December 27, 2014

[Masters of Carpentry] Episode 11: Escape from New York

"I was wanting to see if he'd build on Assault on Precinct 13 and what he did there. He didn't. It's pretty much just a throwback to that, but even then, not as clean, the plot does wander around a bit, and when the climax happens, it just kind of happens, not so much because it built there, but because it just happens."

For more, check out our latest episode.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 24 "Owl's Well That Ends Well"

"Have you taken a good look at Spike’s butt lately? It’s striking just how much it resembles Spike himself. Mostly due to Spike being a butt. That’s what this episode is, essentially. 'Spike’s a Butt'. Where, through the act of being a butt, he learns just how much of a butt he is and resolves to be much less of a butt."

To read more, check out our latest post.

December 21, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 13 "And Madness Shall Reign"

"After two weeks of middling misfires, the show regains its footing with another solid episode. We open dark, with yet another refuge hit by Project Styx, leaving its victims sprawled out like corpses. Sure, they're not really dead and the effects will only last long enough for Dread's forces to come in and Digitize everyone, but the imagery they're playing with is hardly subtle, with the dank lighting, people keeled over left and right, Power and his Soldiers checking pulses and looking at one another with grim shakes of their heads, and the few fighting off the plague gibbering in corners as hallucinations drive them to madness."

To read more, check out our latest post.

December 20, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 23 "The Cutie Mark Chronicles"

"Overall, this doesn’t hurt the episode at all, and there’s nothing wrong with raising questions as long as they actually plan to answer them at some point in a world like this. Given their track record, figure that’s less than 50/50 odds of happening, oh well. But I still like the episode."

To read more, check out our latest post.

December 14, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 12 "Gemini and Counting"

"But sadly, that's all we get as Jessica Steen continues playing Pilot as the ultimate in buttoned-up reserve. There's no real interaction between she and her comrades aside from suiting up for the mission, and even her speeches to Erin sadly fail to move me any more than earlier moments have, like her and Tank looking at the Bible quote or asking Mentor about love. Maybe it's because there's so much frustration in waiting for something to actually happen as she's prowling around corridors."

To read more, check out our latest post.

December 13, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 22 "A Bird in the Hoof"

"What bothers me more is in the portrayal of Fluttershy as she tries to nurse Philomena back to health. Mostly, it’s the tactics she employs, which seem very amateurish and uncertain. She not only takes care of animals, she is the animals person in this town, so we should actually be seeing some highly trained and honed veterinary skills beyond the basic soup and thermometer tactics of a teen baby sitter with a sick kid on their hands."

To read more, check out our latest post.

December 7, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 11 "Flame Street"

"Alert: we have a full on cyberpunk episode, with slang-spewing youths in leather and mohawks plugging things straight into ports on their skulls and a dank city streets barely lit by the cold glow of a neon haze. This is Tech City, and we're here to surf the CyberWeb. How amazingly silly and perfectly late 80s cyberpunk is that!"

To read more, check out our latest post.

December 6, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 21 "Over a Barrel"

"Instead, we get a huge western standoff where the horrific history of land feuds between Natives and settlers is reduced to a comical pie fight as the town comes to battle with their apple-packed baked goods. It’s incredibly embarrassing that they thought this was the right way to portray a story that actually happened countless times in history, and turn full on slaughters into pies to the face. Even going so far as to have a dramatic moment where Chief Thunderhooves is hit in the face and goes down, and all his people are staring in shock at his fallen form. Until he actually tastes the pie on his face and yay he’s happy and everyone gets along."

To read more, check out our latest post.

November 30, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, Episode 10 "Wardogs"

"These first few minutes are fantastic. Exciting, rich, laying in neat characters and a nice conflict I want to see explored. Then things go wrong."

To read more, check out our latest post.

November 29, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 20 "Green Isn't Your Color"

"It’s a fun setup, mixing the plot of Fluttershy accidentally being thrust into all the fame and attention Rarity wants and how their mutual feelings of disappointment simmer and build, with Twilight finding herself stuck between two friends she wants to help but struggling to find a way to do so without betraying the trust both have placed in her. Pinkie Pie as the crazed Jimminy Cricket voice always reminding Twilight of the promises she made is a particularly clever way to make use of her character to enrich everyone else’s story, and again shows Meghan McCarthy’s gift at handling ensembles."

