Sleepy Hollow Sundays-The legend of Smurfy Hollow

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2013

So Hefty and some other Smurfs are smurfing around the campfire-wait is that dirty or not? That’s what comes from using the same word for so many things. Anyways Narrator Smurf comes up and yes apparently there really is such a character at least for this show. He tells the story of the legend of Smurfy Hollow as it changes from CGI to old style animation to appease old stuck in the mud, grumpy people. So years ago they had a smurfberry collecting contest thingiemasomething. Brainy had won nine years in a row and was bragging that he’d win again. Gutsy smurf says he will this year. In case you missed the new movies Gutsy is the Scottish themed Smurf. SO the contest starts and everyone avoids Smurfy Hollow because apparently of you cross the covered bridge to get there you will end up running into all kinds of nasty trouble-oh, dear. Gutsy follows Brainy and is shocked to see him go across the bridge and over to Smurfy Hollow. Gutsy follows and is shocked to see that that there is a huge stash of Smurfberries growing there that Brainy has never told anyone else about-the skunk. Gutsy decides to play a trick and creates a fake headless horseman then he scares Brainy off and collects tons of Smurf berries for himself. He hauls them back to the village to claim his prize. All goes well until everyone wonders where Brainy is. Gutsy feels guiltsy I mean guilty and goes to looks for him. Smurfette follows as she suspects something is up. Gutsy tells her what he did and they both go to Smurfy Hollow to find dorky I mean Brainy. They find him in one of Gargamel’s traps and of course then they both get trapped like a couple of smurfheaded Smurfs. Azrael the cat sees them and goes off to inform Gargamel. The smurfs thinks they are up smurf creek without a paddle until Gutsy and Briany get loose, but the baddies arrive before they can free Smurfette so they take cover nearby. Gargamel gets Smurfette out but she escapes. The baddies go after the three Smurfs and then headless horseman appears as a glowing green thingie and chases them. The Smurfs head to the covered bridge with Garagamel and Azrael behind them and the headless horseman chasing behind. The Smurfs make it across the bridge-whew I was worried. Gargamel and Azrael make it to the bridge but unwisely taunt the headless, glowing guy who trows a glowy pumpkin at them and the evil guy and his cat fall in the water-ker-splash. The three Smurfs get back to the village and they are all nice to each other now and all if forgiven. Off to the far side we see that Papa Smurf magically transformed a goat in the headless horseman to help the smurfs and he turns it back into a goat. We go back to our CGI Smurfs who get scared by bats and roll the them Smurfy credits.

The negatives-Not so much. If you didn’t like the Smurfs already you won’t like this, but you probably know that.

The positives-Fans of the old Smurfs will like this with it’s flashback and the 1981 style animation. It also captures the feel of the original series. My kids and I all enjoyed this one.

We get the voices of Hank Azaria, Tom Kane and even Frank Welker in this one so a good story and some voice acting talent. Can’t go wrong with that.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-Parasitica

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2013

I’m taking on an episode of the newer cartoons series from Nickelodeon because…

1-It’s good to take a look at what the turtles have been up to in recent years.

2-I just saw this episode the other day when the kids were watching it so it’s fresh in my mind.

No one listens to Mikey because in this version he has stupid ideas. In a fight with a giant wasp he inadvertently causes Leo to get stung. Without it’s stinger the wasp dies. They find an egg they believe to have come from the wasp and Leo insists they take it back to the HQ. Really Leo has been infected and is being controlled by the weird insect egg. He begins to change. Raph notices the change, but doesn’t have time to get help. He gets bit by Leo and changes. The next morning Donnie and Mikey see the other tow have changed and try to get the doors closed to trap them in so they can have time to think up a plan. Donnie comes up with a formula for an antidote but is bitten by Leo before he can finish. He tells Mikey to finish it and inject all of them. Mikey agrees and knocks out Donnie once he turns, but not before Donnie bites Mikey. Donnie changes and goes to Raph and Leo. They ask about Mikey and Donnie says he bit him so he will be there soon and he is. He seems to have turned, but it’s a fake and he injects them with the antidote. They go normal and Mikey explains how he managed to finish the antidote and says it may cause drowsiness. So all but Mikey fall over and of course the egg hatches to release three giant wasps. Mikey holds them off until the others awaken and they take down the insect invaders. Mikey brags and gets hammered by Leo for using his favorite comic as toilet paper. Roll the animated credits.

The negatives-While I generally like this cartoon I don’t like that they make Mikey too dumb, that’s not really needed.

The positives-This is definitely a break from them fighting the usual suspects. I like that it comes down to  Donnie and Mikey to fend off their stronger brothers and solve the problem. There is also a  Star Trek influenced cartoon that Leo likes but the others make fun of. The segment in this episode is hilarious.

 

 

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Theme weeks for December and beyond

For December I hope to take on two theme weeks which will be on Christmas specials week and Christmas episodes week.

For next year I am hoping to take on the following theme weeks at a rate of one per month.

