Wednesday, December 12, 2018

5 Comic Book MUST READS-December 2018







Agree, disagree? Do you have any suggestions? Comment below. Find the books here: Super Sons Vol 1. https://amzn.to/2PYsIo1%C2%A0 Predator: Life and Death https://amzn.to/2DJyJNL Paper Girls Vol. 1https://amzn.to/2RejdgV Deadly Class Vol. 1 https://bit.ly/2DZasV3 Black Science Vol 1https://amzn.to/2DK1VEr There are affiliate links in this post.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Revisiting My Childhood


AUDIO VERSION



On this episode I discuss my recent fascination with action figures and I have some comic book recommendations.

Action Figure Fever

I loved action figures when I was younger.   These toys are another tool I've used to express my imagination.    I remember spilling all the figures on the floor, organizing them.    Picking my stars for that particular action scene I wanted to play out.   My favorites where GI JOE, He-Man, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.    Popular movies or cartoons which led to a toy line where my jam.    They sold me hook, line, sinker.

I played with the figures till my late teens.   When girls, partying and 16-bit video games started coming into play, I began leaving them alone.  

Today in my 40s, I'm rediscovering toy play but on another level.
Now it's scriptwriting, diorama-building.   Filming, special effects.   Buying miniature props.   Hiring voice actors from Fiverr.   Animation, drawing.   It's like making a real movie(I think).     It doesn't have to be this.   I choose to do this.    I'm inspired by other YouTubers who've put together their stop-motion videos.   I don't intend to make my videos entirely stop-motion, just a bit.

I'm becoming informed about current events with toys.   I'm learning the figure makers besides the mainstays such as Hasbro and Mattel.   NECA, Mezco, SH Figure Arts, Diamond Select.    These are a little expensive for my blood but the toys look incredible and their articulation is unprecedented.

I visit local Gamestops in my area and go straight to the clearance section.   Mostly Star Wars and Marvel Legends figures which haven't sold very well can be found.    At times there are one-offs.   Like a random McFarlane figure from Walking Dead or Stranger Things.    I prefer the 6" figures for there poseable abilities.   So to say my action figure collection currently is varied would be appropriate.

I've found toy store websites such as Big Bad Toy Store and Toy Wiz.    They have blowout/clearance sections where loads of figures are available for sale.   I've purchased some there as well.    The most fun discovery is Extreme Sets.   The website sells detailed cardboard locales such as a sewer, alley, building hallway, train station and much more.   They are so cool!

Additional money has been spent on the production side of things.   The tools for building the diorama are not overly expensive but purchasing Final Cut Pro and Motion(Apple movie production software) along with some video transition packs was an investment.

Where I've stumbled; getting in front of the camera and playing with the toys.    That's the gist of it all.    I've got to stop with all the prep and get right to it.  

During my collecting phase mentioned earlier, I purchased 3.75" figures, Lego, Transformers, Duplo.   I recently ran into a two-week financial rough spot.    I noticed I was really only playing/planning scenes with the 6" figures.    I purchased all the other kinds of toys thinking, one day I will do something with these.    Today was not that day, so I began selling everything I wasn't using.    A powerful reminder to myself and anyone reading this.    Buy what you need, not just-in-case stuff.   Unless it's for emergency preparedness.    

Even writing about this presently, I'm excited to go on and play with the figures.    I love revisiting my childhood interests.   I think it's something that eventually happens to many of us.    This is another big ah-ha moment I've had this year.

Comic Book Recommendations

There are affiliate links in this post.

You're in the comic book store or browsing Amazon or Comixology looking for something great to read.   So many choices can be daunting.   I'm going to help you with that!   These here are books I've read cover to cover and feel confident in recommending.

Why am I reading comic books regularly at the age of 43?   I love re-discovering my childhood interests.    I remember sitting indian style on the floor of my bedroom and reading my older brother's comics.    Titles such as Marvel's Power Pack, Alpha Flight, Uncanny X-men, Strikeforce Morituri, seeing Walt Simonson's art in Thor.   Since that time I've read comics on and off.  

I prefer graphic novels because I like whole story arcs in one book.    Recently, begrudgingly, I made the change to reading digitally full time.   I say begrudgingly because in reading traditional comics I'd give my eyes a break from all the screens I run across all day.   But it's made my backpack easier on my shoulders.   These are my recommendations.

