Monday 31 December 2012

Flavours of the Month: December 2012...


Married With Children: Seasons 8, 9, 10 & 11 - the last four seasons were on sale, so I snatched them up. It was about time to finish this up after a decade of very slowly catching up on the box sets. Season 8 got off to a very shaky start (the first episode was damn-near laugh free, and the second episode was only marginally better), but they soon rediscovered their footing. The show got zanier throughout season 9 and 10 (even breaking the fourth wall numerous times), but the plots remained interesting, and the inclusion of a larger cast of regular side characters (such as Al's "No Ma'am" buddies) opened up some great new avenues for humour. The 11th and final season was a touch weak in certain ways - the structure of the show was changed, introducing a "cold open" and a "tag" at the end of the episode, rather than a straight-shot Act I and Act II, as had been the case for the previous ten seasons.
Click "READ MORE" below for more Looks, Sounds, Vibes & Flavours for December 2012...

Saturday 29 December 2012

Pentuple Bill Mini Musings: Saucy Bears, 90s Raunch, Action and Stuff...

What's it about?
A lonely boy makes a wish for his teddy bear to come to life. It works. Fast forward thirty years and they're still 'Thunder Buddies for Life' as they laze about and smoke pot all day, but the man who was once a boy with a magic teddy bear needs to grow up, lest his girlfriend leaves him.
Who would I recognise in it?
Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Giovani Ribisi, Ralph Garman, Joel McHale, Patrick Stewart, Norah Jones, Tom Skerritt.
Would you like a movie where a foul-mouthed teddy bear simulates sexual acts, beats people up, and snorts cocaine? If the answer is yes, then you'll have a bloody good time. The second half might get a bit flabby at points (after a very solid first hour), but it's a testament to the filmmakers that they could make this rather badly behaved bear be so acceptable to the audience. Plenty of raunchy humour abound - I had a lot of fun with this flick. Great.

Click "READ MORE" below for action, erotica, Oscar-worthy performances, and Herge...

Sunday 16 December 2012

Quadruple Bill Mini Musings: Parties, Submarines, Dreams, and Venice...

Project X:
What's it about?
Three increasingly vulgar and cliched American teens look to become high school legends by throwing an epic house party in this documentary style comedy.
Who would I recognise in it?
Nobody, but you'll be familiar enough with the endless cliches, and it's produced by Todd "The Hangover" Phillips as well as co-written by Michael "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" Bacall.
Being a first person movie (think Cloverfield), it naturally suffers from all the problems and impossibilities that are ever-present in this annoyingly over-used presentation style. Please stop making 'found footage' movies! Beyond that, the central trio (with a fourth behind the camera) are all grating suburban white boys who fancy themselves as 'players', when in reality they're total losers, and their way of upping their school yard cache crosses all kinds of lines of moral comfort. We have the 'average' lead who is overly influenced by his exceptionally vulgar (and in this instance quite nasty) right-hand-man, while being accompanied by the token fat kid, and a creepy goth on camera duties. The set-up of the main trio strains to imitate the vulgar-but-harmless (not-to mention fairly realistic) teens of Superbad, but Project X fails miserably in establishing characters to root for - not least because their hijinks ultimately destroys the home of the protagonist's parents - their entire lives ruined, all for one stupid night to increase their cred in the dying days of school. Indeed, the resulting lack of real consequence proves quite disturbing - the lead has destroyed the home that his innocent parents have worked hard for, and in-the-process, lost his college tuition money (so there goes his prospects for a better future). Meanwhile, the real instigator gets off on all charges thanks to an expensive lawyer - and never mind that their trail of destruction nearly burned down a neighbourhood populated by innocent people.

Click "READ MORE" for more Project X, Das Boot, Paprika, and Don't Look Now...

Monday 10 December 2012

Hextuple Bill Mini Musings: Killer, Bunny Boilers, Germs, and Moon Nazis...

Hatchet II:
What's it about?
Adam Green's sequel to his low budget slasher & gore splasher about a deformed maniac with a hatchet wound in his face slicing & dicing in the swamps of New Orleans.
Who would I recognise in it?
Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, R.A. Mihailoff, John Carl Buechler.
The first flick was, in many ways, almost unashamed in its pilfering of ideas from the Friday the 13th franchise. Fortunately this time it makes a modest move into its own territory (even if the foundations are based mostly on fanboy references to the 80s era of the horror genre). At a scant 82 minutes (with several minutes of credits), you'd assume that the pace would be swift, but the first half is mostly set-up for the back-half where a bunch of cannon fodder gets dispatched.

There's some inventive kills (pleasingly brought to life by practical means), and while half the script is underwhelming, the other half contains some enjoyable side characters and some cracking lines - there's promise amidst the mediocrity here, and at least it ends on a sly (and brutal) note, although one which is completely undercut by there being a third bite at the apple coming in 2013. That said, it appears that Caroline Williams, Derek Mears, and and Zach Galligan are in the cast, so the fanboys and fangirls out there will continue to be played to. Brutality wise, there's plenty of gore on offer, although I don't understand what all the fuss in America was about - it was released as an NC-17 and took a stand in doing so (for some daft reason, NC-17 is considered a filthy and disrespectful thing) and promptly did about sod-all at the box office. Here in the UK it was passed 18 uncut with no worries ... and still didn't do much business. There's some fun to be had here, but there's little else on offer than fanboy references to the genre's past, summing up a disappointing lack of ambition ... and the screaming nu-metal tosh on the credits is a total misjudgement. Alright.

Click "READ MORE" below for thoughts on bunny boilers, silent masterpieces, losers, coughs & sneezes, and moon Nazis...

Saturday 8 December 2012

The Walking Dead - what can we expect from episode 3x09 in February 2013?

Find a whole bunch of Walking Dead memes here.

The following post specifically analyses the sneak peek trailers that AMC have officially put out for episode 3x09 "The Suicide King" - if you'd prefer to go into February without knowing anything at all, stop reading, but if you wish to continue, don't worry, there are no real major plot spoilers ahead - however, one question posed by the cliffhanger IS answered.

Click "READ MORE" below to see what we can expect from The Walking Dead 3x09...

Walking Dead Debrief 3x08 "Made To Suffer"...

