Saturday, August 30, 2008

'Conspiracy Theory' Review

**/***** Wow! The same guy that wrote the screenplay for 'Mystic River', 'L.A. Confidential,' and 'Payback' wrote this too? The fact that this trite, obnoxious, ludicrous movie ever got made is a conspiracy theory in and of itself. Scientists engineering earthquakes? There might be an easier way to kill the president. Gibson stars as a conspiracy nut cabbie, who publishes a newsletter with seemingly crazy theories, but whoops!! He got one right, and they were watching!! And a Goverment Attorney (Roberts) is along for this lame ride. The stultifying ending was
obviously tacked on by a studio executive to appease the masses, and the love story is completely inane. Oh yeah, it is tooooo long at 135 minutes. That is the problem with the studio Hollywood system, sometimes, or a lot of times, they like to tinker and add implausibilities; Brian Hegeland's script had to better than this, didn't it?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Jack Chance Case Files - Part 2: Open For Business

I gave the lazy-susan one more spin, but came up with the same results again. Cornflakes. “Cornflakes and beer,” I say to the fridge as I pull it open for a cold one. “Breakfast of champions, once again.” After pouring myself a bowl I flopped down behind my desk, put my feet up, and ate. It doesn’t taste the best but it’ll do in a pinch, and in a pinch was where I was. Between a rock and the proverbial hard place. It had been at least a month since I had a job where my income didn’t all go to bills.

A shadow moved across my office’s smoked glass door followed by a soft rapping. “Come in,” I said looking up from my bowl.

My spoon never made it back to my mouth, but my jaw decided to meet it half way. She was stunning, absolutely stunning. An image that any G.I. would kill for to grace the side of his aircraft. Big brown eyes peered out into the room, darting about with uncertainty. Mouse brown hair hanged below her shoulders, resting on a low cut beige short sleeve shirt. Black slacks ran the distance down her mile long legs. Her body was strong and athletic but with the curves and softness a good woman should have. She would have given Rosie the riveter a run for her money.

“I don’t know if I’m in the right place. My name is Joanne Stanley.” I smiled, introduced myself, motioned for her to sit, and reassured her that she was in the right place. She continued speaking but never once stopped glancing nervously around the office. “I usually can take care of my self, one has to when they live alone and work in a factory with nothing but men, but I need some help. A friend of mine has gone missing. It has been a few weeks now and I have not heard from him.”

“What is his name?” I asked.

“Robert Wallic.”

“What do you think happened? Could he just be on vacation?”

“I don’t think he would go on vacation without telling me about it. I usually watch his place when ever he leaves town, even for a weekend.”

“Do you think something bad happened to him? Was he involved with any illegal activities? Could there have been foul play?”

“I don’t know. I’m just so worried about him and I don’t know where to start looking. I don’t think he was wrapped up in any crime or drugs.”

I nodded and said that I would take the case. After going through my contract and payment arrangements I pulled out a note pad and asked her to tell me everything she knew about Robert. She talked about a wide variety of topics from how they met and became friends to what their plans were for the coming year. I interjected occasionally to brighten up some dark areas of the stories she told. By the time we were done I felt like I had already known Robert for ten years and had some decent leads to follow up. When she left I told her that I would keep in touch with any findings that would come up.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

'Another 9 1/2 Weeks' Review

1/2 Out of ***** This is for any viewer that may go against their better judgement and watch this, 1: 'cause the first one is pretty decent for what it is, or 2: 'cause Angie Everhart is really, really hot. I am a member of the latter category (and the first one too actually). Heed my warning, even if the hottest woman in the world was in this movie (check that-the 5 hottest women), it has no redeeming value whatsoever. I can't give a plot synopsis, as I don't think anything really happened. Wait! Mickey Rourke acted really 'cool' as always. It is an incoherent mess of seemingly random scenes shot, and then edited together blindly in a attempt to make a story of it. Children could make a better film than this. It doesn't even deserve the half star I gave it, it deserves a negative 5. Do yourself a favor and tour the stop signs or traffic lights on foot in your local area rather than watching this abysmal turd of a movie.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bomb Shelter

“Honey, we need to talk,” was the phrase I walked into when I came home last night. After a long day at the office I was not ready for that bombshell. All day long it is nothing but problems and complaints, customers calling to complain or employees stepping into my office to complain. Nothing but. “I can get cheaper prices elsewhere,” or, “the printer is out of toner and I don’t know how to change it,” every day.

When I come home all that I want to do is sit back, have a beer, watch some TV, and go to sleep. The last thing that I want to deal with is the little woman saying, “Honey, we need to talk.”

Times like these I envy my friends at work. They avoid these hard hitting questions by going out with the guys every night. Sure, it may get expensive over time, but the security it provides is worth it. If I had just gone out with them tonight then I wouldn’t be looking around for a bomb shelter to hide in.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

'Light Sleeper' Review

***1/2 Out of ***** Written and directed by Paul Schrader, the screenwriter of 'Taxi Driver', there are similar themes in 'Light sleeper' that echo its predecessor in its urban isolation of the protagonist and the city as a sewer environment. Willem Dafoe is wonderful as a coke dealer on the verge of chartering new territory; he's trying to make sense of his past, as exemplified by his chance encounters with a former flame (Dana Delany) in which he so badly wants to cling, and plans for his future as his boss is moving on from the business. This is a character driven story, and the characters are well-drawn. Willem Dafoe's John Le Tour is a more mature Travis Bickle, past-his-prime, darkly contemplative and endlessly writing in journals trying to find meaning or direction. After beating his cocaine addiction 2 years before and adjusting, can he readjust again, finding semblance? However, as others have mentioned, the film should've ended with him harmoniously? between two Chinese paintings, leaning back on the bed. After that, studio meddling had to have ensued, as the sugary conclusion does not fit. Separate Note: Would some company already release 'Blue Collar' on DVD by Paul Schrader with Richard Pryor already? If a Schrader fan, find it!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Carefully I placed each step
Silently creeping up the path
There he is
I see him
He doesn’t know that I’m here
Cautiously I approach
His head whipped around
Our eyes meet
Minds cross, we become one
What is he thinking
A glint of fear enters his eye
What is he afraid of
Is it that I may charge
Or that I could go away
It is not that
It is something deeper
Fear of his own mortality
It will be best to leave him alone
I dashed into the forest
Into nothingness

Saturday, August 23, 2008

'The Visitor' Review

****1/2 Out of ***** (possible spoilers)'The Visitor' is the very well-crafted, slowly and subtly but surely powerful follow-up film to Thomas McCarthy's wonderfully moving, 'The Station Agent', and it is just as much a success, if not more so. Richard Jenkins is a revelation; It is good to see this character actor finally get a leading role in such a soon to be revered film. He plays a recent widower, set in his ways and the rut of his life, mired in malaise and unable to find his beat. Due to his job, he is sent to New York to attend some meetings/conferences and finds some illegal immigrants living in his apartment as a result of a real estate scam. What follows is an elegantly understated, unlikely friendship between he and three others, that if not for the scam, would've never occurred. Tarek and Walter become friends and share a bond as the foreigner teaches Walter the African drum. Troubling, however, is what Walter sees through Tarek and Zainab's eyes, they being Muslims in the post-9/11 New York, Tarek ends up becoming unfairly confined in literal xenophobia. What McCarthy is doing is using the Jenkins character as a microcosm of the state of this country now, like Walter, the country loses its way when it shuts itself off from other people (and world opinion of America's geopolitics). On another note, I really liked the romance between Tarek's mother and Walter, pitch-perfect and truly heartbreaking. I definitely recommend!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Penumbral Gambit - Episode 4: King's Corner

Disclaimer: Penumbral Gambit is a work of fan fiction set in the Star Wars universe. Several locations, items, and concepts belong to George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd. The picture is a combination of an image from Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” and an image from Wizards of the Coast’s Star Wars Saga Edition role playing game book. This story and image is purely meant for entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.


The plan was simple enough. A small fleet of ships dropped out of hyperspace a far distance away from the planet Dorreth. The Republic frigate and three corvettes flew towards the small mercenary blockade from behind the system’s gas giant. Once the mercenary ships were engaged a small Dynamic class freighter emerged from behind the gas planet and darted towards Dorreth.

The half saucer freighter entered atmosphere half a continent away from Ferros and approached the capital city from a low altitude to ensure ground based sensors would not be able to detect the spaceship. Under the cover of darkness the ship landed carefully in a field approximately five miles from the outskirts of the city. Large trees from a forested area covered the ship’s landing from the city. Almost as soon as the landing gear touched the ground four figures hopped out of the ship by the descending cargo ramp.

It was just over an hour before the group reached the outskirts of the city. Jett’s pace slowed and his hand came up signifying the small party to stop. He pointed to a three man armed patrol that was loitering under a streetlight in front of them. The patrol was not wearing uniforms or any insignias that Jett could use to identify the patrol as friendly peacekeepers or rebel mercenaries. As a peaceful planet Dorreth did not have a regular military and law enforcement was undertaken by civilian volunteers. Dubja took to the brush and stealthily moved to a flanking position while the remaining three approached the patrol with weapons drawn but held in relaxed positions.

“Got a light?” Jett asked the patrol as he and the force users approached the illuminated circle under the streetlight.

“Who goes there?” one of the patrol members shouted as the three wheeled around with blaster rifles aimed at the group approaching out of the darkness.

“We’re here to alleviate this planet of its problem. And you are?”

“You must be from the Republic. King Andon Temere sent us, he is expecting you. We’ll take you to him. Although, it was reported that there were four of you”

Dubja stepped from the shadows and made his presence known. Startled, the patrol turned towards the new arrival with weapons ready to fire. Chuckling, the Gungan said, “Letsa go.” After a moment the patrol regained composure enough to take the group through the city.

After a short ride in a speeder truck the group arrived at a hotel. They were led through the building to the penthouse suite. An older man stood from behind a desk to greet the group as they entered the extravagant room. He retied the belt of his red silk dressing gown as he approached. The smile upon his face was betrayed by the weariness in his eyes. “I’m glad to see you,” he chimed as he directed the four towards a pair of couches. A servant brought a tray of coffee and left it on the short wood table between the couches.

“Your defenses look a bit thin,” Jett commented as he had only seen a handful of guards since entering the hotel.”

“I am in no danger here,” King Andon Temere replied then continued, “it is good that you could come so quickly. I don’t know what we would do without Senator Arklarr Tennet. Now, to the matter that plagues Dorreth. It has been about a week since the rebels took the royal palace, and with it my daughter Shaela. The rebels have been insistent that they do not want Dorreth to join the Republic. The night is still young and I believe you should be able to resolve this matter before morning. I fear that any delay would compromise your surprise assault, my people are trustworthy but words travel fast on this planet. If we do not act fast then the rebels may plunge Dorreth into civil war to prevent the joining of the Republic. It wouldn’t be too difficult for the rebels to grow in strength. My son is a great leader and a great man.”

A look of shock shot across the faces of the four in front of the king. “Your son?” Tahnel was the first to get out what they all were thinking. “Your son is leading the rebels against you?”

Concern washed over the King’s face. “Yes, my son Perin is leading the forces against me and took his sister prisoner. Did Senator Tennet not tell you of this?”

“Hesa did not,” Dubja said. “All we were supplied with was just a picture and some descriptions of him as well as a mission objective to remove the rebel leader from the picture, to kill him.”

“Oh!” Shock now shot across the King’s face. “That is very surprising. Aklarr knows who he is, he was my son’s mentor for his entire life. Now you have added more worries to my old bones. The plan was for you to return my son to me so I can put him in his place, but now I see that there may be a plot bigger than what we see now. He now needs to be returned to me so he can be questioned.”

The talk soon turned to the plan of attack. A datapad with information about the royal palace and likely positions of guards as well as the prince and princess was supplied to the group. After a short discussion Jett and Dubja agreed upon how to best assault the royal palace. Within minuets the group was back in the speeder truck and headed towards the palace.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Errol Morris and his 'First Person' Series

****1/2 out of ***** Errol Morris is the best documentary filmmaker of all time. Superior editing, Phillip Glass' and Caleb Sampson's scores (and others), and seemingly mundane things brought to light profoundly (not to mention film composition and uniqueness in subjects, manner and succinctness). This is a filmmaker who has traversed the ultimate objective in filmmaking, documentary or not, that would ever hope to ascertain by crossing the chasm of ideas, themes, enlightenment and entertainment by bringing McNamara to talk (via his pioneered 'Interrotron'), and a condemned man from death row, soliciting a basic confession from a guilty party ('The Thin Blue Line'). 'First Person' is similiar to 'Fast, Cheap and Out of Control' wherein a multitude of very different people are interviewed with varying results: all being philosophical, poetic, and informative in nature. However, the episode with Pilot Dennis Fitch entitled, 'One in a Million Trillion' was unlike anything I have ever seen, extremely inspirational and terrifying at the same time. Truly, this is not to miss!

 In closing, I wonder what it would be like if all the subjects were together in the same room from 'First Person' at the same time?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

That's My Dog

I was walking down the street, leash in hand, taking my dog out for a walk. It was a sunny day and the few birds in the sky were chirping their hearts out. A puffy white cloud or two floated by, one of which looked surprisingly a lot like a ’57 Chevy.

A cute blonde was roller-skating towards me. Well, cute is more an understatement. Her skates were filled with long tan legs that reached all the way up to black spandex running shorts. Her taught stomach glistened with sweat which dripped from a crimson sports bra. A smile arose on her lips as she approached and her eyes scanned me from top to bottom. “Aww, what a cute puppy you have,” she said with a giggle as she approached.

I mumbled a thanks and smiled. We started talking about puppies and the weather, you know, that kind of stuff you talk about when you don’t know someone well enough to strike up a real conversation. There the moment that I was dreading came to a head. A “hurk, hurk, hurk,” came from below us. As we both looked down, horrified, my dog barfed all over her skates. “Yep,” I said as he started to lick the vomit up, “that’s my dog.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

'The Trials of Darryl Hunt' Review

****1/2 Out of ***** This film is a sweeping, comprehensive and harrowing account of one man's nightmarish journey through a biased, racist and inept justice system. If you liked "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills" or "The Thin Blue Line," this is a movie for you. However, much of the injustice here, conversely, is racially motivated in nature, and like the aforementioned, heaping with negligence and corruption perpetrated by "the Man." Not to be taken lightly at all, dear Darryl spent 20 years of his life in prison on the basis of an erroneous conviction. A 1994 DNA test exonerated him 10 years into his sentence, clearing him of rape and murder, yet, North Carolina's courts didn't want to hear it, and Hunt served another 10 years before finally being released in 2004. Truly horrifying. Why aren't some of these corrupt D.A.'s and policemen behind bars? For they took a life, or the better part of one. Overall, this film is fairly presented, executed exceptionally well and profoundly powerful. Which begs the question: how many more Darryl Hunts are really out there?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Forest List

Fallen log, freshly growing pine, bed of leaves, roar of a cool breeze, falling rain, pitter-patter pitter-patter, moss covered stones, cut down stumps, young trees sprouting, birch tree, pine tree, oak tree, cawing bird, chirping birds, brown and green, brown and green, carpet of dead leaves, new growth sprouting, lichen covered trunks, brown and green, white of the birch, grey of the sky, rolling hill, light valley, rotting log, stick, twig, acorn, pine cone, bark

Saturday, August 16, 2008

'eXistenZ' Review

***1/2 Out of ***** 'eXistenZ' was released about the same time as 'The Matrix' and comparatively, would best be described as the more indie, strange and surreal. In addition, it is prototypal sci-fi, sure not to disappoint as it raises questions about the nature of reality and technology in such a way that you will most likely leave the film with a somewhat profound idea(s) or thought(s) you didn't have before, and well, that is an admirable goal for a film. Allegra Geller (JJL) is a monumentally successfull game designer, and her latest smears boundaries of escapism and reality. Her only ally is Ted Pikul (Law) as they experience the game together, dodging assassination attempts real/fake and possible other misadventures. Did I say this film was strange (And that is fine with me.)? Indeed, as players of the organic game system leave existence and enter 'eXistenZ' through a port in their backs, connecting to their CNS, via a cord/wire that connects to what looks like a deflated sheep's stomach, the gaming module. Finding a Chinese restaurant in the middle of the woods and ordering a dish of lizards, reptiles and other assorted boney oddities and then fashioning a gun and utilizing it from the dish, is standard fare for this game. Of course, at times the viewer doesn't know if they're in the game or not in the game. Or as Ted says, “Are we playing the game right now?” Well, are we? Or are we playing the game within the game? And on and on...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jack Chance Case Files - Part 1: Eye Inside

A couple sat down on the edge of the bed. He was older; his silver hair glistened in the light. She was younger; her long blonde hair flowed past her shoulders. They held each other’s hands and gazed into each other’s eyes.

It seemed like eternity before one of them spoke, although it was only a few moments. As she spoke her left hand moved to pet the red comforter that was spread across the bed, it slid back and fourth. When he spoke her hand instantly stopped moving. A tear ran down her cheek and she rubbed it away.

She stood up and yelled at the man. Her hands clutched her chest, covering the cleavage that her slinky black dress had left exposed. He stood and approached her with his arms out stretched, as if to comfort her.

As he came near her she reached out and slapped him across the face. He staggered back in shock and rubbed his jaw, then he lunged forward and wrapped her up in his arms. She struggled but could not wiggle out of his grasp. His words calmed her and the struggling subsided. His grasp of her turned into an embrace as their lips met in a passionate kiss.

Together they made their way back to the bed. Their lips locked together as she struggled to remove his suit and he her dress. Soon they were lying entwined on the bed in a naked embrace.

In the next hotel room over I took a drag on my cigarette and gave a long exhale as the scene unfold before me on the TV screen. Some dame had wanted me to track down her husband and his nightly affairs. It wasn’t hard to track down where he went at night; it was always the same hotel every Wednesday night. All I had to do was pay off the desk clerk to give the guy the room next to the one I had rented. The rest was just setting up the camera in the ductwork and waiting. Come morning I’ll be handing the tape off to his wife along with a card for a divorce attorney buddy of mine.

To the untrained watcher, my job seems like a grizzly business. I get paid to snoop around in other people’s garbage and root out their darkest secrets. Tailing a husband that had been suspected by his wife to be an adulterer is pretty standard fair around these parts. The big cases that turn up in the movies are always a work of fiction. A drop-dead gorgeous dame that falls into a detective’s lap with a case full of murder and intrigue never happens.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

'After Hours' Review

****/***** 'After hours' is classic Scorsese. Young word-processing specialist Paul Hackett, bored of his job, meets a beautiful young lady and gets her number. Later he calls her and treks across town from his posh Eastside NYC apartment to SoHo, in a wry comedic, often nightmarish journey that seemingly won't end, with encounters from a bevy of odd and disenfranchised characters. 'After Hours' is a Kafkaesque nightmare, slightly noirish, and is embodied with Scorsese's signature flares with the camera. These include a P.O.V. shot for a set of falling keys from the keys' perspective and many others, better seen than explained. The direction tight, you may become exhausted with the plight of Paul in just this night. It is said that Scorsese took on this project after the studio shut down his production of "The Last Temptation of Christ" just a few days before cameras were to roll. Well, Paul Hackett, possibly, was akin to Martin Scorsese at that point: ineffectual in changing his circumstances. Through Hackett, Scorsese could seek to expel his disdain.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Last Time

“What the fuck!” Mike shouted in desperation. “How could you do this to me? After all we have been through together. After all that you meant to me.”

“Mike, I’m sorry—“ she tried to interject.

“I promised myself no more. No more of your shit. I’m done with you. I’m done with us.” Mike gathered his belongings as he ranted. “You have hurt me enough. More than enough. I can’t handle it anymore.”

“Mike, please no,” she grabbed his arm while pleading. Hoping her actions would calm him down. He pushed her away and continued removing every last detail of his existence from the apartment.

“I’m done. I’m out of here.”

“Please Mike, I need you, I love you.” She reached for him again. His hand came up, slapping her across the face.

“You never meant it. Not now, not ever.”

“I love you,” she sobbed as she reached for him again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

'Snow Angels' Review

***1/2 Out of ***** Green's films always kinda reminded me of Altman's films, in some ways, like the naturalistic dialogue and the meandering of it all. "Snow Angels" follows in that tradition, but in the least (as say compared to "George Washington"), whereas this is most encapsulated within conventional genre. I'd say it is about the 'slips' in life(each or most of the main characters at some point 'slip' and fall in the snow literally and at one point the Beckinsale character says in anguish that "life's a slip!") and their collisions with relationships. The title (besides the obvious irony), maybe referring to the frustration of these characters, as when you make a snow angel, you put your hands above your head in a repetitive motion, as if to say "I don't know" (how to figure it all out).

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Coat of White Primer

White primer etched itself upon the bare concrete wall. “You sure your mom doesn’t mind,” Joe asked as he reached for the can of red spray paint.

“Naw, she’s cool,” Chuck replied. She’d rather have me tagging down here then out on the streets. She said that she wouldn’t bail me out again anyway.”

“That sucks man. How did you get nabbed the last time?”

“I was down at the train yards. I’ve heard that they don’t car as long as you don’t cover any identifying marks on the rail cars. Well, the watchman must not have gotten that memo. He must have called the cops before chasing after me. Before I knew it I was down a dead-end ally with the cops plugging up the end.”

“That’s harsh dude.”

“Yeah, it was. I won’t make the mistake of getting caught again. Although, those couple of hours in the cooler got me to thinking. I actually sent in the application to art school. In a few years I’ll graduate with a graphic design degree.”

“Cool, way cool.”

The pair stood back and admired their handiwork. The basement wall never looked so good.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

'Fool's Gold' Review

*/*****Dear Powers That Be, Thank you for aptly naming this drivel 'Fool's Gold' as only a fool could find shine or worth in such. I had low expectations and they were met; thank you for making my movie going experience predictable, as life sure is full of surprises; as circumstance crisscrossed coincidence a friend stopped by with varying taste in tow and this abominable turd fell into my lap. My lament, I kept inside, as I am a cordial host sometimes found serving lemonade on hot days, but now I must pontificate. Why Powers That Be do you make movies that you (we) know the outcome of, and everything about, before watching? Maybe with rising gas costs this is meant to be more efficient, so we can half-watch while we find ways to work more to make up the difference or find alternative means. No, that can't be; I guess this abysmal fare is economically sustainable in our market, and that is sad. No chemistry, bad dialogue, predictable cliched script, stilted performances make this sure folly. Thank you Powers That Be. Do you have the real gold?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Penumbral Gambit - Episode 3: Contract Negotiations

Disclaimer: Penumbral Gambit is a work of fan fiction set in the Star Wars universe. Several locations, items, and concepts belong to George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd. The picture is a combination of an image from Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” and an image from Wizards of the Coast’s Star Wars Saga Edition role playing game book. This story and image is purely meant for entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.


“I am Senator Aklarr Tennet from the planet Dorreth,” the tall well dressed human said after he entered the office and was standing next to the Supreme Chancellor. He placed his durasteel briefcase on the desk in front of him. “I want to thank you Chancellor for introducing me to this band of bounty hunters.”

“If you have been paying attention to the news, which I doubt you have,” the Senator continued, “you would know that Dorreth has recently joined the Republic. We are a peaceful people with noble traditions; however these traditions have kept some from wanting our home to join the Republic. A band of rebels have successfully assaulted the King Andon Temere’s palace in Ferros and have taken the princess Shaela hostage.”

With a few clicks of the latches, the Senator opened his briefcase. He pulled a datapad from his briefcase and handed it to Jett. “On this datapad, “the Senator said,” is a map of the capitol city, palace grounds, and information about the princess.” Jett grunted in confirmation as he paged through the contents of the datapad and gave a low whistle. When he passed on the datapad Dubja could see that the Mandalorian had stopped at the princess’s information and picture.

Dubja quickly paged through the information before handing the datapad on to Tahnel. “What dosa we know about the rebels?” he asked.

“The reports from Dorreth are not complete, but from what I can gather they are just normal citizens that have been wooed by the rebel leader. Dorreth is a peaceful planet; we have no need for weapons or armies.”

“Heh, that was your first mistake,” Jett chuckled.

“The rebel leader must be very charismatic to be able to pull people to his cause,” the Senator said while shooting Jett an evil glair. “The people of Dorreth do not take the thought of war lightly. It would take a skilled statesman to convince them to take up arms, especially against their own king.”

“What exactly dosa you want us to accomplish?” the bounty hunter asked.

“I have put a bounty of 12,000 credits on the rebel leaders head. With him out of the way the rebellion will fail and Dorreth will be able to freely join the Republic. Oh, and please be careful, I’m sure King Andon would be most grateful if Shaela was returned to him unharmed.”

“If your planet is as weak as you say it is, than this will unfortunately be a cakewalk,” the thought of glorious combat flitted away out of Jett’s mind.

“I do not believe this to be a simple task, if it were then I would not be asking Chancellor Joran'bek for assistance in finding a competent group of bounty hunters. The rebels have been able to hire mercenaries, their ships form a blockade around the planet and I am sure they are guarding the palace as well.”

“What would you have us do with the rebel leader once we catch up with him?” the quiet Ithorian asked.

“It would be best if the rebellion was crushed. The head must be cut off the snake before its poison infects the entire population, which is why the bounty for the rebel leader has him wanted dead. Everything would be better for Dorreth with him gone.”

Dubja asked, “Do we have any information about the rebel leader?”

“There is not much known about him. All I have is a picture and some basic information.” The Senator retrieved a datapad from his briefcase, fiddled with it for a few moments, and handed it over to the Gungan. Dubja scrolled through the information. Only a picture and some basic information, such as height and eye color, were available, although most of the fields were blank.

The Senator stated that he would notify King Andon of the bounty hunter’s impending arrival. Once all of the questions were asked and answered the Senator thanked the Chancellor and the group before leaving. The Chancellor advised that the group leave for Dorreth immediately, before the situation escalated. The hyperspace travel would take a few days before they reached Dorreth.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

'The Incredible Hulk' Review

***/***** You've probably read that the movie in some people's opinion is a glorified chase scene for two hours with not much substance and overblown CGI effects. Or you've read that it delivers and The Hulk (franchise?) has been redeemed and that the action scenes are awesome, the pacing good, and The Hulk's roar loud. I would say that the truth, or my opinion, lies somewhere in between. While the CGI is at times egregious and fakely applied, so much so it could possibly take you out of the movie, so is the whole premise of the thing. But it is a comic book movie, and if you can suspend your disbelief for that, it is not much further a stretch to just take the CGI for what it is: that is, a part of a nicely paced, entertaining chase film, with moderate character development and substance, that happens to be incorporated with comic book characters. The good guys most likely win--barely; and in the sequel we'll find out if the proverbial 'beast' or 'mutant' will be reunited with his 'girl-next-door'. All the while a new villian is making devious and disastrous plans, for what else would a comic hero do if not?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Plan

Mike slipped the jewels into his pouch and backed away from the display. So far everything had been going according to plan. He reached towards the hole cut in the ceiling above him, a hole that was a good ten feet above him.

The rope that was supposed to drop down so that he could escape never appeared. Joe’s smiling face never appeared in the hole above either. “Looking for something?” A voice rang out from behind. Mike knew what he would see before he turned around, Joe with his slicked back greasy hair and better than you smile. The knotted rope was in his left hand and a revolver was in his right.

“I was starting to think you weren’t going to show,” Mike said as he turned around.

“No sudden moves Mike,” Joe said as he kept the gun leveled at Mike. “You were right when you brought me in on this job, it was the perfect score. You had all the angles. Everything was worked out. All that I had to do was play my part and get my cut. Your plan was perfect, I’ll admit that, but it had one flaw that you didn’t count on. You needed me.”

Hands slightly raised in submission, Mike slowly approached his partner. “We’re a team, you don’t have to do this.”

“There is a new buyer on this deal. He wants me to bring in the jewels, alone.”

“You don’t have to do this. We can work this out.” Mike held out the pouch with the jewels. Jo hesitated as he grabbed the pouch out of his mentor’s hand. Mike seized the moment and leapt for Joe. The pair fell to the floor struggling for control of the gun. The tussle stopped with a crack of thunder that rumbled though the room.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

'An Unreasonable Man' Review

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
-George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903)
"Maxims for Revolutionists"

****1/2 Out of ***** 'An Unreasonable Man' sure maybe to some or sum, however, to badly paraphrase the quote at the beginning of the film, it's going to have to be that way when going against vast popular opinion or a country set possibly in ill-fated contemporary or foregoing ways. The unreasonable man should always be present in time, sound and communal ways: that way we can check ourselves and make sure the emperor has good threads, and of course, reason too. That is the way it has to be, or should be. However, I guess it's not that way; and so it goes, but this is not a political diatribe, spread it where they or I may. This documenatary, is one of reasonably objective, standard and possible edifying fare; one half of the doc brings on opponents of the whole 2000/2004 election elicitation, and brings forth the questions or accusations or presumption that Nader had ruined the election for the dems in both respective races. The other half covers Nader's extensive history in bringing about social change, i.e auto safety and Nader's Raiders. It is a thorough documentary with footage seemingly inclusive of converse thoughts and events, but obviously biased. Even opponents seem to admit possibly not a dime's worth of difference between our two parties. So Nader states, "and so when people say, 'why'd you do this in 2000?', well I'd say, I'm a twenty-year veteran, of pursuing the folly, of the least worst, between the two parties, 'cause when you do that, you end up allowing them to both get worse, every four years." In a supposed free-market, like cheese or milk, let the voter decide. What did Nader owe Gore or Kerry? Let the voter, or the faux-voter, decide, again! Some party's inability to provide the right hors d'oeuvres or melodic tune might be to blame. Whom did he owe any votes?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Three Minutes

Clip your toenails, download porn, eat a hot pocket, read a haiku
Get a phone call, tie your shoes, put on a clean shirt, find your keys
Warm up the car, wait at a stoplight, forget where you’re going, what you’re doing
Chug a beer, slam a whiskey, smoke a joint
Take a piss, wash your hands, make new friends, get a phone number
Kick off shoes, unbutton a shirt, unhook a bra, fumble for ecstasy
Forget a phone number, a name, a life
Rob a store, ruin a shirt, reload a gun, crash a car
Live it up, fall from grace, truly live, truly die

Saturday, August 02, 2008

'The Accidental Tourist' Review

****/***** Life is makin' Macon Leary leery. After the death of his son, he continues to write travel guides for the weary traveler, advising them in such a way that it feels they've never left home while away. In other words, Macon likes his comfort zones, as he goes through his middle-aged lassitude (similiar to Bill Murray's characters in 'Lost in Translation' or 'Rushmore'). Hurt is exceptional here, subtly conveying with facial expressions and the like his inner turmoil. After this film, I had a new appreciation for him, as he proves himself a masterful actor here. As way leads to way, Geena Davis' eccentric dog trainer comes into the picture, and Macon finds himself landing in destinations he could've never predicted. The voice-over narration is great at communicating the metaphors of a man isolated, trying to control his environment and not always being as successful as he'd hoped. But that is at the heart of the film, that is, the fact that our best-laid plans seldom come to fruition.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Penumbral Gambit - Episode 2: Assembling The Team

Disclaimer: Penumbral Gambit is a work of fan fiction set in the Star Wars universe. Several locations, items, and concepts belong to George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd. The picture is a combination of an image from Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” and an image from Wizards of the Coast’s Star Wars Saga Edition role playing game book. This story and image is purely meant for entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.


The expanse of the Coruscant skyline was encroached upon by the many skyscrapers that composed the planet wide city behind the Supreme Chancellor. A large oak desk resided in front of him. His hairy Bothan face had a wolfish grin spread across it as he surveyed the hand picked team in front of him. The spies had worked hard to secretly research and bring in each member.

To my left sat a large human wearing flight suit armor. The stylized armor told me that he was no normal human, he was a Mandalorian. It has only been a short 1,500 years since the Mandalorians attempted to conquer the galaxy. Now they are reduced to the role of mercenaries and pirates. Jett, as he is called, would be crude and aggressive in his methods, but I know he will be able to carry his own weight in a fire fight.

On my right were three beings that could only be described as Jedi knights, since all three were dressed in the style of robes that the order was known for. Directly on my right sat a large Ithorian. The strength of his bulging muscles could be sensed, even from under his robes. Tahnel comes from a peaceful race that is known for power within the force. His wisdom and demeanor should be a good anchor for the party.

To Tahnel’s right was a young woman with an older fish-like Mon Calamari standing behind her, master and apprentice. A black silk scarf was wrapped around her non-existent eyes. Miralukans are known for not having eyes, they can only see through the force. As an apprentice, Re’ahn, may end up being the loose cannon in the group, with any luck Master Ragab will be able to keep her reigned in.

Once the introductions were concluded, Supreme Chancellor Strask Joran'bek got down to business. “As you know,” he started, “you have been summoned together for a special reason. We are living in dangerous times. Enemies of the republic are behind every corner. Jedi masters have been turning up dead and dark Jedi have started appearing in greater numbers. Strange happenings have also been occurring in the Outer Rim, shadows seem to have been coming alive and attacking settlements. I need a team that can take care of situations like these, a team that can protect the Republic from behind the scenes without the knowledge of the Galactic Senate.”

“However, as important as these problems are, they are not the current problem at hand.” The Chancellor pressed a button on his desk and a door slid open. A well dressed human entered the room with a briefcase in hand. The Chancellor continued, speaking to the newcomer. “Senator Scora, this is the team that will quell the uprising on your planet, Dorreth.”