Wednesday, July 26, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Time Machine (1960)

A few thoughts: As an overall production, this just might be the most impressive sci/fi adventure movie of its time. While the acting and some plot elements are a bit underwhelming at times, the music, visual effects, makeup/prosthetics, and set designs are all so tremendous (though at times occasionally silly, particularly one painted background in a cave) they more than make up for the lack of strong performances and other thematic elements. The time travel sequences are a particular standout, utilizing fast-paced stop motion (which I always love), but probably my favorite aspect to this movie is how great the Morlocks looked. With their glowing eyes, blue skin, and white hair, they stand out as pretty cool and creepy, and make for great villains. While this movie could have definitely improved on the narrative and tackled emotional isolation as a subject, I can't say I expected any of that; and the visuals were so great, none of that even mattered.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Soylent Green (1973)

A few thoughts: It's pretty uncommon for the twist ending of a movie to become far more popular than the movie itself, but I would argue 'Soylent Green' is the first instance of just that. This is a murder mystery set in a dystopian version of the future where the greenhouse effect has ravaged the food supply, and the government has engineered a new superfood to combat the wide-spread starvation called - wait for it - soylent green. Sadly, almost 45 years after the film's release, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who has heard of this movie who hasn't also been made aware of the final twist. I won't spoil it for anyone who might be reading this, just know that your experience will be made far more fulfilling if you go into this not knowing how it ends. It's not a bad movie, the acting is solid and the setting is appropriately dark, but the ending really is the main reason to give this one a look. It's not an ingeniusly crafted mystery, but it is an iconic resolution and shouldn't be dismissed as anything less than important in its own way.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Adventure Time - Season 2 (episodes #14-26)

To see my overview of the first 13 episodes of season 2, click on this magical link. And I'll repost my rating system again for the episodes. It's imprecise, but I like it:

★✯✯✯✯ - pretty bad
★★✯✯✯ - not so good
★★★✯✯ - pretty average
★★★★✯ - good
★★★★★ - pretty great

Episode 14:
'The Silent King'

200 Items Or Less: THX 1138 (1971)

A few thoughts: Not many people know this movie, but George Lucas fans should give it a look, as it reveals the eerie potential he had as a filmmaker of more high brow science fiction. Is it anywhere close to as good as Star Wars? No, but it occupies a completely different space. A stark dystopian set entirely within the massive construct that seems to house all of humanity, THX 1138 paints a pretty bleak picture of a society where emotions are outlawed, and people are forced into sedation as a means of being more compliant. This is a visually fantastic movie, utilizing stark whites and sterile environments where other movies might take on a more dark look. But somehow this stripped down approach is more fitting. It's a solid script, but it definitely relies more on visuals and atmosphere than it does on story or characters. Sadly, Lucas did what he does and felt the need to pump it full of distracting CG for its re-release, but what else could you expect from him? It's still a solid movie either way.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Adventure Time - Season 2 (episodes #1-13)

Let me start off by saying there really aren't many "bad" episodes in this show, so when I give low ratings, it's more just in comparison to other, better episodes. Also, my ordering is based on the wikipedia article, maybe not the "official" order of the episodes and when they were released or where they were meant to be released. I'm not making a big deal out of it. Also, I would normally use a letter grade system for things, but I don't want to get that specific here. Instead, I'll be using 5 total ratings, which are as follows:

★✯✯✯✯ - pretty bad
★★✯✯✯ - not so good
★★★✯✯ - pretty average
★★★★✯ - good
★★★★★ - pretty great

It's a rough system, but I like it rough *winky face* I won't be writing big reviews here, I'll save larger write-ups for when I make my top 50 (or however many) favorite episodes countdown. Okay, let's do this.

Episode 1:
'It Came From The Nightosphere'

Saturday, July 22, 2017

200 Items Or Less: One Million Years B.C. (1966)

A few thoughts: Raquel Welch in a cave bikini and dinosaur stop motion by Ray Harryhausen? I'm not exaggerating when I say this is one of the best combinations of two things I could possibly imagine for a mid-'60s caveman movie. Choosing to have its characters not speak in recognizable language and instead get their points across through visuals was a pretty bold move. Yes, it's been done in other movies, but that doesn't make it any less admirable. The plot is loose and incredibly thin, and you can tell it's basically just designed as a method to give us Raquel Welch in a bikini and show off some awesome dinosaurs, but I'm kind of alright with that. It's fun in an exploitative kind of way. Director Don Chaffey had done better before (Jason And The Argonauts is an all-time favorite of mine), but I still can't see anyone else handling this material any better. It's very simple in a lot of ways, however the execution of the ideas and set pieces definitely should not be so easily dismissed. But in the end, it is definitely more iconic than it is great.

