Things to do whilst in a hospital bed recovering from a mutant attack

9 11 2009

1. Practice bleeding less.
2. Let your mind drift to flowers, fields, and distant loved ones… then think of revenge!
3. Contemplate whether the cat in Schrodinger’s box would be much happier if you just smashed the box and got it over with.
4. Curse the world and all the unfairness of it… ooh! Jello!

Where the Weird Things are (with apologies to Maurice Sendak)

18 08 2009

Where the Weird Things are (with apologies to Maurice Sendak)

One day, when Max made trouble of one kind or another, his mother gave him a powerful cocktail of Children’s Nyquil and Ritalin and ordered her Guatemalan nanny Rosa to put him to bed early.  That night a forest began to grow in Max’s room.  His fingers could touch sounds and his feet turned into boats. Which was convenient, because an ocean formed right there in his room as well.
Max sailed on his feet boats on the psychedelic water through the night, in and out of weeks, over a year to the place where the Weird Things are.
The Weird Things melted their terrible fingernails, morphed their terrible armpits, shifted their terrible kneecaps and rolled their terrible eyes out of their skulls.

“I’m freaking out!” Max shouted and tamed all the Weird Things with a magic trick by eating their sugary, fairy-like souls.  “Now,” Max said. “Let the wild trippy rumpus start!” Which got the other Weird Things giggling because “rumpus” is a funny word. Then they ate chicken burritos, Funyons, and watched the Wizard of Oz synced up with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Then after a while, the drugs began to wear off. So Max sailed away on his feet boats, over a year, in and out of weeks, through the night and back home.  Rosa was there waiting for him because his mom had dinner reservations at Spago, and everybody knows you don’t cancel reservations there– it’s very exclusive and besides, mommy just needs some “me time.”

Sergeant in a Box

1 03 2009

11 Reasons why you should not panic

3 02 2009

As you well know, The Hellbeast is here for you. We care about your well being.  We want you to live productive, healthy, and blissfully ignorant lives.  It has come to my attention that there is a certain amount of anxiety, but do not fear.  Project Hellbeast has eleven good reasons why you should just relax.

1.  You’ve still got your health– for now. Most of you are in relative good health, statistically speaking.  You can think and move and control your bowels.  Appreciate that while it lasts.  Having a healthy body means you can enjoy your ability to breathe clearly without sucking hot clouds of radioactive dust, blood agents in aerosol form, or monkey farts.

2.  You are not eternally enslaved to the robot overlord. Thank your lucky stars that the robot overlord has not begun his global conquest,  killing the weak and enslaving the rest.  He’s on his way but for now sit back, relax, and appreciate your soft moist wrists and ankles without the iron chains.

3.  You aren’t showing any symptoms. Sure, later on there will be achy joints, fluid filled pustules, and bleeding from every major opening, but for now you feel pretty good.

4.  You remember who you are. The bright light, the tractor beam, the tests and the probing — for the love of monkeys — THE PROBING!   All of that hasn’t occurred yet.  Your name,  personal information, memories and collected knowledge still remain accessible to you.   Perhaps you should take a few minutes to write some of this stuff down.

5.  The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. This is a comforting sight.  A consistency in life that can provide normalcy and comfort.    What would not be comforting would be if, lets just say,   the sun  rose in the south, got really small, turned blue and then exploded.  That’s when it’s time to panic.

6.  There isn’t an over abundance of  giant genetically enhanced saber-toothed tigers roaming around eating everyone in sight. The military can do nothing– their weapons are powerless.

7.  World War 3 has not started. Who would’ve thought the assassination of  Franz Ferdinand would spark two separate world wars?   In this case, it’s not the archduke, its the band.

8.  Global Warming. Come on, its been really cold lately.  With a little global warming, we could definately get rid of a few of those below zero days.

9. Rod Blagojevich is no longer the governor or Illinois. That’s good.  What’s not so good:   I’ve recently hired him to the experimental hair division of Project Hellbeast.

10.  Most of my secret high level government plants have been confirmed by the US Senate. Move to phase II.

11.  Project Hellbeast loves you. Subliminal messages firmly planted.   anwochlwkcl;eosy934hcliesh37alneo378.  Project Hellbeast loves you.

Top Podcasts Recommendations

21 10 2008

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts recently.  Approximately seven and a half hours of content every day to be exact.  Theres a few that I really enjoy and being that I am such a generous guy, I will give you my top picks for podcasts. They are available on Itunes.

1. Out of the Past, Investigating Film Noir. A great podcast series that is chock full of information about film noir.  Each episode they dissect a particular movie and discuss it’s particular merits as it pertains to the genre. Great stuff, especially if you are a writer or are interested in movies in general.

2. 12 Byzantine Rulers. A great historical series about the Byzantine Empire and it’s 12 most influential rulers. Very well done.  And you thought our political process was messed up. You should check out the Byzantines.

3. SModcast. Kevin Smith (of Clerks fame) and Scott Mosier deliver this hilarious and very ‘adult content’ podcast.  Kevin is just funny to listen to but also has some profound insight on some everyday things.  You can’t help but smile when you listen to it.