To read more, check out our latest post.

November 22, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 19 "A Dog and Pony Show"

"As for the mule gag... there has yet to be a single episode written by Amy Keating Rogers that didn't have at least one bit which came off as downright mean, at best thoughtlessly callous, and this is no exception. Tessa ends her pointing out of the line with jest, but I'm going to stay dead serious and ask Rogers: why did you do this? Why did you think it was a good idea? You very literally have one of your main hero characters, who's supposed to be a role model figure in an educational show for children, outright stating that being labelled a mixed breed equates being called ugly. There's no reason for this, no lesson that's being learned, Rogers is just opening the same exact can of toxic worms she did in 'Bridle Gossip' when, on top of a vast many things, she labelled foreign cultures as 'scary'."

To read more, check out our latest post.

November 15, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 18 "The Show Stoppers"

"Everything we got in the last episode was about what the CMCs weren't good at, and by here revealing what they are good at, it deepens them as characters who are so caught up trying to be something cool or following in a hero's footsteps that they overlook what makes they themselves special and fail to recognize talents for what they are. And to the credit of our adult characters, they recognize this in the children, and instead of trying to forcefully point out what the kids don't understand, they're gently trying to guide them in that direction, and patiently sigh as that doesn't work, as they know the CMCs will figure it out some day."

To read more, check out our latest post.

November 8, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 17 "The Stare Master"

"The lesson about them having boundless potential has been swept aside as they're all painted as failures who excitedly make a mess of everything, and instead of them using teamwork to put their heads together and triumph where none of them is capable of doing anything individually, they all just fail together. There's a lesson that could have been taught here, about bonds and friendship, but we instead just triple the ineptitude for gags of things failing with increasing spectacularity."

To read more, check out our latest post.

November 5, 2014

SPECIAL BONUS! Castle Rock Companion Video Review: Big Driver

As I was down south for a visit over Halloween weekend, Angie and I decided to team up for an in-person joint video review of one of King's latest, and I think it turned out great! Check it out here.

October 31, 2014

SPECIAL BONUS! Uncovering the Bronze Age #5: In the Clutches of the Code

I was honored to be invited by Emily of Relatively Geeky to take part in this special Halloween episode, looking at one of the historical horrors of the comic book industry: Doctor Fredric Wertham. Emily sent me a few quotes of his to read, but I otherwise didn't know anything more about what they'd be used for, so imagine my delight when I first heard her excellent and thorough essay chronicling his theories and impact on the industry, with my readings peppered throughout. It came together wonderfully, and I can't recommend it highly enough!

Give it a listen here.

October 29, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] A Good Marriage

"The film largely plays out exactly as the story does, with only an extra bit of evidence for Darcy thrown in as Bob gifts her the earrings of one his victims. Unfortunately, despite these similarities, the movie has none of the tension of the story. Things go by in a super quiet manner."

To read more, check out Angie's latest post.

October 26, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 9 "The Intruder"

"The story is pretty pointless and doesn't tell us anything we don't already know. I like the brief hints of a moral dilemma, as our heroes wonder if they should kill Jackson just to keep the location of their base under wraps, but it doesn't go anywhere. Not only in their failing to resolve the setup with Tank, but that there's still no real reason to trust Jackson other than Power's just squeamish about having to make any tough choices."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 25, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 16 "Sonic Rainboom"

"That's an incredibly complex psychology to explore in a children's show, and cudos to Mitch Larson for following up on the screwball classic that was 'Swarm of the Century' with such a rich character piece. Which isn't to say that was lacking in character, nor that this is lacking in hilarious antics and setpieces, but he's showing a great range and depth to himself as a writer that will not only spark my excitement every time his name hits these credits, but has me curious to start digging into his other work."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 22, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Mercy

"The story of the movie in and of itself isn't really the problem as much as the execution of it all is. I lost count of the jump scares contained within the film, as they are practically constant, and become basically telegraphed after a while. If you see a character standing somewhere quietly for a moment, you can expect either a jarring jump cut to something else or a person grabbing them from off screen, or in the absolute worst of them, a car barreling down the road at full speed to kill them."

To read more, check out Angie's latest post.

