Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I watched things.

So anyway, recently I saw a Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie: Fire Serpent.  Beware of spoilers.

I admit, I only decided to watch this movie because of the actors, who included Nicholas Brendon (Xander from Buffy), Sandrine Holt (Li Ann from Once a Thief), Randolph Mantooth (Gage from Emergency) and Robert Beltran (Chakotay from Voyager).

I was not disappointed.

Of course, I wasn't disappointed because I expected a really stupid movie.  :-P  Sentient fire that hitches a ride in people's backpacks.

The acting was actually decent though.  Really all of the actors deserved to be in a better movie.  :-)

One thing that bothered me was that I actually thought Nicholas Brendon's character, "Jake", was utterly superfluous.  He was the newbie fire fighter who gets to be all disbelieving and skeptical when Mantooth's "Dutch" tells him all about the scary fire creatures.  Later, he gets to be earnest when trying to convince Sandrine Holt's FBI character, "Chris" about the danger.

Honestly, the movie would have worked just as well without him.  "Chris" would have met "Dutch" anyway, because she and her boss (Beltran's character) suspected him of arson.  She is already disbelieving and skeptical.  He is already more than able to explain the situation.  There was really no need for the middle man.

The only real useful thing "Jake" does is in the end battle, and well, as it's that sort of movie.  And honestly, there's no reason "Dutch" couldn't have done that as well.  (Mantooth appears to be in quite good shape for his age.  Easily still believable in an action role.)

I know some folks criticize movies for inserting a young white American man into a cast when it's really not necessary.  Sometimes I agree with this critique, sometimes I don't.  In this case though, it was really very obvious.  Jake contributes NOTHING to the overall narrative!  (The actor does a good job with what he has, but really.)

There were some good points though.  Surprisingly.

First: Of the four lead characters, only one was a white man.  Sandrine Holt is half Chinese.  And both Mantooth and Beltran have Native American ancestry.

Second:  All the interrogation scenes were really good, if too short.  They could have done a whole movie of just Robert Beltran and Randolph Mantooth being cryptic and ominous at each other across an interrogation room table and I would have enjoyed it.

Third: They managed to have a scene with two Native American-identified actors and neither had to act like the stereotypical mystical Indian stereotype.

There were of course bad points, such as the fact that the damn thing makes no sense at all.  The time line is completely fucked.  The gratuitous flashback to 1966 doesn't even TRY to pretend to be 1966.  (The clothes, hairstyles, everything are blatantly modern.)

Also the dude playing young Dutch is awful, and a terrible casting job.  But then, I might have been more open-minded if I hadn't been watching a lot of Emergency.  (I've seen John Gage, and you, sir, are no John Gage.)

They try to explain how Dutch knows so much about these things, but it doesn't make a lot of sense considering that this thing kills anyone in close enough contact.  I just figure he pulls the shit out of his ass and everyone believes him by virtue of the fact that he used to be in Emergency.

That said, it's hard to seriously complain about flaws in a movie like this because...well, it's a Sci-Fi channel movie.  You kind of get what you come in for.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So Anyway

I just watched a sci-fi channel original movie from 2007: Fire Serpent.

It was directed by John Terlesky (of Deathstalker fame), created by William Shatner, and starred Nicholas Brendan from Buffy, Sandrine Holt from Once a Thief, Randolph Mantooth from Emergency and Robert Beltran from Star Trek Voyager.

It involved sentient fire.

It was exactly as stupid as it sounds.  But I did enjoy seeing so many awesome people in one movie.  So...that.

Best line: "The fire doesn't care about jurisdiction!!!"

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I don't feel like actually blogging something so I thought I'd use some screencap illustrations of #5 from yesterday's list.

Yep, this is totally the best way to accomplish this.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Life Lessons I've Learned from Emergency!

As you know by now, when I haven't been staring aghast at Darth Vader's gleaming silver nipples, I've been watching a lot of Emergency!.   Way way too much.

Now I certainly haven't seen every episode, but I think I've seen enough by now to start extracting important life lessons.

So here we go: Important life lessons that I have learned from Emergency!

1. Stay the fuck off of scaffolding

2. Bad makeup is a symptom of the flu.

3. ADHD makes a surprisingly useful subplot resolution.

4. The bigger guy should always be lower on the ladder.

5. It is perfectly okay to get a kid out of a sinkhole by dangling your thinnest member by his ankles.

6.  All is forgiven if you talk like Batman.

7.  Hair on your chest is inversely proportionate to the hair on your head.

8. It doesn't matter how hot you are, one day you will have a caterpillar mustache, sideburns, or Farrah Fawcett hair.

9.  Nurses are scary.

10.  You can get away with being the most sexist dude on the show if you're wearing eyeshadow and your first name is "Kelly".

