Friday, April 29, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Whew! Blog overhaul, and long overdue.

I put the archives at the bottom of the links sidebar and updated the "more about me" stuff. Since the "more about me" title thing seemed a little...self-gratifying, I changed it to just notable posts and called it something else more fitting. *grins* Much less self-absorbed that way. Heh.

Plus, since people seem to like my movie reviews...*is stymied by that one*...I separated them out and put them up in the sidebar. Now, I didn't list each time I mentioned a movie or even each time I said I liked one. However, I still ended up with more than I expected. Lordy.

'S hard to believe so many movies...and have so much to say about them.

*shifts uncomfortably*

At any rate, the overhaul is done, which is good. Hopefully, it looks good and works even better. I got tired of the "recent posts" list because, well, most of my posts are titled either Dear Charlie or some form of sidebar. 'S not like the previous posts thing will single any of them out, ne?


As for the job hunt? Oi. Joplin is scarce pickins. Well, it's not scarce pickins for certain types of jobs, but the ones I want?


So, I've done a couple of interviews, but not for jobs I particularly wanted. They were more...I, ne? I'm currently trying to get interviews in four places, none of which have advertised any open positions and none of which have called me back. *sighs* I always did like to smash my head repeatedly against an unforgiving, unyielding barricade.


I'm about ready to take just any job that comes around, though -- just to be working, you know? Oh, finances are okay, though I watch my balance with wary eyes. It's not that. Sure, income is wonderful, and I'll be in dire need sooner rather than later.

I just don't like being unemployed.

I feel...kinda useless. I do a little writing, but to be honest, I've done more reading than writing. Plus, I seem busier when I'm not working -- like I'm trying to make up for not working by working my ass off. *rolls eyes* Rather than enjoying this time between jobs, I'm driving myself nuts.

I've either been in school or working -- or both -- since I was about 13. This being without a job thing, though it's only been a couple of weeks, is driving me bugshit.


The job I want soon, God? Maybe? Yeah?


Before I drive myself totally bugshit and end up taking some lame job that will drive me bugshit in a new and unexpected way? Oi, or at least let me get that ol' writing jones that will keep my mind off the fact that I'm...*gulp, gasp*...UNEMPLOYED???


Yikes. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging before YOU go totally bugshit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dear Charlie:


Now, I'm not a gamer. The only video games I play well enough to play at all are hand-to-hand fight games like DBZ Budokai (any of the three, though I haven't actually played the third one yet).

So, when Dave brought home God of War, I determined that I would enjoy the voyeuristic pleasure of watching an actual gamer play a kick-ass game. a gamer. He's amazingly apt with all those combinations, ne? He can play it.

And this game is INCREDIBLE. The graphics are so good that it's hard to tell the animation from the game play. Usually, there's an obvious, visible difference between what the storyline gives you and how you actually play the game. On this game? Not so much. There's a difference, but it's very, very subtle -- and on first glance, there's no difference at all.

And the game play itself is incredible. Kratos (the guy you're using to battle the god of war, Ares), kicks some serious ass. He has the Blades of Chaos, two awesome blades that are attached to chains that are burned into his wrists. When he really gets into his combos, those blades swing out to like 15 or 20 feet to inflict some serious damage. Incredible.

You get help from the gods in the form of magical attacks -- Poseidon's Rage, Zeus's Fury, Medusa's Gaze, etc. They rock, too, but not even half as much as Kratos' own attacks.


Plus, he's hot. Heh.

He's merciless, half-crazy, strong as a god himelf, graceful and deadly in battle, in-frickin-credible. And bald. Dunno why that does it for me, but it does. A hottie with a shaved head (though his goatee is a little long for my tastes) and very little clothing? Oh, yeah.

JUST my type.

