Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Halloween Reboot #3 The Amityville Horror




Ugh!  I was and still am not a fan of the 1979 Amityville Horror. How will the 2005 be any easier to watch? Well seeing as this a Platinum Dunes (Michael Bay and buddies who have previously remade/ ruined Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hitcher ) production I had my hopes set as low as possible.

PLOT

The movie starts with the murder of the DeFeo family by the husband Ronald. He shoots everyone. He then walks away only to be arrested and claims voices made him do it.


Then jump ahead a year and we meet the Lutz family (George, Kathy and three annoying kids per the movie trope) who is buying the house that the DeFeo murders took place. It was super cheap for some reason.
After the family moves into the house events start to occur. You the paranormal moving objects, door and window shenanigans, random drippy blood, noises and the like. Typical haunted house stuff. Then you have the daughter, Chelsea, befriending the ghost of the youngest dead DeFeo, Jodie. Jodie has Chelsea doing all sorts of crap to try and get her to kill herself so they can be afterlife buddies. This of course is troubling for the parents.


Speaking of parents, George begins to lose all his marbles while in the house. He is always cold. He lashes out verbally at the kids he loved and was caring to just days earlier. He begins to have horrible hallucinations of death people, blood, rituals and the like. He hates his dog who is constantly barking at the walls and boat house. He is nauseous. He has a luxurious beard growing as he loses his proverbial shit, thus making him look crazier and more and more like Ronald DeFeo.
"Ryan, can we get you to scowl more?
No. More scowl.
Yeah that's better! Now do that all film."

The wife/mom Kathy is trying to take all this in and seems to think this will pass. You know seeing your loving husband become a brooding abusive dick within a week of moving into a house isn’t troublesome or anything. Not to mention all the stupidity your daughter is doing trying to die to have a ghost friend. Even better when you look for help from a holy man and he is assaulted by house. Then the real kicker is that you discover that the house once belonged to  a crazy Reverend Jeremiah Ketcham who tortured Indians in the basement.
Creepy ghost preacher in the basement shot during music video-like sequence.
What did I just type?
Wait? He tortured Indians in the basement? Because why not? I mean who doesn’t have an indigenous culture torture dungeon in their basement right?

Anyway…
Kathy now has realized husband George must be possessed, right about the time he has decided to kill everyone in the house. You know just like the previous owner did. Even trying to do it at the exact same time 3:15 A.M. Kathy now has to save her family, stop George and survive undead Indian spirits. All within a calendar month.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

D&D post game 10-14-17


Well the party numbers were down a little this week. The paladin was off praying and the mage was off seeing to his books and cauldrons of grease. However, the bard was back in the group this week a tad bit rusty, but still available to help.
 
It has been a year since the events of the Stonekeep Harvest Festival and the night of terror that surrounded it. For all the celebrating it was also a time of reflection of the events of the previous year.
 
This time of year also drives up the occurrences of the dark arts in the region, being the autumnal equinox and all that. This year is no different. It seems the residents of Old Towne (the lower class and more slummy part of Stonekeep) are being troubled with some grisly murders. The Watch Captain and some guards approach the party to ask for assistance. The reputation for getting jobs done is what these guys are known for. It seems a possible cult has set up shop in Old Towne and the guards are looking for help discovering the location. They are very undermanned right now due to heighten security for the festival activities. You know people are all afraid of what happened last year and all that.
 
After a short information dump, the party sets off to Old Towne to investigate the sites of three ritualistic murders. The only problem is that they could really use a holy many or someone trained in some arcane knowledge to help decipher clues.  After some investigation, interviews and blind luck, the party discovers that these murders are part of a cult ritual that must involve some demon type stuff. They back track where the cultists are entering town and set an ambush.

Friday, October 13, 2017

D&D Pre-game 10-14-17


The sun set 26 hours ago.

A hunched figure shuffles along a small dirt path toward a small marble building.

Small objects fall from his person as his pace quickens.

As he approaches the building he stops and studies the door. It is made with twin pieces of polished marble. Set in the center of the door is a golden warhammer crested with a set of scales. He reaches toward the door and pulls his hand back as the skin begins to fizzle and pop.
He reaches out again toward the door and recites a series of phrases in a language none have heard in ages. The golden crest begins to melt and the stone doors slowly begin to swing open. The figure shuffles inside.
He looks upon a small single room. Two small statues of warriors in heavy armor flank the door. Scones line the walls.  A simple stone platform stands a few feet in front of the figure. Atop it rests a shrouded body. Behind this platform is a set of finely crafted and detailed plate armor.
The figure shuffles forward and then stops and smells the air.

