Monday, February 19, 2018

War Of The Worlds: Goliath

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War of the Worlds: Goliath
I could have sworn I posted a review for this movie, but evidently not! Well, better late than never.
War of the Worlds: Goliath is an awesome action adventure movie where after humanity got rocked by the first Martian invasion, they got their act together and are now ready for round two.

Plot is pretty straight forward. The best soldiers of all nations have been pulled into an anti-Martian military group called A.R.E.S, given the biggest and baddest weapons humanity has to offer including a bunch of reverse-engineered Martian weapons with the help of Nikola Tesla, who is required to be involved in all steampunk settings as required by law. Actually, the human tripods are extremely cool. Very different in design from the fluid and curvy Martian tripods, the three classes of human models are all human in design and look remarkably real.

Fantastic airship

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Body of the Achilles-Class human Tripod

In truth, the amount of effort put into the designs and world building of this movie is phenomenal. The weapons, vehicles, equipment, absolutely everything is well done. I love looking at the concept art and schematics for everything. This is on par with the amount of thought put into Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Except this has less princesses and more death.

The year is 1914 and governments around the world are preparing for the first World War, while A.R.E.S. soldiers and their leader, good ol' Teddy Roosevelt ignore the politics and prepare for a second Martian invasion which seems imminent.

The characters are mostly archetypes. They aren't completely throwaway, but not terribly compelling either. But each of the main characters are given their moments to shine, so there is indeed some sense of anxiety when they are in danger, which is quite often.

During the first major training exercise with their new tripods our heroes come face to face with the first probing force of the second Martian invasion, and it's here that we find out that despite the animation style, this isn't a cheesy Saturday morning cartoon. In fact, one of the best things I can say about this movie is that it feels like real war. People die left and right, but it's not because of them being stupid. The Martians are a genuine threat. Their tripods are bigger, better armored and have vastly greater offensive power than anything humanity has. They shrug off machine gun and rifle fire, and require repeated hits from even heavy cannons and missiles to go down.

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Martian Tripods

Often our heroes survive simply because the Martians didn't target them. At any moment their heat rays might turn toward them, and from there it's just one sickly green ray of dazzling energy to send them into oblivion. This is actually probably the most violent animated movie I've seen since Turok: Son of Stone. You don't just see humans vanish in a puff of smoke when hit with a heat ray. You see them vaporized layer by layer. First the clothing and skin goes, then the muscle, and lastly the skeleton, all reduced to ash in a matter of seconds as they howl in agony. Its sodding violent. This is NOT a kids movie.

The combat isn't highly choreographed is graceful. It feels like real combat, chaotic and confused. Things blowing up all around you, people screaming in pain, but you just keep firing at the enemy and hope that you can kill them before they turn their weapons on you. It really feels like just a roll of the dice if someone lives or dies, even if they are really skilled or in good positions.

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Martian Fighter

Most of the movie is action, with pauses to let us take a breath now and then. Decent pacing and great visuals make it an awesome popcorn movie. But if you want deep intellectual stimulation you'd best look elsewhere. However this movie nails what it wants to do almost perfectly.

It would be a crime not to talk about the animation. It looks like a blend of anime and Saturday morning cartoon styles. The character designs display this best. The faces and especially the eyes are angular and exaggerated. The bodies on the other hand are swollen with muscle and the clothing vacuum sealed around them so that you see every single inch of their physique. This results in an interesting melding of 80's style GI Joe and more streamlined but exaggerated anime, although it definitely leans more towards the former. I find the style overall very interesting, partly because this was actually a Malaysian production. Huh.

Regardless if you're a fan of animation or not, there is no doubt that this animation is top notch. It's magnificently smooth and fluid, and overall matches the setting and tone perfectly. Even if you aren't interested in War of the Worlds, this movie is a visual buffet. Not a cent was wasted in making this look as good as possible. Others more knowledgeable in animation than myself might very well wish to take a look at this if only to analyze it.

