Lond Ho Adventures

Lager Quest Part 3

The elevator started up with a lurch and began its slow, grinding descent. Bill and Hunter were of the belief that the Lond Ho elevators were the slowest in the city, perhaps the country, and maybe even the pokiest lifts on the entire planet, and by extension, the galaxy. They were wrong of course, there were far slower elevators everywhere in the city, in hospitals, and old folks homes for instance. All things being equal in an infinite universe, there was even the possibility of entire planets covered with even slower lifts than the ones at Lond Ho. This however did not cross Bill or Hunter’s mind at the time, as they were concentrating quite intensely on the “here, and now” of their situation; they needed to get to ground floor, get out of the building, get some booze, and get pished.

The elevator car was lined with grimy mirrors and cheesy fake wood panelling that betrayed its age. Hunter didn’t think the lifts had been updated, or even serviced, since the building was put up. Of course they had been serviced, the Otis people were at the building just last week, and if Hunter had bothered to access his medium term memory he would have recalled being annoyed that only the service lift was available for a period of two days the week before, forcing him to wait nearly a whole minute for the elevator to arrive one morning. And as Hunter quite often said,
“I haven’t got all-minute!”

Hunter turned to Bill, “The so-called CEO of the Cosmodemonic Security Company showed up at the site today.”

“CEO eh? Fancy!”

“’Fancy’ yeah, right. Being the CEO of Dumfeld Security is like being the World’s Tallest Midget.” Hunter grumbled.

Bill nodded, “That’s certainly an interesting way of putting it. By they way, the preferred term these days is ‘little person.’”

Hunter sneered. He loathed political correctness and the mealy-mouthed left-wing socialist media that invented it, and continued to cram it down the throats of the citizenry of North America. The lift jerked to a quick halt at the 11th floor and a man, a couple of years older than Bill and Hunter stepped in. He redundantly pressed the “L” for lobby, even though it was clearly lit up. This annoyed Bill, who shook his head in disgust thinking,
“Did this guy need to do that? Did he not see the button was already lit, or is he in such an oblivious, zombified state that he just did it from habit?”

Bill continued, “So what did the so-called CEO want?”

Hunter absent-mindedly fingered the three “gold” studs in his left ear as the elevator continued downward, “He told me to take out my earrings and cut my hair.”

“Cut your hair?”

“Cut my hair.”

Bill crossed his arms over his barrel of a chest, knowing what the answer would be before even asking, “What did you say to that?”

“I told him they didn’t pay me anywhere near enough to make such demands on my personal appearance.”

Bill grinned at Hunter’s answer just as the lift stuttered to a halt on the 7th floor where a girl, about the same age as Bill and Hunter got on. She looked at the panel, saw the illuminated “L” then pressed the CLOSE button. A few seconds went by and the doors finally slid shut. Hunter had a theory that the CLOSE button wasn’t attached to anything. He came to this conclusion a week after they had moved in to Lond Ho when he noticed the button never lit up when it was pressed, and the doors had always seemed to close when they wanted to, and not because of any arbitrary button pressing that may or may not go on.

“So what did your boss say to that?” Bill wanted to know.

“He gave me a raise.”

“You are fucking kidding me!”

The guy that entered on the 11th floor looked back at Bill, or rather up and back at Bill who was a good six inches taller, a good fifty pounds heavier. The guy gave Bill the stink eye, apparently offended by his foul language and muttered almost under his breath, “Come on man, a lady is present.”

Bill looked right back at him, “What?”

The guy said nothing and just turned back around shaking his head.

Bill continued, “Oh, you were finished? Well allow me to retort! Private Con-Ver-Sa-Tion!”

The guy was silent. Suddenly he wasn’t in the mood to mouth off anymore.

Bill turned back to Hunter, “You were saying?”

“Yeah, no apparently it was ‘in the works’ he said for a while and he was just there to let me know in person to expect to see it on the next cheque.”

The lift lurched to another halt this time on the 2nd floor, or +15 level as it was called. A Mexican looking guy got on and pressed the already lit up “L” button. Now Bill was completely beyond his regular level of annoyance and hitting all-new previously unprecedented levels of anger. To him it was one thing to take the lift from the upper floors, but quite another thing entirely to get on ONE FLOOR ABOVE THE FUCKING LOBBY! Didn’t this guy understand that he took more time WAITING for the lift car to arrive than it would have taken him to walk DOWN a single flight of stairs? He slapped himself about the forehead and audibly sighed.