11.  Pranking is a sign of love.

12.  Rattlesnakes are waiting to kill everyone.

13.  The most deadly weapon against man is the girdle.

14.  Never play with monkeys.

15.  Reality TV Shows were apparently big in fictional 1970s, as characters can watch tv shows featuring other characters that actually appeared during the pilot.

(Or Dixie McCall is just hot enough to be able to be hit on by in-universe fictional men.  Which is perfectly plausible)

16.  Most firemen do not actually have names.  Unless they either a) are paramedics, b) annoy the shit out of paramedics, or c) bear a vague resemblance to Abraham Lincoln.  Otherwise, they use their actor names and LIKE it.

17.  Somehow, even if you manage to suffer radiation poisoning, break a leg twice, catch a plague, get bit by a rattlesnake, get hit by a car, get whacked with rubble, get caught in an explosion, and so on, you still never seem to have any trouble passing firefighter physical fitness tests.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

So. This happened.

As I mentioned before, another seventies show that I've been watching recently is the UK 1973 Tomorrow People.  It's...bizarre.  But still better than the 2013 version.

Sometimes though you end up seeing some very strange sights.

For example, see this fetching silver dude from the Tomorrow People serial "The Medusa Strain":

That is David Prowse.  Also known as the body of Darth Vader.

Which now makes me want to work "By Darth Vader's gleaming silver nipples!" in a conversation.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Random Question of the Day

Has there ever been a Marvel/DC crossover featuring Krypto, Ace the Bat-Dog, and Cosmo?

If not, there really ought to have been.  Just sayin'.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Only maybe ONE of you will know what the hell I'm talking about.

Damnit, my goal for posting once a day (even if it is gibberish) has been thwarted.  Also, I came down with a cold.  Which sucks.  :-P

I haven't even been doing anything new.  Just watching 1970s television until my brain rots.

I have come to a weird conclusion though:

Roy DeSoto is totally Silver Age Barry Allen.

Which got me thinking what other characters could track to various superheroes.  While he predates the lad for at least 20 years, I kind of think Johnny Gage has a lot in common with Kyle Rayner.  (Goofy, earnest.  Probable undiagnosed ADHD.  Surprisingly competent on the job.  Also frequently injured.)

I'm not sure who fits for the other characters.  Except Kelly Brackett is totally Batman.  Gravelly voice, off and on relationship with a lady who totally deserves better, often an asshole.  Yep.  Batman.

It's possible I need more cold medicine...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Something I'd Like to see More Of

I'm fairly sure I've blogged this before, but I really want to see more romance novels starring robots and cyborgs.

There are a few out there!  There ought to be more!

Maybe the next Avengers movie will inspire people.  (I'll be crushed if Vision/Scarlet Witch does not happen.  CRUSHED!)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Back from Work Conference!

And boy are my arms tired!

What's your favorite terrible joke?  I need a laugh.  Or maybe just an eye-roll.  Either is good for the soul.  :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oh, Also...

Last week, I saw Sharknado for the first time.  My opinion would probably not shock you. I do have one question, though.

Is Ian Ziering immortal?

I'm just saying, he looked like a thirty-five year old high school student when I watched Beverly Hills 90210 as a wee kalinara.  And he pretty much looks exactly the same now.  It's weird!

I will say, he's much more attractive to me holding a chainsaw than he ever was on that show...

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I have to admit, I didn't bother to go see the Ninja Turtles movie, because I really didn't like the new designs.  I've heard mixed reviews.

It really does seem like one of those franchises that it's really hard to do wrong though.  The concept is in its name!  But someone often manages.

At least there was no Vanilla Ice, this time?

The one I really regret missing though, because I heard it was really entertaining is the Lego movie.  I thought it looked stupid.  But I've since heard otherwise.  :-(

Oh well, there's always Netflix or DVDs.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Aaaand Vacation is over.

So no post today.  I'm going to sleep.  :-)

Sunday, September 07, 2014


Would anyone find it interesting if I did some kind of chapter-by-chapter reviews of books (rather like Mark Reads Twilight or similar sites?  (Though no videos, as I have severe stage-fright.  And bad hair.)

I think it'd be fun, but my track record for finishing things like this is pretty nil, so there is THAT to keep in mind.  :-)

If there is interest in this kind of thing, do you think it would be more fun for me to read GOOD books, or terrible ones?  Or both?

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Crossover Romance I've Never Gotten to See:

Nick Fury and the pre-Reboot Amanda Waller.

I still 'ship it.

Though in the end, at least one of them would be revealed as an LMD.

...I'm editing to add that the ideal version of this scenario would involve both the regular and Ultimate Nick Fury.  Because it's more fun that way.

Friday, September 05, 2014

More Bad Television: Emergency!