-Super Sons Vol. 1 by Peter Tomasi, Jorge Jimenez, Alisson Borges

Here is the book synopsis https://bit.ly/2FDYVvX


This was electric.   The relationship between Jon(Superboy) and Damian(Robin)was fun.   Most times it's competitive between the two but they do work together.     Robin eggs on Superboy and he challenges him right back.   This book also has guest appearances from Batman, Superman, and Lex Luthor.   I learned about this book from the Geek History Lesson Podcast.  

Buy it here https://amzn.to/2PYsIo1 

-Predator: Life and Death TPB by Dan Abnett, Brian Albert Thies, Rain Beredo, Dave Palumbo

Find the book synopsis here https://bit.ly/2Byhc9O


This is a combination of the first Predator, the legendary Aliens, and Prometheus films.   I am a fan of these movies.   This book gave me shock moments.   Last time I had this happened was while reading the Walking Dead and major deaths occurred.   A horror-action book in essence.    I loved the artwork but there was a  panel or two where I didn't understand what was going on.   Predator: Life and Death was the first book I blazed through on the Comixology app.   I was engaged from start to finish.  

Buy the book here https://amzn.to/2DJyJNL

-Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson, Jared K. Fletcher.

Story synopsis here https://bit.ly/2TLk36w


I've never read Nancy Drew but I'm sure this series has grabbed some inspiration from those books.   I loved the sci-fi elements, the adventure. The town they lived in reminded me of old horror, thriller teen movies from my youth such as the Monster Squad, Fright Night, Night of the Creeps to name a few.   The twist, in the end, makes me want to come back for more.   This was written by Brian K. Vaughn.    I loved Y, the Last Man, Ex Machina and I've enjoyed Saga as well.   Mr. Vaughan hasn't disappointed.

Buy the book here https://amzn.to/2RejdgV

-Deadly Class Vol. 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender, Wesley Craig, Lee Loughridge

As a child, I had a fear of zombies which turned into a love for them by adulthood.    My own version of a weird Stockholm syndrome.   I used to love zombie comics, video games, movies.  

The Forbidden Planet store in NYC was a regular haunt for me about 8-10 years ago.   I asked Matt who worked at the store for a comic recommendation.   He pointed me to Xxxombies by Rick Remender.   I never read any of his stuff before, but after reading this book that would change.  

Fast forward to present day, while perusing the Comixology app I punched in his name and Deadly Class popped up in the search results.

Here's a synopsis of the story https://bit.ly/2DZasV3


I was fascinated by the afterword at the end of the book when Mr. Remender talks about his real-life influences in writing this story such as bullies, friends being killed, skateboarding, moving around often as a teen.

These characters are not good people, I root for them as their stories unravel.   This is not a superhero book, but teenagers looking to belong, looking to connect with others in their same age group.   All the while having a dark, murderous tone.

One story hiccup in the beginning which I didn't understand and I feel won't spoil things, but I didn't understand why the police where chasing Marcus.    Willie tells him its a sting.    How was Marcus involved in this scenario?  

The artwork had a little bit of an Akira/Katsuhiro Otomo vibe except it was a lot dirtier which was great!

Buy it here https://amzn.to/2QpAFC4

-Black Science Vol 1. How to Fall Forever by Rick Remender, Dean White, Matteo Scalera

Find the story synopsis https://bit.ly/2SeDH9n


Another book by Rick Remender.    Matteo Scalera's art gives me a Bill Sienkiewicz vibe, except there are clean lines and long characters.

 What did I like about this book?   The desperation of the characters trying to get home.   The situations they land themselves in which leads to fighting the unknown simply to stay alive.    Flashbacks which tell of Grant's project and how it affects everyone on the team.   The rivalry with Kadir.    This was a page-turning, sci-fi adventure from the start.

Buy it here https://amzn.to/2DK1VEr

I read these books and only wish I can put together stories like these.    Hopefully, with all this writing and reading, I'll get there someday.

Check out these recommendations and tell me what you think.   By purchasing the books through the provided links you will be supporting myself and the publishers of these titles.    Thanks!



Thoughts? Comments? You can contact me by calling or texting 1-201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes.

Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com 

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Friday, November 23, 2018

Halloween 2018 SPOILER REVIEW





-Here's a synopsis of Halloween 2018 https://bit.ly/2OZnwdV 

These are my notes.   There are SPOILERS.

-Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode is a more sensitive Sarah Connor from Terminator 2.  
-She displayed another shade as well.   As someone whose life has been completely changed because of a traumatic experience.   How her closest relationships have suffered because of this event.    She was one of the best parts of this movie.
-Micheal is menacing.   When he's onscreen, danger and death are right around the corner.
-The weathered, distressed mask looks fantastic.   Is this a nod to Rob Zombie versions of this franchise?
-Small jumps in logic made me groan a bit.   No one in Haddonfield noticing Micheal walking around with a knife, Laurie hanging around the door when Micheal gets to her house.     Which in turn leads to him grabbing her.
-Body count.   I counted 17.   A huge amount for this movie.   I was happy with this.    'The Shape' should make his return in grand fashion.   Nothing says that to me like a large body count by his hands.
-The comedy parts which were not overly done, fit.   I'm assuming David Gordon Green's influences from infrequent collaborators, Jody Hill, and Danny Mcbride are felt here.     I loved Eastbound and Down and enjoyed Jody Hill's 'Observe and Report.'    In both this film and tv show, there's hilarious comedy one moment then deep-rooted,  emotionally sad and disturbing moments the next. I saw that blend at work here with Halloween.
-How effeminate where the high school males in this movie? One even cross-dressed as a girl for Halloween.   This was annoying.   The adult men fared better.
-Halloween had a grindhouse, exploitation feel.    I got those vibes with the updated original soundtrack(which was great).    Or when Laurie hears the news report regarding the prisoner-transport-bus-crash and responds by preparing her weapons getting her gear together.   Or when former Eastbound and Down alum Omar Dorsey who plays the Sheriff, steps on the scene and gives his speech to  Will Patton who was a pleasant surprise.    Doctor Sartain who has a curiosity about Micheal but then turns evil.   Totally a grindhouse movie.
-The audio tape throwback to Dr. Loomis was cool.
-The movie was shot tight and up close.   With emphasis on the sound.    Most characters looked big on screen.   Not too much outside space.    When Micheal shows up, he looks huge.
-My favorite scene was at the beginning when the reporters questioned Micheal in the prison.   The floor outside looks like a chessboard.   When the one reporter pulls out the mask, the other inmates including the dog start going berserk.    Then it cuts to the beginning credits with the famous theme song.   Loved it.
-A few groan moments and disappointing observation withstanding, I really enjoyed this movie.    This market which plays to the nostalgia of the 80s will support a remake when done right.    This makes the grade.

Haunting of Hill House SPOILER Review




YOUTUBE VERSION.


Here is a synopsis of the show.  https://bit.ly/2FDRHYW 

These are my notes and there are spoilers.

-This was a family drama at the center with horror movie trappings.
-This felt like a play.   Especially the scenes in the funeral home.
-Great performances by the cast as a whole who for the most part I didn't know except for Timothy Hutton, Carla Gugino, and Henry Thomas.  
-The kid actors, specifically the young girl who played Nell, was very cute.   I scratched my head at times at how she can remember so many lines.
-Nell was the heart of this show.   Victoria Pedretti played the character. Her romance with Arthur made me tear up.    The 'Bent Neck Lady' episode was one of the best of the season. 
-This show had imagery which did give me trouble sleeping.
 -I loved the time travel aspect with the ghosts in the show.   How family members can see other dead family members at different times throughout their lives.    The ghosts are tormented souls trying to get a message across to the living.
-I found myself wishing to stay more so in the present day story and not so much in the past.    I remember the TV show 'Lost' making this 'flashback' device popular.   Another show which currently does this is Arrow.   I do recognize that the show needs to do this to introduce and tie threads between the Crain family and past events.   These occurrences which emotionally and mentally, jack up the family well into their adulthoods.
-I discovered midway through the season that director Mike Flanagan(of Oculus, Gerald's Game, Oujia: Origin of Evil, and the upcoming sequel to The Shining called Doctor Sleep)was the showrunner.    Great job Mr. Flanagan. 
 -The house shows you what you emotionally desire.   All the family members experience this when they return to the house as adults.   These were some of the best scenes.
-Shirley or Steven absolutely did not believe in ghosts.   Everyone else did.   I find that hard to believe when they've seen what they have as kids in the house.
-This show doesn't need a second season with these characters.   Another family maybe?   An origin story of the house?   Several ways to go here. 