Friday, July 21, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Targets (1968)

A few thoughts: What do you get when you glue together a story about an old horror star on the brink of retirement with the story of a seemingly happy and regular looking guy who decides to go on a killing spree? You get Targets, a movie that would have worked far better as two individual movies, but somehow still manages to make for an interesting and weirdly insightful film regardless of the clunkiness. Drawing parallels between the classic horror monsters of movies from the Karloff era to the "modern" monster (by '60s standards), who is simply a man who one day finally snapped. Being a big fan of Karloff (WHO I SOMEHOW LEFT OFF MY TOP 100 ACTORS LIST?!?), I naturally found myself more drawn into his half of the story, which has an added weight when you consider he passed away only 6 months after this film's release. I wish the ending hadn't been so abrupt, but it was still a great note to end his career on -- as long as you choose to ignore the other crap he appeared in that was released after this.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Anime Corner: Elfen Lied (2004)

Usually when I call a horror movie or show "creepy", it's meant as a compliment. Well, Elfen Lied makes me feel weird and is pretty creepy, but that is not a compliment here. I'm not one to usually complain about infantilization (I don't find it arousing or anything, it just doesn't usually stand out to me as a problem), but this show has a serious infantilization problem with a teenage girl who can only say one word (like a Pokemon), can't dress herself, behaves like a small child, and - back to that whole "can't dress herself" thing - spends a good deal of time in the show naked. I don't know what they were attempting, but I felt sleazy just watching it, and I can't help but to feel it's shows like this that give anime the reputation it has for being somewhat pornographic.

Storywise, there's nothing here that really stands out to me as particularly unique, and with just 13 episodes, it never has a chance to become fully fleshed out, so it's pretty hard to get too absorbed. The show started off with a bang, full of extreme violence and intensity, but by the end of the first episode it almost feels like a high school drama. Some shows are able to handle juggling genres, but this one just feels clunky as it alternates between them.

200 Items Or Less: Seconds (1966)

A few thoughts: One of the more stripped down sci/fi movies of the 1960s, Seconds is a John Frankenheimer thriller with some fascinating (albeit occasionally sloppy) cinematography, strong performances, and a cool concept that could have easily been made a lot sillier. Instead, they let it be pretty dark, and with the tight camera angles and paranoid tone, they manage to make it all pretty suspenseful and unnerving. I've never been a fan of Rock Hudson, but he did a solid job here, and I felt like I was watching the character, not just the face -- which could have easily been the opposite here. There are a lot of twists and turns to the plot, so much so that I don't even want to talk about what happens in the movie, but suffice it to say it's not standard '60s sci/fi by any means. In fact, I'd barely even call it sci/fi at all, as the way it handles the more fantastical elements is calculated and believable. Very dark, very suspenseful, with an ending that will stick with you.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Wizards (1977)

A few thoughts: I've seen this several times now over the course of a few years, and I still have no idea what I think of it. Ralph Bakshi was one of the most bold and original filmmakers of his time, but that isn't always a good thing. Using a bizarre blend of animation techniques ranging from traditional hand drawn to rotoscope and silhouettes, there's never a dull frame, but the weirdness can be a bit difficult. There's an odd balance of adult themes, childish humor, and slapstick (complete with BOING sound effects) that makes this a pretty uneven and difficult movie to fully grasp. Who or what is the target audience exactly? This sort of feels like 'The Black Cauldron' on acid. The ideas and designs are pretty awesome, blending fantasy and sci/fi wonderfully, and I don't think I can overstate how much I love the final battle between the good and evil brothers -- who are the main focus of the film. It's incredibly bizarre, but worth watching as a sort of '70s animated relic.

Anime Corner: Hellsing (2001-2002)

I write this after starting and stopping 'Hellsing Ultimate', so any comparisons I make between the two shows are based only on what I saw from the first couple episodes. With that being said, the quality of animation in Ultimate is obviously more polished and impressive, but I still found myself much more invested in this show right off the bat, and that's possibly due to the 20 minute episodes. Or maybe it's just my love for early 2000s anime? I can't say this was a great show, but it scatched an itch I had for some mindless gore and badass action.

The obvious highlight of this show is in Alucard, the kickass vampire working for the titular Hellsing family. Unstoppable killing machines are a dime a dozen in action anime shows, and sticking one in a red coat isn't exactly enough to set him apart either (see: Vash the Stampede), but Alucard works on his own level as an antihero. Instead of just being a vicious killer vampire, he is given the role of a good guy, summoning his demonic powers to fight against evil forces. That alone makes him sort of special, but the sadistic joy he takes in obliterating his enemies makes you never forget just how bad this good guy really is.

Sadly, Alucard is the only character in the show that ever really works for me, with too much time being given to a young cop-turned-vamp whose entire arc falls flat. There are a few supporting players who have their moments, but the show is too short to give them much to do,and before you know it the show is finished and you're left thinking, "oh, that's it?" Also, if you hope to escape some of the mediocre English dub voice acting by watching Ultimate instead, it's still the same main cast, so better luck next time. Since it's only 13 episodes, reading it really isn't much of and chore, so don't be lazy about it: just read the damn thing.

As I said before, Ultimate definitely has this show beat on animation quality, and - from what I could tell - it seemed to flesh the story out better, but there is one undeniable aspect that the original is superior in: the music. From the opening theme (that kicks total ass and gets stuck in your head for hours) to the background music that ranges from orchestral to upbeat and in your face, this show has some awesome music and Ultimate just doesn't hold a candle to it. Though the closing credits music was pretty skippable. Oh well.

This is a super gory and action-heavy show that feels very episodic and doesn't place much emphasis on overarching story. By the time the show is coming to a close, you can tell they didn't have everything wrapped up as well as they wanted, but that doesn't change the fact that it is entertaining while it lasts. It didn't overstay its welcome, in the very least. The gore may be a bit much for some people, but I found it pretty fun and cool. I wouldn't expect many people to get emotionally invested in this show, but that's not what this one is all about. It's got action, gore, and a really cool vampire at the center of it all.

