Archive for January, 2016

Felix Graham: Osaka Adventure 4

January 30, 2016

Felix Osaka

“The Sentinel will see you now.” Jun said with a small bow. She was a quiet, unassuming officer but she had introduced herself as Jun Inoki and that made her daughter of The Lion. It had effectively shut down any more talk about Daisuke Inoki himself. Jun had cut her hair very short, nearly a buzz. Felix wondered if Daisuke had wanted a boy and this was Jun’s way of endearing herself to her father. The theory was supported by seeing her in pants after Felix had walked by several female officers in skirts. He wondered if it was Daisuke’s or Jun’s idea.

They filtered into the Sentinel’s office and faced the huge desk on one side of the room. Behind the desk sat the Lion of Osaka himself. He was huge and battle-scarred but it looked like a lot of scars disappeared into his well-trimmed beard and long hair. His green eyes were remarkable, at the same time fierce and knowing. Here was a man who had been a protector for a long time. Felix felt himself straighten up his posture to what he imagined was close to military form.

“I would ask you to sit but I believe we do not have the luxury of time. This issue is most pressing and I am grateful for the assistance of legends in our midst.” Daisuke said, his voice rumbling deep and frankly a little scary.

“We agree, Sentinel. We’re here to discuss the matter with you. We intend to pursue the Tengu and rescue the hostages. We would deliver any survivors to you.” Makoto said. The words were formal and practiced. For such a young legend, Makoto sure was used to talking to the authorities. Felix felt a pang of jealousy that she was better at this and less than half his age.

“So, like petitioners of old, you ask permission to hunt in our territory. I can respect that. After the danger of the explosion, I’m much more open to sending in legends rather than my own officers.” Inoki said. The comment was brutally honest but Felix suspected this was almost always true. Danger was part of the package that legends accepted that most normal people wouldn’t ask for.

“Do you have any information for us, sir?” May asked. She somehow kept the fire and urgency from her voice and was very respectful. She had her sword hidden away in some extradimensional pocket. You don’t walk into a Sentinel’s office with a sword that big out in the open.

“My information is much the same as yours. The Tengu were a nuisance. An aware activist group that managed to just barely stay out of jail. I am willing to give the most complete membership list we have and their last known addresses.” Inoki said. He didn’t move so Felix assumed that list would come from a subordinate.

“This is most helpful, Sentinel Inoki. We will start our search immediately.” Matoka said. “Shall we check in with your desk sergeant for that information?”

“No. That information has been handled by Officer Inoki, here. She will be acompanying you.” Inoki said as if the command came from the heavens. Felix hadn’t even noticed Jun had entered the room with them and from everybody else’s expressions he wasn’t the only one.

“Do you think that’s smart? We’re legends. We can move a lot faster without somebody dragging us down. No offense.” May asked and said the last to Jun directly.

“What May-san meant to ask was whether this is a condition for cooperation between us?” Makoto asked, jumping in before either Inoki or May could say another word.

“If it has to be.” Inoki said, standing. “I intended for you to have ready access to our information and resources and the authority to question civilians. Is this not something you desire?”

“Of course, my apologies, Inoki-san. I am just impatient to solve this trouble before it gets further out of hand.” May said, this time jumping in before Makoto could speak.

“I’ll take that as a promise that it won’t get further out of hand then. You’re free to take my daughter and find the terrorists responsible.” Inoki said and sat down.

Makoto shot May an annoyed look and Felix could see past her to see an amused smirk on Ren’s face. Felix leaned in with a smile as they were all leaving to speak to his cousin. “You still have such a big mouth.”

“Shut up, Felix.” May said but he could see her smile as she turned her head away.

Media Update 1/28/2016

January 28, 2016


Outrageous Acts of Science

So, sometimes when I’m watching videos on youtube or playing video games, I leave the television on mute in the background. Often I leave it on Law and Order: SVU marathons but sometimes I leave it on the Science channel. This is how I discovered Outrageous Acts of Science and I was curious so I unmuted. With the fall of Mythbusters, I’m interested in practical science shows. Nothing could ever replace Adam and Jamie but shows in a similar vein are always interesting. So basically, the show presents the viewer with short video clips and then a panel of actual scientists examine the science behind what we just saw. It often examines viral videos and examines whether they are real or faked and the science behind them. The science is always interesting and it is bite-sized and easy to digest.


