Author: Podcast Rob

[BLOG] Are Lovecraft’s stories too (love)crafty for movies?

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Yes, it’s a terrible joke….

…but not as terrible as seeing between the veil and dealing with The Old Ones and the Elder Gods and non-euclidian geometry….

I love me some Lovecraft.  Yes, Howard Philip was an amazingly troubled individual whose views on politics, class, and race were questionable, but this blog isn’t here to dissect the man.. more the medium of his works.

I recently watched “Color Out Of Space” and… two things struck me…

1) Nicholas Cage will say “yes” to anything.

2) Lovecraftian movies just… aren’t that great.

The closest thing I’ve seen to a TRUE “Lovecraftian Movie” was “In the Mouth of Madness”.  It conveyed not only the weird waking-dream-slash-blurring-the-line-of-perceived-reality-and-what-really-the-fuck-might-be-going-on but the slowly seeping in horror/madness of many of Lovecraft’s works.

Unfortunately, movies like “From Beyond”, “Dagon”, and “The Void” are the usual offerings which either feel like they’re dancing around the edges of the story, or diving in with such gusto that a 5 page short story is turned into a 2 hour movie adding so much more than the original story did, that it’s just as ‘different’ but from the other side of the coin.

I think the problem with many Lovecraft translations stems from the fact that, through writings and notes… Lovecraft himself stated he wasn’t very good at writing action sequences.. so he largely avoided them… which.. makes for slow-paced movies.  Also, his descriptions were either fringe and minimal to let your imagination fill in the blanks (which oft-times can be far more horrifying) , or such a psychedelic fever-dream of description that it’s not something that translates well to film.

I know Alan Moore often complained that he wished people would stop making movies out of his works as they were intended to best be told correctly on in the medium he presented them in (I think he’s wrong…), but from what we’ve seen in movie adaptations from the works of H.P. Lovecraft…  Moore might be right.  Just.. not about his own works.

– PCR

[BLOG] Movies that cost you IQ points

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Hey guys, Rob here….

The title basically says it all.  These are movies that.. in some way… enticed us into watching them, either by clever trailers, word of mouth, or sheer morbid curiosity… only to leave us far stupider than when we went in.

This list is FAR from all inclusive, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on YOUR entries to this list…

Let’s get to it!

Sausage Party
I mean, they let us know who and what this movie was right in the trailer right?  Anthropomorphic food trying to find the meaning of their existence, all the while filling the screen with a level of perverseness that would make the cast of Porky’s blush.  And yet…  even knowing what we were getting ourselves into..  this movie left us feeling mentally regressed.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Let’s take a beloved horror movie franchise, reboot it, and suck every last ounce of what made it great out of it!  A lot of people thought Jackie Earle Haley would make a great Freddy Krueger (myself included) but this horrible vision made me feel as if I lost 1/3 of my brain cells.

Any Adam Sandler Movie
Ok, I take that back.  Waterboy was fun as hell, and The Longest Yard, while a husk of the original, had enough cameos to make it fun to watch.  Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer can be exempt as well…but those were in “The Before Times”  Anything even REMOTELY recent?  Nah fam.  I mean.. good on him for being able to play exactly ONE type of character and building an entire career on it, but Ernest did it first.

Malignant
Ok, I came to this bandwagon late, and had ignored any and all hype about it.  That being said… JESUS this movie is not at all good.  From the forced attempt to make an ‘iconic’ weapon, to the hilariously horrible CGI of Maddy’s face in the fight in the police station, this entire movie is a spot-fest of “What the fuck am I watching… and why am I still watching it?”

What movies made YOU dumber?  Let us know!

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– PCR

[BLOG] Microsoft, Activision and Blizzard… OH MY!

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Hey all, PCR here.

A great disturbance was felt through The Force recently when Microsoft announced they were buying Activision/Blizzard in an all cash deal.  As a (former) long time World of Warcraft and Hearthstone player, I have a bit of a soft spot for Blizzard…  I met many amazing friends, some of which have become “in person” amazing friends I’ve had for years… and, (as one of those friends said recently) “I don’t regret one minute of the time I played.. but I also don’t regret the day I walked away”.

I have far less history with Microsoft (gaming).  I don’t have GamePass, and as far as consoles go, I had an OG XBox and a Series S (both of which I sold).

That said, this merger COULD be good for gaming, it could also be bad.

Here’s my thoughts…

Pros : With chip shortages still making consoles amazingly hard to find, this is going to get a LOT more games into a LOT more hands quicker.

: The offerings on GamePass are about to get a LOT more interesting and varied.

