Ranking, dissecting the “Friday the 13th” series


“He neglected to mention that, downtown, they call this place ‘Camp Blood’…”

John Carpenter’s Halloween is, without question, my favorite horror movie of all time, but its rough-hewn demon spawn, Friday the 13th, actually qualifies as my favorite horror series. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, in fact, about what a surprising little swath of my adolescence and teenage years was given over to fuzzy but fond memories of watching an unstoppable killer stalk nubile teenagers around the grounds of a New Jersey summer camp. For heaven’s sake, why, might you ask? I don’t rightly know. I have always felt an instinctive attraction to things “other”, of course, and have, as a result, found myself on the defensive side of more arguments about “harmful” art and censorship and selective morality than I can properly recount (or care to). Funnily enough, I have a memory of milling about, at (approximately) the age of nine, in the upstairs of my grandparents’ grand, gothic house with two beloved cousins, ten and eight respectively, when one of them announced, “we should play Friday the 13th!” I was nonplussed. Continue reading “Ranking, dissecting the “Friday the 13th” series”

Steelers Thoughts #5 (10/27/14): Rare Air

steel bee

Expectations are fickle and fragile things for sports fans. They can serve as both crutch and anchor over the course of a long season. The wise fan monitors facts on the ground closely, considers trends and opposition, and, if needs be, adjusts his or her expectations accordingly. But football fans – indeed, fans of anything worth the investment – are just not overly cerebral creatures, or at least not on Sunday. We are ruled by our hearts, and the high expectations Steelers fans took into training camp 2014 and week 1 have already been both sorely tested and somewhat reconfigured through no real action on our parts. Continue reading “Steelers Thoughts #5 (10/27/14): Rare Air”

Movie review: “Gone Girl” (2014)

gone girl

“I will practice believing that my husband loves me…but I could be wrong.”

Seen at a macro level, his suburban setting for a fleeting early moment obscured by suspiciously placed, some might even say staged, clouds, David Fincher’s Gone Girl still appears to be operating on multiple levels at once. Is the film a slightly higher than standard issue twisty police procedural? Is it a deliberately paced, closely observed yet still strangely aloof portrait of the disintegration of a storybook romance and marriage? Is it an unsubtle treatise on the perversity and pervasiveness of today’s reality TV/24-hour news culture, which will tar and feather the presumed innocent on the flimsiest pretense, disregarding or suspending best journalistic practices in the process, and stoke the fires of public outrage ever higher with victims both tragically real and imagined, solely in the name of ratings? The simple answer is yes to all three, but Gone Girl goes much, much deeper, pressing and probing psychologically and running in expected directions in unexpected ways. Continue reading “Movie review: “Gone Girl” (2014)”

Turtle Meets Shredder: Gennady Golovkin KO2 Marco Antonio Rubio


The warriors’ rugged features tell what is already a fairly intriguing story, however incomplete. Neither is any sort of pretty boy, a De La Hoya, say, or a Leonard, or a Mayweather. Both have the air of having cleared countless hurdles over the course of their hardscrabble existences, and an entrenched look of hunger that money and fame might mitigate but possibly never cure. Ring institution Michael Buffer handles the preliminary introductions before his trademarked “thousands in attendance” (in this case, an overflow sellout crowd of 9,300), who in turn thrum with anticipation as HBO’s cameras inspect the two combatants. One bounces with nervous energy while the other radiates quiet confidence, but their eyes are both lively. Continue reading “Turtle Meets Shredder: Gennady Golovkin KO2 Marco Antonio Rubio”

DVR Hindsight #7 (10/13/14): The Bridge, Mulaney, Walking Dead premiere


I never really stop trying to get the word about this site out. I’ve put a whole lot of myself into its construction and maintenance these past ten months, and am rather pleased, if not proud, to have my little writing repository finally established and fairly thriving, exposed to and perusable by the world after so many years of tiresome, idle threats. I appreciate everyone who has visited and stopped long enough to click through and read, whether it was a sentence, or a post, or a dozen. Everything you’ll see here has my personal, occasionally grudging, seal of approval. Even as I still see the blemishes and dead ends with depressing clarity, I’m quite happy overall with the 100K+ words already archived here. But it’s tricky. Writing Post #50 – the “lead zeppelin” remembrance about Iron Maiden and how its music empowered me at a particularly fraught time in my early adolescence – almost stopped this site dead in its tracks. Continue reading “DVR Hindsight #7 (10/13/14): The Bridge, Mulaney, Walking Dead premiere”

Concert review: The New Pornographers

TNP 2014

also appearing: Iron & Wine                                                                                                         Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio – September 20, 2014

Despite five solid years now of reinforcement from the music journalism establishment, I can never quite bring myself to consider Vancouver, BC’s The New Pornographers a “supergroup”. Having read with zeal approximately every article published about them in that period, all of which invoke the label “supergroup”, I can say mine is at least a considered opinion. While technically true, the moniker still strikes me as a lazy sort of shorthand. My relationship with the band stretches from just after the release of the textured, understated (but commanding) Together in 2010 to just after the release of this summer’s celebratory Brill Bruisers, and in that time they went from complete unknowns (mine are the only eyes that matter) to one of my very favorites regardless of genre, a meteoric rise in my estimation that, while not without precedent, still has vanishingly few peers. Continue reading “Concert review: The New Pornographers”

Lobbying hard for “Big Dictionary”…


Even when I’m listening to sports talk radio, I’m still only paying real attention to it a fraction of the time. I’m much more reliably aware of the news programs on local NPR, or piqued by a specific song dug out of the vaults by Columbus, OH’s local indie/alternative station for “No Repeat Thursday”. Sports talk to me is largely background noise, for three main reasons: 1) none of the teams I follow – the Steelers, the Mets, the Blue Jackets, Ohio State, UNC, the entire sport of boxing – are a consistent part of the national sports conversation, and if they are, it’s generally for all the wrong reasons Continue reading “Lobbying hard for “Big Dictionary”…”