The Magicians

I’ve been seeing promos for this show for weeks now and I was really interested based on the special effects. Anybody who might have read my blog in the past two years (or the archives in the future) should really know by now that I love world-building. It won’t necessarily keep me around but world-building really rocks my world. This show has got world-building in spades. The show (and probably the books its based on) are built around a whole system of magic and a lot of characters and details and history. It feels like Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Full Metal Alchemist and Dresden Files all mixed together. There is magic, factions, alternate dimensions, demonic extradimensional beasts and a whole lot more. I’m interested to see where this one goes.


The Guild

So I finally get around to seeing this. I’m a fan of Felicia Day although I haven’t really seen her a whole lot. This show was her project from day one and was one of the first experiences I had with programming made to be online. Now that’s becoming the norm but she was a trailblazer back then. I’ve played two MMORPGs and both of which ended badly. People take the games too seriously and tend to pour a lot of time into them. Still, I made friends with people from many different states and we talked a lot. Both games ended because of fights and I wanted to move on. The series hits all the right notes, both positive and negative, about both being in an MMORPG and a geek in general. It’s a weird sense of connected disconnection and Felicia Day captured it perfectly.

Links of the Week:
The Veronicas – Untouched
Jan Quadrant Vincent 16
The Chemical Brothers – Wide Open
20 Years of Pokemon
Paul Rudd vs. Stephen Hawking – Anyone Can Quantum

Weekly Updates:
– I really, really want to see Deadpool in theaters
– Hail Caesar comes out next week
– I’ll review Legends of Tomorrow after more episodes air
– First day without shoveling, to be free again!
– Taking full advantage of WWE Network now
– I have not seen the new X-Files yet
– The Grumpstream was so awesome to watch

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman

January 25, 2016

So I’ve spent the last few days digging out of my house and clearing my car as we had some epic snow dumped on us. It’s January 2016 and apparently we give names to snow storms now which is kind of silly. We got hit with a heck of a blizzard and I am sitting here a little jealous as I hear cars on 83 but we’re still not dug out of our little corner of Baltimore City. I hate snow. I used to love it when I was a kid, before I was expected to shovel it. Eventually shoveling canceled out the joy I got from having a snow day off from work or school. So if I’m going to hate snow, I might as well revisit a ridiculous movie franchise I started to cover last Halloween. I am waiting for the plows to come before I can really go anywhere and I still have plenty of food in the kitchen. So why not pop in Jack Frost 2 and see what happens?

The low budget horror is back in full force from the get go as we start out by rehashing the plot of the first one. If you remember, we got the very first recorded incident of a psycho killer colliding with science mumbo jumbo and snow and becoming a killer snowman instead of a glowing puddle of viscera. He was stopped by a small town sheriff instead of federal agents because corruption or karma or something. So, because they didn’t actually destroy the world’s most psychotic ¬†snowman, they have to fight him again. Because sequel. Also, as a public service announcement, this is not a sequel to the Michael Keaton movie of the same name. That movie was too scary for a sequel.

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I love comedic horror movies because the horror is somewhat defused by the comedy. The Jack Frost series takes a different tactic. There’s not really anything funny around so they just make things silly instead and they don’t really approach anything scary either. I really just like to imagine Scott MacDonald sitting in a recording booth and giving the most bored takes of a serial killer snowman offing people one by one. It actually makes it funnier to me in an offbeat sort of way to hear the killer talking to himself or his victims like he’s looking for that certain book at the library. All of the potential victims are some of the dumbest, most killable people you’ve ever met which is probably saying something. Of course, I don’t know who you’ve met.

Once again, the animation is ridiculously cheap which is kind of funny in a children-playing-in-a-barn kind of way. The gore feels stepped up in this one and it feels like they’re really leaning into the comedy with the deaths this time. This is a silly killer snowman movie and everybody knows it so there’s no use trying to gussy it up into a serious horror movie. This is a Looney Tunes horror movie if death and dismemberment were permanent and snowmen were deadly. The only technical aspect that kind of annoyed me was that when they went to handheld, the cameraman’s hands must have had a tremor. Steadicams must have been beyond their minimal budget which is actually a minor complaint when I think of all the horrible movies I’ve seen.

All in all this was a dumb movie that wasn’t scary but was kind of funny in a B-Movie kind of way. Of course, I didn’t expect the giant homage to Gremlins. It ended up being the perfect movie to watch at the end of a snowy couple of days because I was shocked to find out that it is set in the Bahamas. It was filmed in California with no establishing shots of anything but at least I got to see snow kill a bunch of lemmings who didn’t have to shovel their walks.

