Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: Edge Of Tomorrow

There's a moment early on in the movie Edge Of Tomorrow where I found myself questioning the movie's logic.  Tom Cruise's character, Major William Cage, is rather forcibly put into the front lines of a major battle against alien invading forces known as "Mimics."  Once at the base, despite his protests that he is an officer, he is treated like a private and nobody seems to recognize him.

This, despite the fact that as near as I can tell, his character has been the major public face of the war effort for some time now.  SOMEBODY should have recognized his face or name.  Someone should have said something.  Even if it was just "hey, I've seen your face on television."

Of course, the movie also doesn't bother explaining why the most "elite" soldier the collective armed forces has is also stationed at this same battle, considering it's supposed to be "relatively quiet."  Maybe it's just a shoddy military.

Anyway, this is my review of Edge of Tomorrow.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Planet Hulk

I've never been a huge Hulk fan.

He's had some great moments that I've loved.  But when it comes to reading stories about a guy established to be stronger than anybody and throw him against guys who are, by definition, not as strong, the stories can get rather boring rather quickly.  It usually boils down to "gee, will the Hulk get mad and smash the problem?"

Spoiler alert:  He usually gets mad and smashes the enemy.

Now, when the Planet Hulk story hit comics, promising something brand new that had never been done before, my eyebrow raised slightly.  They tried making him smart, they tried making him a gangster, they tried reversing it so when he got angry he turned into Bruce Banner.  

So what could they possibly do that was new?

"We're going to make Gladiator, starring the Hulk and a bunch of aliens!"

Here was my reaction.

To put it lightly, I was underwhelmed.

However, I was rather surprised to later learn that they were able to take "Gladiator...IN SPACE!" and make it into an actually well-received story.  In fact, it was one of the better stories to come out involving the Hulk in quite some time.

So when they decided to make an animated movie out of the storyline, I thought it might be worth watching.  Someday.  At some point.

That was 2010.

I'm...a bit behind.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Day Twelve of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

Here it is.  Day twelve.

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "I can't wait to find out how a "calling bird" is actually some kind of fish."

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's not a fish.

"So then what is a "calling bird?""

It's a sexist nickname given to old-time telephone operators.

"Why, is it 1915 London already?  Here, let me transfer you to (555) GET-LOST."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day Eleven Of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

If someone told me they were getting me a bunch of Pipers, I know what I'd hope they were getting me.

You know what?  I'd be happy with just one.  I don't need to be selfish.
However, I somehow don't expect that the song is about the heartbreaker from Coyote Ugly and Covert Affairs.

I almost suspected that it might reference one of the animals known as a "piper."  Not the least of which is a New Zealand fish.

I wish I was kidding.  This is, what, the third one that's gone to fish?

However, most people think of the sandpiper when they think of animals and "pipers."  Well, that and a certain Pied Piper.

But out of all the different Pipers out there, how much would some of them cost compared to hire people who play "the pipes?"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Day Ten Of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas


What on Earth can I do to talk about geese that wouldn't already have been done before?  I could make a lot of references to Goose in Top Gun, but there's really only so much you can do with Anthony Edwards.  I could discuss goose down and compare it to other means of crafting pillows, but, well, the bit I've read so far just isn't really that interesting.

I guess I can go the completely nerdy route.  Let's talk about one of the best video game bosses of all time:  Geese Howard.

Geese Howard is amazing.  First off, he's a villain whose story connects to the primary hero's storyline, something many video game tournament fighters tend to forget about these days.  Having killed the lead character's father, we had (as one person I know put it) "the count to Terry Bogard's Inigo Montoya."

My personal favorite part was that Geese used akido.  It's one of the (if not the) most defensive martial arts in the world, so you have the big bad boss of the video game whose entire combat routine is based around "no, you try to hit me and see what happens."  He was built to be ridiculously good at countering attacks players would throw at him, and would casually stop you in the middle of an attack, pick you up, and throw you across the screen with ease.

In a game series where story is pretty much "let's throw a whole bunch of characters at a wall and see which ones stick" he's managed to maintain a healthy presence in video games from SNK for almost two decades now.  Multiple games review sites have counted him as one of the "hardest bosses to beat" in a fighting game, and those weren't stated in the past, it's a reputation that continues to this day.

So, that pretty much covers our geese a layin' suckas d-

Hold on.  There's something else we can discuss.

You're not giving someone these geese for them to keep as pets or eat.  You're giving them for the eggs.

Let's talk goose eggs.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Day Nine Of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

Okay, yesterday pretty much fell apart into sex, eye candy, and Polish sex and eye candy.

Which embarasses me, because there was something I knew about milk maids that I found fascinating.

See, people have heard the phrase "as smooth as a milk maid's skin."  What they might not know is that milk maids would catch a disease known as "cowpox," which has no real serious symptoms, but could actually make you immune to smallpox.  Milkmaids would typically have none of the "pockmarked" complexion issues common to smallpox survivors.

It was actually that observation that helped lead to the development of the first vaccine.

See, this is what happens when I let myself get distracted by- okay, no, not going back there.  Focus, Erik, focus.

Anyway, we're going for something a bit more classy this time.  Instead of just sex, we're looking at romance.

We're looking at turtle doves.

Specifically, European Turtle Doves.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Day Eight Of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

The world record for the most milk yielded from a cow is from a cow named Smurf owned by La Ferme Gillette Inc Dairy Farm in Canada.  The farm is located in Embrun, Ontario.  She gave up 478,163 pounds of milk as of February 27, 2012.

The world record for most milk extracted in two minutes belongs to Maurizio Paschetta, who extracted 4.5 liters from cows in Saluzzo, Italy on May 6, 2012.

Most milk in 30 minutes?  Jose Maria Serna Fernandex in Madrid, Spain, got 35.5 liters (9.37 gallons) in a half hour.

The world record for most people gathered in one area dressed as french maids is 264 people and was achieved at a gaming event at the Shanghai World Financial Center on January 19, 2013.

So what does this have to do with anything?