“You can come out now. Just because you can travel the shadows doesn’t  mean you can mask your presence from me.”


A thin figure drops form the ceiling beside the suit of armor without making a sound. He lands with a flourish and bows before the figure in the doorway. He then stands, adjusts his purple and black judogi.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Halloween Reboot #2 The Blob





"The Blob" hit theaters in 1958. It was remade 30 years later. The original stars Steve McQueen in his I think his first movie role and is looked at now as a take on the horror of communism. A big red menace gobbling everything up and cannot be stopped, you know just like those pesky Commies back in the late 50’s. It was a B movie if there ever was one, albeit a fun B movie about killer space goo.

1988 rolls around and The Blob has been remade. It is still a pile of unstoppable goo, but is it a better B movie than the original?

THE PLOT

We are introduced to a sleepy town of Arborville, California a ski town during the off season. A few high school kids are introduced: the jock, the cheerleader, the nogoodnik, the small town sheriff, the uppity sheriff deputy, the local holy man, uppity nurse, sex crazy teen and all the other typical character tropes. The story centers on the cheerleader Meg and the nogoodnik Brian.

After the various character introductions a meteorite comes crashing to Earth. It is  discovered by a hobo who decides to poke at it with a stick. This leads to a small ball of snot attaching itself to his arm. The hobo eventually gets to the hospital where the ball of snot devours/dissolves most of him and the football jock before slipping away to slime more people. Of course Meg sees all this  and nobody else does and of course nobody believers her either. You know that old chestnut.


Now the blob continues to grow and devour people through dissolving them. More and more townsfolk get gobbled up and still the town is clueless. Well that is until the blob invades the local movie theater and drops from the ceiling on the crowd. No people can see the problem and the town begins to panic. Good thing that a special science branch of the military or a militarized branch of the CDC arrives. They are after the meteorite for science. When in actuality they are after the blob because…… it was a bioweapon. A bioweapon they shot into space to keep the planet safe. See the military knows what this is but not how to stop it. Space was the safest place for it, because why not right?

Your sweet top  and my totally rad hair will do what these scientists can't!

So….. the blob is out of control grabbing and melting everyone it can. The military cannot stop it. Meg and Brian discover the only weakness this killer amoeba has is cold. The townsfolk barricade themselves in a church and fend off the slime monster with fire extinguishers. Eventually, Brian remembers that the machine shop he works at (sometimes) has a truck hauling a trailer of liquid nitrogen for the local ski resort’s snow making machine. This of course leads to the big showdown where the blob meets the liquid nitrogen truck and Meg with a M-16. Well you can guess what probably happen next, especially if you have seen Terminator 2.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Real life news, nothing nerdy to see here.

I type this for me as a record for me to always remember this little face and the day she left us.

For the last almost 9 years Olivia has been a part of my family in whatever formation it is/was.


Olivia was a rescue from a previous relationship. She had been left for dead in an apartment with a broken jaw. So here is a little black and white cat with no  bones in the front of her lower jaw. This means that her tongue sometimes sticks out funny. When the previous  saw her little face she fell in love. When she heard the story of her abuse it sealed the deal and the little cat came home with us.
A week after she came home with us.

I, being the pessimist, figured she would be gone with a few weeks. She was very thin and very weak. That didn’t last.
Always slept in and around the X-mas presents.

A few days later and her appetite was fine as she switched to an easily eatable wet food diet. She was doing all the typical cat activities. More surprising was how she warmed up to us and other humans. One would think after having a person break your jaw/face and leave you might not be too keen on humans. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Olivia soon staked her claim on my lap, behind me on the couch and next to me (or on my pillow at times) in our bed. For a cat that the previous wanted to be her cat, it was anything but that.  

Fall and winter fireplace spot

High on catnip
Everything was swell with her for 8 years, then  earlier this year a respiratory infection wrecked a lung and she has since had some breathing issues. She had developed an abscess probably due to an aspiration event. Meds helped, but it was temporary fix. I knew it would be.


Three days ago (almost six months later) and she was having breathing issues again. A trip to the emergency vet clinic and she was stabilized, but  barley. Three days later and she was losing the fight. I had to make that decision that I knew was coming. It was tough and I hated it. Especially since, when going to see check on her, she would perk up and act like everything was going to be ok. She fought the issue, but it was a losing fight and every day she would get tired faster and look a little worse.

