Currently Watching : DEAD SQUAD TEMPLE OF THE UNDEAD

DEAD SQUAD: TEMPLE OF THE UNDEAD

25 minutes in and the jury is out on this one. I find it intriguing despite the annoying nature of most of the characters. The annoying, brain dead westerner character is one I can definitely do without. The film so far has not been great, a bit too campy and annoying, but I find myself interested in where the film is going. Interested in the shape of the doom they are getting closer to. And the Antagonist equally wears out his welcome.

However the practical effects and makeup are impressive, and how badass one of the characters is around the 40 minute mark keeps me watching when I was ready to write this one off.

I do not like Zombie/Ghoul films as a rule, but this one is different enough (especially the head monster) and truly deranged and yes campy enough, that you just have to be impressed by the absurd weirdness of it.

It becomes far more intriguing than I was initially thinking. Definitely not for everyone but for fans of Peter Jackson’s early horror films like BAD TASTE and DEAD ALIVE, despite my early doubts, Dominik Hauser’s DEAD SQUAD (his debut film) by the end, becomes an absolutely tremendous and fitting homage and evolution of those campy horror classics.

Try it yourself courtesy of Amazon Prime streaming. It is unfortunate movies like this are not getting a DVD/Blu-ray release with Director’s commentary. That’s how B films like this traditionally have endured. Preserved by collectors and fans. In the ephemeral world of streaming,controlled by cold dollars and cents, films like this can disappear without a whisper.

Here in First Quarter 2019, FINALLY reflecting on BEST Youtube Channels 2018!

Odd the difference streaming has made to my TV watching habits.

I went YEARS without watching cable TV, or really much of broadcast TV, and not really missing it.

I did not want a cable television bill, so I did either free off the air via the digital antenna or whole seasons of DVD. And I had my unlimited clear broadband modem, so web shows were also an option.

But back in 2013 or 2014 when Roku and Netflix really began to become a thing, I jumped in to the ‘streaming revolution’ and man have I, like most of you, had a blast.

So much so, that last year, after a few years of using Roku to watch the regulars (NETFLIX, HULU, AMAZON PRIME, CRACKLE, TUBI, and SHOUT FACTORY TV to name a few) I checked out a ‘new’ Roku station… YOUTUBE.

Youtube, a thing I avoided like the plague in its web/pc version for YEARS (because of lack of moderation of the sewage like comments section), quickly in 2018 became one of my favorite channels.

I spent more time watching the Youtube Channel and assorted programs on my big screen TV (Thanks to Roku) than just about anything else, with the other two big ones being AMAZON PRIME and HULU.

I still have issues with Youtube (the organization) but the regular joes and joettes, who for the love of it… create this unique and passionate content, these unique channels, well I love it for the same reason I love podcasts.

(Quick shout out to COMIC GEEK SPEAK, EPIC MARVEL PODCAST, KNIFEPOINT HORROR, TWOMORROWS, THE DAILY RIOS PODCAST to name a few)

They exemplify the passionate amateur who shows a better grasp and coverage of the material, then the paid professional pundit. And for the hours of joy they gave me, and others, in 2018 they deserve to be applauded.

And here (in a brief paragraph) are my favorite Youtube shows for 2018:

  1. AFTA COMICS
  2. SILVER-AGED DAVE
  3. REGIE SIMMONS IFBB PRO https://www.youtube.com/user/rsimmons1911
  4. RANDY AND TAYLA
  5. RICH REBUILDS
  6. ALL THAT JAZZ
  7. BRAVE WILDERNESS
  8. FIRST WE FEAST
  9. THE GO2 GEEKS
  10. WALLACE RYAN
  11. WORKOUT
  12. HAANTI
  13. EARL GREY https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ZtauWih38Lr1aVEXuZybw
  14. JOHN CAMPEA
  15. DS COMICS
  16. METAROG
  17. MINDSMASH https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC87Lj67s_Ht40lvGhtF9iHA
  18. MINORITY MINDSET
  19. OMELETO
  20. POP CULTURE PHILOSOPHERS
  21. PROFESSOR THORGI
  22. RAPID TRAILER
  23. CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT http://www.cerealatmidnight.com/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsVgZNzzvedehALS-dTIFhACereal At Midnight: Pop Culture in Analog
  24. CHYCHO
  25. COMICHYJINX
  26. COMICS WITH BUELLER
  27. DR JOSH AXE
  28. FURY ROAD
  29. LEEKIRBYDITKOCOMICS
  30. THE DELUXE EDITION
  31. UFC AND MMA

If you are unfamiliar with any show above, do a search ( Not at google, please. Try duckduckgo or ixquick.com. Google and Disney should not own everything guys. Spread the love guys. Competition will help keep you free. 🙂 ). These channels are worth your time.

