Friday, November 27, 2015

Seasons Continue: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Hey folks, thought I should give a follow-up for Day 3 so consider this a Day 4 of Seasons Continue. The world was nearly taken over by alien forces and a handful of powered beings and talented normals fended them off. The Avengers, a pet project of SHIELD handled things but what keeps away the next threat? Are they expected to continue on the good fight without any support at all? Or did director Nick Fury think that maybe he should have a few mobile specialists at the ready? This is Agents of SHIELD.

Yes I know Thor and no I am not putting in a word for you.

With the events of New York almost toppled by an alien force called the Chitauri and super beings appearing, the world is scared. So scared that a cadre of agents are at the ready to stop devices of unknown origin, potential terrorist threats or high tech affliations from waging wars across the planet. With a network of agents, techs and hiarchy, SHIELD is on the case. Given multiple sanctions to operate in different countries, one team is out there dealing with the impossible or unexplained. Back from the literal dead, Special Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg of One Hour Photo, We Were Soldiers, The West Wing, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, The Avengers, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man and Agents of SHIELD) after Loki put his bladed septre through his heart is somehow been saved within time but was deemed classified intel so even the Avengers are unaware of his resurrection.

Putting together a team to help he needs specialist Grant Ward (Brett Dalton of Blue Bloods, Army Wives, Killing Lincoln, Until Dawn and The Resurrection of Gavin Stone) ace pilot and former specialist Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen of Mulan, Spawn: The Animated Series, ER, The Batman, Vanished, SGU Stargate Universe, Two and a Half Men and Eureka) to fly the "Bus", a retro-fitted communications/recon plane, an engineer and tech guru weapons designer Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker of Coronation Street, Lip Service, The Fades, Up There and Assassin's Creed III) and a biochemist/MD genius Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge of Hollyoaks, Shelter, The Thompsons, Reach Me and The Wolves at the Door).

Welcome to Hogwarts!

Intercepting a hack that made its way through SHIELD's most classified intel a rightous hacker demands that SHIELD comes clean with all the info they have hidden from the world. Considering some of the more dangerous artifacts and super powered beings they have encountered, Coulson steps up and talks with this hacker. Our brillant keyboard jockey Skye (Chloe Bennet of Intercept, Nashville, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Agents of SHIELD) is offered a choice: to either get on board with SHIELD and do the same good works or look at the Federal statues she has been building as a hacker. Can this slap dash team do good in the field? Are they ready to handle what life throws at them? Can they even begin to imagine the possiblities?

With Joss Whedon's production company Mutant Enemy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and the Dollhouse) he and his brother Jed lead a team of no less than 11 writers cranking out a full 22 episodes for this season, bringing familiar faces of Marvel into the small screen and introducing a whole new fan base into the Whedonverse. Successfully directing a few of the episodes between both the first and second Avengers movie, they have tried to balance small screen with big screen and creating a coherent universe between the two. So if you love comics, spy shows and a little bit of action with decent story arcs then step up and join SHIELD. 

So your the heartthrob, right?

Seasons Continue: Arrow Season 2

Welcome back to Day 3 of Seasons Continue. Hope everyone got stuffed full of bird and are billious for it. Yeah I didn't feel like writing on Thanksgiving. Grumble at your leisure. With that in mind I thought we would catch up with DC comics favorite archer and see where we left off. After narrowly escaping a duel to the death with Malcolm Merlin (John Barrowman of Doctor Who, Desperate Housewives, Torchwood, Arrow and The Flash), thrashing the sesmic quake devices, the Glades via Starling City have collapsed, homes and lives destroyed and Queen's mother sent to prison. Can the city be saved?  This is Arrow Season 2.

This hood doesn't make me look silly, right?

Ollie (Stephen Amell of Hung, Private Practice, Heartland, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Arrow and The Flash) has sought refuge back on the island for 5 months as Starling City starts to lick clean its wounds. Diggle (David Ramsey of Con Air, The Good News, All of Us, Dexter, Outlaw and Blue Bloods) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards of Soldiers of the Apocalypse, Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story, Arrow, Arrow: Blood Rush, Normal Doors, Vixen and The Flash) make their way to the island to warn Ollie that his company needs him as much as the city does and that what he did last year mattered to so many. His best friend Tommy died thinking he was a murderer and he cannot go back to that path.