“Anyway, so are you gonna cut your hair now, or what?”

Hunter shook his head, “Ah, fuck no. But I figger I’ll meet him half way and take out the studs while I’m at work. If I remember of course.”

The lift stopped, and the doors parted at last they had arrived at the lobby. Everyone waited the extra two or three seconds before exiting, as the elevator cars at Lond Ho never seemed to stop level with the floor on the first attempt and always needed those extra seconds to level out. The three people in front of Bill and Hunter stepped out on to the faux marble floor and quickly headed for the glass air-lock that was London House’s front entrance/exit. The street was close now, and by extension the boys’ quest for potent potables was nearly within reach.

Bill looked at Hunter half grinning, “Take out your earrings eh? You are such a fucking sell-out.”

Hunter nodded, “Yeah, well everybody sells out eventually, the successful rich ones anyway… but who cares about that right now? I’m starving, lets get some beers!”

“Smartest thing you’ve said all night,” Bill said as they stepped towards the glass air-lock.

What could be lurking just outside the entrance, and what could it mean for Bill and Hunter’s Lager Quest? Tune in next time for Part 4!!



Another Brutally Honest Flick Review By The Jaeger

Sucker Punch
Directed By Zack Snyder

A teenage girl is locked away in a mental asylum by her abusive stepfather where she is scheduled to be lobotomized. Seconds before her “treatment,” she retreats to a fantastical world in her imagination where she and four other female inmates plot to escape the facility. The lines between reality and fantasy blur as Baby Doll and her four companions, as well their guide, fight through a series of fetch quests to retrieve the items they need that will allow them to break free from their captors before its too late...

Many reviewers all over the interwebs have tried to use this flick as some kind of so-called “proof” that Zack Snyder is some kind of misogynist that doesn’t understand or care for women. To these people I say you missed the point of Sucker Punch even more than Michael Bay missed the point when he made Pearl Harbor. The flick is about an imaginative girl’s escape from a cruel and nasty world, filled with horror and betrayal by the very people who should be taking care of her. A world not unlike our own, when sometimes the bad guys win. She escapes into the only place she can; her imagination, the only place where she can control the world around her, and ultimately her destiny to become the hero she couldn’t be in the real world, all within the few moments of lucidity she has remaining before being lobotomized. The film is NOT about “rape” or “hatred of women” as some other reviewers have stated, and I invite them to pull their politically correct heads out of their asses and grow the hell up before making such inflammatory and downright ridiculous statements.

The action sequences absurd in their awesomeness and remain some of the strongest, visually arresting, and impressive scenes in any film from the last ten years and are without a doubt the highlight of the film. But therein lies the problem, after the first fantastic sequence with the Giant Samurai, I found myself uninterested in the scenes in between, as nothing else in the film is anywhere near as interesting as “fantasy within a fantasy” action scenes! Not that it’s a bad film, its just a little scattered and uneven, seemingly unaware of what kind of flick it wants to be; a kick ass girl power flick, or a commentary on the horrors of 1960’s institutional cruelty and the loss of "the self." I'm not saying it can't be both, but it can be a bit disconcerting when a movie is marketed so heavily as one thing, and the product on screen turns out to be something very different indeed.

The biggest problem with the film lies in its wholly unsatisfying and unnecessary first layer of fantasy that turns the asylum into some kind of absurdist, surrealistic cabaret theater/ brothel. I understand what director Zack Snyder was trying to do, in that these scenes are supposed to be a bridging point between the real world, and the second layer of fantasy represented by the action sequences, but ultimately it just doesn’t work and feels on the whole superfluous. If I was directing the flick I would have eliminated the first fantasy world altogether in favor of an extended real world sequence in which the character beats are longer, eventually transitioning into the fantasy action sequences one after another, then back to the real world for the big finale.