Obviously, we're getting into the eight maids a milking.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Day Seven Of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

You know, if it wasn't for the fact that almost nothing else makes sense in the "The Twelve Days Of Christmas is used to help kids remember important things in the Catholic faith" system, I might buy that "Three French Hens" is supposed to represent "Three Wise Men."

It's pretty much the only one that really rhymes.

However, it appears that people who (mistakenly) think that the song is used that way believe the hens actually represent the three gifts of the magi.  Because when I think "gold, frankincense, and myrrh," I think "chickens."

I was going to put a picture here, but Google Image Search made me uncomfortable.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Day Six Of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

Twelve drummers drumming.  I suppose, in a way, you're being courteous by having the loudest gift come last just so your neighbors aren't complaining, but much like the ladies dancing and leaping lords, you have to ask yourself, "what sort of quality am I looking for?"  Do you want a high school kid who picked up drums because they already had too many trumpets, or are you looking for one of the best?

Suppose money's no object.  You want to hire the most expensive drummer in the world.  Here's a hint, it's not Dave Grohl, Phil Collins, or Don Henley (though those are numbers 2, 3, and 4).

Think...English.  Think "silly name."

 First off, Lars Ulrich is Danish.  You could argue he's the world's most famous Dane in- no, I'm stopping this sentence early so there's no chance of posting a picture of Dane Cook.

Anyway, it's Ringo Starr.

Or as he was known back in the day, "the guy that Seth Meyers will kinda look like in the future."
Ringo Starr's personal worth is approximately 300 Million dollars.  Not too shabby.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Day Five Of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

Fiiiiiive gooooolden riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings.

If I didn't do this one today, I think I'd be ashamed of myself.  It's pretty much obligatory.

Now, there are two thoughts that were bouncing through my mind as I tried to think of a new way of looking at gold rings:

1)  If a circle is filled in and a ring has an empty center, what do you call a square with an empty center?

2)  How could I have not done a Time Lord reference during my Lords A Leaping day?  I'm a terrible nerd.

And beyond that...

I'm tapped.

I can't think of anything clever about "golden rings."  Doughnuts?  No.  The One Ring times five?  No.  The Olympic rings dipped in gold?  No.

Nothing feels right.

So we're hitting up gold ring (disambiguation) on Wikipedia to see what we get.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Day Four Of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

I really want to email these people and ask them two basic questions.

First off, there's an "eFowl?"  Seriously?  eToys went bankrupt, got bought out by KayBee Toys, which then went bankrupt and I think everything went over to Toys R Us.

Secondly, there's really not much point in that first column if you can't buy that many.  Why have it there?

Okay, obviously we're talking about partridges and pear trees.

Okay, the obvious joke is done, let's get to work.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Day Three Of Nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

At four months old, the cockerel (or rooster) is like a teenage boy with no control of his hormones.  Many species of bird starts the breeding process within the first year of life, but swans are special.  Typically, they start to think about mating some time between the ages of three and four.  They tend to mate in the spring/early summer time, and you can usually expect up to a dozen eggs to be fertilized by the male.

It's not uncommon for only a few of the babies to survive to adulthood, but it's also not uncommon for many of them to survive, depending on where the nest is located and what predators are around.

So, if you want seven swans a swimming (or, depending on how you read the song, forty-two swans-a-swimming) what does that entail?

Well, once again, we have to look at British royalty.

For the record, their babies might not be -as cute- as ducklings, but they're pretty darn cute.
The Queen, at any given time, can claim ownership of all unmarked swans in open water.  A "marked" swan typically has a nick taken out of the webbing between its toes, letting people know "this is already owned by someone else, but it's probably safer to deal with me than be accused of poaching the Queen's birds."   However, swans are serious business in England, where they're considered a native species.  There's even an annual event called Swan Upping that involves doing a census of "the queen's birds."

So trying to grab some wild ones in England can get you in pretty serious trouble.

But what if you want to buy some from a breeder in the United States?

Well, then you might need to pay attention to your local laws.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Day Two of nitpicking The Twelve Days Of Christmas

I had no idea prostitutes, strippers, escorts, hookers, or any other "frowned on by the church ladies" profession for young women were so uptight about declaring their earnings.

You learn something new every day.

Now, obviously, the writer of the song The Twelve Days Of Christmas probably didn't intend for the "nine ladies dancing" to represent "ladies of the night" or anything along those line.  He probably meant some highly respectable ladies who are willing to be bought for four nights (the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth days of Christmas) and perform for the person's true love.

Or maybe he just wanted to hire the Rockettes.

Either way, let's look at some options.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Oh hey, would you look at that, it's December. Time for a song.

Last year I spent the entire month of December nitpicking Christmas carols (I'd try to link to each one, but it would pretty much mean every word in this sentence is a hyperlink and that would just be terrible).

There is one thing that a family member suggested which caught my attention though.  Something I regularly give too much thought to (as opposed to everything else I give too much thought to) is the song The Twelve Days Of Christmas.

This song, every time I hear it, has me questioning so much about its logic and structure.

For instance, if you go based on how the song is actually written, by the end of it your true love gave you just as many partridges in pear trees as he did drummers drumming.  I really, really hope you like pears.  And partridges.

Now, PNC Wealth Management has already done a lot of the hard work and came up with the "definitive" list of how much each item would cost (as well as what it cost back in 2013, they've been doing this for about 30 years now).  It's interesting to note that the price of swans has skyrocketed in the past year.  Something I just happen to know is that swans are rather hard to reliably breed and don't tend to do anywhere near as well as chickens, so the supply tends to vary a lot.   Overall, though, there aren't that many changes, and the price difference total between last year and this year is approximately one percent.


I'm pretty sure we can go deeper into this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Reaction to the new Star Wars trailer.

On Facebook I recently posted this:

That...really pretty much sums it up.

But I admit, I've been hurt before.  There was a time when the following had me convinced everything was going to be okay and that I was justified in my nerdly excitement.

Yeah, remember those days?  I still do.

