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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Storage 24 – Movie 137 of 365

storage24Since Shaun of the Dead I’ve been finding myself watching more British horror movies.  They seem to be just a bit more clever and story driven than their American counterparts. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for accents.

Now I would say Storage 24 is more sci-fi than horror but that’s not to say I didn’t jump several times. Storage 24 starts with a military plane crash in the middle of a busy city.  Several pieces of the plane land on or near a storage facility.  The result of which knocks out the lock system trapping several people inside.  Which normally wouldn’t be a problem except that there is something inside with them.  The keyword is that it’s not someone, it’s someTHING.  And while our cast of characters are working out their personal issues, and there are plenty, they slowly find out they are not alone and spend the rest of the movie trying to escape the thing as well as trying to find a way out of the facility.

This is not a blockbuster movie, there is not nearly enough weapons for that, but still it’s pretty fun and a bit scary, bloody and a tad gory in a few spots.  The setting of a storage facility makes an interesting backdrop as well since you aren’t dealing with traditional rooms but rows and rows of cargo-like containers.  Weapons and supplies get a bit creative because of that.  The secondary storyline is kind of light and a bit soap operaish, lots of relationship drama.  Although I would’ve cut out about a third of that storyline, it does mostly fill in nicely around all the running and the dying.

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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Jack Reacher – Movie 136 of 365

Jack ReacherI am not a Tom Cruise fan, pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before.  I believe his ego often gets in the way of making him a good actor.  Some people say he’s crazy but I could really care less; crazy usually makes for a better actor.  So why am I watching Jack Reacher?  Mainly because the previews looked good and I figured he couldn’t screw it up too much.  For the most part, I was right.

Jack Reacher is a fictional character in several novels by Lee Child.  I’ve never read them so I can’t vouch for the movie accuracy.  Reacher is an ex-military operative who walked away and off the radar.  He can only be found when he wants to be.  Veteran sniper Barr (Joseph Sikora) is accused of the sniper killing of five random people.  There is mountains of evidence against him and seems to be an open and shut case.  Barr doesn’t confess or defend himself but simply requests, “Get Jack Reacher”. Of course no one can find him but he shows up anyway.

What follows is a pretty good mystery full of twists, double crosses and betrayal.  Which is all well and good except for Mr. Cruise.  I just can’t buy him as this character.  He always reminds me of the guy who’s trying to be tough but everyone is secretly laughing behind his back.  Now I thought Rosalind Pike was actually very good in the role of Helen Rodin, the attorney defending Barr against her father, the never losing prosecuting attorney (Richard Jenkins).  Many times I felt she was more central than Reacher. I also like Robert Duvall as Cash.  I really wish he had a bigger role.

So I recommend watching this movie even if Cruise is not a convincing Reacher, well at least who I think Reacher should be.  But the storyline is still good and the mystery is interesting to figure out.  Just don’t expect the lead to carry the movie.  Are you listening Hollywood?

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Random acts of Geeky Fangirling

lfrlogoSo this weekend I volunteered for part of the gaming track for a convention, Fandom Fest.  I will not comment on the convention as a whole because I didn’t see 99% of it but I will say where I volunteered I had a great time.  It was so cool seeing so many new and seasoned players working together and having fun.  I was helping with the running of a Dungeons and Dragon’s Living Forgotten Realms battle interactive.  Basically my job was to check in and out pregens, dice, miniatures and DM supplies.  The number of female players was gratifying and so many of them were playing for the first time and came back to later sessions.  It was nice when guys would bring their girlfriends in to play. We also had more than a few young players as well.  It was what I like to see in gaming.

My first attempt at costume/cosplay - Monster hunter Velma

My first attempt at costume/cosplay – Monster hunter Velma

Also this weekend I costumed for the first time (for a convention).  This was a big deal for me and I barely slept the night before because I was very nervous.  I’ve heard nightmare stories of people being ridiculed for not being the perfect embodiment of a character.  I’m many things but I’m not even in the same town as perfect. So I put on my costume and soldiered on.  I didn’t get any comments and to me that’s a victory. I rather have no one notice than point and laugh.  I was nervous all day because as you see I’m a big girl.  I never really notice how fat I am until I take pictures but I’ve always known about my arms.  If there is a least favorite body part my bicep/tricep area is a close second to my stomach.  I hate how my arms look and try to choose shirt sleeves that come down to my elbow if at all possible.  But every cosplay I’ve seen of this updated version of Velma (yes that’s who I’m supposed to be) has shown her in a tank top.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love tank tops, usually tighter than the one I ended up using, they are great when it’s warm and they are comfortable but I don’t wear them outside of the house without a cover up.   So believe me I wasn’t thinking much of the costume as I was thinking “Oh my god, I hope they don’t notice my hideous arms.”

