Maybe Blomkamp’s ‘Alien’ Should be a Reboot

queen concept

So ALIEN 5 (I like to call it Alien S-2 since it seems to be an Aliens sequel) is apparently on its way from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, and all indications suggest it’s going to put some strange pressures to the already twisted canon storyline of the Alien franchise.

Continue reading Maybe Blomkamp’s ‘Alien’ Should be a Reboot

Remembering Spock, and the Man Who Made Him

spock wrath of khan

When Leonard Nimoy died late last week at the age of 83, it left me thinking, like many people, about “Star Trek” in particular.

Nimoy himself has been an ever-present cultural icon throughout my life — from episodes of “In Search Of…” to episodes of “The Simpsons” — but of course he’s best remembered for his role as Spock. That’s because Spock and “Star Trek” still resonate to people like me, even decades later. On the phone with my dad over the weekend, when our conversation inevitably turned to Nimoy, he mentioned that Spock had been one of his heroes growing up.

He was one of mine, too.

Continue reading Remembering Spock, and the Man Who Made Him

Things I Liked in 2014: Edge of Tomorrow (or Live. Die. Repeat.)

live die repeat

Eventually I’m going to get around to talking about GameFront, the site at which I’ve worked for almost my entire time in Los Angeles, which was sadly shut down last month. But that post is taking a long time to develop, and stuff like a book release party keeps getting in the way, so I’m back-burnering it for a bit.

Instead, in honor of Groundhog Day, let’s talk about my favorite action movie of 2014 and one of the cooler time travel-ish movies of recent memory: Edge of Tomorrow (or as it seems to have been rebranded, Live. Die. Repeat.)

Continue reading Things I Liked in 2014: Edge of Tomorrow (or Live. Die. Repeat.)

Things I Liked in 2014: Alien: Isolation

alien isolation hunting you

Welp, 2014 is at an end, and it’s been an intense year in which my blogging experiment was put on indefinite hold. A lot of stuff happened, most of it kinda … bad.

Eventually, I mean to maybe unpack all that here, including the things that I learned and the things that I struggle(d) to deal with. In the meantime, since I’ve been out of it for a while, I figure I’ll highlight a few of the movies, books, stories and games I encountered in the last year that I rather enjoyed.

Up first is what is quite possibly my favorite game of 2014: Alien: Isolation.

Continue reading Things I Liked in 2014: Alien: Isolation

The Definitive Holiday Movie Playlist

venture christmas krampus

Over the last five or so years, I’ve slowly been figuring out more and more what I want each Christmas to be like. Caitlin and I haven’t been able to travel home for the last couple of years — what with getting married and all this year (eventually I mean to talk about that here) — so after all the phone and Skype calls are made, there’s not a whole lot else to do.

So it becomes movie time.

Generally, I can’t stand Christmas movies. Even the best of them descend into sappiness in the end, and the real trouble is that it’s all the exact same sappiness. You can basically flip on any Christmas movie for five minutes, assess where you are in the story, and fill in the blanks from there. The key differences are generally whether you’re watching Bill Murray, Jimmy Stewart, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or something made of clay. (Side note: Wait, are there really no Christmas movies with women leads, or am I just blanking on them?)

I try to skip Rudolph, Charlie Brown and anything that involves Santa. That might sound like the makings of Regular Movie Christmas, but there are a few titles that deserve recognition for their ultimate undefinable Christmasiness, while also side-stepping the awful. Here now is the watch list I’ve been cultivating for several years. It’s ever-evolving, but so far, this is the definitive iteration.

Continue reading The Definitive Holiday Movie Playlist

Welcome to Space!

kirk enemy within

Today officially kicked off a new phase in development of The Next Big Thing I’m working on along with Nick Hurwitch.

That’s right, it’s a new book, titled, Set Phasers to Stunning: The Space Hero’s Guide to Space The Space Hero’s Guide to Glory: How to Get Off Your Podunk Planet and Master the Final Frontier. A spiritual successor to So You Created a Wormhole, we’re looking to do with space travel what we did with time travel — explain it, make fun of it, reference a lot of science fiction that we love, and make fun of that, too.

Continue reading Welcome to Space!

‘Mama’ is a Deeper, Gentler Kind of Twisted Monster

mama

Warning: Spoilers for the film Mama herein, as well as Sinister and maybe Paranormal Activity. I might spoil nine or 10 other movies just because I’m on a role.

Mama, the recently released, Guillermo del Toro-produced horror movie about two feral kids who are rediscovered and brought back to society, certainly has a few missteps built in. The way it handles its monster, however, largely isn’t one of them.

One of the things that most bothers me about many monster movies is the lack of said creature’s ability to actually become menacing.

Much too often, ghosts, demons and other creatures are used in service of Being Ominous. You know — they pop up now and again, or a character turns and what was previously hidden turns out to be hiding something awful. And many times in horror movies, the character will cry out and then blink and the thing will be gone.

That’s dumb. What’s more, it’s irritating.

Continue reading ‘Mama’ is a Deeper, Gentler Kind of Twisted Monster

Resident Evil: Retribution for Christmas Eve Viewing

resident evil retribution

I finally got around to checking out Resident Evil: Retribution, this year’s entry into the Resident Evil film canon, and the fifth movie in the series so far. It’s also the second return for Director Paul W.S. Anderson, who took the second and third movies off from director duties but came back for the fourth, and now this one.

Continue reading Resident Evil: Retribution for Christmas Eve Viewing