June 18, 2015

[Masters of Carpentry] Monthly Feature #16: Starman (1984)

"I've been saying for a long time that I thought The Thing is where he peaked. I actually think this is as good for me as The Thing was. I find the film beautifully shot, I think the script is great for the most part, I love the actors, I love the characters, I love the journey. It is a very by-the-numbers story, it is, so yeah, it's a very familiar story, a very predictable story, but I thought the actual execution of it and exploration of it really pulled me in. And it made me happy at the end."

For more, check out our latest episode.

June 17, 2015

[Masters of Carpentry] Monthly Feature #15: Christine (1983)

"I find it a nice mix of the strong King plot and the strong King characters, that even he didn't handle very well, mixed with the style of Carpenter, and I love the mood of this movie, I love the pace of the movie, I love the way the movie is shot, the editing, the music. I really like this one. This one just really works for me, and it has a little more depth and meat to it than a lot of Carpenter's films, but it's also a lot leaner and tighter than the King book. So for me it's a nice, perfect fusion of these two styles."

For more, check out our latest episode.

May 10, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Cybersix, episode 2 "Data 7 & Julian"

"Data 7 feels like it shouldn't work. Cyber's brother is suddenly a panther, with a backstory straight out of a swingin' 60 Shotaro Ishinomori manga, and this should completely clash against the Julian/José plot. It doesn't. It's beautifully executed as they play Data dead straight, having him be the fantastical overseer of José for the as yet unnamed mad scientist behind everything, and use elements of the Julian plot to tie into Data's backstory with Cyber. Those flashes, of him falling from a cliff, Cyber failing to reach him in time, of flowers falling apart. The slash he makes on the photo to explain the scar over his left eye. These are beautiful narrative stings, on top of some absolutely spectacular animation of a panther in repose and action. Seriously, the fight between Data and Cyber is jawdropping and exquisitely well put together."

For more, check out our latest post.

May 3, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Cybersix, episode 1 "Mysterious Shadow"

"Shockingly, unlike many other shows, the animation quality doesn't suddenly take a nosedive once we get into the episode proper. No, there isn't the same level of gloss and detail all the time, and a couple of shots are a bit more basic, but there's still a beautiful fluidity to the animation, with sharply composed shots, pounding, whipping action sequences, and so many little moments of character business which give things life. One of my favorites is the scene where Adrian storms out of the cafe and Lucas shoots up to follow. Instead of just sailing out the door or the directors cutting there, Lucas fumbles for his jacket, digs around until he comes up with a couple of bucks, plops them on the table, then can't resist grabbing one more slice of pizza before then making his way out, all while juggling the glowing green vile. If nothing else, this level of animation is the highlight of the episode, to the point where it's mesmerizing at times. I'm really curious if this is a standard they'll be able to maintain over the whole run."

For more, check out our latest post.

April 30, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: Song of Susannah, The Dark Tower

"An author inserting himself into his work is also a very difficult balance to get right. More often than not, they can end up looking full of themselves. Not satisfied to provide a Deus Ex Machina from their pen, they have to insert an image of themselves into the story as well. Your mileage may vary, but personally I enjoy the rather self depreciating version of Stephen King who appears in The Dark Tower series. I also feel like his appearance just makes sense, given the nature of the story and the various worlds our characters can go between, why not also show up in the "real world" as well?"

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 29, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla

"The story on the Calla itself isn't bad, and the idea that these evil creatures are taking one from each set of twins in a small town is a fascinating one. The characters are interesting and believable, and Andy the robot is a fun character. But mostly it takes far too long to get to the point, and then that moment is over and done super quickly. I know that's a part of what King is stressing, that the build up is always longer and worse than the battle, but there's only so much "old important man in town doesn't want to fight" that I really need to read before I'm asking him to get on with it. If it wasn't for interesting bits like Andy and the Sisters of Oriza, it would be even more painful."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 28, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole

"The actual story of The Wind Through the Keyhole reminded me greatly of Eyes of the Dragon, and not just because it features a dragon and even at one point a very special napkin. It just has that same fairy tale quality to it, of a young boy set upon a quest to become a man. He overcomes a lot of challenges and meets some interesting creatures along his journey. Of the three stories set within the book, it's definitely the strongest, and I found myself very fond of the young boy Tim, wanting him to survive his ordeal."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 27, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria, Everything's Eventual

"It's also just a good short story, as King does a good job of introducing us to this young man and the way he is paid for his job first, then slowly revealing all the stranger details later. It helps to keep you interested as the story goes on. Wikipedia tells me that Dinky will appear in the regular series eventually, and I have to admit I don't remember where or how, but I'm looking forward to it now. He's an interesting character."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 26, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass

"But I do think if King couldn't quite settle on how to resolve the Blaine conflict here, he should have just ended the story sooner and included these moments at the beginning of the next book. Because doing it that way, you now have this highly active riddle fight at the beginning, and then everything comes to a grinding halt as Roland tells a story to his companions about his youth. I'll admit, part of the problem here may be me. I found the tale of young Roland, Cuthbert, Alain, and Susan far less interesting this time around, and it may be about fatigue."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 25, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Eyes of the Dragon

"Even without the Dark Tower connections, this is simply a great book. King has said that he wrote it for his daughter Naomi, who was not a fan of the horror stories he normally wrote. While not 100% a children's book, it does certainly have some those traits. This is The Hobbit of his Dark Tower series in a way, written in a wonderful conversational style much like that book was, being a bit more whimsical in places though still a bit of dark fantasy at times. There is magic and dragons, but it is also fairly grounded in reality, so that the world is not too far off from our own medieval period."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.