Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Beware...I LIVE!

Run!  Run!  Run!

Yes, kiddies, much like my old pal SINISTAR, I LIVE!  Gosh, it's been forever since I updated this Blog.  Where do I start?

My "Only Watch Movies I Haven't Seen" Challenge from 2015 was mostly a success.  I think I made it to September before I realized I was punishing myself more than I was doing something worthwhile.  On the bright side, I did watch a ton of new things and it was an interesting learning experience.

I got a new job.  I moved back to Wisconsin from Texas.  I survived my first Winter back in The Frozen Tundra.  The 2nd Winter is imminent.  That's how long it's been...

I haven't been writing much, but that's about to change.  I took a side gig writing for!

It's only been a few weeks, but it has given me a chance to flex the old (atrophied) writing muscles again!  The articles I've published for them so far include:

Yes, so far I'm getting a reputation as "The Birthday Guy," but don't worry.  I have a bunch of cool ideas for articles and features that I'll be writing over the next few months.  Check back soon!

I Hunger...

Monday, February 16, 2015

UPDATE: The "Only Watch Movies You've Never Seen In 2015" Challenge

I'm two months in to this new year and so far I've kept my pledge to only watch films I've never seen before in 2015.  It's been difficult, in some ways, but I think the fact that being the father of a toddler has me watching less movies in general, so it's not the arduous torture I originally thought it was going to be.

This past weekend was pretty tough, though.  I have a longstanding tradition of watching FRIDAY THE 13th films on Friday the 13th and this year I wasn't able to.  I had to settle for watching a FRIDAY fan film on YouTube.

I honestly can't see I would recommend it, but at least the tradition was somewhat kept alive...and fairly.

Valentine's Day was tough, too, because I generally watch MY BLOODY VALENTINE or the MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D remake on February 14th.  Nope.  No dice.  I did, however, manage to watch a couple of old animated Disney movies that I'd surprisingly never seen because they were running on Disney channel over the weekend.

There's a website I found called Letterboxd that allows you to review and rate and track the movies you watch and I've been keeping a log there.

You can check out my Letterboxd profile at:

It's a pretty nifty website.  I recommend it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The "Only Watch Movies You've Never Seen...In 2015" Challenge!

At some point in late 2014, I realized how much time I spend sitting on the couch watching movies that I've already seen before.  It really doesn't matter what time of the day or night TOMBSTONE or DIE HARD or ALIENS or GOODFELLAS comes on, if I flip past it, I'm probably going to watch it.  But should I?  I can quote nearly every word of these films, verbatim.  Do I really need to watch them again?

That got me thinking...

What if I forced myself to only watch movies I haven't seen before?  Can it be done?  I decided to find out...

It's January 12th, 2015 and so far I haven't watched a single movie that I've seen before.  Believe it or not, it's already been pretty tough.

For the first few days of the year, I was traveling.  Did a lot of driving.  Saw family.  Enjoyed the holidays.  I avoided temptation.  Once I got back to Houston, though, I decided to see if I was up to the challenge.  I rented THE EQUALIZER.  I really enjoyed it.  One new, unseen movie down.  How many to go?

 [ Criminals Beware of Old Guys Working At Home Depot ]

This past weekend, DirecTV turned on all of its movie channels for free.  All of them.  ALL of them.  Thank God the NFL Playoffs were on.  So many movies.  So many I'd seen before.  On Saturday I rented THE GUEST from The Redbox.  I wanted to watch GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY again, but nope...I went with THE GUEST.  It was pretty good.  And I hadn't seen it.
 [ As Dio Said, "Don't Talk To Strangers."  Don't Let Them Stay In Your House, Either ]
I took THE GUEST back on Saturday night and rented FINDERS KEEPERS.  I haven't seen a good killer doll movie in a while.  I guess I still haven't.  It was okay.  I didn't realize it was made for SyFy Channel.  I probably would have skipped it, had I known that...  But hey, hadn't seen it!  ;)

[ Chucky's Place In The Pantheon of Killer Dolls Is Still Pretty Safe ]

On Sunday morning I was looking for something to watch and DirecTV was offering a lot of classics I'd already seen.  Wait, what's that?  SNAKE EYES with Nicolas Cage?  Never saw it!  I guess we'll go with that...  Not bad.  But oh God.  So.  Much.  Overacting.

[ How The F*** Did This Guy Win A Best Actor Oscar? ]
Last night I was flipping through the guide and I saw the aforementioned ALIENS.  I saw CADDYSHACK.  I saw OVER THE TOP.  PREDATOR.  Jesus...  I want to watch ALL OF THESE MOVIES ZOMG!

I settled for DJANGO UNCHAINED.  Why?  Because I hadn't seen it.

[ The D Is Silent... ]
It's going to be a long year, but I think I can do this...

At least until Friday the 13th comes around and there's a marathon on!  Am I crazy?  We're about to find out...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 1st, 2014 - The DAY OF DREDD! Oh, and also my birthday...

Greetings, citizens!  It's October 1st, 2014 -- The first annual DAY OF DREDD!