Disaster Report

Okay, I touched on this game once before in my look at criminally forgotten games, but I wanted to spend a little time looking closer at this and why I still like to toss it in to a PS2 and play it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Every now and again, something comes into your life you're completely unprepared for.  A sudden twist of fate, a chance meeting, or just a case of "right place, right/wrong time."  Such was the case some years ago when my parents brought home two cats.   One was named Haiku, and the other we renamed to Yami (because the original name was rather dumb).

When they were picked up from the shelter, the cats were described to my parents this way:

"(Yami) is going to be very friendly, very social.  Haiku might be pretty aloof."

They were wrong on every count.  Haiku was the most "people" cat I ever saw, bringing toys to people in the middle of the night, curling up on any lap she could find her way on to, and refusing to be more than ten feet away from someone if she could help it.

Yami...spent most of his time hiding.

Or perched on things like a guy leaning on a table.
Perhaps it was because my family also had a dog.  Perhaps it was because, as we later figured out, Haiku was bullying him as the two got older.  Either way, Yami was primarily my sister's cat, because he liked to go upstairs and hide in her room or down in the basement.  Rarely did he ever socialize with anybody else.

We were convinced that Yami was essentially anti-social.

He also had a distinctive limp, which we could only figure must have happened when he was a tiny kitten.  The two were found near a road, so we suspected either an animal attack or he was struck (ever so slightly) by a car.

This came into effect one Christmas Eve when he managed to sneak outside and climb up a tree.  Because of his bad back leg, he wasn't able to climb back down, and the tree he climbed was essentially dead, too dangerous to climb up after.  However, it was near another, larger, healthier tree.  That night I scaled up the tree in the cold rain (did I mention it was raining?) with a long board and some food.  I placed the board on the branch I was on and set it firmly on the branch Yami was huddled on.  I tried to coax him over, but he didn't budge.  I placed the food on the board, and climbed back down.

The next morning, with a backpack and some rope, I scaled the tree again.  Yami had managed to walk across the board and was now huddled on the "good" side.  I loaded the shivering, soaked cat into the backpack, tied the rope around it, and lowered him down to the rest of the family.  They took him out and carried him inside, where he immediately struggled, broke free from their grasp, and took off for the cat box.

It sounds like a joke, but it's what happened.

However, as the years went on, we noticed a few other things about Yami as he got more used to the house.  He would chase shadows of things you held out to try to play with him.  If you simply wiggled your fingers so the shadows moved, he'd tackle them and chase them around.  He would sometimes come over to you if you had your hand lowered so you could scratch him.  He stopped running away the moment you entered the room.

When Haiku passed away this last February, there was almost a complete personality shift in Yami.

He would suddenly come into the room and meow for attention.  He would purr more often when you pet him.  He started chasing toys and bringing them back to you so you'd play with him.  He'd curl up on a bed to sleep against people.  As time went on, it more and more became my bed he would curl up on, and I'd wake up to find him either curled up between my shins or pressed against the side of my leg.  I used to hook one leg a little bit just to give him somewhere to curl up in.

When I moved to my current living place, it was decided that Yami would come with me.  The two of us had grown pretty attached to each other, and since my parents still had the dog, it would be good for him to have "his own" place that he would let me also live in.

And for a while, things were great.  We'd play with toys, he'd curl up on the bed with me, he'd come out for attention if I was sitting watching television.

Several weeks ago, my parents were out of town for a few weeks, and I was house sitting for them.  I brought Yami back and some other things to keep me busy.  Yami started to develop a runny nose, which wasn't terribly uncommon for him when he was younger.  He used to need antibiotics every now and again to treat sinus infections (his mother was notorious for constantly having sinus problems, being a Persian.)

He was also thinner, but still eating the same amount and using the cat box, so I didn't think too much about it, and arranged with my parents for us to take him to the vet after they got back.

That day, I received a phone call and a text message asking me to call my parents back.  Yami was very sick.  His right eye was bulged out slightly, and his nose was still running.  He had lost a significant amount of weight, and was severely dehydrated.  We were told there were two likely possibilities.

One was an abscessed tooth caused an infection that traveled up the sinus and was resting behind his eye.  The other was cancer causing a tumor that was applying pressure.

Needless to say, we were extremely concerned.  If it was something that could be treated to get him healthy again, that's great, but if it was cancer, we had to seriously start considering what his life was going to be like from that point on and if we should put him through that kind of experience.

We started a round of antibiotics.

Yami didn't improve.  He would walk around crying, seemingly lost.  He wouldn't jump up on furniture any more.  He started slipping while climbing up and down short broad steps between rooms of my parents house.  He would need to be lead in to eat, and then would just leave a short distance away and curl up.

Today I received a text message asking me to call my mother.  She had carried Yami to his food several times already today, and then watched him go into the family room, circle the room while crying, and then move to the middle of the room and use it like a bathroom.  He hasn't used his cat box since Sunday.  Something is obviously very wrong with my cat.

"I don't know what you think I'm up to, but I promise you I'm not."
I'm heading out to the vet now.  We've decided that leaving Yami in the state he's in, when we aren't able to afford the extensive amount of medical care it would take just to keep him as he currently is (which, obviously, is pretty miserable), would just be cruel.  I'm going to say goodbye to my cat.  I know he won't understand me if I manage to say it, but he was so much more than we expected, and we felt so bad that he wasn't able to be the cat he could've been until so much later in life.

However, that cat he was before and what he became were pretty amazing, and I'll never regret having had him in my life.  He was instrumental in my feeling like I was settled in to my apartment.  My apartment is going to be so empty without him.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Remember Me

I almost just put "Remember Me" there as the title, but then realized that if people didn't know straight off that this was a review, I might get a lot of really worried people clicking the title wondering if I was okay.

By all rights, this should be one of my favorite games this year.  It might make its way onto my top ten just because I think it deserves more attention than it has received.  It has multiple moments where I'm left going "wow," it has an interesting and engaging world that I want to know more about, characters who, while perhaps a bit flat, have some things about them that are truly unique, and there are ideas tossed everywhere that engage my somewhat underutilized sense of awe these days.