All in all I don’t think I did too bad for my first effort.  I definitely need to spend more time on making a better Scooby Doo dog tag as well as add more weapons to my belt.  I also found halfway through the day the scarfs (representing the fallen Fred and Daphne) felt more comfortable bandaged around my wrists.  I also need to dirty them up a bit, they looked too new.  Also still need to find plain orange hiking socks. And the wig could be darker.

WatsonHolmesKickSwag

T-shirt, signed comic, poster, magnet, button, and postcards.

When I got home I found my Watson and Holmes kickstarter swag had arrived in the mail.  Squeeeeee!  I can’t wait to wear my shirt and of course the poster and postcards are going on my wall.  Need to pick up issue three and add it to my ever-growing to read list (it’s only about 1/4 the size of my movie list).  If you haven’t read this comic, go find it NOW.  If you like Sherlock Holmes, you’ll like this.  Very nice modernizing of the Arthur Conan Doyle character we all know and love.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Fandom

 

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Today’s Theme Music – Kryptonite

Everyone has their Kryptonite, the one thing that they are powerless against and sometimes can even cripple them.  For some people it’s a certain food or drink, for others it can be a person that has them completely wrapped around their finger although interaction with them is always disastrous.  My Kryptonite is doubt.

Doubt is a sneaky little bastard.  Nothing consciously has to trigger it.  I can just be going about my day and out it slinks from some darkened corner to attack.  Suddenly it’s “Hi I’m your old pal doubt and everything you think and feel is wrong, or maybe it isn’t.  Thing is you don’t know which and one wrong move could be fatal.” Yes, it’s a bit overdramatic, but when doubt hits it doesn’t really pull punches.

This morning I woke up with doubt straddling my chest, weighing me down to the bed.  Or maybe it was just indigestion.  I had dinner at my mother’s yesterday and although she makes the best southern food my body is never equipped to handled the great influx of carbs, salt, and oil that come along with the great feast.  But I digress. Doubt got real comfy as I drifted in and out of consciousness, marking time by the local news program mumbling across the room and contemplating if I had enough energy to roll over and turn of the fan so my throat would stop hurt.  I doubted it would’ve helped anyway.

The first pang of doubt hit, it was a simple one.  I’m not going to complete my goal of Camp Nanowrimo.  It’s the 22nd and I’m not going to be able to write 5,000+ words a day to get to 50,000 by the end of the month.  Too many things have come up and I’ve let it slide badly.  That wasn’t the doubt. That doubt was that I’ll ever reach that 50,000 word goal for Nano ever again.  It was kind of easy to dismiss.  July is much busier than November so I’ll try again then.

But doubt wasn’t letting go so easily.  It clamped down on my wrists as I began to lift off the bed.  “What if you just aren’t a writer anymore?” it purrs. It knows my weakness.  I doubt  a lot of things on a daily basis, I’ve come to terms with many. I doubt my looks, I doubt my popularity, I doubt my physical ability, I doubt people really love me.   They are but little pangs now, like the small aches and pains of getting older;  you aren’t happy with them but they become part of your day.

However I’m a storyteller, I need to tell people stories.  Since I always doubt that people are  really listening to me when I talk, I write.  If I can’t write I might as well not exist.  I didn’t write for a long time, I attempted to tell stories but really I felt like a ghost, invisible for years and years.

My productivity has declined greatly since it’s sudden reemergence a bit over a year ago.  The logical part of me says it’s just because I’ve added things to my life, but doubt is there to remind me that it may not be the case.  See doubt doesn’t have to prove it’s point, it just has to get you to question yours.