See last week's debrief here.

See memes for this episode here.


Click "READ MORE" below to get the full debrief and some best moments...

Thursday 6 December 2012

Eyes In Your Window: Blog #06...

Find the previous post in this series here.

The completed script.

Eyes In Your Window is complete! The first (of three) episode has been redrafted (after taking some time to show it to fresh pairs of eyes to get some feedback), but fortunately due to spending plenty of time up-front getting to know the story and the characters, I had 90% of it sorted after the first draft - of course, getting better at screenwriting with every new script helps, a great deal in fact, as you learn how to streamline your writing process and zoom in on exactly what you need to say to tell your story. Interestingly, the biggest change was turning one character from a male into a female, a simple change (although fiddly in terms of changing all the "he/him/his" into "she/her/her's"), but one which really gave that particular character a whole new edge and made them much richer. Ironically enough, the character's name was unisex (albeit one that is generally considered to be more female than male).

Click "READ MORE" below for a sneak-peek sample...

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Axel's Dating Tips, Michonne on Humour, and Tyreese Steps Up: The Walking Dead 3x08 Memes...

Find more Walking Dead memes here.

Click on the images to view them full size.

Well there we have it - the first half of season three is done and it was another cracking episode. New episodes return to AMC on February 10th, so it's just a little more than two months before we can return to that cliffhanger. In the meantime, enjoy some memes for "Made To Suffer"...

Tip #1

Click "READ MORE" below to view the rest of the memes (EPISODE SPOILER AHEAD)...

Sunday 2 December 2012

Walking Dead Debrief 3x07 "When The Dead Come Knocking"...

See last week's debrief here.

See memes for this episode here.



* Glenn took a hell of a beating in this episode, as dispensed by Merle - that glimpse of a soft side is long gone here. The bad guy you love to hate just got a lot more dangerous.

* Baby "Judith" - just like in the comics.

Click "READ MORE" below for more debriefing, the best gore moment, best twist on the comics, and the cliffhanger...

Friday 30 November 2012

Flavours of the Month: November 2012...


The Cabin in the Woods (Blu-Ray) - Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's love/hate letter to the horror genre. It isn't a game changer, despite the hype, but it's a damn fun time for genre nerds with a solid compliment of extras on the Blu-Ray (which is now fully functional after numerous reports of technical glitches for some viewers when it was originally released on disc).

Married With Children: Season 7 - ten years ago I went off to university and so, not having Sky at my disposal anymore, I wasn't able to keep up with this sitcom on the Paramount Comedy Channel (now known as Comedy Central), so beyond the first two episodes of the seventh season, it's all brand new to me. I wasn't planning on waiting a decade to resume my perusal of the Bundy back catalogue, but that's how it turned out. I do have the remaining four seasons all lined up and ready to go though - in fact I'm barging through season 8 already.

Click "READ MORE" below for more Looks, Sounds, Vibes & Flavours...

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Badass Glenn, Sleeves, Duct Tape and Good Times: The Walking Dead 3x07 memes...

Find more Walking Dead memes here.

Tensions are running high in the world of The Walking Dead with just the mid-season finale left to go, but before we get to what is sure to be a thrilling mid-season conclusion, let's dig into some memes for "When The Dead Come Knocking".

The 'clean' version.

Click "READ MORE" below to go sleeveless, use duct tape as armour, reminisce, and see alternatives...

Sunday 25 November 2012

Walking Dead Debrief 3x06 "Hounded"...

See last week's debrief here.

See memes for this episode here.



* Some have expressed controversy regarding Michonne, even going so far as to call her a "ninja", and while her sudden arrival amidst Merle's search party was a bit of a stretch in terms of believability, it was still good fun. I can't imagine this scene will further endear those struggling to accept her character though.

Click "READ MORE" below to continue with the debrief...

Thursday 22 November 2012

Want even more Walking Dead memes?

There was once a Tumblr page for "The Laughing Dead", but a while back it vanished - however, never fear, they're back in the form of the Official Laughing Dead Facebook page.

I see they've shared a few of my memes on there in recent weeks as well (nice to see "likes" and comments on them). There's lots of people sharing their own memes, and plenty of Walking Dead flavoured chuckles to be had - so if you're on the lookout for even more Walking Dead memes, check them out.

For more DeadShed memes for The Walking Dead, click here.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Daryl vs Carl, Where's Carol, and Hello Aunt Alicia - The Walking Dead 3x06 memes...

Find more Walking Dead memes here.

Another cracking episode this week, and one that sets up what is sure to be a gruelling and memorable next two episodes to round-out this first half of season three. Now though - a couple of memes.

(Updated Version)

Click "READ MORE" to ask "Where's Carol?" and listen in to one of Rick's phone calls...

Saturday 17 November 2012

Walking Dead gifs...

Rummaging through some files I stumbled upon these couple of animated gifs that I cobbled together a few months ago - I'd never created a gif before and fancied a stab at it, and yet for some reason I forgot about these, so I might as well share them here.

These two are from the The Walking Dead season two finale "Beside the Dying Fire".

The first one was supposed to be used as an avatar for forums and the like, and the second was my very first stab at creating an animated gif image. I was only using a relatively basic gif creator, and I couldn't really figure out how to get the perfect balance between smooth motion, image size, and the actual size of the file itself. Still though - worth sharing - I hope you enjoy them.

In Time: The Most Idiotic Movie I've Seen in Years...

What's it about?
In the future the entire world economy has been replaced by a system of time - you work for time, you buy goods and services with time, and that time is displayed on your arm. When the counter reaches zero, you die. However, this bizarre system is connected to the invention of immortality which keeps everyone looking like they're 25 (even if most of the actors are decidedly over 25 years of age).

Andrew (S1m0ne, Lord of War) Niccol's film is stunning - in that it's stunning how this shoddy script (which he wrote, produced, and directed) was ever green lit, and how on earth it attracted so many known names to it.

