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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Movie Review: Rings (2017)

The 1998 Japanese horror film known as Ringu is by far and away one of my favorite horror films. It’s a tense, psychological film that uses its premise to impose an ever increasing sense of doom upon its characters—and likewise, its viewer. It’s wonderfully filmed, terrifically acted, has a great soundtrack, and uses a great minimalist approach. All in all, it’s a film I highly recommend to anyone who wants a great J-Horror flick, or great horror flick in general. In 2002, the film was remade with future Pirates of the Caribbean direct Gore Verbinski at the film. Simply titled “The Ring”, the film began a chain of J-Horror remakes here in the United States. Almost all of these were failures critically and besides The Ring, only one ever took off in any capacity: The Grudge. Unlike that film and the others that followed in its wake, The Ring was actually well received. Critics praised its atmosphere and acting, though some found it to be a bit on the jump scare heavy side. Three years after the release of The Ring, a sequel emerged from the depths of Sadako’s well: The Ring Two. Why the film decided to spell out the number and not simply have said number there, I don’t know. Either way, the sequel was helmed by Hideo Nakata, who helmed the original Ringu. Unlike that film however, The Ring Two was critically demolished as an incredibly large downgrade from the 2002 film, let alone the original 1998 one. Jumpscares galore, poor CGI, and lackluster storytelling plagued the film. In spite of this, the film made three times its budget and as such, it was a success. Because of this, a third film—tentatively titled Ring 3D—was planned. This is thanks to 3D having something of a resurgence back then; a resurgence that would later be cemented as a staple of cinema thanks to James Cameron. Ring 3D was slated for release around 2007, but was later pushed back again and again and again. Eventually, the film dropped off the face of the Earth and was presumably canceled. Whether or not this was because the script was utter garbage is unknown, but one has to wonder how bad it was if today’s film, Rings, was capable of being made and released into 2,931 theaters.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Mystery: The Floating Girl in the Woods

Believe it or not, I'm walking on air.

Russia seems to have a monopoly on strange occurrences that have little to no rhyme or reason for happening. Whether it's the sky lighting up at night, people vanishing mysteriously, gigantic craters in the middle of nowhere, or Yetis in good old Siberia, you can count on Russia having it. That said, there are some mysteries that a more, shall I say, mystical sense to them. That's where today's story comes in: The Floating Girl in the Woods.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

What Could Have Been: Agent Crush

Agent Crush is a British puppet film that was slated for a release ten years ago. A trailer, poster, and three songs from the film’s soundtrack were released, but the film never arrived. Naturally, the question for such a long delay is, “what happened?” The film’s official website shut down long ago, but a quick search of the production company for the movie, Fantastic Films, still shows it listed. In fact, it lists it as being completed.

What Could Have Been: Larrikins

Ah, Dreamworks. Home to the likes of Madagascar, Antz, How to Train Your Dragon, and Shrek. Whether you like them or consider them to be a discount Disney, they’ve left a sizable impression on the world of animation; many of their films having grossed hundreds of millions at the box office.

Alas, like any studio, Dreamworks has had its fair share of financial difficulties. Not every film is destined to be the next Frozen or Lion King. Sometimes, there come films that flop like a fish out of water. Other times, restructuring causes films to get stuck in development hell, or they simply don’t work as planned. One of those cases is today’s film: Larrikins.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Mystery: The Man from Taured

*Looks at Butterfly* Is this Taured?

Reading like the start to a science-fiction novel, The Man from Taured is a brilliant tale that's somehow not a work of fiction. It happened, though exactly what the reality behind it is ranges from the outlandishly fantastical to the completely mundane.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Mystery: Alien Autopsy

Coroner's report: it's dead 

Aliens: the bread and butter of any unsolved mystery. Ghost ships, cryptid, missing plane, strange light in the sky? You can bet your hard earned money that somewhere, at some point, someone proposed that ET was the culprit. These theories however are almost always nonsense. While they may be fun, they have as much weight to them as a parakeet feather.

That said: there are instances where aliens are a more plausible explanation, such as the Rendlesham Forest Incident. Today's story however is one where there exists a deep divide among opinions. There are those that firmly believe that that the footage from Alien Autopsy is authentic, while others consider it to be one of the greatest hoaxes of all time.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Conspiracy: Stephen Paddock

An image of Paddock from his girlfriend's Facebook page 

I was extremely hesitant to cover this monster for a few reasons. For starters, it treads into conspiracy territory and I'd hate for anyone who lost a friend or family member in the horrible attack perpetrated by Stephen Paddock to read this and believe I was being insensitive. The second is that I'm sure there will be someone who would just outright believe I was being insensitive. However, I find the mystery behind Paddock's motivation to be too interesting to pass up. So for that reason, I want to clarify two things.

The first is that this blog entry is strictly about Paddock's motivation—whatever it may have been. I'll be focusing strictly on that and while I'll be covering the conspiracy theories that come with it, I'm not going to cover them in detail. Simply put: there's a lot of claims, but not a whole lot of substance to back then up. Perhaps in the future, I'll revisit them. For now though: it's Paddock's motivation and his motivation alone.

The second is I'm not going to to politicize this. I say this as there is a theory that is political, but I won't be taking sides on it. My intention, as always, is to remain as unbiased as humanly possible.

With that said, let's dive into this tragic story and cover the worst mass shooting in United States history.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Mystery: The Flatwoods Monster

Looks like a frail grandmother.

My head hurts. I have a fever that's over 100. Unsurprisingly, I'm really sick. So with that said, this is the perfect time for some low effort writing—which I want to apologize for if you want something more in-depth. Though I don't trust myself to write anything of substance without devolving into nonsensical ramblings.

Now then, I'm pretty sure that most of you—if not all of you—are familiar with creatures such as Biggest and the Loch Ness Monster. The legendary cryptids of the world; the monsters that have defined an entire field of study: Cryptozoology. While some argue that those two aforementioned creatures are nothing more than mere myths, there are those who have dedicated years, decades, or sometimes their entire lives to discovering the truth behind those creatures.

While both Bigfoot and Nessie are fascinating stories, I want to take some time to go far down the cryptid food chain to discuss a less known creature. One whose existence, although likely mundane, became the mascot for the town it was seen near. That creature is simply known as The Flatwoods Monster.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Conspiracy: Nibiru

Artists representation of Activision-Blizzard stocks ever since Diablo: Immortal's announcement.

Hello, dear reader! It's time to discuss Nibiru.