Wednesday, November 28, 2007
As everybody knows Scott Pilgrim is one of the best comics being produced right now. Sadly, it's being published by Oni Press, from now on known as Do-not-want-your-stinkin'-money Press. Seemingly, there are supply problems with the book, but, thought I, stupidly, Amazon Germany sells every comic TPB imaginable. Oops, but not this one.
But there are quite a few Amazon shops that do. Oops again, only theoretically, in practice, the thing is sold out everywhere. I mean hey, it came out last week, what did I expect?
Hm, what about bol.de (second only to Amazon in quantity of import books in Germany)? Nope, sold out, not known when a new edition will appear. Swell.
But hey, most small book publishers, like Subterranean Press or Small Beer Press are more than happy to sell their books directly. A Small comic publisher surely won't be any different. So I look for the Oni Press site. Which actually has a web shop. Which only ships to the US and Canada, because international shipping is "not viable". Obviously.
And thus (what a surprise) my wish to buy Scott Pilgrim or actually anything published by Oni Press evaporated.
A one free word of advice to everyone who publishes anything: If someone wants to pay money for the things you produce, make it as easy as possible to buy them. Oh, my economics teacher would be so proud!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Alright, I think it's best to cite the calm and sane words of Kazuo Umezu's manga itself: "I'm your God now!" "And the explosion made an earthquake and that's why we traveled in time!" "Mother...!" "I can't bear the thought of finding my mom's body!" "He must have died of shock from seeing us!" "It's a volcano!...It's going to erupt!" "There may be a way to stop this volcano! I'll call on my mother!"
So, business as mad and exclamation-heavy as usual for our survivors, just a little bit more so. If Umezu keeps this up for the rest of the series, it can only end in the Earth exploding as a giant exclamation mark, only to be eaten by hero kid Sho's mum.
Friday, November 23, 2007
It has the same virtues as A Warning to the Curious: A tight script, a sense for the creepiness of landscapes, very good acting (especially by Denholm Elliott) and the always lovable tendency of not pulling its punches.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Martians are finally fed up with us - war, the atomic bomb, bad music and whatnot. The only solution: to pacify our planet and unite mankind under a peaceful world government. The obvious way to do this: attack Mexico with a mighty army of eight. And if one is already here, one could do worse than collect a few especially high evolved specimens for
There is only one (okay, personally, I can see probably one or ten more) problem with this plan: Mexican national hero El Santo is the most perfect specimen of them all, and knows how to use an auto-destruct-lever.
This is both one of the silliest and most entertaining adventures of everyone's favorite wrestler, charmingly naive and just very, very entertaining.
Darlings of the Day:
"We now return control of your television set to you."
"Why do we frighten them, when our bodies are more perfectly evolved than their own?"
"It is all in the mind..."
"Because of their extraordinary intelligence, they emit ultra high frequency vibrations in moments of great emotion or tension."
Monday, November 19, 2007
The Giant Claw actually is meant to be very, very serious, but the story about a flying chicken from an anti-matter universe attacking the world aka the USA is just gloriously silly and graced with the most exquisite ineptly written dialogue one could possibly wish for. To make it even more beautiful the acting is even more wooden and unnatural than is to be expected in this kind of movie.
And then there's the monster:
Giant Chickens All-Out Attack
Ah, it is a thing of beauty.
Darlings of the Day:
"An electronics engineer. A radar officer. A mathematician and systems analyst. A radar operator. A couple of plotters. People doing a job. Well. Efficiently. Serious. Having fun. Doing a job. Situation: normal. For the moment."
"That bird is extra-terrestrial. It comes from outer space, from some God-forsaken anti-matter galaxy millions and millions of light years from the Earth. No other explanation is possible."
"Panic, terror and horror! No corner of the Earth was spared the terror of looking up into god’s blue sky and seeing: not peace and security, but the feathered nightmare on wings!"
"Will it work, Mitch?"
"I don’t know. I honestly haven’t the faintest, foggiest idea. It’s one of those cockeyed concepts that you pull down out of Cloud Eight somewhere in sheer desperation!"
