Time for some navel-gazing!

I had but one goal in relation to the popularity of this website – all I wanted is for people to be able to type the name ‘Vardulon’ into the old Google Box in the browsers, and then have the results page NOT ask them if they meant to type ‘pardulon’ instead.

That finally happened this week, the first week that I, while still massively less popular than resin model-making material ‘pardulon’, am nonetheless recognized as a distinct entity from it!



The Cell 2 is not a sequel to The Cell

Before I begin criticizing the movie, I’d like to enumerate the ways it is a sequel to the film ‘The Cell’.

1 - It opens with one of the characteristically visually arresting images from the first film, featuring Jennifer Lopez.

2 – An FBI agent in voiceover explains that, when a serial killer proves very difficult to catch, they sometimes recruit civilians with ‘extraordinary gifts’. He announces that “Catherine Dean was one of them. Now, there’s another.”


Avod Friday! The 24th!

Yeah, that really doesn't work as well as the 13th, now does it. Well, irregardless of that fact, there's a new avod that's ready to be downloaded and listened to right here! This week the Divemistress and myself discussed such key issues as the end of Harper's Island, the absurd racism that Transformers had to offer, and the new Harry Potter film!

The Avod - for all your hearing about things needs. We only used to discuss stuff, but now that we've moved into things as well, hopefully there's material enough to interest everyone!


Tom Mix has a complicated relationship with violence

I’m not really familiar with Tom Mix (nee real name), save for that movie about the time he met Wyatt Earp and the two of them battle the mob. Or corrupt movie moguls. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember the movie that well. The point is that my familiarity with the character began and ended with the fact that he was a cowboy hero with a horse named Tony. And that tidbit I picked up from ‘Changeling’.

As I started reading this Fawcett comic about his adventures, I wasn’t entirely surprised to discover that he was a kid’s hero, the sort of cowboy who shoots the guns out of people’s hands, rather than the eyes out of their heads.


The Night Train!

It’s late Christmas Eve somewhere in eastern Europe (oh, wait, this is supposed to be America. Sorry) where a train is plowing down snowy tracks. Aboard are Steve Zahn and Leelee Sobieski, a salesman and med student respectively, who are headed home for the holidays. Also aboard is Danny Glover, the conductor of this soon-to-be-decommissioned engine. Just as the train is about to leave the station a man rushes aboard without paying.

A few minutes later, when Danny goes back to collect the man’s money, he, along with LL and Steve, discover that the man is dead! And that he had a box full of precious jewels on him!

That’s right, it’s one of those movies. Where the strangers try to decide whether to keep money and cover up a death or blah blah Shallow Grave blah.


The Flash Presents: The amazing single-sentence continuity error!

They said it couldn’t be done. How could there be a continuity error in one sentence? In three little words? After all, in order to have a continuity error at all, one must first establish a fact so that it can then be contradicted. But the writer managed, near-miraculously, to find a sentence that is self-contradicting! And here it is:

Wow, huh? The preceding panel appeared in Flash Comics #133, as the title page to a story called “Kid Flash: Secret of the Handicapped Boys”. It was written by John Broome, drawn by Carmine Infantino, inked by Joe Giella. Sadly, I don’t know who lettered it, and the classy ‘showcase edition’ of the comic I have is in black and white, so they didn’t list a colourist in the credits.


Adventures in Censorship: Archie Comics!

Oh Archie comics, if there's one thing you are best known for it's an utter lack of offensiveness. Why, despite the fact that these characters really ought to have more problems with each other than they do -- Betty and Veronica fighting over the same man, Archie and Reggie fighting over the same woman, Moose regularly beating up almost everybody he meets -- all of them get along famously, giving up grudges faster than a goldfish whose brain has been mementoed. I doubt any of these characters would even impose for lasagna.

By and large this upbeat tone is maintained by simply refusing to acknowledge the existence of anything even slightly questionable. The world of Archie has, as far as I know, completely missed out on the horrors of AIDS, African genocide, both Gulf wars and, yes, the Holocaust. In fact, other than the time at little Archie totally killed a guy*, I have been as yet unable to find a reference to anyone dying in the history of Archie comics. Of course, since he was created in 1941, there's a chance he did some war propaganda way back when. I'll look into that, too.

This blinkered view of the world is easy enough to accomplish. The people at Archie produce the comic, so obviously they have utter control over the world in which it takes place. This means that for the most part they can just avoid ever bringing up anything that might accidentally make a reader feel even slightly bad. But what if a story needs to reference the events from the real world, events that touch on the very darkness Archie comics are designed to help people pretend doesn't exist?

Naturally then it's time for a little censorship. Confusing, barely coherent censorship.


Avod Friday!

Just in time to get ready for the final episodes of Harper's Island, here's theAvod's discussion of Harper's Globe! For our American viewers, anyway. Our Canadian audience will find it woefully out of date. Oh, and American viewers, you might not want to read the post directly below this one until Sunday. Just FYI.