Episode count: 13

My grade: B

Sunday, July 16, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Sanctuary; Quite A Conundrum (2012)

A few thoughts: Boy oh boy does this movie take its time before it stops sucking. Don't get me wrong, it never reaches the point where I'd go so far as to call it "good", but the first 20 minutes or so are virtually unbearable. Beyond that, the arrival of an overly-Christian stereotype and a suicide marks the jumping off point for a solidly entertaining bit of sleaze. Even though I've seen this movie twice now, I'm still not sure if it's even supposed to be funny or not. Up until the last 20-30 minutes, I assumed this was meant to be a comedy, but near the end it gets "dark" and the over-acting becomes hilarious in its own right. In some scenes it feels like a frat comedy, others like a slasher, but most of the time it's just unintentionally funny. It's a weird kind of mess that fails so much as a comedy it almost works as one, and fails so much as a horror movie it becomes... well, a bad horror movie. Some key dramatic moments work surprisingly well, but as a whole its identity crisis keeps it down.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Anime Corner: Monster (2004-2005)

I'm usually a fan of animes that only last 26 episodes (or thereabouts) and find longer shows a little less sharp and focused. Well, this isn't the case at all with Monster, a show that digs its nails in you and drags you to some pretty disturbing depths without ever wasting your time. It's brilliant in how it weaves through stories, all of which returning to the main focus on the value of individual lives, how one can become a monster, and whether or not all lives are truly created equal. A majority of the show seems determined to question these moral truths we often take for granted.

This is a show of almost endless twists and turns. Every time you start to get comfortable with a plot thread or characters, something comes along and mixes it all up on you by killing people off unexpectedly or shifting focus to seemingly unconnected threads for several episodes of time. In the end, the only real consistencies are in Dr. Tenma and Johan Liebert; the yin and yang whose parallels and distinct differences make up a great deal of the drive of the story, also serving as catalysts for the God/Devil and apocalypse themes found in the show.

200 Items Or Less: Fantastic Planet (1973)

A few thoughts: This is not the kind of movie I could recommend to almost anyone, but to those out there who might find a French animated sci-fi film about giant blue aliens that keep humans as pets who attempt to escape and cause an uprising on the planet interesting...well this will be the one and only movie I could sit you down in front of that will satisfy that particular itch. There are so many ideas and images flying by at a rapid rate in this movie, it's hard to fully absorb them all in one go, but at only 70~ minutes, finding time to rewatch it should be no big hassle. The music feels like something from a porno, but that only adds to the peculiar and specific charms of this experimental and unique little movie. Is it good? Absolutely. Is it great? Probably. It belongs in a category of very few peers, occupied by things like 'Wizards' by Ralph Bakshi and 'Allegro Non Troppo', so judging it against more conventional films feels almost wrong. But that's part of why it's so special.

Friday, July 14, 2017

200 Items Or Less: This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse (1967)

A few thoughts: Coffin Joe is one of the greatest horror characters no one seems to be familiar with. As the second part of a loose trilogy surrounding this character, TNIPYC picks up right where 'At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul' leaves off, practically hitting the reset button and allowing the aforementioned maniac to go right back to his depraved ways; torturing women as a means to determine who might be worthy enough to bear his child. It's part torture porn, part psychological thriller, and part natural horror, and a strong sequel to one of my favorite horror movies of the '60s. Jose Mojica Marins - who wrote, directed, and starred as Coffin Joe - clearly understood how this character needed to function, and with every aspect of the movie built around him, he makes the most of it. But even with how great this character is, the real highlight here is the vibrant and chaotic Hell sequence. This is definitely not an easy movie to describe and isn't quite on the same level as it's predecessor, but it's certainly worth experiencing.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Anime Corner: Level E (2011)

It's rare to come across a show that's only 13 episodes and still wears itself out by the end, but they do exist, and this is one of them. Very light, inconsequential, and occasionally hilarious, Level E isn't something you can find yourself too invested in (for multiple reasons I'll go into later), but should nonetheless provide adequate entertainment for a few hours until you decide to move on to something a little more interesting. That isn't to say I didn't enjoy it, as I found it pretty damn fun to start, but it somewhat flies off the rails and its lack of focus takes a toll on the overall experience.

I thought for sure this would be a show that would focus a little more on a central character, and within one episode I had already found myself intrigued by the direction and the two leads. Sadly, after just 3 episodes they toss this out the window, and focused on a different story with a handful of other leads. I was all on-board for those until they tossed them out after 4 episodes... and this isn't even counting an episode in between these serials that had its own cast. While the "main" character is most often the Prince, he doesn't show up in several episodes, and even in the ones he's around for, he isn't often the focal point of the story.

Speaking of the Prince, he's very much one of those characters I can see being far more popular than he probably deserves, due to his comedic nature and larger-than-life personality. For a few episodes he's really entertaining, but much like the rest of the show he definitely starts to wear on you. As an eccentric and irresponsible alien with far too much power and free time, the show chooses to aimlessly wander with him, and with this free reign he is rarely giving an opportunity to play up the potential odd couple dynamics of his character beyond his interactions in the first 3 episodes. A shame, considering how much better he works in those situations.