So, I'm having a great time watching Dave play, but you couldn't pay me money to play it myself. Or so I thought. And I was having a great time helping him solve the puzzles (it's a brain-buster as well as an "adventure" game) and watching him kick serious ass. And...I admit (much to my shame) that it's fun to watch Dave get frustrated. He's so...VOCAL.


But when he fell down into Hades, he got frustrated enough to want to sell the game to a second-hand store...and I had to step in.

See, he doesn't like platform games -- those games where you jump from one platform to another? HATES them. Something about his depth perception, he says. All I know is that while he can figure out a way to beat almost any monster, he can't jump 5 platforms without falling off. Frustrated the hell out of him. He was seriously stuck.

So, though I'm not a gamer, it was either give it a try...or not get to see what happens that's so bad to make Kratos feel the gods abandoned him and throw himself off the highest mountain in Olympus (how the game begins -- and isn't there something desperately exciting about playing a game with a character so damn doomed?).

Somehow, though I've never played a platform game (and had only minimally gotten the hang of Kratos' attacks), I got to the other thing that pissed the hell out of Dave -- a big, long spinning tower of blades that had to be climbed. If you so much as knicked your foot, you got thrown off and dropped all the way to the bottom, no matter how far up you got.

I did it after about ten tries.

Dave fought all the bad guys, then there was another spinning, bladed tower. We both tried it, and I got almost to the top before Dave took over and just jumped over that last blade. Cool. He finished that level, and I figured my part was done.


I ended up lucking my way through about sixty bazillion Kratos clones trying to kill his family. It makes sense in the theme of the game. But me lucking into killing them off doesn't. *snerks* See, this is one of those games where, if you're at the top of your form and do everything right, you'll win. Otherwise, you'll die.

Again, I figured that was the last of my involvement -- mainly because I KNEW I'd lucked out there. Again, not so.

I...defeated the god of war. Somehow (and NOT by luck this time), I beat Ares and killed a god.


Man, Dave wasn't kidding when he said that an hour of playing this game makes you feel like a man! I was SO STOKED! I'd defeated the god of war and...well...I can't really tell you the rest, just in case you wanna play it for yourself. But DAMN.

I killed the god of war!!

*does a little dance*

I also unlocked God Mode, so Dave can play thru it again at a harder level and with different gifts. Very cool. And I did it! Miss Non-Gamer! Miss Only-Plays-Fight-Games!

I kicked Ares' ASS!!

*does another dance*

So now...I'm tempted to go thru the whole game on my own. On the Heroic level, not the easy level. Dave refused to try the easy level, so I will, too. And then, I might even try it on God Mode.


I beat a game! I beat a game!!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Just watched The Amityville Horror. The remake, not the original. I've seen all of the Amityville movies, so why would this be any different, ne?

It's way cooler than the original, though I can't say at the moment if it's better. I haven't seen the original in so long, you know. I recognized what was similar or the same, but I don't really remember the feel of the other. I'd better remedy that by renting it and watching it again. Heh.

Now, I'm not a purist. I don't think the original of something is necessarily better. Neither do I always just LOOOOVE a remake. Some things are good because they're good. Other things can be improved.

If I were a purist, I'd have griped that they made a movie at all, as The Amityville Horror was originally a book. Heh.

But anyway....

If nothing else, I have no doubt that Ryan Reynolds as George Lutz was an inspired choice. I have no doubt that he was better than whoever played him in the original. Not because I remember any particular bad performance, mind you -- but that's just it. I don't remember who played George in the original. I don't remember the performance.

I have no doubt I'll remember Reynolds' performance for a long, long time.

I wondered how he'd do in this part. This is, you know, the man who played Berg in "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place" and the title role in National Lampoon's Van Wilder. And had that absolutely hysterical part in Blade: Trinity. Oh, man.

So, he's known for being a witty goof, for playing deadpan comedy, for always having an off-the-cuff remark. How, then, would he play the tortured, possessed, slowly-going-insane George Lutz?