October 20, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 8 "And Study War No More"

"Blastarr also does a great job distinguishing himself from Soaron, as while the gliding bot will survey before a pinpoint attack, Blastarr is such a straight line tank that, if you send him in a direction, he'll blow up a mountain just because it's between him and his target. There's such a rage to him, which Lord Dread trumps up by constantly reminding Blastarr that Power is the one who interrupted his creation, who destroyed his brothers and sisters before they could come alive."

To read more, check out our latest episode.

[Masters of Carpentry] Monthly Feature #10: The Fog (1980)

Check out our latest episode.

October 19, 2014

[Midnight Movie Exchange] The Gods Must Be Crazy 4 (aka Crazy Hong Kong)

"Those are the only major fuck ups. There's smaller ones, but those three are what makes this film a horrible waste of everyone's time as it's now almost impenetrable and I only managed to keep my focus on the film through sheer force of will (and pausing now and then to text Jak how awful it is). Which is a shame, because there are other potentially interesting elements that we're not being allowed to enjoy."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 18, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 15 "Feeling Pinkie Keen"

"This is probably the most straight up Looney Tunes episode we've had up to this point, complete with anvils dropping out of the sky, people slipping in and out from under boulders as though they were cardboard boxes, and someone continuing to bounce past the edge of a cliff until they look down and realize where they're no longer standing. It's fun, it's zany, it moves at a great clip, and it helps that a good chunk of it is centered on Pinkie Pie, who's pretty much that entire style of cartoon storytelling squished down into a single person with some stitching over the zippers to keep it tightly sealed within as it – nope, popped the seam again and she's pouring cartoon all over the place. Get a mop."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 15, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Storm of the Century

"But it still works for me as this is another of King's tragedies, where even foregone conclusions can't be evaded and all the survivors can do afterward is try to figure out how to live with the choices they've made. I actually love that we get an extended epilogue, showing the fates of many of the main townsfolk as some fall apart and others pull together, and Michael gets as far away from them all as he can, only to run straight into Linoge and a now teenaged Ralphie, already sporting the canine fangs of his adopted wizard."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 11, 2014

[Midnight Movie Exchange] The Gods Must Be Crazy 3 (aka Crazy Safari)

"I was very skeptical of how they'd blend this horror/action/comedy about hopping vampires with the adventures of N!xau in the Kalahari plains, but they do a pretty decent of job working those outside elements into the structure of the established Gods Must Be Crazy franchise. The vampire (Chan Lung, in a pantomime part that grew on me) is now himself the mysterious object who falls from the sky and, after discovering the paper is what keeps him from going on violent rampages and that he can be led around by a bell, N!xau (just referred to now by the actor's name instead of the character Xi) and his people put the vampire to use as a golem beast of burden, carrying heavy loads and having him smash head-first into trees so as to knock loose their fruit, and the children come to adore playing with him in the fields as they toss bells back and forth and watch him fly."

To read more, check out our latest post.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 14 "Suited for Success"

"I absolutely love this one. The songs are well used, with great characterization and flow, perfectly evolving from a Disney-esque 'this is what I love' to a more frantic 'this is what I must do' to the piling of 'MUST MUST MUST WHY MUST'. I love that every pony is unique in expressing the issues they have with the costumes, with Twilight's representational accuracy, Fluttershy's wonderfully unexpected oppositional views on fashion design and stitch technique, Applejack's desire for practical application, Pinkie being all Pinkie (love that we get one of those jutting closeup 'Huh huh HUH?'), and the nice lull between the demands with Rainbow's equally frustrating '... Just make it cooler.' "

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 8, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] The X-Files "Chinga"

"It's a very typical King story, with everyday small town affairs and suspicions and people just trying to get by pleasantly enough, all coming to a head as a supernatural item swoops in. The doll is very spookily done for the most part, with some nicely constructed King sequences of people being driven to self harm and suicide. The attack on the teacher is especially straight out of King with the use of 'Hokey Pokey' on the record player, and I like that their use of an actor dressed as the doll is never over-played or shown full on."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 5, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 7 "The Ferryman"

"I haven't been clear on whether Lord Dread oversees the Overmind or if it's the dominant force he's in servitude to. It seems to be a bit of both, as Dread is clearly the mastermind behind much of everything, and the giver of orders, and yet there's the moment where Overmind chides him for expression emotion, followed by a quick flash of fear Lord Dread is quick to bury."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 4, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 13 "Fall Weather Friends"

"The initial competition is still staged really well, with the great development of more and more ponies showing up to watch as it goes from some friends pitting themselves against one another for laughs to a sprawling event that carries over into the Running of the Leaves. Which is itself a wonderful bit of wold-building and further explores this as a wondrous land the inhabitants have learned to control and manipulate, though in a way that still needs to be routinely maintained, and how they’ve taken this mechanical environmental reforming and made a fun, annual game out of it."