: Microsoft could do a lot to mitigate thoughts they’re becoming (more) of the “all-controlling, evil empire” by cleaning house at Activision and removing the personnel and other elements that plagued the company over the recent years

Cons : There’s ZERO guarantee Microsoft will clean house from problematic elements of Activision, which could/would be seen as rewarding that kind of behavior/environment as long as bottom line numbers are met.

: Could create a far bigger ‘Exclusively on…’ rift in the gaming industry.

: WIll Microsoft having that kind of control in the gaming industry stifle developers?

There’s a LOT that’s unknown, and I am far from having professional insight in the gaming community, but it will be interesting to see how this affects the overall landscape of gaming/cloud gaming.

What do YOU think?

[BLOG] PCR’s End of Year Faves!

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Hey Somethings!

The holidays have come and gone, James and I are rested up, and it’s time to get back to it!

This week’s blog touches a bit on some of my most enjoyable things from the end of 2021!

For starters, I got a new job.  Pay’s MUCH more than my previous job.  Feels like it’s even less stressful so… bonus all around!

I also did a fair amount of gaming towards the end of the year.  Forza Horizon 5 dropped and, while the launch was buggy, I still immensely enjoy the game and play it daily.  The big ‘sleeper hit’ for me was Inscryption.  Is it a deck building card/video game? Yes.  Is it SOOO much more than that? Yeeesssssssssssssss.  Can I say more without spoiling a lot of things for those who haven’t played?  Nooooooo.  What I CAN say, if you’ve listened to us, and you enjoy our style.. you get a good sense of the type of people we are and the things we enjoy.  If THAT entertains you, check out Inscryption… you won’t be disappointed.

For Christmas I set myself up with HBO Max and started going through a BUNCH of stuff I never got to see in theaters.  While “Matrix Resurrections” is the big one, I won’t discuss that here as we have an episode coming out about it in the very near future.  Besides Matrix, I also powered through “Godzilla vs Kong”, “Mortal Kombat”, “The Suicide Squad” and “Suicide Squad”.  All of them.. solidly “meh” to be honest, with the exception of “The Suicide Squad” (the most recent one).  Cena’s deadpan delivery as Peacemaker and Dastmalchian’s Polka Dot Man definitely elevated it above “meh” into ‘enjoyable’.

For TV?  End of 2021 brought us Hawkeye (which I loved, ranks 2nd tied with “WandaVision” for me in MCU D+ TV) and The Book of Boba Fett.  At the time of writing this, only the first episode has dropped so far but damn was it good and I loved how they connected it in to the greater Star Wars story and history.

We’ve got a bunch of new episodes lined up and we’re back to blogs every Friday.. stick with us!  2022 is going to be great!

– PCR

[BLOG] TV shows that have outlived their welcome

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I know it’s supposed to be Hatton’s week but…

….I GOT THINGS TO SAY!

SO… I just finished watching Season 8 of “The Blacklist” on Netflix, and was shocked at the ending.

SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET!
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I HATE that we were led along for 8 years of this show to finally see the payoff of Keen finding out who Reddington is (and who he is to her) and this is what happens.  Sure the ‘plan’ was to kill Reddington (which I never believed was going to happen) but I *didn’t* think we’d end up seeing Keen get killed.  I understand actress Megan Boone was off to do other things… but damn if this doesn’t feel like a punch in the dick.

Having been a fan of LOST, I suppose one should never let their guard down on things like this… but I honestly feel, as much as I love Spader’s portrayal, that the show has probably gone on for too long (and is still going…)

With that in mind… here as some shows that are still trucking along that I feel have overstayed their welcome.

The Walking Dead – I honestly couldn’t care any less about anyone left on this show.  I keep watching because I’m pot committed and want to just finish it out.  I know it only has one season left, but 11 seasons was probably 3 or 4 too many.

The Blacklist – See the above rant.  The last few seasons felt like the show was getting cramps trying to tie itself into knots of double-crossing and betrayal which felt effortless in the first few seasons.  I will say, I will completely miss Amir Arison as Agent Mojtabai…he’s been chewing up every scene he’s been in lately.

Pawn Stars – Ok, look.. it was fun and interesting in the beginning when it was about the ‘stuff’, but now the show is different.  It’s “Kardashians at the pawn shop” kind of vibe now that everyone knows is amazingly fake and staged and should have been left on the shelf years ago.

Great British Bake-Off – Yep, I’ll catch flack for this, but I gave up on this show 3/4 of the way last season.  Too many things are a “thing” now… (the “Hollywood Handshake” being one of my biggest ‘ugh’ things).  Also, my pet peeve on long-running reality shows of this type.  Sure, the first season was “the 12 best amateur bakers in the country”… what’s the tag line now?  “12 of the top 145 best amateur bakers…”.  Sure the specials are kinda quaint, but this show hasn’t been the same since Mary, Sue and Mel left.. and it never will be again.