The blu-ray, on top of a fantastic looking MPEG-4 AVC transfer in 1080p and a downright outstanding DTS-MA 5.1 surround track, contains yet another fantastic Maximum Movie Mode hosted by Director Zack Snyder that takes a deep and satisfying look into the making of the film. This for me is the highlight of the blu-ray and I recommend watching it even if you didn’t enjoy the flick upon first viewing.

All in all Sucker Punch is a great concept clumsily executed, and for that reason can only get THREE Giant Samurai out of FIVE.


Politically (In)Correct

Yes, that’s right Chilled Monkey Brainz is BACK from Summer Hiatus and ready to kick its two readers in the nads with more Flick, Blu, and Game Reviews, and all the Politically Incorrect ranting you’ve come to know and hate!

Friends, Marxists, Countrymen, lend me your ears. I’ve come to bury Jack Layton, not to praise him.

First and foremost let me say to all of Mr. Layton family and close friends, I’m sorry for your loss. Jack’s death certainly shocked me, and I am neither a friend nor relative, I never liked his politics, but I could certainly appreciate the cult of personality that followed him around during his long career as a politician.

Jack Layton was born in 1950 to a life of wealth and privilege in an affluent Montreal neighborhood, the son of a Progressive Conservative Cabinet Minister. From a young age he showed a distinct aversion to work, remaining a student well into his early adulthood, before taking a teaching job at Ryerson University.

When teaching at a University level proved to be a lot more work for a lot less money than Jack had anticipated, he sought out a life in politics getting elected to the Toronto City Council in 1982, thus beginning what would become a long career as what I like to call a taker.

He certainly knew how to work the system, and milked it and Canadian Taxpayers for all they were worth beginning in 1990 when he lived with his second wife in subsidized housing paying a mere $800 a month for a luxurious three bedroom apartment while hauling in a combined income of over $120,000 a year.

After losing mayoral election in Toronto in 1991, he returned to his first love; academia before running for and winning the leadership of Canada’s National Socialist Party in 2003. He refused to run in a by-election to legitimize the FAT cheque he was taking from the taxpayers, but certainly got his face out on the CBC, which took an immediate liking to the charismatic, career politician. In the 2004 federal election, Layton ran in his home riding of Toronto-Danforth against Liberal Dennis Mills. His safe bet to win a seat paid off, and he easily defeated the Liberal incumbent.

On March 21, 2011 Layton helped defeat the Government, going against his word and voting for, instead of against a motion of no-confidence in the House of Parliament, helping to stab Canadians in the back and forcing yet another un-wanted election. During the campaign Layton proved to be no friend of Alberta, and by extension no friend of Canada when he told Quebecers if elected he would “shut down the oil industry” in Canada, and “raise taxes on the rich” to pay for the massive social programs outlined in the NDP’s “orange book.” The gamble in Quebec paid off on the May 2, 2011 election, as Layton led the NDP to 103 seats, enough to make the NDP the Official Opposition in the House of Commons for the first time ever, and completely obliterating the Separatist Bloc-Quebequois in the process. So it wasn’t all bad.

On July 25, 2011 Jack Layton announced he was stepping down from the post of leader of He Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to fight an unspecified, newly diagnosed cancer, hoping to return as leader of the NDP upon the resumption of the House of Commons on September 19, 2011. Layton then parachuted NDP caucus chair Nycole Turmel into the position of interim leader during his leave of absence.

Within days of his death on August 22, 2011 Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the unprecedented and wholly bizarre decision to give Layton a state funeral, an honor that had been previously reserved only for former Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, and cabinet ministers who die while in office. Even in death Jack Layton continues to pick the pockets of the people of Canada.

Which brings me back to my original point: Jack Layton was a taker, because in the end all politicians are takers. They pick our pockets and give nothing back to society, culturally, or artistically from the second they get into power, until the time we kick them out. And before you start whining about “oh, but politicians are Public Servants, the work for us!” First, the vast majority of politicians haven’t done a day of real work in their lives, and second, maybe sixty or a hundred years ago politicians served those that voted them into power, but not anymore. In the real world of the twenty-first century the only reason anyone seeks election at any level of government, be it municipal, provincial, or federal in so they can get the chance to take, with impunity, every cent they can from the pockets of the Canadian taxpayer until such a time when they are caught and kicked out of office. If you believe any different, you should remove those rose coloured spectacles from your face and wake the fuck up.

