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Random Thoughts for September 2015

Straight Outta Compton was an emotional ride. I'm not even into NWA but I can appreciate a good story and this one is just so damn good. You can always tell when a story has a wealth of content when it moves so fast that a 2.5 film feels like half that. Having Easy E as the main character was the right move, even if his screen time is minimally greater than Dre and Ice Cube.

I'm so excited about October. There are a lot of cool things in the works and October seems to be when all of it is falling. Given that October is my favorite month, that just makes it even better. It'll also be my last month of creative exile before I go back into the real world. Can't believe I was actually able to take time off to be creative. Now it'll be all about making money to do something with all of those creations.

Scream Queens is the best comedy of the Fall. And I really wasn't expecting that. I knew it'd have comedy elements but I didn't realize how far it'd go with the absurdity. It's all really entertaining and I'm really looking forward to the next episode. I have a feeling it's going to have a really good payoff and with the incredible cast it has, I'm expecting great moments.

Go watch My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope. Both of these shows come from Greg Garcia and while both fall off in quality by the end, they provide at least a season each of fantastic television. I kind of forgot how good My Name Is Earl was because I was a little tainted by the third and fourth season where Earl went to prison/was in a coma/living in a sitcom. It was the epitome of a show jumping the shark. Hope unfortunately goes down after season one and by season four, the main character Jimmy is relegated to a side character while his parents Burt and Virginia take center stage and the show never recovered. Still, I think all four seasons of both shows are worth a watch because the character's are so good that it's still fun to follow their journey, regardless of the lower quality stories being told. I just wish either show was given a proper finale.

I had to shut It Follows off after ten minutes. I'm sure I'll give it another shot at some point but I was so annoyed at how full of itself it was throughout. It seemed like the director didn't understand what kind of movie he was making. The long static shots accompanied by generic music gets annoying after the third or fourth time. And that seemed to be all the movie consisted of which triggered my "pretentiousness" gag reflex.

Still watching wrestling. In fact, I'm going to Texas for Wrestlemania in April. I've got a pretty big (5000+ word) article in the works for my previous experience at Mania 31 this past April. Most of it is written but I'm waiting until closer to Mania to release it, because I may try and guest publish it on a wrestling website. We'll see.

I just love that football is back. Tom Brady and The Patriots are on a roll and looking like the team to beat. I'm 2-1 in my Fantasy Football league. I've had the most consistent team and I've scored triple digits every week so far which makes me think this will be a pretty decent season. It's still early so everything could fall apart on all fronts but things are looking good so far.

It's really weird seeing my first novel come to a close. I only have maybe a week or two until I hopefully have a final edit on Crimson Summer (I hope). I've been really anal about it and changing things last minute but I think the book is better off because of it. I edit in weird sections so I still haven't read the entire book from start to finish but that'll be what's next in the cards once I get a draft I'm happy enough with. Those that read the first half online will be pleasantly surprised with the changes made to those chapters, with more cohesion to the overall story.

I'm not even sure when I'll go to the theater next. I feel like we're in a little bit of lull after such a good summer. Then again, I could just be mad that it's yet another year without a horror stocked Halloween. Why can't we just get a couple horror movies during October? Is that too difficult? The Green Inferno is already out (and I have very little interest, given it's sub-genre) and Paranormal Activity has never been my thing.So what's a horror junkie to do? This is why people do horror marathons...

I need to make more time for reading. I'm not sure how people do it. They must have no interest in television whatsoever because I always find that calling my name before a book ever does. I've been going through Amy Poehler's "Yes, Please" and while I love it, I find myself forgetting it exists. I should really start setting aside an hour to read before bed or something. Ugh, that sounds like something a mature grown-up would do. Next please.

It's been weird not reading comic books weekly. I'm pretty much to the point that I've stopped reading anything ongoing. I go back and revisit some of the stuff I already have, but otherwise I have no interest in getting back into collecting. I talked before about the reasons, but I was really hoping something would change in order to keep me on board. Nothing really did and now I find myself saving a ton of money a week. Not too bad.

What Went Through My Head Watching... "Fantastic Four"

Sometimes I like to take notes during a movie, just to make sure that I don't forget about it when I write a review/article for it later. It started way back when I wrote my thoughts -- sequential as I watch -- on "Transformers" and posted it on Myspace. Having done it several times since, I thought it'd be fun to bring that back as a column I can bring around from time to time and talk about a movie, without it just being a review.

So what better film to start it off than one that has been flabbergasting viewers and reviewers everywhere. Let's see what went through my head while watching Josh Trank's Fantastic Four.

The film starts with a reference to Eli Manning. No, I'm not kidding. This is not off to a good start.

The actor playing Young Reed is lifeless and stale, with little to no human element to his acting.

The entire film is just so damn cliché and lazy that it's flabbergasting the level of incompetence.

