Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Monday, April 7, 2014
It's time for: Three Books I Recently Finished That Will Pleasure Your Eyeballs.
One: Hawkeye Vol 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction.
It wasn't long ago when I said I would never read another Matt Fraction book but then, after the literary vomit that was The Mighty Thor/Journey into Mystery, I gave him another chance, two actually with Fantastic Four: New Departures and New Arrivals and now with Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction. I'm glad I did because he could go no where but up with The Mighty Thor on his resume.
Fraction's Hawkeye, while not nearly a masterpiece is still a fine example of good comics in little moments. This collection of about the Archer Avenger is a simple, straight forward tale about his life and every day moments that make Clint Barton a hero.
Sure there is lots of action but it's more about character then throwing punches.
I enjoyed Hawkeye Vol 1 because now Barton is even more likable, more the ever really because he is a now person brought down from a hero status into a Everyman-kind-of character.
Hawkeye is one of Fractions's best and I can only thank him now for proving to me he's got what it takes to stay in the business.
Two: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka.
The big bad wolf has anyways had a bad rap when it comes to those walking sausages who wanted him off his property. His tell all book explodes with the true-true tale of nastiness and discrimination. Sure, we all know 'that' story told by the pork pies, how he was hungry and he huffed and puffed but in this short autobiography he comes clean and to settle record once and for all.
As you may have guest this is comedy for children but adults who laugh too. I had it when I was a child and yes, I still read it. I found if you want your kids to sleep easily this book is a good place to start. It will relax them, puts them in a good mood and they sleep be better because they weren't tensed up before they conked out.
And yes, you too can read it before you go to bed. It beats Nyquil.
Three: Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Issacson.
Finding the soul of a man is harder then finding this thoughts, it's the heart, not the brain that really did the work of Albert Einstein, the greatest man of the 20th Century.
The book is not lacking in Einstein's theories. Even today some don't know exactly what Einstein what accomplished; they know 'who' he is but the 'what' is a little fuzzy. They understand he did something no other man of scientist even considered or were stuck on for centuries and proved it. So, Issacson explains them in great clarity, and even if you do already know them it is a good reminder that some things do need repeating because they are so brilliant.
And then, there is a great biography in the midst of all this. From youthful, imaginative young man, into college student of goods grades, to poor patient clerk who in his spare time found that time and light and fabric of space is not what it appears, it is a grand story, a pull-yourself-up-from-your-bootstrap story. But, most importantly, Einstein was also a man who loved human beings and hated war and nationalism. He was like by many, hated by a few and worshiped today as the man who jimmying some of the most complicated locks in the whole of nature.
It's one of finest book every written about a human being and it will show you, in the universe, your place as well.
Once again, we have a near perfect spoof about a cop who wouldn't know a clue is it went up, bite him on the ass, jumped back down and said, “Hey, I'm a clue, damn it!”
I can tell you from experience I've never met a person like Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nelson) before. He is just that stupid and I've met Da Vinci's of stupidity. He is so stupid, so inept at his job and life in general I wonder why they even let him out of a first grade let alone grades two through twelve. His parents, if they're alive, must be pissed.
Frank, as dumb as he is, really is a very well thought out character. That maybe a double negative but it's true.
He is the idiot child made guys called Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker known for films like Airplane and The Kentucky Fried Movie, two truly great film comedies. Frank is a great, masterful character because he causes more trouble then the plot allows, so in a way he is very proactive, messing in gloriously humorous ways. He is far from a stagnant character and that's what we need in any good fiction: conflict!
Here we have him in site gags in regards to the President of the United States (GHWB) and his wife (Barbara) how she gets most of the brutes of Drebin stupidity and it works quite well, even when she is hanging from a balcony with only under underclothes on.
Plot? You want a plot from this film?
Trust me, it doesn't matter. But hey, if you so need one I'll try my best to give you what you desire.