Politicians view the taxpayers of Canada as nothing more than an open wallet that exists for no other reason than to provide them with money, position, power, fat expense accounts, and ultimately (if they are able to stick around for at least one term) a million dollar golden parachute in the form of a huge unrealistic pension. A massive liability, by the way, that the Canadian taxpayers can no longer afford to keep shelling out for.

Unless of course we are all fine with ending up like the Socialist Nations of Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal…


A Special Pirate Tharrsday Edition of DVBlusday!

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Directed by Rob Marshal

“It’s a Pirate’s life for me. Savvy?”

Johnny Depp is back as the irrepressible Captain Jack Sparrow, returning for more booty, rum, and strange adventure in this fourth installment in the billion dollar franchise, although for a film with “Pirates of the Caribbean” in the title, maybe they could have spent a little more time in the Caribbean.

The story is loosely based on the wholly unremarkable novel, On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers, and finds Captain Jack meeting up with an ex-hoochie named Angelica, (Penelope Cruz) the daughter of the Pirate All Pirates Fear, the legendary Blackbeard himself (played with awesome scene-chewery, by Ian McShane). Soon Captain Jack finds himself once again in search of the Fountain of Youth (remember the last scenes in At World’s End? Well apparently the first search didn’t go so well as a short throwaway line attests), with the help of First Mate Gibbs (Kevin McNally), and returning fan-favorite Hector Barbossa, complete with rum-filled peg leg (played once again by the brilliant Geoffrey Rush).

A tighter story this time around, as well as fewer peripheral characters taking focus away from the mains does the flick good, however Jack’s ship the Black Pearl, a character unto itself, is conspicuous by its absence and only makes a “tiny” cameo as a ship in a bottle… who knows maybe she’ll be back in all her glory in the next flick. There seems top be a lot less sea-faring adventure in this flick than in previous ones, as the characters spend most of the film on dry land!

Be that as it may the flick is still a fun Piratical romp, Johnny Depp still rules the Pirate world with his portrayal of Captain Jack, the action is wonderfully over the top, and even Hans Zimmer’s overly loud and massively bombastic score, and Rob Marshal's mediocre directing didn’t manage to annoy me too much. I dug the flick and laugh in the faces of other “mainstream” reviewers like Ebert, who hated Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End claiming the stories were “too complex” for his popcorn-butter addled mind, but then bashes On Stranger Tides for not being complex enough! Ah well, all it proves is that you can’t please everyone, and admittedly this film isn’t for everyone anyway, but if you dig Pirates in general, and the misadventures of Captain Jack Sparrow in particular, then I absolutely recommend this flick.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides gets FOUR rum-soaked hearties out of FIVE.


Lond Ho Adventures

Lager Quest Part 2

Hunter pulled the door closed and locked the deadbolt with the key he kept on a leather cord around his neck. Bill visibly winced at the sound made by the door, knowing that even the slightest noise coming from their end of the hall would draw the attention of Doris; the divorced, forty-something, building manager who lived in the flat opposite the lifts, the flat right next to theirs.

Bill looked down the hallway, the carpet that would have been psychedelic and cool if the colours were anything other than brown and beige stretched out before him. The elevator call button was between the two lifts, about fifteen steps away. They could make it, he thought, if they were very, very stealthy…

Twelve steps in, and Doris appeared in her doorway, the ever-present SuperCan™ of Molson Canadian in one hand, a More Menthol 120 at her lips, and “Mississippi Queen” belting out from a stereo somewhere inside the dark, smoky flat.

“Evening boys, how’s it going?”

Bill’s finger hovered over the ancient, concave glass style elevator call button, noticing for perhaps the first time the greasy finger-prints on and all around it. He wondered briefly how many hundreds, if not thousands of filthy fingers had pressed the button since the seventies when London House was erected. He decided he didn’t want to know. There was a decision to be made here and he had to be the one to make it. Hunter smirked bemusedly at his friend and seemed to read his mind. Hunter was going to blow it for them by starting up a conversation with her, Bill just knew it. The conversation would lead, possibly, to them going into Doris’s place for a beer, and perhaps a joint, and by the end of the night Bill would have to “take care of business” as it were. There would be “free” beers, but at what price? No, he decided, not tonight, not on his watch. Bill’s finger stabbed at the call button five more times than was necessary, the downward facing triangle lit up orange and the lift was on its way.