But...it's not.  There's a good chance it won't make my top ten list, and if I had to break it down as to why, it'd be...I don't know why.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Review: LEGO Marvel

I've stated before that, for the most part, the LEGO series of games are extremely fun little time-wasters, filled with humor without being too childish, and managing to stay true to the source material and digging deep into the minutiae without completely alienating everybody who isn't a die-hard fan.

That being said, LEGO Marvel is both the most fun I've had with a LEGO game and the most infuriating time I've spent with a LEGO game.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Alton Brown's Edible Inevitable Tour

How do you judge something done by one of your all-time heroes?

Do you just gush and crow about how (undeniably) awesome he is and simply repeat the stories and describe the activities you saw, thus denying anybody else the enjoyment of seeing it all for the first time?

Do you have to point an extra-critical eye to it, determined to pick it apart so you don't simply come across as too much of a fan that you can't keep a fair, balanced look at something?

Do you read five hundred other reviews and then simply parrot the primary points each one seems to make?

I was torn between all of these, but instead I think I'll break it down to the things I'm happy I saw/took part in and the things I was disappointed I didn't see/take part in.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: The LEGO Movie

For nearly the past 24 hours I've had the song "Everything is awesome" stuck in my head.

I'm just prefacing with that because it somehow seems relevant to everything I'm about to say.

I've been a pretty big fan of the LEGO video games that come out every couple of years.  From Star Wars to Indiana Jones to superheroes from various companies, they're all purely enjoyable games that don't require too much thought, too much effort, or too much stress to be able to enjoy.

Save one, but that's for later.

So when the LEGO movie came out and I saw the ads, I had the same thought.  "Oh, it'll be a cute campy commercial for toy sets, like Transformers only more obvious and without as many scenes that made me wonder if the projector fell on its side but kept playing."

I was right.  The whole movie is essentially one big toy commercial.  But there's a key difference.

For something like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or even (god help it) Battleship, the commercial is always the same.  "These things are awesome.  Therefore, the toys are awesome.  If you play with them, you will be awesome."

Speaking as someone who had a lot of the early TMNT action figures way back in the day, I can state that this is both true and completely false.  For a few bright shining moments I was awesome to my classmates for having a complete set of martial arts reptiles.  Then ten seconds went by, and I was that kid playing with toys during recess.

LEGO doesn't do a lot of that.  Well, okay, they do, but it isn't rubbed in your face.  Sure, they advertise multiple existing and (at time of "filming") "yet to be out" LEGO sets, but that's not where the message lies.  The message is this:

"You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary pers-"

Wait, hold on, that's not right.

The message for the commercial part of the movie is "your imagination can design and build whatever it wants to, LEGOs are just a great tool to use to express it."  By leading with the "you are awesome" and then going to "and that can make our toy awesome," LEGO's movie (aka "The LEGO Movie") manages to keep an optimism and lightness missing from a lot of the movies I've seen in theaters lately.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Let's Talk: "I Ate Your Halloween Candy"

So I recently watched the video being passed around the Internet that's a supercut of parents taking all of their kids' Halloween candy while they're asleep, hiding it, and then telling the kids the next day "we were hungry, so we ate it all."

While recording it.

I'd link the video, but honestly, I don't want to get it any more views.

Here's the part that bothers me:

The parents in these videos are, quite simply put, monsters.  Not the terrible monsters of people who abuse their kids, starve them, or do other things that leave kids in therapy for the rest of their lives...but seriously.  Who gets enjoyment from making their own children cry?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Impressions of Marvel's AXIS storyline so far

I had really high hopes for this story.  I mean, sure, Avengers vs. X-Men was a pretty big let-down in the storytelling department, Original Sin is something I'm still trying to figure out the purpose of, Age of Ultron was pointless, Infinity was just bad, Fear Itself was ... well, it was "okay," but...

My point is that massive crossover events have tended to be rather lackluster from Marvel over the past few years.  Thinking back, the last big "event" I actually really liked were the two Annihilation storylines.  

Here's my big problem with massive crossover stories: in order to have the story continue, at least one character needs to act like they're incapable of making any intelligent choices.

In Civil War, both Iron Man and Captain America made some pretty terrible decisions.  Iron Man unleashed an untested Thor clone that killed Bill Foster.  Cap somehow decided that a completely unlikeable woman chastising him for not knowing what "Myspace" is justified him losing a battle for peoples' rights.  In Siege, Norman Osborn (the man who has been given the keys to the biggest paramilitary force in the world and has an actual army of supervillains to back him up) decides that what he needs to do is invade Asgard.  Because how could that possibly go wrong?

And now we have AXIS.  Let's look at a few story points so far and decide if these are awesome or stupid.

Or awesomely stupid.

Or stupidly awesome.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: Super Smash Bros. (the 3DS one)

Here's a fun fact about video games: for a long time, whenever a huge title was going to come out to cash in on something (a movie, an event like the Olympics, a particularly popular pop culture character), you'd get a console release of a game starring them and you'd get a handheld video game system game put out as well.

The console game could be quite good sometimes.  Super Star Wars for the Super Nintendo was great.  Star Wars for the Game Boy...not so great.  (The Japanese game...well, we all remember that brief glimpse at "SCORPIAN VADER" right?

Most of the time the handheld game is, at best, a gutted version of the console game.  It only has a fragment of the memory and space for data, so you have to do what you can.

However, for ages I hadn't seen anything that looked like a quality fighting game on a handheld system.  This isn't anything new, this is my going alllllll the way back to some classic fighting games.

The only thing I took away from this game was that either Blanka was a woman
 the whole time or his mother looked like a prepubescent boy.

When I heard that Super Smash Bros. was coming to the 3DS...needless to say, I had my doubts that it would be good.  Maybe half the characters would show up, tops.  A dozen stages, tops.  No side games,  Cheaper voices, no story mode, it would be a cheap version of a great game.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top Eleven: Enemies That Would Make A Great Rogues Gallery For Hawkeye

Hawkeye is, quite simply, the best.  There's no better superhero than the guy running around with thunder gods, advanced suits of armor, and super-soldier serums, and is not only able to keep up with them all, but has on multiple instances saved the world when they could not.