To read more, check out our latest post.

[Midnight Movie Exchange] Episode 9: The Gods Must Be Crazy 2 (1989)

Check it out here.

October 1, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Sleepwalkers

"And yet, that doesn't bother me all that much, as it's a simple story that, once it tips the hand of what's really going on, doesn't dance around issues any more and just runs with them, going from a son trying to feed his mom to a mom trying to keep her son alive, while everyone else lives long enough to wonder just what in the fuck it is that's suddenly exploded on their lives. Moments are drawn out, but don't feel padded. Characters have distinction, but don't have it spelled out in detail. It all comes in at a lean 91 minutes, and while there isn't a huge amount of depth to the writing, I'll gladly take this over what I usually get from King."

To read more, check out our latest post.

September 28, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 6 "The Mirror in Darkness"

"At the Showcase, we haven't seen a hero go this dark since that episode of Street Hawk where Jesse Mach howled in fury as he opened his machine guns on a dock full of goons, and while this moment doesn't go quite so far, it still goes to lengths rarely seen in children's entertainment pre-Batman: The Animated Series."

To read more, check out our latest post.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 12 "Call of the Cutie"

"And I like how they get deeper into it, presenting a 'blank flank' as a crisis of identity, as Applebloom is continuously reminded that she doesn't know where to fit in or what her future is going to be going forward. In a society so clearly defined by a person's literally marked role, that can be a tough obstacle to face, and I love that it's not resolved by the end, that Applebloom is taught to embrace her present lack of definition as it just means she has what the others don't: potential. It's a comforting lesson to learn, and one that I think further appeals to the older fans of the show."

To read more, check out our latest post.

September 24, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Golden Years: episode 7, the DVD cut, and final thoughts

"Ultimately, I don't mind the note we go out on. Was it worth the build? Not really, but at least it gives me some closure, completes character arcs that I enjoyed watching amidst this morass, and ends with a quote from David Bowie. It's really the best I could have hoped for at this point."

To read more, check out our latest post.

Castle Rock series index.

September 21, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 5 "A Fire in the Dark"

"And I still don't get Mentor. I mean, I get the idea of Mentor, but he's pretty elaborate for something they rarely use, and there's nothing he's done so far (mapping coordinates, analyzing viruses, sharing history) that couldn't be better delivered as actions from our core group of five heroes and further characterize them with additional skillsets."

To read more, check out our latest post.

September 20, 2014

[Masters of Carpentry] Monthly Feature #9: Better Late Than Never (1979)

"The first hour is a very different movie than the last half hour. The last half hour just kinda comes out of nowhere, where it's like suddenly they're escaping, and stealing a train, and going cross-country, and breaking through police blockades, and almost colliding with another train, and there's heart attacks and finding the ghost town, and pathos. It's just such a suddenly weird third act."

"Yeah, it becomes Easy Rider, and then the last five minutes just undoes all of that. It's like the end of an A-Team episode, where you're like 'Here we go, again!' "

For more, check out our latest episode.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 11 "Winter Wrap Up"

"Now, everything about the song said, its still an absolutely magnificent episode. The animation is top notch throughout. The characters are all spot-on, without any of the forced, over-exaggeration that has plagued past episodes of characters getting themselves sorted out. There's wonderful visual gags throughout. The biggest laugh of the series so far has been, 'The nest designer is horrendously behind! We need several hundred, and she's only made one!' cut to Rarity as Twilight's nest completely destroys her."

To read more, check out our latest post.

September 14, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 4 "Pariah"

"Hawk gets to stand in the spotlight this time around, and I think he knocks it out of the park. He's just doing his usual hero thing, when his jetpack is blown out and he finds himself gradually succumbing to the symptoms of the plague. Yet the dude keeps fighting, keeps strategizing, keeps putting the rescue of this child above his own safety. I'll admit that his "Mitch! Mitch" gets a little tired, but the backstory of him having a lost son out there adds additional weight to a guy with an already deep backstory."