The answer is surprisingly well. He sees himself doing these things, saying such horrible things, but you can see in his eyes that he doesn't know why. His general good nature fights to the very end, trying to remind him that he's not that kind of guy, that he wouldn't do any of this. The house's influence comes over him, but it can't quite overtake him....

The result is a sincere, almost aching confusion that almost hurts to watch.

It's supposed to be a scary movie, and I'm sure it is (I even jumped once, and that ain't no can of peaches), but I couldn't help but find myself wanting to pat the poor guy on the back, to comfort him, almost as if it were a Greek tragedy instead of a horror fest.

He plays the part so well that you can see the subtle difference in his behavior, but you can understand why they don't see it. You can see why his step-family thinks he's just mad at them, that he's just struggling to adjust to suddenly having 3 kids, that he's not fitting into their pre-made family and is acting out because of that. You can see why it takes them a bit to blame the house instead of blaming him.

Because he's such a nice, witty guy, you see.

Now, they obviously do a lot with this film that they couldn't with the first. Even just the make-up effects are amazing. The camera quirks are better still, but I don't think they overwhelm the atmosphere, like some people -- those purists I mentioned earlier -- may complain. It's not as different as, say, Star Wars 1 and 2 were from Star Wars 4, 5, and 6. They didn't go nuts with the effects, in other words.

Not that I haven't immensely enjoyed all the Star Wars flicks. *grins* Don't get me wrong. I can't WAIT for The Revenge of the Sith. *drools in anticipation* Oh, yeah, and there's a trailer for it before The Amityville Horror. Woo-hoo!

Anyway, I think it's Old Skool enough to placate the purists, despite the effects they did add in, but updated enough to appeal to a whole new audience. The folks I watched with seemed to enjoy it. It was so quiet in the theater that you could've heard a pin drop.

Until, of course, the girls uttered those short shrieks they're so fond of and the guys just about jumped out of their seats. Heh.


I did jump once, remember. That usually means the rest of the audience is frickin' terrified.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Dear Charlie:

My favorite teacher in college, Mr. Rodgers -- no, not that Mr. Rodgers, as this one is black, short, bald, and an absolute riot when he gets worked up -- once told me something I have never forgotten. He said I have a way of saying something totally new or very in-depth as if everyone already knew it, as if it should be self-evident, as if it were completely natural. He called it "seeing the bud", where most people only see the flower.

Mind you, I took this as high praise indeed, since I practically worship the man. He might well have had the biggest impact on my writing of anyone, including my beloved sister, whom I credit with almost everything else.

At any rate, this passage from Stephen King's Bag of Bones struck me as embodying that concept as I read it today. Yes, I know I should be blogging about my mini-vacation to Kentucky or washing dishes or doing any of a hundred useful things, but sometimes, you just gotta kick back and get your head on straight.

Nothing does that faster for me than reading this favorite. I honestly can't say which book is my all-time favorite -- Bag of Bones or Insomnia. Since they're sort of linked somehow, I tell myself I don't have to choose. Heh.

Back to the point. I really do have one.

Here's the passage:

It's like some guys with a big truck have pulled up in your driveway and are moving things into your basement. I can't explain it any better than that. You can't see what these things are because they're all wrapped up in padded quilts, but you don't need to see them. It's furniture, everything you need to make your house a home, make it just right, just the way you wanted it.

When the guys have hopped back into their truck and driven away, you go down to the basement and walk around (the way I went walking around Derry that late morning, slopping up hill and down dale in my old galoshes), touching a padded curve here, a padded angle there. Is this one a sofa? Is that one a dresser? It doesn't matter. Everything is there, the movers didn't forget a thing, and although you'll have to get it all upstairs yourself (straining your poor old back in the process, more often than not), that's okay. The important thing is that the delivery was complete.

Has there ever been a more perfect image of the idea phase of writing? He continues the metaphor during much of the book, revisiting it like shaking hands with an old friend come to help move all that furniture upstairs.