Hunter however had other plans. He wanted to see Bill squirm, bastard that he was. Hunter spun on his heel.

“Oh, hey Doris? What’re you up to tonight?”

“You know, just hanging out, drinking a beer, listening to some tunes,” she craned her head so she could see Bill, “Hows it hangin’ Billy?”

Bill winced. He hated it when she tried to sound younger than she was, almost as much as he hated being called “Billy.” His finger stabbed away at the elevator call button three more times before turning around.

“Evening Doris.”

Doris took a swig of beer, “So you boys are on your way out somewhere?”

Hunter piped up, determined to prolong Bill’s agony, “Yeah we need to go pick up some beers.”

“Well, why didn’t you say so?” Doris looked at Bill, “I’ve got plenty of beer. You guys should come in and join me for a couple-three!”

“Oh, thanks Doris but we were actually headed down to the Unicorn to meet a buddy so-“

Hunter cut him off, “We are?”

“Yes we are. You not listening back there?” Bill jerked a thumb back towards the door of #1401.

“Oh, yeah…” Hunter shrugged, “You know my hearing is a little off in the one ear.”

Bill grumbled, saying every word like it was its own sentence, “So. It. Would. Seem.”

Hunter turned to Doris, “Sorry love, I guess we’ll have to take a rain-check.”

The elevator chimed its arrival.

“No problem Joe, you know you two are welcome anytime!” Doris smiled.

The elevator doors slid open, and Bill was inside before they had fully parted, dragging Hunter in behind him by the arm. The lift doors slid shut and Bill glanced annoyed at the elevator floor panel, Superstitious nonsense! Just because they don’t call it the thirteenth floor doesn’t mean it isn’t, he thought as he pushed the L button to take them down to the Lobby.

Will Bill and Hunter make it out of Lond Ho ALIVE? Tune in next time for part 3!



Directed by Nathan Greno, and Byron Howard

Disney has gone back to their 1980’s formula of “musical theater” for their animated features beginning with 2009’s wonderful, and imaginative The Princess and the Frog. That musical storytelling tradition is continued with their latest feature, the thoroughly mediocre “animated classic,” Tangled.

This is Disney’s 50th animated feature so one would have expected a spectacular feature to celebrate that milestone. Instead, what we get is a run-of-the-mill re-imagining of Grimm’s tale of Rapunzel that while it has it’s decent moments, never rises to the level of the original source material, or even previous Disney animated efforts. The flick falls flat through uninspired songs, and completely lackluster vocal performances by Mandy Moore, and Zach Levi who play Rapunzel and Eugene respectively.

The look of the flick is quite stunning however, from the background design, to the animation mechanics behind Rapunzel’s trademark long, blonde hair. The flick’s MPEG-4 AVC encoded 1080p presentation is also quite good, but I would expect no less from Disney Home Video these days, and the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack is fabulous, giving all home theater audio channels the workout they deserve. The supplemental package is especially disappointing with its conspicuous lack of director’s commentary, or anything of real value. This is especially annoying considering what we have seen from Disney’s other animated Blu-ray releases.

Unfortunately the awesome audio and video presentation does not make up for an average story that falls flat on almost every level, especially the ending.

Based on it’s weak story, and a distinct lack of substantive extras, I can only give Disney’s Tangled TWO wacky hair gags out of FIVE.


Lond Ho Adventures

Lager Quest part 1

Bill was contributing to his ass-print on the huge chesterfield as he sat glued to CNN for the third straight hour as it showed over and over again the latest images from the burning of the Branch Davidian compound. Normally, a little over an hour a day was all the CNN he could manage as his roommate, Hunter, was an avid TV and movie watcher. Avid meaning the fucker watched anything and everything, on his TV and Betamax, whenever he wanted to, no matter the quality. Bill, on the other hand was a self-proclaimed news junkie. He read both local newspapers daily, listened to the all news radio station on a tiny, pocket sized radio while working, and watched CNN every moment he could. Bill had often told Hunter that read and watched the news all the time because he needed to know what was happening on the planet he lived on, even if Hunter chose to go through life oblivious to everything around him.

