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Archive for October, 2015

more halloween

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

halloween12b

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Scouts versus zombies

Movie bannermaxresdefault12065637_1060248014019621_4929126102284235455_n12107228_1055599751151114_8057408519980357327_nLast night I attended an advance screening of the Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. (and a big thanks to Ginger Rose and Creation 13 Photography for hooking me up wiht the tickets) It’s my second time seeing the film and I’m got to say, I still love this movie.
On my second viewing there were a few new things that stood out, one of them in particular was the look of the zombies. I mentioned this previously on my review over at the Kreepy Kastle, but it’s really significant. The ashen, veiny look works very well in full light and there’s a lot of weird lighting in this filmwhich highlights that. But where it really shines, is in isolated dark spaces. That skin looks grey, dead. The eyes are bottomless black holes, shadows casting long over the sockets with only an occasional glint of the red irises. It’s ghastly. It’s incredibly effective, and more than a little reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead.

The conceit of animals getting infected by the zombie virus is put to good use here. It’s not just a one off gag about hitting a zombie deer (or as one of the scouts so colourfully puts it; “hood @&$!ing Bambi”), not just something specific to make this movie stand it out. It comes back on us with even greater peril after we encounter the neighbourhood crazy cat lady.

The “lifeline “scene at the trampoline is still horrifying.I still cringe when things begin to…tear.

There is an Easter egg at one point that I hadn’t noticed the first time around. as they’re making their mid film escape, we see a road sign labeling their town and the neighbouring city. I guess I know what state this takes place in then… Really, I missed it the first time because I was distracted by the side of the Boy Scouts trying to calm a zombie down by coaxing it to sing a Britney Spears song with them.

12088016_1060289097348846_2509636929023266662_nSeriously, if that doesn’t get you excited for this movie I don’t know what will.

And that’s really the point of this post. You see, I’m only now beginning to notice commercials on TV for the movie, and I see only one billboard for this in the Cleveland area. It’s not that unusual, horror films frequently don’t get the kind of advertising budget they should. This film needs more buzz, it deserves it. This is exactly the sort of movie that could play endlessly on basic Cable because it’s one of those things where if you land on this why you’re flipping channels, you’re going to stay and watch the rest of the film. I know I will. Heck, not only that, I really want a Scouts versus zombies 2. But for that to happen, we need to get out and see this when it comes out this weekend! Clocking in at under 90 minutes there is no wasted space. There is never a time to be bored. It’s a good thing, this film knows exactly what it is, and now so do you.

Seriously, Head out and see the scouts guide to the zombie apocalypse this weekend on Halloween!


Halloween

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

halloween12a


My All American

Movie bannerMV5BMTU3ODA0MjI0Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTUwNDQxNjE@._V1_SX214_AL_I am not a fan of football, in fact while I can tolerate most other sports, there’s something about football that just pisses me right off. So when I got an invitation to review an advance screening of My All American, I nearly turned it down. Really I find myself with the same dilemma that I did last year with Ender’s Game. The thing is, that turned out pretty well didn’t it? So I bit the bullet and headed out.

The thing you have to understand about My All American is that this is a GOOD film. Because of that, the subject matter is irrelevant. My All American spent two hours making me forget that I hate football, and if that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what you people want from me! My All American  is the story of Freddie Steinmark, an underdog, a young man who is single-mindedly devoted to football period there is no other way he could possibly conceive living his life, despite the fact that he weighs in at 145lb, and stands less then 6 feet tall. It is the story of a person who is willing to put in the work, willing to earn every inch and who achieves every dream that he possibly can, while inspiring others along the way. That inspiration by the way, is what really struck me period through a lot of this film, I admit there were times like I felt I was watching Superman -and I embraced that.  I know, what else would you expect, but honestly Finn Wittrock‘s Freddie  feels so very much like Clark Kent in that he expects nothing, he has no entitlement, and no bitterness. He is an aspirational figure and an inspirational figure. He is always there for others, he is always willing to do the right thing for no other reason then it’s the right thing period and it almost makes me wonder what he’s doing playing football…

Aaron Eckhart is marvellous in this film playing Coach Royal. Previously I have only seen him in The Dark Knight, and that’s not really a great frame of reference. Eckhart manages to be hard yet and empathetic, and reminds us of what kind of figure both inspirational and supportive a coach is supposed to be.

