Hey! I’ve been watching a TON a movies this last week, some old and some new some good, some great, some well…anyway here’s my reviews of some of my most recent gambles! Have you seen any of these?
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (2019)
This movie has all the ingredients sprinkled just within it’s title alone to be possibly the greatest movie of all time! Add in the awesome Sam Elliot as “the man” who does the killing and you pretty much can’t lose right?! Well going into this you just might think it’s supposed to be some sorta’ over the top exploitation style action flick, luckily I watched the trailer and did a bit of poking around beforehand, cuz’ this one is pretty much the opposite of what you’d be lead to believe from it’s wild and crazy title. Knowing this already, I felt prepared for a good heartfelt drama, but instead was delivered a jumbled mess of a movie. A mash up of flashbacks to WW2, romanctic interludes from the past and back to the modern times of Sam Elliot’s now lonely existence should have held more much more weight. I was left wondering why even have these insane all too brief plot lines with Hitler and Bigfoot at all? None of them are very memorable and neither have much real time dedicated to them. In fact I’d have preferred the movie more if they’d have skipped all the ‘Bigfoot and Hitler’ stuff altogether. It’s well acted and looks great but it’s weak meandering storyline for a movie with a title like this leaves me quite perplexed. I was really looking forward to this one, but man towards the middle I was starting to feel like nodding off, while my mind began wandering, finding myself checking the clock and runtime. It fails a drama & an adventure flick and it leaves me pretty disappointed with what it could have been ultimately.
The Final Terror (1983)
This little largely forgotten slasher flick is officially my first blu ray disc I’ve ever purchased. It’s 20 steps up in film quality from it’s previous VHS release, much of what was shrouded in darkness by the terrible transfer, making many of the scenes so damn hard to watch. Well this cleaned up version is truly stunning, being a horror movie that takes place in the forests of the Pacific NW most of it’s appeal comes from the lush vast foliage captured here. It’s a sweet little survival flick that features both Daryl Hannah and Rachel Ward in early roles as part of a camping crew that heads off into the woods only to be pursued by an evil psycho backwoods stalker. The problem for some may be the extremely low body count and high survivor rate of the group of twenty somethings. I think it’s a pretty cool different take on the genre, the whole movie has a genuinely spooky atmosphere, creepy foreshadowing campfire tales, cool raft scenes and a pretty likable cast. We even get an over the top super duper young Joe Pantoliano. It’s also got a great slasher villain, who unfortunately gets far too little screen time. But If you’re looking for a beautiful looking 80’s survival flick with some slasher elements sprinkled about, The Final Terror will likely quench your thirst! Continue reading
Night’s Dominion is a brand new comic from Oni Press that came out today and the first issue is a pretty promising little start to what’s sure to be an epic adventure. I’ve been looking for a cool comic book to quench my thirst for fantasy adventure and stuff like Dungeons & Dragons for a while now. Well this book could end my search with a strong first issue that’s a ton of fun & feels like the opening evening of a great classic game of D&D. The book is written and perfectly illustrated by Ted Naifeh. His artwork and rich colors are quite impressive as well, setting the tone of mystery nicely in this first issue. Excellent artwork is almost always a determining factor of whether I’m gonna drop the cash for a new title. It’s also got some heft in the dialogue so it’s not a five minute blur which is always nice in this age of quick read comic books.
This debut issue essentially starts out much like most D&D campaigns, we’ve got a gang of interesting characters meeting in a dark, smokey tavern where an old bard proposes a dangerous journey in search of an ancient presumed treasure of legend. Of course it’s rumored this treasure is supposedly guarded by a menacing effigy. The group he proposes this to are an interesting bunch, a shady alchemist, his young assistant, an assassin and a bar maid who claims she’s secretly the greatest thief in all the kingdom.
It also in a way feels like a superhero story set in a classic fantasy world as by the end of the issue you’re introduced to a character that reminds you more of Batman than Aragorn. I totally dig it to as I’ve always thought of The Fellowship in the Lord of the Rings & the teams formed in a classic game of Dungeons and Dragons to feel much more like a midieval version of The Avengers. It’s also got some nice meat to it as well as interesting character motivations and cool subplots that drive the desire to get rich for this band of vagabonds.
So if you’re looking for a strong, playful new title to pick up this week I think Night’s Dominion is a super solid offering. I’m feeling a bit of an Indiana Jones meets Lord of the Rings type vibe to the whole thing. if that’s the case then we’re dead set on a path to a ton of fun and hopefully it will take us on a memorable trek through some fantastic and dangerous landscapes. I’ll drop the four bones for issue #2 next month!