A commercial break gave Bill the opportunity to get up and hit the fridge for a beer. The last beer. The beer Hunter had slipped into the back of the crisper so he would have something to drink when he got home from work. Bill chuckled, and then snatched it, effectively removing the last edible item from the fridge. He sat back down and popped the top just as images David Koresh’s burning compound once again came upon the TV screen. He took a long draught from the tinnie of Black Label, it was awful, but it was cheap, and money wasn’t exactly falling from the sky like manna from the heavens these days.

The lock clicked, and popped, followed by the dead bolt, the door flew open and Hunter stumbled in. He threw his rucksack on the tan, leather chair and walked straight to the fridge.

Bill took another swig of lager, and smiled an evil smile, knowing what was coming. He pulled his hoodie hood over his head.


Hunter stared at the empty crisper drawer and slammed it shut in disgust. He glanced around the empty fridge to make sure there wasn’t another beer hidden somewhere, perhaps in the butter saver… alas the only thing left in the fridge was an empty jar of mustard, and several packets of McDonald’s ketchup strewn about on top of the egg holder.

Hunter stepped into the living room and spotted Bill sitting on the chesterfield with the tinnie of lager placed precariously on the armrest. Hunter looked at Bill, then down at the can of beer, then back at Bill.

Bill stroked the top of the can, “You want this don’t you?” He said in his best Emperor Palpatine impersonation.

Hunter just stared at him, anger welling in his soul at having no beer with which to slake his thirst after a long, hard day toiling for the Cosmodemonic Security Corporation.

Bill looked up into Hunter’s eyes, and continued, “Take it, drink it down with all of your anger, and your journey to the Drunk Side will have begun!”

Hunter looked down at the can, and then back at Bill, he reached for the can as if trying to will it into his hand with the Force.

“Or,” Bill said, “as I was just paid today, we could just go down to the Booze-a-Rama and pick up more.”

Hunter smiled and nodded as Bill stood up, throwing on a jacket. The boys stepped out the door of apartment 1401, their quest for more lager underway.

Will Bill and Hunter find the beer they’re looking for and precede toward drunkenness? Tune in next week for part 2!!!


CMBZ Follower Contest

And now for a special announcement!

The drive to ten thousand begins today, and only YOU can help! Become a Chilled Monkey Brainz Follower, and help this blog reach ten thousand followers this year!

Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell people you may only consider aquaintances!

What is in it for you, you might well ask? Every follower will have his, or her name entered into a draw for a FANTASTIC PRIZE to be awarded when the follow meter reaches 10,000!

Thank you for all your support, both past and future, and good luck to us all!

For Relaxing Times...

Shefield & Son’s Toro

A new review feature debuts today on CMBZ; cigar reviews! Today we’re reviewing Shefield & Son’s “Store Brand” Toro sized, (50 ring gauge, by six inches long) Nicaraguan cigar.

First lets say that being a cigar enthusiast in Canada is a bit of a pain in the ass due to the insanely excessive prices of single sticks. In this country, the average tax on a single cigar is MANY, MANY times the price of the product. A good example of this is the Macanudo Maduro Hampton Courts I got in from the USA recently, and paid only $7 a stick for, are selling for $30 a stick plus tax at the local tobacconinsts here in Red Mile City. Just something to keep in mind, when I use the term “value” and “affordable,” these terms mean VERY different things up here than they do in the USA. At under $9 a stick, this mild to medium cigar still isn’t affordable enough to be a daily smoke, but it is still a decent price for this country.

The Shefield & Son’s Toro cigar is a well-constructed, mild to medium bodied smoke that had an even pre-draw, and greeted me with some pleasant earthy, grassy tones upon lighting. The cigar held it’s light, flaky ash for a good inch, and the richness of the soil the Nicaraguan tobacco was grown in came through with the light, almost white colour of the ash. It burned evenly and had more than a satisfactory draw from start to finish. About a third of the way in, some vanilla notes made an appearance, and halfway through I detected some sweet, caramel flavours, the cigar surprised me at it’s final third with a brightness that bordered on “mintyness” that although brief, was certainly welcome.