Women love him, men want to be him.  Green Arrow wishes he was that cool.

But man...the guy has no respectable villains to help him hold his own title.

There's his brother, there's the guy who trained him at the circus, there's a juggler, there's the ghost of a guy his then-wife let die back in the wild west, there's...erm...  he fought Taskmaster a couple of times, that's pretty good, but...yeah, there really isn't much else.  When most of your personal foes are circus performers, that's not a good sign.

Now, granted, that's not really a big deal in how his stories have been told lately.  Taking him out of the costume and showing how he deals with every day issues (and occasionally fights the sweatpant mafia and their overuse of the word "bro") is a great concept, and one that did pretty well.  I'm also looking forward to the upcoming series which, while different, seems still willing to stick with the "a day in the lift outside of being an Avenger."

So let's dig through Marvel's history and see if we can't rustle him up some characters to face that would make for a great rogue's gallery.  Now, I know what you're saying, "is it really his own rogues gallery if they're just characters poached from somewhere else?"

Sure it is.  The Kingpin used to be a Spider-Man villain before he became Daredevil's arch-nemesis.  Sabretooth fought Iron Fist before he met Wolverine, lots of characters started out in one book then moved to another to be truly effective.

So let's start digging.  Luckily, there's a lot of characters who never get any use that would be effective.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Month Wrap-Up

So this is it.  The end of Halloween Month.  I have plenty of material for next year (even crazier movies, anime, and cartoons), but thought it'd be good to touch back on a few things.

For instance, somebody found that show that terrified me so much when I was little.

It continues partway into this next video.

Secondly, I just did an article about Garfield's Halloween Adventure, but I forgot there was also a book that completely changed some of the story.  Garfield steals a ring from the pirates, for instance, and they get stuck up a tree (because ghosts can't climb trees?).

I not only had that book, I wore that book out from reading it so often.

Finally, did you know that there's a Tower of Terror movie that came out in the 90s?  No seriously, it has Steve Gutenberg and Kirsten Dunst in it.

"I'm in a movie with Steve Gutenberg AND I have to wear this?  UGH."
You can watch the whole thing here.  I know I'll be doing that.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Garfield's Halloween Adventure

There aren't a lot of Halloween TV specials I remember as being distinctively "Halloween-only."  The Halloween episodes of Real Ghostbusters were regularly aired like any other episode.  The Halloween episodes of Gargoyles, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Rugrats, Eek! The Cat, and even that episode of Batman: The Animated Series that felt the need to have Poison Ivy dress in a (somehow) even skimpier outfit to make up exploding pumpkins.

But my all-time favorite Halloween special from my childhood?  That would be Garfield's Halloween Adventure.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rifftrax: Anaconda

Every now and again a movie can come out that might not be particularly good, but will come up with a creative and/or scary monster.  There was that freaky creature from The Relic.  Species showed us how scary a naked Natasha Henstridge could be.  And then there's Anaconda, with one of the truly most terrifying things ever depicted on screen.

I'm speaking, of course, of Jon Voight's face.

Pictured: Every recessive gene in Angelina Jolie.
That's right, it was time for another Rifftrax, and since nothing I can say will be as terrible as Jon Voight's face, here's just a few screenshots of that.

I, on the other hand, am off to ponder if the whole idea an Anaconda-based movie starring Jennifer Lopez didn't stem completely from a Sir Mix-A-Lot song.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It's Pumpkin Season!

Every year, I love carving pumpkins for the kids in the neighborhood where my parents live.  I've done The Avengers, video game characters, and a few for my own enjoyment (the Ghostbusters logo comes to mind.

This year, I was sorely tempted to doThe Guardians Of The Galaxy, but when I realized how much work it would be to do Groot, I concluded I'd rather eat a whole pumpkin.  Without chewing.

So instead I decided to do something else still hugely popular.  Something... chilling.

...that was bad.  I apologize.

I'll acknowledge that Olaf didn't come out as neat as I like, but carving a carrot nose on a pumpkin is really hard.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Cabin In The Woods

Does anybody else remember the trailer to Hook when it was first announced?

Here, let me help you out.

Now, I'm not just remembering this because I still feel the passing of Robin Williams (which I do), but because I need to illustrate a point.  A movie trailer is a piece of production meant to share the key idea behind a movie, the "elevator pitch," as they say in Hollywood.  It's there to get the audience to want to see the film, and you can usually tell a lot about a film based on how honest the trailer is.  For instance, the movie Drive portrayed itself as the next Fast And The Furious.  When it instead became a deep, good movie, with lots of slow moments, people got so upset that one woman actually sued the filmmakers.  Bridge To Terabithia doesn't touch at all upon the seriously dark story the book actually tells. Life promised a wacky buddy comedy with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, and ...well, okay, it had some funny moments, but still.  It wasn't what the trailer promised.

Now, in some instances, you lie about the content of the movie in the trailer because you want to hook people, and you don't think your actual story or film will bring in the mass audiences.  That's probably what Drive was thinking.  The same with Bridge to Terabithia, since what kid is going to be excited to go to a movie where the most important part of the story is dealing with harsh emotional issues such as loss and loneliness?

Hook I have no idea about.  That's a slasher/horror film mixed with Labyrinth, and that's certainly not what we got.

Why am I spending all this time talking about trailers?  Because if you watched the trailer for Cabin In The Woods and then went in expecting to see that movie...man, the fact that Drive got sued and this movie didn't amazes me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Disney's Tower Of Terror 2

I once did something really, really wrong on a Disney ride.

Well, not really wrong.  Not like anything that would get me banned from the park.  I didn't vandalize it, I didn't go to the bathroom somewhere that I shouldn't, I didn't punch a mascot or anything.

I just almost seriously hurt myself and, possibly, the people around me.

Let's go into the details.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Personal Halloween Story

I mentioned this event back in May, but felt it needed to be expanded upon.

The first time I was allowed to go trick or treating by myself was a pretty huge deal.  For years, I was going along with my little sister (and often one of the foster children my parents took in), and while it certainly wasn't a bad experience (getting candy as a child is never a bad experience), being trusted with the responsibility of being out without needing a parent right beside me was a pretty huge deal.

