Thursday, July 19, 2012

Film Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

                                    Thomas Spychalski
It almost seems like the movie world has gone insane with remakes.

Things from the eighties and nineties have been harvested of their most special product, to be reworked and redone. Robocop, Total Recall and of course a new Spider-Man film just five years after the last Sam Raimi directed film, Spider-Man 3, in 2007.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Doctor Who & The Video Pirate (Pics/Video)

By Thomas Spychalski

 On November 22nd, 1987, a mysterious thing happened on the shrouded mist covered mass that was called Fang Rock, and it was not the attack on a group of stranded boaters and lighthouse workers by a glowing green Ruton. Rather it was one of most infamous cases of signal hijacking since Captain Midnight had hijacked HBO's signal in 1986.

It began at another station in Chicago WGN channel nine, a “Superstation” that was also available on some cable packages at the time. At about 9:10 P.M., a man wearing a Max Headroom mask (A mask of a science fiction TV show character that had recently been seen in the US on ABC television, and a popular Coca-Cola ad spokesperson.), interrupted sportscaster Dan Roahn, for about forty five seconds during the recap of that days Chicago Bears football game. The engineers at WGN television quickly changed the STL (Studio to Transmitter Link.), thwarting the hijackers attempt to further break into the signal. The Image had no sound at that time, and Roahn quickly apologized for the intrusion, although a bit distracted by the event, and went on with the rest of the newscast.

Book Review: Lemon

A word that can instantly brings a smile to your lips as there is a tradition here in fiction for the reluctant hero as a main character, especially when it comes to detective and spy stories. Inspector Clouseau and Austin Powers have made a career of it, taking the courage but not the danger out of the narrative, while still giving us all of the excitement and tension. It might even be said that these kinds of creations have more courage and a better connection to the average person as they are more realistic as to how many of us might feel about being involved in such predicaments.

Lemon, the first novel by Barnaby Eaton Jones is one example of this sub genre of spy and detective fiction, it weaves and wobbles it's way through a fast paced adventure that is sure to please any fan of fiction of the James Bond variety. It's main protagonist, Spencer Tracy is the perfect bumbling English loveable loser who just so happens to find himself in both the wrong and in some cases the right places at the perfect time to keep the story flowing and give the book a sense of fun and laugh out loud humor seldom seen this side of Douglas Adams.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Review: Water For Elephants

I have only ever been to one circus in my lifetime, on a school field trip many years ago. And although the majority of the memories of that event are now lost in the three decades plus that followed, I can still recall wondering where all the performers went after the show was over, I imagined them in my young mind sleeping in rows in the middle of the sawdust circle and atop the benches that served as seats for the patrons.

Decades later I have my answer after reading Water For Elephants, a book that really touched my heart on many levels. Not only is it a fine record of some of the conditions and lifestyles of circus performers and workers during the great depression, but it also a love story and a final chapter of a man's life that is brimming with emotional and exciting content that keeps you turning the pages to see what happens next to the crew of the Benzini Bros Circus.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review: Stephen King's Cell

Fear and terror comes in many guises and forms, it's sheer force is hard wired into our animal bodies of old. But rather then getting our fix of fright through the danger our ancestors faced in daily life or listening to the legends of ghosts and monstrosity's passed down throughout time, modern man is forced to seek out his desire to be frightened in movies and books.

And no name says horror like Stephen King.

Ideal storyteller's have versatility and King has always had a knack for attacking various angles and genres, the better to keep us on our toes and sleeping with the bedroom lights on. Cell is a novel by King that almost seems like it would feel more at home in a darkened movie theater as it's visually gory style and graphic nature are the tricks employed by films of the horror genre, giving us a mixture of plot and visual madness that serve each other well, never making the other side of the coin seem too contrived or well tread.

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