Legend of the Dogman


In Northern Michigan's Lower Peninsula, perhaps the most well known legend is The Legend of the Dogman. 
The legend gained massive popularity in 1987 when some dude named Steve Cook wrote a song about the so-called Dogman sightings for an April Fool's prank, leading more and more people to call in to the radio station and report their own sightings. 
Except that further digging showed his prank actually had a bit of historical context, whether he knew about it or not.
People took super delight and the legend grew as things do when you write songs about them.

The legend is this: there is a creature out there that walks around on two legs and stands tall like a man but looks like a ferocious dog. Hence the name, "Dogman." He is said to come around in a ten year cycle, but can be seen outside of those ten years. Just, on that ten year cycle is when he is supposedly most active.



The Steve Cook Song: 



Some "sightings" have more merit than others. For a while, The Gable Film (it isn't interesting until the 2:25 mark) was considered by some to be proof of the beast's existence. Until it was demonstrated to apparently be a hoax

Evidently there is an entire episode of Monster Quest dedicated to this legend. I didn't know about the episode's existence until watching the video that analyzes and discredits The Gable Film (which I knew existed but never watched before). I didn't watch the Monster Quest episode straight through, I kind of bounced through it, and most of what I saw focuses on Wisconsin and their version of the creature.

As with any legend, reports vary and some are much more...er...believable, for lack of a better word.
Native Americans have stories about a Wendigo that roamed Northern Michigan. It is well documented that some early French explorers saw something in their travels they that referred to as the loup garou. However, I have not myself encountered any video or images that has me turned into Fox Mulder on this. One of the most popular images that is allegedly the Dogman, to me, is obviously a mountain lion. 
(Side note: the Michigan DNR for a l-o-n-g time has been emphatic about "there are no cougars in Michigan!" [think, "I did not have sex with that woman...] however, multiple people have reported seeing mountain lions over the years. The DNR, on their website, explains that yes, cougars used to be indigenous to Michigan, but right around the early 1900's were all hunted down and destroyed. (A win for animals and the environment. Sigh.) 
At any rate, this happened in June of this year, proving that yes, there are at least some mountain lions in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. 

Why am I sharing this story this year? 
Because the one cool thing is that the ten year cycle of the Dogman is said to end on every year ending in 7. As in '17, '37, '67, '87, '97, '07, and of course...2017. 
So if the Dogman is real and is on a ten year cycle of...feeding?...this would be the year he would be out and active. 

Happy Hunting!

Any creepy legends in your area? (Steff, I know you must have some!) 

Sunday Confessions October 15, 2017



I Confess: My apartment complex has a MSHDA (pronounced mish-duh) inspection coming up because half of the complex is normal rate and half is income based and rent controlled. So they're coming later this week to look things over. It's essentially the same as when big wigs from corporate decide to visit at a workplace. So we've all had to be cleaning like crazy people. I mean, I am a pretty clean person anyway, but we're talking scrub your pantry shelves, dust behind the refrigerator level of inspection. Groan. I'll be happy when the whole thing is over.

I Confess: Yeah. . . apparently my uterus thought it would be funny to have my period start eleven days early. So much grrr.

 tv surprise american horror story ahs fx GIF


I Confess: There is this manager at work. And I like all the managers well enough. But there is one, whenever he gives instruction or suggestions, on the surface I'm like: 

 yes thumbs up nun no problem nacho libre GIF


And in my head, I'm like: 


Sorry I didn't get these out earlier today. I'll be better prepared and have the link button up again next week. 

Sunday Confessions: October 7, 2017




I Confess: It is a very good thing the batteries in my scale died. I've been eating a lot less sugar (particularly refined) and I feel less bloated and such, but it's a good thing I cannot weigh myself because I am neurotic.

I Confess: As I type this, my cat keeps tapping my arm so I will stop typing and pet her. LOL Baby.

I Confess: Sometimes I wish I could write about work stuff, but I cannot. Alas. . .

I Confess: In the black hole the internet can sometimes be, I was looking for something Hufflepuff related and one click led to another (as is wont to happen when aimlessness and the internet meet), and I found myself reading Harry Potter fanfiction. I only read a couple little short stories, but still.






Film Friday: Little Evil

imdb/source

Brought to you by Eli Morgan, the same man who directed and co-wrote Tucker & Dale V. Evil,
Little Evil is an enjoyable horror comedy than leans a bit more to the comedy side. Not at violent as Tucker & Dale, with less gore, but still with a good "horror" sideline. References to Poltergeist, The Shining, and of course, The Omen are strong, with a handful of others tossed in less obviously. 

The main star is Adam Scott as Gary and Owen Atlas who plays Lucas, the titular "Little Evil." Evangeline Lily is present, definitely not the star of the show, but does shine in all of her scenes. I particularly enjoyed that her character, Samantha, was as far removed from Kate Austen as imaginable, and for that I am thankful, and I believe the difference will only serve to help Lily's career.