The Shefield & Son’s Toro is overall a decent, relaxingly pleasant smoke with a surprising variety of light flavours at a reasonable (for Canada) price.

3.5 out of 5.



Another Brutally Honest Flick Review By The Jaeger

Directed by Declan O’Brien

“Not like this! Not like this!”

In film and writing there are the good, like The Empire Strikes Back, and Tropic of Cancer, the bad, like Avatar, and EVERY book based on a woman “writer’s” crap blog. There is also a third category I like to call BAD/GOOD, or something so BAD it’s GOOD, like Plan 9 From Outer Space, and The Eye of Argon. Sharktopus belongs in this third category.

Eric Roberts (Academy Award Nominee Best Supporting Actor, 1985 Runaway Train) plays Dr. Nathan Sands, the Doctor Frankenstein-esque scientist and creator of the Top Secret S-11, AKA: Sharktopus, a biological weapon created for the US Navy, and designed to infiltrate enemy waters without detection, and carry out whatever missions the Navy sees fit to program it with. But of course as with all these types of experiments, there is an “unforeseen” accident that damages S-11’s control device, the creature frees itself and of course, goes on a rampage. Cheeze-filled awesomeness ensues.

Goofy, wicked, NEVER SCARY, and always played with tongue planted FIRMLY in cheek, this SyFy Channel “Movie of the Week” Produced by Roger Corman for all its goofiness manages never to look “cheap” like most TV movies. Clearly the Sharktopus itself is a wonderfully fake-looking CGI monster, but it is certainly apparent they spent some money on it, more than they did on actors for instance.

The video is a fairly mediocre 1080p MPEG 4 AVC transfer which fluctuates from sharp to soft more times than you can count, but the audio is a solid Dolby Digital True HD 5.1 track that does it's job quite well.

The flick knows its audience, geeky fan-boys who can laugh at themselves, and plays to that audience. Sure the performances are poor, (Liv Boughn) even BRUTALLY BAD at times (Julian Gonzalez), and the Visual Effects are, to borrow a phrase from me old mate McBain, “the O-Pitome of Cheese,” but all in all it is a heap of fun and entirely watchable. A word of warning however, if you don’t understand, or enjoy bad/good stuff like Plan 9, The Toxic Avenger, and Death Race 2000, then keep well clear, but if bad/good is something you like, then by all means take the plunge and rent this flick immediately!

Sharktopus gets FOUR naughty tentacles, out of FIVE.


It is a great day for CANADA!

First off I have to apologize! If anyone would have axed me yesterday, even as late as 21:00 if I thought a Tory majority was going to happen I would have said NO it wouldn’t. My belief was we were in for the third Lame Duck, capitulating, taking-it-in-the-erse from the greedy, power-mad opposition parties, minority government we had to suffer with for the last five years or so. But like the Social Distortion song says: “I Was Wrong.” I had no faith in the Maritimes and Ontario, and even parts of B.C., but in the end I was as Gordon Ramsay would say “fucking gobsmacked.” The Liberal party was all but abandoned by Ontario, and the Maritimes leaving the “Natural Governing Party of Canada” with its biggest defeat in the history of its existence. For that I say thank you, as my faith in common sense has been renewed!

To spite all the CBC did with their Vote Compass to ensure everyone believed they were Liberals, Stephen Harper’s Tories finally got the mandate they deserved with a 167 seat majority in the House. Once again the Economy, Jobs, and the Military are safe from the destruction that would have been wrought had another Lame Duck minority Parliament been elected.

Thanks to everyone who voted, it truly is a GREAT DAY FOR FREEDOM, AND A GREAT DAY FOR CANADA! Once again the True North Strong and Free!



Another Brutally Honest Flick Review By The Jaeger


Back By Popular Harassment!

Futurama Vol. 5
on blu-ray is a good, not great collection of thirteen episodes from the newly un-cancelled series, first broadcast on Comedy Central in USAmerica. Highlights include “The Late Philip J. Fry” where the Professor invents a one-way time machine that transports Fry, bender and himself farther into the future than anyone has ever travelled with no hope of ever returning to the past, and “Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences” that has alien leader Lrrr facing a mid-life crisis after yet another bungled invasion of Earth.

