Monday, June 10, 2013

Labyrinth Vs. Get Carter

* = This makes me remember that I have a NEW episode of The Venture Brothers to watch on the DVR to watch tonight.  REJOICE!

It was a busy weekend full of majesty, wonder, and let’s face it a LOT of laziness. I figure I’ll just give those of you who waste your time reading this blather a bit on each thing and then move on to reviewing lame stuff no one but me really cares about.

So Friday night we watched a marathon of terrible ‘Haunting’ television shows with Lady Christy, C-Fish, Greg, and the ‘Tiny Yeti’. I have to admit they were super funny and hokey, that was until we switched to a different show, I believe it was called Paranormal Witness, and then the mood changed.
That show is a great example of what you can do with higher production values, 'witnesses’ who don’t seem like folks who have suffered through long bouts of mental health issues or drug issues, and follow the tried and true horror story telling of not showing until adequate suspense has been established. The episode regarding the theatre was genuinely creepy and I think some of it had to do with the ‘witnesses’ themselves, all cops, who looked SO shaken by their experience that it drew you in. Then they hit you with a big time ‘JUMP’ moment of a ghost with a burning face popping out of nowhere. It was very effective and drew everyone back in. Eventually though my lack of sleep caught up with me and I wore down. Luckily Greg had a YouTube palate cleanser planned and left us with that. I have to admit I wouldn’t watch these shows in any other setting than this, but that I had a BLAST watching them with this group, laughing, making fun of things, and chatting. I look forward to doing it again.

Friday also gave us another Skull & Shackles preview to sort through;
First up is the mighty, and apparently eyeless, Admiral Thrune! I don’t know if you are seeing what I’m seeing, but it looks like they forgot the eyes on this miniature, if that’s true then that is the first MAJOR issue the Paizo and Wizkids have had in a preview. I’m hoping that it’s just the angle of the photo or a light issue, because overall I like this miniature. There isn’t a lot of dynamic action in its stance, but damn if it doesn’t come off as the height of arrogance. There is something insanely cocky about the pose with that massive mace over the shoulder, the dismissing tilt of the head, and the way that crossbow is sort of dangling nonchalantly. It is as if this character is saying I could kill you, but you just aren’t worth the work. When it comes to paint, sans the ‘invisible eyes’, I am a fan. The off-white, black, and gold work marvelously together. The back portion of the outfit flowing down and looking very ornate just add to the feeling that this is no ordinary ‘grunt’, but rather a force to be reckoned with. I’m sure this one will end up being a Rare, but if it’s reasonably priced on the secondary market it is a MUST BUY for me.
Next up is Hellknight Paralictor! I’m a fan of the ‘Hellknights’ in the Pathfinder setting. The idea of a Lawful Evil law enforcement just tickles the fancy of the DM in me. This miniature is no exception. The stance is again almost imperious, matching the tone of the previous Admiral Thrune miniature. The stance is VERY rigid however. It lacks the cock sure nature of its predecessor, although the slow walking forward pose works wonderfully. I’m really torn on the pose as you can see. Also I can’t really get a vibe on the face itself, it almost looks like it might be constructed of transparent plastic, if that turns out to be true than this piece quickly has a vast number of additional uses. The paint job is adequate considering it’s a heavily armored character, the off white is done well, although I really don’t care for the greenish-yellow top of the cape, in fact I really don’t like it. Overall this miniature is a hodge podge of things I really like and things that make me unsure about it. If it is an Uncommon or Common, and looks good in the hand I can see picking up a few of these pieces, otherwise it would be a PASS for me.
Since Admiral Thrune needs underlings to lord over our next preview is of the Chelish Marine. In the Pathfinder world Cheliax is a country where dealing with Devils is the rule not the exception, it is a truly fantastic setting to draw inspiration from. This one is most likely a Common miniature. It has the standard, “I’m a Guard” pose going for it, the paint job is passable, and you’ll need them in masse to have PC’s kill them in droves. However, it really does very little for me. It suffers from eyes that look like I painted them, which is NEVER a good thing, it feels far too plain to me, and even its long range harpoon like spear lacks some personality. Don’t get me wrong I’ll most likely grab up 3 to 5 of these bad boys for the 2nd D&D Group to kill in ship to ship combat, but only if they are really cheap. This one is another PASS for me.
Last but not least is the absolutely crazy looking Seaweed Siren! Good lord, this thing is simultaneously goofy and terrifying! Kudos to whoever designed this beastie. It looks and feels like some sort of strange Beholder with Sirens for eye stalks, and sweet crab legs. It is a PERFECT stand-in for a sea bred aberrant or for some sort of legendary monster that has sunk a hundred ships and feasted on the brine soaked man flesh of their crews. It just has a legendary and malignant feel to it. Just look at that sneer on its face! That thing is fantastic. The overall paintjob doesn’t blow you away, but it doesn’t have to. The crazy eyes, the face, the eyeless heads on stalks, those creepy, tiny legs, and its strange seaweed hair don’t need fancy tricks to give you a feeling of menace. This guy just radiates it naturally. I’m not sure the rarity level of this miniature, and frankly I don’t care. This one is a MUST BUY for anyone who gazes upon its strange form!

