“The walking dead” season 1 disc 1: a rant…

After everything written about the series, I decided to give it a shot thinking I’d burn feverishly through all the available episodes only to be left wanting more.

Well, I DIDN’T. If I’d been looking for a survival guide to the Z-Apocalypse this doesn’t look to be it. To the point: yes I’ve only watched the first four episodes. However, in this short span, we’re introduced to  Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who wakes up from a coma in a dilapidated Georgia hospital after having been shot. He finds the world turned upside down as hordes of cannibalistic living dead have overrun society.

But stop. How did he get shot? Well…

In flashback, we are introduced to Rick and his partner Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), making small talk in their squad car. Rick is the quiet, decent and sensitive guy while Shane’s the more mercurial single guy, a good ole’ boy and bit of a party animal.

Shane likes to pepper his girlfriend stories with the word “bitch” before asking Rick how things are with his wife. No, really: he did. The dialogue sounds like some nerdy teenager’s interpretation of what jocks talk like in locker rooms, and false notes pile up from there, like a horrid multiple car crash in the mist. Shane and Rick get a call to intercept a couple guys who stole a car and committed an assault with deadly weapon.

They peel rubber, hook up on a country road with other deputies from the neighboring county and set up a road block. Soon enough, the stolen car appears, chased by two more cop cars. Stolen car hits the nail strip and flips numerous times. This is where things go, once again, pear shaped. Bad guy number one gets out of the wreck and fires several shots at the (count them) EIGHT deputies before getting gunned down.

Bad guy number two even manages to fire some rounds, hitting Rick in his vest, knocking the wind out of him. After an inordinate amount of ammo puts him down, bad guy number three crawls out and nails Rick in the back where his vest wasn’t covering him. Why? Apparently because the Keystone deputies weren’t paying enough attention and can’t shoot accurately.

Rick wakes up in a hospital which by then is just a husk littered with broken glass and ripped out wiring. First thing anyone with any lick of sense would do in that situation is look for clothes, and shoes… So what does he do? He simply stumbles out barefoot across all of that, into sunlight, without looking like hamburger meat.

Eventually, Rick sets out on the road wearing his deputy’s uniform complete with hat. If a sense of practicality is what defines who would survive in a zombie apocalypse, Rick’s a goner. I got a sense that his character is given some room to evolve into a more hardened type as the series progresses, but there he goes by the grace of God, rather than skill, surviving all these encounters by sheer and unbelievable miracle.

I’ll just stop there… The list of fails is only longer and the column of wins only has a few “meh” items. I did want to like this, but damn…

zombie crossing

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Television series from supernatural to sci-fi

Waaay back in October 2010, I brought up the old TV series “Friday the 13th” as an enjoyable little trip down to memory lane: I used to watch the show back when it first aired in the late ’80s late night on CBS.

Something of a small guilty pleasure tinged with nostalgia when all the bad guys were supposedly from South of the border (Noriega, Escobar et al.). We’re now down to the last couple discs of the series, so it’s time for some more reviewing and suggesting.

The third and last season of the show saw Ryan Dallion (John D. LeMay) replaced by another character named Johnny Ventura (Steven Monarque) and due to some weak writing, Ventura has about as much appeal as an old Mercury Grand Marquis. I know ‘cuz I drive one. The energy of the three original characters (Micki, Jack and Ryan) never really amounted to “magic” but it did keep you engaged in the happenings. Not so in the 3rd season which of course turned out to the last. Conclusion: watch the first two, maybe until the episode explaining Ryan’s “disappearance”, don’t bother with the rest.

More modern fare, interestingly set during the Dust Bowl, “Carnivale” ran for two seasons from 2003 to 2005. “Carnivale” follows young Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl), who possesses healing powers, on his collision course with Brother Justin (Clancy Brown).

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Caturday blogging: Saturday morning cattoons

Time for the Pointy Eared Superstars to shine a bit:

Maz on black blanket
I make this look goooood....
Tito Jenny in basket
Wake us when the food's ready...

There’s still the occasional bout of hissing, and Miss Jenny sounds a little bit like this (sorry about the definition, but we’re talking post WWII cartoons, here):

The little romance between Tito and Jenny is a little bit like this:

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No accounting for taste: some favorite movie themes and songs

This isn’t any kind of top 10 list, or “best of” by any means: the following clips are posted in no particular order, either.
Some are amusing, some evocative, maybe sad, but they have all stuck somewhere in my mind.

And this sample isn’t exhaustive: I left out Henry Mancini, Roque Banos and Bruno Coulais to name just a few.

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Midnight Movie Madness: “Evil Aliens”, bloody close encounters

“Evil Aliens” – (2005, UK, 93 minutes – rated R)

On an island off the coast of Wales, Cat Williams (Jennifer Evans) and her boyfriend are making sexy times in a field when they are abducted by aliens. On the aliens’ ship, the boyfriend gets a most gruesome anal drilling before getting killed, while Cat is implanted with a baby alien and released.
To put it in perspective, Eric Cartman had it real easy by comparison.

Watch the trailer here:

A week later, tabloid TV reporter Michelle Fox (Emily Booth) sells her editor on the idea of doing a report on Cat’s story for Weird Worlde, their “reality” show investigating yetis, aliens and other tabloid fodder.

Michelle Fox and Jack Campbell

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“At the mountains of madness”: Universal reboot?!?

Well this is an interesting turn of events if it does get confirmed, and that is a big if, nay, make that a HUGE if. The troubled project “at the mountains of madness” has been kicked around furiously at Universal for some time, with various names thrown around, attached, detached, etc.

Now, Universal France had a blurb which was promptly taken down yesterday, with two new names which surprised the hell out of me: the post referred to director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (“Alien Resurrection“) at the helm, and the storyline would replace (or combine) the character of Danforth with H.P. Lovecraft himself (?!?).

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Spoofing old horror: “creatures of the Pink lagoon”

“Creatures of the Pink lagoon” – (2006, USA, 71 minutes – NR)

Sometimes trying to decide on a good movie to review doesn’t mean the movie has to be all that great. I think there should be something interesting about it which doesn’t necessarily figure in the budget number, cast or other factor, since the review is always going to be subjective after all.

It’s black & white, not in color!

And since I’ve been fighting the flu most of the week, with cocktails of Sudafed and Vodka, I got in the mood for some silliness.

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Midnight Movie Madness: “Immortal”

“Immortal” – (2004, France, 103 minutes – rated R)

Well aren’t you lucky..? Two Midnight Movie Madness recommendations within a week!

This is a bit of a curio for sci-fi fans. Written and directed by Enki Bilal, based on two graphic novels from his Nikopol trilogy, “la femme piege” and “la foire aux immortels” (“the female trap” and “the carnival of immortals”).

Watch the trailer here:

Bilal (born Enes Bilalovic) moved to France at age 9, in 1960 or so.

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