Drebin is trying to stop scheme in which the big toxic waste companies want to kidnap a man who will be giving a speak which the President will back completely. That speak will say we should save more of the environment instead giving the waste companies to dump wherever they like. The company men do indeed kidnap the man and replace him with a duplicate, but the person working with the man is Jane Spencer, Frank's old flame played by Priscilla Presley and she is dating the man who is helping the business men who will do harm to out Earth.
There, the plot!
The film is not really about the environment or the big business or any anything other then making you laugh so hard soda shoots from your nostrils and you chock on your popcorn.
One sight gag which floored me so hard happens in a place called The Blue Note, a clichéd bar where people go to get drunk and wallow in self misery. In the Bar, plastered on the walls are pictures like The Chicago Fire, the Hindenburg in Flames, The Titanic sinking and then at the end of the photos is a smiling, photogenic image of Michael Dukakis.
Now, is this film funnier then the first Naked Gun film? Probably not, but that still is no reason not to see it. And again and again and again.
I laughed so hard with this film, I cried. Oh dear God did I cry.
Frank Drebin is a comedy demigod.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Monday, March 24, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Superior Achievement in a Novel
NOS4A2, Joe Hill (Morrow)
Doctor Sleep, Stephen King (Scribner)
Malediction, Lisa Morton (Evil Jester)
A Necessary End, Sarah Pinborough & F. Paul Wilson (Thunderstorm/Maelstrom)
The Heavens Rise, Christopher Rice (Gallery)
Superior Achievement in a First Novel
Candy House, Kate Jonez (Evil Jester)
The Year of the Storm, John Mantooth (Berkley)
The Evolutionist, Rena Mason (Nightscape)
Redheads, Jonathan Moore (Samhain)
Stoker’s Manuscript, Royce Prouty (Putnam)
Superior Achievement in a YA Novel
Special Dead, Patrick Freivald (JournalStone)
Unbreakable, Kami Garcia (Little, Brown)
Project Cain, Geoffrey Girard (Simon & Schuster)
Dog Days, Joe McKinney (JournalStone)
In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Cat Winters (Abrams)
Superior Achievement Long Fiction
“The Bluehole”, Dale Bailey (F&SF 5-6/13)
“The Great Pity”, Gary Braunbeck (Chiral Mad 2)
“The Slaughter Man”, Benjamin K. Ethridge (Limbus, Inc.)
“No Others Are Genuine”, Gregory Frost (Asimov’s 10-11/13)
House of Rain, Greg F. Gifune (DarkFuse)
East End Girls, Rena Mason (JournalStone)
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
“Primal Tongue”, Michael Bailey (Zippered Flesh 2)
“Snapshot”, Patrick Freivald (Blood & Roses)
“Night Train to Paris”, David Gerrold (F&SF 1-2/13)
“The Hunger Artist”, Lisa Mannetti (Zippered Flesh 2)
“The Geminis”, John Palisano (Chiral Mad 2)
“Code 666”, Michael Reaves (F&SF 3-4/13)
Superior Achievement in an Anthology
Horror Library: Volume 5, R.J. Cavender & Boyd E. Harris, ed. (Cutting Block)
After Death…, Eric J. Guignard, ed. (Dark Moon)
Barbers & Beauties, Michael Knost & Nancy Eden Siegel, ed. (Hummingbird House)
The Grimscribe’s Puppets, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., ed. (Miskatonic River)
Dark Visions: A Collection of Modern Horror, Volume One, Anthony Rivera & Sharon Lawson, ed. (Grey Matter)
Superior Achievement in a Collection
North American Lake Monsters: Stories, Nathan Ballingrud (Small Beer)
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories, Laird Barron (Night Shade)
The Tears of Isis, James Dorr (Perpetual Motion Machine)
The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories, Caitlìn R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
Dance of the Blue Lady, Gene O’Neill (Bad Moon)
Bible Stories for Secular Humanists, S.P. Somtow (Diplodocus)
Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
Images of the Modern Vampire: The Hip and the Atavistic, Barbara Brodman & James E. Doan, eds. (Fairleigh Dickinson)