Media Update 1/21/2016

January 21, 2016


Red 2

I remember seeing Red when it came out on DVD but I can’t remember if I saw it it on TV or what. I don’t think I saw it in theaters but regardless, I watched it because I had heard it was a comic book first. I still haven’t read Ellis’ original. I never saw the sequel probably because there were other things to watch and my enthusiasm for Bruce Willis was dampened by Kevin Smith’s stories. However, it was free this past week and I checked it out and I really liked it. Part of what makes the Red movies work is the ensemble cast. John Malkovich in particular knocks it out of the park in every scene but Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker and Anthony Hopkins excel as well. I’ll definitely be sticking around for the sequel this time.

 


The Revenant

I kind of thought I knew what to expect when I went to the Revenant. Leonardo DiCaprio has been very particular with the movies he has chosen in the later part of his career. They are usually period and deal with a lot of good character work and are compelling as hell. So I thought I kind of knew what to expect from the Revenant but I was wrong. The movie is one of the most powerful movies I’ve seen lately which is really saying something. The movie is beautifully shot and the sound is so crisp and clear that I was a bit staggered at first. The characters are so strong that a lot is done with such little dialog. I don’t want to give much away but it’s been clear for quite some time that DiCaprio has come a long way since the dark days of Titanic. However, as good as the movie was, I can’t bring myself to watch it again. It’s a lot to take in.

 

 


White House Down

I watched the other similar movie, Olympus Has Fallen in theaters and I felt that my quota for White House invasion movies was satisfied for a while. White House Down looked less serious and I just didn’t get to see it. I guess I was expecting a movie like Rush Hour but with the Secret Service. That wouldn’t be too bad, it’s just what I expected. What I got instead was something more in the ballpark of Air Force One and Die Hard with a Vengeance. Actually, there wasn’t a whole lot of humor even if it is lighter than Olympus Has Fallen. However, the movie was fun to watch as Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum really focused in and each gave a good performance. Everybody else did a really good job too but I want to especially single out Joey King. King is a great child actress who does a lot to move the plot along. It was a great movie.

 
Links of the Week:
A Tale of Alan Rickman (RIP)
SkiFree in Real Life
The Eagles – Take it Easy (RIP Glenn)
Eluveitie – The Call of the Mountains
The Eric Andre Show – New Yorker Monologue

Weekly Updates:
– Gearing up for the A to Z Challenge again
– Weird that Bowie and Rickman both died at 69
– Agent Carter is still so good
– The Captain America documentary was excellent too
– Suicide Squad is getting a lot of flak already
– Deadpool is gonna be awesome

It Is In the Closet

January 19, 2016

“I don’t know about this, Abel.” Kevin said. He was pacing the room, unable to sit back down on Abel’s bed. It was just after school and Abel had called them to his room to discuss a solution to their problem. Abel hadn’t been prepared for what that solution was.

“I think Abel’s right, Kevin. This is the only way to deal with this.” Priya said. She took the bow out of her hair that her parents had made her wear for picture day.

“I’ve gone over it and over it. I’ve read all the books in the library and I’ve searched the internet every night until mom and dad sent me to bed. I’ve gone through all the options, guys. We have to do this.” Abel said, opening the book in front of him. It was a very old and worn book and it had taken a lot of work to get hold of it.

“Why is the monster back anyway?” Kevin was glad they were discussing this away from any of their bedrooms. It was unclear if the thing could understand English but assuming it didn’t was playing with fire.

“Who knows? We’re lucky it’s been gone for eight years.” Priya said. She had that same dissatisfied look on her face and Kevin shrugged.

“Look. There is a monster in my closet. I hit it with a baseball bat and right now the locks are holding.” Abel said and looked around at the other two and they nodded. They all knew this much. “They won’t hold forever or my mom and dad will let it out without knowing the danger. It will kill me, it will take my family and so on. I have a solution. It’s up to us. Right?”

“I agree.” Priya said. She looked determined an Abel found himself smiling. He saw fear on Kevin’s face but Kevin smiled too.

“Yeah, we have to. I can’t lose you guys and I kind of don’t want it coming after me.” Kevin said.