Justin Timberlake plays factory drone Will Salas who encounters a 'time rich' man, who he rescues from time thieves, only to be gifted with the stranger's century of time. Crossing several "time zones", Will ends up gambling with one of the richest men in this new world order, Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser), but is soon apprehended by the authorities ... for about five minutes before he makes a daring escape, kidnapping Sylvia (Amanda Seyfreid), the rich man's daughter in the process. Now it's the two of them versus the system.
Who would I recognise in it?
Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Wilde, Johnny Galecki.
Let's summarise my thoughts on this moronic mess, replete with plot holes you could navigate a cruise ship through, with a list of glaringly obvious problems as they randomly spring to mind:

Click "READ MORE" below to continue reading just why "In Time" is the most idiotic movie I've seen in years (BEWARE - MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS AHEAD)...

Walking Dead Debrief 3x05 "Say the Word"...

See last week's debrief here.

See memes for this episode here.


Click "READ MORE" below to read this week's episode debrief...

Thursday 15 November 2012

Quadruple Bill Mini Musings: Lists, Fields, Heists, and Love...

Kill List:
What's it about?
Two hitmen - one of whom who has a dodgy past and has been out of the game too long - are contracted to pull off multiple kills, but something's not right, not least because the victims say thank you before they're offed in Ben Wheatley's dark British horror thriller.
Who would I recognise in it?
Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring, Emma Fryer.
Some might find it slow to get underway, initially focusing on the troubled marriage of a lower-middle-class couple, particularly the husband's askew mental state, but the time taken up-front pays off in the end with greater investment and impact in the closing scenes. Some have mentioned The Wicker Man in connection with this British horror flick, and some connections can be seen here and there. Ultimately, some might find the lack of answers or any real explanation in the third act, which can somewhat undo the genuine creepiness built up during Act II, to be a bit off-putting, but even still it's a cracking little chiller. Good.

Click "READ MORE" for Texas Killing Fields, Tower Heist, and Submarine...

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Rick the Psycho Dad Edition - The Walking Dead 3x05 memes...

Find more Walking Dead memes here.

Another solid episode - "Say the Word" introduced us to a completely unhinged Rick Grimes, which was the main meme inspiration for this week, with a little help from the theme song to Al Bundy's favourite TV show.

Click "READ MORE" below for more of Rick: Psycho Dad, an awkward trouser malfunction, a dash of Merle, and some security problems (the second image contains spoilers for last week's episode - 3x04 "Killer Within")...

Sunday 11 November 2012

Double Bill Mini Musings: Woods & Dogs...

The Cabin in the Woods:
What's it about?
Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon's love/hate letter to the horror genre was originally made in 2009, but due to MGM's financial troubles at the time, it was shelved until 2012 for release. Five good-looking college kids head off to the woods for a fun weekend, but where do a bunch of shady button-pushers in an underground bunker fit in?
Who would I recognise in it?
Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, and ... well, that would be telling.
It's hard to talk about this movie without spoiling it - but the trailer gives most of the game away as it is (although not the entire game, one should note). In a cabin rather reminiscent of that in Sam Raimi's seminal 1981 horror milestone The Evil Dead, there are all sorts of nasty surprises just waiting to be discovered.

Click "READ MORE" below to see if this flick's any cop, and whether the Straw Dogs remake has any teeth...

Saturday 10 November 2012

My Dear Killer (Tonino Valerii, 1972) DVD Review...

Find more Shameless Screen Entertainment DVD reviews here.

Tonino Valerii's only venture into the world of the gialli flick is as much a poliziotteschi crime thriller as it is a bloody murder mystery. George (All The Colours of the Dark, The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh) Hilton plays Inspector Luca Peretti, the cop who is (typically enough) obsessed with his latest case, which kicks off with a novel use for a dredger – decapitation – one of the films stand-out set-pieces.

As Peretti's case gets ever-more-twisted, he finds himself trapped within a complex web of deceit and a hidden truth that someone is going to murderous lengths to keep a secret. Eventually it becomes clear that at the heart of this growing pile of bodies is the missing child of a rich family, that is populated by an untrustworthy group of liars and cheats – but who is to blame and why are they resorting to cold-blooded executions?

Click "READ MORE" below to continue the review and see more screenshots...

Walking Dead Debrief 3x04 "Killer Within"...

See last week's debrief here.

See memes for this episode here.



* In a welcome moment of levity, the show makers injected a little sauciness into proceedings. In the comics there was a running joke about Glenn and Maggie shacking up like a pair of rabbits, and here their guard-tower tryst brings a sense of fun to an otherwise harrowing episode.

* Axel fans got their wish - "You follow me?"

Click "READ MORE" to continue the debrief (spoilers ahead!)...

Friday 9 November 2012

World War Z trailer analysis...

There's already been a lot said about the film adaptation of Max Brooks' celebrated zombie novel, which centred around a series of interviews from around the world, conducted by one man, in which the disparate experiences of survivors were recounted (from the initial outbreak in China to the infamous Battle of Yonkers), and not a lot of what has been said about it thus far has been all that good.

First there was news of the plot getting a total overhaul – yes, it would be difficult to translate a series of interviews into a narrative film, but initial news would suggest there's been large scale changes. Then there was the inevitable news that a costly flick such as this would be, *sigh*, rated PG-13, and then the news that the shambling corpses of the book were getting replaced with runners – and by the looks of the trailers, they're not just runners – the term “zombie tsunami” has been bandied about in comment feeds across the Internet. There was also the news that significant re-shoots were required to re-work the third act – rumours abound that it was tens-of-millions of dollars (some rumours going as high as a surely-implausible $100 million) worth of re-shoots. The suggestion was that they were going far beyond the usual level of re-shoots required for a big budget movie … suffice to say, this sort of news doesn't bode well for fans of the novel.

So let's take a look at the recently released trailer.

Click "READ MORE" for the analysis and a shed load of screenshots...

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Eyes In Your Window: Blog #05...

Find the previous post in this series here.

Progress update - with the first draft of the first episode ("Mug") complete, it was time to move on to figuring out the lay-of-the-land regarding the remaining two episodes in this planned three-part post-watershed drama serial. Episodes two and three are titled "Knife" and "Stump" respectively, and at first I was just going to jump straight into a Word document and map them out there - but suddenly the flow I had experienced when planning "Mug" was gone...

Click "READ MORE" below to continue...

Monday 5 November 2012

Teleporting Walkers & Amorous Activity, You Follow Me? - The Walking Dead 3x04 memes...