Ramsey Campbell: Critical Essays on the Modern Master of Horror, Gary William Crawford, ed. (Scarecrow)
Nolan on Bradbury: Sixty Years of Writing about the Master of Science Fiction, William F. Nolan (Hippocampus)
The Intermedial Experience of Horror: Suspended Failures, Jarkko Toikkanen (Palgrave Macmillan)
Lovecraft and Influence: His Predecessors and Successors, Robert H. Waugh, ed. (Scarecrow)
Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
Dark Roads: Selected Long Poems 1971-2012, Bruce Boston (Dark Renaissance)
The Sex Lives of Monsters, Helen Marshall (Kelp Queen)
Dangerous Dreams, Marge Simon & Sandy DeLuca (Elektrik Milk Bath)
Four Elements, Marge Simon, Rain Graves, Charlee Jacob, & Linda Addison (Bad Moon/Evil Jester)
Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Stephanie M. Wytovich (Raw Dog Screaming)
Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
Fatale Book Three: West of Hell, Ed Brubaker (Image)
Alabaster: Wolves, Caitlìn R. Kiernan (Dark Horse)
Witch Doctor, Vol. 2: Mal Practice, Brandon Seifert (Image)
Sin Titulo, Cameron Stewart (Dark Horse)
Colder, Paul Tobin (Dark Horse)
Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
The Returned: ”The Horde”, Fabien Adda & Fabrice Gobert (Ramaco Media I, Castelao Pictures)
American Horror Story: Asylum: ”Spilt Milk”, Brad Falchuk (Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision, Ryan Murphy Productions)
Hannibal: ”Apéritif”, Bryan Fuller (Dino De Laurentiis Company, Living Dead Guy Productions, AXN: Original X Production, Gaumont International Television)
Dracula: ”A Whiff of Sulfur”, Daniel Knauf (Flame Ventures, Playground, Universal Television, Carnival Films)
The Walking Dead: ”Welcome to the Tombs”, Glen Mazzara (AMC TV)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Headline Review)
Fire with Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
Hild, Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island)
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer)
The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker (Harper)
‘‘Wakulla Springs’’, Andy Duncan & Ellen Klages (Tor.com 10/2/13)
‘‘The Weight of the Sunrise’’, Vylar Kaftan (Asimov’s 2/13)
‘‘Annabel Lee’’, Nancy Kress (New Under the Sun)
‘‘Burning Girls’’, Veronica Schanoes (Tor.com 6/19/13)
‘‘Trial of the Century’’ Lawrence M. Schoen (www.lawrencemschoen.com; World Jumping)
Six-Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean)
‘‘Paranormal Romance’’, Christopher Barzak (Lightspeed 6/13)
‘‘The Waiting Stars’’, Aliette de Bodard (The Other Half of the Sky)
‘‘They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass’’, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Asimov’s 1/13)
‘‘Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters’’, Henry Lien (Asimov’s 12/13)
‘‘The Litigation Master and the Monkey King’’, Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/13)
‘‘In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind’’, Sarah Pinsker (Strange Horizons 7/1 – 7/8/13)
‘‘The Sounds of Old Earth’’, Matthew Kressel (Lightspeed 1/13)
‘‘Selkie Stories Are for Losers’’, Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons 1/7/13)
‘‘Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer’’, Kenneth Schneyer (Clockwork Phoenix 4)
‘‘If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love’’, Rachel Swirsky (Apex 3/13)
‘‘Alive, Alive Oh’’, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley (Lightspeed 6/13)
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Doctor Who: ‘‘The Day of the Doctor’’
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black (Little, Brown; Indigo)
When We Wake, Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin; Little, Brown)
Sister Mine, Nalo Hopkinson (Grand Central)
The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)
Hero, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
September Girls, Bennett Madison (Harper Teen)
A Corner of White, Jaclyn Moriarty (Levine)
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
It's time for:
Three Books I Recently Finished That Will Pleasure Your Eyeballs.