Now, my beloved sister has recently approached writing in a much more concrete, organized manner. Her method takes all those shapeless, vaguely identifiable pieces of furniture and arranges them into piles, neatly categorized and put into useable order before she ever schlubs a single piece upstairs. Even then, she puts them all in their perfect positions before starting to remove the padding, layer by layer, until the perfect furniture suite is revealed in all its glory.

But I like Stephen King's method better for me for now. I may eat my words later (and have done so several times since I started writing "seriously"), but for now, I like surfacing from the basement with a half-revealed piece of furniture and putting it where I think it goes. Sure, you probably have to do some rearranging when you get it all up there, but I always have a pretty general idea where to put things, and while there's always a bit of last-minute unwrapping to do -- a lamp here, a vase there, a mirror over there -- and some minor tweaking to angles and distance from the window and such, I don't mind making more than one pass through.

Sounds like a lot of work now that I've typed it all out, though. Whew.

But, again back to the point, that furniture-moving metaphor just screamed at me as I read it. I found myself murmuring, "He sees the bud! He sees the bud!" Heh, yes, I've read this book before. While the metaphor struck me as particularly brilliant, it didn't connect with that remembered compliment (if it was a compliment) until just today.

Apparently, the boys in the basement have shuffled the furniture around for me, ne?

So, I'm currently a little past that delivery part of a work in progress. I believe the boys in the basement have delivered all the furniture for me. I've already run my hands over it and pondered if this is a headboard or that an oversized recliner. In fact, I've tugged at a bit of that padding and revealed a few pieces, even going so far as hauling a starter piece upstairs, putting the brand-spankin-new 35" flat-screen TV right smack in the middle of the living room and plugging it in to better watch what my sister calls "the DVD in my head" from which we take the dictation of a story.

In other words, I have this GREAT idea for a book, and I've already written the prologue. I already know most of my characters' general personalities and how they relate to each other. And I have a pretty good idea of who The Shape hovering in the darkened corners is and what he looks like and what drives him. And his weapon of choice, of course. I have all the furniture.

I just have to bend my back to it and schlub all that furniture upstairs. Sweet.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


I'm back from Kentucky. Unfortunately, after the loooooong drive, I'm totally zonked, so I'll have to actually BLOG tomorrow. Should be lots of fun. I had a great time, ne?

Anywho...*passes out*

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Marvelous Sidebar:

I watched Sin City Sunday night.

Yes, I know it's been days, but I've been debating just how to put my thoughts. I also wanted to read some other reviews to see if anyone else saw what I saw, ne?

I can honestly say that Sin City is, if not my favorite movie of all time, at least easily within the Top Five. I love everything, from the style right down to the wardrobe.

I love that the mens' trench coats are always blowing in the wind, while the trees and various background remains still. I love that there are only occasional flashes of color, but that the black-n-white is BOLD -- not washed out but lifted directly from the graphic novel pages that birthed this film. I love that the film is narrated, much like the narrative wording at the top of many comic books, but that the characters speak in much the same language -- dames and broads, cannons and hard-tops, raunchy and cheesy.

I love that they pulled absolutely no punches when it came to violence or blood. This film is a moving graphic novel, and its gore-factor is treated accordingly. It is a comic book come to life, an homage to film noire and gumshoe detectives and murder mayhem. The style and color and speech and feel is just as gritty and caustic as those hardboiled oldies, but this flick is NOT dated to that particular decade.

Case in point, the cities all look modern-day, and while most of the cars are classics in mint condition, there's also a Ferrari (I believe) that is straight out of today's market place. The mode of speech is straight '40s cop novel, but people tote everything from revolvers to AK-47s. It's an amalgam of all times, ne?

But what I love most of all (and what no one I've read has mentioned) is that the stories, separate though they may be, intersect like real life. These characters cross paths. It's a big city, and they're separate people with separate agendas and they never actually meet...but their paths cross. And it's that common denominator that brings the whole damn thing together.


