Monday, April 7, 2014

Ultra Hip Book Reviews: March

(Author's Note: A few errors and typos fixed and there maybe more but I'll fix them...soon! Thanks.)

It's more then just the collective souls of our race. It tells where we are going, what to do when we get there and in time we will learn that books are the saviors of any man, not just to look outward but inward, the true universe explained. I have three books for you this month that should unlock all you potential, and if it doesn't, they are still some tasty reads.

It's time for: Three Books I Recently Finished That Will Pleasure Your Eyeballs.

One: Hawkeye Vol 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction.

It wasn't long ago when I said I would never read another Matt Fraction book but then, after the literary vomit that was The Mighty Thor/Journey into Mystery, I gave him another chance, two actually with Fantastic Four: New Departures and New Arrivals and now with Hawkeye:  My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction. I'm glad I did because he could go no where but up with The Mighty Thor on his resume.

Fraction's  Hawkeye, while not nearly a masterpiece is still a fine example of good comics in little moments. This collection of about the Archer Avenger is a simple, straight forward tale about his life and every day moments that make Clint Barton a hero.

Sure there is lots of action but it's more about character then throwing punches.

I enjoyed Hawkeye Vol 1 because now Barton is even more likable, more the ever really because he is a now person brought down from a hero status into a Everyman-kind-of character.

Hawkeye is one of Fractions's best and I can only thank him now for proving to me he's got what it takes to stay in the business.

Two: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka.

The big bad wolf has anyways had a bad rap when it comes to those walking sausages who wanted him off his property. His tell all book explodes with the true-true tale of nastiness and discrimination. Sure, we all know 'that' story told by the pork pies, how he was hungry and he huffed and puffed but in this short autobiography he comes clean and to settle record once and for all.

As you may have guest this is comedy for children but adults who laugh too. I had it when I was a child and yes, I still read it. I found if you want your kids to sleep easily this book is a good place to start. It will relax them, puts them in a good mood and they sleep be better because they weren't tensed up before they conked out.

And yes, you too can read it before you go to bed. It beats Nyquil.

Three: Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Issacson.

Finding the soul of a man is harder then finding this thoughts, it's the heart, not the brain that really did the work of Albert Einstein, the greatest man of the 20th Century.

The book is not lacking in Einstein's theories. Even today some don't know exactly what Einstein what accomplished; they know 'who' he is but the 'what' is a little fuzzy. They understand he did something no other man of scientist even considered or were stuck on for centuries and proved it. So, Issacson explains them in great clarity, and even if you do already know them it is a good reminder that some things do need repeating because they are so brilliant.

And then, there is a great biography in the midst of all this. From youthful, imaginative young man, into college student of goods grades, to poor patient clerk who in his spare time found that time and light and fabric of space is not what it appears, it is a grand story, a pull-yourself-up-from-your-bootstrap story. But, most importantly, Einstein was also a man who loved human beings and hated war and nationalism. He was like by many, hated by a few and worshiped today as the man who jimmying some of the most complicated locks in the whole of nature.

It's one of finest book every written about a human being and it will show you, in the universe, your place as well.


Ultra Hip Classic Movie Review: The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear

The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear.

Rating: ****

Once again, we have a near perfect spoof about a cop who wouldn't know a clue is it went up, bite him on the ass, jumped back down and said, “Hey, I'm a clue, damn it!”

I can tell you from experience I've never met a person like Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nelson) before. He is just that stupid and I've met Da Vinci's of stupidity. He is so stupid, so inept at his job and life in general I wonder why they even let him out of a first grade let alone grades two through twelve. His parents, if they're alive, must be pissed.

Frank, as dumb as he is, really is a very well thought out character. That maybe a double negative but it's true.

He is the idiot child made guys called Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker known for films like Airplane and The Kentucky Fried Movie, two truly great film comedies. Frank is a great, masterful character because he causes more trouble then the plot allows, so in a way he is very proactive, messing in gloriously humorous ways. He is far from a stagnant character and that's what we need in any good fiction: conflict!

Here we have him in site gags in regards to the President of the United States (GHWB) and his wife (Barbara) how she gets most of the brutes of Drebin stupidity and it works quite well, even when she is hanging from a balcony with only under underclothes on.

Plot? You want a plot from this film?

Trust me, it doesn't matter. But hey, if you so need one I'll try my best to give you what you desire.

Drebin is trying to stop scheme in which the big toxic waste companies  want to kidnap a man who will be giving a speak which the President will back completely. That speak will say we should save more of the environment instead giving the waste companies to dump wherever they like. The company men do indeed kidnap the man and replace him with a duplicate, but the person working with the man is Jane Spencer, Frank's old flame played by Priscilla Presley and she is dating the man who is helping the business men who will do harm to out Earth.

There, the plot!

The film is not really about the environment or the big business or any anything other then making you laugh so hard soda shoots from your nostrils and you chock on your popcorn.

One sight gag which floored me so hard happens in a place called The Blue Note, a clichéd bar where people go to get drunk and wallow in self misery. In the Bar, plastered on the walls are pictures like The Chicago Fire,  the Hindenburg in Flames, The Titanic sinking and then at the end of the photos is a smiling, photogenic image of Michael Dukakis.

Disasters everyone!

Now, is this film funnier then the first Naked Gun film? Probably not, but that still is no reason not to see it. And again and again and again.

I laughed so hard with this film, I cried. Oh dear God did I cry.

Frank Drebin is a comedy demigod.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ultra Hip Book and Movie Reviews is Late

Folks, it's been a busy week. The two articles have been written they just need a few fixes and they should be ready. I'll probably get it done sometimes this week. 


Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74250)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Knight Announce Trailer

Here is the first trailer for an upcoming Batman Arkham game and Rocksteady's return to the world of Gotham. It's Batman: Arkham Knight coming soon to your PS4, Xbox One and PC.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ultra Hip Book Reviews: February

Cold months are the times in which should read the most. Hot is the duration in which we should still read but experience life more and learn the moral of the stories that went into every page. It's been cold few months so I expect you should be nestled with some good books. No? Need help finding a book? I got your back. 