The ending of the film is heartbreaking, and perhaps just a bit telegraphed. Still you willingly fall into the emotions because the film has done such a great job of investing you in the characters. if you’re looking for the next great football film, this may be it.  If you have no interest in football at all, find someone who does have that interest and go with them that because this is a film everyone should see.

My All American opens in theaters November 13th


Favorite ads

commissions

I always like to see as running on the demo machine in the front and usually will create some basic stuff that also ends up on the company blog site. Here are a few of my favorites….

data management Geeks and pros ie slow website

 


Cleveland Comic Con 2015

Conman10420141_383744698469602_5721001722566553146_n10552475_1058586750852414_6529787832219200926_nI’ve never heard anything good about Cleveland Comic Con. It seems to have been plagued with problems and it’s at a time of year that I’m far to busy to even thing about adding another con.

However, I’ve been running into the promoter at events all year and he’s been constantly inviting me to come check it out. Finally, my attitude had been one of wait and see. If I was available I might go. It turns out that the day of the con, I was free in the morning and mid afternoon, but would have to leave before the costume contest. I was still on the fence,  thinking it might be best to relax during the day seeing as I was going to be working as a makeup artist for a zombie themed event with the Boy Scouts that night, but it seemed like tons of my friends were going and they finally convinced me to head out to the Berea Fairgrounds.

I think Cleveland Comic Con has it’s heart in the right place, but they think bigger than what their show actually is. The con takes up two small buildings at the fairgrounds (while the local haunted house takes up several more behind it) dividing the show between the artist’s alley/event room and the dealer’s room/cosplay stage. I was genuinely surprised at how small that dealers room was. If you’re coming out to shop, you’re going to be a bit dissapointed. I think Lake Effect has a similar number of vendors, possibly a few more in a far more enclosed space. I certainly was able to find better deals at Lake effect anyhow. No quarter bins, not even true fifty cent bins- one table advertising half off the dollar bins (and I missed them the first three times I went around).

But if you’re not here for shopping, then what else is there? The promoter here is a regular at Cinema Wasteland and obviously knows the importance of programming. There’s at least two if not three things going on at all times. There’s some good panels here too, see for yourself;

events12108829_1058588037518952_2064568384535353086_nThe problem is that this is all happening in one building (all but the cosplay). It’s an open space that they have separated with dividers and curtains. This does nothing to hinder sound. While I was attending Knightmage’s panel I couldn’t hear half of the time because of the muddled sounds coming from the other event areas in the building. This is a serious problem for a con that want’s to showcase it’s programming.

The kids costume contest was well run and fun, though I was surprised that there weren’t more children there. Cleveland Comic Con is a BIG cosplay event, boasting far more than the average cosplayer attendance (I notice Frankenberry put in a last minuet appearance with his dragon rider). Considering the wider spaces there (even in the smaller buildings) it’s a good place for it. Walking around in my Mr. Freeze costume, I never once felt crowded or like I was about to bump into someone.

12004002_1058586810852408_5210937489735781783_n

With all the adults surrounding us in costume it seemed a little strange to me that there weren’t more kids. On the other hand, we saw more than a few running around and I noticed Baconpool running to take photos with every little Deadpool he saw, declaring “I can’t afford any more child support!”

deadpools copyIn the end, I found this to be a fairly average con. It’s not the nightmare it’s been reported to be in the past, but still experiencing some growing pains and bumps in the road. At three years, the logistical problems should have been ironed out by now and I think a show this size would still be better served in a hotel rather than the fairgrounds. Wait to grow a bit guys.

Not sure if I’ll be back next year or not. I’m trying to reduce my number of convention appearances and this one might not make the cut – then again, if I do some crazy big costume, this just might be the ideal venue to premier it. We’ll see.