Let's take a look at the trailer: 



There is very little gore, (I don't actually remember gore, to be honest), the story is smooth and builds the conflict level-by-level.
It's a funny, enjoyable little movie that I would definitely watch again. The suspense factor is low, so I don't really think people who are non-horror fans or "don't like being scared" would have a problem with tension. As far as being kid-friendly, that's really a decision a parent should make, and would be on a case-by-case basis, pursuant to the sensitivity level of each kid and what they find humorous. (I would've laughed my ass off as a kid watching this. I also know a kid who would be terrified, so...)

It's a Netflix original, so it's available on Netflix, and probably will eventually be available on dvd/blu ray, but I don't think it is just yet.
Is it a fantastic piece of film making that is going to redefine a genre? LOL No. Is it a fun and silly shout-out to horror movies? Yup.

Heads Up: Some language, some violence. Lots of famous actors in small roles.

A-




Age of Anonymity


So you know how tumblr does "asks" and you can ask anonymously? That's one thing I wish blogger had.
So instead I did this: 




It's all over the internet, so I decided to have some fun and join in. (I'll be sharing it on facebook and instagram so you can use the link).
Now, yes, I checked and yes, the messages are truly anonymous, there is no way to figure out who sends what message. 
I made this available to anyone, whether they are a sarahah user or not. If you have thoughts, comments, or - moreover, a question (like a a tumblr anonymous ask), then be my guest and send it my way. 

* * *

Also, tumblr has those questionnaires that are long lists of things and people tell you which questions they want to know that answer to? 
Yeah, I just decided to pick out a few questions and answer them here, since I have about 2 tumblr followers and truthfully I'm not super active there anyway. (I don't actually find it particularly user friendly.) 
So, here they are. 

Name your 3 favorite pieces of jewelry:
  • I have a necklace with a yellow base and some tiny orange flower in it that I bought for like, six bucks. I've had to replace the chain part two or three different times, but I LOVE it, and when I wear it, I tend to fiddle with it when I'm nervous. 
  • A delicate silver ring with a pink heart on it. My dad had given it to my mom, even though it wasn't 'her', at all. When I was sixteen, I was super defiant my my mom & I were having a huge row. She gave it to me right before she moved out after she filed for divorce and I refused to hug her. To this day, I wear it when I feel like I need a little extra luck. (Silly, I know.) 
  • A small delicate pair of skull & crossbones earrings that I received as a birthday gift from a friend.

What accessories would come with a doll version of you?

     This is such a clever question. It would be: 
  • Burt's Bee's lip balm because I am never without it.
  • A book, obviously.
  • Cat, obviously.

Okay, that's a little piece of me. I am a little less anonymous.





Books I Gave Up On


1.) This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
author site/source


This Charming Man follows the "One Many, Many Women" formula. In this case, it is Paddy de Courcy, a local politician and he is getting engaged. The story follows three or four different women who have known him and through them, we get to know him. (Spoiler alert: he's actually a jackass, but that's not a really real spoiler, because any reader with a half of a half of a half of a brain would know that within the first couple pages.

Each woman does manage to have a distinct voice, which speaks well of the author. However. The first woman we meet, Lola, is no less than obsessed with him. Her voice is a not-at-all-subtle shout-out to Bridget Jones, except that Lola is not funny and doesn't have that kind, warm heart to make up for being so ditzy. In fact, Lola is nothing less than infuriating. She falls for his glib manner, thinks the sleazy, skeezy things he does are "romantic" and turns into a complete mess and nearly destroys her entire career from being so upset when he gets engaged to another woman - in spite of the fact that there was literally zero indication that he wanted her for anything other than sex. 

I normally love Marian Keyes, but this was a rare miss. 


2.) The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
author site/source

One word: 
BORING!!!



3.) The Taliban Shuffle by Kim Barker
source

Ugh. Groan. I was super intrigued by this book because I had watched Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (and hated it), but I figured obviously something had been lost in translation, the book would definitely be better and more thorough and - all the things.
And then the book was worse. 
For one thing, the way the book was written was all over the place, flitting around like a drunken butterfly. I knew more about Kim Barker's wardrobe preferences in the first five pages than anyone should EVER know in a book written by a professional journalist that is ostensibly about being on assignment in a war zone. 
All I could think while I read what I did of this book is that this is why people hate Americans. This is why people hate American women, and especially White American Women. It is one thing to tell a story about an experience and have it be filtered through your own view, or to relate a memoir about yourself with the added backdrop of a certain place or time. This book should be called "Kim Barker somehow manages to make everything in the Middle East about herself." 

Have you given up on any books? Any recommendations?
















