Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Amazing Mr. X (Movie Review)

The Story: A suave spiritualist promises to help a woman contact her deceased husband’s spirit, but the woman’s fiance and little sister are suspicious of the man. Is the spiritualist what he claims to be, or a con man, or something even more sinister?

My Thoughts: While this little-known film is perhaps not slick enough to please some modern viewers, fans of older movies, especially those of the mystery, horror, and thriller variety, will find much to like. It particularly surprised me by containing unusually well-done characterizations, including the complex title character.

The ending feels a bit clumsy, but it is adequate enough that it doesn’t hurt the film much. This movie begs to be remade with better writing at the end and the benefit of modern special effects. The right filmmakers could capture the irrepressible charm this movie has and polish it into something truly special.

Content Overview: Mild violence and scariness.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What Band Makes the Best Music Videos?

An image from Family Force 5's "Cray Button" music video.

I listen to a lot of music, and I also watch a lot of music videos. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that one band has stood out by consistently making the most entertaining music videos: Family Force 5.

This is perhaps not a comprehensive observation. I don’t watch all music videos that are released. Even so, the fact that I come back to re-watch the videos of Family Force 5 more than those of any other band shows that they are least in the top tier of bands when it comes to their music videos.

As an introduction to the videos of Family Force 5, here are their top 5 most popular music videos on YouTube.

#1 Chainsaw

#2 Cray Button

#3 Zombie

#4 Wobble


What band do you think makes the best music videos?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Snakebite (Western Short Story)

My newest short story, "Snakebite," just came out in TRC magazine. It's a humorous western tale about a preacher who takes on a gang of outlaws by pretending to be a ghost.

You can read the story online here.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Earl King (Free Audio Story)

The Untold Podcast has just released a high quality audio recording of my short story "Earl King." The story is about a young boy whose new friend gives him a magical jewel that can control his parents.

I greatly enjoyed getting to hear the story narrated with sound effects, and I hope you'll enjoy listening to it as well. You can listen to it for free here: The Untold Podcast - Episode 53 - Earl King

Monday, June 20, 2016

Don't Move

My newest published story, "Don't Move" is now out in Splickety magazine. "Don't Move" is about a camper who wakes up to find a rattlesnake has trapped him in his tent.

The issue of the magazine that "Don't Move" is in is available in print and as a digital copy from MagCloud, and is also available for Kindle.

Here's the neat cover of the issue:

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Joy of Otters

My newest article, "The Joy of Otters," was just published in TRC magazine. You can read it here.

This is my fourth article as a columnist for TRC. Since the magazine is quarterly, that means I've now been a columnist for one year. It's hard to believe that so much time has passed already.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cinderella: The Swashbuckling Action TV Show?

A review of the TV show Cinderella.

The Story: After her father, an ambassador, leaves on a long journey, Cinderella is turned into a servant by her cruel stepmother. As her two spoiled stepsisters fight over who will get to marry the prince of their kingdom, Cinderella befriends a boy who she doesn’t know is the prince in disguise. Meanwhile, an evil duke sets out to take over the kingdom by any means necessary.

My Thoughts: This obscure animated TV show has a surprising amount of depth. It expands the fairy tale of Cinderella into an episodic adventure with swordfights, villains, and occasional fantasy interludes. Some of the episodes are duds, but most are well-written, with colorful animation that looks like living illustrations for a fairy tale.

The only notable flaw in the series is Cinderella herself, because she occasionally lets herself be pushed around by the bad people in her life. The story is trying to show that she’s really kind, but sometimes her actions appear to be more from weakness than kindness. This is especially true in the later episodes. Still, everything works out in the end, so her occasional instances of inexplicably passive behavior certainly don’t ruin the show.

Adult animation fans are likely to find Cinderella pleasant to watch due to the good animation, depth, and action. Children may especially like it, boys included, since the prince is involved in numerous swordfights. Cinderella is definitely above average for a children’s animated TV show.

Content Overview: Mild violence.