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.

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power: Final Thoughts

"Might as well just rip the bandaid off fast... Captain Power is not a great show. It is not a lost masterpiece. It is not a show that the networks did wrong by us in cancelling too soon. It's just not."

For more, check out our latest post.

April 24, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three

"This book largely feels like it's broken up into two segments, the first being Roland drawing Eddie, and then the remainder is all about Odetta Holmes and Detta Walker, two women living in one body. While I love everything about the first part of the book, the second half has some flaws that prevent me from loving it as much. The first is that Odetta's condition is constantly referred to as schizophrenia, which it is not. Part if this may be characters making the mistake, but the fact that King never once has anyone use the term "multiple personality disorder" (which would have been the proper term when this was written) makes me think it's his mistake as well. The other issue I have is the personality of Detta Walker, and that's a bit more complex."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 23, 2015

[Castle Rock Companion] The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger

"King really does a great job of balancing that dread and tension with moments of general calm, and the glimpse back into Roland's youth provides a great distraction from the peril that he and Jake face together. The flashbacks also fully cement the idea that here gunslingers are just knights with guns, and as someone who has always loved the more medieval stylings of fantasy I can appreciate this slightly altered form."

For more, check out Angie's latest post.

April 18, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power: The Original Bible

"And that's the end of the Bible. It sets up a potentially good show, and the foundation of much of what we ultimately got. It's interesting to see what Straczynski and DiTillio changed and what they didn't, bringing some more depth to the characters and richer story arcs, and what was shifted or discarded in the compression from a 65 episode season to just 22. Ultimately, I think the finished version is the better of the shows, and while this certainly would have been enjoyable, Zicree largely lost me with his Story Springboards, which aren't all that interesting for the most part, and I'm not surprised none of them made it into the show."

For more, check out our latest post.

April 15, 2015

[Masters of Carpentry] Monthly Feature #14: Halloween 3 - Season of the Witch (1982)

"It's an interesting movie, and I can see why it has the cult following it has. Even from when I first saw it, I did kinda appreciate the idea of stepping away from Michael Myers and just doing something a little different... But it doesn't work. It's a neat idea, it's a neat concept, they did not implement it very well."

For more, check out our latest episode here.

April 13, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power: Toys, Merchandise, and Training Videos

"This is where things catch me by surprise. I figured the rail might be a compilation of footage from the show, or a model set like what we see in the closing credits. Instead, this is full on cell animation straight from Japan, and it is exquisitely detailed and fluid, with fully animated background rushing past and enemies zipping about, kicking in afterburners with great kicks of smoke. This is amazing stuff and instantly glued me to the screen."

For more, check out our latest post.

April 6, 2015

Castle Rock Companion - Rose Red

"Once we get to the second half, that’s where it spirals out of control. Even during the early tour of the house, things begin to feel scattershot and random as we’ll jump between disconnected scenes or characters are acting contradictory to how they just were in scenes prior, with powers and dynamics flopping around inconsistently. This feels harried and rushed, like King wasn’t fully paying attention as he just burned through the rest of the script in fits and starts. There’s no flow to any of it, many builds lack payoffs, scares are random instead of, as I usually expect from King, rooted in the actual characters."

For more, check out our latest post.

April 5, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power: The Comic

"Here's where I make a confession I know a few people will find shocking: I'm not a fan of Neal Adams. He seems like an okay dude, certainly makes for a lively interview, but I just don't get into his comics all that much. I don't hate them, there's just a certain hamminess and clunkiness to them which keeps me from being all that interested in what's going on from page to page. He's a magnificent illustrator, certainly, and his individual panels are gorgeous, but his layouts lack any flow or momentum, and the constant over-wrought emotions strung throughout leaves those emotions, which he's working so hard to convey, feeling forced and insincere. And then there's his writing. He's a freakin' mess as a writer, with choppy dialogue, poor motivations, and scattershot plotting."

For more, check out our latest post.