So yeah didn’t want to drag this post out but those are 31 channels that kicked butt in 2018, and I am currently still enjoying in 2019. And more than that, network and reach out to each other, and make it easy for your fellow youtubers and fans to reach you outside of Youtube. Cause you probably have a lot of fans who reach you via a streaming device. Which means they do not see your comments section, and can not post comments, etc. And I have seen a few channels go dark in the brief time I’ve been following Youtube channels, so an old fashioned email link, maybe not as outdated a concept as people say. 🙂

I would hate some of the above channels to likewise go dark, come 2020.

Thanks for looking!!!

If you liked this post, show support by purchasing today’s item via the below link:

 

https://amzn.to/2El13WP – This one is a little more expensive than the standard or usb version, but is worth the additional money due to a faster processor, HDMI port, and Fast Ethernet port. If you already have a streaming device or use a different streaming device, this one makes a great addition to a guest room, or a great gift.

 

Be well out there!

Is the 1st Quarter of 2019 almost done???!! Quick a few last lessons and observations from 2018!!!!

Wow this year has been flying and busy…so I did not have a lot of time to reflect on 2018. So I wanted to say a few words before we get out of the 1st quarter of 2019.

 

2018.

What a year.

Politics, war, human and civil rights conflicts. Losses both subtle and staggering. And also great achievements to balance out the bloody churning of the 24 hour news cycle.

Other places have spoken on those serious points of 2018.

I wanted to speak on mostly light, trivial, personal minutiae that for what ever reason reverberated with me. And may just reverberate with those of you who visit me.

2018 was, despite the unsteady global outlook, personally for me… a good year.

Those I hold dear were well.

And that for me is the main measure of a good year.

So onto the minutiae:

Umm

  • I spent time in Connecticut in 2018, and absolutely loved it. New London, Mohegan Sun, Terrificon 2018. Just a fantastic trip with my better half. So enjoyed the trip so much, that we will be doing it again in 2019. If you are into Comic Book movies, and more importantly classic comic books, from the great Silver and Bronze Age, and their creators, this is the con for you. If you are with family that has only minimal interests in Comics, this Con is definitely for you, because it is held in a stunning Casino, so it is great shopping,, with great food. And the surrounding area is filled with great things to do with your family, from great small town window shopping, to cruises, and tours, and yes… excellent food.
  • 2018 saw me transition from Fire TV back to Roku Premiere+. Which served me great all year with one little caveat.