He no longer has the list to operate on and must expand on his crime fighting status other than just attacking one percenters. Felicity upgrades the Archer's Den (My name, they went with Arrow Cave because that's original) with the latest tech,decryption devices and hacking software while Arrow is leaving wounded, alive men versus corpses. Laurel (Katie Cassidy of 7th Heaven, Black Christmas, Spin, Supernatural, Harper's Island, Melrose Place, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Arrow The Wolves at the Door) lost Tommy and blames the vigilante for not being able to save him and thus organizes a task force to capture "The Hood" at all costs.

Tommy, can I have your suits when you die?

Meanwhile, gun toting designer impostors are using The Hood as a cover to lash out at the city officials that failed to protect them, FEMA medicine trucks are being hijacked and there seems to be a man or woman behind the shadows of the fate of Starling City. Little sister Thea (Willa Holland of The O.C., A Summer in Genoa, Legion, Straw Dogs, Tiger Eyes, Gossip Girl and Arrow) is managing Ollie's nightclub pretty damn well while her bartender/boyfriend Roy Harper (Colton Haynes of The Gates, Look, Teen Wolf, Arrow, Arrow: Blood Rush and Triumph) is throwing himself into danger, trying to do all the things his hero archer can without any of the training.

Ghosts of the past come to haunt the city of the present as Team Arrow has to unite and stop the oncoming dangers that lie ahead. Are they up for it? Can they give 110%? Will they fail the city?

This season we get some DC villain favorites like the Bronze Tiger (a terrifying bad ass martial artist that can go toe to toe with Batman) Deathstroke the Terminator, Ras Al Ghul and his League of Assassins and the creation of The Suicide Squad so it definitely did not lose the stride it built up for Season 1 but this crazy train just picked up a little more steam.

The cue card says stare off with knowing..WTF does that even mean??!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Hey folks,

Jake here via Rotten Reelz Reviews and just wanting to wish you all a happy turkey day.  I hope the tryptophan hasn't taken complete control of your bodies and allowed the little ones to run amok, cramming hot wheels tracks up your collective septum.

Guess who's getting stuffing??!!!

Got some things happening with the blog and podcast Rotten Ramblin' On.  Looks like we will get that microphone after all as my co-host decided to snag one.   We are demanding fans write into the gmail. rottenramblin' or to the FB page:  

We are still attempting to get guest stars as well as the Skype program for interviewing them for audio recording as a whole.   Sorry if the technical errors have progressed to a level of SPACE MADNESS...but Shawn and I are not rolling in it financially and we have to make due from time to time.

I will gab with him on studio guests visiting and we will go from there.   Until then, enjoy your family time, your bird and a well overdue nap.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Seasons Continue: Supernatural Season 5

Welcome back for Day 2 of Seasons Continue and yes I will get off my ass and start anew with the wonders that is the Winchester Brothers. I am sorry if I have not given them my due attention as I try to review movies and video games as well. As left at Season 3 (Yeesh, this guy is behind.) Dean had all but sacrificed his life after the Gate to Hell was opened and demon incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins manifested about, changelings misbehaving and a pesky lot of vampires this season ended on a dark note leaving Sam alone and Dean taken to Hell. Has the journey run out of road? This is Supernatural Season 4.

Why does a Jill sandwich joke come to mind?

With Dean dead and gone, Sam continues the family mission with a reckless abandon to reason, just hurling himself into danger just so he can feel. Bobby (Jim Beaver of Adaptation, Tremors: The Series, Next, Supernatural and Deadwood), former hunter, research nut and wrangler of the doofus brothers finds Dean alive and very confused. Naturally Bobby is skeptical to believe that is the real mccoy. After a few tests he concludes that is really Dean and now what the hell happened?

All the two have to go on is these massive indentation bruises on Dean's arms and they are visited by a being of absolute power. This being claims to be an angel name of Castiel (Misha Collins of Girl, Interrupted, Finding Home, Karla and Supernatural) stating that God demanded Dean be given more life because he and Sam have so much more work to do. So rather than just taking the biblicial creature, Bobby decides to drag the boys a psychic Pamela (Traci Dinwiddie of The Notebook, Mr. Brooks, Open Your Eyes and Elena Undone) figuring out why Dean is back, what is the endgame and is God truly there?

A ghost goosed me!

We are back to the typical angst, the shared laughs and the brotherly love is back. Sam has gone a bit dark as he has gone hunting alone. Bobby has had more than his share of rotgut as bottle riddling the floors of his house. The twisted demon in a cute suit, Ruby is back to cause some havok and match wits with the boys again. The gang get messed with by angry spirits out and out blaming the Winchesters, a time travel story and even a shapeshifter obsessed with classic Universal Studios monsters.