Sunday Confessions October 1, 2017



I Confess: I am about five episodes in on Season 7 of The Walking Dead and I'm just not really feeling it. I will continue watching, but mostly I just spend the time less emotionally invested and more wanting to be in the middle of a Norman Reedus/Andrew Lincoln sandwich.

I Confess: At my cousin's wedding, there was this girl there. I have no idea who she was. But her energy was BOUNDLESS. Dancing, dancing, dancing. Not coked-up/methed-up energy, but just...she had energy to spare because she was naturally energetic. Jealous. 



And that was the moment I decided to change my eating ways. Random, odd, but true.

I Confess: Shawn & I called in sick to work yesterday and today because of a flu-ish thing. So last night when I called in for today, they were like "Are you going to go to the Dr.?" And I was all "No, it's Sunday, the Dr.'s office isn't open." (In a "duh" tone.) And they were like "Well, Urgent Care is open seven days a week."
Because our old GM was pretty decent and understanding (and sometimes yes, some asshats would take advantage of his good nature) about call-ins. Our new GM is like "If you call in, you better have a Dr.'s note.)
Now, I understand where he's coming from . . . to a point. We have a handful of people at our work who show up when they happen to feel like it call in a lot. Like, a lot. And then we have people who don't call in a lot but it does happen. So I'm going back to work tomorrow, haven't seen the boss yet, but in my mind, I'm like:
"I am NOT going to spend half an hour driving across town to Urgent Care to wait for three hours for a doctor to tell me - yup, it's a virus, you should be doing what you've been doing which is resting and drinking lots of fluids and not be up and spreading your germs to everyone here and also at your restaurant where you work with raw food all day."

In FACT, one time a long time ago, I went to a doctor I don't normally see when I had a super bad chest cold and I thought it might be bronchitis. And the Dr. was like "it's a virus. Drink lots of fluids and rest. Take something for the coughing if you need to." And then he said: "If you'd waited a few more days, you'd realize it's going to pass on its own and you don't need to come to the doctor for things like this."
So, yeah. Policy is policy, but asshattery is asshattery.
We shall see how tomorrow goes.

What are you 'fessing up to this week?








It, Then and Now

image source


(This review contains some spoilers if you have zero knowledge of the story. You can avoid these by skipping the videos.) 

I'm a little late with my review of It, but I wanted to share it anyway.

First of all, the 2017 film can be taken in itself with no prior experience of the story, and it still holds up well. In general, I feel this is necessary. There should be no "you have to be familiar with the source material" prerequisite in order to enjoy a movie.

However. . .
While a viewer can easily enjoy It 2017 on its own merit, I do believe that having read the book - or, at the very least, having seen the 1990 version - will help engender more enjoyment of the story and how it is presented.

* * * 

- It the book was first released in 1986.
- I first read it when I was about 15.
- The made-for-TV movie mini series when it was aired in 1990, when I was 10. (Scared the living crap out of me and I loved every minute of it.) I watched that several times as I grew up, read the book when I was 15, and enjoyed that quite a bit as well.

* * * 

First, let's look at the 1990 mini-series.

The two most iconic scenes are: 
1.) The introduction to the story when young Georgie Denbrough meets Pennywise: 



This is perhaps the single most well-known moment in the entire It universe, on any media platform.

Now, when Georgie asks "Do they float?" (which is in the book), I have to chuckle because OBVIOUSLY they float, kid. The narrative stickler in me wants to have had Georgie at least maybe be shown with a balloon that was deflated or just dying out and he was bummed, so he'd care if the balloons were floating. But for a kid to just ask "Do they float?" is like if Pennywise said "There's water down here, too." And Georgie being all "Is it wet?" Dur. But, I digress. The line is in the book and it's an otherwise perfect scene and Tim Curry does it brilliantly. 

The second most well known scene that people will refer to, generally when referencing the brilliance of Tim Curry's acting, is when adult Richie Tozier has returned to Derry and is encountering Pennywise again for the first time. 



A lot of people make fun of the 1990 mini series, and surely, there is enough to mock. But it also does a great job at what it does do. I think often people forget that in 1990 the restrictions of what could be aired on TV were a lot tighter - in language, violence, and sex. In fact, back in those days, this was considered pretty mature content. Additionally, they told the entire story one long movie, so a lot of stuff had to be compressed.

All in all, I enjoy the 1990 TV mini series and yes, it still gives me scares at times. I believe that horror movies we watch as a child often have a bit of a hold over us more than those we see as adults.(Not 100%, but as a a general rule.)

