game makers can't rely on people having read it, so I'm not expecting big references to it. It's a decent story.


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Thursday, 19 February 2015

TR: Ten Thousand Immortals

I'm going to talk about Tomb Raider again! But not the game I played. Or the one I will be playing next. Or even the comic set in-between them. But rather the book set between the first game and the comic. And this has been declared canonical!

This does follow on from the events of the first game in that Lara is still fretting over what happened. Like having panic attacks every five minutes, and being overly paranoid about everyone around her. But when Sam has a problem, she's off to find something to help... and rather randomly ends up on the Golden Fleece. There's a lot of going to locations, talking to people, and running around and escaping... but... the ending feels very lacking. A case of "build up without appropriate pay off".

I have no idea what was their ideas and what was something they borrowed from elsewhere. We know in the next game that Lara is seeing someone about her problems, but this is over doing the psychological impact of it. She is also supposed to be a character we played, in which she killed a lot of people, and was prepared to do what it takes to get the job done. Not really getting that feeling here. Even in the few combat sections, it's more luck than skill that sees her through.

This may be canonical, but it doesn't feel fitting.


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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Project Almanacki

I haven't heard much about this film, but I saw it had come out, and the one line teaser sounded interesting enough, so, what the hey, let's give this a go.

First, it's basically a found footage movie... wait, wait, come back. It's not all bad. It's also an MTV film... okay, now we should be worrying. And the acting is not good. At least, at the beginning it's not good. It does get better later on, but it takes a while.

Mechanical bright boy tries to get into MIT, sort of succeeds, but can't afford it. Looking for more scholarship ideas, he and his sister finds an old video camera from his 7th birthday party... which has him in it... his 17 year old self. What the? Yep, there's a time machine in the offering, and dude and his friends eventually get it working (although they can't go back too far), and have fun. Except then there are repercussions from playing around with the time line...

Which gets to the point of this doesn't remind me of Chronicle so much as a wannabe Primer. That doesn't want to be too challenging. And I do want to watch Primer again, which I've said before, so I should get around to that.

The acting isn't much, there are some nice effects... however the editing was shocking. I could easily spot cuts due to someone passing in front of frame.

This probably didn't deserve a theatrical release, but there are worse movies out there.


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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Eddie et voila!

He should have called it that instead of Force Majure. More fitting with his topic.

Yes, this is Eddie Izzard, and I saw his performance here in Wellington the other night. He was... surreal in a lot of places. Started with Human Sacrifice, took in some of the kings of England and brought back some classic pieces for a bit of a sequel.

(I think I did see this as a DVD release, but it's certainly different live, and it might just be some bits I remember as he does occasionally repeat material as he's changing things around.)

However, some parts were a little too surreal. Even at times even Eddie wasn't sure where he was going. And some times he went beyond what I could follow. But I just waited, I knew he'd be back.

Basically, I laughed and enjoyed myself. And that's what counts.


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Monday, 16 February 2015

Click the Heroes!

Want to play Cookie Clicker, but want to have the game rank up while you are away? Then Clicker Heroes is for you!

This time instead of cookies you are clicking on monsters. At least, that's the story. They look cute, and don't do anything to you, so you are a straight up killer if you go about attacking them. But as you do, you get coins, so you can buy more things to kill monsters and buy upgrades for them, etc etc. (We should possibly be lucky there is no monetisation in this, or I could get into trouble.)

There is a definite mid-point plateau where you are not going to generate enough money to go to the next hero unless you leave it for a week or so. (And here's were it running without you helps.) But even then... the "proper" way to play is to reset your game, and get Hero Souls, which you use to buy Ancients... I'm not sure how exactly that works as I haven't done that buying yet, but I will get around to it at some point.

In the meantime, I'm resetting around level 130-150, and going again. My base damage is increasing, but it still feels like a slog. And yet, I'm still playing.


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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Click the Cookies!

Yes, I'm talking about the basic of games... Cookie Clicker!

This is a basic game where you click on a cookie... and that's it! Which is really boiling the game mechanics down to the basics. There are upgrades you can get, Grannies, Farms, Mines, etc. which create cookies for you so you don't need to. And you can upgrade them.

The point with them is that they get more cookies on an exponential scale, so get the next level up and make the current level really pointless. But you can spend money on them! And there are achievements! Lots of them.

What happens is that you get to a point where you have to leave it running for hours to get the cookie for the next upgrade. Or you can start over. That's totally a possibility, and you need to to get some of the special drops to happen. And to get an interesting story line.

But that's where I am. Leaving my computer running for hours on end. Because it won't run unless I'm running it! That's annoying.

Otherwise... yeah, I'm clicking cookies...


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Saturday, 14 February 2015


People describe this as MIB as done by the Brits. Certainly that was the impression from the trailers, but nope, it's fairly distinct. Although I was unfortunately reminded of The Avengers (no, not the superhero team up).