The animation, while largely pretty standard, takes occasional departures into the realm of the nightmarish, blending in bizarre monstrosities of a CG nature that ought not e'er be seen by human eyes. Some of these scenes really threw me off, because they didn't match the tone of the rest of the show, but that doesn't ultimately matter. This isn't a show that uses its brain, so why should the audience? The music is forgettable, so I suppose they felt it necessary to set itself apart by doing random crap and adding to my list of bizarre images I kind of wish I hadn't seen.

In the end, for all its misgivings, I still did mostly enjoy this show. Unlike something equally as bizarre and cornball as Space Dandy, I never felt challenged or impressed by this show, and instead just let it happen to me -- a watching method that resulted in a handful of big laughs and many more chuckles. It's pretty easy to slip into, and watching aliens basically just be irritating to humans provides some reasonable entertainment.

Episode count: 13

My grade: C-

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Anime Corner: Black Lagoon (2006)

Over-the-top mercenary gunfights galore, Black Lagoon mostly abandons the piracy angle pretty quickly and with it goes a lot of its charm. A show that started out feeling very original dropped into more exaggerated anime cliches and ridiculous caricatures when it decided to make the antagonists spend more and more time on land than on their boat. Which is a shame, because I was really enjoying it before that -- even if some of the better individual episodes were in the second half of the show.

The obvious highlight of this show is one of the leads, a cold-blooded killer with a filthy mouth and a tendency to fly off the handle with little to no provocation. She's definitely something, and while the attempts to make her seem badass do tend to come off as very forced, in the end she is still very entertaining and one of the more (surprisingly) reserved characters once you get into the latter half, which as I said before is pretty packed with "flavorful" killers; gun-toting nuns, Romanian vampire children, and a girl with a chainsaw and an emotional attachment to her electrolarynx, just to give a few examples. It's all more than a little ridiculous, and it's a shame they let the leads fall into the back of the story by the end.

Monday, July 10, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Under the Shadow (2016)

A few thoughts: At this point in time, it's surprisingly difficult to come across horror movies that aren't hell bent on having monsters fly at the screen and make you jump. It's just how horror is made nowadays. But sometimes you get movies like this that show enough restraint to put more emphasis on atmosphere and set-up, making the subsequent "boo!" much more effective. This movie doesn't feel cheap, even if it does rely on several half-assed jump-scares (some of which are pretty weak). Much like Jennifer Kent's "The Babadook", this is a movie that actually bothers to give us actual characters, establish their motives, giving their clich├ęd actions a lot more weight and making them much more believable -- also, this movie, too, suffers from an intolerable child character who I found myself wanting to slap upside the head. With a political backdrop touching on some disturbing and relevant Iranian social issues, this movie may be a standard horror movie on the surface, but has much more to offer beyond that.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Anime Corner: Space Dandy (2014)

Shinichiro Watanabe is sort of legendary among anime fans, and while he wasn't as central to the production of this show as he was with Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo, you can still definitely tell his influence on it -- and believe me when I say that's a good thing. While it may not be as classic as those two, I will say I enjoyed this more in a frivolous sort of way than I did with them. It's an absolute blast.

Dandy, while not being the most well-developed of characters, is somewhat unique in the realm of anime leads, a goofy Johnny Bravo-esque bounty hunter who spends every available minute at his favorite restaurant, "BooBies". The other two main characters are a somewhat snarky childlike robot and a talking alien ferret. It's definitely what one might call a motley crew, and seeing these lovable misfits struggle to find rare aliens and save up money to go to BooBies makes up a large part of the downtime in the show. Much like other Watanabe shows, there is a heavy focus on finding and eating food.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Akira (1988)

A few thoughts: It's always difficult for me to write about movies that have had such a strong impact on film, especially when it's a movie I don't completely love. But in this case, the positives certainly outweigh the negatives, as this is one of the most visually impressive animes of the 20th century. I was almost instantly blown away by how fluid and smooth (compared to other anime, at least) the animation was, but in spite of this it has a sort of unpolished charm to it that I couldn't help but to admire. The character design is the only aspect to the visuals that I didn't care for. Storywise, I would call this a mess, but there's a method to the madness. Sometimes it's a little difficult to follow, but it rewards your patience with some unique and unexpected twists. I can't say I loved it and I doubt I would consider it one of the very best anime films of all-time, but I enjoyed it, found it very engaging, and would definitely watch it again.

200 Items Or Less: The Descent (2005)

A few thoughts: I watched this movie years back when I had really bad claustrophobia and it was pretty creepy up until the creepers showed up. But watching it now, it's hard for me to even focus on it due to how poorly executed the tension is. It once felt very atmospheric and intense, but after coming back to it, I'm surprised at how cheap most of the scares are here, and how unremarkable the claustrophobic scenes now feel. Neil Marshall is a director who knows how to inject thrills into his projects, and this is one example of a movie that feels very much "injected", as the many attempts to startle the audience feel pretty forced and half-assed. The way this movie is shot and edited doesn't allow for the monsters to do much other than ham it up and scurry towards the screen in a very visibly, rapidly sped-up and corny fashion. It's all a bit silly, though I do appreciate the practical effects and lighting.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Anime Corner: Death Note (2006-2007)

For a show that came out during the height of the emo craze and was filled with all the imagery and themes of something that would not age too well, it came as a pretty huge surprise to me that this series holds up as well as it does. It seems like the kind of mid-2000s pseudo-punk/goth time capsule that would be looked back on with a sort of nostalgic passive animosity, but as an overall story and character study, Death Note has a lot going for it and some undeniable staying power.