The choir of angels is seem to be divided in carrying out is almost as if God isn't nearby to confirm or deny the angels' commands and requests. Sam and Dean are starting to wonder if this is supposed to be happening. My personal favorite episode in this season is the one where the guys are trying to convince this family to NOT move into this house of just utter damnation. It needed blood covered letters saying KEEP OUT but even that would not help any way, shape or form.

She digs me more than you, bro.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Seasons Continue: Burn Notice Season 5

Hello all and welcome to Day 1 of Seasons Continue. Now before I get chastised about letting Supernatural fall behind, I would point out... I forget crap. It happens. That being said we now look at the further adventures of our favorite burnt spy. HAHA!!! Yeah you can wait for Supernatural, punkers. As we move on, taking down a major Black Ops crew operating off the books is deemed bad by the intelligence communities. As a driving force to stop this unofficial creation, Weston is brought to Washington to have some face time with one of his former mentors.
This is Burn Notice Season 5.

Hold me closer, tiny photo.

The CIA using Michael's solid intel allowed them to follow the trail of bread crumbs leading to the heads of the company and bringing them in or six feet under. With that being said, Michael is also on a short leash as he has his own CIA liason Max (Grant Show of Melrose Place, The Girl Next Door, Swingtown, Accidentally on Purpose, Private Practice and Big Love) making sure that Weston sticks to the prodical and not making it up as he goes along.

Months of investigation and team missions have put this into play but something crucial seems to be missing... Oh yeah, how about Sam, Fi and newcomer Jesse?? As luck would have it, Sam has slimmed down and wowing the ladies and I can imagine Bruce Campbell not having to flip flop between weight is much better for it. Fi is trying her level best to not rub the CIA the wrong way but she is not a team player when there is that much red tape in the way. Counter-Intelligence Agent Jesse decides against going back to the biz when he felt helping the little guys and gals hands on was something he was proud of doing. That being said and all he is working for a major security firm that are more than generous in their stipend and love of his skills.

Sam, stop staring at Fi's legs.

Michael's mom is making changes in her life and we also see little brother Nate make some appearances so all seems to be going well until... Max has been shot and killed, and the killer managed to put the murder weapon in Michael's hands. Covering his tracks, he also covered Max's killer's tracks. The CIA pissed in losing a good man, has their watch dog to solve this mystery requiring Michael to be at least 4 steps ahead of Agent Pearce (Lauren Stamile of Grey's Anatomy, Alligator Point, Community, The Event, Complications and CSI: Cyber) who wants the man that murdered her friend and colleague. With the clock ticking, the lies that will only cover Michael so far and trust that can be easily believed as a front, the gang need to get Weston cleared of these charges.

Weston is also dealing with the nagging sensation is the company that burned him actually dead and buried? Could this just be his paranoia kicking in or are the ashes of the old rising anew?

Season 5 brings in some solid writing and griping suspension. You have a spy drama showing its "A" game and presenting so many unknown elements along with still being able to assist people with their problems. Clients are being helped and the crew really are meshing together as a dynamic. Admittedly I wasn't really sure about Coby Bell's character Jesse Porter, who felt like a watered down version of Michael but he has come to the edge of the abyss without blinking last season and it was great seeing him back. Familiar faces make their way in and provide good performances. Is Dead Larry gone for good or will he hurt Michael to the bone? Tune in and find out!

So Heather Locklear... you get to make out with her, Grant?

Seasons Continue

Welcome one and all back for the week and yeah I was absent Monday. Work makes it occasionally difficult. While I might love to do this for a living, I wouldn't even know where to start. Okay with that bout of ridiculousness out of the way, this week we take a peek at series past and current showing range of drama,sci-fi and even some horror. Mostly because the well was a little dry and the brain cells aren't firing up as much as it could. That being said I thought I would showcase a bit of Burn Notice, Supernatural, possibly some Angel and even Agents of SHIELD.

Have a beer.  Really it heals many a wound.

I am trying to get a new mic for Rotten Ramblin' On because... it has sounded like crap for Shawn or myself and dammit we want some quality. You guys are missing the random gems that got uttered and by God we will want to make a better show for the fans.