It's time for: 

Three Books I Recently Finished That Will Pleasure Your Eyeballs. 

One: The Exorcist by William Petter Blatty. 

Never had I experienced a child more tortured then Regan MacNeil. 

Regan is a good girl, friendly, warm, loving a perfect soul to be possessed by a demon. 

Her mother, a famous actress, has tried everything medically possible to help her. Soon, however, she learns the truth of her daughter's illness and so he calls on a priest, Damon, a man with his own demons to help her in warding off Satan from her Regan's body. 

This is a violent tale of a child abused. You may have seen the film version of this tale but now it's time to get into the mind of these characters and read the book. You may find it hard at first, but ultimately this is story of courage in the face of damnable deeds. 

Two: Ancient Rome: From The Earliest Times Down to 476 A.D. By Robert Franklin Pennell

There is something about Winter, which is the time I read Ancient Rome, that compels me to read about unforgiving times. 

Winter in itself is unforgiving, it's rough on the bones and the senses and takes no pity on the frail. This is why I picked up this little dozy and started reading, for the Romans themselves were very unforgiving.  That is not to say the Romans were barbarians. I will not play the Ego Game which implies that since I was born in a gentler time that they were any less of the person I am. However, that being said, they weren't exactly the choirboys of their time either. 

I wanted to read about battles and blood, great statesmen and mad emperors, towering deeds and shocking horror. 

I found it here. 

This is a jewel of a book, not only informative and well written but, most importantly, damned entertaining. Do yourself a favor, pick it up, it's everything you'll want: a bloody, unforgiving time.

Three: V for Vendetta by Alan Moore. 

One of the seminal works in Alan Moore's career is V for Vendetta, a tale of revenge and absolute power set in Britain at a future time when fascism has overtook United Kingdom. 

On Guy Fawkes Night, a young girl name Evey is walking through the streets London. She almost raped and murdered by a police unit called "The Finger" but is saved by a man in a Guy Fawkes mask who goes by the name V. This man has suffered greatly by the fascist UK and soon he is about to unveiled his plan, setting the country in anarchy as a way for bring about the old days. 

The story unfolds perfectly, we learn what happened to V to change him into a man who seeks revenge and soon what happens to Evey, to set free her government, to free from fear itself.

Watchmen, a masterpiece of comic literature, was grand tale and a good character study but V for Vendetta goes even deeper. It asks the readers universal questions about ourselves, about our own lives and if life itself is worth living without liberty. 

Your answers to these questions will define you. 


Ultra Hip Classic Movie Review: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Rating: ***+

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is one of those film that doesn't get any less funnier seeing it a good ten or fifteen times around, trust me I have seen it that many times. The Star Trek Series has never been know for comedy and yet it always had it. In this theatrical film version it goes to the heart of a Joker like me and the many others who love good, well written, fish out of water stories. 

What would happened if heroes from the 23rd century went back in time to find humpback whales and bring them into the future so they can answer an alien prob which is causing the death of Earth? Now that was a weird plot line, and if it wasn't funny it would just be bad description of a bad movie. 

What would happen if these people, smart, technologically savvy and completely well developed human beings interacted with folks of 1986 San Francisco? The answers is a lot of good scenes in which the heroes don't know how to responded to such ordinary rudeness. 

The one character who makes all the humor work is the one you wouldn't think wouldn't be funny in the first place: Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Here is an alien who is even more out of whack then he usually because he has just died and was risen from the grave. He is funny because he won't lie. That is a major problem in this film because if Kirk (William Shanter) or Bones (Deforest Kelly) tells the people of this time period who they are, they will be put in the funny farm and worst of all their mission (a whale of a task) will fail. 

Besides Spock's pervading humor there is a gut busting scene when Chekov is arrested for breaking in to a nuclear naval vessel. He is Russian, this is the time of the Cold War, and he plays it like its nothing, why the hell are they picking on him. It's very good work. 

Probably what makes this film work so well is the profanity but remember this is a PG film so don't expect real profanity to show itself. Kirk and the bunch don't know how to swear, they know people are swearing at them and they try to their best to use such words in return which they only know from "classic" literature of their time. 

I've seen each Star Trek films at least a dozen times and while my favorite is still Wrath of Khan this is certainly my second. It has wonderful acting from people who usually don't do comedy and they do it excellently. It's a very big surprise when this film came along, that they chose to squeeze our legs and tickles us with their jokes instead of blowing Klingons to holy hell. 

I've probably never laughed at much Star Trek in the past. This film makes up for it. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 International Trailer

Here is the International Trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.


2013 Bram Stoker Awards Nominees

Here are the nominees for the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards. 

Superior Achievement in a Novel

NOS4A2, Joe Hill (Morrow)
Doctor Sleep, Stephen King (Scribner)
Malediction, Lisa Morton (Evil Jester)
A Necessary End, Sarah Pinborough & F. Paul Wilson (Thunderstorm/Maelstrom)
The Heavens Rise, Christopher Rice (Gallery)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Candy House, Kate Jonez (Evil Jester)
The Year of the Storm, John Mantooth (Berkley)
The Evolutionist, Rena Mason (Nightscape)
Redheads, Jonathan Moore (Samhain)
Stoker’s Manuscript, Royce Prouty (Putnam)

Superior Achievement in a YA Novel
Special Dead, Patrick Freivald (JournalStone)
Unbreakable, Kami Garcia (Little, Brown)
Project Cain, Geoffrey Girard (Simon & Schuster)
Dog Days, Joe McKinney (JournalStone)
In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Cat Winters (Abrams)

Superior Achievement Long Fiction

“The Bluehole”, Dale Bailey (F&SF 5-6/13)
“The Great Pity”, Gary Braunbeck (Chiral Mad 2)
“The Slaughter Man”, Benjamin K. Ethridge (Limbus, Inc.)
“No Others Are Genuine”, Gregory Frost (Asimov’s 10-11/13)
House of Rain, Greg F. Gifune (DarkFuse)
East End Girls, Rena Mason (JournalStone)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