It's also fair to mention that although it is very action schlock, there is a definite feeling that it respects the original source material written by HG Wells. The main character is British, and if you've read the book you will notice all sorts of details that are kept in this movie. The look of the aliens is spot on. Their tripods really feel like they are alive like in the book, moving fluidly with tendrils waving about unceasingly like an organism that is rather unsettling.

It is fair to mention that although we never hear the Martians speak or anything like that, I do feel like some of them have a bit of personality and sadism just displayed through their actions. One tripod lets a lone human shoot at it, letting the bullets bounce off harmlessly, just waiting for him to run out of ammunition as if its amused with the futile attempt of doing it harm. It patiently waits for him to run dry and then methodically vaporizes him. You can almost see the Martian inside gloating with this smug sense of superiority.

In the end fight another Tripod kills a soldier as painfully as it can, wrapping the tendrils around his midsection and collapsing his ribcage. It could have simply vaporized him or snapped his neck, but instead took the time to inflict as much pain as it could. To me this really says that the Martians enjoy inflicting pain and see humanity as being far beneath them. This could very well simply be me seeing something that isn't there, but it made me enjoy the flick that much more.

I really do recommend purchasing this. Even if the movie is lukewarm for some of you, the disc set comes with all sorts of bonus material that I was only too happy to look at. Schematics for human and Martian technology, concept art, and even other stories told comic book style that really had some emotional bite to them.

It's well worth a look. You can purchase it here:

If you're wondering, I'm not getting paid to pimp this out. I simply believe it's a movie worthy of attention. This never got a theatrical release and is more of an underground movie. It made less than one hundred thousand dollars according to the box office reports, which is a horrible shame for something like this. They put a gigantic amount of effort into this production. I can tell the makers really cared and I want their effort to pay off.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Son of Kong

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Son of Kong!

I'm a shameless Kong fan. I watched the almighty crap out of the original as a kid. It kindled my love for black and white movies and stop motion, just as it did for countless viewers when it first came out in 1933. I thought I was one of the more informed fans. But as it turns out, a sequel exists called Son of Kong, released the same year!

After doing a bit of research I found that it is a very poorly received movie. But having just watched it, I can't say that it's a bad movie honestly. I think much of the backlash comes from the simple fact that it's a sequel to King Kong, one of the most epic movies ever made. That's a very high bar to meet. So by comparison even a half-decent movie will feel poor when put side by side with King Kong.

So what is Son of Kong about? Well, it's a direct sequel, almost months after the events of the first movie. Ann Darrow and Jack Driscoll got their happily ever after, but not Carl Denham, the movie maker who led the ship to Skull Island in the first place and brought Kong to New York. He is being sued by everyone in New York and their dog for damages. He is harassed day and night by reporters, complainers and summons to court. But Captain Engelhorn, who is in the same boat as Carl, invites him to elope with a skeleton crew and do business in the Pacific Ocean, and hopefully evade prison.

To skip ahead a bit, they end up on an island with the man who first gave Carl the map to Skull Island, Captain Helstrom, who we immediately recognize as a scoundrel, and a young lady, Hilda. Both have fallen on hard times and join aboard the ship. Helstrom, who has nothing to his name and desperate to evade authorities after accidentally murdering Hilda's dad, tells Carl that there is treasure on Skull Island and attempts to usurp the crew and ship for himself.

Now, a word is in store for the love interest, Hilda. She's not Ann Darrow. Somehow she has a lot more daring and strength to her. I really like her. In fact when we first see her, she is performing for a tiny audience and is a poor singer. But Carl doesn't care. He puts it best when she shows up. "Who cares? She's got personality!" And she does. As much as I love the original King Kong, Ann Darrow never felt that good to me. This gal is fun. She knows Helstrom conked out her dad, but she doesn't bat an eye when he threatens her. She doesn't cowtow to anyone, yet isn't annoying in her headstrong behavior.