To read more, check out our latest post.

September 13, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, episode 10 "Swarm of the Century"

"I like that Pinkie is being show as the solution to needlessly destructive pests after she herself is first established in the episode as a needlessly destructive pest of Mrs. & Mr. Cake, ruining their hard work even as she watches them continue toiling at said hard work while laying in wait to ruin more of it. Yes, she has the Pinkie self-justification of wanting to make sure everything tastes right, but it does feel off that she'd do it in such a harmful way, even as I find it an amusing thematic link to the problem they all soon face."

To read more, check out our latest post.

September 11, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Golden Years, episodes 3-4

"And then we get more Dr. Toddhunter being Toddhunter, and wow, they just keep pushing it. He's fine in the first couple of scenes, playing his crazy more subdued as he studies the only surviving mouse from that fateful day, but then he gets all creepy, shielding the mouse from others as he strokes against the glass, packs up several of its girlfriends with it to smuggle to his home, and then... oh Angie is going to love this scene... he goes to his father's grave, digging up a lunchbox full of broken watches as he goes on and on about his obsession with the limits of the time we each get... then curls up for a nap against his dad's gravestone as he tells his father how much he loves him. Why did we need to go here! Ugh!"

To read more, check out our latest post.

Castle Rock series index.

September 7, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 3 "Final Stand"

"When you think about 80s children's television, you typically don't imagine a massive bruiser in post-apocalyptic punk leather smashing a cinder block across the cheek bone of a bronzed and bare-armed Brawny paper towel man of an Austrian bodybuilder, but that's exactly what we get this time around."

To read more, check out our latest post.

September 6, 2014

[Midnight Movie Exchange] Episode 8: Disorderlies (1987)

"It is what it is. It was a cheap vehicle to just kinda sell the Fat Boys, basically by ripping off Three Stooges movies, and it's not good. It gave me a few chuckles in a few scenes here and there, but it kinda falls flat. And yet, it's largely harmless. It's not like a horrible 'oh dear god why' trainwreck of a movie, it's just this kinda bland thing that came, went, you can see why it was there, why they were trying to sell these guys. And, to be fair, it does actually sell the Fat Boys for what they were. That was pretty much their schtick."

To hear more, check out our latest post.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, episode 9 "Bridle Gossip"

"Remember how I was complaining about past episodes where, in order to learn a lesson, a key pony had certain traits cranked up to such an exaggerated degree that it felt like an artifice there just to tell a false, forced story? Here, we don't get that from one pony, we get it from FIVE PONIES, as they’re all character assassinated into cowering xenophobes huddling in the shadows as they look out at a foreigner, a Zebra (gasp!), and pick apart every single aspect of her persona as something to sneer and shudder at: her look, her clothes, the decor of her house, her actions, the way she talks, her utter outsiderness. There's such a cloud of undeserved fear of something just for being different that you'd think this was written by H.P. Lovecraft."

To read more, check out our latest post.

September 4, 2014

Blackbelt (1992 script/film)

Don "The Dragon" Wilson series index

Chronologically, the gloriously titled Future Kick would be the latest in my watch-through of films by Don "The Dragon" Wilson, but it's been a little tricky to obtain, and I have a special occasion down the road I just may want to save it for. Heck, if that doesn't happen, I'll use it to cap off the project as a whole. With a title like Future Kick, it should be worth waiting for. I hope!

[Castle Rock Companion] Golden Years, episodes 1-2

I rejoin the project as Angie and I begin looking at Stephen King's original works for film and television.

"For the most part, what kills this show is the pace. It's ridiculously drawn out, not just in King's typically long-winded writing, but the filming of the scenes themselves have no momentum, no drive to keep the narrative moving. At multiple points, I kept thinking we had to be at the final scene of the episode, but it kept going on, and on, and on. And the lingering pace also made it very clear how poor the direction was at times, with awkward blocking where you can see actors shifting over to marks on the floor, like when the agents show up at Gina’s front door and make an instant beeline down a hall around a corner and into another room."

To read more, check out our latest post.

Castle Rock series index.