The Kingsmen are a super secret organisation getting stuck into around the world adventures (although they mainly seem to be in Britain). One of their number is killed by a wacky American mad man (who reminded of Sir August de Wynter), and so another one needs to be brought in. Enter Eggsy, who goes through training along with other potentials in a series of madcap adventures. Meanwhile, mad man is still man, and people are still getting killed, but only a handful of Kingsmen can save the day.

And yes, there are Kingswomen as well. Well, one. I have no idea how balanced the comic was, I haven't read that.

There's some decent acting here (although I didn't recognise Mark Hamill, shame on me). And some cool action sequences. But... it felt like it was set up that way, that it didn't flow that way organically in the story. Yes, this is a movie and that happens, but the sequences felt more like "all right, we're up to an action sequencer, sweet, now we can go all out!" Ultimately it all felt rather... hollow.

So, yeah, a fun way to spend two hours, but not one to sustain yourself on.


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Friday, 13 February 2015


Whether it's horses or cars or... in this case motorcycles, the story is just as generic.

Dudebro comes back to town after leaving because of trouble, making his girlfriend mad at him. But he returns, and the girlfriend basically forgives him because movies. But he is still is trouble with Bad Guys, and is set up with Black Gang, so then they are on the run to prove his innocence. And everything comes together with a lot of racing and... well, the director otherwise shot music videos, and it kinda shows.

Everything is shot stylistically with emphasis on 'cool' shots that don't actually help tell the story. As despite this being on motorcycles with blurry scenery, I never really got the sense of speed and fast movement. Odd that. This movie was intentionally shot without regards to actual physics, but tension and engagement were also lost for me.

Martin Henderson... just reminded me of his local roots. And Ice Cube was not exactly breaking a mould with his character either. Monet Mazur is clearly a favourite for the director's camera, and will someone please give Jaime Pressly some lines?

People have mentioned this movie, in particular a certain bike fight, but it's not standing out as something to spend your time on for me.


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Thursday, 12 February 2015

This week in TV

There's a lot of TV genre shows being screened at the moment. Just imagine being able to access it all... or having time to watch it all! The ones on this week, mainly in the US, I'm interested are as following. (The success rate of NZ showing them is a... little less than 100%.)

Scorpion: Fits into 'crime of the week with added socially awkward people'.
Forever: Yeah, I'm watching this still.
Sleepy Hollow: This is getting a little desperate to be related to the SH concept.
Gotham: This wants to be the Penguin show so bad... but it's not. And I would like it less if it was.
Guy's Grocery Games: Fun competition cooking show. Getting less interested in it now.
Daily Show: A news show you can trust.
Nightly Show: A panel show you can trust.
Flash: Decent if light.
Agent Carter: I'm not sure where this is going. It's a nice ride, but hopefully something more will come out of it.
Supernatural: This is a strong show after the first few seasons, if getting rather undirected now.
Arrow: Decent if dark.
The Mentalist: Now in the last season, and about to end... which is probably should have done a season or two earlier.
Big Bang Theory: Yes, this is 'nerdface', but I'm still watching it anyway. Why?
Elementary: They're trying to mix the formula up, but I'm not sure it's working.
Constantine: Still suffering from being in the first season, not stable enough for a second.
Top Gear: I like more for the idiots and what they do, than the cars.
Last Week Tonight: Another news show you can trust.

And there are plenty of other shows on, just not of interest to me.


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Wednesday, 11 February 2015


Oi, I knew this wasn't going to be a great movie going in, but I wasn't prepared for the scale of the not badness. This is nearly one of those movies were the worst thing about it is its blandness, but this manages to stay on the crap side of that to avoid that mistake.

We start off with shady scientists with military helpers setting up a new virus. And then they unleash it on an unsuspecting old woman. Fortunately, a group of young white people (and their black friend... go on, guess who dies first) comes to the house, and they proceed to die one by one... but not without cringe inducing heartfelt goodbye speeches that would make soap operas proud. Handily, the main hero is a soldier back from service with mild levels of PTSD, so he goes nuts on the military peoples and goes after the scientists, because if there's one thing we need it's another generic white dude hero.

Yeah, this movie is rubbish, no three ways about it. But that's not the amazing part, because there is an amazing part. I knew this was going to suck, and suck it did. What I didn't expect was Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones and Jude Ciccolella... who are in this movie. Why? What hold did Jason Dudek have over them? Hopefully, they were in this purely because they had a gap in their schedules and just didn't have anything better to do, and thought no-one would see this movie... and I can understand that last part.

So no, don't see this. It spends a lot of time going nowhere, with stars that shouldn't be in it, and I can't even tell if the end is a win or not. Not worth anyone's time.


