Blog Archives

The 2016 Sometimes-Annual Aravan Awards!

It’s been a couple years since I did this, but I thought that if there was ever a year that deserved to be celebrated by a two-bit writer on a pointless blog, it’s 2016.

OK, wait a second. First aside (and it might be a record coming in on the second sentence – although the chances that I’ve done it before in the first sentence is becoming likelier the more I think about it): it’s been a long-time habit of mine to be self-deprecating and insulting to my abilities and this blog. It’s a tradition, of sorts, mostly because I try to be humble and also that I recognize that, in the world of writing, I’m barely the speck of dirt that will one day invade a pore and give rise to a pimple on the ass of the world’s literary giants. I might not even be that important. Anyway, I recognize that my talents are limited and this blog is rarely updated and barely worth the cost of reading it (opportunity costs, folks. You could be learning about dimorphism or the Egglet-Burke Theory or how to properly season a cast-iron skillet instead of wasting your time here). So I know these things. But I’m going to take a conceit from my favorite gaming-related blog (The Angry GM) and, instead of being self-deprecating (read: honest) about my abilities and this site, I’m going to go the opposite route. For the remainder of this post, I will assert that I am an amazing writer, the GREATEST WRITER, and this site is the most prestigious and exclusive gathering of the greatest distilled thought that millennia of evolution have worked towards in building to that apex of human development, me.

So I’ll basically pretend like I’m almost every other blogger ever.

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Untimely Movie Reviews: Miss Peregrine and The Raven

One of the specialties of this blog has always been reviews of things that are well past the point of needing reviewing, since by the time I see them or write about them you’ve already made the decision to see or not the movie a long time ago, so my review had zero chance of swaying your opinion one way or another.

Actually, that’s total bullshit.

Yeah, OK, maybe some people read reviews to help determine if they’re going to see something. I myself have a few places I trust to see if a movie is worth it, but I usually don’t read them because they’re spoilery and I just glance at it quickly to see if it’s a yes or a no. But you and I both know that reading movie reviews is only fun if you’ve already seen it, and you either want to have your own views confirmed so you can nod along and be all “yeah, that movie sucked/kicked ass” and feel smug, or you want to read a review of a movie you loved/hated that hated/loved it so you get a chance to engage in our national pastime: outrage. That’s why I write these things, anyway.

So today I have a couple of movies to talk about, one of them pretty recent! Miss Peregrine’s, uh, House ofPeculiar Creatures? I think? Something like that? That sounds mostly right and I’m not looking it up. Also, 2012’s The Raven, starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe. Yeah. That is a thing that exists, and I watched it.

Oh, yeah, also, SPOILERS. I mean, you’ve had a chance to see this shit, so if you get mad that I let slip that Negan killed Luke Skywalker’s father then it’s on you.

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Spoiler: My (Spoiler) Thoughts on (Spoiler) Star Wars: The Force (Spoiler) Awakens

Here is the non-spoiler portion of this post: There is a movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I have seen it.

This is the end of the non-spoiler portion of the post. Seriously, everything that comes after this will spoil everything, including movies that haven’t even been written yet. That’s how spoilery this shit is. After this, if you see something that ruins a crucial Jabba the Hutt related moment in the movie for you, that’s entirely your fault and not mine.

Last chance.

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5 Things That Made Daredevil So Awesome

When I heard that Marvel was planning on making a Daredevil series on Netflix, I was skeptical. I didn’t know if they could do a Daredevil live-action story right, I wasn’t sure Netflix was a good place for it, I was afraid they were overextending themselves and by seeking too hard to spread the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe, in case you’ve just gotten out of a bunker Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-style, which by the way if you haven’t watched that show yet you really, really should, because it is seriously excellent) beyond the big screen and the not-the-greatest ABC shows (they are very solid shows that manage to not completely capture my interest enough to watch them week-to-week – more on that later) Marvel would risk their run of success by producing a bunch of mediocre stuff that would jeopardize the entire endeavor.

Now, that might happen someday, but Daredevil made me look like the idiot I am for doubting them.

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Way-Too-Late Movie Reviews: Interstellar

I watch a lot of movies, but usually well after they’ve been released. That doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions about them, because I am an asshole (that’s what that old saying means, right?). Based on those two facts, I am introducing a semi-regular feature called Way-Too-Late Movie Reviews, since the review comes well after everyone else in the world has already seen it. The first movie is one I just saw over Easter weekend: Interstellar. Maybe soon I’ll do Avatar or Titanic next!

Oh, and by the way, there are spoilers here, because no shit there are spoilers in a movie review that’s been out for months.

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I Watched the World War Z Trailer. I Would Like to Take a Moment to Rage Incoherently.

Nice haircut.

Side note: yes, I know I’m a week late on The Walking Dead Episode 3. I just finished watching it this morning since I was busy last week. Plus the events of Episode 4 were surprisingly spoiled by close to a dozen people on Facebook within hours of it being shown, leaving me ambivalent for the moment. I’ll get to them. Promise. Here’s a heapin’ helpin’ of rage to tide you over.

World War Z is a book. It’s a zombie book. It was written by Max Brooks, son of Mel, who also wrote The Zombie Survival Guide. Both of them are considered essential reading by zombie aficionados for very good reasons. They are smart, well-written, and funny while treating their subject matter seriously. They are near and dear to my heart, as they are to many. Upon finishing my first zombie novel, The Curse of Troius, my dear friend and sadly passed Carl Spicer declared simply, “I’ve only read one good zombie novel, and that was World War Z.” (Sorry Carl, you know I can’t resist telling people that even though you tried to explain what you meant. It’s too good a line. Miss you, bud.) Max Brooks’ books are the literary equivalent to Romero’s cinematic influences on the entire zombie genre.