Friday, November 16, 2007
By the same director and very much in the same style as The Bloodthirsty Roses, but a lot more plodding and a little less moody. Still, it's interesting and at times very beautifully composed.
And I may have said it before, but I really love when something familiar (in this case the European, especially Italian gothic, horror movie style) is both reflected and defamiliarized by a different perspective.
(See also the take on Christian mythology in something like Angel Sanctuary),
Thursday, November 15, 2007
People in West Berlin are invited to the sneak preview of a horror movie. Soon the events in the movie are mirrored in the cinema and people start to turn into demons. Green, yellow and red fluids gush, squirt and drip in a very Italian style. After much screaming, running around and dying follows one of the absolute high points of my movie watching career/one of the silliest things you'll ever see:
This late in the movie most of the cast has been ripped to pieces or demonized, but Hero Guy and Hero Gal prevail. To be more exact, they jump on a motorcycle (as found in most cinema foyers) and kill demons left and right with a samurai sword (guess where they found it?), defying gravity and common sense by riding over the cinema's seats while the soundtrack lets the appropriate Bad Heavy Metal blare. It's really glorious in its own brain-damaged way.
Obviously the only way to top this would be a helicopter crashing right through the ceiling. Guess what happens?
And the movie still isn't over...But I won't spoil the precious moments that made me cry with laughter.
A masterpiece of idiotic fun. Plus: Putrescence.
Darling of the Day:
"Welcome aboard! There are more weapons on the floor."
Stupid sorority pledges have to go into spoooooky house, get killed, film over, viewer bored out of his mind. Bad jokes killed too many brain cells. Own jokes not better anymore. Grammar damaged even more than usual. Gah.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The president's dead, the radio said,
Dear friends, is it not so horrible?
A shot through my heart, like a knife right through bread,
The newspaper said the president's dead.
The sea doesn't dry and the sky doesn't split,
But friends it just seems so wrong, don't it?
A shot from the crowd, and a shot in the head,
The president's lying on the tarmac dead.
He's lying face down with his black-dressed agents
Guns drawn running around and the early Obit's
Say he was a good man, you can't argue with that
Not today you can't, not now you can't.
In the media tent where they spin and they slant,
They just foam the mouth and they chant at the bit,
Those bloodsuckers can wait until those vulture's cool in,
The newscaster said, "The President's dead."
Let's imagine the way, let's say 30 years in,
How somebody will say, "What you were doing when...?"
On a beautiful day, I was waking up and
I was lying in bed with my girlfriend
And the eggs on the plate, and the bacon hissin'
And the coffee was great, there was spring on the wind.
If you don't live through a day for the littlest things,
And the littlest ways made you feel you were blessed
If you died right then, well you know you'd be missed,
But there's no better state to cease to exist
And you wouldn't feel sad, and you wouldn't resist
Cause you knew what you had, and were thankful for it
In your own little way, I'm a small quiet man
I've got no wars to win, I don't have a big plan
But I love my new place, and I love my old friends
And I scrimp and save, and one day I'll have kids.
I can truthfully say that my day was like that,
'Til the radio playing on the stand by the bed
Fired out this report and in 3 words they said,
Like 3 shots to my head,
The President's Dead.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Well implemented, original, some nice interface experiments, but I didn't care for it at all. I'm always ranting about things not being ambiguous enough - it seems sometimes a game can be too ambiguous for me to enjoy it.
The longer I played the game, the more obscure puzzles and worldbuilding got, until it reached a point where I had a hard time imagining how someone could play through it without the walkthrough mode.
It has no action, no dramatic arc in the usual sense, no oscar-baiting melodrama, but oozes a completely unusual dry weirdness. The whole movie stays absolutely clear, open, matter-of-fact, but feels cryptic, puzzling and slightly disorienting and, at the moment, I haven't got a clue why this is so.
So, for the time being, I'll have to call it an unexplainably great film and shut up.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
But at least, I will spoil the moral of the story: If you are a serial killer/mad scientist, do not feed your victims to a cage full of sweet purring kittens, lest they one day will eat you.