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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Tournament

Yesterday's post was written a while ago, so I've had time to read the missing book, namely The Tournament. This is not your standard Matthew Reilly. It's set in 1954, it's about a chess tournament, and it goes into the politics (including the sexual proclivities) of the time. Not exactly a fast paced action piece about random places around the world.

Queen Bess, or rather just Bess as she is 13, is taken to Constantinople as part of a chess tournament. (No, she's not participating in it, and there's no action scene where everything depends on her taking a rook.) But while she is there with her tutor and others, there's a murder, and she (via her tutor) gets swept up in events. There's a lot going on, and she is under threat more than once, but when the threads unravel there are machinations going to the highest levels in the city.

Although this isn't his usual reckless action work, this still works as a murder mystery. Reilly can tell a good story, and other than initially mentally changing reading gears, I got into this easily enough. And yes, there are descriptions of the actual chess tournaments (although described lightly because he isn't a chess master, and they are really only backdrop items). There is a lot of sex, as was the style at the time, and I kind of feel like he falls into the common trap of people writing historical novels, to whit throwing in explanations, people and references to later events because he can. That sort of thing always feels gratuitous. (And Sleepy Hollow, I'm glaring at you too.)

Still, decent read, go pick it up and you too might want to learn more of the history of the immortal game.


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Monday, 9 February 2015

The Great Zoo of China

It's Matthew Reilly's latest! (Although apparently I missed his previous one - now reading.)

China has set up a new zoo, to compete with America's Disneyland. But what can they do to be more exciting? Well, as the blurb, and other things, give away: Dragons! Because that won't go wrong at all! And so we are off to action with... well, by 'off to action', I mean the first quarter of the book is setting up ton of exposition and characters and locations and... this has to be one of his longest action stories in which the action is delayed. The Jack West Jnr books can take a while, but that gets on with it quicker.

Anyway, we get the badass CJ Cameron, the woman who is ready to battle the dragons... although she has a back story of being a vet? Not really the trained soldiers of the others, so her feats of amazingness are a little more credability-bending (unlike all the other entirely possible feats of the other characters).

Even the dragons themselves are under played. We get six different varieties... then that all goes out the window and only really have one set to worry about. So what was the point of setting all that up then?

All that adds up to not the success of his earlier books, for me.


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Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Hackney of Cellblock !1

Let's see. Paranormal investigators, check. Not getting good ratings, check. Actual supernatural place, check. Okay, let's buckle in.

And that pretty much summarises everything about this movie. They got a show that isn't working, so get a hold of a prison cellblock, and, as they put it, 'spooky shit' happens. These people are supposed to be professionals, and have supposedly seen this before, but act like they're 16 year old girls in a slasher movie at a lake side. First order of business, panic and run around without a plan. Second thing, split up as often as possible. I'm not surprised their show sucks if they act like that!

There is a modicum of originality in the wider plot story for why this is happening, and how that is resolved, but that's about five minutes worth of screen time, and the rest of it is by the numbers. They should just consider themselves lucky they didn't have a larger cast to get killed off. And the 'subplot' about not being able to have a baby was just lame, and didn't actually go anywhere.

Another one for the pile.


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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Lord of the Wellington

I finally got around to it, doing the Lord of the Rings tour for locations in our very own Wellington! And took photos!

The first half was tramping around up in Mount Victoria, seeing locations from the Outer Shire area. And I hid from a rider.

Then we went to Weta Cave where I again saw the DVD (which was different, but still not updated to include the Hobbit), and toured the Workshop, although nothing really new there. And, yes, I brought something... treasure!

In the second half, we went out to the Hutt. First stopping at Anduin river... aka the Hutt river, then on to lunch in Rivendell. More commonly known as Kaitoke (where I took a walk), but also the site of Rivendell itself! A badly edited video (I took out most of what the guide says... if you want to hear it, take the talk!) is:

Then we headed down to outside of Isengard, where I walked as a wizard.

And looked over at Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith... aka a quarry we couldn't go in.

A full day, with lots of locations and stories. Huzzah!


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Friday, 6 February 2015


Hey, it's a horror thriller, those always work well, right?

Jessie is out, with her new husband (I think? Might be boyfriend, it doesn't matter because) when he dies and the baby she was carrying doesn't make it. She can't walk, so moves in with her father. However, there are strange things in the old house, and weird things start happening to her, getting worse as she finds video tapes her mother left her, which are not the most stable of watching. Things build up until things are finally made right.

I was following along for a while, coming with ideas as to what is going on. And then we get to the ending, with sudden exposition and revelation and it starts getting to be a bit of a mess. And the resolution to everything is the sort of thing that happens because this is a one-off movie story that will never had to deal with those characters ever again.