She and Carl actually get along quite naturally. Carl is given a lot more depth in this movie. Aside from feeling bad about being in crippling debt, he genuinely feels bad for what happened to Kong. He knows he screwed up, got people hurt, and got one of the most amazing creatures in the world killed. But he's trying to do better. He sees potential in Hilda and tries to give her inspiration to keep going even when things are bad. It's not even that he's in love with her at first. He genuinely respects her as a person with potential to do better things, and even when she stows away on the ship he can't help but admire her guts.

The ship heads back to Skull Island in the hopes of finding the treasure and making a profit. But it's all a ploy by Helstrom, who gets the crew to turn against Engelhorn and Denham. Once they arrive at the island the crew forces them along with Hilda and Charlie, the Chinese cook from the original, off into a life boat to fend for themselves on the island. I think even Charlie is given a bit of a spotlight in this one, and I like it. He actually chooses to join the others on the island rather than join the scoundrels in mutiny, and even had the foresight to stow some guns and ammunition aboard. And thank heavens, he doesn't die.

But when Helstrom tries putting himself in charge, the new communist crew isn't having any of it and throw him off, and now has to put in with those who he first betrayed. Worse yet, when they first land the chief and villagers from the original, and they aren't the least bit happy to see these familiar faces, and make absolutely no bones about how displeased they are. They have no choice but to land beyond the wall near Skull Mountain where only one area is available to actually tie off. And here's the second reason I think this movie was so poorly received, even now. The movie is ninety minutes, and it's only here at the forty minute mark that we are at the island and see Son of Kong. And his son is NOT a gorilla tyrant.

First time we see him, he's tiny by comparison and stuck in quicksand.

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The Terror of Skull Island stuck in quicksand
Yeah, he isn't exactly the same as his dad. Little Kong is a silly, almost comedic, genial ape the size of Mighty Joe Young. This is probably what most people don't like about this movie. Little Kong isn't the mighty force of nature that challenged the world that King Kong was. And yet, I can't say that I hate him. In fact, I actually sort of like the contrast. Little Kong is endearing. He can still fight, yet he often drops his guard and assumes that he's won a fight once his opponent stops moving, often leading to him getting hurt. In this way I think he is much more lifelike, very different from his dad, and yet distinctly his own. Some of his expressions made me laugh out loud just because of how goofy they were. At one point he looks right at the camera and shrugs his shoulders.

There is a moment that is genuinely heartfelt however. After a big fight Little Kong has a big gash on his middle finger. Hilda wants to thank him for saving them and provides part of her dress as a bandage, and Carl, genuinely regretting getting King Kong killed, talks to the ape and bandages his finger. The finger that is injured however is unintentionally hilarious. Even so it illustrates how Carl has changed and is actually pretty nice.

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Little Kong uses sign language

But I did notice a distinct drop in stop motion quality. A few times the movement is way to fast and choppy, but it's not bad either. I will commend the use of new critters though, such as a giant cave bear, styracosaurus and others.

Carl and Hilda find young Kong trapped, and feeling the need to make up for what he did to King Kong, Carl pushes a tree over to help him escape, which works. Little Kong becomes greatly attached to the little group from this point on, helping them fight beasts that menace them or find food. It really is quite endearing. But his attempts at trying to communicate is rather awkward, and something about his head is a little off. It's difficult to explain unless you see it.

Something I really like is that they set up camp by some ruins, and Carl is ecstatic at the idea that this is where the treasure is. Lo and behold, there is treasure there! The look of the temple is actually very neat and gives us some hope that Carl and company can come out okay after this adventure.

Although I can't help but mention a point where Little Kong grabs Carl's shotgun and plays with it. He looks down the barrels, sticks it in his mouth, and does everything possible to make me, someone paranoid about gun safety, and I genuinely cried out. Oi.