What makes World War Z special for me and many others is its story structure. Instead of focusing on a particular protagonist, the story is presented as one-on-one interviews with a wide range of people who were involved in the zombie war that ended ten years prior to the story. This allows the tale of the war to spin out in little vignettes, from its ostensible beginnings in China to its spread throughout the world and eventual conclusion, as told by the eyewitnesses to the events. The different stories highlight bravery and cowardice, self-sacrifice and self-promotion, agony and joy and despair and hope and everything in between. The eyewitnesses are neither good nor bad; they’re people, some more sympathetic than others. Reading through the novel provides the best of both worlds: the epic saga of man’s battle against the shambling hordes of the infected dead as a whole, and the harrowing and humanizing tales of the individuals swept up in it all. It is a remarkable book. If you’ve never read it, buy it here. It will not disappoint.

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Rick Grimes is a Sociopath: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 2 Recap and Review

These guys are soooo fucked.

When last we left those intrepid nomads incapable of traveling more than 2 miles in 3 months, they had cleared part of a prison to serve as Babymaking Base Alpha, sung around a campfire, hurled dog food, lurched into puberty (well, that was just Carl), learned that the infection apparently makes it impossible for their hair to grow (with the exception of facial hair and Carl), and hacked off the leg of the only person with medical experience despite having exactly no medical supplies like peroxide or alcohol or baby aspirin or, apparently, rags of any sort.

Which leads me to another question. These people who’ve been sweating and zombie-killing and digging ditches in the same exact clothes for over a year now haven’t changed their clothes at all? Seriously, fuck how bad the living dead must smell. I can only imagine the Walking Stench this group is carrying around. That shit’s nasty, guys. Find an undershirt. If they can’t be bothered to change their clothes, imagine how disgusting their breath must be. Gahh, dog food and months of plaque build-up and I’m gonna hurl if I keep going with this.

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It’s Baaaaack: Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 1 Recap and Review

As I’ve said before, I was giddy with anticipation for the return of the world’s least capable crew of survivors. That was sarcasm, because apparently we’re saying that now. To be honest, I was terrified to see this show coming back, and it had nothing to do with jump-scares and zombie gore. No, I was terrified for another season of Carl being an idiot, Rick being indecisive, Shane being dead, T-Dog being background filler, and Lori being Lori. Well, although some things never change (cough LORI YOU USELESS HUSK OF A HUMAN BEING cough), other things have, even pleasantly so. Overall, and being totally honest here, I didn’t hate this episode. I know, right? What’s next, a sudden burgeoning love for musical theater, soccer, fried okra, flip-flops, and country music?

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Web Series Review: Realm of LARP

“Nerd Culture” is taking over. Face it, Brosef, with your “Sun’s Out, Guns Out” tank top and oversized shades and flip-flops. The Tyranny of the Bully Era has ended, and popular culture has embraced everything that used to get some poor skinny kid wedgied and stuffed into a locker. Comic books? Only the highest grossing movies at the box office. Computers? Yeah, I think they’ve gone a little mainstream. Video games? You get the point, Mr. Straw Man, so suck it. Even things like tabletop role-playing games are no longer an automatic ticket to Nerd Hell, thanks to offshoots like World of Warcraft making the concept approachable, and having someone like Vin Diesel come out and say they’re cool also helps, because you go ahead and call Vin Diesel lame, then let me know when you finish fishing your forearm out of your own throat.

Now, not everything that geek culture embraces is mainstream yet. Cosplay? Slowly but surely getting more accepted, thanks to the exploding popularity of Comic-Con and the other hugantic cons (that’s “conventions” for those unfamiliar with the term) out there. Anime fanatics? Well, some things still deserves wedgies. (I kid, I kid. However, Dragonball Z and a lot of popular anime is some of the worst dreck I’ve ever seen in my life. Yes, Princess Mononoke and Akira and Ghost in the Shell are incredibly beautiful and moving pieces of art, but most of the big-eyed panty-flashing’ tentacle-rapin’ underage-girls-who-are-“eighteen” kung-fu superpowerfulragefestin’ anime shit is purely awful in every way. But that’s neither here nor there.) There’s another geek staple that still isn’t embraced, and it’s near and dear to my heart, as I’ve said before.

LARPing.

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You Need to Watch Archer. C’mon Buddy.

I use my blog mostly for the forces of Hate and Complaining. Rarely do I take the time to talk about things I enjoy. Why? Because ranting and using cuss-words is fun. Plus, my crazy readers (that would be you) seem to prefer it that way, which is just fine by me. I rant about inconsequential things. It’s what I do. It completes me.

But sometimes, I have a desire to step out of my cantankerous sarcastic shell and talk about something that I truly enjoy, something that deserves to be treasured and adored. Hence my Mass Effect 3 review that reads like a 12-year-old-girl’s crushfest on a cast member of Glee. Clearly, being positive is something I need to work on. So here goes. Smiles on, everyone, it’s time to talk about something awesome, that is not to be missed, and if you don’t start watching it, I will track you down, cut your eyelids off with a pair of safety scissors, and make you watch every second of every show of the greatest thing on TV.

Archer is that thing.

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