This rad series called HamonQuest is fucking awesome. It takes a real life D&D game and puts it into an animated adventure as it’s happening! What a brilliant idea, I wish I would have thought of this. I always imagine what our games of D&D might look like if we could see them on screen with all of the ridiculous scenarios and decision making that ends up going on.
I always as a DM plan for a serious game but then when you get the actual group together and people begin smoking weed, drinking or being caught not paying attention you often times get a totally different storyline than what you may have originally planned for. Ultimate rpg buffoon-ery to the max. That’s fine by me too, I totally dig the unpredictable nature of a D&D session. Well HarmonQuest puts that grand idea into perspective in an incredibly entertaining way. Check this shit out!
Check out the whole series on youtube and get ready to laugh your ass off!
Back in 1986 a cool little series came out from Aricel / Adventure Comics for those D&D nerds called The Adventurers! It was a great comic book jam packed with swords, sorcery, monsters galore and yeah…ninjas. My brother collected this series and though I was a Marvel & DC kid at the time I’d often sneak his much more daring and graphic indie comics any chance he’d leave the house. It was interesting as a kid learning that there indeed was more out there than the “big two”. This rad cover is from the first issue of The Adventurers by Peter Hsu and make no mistake each issue had incredible painted covers. I’m going to have to dig these out again cuz I’m feeling the need for some serious adventures lately!
Oh man so today I heard we’re going to get an R-Rated version of the super bloated Peter jackson Hobbit films? This means really that “The Battle of the Five Armies” will have an extended R-Rated cut. This will likely feature a ton more outrageous CG, B.S. subplots and hey maybe if we’re lucky some really intense scenes of highly exaggerated digital computerized blood splatter!!
By now we all know that the three Hobbit movies were pretty much a bunch of steaming dragon shit. A cash grab rather than Jackson actually making a good movie. It also solidified my opinion on Jackson and my excitement for another Peter Jackson movie is at this point nonexistent. To think too that he was once one of my favorite film makers. It’s strange how fame and money can change someone’s film making abilities isn’t it?
Well if this news make you even more depressed about the Hobbit films then I suggest (if you haven’t already) check out Tolkien Editor where you can get the scoop on “The Tolkien Edit” of the flick. This cool blogger goes on to say “So, over the weekend, I decided to condense all three installments (An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies) into a single 4-hour feature that more closely resembled Tolkien’s original novel. Well, okay, it’s closer to 4.5 hours, but those are some long-ass credits! This new version was achieved through a series of major and minor cuts”
Sounds like a much needed change to the Hobbit movies. I really wonder if this new edit might actually work as the movie we should have gotten all along? I’m pumped to check this out as I can see a good movie somewhere in Jackson’s fat bloated mess of trilogy. I’ll give it a shot!!
Here’s the edited version of the barrel ride sequence, the bloated beyond belief original theatrical sequence gave me a major headache in the theater and still continues to piss me off to this day…but this here puts a smile on my face-check it..
Ho Ho Ho & the horror of it all! I just finished the novel “Krampus: The Yule Lord” by Brom the other evening and it was an awesome holiday journey! Now this could in fact be old news to a lot of you out there, but I was only recently turned on to Brom by way of this here book. Even though I LOVE the Krampus mythology to death I wasn’t quite sure about delving into the book until I read one of the endorsements on the back cover by easily one of my favorite comic book writers and artists of all time, Mike Mignola. Yeah the man most well known for Hellboy was quoted saying “Terrific. A wild ride–the idea sounded like a stretch and I’m not sure how many guys could have really pulled it off, but Brom sure has. I loved it. It hooked me and I couldn’t put it down. Plus, the illustrations are amazing.”
At that moment I knew I was going to love this book to death. Turns out Mignola was dead on (of course), the book is simply an incredible epic ride. It reads more like a comic book and in my mind I had grand visions of Guillermo Del Toro adapting this one to film. It tells a the story of a man named Jesse who’s a down on his luck, boozin’ musician in West Virginia who lives in a trailer and longs to win the love of his ex-wife and daughter back. On Christmas eve though this year, after a night of drinking he spots something quite strange in the sky above, what appears to be “Santa” flying in his sleigh trying to fight off some sort of demonic men. As Jesse is no believer in Santa, he’s downright perplexed until this sleigh from the sky crashes nearby and he’s face to face in the dead of a cold winter’s night with the creatures himself. As he fights for his life he also stumbles upon something else that has fallen from the mysterious sleigh, an odd bag that seemingly has no bottom to it.