“Primal Tongue”, Michael Bailey (Zippered Flesh 2)
“Snapshot”, Patrick Freivald (Blood & Roses)
“Night Train to Paris”, David Gerrold (F&SF 1-2/13)
“The Hunger Artist”, Lisa Mannetti (Zippered Flesh 2)
“The Geminis”, John Palisano (Chiral Mad 2)
“Code 666”, Michael Reaves (F&SF 3-4/13)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Horror Library: Volume 5, R.J. Cavender & Boyd E. Harris, ed. (Cutting Block)
After Death…, Eric J. Guignard, ed. (Dark Moon)
Barbers & Beauties, Michael Knost & Nancy Eden Siegel, ed. (Hummingbird House)
The Grimscribe’s Puppets, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., ed. (Miskatonic River)
Dark Visions: A Collection of Modern Horror, Volume One, Anthony Rivera & Sharon Lawson, ed. (Grey Matter)

Superior Achievement in a Collection

North American Lake Monsters: Stories, Nathan Ballingrud (Small Beer)
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories, Laird Barron (Night Shade)
The Tears of Isis, James Dorr (Perpetual Motion Machine)
The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories, Caitlìn R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
Dance of the Blue Lady, Gene O’Neill (Bad Moon)
Bible Stories for Secular Humanists, S.P. Somtow (Diplodocus)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Images of the Modern Vampire: The Hip and the Atavistic, Barbara Brodman & James E. Doan, eds. (Fairleigh Dickinson)
Ramsey Campbell: Critical Essays on the Modern Master of Horror, Gary William Crawford, ed. (Scarecrow)
Nolan on Bradbury: Sixty Years of Writing about the Master of Science Fiction, William F. Nolan (Hippocampus)
The Intermedial Experience of Horror: Suspended Failures, Jarkko Toikkanen (Palgrave Macmillan)
Lovecraft and Influence: His Predecessors and Successors, Robert H. Waugh, ed. (Scarecrow)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Dark Roads: Selected Long Poems 1971-2012, Bruce Boston (Dark Renaissance)
The Sex Lives of Monsters, Helen Marshall (Kelp Queen)
Dangerous Dreams, Marge Simon & Sandy DeLuca (Elektrik Milk Bath)
Four Elements, Marge Simon, Rain Graves, Charlee Jacob, & Linda Addison (Bad Moon/Evil Jester)
Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Stephanie M. Wytovich (Raw Dog Screaming)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Fatale Book Three: West of Hell, Ed Brubaker (Image)
Alabaster: Wolves, Caitlìn R. Kiernan (Dark Horse)
Witch Doctor, Vol. 2: Mal Practice, Brandon Seifert (Image)
Sin Titulo, Cameron Stewart (Dark Horse)
Colder, Paul Tobin (Dark Horse)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

The Returned: ”The Horde”, Fabien Adda & Fabrice Gobert (Ramaco Media I, Castelao Pictures)
American Horror Story: Asylum: ”Spilt Milk”, Brad Falchuk (Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision, Ryan Murphy Productions)
Hannibal: ”Apéritif”, Bryan Fuller (Dino De Laurentiis Company, Living Dead Guy Productions, AXN: Original X Production, Gaumont International Television)
Dracula: ”A Whiff of Sulfur”, Daniel Knauf (Flame Ventures, Playground, Universal Television, Carnival Films)
The Walking Dead: ”Welcome to the Tombs”, Glen Mazzara (AMC TV)

2013 Nebula Award Nominees

Here are the nominees for the 2013 Nebula Awards. 


We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood) 
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Headline Review) 
Fire with Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
 Hild, Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island)
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer)
The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker (Harper)


‘‘Wakulla Springs’’, Andy Duncan & Ellen Klages ( 10/2/13)
‘‘The Weight of the Sunrise’’, Vylar Kaftan (Asimov’s 2/13)
‘‘Annabel Lee’’, Nancy Kress (New Under the Sun)
‘‘Burning Girls’’, Veronica Schanoes ( 6/19/13)
‘‘Trial of the Century’’ Lawrence M. Schoen (; World Jumping)
Six-Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean)


‘‘Paranormal Romance’’, Christopher Barzak (Lightspeed 6/13)
‘‘The Waiting Stars’’, Aliette de Bodard (The Other Half of the Sky)
‘‘They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass’’, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Asimov’s 1/13)
‘‘Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters’’, Henry Lien (Asimov’s 12/13)
‘‘The Litigation Master and the Monkey King’’, Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/13)
‘‘In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind’’, Sarah Pinsker (Strange Horizons 7/1 – 7/8/13)

Short Story

‘‘The Sounds of Old Earth’’, Matthew Kressel (Lightspeed 1/13)
‘‘Selkie Stories Are for Losers’’, Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons 1/7/13)
‘‘Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer’’, Kenneth Schneyer (Clockwork Phoenix 4)
‘‘If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love’’, Rachel Swirsky (Apex 3/13)
‘‘Alive, Alive Oh’’, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley (Lightspeed 6/13)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

Doctor Who: ‘‘The Day of the Doctor’’
Europa Report
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Pacific Rim

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black (Little, Brown; Indigo)
When We Wake, Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin; Little, Brown)
Sister Mine, Nalo Hopkinson (Grand Central)
The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)
Hero, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
September Girls, Bennett Madison (Harper Teen)
A Corner of White, Jaclyn Moriarty (Levine)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ultra Hip Book Reviews: January

We read so when it's times to face the madmen, the heroes, the inbetweenies we know what to feel, what to say, how to live and how to die. There are moments for us that will never come but there are also moments in which someone feels exactly what we are going through. It shines a light on our existence and without it we will be lost and may never know how to escape the pain that can and eventually will come. We won't always be here but thanks to books we may be here a little longer.

It's time for:

Three Books I Recently Finished That Will Pleasure Your Eyeballs. 

One: Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

I won't lie when it comes to the character of Wolverine, I'm not a huge fan. For me, there was always something about this character that never connected with me. Sure, he probably is the most well drawn character in comics history, he is gorgeous to look at but really his backstory is so full of clichés - a Frankensteinesque/Harry Callahan mash up - it never much catches the attention of those who are already well familiar with such a character.