There are certainly no Emmy Award winning episodes in Futurama Vol. 5, such as season four’s “Jurassic Bark,” among the bunch and therein lies the problem. Matt Groening, and David X. Cohen presumably KNEW the show was coming back for over a year, and this was the best they could come up with? One would think that with the extra prep time involved, as well as the hacking down of the season to a mere thirteen episodes we would have been given something freaking spectacular! Alas, what we end up with is more or less just okay. It certainly doesn’t suck, far from it, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering if this was the best they could do, then why bother to come back at all?

The PQ and AQ on the other hand are simply awesome. The 1080p AVC encoded transfer is gorgeous making the animation freaking POP like never before, and the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio does its job well and doesn’t disappoint.

The collection of extras on the two-disc set isn’t nearly as sizeable as one would hope after such a long hiatus, but is decent enough. The highlights being the thirteen full-length audio commentaries, and the original video comic book “The Adventures of Delivery-Boy Man” scribbled and performed by Philip J. Fry.

In the final analysis, Futurama Vol. 5 is a welcome blu-ray release that includes a beautiful 1080p transfer and exceptional sound even if it is a bit lacking in the extras department, and the flimsy-ass cardboard packaging sucks donkey balls.

Futurama Vol. 5 gets Three cigar chomping Benders out of Five.


Prepare to be Reviewed

Another Brutally Honest Flick Review By The Jaeger.


Directed by The Brothers Strause

“I hate L.A.”

Yes, yes, yes, so do I, so does everybody, in fact nearly everyone I know hates L.A. even people who live there. So if you thought seeing it destroyed would give great satisfaction, you would be wrong.

A simple birthday weekend for a rich yuppie and his friends goes horribly wrong as sunrise comes two hours early in the form of a fleet of alien invaders using pretty blue lights to entice humankind to their doom! As the alien ships descend on Los Angeles, sucking people into their ships as they go, the rich yuppies must use all the survival instincts they have to elude the aliens and survive the apocalypse.

What happens when a couple of visual effects artists who are completely clueless about tone, pacing, dialog, and story decide to make a low budget sci-fi flick? Well you get Skyline of course! A flick where the characters are so flat, so one dimensional, so utterly boring and without personality that seconds in to the flick I found myself desperately yearning for their demise. It’s a shame really because the visual effects, and the alien design elements are really quite striking, but as I have said MANY times before, visual effects do not a great picture make.

Thank dog it only stole 92 minutes of my time. I suppose I should have listened to those alarm bells that went off in my head when the quote on the back of the blu-ray case read: “From the visual effects masterminds behind Avatar, Iron Man 2, and 300!” Lucky for me I borrowed this flick from a friend, as I would never be able to forgive myself if I bought it sight unseen.

The Alliance blu-ray presentation of Skyline is a fairly decent 1080p MPEG 4 AVC encode with strong colours, and skin-tones, but black levels don’t fare as well however coming through rather soft and muted most times. The audio is an ass kicking 5.1 DTS HD MA presentation that will quite possibly blow your roof off if turned up too loud, it’s not perfect, but it gets the job done.

Extra features include a director’s commentary, deleted and extended scenes, pre-visualisations with optional commentary, and two trailers with optional commentaries.

For all the positives of the visual effects, and the decent High Def video and audio presentation, Skyline still warrants nothing more than a 1 out of 5. Rent at own risk, you have been warned.


Michelle Obama: Arrogant Liberal

So this week Michelle Obama arrogantly demanded to know where HER Royal Wedding invitation was. The question I have to axe is why the hell should she, of all people be invited? Is she a member of the British Royal Family, or a long lost relative of the Middletons? Oh, yeah the answer is NO. Is the USA part of the Greater British Empire? Again, and bear in mind that I am no expert here, but I believe the answer is NO. Is she a politician or statesman? NO.

The truth is she is nothing but an arrogant, socialist with an entitlement complex. For some reason she doesn’t seem to realize that just because she is Barry Obama’s wife that doesn’t mean that everybody in the world should bow down to her every whim, and give her everything she demands for free.

Grow up Michelle, not everything is about you.

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