I felt completely grown up for that brief moment when they told me I could go ahead of my sister.  There were lots of parents and other children around.  It was the 80s, so nobody was really paranoid about anything bad happening.  I knew where the limits of where I could go were.

And then...it all went wrong.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Originally, this was supposed to be a top eleven of the video games that scared me the most.  They weren't all necessarily horror games, some simply had really intense moments mixed in between gun play, quiet moments, or just simply having something unexpectedly spooky appear out of nowhere.

However, I got to one game and just started writing.  I found myself giving it a lot more attention than any other game on the list.  Considering the pedigree of some of the games on that list, that's actually saying quite a lot.

So, instead, I'm doing a look at one game in particular that very few people ever played.

We're going to be talking about ObsCure for the Playstation 2.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vampires: Out For Blood

There are times I really wonder if actors look at a film script or talk to their agent and think to themselves "well, I do need to make another payment on the boat" or "well, it's better than NOT working, I guess...unless they want me for a Tarsem Singh film."

For instance, look at the movie Vampires: Out For Blood.  You have Kevin Dillon acting as a down on his luck cop whose wife left him, has developed a drinking problem, and has a chief who's starting to get tired of him while still feeling compassion for the man.  You have Lance Henriksen, one of my favorite actors of all time (seriously, I get excited any time his name is attached to a project, regardless of whether it's a children's cartoon, a video game, or a wacky (and likely terrible) sci-fi movie.  He's playing said chief of police, and manages to exude compassion and a strictness that works great.  Kenneth Colom, aka "Officer Lucas" on The Shield!  There's Svetlana Chavez, a very hot girl playing "Hot Girl."

...okay, so yeah, there isn't a whole lot of reason to go after this movie for the acting abilities of most of the cast (except for Lance Henriksen).  So why would anybody want to see this?

Oh, right.  Jodi Lyn O'Keefe as a sex-crazed vampire would help.  Anything else?


Monday, October 20, 2014

Dracula! In Comics!

It's not always easy to have a "scary" superhero book.  When your lead characters have superhuman strength, speed, and agility, it's a bit hard to ever feel like they're overwhelmed by something "terrifying."  Usually it takes one of the "big" monsters in order to provide people with a challenge, but even then, it's not hard to picture superheroes doing pretty well against your standard mummies, Frankensteins, and werewolves.   You can bring in your Cthulhus, krakens, and zombie swarms, but even then you need a gimmick to make them actually "scary."

Or stupid, depending on how long they drag the gimmick out.

So how about we bring out one of (arguably) the biggest guns horror comics have?  Why don't we bring in Dracula?

Friday, October 17, 2014


Zombies are a great resource for deep, philosophical discussions.  The original Dawn of the Dead is infamous now as a critique of mass consumerism.  They've been used to represent "dangerous" new ideas becoming popular to the masses to the dangers of increasingly alienating political structures that push away their base or attempt to hold on to outdated values and ideas.  They've represented a basic natural disaster, simply being background dressing for deep personal dramas, and they've represented an entire class of people separated by a wide chasm from the increasingly rich upper class.

However, not very often does a movie tackle the idea of death itself in a meaningful way.  Helldriver, a Japanese film by Yoshihiro Nishimura (creator of the infamous cult classic Tokyo Gore Police), takes time to examine the moral and ethical dilemmas of millions of people being "infected" with something that drives them to feast on the flesh of the living.  If they show signs of life, are they really "dead?"  If they show intelligence, organization, and understanding of concepts such as bartering and power structure, are they still "human?"  What if they show a knack for using tools or recognizing specific people?  Is attempting to wipe out beings referred to as "infected" a violation of human rights if they can instead be contained?  What if containment could lead to an entire nation's economy and social structure crumbling?  Does the needs of the "normal" override the needs of the "not normal?"

While not really providing many answers to these questions, Helldriver does go above and beyond your standard zombie film by actually being willing to address these issues.  A priest's soapbox movement calling for mercy for family, friends, and loved ones who are infected and a politician's refusal to pass a bill that would exterminate the infected, calling it "a murder bill" are balanced against cries from a populace already forced into cramped housing with limited food resources, struggling to stay alive when they're refugees in their own country.

Oh, and it's also the most insane movie I've ever seen in my life.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oneechanbara: The Movie Vortex

So, it's day four of "Asian Women Wearing Inappropriate Clothing For Facing The Undead" week, and I've been saving some of the worst for last because I've heard terrible things about them.I don't have much hope for a movie that feels the need to show a trailer for the film I'm about to watch right before the movie itself.  Or one that feels the need to show a trailer for Psycho Gothic Lolita.

Now, I never played the video game Oneechanbara, so I'm going into this blind.  I'm going to sit back now and watch this and then do my review.

Let the film begin.

Oh, and just to try something new, I'm going to be documenting my reactions as the movie plays.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Highschool Of The Dead

Let's talk Japanese high schools.

If reading Japanese comics, seeing Japanese movies, and watching Japanese cartoons have taught me anything, it's that if you haven't saved the world at least once by the time you graduate high school, your life is over and completely worthless.

No, seriously.  In every series I've ever seen, the best soldiers are high school students.  The best pilots of giant robots suits?  High school students.  The people with the most magical power?  Look in high schools.  You need a mountain conquered, a ship piloted across an ocean, or an alien menace driven away from the Earth?  Unless you have a high school student around, your efforts are doomed.

So with that in mind, let's look at the zombie apocalypse.  Who would be the best suited to survive the entire world's social-economic structure collapsing within a matter of days as the undead rise and feast on the living?  The armed forces?  Survivalist nutjobs?

Now, to be fair, the woman on the far left is the school nurse, but, well, she still works at a high school.

Let's jump right in to Highschool Of The Dead

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ghost Talker's Daydream

Every now and again something comes out of Japan leaving you wonder "why on Earth is there a market for this?"

"Why would anybody want to see that?"

"Just who is supposed to be the target audience for this?"

This is not one of those things.  I'm pretty sure we can tell who the target audience is based on the back of the DVD.

