Avengers: Infinity War

I’ve been kind of tired of super hero movies lately, but Infinity War was pretty good. I felt like I should have watched Civil War and Ragnarok to fully understand what was going on in the beginning. I was for sure coming into this at the end of Ragnarok.

It didn’t have much of story but made of up for with action, action, and more action. Even the pauses in the action had action. You can’t play around on your phone during this movie or you’ll miss all the action.

The Black Order were pretty badass and Proxima Midnight has captured my heart. She’s kind of hot in a Death worshipping cult kind of way. And Thanos was a surprisingly deep character, I can’t remember the character having that much depth in the comics and James Brolin played him flawlessly.

The poignant ending was a nice touch.

Avengers Infinity War

Big Sur by Jack Kerouac

Big Sur describes Kerouac’s decent into insanity, which is why I read the book in the first place, but there is very little of what I would call insanity in the book. It’s still an interesting book; I don’t think Kerouac could write a bad novel if he wanted to. But I just assumed it would start off with him going insane and have 200+ pages of waking dream type stuff.

The events described in Big Sur take place after the events in Desolation Angels (I believe), Kerouac tells how he is becoming sick and tired of his beatnik fame and decided to get away from everything by going up to a friends cabin in Big Sur. The idea was to just get away from everything and cleans his soul, but loneliness and cheap wine go the better of him so Kerouac heads back to the city.

There he visits old friends and drinks himself closer and closer to death. And the things that made him come back to the city soon drive him back to the cabin in Big Sur.

Before the madness takes hold Cody Pomeray (AKA Dean Moriarty) introduces Jack to his mistress Billie (who has a son) when they meet Jack is drunk and they instantly connect, for a while, if you’ve read the book then you know Billie would drive a Priest to cuss, but at the same time, from the description in the book she was a drop dead knockout and a joy to sleep with, so I guess you come out even.

Anyway, towards the end Billie, her son, and friends joined Jack at Big Sur, where Jack continued to drink himself closer to death, and it’s here that the paranoia starts to set in, Jack begins to suspect that everyone is against him, even Billie’s son. And he begins his decent into madness for about a day, his mind snaps and then it snaps back, it’s a little anti-climatic but still pretty good.

Big Sur

Locke and Key Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

As far as horror comics I generally like the old Tomb of Dracula and House of Secrets, you know, the old school stuff. But the first volume of Locke and Key was pretty satisfying. Nothing to do with H.P. by the way. It wasn’t horror for horror’s sake, there was a story and a back story and that had a back story. It was deep with layers, or at least the beginning of layers. Comics always throw a bunch of stuff at you and then unravel them as the story progresses. Locke and Key has promise.

Locke and Key Vol. 1

Joe Hill

Gabriel Rodríguez

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

I have always been interested in war, not in a tactician way or interested in the violence way. Interested in the stories and how the people who go to war manage to get through it (those who actually do make it through). Maybe it’s a morbid curiosity, because who in their right mind would be interested in THAT? Probably due to Hollywood romanticizing it in some of its movies.

Anyway, The Things They Carried doesn’t romanticize war, but the author Tim O’Brien does tell war stories. It starts off….not lighthearted, that’s not the right word, but it’s not exactly dark in the beginning. He talks about his own experience when he learned he would be drafted in a war he didn’t believe was right. He touches on the division of the country (that’s how long we have been divided in the U.S., since fucking Vietnam.) About halfway through it gets dark, the stories Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bang and The Man I Killed are both beautifully written and resonated with me. I’ll forever be wondering if Mary Anne Bell is real and if she is, did she make it home?

The Things They Carried

Tim O’Brien Facebook

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini

captain_blood

Continuing on my pirate kick I came across Captain Blood. The description sounded pretty good and the cover art was badass, Walking the Plank by Howard Pyle.

We’ve all heard the expression “No good deed goes unpunished”. Sabatini could have easily used that phrase as some sort of inspiration for the beginning of Bloods story. The beginning takes place during the Monmouth Rebellion, where Blood being a doctor, uphold his oath and tends to a few wounded Rebels only to be charged and convicted of treason again King James.