My main idea behind this is I have not really spoke of TV for a few months and that is lacking and shame on me. No I will not be reviewing Gotham. For me, Gotham without Batman would be as exciting as Metropolis and no Blue Boy Scout to be found. A personal choice and feel free to burn me in effigy, flame me in comments or praise my taste. So a lot going on with the blog and the podcast. Again please toss suggestions on the FB pages and we really appreciate it all the comments. I will be setting up a P.O. Box so fans can send film requests to review. I promise I will give them all their due.

A new turn for Rotten Reelz Reviews so stay tuned.

So I hear Jake's getting off his ass and writing about us again.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Serial Week: Flash Gordon

Welcome, welcome welcome one and all back for Day 3 of Serial Week. My apologies for not doing this yesterday but family visits, chores and the like can take its toll. That being said, let's journey into some sci-fi. Alex Raymond (Cartoonist from the 1930s) hit the jackpot working on such strips as Tillie the Toiler and Tim Tyler's Luck. His work was hailed as some of the very best that it allowed him to persue the creation of the jungle adventure series Jungle Jim and spy adventurer Secret Agent X-9. Jungle Jim and Secret Agent X-9 was even set for radio dramas in the day but as he was deemed the artist's artist and most of his work is still a major influence in comic books and the strips, the notoriety of these titles did not give him the recognition as his most popular and well-known science fiction character did. In competition with Buck Rogers, our Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Famer brought boys and girls and many adult, a favorite for ages to come.   This is Flash Gordon.

Hope they don't notice me floating an air biscuit.

With the planet Mongo rocketing towards Earth at unbelievable speeds...yet somehow gravity and atmosphere seem normal as if in the orbit of a sun or moon, Doctor Alexis Zarkov (Frank Shannon of Anthony Adverse, The Texas Rangers, Roll Along,Cowboy, The Adventurous Blonde, Blondes at Work, Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars and You Can't Take It With You) ponders and calculates the precise trajectory of Mongo's arrival. Conferring with his colleague Professor Gordon that a daring attempt must be made to confab with the inhabitants of Mongo.

With the help of an experimental rocket ship, Doctor Zarkov abducts his colleague's son Flash (Buster Crabbe of Tarzan the Fearless, Flash Gordon, The Kid Rides Again, Fugitive of the Plains, The Renegade, Devil Riders and Valley of Vengeance) and his friend Dale Arden (Jean Rogers of Flash Gordon, Ace Drummond, Flash Gordon'sTrip to Mars, Charlie Chan in Panama, Whistling in Brooklyn, Gay Blades and The Second Woman) as hostages a.k.a. Assistants in this flight to save humanity.

It also makes Jiffy Pop Popcorn!

No sooner our would-be heroes land on the planet, they are startled by massive lizards (iguanas in super-imposed camera effect) and hoisted to safety by the Emperor's men for violating their airspace and sullying their lands with their filthy human disease. Gotta fear that polio.   Our armored thugs drag the threesome (stop it, ya pervs) to the Emperor himself and you know they are in the hands of a benevolent and kind ruler named...Ming the Merciless (Charles Middleton of The Good Earth, Hollywood Cowboy, Conquest, Stand-In, Jezebel, Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars and Jesse James). Our villainous ruler takes an almost immediate shine to Dale (Guess they don't see many blondes) and puts Flash into an arena for MORTAL COMBAAAAAAATTTT!!!!

Will Flash make it out alive? Can Ming be reasoned with? Will Princess Aura have even tinier outfits?

Interspursed with Stage 28 of the Universal Studios we also get to make yet more trips to Bronson Caves in Griffith Park. Look I know it is a prime location for Westerns and Sci-fi but c'mon! I could map this place out in my head I have seen the landmarks that many times.

With a scheduled 13 part chapter serial, the entire show was shot in six weeks meaning cast and crew were pulling fourteen hour days. A budget of $360,000, three times the normal for a chapter play it allowed for elaborate armored costumes, scale and full size models and even stunt choreography that was not seen in previous serials.

Despite the substantial budget of the day, most of the show used existing sets from other Universal films such as: the laboratory and crypt sets from Bride of Frankenstein, the castle interiors from Dracula's Daughter, the idol from the Mummy and even the outer walls of Ming's castle was actually the cathedral walls from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Pretty snazzy, huh?