"Ever since she could remember, Misaki Saiki has had the ability to 'talk' to ghosts.  She works as a special consultant for the city's secret division that deals with supernatural cases.  She also works as a dominatrix at a S&M club, where she okay, I'm just going to stop there, I think the point is made.

So, why do I own it?

Would you believe it's honestly because I spent some time trying to look into more Japanese "horror" material during the time that such movies as The Ring or The Eye or House to try to figure out some of the historical roots of what they find scary compared to what Americans find scary?

Seriously, that was it.  It's what brought me into series and books such as Perfect Blue, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Hellsing, Highschool Of The Dead (to be reviewed later this week!), and others.  I kept reading that this one was really good, and while a lot of the more "adult" stuff from Japan puzzles me more than anything else, I had to admit this one was pretty decent.

...no, seriously, that's it.

Oh come on, I- you know what, forget it, let's just get into the review.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Zombie Stripper Apocalypse

I did not know what to expect when I tossed this DVD into my system to watch.

Actually, that's a terrible, filthy lie, borne of utter disregard for the truth in meaning, if not intent.

I knew exactly what to expect when I picked this DVD up at a Blockbuster store that was going out of business.  I mean, the cover pretty much explains it all.

There were going to be Japanese women.  There were going to be skimpy outfits.  There were going to be swords, chainsaws, and axes.  There were going to be zombies and strippers (or possibly zombie strippers).  There might even be an apocalypse.

I also, looking at the case, knew this movie was going to be awful.

How did I know?  

They misspelled the name of the movie on the side of the DVD case.

And yet, while it was all those things...I was also completely wrong.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Haunting Of Riverdale: Part Four

So far on this DVD we've had plenty of vampires, but I wouldn't really call vampires a "haunting."  Unless you go looser on the definition of "haunting" and assume it refers to Medlock sticking around the old farmhouse he was buried under for centuries.  However, that's stretching it, even for me.

Fortunately, this time we actually get at least one genuine ghost, so I'm going to skip the lengthy preamble and simply point out that Archie Comics just announced a new crossover:

Archie Meets The Predator.

This is a real thing that will be happening in 2015.

I can't wait.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Haunting Of Riverdale: Part Three

Growing up, I always preferred Betty over Veronica.  Yes, Veronica was rich beyond anybody's wildest dreams (the exception, of course, being her own dreams), and she had gorgeous raven black hair...but I liked Betty.  It wasn't the blond hair, it wasn't the obsessive behavior amount of doting she laid on Archie, and it wasn't the "oh, she's the good girl next door" aspect.

I think what I liked about Betty was just how she seemed to be the polar opposite of Veronica, in that she had many different layers to her character, while Veronica seemed to be all about the money.

However, I realized later on that Veronica Lodge isn't the anti-Betty at all.  She's actually her own, surprisingly well-developed character.  I mean, sure, her key attributes are still the ones listed above, but then I start to think of how she interacts with the group.  She has never once refused to buy something for her friends, lend them the use of her father's enormous estate, or acted the least bit stingy when it comes to using what she has to help people, whether it's her father's company jet for a quick trip around the world or simply having the exact plot device flown in for delivery with "I want it now" speed.  She was always accepting of other people, whether it was their sexual orientation, religion, or lifestyle choices (she was the only person who accepted Jughead during his "hippie" phase in the 70s), but wouldn't hesitate to put down their fashion choices.  But she was never the athlete, the key superhero, or the one you'd expect to get down and dirty.

So the fact that these episodes have had this kind of a spotlight on Veronica, taking the same shallow character we expect and adding a responsibility to things that are almost literally "out of her world," it's added yet another layer of growth onto an already complex character.

Let's jump in to the third episode of the "Scarlet Saga" as I (and only I) am calling it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Haunting Of Riverdale: Part Two

Archie Comics has never been afraid of making things a little "intense" when they needed to.  Even if we're just now getting our first real "horror" books by the company featuring characters that have been around for decades, there used to be plenty of drama surrounding the characters.  Whether it was the teenage Archie, his childhood self "Lil' Archie," or even his superhero self, the books weren't afraid to add some pretty high drama.

So with Archie's Weird Mysteries delving into tales of horror reminiscent of things like Christine, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, and even Little Shop of Horrors, it's...really not that much of a surprise.

Let's dig into the second episode of The Haunting of Riverdale and see what happens next.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Haunting Of Riverdale: Part One

People who have read this blog might have realized that I have a really twisted bizarre fascination with the adventures of Archie Andrews and his friends.  It might be because Archie is a comic book character that probably has just as much name brand recognition as Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man,  Anybody who likes comics who says they never read any of his when they were young is most likely lying through their teeth (or just absent-minded), but considering the comics put out featuring America's favorite red-headed teen have been coming out since 1941 and are stronger and more socially relevant today than ever before, well...

I think it's a safe bet whoever is in charge there knows what they're doing.

But that doesn't mean that every thing's sunshine and roses, though.  Besides the recently printed (and mind-bogglingly dark) Afterlife With Archie, it wasn't unusual for titles to put Archie into other situations involving the bizarre, the macabre, and the occult.

I mean, for Pete's sake, he's on a first name basis with a teenage witch.

Admit it, you all wished you were, too, when that show was on the air.  ...and you were the same age I was.

So it's probably not surprising to know that at one point Archie had his own cartoon series called Archie's Weird Mysteries, stories featuring Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and the others dealing with massive amounts of weirdness and creepiness that invaded Riverdale.

And they managed to cram some episodes with a particular theme onto a single DVD called The Haunting Of Riverdale.  We're going to go through each one of these episodes and figure out just how you can manage to make (or not make) a story scary when you've got the FCC watching you carefully.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Alien Encounter (or How To Make A Terrifying Theme Park Ride)

Any time I go to a carnival or amusement park, I find myself completely underwhelmed by the "haunted houses" or "tunnels of terror" or whatever they try to call them.  I've already established I'm not a big fan of things that rely on "jump" scares, and I will admit that it must be really difficult to establish an "atmosphere" of fear when you're trying to get people through a ride as fast as possible, but still, there has to be something to make them scary again.

