If It Bleeds ( book ) … Stephen King

If It Bleeds ( book ) ... Stephen King

“If It Bleeds, it leads,” the old news trope goes, but what if it bores? That’s the problem with this book; a set of Stephen King novellas à la Full Dark No Stars, Four Past Midnight and Different Seasons. The worst is The Life Of Chuck, a fictional biography about a man I couldn’t care less about.

The best is Rat, which seems like it’s going to be a good story; the headline here reads something like Novelist With Flu Stuck In Cabin During Killer Cyclone; until its ridiculous title character comes into play. It’s Stephen King’s preference for the strange and supernatural that ruins this one.

Mr Harrigan’s Phone, about a boy gifting a dying “luddite” with an iPhone, plods along drearily, though John Harrigan is probably the most interesting character If It Bleeds has to offer. The silly title bit, which stars Holly Gibney and follows The Outsider, is about a shapeshifting news reporter.

my rating : 2 of 5

2020

video review : Gretel And Hansel

video review : Gretel And Hansel

This is an artsy take on the Brothers Grimm tale, but, at first glance, you might have trouble determining who is who. Hansel and Gretel look like boys. Gretel is the “pretty” one the story is mostly focused on.

The visual style of the movie, led by cinematographer Galo Olivares, is gloomy and exquisite. It’s the plodding pace of the plot, marked with highfalutin character monologues, that might bore you to death.

my rating : 2 of 5

2020

Autopsy Room Four ( story ) … Stephen King

The concept, a living man lying on a gurney as pathologists unknowingly prepare to perform an autopsy on him, is creepy and intriguing. It’s Stephen King’s flippant handling of it that disappoints.

A story like this should be ominous. Instead the “dead” man, who’s fully conscious but also fully paralyzed, makes corny wisecracks to himself, even as his body is about to be sawed open and dismantled.

my rating : 2 of 5

1997

Autopsy Room Four ( story ) ... Stephen King

video review : It’s A Wonderful Life

video review : It's A Wonderful Life

George Bailey may have a Wonderful Life; by the looks of it, he certainly has a wonderul wife; but his story is rarely appealing. A glaring problem from the start is that his personality, as an adult and especially a kid, is rather annoying as are most of the main characters in this Christmas tale.

Aside from romance, family and friends, its themes include money, death and religion. That last one provides George with a guardian angel who doesn’t start his job until way late. What happens then should be most of the movie. Tacked on as it is makes the ending resolution seem rushed.

my rating : 2 of 5

1946

audio review : I’m Singin ( song ) … Biz Markie ( featuring Cool V )

This song, the drums are which sound like the first two cuts from the Cleared album this one is from, could be decent with a better hook. What Biz Markie sings is an annoying interpolation of Singin In The Rain, the ballad made famous by Gene Kelly in the movie of the same name.

my rating : 2 of 5

1993

audio review : All Samples Cleared ( album ) ... Biz Markie

audio review : Bomb The Bass ( album ) … Bass Bombers

audio review : Bomb The Bass ( album ) ... Bass Bombers

This album sounds as corny as the title and name of the artists; I suspect it’s an alias of Bass 305; suggest. The beats are generally mundane, but the main issue is the abundance of vocal samples; cliché DM (Records) catchphrases that litter almost every song like space dust.

The one exception is Nocturnal Emission, the vocals of which consist of nothing more than, sneakily enough, a girl or girls moaning in what sounds like sexual pleasure. That I don’t mind. The only other decent song is Woofer Wrecker, a techno party mix for said girls to dance to.

my rating : 2 of 5

1994

video review : Poltergeist

video review : Poltergeist

It’s a spooky concept; a suburban family realizes their house is haunted by evil beings; but the movie is too silly to make it work. Much of the blame goes to Zelda Rubinstein, a small actress who plays a medium.

“Go into the light!” “No, dont go into the light!” “Okay, I change my mind; go back into the light!” … voices yell over a whirlwind of ghostly confusion, all in a joint effort to get the baby daughter out of the TV.

my rating = 2 of 5

1982

First 100 Words

First 100 Words

This is a board book for babies and toddlers to teach them the meaning of basic words like “apple” and “dog”. The words are labeled with example pictures and mostly tacky background colors.

The order of the chapters seems random and little kids may be confused with certain words like “truck” under “dump truck”; “mobile” confused me; but I guess it does what it’s supposed to do.

my rating = 2 of 5

2005

video review : Death Proof

video review : Death Proof

The best thing about this Grindhouse flick is the song that plays at the end. It’s a cute ditty that fits the plot, about a stuntman named Mike who drives around in a Chevy Nova he describes as Death Proof. By the time the pretty girl in the passenger seat realizes that description only applies to him, she’s about dead.

It’s a two-part story that would be better as one. The first half, set in Texas, at least has sexy stylization going for it. It’s also overlayed with retro movie theater effects. The second (Tennessee) half, which looks more like a regular movie, is closer to a borefest than a joyride as it stalls itself in mundane dialogue.

my rating = 2 of 5

2007

video review : Paranormal Activity : The Ghost Dimension

video review : Paranormal Activity : The Ghost Dimension

This is Paranormal Activity 6, but it seems to ignore the plot of part 5, so you can watch it after 4 and not miss a beat. The year is 2013; these movies are never present day; and the Katie/Kristi sisters are back via old VHS footage, but it’s all in vain.

The Ghost Dimension, which opens to the daughter of a new family, starts decently and gets worse as it goes on. By the end, it’s a mess of bad acting and silly visual effects, the latter of which includes a hole in a wall that looks like a huge gaping anus.

my rating = 2 of 5

2015

video review : Paranormal Activity 1
video review : Paranormal Activity 2
video review : Paranormal Activity 3
video review : Paranormal Activity 4
video review : Paranormal Activity : The Marked Ones

video review : Christopher Robin

video review : Christopher Robin

“You don’t have to tell me every time you pick one up,” Eeyore groans to Christopher Robin, who’s been finding acorn shells in the forest. It’s one of the rare times the movie’s constant attempts at being funny actually succeed. The plot, which plays between Robin’s family life and his job as an efficiency expert at a luggage company, is mostly silly.

my rating = 2 of 5

2018

video review : Nancy

video review : Nancy

Nancy is a woman who, after watching a news report about a Girl Still Missing After 30 Years, makes contact with the parents to say she might be their long-lost daughter. The mother invites her into their home, even going as far as to refer to the daughter as “you”, as they await the results of a DNA test.

That last bit is the one thing this tedious tale has going for it. The wait brings with it a certain level of anticipation. Is she their kidnapped daughter or not? That’s the big question. Once the answer is revealed, a little too early and anticlimactically, the story has nothing interesting to do with its protagonist.

my rating = 2 of 5

2018