This begins a tale full of mystery, monsters, folklore and grand adventure. Don’t be fooled by the whole “Santa Claus” aspect of it though, this isn’t a kid’s book by any means. This story is filled to the brim with gore, scares, suspense and foul backwoods language. It’s also got a some great twists and turns in the plot that will have you guessing ’til the very end. And it doesn’t hurt that Brom has a truly unique way with words that puts you right there in all of the creepy action as he paints the perfect picture quite literally. Yes, Brom is also quite an amazing artist getting his start with Dungeons & Dragons way back in the day(yeah how cool is that!), this book has some truly breathtaking art within. I’m eagerly awaiting checking out more of this guy’s work.
I’ve gotta say it- now is the time to pick this book up it’s a must read this holiday season and appeared first back in 2012. Once you jump into the first chapter you won’t be able to stop reading, especially if you’re a fan of Christmas horror and Krampus mythos. The story is huge, Brom did his homework on the vast Krampus folklore but it’s kept to a very personal level following Jesse (who I picture in my head as kind of like Nick Stahl in Carnivale every time the character opens his mouth). I hope Mignola adapts this to comic book form or someone picks this up as a movie. I’d love to say more about this book but alas I wouldn’t dare want to spoil all of the surprises-Pick this up now, grab some spiked egg nog, a candy cane and curl up by the fire this season you won’t be disappointed! The Krampus is on the move this holiday season!! Here’s a cool interview with Brom:
So I arrived at my weekly D&D session this last sunday, ready to play a brand new adventure, stepping down from the throne of being the Dungeonmaster & eager to finally play a game as a PC! As I entered the room I saw the usual suspects getting the table set up for the first night of the new game, however something was different, there were four Ipad/tablet stands set up on the table in from of each seat where there might usually be some folders a stack of papers and some players handbooks, monster manuals etc. At first sight it kinda shocked me but then I quickly realized my group had decided to make the tech savy switch from the middle ages straight into the modern world!
I had sat down with my stack of papers and newly hand drawn pictures of my character, the rest of the group said “Check out this app we are using for d&d now it’s amazing!” they all began to show me their characters, all neatly on their Ipad screens and I’ve gotta say it was quite impressive. No more pencil scribbles, wine stains or candle wax upon a weathered piece of paper. Press the tabs on the screen and it tells you all you need to know, instantly calculates your hit points, heck it even rolls a dice on screen for you when you press a tab! The next question was “are you gonna bring your Ipad and get this App or what?!” I responded that I spend enough time as it is looking at computer screens, smart phones and my Ipad at home that I wasn’t quite ready to integrate it into my world of D&D just yet!
So what’s the damn problem huh?! Should I just drop this old school pen and paper attitude already?! Get with the damn times with my D&D? I mean, does anyone even use pen and paper for table top RPG’s anymore?! Do people even roll real dice? The last game I DM’d I had a giant stack of papers, and a ton of books piled around me! It was a frantic scene of animated movement as I paged through books checking rules while role playing all the NPC’s like a damn madman! So now our new DM is equipped with an Ipad and stated the fact that in this day and age you don’t even need books to play the game anymore. It’s true, but part of that make me a bit sad in a way. There’s something quite charming about the old school pencil and paper game, where you might have to add and subtract on a piece of paper, erase some stuff with a rubbery eraser or write down your new magic item with a page number next to it.
In a way it feels like the only way to play for me, I almost imagine myself transported back to 1970’s when the game had some mystery behind it still and the religious fanatics thought it was causing people to worship Satan. But It clearly ain’t the 70’s and I suppose it’s only a matter of time before I get on the ol’ Ipad bandwagon and bring my trusty hi-tech tablet along to the game of swords & sorcery. Paper books are surely on their way to becoming extinct, all music now is downloaded, comics are headed to digital downloads and let’s face it there a motherfuckin’ “app” for pretty much anything and everything you can imagine these days. For the mean time, I know I’m dying breed of D&D player, a bit like I’m actually living in the dark ages and for the moment i’m going to relish in it, but man I gotta admit those Ipad apps sure do look slick…now if I really wanted to be shocked I guess I could have walked into this:
I had to take a moment here to plug some new power metal that I’m really diggin’ at the moment! The new Elvenking album recently dropped and just as I was getting ready to write them off completely as a weak ass emo band, they bring us a super tuff new album in form of ‘The Pagan Manifesto’. The Italian band started out back in 1997 as a rad folk/power metal band and through the years shifted their style to something much more mainstream, even changing their look to something more like an emo mall metal band. They got some shit for their shift in appearance and sound, but now here they are in 2014 bringing back the fantasy themed metal the way it should sound when you’re fighting a vicious band of orcs on a trail in a wicked dungeon!