Ben Grimm's abusive brother used to say "It's Clobberin Time" before the game.

So Ben and Reed meet in a junk yard and become BFFs?

Wait, so Reed Richards gets discovered… at a high school science fair?

I like Miles Teller's nerdy Reed Richards walk.

So far I'm just feeling really bad for the talented cast.

The plot itself is terrible and whoever cobbled together this screenplay should be ashamed but the actors aren't at fault here. They're all trying.

"Doctor Doom over here" heh heh heh. Seriously, that was the worst line.

Of course Johnny Storm is introduced via Street Race. Of course he is. Because HOW ELSE WOULD WE KNOW HE'S AN ADRENALINE JUNKIE!

Never mind, I take back what I said about the actors. Michael B Jordan and his father are pretty terrible.

So much exposition is done through dialogue.

Johnny and Reed have bonded over their dislike of Victor?

Also, how is everyone not super aware of the fact that Victor is a bad guy from the get go.

I like that Victor's jealousy comes from not being as good as Reed but without Reed flaunting it in front of him. He's just good.

Oh so now they're all bonding while they get drunk.

Whoever made the decision with those suits didn't realize how hard it would be to tell the difference between characters.

It's hard not to laugh at how the characters get their powers. I guess they did a better job of explaining it than the Tim Story movies but I'm not sure that's a high bar.

Annnnnnd now Reed is climbing through a ceiling grate. It's a good thing those ventilation systems are so big and that he just so happened to be connected to Ben's cell.

The time jump is just terrible. So Ben Grimm is a government weapon now?

So all of the fun part of an origin story is summed up on video after said time jump? Why?

I was kind of enjoying it and then the second half happened.

Want to know how not to do a superhero origin story? Watch the second half of this movie. Everything is so rushed that half of it doesn't even make sense.

"He'll listen to you, Sue!" Since when?

Doom looks okay one minute and like total shit the next.

This follows the most generic action beats imaginable. Oh so the father got killed right in front of them by the villain right before they head off for the big finale.

There's not much good reasoning behind why Victor would suddenly be a supervillain. Good decision to stay away from the blogger idea they had originally.

Oh god, Reed's ending speech is just the worst.

And since when did Reed learn how to fight? He was just a big nerd and never got training like the others that spent a year in the government training facility.

That was probably the worst "end battle" to a superhero film I've ever seen. I don't think the film overall was that terrible, but that end was just stupid. 
The "hero shot" towards the end sums up everything wrong with the movie: a big crater with a washed out palette. You know, that's what I want from my brightly lit comics.

I look forward to when they do this on How Did This Get Made.

Fantasy Football: Making Football Better

We are one day away from the first Sunday of the NFL Season and I for one couldn't be more excited. Is it because I'm a Patriots fan coming off a big Super Bowl win? Is it because I can't wait for Tom Brady to prove all the haters wrong? Is it because I may finally get to see the Lions make it a little ways into the playoffs? While all of those things have a degree of truth to them, nothing is more important during football season nowadays than Fantasy Football.

That's right, Faux Football. Something that doesn't have any kind of athletic merit and is mostly based on luck given inconsistency. But it's still something that has been sweeping the nation and become a multi-billion dollar industry. Hell, during Thursday Night Kickoff, there were more Fantasy Football references in one broadcast than the entire previous season. It's here and it's here to stay.

I'm playing Fantasy Football for the fourth year in a row and I could not be more excited. After four years we finally have a good group of people that want to actually be in the league. After spending so much time with people that had to be coerced and then quit halfway through the season, we have eight people that are actually paying dues and competing for our championship. It's exciting.

Especially since I'm returning champion.

I'm such a competitive person that I can't help but latch onto something that carries with it some modicum of competition. While Fantasy is a little more luck based than I'd like, it still scratches that competitive itch. And now that I'm the returning champ? Forget about any sense of common decency amongst friends, it's an all out war.

But honestly I don't really have to worry. My team is scary good this year. My starting lineup consists of Tom Brady, Eddie Lacy, Adrian Peterson, AJ Green, Julio Jones, Frank Gore, and Stephen Gostkowski with a bench that would be starters in any other league. It's kind of unfair even, especially given that this is a pay league. But that's just the way the chips fell. And it's going to make the football season that much more fun.

See, the most appealing part of Fantasy Football is that you are no longer just invested in your favorite team, there are teams all across the league you care about -- or at least players. Watching football all day on Sunday remains exciting throughout, as I have my team so spread out. Even my bench players, I want them to do well, so I'm paying closer attention to those as well.

Fantasy Football has done the impossible and made football more fun.

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The Crimson Summer - AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Synopsis: Summers at Camp Watanka are never easy. The buildings are dilapidated and the heat can be scorching, but for the teenage cam...