Then it gets weird. Helstrom decides to rush to the boat to escape to nowhere, and suddenly out of nowhere an earthquake strikes. But evidently this is the most epic tectonic activity since Pangea split up because this event is the apocalypse for Skull Island, which not only shakes apart but falls under the ocean. As far as we know, all of the animals and natives drown horribly, including Little Kong, who heroically holds Carl above the water long enough for his friends to row over and rescue him. This is the one part that I really didn't like. It comes out of nowhere, Little Kong is dead, and the entire population of the island is exterminated. It left me feeling sad.

But it ends on a positive note. Helstrom is fittingly dead, and Carl rescued a handful of gold and diamonds, enough to set the rest of them up for life, split between himself, Engelhorn, Charlie and Hilda. But Hilda thinks that three shares will be plenty. One share for Engelhorn, one for Charlie, and one for her and Carl together. This helps salvage the ending in my opinion. It felt quite natural and earned.

Does Son of Kong match up to the original? No. But it is still a fun and well made movie. Few movies of that era could hope to match King Kong. In fact, Son of Kong is fitting in multiple ways. It's a smaller, less impressive version of its dad, more goofy, but still tries hard and makes itself likable. If you're a Kong fan, I would really recommend giving it at least one viewing. You'll find something to like.

You can actually buy it and the original at Walmart together for only five dollars. Or, alternatively, you can watch it at the following link:

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Fifty Shades of Weinstein

I've never cared to talk about Fifty Shades of Grey because, well, what's the point? It's an extraordinarily poorly conceived concept that should have died on the internet where it started. And no, I haven't read the book or seen the movies. You may wonder what ground I have to stand on for criticism, but after analyzing things for so long you pick up on things. If you see a man with a corpse in front of him and blood dripping from his mouth, you don't need to have a conversation to have a pretty good idea that he's messed up in the head.

But what has shocked me is not only has it made astonishing amounts of money and is getting a third movie, but how accepted it is by so many. And people wonder how people like Weinstein can get away with the evil that they so brazenly commit. The two are pretty similar. One is somehow considered romantic, the other appalling.

Isn't this weird? I'm thankfully not the only one who thinks that the entire premise of Grey is overflowing with crap, and others far more eloquent than myself have dissected this abomination and pointed out in detail what makes it so bad. In fact, so bad is it that even the community its meant to appeal to hates it. You know you've screwed up when the BDSM community thinks you're product is sick and morally bankrupt.

And yet this is coming out in the wake of the fanatical purging of sexual predators from Hollywood and Washington. Weinstein was just the tip of the iceberg. When that broke I was cynically unsurprised. Although I haven't looked into the history of the film industry that closely, the people who heavily inhabit the area aren't exactly known for being super virtuous. That's not meant to sound judgmental, but when dealing with people who actively shun the concepts of chastity, modesty and other old fashioned concepts, you can't help but expect to have things go south.

Plenty of elites have been rushed to the metaphorical guillotine, and rightfully so. I'm right on board with them, drinking a cup of Sprite as these detestable predators are exposed as the monsters they are and torn down. But yet somehow Fifty Shades is okay. What's with the double standard?

I don't claim to be an expert on romance. Such things have most often felt distant to me. But I do know what romance isn't. Romance involves mutual respect and chemistry, building each other up and solving problems together. Kinky stuff behind closed doors? That can work if they're into it, sure. But not if the above mentioned isn't present. If it's through stalking, coercion, money and force, that isn't romance. That's a sexual predator.

I can't help but feel that somehow we've regressed as a society. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers had a much better and intelligent romance story, one of my favorites actually. And that was made in the fifties and involved kidnapping. But it explored the nuances of power, morality in dealing with the opposite gender, how to behave, and most importantly, having the base respect for your partner. It carefully explores the differences between superficial affection and genuine bonding.

I blame a lot of this heavily on the weird results of the sexual liberation movement. Okay, there have been people who took moderation to the extreme, especially back in the day when the only skin women were allowed to show was their faces and hands. But now the pendulum is swinging to the opposite extreme, with disastrous results.