Now, we have Old Man Logan and it's not a backstory but rather a telling of Wolverine's possible future: it doesn't suck. This is a gentler Logan, by choice, who refuses to kill because of something in his past, our present. Logan is going on one more mission with his friend and former Avenger Hawkeye to make sure his wife and children are never harassed again in a barren, post apocalyptic future after the villains of the Marvel Universe have won.

Most of the comic is well written, well thought out to a point which Is crazy, off the way, what-the-hell-can-they-think-up-next material which was just fine for me but the last half of the book is why it is merely a good comic instead of great. The battle may make sense in the way it is played out, in comic book sense anyway, but then we've all thought about that battle before and may have come to the same conclusion, that is why it's kind of lazy rather then adding anything new to the subject but just that last half. Still, that can be forgiven.

Old Man Logan could be my favorite Wolverine comic to date and why I'm writing about it here. Good stuff.

Two: Blood Music by Greg Bear

Now, here is a book which could be a cliché but shifts your attention so much it's anything but.

It starts out with biotechnologist Vergil Ulam and his making of a new, special kind of lymphocyte called noocyte. He injects these almost perfect
noocyte into his bloodstream after he is fired from his job at a company called Genetron.

Vergil is mad and he will get madder. 

That being said the book is not just about Vergil, he is only the catalyst. Changes are about to be made on the Earth, large from the small and eventually life will become entirely new for everything in the
noocyte way.

Now, you can guess where this is going to go and you may even get it right. Still, we have a plot in Blood Music that is rapidly changing so not only will you guess right where it's going but it will be a guess that will have to be adjusted because the book is not happy with just one kind of design.

It's a fast, good read. Have a good time with this one.

Three: The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson

Repairman Jack, the anti-hero of F. Paul Wilson's The Tomb, is a complete badass and a sweetie. Here is a man who will solve your problem with a gun or a knife, who will break bones and cause massive brain damage but who also loves children and is very loyal to the people he lets into his life.

Here, Jack has a problem: Rakoshi (Ancient Indian-from-India monsters) and a madman are set on taking over the world and to exact a revenge on a family Jack loves. It is dangerous work to try and stop them but Jack is up to the task and will kill for those he finds precious. Oh yes, he will kill. 

I've heard good things about Repairman Jack novels for years and had only recently thought about giving them a chance.

I'm glad I did.

The book is over four hundred pages and yet it feels short because you love the characters, the story, the action. 

It is Pulp. It has heart. It is pretty damn neat-o. What else could I ask for? Not much, it is never dull. 


Ultra Hip Classic Movie Review: WarGames


Rating: ****

David Lightman (Mathew Brodrick) is a smart but always in trouble high schooler who is obsessed with computers and computer games.  At the time when WarGames starts, Jenifer (Ally Sheedy) begins to take interest in him so he shows off the only way he can: flaunting his skills at breaking into secure computer systems all across the country. Also, early on in the story, Lightman reads in a magazine that a company is coming out with new games and he decides to hack into the system so he can play those games before they hit shelves.

Only that doesn't happen, at least not in the way he planned.

Instead, Lightman does break into a computer system and plays games but these games are from a Government computer, specifically the  North American Aerospace Defense Command and even more specifically a super computer called The WHOPPER, whose task is to play WWIII over and over again.

Once inside, Lightman plays Global Thermonuclear War but what is actually happening is NORAD thinks the Russians are attacking.

From the description about you can tell WarGames is pretty exciting but it's also heartfelt. Lightman knows what he did was wrong but not at first, not until after he learns whose system he breaks into, which he does so when he discovers the password of a man named Falken who built the system.

The movie is tech savvy but it doesn't beat you over the head with it. In fact, it doesn't beat you over the head with it at all. They use such and such eqiument but compare to our stuff today they might as well be rocks and stickes. How technically good can a film be over thirty years old?

What makes the film special however is the story of a boy who screwed up royally, the guilt in which he feels and the need, the overpowering urge to correct it. He, by accident, is going to kill millions. You can see it on his face every second after it is mentioned or he thinks about it. Eventually, he is caught and is sent to NORAD. They don't believe him, they think he is a recuit for the Soviets. But then, he escapes.

Soon, Lightman finds Falken but he doesn't want to help, he wants to die. His son Joshua is dead, he has lost faith in the government in which he helped. Lightman leaves Falken's house and says to Jennifer who is there with him, “I never learn to swim.”

You could tell he feels that way about a lot of things. There is remorse in Lightman's eyes, there is pain because he will never grow up, never get married, never learn to swim. It is sad to think that these weapons are such a technological marvel, objects that are monuments to our intellectual power and they are also of such power that even today we find them almost Gods who can destroy us at any time.

When will we learn?

The end of WarGames, I won't tell you, is perfect. It shows that one character is now above the folly of this kind of war and then, when he saw that one line...again, I won't tell you. If that character can understand why these weapons can never be used why can't all of us.

This is why WarGames, as far as I can tell, needs to be remembered forever.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why I Hate Breaks and Why I Need Them: A Writer Laments by Joseph Lewis Szabo III

I am a workaholic. There I said it. Folks who are workaholics don't do it because they need money or because their professional lives are so much better then their personal lives. They do it because if they don't do it they feel like something is wrong with them. If they don't feel like something is wrong with them they know they are not in the right profession because that is what they were made to do, right? 

I'm a writer. I write a lot. I don't know if I'm a good one even. I know I'm never happy with my work which begs the question: why they hell do you do it then? 

Well, because the actual act if writer for me is better then sex, better then eating, better then a day at Disneyland, better then anything I can possibly imagine. 

It is totally and completely for me and it's only after I write that I see that I failed at it. Sure, it maybe just a first draft but besides being a workaholic I also have a Obsessive Compulsive who thinks if it's not write the first time it can never be write and so I failed as an artist and as a human being. 

Too hard on myself? 

You bet your ass but that is all me.  I take pills for it but they only lessen the pain, not completely take it away. So with that in mind there are days when I just can't take the pain anymore, when I tired of kicking myself in the nuts emotionally over petty bullshit like a comma missing or a plot that doesn't work the first time. 

Yes, I love writing and I just hate myself for not being a God at it. 