And thus begins the adventures of Peter Blood, who becomes known as Captain Blood. Even though it’s only been about a year since I read it, this book became one of my favorites almost as soon as I started reading it. Blood was a noble pirate with a conscience and held his crew to a high standard. He didn’t tolerate scoundrels among his crew and even though his country had betrayed him he kept his piracy to attacking Spanish ship, because England was at “war” with Spain at the time.

Published in 1922 the book reads like an old movie from the 30’s and 40’s, it was actually made into a movie with Errol Flynn as Captain Blood in 1935. As a movie fan I am almost always against a remake of a film, but considering it’s been over 80 years since, I’d fully endorse a modernization of Captain Blood. I think it would be fun to watch.

Captain Blood – Novel

Captain Blood – Movie

Full image of Walking the Plank

Danzig: Danzig I

The only Danzig album I really like. I wanted to like Danzig II but I just didn’t. It seemed like it was trying too hard to capture what Danzig I was. Which was pure evil in an awesomely 80’s kind of way. During the reign of Danzig I Glenn Danzig was God and carried with him a legend of debauchery, depravity, and violence. I heard he broke a guy’s skull with his bare hands for trying to snatch the goats head medallion from around his neck.

The album was no great feat of musical talent but it was power, you felt it. And for us 16 and 17 year old kids it was an anthem. We had no voice and Danzig lent us theirs.

Danzig I

Robert Hiltzik’s Sleepaway Camp

maxresdefault

In my opinion one of the BEST worst movies ever made. I can’t remember how old I was when I first saw this movie, but it left an impression to be sure. For the most part it’s pretty tame, it takes place in a camp full of actual teens (the actors were all pretty young) so there’s no nudity but there are some graphic scenes that will make you say to yourself, what the fuck? Like, a snake coming out of a dead kids mouth and a hot curling iron put in places that it really shouldn’t be put.

As usual with all of these types of movies there’s a lot of assholes who deserve to be murdered (the rules of horror dictate it, not me). If you make to the end of the movie you’ve accomplished something to be proud of and if you’re sensitive like me you’ll also be traumatized and will never be able to get that scene out of your head…ever.

And if that’s not enough, the song during the closing credits will send you over the edge.

Sleepaway Camp

Shout Factory

Amy Winehouse: Back To Black

One of my favorite rhythm and blues/soul albums in my collection. Any Winehouse had such a deep soulful voice and it’s a shame her life was cut short so soon.

Back to Black has the 50’s Motown vibe mixed with a contemporary backlash. It’s been 12 years since this album was released and it hasn’t lost it’s edge at all. I’d venture to say that since her death in 2011 it has gained a certain kind of telling darkness.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

a8f1c55dd9b072d02a32e3222635337c.jpg

After finishing the TV show Black Sails I was on a pretty solid pirate kick, read a couple of novels, Pirates of the Caribbean movies, some Wikipedia reading. It was like I was a kid again wanting to be Jim Hawkins but without all the goody two shoes stuff but a pirate with a sense of morality.

In Treasure Island there is no such pirate. The pirates are scoundrels and the good guys are good guys to the bone. But it’s a great read for a grown up kid who is into adventure novels. From the first appearance of Billy Bones to the specter of Captain Flint driving the story to the half-hearted surrender of Long John Silver, the exploits of Jim Hawkins are fun and often exciting.

Stevenson’s book spawned a number of sequels and prequels since it’s publication, a couple by Stevenson himself. One prequel I mentioned above is Black Sails. Set 20 years before the events in Treasure Island we get to see a number of characters in their prime and we get to see a fleshed out Captain Flint. It’s still a relatively new show, though no longer airing new episode, so I won’t go into any details but adult who is a fan of Treasure Island should watch it, if you haven’t. It’s not meant for kids though, a lot of adult content, think Game of Thrones with pirates.

Treasure Island