A lot of these movies shamelessly push self gratification. It's easy and appeals to the most base instincts. That's not to say that older forms of media didn't use attractive men and women to draw audiences. They absolutely did. But these were more often done with class. Not always, but more often. Edgar Rice Burroughs, one of my favorite writers, often had his heroines wearing quite little. A bold idea in his time. For example, Dejah Thoris in A Princess of Mars. Yet this is contrasted with her royal bearing and self respect and John Carter, the story's hero, acting as a complete gentleman towards her, being protective and seeking desperately for her respect. In fact a running theme throughout the books Burroughs wrote the villains were the men who leered covetously at women and tried to deprive them of their virtue, while the heroes were respectful and wouldn't lay a finger on the heroines without their permission.

Congratulations Hollywood, you can't compete with an amateur writer's first book from a hundred years ago.

Having read a considerable volume of older books, I've most often noticed a sense of dignity in which the writers regarded women. Granted, they were often bewitchingly beautiful and not always given the most depth, but there was a sense that they had a value to them as people. The damsel in distress was of course in full swing, but the heroes usually felt as if they were fighting to protect someone of value, to be kept pure even things were bad. There was the impression that sex was something to be earned after the emotional and moral values had been secured. But not today. There's been an unnerving change in which men and women seem stripped of that sense of self respect and are now more akin to dolls to be oggled and serve as fodder for fantasies.

Here, try an experiment. Watch horror B Movies from the fifties like Creature from the Black Lagoon, and then look at Michael Bay movies. Look at how the camera focuses on the female characters. How the men act around them. You'll see what I mean.

This comes down to a basic perception of how people should be treated, not just media, nor even sexual relations. Today self gratification is an exalted virtue. This inevitably leads to gratification at the expense of others. However, I don't think Weinstein and his ilk were necessarily influenced by movies. No, they simply didn't care that what they were doing was wrong. So what if the women were unwilling? They wanted to feel pleasure, and they were willing to get it regardless of how others felt.

Which wheels us back to Fifty Shades. What in those movies shows that there is any sort of respect or caring on the part of either person? What value of their person is shown? None. None whatsoever. The supposed romance is just superficial. It's colorful wrapping paper around a rattlesnake. And this garbage is only further pushing the ideas of self gratification at the expense of others. Regardless of your political persuasion, we must all agree that this essential respect of others is paramount to a healthy society.

I apologize if this post is a bit hectic, but I bashed it out on a whim brought about by news of the latest crappy movie coming out. I hope that it gets the point across though. With any luck the movie will be a titanic flop.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Stop Motion In China

I am a hopeless lover of stop motion. As a sprog I was spellbound by movies like King Kong in 1933, The Black Scorpion, Valley of Gwangi as well as the more relaxed and charming shorts of Wallace and Grommit. There were plenty more, each tantalizing my eyes in ways that simple puppetry and CG simply can't. I am of course an undying fan of the wonderful Ray Harryhausen and the estimable Laika films which hold their own in today's market.

In the wake of shake ups in the movie business with China, I decided to do some research and see how our Eastern compatriots regard the art form. I was very pleasantly surprised when I stumbled onto this:

Not only do the Chinese like stop motion, but they're gearing up for fun fantasy adventure movies with it! Jay Weng, who the article is about, is a man after my own heart. In the article he points out that movies in America have become much more cookie-cutter industrial. He's correct. I'm sure most of you have noticed how things have changed in movies. In the 80's movies were often much more creative and extreme, willing to push boundaries and touch on the bizarre. Look at movies like Labyrinth with the beautiful puppetry by Jim Henson. It's a strange and mind-bending movie, but also charming and full of artistry. It's a movie that doesn't care what you think.

I miss that artistry where craftsmen built actual sets, miniature models and used clever camera techniques to trick your senses. There was a talent to taking a little and making it seem like a lot. But now the budgets are bloated to ridiculous sizes and monstrous spectacles are thrown at you without restraint. There is greater power with CGI, but few directors or executives know how to wield it properly for the best effect.

Mr. Weng appears to view movie making as an artist, not a statistics-based business man. I'm genuinely interested in seeing what he produces. It's quite heartening to hear someone in modern day regard movies as an art form but not in a pretentious way. Rather he still understands storytelling and wants to entertain audiences the way that such men should.

I positively love this quote from him: "So the challenge we face is to make innovations while respecting what's in the past, and that takes lots of courage."

This was in response to being asked what challenges he faced when retelling a story that had been told many times already. Gee! Who would have thought that understanding the story and respecting it was a good idea? I'm looking at you Ghostbusters.

Movie makers here in America would do well to learn from men like this. It warms my heart to learn that there are still people out there who have a love and appreciation for stop motion and wish to continue its practice.

I wish Mr. Weng all the luck in the world and can't wait to see how his movie Li Bai-Young Adventurer turns out!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

I Need This!

And I thought electric fly swatters were cool. Standing unmoving as a statue, eyes slowly rolling in my sockets, a drop of sweat running down my temple as the dreaded fly lazily hums around, waiting for him to come within range and whap! A swift swing, an flash of light and a loud crack! Fly gone!

But this? Now this is something else. I thought it existed only in legends, but it is true! A gun meant exclusively for killing flies, gnats and mosquitoes. Firing a charge of salt with compressed air with a daring range of three feet, it will evidently slay anything smaller than a hummingbird.

Folks, I need this in my life. I really do. Even now as I imagine having this plastic beauty cradled in my arms, I imagine myself going on a safari to South America, maybe the Matto Grasso, not to hunt the dreaded tigre or the mighty anaconda, but to slay the deadly mosquitoes! Or perhaps a trip to Kenya would be in order for the titze fly. Would look mighty proud hanging on the wall! Or do I truly need to go abroad to test this thing's mettle? Why not take a trip to the mountains nearby? The rangers might not look kindly upon me hunting buck flies out of season, but are they really going to confront me when I'm toting this beaut? I think not!

Or why limit myself to simple pest control? I imagine this would be a nasty surprise for the neighbor's dog that won't keep quiet or tax collectors showing up on your door.

The more I think the more I feel like I must one! How have I gotten along in life without it so far? I suppose it's like wondering how our ancestors got along without fire or knives.

Upon looking at this I've suddenly reverted to a giddy and mischievous seven year old kid. And it feels great. And now I know what to get my dad for Father's Day! Muahahaha!

Stranger Things

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I'm always slow to pick up on new things these days. A combination of hopeless nostalgia and skepticism of anything modern sometimes leaves me blind to genuinely good things that occasionally crop up. But that's what I've got my family and friends for! To help me sift through this stuff. So if more than half of the family zoo recommends something, I give it a shot.

Boy howdy, this is the best show I've seen in awhile. I know this isn't news to some of you, but it was to me. Stranger Things is the best movie Steven Spielberg never made. The show is set in the 80's and it feels like it. Heck, the show makes quite a few references to it's influences such as Stephen King, Poltergeist, Ghostbusters, John Carpenter's The Thing, Jaws, and I'm sure there are more that slipped past my radar.

However the show isn't a hopeless copycat. On the contrary, while it notes the influences, it is wholly its own thing and waves that flag proudly. It does absolutely everything correct. It's frigging weird and I love it. It's almost like a new season of the X Files except without the stupid aliens. Instead we have awesome inter-dimensional shenanigans. I confess, I'm a sucker for weird alternate dimension stuff. 

The characters are all awesome. Many shows rub me the wrong way with having characters that are annoying, unrelatable, or just plain whiny arses that I want to boot to the curb. This series is kind of unique in that not one character annoys me. And that's shocking considering that they have a gigantic cast. Seriously, they have about six main characters. How they can juggle all the plot threads, characters and story are beyond me. It's supernatural. The only characters you don't like are the ones you're meant to dislike. 