August 30, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 2 "The Abyss"

"I am a little more into Tim Dunigan as Captain Power this time around. His facial acting is still flat, but he's pumping up the intensity and giving a lot of gusto to his physicality, reminding me a lot of Peter Weller as Buckaroo Banzai. When Power is facing down Briggs, you feel both his confusion and anger at the nonsensical situation he's fallen into. And then you get the great sequence of him ripping a power cable off the wall to crudely recharge his suit."

To read more, check out our latest post.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, episode 8 "Look Before You Sleep"

"Again, it's a very simple, by-the-numbers story on the surface, but instead of just playing the beats in the listed fashion, they subvert it by openly reading off the list the characters are trying to follow, and get in the way of the expected tropes as they have to find ways to bond outside the artificial structure Twilight is so eager to impose. This leads to some surprising twists here and there, particularly the climax where their destructive behavior leads to a genuine amount of unexpected destruction."

To read more, check out our latest post.

August 27, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Dreamcatcher

"I think the main reason a lot of people balk is because of the enemies he calls 'shit weasels' and I suppose if the idea of an alien that gestates inside you before coming out along with some severe stinky farts and a lot of blood is something you can't get past, then it is what it is. Personally, I enjoy the fear that creates, and I appreciate the comparisons King does to the creatures with cancer."

To read more, check out Angie's latest post.

Castle Rock series index.

August 24, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, episode 1 "Shattered"

"Otherwise, the sheer devastation of this world works. There's a great scene of Power looking out the window of a jet at the ruins of San Francisco which gives us scale, stories of his normal past life which shows us how much has changed for these people over such a short amount of time, the flashback to how Athena used to be, smiling across a chess board, to how she now is as she scowls at Power, shoots him, and tosses the gun at the old chess board, scattering the pieces. This is a world at war, where the humans have largely lost, and the best the heroes can hope for at the moment is to keep some semblance of a fight going while searching for a miracle that'll turn things in their favor."

To read more, check out our latest post.

August 23, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, episode 7 "Dragonshy"

"I get what you mean, Gerf, about how this is an episode that will grate on those who aren't fans of Fluttershy. The thing is, I do like her character, and it still grates on me, much in the same way "Applebuck Season" did, even though I also quite like Applejack as a character. What I mean by this is that both episodes take the character’s central... weakness might not be the right word, but the personality issue which often gets in their way - stubbornness for Applejack, timidness for Fluttershy - and hinges their story so heavily on that aspect, exaggerating it so far into an extreme that it starts to feel artificial.

To read more, check out our latest post.

August 21, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Desperation

"The opening of the book is one of King's strongest. He takes that apprehension and fear we all have when we're pulled over by a policeman and brings it all to a new level of creepy and frightening. We're forced to relinquish control in those situations, but what if the cop was a complete lunatic? It makes it so much worse. I'll admit, there's a part of me that wishes this story really was just about a cop gone insane and terrorizing his small town, but I can also see how King had to take it to another level to move the story forward. The ancient evil buried deep in the ground, disturbed by human greed that dug too far is not a new idea, but he executes it well."

To read more, check out Angie's latest post.

Castle Rock series index.

August 17, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] The Further Adventures of U.S. 1, Part 4

"Jeff hooks U.S. up with the double haul, cross country, which'll pay out a million bucks, if U.S. can find a partner... which is when Deadpool, naked except for his mask, boots, and tighty whities, drops through the ceiling after a woman in a passing helicopter flies off with his wallet. Needing money, he asks for a job."

To read more, check out our latest post.

August 16, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] The Further Adventures of U.S. 1, Part 3

"Taryn says there is no escape, and it's only a matter of time before they share the same fate as the prisoner in the next cell over: Rocket Raccoon, who's been frozen as a stone statue!"

To read more, check out our full post.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, episode 6 "Boast Busters"

"I do like the Twilight/Spike dynamic this episode, where it at first seems like he’s giving into oneupsmanship by constantly prodding Twilight to show Trixie what for, but I like his statement near the midpoint where he says it’s about defending her friends from someone who’s humiliating and hurting them. She’s putting herself and the consequences she might face before the others, up until the point where a kaiju is rampaging through the town and she’s left with no choice."

To read more, check out our full post.