A choice and one I hate having to make.
A common sight during movies, or binge watching.
The cat with the little broken face and big heart is gone. The little cat on the night stand meowing to tell me it is time for bed. The little cat who sat behind my head while watching t.v. to swat me in the face with her tail to let me know she was there. The little cat that would dive in boxes, tubes and piles of wrapping paper at X-mas. The instigator. The red dot chaser. The little cat who could…until she couldn’t any longer.

Good bye “Little Face. “
Good bye Olivia.

All my naps on that ratty couch and most nights in bed this was the scene.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Halloween reboot #1 My Bloody Valentine



2009 vs. 1981


My Bloody Valentine

The original film was released in 1981 and was a Canadian horror import. It was one of a slew of early 80’s slasher cash-ins that also involved a holiday. Thank you Friday the 13th for stuff like this! It dealt with a crazed killer miner around a Valentine’s Day dance and a mining accident. The only redeeming bits are a fun shower victim and the fact that like 9 minutes were cut to get this movie from Canada to U.S. theaters. I have never seen these cut minutes, but I can only hope it was really bloody, naked stuff or in a prefect horror world both!

PLOT
It is Valentine’s Day 1997 in the mining town of Harmony. All is well until the Hanninger mine has an issue and a collapse happens trapping six miners. Days later the miners are found and five are dead and one Harry Warden is in a coma. After he is taken to the hospital it is realized that Harry murdered the other five miners with a pick axe to ensure he got all the air in the collapsed tunnel.
Jump ahead one year and Harry Warden awakens from his coma. He then goes looney in the hospital and kills a bunch of people. Then he disappears. Well and manages to leave a calling card of a human heart inside a heart shaped box of chocolates.


Another jump of ten years and one Tom Hanniger is back in town ( It is discovered it was his mistake that caused the mine collapse 10 years prior) to deal with the selling of the mine. Even better it is just about Valentine’s Day. Even better still….horrible murders begin again. Even better still….it is a guy dressed as miner with a gas mask covering his face and brandishing a pick axe. Harry Warden in back to murderize the citizens of Harmony again on Valentine’s Day or is he……….


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Halloween month! I'm doing reboot horror again...


Another October and I’m at it again going  over horror re-makes to see if they are better or worse (usually much worse) than their original counterparts.

This year I decided to hit "My Bloody Valentine", "The Mummy" (the most recent version with Tom Cruise), "The Blob" and "The Amityville Horror." 

Sure the original films are all very dated with  the original "My Blood Valentine" from 1981 being the most recent. This year I choose horror movies where the original film didn’t do a whole lot to impress me. Sure there are some standout moments in all of them, but I never really enjoyed the entirety of these movies.

So here I go into the world of horror movie reboots to see what they have to offer, or what is also known as ...
...Hollywood is so out of ideas and will remake anything for a buck.

First up is the 2009 "My Bloody Valentine."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mass Effect Andromeda, finally done.


Since I have had this game from release day, I thought it about high time I sit down and finish it.

Now I was/am a huge fan of the original Mass Effect Trilogy. I grew to love the characters, the story, the game play and even didn’t mind the crappy ending of the final act. It was a series about the journey and not the destination. A great sci-fi game and story told over three games.

Now Mass Effect Andromeda comes along. I dove in and started playing and then I trailed off and stopped, started and stopped again. I just didn’r have the love or drive like to play like the previous Mass Effect trilogy.

Here the setting is another galaxy 600 years away from Earth. The task is to colonize this place and all that fun stuff. After some ship, space and alien issues your craft arrives in the Andromeda galaxy. Now it is time to start exploring and start to colonize. Well that is until some group of aliens called the Kett begin to cause issues. Plus there is this wyrd robot tech on planets that needs to be interfaced with that might be the key to terraforming. Plus the majority of the big Arks (ships full of friendly known aliens) have gone missing during/ after their arrival in Andromeda. Your sibling is in a coma, your dad is dead, the  bureaucracy is all heads up their ass and you are the new Pathfinder for the mission.

You know all the staples needed to get you out exploring the galaxy.
The Kett. The bad guys for this game.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

IT review


Well by now most fans and cool people have seen the 90’s t.v. version of the novel ”IT.”

A tale told in 1958 with kids and then again 27 years later with adults. The gist of the tale is a town where kids get killed a lot then nothing and then years later it starts again. All this is centered around the town of Derry, Maine. The antagonist is  clown named Pennywise that is not what he appears to be. The clown is a fa├žade for some more sinister and ancient and he loves gobbling up kiddos!

A group of kid dubbed “The Losers Club” face their fear of the town, bullies and the clown. The they get older and have to deal with this all over again.