One: Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
I won't lie when it comes to the character of Wolverine, I'm not a huge fan. For me, there was always something about this character that never connected with me. Sure, he probably is the most well drawn character in comics history, he is gorgeous to look at but really his backstory is so full of clichés - a Frankensteinesque/Harry Callahan mash up - it never much catches the attention of those who are already well familiar with such a character.
Now, we have Old Man Logan and it's not a backstory but rather a telling of Wolverine's possible future: it doesn't suck. This is a gentler Logan, by choice, who refuses to kill because of something in his past, our present. Logan is going on one more mission with his friend and former Avenger Hawkeye to make sure his wife and children are never harassed again in a barren, post apocalyptic future after the villains of the Marvel Universe have won.
Most of the comic is well written, well thought out to a point which Is crazy, off the way, what-the-hell-can-they-think-up-next material which was just fine for me but the last half of the book is why it is merely a good comic instead of great. The battle may make sense in the way it is played out, in comic book sense anyway, but then we've all thought about that battle before and may have come to the same conclusion, that is why it's kind of lazy rather then adding anything new to the subject but just that last half. Still, that can be forgiven.
Old Man Logan could be my favorite Wolverine comic to date and why I'm writing about it here. Good stuff.
Two: Blood Music by Greg Bear
Now, here is a book which could be a cliché but shifts your attention so much it's anything but.
It starts out with biotechnologist Vergil Ulam and his making of a new, special kind of lymphocyte called noocyte. He injects these almost perfect noocyte into his bloodstream after he is fired from his job at a company called Genetron.
Vergil is mad and he will get madder.
That being said the book is not just about Vergil, he is only the catalyst. Changes are about to be made on the Earth, large from the small and eventually life will become entirely new for everything in the noocyte way.
Now, you can guess where this is going to go and you may even get it right. Still, we have a plot in Blood Music that is rapidly changing so not only will you guess right where it's going but it will be a guess that will have to be adjusted because the book is not happy with just one kind of design.
It's a fast, good read. Have a good time with this one.
Three: The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson
Repairman Jack, the anti-hero of F. Paul Wilson's The Tomb, is a complete badass and a sweetie. Here is a man who will solve your problem with a gun or a knife, who will break bones and cause massive brain damage but who also loves children and is very loyal to the people he lets into his life.
Here, Jack has a problem: Rakoshi (Ancient Indian-from-India monsters) and a madman are set on taking over the world and to exact a revenge on a family Jack loves. It is dangerous work to try and stop them but Jack is up to the task and will kill for those he finds precious. Oh yes, he will kill.
I've heard good things about Repairman Jack novels for years and had only recently thought about giving them a chance.
I'm glad I did.
The book is over four hundred pages and yet it feels short because you love the characters, the story, the action.
It is Pulp. It has heart. It is pretty damn neat-o. What else could I ask for? Not much, it is never dull.
David Lightman (Mathew Brodrick) is a smart but always in trouble high schooler who is obsessed with computers and computer games. At the time when WarGames starts, Jenifer (Ally Sheedy) begins to take interest in him so he shows off the only way he can: flaunting his skills at breaking into secure computer systems all across the country. Also, early on in the story, Lightman reads in a magazine that a company is coming out with new games and he decides to hack into the system so he can play those games before they hit shelves.
Only that doesn't happen, at least not in the way he planned.
Instead, Lightman does break into a computer system and plays games but these games are from a Government computer, specifically the North American Aerospace Defense Command and even more specifically a super computer called The WHOPPER, whose task is to play WWIII over and over again.
Once inside, Lightman plays Global Thermonuclear War but what is actually happening is NORAD thinks the Russians are attacking.
From the description about you can tell WarGames is pretty exciting but it's also heartfelt. Lightman knows what he did was wrong but not at first, not until after he learns whose system he breaks into, which he does so when he discovers the password of a man named Falken who built the system.
