Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Progress update

Work's getting pretty serious now. I'm moving from spot to spot a little more than I'd like. Progress would be easier to monitor if I was doing all of one section rather than shifting from section to section. However, at least for now I'm satisfied that the effort is proceeding apace.

For the last day or two I've been focused on "The Herd," the splash page for the whole Survival Guide. I've finished all the "road signs" and four of the chapter buttons. Fans of last month's Custer Expedition take note: the background of the "Socialization" button in the lower righthand side of the Herd is the sky above the Little Bighorn Battlefield.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review – Eyes of the Mothman

Though normally I'm a sucker for urban legends, cryptozoology and the like, even way back when I first read about the Mothman my reaction was, "A dude with giant moth wings? That's just stupid." This documentary did little to change my opinion. The first 40 minutes don't even talk about the monster at all, instead exhausting the history of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and the surrounding countryside. And even when they finally do get down to the title menace, it's, well, a dude with giant moth wings. This would have been a merely a mediocre production with some genuinely awful grammar (not just the interviewees but the narration as well) if not for the Silver Bridge collapse. That these yahoos are willing to tie their silly little monster game to the tragic deaths of dozens of people is just pathetic. See if desperate

Friday, August 26, 2011

Abandoned – House of Fallen

Netflix Instant is so helpful. Thanks to its "recent activity" list, I can see that I gave up on this precisely 21 minutes and 31 seconds in. Sadly, the descriptions are less precise. The paragraph about this stinker made it sound like a horror anthology rather than the cheap-ass Prophecy rip in turned out to be.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Progress update

The first chapter of the Media Survival Guide is done. To be sure, it's still a little rough at this point. I'm not happy with the link colors, which should be different than they are. Some of the underlining is a bit weird as well. I'll have to fix that.

Further, if you're visiting it now you'll notice that most of the pages have spots for links at the bottom and that there aren't currently any links on them. My workflow scheme at the moment is to finish the text itself and then backtrack to add the links I've been piling up. I may change my mind later and add variety to the project by intermixing writing and linking. But for the moment it's just my pearls of wisdom and no hyper-ties to the rest of the universe.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Abandoned – Monster

Because a ripoff of Cloverfield was necessary for some reason. I struggled through it for 20 minutes or so hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever was destroying Tokyo, but the pointless, meandering script sucked so bad that even if the monster had turned out to be Godzilla in a hockey mask and Dracula cape flinging Phantasm balls at everyone, it still wouldn't have been worth it.

Abandoned – Chain Letter

The description said this was about some computer geeks who suffer the ill effects of failing to forward the title nuisance. So I figured maybe it wouldn't be part of the film industry's recent fascination with torture porn. It took roughly three minutes to figure out that I figured wrong.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review – Basket Case

I've said it before and I'll probably have to say it again, but if a movie is going to be this terrible it ought at least to make an effort to keep quiet so I can sleep through it. This is one of the screamingest pictures I've ever seen. A disturbed youth with his formerly-conjoined, largely-unformed twin in a basket (so it isn't just a catchy title) shows up in the Big Apple to seek revenge on the doctors who separated him from his brother. I you're doing a term paper on the early history of gore flicks, you'll probably need this for your section on the early 1980s. Otherwise you shouldn't need it for much of anything except maybe as an alarm clock. See if desperate

Monday, August 15, 2011

Progress update

This entry's strictly a matter of record keeping. Unless you're a big fan of 8sails behind-the-scenes stuff, you don't need to read it.

Today I finally figured out how to make a small icon for the bookmarks bar (and other similar browser locations). So now we're represented to the outside world by a tiny octopus. Fun stuff.

Work on the Media Survival Guide is genuinely underway at this point. I've finalized the page design, and I'm roughly halfway through creating master blank pages for all the subsections. Just about ready to start adding content!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review - Father of the Bride

If having kids makes you into this bad of a sappy idiot, then I'm glad I never had any. The title character (Steve Martin) struggles with the expense and complications of putting together a storybook wedding for his daughter. All the humor involves the efforts of people around him to tolerate him while he spazzes, and especially toward the end even that limited modicum of entertainment gives way to pure sap. So if you need some treacle to adjust your blood sugar level, enjoy. Otherwise avoid. See if desperate

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Abandoned – The Last Airbender

Usually a kids' movie with a budget this big will throw in an element here and there to keep the grown-ups in the audience entertained as well. At least my oath to stop watching M. Night Shyamalan movies remains intact.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review – Arctic Blast

A hole opens up in the ozone layer above Australia, letting in a blast of cold air that creates a wall of ice fog that destroys everything in its path. In other words, here's another SyFy-ish take on the laws of physics. Uninteresting characters struggle to find a way to plug the hole before the audience loses patience. See if desperate

Monday, August 8, 2011

Review – Dead and Buried

Writers Donald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon must have really shot their load on Alien, because all they had left for this pedestrian picture was enough for a run-of-the-mill creepy town tale. The local sheriff tries to figure out why strangers keep disappearing in friendly little Potters Bluff, why they later reappear as townspeople and why nobody else seems to notice anything amiss. Stan Winston contributes some reasonably good gore effects, but they're largely wasted on a boring story. See if desperate

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pay attention

Sorry to be gone so long. Truth is, with my first going-somewhere vacation in eight years and the heat making it hard to work after we got back, there hasn't been a lot to report.

However, yesterday during an 8sails staff lunch we floated the idea of Getting Rich and Quitting Our Day Jobs by starting a reality show called "Pay Attention to Me." Contestants will face an American-Idol-esque panel of judges, and all they'll need to do to win is get the trio to pay attention to them for five minutes. Anything short of physical contact with the judges is allowed, but if anyone's attention drifts the buzzer sounds.

I want to be the Simon Cowell judge.

SeacrestBotMark7: Bryan, what did you think of that performance?

Me: What? Oh, sorry. I wasn't paying attention.


Anyone who survives the first round goes on to Level Two. This time the judges have their cell phones with them, so the acts must compete with incoming calls, texts, chat notices, pushes and various and sundry other 21st century interruptions.

If this show turns out to be the success we're hoping for, the spin-off will follow the same format only with a panel of teenagers for judges. This one will be called "So You Want to Be a Teacher."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review – The Crow: Wicked Prayer

So let me make sure I've got this straight. This is a movie based on a novel based on characters from a series based on a comic book? I liked the original picture near the bottom of that heap, but somewhere between there and here I should have gotten off the bus. Edward Furlong is particularly ridiculous in the lead role, looking less like an avenging spirit and more like a surly counter girl at an indie record store. When Tara Reid turns in the best performance of the picture, you know the overall experience was wicked bad. Verdict: see if desperate