August 14, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Bag of Bones

"I have to be honest. I was so damn bored by the story’s staunch refusal to go nowhere that I ended up going to Wikipedia to read the summary. Spoiling myself on the ending was the only way I could find to convince myself to keep going; that yes, there would eventually be some action happening that would give this slowly trawling along novel a purpose. As such, it’s possible that knowing the “shock” moments ahead of time made them have less of an emotional effect on me; but it’s also true that if I hadn’t been reading this for the purpose of this project I would never have made it to those moments because I would have given up on the book."

To read more, check out Angie's latest post. Especially the cryptic final line!

Castle Rock series index.

August 9, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, episode 5 "Griffon the Brush Off"

"Overall, it’s a fun episode. There’s a nice build establishing the mindset of Pinkie’s pranks, then the dark turn as we see similar tactics now used through the lens of a bully, then the magical turn of pranks pulling down the dark prankster. I actually expected the third act would be an educational PSA about how pranks are bad overall and we should all learn from them, but I’m glad they subverted this expectation by making it more an examination of why pranks are done, and those which are constructive versus those which are destructive."

To read more, check out our latest post.

Also, Gerf and Tessa share a video of their Bronycon 2014 memories.

August 6, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Hearts in Atlantis

"The problem is that the more and more you strip out of this story and take it out of its context, you’re not left with much else. It is still a story about growing up and losing your innocence, but it’s just too brief to truly feel the depth of it as you do in the original story."

To read more, check out Angie's latest post.

Castle Rock series index.

August 3, 2014

[Midnight Movie Exchange] Episode 7 - Lupin the 3rd: Strange Psychokinetic Strategy (1974)

"I didn't really mind that there wasn't much plot, because it was basically just what excuse can we have for a string of gags. And some of them were really amusing, there were a few that got me to legitimately laugh out loud, like when Jigen turns and looks at him, and suddenly his hat flips open with a little visor. For no reason."

To hear the entire episode, check out our latest post.

August 2, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] The Further Adventures of U.S. 1, Part 2

"When they come to on U.S.'s space rig, with Al nursing some sore tentacles from Louise's initial fright, they learn the Star Stop has come under attack by clusters of meteors guided there by the gravity of cosmic mountains circling them in space. Jennifer recognizes it as the work of Spragg, the Living Hill!"

To read more, check out the latest post.

July 31, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Cycle of the Werewolf / Silver Bullet

"This story had to be expanded upon in order to make a film, and King himself wrote the screenplay for Silver Bullet. Names for some of the main characters change, and minor characters are very different from the ones in the novella. It’s pretty clear that King saw this as a chance to build a slightly different, more fleshed out story than what he had been forced to do with the calendar set up, and I think that’s a large part of why we end up with the different name."

To read more, check out Angie's latest post.

Castle Rock series index.

July 26, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, episode 4 "Applebuck Season"

"And as for worldbuilding, yeah, I caught the cows and mules speaking with anthropomorphized sapiency as well, which begs the question of why there isn’t more diversity in Ponyville. I’m not saying full segregation is in effect, but beyond Spike and the occasional wanderer in (why is the mule just there on a family farm? and correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t the waiter in the last episode something non-equine?) we see a division among the populace."

For the rest of our post, check it out at Deconstruction is Magic.

[Short-Lived Showcase] The Further Adventures of U.S. 1, Part 1

"Their trademark coffee is still being served at the Short Stop counter, albeit by alien waitresses to alien truckers, yet still overseen by Poppa Wheelie, who breaks away from giving the Guardians of the Galaxy directions when he spots Taryn and pulls her into a big hug."

Check out the rest of the post at the Showcase.

July 23, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Secret Window

"If you're going to have a film that largely revolves around the main character often alone in his cabin in the woods, you can't get much better than casting Johnny Depp. While Depp occasionally seems to have a lack of judgment when collaborating with Tim Burton, most of his other roles show his range and strength, and this film is another strong example of his talent."

For more of Angie's thoughts on the book and film, check out her latest post.

Castle Rock series index.