You can't really talk about Death Note without first going into the characters, as it features two of the more well-established leads of any anime from the 21st century. Light Yagami is one of those villains that you can't help but to root for, as his goals seem essentially pure at first, but as the old adage dictates, power corrupts. And watching the developing darkness of Light (ha!) is an amazing bit of storytelling. L, his nemesis, takes on the more heroic role but is introduced in an almost antagonistic way, which really flips the script on the standards of how a show presents good and evil. Their rivalry/friendship dynamic makes for a hugely entertaining and unpredictable aspect of the story.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Anime Corner: Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)

To deny the massive influence Neon Genesis Evangelion has had on anime as a whole would be almost admirably stupid and ignorant. That being said, if I were forced to sit down and watch anime for a year solid, it would probably take over 6 months before I'd willingly put this on again. It's not that it's bad or that I hate it, I would probably just forget it even existed for that long, and rewatching it would simply be wishful thinking that my thoughts on it might improve. This is the first anime show I have watched in its entirety and really didn't care for.

'90s anime has a mostly different look to it. I can't quite explain it, as I am by no means some sort of anime expert, but characters look clunky and the complete lack of smoothness is definitely a distraction. Watching this show I became more aware that I was watching an animated flip book than I would ever like during a show -- but then again, anime has always had an issue with frame-by-frame clunkiness, so this is by no means a complaint that only applies to NGE. But while most anime shows have a tendency of offering up some beautiful images, this one was severely lacking in that department.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Anime Corner: One-Punch Man (2015)

Based on a crudely drawn manga, One Punch Man (much like Attack On Titan) managed to succeed in a more mainstream context than most other anime, and I think it's largely due to how over-the-top ridiculous and self-aware it is. I fin a lot to admire about this show, with its inconsistent animation, idiosyncrasies, and memorable lead character. I sat down with my brother to watch it one day and before I knew it all 12 episodes had finished. So yeah, it's pretty addictive.

As I said before, the animation in this show is incredibly inconsistent, ranging from very visibly hand drawn to wildly imaginative and boisterously exaggerated. But while inconstencies may be bad in another show, this one matches its animation with the seriousess of its tone perfectly. The speed in which it switches back and forth from serious to absurd is so abrupt, it can't be anything but hilariously jarring, and the middle school sketchbook quality of some of the visuals thrown out of nowhere into a scene reflects that tonal range wonderfully. This show doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's important to keep in mind when watching it -- which makes it all the more powerful when it sneaks up on you with the more emotional moments.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Top 10 Star Trek characters

My favorites, out of all 5 series and movies. Normally I would just write this list down, but I've been wanting to expand into different directions and doing occasional videos seemed like a fun idea to me.

I was experiencing some technical issues with my recording, but since I didn't want to have to do all that talking again, I just left the audio as it is. A few speech problems occurred, but until I get more used to doing podcast type material, I'm sure that's going to be something I'll struggle with. For someone who talks so much, I sure do stumble over my words a lot when there's recording equipment nearby... Anyway, I've embedded the video below. Thanks for watching.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Anime Corner: Attack On Titan (2013)

When it comes to modern anime, few shows have managed to break through into the mainstream quite like this one. And it's not hard to see why. From the badass opening theme/credits to the fast-paced animation and grand scope, Attack On Titan is large scale sci-fi/fantasy action that rarely falls victim to the stereotypes of many shows before it. But that doesn't mean it isn't totally immune to criticism.

Pretty instantly, I was hooked to this show. Starting off with a bang, I never really knew what was going to happen or what to expect, with the show constantly reminding the audience of the danger of the situation by killing off characters left and right, even going so far as to off one of the leads within the first 10 episodes. Sadly, they backed away and brought them back to life, and it was around this time that I began to notice some chinks in the armor of an otherwise incredible show. Taking risks like that gains my respect, but finding a cheap way out of them lessens the entire experience for me. But it's not just that, where the show fails is in introducing giant fighting monster cliches that can only be described as uncharacteristic for a show that had been so clever up to this point.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1994

1994 was a pretty important year for me, since it was the year I was born. No it wasn't. But 1994 was a year, and that makes it special in its own kind of way. Movies came out in 1994 and I like some of them quite a lot. And while I would consider it one of the better movie years around, narrowing down a top 10 here wasn't as hard as I figured. Is this enough filler text? I think so, so on with the countdown.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1993

Okay, wow, I thought the last list was a tough one. There were 13 locks for my top 10 making this list, so excluding them honestly makes me feel a little dirty. Either way, I'm strictly following the rules laid out for me, making this into a firm top 10. So forgive me for my transgressions, don't hold it against me too much if I don't have your own precious favorites on here. It's my list, anyway, so stop crying about it. You really are pathetic, aren't you? I don't even know why you're still reading this, all I'm doing is insulting whoever you are. Go ahead, waste your time... Okay I'm done. LET'S DO THIS!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Animated Shows of the 2010s


I feel it's important to clarify this, as there are plenty of anime shows that could be considered for this list, and I wanted to make an anime list sometime in the future, so that would be a bit of an encroachment. So now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's move into the other rules of the list.