Speaking of D&D, Saturday was the first session in 1st Group where I was a player while Zack Attack ran the show. I finally had a chance to step out from behind the screen in the guise of Jericho Karris, Cleric of Pelor, and deal with the world I helped form. I have to admit something right of; the PC’s are HARD to deal with. I hope no one gets offended by that, but the other characters in the group are kind of dicks. Jericho was set up to be a friendly, honest, forthright, and GOOD PC to interact with a group full of hidden motivations, uncertainty, and secrets. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but DAMN! In that fact came some of the fun though. I’m beginning to get a feel for the character and the way he interacts with the other characters. He doesn’t trust Max at all, Drakel is a Teifling and is treated accordingly, Fie has taken to calling him ‘Jerry’ which he hates, and Adler was at best stand-offish and at worst adversarial with him early on. That being said there weren’t many opportunities to Role Play in that session as it was combat heavy. Oh and how GLORIOUS that was! I really thought that Zack pushed the group as a whole in the initial encounter by throwing wave after wave of Undead.
I am reminded just why Chillborne Zombies are a HUGE pain in the ass, just by the way he interspersed them SO effectively among the throng. It really had less to do with him being able to hurt us consistently with attacks and more about area affects and the sheer pressing number of enemies on the board. We just didn’t have the artillery to deal with them as effectively as we would have if Mick had been there. Alas she was out sick so we had to make do. So we just kept the meat grinder going, churning through them as best we could. The tension kept up when we ran into a room literally alive with the taint of Syd and full of half-formed Drow Clone spawn. I felt like we hit our rhythm here as a team and handled things pretty easily. All this despite the betrayal of my purple dice, it was a night of feast and famine as I’d fluxuate from rolling critical hits to critical misses and back again. Finally, we trudged deeper into Iskander’s foul dungeon and who did we meet? Well Syd of course, alive, well, and in charge of all the madness. I can’t state enough how fantastic and rewarding it is to have a PC’s character become THE campaign menace and really never change. He is basically the same Syd he was as a PC as he is now, just more powerful, more in the open about what he wants, and far more dangerous. He also had a strange alternate Max with him, visibly warped by the Far Realm that led to all sorts of questions to be volleyed Bob’s way. Syd had also ripped out ‘clones’ of the main PC’s, Jericho was excluded from this, and set them about finishing his ‘master plan’ at the site of Iskander’s dungeon. He then informed the party that he was off to continue corrupting the world. It was a friendly and joyous banter that Zack seemed to relish in which makes that character all the more nasty. He would have been ecstatic if any of the PC’s would have just joined him. Instead we were left, free from the goop that held us to track down the ‘clones’, stop Syd’s mad plan, and then hunt him to the ends of the Known World. Fantastically fun stuff!

Sunday I slept. Seriously, I slept like all day. The weather was perfect for it, and I was worn out. I got nothing of any consequence done, and really just retreated to my bed and passed out. When I was conscious I did finally partake of John Dies At The End (**** out of 5).
Don Coscarelli is a director who I enjoy. I love Bubba Ho-Tep, and so should you, he helped write The Beastmaster a movie quoted in my house to this day, and the Phantasm flicks were a HUGE part of my middle school years. This is one of those individuals who shaped my young mind when it comes to horror and sci-fi. So when I heard he was going to take this tale that I’d never read, but that was much talked about, and make it into a film I was IN! However at the same time I was trepedatious. C’mon it’s an adaptation and so often those things turn out to be shite. I think that’s why I waited so long to sit down and watch this. I wanted it to be good, wanted to be entertained so badly that I think if it had sucked it would have affected the way I fondly look back at those other film experiences from Mr. Coscarelli. I was not disappointed. At all. I have yet to read the book, but now will because of the film. I have to also tell you that this film is weird. And by weird I mean REALLY weird. It’s also fun, dark, gory, disturbing, goofy, and at times made me laugh out loud. The premise is simple, two slackers take a drug that enables them to see all the things that mankind is not meant to see, and in doing so get themselves involved in a multi-dimensional invasion plot. The movie has no rules you are aware of, no situation it won’t run headlong into, and in doing so really feels like you are slipping into an old comfortable pair of disturbingly fun shoes. Would I recommend this flick, yes. Yes, if you like weird stuff. Yes, if you enjoy horror movies that don’t take themselves seriously. Yes, if you love Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti. Yes, if you like me had your childhood influenced shinning metal balls of death cruising at break neck speed through mausoleums, wish you had two ferrets as pets, and loved watching an old Elvis kill a Mummy in a nursing home. Otherwise this one may not be for you, and if that’s true you’ll never know what you are missing.