And it's FUNNY. I mean, those with weak stomachs might not like it. Those with little tolerance for cheese will probably roll their eyes. And I'm sure someone will probably grumble about choices of weapons or effectiveness of the weapons chosen or yada-yada. But those people wouldn't be happy at any movie, so screw 'em. *laughs*

This movie is AMAZING.

It's VIOLENT. It's dramatic. It's cheesy and beautiful and stylish and corny and obvious and twisted. I jumped a couple of times (no, it's not a scary movie by any stretch), and I laughed out loud more times than I can count. I winced A LOT (boy, more people get nutted and in more inventive ways in this flick than in any I've ever seen!), groaned a couple of times, and even sat staring in astonishment once at the sheer magnificence of a particular scene.

Amazing. Truly an amazing movie, from concept to follow-thru.

Graphic. Graphic with a purpose. So very innovative.

Beautiful in its own way.

Definitely one of my favorite movies of all time. I can't wait to see it again!

Dear Charlie:

Going out of town -- in fact, out of state -- for the week/weekend. I'm visiting friends while I have the chance. When I get another job, I won't have vacation time right away, obviously, so if I'm gonna go see people, it'd better be now.

I have several employment opportunities on the table, just waiting to be picked up by the proper parties. I've applied for everything from a radio DJ to a city WIC clerk. *big grin* Something will fit, I have no doubt.

Until then, I'm gonna get the hell outta Dodge and chill at my bud's house.


Friday, April 08, 2005


Despite being financially shafted for nearly 5 years and being treated as less than the common underling while doing 4 people's jobs, not counting my own, for much of that time, I can't say the last 5 years were wasted.

Not when I get e-mails like this as a parting gift:

May you have good health, a long life, and prosperity. May good fortune follow you throughout your days. Your presence has been a blessing to those around you and you have gained much face with the company.


Thanks, man. I really, really needed that.

Don't worry...I told him so in a return e-mail. I also got a nifty card with more such kind remarks. So, as I said, the entirety of these 5 years have not been wasted.

Though...hopefully the financial shafting is nearly over. 'S getting SORE back there.


Dear Charlie:


It's such a deceptively simple word. It's not REMODELING. It's not knocking down walls or any of that heavy-duty stuff. In this case, it's not even ripping up carpet or tile.

It should be a simple thing to remove some wallpaper and paint the walls a nice off-white, ne?

It ain't.

First, there wasn't one layer of wallpaper. There were FIVE. And the last layer was some fabricy stuff that puffed forest green particles of death into the air every time I scraped over it.

We finally diluted some fabric softener and hosed those stubborn spots down. MUCH easier after that.

Of course, it made a gluey, sticky, raunchy mess of the carpet, but hey. Omelettes and eggs, folks.

Then, there were the mildew stains. Mind you, I knew we'd have to KILZ the walls. You don't take down 5 layers of ancient wallpaper and have any kind of consistency in the dry wall coloring. But in three distinct places, there were splotches of this blackish mildew stuff.

Please, God, say it ain't the dreaded Black Mold!!

Anyway, I dumped out the fabric softener water and sprayed on some bleach water. That worked surprisingly well, much to the baseboard's annoyance.

At this point, the living room smelled both Spring Fresh and Citrus bleachy. And dusty and a little gluey.

Bring out the spackle. To this moment, I don't know how we didn't end up in a spackle fight with me, my dad, and Dave all in the same room, but peace reigned and only a couple of blotches of cream-cheese lookin' stuff ended up on the baseboards and in the carpet.

Although Dave -- for reasons known only to him -- swiped two big, white stripes across his cheeks (he's black, so they really stood out) and started singing "What makes the red man red?" until he suddenly stopped, stood upright, shouted, "It's DRYING!!" and ran for the bathroom to wash it off.

Heh. That was fun.