This list includes shows that both started in and before the 2010s. However, their placement is based entirely on what they've done so far in this decade alone, I will not be considering material that was released before January 1, 2010. I have no distinction between kids shows and adult shows on here, though you will see more adult on this list, as I don't find most kids shows particularly interesting. Alright, now to the list itself.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1992

This was probably the hardest of these lists I've had to make (at least so far), as I had about 15 movies I wanted to cram into this top 10. Many of these movies are ones that people would probably want to slap me for excluding, but honestly I don't care -- "come at me bro", as they say. So let's get this proverbial show on the road, and don't forget the exact ordering isn't my main concern here and these are just my own personal favorites.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Octaman (1971)

A few thoughts: Look at the title and look at the picture below. You may have never seen or heard of this movie before in your life, but you know exactly what it is just from these two things alone. This is a fake trailer type of movie never meant to sustain more than 5 minutes of entertainment. There's very little to be said for it that you can't figure out on your own, but let me throw out a few things that help set this apart from others of this variety. For starters, you don't feel cheated by the title at all. The Octaman has plenty of screentime, and is given plenty of people to kill, so in the very least there's that going for it. Secondly, some of the earlier scenes in this movie are bad in the funniest sort of ways, but the humor begins to dissappear as you realize there is nothing more to this movie than just the bad "effects" and the creature itself. It just sort of happens until it's eventually over -- but luckily it ends pretty quickly at just under 80 minutes. Worth watching if you're drunk.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Vampire Lovers (1970)

A few thoughts: Few things make me feel as perverted as sitting in the dark watching a smutty vampire movie with plenty of boobs, but there's also something very satisfying about it -- especially since the most recent movie I recall having seen (Nekromantik) was one so utterly devoid of pleasure or entertainment. Here we have a pair of sexy vampire ladies and a relatively minor appearance by Peter Cushing, which automatically makes this movie in the very least watchable. I didn't get much from this storywise, but the gore was satisfying, the women were attractive, and I got to watch possibly my favorite actor do his thing and behead people. Can't say I was disappointed at all. When it comes to Hammer films this wouldn't come near my top 10 (top 20 would even be pushing it), but I can't say I blame anyone who says this is among their favorites. It has its charms, it has sex appeal, it has blood, and it has Peter Cushing. What more could a growing boy need?

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1991

After my stunning 1990 list that's bound to shock and amaze readers across the globe (I may only have 12 fans, but they're spread over 4 continents), I have prepared this next gem of a countdown. As I said in my previous list, this isn't some sort of attempt to compile the greatest movies of each year, I'm just naming my favorites. The precise ordering is pretty rough, so try not to take issue with where these are are placed. Half the time the tie-breaker amounts to little more than what title looks better next to a particular number. So keep that in mind, and enjoy reading.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1990

Oh my god, do you remember the '90s?!?! I REMEMBER THE '90S, I WAS THERE!!! Ahem, now that I've gotten that out of the way...

In the past, I made a top 25 favorites of 1990 list (being my birthyear, it seemed an appropriate place to start) but I never wound up finding myself fully committed to writing about 25 movies each year leading up to now. I tend to ramble when I'm writing, so that winds up amounting to thousands of words per post, and that's just too much work for something I consider little more than a fun hobby. So, instead of doing 25s, I'll just dial it back and write about the 10 movies of each of these years that I consider my favorites: the ones I return to most frequently, find myself thinking about the most, and just overall enjoy in whatever capacity. You may notice this list is different from the top 25. That is because my opinion is capable of changing. Let us proceed, but keep in mind my opinion and ranking changes pretty much every time I make a list like this, so try not to take issue with the exact placements. The numbers are more there for the sake of organization and build-up -- it's a lot more fun to work your way through a countdown than to just see 10 movies listed alphabetically, for example.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

VFX favorites: Alien (1979)

The first in a series of small posts highlighting my favorite VFX in movies. I'm not necessarily claiming these are the greatest ever, but they are the ones I find myself admiring the most.

Friday, May 19, 2017

How to make creepypasta

Have you ever tried creepypasta? Well Halloween is only 6 months away, so it's just about time you learn how to make it yourself! Today on the show, I'm going to be walking you through the process step-by-step, including the ingredients, so you can make your very own creepypasta. Yum!

So before we tell you what utensils and what ingredients you'll need, let's make one thing very clear: recipes are meant to be followed. You can't complain about your creepypasta not turning out right if you don't follow the instructions to the T. So keep that in mind and don't forget to get creative. Recipes are more just guidelines anyway, so have fun with it to make your very own creepypasta!

What utensils will you need?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Top 25 favorite Star Trek (The Original Series) episodes, part 2

It's been 2 weeks since my first post, so I apologize for that. Here's the link for that one: Link!!!


10. 'Space Seed'
Season 1, Episode 22

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Top 25 favorite Star Trek (The Original Series) episodes, part 1

Do I even need to introduce this? Okay.... I like TNG more, but that doesn't stop this from being one of the most fun, visually appealing, creative, important, and influential TV shows of all-time. There, now look at my list.