Find more Walking Dead memes here.

Well that was a hell of an episode, wasn't it?! To calm your shredded nerves, have some memes from episode 3x04 "Killer Within".

Click "READ MORE" below for sauciness and teleportation...

Triple Bill Mini/Cine Musings: Bond, Loves, Action...

What's it about?
23rd entry in the long-running spy action series arriving during the 50th anniversary of Bond on the silver screen. A hard-drive detailing the information of undercover operatives is stolen by the blonde-haired baddie Silva, who has a personal grudge to settle that goes straight to the heart of MI6. Naturally, it's up to Bond, James Bond, to get things sorted.
Who would I recognise in it?
Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw.
Casino Royale (Craig's first Bond) was superb and brought about a tougher, more hard-edged Bond (building on work first established by Timothy Dalton during his two-Bond-run in the 1980s) - it combined arse kicking with traditional Bond glamour and a great script. The follow-up Quantum of Solace was a bit iffy in some respects - the camerawork during action scenes was shaky-to-the-point-of-frustration and (as a result of the writer's strike at the time) the script was unbalanced, lacking in tension, and failed to really grab the viewer - that said, it wasn't a write-off by any stretch of the imagination. We'd come to expect something greater though with Casino Royale and now, delivered by Sam Mendes, Bond's 50th Anniversary is an enjoyable knock-about triumph.

Click "READ MORE" below for the verdict, plus two other flicks...

Saturday 3 November 2012

Walking Dead Debrief 3x03 "Walk With Me"...

See the debrief for the previous episode here.

See memes for this episode here.



* As I'd thought, 3x03 focused purely on Andrea, Michonne, The Governor, Merle, and Woodbury. Back at the prison they have safety, shelter, food, medical supplies, and have dealt with the other survivors - they now have time to take a breather - so when you've got a whole bunch of new people and situations to introduce, you're going to require an entire episode to do so. The next episode will feature both the Prison and Woodbury though, so it seems.

* The people of Woodbury refer to walkers as "creepers", "biters" and "lurkers".

* Andrea and Michonne didn't know that anyone who dies becomes a walker - Rick only admitted the truth (as told to him by Dr Edwin Jenner in 1x06 "TS-19") after the herd of walkers had besieged the Greene farm, at which point Andrea had been left behind (apparently taken down by walkers as far as Rick & Co are concerned).

* Milton is the town's very own Dr Logan (Day of the Dead). Seeking to find reason amidst the chaos of the zombie apocalypse, he proffers his thesis regarding Michonne's undead bodyguards. Removed of the ability to eat the flesh of the living (arms and lower jaw severed), walkers will become docile and act as repellent to other geeks.

Click "READ MORE" below to continue the 3x03 debrief...

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Flavours of the Month: October 2012...


The Walking Dead: Cold Storage - the month got off to an undead start with a rather good webisode series directed by KNB effects master Greg Nicotero. Surprisingly dark in places, it provided a nice little side-bar teaser to the forthcoming main event later in the month.

Fangoria's Blood & Guts with Scott Ian - the Nerdist channel on YouTube has introduced a great new show that targets horror nerds in its sights. The Anthrax guitarist visits various effects houses (starting, naturally, with KNB Effects) and explores the world of special make-up effects - often involving gallons of glorious fake blood.

Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 2012 "80s-a-thon" - every year James Rolfe gets into the Halloween spirit and reviews various horror flicks throughout the month of October. This month was dedicated to the frightful sights of the 1980s.

Click "READ MORE" for more looks, sounds, vibes & flavours of October 2012...

Monday 29 October 2012

The Governor's TV, Milton's tea, and Ash who? - The Walking Dead 3x03 memes...

Find more Walking Dead memes here.

One of these gives away a tasty shock image at the cliffhanger of episode three, so just in case anyone has happened by that hasn't seen the episode yet, you can find it after the jump below.

Click "READ MORE" below for a spot of tea and some telly...

Sunday 28 October 2012

Almost Human (Umberto Lenzi, 1974) DVD Review...

Read more Shameless Screen Entertainment DVD reviews here.

Umberto (Cannibal Ferox, Man From Deep River) Lenzi's brash poliziotteschi crime thriller kicks off in grand style, with a botched bank robbery that leads to a frenzied car chase filled with screaming rubber and battered metal – a sequence that best demonstrates Eugenio (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) Alabiso's tight editing. Blamed for ruining the score, Giulio Sacchi (Tomas Milian, Syndicate Sadists, full of twitchy energy) is introduced as an unreliable low-level hoodlum on Italy's crime-ridden streets, a man with enough chips on his shoulder to fill-out a fish supper. What's more, he's not above killing a policeman for a mere 600 lira stolen from a cigarette machine, in this film where the usual Italian glamour is replaced by uncompromising grit.

Written by Ernesto Gastaldi's (The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh), we are presented with a vision of Italy exposed as a society ruled by a totally corrupt legal system which fails to enact the basic intentions of law and order. Criminals are routinely let off the hook due to a lack of evidence, and it is with this knowledge that Giulio crafts a scheme to yield him some fat cash: half a billion lira, to be precise.

Click "READ MORE" below for the full review and more screenshots...

Saturday 27 October 2012

Walking Dead Debrief 3x02 "Sick"...

See the previous episode's debrief here.

See memes for this episode here.


* Bear McCreary's music has taken a step up. It was always good, but the intense dramatic moments of these first two episodes have born witness to heart-pounding, driving pieces on the soundtrack.

* I forgot to mention last time, but the new opening sequence is great. Covering key images from the second season (such as the Cherokee Rose flower, Hershel's watch, the farmhouse and more), it looks forward to what's to come.

* T-Dog might have a bit of a naff weapon (a fire poker), but he sure knows how to wield it effectively.

* Hershel, in the intervening months, has taught Carol a thing or two about medicine.

* Rick's competitive side is unleashed. It's survival of the fittest now, and Rick is willing to stand his ground for the good of his group. He barters a trade with the five inmates - half their food in exchange for assisting them in clearing out another cellblock for them to live in separately.

Click "READ MORE" below to learn more...

Friday 26 October 2012

Eyes In Your Window: Blog #04...