It’s funny because in my D&D group we always play power metal stuff like, Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden & Rhapsody when we do battle-yeah cheezy I know, but it really does get the blood pumping and the natural twenties rollin’! If you play D&D give it a shot-your PC’s will dig it. Anyway, Elvenking has several awesome albums, like Heathreel, Wyrd & The Winter Wake. Check these guys out if you’re jonesin’ for some good catchy fantasy metal-here’s their latest video, my guess is that the band got hardcore into Game of Thrones and decided it was time to bring back the fantasy!
Here’s another one of my faves from the album:
I finally saw Knights of Badassdom last night, a movie that I’ve been waiting to be released for years. It first started filming iway back in 2010. So the question remains, was it worth the long, long wait? You Betcha!! I’ll go ahead right now and say that this flick will easily be taking ranks in my top ten list in 2014. It’s really too bad that this one is getting such a limited release theatrically, because it’s better than half the comedies that are coming out these days and it works incredibly well as a horror movie too. When I first checked it out I wasn’t aware of how much the movie truly dabbled in the horror, genre I thought it was pretty much a straight up comedy, so I was pleasantly surprised when the heads started rolling. Luckily I was able to catch it here in Portland, Oregon in the theater. I tried to see twice over the weekend but both times it was sold out. Finally we bough our tickets online! I was determined!
First though let me say the movie has a great cast, Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten, Summer Glau and Steve Zahn who I always love, serve up nonstop laughs from beginning to end. Dinklage has got to be the movie’s main draw and without him I really wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie nearly as much as I did. I almost wonder if they’ve been waiting to release the movie because of how popular Dinklage has gotten in last few years with Game of Thrones and his upcoming role as the main bad guy in X-men: Days of Future Past?
The plot is ridiculously simple, metal head Joe, True blood’s Ryan Kwanten is dumped by his girlfriend and to cheer him up his friends get him ridiculously wasted and bring him along to their weekend LARPing outing. Joe’s a bit resistant until he notices his guild has the incredibly cute Gwen (Summer Glau) playing as well. To get the games started the Wizard of the group played By Steve Zahn chants a spell from a strange mystic book he found on Ebay and somehow awakens a succubus that greatly resembles Joe’s ex. She doesn’t show up til later though and in between we get a full on play by play from Dinklage of how to kick ass in the game of Live Action Role Playing that’s one of the movie’s finest moments as he continues throughout to steal the show.
The fun really begins once the succubus emerges from the shadows of the forest. Suddenly the movie starts feeling more like The Army of Darkness than a straight forward comedy. Something that I really enjoyed was all of the old school special effects. The movie features a little bit of well placed CG but by the end of the movie you’ll be cheering in your seat as the evil succubus becomes seriously a little less than human!
The movie is all out fun, the perfect Saturday night popcorn flick and it also delivers one hell of an ending that’s more than worth waiting for. It’s jam packed with, laughs, action, monsters, heavy metal and plenty of surprises! This one was directed by Joel Lynch who also did the awesome Wrong Turn 2: Dead End. If you see this playing near you check it out, it’s got a limited theatrical run before it’s released on Feb. 11th via VOD. I also hear this version may have been heavily edited so that’s just a little more incentive to check out the DVD when it drops!
I recently just finished playing my first D&D 4th edition adventure, and though it was a good time I just personally wasn’t sold on the changes that were made to the game. I know 4th edition is old news now, but the reason why it took so long for us to finally try 4th was because we all liked 3.5 so much and the freedoms that come with those core rules. What they were trying to do with 4th was to make it more like playing a modern video game, which left for some stiff battle action amongst other things. It just wasn’t very interesting.
I’m getting ready to launch a new adventure where I will be the Dungeonmaster and we’ve all chosen to go back to playing version 3.5. Now though I play D&D more frequently than most gamers I’m not too up on all the new D&D merch and pre-written campaigns. All of our adventures are written by our DM, whomever that might be for each adventure. I like to think that we’re a creative bunch, we take it seriously but still like to socialize at times while playing, drink and smoke all while in the confines of the a candle lit basement. Just generally taking a real break from the real world.
So now I’ve just been hearing that D&D Next is the new thing for table top role players. So now just what the hell is D&D Next? It seems that Wizards of the Coast has had people downloading free play tests of this new edition. Supposedly “Next” is more of a throw back and combination of the previous editions. Thus far there is no firm release date for this new edition. I’ve heard some positive reviews for it, but at this point I’d have to be sold pretty hard on it to switch again to another system, obviously releasing new editions is a good way to make money but if it ain’t broken why try and fix it? here’s a few videos I found interesting about it!
Or if you have a few hours to spare you can watch this official game go down using D&D Next rules: