Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October Challenge: The Rite


When it comes to religious-themed horror there really are only two movies worth talking about, "The Exorcist" and "Rosemary's Baby". Of the two the Exorcist has left the deepest scars in the American psyche. So no surprise then that every so often we get new exorcism movies. One of the latest is "The Rite".

The Rite (2011)
Anytime you see the words "based on a true story" you know you are either in for a good time or a really bad one.  This movie also stars Sir Anthony Hopkins, so we should, by the numbers have a good flick here.
Sad thing is we don't.  Oh, it is not bad but it fails to live up to all it's potential.
Hopkins is good of course, but not great.  Rutger Hauer is a tad underused as is Ciarán Hinds. I mean these are decent names. Again, names I usually associate with better fare.  Now in all fairness Marta Gastini did a great job as possessed pregnant girl Rosaria.
The Rite's biggest sin was not that it was bad, it was boring.  I didn't care about the main character at all really or his crisis of faith.
It might have been a better movie if they had focused on Hopkins' character more and running into dozens of fake possessions till we got to one that was the real deal.
The final possession could have been creepier, could have been more dramatic and could have been scarier.  This was a movie of could have beens.

Tally: 4 movies. 4 new.

So not to ignore my gaming folks, but what can The Rite bring to your games?  Well it seems odd that we have a game full of demons (we even have Pazuzu!) and yet no great rules for possession. And really no good reason why demons would want too.  I think I am going to have to fix that.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Movie Challenge: Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla


Last night I was really busy so I popped in something I had laying around. My oldest son is a big Godzilla fan and I remember the old Godzilla movies scaring the crap out of me as a kid so I watched one.

Godzilla vs. Space Godzillia (1994)
In truth I have never seen this one before.  I had seen bits an pieces of it here and there.  My son loves to watch it when he is at home sick.  He even curls up on the couch with his stuffed Space Godzillia and we even used his Space Godzilla figure in D&D once as a huge demon.  But the movie itself?  Never watched it all the way through.

First off it was not as bad as the net would have you believe.  But it is not very good either.

I almost hesitate to call this one horror.   There are a lot of horror elements here, but in truth it is more Sci-Fi or even Fantasy.
True, two giant monsters fighting (well three and half, Mothera and Baby Godzilla. Four if you count Mecha Godzilla/MOGUERA) is scary.  But is it horror?

Plot, in a nutshell, Godzilla cells get sent into space where a new monster is formed, aka Space Godzilla.  Then what happens is the same for most G movies.  Godzilla and monster fight a few times.  New Monsters seems to be kicking Godzilla's ass.  Godzilla comes back in the end to destroy new Monster.  The only people that loose anything are the poor people of Tokyo who get to watch their city trampled again.  This throws in Mothera, a new Mecha Godzilla like robot/mecha and the ever annoying Baby Godzilla.

In the end this movie just seemed to have too much going on.  Maybe it is because it has been translated or maybe I am outside of the demographic now.

My wife wants to watch a classic monster movie now.  Something with a vampire or werewolf.  I think that is where I'll go next.

Tally so far: 3 movies, 3 New.

The Other OSRIC Player's Guide

So last week I discussed the OSRIC Players Reference (which I had been mistakenly called Guide).
Well it turns out that there was an "OSRIC Players Reference" and its development has been detailed here: http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=8038

It is now out and you can get it for free at:

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=95496&affiliate_id=10748
Now to be clear there is nothing new here.  The rules are straight out of OSRIC.  BUT they have been re-written and re-edited into a new volume for the Players only.  Plus it comes with a bunch of old-school-style art that is very reminiscent of the old DMG and PHB.  It would not be appropriate for a new book, but for a book like this (one trying to invoke the feel of the late 70s) it is great.  Frankly I really like the art.

Speaking of the art.  The artist is the editor of this edition, Steve Robertson.

I have not read it all yet.  But I have flipped through it.
Again, the price is good (free).
I noticed some funky bits with the OGC deceleration, but some of that could be due with the addition OSRIC license/permission needed. (IE Claiming Chapters 4, 5 & 6 as PI when this book only goes to Chapter 3).

If you are a player of OSRIC then this is certainly a good resource.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Movie Challenge: The Fallen Ones


I am not doing so hot with my movies so far. I watched this one last night after trying to get some work done. I would have been better in all cased if I had just went to bed.

The Fallen Ones (2005)
Another SyFy Channel special I am sure.  This one appealed to me since it was about the Nephilim and I was working on some Fallen Angel stuff for Eldritch Witchery.  Frankly if anything in this movie makes into something I have written (other than this course) then you know I have used up every idea I ever have or will have.

This movie is terrible.  We have the evil Angel Ammon who has decide that the only way for his big dumb son (he is a giant and can't act) to survive the coming flood is to kill him and mummify him.  Solid logic there champ.  Fast forward 5000 years and he is discovered by an archaeologist and Richie Cunningham's dad (sadly this was one of his last movies ever).

What we have now is part mystery, part giant monster movie and part religious murder/slasher film.  The saddest part is there are some actual names attached to this.  Not great names by any stretch, but names I usually associate with better movies.

This movie was so bad I am sure I fell asleep a couple of times while it was on.  It certainly didn't help or hurt the plot any.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ah, what the Hell. NaBloWriMo 2011

Since I am going to be writing every day anyway.  I'll throw my hat in to the National Blog Writing Month, NaBloWriMo, which is the most awkward acronym ever I think.

They also have a blog, http://nablowrimo.blogspot.com/ and that Facebook thing, http://www.facebook.com/pages/NaBloWriMo/203905936342372

So look forward to a bunch of stuff from me all through the best month here at the Other Side, October!

So tune in tomorrow folks for a rare Sunday post.


October Movie Challenge: Let the Challenge Begin


Once again I am going to participate in the October Movie Challenge from Krell Laboratories
This time you can also follow the goings on at Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/groups/173610362715851/

Tonight's bit of cinema is "The Unamable" (1988), based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story.  Already you know this is going to go one of two ways.  Bad or really bad.  I have yet to see a movie faithful to H.P. Lovecraft's work.  "From Beyond" and "Re-Animator" are different since they transcended their source material into something new.

What can I say about this?  The creature looks kinda cool, but the rest is kinda bad.  The "Randolph Carter" character causally reads his copy of the Necronomicon and gleefully trying out spells while his friends die.  We get most of the 80s cliche's in movies including the "first to die" teens as the ones making out.

It was sorta fun, sorta stupid.

This is 1 down.  I thought it was a new one, but I realized I a little bit into it I had already seen it.

Zatannurday: Justice League Dark Review

Justice League Dark was released this week and since it features Zee as a main character I thought a review would be in order for today.

I like the idea behind JL Dark to be honest; cases and missions that are to dark, to scary and too dangerous for the Justice League.  In the first issue Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg get their asses handed to them by the Enchantress and she is still imprisoned.  But I am getting ahead of myself.



The story is by Peter Milligan and it is a good little mystery.  We have a woman, June Moon, that seems to be crazy and a bunch of copies of her getting killed all over the place. 34 copies according to Batman. All the while we get this voice over from Madame Xanadu about how the future is in trouble.  We are introduced to Shade the Changing Man (at least I have no familiarity with him except from the Flashpoint miniseries) and his girlfriend, who seems to only be a figment of his imagination.  Xanadu is shooting up.  Oh and John Constantine is here too.  Obviously this is not the Justice League.  What about the Justice League?  Oh yeah they are trying to stop Enchantress and getting their asses handed to them.  Not Booster Gold and Blue Beetle here, Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg.



And aside...I read Wonder Woman #1 as well and I liked it, but where is this in that continuity?  No idea.  Not sure I even care to be honest.  Anyway back to the story.

We get to see Zee chatting with Batman and she decides that if the best of the best can't deal with Enchantress she will have too.  She ties up Batman and heads out to where Enchantress is causing all this damage while still in prison. And insane.

What is good?  Well the Mikel Janin art is great.  There is such a cool style here and there is no cheese cake shots to speak of.

What is good?
I like the story so far, though it is not great or perfect, it is certainly a mystery.  This is story that gets this group together and it is bound to have some issues.  I like that all the characters are "damaged goods" somehow, but all have some great power.  And Constantine is still smoking, that is good since it is so much a part of his character.  He looks younger here, like many of the new 52s.  But really he should look more like Sting or Johnny Rotten. (see here)



What need work?
Not enough Zee so far.  AND we have not been given much on her background in this reboot.  She obviously is part of the JL proper and has had dealings with Batman and Enchantress before.  I'd like to know more about her costume change, but may that will be explained later.




I am not a fan of Deadman though.  His costume is too silly for someone as serious as he is supposed to be. I know his backstory, but I need to see a good reason for including him in this group. Other than of course he is dead.

Also if this is the JL Dark should we get Raven at some point?  Is she still part of the Teen Titans?  After all if Cyborg is now part of the JL (as he should be really) then Raven can be part of this league.  Especially since we seem to be using everyone else from the Flashpoint Secret Seven group.

Of course I am going to keep up with this one.  Magic and comics are a potent mix for me.  Plus I have always wanted to see more Madame Xanadu and Shade (a character I wrote off) seems more interesting.
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