As you may or may not know, I'm a big Judge Dredd fan!  I have been ever since I first heard Anthrax's I AM THE LAW back in my early metal days and became enamored with 2000A.D.'s badass MegaCity MegaCop!

 [ Respect the badge!  He earned it with is blood!] 

Despite Sylvester Stallone's attempt to kill the franchise's film possibilities with JUDGE DREDD (1995), a new generation of moviegoers was treated to Karl Urban's far superior DREDD in 2012!  Unfortunately, despite amazing reviews, DREDD didn't perform very well at the Box Office.  It has, however, found new life on home video and streaming.

Is it enough for the studio to greenlight a sequel?  Sadly, not yet...


We want a DREDD Sequel, damn it!  What can we do about it?

1) Sign the DREDD Sequel Campaign Petition!
2) Join the "Make a DREDD Sequel Facebook Group!"
3) Follow @DreddSequel on Twitter!
4) Tweet with the #DayOfDredd hashtag!
5) Buy DREDD on Blu-Ray at (Just $7.88!) today!
6) Watch the movie on Amazon streaming or Netflix streaming today!

We can do this!  Let's go out there and make it happen!

Check out the DAY OF DREDD online coverage so far!


P.S.  It's my birthday.  If you won't do this for DREDD, do it as a gift for me!  ;)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Five (Or So) Ways To Fix Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Everyone wants to like Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but people seem to be giving up on it in droves.  It's boring, they say.  It's not going anywhere, they say.  WHEN IS SOMETHING INTERESTING GOING TO HAPPEN FOR GOD'S SAKE??? they say.

Well, here are five (or so) ideas for spicing up the show before it gets cancelled like every other cool geek offering that has potential but can't seem to find an audience fast enough.

Let's start with...

1. Introduce An Evil Counter Agency - MI6 had SPECTRE. The FBI and CIA had the KGB. S.H.I.E.L.D. needs its A.I.M or its HYDRA.  Seriously.  There are no evil empires anymore.  This isn't the cold war of the 80's.  Without a persistent counter threat, who really cares what S.H.I.E.L.D does?  I don't.   A.I.M. was introduced in Iron Man 3 (albeit terribly).  Use them! 

Now that we have our A.I.M, start an arms race with them!  That would lead us to cool new gadgets.  Espionage.  Maybe even the Dreadnought -  A.I.M.'s killer robot sent to kill Nick Fury!  No way this thing is going to be used in any other Marvel movie, so why not break it out?  It's rad!

 [ Is it just me or does Nick Fury look kind of pale? ]

Speaking of the super powerful Dreadnought, why doesn't this show have any...

2. Super Villains - Where are they?  We already don't have a recognizable (or feared) counter agency, so WTF is S.H.I.E.L.D protecting us from?  How about some villains? There are thousands of them in the Mighty Marvel Universe that, like the Dreadnought, won't ever be used in a major Marvel film.  How about Hydro Man?  Whirlwind?  The (already used and still alive) Abomination?  The Blizzard?  Oooh...The Taskmaster!  Give the S.H.I.E.L.D team something cool and menacing to take down!

 [ He TASKS me!]

Why?  Because, hey, once we have Super Villains, we'd have to lock them in...

3. The Vault - Super villain prison extraordinaire!  Would make for an interesting base camp when they're not roaming around in the plane or messing with the Helicarrier. Lots of cool opportunities to introduce villains, do training and otherwise showcase the cool backstory of the Marvel mythos.  The place is cool!

And if you have the vault, you have...

4. The Guardsman -  We've got Iron Man.  That led us to Iron Patriot.  Shouldn't that lead us to The Guardsman?  Why not give one of the S.H.I.E.L.D agents the chance to don the Guardsman armor when the aforementioned super villains or Dreadnought shows up?  This S.H.I.E.L.D team needs some firepower to be relevant in a world that has Loki and other big bads in it.  This would be a way to give it to them! It worked on Deep Space Nine, right?  Can you say "Defiant?"
[ Iron who? ]

Which leads me to the final thing this show needs...

5. A Super Hero S.H.I.E.L.D Agent - Hawkeye and The Black Widow aren't available regularly because they are Avengers (and also too expensive to pay to be on a TV show)now, so why not introduce another super powered agent?  Dare I suggest...Spider Woman?  How cool would she be?  Pretty darned cool, methinks!  And, I know I sound like a broken record here, but there's no way she's ever going to get her own movie or T.V. show, so why not put her to good use?  Mix it up!

[ Because you KNOW they'd go with the black costume... ]

There you have it: five (or so) ways to spice up Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The bottom line is, this thing has Marvel's name on it and it's trying to play off of the success of The Avengers.  That means you need to "supe" it up!  Pronto!

Get on it, Joss...before it's too late!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thoughts on Mother's Day...

Thanks to the wonders of social media, each Mother's Day I get to see hundreds of friends, co-workers, family and acquaintances on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ wish their mothers the very best; and each Mother's Day I am reminded of how my own mother was taken from me way too soon.  Losing your mother at any age is tough, I imagine, but losing my mother before I had a chance to turn 30 or have children of my own was (and continues to be) especially difficult for me.

