La Luna Entertainment Presents “Fright Flick” (Spoiler Free)

When I was but a wee lad I was magnetically drawn to horror movies. My all-time favorite will always be A Nightmare on Elm Street. I loved Nancy Thompson. I also loved the other big franchises : Halloween, Friday the 13th, Critters (did you know Billy Zane was in that?). I also loved Sleep Away Camp (what a twist!), Evil Dead, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Yea…I am kinda  a horror movie nerd. This nerd is very, very happy that indie filmmaker Israel Luna’s (Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives) latest is an homage to those films I love.

Fright Flick

Written and Directed by Israel Luna

Starring : Chad Allen, Daphne Khoury, Adam Kitchen, Richard D. Curtain, Todd Jenkins, and Charles Raker

If you are a fan of horror B-Movies, then you will love Fright Flick. The plot is simple; the cast of a B-Movie are mysteriously murdered. Whodunit? Was it the slimy director (Richard D. Curtain)? The angry producer (Todd Jenkins)? The jealous supporting actress (Daphne Khoury)?

This film is billed as a horror-comedy, so as expected most lines of dialogue serves to deliver jokes or to further the plot. It’s somewhat stilted and choppy, but purposefully so. Still, there are some very funny moments like make-up artist Chase’s (Charles Baker) monologue and starlet Ophelia’s (Valerie Nelson) flubbed lines (“anusly and vaginally”). The characters are little more than props to be murdered in some beautifully brutal fashion. Let’s be honest, this is why we love these sorts of films. Oh, and note to self : never lean over a gas station counter.

In horror films, the audience should root for the survival of the “last woman standing.” One of the “twists” of this film is that her identity is hidden until later in the film. I found her identity to be surprising, but once her identity was uncovered I got behind her (no pun intended) 100 %. The identity of the killer may not be as surprising to those familiar with horror films, but the final fright was still very fun. You can help bring Fright Flick to Netflix by adding it to your queue.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzKdgHITmKI[/youtube]


Where Have All the “Real” Men Gone?

I’ve been kinda busy this week. As a result I am a little behind on my programs. Late yesterday afternoon I finally got around to viewing Monday’s The View…and I gotta say…it annoyed me a little more than usual.  During the “Hot Topic” segment Elisabeth Hasselbeck attempted to lash out at comedian Bill Maher over a joke he made on his show last Friday. The result was just kinda awkward. E! News captures the exchange below :

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsJHIKp17zw[/youtube]

First, wow Lara Logan is hot. Second, it was a joke, and if you are going to be in the public eye you need to develop a thicker skin. Third, what is a “real man?” No, seriously. When I hear someone say “so and so is a real man” the picture I get is more Marlboro Man than modern, sensitive man of the new millennium. I see a lot of plaid shirts and rifles. I hear “where’s my dinner, woman?” I smell belches, farts, pork rinds and can imagine hours wasted watching football and  sense twisted fantasies involving tarts in Catholic school girl garb. All stereotypes, I know.I suppose I am just confused as to what Hasselbeck means and am getting so tired of people using this as an insult.

This is the same as Palin and O’Donnell repeating over and over again that “Insert male politician” needs to “man-up.”  What the hell does that mean? Be “strong”? Is that also an insult to womankind? I don’t get it.

Elisabeth, I know we don’t know each other. To be honest, I’ve talked some MAD shit about you behind your back. But dammit, I was just about to *sorta* like you. Ok, ok, “tolerate” is more accurate. But here is my advice…fight fire with fire. If someone uses you as a punch  line, either don’t acknowledge it or retaliate in kind. You have three comedians on the show with you…ask them for some help. Because, you see, I find these gender-based insults trite and irritating. You can do better.

Video Game Preview : Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 : Fate of Two Worlds

OOh doggy, I just cannot wait until next Tuesday. First, I get to hang with some of my bestest buds for “Secretly Timid Tuesday,” and then I get to spend the rest of the day playing Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. It’s as if I am twelve and it is summer. I hope Diane and Jill recognize me…gonna have to wear my glasses so my eyes don’t hurt.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX6JQd64jPk[/youtube]

Just ten years ago my friends and I played the hell out of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. The concept is simple…you mix and match a group of three characters and pit them against another three. Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 featured a huge cast of characters from various families from both Marvel (X-Men, Hulk, Spider-Man, The Avengers, etc.) and Capcom (Dark Stalkers, Street Fighter, Final Fight, Mega Man). The game was basically created by ripping character sprites from previous Capcom titles and slamming them together like peanut butter and jelly.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udlGmkGotcw[/youtube]

This go round Capcom had to start from scratch and the result is gorgeous. The character models are kinda cell-shaded which give it that “comic book” feel. Capcom newbies Chris Redfield and Dante join veterans Ryu and Chun Li (shout out to voice actress friend, Laura Bailey (Eagles ’99)) over on the Capcom side. Newcomers over on the Marvel side include The Sensational She-Hulk and Wolverine clone X-23. Both sides have their wtf characters; Capcom’s Arthur and Marvel’s MODOK. I must confess, I breathed a heavy sigh of relief once I discovered that Storm would be returning. Will she be god-tier once again? We will find out in one week. Oh, and if I can pry myself away from the X-Box controller I will post my thoughts next week as well.