25. 'The Corbomite Maneuver'
Season 1, Episode 10

Saturday, April 29, 2017

7 things only a '90s kid could remember

Do you remember the '90s? I know I sure do. Me and my staff dug deep to compile this list to remind us all how great the '90s were. It was the greatest decade ever, and these 7 things only a '90s kid could remember will prove that!

1. Pokemon

Friday, April 28, 2017

5 awesome dog movies you have to see to believe!

With A Dog's Purpose in theaters, me and my staff have been thinking about dog movies and the awesome legacy they've had on movies. Who doesn't love dogs? They're perfect for movies, so we decided to compile this list of 5 awesome dog movies you have to see to believe!

5. Beethoven

Thursday, April 27, 2017

One simple question will tell us if you're a Starbucks or Tim Hortons girl

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you're a Starbucks or a Tim Hortons girl? I know I have. So me and my staff have devised a simple quiz that will help you decide if you are a Starbucks or Tim Hortons girl.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

6 INCREDIBLE behind-the-scenes Secrets about X-Men

With the release of Logan, we've now officially seen the last ever X-Men movie. So I think it's time we look back at this remarkable series and some of the shocking truths me and my staff have uncovered these past weeks.

X-Men are the best movies about mutants that I've ever seen, and you know they're your favorites, too. But did you know these 6 INCREDIBLE behind-the-scenes Secrets about X-Men??

1. The "X" in X-Men doesn't stand for anything

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top 50 favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, part 5

To make it easier for anyone out there who doesn't want to take the 2 minutes required to click on my previous countdowns and scroll through them to see what episodes made #50-11, I'm gonna take that grueling work away from you and put the list right here. If you want to know what I have to say about them and see what seasons they're from, just click on the following links. I'll put them right before the #50-11 list. But first, look at this picture of the cast of The Next Generation.

Part 1: #50-41
Part 2: #40-31
Part 3: #30-21
Part 4: #20-11


4 shocking examples of the Mandela Effect in movies

The Mandela Effect is something I read about yesterday, and I've been thinking about it every day since. What IS this false memory effect? It's a massive point of contention and one of the most controversial topics of conversation nowadays, so me and my staff have decide to way in on this by presenting 4 shocking examples of the Mandela Effect in movies.

Do you remember things in movies that never actually happened? So do we! Keep reading and prepare to be shocked!

1. Yoda

7 hilarious pictures - try not to laugh!

1. Just look at his face! Babies aren't supposed to look surprised. Whattttt

Monday, April 24, 2017

Top 5 movies with "THE" in their title

We all love movies. That's a fact. But have you ever considered how many movies have the word "the" in their title?? I'd say it's the single most common word in movies, but most people probably wouldn't even notice this. I'm just weird like that. So me and my staff have compiled a list dedicated to this crazy coincidence.

If you haven't seen these movies, watch them right away! Add them to your Netflix list.

Trigger warning: I tell it like it is.

5. The Handmaiden

Top 5 FACTS about Star Trek that will BLOW YOUR MIND

We all know and love Star Trek. It's got spaceships, aliens, jedi, I mean c'moooon, what's not to love about it? It's even got Chris Pine in it. Who doesn't love Chris Pine?? No one, that's who.

So in memory of the 8 year anniversary of the first Star Trek movie, me and my staff have compiled a list of the top 5 FACTS about Star Trek that will BLOW YOUR MIND!


1. Vulcans

Friday, April 21, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1982

This is definitely a top-heavy list , but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy everything on here. Hopefully you, the reader, can find something new to watch from this. There's definitely variety to this countdown. Alright, here we go.

The Entity

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top 50 favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, part 3

I really should write the intros before I do the rest of the post, because now I don't want to write anything. I'm tired.

Part 1
Part 2

30. 'Unification', Parts I & II
Season 5, Episodes 7 & 8

Friday, April 14, 2017

Top 50 favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, part 2

I've already talked about how much I love Star Trek: TNG. So let's not waste any more time and get on with the list.

Part 1 (#50 - 41) can be found here.

40. 'Relics'
Season 6, Episode 4

200 Items Or Less: Nekromantik (1987)

A few thoughts: By the director's own admission, this movie was made for the sole purpose of shocking people and defying censorship. As a proponent of free speech and anti-censorship, I do have to wonder if "just because" is enough of a reason for something to be made. This entire movie is basically a lose narrative centered on a guy who likes to disembowel corpses (collecting all their bits and pieces in jars, of course) and have sex with them -- the corpses, I mean, not the bits and pieces. Aaaand that's just about it. If you want to watch a collection of gross-out scenes that serve no purpose other than to be gross, well I've got the movie for you! If you think it would be fun to watch someone stab themselves in the stomach while ejaculating and bleeding out of a fake dick spliced with footage of someone field-dressing a rabbit, I can think of no other movie that could satisfy you quite like Nekromantik. As for me, I don't see the point in this movie, even though it's a supposed classic of the exploitation genre.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Top 50 favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, part 1

As much as I love the original Star Trek, it didn't take long for me to realize that The Next Generation was a significant step up for me. No, it's not because I have some fascination with the 1980s, nor is it because of the upgraded effects (I find the cheesiness of the original quite charming). It was more because it took something that was great and expanded on it without constantly retreating back into safe territory. This show took w little while to get its footing, but once it took off, I was more than hooked. The ideas were expansive, the characters more fleshed out -- this was its own show. It didn't need prior material to make it great, it was just great.