Anywho, I’ve bludgeoned you enough with my Nerdery, how ‘bout we wrap this up with a dose of…


- 3rd Group D&D meets on Thursday, I have prep to do. Talking to some of the players online this week has made me adjust some of my plans. Not too many, but some. I think that I need to GRAB them early Thursday night and not let go. Oh and ramp up the fun as well, MINIONS!

- Friday night is the first Friday Night Smackdown! Bobert, Diamond Dave, & Mighty Mike will join me couch-side to draft for our Wrestling shows, to tweak wrestlers, and hopefully get in some matches. I have my fingers crossed that I’ll get a crazy roster full of the likes of Brett Hart, Kenta Kobashi, Ultra Mantis Black, Mark Henry, & CM Punk. Think of what I could do with that? MUHAhahahahaha!

- Speaking of Kenta Kobashi, the Japanese ‘king of kings’, ‘Mr. Puroseau’ himself, has retired. I can’t state enough just what a credit to Japanese Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling itself this man is/was.
His matches are things of beauty. He was the rare combination of size, unbelievable power, speed, and tenacity that could set a crowd on fire. He also could be a believable ‘baby face in peril’ because of his ability to connect with the audience even through the miracle of DVD. His moves were devastating, perfectly placed, and innovative. Things like the Burning Hammer, a move SO dangerous he only used it like eight times, a huge moonsault, a massive lariat, and his screwdriver suplex are all simply awe inspiring. His matches with Vader, Misawa, Stan Hansen, Kawada, Taue, & partner turned rival Jun Akiyama are the things of legend. They are perfection in the art form of Pro Wrestling. Kobashi was the consummate baby face Hoss who told a tale when he entered the ring. That story could be about defeat or victory it did not matter, what mattered is he entertained you. He made All Japan and then NOAH something to behold from the 90’s on. I’m firmly convinced that had he not suffered from so many debilitating knee injuries he might have given us one amazing run in the U.S. The man was/is my favorite wrestler all time, and I hope his retirement treats him as well as he treated all of us who watched his trials and tribulations in the ring. Remember, “God Is Not Dead, He Is Merely Retiring.” Fitting words for a man who blessed me with a love of Puroseau.

- I’m hoping to grill tomorrow, if the weather doesn’t poo poo it.

- We had every intention to paint miniatures yesterday, but like many things in life it didn’t happen. I have to blame it on the weather being SO conducive to sleeping. That wet, damp, cool breeze just is a siren song to my brain. All I want to do is sleep when it is upon us. Hell today’s fog makes me want to take a nap as well. Maybe this Saturday I can convince Cassandra to help me get some stuff done.

- Since we are on the topic of miniatures it appears that it’ll be awhile till I get my Reaper Bones Kickstarter miniatures. I’m not really that upset. Reaper has done a fantastic job of trying to keep us all informed about the situation as it unfolds. I think what strikes me most about the whole thing is I have yet to have ANY Kickstarter I’ve pledged to come out on time. I am currently waiting on four games, three of which are overdue. Two more games I pledged to don’t come out till the fall and winter, I’m sure they will be delayed. This is the crappy thing about Kickstarter, there is a tendency to overpromise on time frames. For the most part I’m ok with that as I think it’s just hard to get a game from concept to table. However I do have to state that the group that are, hopefully, bringing me Storm The Castle won’t be getting any future funding from me. If you haven’t delivered on your Kickstarter obligation for one project yet and go and start another one that just makes me feel like you are less worried about living up to your promises that helped you get my money and more worried about getting more money. THAT is the type of crap that gives Kickstarter a bad name. So if you are out there and internally debating whether or not to give your hard earned cash to someone’s project remember it can be a rewarding, fun, and fantastic experience, but expect delays because 90% of the time they will occur.

I think that’s all I got today…

“What are we coming to
No room for me, no fun for you
I think about a world to come
Where the books were found by the golden ones
Written in pain, written in awe
By a puzzled man who questioned
What we were here for
All the strangers came today
And it looks as though they're here to stay

Oh you pretty things (oh you pretty things)
Don't you know you're driving your
Mamas and papas insane
Oh you pretty things (oh you pretty things)
Don't you know you're driving your
Mamas and papas insane
Let me make it plain
You gotta make way for the homo superior

Look at your children
See their faces in golden rays
Don't kid yourself they belong to you
They're the start of a coming race
The earth is a bitch
We’ve finished our news
Homo sapiens have outgrown their use
All the strangers came today
And it looks as though they're here to stay

Oh you pretty things (oh you pretty things)
Don't you know you're driving your
Mamas and papas insane
Oh you pretty things (oh you pretty things)
Don't you know you're driving your
Mamas and papas insane
Let me make it plain
You gotta make way for the homo superior”

* = Words to live by...

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