Brad and Ömer stupidly attempt to build a working crossbow.
Ok, I’ll admit that I got a bit caught out by this particular slot, my first of the New Year. I’d planned to bring you a review but unfortunately for one reason and another I haven’t managed to play enough of the games in my “review queue” to bring you any meaningful opinion. Plus it snuck up on me rather and I found myself at the last minute, staring at a blank document, bereft of inspiration.
In the middle ground between the men in combat worried about dying for reasons they don't understand and the upper levels of command too far removed from the actual fighting to see the human cost of their decisions exists the man in between who must choose every day between bad and worse. Clark Gable portrays that man. There is a reason Gable was one of the biggest stars ever and it wasn't just his performance in Gone With the Wind. He is fantastic in this movie as are the supporting cast. The writing is just as good with all perspectives, soldier, commander, and upper command being given fair treatment. There is a brief interlude where the movie goes into a patriotic voice over that I suspect was added by some studio executive because it doesn't fit with the overall tone of the movie but that aside, this lesser known movie about the Second World War's bomber campaign is well worth a look.
Netflix Status: DVD Only
TCM Status: 5/27/12 at 7:00am EST
Times and technology may change, sensibilities and propriety may evolve over time but the heart and soul of humanity remains constant. Human nature is eternal. Nothing brings that home more than stories written hundreds of years ago that still retain all their poignancy to this day. I will not attempt to condense the greatness of Shakespeare's play into a few lines. It's themes and messages are many and deep. This adaptation, though, is very well done. Ralph Fiennes may still only have his one tight lipped wooden faced expression of bottled up rage but for the character of Coriolanus it is perfect. The light touch in bringing the setting into modern times, in comparison to the intriguing but ham fisted way it was done in Romeo and Juliet, is to be applauded. His direction of the performances is fantastic but he should get a bitch slap to the face for using the "shaky cam" for his action sequences. For the love of God, if you can't stage a decent fight using a stable camera (and I ain't sayin' it's easy) hire somebody to do it for you. The supporting actors are superb. Vanessa Redgrave...phenomenal. Go see this movie if you can.
Status: Still showing in theaters but sadly not many. Art Houses mostly and only in a few cities. Luckily one was Bow-tie in Hartford.
If I told you that this movie is about a Sheriff in 16th century Spain who is investigating a series of murders of local noblemen and that his quest for the truth leads him afoul of a sinister Hungarian assassin, the head of the Inquisition, and even the governor of the province itself and if I further told you that it is filled with intrigue and conspiracy and dark secrets, that it has sword duels and chases and romance and tales of unrequited love, you might think that this movie must be awesome. With a premise like that it must rock! But you would be wrong. So terribly terribly wrong. First, I don't know how many box tops Christopher Lambert had to send it before he received his license to call himself an actor but it was certainly far too few. Second, his fellow perpetrators in this defilement of cinema are no better. All the supporting cast should be ashamed of themselves. Third, the sets make the Styrofoam rocks in the original Star Trek series look like triumphs of realism. Fourth, the sword fights remind me of playground stick fights only slower and clumsier. Lastly, the eventual explanation for the mystery, outdone in many a Scooby-Do episode, is so contrived and tortured it will make you wish for a visit by the Inquisition. If I've been to subtle allow me to clarify, this movie is hideously bad.
Netflix Status: Really, your curious? Save yourself the trouble and go slam your hand in the car door. It'll be less painful and you won't have to wait for the mail. DVD only.
A movie not so much about an event as a time. Specifically, the last day of high school. Not as it really was but perhaps as we like to remember it. All the girls were pretty and all the boys drove mint V8 muscle cars. Put on your rose colored glasses and forget the mortgage, the car payment, and that mysterious pain in your chest for a while. Spend a summer night cruising the streets of Nowheres-ville Middle America where your most important goals were scoring a six pack and meeting up with that cheerleader.
Netflix Status: Currently streaming
Engineer Al shares his love of Sci-Fi literature.
Engineer Al shares his love of Science Fiction literature.
Engineer Al shares his love of sci-fi literature.
Robert Heinlein is the greatest writer of Science Fiction that ever lived.
Stanislaw Lem made me fall in love.
I have the coolest wife in the world. Many of you might dispute that statement, possibly arguing that you, not I, have the coolest wife, but in order to prove my case, I present the following three pieces of incontrovertible evidence.1. My wife is a gourmet chef. Not for a living, or anything - just for me. I eat like a king. That's not an exaggeration, either - on any given night, there is a remarkable possibility that I am eating better than the British royal family. She's that good. For instance, what did you have for Thanksgiving? Turkey? Because I had foie gras and lobster.2. Once, when we were in line at the movies, the college-age girl in front of us, probably exhausted from copulating like a rabbit with her similarly youthful boyfriend, was sitting on the floor. I only noticed her enough to keep from kicking her, but my wife not only noticed her, but pointed her out to me. The reason this was interesting was that the girl was wearing very sexy thong underwear, and because of the way she was sitting, I was able to see almost down to the promised land. And I would have missed that if my wife had not brought her to my attention.3. Last night, my wife took me to a whiskey tasting. And she drove.
One of the things that I wanted to do as a contributor on the Fort was review all aspects of the hobby…not just the games. This morning while sipping a cup of Joe I was letting “En Vogue” seduce my ears when I was struck with my latest inspiration for a review. Snack reviews. Yep. The things we put out to eat are almost as important as the game on the table. So welcome to the first ever F:AT Snack Review.
Welcome back to a very special installment of the F:AT Snack Attack. In previous articles we’ve looked at Kettle Corn and the world’s tastiest corn taquito chip. This time I’m going to be covering something very near and dear to my heart. Something that I’m sure many of you are all familiar with. Yup, it’s the tasty green concoction which looks like Re-animator serum. It’s Hi C’s Ecto Cooler!
Inside a new Atlanta video game and pinball convention.
Some people believe this to be the greatest TV show ever made in the same way that some people believe JFK was the greatest president ever. The tragedy of an existence cut short before it's time and the yearning for what might have been cloud what actually was. This "Sci-fi Western" does some things very well. Each and every character in the crew is well realized. The "universe" feels plausible and consistent. The Reavers are a fantastic concept. Seriousness, action and humor serve to balance each other very well. It has it's flaws. Many of the ideas and characters are like luggage that Joss Whedon brings with him wherever he goes. The "catty" dialog between women on the show while interesting at first in the end is serves to aggrieve when one realizes that he uses the same technique over and over again. The scene where one main character is lying on the operating table with a gut shot while the rest of the crew gather around in pensive fear was at least in six episodes. In the end, Firefly is an adventure written from the perspective of a boy in his mid-20's, past adolescence but not yet fully grown up. If I had more than 5 seconds I'd compare and contrast it to The Outlaw Josey Wales which is a similar story told from an older point of view...but I don't.
Netflix Status: All shows and follow up movie "Serenity" are currently streaming
War is a destroyer; a destroyer of people, of places, of judgement, and of beliefs. In Flame and Citron we follow the lives of two members of the Danish resistance in World War Two. We watch as these men who began their careers with high ideals and a belief in their cause become worn down not only by the killings they engage in but also by the loss of those ideals as it slowly dawns on them that nothing is pure and nobody is to be trusted and everything is rotten. The movie is "based on actual events" which means little other than there were two resistance fighters code named Flame and Citron. The film is well produced and never once for a minute is the illusion of being in occupied Denmark broken but it is bleak. An exercise in hero deconstruction, of nihilism, and of moral relativism. It achieves its aims admirably and It is not a bad film but I do not subscribe to those philosophies and so I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed it.
Netflix status: Currently Streaming
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