70’s sci-fi

80’s horror

90’s super heroes

Bela Lugosi

Boris Karloff

Ray Harryhausen

Werewolves

Godzilla

Jungle action

Mad scientists

Alien invasion

Insects

A very Klingon Christmas

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This new book came across my path recently and I wanted to share my thoughts on it. It was written by Paul Ruditis who has written books based on the characters from Charmed, Buffy the vampire slayer and other series. Patrick Farley is the illustrator. So what we get here is a Klingon spoof/version of ‘Twas the night before Christmas. Anyone the least bis familiar with the Klingons knows they are not the typical warm and cozy Christmas type. So the book throws in elements of Klingon culture into this version including the love of weapons, war and nasty cuisine as well as their fear of things like tribbles. Each page has a fantastic full color illustration and the expressions on the Klingon’s faces in certain situations is priceless. Of course it’s the Trek fans that will loves this and it may very well make a different holiday gift if you know a Trek fan. More casual fans may not catch all of the references. I found myself reading over several times to catch all of the jokes and to really soak in the illustrations. Overall I certainly enjoyed it.

Halloween Home Haunts

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2013

If you leave an area of any size there’s always a house or two or more where they have some elaborate Halloween set-up in their yard with moving monsters, a ton of lights and all kinds of stuff. This documentary looks at some of those people who love Halloween and decorating their yards with all kinds of spooky stuff. Through interviews this film explores what motivates these people to do this, allows them to tell some of their history of doing this and they go into the technical side of what they do or need to do to get all of this set up and working for the Halloween season. For each person featured the camera crew is normally seeing them around the time they are either just starting to do their Halloween set-up or they are in the middle of the process. So they tell some about what they have yet to do and even show some of the work that needs to be done. Then at the end of each section we get a night view of what the completed area looks like complete with lights and movements done by animatronics in their set-up. The people in the first half of the feature are strictly home haunters who decorate just their lawns, garages or other parts of their homes. The last few features haunters are either people who started as home haunters and went professional or they went that way and returned to home haunting. The featured haunters share what all goes into their work including building pieces, sound equipment and more.

The positives-If you any interest in Halloween then you will likely want to give this one a view. It’s interesting to how the love for the holiday and scaring people motivates these people to do what they do. I liked how the different people shared their different backgrounds, motivations and artistic talents that went into the work they do every October or longer.

The negatives-While I liked the interviews I wasn’t as satisfied with some of the walk throughs of the finished haunted areas. The camera frequently skips around and focuses on individual pieces rather going the course that people would walk through or even better yet they could have followed people going through it for the first time to capture their reactions.

Overall this is a good documentary that will appeal to fans of Halloween and horror.

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Link for Night Frights a prop maker featured in this film.
http://nightfrights.net/

Link for Heartstoppers a horror amusement place which is featured in this film.
http://www.scaredyou.com/

Sharknado

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2013

I had this dream and Steve from Beverly Hills 90210 was there and so was Logan from Baywatch plus Kevin’s dad from Home Alone, but he didn’t last too long. There was a biiiiiiiig storm with lots of rain. Pitter patter pitter patter pat pat pat. Aw yeah and there sharks-big uns, little uns, bad cgi uns. They were flooding in on land and popping people like they rotten tomatoes or something. A bunch of people drove around, the sharks chomped on some annoying goons. Then tornadoes popped everywhere and the sharks spinning like turds in a flushing toilet only up instead of down. The people got tired of standing around and blabbing so they dropped bombs into the tornadoes to stop them. I don’t understand how that worked-too scientific for me I guess. Then Steve from 90210 jumps into a sharp and brrrrrr he cuts through that big, dead sucker with a chainsaw like he’s Ash only you know not nearly as cool. Then I think the dream ended and I woke up. Oh, wait that was a movie? Oh wowzers.

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The negatives-The CGI is pretty mediocre, but I knew the budget was limited. Science and laws nature don’t seem to exist in this movie. About two thirds of the way through the film seemed to lose some steam or maybe that’s when they stopped throwing sharks out and tried to develop the “characters”.

The positives-It’s crap, but they know it and run it. A good bad movie knows to keep plugging along and most of the times this film does that. If your cast can’t act then just have them shoot or cut up sharks and set off explosions. Also the really annoying characters get killed off pretty quickly in this film which is a major plus.

A good bad film realizes it’s shortcomings but makes up for it with a steady pace, some kind of action and enough ridiculous goings ons to draw you in and this film does that.

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Sleepy Hollow-Don’t lose your head over the new show

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Two hundred years and that’s the best beard you could grow?