“Then this is what we have to do.” Abel said as he made sure the book was laid out properly. “We each cut our palms and put the blood in the bowl. I’ll speak the words and then we get the power. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.”

“What if it doesn’t?” Kevin asked.

“There’s no more time for what ifs.” Abel said. He was about to say something else when here was a noise of anguish from Priya. She held a knife in her hand and blood poured from her other hand and into the bowl. She smiled weakly at the boys and clenched her fist to stop the bleeding. “Well, I guess that’s that.”

Abel cut his hand and then Kevin did after a moment or two of hesitation. Abel started to read from the book, a language he could barely pronounce and hoped he had translated correctly. There was a bright flash and the blood in the bowl glowed an eerie white. A deep sonorous noise filled the room and everything seemed to shake. Abel could barely keep his eyes open and then he could not. He felt things moving around the room. Whatever it was huge and powerful and very, very close and suddenly the blood loss Abel had suffered felt like nothing.

A voice from nowhere came in that darkness. “The bargain is struck.”

Abel opened his eyes but the room was as it was and he looked at his blinking friends. The bowl of blood was still glowing bright white. The blood moved and then it started to float out of the bowl and divide itself into thirds. Before the three teens could react, the blood was seeping itself back through the wounds in their hands. Kevin shook his hand to get it off but to no avail. Priya and Abel just sat there stunned. As the three of them watched, their wounds closed up.

“What was that?” Kevin cried out. His eyes were wide.

“That felt really powerful.” Priya said with wonder. They all looked down at their hands and Abel thought he could see something where the cut had been. He just wasn’t sure though.

“Good. We’ve got a monster in a close to exterminate.” Abel said.

The three of them arrived at Abel’s family home and tropped up to his bedroom. Abel was grateful that his mom, dad and little sister were out. They approached the bedroom closet and they could hear it scratching at the inside of the door. That sound had filled the last three nights for Abel. When they got within a few feet of the door the sound suddenly stopped.

“You can feel it. Can’t you? The power we hold?” Abel said as he glared at the door.

“You are fools. We are legion. There will be more where I came from.” Said a deep but scratchy voice from beyond the door.

“I think this time we’ll be better prepared.” Abel said and he could almost feel his friend’s smiles.

The thing burst from the closet suddenly, all claws and scales and surprisingly feathers. Time seemed to slow down and they all got a good look it. All three of them raised their hands toward the creature and lightning lanced out and struck the beast. It wriggled and burned and cried out and then it was gone. Just gone.

Media Update 1/14/2016

January 14, 2016


Mulan

Here is another Disney Animated Feature Film that I had missed when it came out. I love Disney films but almost nobody ever wants to see them with me. I knew the basic plot points of Mulan because I’ve played Kingdom Hearts II and I fought alongside Mulan and Mushu. Lately the movie was referenced by both Ross O’Donovan and Daisy Ridley and I knew it was finally time to catch up on this one. I wasn’t prepared for it to be so good but I really should learn my lesson because I have yet to watch a truly bad Disney Animated Film (that isn’t a sequel). The music was all great as usual but “Let’s Get Down to Business” and “Honor to us All” and the score itself really stand out. Ming-Na Wen and BD Wong were excellent but the supporting cast were great too. Even Eddie Murphy was funny and not annoying. The movie was touching, funny and then it got serious and awesome and then back to touching. Definitely check it out if you can.

 


The Expanse

I didn’t know what to expect with this one. I’m historically less enthused about science fiction stories but my friends said it was really good. Since there were a ton of episodes on demand, I jumped at it. There is plenty of science fiction and that’s ok, it’s interesting and imaginative while being kind of grounded. However, there’s a ton of world building as the Earth and Mars are locked in a cold war. I really like the fragile politics at play, both on a wide scale and from person to person. They do a great job with big and little philosophies. They also do a really great job with character development. The characters really come alive and feel close to people I’ve met or have feelings I’ve had. If you’re worried about it being too science fictiony, it’s fine. If you’re worried about it being overly grim like a lot of other new sci-fi shows, don’t. It’s got some humor and passion to it. I suggest you at least give the pilot a try.

Vixen

I’ve stated before that I love what the CW is doing with DC Comics property. They’re creating a little DC Universe of their own that is so much fun to watch. They have created Arrow, The Flash and soon will release Legends of Tomorrow which all play in what most call the Arrowverse. The way they’ve constructed everything, it makes magic, advanced science and the mundane fit together so well. I never read much about Vixen in the comics but I was a fan of her in Justice League Unlimited. Here they’ve basically done an animated pilot which mixes her into the Arrowverse but in Detroit so she doesn’t interfere with the other shows’ plots. They also give her her own compelling story and the acting and writing is really compelling. I’ll be looking forward to Season 2 since Season 1 was only 30 minutes long.