Hit us up on the Twitter @STSTCast and let us know what shows YOU think have been around too long!

– PCR

[BLOG] PCR wants your thoughts on what’s to come!

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Hey Somethings!  PCR here.

This week’s blog, I’m taking a slight detour.

As has been our pattern, we’re taking December off from recording and releasing new episodes due to the holidays.  Now, fear not, we have some things in store… but I wanted to look to the future, and to get our listener’s thoughts on things.

We’re pretty happy with the shows and the formats that we have, we feel it gives us a chance to stretch our legs at times while still giving you all something we’re proud of and we feel is in our wheelhouse.

All that said, are there things you’d like to hear us talk about?  Topics, ideas, show styles…

As much as Hatton and I enjoy listening to the sound of our own voices, we want YOU to enjoy listening to the sound of our voices even more.

Let us know over at somethingsomethingcast@gmail.com, over on Twitter @STSTCast, or join our Facebook at facebook.com/SomethingSomethingCast.

While your at it, heading over to iTunes and leaving us a review would be an amazing thing to do for us!

– PCR

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra : What the hell happened to AHS?

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Hey Somethings… PCR here.

I know a while ago I gave you my thoughts on AHS : Double Feature and.. at the time, it was rather rosy and hopeful…

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

I have no idea who pitched Season 10, or who OK’d it, but whoever pitched it needs a raise, and whoever OK’d it needs to be fired.  If you can pitch something that turned out like Season 10 did, and can get people to buy into it.. you need to be doing/selling/pitching bigger things than a season of a TV series that.. at this point.. may have gone on too long.

Don’t get me wrong, Red Tide had a lot that I liked (as noted in my previous blog) but they way it was ended was waaaaayy too rushed.  A majority of AHS seasons have been 10 or more episodes, and I think Red Tide could have been a much better story had they given it a full 10.  I know that cancels the whole ‘Double Feature’ vibe they were going for…but when it was done as shitty as this was, things need to be rethought.

That being said, I was really digging the thought and concept of Death Valley…until I found out it was only 4 episodes.

In my opinion, AHS needs to take a long, hard look at itself in the mirror and figure out what worked and what didn’t over the 10 seasons it’s been on.  My biggest fear is that “American Horror StorieS” have given them the idea that they can tell short, non-connected stories that are just as entertaining as their full seasons…and it’s my belief that that kind of thinking is what got us Double Feature.

I can’t even call Double Feature my least favorite season because, to be honest, it didn’t feel like an actual season.

Whatever you call it, and whatever you thought of it…this is one “Double Feature” I wish I had walked out of.

[BLOG] Hatton talks A Little Something about Halloween and Halloween Kills [SPOILERS!!!]

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Before I get into this week’s topic – let me just say that this post includes some spoilers for Halloween Kills.  If you haven’t seen it and you don’t want to have some of it spoiled for you – I suggest you skip this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are they gone?

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, good.  We didn’t want them here anyway.

I didn’t want to review Halloween Kills as much as I wanted to talk about what it did right and wrong. You see, the 2018 relaunch/new timeline/thing was, quite literally, the best Halloween movie I have ever seen.  Of course it is hard to compare it to the 70’s original, but that movie defined the tropes of the ‘unkillable monster kills kids’ genre, but with that said, it did what no other Halloween movie had done other than the original… it engaged me.

Now, I love slasher flicks, obviously – but the reason you just don’t see that many is because the genre is stale with a rare exception (See: Terrifier, The Strangers) and there doesn’t feel like much more you can staple on to the old classics of Jason and Michael. But Halloween turns itself around. It isn’t a movie about a monster hunting a woman – it is about a woman who is prepared to kill the monster. It’s Laurie Strode’s movie. She isn’t the final girl – she is the protagonist.

Halloween Kills, as the middle chapter of the preordained trilogy, had hard shoes to fill.  How do you keep the two away from each other so you can get to the actual really real final showdown, but also continue to try and turn the genre on its head?

You show what the PTSD of this monster caused to the town, the collective character of Haddonfield.  With literal pitchforks in hand, this is a story of a hundred people who think they are just like Laurie Strode. They feel guilt about surviving, fear over Myers’ inevitable return, pain at what they’ve lost… and collectively they try and face Michael — and inevitably, they fail.  It really is a brilliant concept, and I bet a few passes around with great writers could have evolved it into a movie just as strong as 2018’s was, but it can’t help but lean into its tropes, bury itself like a hatchet into the skulls of its viewer, and misses every mark along the way.