Excuse me, I am on the throne. Wink wink!  Shut the door!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Serial Week: The Phantom

Welcome back to Serial Week were we are not looking to profile into the psyche of a killer. Yeah I know it just doesn't sound interesting now, but how about another guy in tights? Huh? You seem to like those. Based on the comic strip created by Lee Falk. This character has managed short stories, novelizations, cartoons, video games and even a theme park. Many tremble for the might of his majestic purple clad terror on bullies and criminals and his inherent jungle powers. This is The Phantom.

Many of you have commented on my tights.  Stop that.

So glossing over the 1996 Robert Evans produced film The Phantom which...kinda a stinker but still superior to the Dick Tracy flick, our costume clad crimefighter operated out of Bangalla, a completely fictional country. Our hero made his way to the comic strip in February 17, 1936. There is a tale of a Ghost Who Walks, an indestructible being that guards the innocent, devotes his time into disrupting criminals' lives and dispenses justice.

Hailing from Columbia Pictures, our cliffhanger serial stars The Phantom (Tom Tyler of Stagecoach, The Talk of the Town, Clancy of the Mounted, Adventures of Captain Marvel, Border Vigilantes and She Tore a Yellow Ribbon) as his second superhero role as he was Captain Marvel as well and brother this guy is built. Getting his start in Tinseltown as a movie extra and stuntman, at 6'1" his weight-lifter build and strong jaw landed him many a role and the serials were no different. With him at his side his faithful wolf (German Shepard for safety reasons), Devil.

The "tribes" are shockingly enough in red face.

Our fifteen parter opens with a expedition to rediscover the Lost City of Zoloz...yes it is spelled Zoloz. Guess Ziox was taken for The Final Sacrifice...oh Rowsdower.  Ahem, moving on, the location of the city can only be found of seven separate pieces of ivory, three of which are in Professor Davidson's possession. His partner, Doctor Bremmer intends to use the lost city as a secret airbase for his country that didn't seem important enough to name. All hail my nationality of on unknown origin!

The Phantom steps in but Doctor Bremmer is able to dispatch him off this mortal coil but as the legacy hero goes, one will step in for the other, The Phantom's son Geoffrey Prescott takes on the mantle of the Phantom to not only avenge his father but to do right by the innocent that need his help.

Not unlike Batman or Pulp book hero Doc Savage, The Phantom does not possess superhuman powers but must rely on his wits, strength, skill with a .45 and his reputation as a profound badass.

Well Dave, you have jungle fever. I'm writing you a prescription for more cowbell.

My take on the serial? Given the less than stellar creation of the 96 Phantom I found this to be a tight script, well balanced cast and frankly I didn't want to go head to head with this guy. He moved like a boxer. The elder Phantom was barrel chested and about in his 70s and yet he looked like he could curb stomp a few guys. Tyler as the younger Phantom moves like a boxer and a guy that has been in more than a few street fights in real life so yeah I was impressed. His line delivery was a bit wooden but so was Gary Cooper's and not many complained about him. Jeanne Bates' performance of Diane Palmer comes off adventurous, sassy without the sneers and arrogance of Kristy Swanson's performance in the 96 film. She had feisty behavior, verve and a decent heart where her man was concerned.

Any Phantom fan would easily enjoy this serial, so give it the once over. Sorry 2010 fans but no biker helmets.

Oh?  I look younger?  Well my ectoplasm was feeling generous.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Serial Week: The Batman

Hello all and a fine greetings to Day 1 of Serial Week. To start off this concept, we go to Columbia Pictures were they have reeled in a couple of characters that hail from the DC comics universe. A couple of caped crusaders hell bent on keeping the streets clean of crime. Yes I am talking of Batman and Robin. In 1943, 5 years after the release of the comic book series Detective Comics, these characters were believed to be hot property and an immediate calling for a serial was on the way. This is The Batman.

Commissioner Gordon? Do you have Prince Albert in a can?

Based on the Bob Kane creation, Batman operated a little differently than he did in the comics. At the height of World War II, some alterations were made as Batman operated as a secrete government agent rather than the vigilante as he was. This was mostly due to the censors not wanting the hero to be seen taking the law into his own hands. Yet they have no problem of a young boy in tights running head long into danger. Film censors are screwy.

Like most material of the time in American fiction it is very anti-German and heavily anti-Japanese as our villain of this piece Dr. Daka (J. Carrol Naish of Sahara, Annie Get Your Gun, Rio Grande and The New Adventures of Charlie Chan) a brilliant scientist and agent for Emperor Hirohito (or Emperor Akihito) has developed a device capable of taking over the minds of men and women leaving them in a zombie (a mindless automon controlled by a powerful drug, not the Romero flesh eaters) state of mind to do Daka's bidding.

