by Robison Wells
It's 10:45pm, and I'm hepped up on Lortab in an effort to kill a migraine. However, I feel like I ought to blog. If I don't, then that would mean four of the last five weeks have been blogless, and frankly, that's disgusting. If I don't blog despite being strung out on narcotics then the terrorists win.
Long time readers of this blog will know what happens when I have nothing to talk about: I talk about media that I have recently consumed. Here it is.Movies:Night of the Living Dead
I'm not a fan of horror movies--I'm not a fan of Halloween generally--but I am a fan of film, and Night of the Living Dead was one of those movies that I was always embarrassed to say I'd never seen. While it's no Citizen Kane, it is surprisingly good cinema, despite the fact that it's "just a zombie movie".
My wife and I tried to watch it, but she gets nightmares just by hearing the word "zombie", let alone watching a movie about them. So, we turned it off after thirty minutes. However, my fat croupy baby went through a long phase of staying awake all night, and he and I finished the rest of it in the middle of the night.
I have to say: it has one of the most awesome movie twists ever which I won't mention because you should rent the movie and see it for yourself. Unless you're the type of person who doesn't like seeing the undead feasting on the living. (If you're that type: boo on you.)
But the best part of the Night of the Living Dead experience is that a few days after we watched it, I was out of town and my wife was home alone with the kids. At three in the morning she was watching TV with the aforementioned croupy baby, when the power transformer in the backyard exploded! She searched the dark house for a flashlight, but there was none to be found (because my four-year-old son likes to play with them and waste the batteries) (and because I'm not big into all that preparedness nonsense). So, at 3am she was wandering the pitch-black house looking for a light, and she suddenly remembered: ZOMBIES! So, she and croupy baby barricaded themselves into the kids' room, her back against the closed door, and they all sang Primary songs until dawn.
(It's a good thing she hadn't watched the entire movie, particularly the part where the little girl zombie eats her mom. That probably wouldn't have helped things.) (Also, I just spoiled the neat twist that I mentioned a moment ago. Spoiler Alert! Retroactively!)Nosferatu
I discovered that my dad has a collection of old, public domain monster movies, including the 1922 vampire silent film, Nosferatu. It was quite awesome, with terrible effects and crazy acting and awesome makeup and stop-motion filming that probably filled 1922 audiences with horror (but looked like a third grade art project now).
Ladies, please note: Nosferatu neither sparkled nor played baseball. Instead, he looked like this. My favorite scene:
Bella: I love you more than everything else in the world combined. Isn't that enough?The Last Starfighter
Nosferatu: Blaaarg! [Eats Bella]
This movie scared the pants off me as a kid, but also filled me with complete delight. The premise: a kid plays a video game (the stand-up, arcade variety) so well that aliens come down to earth and ask him to be a starfighter! That's every little boy's dream! It's still my dream. I swear, one day the Joint Chiefs of Staff are going to knock on my door and say "Son, America's hopes rest on your shoulders. We can't get through that mine field without your ace sweeping abilities!" And then I'd sweep too fast, trying to beat the record, and I'd die.
Anyway, did you know that The Last Starfighter stars The Music Man!? What the heck? And he takes his face off!
Here's a possible flaw in the aliens' plan. They have a huge Star League, consisting on hundreds of planets, and they're trying to defend it with ONLY NINE STARFIGHTERS! What a dumb strategy. Fortunately, the enemy's "armada" consists of one crappy ship and twenty crappy fighters, and it only takes one starfighter to destroy them all. So, I guess nine starfighters is kind of overkill.TV:The Prisoner
I had high hopes for this. I loved the old series (though it was often campy and always weird). And the remake stars Ian McKellen (Magneto in X-Men
), Jim Caviezel (Christ in The Mel Gibson Movie That I Can't Recall the Title Of
), and What's Her Name, The Homely Girl Who Played Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre
Well, I'm sorry to report that The Prisoner has a serious case of The Borings. Here's the problem: The Prisoner is supposed to be a very sinister paranoia show where we don't know what's real and what's not. However, this re-imagined version has come up with an interesting twist (the people in The Village seem to believe that it is the only place on earth), but they've tried so hard to hammer that home that they've take all the sinisterness out of the story. When he escapes, he is stopped by...heat exhaustion? The big bubble shows up once, but it manages to be unexciting.
There's no apparent double agents and no elaborate schemes. It's just: everyone lives in The Village; Magneto seems a little shady; people have dreams that maybe they lived somewhere else at some point, but--meh.
I have stopped watching it.V
I also had high hopes for this, because apparently I like remakes of paranoia shows.
While it definitely has some problems, it still manages to be entertaining. The problems are: sometimes-bland characters, sometimes-unrealistic decision making, and a tendency to make the plotline override common sense. (For example: sometimes the Visitors have amazingly awesome surveillance that sees everything, and sometimes they miss obvious, stupid things. Whatever the plot needs at the moment.)
But, it's good popcorn fun. I'm not sure if this is a new series or a mini-series. I kind of hope it's the latter. I'd like there to be a solid conclusion.
Books:A Lot of Whitney Stuff
I have boxes and boxes of Whitney nominees littering my living room, and I've been reading through them all. Some are quite good. Some, not so much. I don't like to review Whitney books (and thus, most LDS fiction) since I am a judge. But, suffice it to say: there's a book that you probably haven't heard of that is marvelous. And there's a book that you hear about all the time that is: meh. And there are others.The Once and Future King
The only non-Whitney book that I've read recently is The Once and Future King
. It's about King Arthur. I've read a lot of King Arthur books, and I've seen a lot of King Arthur movies, and this is about the most bland of them all. Granted, this is the one that most of them spring from--this isn't trying to be King Arthur With A Twist--and so I shouldn't fault it. But, man. I was disappointed. Captain Picard has led me astray for the last time.If the previous post has amazed with its brilliance, then you have really low standards. You'd be a perfect follower of mine! Join me on Twitter.