This has been going on for years, decades. I would would write every day over a thousand works of text and doing it has made me work happy then ever except when it doesn't. And there are going to to be people at their who say stop writing, do something else, be a different person. 

Fuck that! 

It would be better if you told me to cut off an arm. 

Putting words down is all I want and all I need and I can't stop, I won't stop. If a hero writer of mine told me to stop, if they said I had no talent, if they swore no one would ever read my work I still would not stop. I want this for me. The problem is I am me. It has nothing really do with writing. 

If I was a born plumber and I kept on myself about how I didn't get the toilet fixed the first time out I'm sure I would feel just as miserable.    

Which brings the point of the essay: breaks. 

I hate them. I want to work. I need to work. In fact, I'm writing an essay write now about why I have to take a break from work but actually not taken a break. 

So, it's that time again. Break time. And over break time I will probably think of nothing but writing. It's happened before and it will happen again. It sucks. 

I won't be back for at least a week. I promised I would give you the two essays which I usually do at the end of the month but I can't. I am blocked and I need time off to do something else with my life even though writing is all I want to do. 

Boy, does nature have a wicked sense of humor. 

Again, I will take a break and for that...I am royally pissed. 

Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74250) 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Update on Ultra Hip Movie And Book Reviews

There will be a slight delay in this months book and movie review but not to worry they will be coming next week. Also, there will be an explanation of sorts coming tomorrow clarifying why the posts have been slim these past months. 

Stay turned and Sincerely, 

Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74250) 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


If you're a regular visitor to my blog - and I thank you if you are - I would like explain why my writing over the past couple of months has not been at its usual abundance and why I've not been more active in posting anything online in general:

I've been writing. 

Now, that may confuse some of you and this could be from a lack of information about little old me. 

Here it is: aside from being a writer of nonfiction/blogger/critic/essayist I am also an avid fiction writer. 

Much of my time these past months have been spend going through back paperwork - my babies-  and creating new fiction - my newborns -and giving that as much attention as I can. I've made new deadlines for myself; new strict deadlines which I refuse, absolutely refuse to break unless there is deathily situation and even then I may come back to life to finish what is on schedule. 

Call me funny that way. 

Still, you need to know this. At least I think you need to know this because many are still coming to my pages and probably expect a boatload a stuff about games, and movies, and books, which I will keep on writing about but not at the level in which I did before. 

Remember this is not an apology. I don't make those for my writing any more. That is a tale for another time but I will stay current on topic at hand: an explanation. 

It is not laziness. It is a shifting of attention. This does not mean I don't like you my readers. It does not mean I like writing fiction more blogging. I love any kind of writing and it takes as much skill in one as it does in the other and I take all writing quite seriously even when I fail or make mistakes. 

Look at the past posts where I nearly wallowed in self pity over the simplest errors in my work: not an apology but damn close. Perhaps I did not illustrate in the Author's Notes how much embarrassed I felt at leaving out a period, or comma or how poor the flow of a piece came out. 

I am still learning. Aren't we all still learning something

Still, I need to write more. If you want to get good at writing you must write. And I have been writing and have been having a damn good time. 

Over the past couple of months my joy for writing has been stronger then it every has and this is do to one simple rule: I've been writing for myself. 

It's always been for me, by me and if you like if, well I'm happy too. If you are a writer you learn it is the only way in which to write for others as well. This can only be learned through reflection only. Even if it was told to you by others writers or any artist you still you must figure out for yourself what that means and when you do art because less of a task and more joyful. 

So even while it is first and foremost mine and I get a pleasure from putting words on a page, if you get pleasure from it that too is great. 

There, I needed to explain myself and I did. 

But...I think...I just wanted to write for myself. 


Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74250)

BioShock Infinite's Burial at Sea Episode 2 Sneak Preview.

Here is BioShock Infinite's Burial at Sea Episode 2 Sneak Preview. 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

The 2014 Academy Awards Nominations

Here is the complete list of 2014 Academy Awards Nominations:

Best Picture

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Director

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress, Drama

Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Adapted Screenplay

Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Original Screenplay

David O. Russell and Eric Singer, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

Best Cinematography

The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners, Roger Deakins

Best Costume Design

American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster, William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O'Connor
12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris

Best Film Editing

American Hustle, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, and Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club, John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Dallas Buyers Club, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Stephen Prouty
The Lone Ranger, Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Best Original Score

The Book Thief, John Williams
Gravity, Stephen Price
Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett
Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman

Best Original Song

"Alone Yet Not Alone," Alone Yet Not Alone
"Happy," Despicable Me 2
"Let It Go," Frozen
"The Moon Song," Her
"Ordinary Love," Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Best Production Design

American Hustle, Judy Becker (Production Design); Heather Loeffler (Set Decoration)
Gravity, Andy Nicholson (Production Design); Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration)
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin (Production Design); Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration)
Her, K. K. Barrett (Production Design); Gene Serdena (Set Decoration)
12 Years a Slave, Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Alice Baker (Set Decoration)

Best Sound Editing

All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Brent Burge
Lone Survivor, Wylie Stateman

Best Sound Mixing

Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, and Chris Munro
Gravity, Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, and Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, and Tony Johnson
Inside Llewyn Davis, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, and Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor, Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, and David Brownlow

Best Visual Effects

Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, and Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, and Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
The Lone Ranger, Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, and John Frazier
Star Trek into Darkness, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, and Burt Dalton

Best Animated Feature

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises

Best Documentary Feature

The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Stardom

Best Foreign Language Film

The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Missing Picture

Best Animated Short

"Feral," Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
"Get a Horse!" Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
"Mr. Hublot," Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
"Possessions," Shuhei Morita
"Room on the Broom," Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Best Live-Action Short

"Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)," Esteban Crespo
"Avant Que de Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)," Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
"Helium," Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
"Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)," Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
"The Voorman Problem," Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Best Documentary Short

"CaveDigger," Jeffrey Karoff
"Facing Fear," Jason Cohen
"Karama Has No Walls," Sara Ishaq
"The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life," Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
"Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall," Edgar Barens

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Call of Duty: Ghost First DLC Trailer "Onslaught"

Here is the trailer for Call of Duty: Ghost first DLC called Onslaught. It comes out January 28th first on Xbox Live.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year from Ultra Hip Glorified Writer

It's almost the end of a wonderful year. I had a good time in 2013 and I hope all of you had a good one too. Times are tough but I found if you laugh at the misery you can ultimately face it with a smile. Please, have a good time in the Year of Our Lord 2014 and I hope you find enjoyment wherever you can; let joy be your compass. 


Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74250). 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ultra Hip Glorified Writer's Best of 2013

Folks, I am not an "Up-To-Date" kind of guy. The movies and TV shows and books I read are all pretty old. Even the comics I read monthly are very months, sometimes years behind their current issues. Hell, I didn't see E.T. until '90 and when I told my friends what a wonderful, new film it was they laughed at me.

Okay, I get it, I'm behind. So, why do you think this essay about The Year's End, "Best Of" piece would be anything but about topics also behind the times.

Let me tell you guys and gals something you probably already know: it is impossible to watch every film made in any given year. It is damned impossible, improvable, and unthinkable to read every book in any given month in that year let alone the year itself. So everyone, not just me is wwwaaayyy behind the times.

Now, this is one if best years, in terms of quantity in the books, comics and films I've experienced in recent memory. As for books - as of right now - I've read sixty two volumes. In terms of films I've watched about a hundred and fifty. Most of them, like I explained, are not recent material and why would they be, I like rewatching old films from my youth and reading books that is at least new to me.

So, for this Year’s End Ultra Hip Review of the Best Thing it will be about what I've like and nothing to do with a timely manner most critics and blogger relished over. I’m sorry, I just don’t have the time or money do such a thing. Also, I will not be doing movies or TV this year because nothing was special or I’ve already written about it before and I kinda, sorta think those things have to be up-to-date to have relevance in a Year End “Best Of Article.” That however will not stop me from writing about them.

So, it's time for:

Books, Comics and Games I've Experienced This Years That Made Me A Very Happy Camper.

Book of the Year: Xenocide by Orson Scott Card.

So when it came time to sit back and read the biggest book I've read all year; when I told myself I was tired of old Orson; when I listened to the people tell me how much of a bad person he was; when they kept on screaming it over and over that his other books were nothing like his great novel Ender's Game and the screaming got louder and louder...I had to admitted, it got to me.

That being said, when Xenocide - by the way a terrible title - passed before my eyes I found myself loving just about everything Orson Scott Card shared in this novel.

It is the best novel I've read all year and yes, this included The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein and Children of the Night by Dan Simmons.

Yeah, yeah, yeah the book has its problems but what is, from what I can tell it is, probably is by far Card's best book. It is better then Ender's Game, better then Speaker of the Dead. Those first two books in his Ender's Series won both Hugo and Nebula Awards and while this one was looked over and it still received a few nominations for the same awards. Why it didn’t win…I don’t know, maybe they didn’t want to make it a hat trick.

For a book with such a complex plot - about an older Andrew "Ender" Wiggin trying to save two planets for cultural and physical destruction - Card paints a picture that is so fully displayed in your mind you would think you are living that world, that universe. It is a book which relies so heavily on dialogue yet it’s never forced. If it was forced Card would have written a book that would suck so hard it would whistle. You listen to these people talk about life and death situations for more then a few hundred pages, the conflict builds on and on from these words and it's wonderfully simplicity adds a flavor to a dense book about time and space and life and death and disease and hatred and faith and mother and child relationships and fear, deathly disturbing fear.

Xenocide is ultimately a triumph of control, from a writer who is completely in control of his material. For that, it is probably a masterpiece.

Comic of the Year: Saga Volume One by Brian K. Vaughn.

Dear God: Thank You for creating Brian K. Vaughn.

Ahhh...this is the best thing, in comics, in films, in anything I've read or seen or experienced - okay that Strawberry Ice Cream in March was pretty - all year.

Mr. Vaughn said he was inspired by Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings when writing this comic...he might have been inspired sure, I'll give him that but, and he may not agree, he wrote something so entirely better. And it's a comic folks.

I've read volume two of the Saga Series and liked it. I was disappointed by it but not because it was badly written, it just wasn't volume one. Unless Vaughn manages to pull Jesus out of hat for volume three I will still be disappointed by that as well, probably not because that will be badly written. Again, it probably will not be volume one.

The story in Saga starts with a birth. The narrator is the child being born and the parents are the best kinds of people among two alien races from two different worlds who hate each other and who engage in continuous war. The comic is not entirely about them, there are other people to care about in this volume but it is most certainly centered on them. It has moment of joy, of sadness, of shocking acts. It is a well intentioned comic but with serious subject matter that children should stay away from but not for the rest of their lives. When they grown they would certainly like to read something as good as this and they would be hard pressed to find anything better in the medium.

But for now, adults and only adults should read Saga and smile over the details.

Video Game of the Year: BioShock Infinite by Irrational Games.

It came out at the beginning of the year and stunned gamers with its beauty, it unique take on its style of gameplay, its story unlike anything in the medium. Irrational Games always get it right by stating: if you want your art to be considered art, take your time, make the best game possible, done hack it. Make something that is indeed art.

BioShock Infinite asks two questions. Video games have asked first question but never the second: Are You Willing to Kill Your Enemy? What if you are the Enemy?

And the end of the game we learn the answers and their both exciting and refreshing.

Booker DeWitt, you in the game, has a mission: to deliver a young woman out of bondage and take her away from a skyward city called Columbia. He will fight corruption along the way, with many weapons and powers given to him and takne from elixirs called Vigors.  Along the way he learns about past sins, about what he did before he came to this rail-riding-so-called "utopia". The woman he frees is Elizabeth. She is beautiful, has a gift of tearing holes in the fabric of time and space and he is useful on the battlefield as well.

The time has come for more games like BioShock Infinite. Whether or not companies will heed the call to get passed just the status quo is another matter entirely.

Read, see, play!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christopher Nolan's Interstellar Trailer #1

Here is the first trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.


Samuel R. Delany Named SFWA Grand Master for 2013

One of the most accomplished writers of the New Wave of Speculative Fiction is being named by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as their new Grand Master: Samuel Ray Delany Jr.