Sarah Snook gets the majority of the acting, and she does a decent job. Fortunately, she gets practical effects to act against, which always helps. (The thriller gets more psychological than surreal.) Mark Webber gets a supporting role, but his character is largely one note.

The ending makes this rather disappointing, but overall it's all right.


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Thursday, 5 February 2015

John Woah-ick

It's Keanu Reeves in his best performance ever... in which he only has ten lines!

John's wife died, and she bequeathed him a dog. Which is then killed by some Russian gangsters and they steal his car. Only problem is... he's John Wick. So he goes after them. We get some very threatening stories about how bad ass he is... as it turns out, the Russian gang was one he used to work for! Convenient! And so he can rampage on as many bad guys as he likes. And then, around 3/4 into the movie, it goes mightily off the rails as we get a whole slew of domino deaths...

I had heard good things and was looking forwards to this. But... it's all right. It's not amazing. There are a fair few action pieces, slick looking. There is minimal character development, if any. And half the dialogue is drowned out by the soundtrack, of which there's plenty. Keanu is all right, although his suit must be very sweat stain resistant. (As all clothes in movies appear to be.)

And again I had a thought which has often occurred to me. You have these tales of this super hit man, and you are a minor goon protecting some big shot that is targetted... at which point do you go "hey, this isn't worth it?" All those people taken out with one hit, that's a terrible career path.

So yeah, it was a movie, and I watched it, and... there you go.


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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Jur-ASS-ic City

I know what you're thinking. "It's out already?" But that's not the amazing thing. Because this is City, not World. No, the amazing thing is this wasn't produced by The Asylum.

Take a look at this poster. Take a good look.

There are two things wrong. One: the dinosaurs aren't that big, they're barely larger than a person. And two: by city, they mean abandoned prison facility they were allowed to shoot in, and a few random streets in nowhere suburbia.

The story is... does it matter? I already mentioned the prison facility, so start there, add in ditzy women (because that seems to be the only type Sean Cain can write. Think of a stereotype, and there you are), and mix in some basic upsized old style raptors, and there you go. Why does this happen? Who knows. Or cares. Dinosaurs! And then it ends up leading into what could easily be a sequel, at which point it might actually earn the title.

Acting wise, not bad. Effects wise, not bad (except when they need to interact with the actors). Production wise... not bad either. If he hadn't gone for schlock, Sean Cain might actually be able to do a decent movie.

But no, we have this. And this is about what you'd expect.


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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

C is for Cthulhu

Hey, kids, do you know what time it is? It's time to learn about the horror that sleeps beneath the sea and, compared to which, even death may die! Aka another thing I kickstartered.

This is a "kids" book, in the style of "A is for Apple". Only for Cthulhu. And other Lovecraftian style horrors. Because why else would you? (I remember playing in a Heroic Cthulhu game where we came across a kids Cthulhu book... this would have been a good thing to use as an actual prop!) Some of the letters are a bit of a reach, but there's good art here.

And there's over 50 pages. Yes, more than the alphabet, because there is also included sketches of some of the creatures. And this shows there are different takes on these creatures... and all creatures are cute/scary.

It looks like you can grab it on Amazon if you like.


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Monday, 2 February 2015

The Attica! Institute

All right, time for another found footage movie. This one presents itself as a documentary, with some rather familiar faces of known actors in there... yes, very much real life.

This is the story of the Atticus Institute, from back in 1976. They studied paranormal people and even found someone with telekinetic powers... until it was found out that it was someone nearby with a neodymium magnet, which can even effect iron in cornflakes! [Uh, movie, you're cheating wrong.] But then they have Judith handed over to them, and she's the real deal. Effecting all sorts of things. Except there's an evil inside her, influencing her and people around her. So... clearly the government should be involved, that never goes wrong.

This was actually better than I expected. The 1976 bits were nicely 1976, with appropriate clothing and hairstyles and camera quality. And the modern stuff was nicely crisp in comparison. Okay, the younger versions and older versions of the character didn't look much like each other, but what the hey.

The main reason it works... they don't go for jumpscares, but instead build a tense atmosphere. All the movies I think work do so because of the atmosphere they build, and this does it well. Slow and deliberate, with cranking up the strangeness, full ticks.

I'm not surprised it didn't score bigger, but I will give it a full thumbs up.


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Sunday, 1 February 2015

My Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy

And yes he does... oh wait, she's talking about her husband. In another project I kickstartered.

This is tales from Grace Mineta, a Texan who married a Japanese man and now lives in Japan, and has a blog Texan in Tokyo. This is a collection of comics and writings of hers. And it's quite funny.

She also touches on the idea of mixed marriages, and how people can have problems with them, and how she's a lot fed up with how people see them. Fair enough, love is love, and race often doesn't matter (except when it does to everyone else).

These are amusing and useful insights into Japan, so feel free to pick it up (the blog links to Amazon, and I don't want to).


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