Read the previous post in this series here.

Time for a progress update - put simply, the first draft of the script for "Mug" (the first-of-three episodes which make up Eyes In Your Window), was completed today. As this is a spec script, and a three-part post-watershed drama serial to boot, you don't have to write all three (or however many you've chosen) episodes. Instead you write the first episode, and then map out the other two (or however many you've chosen).

Click "READ MORE" below to continue reading the latest EIYW blog post...

Thursday 25 October 2012

Evil Dead 2013 remake trailer analysis...

Read my reaction to Evil Dead 2013 here.

Remakes are a funny old game, as I've remarked before, most recently when stating that a flick which would make for a good remake is Drive-In Massacre. One of the biggest problems with remakes that I find, however, is that they can never live up to the vibe that the original exudes. The scope of the remake is far larger, the production design is through-the-roof comparatively, and in-place of discovering a long-established classic during your formative years with fellow-minded classmates, you've got the big marketing push with the inevitable appearance at a Comic-Con.

This brings me to the 2013 remake of The Evil Dead – as first shown to us at the 2012 New York Comic-Con – and it has my fanboy mind all over the place. I'm a huge admirer of the original movie (which I first saw aged 14 after buying a VHS copy – which was at the time still severely cut by the BBFC – from my local post office), so the first mention a while back of the film being remade, sent we horror fans into a right old tizzy. The announcement that Diablo Cody would be heading up screenwriting duties was controversial enough in itself, but on the other hand – under the banner of Ghost House Pictures – the original creators of the The Evil Dead were actively involved, and had picked an unknown (Fede Alvarez) for directing duties (an offer that no sane aspiring filmmaker would turn down).

Click “READ MORE” below for a slew of screenshots and responses...

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Where's Carl? Carol's SVU, Daryl's poncho, and a bonus - The Walking Dead 3x02 memes...

Find more Walking Dead memes HERE.

Another episode of The Walking Dead season 3 means some more memes - enjoy.

Click "READ MORE" for more Carl, as well as Carol's sane medical research, and a couple of bonus pics...

Saturday 20 October 2012

Walking Dead Debrief 3x01 "Seed"...

Each week I'll be doing a run-down of each episode from season 3 - a sort of week-by-week episode-by-episode debrief, if you will - so with the triumphant return of AMC's superb zombie apocalypse drama, onwards to the 3x01 "Seed"...


* After months on the road, surviving winter in the process, our merry band of walker bashers have developed into a team with a procedure for clearing a house and searching for survivors. However, while desperate, Rick won't allow them to stoop to eating dog food - a prospect that a much more hardened (and responsible) Carl doesn't take issue with.

* Michonne and Andrea have formed a tight duo (with accompanying chained zombies). This will be an interesting dynamic to follow as the season progresses, particularly when Woodbury is introduced (no doubt in 3x02 or at a push 3x03).

* The gang have developed their own tools - silencers made out of torches (or flashlights to our American friends), locks made out of chains and climbing gear that are ideal for chain link fences, and so on.

Click "READ MORE" below for more info, gore, twists, and cliffhangers...

Final Destination 5: Single Bill Mini Musings...

What's it about?
Fourth sequel in the long-running horror franchise where death uses devilishly inventive ways of picking off those who escape his deadly grasp. A bus load of young business folk are off on a team building weekend, but when one of their number forsees a disastrous bridge collapse, he and a handful of his colleagues escape their grisly fate ... for now.
Who would I recognise in it?
Emma Bell, Tony Todd, David Koechner, P.J. Byrne, Courtney B. Vance

Click "READ MORE" below to see if it's any good...

Wednesday 17 October 2012

The Walking Dead Memes (Collected)...

The Walking Dead is a fantastic show and ripe for some excellent memes, and so here is one single post to keep track of the various meme images that I have created for it. This post will be updated with new images as-and-when they're produced. Beware, there's plenty of spoilers ahead...

N.B. Click on each image to see them in their FULL SIZE.

Season One in Memes

Season Two in Memes (Plus S1, S3 & S4 Bonus Memes)

Rick Grimes: Sheriff of the English Language (1x01)

Rick & Dr. Jenner

Season 3: The Search For Carl?

Comic-Con 2012

Beth: Soap & Jesus, Maggie Killing Walkers, and the Bro's of the Apocalypse

Shane's Serious Squat, and Barn Burning

Season 3

Hershel vs. Puberty, and Maggie Loves Gore (3x01)

Where's Carl? Carol's SVU, Daryl's Poncho, and Nicotero's Walker (3x02)

The Governor's TV, Milton's tea, and Ash who? (3x03)

Axel's Catchphrase, Guard Tower Sauciness, and Teleportation (3x04)

Rick: Psycho Dad, An Awkward Trouser Malfunction, A Dash of Merle, and Security Problems (3x05)

Daryl vs Carl, Where's Carol, and Hello Aunt Alicia (3x06)

Glenn The Ass Kicker, Where's Carl Memories, Double Sleeveless, Duct Tape Armour, and Alternatives (3x07)

Axel's Dating Tips, Tyreese Steps Up, Michonne on Humour, and Hammer Time (3x08)

Tyreese vs T-Dog, and Apple Sauce (3x09)

Short Haired Danger, Brown Trouser Time, and Eye-F**king (3x10)

Carl Loves Beth, Dale's Face, and Andrea's Arse (Various)

Amputees Anonymous, Traitors, and F.U. Ben (3x11)

Where's Carl, Crazy People, Hitch-Hikers, Stuff & Things and More (3x12)

Where's Carl, Dale Tales, and more Things 'n' Stuff (Various)

Badass Beth, Diplomacy, Pervy Merle, and Sexual Relations (3x13)

Subtlety, Undercover Badassery, Speaking the Truth, and Getting Michowned (3x14)

Merle & Michonne's Road Trip (3x15)

Expectations Subverted: Apocalyptic Parenting, Sad Farewells, Girl Power and Sound Advice (3x16)

Derle, Merle, Carl & T-Dog (Season 3 Bonus Memes)