One would think that writing these simple words would be enough to dispel the monster of doubt but even now the whispers are still in my ears, swirling through my head; what if this entry is your last, what if the well of words has finally run dry…

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in introspective, Music

 

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Today’s Theme Music – Together in Electric Dreams

By Hotblack via Morguefile.com

By Hotblack via Morguefile.com

I generally keep my theme music posts on the blogs facebook page but I decided to share this one to a much broader audience.  Up until a few months ago I hadn’t heard this song, but it’s usually the last song on a friend’s weekly radio program.  It’s curious sometimes how sometimes music has meaning for you the first time you hear it. Like with the song Fix You by Coldplay, I cried the first time I heard it.  But with Together in  Electric Dreams by Human League it took repeated listening before it got to me.

Used to be when you wanted to see a friend you would walk down a few doors or around the block.  Occasionally you would have to get on your bike or in an extreme case catch  the city bus.  Now I have friends I may could reach by phone but really the only practical way I can touch them is electronically.  I wasn’t an internet early adopter, I never used BBS or anything like that.  My first modem was a 14.4k and after spending over two hours downloading a browser didn’t really know where to go.  I was a lost babe in a pretty big freakin woods.  Finally I began to find websites of interest and enjoyed them but still it was like being in the Smithsonian after hours, incredibly interesting but coldly alone.

My character Caritas drawn by Tiltwolfe

My character Caritas drawn by Tiltwolfe

I think I first tried Instant Messaging because of meeting HB and Kitty.  They lived 80 miles away so that meant seeing them maybe once or twice a month.  HB is not a phone person by any stretch of the imagination so I was introduced to ICQ, I was freaking hooked.  Not only could I talk to him but I could talk to multiple people and to satisfy the quiet voiced introvert that I am, I didn’t have to be in the same room. I think Kitty introduced me to Livejournal, I’m always cloudy on details.  Livejournal gave me the opportunity to monologue, be understood, and get responses.  I still have an account, several in fact, but I don’t use them anymore.  Then HB introduced me to mucking and more specifically FurryMuck… okay I was overwhelmed a bit at that.  I can’t keep up with the scroll of twenty people talking at the same time, but I found out how to private message and to find, and if necessary build, secluded areas for private conversations.  I met quite a few friends after weeding out the creeps and pervs (apparently a catholic schoolgirl skunk is a big deal).  Two I remember fondly was a guy from Sweden and another from South Africa.  At first our conversations were simply about differences between our countries, what was popular what was not. But it got to the point where I would stay up late just to say Good Morning to the one in South Africa before he went to work and helped count the days when the Swedish guy’s cat would be released from quarantine, (he moved to the UK six months into our friendship).  I still miss both of them terribly even though their names are lost to the swiss cheese that is my brain.  I was so upset I lost the photo the guy from South Africa sent me of the view of the ocean from his apartment high rise, it was the closest to South Africa I would ever get.

Upon learning my obsession with flashes of belly shots, she pinned this for me.

Upon learning my obsession with flashes of belly shots, she pinned this for me.

Now it’s facebook, tumblr, pinterest, twitter, etc., etc.  You never know where the next friendship or relationship will come from.  It’s not unusual for people to be committed to someone they have never and will never meet.  It’s not superficial game playing, despite what clueless media seems to think, there is a lot of deep connection over lines of electricity and waves of air.  Take for instance my Pinterest cohort.  Yes I managed to create a friendship from a pinning board.  We bonded somewhere between Supernatural and our mutual fangirling.  Sometimes our communication is simple pinning of eithers addictions, tagging it for the other to find.  Other times  we actually email each other and talk about fandoms, writing, and our  personal lives.  There is no way I would’ve ever met her in the flesh (I’m beginning to really hate the term real life) as she lives hundreds of miles away but electronically she’s just next door.

I’ve never counted but I’m pretty sure my electric friends outnumber my flesh friends.  I care about them all, celebrate their successes, laugh along with them, cry at their losses; having a friend across miles, mountains, oceans means nothing in the ‘verse can happen that you can’t feel affected by.  When there is a disaster you wonder who among the people you talk to, read, share photos, play games with may be affected.  The whole wide world becomes just a tad bit smaller and your arms, your heart a bit larger to engulf it.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in introspective, Music

 

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Clash of the Empires – Movie 135 of 365

CLASH of the EMPIRES_LGFor the record I watched this movie under duress.  HB has a thing for schlocky movies when he needs to relax and admittedly I do to.  However, there is schlocky and there is just plain bad.  The stars of this feature still didn’t give me much hope although it did have Christopher Judge, but then there was Bai Ling.  So is this movie really bad?  Well if you are familiar with the show Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and can employ their movie viewing technique, it’s survivable.