 

Links of the Week:
Water Bedlam Prank
Unleash the Archers – Tonight We Ride
Starbomb – The Simple Plot of Metal Gear Solid
Ice Cube, Kevin Hart And Conan Help A Student Driver
David Bowie – Dance, Magic Dance (RIP Goblin King)
Weekly Updates:
– After seeing a proper trailer, I’m now intrigued by Zootopia
– I’ve discovered Adam Savage’s podcast. I’m in love.
– I’m listening to Welcome to Nightvale again. Excellent.
– it’s a whole year until Moana is released. Ugh. Can’t wait.
– I’m gaining such an appreciation for lawyer characters now
– I love The Muppets (2015) more and more and they’re about to reboot
– So excited for the weekend. I can get my nose out of my textbook

Redcross, Part 4

January 11, 2016

Redcross

Sarah rode out on Lightning back to the scene of the crime. Thankfully there wasn’t much crime in Essex so this could be properly investigated. Of course, there had never been a sword and animal murder before either at least as far as the Redcrosses had been in town. She tried to visualize the outcropping that the bloody mess had been at. She started to see a few things she remembered. There was the cactus with three arms and there was the rock that kind of looked like a middle finger. Around the back of the next rock should have been the site.

It was gone. There wasn’t a drop of blood anywhere in the dirt. She jumped down off Lightning and gave him a stern look so he would stay put. He snorted which probably didn’t mean anything but he had never run away so he was probably fine. She knelt in the dirt and trailed fingers through the dirty and there was still no blood. It had completely vanished. She stood and looked over the spot she knew the body had been found. There were no rocks, twigs or any other debris there so maybe somebody had raked the blood away. It hadn’t been anyone acting on Sarah’s orders.

There was the sound of an explosion in the distance and Lightning didn’t run away. To his credit he moved closer to Sarah and she grabbed his saddle and swung up into it. She kicked her feet and pulled the reins and they were off toward the source of the explosion. She hadn’t guessed it immediately but as she got closer she was pretty sure it was the abandoned mine. According to locals the mine had been shut down for a long time, longer than anybody could remember. It had been a heavy blow that the town had survived but things had gotten a lot more peaceful since. Now there had been a horrible murder and an explosion in one day.

Sarah had Lightning creep up behind an outcropping and she hopped down and patted his shoulder. Lightning was the calmest horse she had ever met and the name would have been a funny joke except for the horse’s exceptional speed. Sometimes Sarah thought the horse might be deaf. There were hushed voices on the other side of the rocks at the mouth of the mine. There was smoke drifting everywhere from whatever exploded. Sarah left the horse and slowly walked around the corner.

“Now boys, I’m the sheriff. The mine is closed so please explain what you’re doing.” She said, pulling out her revolver just in case. The three men were thoroughly wrapped in cloth and that threw Sarah for a moment. None of them spoke. They all simply drew their firearms and started to shoot at Sarah. She pivoted and ran hard in the opposite direction and dove behind a boulder. She had no idea how she had avoided getting shot. They continued to shoot in her direction and she could hear their bullets ricocheting off the boulder.

There was the crack of a rifle somewhat in the difference and a grunt from the other side of the boulder. Sarah didn’t hesitate. She looked out from the other side of the boulder and opened fire. One of them was already holding his shoulder from the mystery shot and she saw another one drop from a bullet to the head. She buried another shot into the third man’s stomach and she heard the rifle cracking away again. The two men left standing ran and Sarah chased after them but when she turned another corner they were gone. There was all sorts of rags littered across the ground.

“Sheriff! Are you alright?” A voice cried out and Sarah was sure it was Roy Simmons. She was proven correct when Roy came around a corner holding his rifle high up in the air.

“It’s a miracle but I’m fine. How did you know it was me?” Sarah answered.

“Who else would run toward an explosion like that?” Roy said with a grin, slipping his rifle into a sling on his back. He pulled his hat low to shield his eyes from the sun.

“You did. What are you doing here?” She asked as they headed back to the mouth of the mine.