* * * 

So how is It in 2017, anyway? 
Well, it's good.
It includes plenty of little easter eggs for fans of the book, and the creep factor is turned up to eleven. The child stars all perform well and are exceptionally believable as kids you could have known in school. 
This movie is a perfect example of where a good story becomes better for the influence of the technical departments, and in my opinion, it is in films like this where they deserve recognition for the role they play in creating the overall effect. 
(Remember when Speed won the Oscar for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing? Yeah, perfect example. I mean, I love Keanu Reeves more than the average person, but that movie would have tanked if it weren't for the brilliance of the sound team.) 
In It, the screenwriting is good, the pacing is excellent, but what really stands out is the lighting, the cinematography, the costumes, set design, make-up effects (and I'm not even talking about Pennywise's make-up, I'm talking about the general stuff.) The effect is full immersion back into the eighties for those of us who grew up as children during that era, and the way Pennywise's eyes, are done, the way he is lit - the lighting in general - is brilliant. 

The  movie isn't perfect, of course. It has a few things that were, I would say. . . overdone. Beverly's bathroom scene is actually done to significantly better effect in the 1990 version. As I was sitting in the theater watching the modern bathroom scene, all I could think was "Did they suddenly decide to bypass subtlety and go into a Quentin Tarantino film?" 
There were two other scenes that were perhaps, too big. Too much. My chief complaint though, was the bathroom scene. It does not, however, ruin the entire film. 


* * * 

The last thing I want to comment on is the differences between the 1990 film and the 2017. The first and main question I tend to get about the new one is - "Is it better than the old one?"
Well, yes and no. 
It is certainly scarier, and has much more production value. It is more violent, and has more gore. But is it BETTER? 
Well, it's hard to quantify. They are two different animals. One is a fairly small-budget made-for-TV movie from a time when the FCC had much more strident regulations than they do now. The second is a large-scale theater release with a much bigger budget and perhaps, more at stake.
In 1990, the story was "kind of" focused on the Losers Club heroes, but with Tim Curry as your villain, of course he's going to become the focal point, and he steals every scene he's in, making the audience clamor for more Pennywise
In the 2017 film, while Bill Skarsgård is amazing, the story is really about The Losers and their lives, and the story is about them.
The differences can be summed up as: 
1990 - Tim Curry has fun terrorizing some small town kids.
2017 -  Small town kids are terrorized by an evil 'clown.'

It's like comparing Heath Ledger's Joker to Jack Nicholson's. Different movies, different stories, different grit, different approach.
So is 2017 better? No. It is scarier, it has more production value, but it's also not really even the same genre of film-making. 

(Info below is for 2017 only.)

Grade: A-

Heads Up: Violence, Gore, Language, Scares, Awesome Nostalgia. 



Sunday Confessions August 13, 2017




I Confess: I'm still not 100% happy with my Sunday Confessions buttons. Some are ok, but I haven't made one that I LOVE and want to use just all the time. *Sigh.* 

I Confess: I've been super-excessively-tired lately, and therefore sleeping a lot more than normal. 

I Confess: I've been having trouble focusing on reading. I start a book and then just lose interest. Maybe I need better reading material? 

I Confess: So I'm going to this meeting for work on Wednesday, and the attire is "business casual." So I had to buy a shirt specifically for this meeting so I could be "business casual." Because jeans and a Star Wars T-shirt somehow doesn't do it. This says something about my wardrobe. 






Film Friday: Resident Evil: Retribution

source/imdb

Oh, where to begin? Retribution opens with an admittedly cool slow-mo reverse battle scene to show what happened once Evil Jill Valentine and the Umbrella Commandos reached the Arcadia. (Remember, the "it's a trap" ship from the very end of Afterlife). After this, we get our Alice Intro. which provides a quick recap of the previous four films, but this time steering the wheel toward the Red Queen as being the villain of the whole thing, as opposed to the men who run Umbrella.
(More on this later.) 

And then we get the Milla Jovovich-waking-up-somewhere-strange standard. And wouldn't you know it? This whole thing has been a dream. Alice is actually happily married to Carlos Oliveira, she is the sexiest dressed-down housewife in the history of ever, and together they have a (for some reason deaf) daughter named - lol - Becky - and they all live super happily in the Raccoon City Suburbs. 
Oh, but then zombies attack and, well, shit hits the fan, Becky hides and Alice dies.
Bye!

But wait!

Cut to: And we are treated to ANOTHER Alice-waking-up-somewhere-strange scene and we see she is now in some sort of Umbrella-owned-location. 
Oh, ok. 
She ultimately escapes and runs down the hall to...
Tokyo? 
Yes, she's in Tokyo, and an overhead voice is "initiate Tokyo sequence." Suddenly the opening credits scene from Afterlife is on repeat, and an outbreak happens. I actually love the expression on Alice's face here: she's all Are You Fucking Kidding Me


There is an epic fight scene and it's a damn good thing Alice doesn't have any super powers anymore - no super strength, speed, coordination, any of that. (I'm not sure Paul W.S. Anderson knows what "no superpowers" means.) 