1385781_1058586984185724_2429437883851271729_n 1896918_1058586920852397_2446106973113484602_n 10003931_1058587747518981_8351292275625097643_n 10174829_493134440847394_1005574340366668743_n 10294408_1058586950852394_7110966836441416908_nYou just know this isn’t going to end well. 10295683_1058586837519072_7792914979598280244_n I love the gender bent Cap and Winter soldier. Cap especially really knows how to work that costume – this was a great idea.10302374_493134117514093_5821488552264986488_n 10593027_1058586707519085_5053610740328444994_n10406577_1058588187518937_424590362169689272_n 10422971_10154259382410744_4591890701809263607_n A marvelous Wonder Woman costume and one of our cosplay judges.12187874_493134400847398_218563065247717517_n10592759_1058588310852258_8419264689062073418_nThe shield in particular fascinated me. I’ve never played with worbola myself, but I like the muted colors and really need to do a black wash like this on some of my armors.10014703_1058588164185606_2220254562514224316_n10423303_1058587984185624_2965002803761233039_n 10552400_1098618506818109_3286292424577302073_nSupernatural fans, take note. THIS is how you gender bend a Winchester.10369175_10206517547836263_3118026904832649408_n 12036696_1069905646375306_4935780491797038709_nYou know Supergirl is vulnerable to magic right?12108169_1069905709708633_31355554796359135_n10665144_1058587364185686_7688914253605338904_n 10665144_1058587544185668_7688320078297993462_n The goggles start to get a little sore sometimes. I think it may actually look better with them pushed up like this…10850132_10206517547636258_6608731404183255405_n Someone had to explain this was a creature from Five Nights at Freddy’s. I think I saw one at Tricon too, but didn’t realize what it was.10986485_1058588234185599_3764815873803337044_n 10996350_10207827149907845_2787630690630517643_n 11015102_10154524113670190_1887115401009551109_n 11218799_1068400243200691_7438729670615424553_n 11987096_1058587054185717_1791840553365492040_n 11988375_1058587960852293_6509627451039261984_n 12019993_1058587347519021_5156094536787041332_nI’m honestly wondering if this is the same Q that I used to see at Star Trek cons back in the 90’s…. 12033228_493134110847427_2618197011355799153_n 12033231_493134507514054_3458789893706012771_n 12036619_10207827146827768_4430197520415737887_n 12036668_1058588010852288_8898458525368517916_n 12036944_1058587520852337_3283389981883832521_n 12038141_1058587200852369_1562048718527968386_n 12038156_1058586690852420_5828003890311753296_nReally is one of my favorite Doctors. maybe I should have taken the helmet off for this picture? 12038273_1058586784185744_5522343574315495228_n 12039263_1058587460852343_7538563013193660276_n 12039507_1058587947518961_4756808931890281413_n 12039612_1058587027519053_3496851843352349395_n 12039633_1058587137519042_8945647971926816518_n 12039642_1058588107518945_3373466822203950535_n 12039707_493134470847391_7349817282992065217_n 12046860_493134410847397_3897899843653304477_n 12047060_10207827146147751_6486896039926342696_n 12049177_1058587707518985_7868384046581644266_n 12049292_1058587237519032_1122308793194501374_n I was really stoked to see this Gambit. For some reason,  this character can really work with a gender bend. I love the take on the top, the patterns in the blue and the quilted look of the pink.12049292_1058587657518990_8904543265819329287_n12122762_493134484180723_4442848415606252352_n 12049311_1058587284185694_3697192047822358120_n 12049515_1058587220852367_8299318552144277558_n 12049536_1058587587518997_1484994821491241467_n 12063375_493134387514066_3003079654339903919_n 12063861_493134054180766_6047074659716463005_n 12065915_1058587774185645_8039453935932611333_nThe shiny Americian Dream costume really stood out no matter where this group went. 12072616_1058586770852412_2318353838743635083_nThe look on Robin’s face just SCREAMS “I am in SO much trouble.”. 12079534_1058588134185609_2922550886764310065_n 12105994_1058587400852349_3278882111057486689_n 12109241_1058587617518994_1827721003189046160_n 12112053_10154523274840190_7281351879828395874_n 12112235_1058945037483252_6335337030677140138_n 12118799_1058587427519013_584980106746650470_nCondensation. Cool day, but I kept getting a little warm…. 12118875_1058588334185589_5244102700512816803_n 12122755_1058587330852356_3085747468859901246_n 12140629_1058587110852378_6756869949919910165_n 12143168_493134420847396_4900878814380661143_n 12143169_1058587007519055_3514985131209194546_n 12187940_1058587080852381_5919397267929886767_n 12189809_10207827148987822_4440585787989106396_n 12190895_493134457514059_6542602822658229439_n 12191528_493134067514098_8710210790246822887_n 12191571_493134090847429_4336895398662121626_n Chill…. pkin


284

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

284


Brent Spiner

Autographs

I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever gotten anyone from Star Trek the Next Generation through the mail before. I’ve gotten original series cast that way…they are getting harder to find on the convention circuit, but the TNG cast used to always be accessible.

I was really pleased to get this one though the mail, I especially wanted a Night Court pic here because one of my favorite things was discovering Data on my favorite sitcom. Thanks so much Brent!

data1 data2


283

essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday

283


In Defense of Genesis

defense

imagesCAFDSLGWI’m so glad we hit horror so hard this year. I was surprised last year when this column was mostly Sci-Fi. Still, I think it’s time for something different.

We’ve never done a music review before, but this one is fitting. You see, I have two all time favorite bands. One is the Christian Rock band Petra that spanned over thirty years and still occasionally does reunions and such. The other one is Genesis.

oldGenesis has NEVER been popular. Even among the classic rock crowd or the prog rockers, Genesis has a reputation for being…I don’t know….vanilla. I always chalk  that up to exposure. There are some folks who insist that they were fine until Peter Gabriel left the band. I usually hear cries about how they sold out and got too mainstream after Gabriel left the original line up. I don’t really buy it. Gabriel got a lot more mainstream after he left Genesis as well. Songs like “Shock the Monkey”, “Shaking the Tree”, “Kiss that Frog”, and “Mercy Street” all got plenty of radio airplay. It was more assign of the shifts in music than of selling out. I truly believe that too much of the issue is that too many people have only ever heard “Invisible Touch” on the radio, but never gotten the album and flipped it over to the other side and listened to “Domino”.

“Blood on the windows
touchMillions of ordinary people are there
They gaze at the scenery
They act as if it is perfectly clear
Take a look at the mountains
Take a look at the beautiful river of blood.
The liquid surrounds me
I fight to rise from this river of hell
I stare round about me
Children are swimming and playing with boats
Their features are changing
Their bodies dissolve and I am alone.”

That’s what I’m talking about. For a teenage me who was sick of love songs and wanted some meat to his music, this was great stuff. I’m just as big a fan of the Phil callingCollins era as I am of the Gabriel era. In fact my favorite point is that really brief period where Gabriel was gone but before Steve Hackett left…

So what happened? Why did the band implode with the release of “Callign All Stations”? was it really that bad without Phil Collins? A lot of people like to point fingers at the failure of that album with glee, but it’s honestly not a bad record. Ray Wilson is a good replacement for Collins on vocals and the new direction works. It feels like Genesis…but a new chapter.

Mike Ruthford and Tony Banks have both gone on record as saying they relate to each other though Phil. He was kind of the filter for their ideas, but I think it’s more than that. When Collins took over the lead vocals, some one else had to take over the drums (trust me. I’ve tried doing lead vocals while keeping time behind a drum set -it’s devilishly hard to do and nearly impossible to do WELL). That was Chester imagesCAOCKAZ4Thompson. When Hackett left, They hired Daryl Sturmer for the lead guitar. Rutherford has actually pointed out that Sturmer is faster than him on the frets, but Sturmer always pointed out that Rutherford was the creative drive behind the riffs.

Thompson and Sturmer were very much a part of the band, even though they were basically employees and didn’t own a piece of the band. They were there for every tour for twenty years.

But they also worked for Phil.

When Collins left, Sturmer and Thompson had their prior commitments to him leaving Banks and Rutherford alone. You see, it wasn’t one member of a trio leaving, it was three members of the band…the majority of them. That’s a lot to replace and rebuild.

I think it still could have worked if they had spent a couple of years touring smaller venues and released one more album with Walston. Quality was really never the issue as much as manpower.  Still, Banks and Rutherford made the call, at their age, they were ready to call it a day. I can’t blame them. I was thrilled when they reunited for the “Turn it on Again” tour in 2007. This was the band I knew.  There’s always been talk of a Gabriel reunion or some classic lien up, but this, this really is my era’s imagesCAOLA8LNGenesis and I’m good with it. This band has earned it’s place.

Look, forget about the tripe  the radio plays. Grab yourself a copy of the self titled “Genesis” album, or the “Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” or even “We Can’t Dance” with brilliant songs like “Dreaming While You Sleep” and “Driving the Last Spike”. Check out all the stuff that isn’t on the radio because with this band there’s far more than meets the eye.