Don't mind heavy family drama with your horror?   Haunting of Hill House is for you!


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Reviews of Halloween 2018 & Netflix's Haunting of Hill House-SPOILERS



AUDIO VERSION



The title of the episode says it all.   SPOILER reviews of the Haunting of Hill House from Netflix and David Gordon Green's Halloween film.

Thoughts? Comments? You can contact me by calling or texting 1-201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes.

Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com 

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Rate, like, leave a review! I will shout you out for sure!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Eyeballs Stolen-WEIRD STORIES


AUDIO VERSION


VIDEO VERSION



The 4 weird stories covered this week(with links to the stories):

1. World's First Underwater Villa $50k per night https://bit.ly/2ACs2LA 

2. Pandas Sing Love Songs before Sex https://bit.ly/2qlWSlw 

3. Eyeballs Stolen https://bit.ly/2QbEGGL  

4. Teeth Found inside Dentist Wall  https://bit.ly/2zjwjle 

Thoughts? Comments?   Do so below.   Or you can contact me by calling or texting 1-201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes.

Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com 

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Rate, like, leave a review! I will shout you out for sure!

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Favorite Horror Movies from the 80s



AUDIO VERSION


YOUTUBE VERSION


There are affiliate links in this post


A co-worker who was born in the 80s and grew up in the 90s told me that he didn't have many great horror movies as he grew up.   I googled the films which came out that decade and begged to differ.    Silence of the Lambs, Interview with a Vampire, Dusk Til' Dawn, Predator 2, The Faculty.   These were a few of my favorites of that period.   But it got me thinking.

I was born in the 70s and grew up in the 80s.    There was iconic cinema that came out during that decade that is still talked about to this day.   These specific horror movies of the 1980s have given me memories which will stay with me forever.    These are some of those films.

 A Nightmare on Elm Street-1984. https://amzn.to/2zc6qo9 The idea of a monster killing you in your dreams then you consequently die in real life, scared me bad.   Can something like this happen?    Not in the same way the victims died in the movies, but what if you dreamt of something that caused you to have a heart attack or seizure, resulting in one's death!?   I'd follow this franchise for years afterward seeing most of the films and even the TV show.   I've dressed up as Freddy Kruger for a few Halloweens too.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors-1987. https://amzn.to/2DivNYl   We've all dreamed of having extra abilities one time or another.    Such as flying, or having extraordinary strength, or being able to breathe underwater.   This Elm Street sequel takes this and runs with it, and I loved it.    When the first film was released, this was a question anyone who viewed the film would ask.   If you can have abilities in your dreams, couldn't you use them to defend yourself against Freddy?   For me, the spookiest scene is when Freddy is holding Kristen's mother's severed head, while she's scolding her.   Cool!

The Thing-1982. https://amzn.to/2z962a1   There is nothing like this film.   The special effects, the movement of the creatures, the tension. Keith David, Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley who always comes across as a sympathetic character, but ends up being something sinister.   One of the best horror films I've ever seen.

Hellraiser-1987.  https://amzn.to/2DkKkTj  Up to 1987, I'd never seen anything like this.    The hooks and the sadomasochism vibe.    The creativity in the look of Pinhead and the  Cenobites was unique.    The lasting images from this film which are forever burned into my mind are the muscle-sinewy version of Frank crawling and sliming around the attic.      The second is Frank's stretched face saying 'Jesus wept' before being pulled apart.

An American Werewolf in London-1981.  https://amzn.to/2DDA75A The mutant Nazi massacre scene disturbed me.   It made me think, what if this happened to me and my family?   The setting with someone watching TV, someone else on the dinner table doing homework, someone else in the kitchen, I grew up with that.   A deranged group of monsters bursting into our apartment and killing us off while the others watched, gruesome.



Poltergeist-1982.  https://amzn.to/2PZvEj8 This was the first movie I'd seen a horror movie trope I'd repeatedly see over the years.   It's a terrible idea to build a house above an old burial ground, then decide to live in it!   The scene which comes to mind is where the steak starts crawling on its own and what ensues afterward, which includes a guy ripping his face apart.  