The 90’s version is pretty unwatchable now, but it gets the point of the story across.

IT has been remade for the big screen with an R rating and may be the best Stephen King book to movie adaptation yet (not saying much as the majority of his book-movies are pretty bad).

Alright then. “IT” review!

The year is 1988 and we are in Derry, Maine. Kids are going missing. Adults don’t seem to care. The summer has started. One group of kids calling themselves/ being dubbed the Losers Club have all seen scary stuff and a creepy clown. They also share a group of bullies who of course torment them. Of course the kids face their fears, their bully and the creepy not clown clown monster. We all kind of know what is going  on here, well unless you live under a rock or just hate horror movies, books or clowns.
 
IT” hits the high points of the book and 90’s mini-series (for those who haven’t read the tome) fairly well: clown. monster. kids. bullies. fear.
fear facing/strength in numbers.

IT” is way better than the 90’s version for sure, but the film is not perfect. There are a lot of glaring changes that I have no idea why they did them.

Neibolt House


Monday, September 18, 2017

The Weasel/ The Brain is gone



I'm a legend in this sport. If you don't believe me, ask me - Bobby Heenan



The perennial heel manager of the 80's wrestling world has left us, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.


He had a fantastic list of wrestlers he managed: Mr. Perfect, King Kong Bundy, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Big John Studd, Rick Flair, Lex Luger, Paul Orndorf and Andre "The Giant."
He also had a laundry list of real turds too: The Barbarian, The Missing Link, Red Rooster, Ron Bass, and The Brooklyn Brawler to name a few.


If his pre/ post match interviews weren't enough his ringside shenanigans were even better.

Then there was his turn in the announcing booth. Once he was behind the mic in the booth or at ringside that is where The Brain really shined. His commentary was varying levels of inappropriate, hysterical, nasty and terrible. Yet, it was exactly what wrestling needed. A heel doing commentary. You loved to hate him. You loved and hated what he was saying about wrestlers in the ring. It was just great stuff!


"Ya listen to me, you'll go to the top! You don't listen to me, you're never heard from again!"

"Parts Unknown, it usually means Downtown Newark."

"The Flying Jalepeno"
Bobby's name for Tito Santana's flying forearm finishing move

"You know they say money can't buy happiness. Give me 50 bucks and watch me smile."


"The two things that scare me most about wrestling fans is that they're allowed to vote and allowed   to reproduce."
"A friend in need is a pest."


"Oh, you humanoids... "
          in reference to the fans
"Oh my, what a GREAT scientific move! A punch to the head!!"


"You know that show of sportsmanship....the respect for each other, the enthusiasm they have....makes me sick!"


A great leader of heels and villains for many years.


R.I.P.  Weasel.


Image result for bobby the brain heenan


Thursday, September 14, 2017

D&D post game 9-9-17 part 2

The party may have caught the pirates in the fort  flatfooted, but that was soon to change!
 
The barbarian flew into a rage and charged a small group of pirates near a bunch of  cages. Since he was infused with the power of Gruumsh (he is a ½ orc )he didn’t notice the caged captives yelling for help. He was too focused on killing the group of people in front of him.
 
The rouge ran forward and was able to knock a pirate into a nearby bonfire. He had little time to appreciate the poor fool rolling around on fire before he was set up by the poor fool’s buddies.
 
The paladin summoned the power of the…moon!
Wait.
What did he do?
He channeled a moon bean that hurts people?
Ok then he did that!
 
The monk began dispatching the pirates along the wall. Speaking of the pirates on the wall. They turned the ballista inwards and began to fire at the people assaulting their fort. They must have been nervous because their aim was off.
 
The remainder of the camp surged forward to join the scrum! The quarter master unleashed pistol shots at the barbarian, but he didn’t seem to notice. The cook and bosun ran forwards near a group of fellow sea dogs. The captain kept up his inspiring words. The first mate began to yell for help from within the small cabin the captain had emerged. From the rear of the camp came a large human draped in armor made from crocodile skulls. He held a wicked looking trident in one hand and in the other, a chain leading to the collar of a giant gnarled and ugly crocodile.
Bosun Smee, the 1/2 ogre

 
It was this gentleman that the rouge fixated upon. He though if he could kill him with a few arrows then the croc might go crazy and start attack nearby pirates. A pair of arrows flew and did mention to strike the crocodile armored brute, but it only seemed to anger him.
 
The monk continued to defeat opponents along the wall. The barbarian killed, killed and killed some more. The paladin continued to harness the power of the moon to damage people. Well he also unleashed a devastating flamestrike ( from his newly acquired magical halberd )upon a small circle of pirates surrounding him that reduced them to cooked meat and bones.
 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

D&D post game 9-9-17 part 1...