Then time for a bit of exposition! Alice runs into Ada Wong and it turns out she and Wesker (duh! of course he wasn't dead!) were the ones who hacked into the Umbrella mainframe and freed Alice (also providing the zombie fighting S&M outfit).  

Turns out, Alice is ACTUALLY in Sealab Russia, deep beneath the ocean. Seems this is actually the really-real Umbrella HQ (as opposed to the HQ from the beginning of Afterlife). This is where they've been doing simulations on the viral outbreaks. (Yeah, they're still studying it, trying to "control" it. [Make no nevermind that we are now approximately six years into the global zombie apocalypse and there are barely any humans left, making the world of The Walking Dead look downright overpopulated. But, I guess they do have to have something to occupy the time.]

source


Wesker is like "Yeah, I don't work for Umbrella anymore; things have gotten a little out of hand. I want to help you, and let's be honest - you need me if you ever want to see the surface again.
So Ada and Alice team up to make their way through the various simulation environments.

Meanwhile... Wesker has also recruited Luther (who is still magically alive from the previous film), as well as Leon Kennedy and Barry Burton to break in and rendezvous with Alice & Ada to assist them on their way out. 

Alice and Ada make their way through the New York City environment, which is designed as a testing field for The Executioner. (This time there's two!) 
They quickly dispatch those and make their way into the Suburban test environment where they come upon a dead Alice. 
What?
Yup. That whole "dream/not a dream" sequence where Alice is a happy suburban wife and mother? Well, I'll let Ada explain: 




Other "basic models" include: Carlos, Rain, and the Captain Guy from the first movie so you can see them playing both good guy and bad guy roles. 

There's more gun fights and in "Moscow," we get to watch the men battling a horde of Las Plagas Undead, which are basically the 28 Days Later version of undead. Stronger, smarter, faster, able to use tools, etc.

Say what you will, but at least he enjoys his job.


There is more conflict, more monsters, a giant licker. Alice and the boys team up and head toward the exit. Some of our remaining characters die in a gunfight, there is a mini boss battle with the giant licker, and eventually they make it to the surface. 
Yay!
All is well. Sigh. The End.

Nope.
Evil Jill Valentine and Evil Rain have caught up to our heroes and they have the final boss battle fight with Jill and Alice fighting and Evil Rain fighting Luther and Leon. 
Eventually, after much fighting, Alice is like "OMG, Jill is being controlled by Umbrella with one of those scarab things on her chest and how the HELL have I not seen this before since it's right out there in the open more obvious than her face?" She pulls off the scarab bug thing and saves Jill, there is another battle between her and Evil Rain. 
Evil Rain lands a punch directly on her breastplate that cracks it and her ribs, the same punch having killed Luther just a moment earlier. But Alice (who is significantly smaller than Luther and still (ostensibly) has no super powers,) manages to survive. Oi. 

Y U No Meme | Y YOU NO USE LOGIC | image tagged in memes,y u no | made w/ Imgflip meme maker


Evil Rain is ultimately destroyed, Jill Valentine makes a full recovery in a matter of minutes and our remaining heroes (and Becky), are helicoptered to their next destination - The White House.
Wesker tells Alice that humanity is making its last stand against The Red Queen, who is now determined to wipe out all humanity, not save humanity from the T-Virus as she was trying to do in the first film. 
Um, ok. Sure. At this point....whatever. 
So Super-Wesker injects the virus back into Alice and she becomes Super-Alice again.
And our movie pans out with Alice, Jill, Ada, Leon, and Wesker standing on the top of The White House, looking out at everything and the whole place is under full siege by mega lickers, plagas undead, flying zombie monster creatures, and whatever else. Wesker is all "this is humanity's last stand, the beginning of the end." 
And they are looking out on this and that's where the movie ends.

It's not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. However, the fight scenes are better, and it's more fun and more evenly paced than Afterlife. All in all, a ridiculous, crappy, fun-if-you-enjoy-zombie-shit kinda movie. Also, Wesker's speech, I swear is getting more enunciated and dramatic with each film. 

Ties to the Game: Ada Wong, Barry Burton, and Leon Kennedy. Also Evil Jill Valentine. 
Unfortunately, movie Leon is nothing compared to game & animated movie Leon. Such a waste of a potentially badass role.

C-

Heads Up: Violence, monsters, limited gore, bizarro land logic and continuity.



Sunday Confessions: July 30, 2017 (A bit late.)




I Confess: I miss blogging desperately! I feel like I'm back. I don't want to make excuses. I was going through a serious depression funk, and when I started coming out of it, it was all work exhaustion. I enjoy my job, but the nature of it turns me into Lazy Lazerton after work. 



I Confess: I have only been to the beach once this summer. (It was awesome!) But seriously...once. And part of me is already like "Come on, September!" 
I don't want to miss the sun. I want to enjoy the summer while it is here. 
But that's the problem with working in an industry & city where summer is the busiest season except for Christmas. You don't really get to enjoy it as much as you'd like. Mostly I just want all the little shits kids to go back to school. Also, Halloween. 