I guess you want to know what it’s about.  Clash of the Empires aka The Age of Hobbits aka Lord of the Elves, is about this village of peace loving hobbits (yes that’s what Asylum called them). They are portrayed by asian children and dwarfs, little people, whatever the correct term is (seriously I want to know).  They are badly dubbed and have horrendously stilted dialogue.  One day the village is invaded by the Java Men, who fly in on badly looped animated dragon-like creatures.  The Java Men capture and spirit away most of the villagers it seems including Goben’s (Sun Korng) mother who is the the village healer.  Goben along with his father and younger sister embark on a quest to rescue their loved one and the rest of the villagers.

Along the way they encounter the tribe of Giants (human hunters) that include Amthar (Judge) and Laylan (Ling).  The leader of the groups forbids his people to offer assistance not wanting to disturb the uneasy peace that his village has with the Java Men.  But after Goben proves that with his inventions the “hobbits” can handle themselves and with a little dramatic arguing provided by Judge he agrees to allow a small band to accompany them on their journey.

Okay I guess it’s not so bad if you are looking for a Saturday afternoon time killer.  There is a lot that can be read into some of the dialogue and the relationships between the Giants and the hobbits.  The warring tribe is so over the top as well as some of the villagers.  That and some Land of the Lost type creatures weren’t too bad.  Not that I would watch this again but I don’t want all of my 87 minutes back so that’s good, right?

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Medium Raw – Movie 134 of 365

Medium RawIt’s really annoying when a movie has all the elements to be a great movie but and yet… That movie this time is Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf. First we have an interesting villain, a serial killer that preys on small, young, girls.  He is hard to identify, mainly because his is dressed as a wolf.  Not some cheap looking fur costume, but a metal and mechanical nightmare. He is eventually caught and instead of jail or a death sentence he is sent to an asylum.  This brings us to interesting point number two, setting. This asylum is underground, dark, eerie, and where the worst of the worst end up.  They are fitted with shock collars and the doctors hold the remotes.

This brings us to interesting element number three, characters, sort of.  This is where the movies starts to fall apart.  The inmates are great even though some are a bit one-dimensional; the pervert, the childlike cannibal, the juggernaut, all faintly reminiscent of the 2001 Thirteen Ghosts, except these guys are alive.  Where it starts to fall apart is the “main” characters.  Starting first with Johnny Morgan (writer, director and star Andrew Cymek )  his sister is one of the victims of the wolf killer and he saw his sister abducted so let’s just say he’s got a big stake in it and leave it at that.  He’s come to the asylum to deliver his own justice but for the most part he’s a whiny useless child in my opinion.  I know he’s supposed to be traumatized but he’s also supposed to be a cop and not for one minute during this movie do I believe that.

Then we have the doctor, Jamie (Brigitte Kingsley) who works with the patients.  Once again bad casting.  She’s the officer’s estranged wife and therefore is also very young.  Too young for me to believe she has nearly enough training to be working with this kind of patients alone. I may could’ve believed a medical intern but not head shrink in charge.  Then there is how she dresses, like she’s preparing for a perpetual dinner party or bar hopping. I’m not saying female doctors can’t dress attractively, it just smacks hard in the face of sense considering the facility.

This also stars William B. Davis and Jonathan Rhys-Davies, both excellent actors, unfortunately working with a murky, confusing script.  Then there is the other things I just can’t let go.  Okay the power goes out and the auxiliary power is having a hard time getting started but why in the holy hell would the default be to open all the cell doors? And hey you nurse in the extreme underground asylum, why bring your small daughter to work at anytime especially the day you know they are delivering the child killer.  I guess this was going to turn out to be a Little Red Riding Hood tale but to be honest they whole part with the little girl pretty much gets lost.

I mean watch if you want, the cannibal is really freakin creepy and almost made watching this movie worthwhile and I would love if someone could cosplay that wolf costume but overall Medium Raw is pretty meh.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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