Simmons looked away, back in the direction of town. Sarah sensed that this meant he was going to lie which was unbecoming for a pastor. “I was out for a ride and I wasn’t about to let our Sheriff die out here by herself.”

“Well, thank you.” Sarah said and she meant it. What Roy Simmons was really about could wait until later. Afterall, he did help her out. Though she did think back to his odd behavior outside of Warren’s. She was curious but grateful.

“Should we get that one back to Mr. Chilton?” Simmons asked. He nudged the dead, rag-covered man with his foot. He looked pretty big and smelled awful and Sarah knew that Warren would be interested.

“Not yet. I’m curious about what they did to the mine. Stay put for a bit. It could be dangerous.” Sarah said as she headed toward the mouth of the mine. She took her hat off and started to fan the smoke away as she walked, she felt her hair going everywhere but vanity was a sin. She would survive after all.

“Alright. You’re the sheriff, Ms. Redcross.” Simmons said and sat down on a rock and eyed the dead man carefully.

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: Mick Foley

January 10, 2016

WILPW

 

As I sit here wearing my brand new Viking Hall t-shirt, I’ve been thinking about the world of Extreme. Speaking of Extreme, we just passed an anniversary that’s very special to me at least in the way of the world of sports entertainment. We’ll get to that very special date in a bit. First, I want to start at the beginning. I want to tell you about one of my personal heroes and a legend in sports entertainment and in life. I’m talking about Cactus Jack. I’m talking about Mankind. I’m also talking about Dude Love. But really, I’m talking about Mick Foley. He’s one of the big reasons I kept being a fan through the end of the previous century and why I keep giving the WWE in particular the benefit of the doubt. But I said that I would begin at the beginning but that means the beginning of my experience.

 

 
I first heard of Mick Foley when he was performing under his Mankind persona. More specifically, I mean his heel role as a deranged basement dweller. My best friend Farris, who introduced me to watching WWE, told me about this guy he had seen premiere. He was crazy, he wore a mask, he ripped his own hair out and he couldn’t feel pain. I was intrigued. When I finally saw him out there in the ring I was even more intrigued. Pretty much every other performer out there was muscle-bound or lithe and fast. Here was a guy who was very rough around the edges and strange. Little did I know that I was becoming intrigued with something that Foley himself put a lot of work into. He read psychology and somewhat based his character on Hannibal Lecter. He debuted and almost immediately went after the Undertaker.

 

 
As he continued to fight in the WWF, I was interested but to be honest I wasn’t that interested. I was way into Shawn Michaels and Undertaker and soon enough Steve Austin and although he was interesting, he was a bad guy and I was in a period of my life where that mattered. Then the atittude era hit and wrestling became way more fun. It was no longer an exciting Saturday Morning cartoon. It was still exaggerated but it felt a little more “real” somehow. That feeling really hit home when Mankind sat down for an interview with the legendary Jim Ross.

 

 
That interview weaved together elements of the Mankind character with elements from Mick Foley’s own life. Never before had I seen a character in sports entertainment with so much backstory and heart. I had no idea at the time that a huge amount of that backstory was real and that Mrs. Foley’s baby boy was a guy after my own heart. From that moment on I was a Mankind fan and I was glued to Raw to see what happened next with him. What came next was that he got to evolve. He became his childhood creation of Dude Love. Who among us wouldn’t be thrilled to bring a childhood dream to life? Really? It was so different from what everybody else was doing.

 

 
Then he became Cactus Jack again but I had never heard of Cactus Jack before because I hadn’t watched WCW back then and I had, at that point, never even heard of ECW. Watching Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack made it clear to me that Mick Foley was the real deal and could put on a hell of a match. This was still a tape world and I had no access so I stuck with his WWF career like glue. Mankind returned but he had now merged all three characters and he was even more entertaining to watch. Then the moment that shocked the world happened.

 

 
I watched Mick Foley fall twenty feet and then get up and fall about fifteen and then keep going. On purpose. For a match. I loved Foley and I was a huge fan before but at that point I was a Foley fan for life. I followed his career even closer at that point and I loved every step of it. Finally he became a babyface, an odd term applied to a guy who was missing teeth. He became more of a comic character but he still fought with heart and I loved him more and more. He had one of my favorite feuds of all time with The Rock and it was the first real experience I had where I loved both the babyface and the heel. It is here that we reach the anniversary of Mick Foley winning his first Heavyweight Championship. It happened on my birthday (December 29, 1999) but it wasn’t broadcast until about a week later. I felt like it was the greatest birthday present in the world.