I Confess: I am pleased to be back blogging. Dude. I need this connection and way to get things out into the world. I actually think it's good for my mental health. I'm not even kidding.

Image result for friends gif


Well, that's it for today. Next week I am planning to add the link-up do-dad at the bottom of the page. :) 


Film Friday: Resident Evil: Afterlife



source/imdb


So Afterlife picks up (mostly) right where Extinction ends. We get our standard Alice Intro., and then are treated to approximately 10 minutes of Alice Clones attacking Umbrella's underground HQ beneath Japan. As far as fight scenes go, it's not bad, per se. But as far as advancing the plot is concerned, it doesn't add much. It's clearly there for no other reason than 1.) The theater release was 3D and 2.) To pad the run time. The takeaway from the intro is: all the Alice Clones end up dead, and the Real Alice is now just another run-of-the-mill person. No more super powers.[Also: Wesker is the funniest fucker ever. I love him.]

* * *

Then we have Alice arriving in Alaska looking for Claire Redfield and the other survivors that she sent off toward the mythical Arcadia. She wastes screen time looking around (mysteriously in full date night make-up) before finally coming upon Claire, who attacks her. Why? Well, in a nutshell . . .


Creepy control device that is obviously what would be the love child
of blue scarabs from The Mummy and the Chest Bursters from Alien.


After stopping at Sephora to get Claire a makeover, they fly back to the mainland and happen upon the first sign of life they've seen in long time - a prison that is surrounded by zombies. Alice crash lands and we meet our new group of...heroes Dead Meats.
They encounter Chris Redfield, played by Wentworth Miller [<<
They spend the next few minutes just dinking around, letting us learn the names and previous occupations of our Dead Meats before they are put through the grinder.

Then, plot advancement! These assholes show up:

Majini Undead


Oh no! Our heroes are all, "Well, crap. We totes can't stay here anymore. And since that big 'ole ship over there on the coast is the REAL Arcadia - for REALSIES, we should try to go there." 



 scarymovie GIF




For absolutely no reason except he's kinda cool and the plot says so, The Executioner, a.k.a., The Axeman, shows up. One of the best things to come out of RE 5, I have no trouble understanding why they put him in for the looking cool factor. And he does serve to beat down the prison doors. However, he has no backstory, no origin. At one point they just randomly show him walking down the street and showing up at the prison and beating his way in.

He IS a cool looking boss, both in games and movie - no doubt about it. And he does serve to up the urgency factor because now not only are our characters like "we can't stay here," but they're like "Ok, SERIOUSLY, NOT KIDDING, WE REALLY CAN'T STAY HERE."
But no explanation....AT ALL. Come on.

***Note: If you'd like to see The Executioner's Introduction in the game, you can do that here.***
And here is a video of battling him, with helpful tips.


* * * 

So, in the last portion of our movie, we find ourselves on the "really for real this time" Good Ship Arcadia. And wouldn't you know it. . . 




Well....



So they run around the Arcadia and would you believe, the one behind it all is Wesker? [See above gif.] Wesker is now a master of Matrix Bullet Time and the final boss battle of this movie ensues. Wesker ends up dead. (Anyone who has played the games knows that Wesker is never dead. Even when he's dead, he's not dead.) 

The movie caps off with the remaining survivors aboard the Arcadia being all Happy-Happy Joy-Joy until the end credits cut scenes show us Jill Valentine is back, (still played by Sienna Guillory, but now sporting Jill's RE 5 look. 

source
Also: I tried but was unable to trace this from pinterest back to the original source.
If this image belongs to you, let me know so I can give proper credit. 

So now Jill is blonde and as we see, wearing an evil Scarab/Chest Burster thing that means she is under Jafar's Umbrella's control and she's currently evil. And her ship full of commandos are all preparing to attack the Arcadia and all the survivors on board, with Alice being the primary target. 

And that is where we end the fourth installment in the RE movie franchise. Thus far, it's the worst in the series. 
There are SO SO SO MANY problems with this one that I don't even know where to begin listing them.
The pacing is terrible, the acting is bad. Alice and Claire are somehow (about five or six years into the zombie apocalypse now), running around with full eyeliner, hair gel, lipstick, the works. Motivation, explanation...these things no longer exist and we now live in a world where everything happens because Paul W.S. Anderson just says so, that's why. Logic doesn't exist, so don't even go down that dark path for fear of getting lost forever. 

It has moments. Fun little moments that are enjoyable enough. Every once in a while I will have this on as some kind of background distraction if I'm jonesing for that specific type of stupidity. But I still have to fast forward the boring beginning stuff. 
The single best part about this movie is Albert Wesker. Every scene he is in is just delightful. 


