Category Archives: Entertainment

The Fourth Kind (2009) – IMDb

I read a thread on Reddit where someone asked “what was the scariest movie you ever saw?”, and got interested in a few I hadn’t heard of, including “The Fourth Kind”, which I learned is free to view on Amazon Prime. So I watched it this morning after work.

What a total piece of crap! Alien abductions, a mixture of filmed footage and older looking supposedly “real” tapes, but the framing and handheld aspect of it all, it’s the Blair Witch Project all over again. The worst part is the variability of the volume. I keep having to turn up the volume to hear the whispered sections, and turn it down again when they start screaming when trying to remember the atrocities inflicted upon them by the ancient Sumerian speaking “aliens”.

How anyone could have fallen for this crud and been really scared, I’ll never know. Perhaps it was because they were young and impressionable when they first saw it. Who knows? Who cares.

Update: I found this when I searched the university name used in the film’s “real” footage. The Internet wins again.

Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi. With Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Hakeem Kae-Kazim. A thriller involving an ongoing unsolved mystery in Alaska, where one town has seen an extraordinary number of unexplained disappearances during the past 40 years and there are accusations of a federal cover up.

Source: The Fourth Kind (2009) – IMDb

Happy

I finished Dexter and Fairy Tale on Netflix, so was searching for something new, and stumbled upon “Happy”, a dark comedy crime series starring Christopher Meloni, known mostly as Elliot on SVU. It’s got more than it’s fair share of over the top gratuitous violence, but tempers it with a fair amount of over the top humor too. Meloni plays Nik Sacks, a disgraced former cop, currently a hitman for hire, who is contacted by his (previously unknown to him) daughter’s imaginary friend, a blue unicorn cartoon figure voiced by Oswald Patton, and seeks to rescue her from imminent doom. Every episode, Nik get bloodier and bloodier, dispatching his opponents with superhero strength and an strong unwillingness to die. My wife was turned off by the violence, so I’m watching this one by myself.

Give it shot, maybe it’s not your thing, but I find the whole thing cartoonish, it’s like a real life cartoon superhero battling against all odds. Meloni really lends it a slight air of authenticity, drawing upon his years on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to make his character a believable ex-cop. After all, on that show, he was kind of an over-the-top cop who broke the rules a little too often. So it’s not a huge stretch to believe he might end up a disgraced ex-cop.

The best parts of this show are the villains. They are a mix of creepy and absurd. It makes them easy to dislike.

American Horror Story: Coven

Finished Season 2, started Season 3 of American Horror Story. Some of the stars of Season’s 1 and 2 are back, and this season is much less creepy than last season. Not sure why, maybe I’m less afraid of being accused of being accused of being a witch than I am of being forcibly institutionalized by some crazy doctor.

Season 3 is all about witches, including the Salem kind, and the voodoo kind. There’s even a Stevie Nicks worshiper witch I really like.


American Horror Story Season Two

Okay, I suppose it’s not embarrassing to say I’m fascinated by Season Two of American Horror Story. A few of the actors returned from Season One, as entirely new characters, in a different story, and it’s not just a creepy ghost story like Season One was. No, this one features a conspiracy to hide a former Nazi doctor who experimented on Auschwitz prisoners, aliens, abusive Catholic Nuns, demon possessed people, and a few “innocent” folks who got stuck in a mental hospital.

I told my wife this morning, you really know it’s a creepy story line, when you decide watch another episode of Dexter Season 7, just to “lighten the mood” a little. I mean, Dexter is bizarre, but not as whacked out as AHS:S2. Wow!

American Horror Story – Season 1

Just finished watching season one of “American Horror Story” on Netflix. Such an AWESOME creepy, scary story. I’m not normally attracted to scary shows, I usually find them to be derivative, but this whole thing was really well done.

There are a total of seven seasons on Netflix, each season tells a new story. I’m totally ready to dig into season two right now, but I just wanted to say right now, if you like ghost stories, if you like mysteries, if you can stand those genres, this is a really enjoyable show to watch. If you aren’t hooked after two episodes, just move on. But I suspect you will enjoy it like I did.

I was mostly blown away by the final two episodes, which were a kind of sequel to the main storyline. The central characters of the season were already dead, so I totally expected like 15 minutes of sequel action, to show how the house keeps consuming victims in an evil way. But it didn’t end the way I expected at all. I am very impressed with the writing. 5 of 5 stars.