The Fly-1986.  https://amzn.to/2qJLPmD This was one of the very few films I'd seen with my sister.   Jeff Goldblum's transformation into the Brundle Fly was a sight to behold, so was his performance.   The scene where he vomits on the guy's ankle, and it dissolves, gross!

Evil Dead 2-1987.  https://amzn.to/2B4CSKp I stumbled upon Evil Dead 2  one night while it was playing on HBO.   For the next 84 minutes, I was glued to the TV.   Until this point, I'd hadn't seen a horror comedy like this.   Was I suppose to be scared?   I loved the gags and Bruce Campbell.  I'd go on to follow this franchise as well through movies and excellent TV show.    I even read the Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash comic but I never played the video game.

Fright Night-1985.  https://amzn.to/2qNPFed This was one of the many movie nights I'd spent with my older brother and his friends.   I thought my older brother was cool and wanted to do whatever he did.    I jumped at any opportunities to hang out with him and his friends.   I remembered loving this movie.   What stayed with me was the protagonist Charlie Brewster's friend Evil and the main villain, Jerry whose fangs were so big he couldn't even close his mouth.   Good times.

Aliens-1986. https://amzn.to/2qMwuBA Another film I'd seen with my brother, cousin, and friends. Aliens was a horror-action extravaganza.   I remember leaving the theater being blown away!   I felt satiated in terms of my anticipation for this film at the time.   I compare the feeling of having a full meal and going on about how good it tasted.

The Return of the Living Dead-1985. https://amzn.to/2RRbhlK The first time I'd seen this movie was during a family gathering. All the kids went into one of the bedrooms.   I remember pretending not to be scared to see this movie.   I'd seen the George Romero's Dawn of the Dead and that gave me trouble sleeping at night.     This would begin my love affair and repeated viewings of this film.   A favorite line is 'I like it Spooky. Hey!   Have some respect for the dead!'  

Creepshow-1982. https://amzn.to/2TccdCs I'd seen this on VHS.   I loved how the comic book scenes transitioned into the movie scenes.   I remember a memorable line from actor Stephen King(?) saying 'meteor shit!'   Or when the cockroaches burst out of the dead doctor's body.   This is the first horror anthology movie I've seen and wouldn't be the last.

Demons 1 & 2-1985 & 1986.  https://amzn.to/2TbW28b  This was my formal introduction to Italian horror.   As a kid, I'd seen Gates of Hell in passing.   I say 'in passing' because during most of the gross-out scenes I had my eyes covered.   These movies had a different vibe from the American horror I'd seen.    A lot more gore for sure.   These films shocked me, and burned images of the demons into my mind.   Later in life, I found out more about Dario Argento and his impact on Italian horror during the 70s and 80s.   I even got to meet him once.   May he rest in peace.

They Live-1988. https://amzn.to/2T9ngfL   Wrestling, sci-fi & John Carpenter mashed into one!   Roddy Piper was a hated wrestling character at the time but how can you not love him in this.   I did not like the way this film ends with him dying(spoiler alert).   The glasses being able to see the aliens and the signage with the propaganda was fascinating.    Who can't forget piper suplexing Keith David. Why hasn't this been remade?

Friday the 13th series-1980s.   https://amzn.to/2Tbeq15 There were many teen-camp slasher flicks from the 80s but this series is the one I've always associated with this sub-genre.    Jason is a horror icon even if all the entries haven't been the best.   This is the first movie or series of movies that made me question the epidemic of girls falling while running away from Mr. Vorhees.   I'd love to hear the stories from writers who came up with that idea.

I'm part of the age group where this retro resurgence of the 80s is being sold to and I love it.    Toys, movies, TV shows, music.   When it's done well, I'm all in.   Take my money!


Like my movie discussion?   Find my movie reviews here.


Thoughts? Comments? You can comment below or contact me by calling or texting 1-201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes.


Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com  

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https://www.instagram.com/paul_pvp_perez
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Rate, like, leave a review! I will shout you out for sure!

If you've enjoyed this, please support this podcast by doing any, all your shopping through my affiliate links:

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5 Comic Book MUST READS-December 2018

Agree, disagree? Do you have any suggestions? Comment below. Find the books here: Super Sons Vol 1. https://amzn.to/2PY...