Monday, October 31, 2005

A Scary List

This is an absolutely great list of the top 100 horror movie performances, obviously done by someone with a great appreciation for horror. Notice the props given to Sam Neill for In the Mouth of Madness (he was very good in Event Horizon as well, in a very similar role). I especially like the reference to it as a "great and underrated film." I think Julian Beck should have been rated higher, though.

Happy Halloween!

In honor of this most fun holiday for horror fanatics, here is a's list of Halloween legends (of the urban variety, mostly).

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Suicide Mistaken for Halloween Decoration

Some poor lady hanged herself from a tree in her yard, but the people passing by thought she was a Halloween decoration. Yikes. It actually sounded like an urban legend to me at first, but it appears to be a legit story.

DVD News

Land of the Dead snuck out onto DVD without my noticing. I plan on checking it out relatively soon, despite my reservations.

Also, the wait for The Devil's Rejects is almost over: it comes out November 8, only a week and a half away. I'm still annoyed that I failed to see it in the theaters.

Jigsaw is Back!

Saw II comes out tomorrow. Here's my earlier review of Saw. What an awesomely disturbing movie that was. Hopefully the sequel is decent. It can't be worse than The Ring 2, at any rate.

That's a lot of Monkey

King Kong is going to weigh in at three hours, reports the New York Times. Peter Jackson generated a lot of good will with many, including me, for the Lord of the Rings, but I don't know about three hours to tell what is basically a very simple story. I'm not sure if I'll see this one in the theaters after all. Of course, given the few movies I've seen in the theaters lately, I guess that's not saying much.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Civilization IV

A review.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Big Change for Anne Rice

Ms. Rice no longer will be writing vampire novels, which is a loss some will feel more keenly than others (I thought Interview with the Vampire was a great idea executed in a mediocre fashion). In her own words: "I promised," she says, "that from now on I would write only for the Lord."

Her new book is a novel narrated by the 7 year old Jesus. How's that for a curveball? I have to admit, I am curious . One thing in the article I connected with is this quote about New Testament scholarship that Ms. Rice had found "disturbingly skeptical": "Even Hitler scholarship usually allows Hitler a certain amount of power and mystery." I remember similar thoughts from my various religion courses in undergrad; I always wondered why you would spend so much time on a subject you thought was so much hocus pocus. I think her book might be worth a look.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Great Battle of the West

Here's a cool article that, in the course of a book review, compares the siege of Constantinople to that of Minas Tirith. It's pretty interesting stuff. I've always thought the Byzantine Empire was fascinating. Sometimes from reading history you get the impression that it was only a blip from when Rome fell to when Constantinople, the Rome in the East, finally succumbed to the Turks. Actually, it was almost 1,000 years! That's an amazing span of time to get your mind around. Anyway, the reviewed book seems like it might be interesting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Rumors of War

Here's a Yahoo story about a hoax internet article reporting that China had invaded Japan. That would be an alarming thing to read over the morning coffee, wouldn't it? The scary thing is that scenario is not completely implausible. Does anyone really know what's going on in the minds of China's leaders? I doubt it.

One thing that I don't doubt, and reading Cryptonomicon has refreshed my own recollection of certain events, is that the Chinese have not forgotten what transpired during World War II. Let's just hope that there's peace long enough for memories to die.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

666...The Number of the Beast

Good Iron Maiden song. But also perhaps not the actual number of the Beast, which may have been 616. Here's an interesting page explaining the significance of and how Greek numerology worked. It also explains why 666 could not have been referring to Nero.

Monday, October 17, 2005

On Monday Night Football

As I sweat over the performances of my fantasy football teams, I have to comment on something I've really noticed this season (I didn't watch that much Monday Night Football last year). Pairing John Madden with Al Michaels has really caused Madden to elevate his performance. The last years of Madden and Summerall were brutally painful, as Summerall completely lost his edge and left Madden to verbally wander like a babe in the woods. Madden's knowledge was always there, but he used to lack focus. With Michaels now, it's really a pleasure to listen to him. His stories are much shorter and less rambly, and now his immense knowledge of the game can really shine through. Listening to him is actually a learning experience. And how often do you hear that about a football announcer?

List This

Here's yet another interesting list: the 100 best English language novels since 1923. My favorite inclusion is Deliverance by James Dickey. The movie is infamous for reasons that will not be discussed here, but it's actually a pretty good movie. The book, though, is top-notch. The descriptions are so spot on and yet so tight that the book is like a series of pleasant surprises.

My buddy Dave of And a Silent Q will appreciate one of the inclusions: Ubik, by the one and only Philip K. Dick.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

He Is Like a Piece of Iron

Apparently, Sylvester Stallone (who is turning 60, by the way) is planning on new sequels to both Rocky and Rambo. Mind-blowing. While we're on the subject, I think that Rocky IV is a tremendously underrated movie, even if it does only have about five scenes. That whole part with Apollo Creed dancing to "Livin' in America" by James Brown is just priceless.

I fight for me!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Amusing Opinion

Look at the first footnote in the below-linked case for an amusing (I think) discussion of "hoe" v. "ho."

Top Ten Horror Movie List

Ah, lists. I love them. Here's one done by a movie magazine called "Total Film," as reported by the BBC. It's not bad, overall, but The Exorcist is an unacceptable omission. I would bump it into first place and knock The Wicker Man (I like it, but not top-10 like it) off the list. It's hard to argue with the rest of the inclusions, although I must admit to not having seen Don't Look Now and Cannibal Holocaust yet. I actually had never heard of Cannibal, but I will say that the title is intriguing. I do already have Don't Look Now on my list to see, though. I have a feeling that I would knock one of these off for The Blair Witch Project. The comments are open, as always, for additions.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Everest is Shorter?

Well, the Chinese say it is. Of course, their new measurement is a revision of the one they first made in 1975. Good turnaround on that one. I think I'll stick with trusting the 29,035 feet measured by gps.

More Pythons

Sounds like pythons are making themselves quite at home in South Florida: "Python swallows cat in Florida backyard."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Gator v. Python

This time it was a draw. Who will win next time? Tune in next week to the Ultimate Animal Fighting Championships, Everglades edition!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Current Reading


In-book review: wow. Get it now. This is the kind of absorbing fiction that I was hoping to discover during the Summer of the Vampire.

Why Am I Not This Guy?

Daniels, 28, to be baseball's youngest GM.

I jest, of course, but on the other hand I am confident that I could lead the Lions to as many victories as Matt Millen has.