Also, we, along with our producer Mer-Man, take a little time to talk about Knowing and In the Mouth of Madness as well.

You can download the episode right here, through a little of the old right-click-save-as business.

Show Notes!

Dissatisfied with his explanations on the show, Mer-Man sent me an essay with a little more detail about the philosophies behind Knowing - here it is, in its entirety:

Exhibit A:
Cage visited the German city of Goerlitz in 2006 just because he was interested in it's connection to the somewhat unconventional, early 17th century Lutheran mystic Jacob Boehme (AD 1575-1624). Cage's sojourn is briefly mention in this article from the Herald Sun.

This I take as more than sufficient evidence that Cage is quite enamored with Boehme and his particular theology and this would all have been going on little more than a year before “Knowing” went into production.

Exhibit B: Boehme's theology, borrowed partially from the theories of (the also unconventional) Jewish, Kabbalist & Rabi Isaac Luria (AD1534-1572), suggested that God in the beginning was infinite, filling all space and therefore to create anything He first had to make room by contracting himself, thereby providing available space in which to create the universe. By creating “otherness” He (God) attained a greater degree of self-knowledge as he now understood Himself in terms of what He was not. In some interpretations of Boehme's writing, the fall of Adam and Eve is taken as a good or at least necessary thing for all parties involved to achieve self-knowledge. In becoming separated from God, Adam and Eve can comprehend both their own individuality as well as God's status as creator, this part of the process then leads to the next stage, their desire to return to God, an act that completes both God and Mankind. This also figures into Boehme's Christology. Boiling it down to its most simplistic the formula is this: For Father to be Father, the Son must become something separate from the Father, For the Son to be the Son, the Son must know the Father, to find ultimate fulfillment the two must reintegrate. This is clearly the plot of “Knowing.” Cage, estranged from his own father and all out of faith can only return to his Father and regain his faith, when he is able to let go of his own Son.

Exhibit C: Boehme, went against the grain of orthodox Christian theology by denying that man is reconciled to God ultimately through Grace alone but rather through this process of “Knowing.” Cage's sister in “Knowing” is named Grace she is still in contact with their Dad.

Exhibit D: Boehme's theology also dealt greatly with the “wheel within a wheel” passage from the book of Ezekiel. Though, on the one hand, this could be in the movie because it is popular with “ancient astronaut” theorists, I think, given all the evidence I've piled up here, it could also pertain to Cage's interest in Jacob Boehme.

Exhibit E: Boehme also compared God's presence in the world to reflected light, the little girl at the beginning who starts the story is named Lucinda Embry. Lucinda means “Light.”

That's 5, count em, 5 exhibits!

Also, just for the record I'm not finding any of this because I love Boehme's theology, I happen to disagree with much of it. For example the error of Boehme and Luria is the presupposition that spacial dimensionality was co-eternal with the Fundamental Principle of Reality (ie: God), hence their assertion that God would need to contract himself to “make room” before he could create. Anyway my own philosophical mincing about is irrelevant to the issue at hand, that “Knowing” is totally clearly about Boehme. Nobody needs to let this effect their enjoyment or lack there of, of the film, I just feel the need to point this out so I can continue to kid myself into thinking my education up until this point hasn't been a total waste.


Harper's Island Spolier-Rama!

In my as-yet-unpublished review of My Bloody 3D Valentine, I mention that if a filmmaker wants to rip off a Friday the 13th movie, that's fine - people love those things - but if you absolutely have to rip one off, it shouldn't be part five. It should never be part five.

Along the same line of thought, I'd just like to say that if you're going to broaden your horizons a little and rip-off something outside the Friday the 13th franchise, here's a tip: Don't rip off "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer".

But hey, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.

Requiem for Harper's Island-

With just half an hour left until the final two episodes begin, I thought this would be a good opportunity to mention my final predictions, if only so my humiliation can be set in concrete for all the virtual world to see.

I'm going to be working under the assumption that the show isn't a complete cheat, and that Wakefield will definitely be working with someone else, giving us a surprise reveal in the last episode. If there isn't, then the show isn't a mystery, and its failure will be complete. If there is, then the show still won't be a good mystery, but at least there will be some kind of a surprise at some point.


Happy Canada Day, Everyone!

While you're relaxing by the lake, drinking your beers and watching the fireworks, why not flip on the stereo and join us (by which I mean the Divemistress and myself) in taking a journey through every Canadian Horror film ever made!

Just right-click here to download it. Or click there to listen to it with a browser applet, or head over to the Avod's blog and stream it, the way a few of the cool kids are doing it!

And here, because we should all watch this at least once a year just to test our threshold for terror, is the video for Thriller. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtyJbIOZjS8

Yeah. They won't let me embed it. Jerks.

FYI, I got to the part with the yellow eyes and reflexively yelped and shut the video off.


Here's an embedded version, which I'll take down if it goes away in the next couple of days.