Charlie Chan: Master Criminal.

Batman (Lewis Wilson of The Batman, There's Something About a Soldier, Once Upon a Time, Wild Women of Wongo and Craig Kennedy, Criminologist) along side his faithful sidekick Robin (Douglas Croft of The Pride of the Yankees, Kings Row, Yankee Doodle Dandy, The Batman and River Gang) work tirelessly to thwart this threat and the growing crime rate as most of Gotham's menfolk are over seas... yet that lay about, good for nothing Bruce Wayne gets to stay home. Why, I'd give him some chin music I tells ya. Devoted manservant Alfred (William Austin of It, The Gay Divorcee, The Private Life of Henry VIII and Alice in Wonderland) keeps our heroes' secret and even fends off Bruce's lady friend Linda (Shirley Patterson of The Batman, World Without End, The Land Unknown, It! The Terror from Beyond Space and Frontier Doctor) so the boys can go biffing bad guys in their tights.

There were of course some complications with the character in the scope of a budget. An established shot of the manor on Hill Road in L.A. Most of the film location was around Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth... surprisingly enough there were no 8 foot high fences like several homes in Chatsworth now for more risque filming these days.   Several of the Bat Cave shots are found in my favorite place of Western and Sci-fi but Bronson Canyon in Griffith Park.  

These are also the days when actors did their own stunts for the serials and brother there are plenty of break away chairs and tables hurled at people and out windows. No budget for both a car and a Bat-mobile, a black Cadillac served as both and Alfred was chauffeuring them in both their duel identities. Hope Alfred smeared mud on the license plates. 

Dick, go play your PS4 and stop fidgeting.  Criminy.

Serial Week

Hey folks. Sorry for starting the week on a Tuesday but apparently it was Migraine Monday. Yeah really hope that is not going to be a thing but weather patterns are screwy that way. Well last week got to glimpse some interesting Free-to-Play games on Steam which a handful of them were actually fun... well a few... okay I really only enjoyed one. This time around I thought I would give acknowledgement to a time honored concept that hailed back when going to the movies meant spending a dime and popcorn was also cheap as could be.

Now put on your mittens, Robin. You have to shovel the walk.

During the 1930s and the 1940s short cartoons or even programming of live-action capers and thrillers would shown before the feature length movie. These shows would have a continuing plot that furthers the story from anything from undersea voyages, cowboys and even a few comic book heroes.

These short films were called serials. As one chapter of thrills and spills ended, next week a new one would happen. Giving the term cliffhanger (a plot device in fiction where a main character is in a difficult scenario or confronted with shocking news that will change their life forever) originated in Movie and Radio bringing as much as excitement to their customers and listeners at home and always ending with To Be Continued or The End? The following serial would most commonly begin with a recap of the events in the previous episode to lend it weight to the audience or justify the outcome.

Created by 5 major studios in competition with one another, each trying to bring their own spin of things and persons, Columbia Pictures brought you such titles as: (The Secret of Treasure Island, The Spider's Web, Flying G-Men and Mandrake the Magician) while Universal Pictures had (The Spell of the Circus, The Airmail Mystery, The Lost Special and Clancy of the Mounted) Mascot Pictures and Pathe Exchange were fading out due to the introduction to the age of sound, Pathe stopped production in the latter 20s while Mascot merged with the most known picture racket of the serials Republic Pictures producing shows like : (Dick Tracy, Zorro Rides Again, The Lone Ranger, Captain America and Batman)

So this week we take a look at some of these serials that brought joy, terror and a bit of exhilaration to audiences during the Depression and WWII, because they sure needed it.

We might have some laughs, some elation and possibly be diverted to joy. Let's find out, shall we?

Hello police?  Yeah my sidekick took my bike and shield again.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Free-to-Play Reappearance: Spooky's House of Jumpscares

Howdy all and welcome to Day 4 of Free-to-Play. Well yesterday was my birthday and my girlfriend was insistent on not working on said day so I felt the same and skipped the blog. So with that in mind, I decided to give today a whirl. The tagline for this game was too funny and I could not resist. Can you survive 1000 rooms of cute terror? Or will you break once the cuteness starts to fade off and your running for your life from the unspeakable hideous being that shake and writhe in bowels of this house? This is Spooky's House of Jump Scares.