I work until 9 on Monday nights and had to stop for milk after work yes I know dullsville get on with it. After that I got home in time to see the second half of the new show Sleepy Hollow. You know the one everyone has bee growling and grumbling about before it came out and they watch it so they can go online and growl and grumble some more. Well hey I mean Ichabod Crane pops up in 2013 in his old duds and then poof so does old dead no head and they start causing trouble all over. Oh,dear oh, dear we have two two hundred plus year old dudes and only one with a head running around town. Plus the headless horseman might be part of the horseman of apocalypse too. Woweee that’s some excitement for a little town. I was entertained and wished I had seen the first half. Yes, I know a headless horseman shouldn’t be shooting guns but hey get over it or change the channel. Come on people you’ll accept a weekly zombie apocalypse or bunches of super heroes but not a headless horseman toting a gun? It’s called fantasy and requires some imagination and yes you may to stretch your mind a little bit to accept it or don’t and move on. I’m reading comments from people that act like this Is Baby Bob or something. Do I think the show will be a hit? Nope or least for long. Will I try to watch until it gets canned? You bet. I’m a horror fan and will certainly give it a chance. I like the dark look of the show, the legends and was glad to see John Cho and Orlando Jones in the supporting cast.

So will headless horseman only terrorize this tiny town?

Is headless really in the league with the devil or some ancient evil?

How do you kill a headless guy?

Will Ichabod be called Icky for short?

Tune in and find out.

 

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If I had a head I’d tell you to eat lead!

Halloween costumes?

2012

So every year for Halloween we go to a Halloween party at a fire hall near where my wife works. They have a costume contest with different categories. The kids had done individual ones in the past, but last year they wanted to do a group so my daughter went as a mad scientist and my son and I went as her monsters. So now Halloween 2013 is a mere three months away so it’s time to start figuring out costumes. We discussed the possibility of Despicable Me characters with me as Gru and them as minions, but my son doesn’t want me to shave the three hairs I have on my head. My son and I discussed giant monsters with Godzilla, Rodan, King Kong and Mothra all being possibilities, but my daughter wants nothing to do with those. The kids talked about going as Pokemon characters. I told them I’d do it, but it certainly would not be my first choice. So we are still searching for costume ideas.

Man of steel -Quick thoughts

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Forget saving the world, I’m going to get a Slurpee.

 

I took my son to see Man of steel today. I’m not going to do a review of it because I like to focus on older films and I’m lazy. Here’s some quick thoughts on both sides

 Negatives-

Not sure that the opening scene added a lot to the film and Russell Crowe probably just demanded some action for his part.

I’m still not sold on the Superman costume. The old suit is kind of like a classic football uniform like the Colts or Bears, it’s classic and doesn’t need to be made darker or more metallic.

I can kind of understand the idea of Superman not being trusted by the people of earth as I guess we humans are like that. However out of all Super Heroes over the years Supes was accepted pretty easily and he may be in the next film, but this film kind of goes against an idea that’s existed for Super for decades.

The idea of devastating a city in a fight in the comics is nothing new. They go to great lengths to do it in this film, but I kept thinking Superman would try to end this as quickly as he could without damaging and endangering humans. Maybe he couldn’t because of the threat, but the filmmakers seem to relish in the destruction.

The part where Lois and this scientist are supposed to arm this missile but it doesn’t work and they don’t know why it isn’t happening. Turns out they didn’t have a lined up right the first time. The scientist eventually figures it out, but everybody on the plane except Lois dies because they couldn’t see that it was not lined up. Seemed like a stretch to me.

The positives far outweigh the negatives overall, here’s a  few-

Once it gets going the action is stellar.

The leads of the films are solid.

Diane Lane and Kevin Costner were particularly good as the Kents even though they were smaller roles.

The visuals are spectacular all the way through.

I like how the film goes back and forth with flashbacks to show Clark’s background.

The blending of  sci-fi and Super Hero elements are well done and that’s not an easy task.

Amy Adams has somehow gotten more attractive as she’s gotten older.

The settings particularly the snow regions were great.

Battles, battles and more battles if you’re patient.

 

 

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Those Phantom Zone barbers sure did a poor job!

 

Ten things I liked about Star Trek: Into Darkness

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Just went and saw the film today with my son. I won’t be writing a review because the focus of my blog is older films. Maybe when it’s out on DVD I’ll tackle a review. However being a fan and having the film fresh in my mind I just wanted to throw out a quick list. Oh by the way it’s a brilliant movie.

Yes, there are more than ten good things about this film but I am just doing a short list. In no real order…

1-In the opening sequence we see an alien planet that doesn’t look like a desert or a back drop on a budget like we have normally scene with the TOS characters.

2-Klingons! Mean ones with slightly different styled ships. Not in it for long , but still cool.

3- A tribble! A small part but still welcome.

4-The supporting characters get some things to do. Uhura and Scotty more than Sulu and Chekov, but certainly welcome.

5-The pace went at a breakneck speed. It sure didn’t feel two hours long.

6-I think the main characters were given a chance to develop even more in this film.

7-Alien crewmmembers and on the bridge not just in passing.

8-Kirk isn’t always right and neither is Spock, there was a lot of learning from the main characters in this film.

9-The movie explores similar regular Trek themes, but re-examines them.

10-Action, action and more action. Plus it fits into the story nicely. I already heard some negative feedback about this from sour “fans” on their reviews. To which I say if you don’t like it then lock yourself in your house and watch “City on the edge of forever” over and over while drinking your warm milk until you fall asleep, grandpa or grandma.