Magic Sword

Somewhere deep within the fiery heart of Mordor, John Carpenter mated with Giorgio Moroder and the composers behind Netflix’s Stranger Things, Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon, to create my latest musical obsession: Magic Sword.

Back in September 2016, my band played at the Badlander during the Plus One Fest in downtown Missoula, MT. We were on at 8:30 and Magic Sword was on at 11:30. I’ll be honest: we didn’t watch their entire set. We were tired. We’d driven all day to get there, played our show, and we were ready to head back to the hotel, drink some PBR, shoot the shit, and unwind.

It’s a decision I’ve regretted ever since. Read more…

Why Deep Space Nine and Voyager May Never Get the HD Remaster They Deserve

Hell Hound

If you’re looking for a book recommendation, I recently finished Ken Greenhall’s Hell Hound. It’s stunning. Think Shirley Jackson meets Ernest Hemingway by way of Stephen King. It’s horror, but it’s that slow, seething, and spine-chilling kind of horror that gets under your skin and burns your heart.

Check out Too Much Horror Fiction and Tor.com for reviews.

Seattle’s Sidewalk Etiquette Sucks Serious Shit

The sidewalks of Seattle are a battlefield. A leisurely stroll downtown quickly turns into a high-stakes game of pedestrian Frogger. You bob and weave; you dash and dart; you stop and go. As Seattleites, we champion and support many causes, but, when our feet hit the pavement, our consideration and respect for others flies out the window.

Simply put: Seattle’s sidewalk etiquette sucks serious shit.

I’m being flippant, but this isn’t a trivial matter. Our opinion of the people around us is greatly informed by these brief and subtle interactions and, ergo, they inform our perspective of the world.

I don’t want to get too hippy-dippy or venture into self-help guru territory, but we can make these interactions better. Read more…

Seeing My Dead Friends on Facebook

I sliced my middle finger open on the ceramic tile lining our kitchen wall. It was one of those silly, absent-minded accidents. I was leaning against the wall, reading the first novel in The Expanse series when it happened. I was trying to stretch my shoulder, so I put my hand on the wall for torque and a jagged, arrowhead-shaped tile caught my skin and ripped it open.

It was a deep tear.

It was bleeding profusely.

It wasn’t stopping.

Read more…

The Best TV Show That You’re (Probably) Not Watching

Binge-worthy television is all the rage. Series like Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Breaking Bad are turning viewers into eager and awestruck couch potatoes.

And it’s easy to see why—production, storytelling, and acting are firing on all cylinders; characters are given room to develop; plots twist and turn surprisingly.

In terms of overall quality and entertainment value, television is giving box office juggernauts, like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a run for their money. I mean they don’t call this the Golden Age of Television for nothing!

But modern television is more than just entertainment escapism; it’s a cultural currency.

We theorize, and we spoil. We “talk it out” with friends. We scour the internet for clues. We troll. We read magazine articles. We watch. We re-watch.

And we love it.

We’re obsessed. Read more…

Two Overlooked Gems: Better Watch Out & Brawl in Cell Block 99

From mainstream films like Dunkirk and Baby Driver to indie darlings like The Disaster Artist and The Devil’s Candy, 2017’s been chock-full of fantastic and exciting storytelling.

Sure, there’s been a few clunkers, like that over-stuffed, turgid turd mother!, but, overall, it’s been a super solid year.

As 2017 comes to a close, I’m taking a look back at two of this year’s overlooked gems. If you’re a movie aficionado, snob, or love stepping outside of your comfort zone, then give one of these a shot. Read more…

Creating Saturday Night Live: Control Room

An interesting behind-the-scenes look at how an episode of SNL goes from script to stage.

The Battle for Blade Runner

The Guest Recommendation Review Anthony Darnell

Three Must-See Halloween Movies for 2017

With Halloween just around the bend, I’ve been taking a look back at the best, and somewhat overlooked, horror movies from recent years.

While the endearing nostalgia of Stephen King’s IT enthralled late-summer audiences, I felt it lacked a certain oomph in the scares department. It Comes at Night was a unique take on the zombie/plague genre, but it didn’t have an interesting enough, or emotionally satisfying, resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both, but I didn’t think they had enough pizazz to make the list. Read more…

Fuck you, Darren Aronofsky, and the Jennifer Lawrence you rode in on.