So, buckle up, here comes season two!

Dexter Season 6

Is it JUST me? Or does Colin Hanks (yes, Tom Hanks son) remind you a LOT of Sean Murray of NCIS fame. When I first looked his name up, I was totally convinced they were related somehow.

I heard from a friend, before I started, that the series seemed to “jump the shark” after a few seasons, long before the end. And I have to admit, I did have a hard time getting through season 4, the one featuring John Lithgow as the guest villain, and Dexter dealing with his family.  But I finished it, after a few weeks break. And Season 5 renewed my interest in the series.

So, I finished season 5, and really thought it was one of the best, story wise. Now I’m into Season 6, featuring Edward James Almos as the featured guest villain, and its just weird and creepy enough that I’m am drawn to the story. I have to think, though, that the convenient disappearance of his wife’s two children, Cody and Astor, helps the story line. The two kids were missing all of Season 4, and most of Season 5, leaving Dexter to deal only with his infant son. The idea of a relationship between a serial killer and his son, who he desperately want to avoid passing on his “dark passenger” to, is somewhat fascinating.

I have no such dark passenger, but I admit I have fantasized about dispatching people I’ve felt wronged me in the past. It’s not a serious idea, just a normal fantasy, one of being all powerful, being in total control of my life, being able to get away with such awful, evil, dark thoughts. I suppose that’s normal, up to a point. I could never actually do anything like that, because I’m awful at lying. Just ask my wife.

I suppose that’s why Dexter was such a hit show. It lets us fantasize about “what might have been” if we were evil, like some of the people we see on TV every day. I’m thinking Donald Trump level fantasies. He truly seems deluded about reality, but considering his position, and his perception of reality, he undoubtedly thinks he can get away with all the lying and deception, too. And the majority of voters have shown they support his version of reality too. Sad.

After last night’s election results, I have to say, I look forward to next year’s top TV shows, especially the new ones featuring a rich demagogue who does whatever he feels like, saying anything he likes, to get whatever he wants, and suffering no consequences as a result. Then again, unless it’s shown on the Fox News Channel, none of DJT’s biggest fans will recognize the patterns and change anything.

Dexter (Season 5)

When I first started watching Dexter on Netflix, I heard that the story loses it’s lustre after about 4 seasons. In fact, one of my good friends told me his favorite season was #4, featuring John Lithgow.

I paused so many times during season 4, avoiding the next show for days at a time, that I decided that, so far, Season 4 was my least favorite. Dexter just seemed to act very much unlike the character which attracted me during the first 3 seasons. It’s a dark series, I think anyone would say that, but what I think attracts any fans is that he is usually true to his goals, to punish serial killers he finds. Season 4 just shows a Dexter that is confused and lost.

But Season 5 is totally different. His preteen children are sent away, and Dexter is presented with a series of brand new dilemma, mostly involving finding a murderous soul mate. He seems to embrace her need for revenge, and lets her join him in submitting to her primal instincts. It’s one thing to allow him to take revenge against evil people, but something else for him to let a victim of torture to do the same thing, with his assistance. He spends half the season trying to convince her not to do it, and the rest helping her.

I am really enjoying Season 5. It’s back to being dark, and satisfying. And the stars this season are Jonny Lee Miller (of Sherlock fame), and Peter Weller (of Robocop fame), both excellent actors, playing two evil bastards I love to hate. Such a great show.

The Haunting Of Hill House (again)

I am REALLY enjoying this series, now that the story has finally progressing nicely. There’s still a bit of time jumping around, but at least they’ve stopped introducing new characters, and started explaining stuff.

I’ve finished the first 8 episodes, 2 left to go. And it’s getting really good too. Looking forward to the conclusion.

The Haunting of Hill House

Netflix has an original 10 episode TV series based on the old horror movie of the same name. I remember watching several versions of that movie, and being pleasantly scared each time.

This version is compelling enough, that I’m planning to finish it, but the production is jumping back and forth in time, through multiple timeframes in one families life. It’s a big family too, so with all their relationships, there are just so many characters (at different ages) to keep straight. It’s a bit maddening, honestly.