After all, once you realize all you're seeing are triggered gears and springs launching things at you once you hit a certain part of the track, it doesn't matter if it's a zombie head or a slab of puff pastry, it's just something meant to startle you.

Pictured: how I view most "scary" rides.

However, there's two rides that did manage to develop a healthy sense of fear in me, and I'm going to look at one of them now and try to figure out if there's a way to make something else that could terrify people in a way that's fun.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The First Movie/TV Show That Really Scared Me

I cannot prove this film or TV show actually exists.  I have scoured the Internet since the late 90s for any other mention of this existing.  Every now and again I'll get a "that sounds familiar" or a "I think I remember something like that" but nothing ever comes of it.

It's the first time I ever screamed in fright at something on television (also possibly one of the only times I've ever screamed in fright at the television).  It was a goofy, dumb program with an obviously rubber mask.  I was watching it with one of my best friends, a girl who lived three doors down from my house at the end of a cul de sac.

There are no pictures for this post, because again I can't prove this program ever existed, but I have recently enlisted the help of I Remember This Movie... to help me figure it out.

Because seriously, if they have someone who remembers episodes of Bone Chillers, they should be able to help me with this.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

There are essentially two types of "horror" systems in video games.  You have games that set dark, foreboding atmospheres, play off the natural fears we, as players, all have, and let the tension build until we wind up getting ourselves completely worked up waiting for the killer to emerge or not emerge from behind every door.

You also have "twitch" horror games that mostly involve monsters jumping out of dark places, poorly lit rooms that make it hard to see everything, and typically allow the player to carry enough ammo to make Commando jealous.  The only real "scares" are the same "jump" scares that many modern horror movies use when they're out of ideas or are afraid the audience is getting bored.  Now, while a "jump" scare can be extremely effective when done correctly, a game that's nothing but jump scares tends to become tiring extremely quickly.

Needless to say, I'm much more a fan of the former than the latter.

Now, while I will say that no game sets up a better atmosphere than the Silent Hill franchise (a shame they stopped after four games, no matter what anybody else says), I think the game that made me the most tense and freaked me out the most was Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Puppet Princess

Hollywood is determined to make us think that puppets are scary, when they really aren't.  Whether it's the ridiculous idea that anybody would find Chucky and/ or his "Bride" scary (disturbing, maybe), the Puppet Master  films, Dead Silence,  Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker, Ooga Booga, Black Devil Doll From Hell, and the naturally classic Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong, dolls, toys, and puppets just aren't scary.  At all.

Anything you can slap a frilly pink dress on, a hat with ribbons, and have a tiny tea party with isn't scary.  Anything that can be casually kicked across a room regardless of whether it's holding a knife is not scary.  Are those porcelain eyes creeping you out because they follow you around a room?  A ball-peen hammer can solve that.

Nothing that can be defeated by a ball peen hammer can ever be scary.  Or anything that can be taken out using the phrase "shaken repeatedly by a dachshund."

Also, go ahead and Google all those movie titles to make sure I didn't make any up.  I'll wait.

So, let's look at one of the only things featuring puppets I've ever actually liked: a bizarre little anime called Puppet Princess.

Just a heads up:  there are some screenshots with blood, but I made sure to censor the screenshot showing a bare butt.  Read at your own risk (and you probably shouldn't do it at work).  This film is rated R.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Halloween Month: Prelude

I. Love. Halloween.

I'm not sure why, because for years after I was too old to (justifiably) trick or treat any more, I couldn't have cared less about the holiday.  I might give out candy to kids, and I would be polite and compliment their costumes, but I never did Halloween parties.  I think I only ever bobbed for an apple once in my life.  I'm not even a huge fan of scary things.

Well, let me amend that statement.  I like psychologically scary things. I like being on the edge of my seat, my breath caught in my throat, not sure if I what I just heard was something the character on screen heard, if only I heard it, or if I just imagined it myself.

A movie whose only purpose is to take a mixture of red food coloring and corn syrup and pour it all over the place while finding more and more creative ways to induce gory, screaming moments from previously healthy young people is not my cup of tea.  Jacob's Ladder is a great movie.  The Hostel movies were not.

But I digress.

These days, I find myself getting more excited for Halloween than almost any other holiday.  I constantly look to see what's new in decorations, costumes, pumpkin carving patterns, everything.  I ponder costuming months in advance.

So, in honor of this build up to such a great holiday, I'm focusing each day of this month to something  Halloween-themed.  Sure, it might be a loose connection, but the connection will be there.

So, tomorrow expect my first post as we dig in to Halloween month and uncover something Hollywood is determined to make us believe are scary:  puppets.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Erik Gets Pretentious: Ten Words People Really Need To Stop Using Incorrectly

Anybody who knows me knows that I can get rather...obnoxious, we'll say, about how people use certain words.  For instance, I tend to always grit my teeth when I hear people say "I'm going to lay down," when they clearly mean "lie down."

Though I guess they could be planning on spreading feathers everywhere.
It drives me nuts that "flammable" and "inflammable" mean the same thing, that nobody remembers the correct usage of "whom," and that the semicolon appears to have suffered a painful death in today's writings.

So, here I'm going to share ten examples of words I really, really wish people would use as they're defined, not how the masses tend to "think" they should be used.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

John Oliver Is Why I Can't Try To Do Nice Things

So, I was going to try to do a lengthy article about beauty pageants.  I was going to discuss their history, their traditions, and whether or not they have any meaning in today's world.

And then John Oliver did it better than I ever could in fifteen and a half minutes.

Damn it.

So, uh, yeah.  All that.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Doctor Who: Season One

I am extremely late to the Who party.  I know a lot of people who can rattle off every character who appears, every alien race, every time period, every wacky gadget the Doctor has ever used, and considering the show has started its eighth season, I'm fully willing to admit that my starting now puts me really, really far behind.

But hey, I think we've established before that on a lot of things, I'm usually the last one to the party.

So, without further self-flagellation, let's discuss my opinion of the first season of Doctor Who.