Bright Light, Big Valley

Excessive weather must be experienced firsthand to understand the true abstractness of the phenomena. Using words to describe the urgency of such moments is difficult, especially in conveying the thin line our psyches walk, knowing that bad decisions, or merely being unprepared, could lead to disaster. What we call normal becomes so through repetition, and does not just encompass things we do, places we see, people we meet, etc. It’s also the environment in which we live. Quick shifts that push the boundaries of our experiences with that environment can leave a person stunned, if only momentarily. Continue reading “Bright Light, Big Valley”

October Horrorshow, Retroactive: 30 Days of Night

The film 30 Days of Night, adapted from the popular graphic novel, was marketed as a modern update on classical vampires. A break from pattern, these creatures of the night were more fearsome, more violent, more bloodthirsty, than any that had been onscreen before. Indeed, the vampires of 30 Days of Night are not Anne Rice’s cultured charmers, nor are they the stealthy apparitions of Bram Stoker, although their physical appearance pays homage to the Dracula of the classic film Nosferatu. Continue reading “October Horrorshow, Retroactive: 30 Days of Night”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Doom

Sundays are usually pretty slow for me. The day and evening tend to drift by, lost in the newspaper, a book, televised sports, leisurely cooking, and the occasional shitty movie. It was late one Sunday that I came across an awful latter-day Godzilla film dubbed into Spanish (that I subsequently reviewed, along with its sequel). I usually get all heavy thinking out of the way before the sun goes down, and a mindless movie is a great complement to the relaxed nature of a Sunday evening. Paradoxically, this past Sunday’s fare, while mindless, was also frenetic and violent. But it was enough to satisfy the craving for bad cinema that I think all of us have a weak spot for. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Doom”

Oval Office Thunderdome: Scorched Earth

The numbers were clear. She was cooked, done, finished. Prolonging things any longer, unnecessarily, had dark tinges to it. Were she and all her people suffering from mass delusions, common throughout history among generals and emperors who continue the fight to the last man after the wars are lost? In short, was this bunker mentality? Pray and wait for a miracle? Who knows? It could happen. Problem is, it never does. Defeat doesn’t magically change to victory because one wants it bad enough. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: Scorched Earth”

October Horrorshow, Retroactive: Aliens

Alien is an artful film. It is frightening and suspenseful, but it also has operatic grace and gritty realism, despite being set mostly aboard a spaceship. It’s hard to imagine Alien spawning a sequel so tonally different yet still so successful, but Aliens does just that. The two films are poles apart, sharing with each other only the alien creatures and Sigourney Weaver, who reprises her role from the first film as Ripley. Continue reading “October Horrorshow, Retroactive: Aliens”

Oval Office Thunderdome: It Works

The Democratic nominating process is near an end. Supposedly. Last night, Hillary Clinton crushed Barack Obama in Kentucky, but lost to him in Oregon. Due to the party’s rules for apportioning delegates, the math has been against Clinton for months now. In order to grab the nomination, the lopsided victories she has garnered in Kentucky and in West Virginia last week would have had to have been the norm since at least the beginning of March in order for her to have any hope of erasing Obama’s delegate lead. But, she has not been able to string together such large victories. Clinton will not be the nominee. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: It Works”

Oval Office Thunderdome: In on the Big Secret

Former senator and presidential hopeful John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama for president yesterday evening. The endorsement came during an Obama rally in Michigan and was timed to coincide with the television networks’ nightly news coverage. In addition, coming one day after Obama suffered a huge defeat in the Democratic primary in West Virginia, the endorsement was designed to steal the spotlight from Hillary Clinton. At least, that is what I learned from watching the news. Therein lies something I’ve always found odd about political coverage, and election coverage in particular. Anyone who pays attention to the news has to have noticed the phenomenon, as well. That is, reporting on politics contains a large amount of analysis of tactics and strategy. Seemingly, more analysis than actual reporting. This has the effect of turning viewers and readers into vicarious participants in the campaigns. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: In on the Big Secret”