July 12, 2014

July 6, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] U.S. 1, issues 11 & 12

Check out our latest post, where Steve Ditko shows up out of nowhere and somehow fails to deliver a battle between two semi trucks in space. *sigh*

July 5, 2014

[Midnight Movie Exchange] Episode 6: The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

Check out our latest episode, about a screwball comedy involving warlords, tribal politics, an empty Coke bottle, and oh so many prat falls.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, episode 1 "Friendship is Magic, part 1"

In which we get the new blog rolling, with the others eagerly diving into all of the fun characters and quotes and magical memories, and me going on about religion, socialism, and a reference to Twin Peaks. It's magic!

July 2, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Tommyknockers

Power up the theramin, because Angie's latest post sees King stumbling over 50s alien invasion tropes as he appears to fail at mixing them with his trademark style. Which actually surprises me, as you'd think they'd go pretty well hand-in-hand. Alas, we shall wait and see what she thinks of Dreamcatcher!

Castle Rock series index.

June 28, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] Announcing a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Re-Watch Blog

Tessa and myself are reuniting after Deconstructing Moya, alongside with her friend Gerf, to blog our way through the entire series of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I've never seen the show beyond a single episode, so I'm mostly going in cold, and can't wait to see how it goes.

June 25, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Dolores Claiborne

Check out Angie's latest post, in which I'll hold off on a joke because, while I haven't seen the entirety of the film adaptation, I've seen enough to know this isn't one to be glib about.

Castle Rock series index.

June 22, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] U.S. 1, issue 9 "Big Mack Attack"

Everyone from previous issues shows up for a massive curtain call leading into the climax! Most of them are characters we've hated, and we still hate them here!

Check it out.

June 15, 2014

Ring of Fire (1991 film)

Don "The Dragon" Wilson series index

Instead of pushing forward with a focus on just the Bloodfist franchise, I find myself so charmed by Don "The Dragon" that I've decided to dig more broadly into his career. I'm skipping his first two credits, small roles in New York China Town and Say Anything, as the former is tricky to find, and the latter will be coming up in a future project I'm doing down the road. Bloodfist was Don "The Dragon"'s debut leading role, and right after Bloodfist 2 came Ring of Fire, the first in yet another multi-film franchise, albeit one where he actually does continue to play the same character.

June 11, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] The Stand

Check out Angie's latest post, as she fills us in on the novel that's so massive, it can stop a door, thud on the floor, and frighten the neighbor's dog. It's King, it's King, wrote a helluva thing. Just don't throw it down the stairs or there will be repair costs, and possible endangerment of life.

Castle Rock series index.

May 21, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dead Zone

Check out Angie's latest post for a look at King's tale of a man who returns from near death with psychic abilities. And is totally hot when played by Anthony Michael Hall's glare. Christopher Walken, ehhh, not so much. Still has the great voice, but Hall is so pretty.

Castle Rock series index.

May 14, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] The Running Man

Check out Angie's latest post as she looks at two wildly divergent classic takes on the story of reality competition TV gone awry. And I loves them both, yes I do.

Castle Rock series index.

May 1, 2014

Don "The Dragon" Wilson... Bloodfist 4: Die Trying (1992)

Let me say up front that this is going to be a less in-depth review than my usual Bloodfist pieces. The first two films were pretty straight forward martial arts plots, and the third a typical prison film story, so there wasn't much reason to hold back on spoilers. With part 4, however, they've decided to go all Hitchockian thriller with crosses and double crosses and false identities and a web of individuals that leaves you guessing who's working with or fighting against whom. Actually, it's a lot like Charade, the greatest Hitchcock film Hitchcock never made, which the film calls out not once, but twice as Don "The Dragon" Wilson's character goes off about how he's "Sick of all these charades!"

January 1, 2014

Don "The Dragon" Wilson... Bloodfist 3: Forced to Fight (1992)

Building on how Bloodfist 2 had so little continuity with Bloodfist 1 that Jake Riley seemed like a completely different dude in both, Bloodfist 3 tosses Jake aside entirely and sets the remainder of the franchise down the path of each being a separate film with a separate lead, with only the Bloodfist moniker and the presence of Don "The Dragon" Wilson (in all but the last) being what strings these together in the barest minimum requirement for being a series. This wasn't actually started through intention, as Forced to Fight was produced as a separate film, and even lacks the tagged on Bloodfist 3 when the title appears in the credits. The brand was slapped on to give it an extra kick in theaters, but it didn't succeed as the film performed so poorly (pulling in just over $35,000 in its limited theatrical run) that every other installment from here on out will be straight to video.