Somehow, the first film subverts its tropes and has ascended to easily the greatest slasher film of the last decade – and yet, even with a brilliant take on a sequel, the most recent film can’t help but feel like it has taken a step right back into what made people bored with the slasher genre to begin with.

I hope the final act continues the trend of giving us a different story than the one we expect. We’ve seen slashers die before, hell, we’ve seen Michael Myers die a couple of times.. the key is to make us still surprised by the idea.

-Hatton

[BLOG] The Streaming Dead

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Hey Somethings, PCR here.

So, I’ll admit, at the time of this writing, I have not yet finished Season 10 of The Walking Dead.  I don’t have cable, so everything I watch is through streaming, and I finally got around to starting S10 about a week ago.

Mind you, I’m not watching because I’m excited about it.. I’m watching it because, in poker terms, “I’m pot committed”.  While the show certainly feels different with Rick gone, I feel the show has been pretty boring since Terminus.  Sure Negan breathed some life (no ironic pun intended) into the show in Seasons 7 and 8, but for the most part, The show has been a wash/rinse/repeat cycle of

“They don’t trust us!”
“Well, we have to behave to make them trust us”
“Hey, they trust us, we can stay here!”
“Oh shit, we did something stupid and ruined it all, now we have to leave!”
“Hey… we found someplace!”
“…they don’t trust us…”
“…well, we have to make them trust us…”

I was never a huge Daryl fan.  King Ezikiel grew on me, and I like Carol.  Gary is a great character.  Gabriel has been interesting through the second half of S10, and Eugene has grown into his own man.  I will say, I LOVE Princess so far.. she brings a whole new “uhhh..wtf?” but, it feels like a crumb in a sea of blandness.  Even the Whisperers got lame this season.  Out of 20 episodes (out of 22 for the season) I’ve seen so far, there has been exactly 1 scene that made me sit up and go “No shit…” and two lines I enjoyed.  Oddly, all of them involved Negan.  The reveal of who Negan drops the head in the bag to caught me off guard for sure.  When the Whisperers were about to attack… uhh.. Hilltop?  Alexandria?  (I can’t tell them apart, and couldn’t honestly care less to) and Negan says “it’s time for folks to put on their shittin’ pants”.. well, I’ve started using that in unsavory situations.  His exchange with Daryl when Beta’s identity is revealed of “Holy shit, you know who that was?” “Yeah, nobody” made me literally laugh out loud…but the bright spots have been few and far between.

Daryl’s missing 5 years?  Don’t care.  Leah?  Nice to look at, but don’t need her story.  Maggie coming back?  Feels like a bone thrown to fans to have SOMEone ‘come back’ after her and then Rick left.

I don’t know what the last 2 episodes of Season 10 hold, and I don’t have much faith that the series will wrap itself up in a way that even a majority of fans will like at the end of Season 11… but I’ll watch when it comes out… just so I can say I finished it.

[BLOG] Rob’s thoughts on AHS Double Feature : Red Tide

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Hey Somethings, PCR here!

Now.. fair warning, if you haven’t caught up with the 1st half of AHS S10, you may want to pass this by…….

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Ok!  So far, Season 10 is an interesting and enjoyable season.  Red Tide is 6 episodes, and the first half of Season 10, with Death Valley being the last 6 episodes.  I haven’t watched Ep 7 at the time of this writing, but the guess is the two seasons will somehow converge and overlap in some way.  I really liked seeing Finn Wittrock in a lead role.  The whole vibe was really well done in my opinion..the stormy greys, the lack of any real vibrant color.. really got the whole ‘winter in a Massachusetts coastal town’ feel down.   Macauley Culkin was the real scene stealer for me, as Mickey was the only one I felt sorry for at how his story wrapped up.  That said, I wasn’t crazy about Ursula, and.. to be fair, I don’t believe I’ve enjoyed *any* character Leslie Grossman has played in AHS.  While other actors seem to play a multitude of styles and personality types, Grossman always seems to end up playing the ‘Meh-person-turned-bitch that I could care less about’.  The final episode of the first half was a case and point as it really revolved around her.  For me, Episode 6 was a let down that moved way too fast through the narrative to wrap up the first half of Double Feature and set up the second.  Where the first 5 episodes were a slow-burn pace, episode 6 felt like a roller coaster ride built by someone who’s never built a roller coaster but has seen one once.

All in all, I’m mildly optimistic for Death Valley and to see how it ties in to not only Red Tide, but previous seasons as well.