Mr. Delany won acclaim with such works as Aye and Gomorrah, The Einstein Intersection, Babel - 17 and the very complicated Dhalgren. He has been a writer for more then five decades, pushing the genre of Speculative Fiction both in style and substance to its limits. 

Congratulation are in order. We are all lucky to have a mind and talent as grand as Mr. Delany's.   

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Batman: Arkham Origins: Initiation Trailer

It's a few days late but then again, who cares? 

Here is the trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins' Latest DLC entitled Initiation. It was just released today and if you have the Season Pass (like me) it is included. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

Update Regarding Ultra Hip Book and Movie Reviews

Dear Readers: 

It's been a hellva month and right now I'm behind on my usual monthly reviews. I realize now I might have bit off a little more then I could chew when promising to get the last month book and movie reviews done and still do my yearly end review which is now just coming up. 

I would like you to know that for this month I won't be doing my monthly reviews for this month and simply to my year end review instead, which should be coming up in a few days. I've been busy, I'm still busy and I need to concentrate on something which needs to get done soon. 

So, again, last months review is kaput and the year end review is still on track. 


Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74250).

Saturday, November 16, 2013

IGN's PS4 Launch Guide

The PS4 has just launched and here is IGN's Guide to help you out. 

Have fun! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

IGN's Review of Call of Duty: Ghosts

This is waaaayyyy late but I don't care. 

Here is IGN's review of Call of Duty: Ghosts for the PC, PS3 & 4 and Xbox 360 & One. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ultra Hip Glorified Writer is Back!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am back to writing and you should be getting your monthly goodies very soon. The Ultra Hip Movie and Book Reviews should be coming in the next few days, they are current be written and/or edited but it may also need time to rest as well as seeing that I get very close to my work and get the worst kind if tunnel vision. 

So, here is to more writing days ahead. 


Joseph Lewis Szabo III (pointman74259) 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ultra Hip Glorified Writer is Officially on Break

It's that dreaded time of year again when yours truly is burned out of his mind and needs to take a break from writing. The break will only last a week and after that week is done I should be fresh and alert. Also, the end month reviews will have to wait until I come back so you should get them the first week in November.

Thank you.


Joseph Lewis Szabo III (aka pointman74250)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Trailer

Editor's Note: Yeah, I spelled Soldier Wrong. Fixed!

Here is the trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ultra Hip Glorified Writer is Changing Fonts...Again.

Yes, I'm changing founds agains because of complaints that why recent font is too small...and I agree. 

So, here we are with FONTS, Times Roman and not too small. 

Apple Unveils iPad Air

Apple has received unveiled their newest line of iPad called iPad Air. It 9.7-inch device with a 64-bit A7 processor and an M7 motion co-processor. Apple is boasting that the device is only on pound in weight and is 8x faster performance, 72x faster graphics performance, and the ability to open files twice as fast compared to those old clunkers iPad 2 and Mini. 

Indeed, it is a great day...just not on the day of release which is November 1st when it will only cost you $499. 

I might buy one in a few years maybe months. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ultra Hip Updates Again!!!

It's been awhile. How are things? You missed me, well I missed you too.

I haven't updated the site in awhile and yes, I'm feeling fine, no worries but it's been a hectic two weeks and things had to be taken care of. But I'm back and will start posting things like I normally would have when there wasn't any issues. 

So, again, I'm back and will be here for quiet sometime. 


Joseph Lewis Szabo III (aka pointman74250) 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Call of Duty: Ghosts "Squads" Trailer

Here is a new Call of Duty: Ghosts Trailer for its new "Squads" Mod.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Destiny "The Moon" Gameplay Trailer

Here is a new gameplay trailer for a Bungie's Destiny focusing on The Moon. 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Official Trailer

Here is the Offical Trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. 


Ultra Hip Classic Movie Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

(Author's Note: Posted it twice. Sorry)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings

Rating: ****

The Lord of the Rings was an achievement the moment itslight shine throughout the theater. It was an impossible task which many have tried to create, genius even, to take Tolkien's complex novel and bring it's glory into the world of cinema. The right person was needed and from Peter Jackson's earlier films he wasn't even hinted at being that person.  After all, one man's ultimate struggle is another man's perfect joy. The later belongs to Jackson. 

You should know this story even if you've never read J.R.R. Tolkien's book or seen this movie, it is that popular. It is such a well known story it would be hard for me to spoil it for you but I will try not too. 

Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) is a hobbit, a three foot tall creature with large, hairy feet, the bottoms on which are hardened and shoe-like. He comes from a wonderland of contentment, The Shire settled in the realm of Middle-Earth. Frodo's uncle, Bilbo (Ian Holmes), is somewhat of an adventurer which is odd for a hobbit to say the least. Decades before he went on a journey of wealth with some dwarves and fought a dragon. Along the way, inside the cave of the monstrosity Golum (Andy Serkis), he found a ring which could be the most important object in the Third Age of the Men, Dwarves and Elves. 

Bilbo has a hard time giving up the ring who he plans to leave the Shire in search of more adventures after eleventy-first birthday party. He even threats Gandulf (Ian McKellen), a wizard and Bilbo's best friend because he wants he take the ring with him. Lucky, with some talk and even a threat of Gandulf's own, Bilbo leaves the ring for Frodo but Gandulf will not touch it. 

The wizard leaves the Shire, does his research and discovers the ring is one of great power, forged by Sauron, a fallen Ainur (Angel-like, but not more devil) to rule the other rings of power given to the other beings who rule the varies sections and the whole of Middle-Earth itself. With the ring, Sauron's can rise again and this time he maybe unstoppable. 

That is all I will say about the plot except the ring must be destroyed or unmade in the Fires of Mount Doom in Mordor. This is no small task, so Frodo treks across his world with Sauron's minions and in tail, chase first by the Nasgul and then by the creatures of Saruman, a powerful wizard and Gandulf's leader. At first, Frodo takes with him three of his hobbit kinsmen: Samwise Gamgee (Sean Austin), Peregrin Took (Billy Boyd), Meriadoc Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan) and later five others including Gandulf, two humans Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir (Sean Bean), the dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) an Elf

Aragorn is the rightful heir of Gondor (a human kingdom) but has chosen not to take the crown for he shares the bloodline with Isildur, a king who sliced the ring from Sauron's finger and instead of destroying it, kept it for himself in an act of greed and selfishness. I must say in the novel Frodo was always the most interesting of the Nine Members of the Fellowship but here it is Aragorn played very effectively by Mortensen, who I thought should have been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor but it shows what I know, he wasn't. 