Let me begin with an apology: this will be a profanity-laced, spoiler-filled review of mother! If that’s not your cup of tea then hit the back button, close your browser window, or light your goddam house on fire—oh, that’s how the movie ends, by the way; Jennifer Lawrence lights the house on fire and then God—played by Javier Bardem—removes her crystalized heart from her charred-to-a-crisp body, places it in a display case, and that resets the movie back to the beginning. See? There’s gonna be fucking spoilers EVERYWHERE! Read more…

Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Carrie Fisher Irvin Kershner Behind The Scenes Princess Leia

Unscripted: How the Famous ‘I Love You/I Know’ Scene Really Came Together

It’s a legendary story, but it’s not true: When Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) confesses her love for Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Empire Strikes Back, the scripted reply was, “Just remember that, because I’ll be back.” Feeling that the line lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, Ford changed it.

“I love you.”

“I know.”

It’s humorous, poignant, and a spot-on character-driven interaction. It’s often cited as the best actor-improvised line in movie history, but, here’s the thing, it wasn’t improvised. Read more…

John Carpenter – Christine (Official Music Video)

You can’t beat a killer car.

In advance of Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 (available on October 20), John Carpenter released a mesmerizing new music video for “Christine.”

With gorgeous long shots, impeccable cinematography, and moodiness to spare, “Christine” is a top-form John Carpenter taking the reins behind the lens. It’s simply stunning.

Plumbing Stanley Kubrick

DUNKIRK: The Test of Time

If you thought Baby Driver was the must-see movie event of the summer then hold onto your butt! With heart-stopping special effects, lavish cinematography, and intimate, matter-of-fact storytelling, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a soon-to-be-classic.

With recent films Inception and Interstellar, Nolan leaned heavily on ham-fisted theatrics, exceedingly complicated plot structures, and booming soundtracks. In Dunkirk, Nolan strips much of the histrionics away to tell a lean and mean, true-to-life story of survival. Far and away, it’s his best work since The Dark Knight. Read more…

Retroactive Continuity: The Secret to Star Wars Success

Yep. You read that title correctly. Here’s another goddamn article about Star Wars!

Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the ubiquity of George Lucas’s groundbreaking creation is enough to choke a rancor. Every time you get online, there’s a slew of clickbait promising spoilers, beat-by-beat breakdowns of the latest trailer, and advertisements for the newest doodad with Star Wars stamped on the box.

It takes a near-herculean effort to slog through the crap and remember what it is that makes Star Wars SO FUCKING GOOD. Read more…

Baby Driver (2017)

The lights dim; a less-than-witty set of M&Ms remind us to quiet our cell phones; and then something strange happens. Writer/director Edgar Wright thanks us for “getting off the couch” to see Baby Driver as it was intended: in a movie theater.

With the rise of Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Amazon Prime Video, being a part-time couch potato is all the rage. From Game of Thrones to Transparent, binge watching long-form media is part of our cultural currency. Not only are these stories marvelously performed, written, and directed, but they’re an easy way for us to quickly relate to one another. Discussing the entertainment we consume is a shorthand approach for creating meaningful connection. Read more…

Hounds of Love (2017)

If you enjoy hard-hitting, tough-to-stomach entertainment, then Hounds of Love, the impressive debut film from writer/director Ben Young, is right up your alley. Hands down, it’s the most unnerving, disturbing, and effective horror movie of 2017 so far.

I have to be completely honest; this is a difficult movie to recommend. There are “fun” horror movies and then there are “not-so-fun” horror movies. The “fun” horror movies are the ones you can watch with a group of friends and laugh when you’re all spooked by a jump scare (think ScreamHalloween, or Paranormal Activity). The “not-so-fun” horror movies are the ones that stay with you long after you’ve seen them. They’re the kinds of movies that have a disquieting way of lingering in the back of your mind (think Cannibal Holocaust, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Possession). Hounds of Love falls hard into the “not-so-fun” category. Read more…

41 Seattle Bands We’re Watching in 2017

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

“Before I show you the results of my trifling experiments, I would like to drink to our partnership. Do you like gin? It is my only weakness. To a new world of gods and monsters.” —Dr. Pretorius, Bride of Frankenstein

“Sister” by Killer Workout

Official music video for “Sister” by Killer Workout. Video by Ryan Hills and Travis Mouffe. http://killerworkoutmusic.com/

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