PJ Harvey “Let England Shake”

PJ Harvey

Let England Shake

Vagrant Records

Release Date : February 15, 2011

**Stream the album on NPR **

PJ Harvey’s eighth studio album, Let England Shake, is a work of art. She recorded the album in a 19th century church in Dorset, located on the South West coast of England. Joining her in the studio were longtime friends and collaborators Mick Harvey (no relation) and John Parish and producer Flood.

In numerous interviews Polly Jean Harvey states that her goal with each album is for it to be different than the previous, and in that she is far more successful than her peers. The goth-electro foreboding of 1998’s Is This Desire? gave way to 2000’s pure rock Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, an album for which she won the Mercury Prize. 2007’s White Chalk was also critically lauded and for this album Harvey ditched her Gretsch Broadkaster for the piano. While the instruments and the overall sound of each album differs from one to the next you could say that each of these albums dealt with the inner world and subjects ranged from subjects like unrequited love to death to sex; the personal politics and torments and joys that make us human. On Let England Shake, Harvey places the personal politics aside and focuses on the outside world. Images of war and its impact on the land are a common subject matter here with allusion to both Afghanistan and World War I, however, the music shifts the overall tone of the song so that the album does not feel heavy handed. To put it bluntly, Harvey does not preach to her listeners, which is unique for such a political album.

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Bitter Films : The Animation of Don Hertzfeldt

A few weeks ago my cool friend Melanie Sevcenko fed me chips and hummus and forced me to watch videos on YouTube. She showed me the work of Italian street artist “Blu” (real name unknown), and I turned her on to Drunk Dial. She then showed me a short film called “Billy’s Ballon,” from award winning animator Don Hertzfeldt.

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Lazy Teenage Superheroes

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN4JIz7uq40[/youtube]

I know this has been on the interwebs for  a while now…but I just saw this this morning. I am in awe at what these kids (am I at an age where I can call them kids??) were able to create with just a $300 budget. A tip of the glass to these talented young lads (and one lassie).

Just a Little Bit of History Repeating : ThunderCats Reboot

I don’t want to be a ‘hater.’ I really don’t. I know that history repeats. I mean, just ten years ago boot cut jeans were ‘in.’ We were supposed to wear them low on the waist. Now jeans are so tight that avoiding moose knuckle is nearly impossible. Fashion aside, there seems to be a trend blossoming. First it was He-Man, then it was live action G.I. Joe…now it is the ThunderCats….HO.

Was I the last to know? I was just minding my own business when I noticed that one of my favorite childhood memories was trending on the twitter machine. I did a little google-ing and discovered that Cartoon Network is rebooting the series. The series will debut later this year.

I feel conflicted. At first I was like “Oh cool, man….I can’t wait to hear the new intro music.” After a peek at the promotional images my excitement receded like Prince William’s hairline. Is Tygra holding a gun? Why does Lion-O look like Cloud from Final Fantasy? And oh…my sweet Cheetara…what have they done to you?

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Album Review : James Vincent McMorrow “Early in the Morning”

James Vincent McMorrow

Early in the Morning

Vagrant Records

release date : January 25, 2011

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you exiled yourself for five months in a house located on the Irish shores with nothing but musical instruments and recording equipment? Well, if you were James Vincent McMorrow you would leave exile having created a stunning debut album. Early in the Morning (Vagrant Records 2011) was originally self-released in Ireland in early 2010 to critical praise…and praise be to modern technology, for without it this album could not have been created. McMorrow, a multi-instrumentalist, played every instrument and sang every note. The album clocks in at just over forty minutes, so it is perfect for a long car ride or a sexy bath.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewwFGlNBiq8&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Regarding the creation of this album, McMorrow writes, “This record was borne out of my desire to create something singular, take the simplest of chords, wrap them in washes of melody, so lines come in, they drop out, everything ebbs and flows as the songs move towards their inevitable end… Music tends to reveal itself to me over the course of weeks and months. It’s probably quite like sculpting, you have a chisel, you know what’s waiting for you inside the stone, all that’s left is to chip away the pieces and reveal it” (click me for source).

Early in the Morning is a work of art…suitable for listening in its entirety rather than picking apart and adding single tracks to a playlist. Songs flow from one to the next and his voice shifts from a sensual sincerity on songs such as “Breaking Hearts” to soaring to unexpected heights on tracks like “From the Woods.” McMorrow cites writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck as influences, and this can be heard in songs like “This Old Dark Machine.” Overall, my ears give McMorrow’s debut two thumbs up.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/18726365[/vimeo]

Favorite tracks – “Sparrow and the Wolf,” “This Old Dark Machine,” “From the Woods!!”

Most Favorite Track – “Breaking Hearts”

You can buy Early in the Morning via Amazon, iTunes (comes loaded with bonus tracks), or at your favorite local record store. Check out his website by clicking here.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/404426″]

Poll : Passwords, passwords

This question has come up a number of times on the podcast, and if my memory is correct we as a foursome are split. I have sent queries out to some professional advice givers and I will let you know where they stand in a future episode of Secretly Timid. ‘Til then, what do you think?

Should you know your significant other's email password?

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