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Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Hateful Eight Roadshow Review: Hang er' High.

Would you pay $15 for a taste of the soundtrack and no ads? I'd pay $30. That's heaven to me.

Before it's release Thursday, The Hateful Eight is showing at about 40 major cities in 70 mm film. One of those theaters happened to be close to me (for once) and after 3 and a half hours I walked out of the theater breathless. H8 is so many things. A gritty western, a locked room mystery, and treatise on post civil war racial politics. I had a total fu^&ing blast. It should have been a sloppy disaster. It's bloody finale should have been overwrought and embarrassing.

But just like the vast majority of Tarantino joints; the acting is so good and the dialogue so funny and meaningful, you just don't see it for it's flaws. Because this movie is built around a vast web of total coincidences that just don't add up to anything but the most dramatic situation possible. And that's fine. I could watch Samuel Jackson yell at and torture a confederate general all. Day. Long.

He's a national treasure and he knows it.

The plot starts simple. A ex union cavalry man turned bounty hunter (Jackson) happens upon a stage coach carrying another bounty hunter (Kurt Russel in a mustache to end all mustaches) chained to Daisy Domergue. A woman with a bounty of $10,000 who he means to bring in alive. In order to escape a blizzard they make their way to a road house to wait it out. Chaos, of course, eventually ensues. Unsettling, bloody, laugh till' you cry, chaos.

The plot and it's twists are essential to loving this movie so I'll keep my mouth shut. Every actor gives 100% and you won't see the end coming. Trust me on that. Though I will say the monologue leading up to the film's intermission had me cackling and the audience applauding.

You can't put a score, or a price, on a movie that gets a room full of strangers that riveted. Let me be clear, it was a damn fine film. But someone needed to tell Quinton to cut 20 minutes. There's too many loving shots of Wyoming mountains and stage coaches. Seriously, those sequences last 8 minutes each. And I'm actually a big fan of the little time waster scenes here and there. Kurt Russel making coffee or Walton Goggins staking a guide rope to the outhouse in a blizzard, drew me in more than not. Your mileage may very.

Don't expect a masterpiece. Expect something funny, thought provoking, and fiercely unique.

Shut the door!!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Well that was unexpected...

I've recently dealt with a serious mold situation. Stuff was everywhere. The ceiling, the walls, and as it turns out... my most expensive posession:

My Legacy Classic Bed 


I was supposed to hold on to it for 10 years. I barely had 11 months. I couldn't afford to replace it and I didn't have a warranty. But on the off chance Furnitureland South just... knew a good guy to fix it, I shot them an email.

Long story short, I'm getting my bed and frame replaced for free. Christmas. Frikkin'. Miracle. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Still WAY into krampus

A week or so later, I'm still digging the Krampus soundtrack. So I'm also still digging Krapmus, here's a look at a gorgeous art book they put together:

Please note some are spoilers, but I think we both know that if you really wanted to see it, you would have by now.

Last Chance!

Now I wish it was animated...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Krampus Review: The Gift of Sacrifice

Sometimes, you see a trailer and you start rooting for it. You buy into the premise, you get a little excited, and you lean into your gal's (or guy's... no judgment) ear and whisper "I really hope that's good." Having loved Trick'r'treat as well as Adam Scott and David Koechner. I'm hardly ever one to look at a tomato-meter score (in this case idling around 63%) and question it. But this time? This time, I'm  suspect.

I had an amazing time with it. It's rare enough to have a horror film (PG-13 or otherwise) that manages to be funny only when it tries to be and the acting is mostly tolerable. But that's what it does. None of this is winding up in anyone's Oscar reel but it's refreshing that every member of the film's (curiously nameless) family comes off only slightly heightened. Which in a movie with homicidal CGI gingerbread men is a minor Christmas miracle.

But while nearly everyone turns in B+ performances; shout out to Emjay Anthony for giving a child with anger issues believable depth and likability, its the shadow of St. Nicholas that rules every quiet corner of dialogue. Every disembodied hoof fall. Every knock on the ceiling. After his spectacular entrance (my vote for best scene in the film) you can't wait for him to show up again. He's not some mindless slasher villain. He's a hunter. A mad, pagan, god... and he plays with his food.

I could a spend a paragraph just describing the ol' goat himself. But his design is a bit of a surprise, try to get a good look at what he's wearing over his face. It's implications are... unpleasent. The idea someone like him can be in a PG-13 rating is incredible. I've always said if you can avoid blood, you can get away with murder.

The jack in the box in particular is a prime metaphor for what Kampus does best. It looks silly at first, but after you see what it's capable of, I sure as hell changed my tune. It never goes full bore body horror even though it seems like it wants to. So I can see why a hardcore horror fan might wind up with a less meaty meal then they would have wanted... but this isn't for them.

This is for the 6-13 crowd. The kind of movie you catch flipping through channels and just sucks you in. Before you know it, years go by and you're having a beer with friends. Somehow this movie comes up and you flinch. You're all "That Christmas angel f88ked me sideways when I was a kid." It's that kind of movie. One that eases you into deeper waters. A hearty and original appetizer.

All capped off with an ending that would befit the finer hours of the Twilight Zone. Something that leaves you both satisfied, yet unnerved. A classic it ain't, but neither is it a guilty pleasure. It's far too competent for that. Once people grow up with it, I'm sure the Devin Faraci's of the future will enshrine it.

So grab a couple friends, maybe pre-game a little, and just have fun with it. 

This is from a really, REALLY, good scene. I'll leave you with that.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Where has the time gone?

Man... I severely underestimated the time I needed to review Fallout 4. Because Bethesda games aren't meant for one solitary playthrough. It's the 4th or 5th character you roll that let's you know where the game really stands in their pantheon.

So I'm deep into character #2 and I'm so close to finishing just what kind of review (it's fairly positive) I'm going to have here.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Don't you dare break my heart Tim Schafer.

*Update: ...well that was fast. 

There are games I've liked, and then there are games I've loved. And then there are games that helped me out of the darkest parts of my emotional life and let me be the person I am today. Which is someone I'd hang out with.

Psychonauts is one of those games, Psychonauts 2 is something I've been dying to see come to light for nigh on 8 years. I want it to be real, but so many moving parts have to line up for this "FIG" campaign to work. I honestly don't think Double Fine has it in them.

I think this is a Hail Mary to put FIG on the map and it smells too strongly of desperation. 3 million is a huge ask for P2, but I remember when Notch approached Schafer a few years back and 20 million wasn't enough!

I don't like this. Not one bit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

107 hours into Fallout 4 and someone finally said the magic word to me.

You're a prince Parker Quinn

"Retaughd." I guess I really was in Boston the whole time! Apologies to anyone who's back bristles at that word but... come on. If someone isn't calling someone "wikid retaughded" it's regionally inaccurate.

To an offensive degree.

Sense 8... does not suck.

After my gal pal made me sit through the first 3 episodes, I was seriously hooked. This is something that the Wachowskis either had barely anything to do with; or it's the best straight creative work of their entire careers.

The dialogue,while occasionally overwrought, always makes a decent point. The story has heart, laughs, bitchin' action choreography, and is just a confidant production across the aboard. The less you know about it the better, too.

I knew it was the Wachowskis' Netflix show, Korean kickboxing would factor in somehow, and that was it. I strongly suggest you give the first 3 a chance. It builds to one hell of a finale.