So, now that all that crap's off the wall (and Dave's face), we scooped up all the wet, nasty wallpaper shavings, wiped down the baseboards, and vacuumed. And vacuumed again. And emptied out the bag and vacuumed again. Ironically enough, by the time we were done, the carpet was almost luxuriously soft and nice-smelling from all the fabric softener.

Who knew?

To protect said fluffy-soft carpet, we laid down sheets of plastic. Problem is, we'd moved out all the furniture and trinkets and such and had no way to hold the frickin plastic down. *facepalms*

Pilfering various heavy items from other rooms, we solved that little problem and started KILZing the walls.

Now, this stuff is POTENT. Whew! And, since I was volunteered to paint around the dark wood trim (with glaring white KILZ), thanks to my anal retentive attention to detail, I got to crawl around the room, face rarely more than a foot away from that open can of combination concealer/primer/base-coat for a good two hours or more.

Heh. Loopy ain't the word, folks.

But we got all the KILZ on the walls, then Dad painted the ceiling -- peeling off unfortunate chunks of the texturing in the process and cursing with the kind of proficiency only jarheads and construction workers can manage. Okay, he was in the Army, not the Marines, but you get the picture. Especially since he's also a construction worker.

That done, he tackled the entertainment center corner while I finished off the trim. He replaced the speaker in that corner (God, I love my theater surround sound) and rehooked that wire, then we both hefted that big, heavy chunk of wood back to its rightful spot in the corner and called it good for the night.

Tonight, I'll go around the trim again with wall color, and Saturday, Dad'll probably have the walls done in less than an hour.

Not a bad day's work, ne? But I'm SORE. Up and down the ladder, lift and push furniture, crouch and paint and don't get any on the wood trim....

However, for the first time EVER, I walked across the living room carpet bare-footed, and I gotta agree wholeheartedly with Dave.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Ah, WrestleMania.

Yes, I know WrestleMania was actually Sunday, but I've been...busy. Yeah, that's it. Busy.


At any rate, I did watch WrestleMania XXI, and it was absolutely insane. What a riot! And, man, is Triple H a bleeder! *laughs*

Okay...of the several matches and all the spectacle, five matches really stood out to me. I enjoyed them all, and while I could give you folks a play-by-play with little remorse, I simply don't have that kind of time at the moment. Heh.

So, in no particular order, my favorite Wrestlemania XXI matches:

Money in the Bank

With Jericho, Christian (and Tomko, of course), Edge, Kane, Shelton, and Chris "The Wolverine" Benoit in the ring, you know things will get nasty real quick. Hell, you know that just from Kane being in the ring. Heh.

But the best part of this whole match was Shelton running up that ladder and clothes-lining Jericho (I think it was Jericho, anyway) off the other side. That was CRAZY! Many, many kudos for that kind of balls.

I kinda hoped Benoit would get that briefcase, but they really messed up his arm and shoulder. I can't believe most of these guys were tearing it up on RAW the very next night. Dave says the RAW episode after Wrestlemania is always awesome, but that they usually don't use the headliners, as they're pretty beat up. These guys were all beat up, but they wrestled the next night anyway.

*hats off*

Hollywood Hulk Hogan's "One Last Match!"

I remember watching Hulk Hogan as a kid. Yup, back when it was WWF and a lot more meaty a lot more often. Heh.

Needless to say, it was great to see this icon in the ring the day after he was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. Very cool. Very nostalgic. Very noisy. Heh.

Kurt Angle vs. Shawn "HBK" Michaels

Lemme get this out of my system before getting to the nitty-gritty. Oh, my God, does the HeartBreak Kid look SWEET in shiny black pants! *dies*

Okay. Now that the fangirl squealing is over, I gotta say that Kurt Angle puts on one helluva good show for pay-per-view. Between him and HBK -- who is WELL known as "The Show Stopper" -- this may have been my favorite match. Both are capable of complete spectacle, but both are actually incredible wrestlers.

Add in an announcer's table that didn't break when it was supposed to, some Sweet Chin Music that bloodied ol' Angle's chops, and those nifty shiny-black pants, and GutterBall is a happy girl.

The Legend vs. The Legend Killer

That's right, folks. The Undertaker versus Randy Orton. The Dead Man against the self-proclaimed Future of the Business.

That match was nasty. *big grin* Orton tried everything he had to get one-up on the Dead Man, but some legends just can't be slain. A couple of RKOs, a foiled choke slam, 'Taker going Old Skool on the top rope, and just a bunch of sheer physical brutality, and it all came down to one thing:

Don't piss in another man's pool.

Heh. Orton tried to pull a Tombstone Pile Driver on the Undertaker. Yup. The Last Ride. That's 'Taker's finishing move, and the little whipper-snapper thought to defeat the Legend with his own exit. *laughs* Of course, the ultimate veteran just flipped Orton around and did his own Last Ride, finishing off the Legend Killer for good and extending his WrestleMania winning streak to 13-0.

Rest in Peace.

Triple H vs. Batista

Perhaps the most heavily anticipated match of the night, it was certainly the most bloody, which automatically puts it on my top 5 list. *grins*

Of course, there's the sheer spectacle of Motorhead's live performance of Triple H's theme song. *laughs* He pays for them to show up and do "The Game" live for every pay-per-view performance. What a riot. Great stuff!

Anyway, then there's the sheer spectacle of Batista. That man is just a big, mean slab of meat. They don't call him "The Animal" for nothing. He's vicious. Please note the fact that Triple H was bleeding like a stuck pig at the end of the match, while Batista was only colorfully painted with his opponent's blood. He didn't even get a paper cut.


This was a heavy, physical match. I'm actually a little leery of Batista's pure strength. There was one moment where I simply sat and boggled for a moment at the show.

He hefted at Triple H for some kind of throw, but Triple H tried to counter by shifting his balance. Usually, that works, as the choreography allows for counters and a bit of free-styling. This time, though I watched Triple H shift to counter, Batista barely even slowed. All that muscle bunched, he grunted a bit, and he did the throw anyway.


To be honest, I'm not sure if that was actually part of the choreography or not. I mean, I've seen that kind of counter a hundred times, and it usually ends up with the liftee thwapping the lifter, ne? But all that muscle flexed...and Batista was just unstoppable.

Good stuff.

Then Triple H got slammed face first into the pole outside the ring, the bleeding started, and it just went straight to Hell from there. *laughs* Man, his face was painted red by the time the ref finally counted him out. Hair was all blood-soaked, face totally red, blood all down his neck to his chest. Yeah.

He bled so much that Batista was smeared with it from picking him up. Woo-hoo!

Anyway, after a Batista Bomb that shook the pillars of Heaven, it was all over, and "The Animal" wrested the coveted title away from "The Game". Very, very cool.

Too bad I don't get to watch RAW more often to see these guys work on a regular basis!

Whew! So that's my take on my favorite matches from The Spectacle. Like I said, there were several other killer matches -- Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio, Big Show vs. Akebono (which actually frightened me a little, as it was a sumo-style match and I had to see Big Show in a glorified diaper...gah....), a hilarious stunt with Stone Cold and Rowdy Roddy Piper and a helluva lot of beer...all sorts of good stuff. But I'll stick to these as my top 5 favorites and let everyone else talk about the rest.


Monday, April 04, 2005

Dear Charlie:

I miss football season.

But, on a brighter note, I just bought Freddy vs. Jason for $1 this weekend. A dollar! Mind you, it's not cinema fantastique, but it's certainly amusing and bloody-gory. I love that kind of thing.

Now, before I get into the yeas and nays, I'll direct you to a "real" review by James Berardinelli. I read his reviews partly because he doesn't seem to like too many movies and partly because he's snarky and lots of fun. I read him to remind myself why I do like movies, ne?

However, he has an excellent point:

The central problem with Freddy Vs. Jason is that the movie spends too much time with idiotic exposition and lame character development. Sorry, but the stars of this movie are Freddy and Jason, not a big-breasted teenager and her dopey boyfriend. Unfortunately, the screenplay demands that the humans get more screen time that [sic.] the badass killers the fans are in theaters to see.

Utter truth, there. I really couldn't have cared less if any of the "people" lived or died. In fact, the only one I really gave a patoot about was Linderman, the geeky kid who got drunk and found his cajones to tell off the chick who always dissed him. That kid did some character arc!

But the bad guys...oh, the bad guys!

They're the blood-spewers I came to see!

Jason, the juggernaut killing machine. Freddy, the one-lining author of dreamscape mayhem. Oh, yeah. So much potential for destruction!

Too bad they both need human fodder to even bother showing up. *sigh*

Now, before I begin, I want to touch on the one thing they did screamingly right. They took two bloody, gory, R-rated franchises and combined them R-rated gore-fest. Bravo, NewLine.

I'm serious. This was my main problem with Alien vs. Predator. They took out the cussing and the blood and human violence and made it a luke-warm PG-13 flick.

Not so with this one. Blood, near-nudity, cussing, drinking, more blood, more violence than you can shake a censor at...and that lovely R-rating. Very well done.

At any rate, the premise for this movie is actually pretty clever. The parents and police and media in Springwood -- home of the notorious Elm Street -- have managed to practically erase Freddy from history. With a combination of judicious editing of the newspaper archives and not-so-judicious drugging of anyone having nightmares of the chuckling menace, they have suppressed all memory of Freddy's reign of terror to the point where he has no power to return. The result is four years of perfect peace.

And a few dozen comatose patients in the local nut-hatch and a couple of wrongfully committed teens, of course. But hey! That whole omelettes to eggs ratio....

At any rate, disgusted with this state of affairs, Freddy calls upon the sleeping Jason in the guise of the infamous Mrs. Vorhees, telling him that the children on Elm Street have been very bad and need to be punished. Thus wound up, this perfect time-bomb shambles off to Elm Street and begins a killing spree destined to remind the adults and some of the kiddies of that He Who Shall Remain Nameless killer they'd tried to hard to repress.

All's well for Freddy...until he realizes that he can't turn off the juggernaut. Worse still, said juggernaut steals some of Freddy's thunder -- and a few of his victims.

Enter...the battles.

*happy sigh*

If they could have just forgotten about the human fodder at this point, everything would have been lovely. First, they fight in Freddy's dream realm, where he hopes Jason is stoppable. Then, thanks to some half-ass plotting by the teenagers in question, they pull Freddy into the real world where they hope he's stoppable.

Heh, let the carnage begin.

You gotta give ol' Jason his props. While a retarded hulk of a shambling mass, he's pretty damn inventive. Sure, he prefers the machete. But that doesn't mean he won't use rebar and a window frame if said implements are at hand.

And you gotta give Freddy -- no, Robert Englund -- credit, too. I'm sure a lot of it was stunt double work and camera editing, but he had to have worked out a bit for some of that fighting. I mean, he's QUICK with those razors of his! He put a hurt on Jason. Simple as that.

It was quickness and cunning against strength and mindless forward momentum.

A beautiful thing.

And then the teenagers got involved again, along with a few references to penis envy -- Freddy has those little "butter knives" while Jason has this biiiig thing -- and then it went back to the favored screen shots of the two bad-asses ripping each other apart. Literally.

Good times.

Who wins? Who loses? Do the annoying teens survive?

Does it really matter?

But I gotta agree with Mr. Berardinelli. The human fodder sucked. I'd have rated it a bit higher, as I thoroughly enjoy the flick out of sheer loyalty and sick fascination, but the human fodder really sucked.