4. Psudeopod. Weekly horror podcast.   Great horror stories and a well produced series.  Especially good this time of year.

5. The Moth. True stories from real people.  This has great anecdotes from people in front of an audience.  My favorite was the Elderly Debutante Hypochondriac.   Now you have to listen just to find out what I’m talking about.

6. Creative Screenwriters Magazine podcast. Jeff Goldsmith interviews the writers of current movies.  It is insightful and inspiring. Especially for budding screenwriters, but interesting enough for anyone who cares about how the story of a movie is put together.

7.  The Ricky Gervais Show. I’m not sure if it is on currently but on it’s first run it was absolutely hilarious.  You almost feel bad for poor Karl Pilkington, but not really.

Well that’s all I’ve got for you at the moment.  I’m considering doing my own podcast. But then again, who would want to listen to me yammer on for 30 minutes?

Hellbeast at the Movies: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

17 10 2008

Hi everyone,

Like many people out there on the interweb,  I am a person with a blog and an opinion– Which automatically qualifies me to be a movie critic.   Now I’ve had more training beyond that but let’s not get into professional pedigrees.  Speaking of pedigrees, here is movie franchise that has been beloved by many people for many years.  A brilliant creation borrowed from cassic serial adventures by a certain bespectacled man who seems to have caught lightning in a bottle when he created this beloved cornerstone of American cinema. Of course I’m talking about Indiana Jones.   Here is my review of the latest installment of the saga.



As is the case with the other movies in this franchise, the film starts off with the old style paramount logo of the mountain, which then turns into another, but in this case– the mountain is a mole hill… well a gopher hill anyway.  Sadly, this is a fitting metaphor for this entire film.   It is an undersized adventure with more style than substance.  While there are grand set pieces, (Indy silhouetted by a mushroom cloud is an amazing image) they seem pointless and unmotivated.  Whereas in previous movies, Indy travels the globe to unravel a great mystery,  in this film he goes to two locations in South America, neither of which are particularly interesting. He doesn’t have to work particularly hard to get the legendary crystal skull, and ends up keeping it for most of the movie.  Where is the peril in that? It was over-reliant on CGI. (C’mon, who hasn’t seen a character eaten by CGI ants before?).   None of the villain’s were properly developed.  The dialog was stilted.  And pretending to replace Indiana with a kid named Mutt?  Don’t even think about that! Finally, the religious themes of the previous movies that worked so well for the series as a whole were totally absent.  Indiana Jones is inherently about the conflict between science and religion.  When you have Indy (the scientist) going after space aliens (science), where is the conflict in that?  The faith element is gone.  With Indy having no where to develop as a character and nothing to believe in,  I was left with nothing to believe in with this movie.

All in all the script felt like it was concieved by kids playing in their back yard.  On the bonus features of the disc,  Steven Speilberg shares his reluctance to do this project and it is abundantly clear to me why.  This story needed more development work an probably the involvement of the original screenwriter for Raiders, Lawrence Kasdan.

I realize I am being really hard on this film and that it does have a lot of merits,  but I hold it up to such a high standard because I know of what it is capable of.  It is like the straight A student getting a “C”.  ‘C’ might be average, but to me that is unacceptable.

Sex in the City alternate finale

14 10 2008

For those of you who are fans of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, you know it to be a long, sprawling and pointless series, rife with cliche’, and almost physically painful to read.  But you also know that due to Mr. Jordan’s passing, the series is left to another writer to finish this sweeping epic.  In discussing this with another writer friend of mine, I thought it would be quite difficult to take someone else’s series so beloved and try to end it well.  But he challenged me to give it a try.  Since someone else is so graciously completing the Wheel of Time saga, I thought I would try another classic  that could really use some improvement.  So here goes–  My alternate finale to Sex and the City.

Carrie types on her laptop commenting on her latest sexual misadventure in this bustling, vibrant metropolis called Gotham.  Suddenly the curtains ruffle and she notices a dark figure.  She yelps, surprised to see Batman seated in her cream colored Ethan Allen Suzette Arm chair.  Carrie  curses Batman for standing her up again, especially after she just bought a new pair of Manolo Blahniks for the occasion. Batman informs her that her friends Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda have all been killed by the Joker.   Carrie bursts into tears at the loss of her friends, but then laments about the good times they had.   Carrie suddenly sees the bright side in all of this– she gets to buy three new outfits for their funerals.  Batman warns her not to get to excited– the Joker is coming for her next.

The next day, Carrie is eating lunch at the Antique Cafe when Mr. Big comes in with his face painted white and a crimson red smile cut into his cheeks.  Carrie comments on their on-again, off-again relationship and he laughs. Big then tells a story of how he got the scars on his cheeks.

Batman crashes through the glass but finds he is too late.  Carrie Bradshaw is dead.  Batman chases the Joker and eventually catches him.   At the end Batman writes Carrie’s eulogy one last time for the newspaper.

The end.

So what do you think?