I have come to realize, however, that despite my loss, I have been extremely fortunate to have so many other great mothers and motherly figures in my life. 

My sister Carmen has always been like a mother to me.  She babysat my brother and I as kids.  She wrote me letters and sent me money when I was in college.  She took me out for my first legal beer after I turned 21.  She's always been there for me and continues to be there for me, even as I'm nearing 40.

My stepmother, Audrey, always took care of us on the weekends when my brother and I would visit our dad.  She was (and probably still is) a great cook and a good listener and she took good care of my father and kept him off our cases whenever he got in a particularly nasty mood.

My friend John's mother, Diane, was like a mother to me growing up.  I practically lived at John's house after school and on the weekends and Diane always set a place for me at their dinner table and kept a box of my favorite cereal in their pantry for weekend breakfasts.  I felt like family whenever I stayed in their home.

My sister Kelly, my sister Lee Ann, my Aunt Joan, my Grandma Murphy...all great mothers and mother figures for me growing up.  I've watched my friends from High School and College become mothers over the years and I've enjoyed seeing the joy and happiness they get from being parents. 
My mothers-in-law, Judi and Linda, both welcomed me into their families with open arms and, despite my faults, loved me like their own sons.  Mothers really are wonderfully forgiving, aren't they?  A mother's love makes the world go 'round.

Finally, I am thankful for my wife, Heidi...a mother to be.  We are expecting our first child in the next month or two and I couldn't be happier.  I know she will be a great mother, because she already is.

I guess what I'm trying to say is "thank you" to all of the great mothers in my life!  I miss my mother, but I feel so lucky to have (and have had) so many other great mothers help me make it through these past 40 years...

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween 2012 Horror Movies on Netflix Streaming!

♫ Happy, Happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween! Happy, Happy Halloween, Sil-ver Sham-rock! ♫

Halloween is here! AMC is having Fear Fest all week, but if you have Netflix streaming and you're looking for a horror movie to watch that isn't all cut to hell and full of commercials, you're in luck!

The selection's not as good as last year, but there's still a pretty good variety of great horror movies you can check out on Netflix streaming to give your 2012 Halloween some thrills and chills...

Horror Classics:

Creature From The Black Lagoon - They're remaking this.  Why?  It's perfect the way it is...
The Mummy - Boris Karloff...  'Nuff said!
The Last House on the Left - Wes Craven's disturbing 1972 original.
The Car - Underrated!  Made for TV movie about the Devil's ride!
I Spit on Your Grave - Not for everyone.  Brutal.  Still a classic exploitation horror movie.

John Carpenter (The Master of Horror) Films:

The Fog - Jamie Lee Curtis helps Carpenter again in a non HALLOWEEN role.
The Thing - One of the five greatest movies of all time, in my opinion.
Prince of Darkness - An underrated gem.
Ghosts of Mars - Gets better with age.
Village of the Damned - Christopher Reeve, Mark Hamill and Kirstie Alley!

Bonus: Non-Horror Classic Assault on Precinct 13!

Non-Glittery Vampire Movies:

Nosferatu (1929) - The original Max Shreck silent classic.
Dracula (1931) - Bela Lugosi's finest (darkest?) hour...
From Dusk 'Til Dawn (1, 2 and 3) - Quentin Tarrantino's new classic!
Dracula 2000 - Wes Craven has a lot of movies on this list...
Vamp - You need to see it to believe it.

Anthology Horror:

Creepshow - The 80s classic still holds up today...
Creepshow 2 - Not quite as good as the original, but still pretty cool!
Waxwork - Lesser known gem. This one's a lot of fun!
Tales From The Hood - Terror from the bad side of town!
Black Sabbath (1963) - Three tales of terror from Horror's classic era.

Bonus: Every season of THE TWILIGHT ZONE is on Netflix streaming!


The Burning - One of many (and among the best) Friday the 13th inspired imitators.
Candyman - The original Tony Todd classic!
Satan's Little Helper - Underrated horror gem from 2004 with a Halloween theme...
Midnight Movie - Straight to video slasher fare with a Nightmare on Elm Street feel.
Thankskilling - A killer turkey?  You gotta see this one to believe it...


Do a search for "Zombies" and you'll find all kinds of crap.  And by crap, I mean CRAP.
Land of the Dead - is certainly watchable if you're desperate.
Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies - is surprisingly fun for a low budget, straight to video flick!
BONUS: Seasons 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead...

Modern and Miscellaneous:

Insidious - One of the scariest PG-13 horror movies ever...
The Relic - Classic creature feature!
Mimic - Another classic creature feature...
The Keep - Another long out of print gem.
The Hazing - A modern horror gem with Evil Dead type roots.
Slither - Creepy, modern creature feature.  Good stuff!

Honorable Mention/Bonus Tracks:

Leprechaun: In The Hood - Oh yeah...
Pretty much every HELLRAISER movie from part 3 through 10!

There you have it!  Netflix Streaming is a haven for horror.  If you're in the mood for thrills and chills, you won't have to look far...

Happy Halloween, everyone! Have a good fright!