Season 4

Season 4 Comic-Con Trailer Analysis with Bonus Memes

4x01: Farmer Rick, Story Time Carl, and Violet the Pig

4x02: Singing, Breakfast, Photography, and Michowning

4x03: Sore Hands, Shocking Carol, and Creepy Judith

4x04: Awkward Dancing, Newbies, Terminology and Time Pieces

4x05: Hershel, Fangirls, Rick-Trolling, Cheats, Creeps, and Credits

4x06: Pirates, Messages, Fist Bumps, Bad Jokes, and Forever Alone

4x07: Winking, Blinking, Aquariums, and Golf

4x08: War, Feels, Tanks, and The Governor

4x09: Pudding, Swearing, and Pile-Ons

4x10: Diaries, Bunnies, Photos, and Crazies

4x11: Crazy Cheese, Shirts, Smarts, and Stuff n Thangs

4x12: Golf, Booze, and Pyromania

4x13: Piggy-Backs, Foreshadowing, and C-Blocking

4x14: Creepy Lizzie, Justice, and Forever Alone

4x15: Eugene's Success With The Ladies

4x16: Throats, Lego, and Cliffhanger Trolling

Season 5

Season 5 Comic-Con Trailer Analysis

5x01: Puns, Explosions, Watches, and Crossbows

5x02: Gags, BBQ, and Soggy Walkers

5x03: Wise Words and Red-Handled Machetes

5x04: Lollipops, Haters, and The Greater Good

5x05: Dolphins and Peeping

5x06: Health Hazards and Art Appreciation

5x07: Puns and Official Terminology

5x08: Feelings and Such

5x09: Breaking Hearts and Walker Torsos

5x10: Kissing, Worm Food, and Sasha's Pep Talks

5x11: Looks, Roamers, and Happy Abraham

5x12: Grizzly/Gorgeous Grimes, and Carol vs Daryl

5x13: Cookie Monster Carol and Randy Rick

5x14: Cookies, Consequences, and Tempting Fate

5x15: Crazy Rick and 7 Minutes In Zombie Heaven

5x16: Killer Rick and Hashtag Deanna

Season 6

Season 6 Comic-Con Trailer Analysis

6x01: Protein and Mullets

6x02: Haircuts, Ron, and Ass-Kicking Carol

6x03: Epic Feels, Cliffhangers, and the Worst Thank You Ever

6x04: Big Teases and Morgan-Induced Rage

6x05: Cookies, Kisses, and Changed Minds

6x06: Abraham's Got a Way with Words

6x07: Judith's Parentage and Flipping Off Ron

6x08: That Mid-Season Finale Feeling

6x09: The Ultimate Badass Kicks It Up a Notch

6x10: Sneaky Peeks and Saucy Times

6x11: First Impressions and Getting Bigger

6x12: Cookies and Kisses

6x13: Smoking Kills and Ice Cold Carol

6x14: Shifting, Biting, and Words of Wisdom

6x15: Bedroom Apples and Eugene's Shower Habits

6x16: How Evil is Evil, Tempted Fate, and That TWD Feeling

Season 7

Season 7 Comic-Con Trailer Analysis with Bonus Meme

7x01: Snot & Tears, Anticipation, and That Negan Feeling

7x02: Shiva Galore

7x03: Easy Street

7x04: Parentage, Bargains, and Balls

7x05: Cooorrraaalll, Car Crashes, and Teenage Disobedience

7x06: The New Lizzie, and Tara's Devil on Her Shoulder

7x07: Father Burn

7x08: Vicarious Thrills, Spaghetti, and Hugs

7x09: Rhetoric and Lessons

7x10: Darva and Morgan's Stick

7x11: Posture, Pickles, and Sepsis

7x12: Walker Bits and The Judith Approach

7x13: Into The Ragelands and Noah Knows

7x14: BFFs and Smokey Doctors

7x15: Lady Nuts

7x16: Cucks, Chat Up Lines, and Delays

Season 8

8x01: Windows, Banter, and Shakespeare

8x03: Post-Apocalyptic Politicking and Sharyl

8x05: Weenie Talk and Seriously Puntastic

8x07: Awkward Handshake

8x08: Having A Moment

8x09: Alexandria's Protector and The New Carl

8x11: Party Invite (and a 8x10 Bonus Meme)

8x14: Rick's Jacket

8x16: Jerry

Season 9

9x01: Motorbikes Rule, Horses Drool & The Pookie Zone

9x03: Keeping The Grimes Bloodline Going

9x09: Eugene's Confession

9x13: #Donnie's Love Notes

Enjoy, and keep an eye out for more.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Hershel vs Puberty, and Maggie Loves Gore - The Walking Dead 3x01 Memes...

Find more Walking Dead memes HERE.

The new season of the superb zombie drama show The Walking Dead is underway - so it's about time we had some brand new memes to go along with it.

First up - Hershel vs. Puberty.

Click "READ MORE" below for Maggie loving some gore...

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Eyes In Your Window: Blog #03...

Read the previous post in this series here.

There's always that moment of trepidation before you actually start writing a screenplay. You've got it all planned out, you've got extensive notes, and the whole thing is pretty much right there in your head - now though, you have to physically type it all out, translating the images in the old noggin, into words on a page that people will then read.

Oftentimes procrastination rears its ugly head about now - with the script essentially all there in your head, the creative juices begin to wane a bit (after the planning process where ideas come thick, fast, and in whatever order they want) - but you have to fight past that temptation of goofing off. It can be resolved by a simple action - double clicking that screenplay software icon on your desktop. Double click that and it's open, and then you think 'well seeing as it's open, I might as well write something', and providing the muse is with you, you'll find yourself with five pages under your belt. That in itself is a measure to go by, if you can get five pages written each day, then that's good going - but even still, just writing a mere one paragraph is all progress in the right direction - so if you have a rough day at the keyboard, don't fret - but if that's how each day goes, then perhaps something needs to change.

Click "READ MORE" below to read the first page of "Eyes In Your Window"...

Friday 5 October 2012

"Nightmare Factory" - the KNB Effects Documentary...

I was watching the round-up of Fright Fest the 13th (a UK horror film festival that reached its thirteenth anniversary this year) on The Horror Channel, and amidst the films glimpsed at was a documentary about the talented folks over at KNB Effects - the go-to-guys for practical make-up effects, whose fingerprints are all over all of the best gore and creature effects of the last twenty years - titled Nightmare Factory (written & directed by Donna Davies) From their humble beginnings on Evil Dead II, the documentary covers what brought these guys together to bring frightful sights to the silver screen, and for any horror nerd (such as myself), this will surely be a must-watch when it is released.