The movie is tech savvy but it doesn't beat you over the head with it. In fact, it doesn't beat you over the head with it at all. They use such and such eqiument but compare to our stuff today they might as well be rocks and stickes. How technically good can a film be over thirty years old?
What makes the film special however is the story of a boy who screwed up royally, the guilt in which he feels and the need, the overpowering urge to correct it. He, by accident, is going to kill millions. You can see it on his face every second after it is mentioned or he thinks about it. Eventually, he is caught and is sent to NORAD. They don't believe him, they think he is a recuit for the Soviets. But then, he escapes.
Soon, Lightman finds Falken but he doesn't want to help, he wants to die. His son Joshua is dead, he has lost faith in the government in which he helped. Lightman leaves Falken's house and says to Jennifer who is there with him, “I never learn to swim.”
You could tell he feels that way about a lot of things. There is remorse in Lightman's eyes, there is pain because he will never grow up, never get married, never learn to swim. It is sad to think that these weapons are such a technological marvel, objects that are monuments to our intellectual power and they are also of such power that even today we find them almost Gods who can destroy us at any time.
When will we learn?
The end of WarGames, I won't tell you, is perfect. It shows that one character is now above the folly of this kind of war and then, when he saw that one line...again, I won't tell you. If that character can understand why these weapons can never be used why can't all of us.
This is why WarGames, as far as I can tell, needs to be remembered forever.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I've been writing.
Now, that may confuse some of you and this could be from a lack of information about little old me.
Here it is: aside from being a writer of nonfiction/blogger/critic/essayist I am also an avid fiction writer.
Much of my time these past months have been spend going through back paperwork - my babies- and creating new fiction - my newborns -and giving that as much attention as I can. I've made new deadlines for myself; new strict deadlines which I refuse, absolutely refuse to break unless there is deathily situation and even then I may come back to life to finish what is on schedule.
Call me funny that way.
Still, you need to know this. At least I think you need to know this because many are still coming to my pages and probably expect a boatload a stuff about games, and movies, and books, which I will keep on writing about but not at the level in which I did before.
Remember this is not an apology. I don't make those for my writing any more. That is a tale for another time but I will stay current on topic at hand: an explanation.
It is not laziness. It is a shifting of attention. This does not mean I don't like you my readers. It does not mean I like writing fiction more blogging. I love any kind of writing and it takes as much skill in one as it does in the other and I take all writing quite seriously even when I fail or make mistakes.
Look at the past posts where I nearly wallowed in self pity over the simplest errors in my work: not an apology but damn close. Perhaps I did not illustrate in the Author's Notes how much embarrassed I felt at leaving out a period, or comma or how poor the flow of a piece came out.
I am still learning. Aren't we all still learning something.
Still, I need to write more. If you want to get good at writing you must write. And I have been writing and have been having a damn good time.
Over the past couple of months my joy for writing has been stronger then it every has and this is do to one simple rule: I've been writing for myself.
It's always been for me, by me and if you like if, well I'm happy too. If you are a writer you learn it is the only way in which to write for others as well. This can only be learned through reflection only. Even if it was told to you by others writers or any artist you still you must figure out for yourself what that means and when you do art because less of a task and more joyful.
So even while it is first and foremost mine and I get a pleasure from putting words on a page, if you get pleasure from it that too is great.
There, I needed to explain myself and I did.
But...I think...I just wanted to write for myself.
Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74250)
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress, Drama
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
Best Adapted Screenplay
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Original Screenplay
David O. Russell and Eric Singer, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners, Roger Deakins
Best Costume Design
American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster, William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O'Connor
12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris
Best Film Editing
American Hustle, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, and Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club, John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Stephen Prouty
The Lone Ranger, Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny
Best Original Score
The Book Thief, John Williams
Gravity, Stephen Price
Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett
Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman
Best Original Song
"Alone Yet Not Alone," Alone Yet Not Alone
"Happy," Despicable Me 2
"Let It Go," Frozen
"The Moon Song," Her
"Ordinary Love," Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Best Production Design
American Hustle, Judy Becker (Production Design); Heather Loeffler (Set Decoration)
Gravity, Andy Nicholson (Production Design); Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration)
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin (Production Design); Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration)
Her, K. K. Barrett (Production Design); Gene Serdena (Set Decoration)
12 Years a Slave, Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Alice Baker (Set Decoration)
Best Sound Editing
All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Brent Burge
Lone Survivor, Wylie Stateman
Best Sound Mixing
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, and Chris Munro
Gravity, Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, and Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, and Tony Johnson
Inside Llewyn Davis, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, and Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor, Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, and David Brownlow
Best Visual Effects
Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, and Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, and Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
The Lone Ranger, Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, and John Frazier
Star Trek into Darkness, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, and Burt Dalton
Best Animated Feature
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises
Best Documentary Feature
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
20 Feet from Stardom
Best Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Great Beauty
The Missing Picture
Best Animated Short
"Feral," Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
"Get a Horse!" Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
"Mr. Hublot," Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
"Possessions," Shuhei Morita
"Room on the Broom," Max Lang and Jan Lachauer
Best Live-Action Short
"Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)," Esteban Crespo
"Avant Que de Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)," Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
"Helium," Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
"Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)," Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
"The Voorman Problem," Mark Gill and Baldwin Li
Best Documentary Short
"CaveDigger," Jeffrey Karoff
"Facing Fear," Jason Cohen
"Karama Has No Walls," Sara Ishaq
"The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life," Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
"Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall," Edgar Barens
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Okay, I get it, I'm behind. So, why do you think this essay about The Year's End, "Best Of" piece would be anything but about topics also behind the times.
Let me tell you guys and gals something you probably already know: it is impossible to watch every film made in any given year. It is damned impossible, improvable, and unthinkable to read every book in any given month in that year let alone the year itself. So everyone, not just me is wwwaaayyy behind the times.
Now, this is one if best years, in terms of quantity in the books, comics and films I've experienced in recent memory. As for books - as of right now - I've read sixty two volumes. In terms of films I've watched about a hundred and fifty. Most of them, like I explained, are not recent material and why would they be, I like rewatching old films from my youth and reading books that is at least new to me.
So, for this Year’s End Ultra Hip Review of the Best Thing it will be about what I've like and nothing to do with a timely manner most critics and blogger relished over. I’m sorry, I just don’t have the time or money do such a thing. Also, I will not be doing movies or TV this year because nothing was special or I’ve already written about it before and I kinda, sorta think those things have to be up-to-date to have relevance in a Year End “Best Of Article.” That however will not stop me from writing about them.
So, it's time for:
Books, Comics and Games I've Experienced This Years That Made Me A Very Happy Camper.
Book of the Year: Xenocide by Orson Scott Card.
So when it came time to sit back and read the biggest book I've read all year; when I told myself I was tired of old Orson; when I listened to the people tell me how much of a bad person he was; when they kept on screaming it over and over that his other books were nothing like his great novel Ender's Game and the screaming got louder and louder...I had to admitted, it got to me.
That being said, when Xenocide - by the way a terrible title - passed before my eyes I found myself loving just about everything Orson Scott Card shared in this novel.
It is the best novel I've read all year and yes, this included The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein and Children of the Night by Dan Simmons.
Yeah, yeah, yeah the book has its problems but what is, from what I can tell it is, probably is by far Card's best book. It is better then Ender's Game, better then Speaker of the Dead. Those first two books in his Ender's Series won both Hugo and Nebula Awards and while this one was looked over and it still received a few nominations for the same awards. Why it didn’t win…I don’t know, maybe they didn’t want to make it a hat trick.