 

 
It was around this time that he published his first autobiography and I grabbed it up. It was here where Mick Foley became a personal hero. His life, in his own words was an inspiration and I still have my first copy which fell apart from re-reading it over and over. It was here that I learned who Mick Foley was and how I connected to him not just as a character on television but as a human being. It was also here that I learned about ECW and his days in WCW. I tried to get footage where I could but it was still hard to do in 1999. I have since watched a lot of it and enjoyed every minute of it. I enjoyed his run in TNA as he wasn’t just the same old Foley in a different pond, he adapted. It seems he’s more or less retired from the big spotlight now but he’ll never be forgotten.

 

 
I’m still a big Foley fan but I follow him these days more as a writer than a performer. His insight into the writing and performing part of the business is invaluable. He’s so good at adapting and evolving with the times that he knows just the way to use new and current talent. I would watch him perform again in a heartbeat but I have a feeling he knows he’s better applying his mind to the business and elsewhere.

Media Update 1/7/2016

January 7, 2016


The Hateful Eight

 

I got up early (for a Saturday) and checked this one out with some friends down at the Columbia Mall. It’s one of those movie theaters with very little character but at least I was among friends to check out a Quentin Tarantino movie. I really, really don’t want to spoil this movie because I encourage you to go see it. The run time was long but none of it felt like too much and the movie never dragged. From shot one this movie was absolutely beautiful. It sucked you in and made you feel like you were right there in the room. The dialogue is colorful, to say the least, so don’t go in and get shocked. It is Tarantino after all. The dialogue is so good because the characters are so good. Every single one of them is exactly what they needed to be. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.

Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Once again, I’ll mention that Batman (1989) was a major waypoint in my development as a kid. So when I heard that there was going to be a movie that starred Michael Keaton that touched upon his past as the first big screen Batman I was excited. I never saw it in theaters because it was a hard sell as most people I know didn’t seem to want to go see it. So, like many of these movies, I let it slip out of the theaters. Finally I saw it on DVD and I’m still reeling. The movie was absolutely not what I was expecting but that ended up being OK. The movie is a drama about an actor trying to prove to the world that he’s not just a fluke. He starred in several superhero movies but now he’s trying to direct and star in a play on Broadway. Two of the biggest waypoints in my pop culture development collding: Theater and Batman. The cast is phenomenal with Michael Keaton, Ed Norton and Emma Stone especially killing it. It was compelling and I was left struggling, searching for more afterward. Great movie but I think I was definitely part of the target audience.

The Shannara Chronicles

Wait, did I just watch a new fantasy television series on MTV? Yes I did. I haven’t watched MTV for at least a decade mostly because it stopped showing neat cartoons. I was a little shocked when they started a huge marketing campaign for a new series full of elves, demons and the world of man. I watched the first two episodes and it is very, very interesting. I had not realized that the series is a post-apocalyptic one but, unless I missed something, It is not clear whether it is Earth. Magic was a thing then it was gone and now it’s back again with a vengeance. I got the same feeling from watching the pilot that I got from the Defiance pilot. I hope that it can be on part with that show because then we’re in for a good ride. There are a lot of interesting characters and beautiful imagery. I’m going to keep checking it out.
Links of the Week:
Ben Klein – Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
The Electric Mayhem – Kodachrome
Giant Squid Footage
L7 – Pretend That We’re Dead
Nathan Barnatt – Dr. Robotnik Dance
Weekly Update:
– Flash Season 2 is really great
– I like Arrow Season 4 so far
– The season finale of Ash vs. Evil Dead was perfection
– Pretty Deadly (comic) is so beautiful and awesome
– Mythbusters is over. That’s so sad.
– Started listening to Welcome to Nightvale again

Zayquan Swords

January 6, 2016

They were called the Zayquan Swords which was a little weird since swords were beyond antiquated. It was the year 2365 and the closest equivalent was a plasma cutter but nobody had wielded a blade for a long time. Regardless, the Swords were soldiers for justice in Neo-Charm because justice had been nowhere to be found. Nobody had authorized them, they had made the decision on their own. They raided a few corporations for the ordinance, armor and parts. Nobody had trained them but they still fought crime better than the police had in decades.