Thanks to Netflix, I have been finding myself watching Emergency!  It's oddly addictive, even though the pilot feels very dated.  Part of it, as I think I said on twitter, is that it's so weird to see people arguing about whether or not paramedics should exist.  At this point, with forty-three years hindsight, it's like watching people argue about whether or not television or cars will catch on.

Some of it is just that everyone has terrible seventies hair.  Terrible.  What were you guys thinking back then?

I have come to a couple of conclusions/observations based on watching maybe four or five episodes, from scattered points in the series:

1.  The lead doctor is kind of a douchebag, but he has gravelly seventies voice.  Which is, to be fair, kind of hot.

2.  If the lead nurse is 30, as the pilot claims, then I'm twelve.  That said, she's pretty entertaining.  And she seems to do everything in that damn hospital.

Including the lead doctor.  (Sorry, that was in poor taste.)

It is another sign of the times though, that a fair bit of attention is paid in the pilot about her being unmarried at her age.  Ultimately, even if she is closer to 45 than 30, she's still no older than most of the doctors in Grey's Anatomy or ER. Though to be fair, this only really came up in the pilot.  It was not mentioned in the other episodes that I watched.

Also, her mascara and false eyelashes kind of scare me.

3.  The silver haired doctor is awesome.

4.  The paramedic boys are clearly the eye candy.  There's a red haired dude and a dark haired dude.  The red haired dude has unfortunate side burns and a bit of an overbite, so I've decided the dark haired dude is the hot one.  If only by default, because he kind of starts getting Farrah Fawcett hair in later episodes.  And that's just unfortunate.

5.  The dark haired dude seems to get injured in like every episode that I saw.  Seriously.  I was picking at RANDOM.  He ought to have like a designated hospital room.

6.  I saw two episodes in a row, that were actually sequential episodes, in which some dude lay unconscious on some scaffolding.  It wasn't the same guy, as the guy in the first episode actually died.  The people of these towns need to stay the fuck off of scaffolding.

7.  Apparently symptoms of the deadly new flu that hits the medical personnel include terrible eye-shadow (douchey lead doctor).  The hot-by-default paramedic got off lucky, as they just seemed to slather him with vaseline to make his cheekbones all shiny.

They were very shiny.

8.  Does the firefighter with the mustache (Chet?) have ANY redeeming qualities?  Because he pretty much didn't in any of the five episodes that I watched.  It probably didn't help that he spent all of one episode making racist Native-American jokes to his co-worker.

9.  The episode where a little girl is injured by a drunk driver is really fucking depressing.  Not because of what happened to the girl (she got better), but because this SAME episode could be written for any of the current hospital shows.  42 years later, and NOTHING has changed.

10.  It was really difficult to get used to the very seventies music at first.  I kept expecting it to turn into a parody, someone to break character, or something.

11.  The theme song is catchy though.

12.  You know, even granted that this show was filmed in and takes place in the 70s, I still would be a lot less worried going to this hospital than to any of the ones that are currently on television.  At least the doctor and nurse only seem to be sleeping together at HOME.  And they don't generally seem to kill anyone with incompetence.

Except maybe that first guy who had cardiac arrest on the scaffolding.  Who knows what might have happened, had his rescuer not passed out from the plague just as he got to him.  But then, that was that guy's own fault because he didn't stay off the fucking scaffolding.

13.  Seriously, stay off the fucking scaffolding

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Odd Thought

So, after a visit to the dentist (first in four years), I got to thinking.  I can't really remember reading any books or comics with a dentist main character.  This is possibly because everyone in Utopian science fiction has awesome teeth (hypospray those bastards), while dystopian science fiction and fantasy series just don't like talking about teeth.

To be fair, Aragorn sounds a lot less attractive when you imagine what his teeth probably looked like.  (Then again, the Elves seem like the sort to invent/discover flouride.)

I suspect it's also because, and this is not a knock on dentists, it's probably very hard to write fiction about dentistry and make it sound remotely appealing to a non-dentist.

Can you think about any books/movies/et al starring or featuring a dentist?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

No post today.

The newest Raksura book came out.  Busy.  Call back later.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


So, still on vacation.  Still not doing much of anything.

I went to the State Fair yesterday.  It was fun, but very crowded.

I ended up both happy and thwarted.  Happy, because I found a booth that sold alligator on a stick.  As it is perpetually my goal to justify my existence at the top of the food chain, I've promised myself a long time ago that I would not pass up the opportunity to eat something that would probably eat me if given the opportunity.

Sadly, however, they were out of alligator.  Ended up eating shark on a stick.  Which was quite tasty.  So it wasn't a total loss.  :-)  I'll have to try for a bite of alligator next year.

(If you have knowledge that the meat sold at these stands really isn't alligator or shark, don't tell me.  That'll spoil my fun.)