I've noticed a trend in modern times to lean towards things being dark and needlessly harsh. It really seemed to crop up after The Dark Night came out. Everyone loved it and made a ton of money. But the darkness in that movie was supported by themes and story material. The darkness in and of itself wasn't what made it good. So it's very tempting these days to make the hero ride the line of being the villain himself, have the villain more sympathetic than anyone else, and have at least one character who is needlessly callous and cruel. 

Stranger Things not only evades that pitfall completely, but fills that pit with cement and builds a bridge over it. The adult characters are flawed, certainly, but all are sympathetic and have the good points that make you root for them. The Sheriff, Jim Hopper, starts off rubbing me the wrong way, but swiftly wins me over. Although I wonder, is his name a reference to Jim Hopper in the movie Predator? The green beret that was skinned in the first act? Hmm...

I could go on for hours about the characters, but then I'd be depriving you of finding out for yourselves. Seriously, I'm only touching the tip of the iceberg. Or if you need further convincing, this show has teenage high school drama, but it actually engaged me instead of making me throw something blunt at the TV. I can count the number of times that's happened on one hand. Maybe because I never really was a teenager and I can't relate, but I almost always despise teen drama regardless of the format. But somehow Stranger Things makes it work. 

And this isn't even touching on the fantastic alternate dimension stuff, the monsters or plot. The atmosphere is thick enough to cut with a knife, the concepts are fascinating and executed flawlessly, and it wastes absolutely no time at all. Seriously, this is perhaps the tightest storytelling I've ever seen. Not one second is put to waste. I recall watching an episode and was surprised when it ended. It had gone so fast and so smoothly that I wasn't even aware that time was passing.

This show is literally as close to perfection as you can get. I blitzed through the first two seasons in a few days, and I want more. This is actually kind of on the border of shows or books that I'm afraid of. Not because they scare me, but because they are so good that I can't tear myself away from them and it begins to impact my life. I mean, do I really have to go to sleep before 1 a.m.? Can't I watch just one more episode before work? Do I really need to go cook dinner? Things like that. Or my mind becomes so fixated on analyzing the subject that I literally can't focus on what else is going on around me and affects my ability to watch out for traffic.

So far I haven't gone quite that far, but if they keep up with the good writing and ideas they just might end up sucking up more of my life. Consider that an endorsement!

Nostalgia Lane: Land of the Lost

Wow. Chances are if you're over the age of ten you have seen something in your youth that stuck with you whilst much else faded from memory. Might have been great, it might have been mundane. I've got a lot of things like that rattling around in this noggin of mine, and I just became re-acquainted with one interesting nugget of my childhood, and in fact might be recognizable to a lot of you if you were born in the nineties. Or the seventies!

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Heck yeah
A strange yet creative and fun show first aired in the seventies, remade in the 90's and then mutating into the horrifying atrocity that was the soulless movie, this was a cheesy, low-budget but oddly charming series starring small family, the Porters and the Marshalls respectively, falling through rifts in time and space to a dimension full of dinosaurs and colorful characters. It's very much like Lost in Space meets The Lost World.

If you dare to look these up, be prepared for the kind of cheesiness that would knock a Parisian unconsciousness. And yet I find it to be a precious fragment of my childhood. In spite of the crude effects and dated camera style, the show had an impressive amount of imagination and really tried to make the most of their tiny budget. It's oddly original with the humanoid dinosaurs, the Sleestaks, inter-dimensional travel, iconic dinosaur characters and a slew of other interesting facets.

I've actually found that it's fueling a lot of my writing ideas in multiple settings. I mean, come on. Supernatural crystals, inter-dimensional portals, dinosaurs, underground cities and bizarre technology? How could you NOT get ideas from it?

If you grew up in the nineties this is a real blast from the past. Even more-so if you watched it in the seventies! If you haven't watched it, give it a shot. For kids born in the 2000's, you'll probably suffer a stroke. But I'd still take it over a lot of shows today.