Ties to the game: Claire Redfield again. Chris Redfield. The Executioner. The Majini Undead. Albert Wesker becoming Super Wesker! complete with glowing eyes and sunglasses-throwing-action. Zombie dogs that somehow split in half...? Jill Valentine's look and being under control. The actual PLOT is so far removed from the game.

D-

Heads Up:  Violence, Monsters, Gore, Uncontrollable Ridiculousness, Douchebaggery, Terminal Boredom.



Sunday Confessions April 9, 2017




I Confes: Watching Forensic Files makes me feel smart. :) 

I Confess: Still no job, but still looking.

I Confess: I've been reading young adult books (not even thought-provoking or challenging ones) in the bathtub and before bed. They are super easy, super quick, require almost zero brain power, I can get in and get (of the book) without being any transition time or re-reading of pages or "oh yeah, that's what was happening" and they are fun. (Example: the book version of I Know What You Did Last Summer.)






Film Friday: Resident Evil: Extinction

source/imdb



RE: Extinction starts (5) years after the events of Apocalypse.  We are again gifted with the Alice Narration Intro which recaps the events of the previous 2 films. During this introduction, we learn that (apparently) the T-Virus hasn't just destroyed mankind; the entire earth itself has been turned into a desert wasteland - rivers & lakes have dried up, forests have withered and died. The world is not a vampire, the world is a desert. 

{My first question is... why? I would get it if the film took place in a location that normally would have lots of forest or water but they needed to film in the desert for cost and decided to jam that in for explanation. 
But the movie takes place in the desert. Like, the setting IS IN THE DESERT. You don't have to try to explain the sand, Paul W.S. Anderson. We get why there is sand.}

But ok. Whatever. Moving on. We know Alice still has her psionic powers because the movie says so. We are again given a brief intro of all our non-Alice main characters, supporting characters, and obvious dead meat on legs. 
Back for round 2 is Carlos and LJ from the previous film. Yay! 
And...our main supporting protagonist - ladies and gentleman, it's Claire Redfield! Yay! And who will be our Claire Redfield? 
She's fought evil houses, death itself, and even had her own fitness empire. . . .Ali Larter who is now running a convoy for survivors of the zombie apocalypse. 

Alice eventually hooks up with the convoy and Carlos is all expostionally "Hey, why'd you split years ago?" and she gives him the "It's not you, it's me; I'm being tracked by an evil corporation," speech.
Aww, pointless love story. 

Dr. Isaacs (minor villain from Apocalypse), has taken over and is lead villain in Extinction. He has created hundreds of clones of Project Alice and, under the "supervision" of Albert Wesker (via hologram) ostensibly been using these clones to figure out how Alice's blood bonded with the T-Virus so he can create a "sort-of cure" and domesticate the existing zombies. It doesn't go well: 


LOL, Dr. Isaacs, you so crazy. 


The failed experiment does give him a new idea though - if we make super zombies and unleash a bunch of them on Super Psionic Alice and bring her in so we can experiment on Original Alice blood. (The xerox Alice's just aren't cutting the mustard, lol.)

And while the convoy and Alice battle the super zombies, this happens. (Dammit, LJ, don't you remember anything? - Sigh. Every zombie film has that one asshole who is a bite-hider. Although I do think that AFTER FIVE YEARS, the people in the convoy should have recognized the signs of infection before he was able to turn. But whatever. Logic is applying less and less.)

So the movie is essentially them moving throughout the desert as a group, fighting zombies and birds along the way, losing people, and deciding they must have a goal, and that goal is going to be Arcadia, a small town in Alaska that is by all accounts, isolated and infection-free. Score!
So, after sending Claire and company off on a helicopter to the haven Arcadia, Alice breaks into another one of Umbrella's secret underground facilities to get a bit of revenge on Dr. Isaacs and anyone else she might be mad at.

Inside the secret facility, Alice meets the White Queen who is, essentially the "good" version of little girl AI. Le sigh. And the White Queen is like "yeah, you can totally cure the T-Virus now that you're here, except. . . one small problem."

Small problem.

Yeah, "small problem" being Dr. Isaacs has gone full mad scientist and has turned himself into a Tyrant.
Boss battle ensues and of course, Alice is eventually victorious, after telling off the good doctor when he makes a whole "I am the future of the world, I am indestructible," speech and she's like "Nope, actually, you're just another asshole."
Right on, sister.
But Alice isn't alone. She is saved by one of her clones, and they announce that they (and all the Alice clones) are coming for Albert Wesker and all the Umbrella cronies.