Each player is cast just right but what makes the TLOTR so great is the visuals and plot. Jackson already had a story that needed a wide scope for monsters like trolls and Orcs and action scenes like in the Mines of Moria and the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. He managed to pull just about every rabbit out of his hat for some of these scene but manages to hold some back because we knew that in future films it would be even greater. Normally, I don't like when films don't go all in but this is a trilogy and I think Jackson wanted to pay attention to more moments involving characters in this chapter of Tolkien's story.  There is a scene after a death that is quite heartbreaking because we care about these characters and so when it happens we feel for these
people who has lost a friend. 

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a film that needed to be made if only to push the boundary of what is possible in filmmaking. It says that challenging material like this  can be made but that only a few can do so. 

After seeing The Lord of the Rings ask yourself how brave, hard working and imaginative the artist of this film are compared to others in the same business. 

That list, for me at least, is very short indeed. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ultra Hip Book Reviews: September

When is it time for you to read? For me it's everyday and I don't plan on stopping. 

But I'm not talking about me, it's YOU, yes YOU who must read more or I should say read better. It's time you put away thar copy of Rolling Stone, the WWE Magazine, The terrible Twilight Saga and get ready for some real literature. 

Am I being a real dick for saying this? 

You bet, and I can live with it. But, since your here now I want you to read a our three books you may want to pick up and try reading and see for yourself if you can enjoy them. What is the worst that could happen; yes you may hate it but it may also change your life. The first book I have to write about just to get out of the way. 

So, it's time for:

Three Books I Recently Finished That Will Pleasure Your Eyeballs. 

One: The Collected Works of William Shakespeare.'s not too bad...not terrible. 

...characters needed work...flowery prose...

...not enough explosions...

Are you freaking kidding! It's Old Willy Bard with a quill in his hand, his worst is my greatness. Actually, I never wrote ANYTHING that rivals his worst because for mere mortals, like me, it's too damn good. 

The material Shakespeare write is tragic as sorrow can be, as grand as any monument of Rome and funnier then anything expect maybe Richard Pryor on a roll. It shows you want a human being can with with just words, and it is just words...that's magic my brothers and sisters. 

And yes, he was The Best Writer in History (Okay, maybe not, there might have been a janitor in a Wisconsin Truck Stop in the 1970's who was better) but even without the explosions Old Willy kicks your emotions like nothing before or since.

Yes, you should read it, not to just say you have but because great artist - and we only have few of those - are not just to be read or studied or revered but to be experienced. They are the ultimate weapons against things like ugly and stupid and sometimes evil. If that is true then Shakespeare is one of the best weapons we have and is power we should never lose. 

There, I'm done. 

Now, for a hellva segue.

Two: Tales from the Crypt Volume One: Ghouls Gone Wild by Don McGegor. 

Again, just to get this out of the way: it ain't Shakespeare but it is pretty damn good. 

The plot structures of this comic stories are as follow: bad people do bad things, the dead rises from the grave to take revenge on those who wronged them, end of story. 

Each Crypt Tale is like this and yet they have their own unique charm, sometimes different from each other in both artwork and dialogue. This collected edition is one of the newer publishing from the long ago canceled EC Comics Line but reissued with a new publisher Papercutz. The EC versions are much better, more thrilling and some of the best artwork ever printed in the medium. What is on display here is still good and for $7.00 you may feel you get your money's worth; I did. 

It's not deep, it's kind of dark and when it comes to entertainment for an hour or so you'll take this book and find some malevolent joy in reading about ghouls getting their creep on. 

It's a good old time I just couldn't get enough of. 

Three:  The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories by Lord Dunsany. 

One of the most legendary and wonderful collections of short stories from a man who inspired Tolkien, Borges and Le Guin, I found myself experiencing pure magic with each page of this book, sometimes each paragraph, each sentence. 

Irishman Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany published his third book in 1908. Welleran is comprised of 12 stories, some of them about Gods - in which Dunsany was an expert at creating - others about ghosts and long dead warriors. Most importantly, at least to me, were the writings of an ancient city so well explained, so full of imaginative thought out you'd think you're reading about the best local in modern or classical fantasy. 

There was no a single part of Welleran I did not enjoy and the best part was the language itself. If you do not pay attention to the story - which you would so yourself a great deserves if you do not - just listen to these sentences in your head, they will sing to you like an Angel of Absolute Beauty. 

Read this book, read it now. 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX + Comes Out Next Week

The best possible news in gaming came out this week it's in regards to one of my favorite games of all time.

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is coming out with a new free update on September 25. It will include new modes, improved leaderboards and will include DLC sprites for Dig-Dug and Ralley-X.

This is one of the best games ever made folks and now we get more. Thank The Video Game Gods for small miracles. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Roger Ebert's Review of The Spectacular Now

You want to be blown away? You wanna cry? 

Here is Roger Ebert's Review of The Spectacular Now, one of his last - but not the last - pieces he ever wrote.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Call of Duty: Ghost New Single Player Trailer

Here is a new single player trailer for Call of Duty: Ghost, now complete with astronaut soldiers. 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Frederik Pohl (1919-2013)

(Author's Note: Slightly Revised.)

One of the greats of Speculative Fiction has passed: Frederik Pohl. 

His book Gateway is still one of mine and many others absolute favorites. 

Man Plus was a Nebula Award in 1976, was nominated for a Hugo and placed third in the 1977 Locus Poll. 

His The Space Merchants, written along with C.M. Kornbluth, is one of the absolute classics of the genre. 

Aside from a great writer he was also a great fan of Science Fiction. Several decades into his life, a life that lasted 93 years, he loved Science Fiction. 

Frederik Pohl was a true artist from beginning to end...I just wish it hadn't ended, we need more writers like Mr. Pohl. Most will never leave such a mark on the genre the way he did.