Monday, September 01, 2014

A Sort of Review - Sorcerer's Son by Phyllis Eisenstein

One neat thing about being back at the folks's house for vacation (aside from mooching like a leech, of course), is that I find myself nosing through my old book collection and finding some interesting ones.  One of these is Sorcerer's Son by Phyllis Eisenstein.

The plot is interesting.  If a bit weird.  Basically, a sorcerer (Rezhyk) has proposed marriage to a sorceress (Delivev).  Delivev says no, on account of they really don't know one another and she's not particularly interested.  Rezhyk does not take this well, and decides that she must have turned him down because she hates him and now he fears that she's out to get him.

Delivev is a sorceress with powers over certain wild creatures (namely snakes and spiders) and woven things, and this freaks Rezhyk out, so he decides he has to take steps to protect himself.  But he needs her magically distracted to do it.  Apparently pregnancy is a suitable arcane distraction, and he figures she won't be paying attention to him while she deals with the sudden inconvenience.

Rezhyk is a demon summoner/enslaver and as part of his scheme, he has his favorite demon slave (Gildrum) take the form of an attractive young man to seduce her.  As demons can't impregnate humans, the...genetic material is donated from Rezhyk himself.

Delivev meets Gildrum, as the young man, and they fall in love.  Gildrum disappears and Delivev is pregnant.  Rezhyk finishes his defenses and things stay fairly calm while Delivev's baby grows up.

The actual story then is Cray, Delivev's son, trying to find his vanished father and growing up along the way.

I quite like the story.  Cray is a good, likable lead character.  His motivations make sense and he's not as whiny as some young adult leads.  His quest for information about his dad is at least as much about having something to do and to get him some space from his well-meaning but a bit overbearing mother.  Things get pretty interesting when he starts studying with Rezhyk and learning some interesting truths along the way.  He is a bit bland, however, in comparison with the other major characters.

(Please note that while Cray does study demon summoning with Rezhyk, he doesn't learn with the intent to enslave demons himself (ultimately, he works to free them).  Demon slavery is portrayed quite unpleasantly in the book and for good reason.)

Rezhyk is a great villain because he's so recognizable.  Sure, he's a wizard and has demon servants, but his sense of entitlement, rage and obsession feels very true to life.  The fact of the matter is that Delivev doesn't even think about Rezhyk.  He's a non-entity to her.  She turned down his proposal for the same mundane reasons anyone would turn down a stranger's marriage proposal, and then she went on with her life.  But Rezhyk's ego is such that he can't handle the idea that he literally means nothing to her, that he's created an elaborate fantasy in which he is as important to her as she is to him, albeit as an object of hate instead of love.  I think a lot of women might find this situation unpleasantly familiar.

Rezhyk's lack of perspective is his major flaw throughout the book.  He thinks he knows what Delivev or Cray (who is, essentially, his biological son) will do based on what he would do.  He never expected Delivev to turn down his marriage proposal, he never expected her to keep the baby rather than eliminate it as an inconvenience, he never expected Cray to find him, and he never expects what Cray actually does in the story.  Or that he'll have help.  More on that later.  Everything Rezhyk does, and every mistake he makes is rooted from the personality that we see from page one.

Delivev is a great character too.  She could have been a straight-forward victim character, but she's really not.  She loved Mellor/Gildrum and was sad when he left, but she had her son and her work.  She might be wistful, but she isn't tragic.  And her strong relationship with her son is a key point of the story.

Gildrum is the last central character.  Demons, in this universe, are disembodied elemental spirits who can be made to inhabit constructed human bodies.   As an enslaved demon, Gildrum has no choice but to follow Rezhyk's orders.  All Gildrum really wants is to be free.  And when Gildrum was Mellor, he genuinely fell in love with Delivev, not that he could do anything about it.

Gildrum is an interesting lead, in terms of gender portrayal.  As disembodied spirits, demons have no gender, so Gildrum self-identifies with the body that he/she/it is wearing at the time.  Gildrum's usual body is that of a fourteen year old girl (created back when Rezhyk himself was that age), and therefore she uses female pronouns for the majority of the story.  He uses male pronouns, however, when he is in the male form with Delivev.  When Cray comes to study with Rezhyk it gets a bit more confusing as, while Gildrum remains in the young girl body, she still thinks of Cray as a son.

In the end, I enjoyed the story as much now as when I was a kid.  I can't even really pick out a lot of flaws, because I was reading for enjoyment rather than criticism.  If I must pick one, I thought the pacing was a bit uneven and I felt as though some of Cray's parts were interludes between the far more interesting aspects of the story: namely, Rezhyk, Delivev and Gildrum.  Essentially, it's a coming of age story where the coming of age is actually the least interesting part.

But it's fun, and interesting, with touches that feel real (positive and negative).  I'd recommend it.