Ah!!!! a note!

As you dare to brave this journey, you recall the legends told of this dilapidated mansion upon the hill a blanket of darkness over the town. No real history has ever been recorded and even the oldest residents of this town can true really remember the beginnings of the mansion.

Hailing from Lag Studios our protagonist is a history nut you hearken up the mountain to the mansion, hoping to bring light to the history of this house of darkness.

Themed by horror, this first person player allows for free roaming around this manor of madness giving it a simplistic control in the standard W,A,S,D on the keyboard with SPACE bar to open door and skim through notes. Given the usual health and stamina bar on the top left of your screen. The right hand side is a room counter keeping track how many rooms you have been through. SPACE bar also is used for an axe you carry.

Heavens, its... a torch-lit hall.

The house seems to be almost random with the exception of a room intended storyline. Notes are scattered throughout the rooms, each one give a crucial part of the story.
For the first 50 some odd rooms the only real issue or threat is Specimen 1( a bright green ghost shaped like some sort of teardrop with a few tentacles) and it bounds through the walls in irregular intervals. The funniest part of this all is it is a cardboard cutout of a creature but appears in different forms such as: a blue spotted ghost, a skeleton with arm stretched out like a zombie, a purple, cloud-like creature, a brown cup filled with coffee, an ice cream cone and a distorted green creature with a bloody skull.

A Wolfenstein style game with corridors that seem endless with the same pixelated doors with these grey stone walls. Specimen 2 (a semi-solid humanoid with some bright green with a gel substance on its body, its face lacking lips and showing a row of sharpen teeth with no legs or feet with slime dripping off of it.

As the room continue on, the creatures get more disturbing. Between puzzles, guesses and armed only with an axe, you need to pay attention to all notes and hits the game offers, grab some scrap paper to jot a few notes. Just in case. Can the game be solved? Is there really an end to it?

Give it a chance and find out yourself.

Ghost girl manifested!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Free-to-Play Reappearance: Pinball Arcade

Hey folks welcome back for Day 3 of Free-to-Play and let's just jump right in. So a phenomenon that has happened around Steam is the love of pinball games. Farsight Studios created exact replicas of some of the all-time greatest pinball tables from Williams, Bally, Stern Pinball and Gottlieb all together in this one game. From every sound effect, bumper and flipper has so much detail and vibrant colors. This is Pinball Arcade.

Well those paddles are well placed.

A single-player, multiplayer game that is not only PC, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and Playstation 4 mimicking famous pinball machines as far back as 1966. Stern Company associated with Sega brought Starship Troopers with movie quotes, sound effects, flashing lights and a 3D pinball with a sheen like a freshly made ball bearing. Ranging from over 5 seasons these titles are very familiar and have some history to them.

A few off-hand will age me but I care not. Taxi released by WMS Industries in 1988. The goal of the game is to pick up five passengers: Pinbot, Gorbie (a parody of General Secretary of Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev), Santa, Dracula and Lola (or Marilyn Monroe from the original release). Collecting all five passengers gives the jackpot. Amusingly enough there was some likeness rights over Marilyn Monroe, the character Marilyn had to be changed to Lola which looks identical to Marilyn made brunette.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day was the first game to feature the auto-plunger (a trigger device vs a spring plunger) with Arnold Schwarzenegger gave voice to the game, showing the original dot matrix display or DMD (showing informations on machines, clocks, railway and plane depatures with a limited resolution) and frame and box-board artwork of the T-800 in Arnold form, damaged Arnold form and exoskeleton. A per-release had a finite release with Robert Patrick's T-1000 image to maybe 500 machines.

1979 Disney's The Black Hole with spring plunger.

From the early 60s woodrails (wood to frame the playfield glass) to showing of the EM Electron-mechanical (a pinball machines design with relays, motors and switches to run it) which was phased out of design in the late 1970s. After the 1970s pinball machines were referred as Solid State (a machine design that relies on computers and printed circuit boards to run it) are easily recognized by the scoring display powered by electricity vs the score reels that spin to display the scores.

So game play is easy enough with mouse left to right click for paddles, A and D to tilt. Pressing left or right mouse button to launch a ball. Aside from gorgeous graphics, sound effects supplied from the original standing units with 65 different arcade pinball and the DLC offers additional tables each month. Downside is you will have to pay for these new tables. Still love the intro music is an instrumental version of Pinball Wizard via The Who.

Mars needs women and blasters apparently.