And that's where we end this installment. While the original was silly and an actual analysis of it would reveal SO MUCH WRONG, it is at least straightforward and coherent.
Number 2, Apocalypse, is ridiculous but at least kinda fun, and while there are 8 million continuity errors and plot holes, it's an enjoyable enough popcorn/background movie.
Extinction finishes off the primary plot that has been driving the first few movies and moves on to start following a new main plot line - the Albert Wesker is evil line. It takes itself too seriously, but not seriously enough to be unintentionally funny.
There are some enjoyable bits and pieces, but they are few and far between. If choosing to watch this movie, it's definitely funnier if you've been imbibing (something, anything), and have your "this shit is funny" hat on.

Ties to the game: Claire Redfield is one of the two playable characters in the Resident Evil 2 game. Tyrant (in various forms) is a common boss creature faced in the games.  I am honestly not sure beyond that. If there are others, they are fairly subtle.

D

Heads Up:  Violence, blood, gore, language, monsters.







Sunday Confessions: April 2, 2017



I Confess: I am frustrated and grumpy and everything sucks. I had to leave my job as prep cook because my shoulder injury became "literally can't lift my arm" and I haven't been able to find anything new yet, despite applying at several places. Fuck fuck fuck. I feel like every time things start to improve a little, they fall back a lot.


I Confess: I am at that point in my menstrual cycle (3, 4 days until start) when it's like "Give me all the food!" (Also: it is not lost on me that PMS contributes majorly to my attitude and emotions. I mean, life does suck, but PMS is like making it all bold, italic, and highlighted.)











Film Friday: Resident Evil: Apocalypse

source/imdb
(As previously stated, in order to do a proper review and breakdown of this series, there are going to be some spoilers.) 

So Apocalypse starts off right where the original ended. The credits intro is Alice rehashing the plot of the first movie via video screen, Cut To:  It's a hot summer day, and life is calm and perfect in Raccoon City.



* * *

 Then it's time for intros to the new non-Alice main characters:
source

LJ




We also meet our further supporting cast, villains, and obvious dead meat characters.

The story line of RE 2 is pretty straightforward:

The Hive has been reopened and the Raccoon City outbreak has happened. Raccoon City is (evidently) sealed off (I don't actually know how, it just is), except for Raven's Gate Bridge. Eventually our puppet master villain, Major Cain, says "screw this, lock everyone in," - but wait! - Dr. Ashford (who, in this movie is the creator of the T-Virus), wants to get his daughter, Angie, out of lockdown city for obvious reasons.
[Note: Not only do they have the zombies and other monsters running around, but the city is set to be destroyed at sun up.]

So Dr. Ashford does the movie version of hacking and uses the magic of [the government is spying on you] and (get this - payphones, lol), to get in touch with people (our main characters) still inside the city and the rest of the movie is essentially an escort mission with an added bonus boss creature. You see, Major Cain wants to see Celebrity Death Match: T-Virus Edition, and has unleashed the Nemesis to hunt down Alice and any STARS members during said escort mission.



Shit happens, fight scenes with club music on meth happen. Our characters have their limited (but occasionally fun) development and exactly how stupid are you? moments.




Eventually the final showdown between Alice and the Nemesis happens, (they even bring in stadium lights - fun for the whole family!) Cain gets his, and our heroes escape (only to crash in the Arklay Mountains, no less).
Alice is back in the Umbrella Labs of Evil and is essentially a toddler, both physically and mentally. But she is gaining her physical and mental strength back at "a geometric rate." Which makes Dr. Isaacs happy. He's all, "Hey, do you remember anything? Do you remember who you are?"
And 30 seconds of screen time/"geometric rate" growth, she's like "Yeah, I'm Alice, and you're the fucker who has been experimenting on me and also created the Nemesis Project." She is understandably upset.

There is an escape and we learn she now has telekinetic powers.

Not, however, the intelligence and foresight to actually - you know - kill the doctor.


So now she's "Program Alice." She has evolved from Security Chief Normal Human Alice to Super Alice and at the end of movie 2, she is now "Super-Duper Alice." 

Plot holes abound and there are continuity errors, but again, the movie is straightforward and fun enough. It's super light and full of action, a good on in the background/nothing else on/home sick from work pick. It's not a smart movie by any means; if you played a drinking game pointing all the laughable points, you'd be in a coma by the end. But again . . . fun.

Ties to the game:
Several nods. Nemesis is a direct character. Dr. Ashford is sort of a combination of all of the RE Canon (games, books) doctors who are credited with various parts of the creation of the T-Virus, one of them being a Dr. Ashford. His daughter, Angie Ashford, is somewhat of a comparison to the little girl in the game RE 2, who is also the daughter of an Umbrella scientist.
Jill Valentine is obvious, being one of the two primary playable characters in the original game, references to STARS members and some of the supporting, i.e., dead meat characters, are also supporting characters throughout the game.
Apocalypse is kind of a combination of the games RE 2 & 3, but by no means a faithful adaptation.

C

Heads Up: Violence, Blood, Gore, Language, Monsters



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