For a book with such a complex plot - about an older Andrew "Ender" Wiggin trying to save two planets for cultural and physical destruction - Card paints a picture that is so fully displayed in your mind you would think you are living that world, that universe. It is a book which relies so heavily on dialogue yet it’s never forced. If it was forced Card would have written a book that would suck so hard it would whistle. You listen to these people talk about life and death situations for more then a few hundred pages, the conflict builds on and on from these words and it's wonderfully simplicity adds a flavor to a dense book about time and space and life and death and disease and hatred and faith and mother and child relationships and fear, deathly disturbing fear.
Xenocide is ultimately a triumph of control, from a writer who is completely in control of his material. For that, it is probably a masterpiece.
Comic of the Year: Saga Volume One by Brian K. Vaughn.
Dear God: Thank You for creating Brian K. Vaughn.
Ahhh...this is the best thing, in comics, in films, in anything I've read or seen or experienced - okay that Strawberry Ice Cream in March was pretty - all year.
Mr. Vaughn said he was inspired by Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings when writing this comic...he might have been inspired sure, I'll give him that but, and he may not agree, he wrote something so entirely better. And it's a comic folks.
I've read volume two of the Saga Series and liked it. I was disappointed by it but not because it was badly written, it just wasn't volume one. Unless Vaughn manages to pull Jesus out of hat for volume three I will still be disappointed by that as well, probably not because that will be badly written. Again, it probably will not be volume one.
The story in Saga starts with a birth. The narrator is the child being born and the parents are the best kinds of people among two alien races from two different worlds who hate each other and who engage in continuous war. The comic is not entirely about them, there are other people to care about in this volume but it is most certainly centered on them. It has moment of joy, of sadness, of shocking acts. It is a well intentioned comic but with serious subject matter that children should stay away from but not for the rest of their lives. When they grown they would certainly like to read something as good as this and they would be hard pressed to find anything better in the medium.
But for now, adults and only adults should read Saga and smile over the details.
Video Game of the Year: BioShock Infinite by Irrational Games.
It came out at the beginning of the year and stunned gamers with its beauty, it unique take on its style of gameplay, its story unlike anything in the medium. Irrational Games always get it right by stating: if you want your art to be considered art, take your time, make the best game possible, done hack it. Make something that is indeed art.
BioShock Infinite asks two questions. Video games have asked first question but never the second: Are You Willing to Kill Your Enemy? What if you are the Enemy?
And the end of the game we learn the answers and their both exciting and refreshing.
Booker DeWitt, you in the game, has a mission: to deliver a young woman out of bondage and take her away from a skyward city called Columbia. He will fight corruption along the way, with many weapons and powers given to him and takne from elixirs called Vigors. Along the way he learns about past sins, about what he did before he came to this rail-riding-so-called "utopia". The woman he frees is Elizabeth. She is beautiful, has a gift of tearing holes in the fabric of time and space and he is useful on the battlefield as well.
The time has come for more games like BioShock Infinite. Whether or not companies will heed the call to get passed just the status quo is another matter entirely.
Read, see, play!
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Mr. Delany won acclaim with such works as Aye and Gomorrah, The Einstein Intersection, Babel - 17 and the very complicated Dhalgren. He has been a writer for more then five decades, pushing the genre of Speculative Fiction both in style and substance to its limits.
Congratulation are in order. We are all lucky to have a mind and talent as grand as Mr. Delany's.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Here is the trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins' Latest DLC entitled Initiation. It was just released today and if you have the Season Pass (like me) it is included.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
It's been a hellva month and right now I'm behind on my usual monthly reviews. I realize now I might have bit off a little more then I could chew when promising to get the last month book and movie reviews done and still do my yearly end review which is now just coming up.
I would like you to know that for this month I won't be doing my monthly reviews for this month and simply to my year end review instead, which should be coming up in a few days. I've been busy, I'm still busy and I need to concentrate on something which needs to get done soon.
So, again, last months review is kaput and the year end review is still on track.
Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74250).