So before I keep gushing about how much i love this show in an unfocused way, let's get that focus back. I'm gonna hone in on my favorite episodes of the show. I planned to make a top 25 at first, but that would have been impossible for me to do without feeling like I was leaving out a lot of stuff I really loved. So here are 50 instead.

50. 'Redemption', Parts I & II
Season 4, Episode 26 / Season 5, Episode 1

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1981

Hey, guess what? I just made a list of my top 10 favorite movies of 1981. If you want to see it, look at it. It's right here. #7 will blow your miiind! You won't belieeeve what made #3!! #8 will make your jaw drop!!! #4 will give you AIDS!!!

Enter The Ninja

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1980

Trying to decide which year to start this with was difficult, but since I don't have much at all to say about most of my top 10s from the '50s, '60s, and '70s, the 1980s seemed like the next logical step. Now, this is the part where I mention the fact this is my list and I don't always like the same things as everyone else. You'll probably notice right away that, although my list does have most of the movies you might expect, there are plenty of other things that are a little...different. Liek ohmagawd, I'm so unique. So without any further hesitation, here's my thingy. My list thingy.

Altered States

Monday, March 27, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Starship Troopers (1997)

A few thoughts: Paul Verhouven, after the critical and financial flop that was Showgirls, shifted gears from the erotic back into his wheelhouse: action with a brain. Though some people will blindly call this movie propoganda, those are the same people I would call "idiots" as they've missed the entire point in the movie. This is an incredible satire and one of the most intelligently constructed action films of the 1990s, right alongside Total Recall. I love how Verhouven builds his worlds through the use of media within the film's universe. In this case, he does it through propoganda pro-war footage, which shapes the mindset of the characters. It's these kind of clever details that make this movie warrant multiple viewings. The action set pieces are great, and while there is an overuse of CG, the effects found here hold up surprisingly well even 20 years later. The acting is bad, but that's almost on purpose here. This is a movie with few faults, most of them functioning equally as well as strengths.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Quatermass And The Pit (1967)

A few thoughts: As the fan of Hammer and sci-fi that I am, this movie sounded like a match made in Heaven just for me. And while I did enjoy it and found the premise clever and interesting enough to keep my attention, I wasn't as invested in this one as I thought I might be. This is an incredibly '60s film filled with all the slick set designs and technology found in classic Star Trek and Bond movies. The acting is passable and the pacing is solid (with a few sluggish and hokey moments), but it's in the end of the movie that the film really establishes itself as something uniquely special. This movie goes totally bonkers in the last 20 minutes or so, and in the best sort of way. Though it doesn't stand up too well against some of the better science fiction shows and movies of the time, it would ultimately be incredibly unfair to pit (PUN!!!) this one up against titans like Star Trek, so make sure to go in with your expectations tempered, fully aware of the clunkiness of the script and outlandish nature of the film's finale.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Turbo Kid (2015)

A few thoughts: The first time I watched this movie, I really liked it. The second time, I kind of loved it. As you've probably noticed by the kind of movies I generally talk about, I have a deep love of '80s cinema. That, to me, was the decade that brought about some of the best genre films and shaped the future of the industry (for better or worse). So when I watch a new movie that doesn't just pay tribute to the '80s (which is pretty easy to do, really) but rather create its own environment and atmosphere that holds up as its own distinct vision and design, I get pretty excited. The chemistry between the two leads are the emotional core of the movie, and honestly it actually works here pretty well and much better than anticipated. I cared about what was going on, and wanted to see them get out alive. Michael Ironside gets to show everyone up as the main villain and he does an excellent job at being sinister -- as always. It's a bloody fun movie and I don't just mean that in the British sense.

Monday, March 20, 2017

200 Items Or Less: From Beyond (1986)

A few thoughts: The '80s marked the pinnacle of body horror and one of the central figures in this movement was Stuart Gordon, who directed this as well as Re-Animator. While I definitely prefer the latter and find it much more fun to watch, this is a movie that is very easy to love if you're fond of practical effects, makeup, and prosthetics. One of the other great things about this movie is its pacing, which never comes to a crawl and manages to keep things interesting throughout its entirety. The lighting and set design is fantastic, adding to the dark and weird atmosphere that makes this movie so special. Jeffrey Coombs and Ken Foree are memorable, as always, though they have both been better a couple of other times before. As far as horror actors go, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better on-screen pairing outside of the Universal classics and Hammer's earlier efforts. While I can't say I love it, this is a solid movie and one of the better Lovecraftian films.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

200 Items Or Less: First Blood (1982)

A few thoughts: As far as action stars go, few rank quite as high as Stallone. And of all his action roles, Rambo is his greatest character (no, I'm not counting Rocky). As the series progressed, the body count flew up higher and higher, but it's with this first movie that Rambo left the strongest impression, capturing the emotional side of a badass highly trained killer. This is one of the rare films of the '80s that succeeds both as an action movie and as an effective drama, giving Stallone more than enough material in both categories. The set pieces are stripped down (for the most part) and allow for creative battles, slowly escalating to all-out war. While I generally gravitate towards the ridiculous in regards to '80s action, the restraint found in this movie is both admirable and wholly successful in creating a realistic atmosphere out of something that might have otherwise been overblown action-porn. The cast is great, the writing is great, and the series this movie spawned was...well, never boring.