The conclusion of the pirate adventure…

 
As the party prepared to make land fall a small ship was rapidly approaching. As the boat came closer it was seen flying the city flag of Stonekeep. Aboard the smaller ship was the paladin of Torm coming to aid in the coming battle. As he joined the party, Morgan “The Greaser” had pressing business back in town. The boarded the smaller ship to return to town.

The barbarian, monk, rouge and paladin began to trek through the forest, following the river, in hopes of quickly finding the pirate fort. After an hour of walking they heard a group of people approaching. The rouge, monk and paladin decided to hide and see who was approaching. The barbarian was having none of that and just waited for whomever it was to approach.

It was a small patrol of gentlemen dressed as one would think pirates to dress. The barbarian announced himself and they saw the monk who was not able to hide successfully. He said they were looking to join up for  a life of a river pirate and could be of some use aboard ships.

Of course the pirate patrol agreed to take them to their camp to meet with their captain. They also made note of all the fancy gear the two warriors were carrying. As they led them toward the fort, the pirates drew weapons and prepared to attack the unsuspecting warriors. That was until the rouge snuck up behind the pirates and dispatched one of them and gravely wounded another. The monk and barbarian turned with a confused look on their faces…until they say that the pirates had weapons drawn. Battle was joined and the patrol was quickly dispatched. They tossed the bodies off the small trail they were on and continued toward the fort.

A few miles later the trail led them to the pirate base. What they saw was a 20’-30’ moat surrounded by sharpened wooden poles. This was all in front of palisade walls that stood roughly 10’- 20’ high in spots. A single gate lead into and out of the fort. There were a pair of ballista on the front walls aiming toward the forest. Towers were at each of the four corners and it appeared several guard manned the walls. The forest was cleared for roughly a quarter mile around the fort. It was going to take some effort to approach without being seen and taking fire from the wall.

As they discussed how to deal with the approach the sun started to set. Another patrol left the fort and the party waited in the woods to ambush them. Ambush them they did! They cut down the second patrol quickly and then formulated a plan. The rouge was to sneak over the wall and open the gate. Simple.

Well nothing is ever simple.


Friday, September 8, 2017

D&D pre-game 9-9-17

If last game was any indication, then the pirates will preform about like this!


The fort is found.
It is full of salty dogs.

They will soon probably all be dead.

YAR!
Game weekend!




Thursday, September 7, 2017

Wizard World Chicago 2017 1st time!


Almost two Fridays ago I made my first trip to Wizard World Chicago.
I guess it is the mid-America version of an early Comic Con.


This giant Hulk statue was a greeter at the entryway.

Holy crap so much stuff to see. There was a lot of loot, comics, art and toys to gawk at.
Plus celebrities on display doing their signing bit.

A few shots of cos-play.
There were a lot more people around, but I was busier looking at stuff than people.


Never seen anyone as Mysterio before.
Neat-o!


Dude was Bazooka! My favorite costume at the convention that day.




"DIG IT!"
and 
"Hey brother!"

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mansions Madness 2nd Edition......ugh!

Remember way back when I reviewed Mansions of Madness 1st edition, or as I refer to it  the “ Unfriendly Tiny Card and Token House Search Monster Adventure” ?


Well if not here you go……(LINK HERE)

Not a Fantasy Flight game without a ton of tiny cards and tokens!
Now I got the chance to try the 2nd edition of this game?

Why?

Well my loving wife thinks it might be better/ more fun than the 1st edition.

Why?

Well I guess because it uses a computer application to run the run instead of a human.

WOW ! An app can tell me what is going on and ruin my game with rando encounters and such instead of a real human. We do live in the future!

So... of course we played it because I love my wife and maybe the computer will not be as harsh and annoying a person running the game. Right? An unthinking and unfeeling machine should go a little easier on us. Right?

Whatever.
It is not Fantasy Flight without "special" dice.
Mansions of Madness 2nd edition. It is the same game as pervious with the differences being the playable characters and needing a tablet or nearby PC to play the game. There are still the stacks of tiny cards and a ,albeit smaller, amount  of tokens to throw on the tiles. Yup the various locations are built using tiles again. There are a pile of figures for characters and monsters. There are…ugh…puzzles. This time the dice are official Fantasy Flight. They areD8’s with a few blanks a pentagram and a magnifying glass symbol on the sides. That feels more like it. Fantasy Flight and their normal dice with wacky symbols instead of numbers.