Friga woke up in the underground barracks and she was a mass of aching, throbbing, stinging pain. She had lost flesh and limbs to the Ring Rings over a year ago on her first patrol. She still felt those injuries even though everything had been replaced with machine parts. Phantom pain was a son of a bitch but it lessened a little as she stood up. She took a breath before replacing and reactivating her contact lenses. It was good to see clearly for a moment. To see things like a real human being. She slipped them in and tapped the interface at her temple and the heads up display faded into view overlaid over everything in front of her.

She stood and placed her right arm and right leg into the box next to her locker. The machine automatically bolted her battle armor to her prosthetics. It then bolted her pistol holster to her right leg. She grabbed the rest of her battle armor and slipped it over her left leg and arm and strapped it in place. Friga grabbed her pistol and slipped it into place and she finally felt whole again.

* * *

Friga came back to awareness and she was standing on the ledge of the roof at Durham and Gough. She would never get used to the autowalk function her implants provided but it did allow for extra sleep which she needed lately. Besides, this is what she lived for. The hunt. It was like a mix of all othse fairytales about giant cats in jungles and the ones where superheroes fought crime. A rush of air from an exhaust port blew back her hair and it was exhilarating. The time piece on her HUD said it was just after one in the morning. A great time to fight crime.

She lept down from the building and made sure to land with her weight on her fake leg. The leg hissed a little as the shock absorbers took the weight. She started to make her way down the street. She was too confident to be cautious. She had been through the worst injury she could have gotten already and still lived. Anything after that was a piece of cake. Besides, this was duty and there was no time for cowering.

As Friga made her way down the street there was a young woman’s scream that came from one block down and four blocks over. She ran in that direction and pulled her pistol easily as she made her way over. The pistol whined a little as it powered up and it just started to glow long before she turned the corner. Domino technology at its best.

There was a spindly looking android crouching in the street. On second glance it was clear the android was crouching over the woman who had screamed. The sound file matched the fingerprints Friga could see from where she was. The problem was that she was no longer screaming. Friga pointed her pistol.

“Back off, you defective junk! Leave the girl alone!” Friga shouted. She squeezed the trigger and a bolt of energy slammed into the android. The android’s head sparked and Friga fired at its outside shoulder. It spun away from the girl and impacted against a wall. She looked at the girl and there was some sort of jagged metal circuitry stabbed into her face. “What did you do!?” She screamed at the robot.

“Upgraded her.” The android said in a disinterested tone.

“Waht the hell does that mean?” Friga yelled. She tapped the comm node near her ear. “Corner of Bank and Castle! I need medical now. Female in distress. Urgent.”

“You would make a fine upgrade. Give me your face. I will add more technology to it.” The android said.

“You stay away.” Friga said, aiming her pistol again.

“Trust in the Forge. Trust leads to enlightenment.” The android said as he shambled toward Friga. Friga sighted down her pistol and fired again. The android’s right shoulder exploded into a shower of sparks and its right arm hit the pavement.

“Back off!” Friga yelled. When the android only drew nearer, she opened fire yet again. She was through giving this thing the benefit of the doubt. Besides, it wasn’t as if the thing had any rights. Her shot slammed into the android’s center mass this time and parts flew everywhere. It fell down and then it was very still on the ground. Friga supposed that they could plug in its memory core later and interrogate that.

The woman was getting to her feet and Friga rushed to help her. The circuitry that had been imbedded into her face was completely gone and there were no wounds or scars. There wasn’t even any blood. Strange.

“What was that about? Are you ok, miss?” Friga asked. She held on the woman to try and steady her. The woman’s eyes suddenly lit up as if backlit by some device.

“I am fine. I have seen the light now.” The woman said in a cheery tone. An oddly cheery tone.

“What are you talking about? Medical is inbound. They’ll check you out.” Friga offered.

“I’ll show you the light.” The woman said. She suddenly took a swing at Friga, her fist hitting Friga’s robotic arm. The woman’s hand should have shattered but instead Friga’s arm was nearly broken in half. It was shock that let the woman keep the upper hand as Friga was tackled to the pavement. The two of them wrestled back and forth and Friga was astonished at the woman’s strength. In desperation, Friga shoved some exposed wiring from her arm into the woman’s neck. There was a shower of sparks and the woman spasmed and let go. Friga pushed her off.

“Where is medical!? I need them here ten minutes ago!” Friga shouted into her comm. “Something is new is going on and we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. Now.”


susanne matthews

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