In the meantime, have a glimpse at some clips - I for one am chomping at the bit to get my mits on this documentary. A visit to KNB Effects would be my personal equivalent of Charlie going to the Chocolate Factory.

Nightmare Factory trailer from Ruby Tree Films on Vimeo.

Click "READ MORE" below to view a few clips from the documentary...

Double Bill Mini Musings: Haunted Hotels & Spoofing Spies...

The Innkeepers:
What's it about?
Ti West's follow-up to the chilling, yet restrained, 1980s-set horror The House of the Devil, about a couple of Generation Y slacker-cum-ghost-hunters (Claire and Luke) who are working during the closing weekend of The Yankee Pedlar Inn, a New England hotel with a dark history.
Who would I recognise in it?
Sara Paxton, Kelly McGillis
Up front, if you didn't dig the gradual pace and slow-build tension of The House of the Devil, then you'll no doubt find no entertainment here. However, if - like me - you lapped up that flick, then you'll be in familiar and unsettling territory here. West has a real talent for subtle pacing and characterisation - you genuinely like Claire and Luke, who exist in a lazier hotelier's version of Clerks when they're not busy trying to find evidence of supernatural goings on. However, with the arrival of McGillis' actress-turned-healer, and a distanced widower, things begin to take a chilling turn. Each corridor, each picture frame reflection, each silent pause, holds an increasing sense of menace - you don't know whether to trust West or not after a knowing scare at the top of the flick - and this is the charm of the film. It's a classic ghost story that trades on familiar elements to inspire a sense of deja vu in the viewer. Sly hints crop up to continue the subtle guess-work - musical allusions to Ghostbusters, visual winks to The Shining - precisely where we'll end up is deftly hidden, and being that West has a fondness for horror from the genre's heyday, counting on a cosy wrap-up is sorely misguided. Cast with subtle shades and a glacial sense of propulsion, Saw franchise fanboys need not apply, but those keen on tense chills will be well served. Great.

Click "READ MORE" below for the belated return of Johnny English...

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Eyes In Your Window: Blog #02...

See the first post in this new blog series here.

The actual writing of this new screenplay is almost about to begin, but before you can get to writing, you have to come up with an idea and flesh it out with a whole slew of ideas. I find that old unused exercise books or journals from school are the ideal thing for this - you can gradually fill a book up over time with new ideas as they come to you, and when you settle on your next chosen project to pursue, everything you already figured out is right there where you want it to be, and then you can add many more details.

Now, the one downside is that ideas don't pop into your head in a linear fashion, nor at any pre-determined time (hence why I'd often come up with a great idea just as I was beginning to fall asleep, and would then have to spend ten minutes writing it all down - at which point I'd be wide awake again). As a result, your book of ideas won't be in any sort of order, and you'll be jumping back-and-forth through the pages to find what you're looking for.

A great way to organise your ideas though, is to use record cards, like in the above image.

Click "READ MORE" below for more info on organising your ideas, and the episode titles for the planned arrangement of three episodes for Eyes In Your Window...

YouTube Finds: "Blood & Guts with Scott Ian"...

A new show to the Nerdist Channel all about gore and special make-up effects, and the first port of call is of course the legend that is Gregg Nicotero!

In this series premiere episode, join host Scott Ian (Anthrax) as he spends a day with Legendary FX Artist Greg Nicotero in his KNB EFX's studio. See Nicotero's vast prop collection from throughout his career and also experience an awe inspiring bit of Blood and Guts.
 As a big horror fan, and a keen follower of KNB's work, this was a real joy to watch. Just nerding out over the various props and replicas was satisfying enough, but then they 'kill' three zombies to finish the video off, haha!

Sunday 30 September 2012

Flavours of the Month: September 2012...


All Star Celebrity Bowling - as-seen on the Nerdist YouTube Channel. I did a second run through of these episodes, and while I'm pretty crap at bowling, I rather enjoy it. The best episode would have to be the one where Team Breaking Bad went up against Team Nerdist, with the episodes featuring The Walking Dead and Mad Men also being decided favourites.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - a recent discovery on YouTube. Jerry Seinfeld picks up comedian friends and takes them out for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat in a different car every episode. It's just two comedians chit-chatting, but it's a bloody good laugh. The season finale even brings a touch of melancholy, regret, and ever-lasting friendship to the table.

The Paralympics - Channel 4's coverage was a bit iffy from time-to-time (such as the last three minutes of a wheelchair rugby match getting lost because they simply had to run off to an advert break and, despite saying it would, it didn't appear on the Interactive Red Button menu), but on the other hand I quite enjoyed the daily round-up show "The Last Leg". I wasn't madly into it, similar to the Olympics, but I dipped into it frequently and kept an eye on the medal count. The opening ceremony was perhaps a bit too earnest, but it was a stronger vision than the Olympics closing ceremony which was a bit naff, and then the closing ceremony was pretty strong with it's Mad Max visuals and so forth.

Touch of Cloth (Sky 1) - co-written by Charlie Brooker, this two-part spoof of British police dramas was bloody hilarious. Crammed full of sight gags, cliches were meddled with playfully - properly good fun.

Click "READ MORE" below for sharks, beavers, zombies and more flavours of the month...

Saturday 29 September 2012

The Walking Dead Season 3 Memes/LOLs - Beth, Maggie & the Guys Edition...

Find more Walking Dead memes HERE.

Season 3 of AMC's wonderful The Walking Dead is a mere couple of weeks away, so to help get us all in the mood for some sweet-arse zombie-slaying drama, here's a couple of new memes.

Click "READ MORE" below for two more memes...

Thursday 27 September 2012

Triple Bill Mini Musings: Nostalgia, Punching, and Bureaucracy...