I'm always surprised and delighted how minimalist and concentrated these (short) TV dramas look to the modern eye: There's no slack, no useless secondary plots, no shocks just to keep the story interesting. Instead, one finds a knowledge of the usage of landscape, of short, but sharp moments of characterization, of horror that increases from feelings of uneasiness to dread. Of course some of these virtues can be explained by the low budget of TV movies - there just wasn't enough money for effects or action, but they are virtues all the same.
An e-text of the story can be found here.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
And if this wasn't enough Frailty is another victim of the terrible compulsion of too many western movies of the last fifteen years to overexplain everything, to treat the viewer as too moronic to interpret what's happening for herself, the absolute refusal to leave anything ambiguous.
But I'm ranting.
Try this http://lolinator.com/lol/houseinrlyeh.livejournal.com/. It's idiotic, but fun.
You could do worse than trying it with your own site.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I think I have already mentioned my love for Vincent Price? In this violently entertaining film by Douglas Hickox Price plays the improbable named Shakespearean over-actor Edward Lionheart, performing a murder spree among the London theater critics community. And he has perfectly sound reasons for doing so, as he had been denied the previous year's Critics' award. Things like this can not be tolerated, so one after the other the critics are killed off in ways inspired by old Will, "protected" by the most inefficient police force in the world of film, Scotland Yard.
All this is as silly as it sounds, until you are starting to understand that Price uses a highly unlikely kind of theatrical subtlety by hamming it up, while playing someone who can't understand that he actually is hamming it up, this way creating something I like to call "method hamming".
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The direction is a little schizophrenic. On one hand director Sheldon Wilson seems to know all tricks of the horror and suspense trade, on the other he doesn't always know how to use them subtly. Still there are enough memorable moments to satisfy and as for the plot not making any fucking sense: My watching of bad movies for nearly two decades now has made me impervious to silly little things like logic. (Thanks a bunch, Lucio!)
I could have done without the last fifteen seconds, though.
Darling of the Day:
"This doesn't make sense."
"These are not sensible times, Jack."
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
So if you are in the mood to be depressed by a film about loneliness and the boundless ability of us humans to lie to ourselves, as well as our equally boundless inability to face the truth without breaking, I can highly recommend it.
And yes, it is a recommendation.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I was pleasantly surprised how creepy a film can be even when it is filmed in a conservative made for UK TV style, if the script is good enough. And the script is by Nigel Kneale.
An interesting effort in mood and worldbuilding heavy IF, only marred by small bugs and a very weak end game: The info dump finale that explains the story seems to belong to a different game and only works by throwing the worst concepts of the whole game (oh, sure, the book of poetry is the cure for an astral traveler...) at the player. It seems rushed.
The slow, exploration heavy earlier parts of the game make it very much worth your time though.
This time the end of the world is caused by a zombierattifying/wererattifying (yes, I know these words don't exist. So what?) plague.
We are watching the struggle of the tenants of a run down apartment building to survive the apocalypse. The film is surprisingly effective and every horror movie that does not feature white middle class teenage protagonists is very much appreciated in the House in R'lyeh.
Of course there are problems: Director Jim Mickle's efforts to hide his small budget behind color filters and a non-stop moving camera are not always successful; the monster make up looks not like much etc, but the film has an old fashioned b-movie sort of drive and grit where too many of its contemporaries only have a misguided sense of humor and gore.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
* dead (3x)
* sex (2x)
* kill (1x)
Shit, I really have to try harder.
You are playing as the security officer of a special cargo transport having a very bad day with the arrival of zombies and pirates on his ship. The nature of your cargo and your inability to leave your security console don't make your work any easier, either.
Usually I dislike the kind of game that only consists of a handful of interconnected puzzles, but Orevore Courier is much too tightly designed and much too charming to dislike any part of it - except for the difficulty of the puzzle(s) perhaps. In this case though less difficult would also mean less fun.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Of course, there were rapidly shrinking possibilities for the films of people like director Jose Ramon Larraz to actually find an audience, but this neither explains the absence of visual inventiveness nor the presence of goat sex.