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
So, here is to more writing days ahead.
Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74259)
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Joseph Lewis Szabo III (aka pointman74250)
Friday, October 25, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
So, here we are with FONTS, Times Roman and not too small.
Indeed, it is a great day...just not on the day of release which is November 1st when it will only cost you $499.
I might buy one in a few years maybe months.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
But I'm not talking about me, it's YOU, yes YOU who must read more or I should say read better. It's time you put away thar copy of Rolling Stone, the WWE Magazine, The terrible Twilight Saga and get ready for some real literature.
Am I being a real dick for saying this?
You bet, and I can live with it. But, since your here now I want you to read a our three books you may want to pick up and try reading and see for yourself if you can enjoy them. What is the worst that could happen; yes you may hate it but it may also change your life. The first book I have to write about just to get out of the way.
So, it's time for:
Three Books I Recently Finished That Will Pleasure Your Eyeballs.
One: The Collected Works of William Shakespeare.
Well...it's not too bad...not terrible.
...characters needed work...flowery prose...
...not enough explosions...
Are you freaking kidding! It's Old Willy Bard with a quill in his hand, his worst is my greatness. Actually, I never wrote ANYTHING that rivals his worst because for mere mortals, like me, it's too damn good.
The material Shakespeare write is tragic as sorrow can be, as grand as any monument of Rome and funnier then anything expect maybe Richard Pryor on a roll. It shows you want a human being can with with just words, and it is just words...that's magic my brothers and sisters.
And yes, he was The Best Writer in History (Okay, maybe not, there might have been a janitor in a Wisconsin Truck Stop in the 1970's who was better) but even without the explosions Old Willy kicks your emotions like nothing before or since.
Yes, you should read it, not to just say you have but because great artist - and we only have few of those - are not just to be read or studied or revered but to be experienced. They are the ultimate weapons against things like ugly and stupid and sometimes evil. If that is true then Shakespeare is one of the best weapons we have and is power we should never lose.
There, I'm done.
Now, for a hellva segue.
Two: Tales from the Crypt Volume One: Ghouls Gone Wild by Don McGegor.
Again, just to get this out of the way: it ain't Shakespeare but it is pretty damn good.
The plot structures of this comic stories are as follow: bad people do bad things, the dead rises from the grave to take revenge on those who wronged them, end of story.
Each Crypt Tale is like this and yet they have their own unique charm, sometimes different from each other in both artwork and dialogue. This collected edition is one of the newer publishing from the long ago canceled EC Comics Line but reissued with a new publisher Papercutz. The EC versions are much better, more thrilling and some of the best artwork ever printed in the medium. What is on display here is still good and for $7.00 you may feel you get your money's worth; I did.
It's not deep, it's kind of dark and when it comes to entertainment for an hour or so you'll take this book and find some malevolent joy in reading about ghouls getting their creep on.
It's a good old time I just couldn't get enough of.
Three: The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories by Lord Dunsany.
One of the most legendary and wonderful collections of short stories from a man who inspired Tolkien, Borges and Le Guin, I found myself experiencing pure magic with each page of this book, sometimes each paragraph, each sentence.
Irishman Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany published his third book in 1908. Welleran is comprised of 12 stories, some of them about Gods - in which Dunsany was an expert at creating - others about ghosts and long dead warriors. Most importantly, at least to me, were the writings of an ancient city so well explained, so full of imaginative thought out you'd think you're reading about the best local in modern or classical fantasy.
There was no a single part of Welleran I did not enjoy and the best part was the language itself. If you do not pay attention to the story - which you would so yourself a great deserves if you do not - just listen to these sentences in your head, they will sing to you like an Angel of Absolute Beauty.
Read this book, read it now.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is coming out with a new free update on September 25. It will include new modes, improved leaderboards and will include DLC sprites for Dig-Dug and Ralley-X.
This is one of the best games ever made folks and now we get more. Thank The Video Game Gods for small miracles.