American Pie Reunion:
What's it about?
Third official sequel to the 1999 teen sex comedy smash-hit in which four graduating high school seniors sought to lose their virginity after their Prom. Now in their early thirties, the gang - the full gang this time (nevermind the missing faces of American Wedding) - reunite for their high school reunion.
Who would I recognise in it?
Everyone from the original movies plus Katrina '30 Rock' Bowden's arse.
When such an extended ensemble cast are involved - and with nostalgia reigning supreme - the traditional focus of the three act structure gets somewhat lost between the "hey, remember me?!" reunion scenes, not to mention the sheer amount of spinning plates which, fortunately, do a solid enough job of keeping everything in-check. There are some nice bittersweet touches thrown in that keep the evolving yarns of these teens-no-more fresh - they're fully-fledged adults with their own separate lives, so they have to come to terms with being usurped by another group of breast-obsessed lads. Furthermore, Stifler has failed to really move on since college, so his pining for the old days leaves a tinge of melancholly that fits right in with the overall tone of nostalgia. Even the infamous "MILF Guys" are given deeper recesses to explore (relatively speaking). There's the requisite amount of raunch thrown in (more-so in the slightly longer "unrated" cut), and while many characters can get a bit side-lined (the primary focus was always Jim and his closest male buddies), it packs in enough variety to keep the surprisingly long running time (1 hour 54 minutes) ticking along nicely. The effect might be lost on new-comers, and those who caught-up on these flicks years later, but these movies hit my year-group at just the right time - a couple of years on either side of my graduating year is where American Pie always hit hardest, and its no different here. Thoroughly enjoyable - and it's nice to see they didn't give away all the good bits in the trailer - good.

Click "READ MORE" below for the low-down on gut-punching tower block action, and a beautiful Orwellian nightmare...

Wednesday 26 September 2012

YouTube Finds: Honest Trailers...

Twilight, Titanic, The Dark Knight, The Avengers and more all get cut down to size in these hilarious "honest trailers". Check them out, you'll be glad you did.

Thursday 20 September 2012

And so begins a new screenplay...

Blogging has been a bit light in the last few weeks, and there's a reason for that.

For one, having wrapped up "The Problem of Evil", I returned to my comedy/drama feature screenplay "Summer Road" - which has been retitled "Drifting" - to do a couple of fresh drafts on it to bring it up to standard. That in itself was a great learning opportunity, to see how I could further develop a screenplay, how I could add more flesh to the side characters, introduce numerous subtleties, and generally bring fresh ideas to the table, after having had some more writing experience since I had last touched it. So that re-drafting was finished a couple of weeks ago and since then...

I have been focusing on my next - brand new - screenplay. While Drifting and Allen Bridge were both feature length screenplays, my next - Eyes In Your Window - will be for the television drama format, specifically a three-part post-watershed serial. So far it's a working title, and a title that I struggled to find at all - I'll see how it fits as the writing gets underway. At the very least it has a name for the time being.

Click "READ MORE" below to find out more about my next screenwriting project...

Monday 17 September 2012

The 2nd worst movie I've seen all year...

Screamers: The Hunting
What's it about?
Sequel to the 1996 sci-fi thriller "Screamers". A distress signal from the mining planet Sirius 6-B brings a ship-load of rescuers to search for survivors some thirteen years after the events of the first movie.

Who would I recognise in it?
Lance Henriksen, and a bunch of people you probably won't recognise from the odd flick you might have seen.

While the first movie wasn't perfect by any means, it had a robust script, a solid premise, and good actors (led by Peter Weller) ... the sequel has none of these things. The original didn't have a massive budget, but it really looked far more expensive than it was - The Hunting (generic enough sub-title for you?) on the other hand, just looks cheap. Really cheap. Despite a handful of grand CGI shots (such as the factory where the screamers originate) and some nice touches in the production design (some spiffing hand-held computer devices), the rest of the movie really feels cheap-as-chips, and this most definitely extends - in abundance - to the, frankly, atrocious script.

Incredibly, Screamers: The Hunting was written by the co-writer of the first movie (the other writer being Dan O'Bannon, he of Alien, and Return of the Living Dead fame) ... goodness knows what happened then, because the script for this sequel is lazy and generic - endlessly so. The characters are weakly drawn, and if they have any motivations at all, they're as done-to-death as the dialogue (which often repeats itself ad-nauseum), and idiotic as the plot. A ham-fisted 'ticking clock' device just makes the rescue team look even more moronic than they initially appear - they seemingly have so little time, yet they're forever bunking off work early to catch yet another nap. Furthermore, if the killing of the only black man on the team right up front wasn't a deliberate piss-take of a genre-convention, then deary me. Deary me indeed.

Click "READ MORE" below to continue reading about just how awful this garbage is...

Thursday 13 September 2012

YouTube Finds: All Star Celebrity Bowling...

I've been a fan of this web show since it first started, and recently I re-watched all the episodes, and I figured it was about time I flagged them up to anyone not in-the-know about them yet. Created by the Nerdist crowd, who have their own podcast network, Nerdist-in-Chief Christ Hardwick started All Star Celebrity Bowling in which teams of bowlers (e.g. musical comedians, cast & crew of TV shows, etc) would face off against Team Nerdist (featuring Hardwick, son of professional bowler Billy Hardwick) in a tournament to try and win $10,000 for charity. Taking part would get them $1,000, beating Team Nerdist in a game would get them a further $1,000, and whoever would come out victorious over all other teams would win the big money for their chosen charity.

I do rather enjoy bowling - although I'm rubbish at it as I never go regularly (not even remotely so) - and I found these to be bloody entertaining, even the episodes featuring people I either didn't know or barely knew who they were. There's a really fun and relaxed atmosphere to these videos too, so the show is doubly enjoyable to watch. Below are the three episodes that I enjoyed the most (and have re-watched several times a-piece)...

1) Team Nerdist vs. Team Mad Men

2) Team Nerdist vs. Team Walking Dead

3) Team Nerdist vs. Team Breaking Bad

YouTube Finds: Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee...

Surfing around YouTube last week, I stumbled upon this brilliant little web series featuring Jerry Seinfeld talking to his comedian friends as he takes them out for coffee and chit-chat in different cars every week - Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a ruddy fun way to spend some YouTube time, so check it out.

Below are a couple of my favourite episodes so far:

1) Larry David, 2) Alec Baldwin, and 3) Joel Hodgson.