  • The Roku Premiere + while it offers improved processing speed over earlier models and a handy HDMI port, it also overs a microphone in the  remote for voice control.  As someone who works in tech two of the stupidest things I think you can have in your home, is a camera you can’t turn off ( or be truly certain when it is on) and a microphone that is always recording.
  • Too many people place devices in their home, that a smarter, more prudent, generation would have called illegal surveillance systems (cough – XBOX – cough), but because these systems come marketed as ‘must have entertainment devices’, or ‘AI convenience devices’, too many people are swayed by the sheen rather than the substance, and blithely allow invasive tech into their home without researching that tech, or means to limit violations of same. Just like before you use a car most people pay a reliable mechanic to check out the car, and seasonally tune it up, the same minimum steps should be in place for these smart/iot devices. Have a tech set it up and secure it for you, and ensure it is safe to use. That is just smart consumerism in this day and age of identity theft, and billion dollar companies unable to keep from losing your data.
  • And these are the companies you pay to put an alexa in your home. 🙂 I am not so lazy that I need an Alexa in my house, always listening to answer an inane question, or turn on a light. Such smart technology can be of use, but not when paired with an uninformed and lazy consumer.That is a recipe for your technology owning you, rather than the other way around.
  • Most notably marketing. There are billions made by game/entertainment machines that has NOTHING to do with gaming. But has everything to do with selling your data to the highest bidder. A not locked down gaming machine, is indistinguishable from a state of the art bio-metric spying machine. Indistinguishable.
  • I’m not saying do not have have a video game console in your house. I am saying be informed about the equipment you are putting in your house and how to limit egress by marketers, and privacy violations.
  • Such as the news item a couple years back of people who bought the smart TVs, unaware that it was recording them.:)
  • Smart Devices, are for smart consumers. And most consumers are not smart. I’m not being insulting, but it is a truth the marketing relies on, that people buy off of a glitzy ad, rather than research. On emotion, rather than reason. How else to explain pharmaceutical ads that sell potentially deadly products, to address the most inane issues. They rely on consumers not being smart, and wanting what is new and hip and popular. We must look at the world, with better eyes than that. All of us. Myself included feel the pull to jump aboard the band-wagon, but those are the times we have to pause, and take a step back. And really look and see where the road of good intentions… is leading you. 🙂 . It takes putting in the effort, which is contrary to the marketed status quo of, just ask your phone, or smart device to think for you.
  • For the sake of entertainment this social media generation is relinquishing rights, that took much loss of blood to get. Technology can be great, if you take the time to hold manufacturers accountable, and make the technology truly a tool that you use, rather than visa-versa.
  • All this to say, I swapped out my mic enabled remote for my Roku for a model without a mic. I do not want to talk to machines. I don’t really want machines talking to me. 🙂 And no, I don’t have a smart phone. I work with smart phones, tablets, and laptops, and desktops for a living. I do not need my phone to be a computer, I just need it to make and receive calls. 🙂
  • Having set those ground rules for the Roku, and some other privacy changes enacted, the Roku Premiere + has served me well for all of 2018. And continues to do so in 2019.

Most notably Youtube, a thing I avoided like the plague in its web version (because of lack of moderation of the sewage like comments section), is one thing I am enjoying on my big screen (non-smart) tv, thanks to Roku. The ‘comments free’ Youtube Channel App, on Roku, is easily one of my most watched channels of 2018. More on this in my next installment.

 

 

And we will wrap this streaming heavy look at 2018 up with my 5 favorite Streaming Channels of 2018 from most to least watched.

  1. YOUTUBE

  2. AMAZON PRIME

  3. HULU

  4. NETFLIX

  5. PLUTO TV

Those five channels were pretty much all I watched in 2018.

Youtube I already mentioned what I watched.

As far as Amazon Prime, they have a huge selection of Big Foot, Werewolf, and other obscure horror films, which is my cup of tea. The slasher stuff I have no use for, but a good Big Foot movie, I’m there! So between many hours of movies and trailers, and their great classic and original programming (JACK RYAN season 1 was excellent) they were a solid contender for most popular streaming channel.

HULU allowed us to keep up with broadcast TV, (ex. AMERICAN NINJA) as well as original programing and classic series. Netflix ran a distant fourth for me, but did have some fun shows and movies as well.

Finally PLUTO TV scratched the itch for us when we wanted the Cable experience.

There you go guys, a streaming intensive look at 2018 from herE in the far future of 2019! 🙂

 

AMAZON PRIME WatchList ITEM/GIFT of the Day : Accident MAN Movie and Book!

Accident Man Movie Poster ACCIDENT MAN- Ease of browsing. This is one of the reasons I canceled Netflix in favor of Amazon Prime. That and the fact I am not paying for more than two streaming services, and my other choice is HULU.

Searching Amazon Prime is a lot like the old days of the giant video stores, only it is a lot better. You have the greatest movie library in the world at your fingertips, and ratings and trailers for almost all the movies to help you make your selection. And also they have a CUSTOMERS ALSO WATCHED recommendation queue to turn you on to other films you might otherwise not have known about.

That and the trailers have helped me discover a lot of great and obscure films I otherwise would have never know about. This film starring two of my favorite Martial Arts actors of the 21st century, Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins, is an adaption of a great, little known British comic magazine character, ACCIDENT MAN. He originally appeared in the UK’s excellent, but short lived, TOXIC magazine.

And that was followed up with a mini-series  from DARK HORSE COMICS.

I didn’t realize until doing the research for this post, there is a hardcover ACCIDENT MAN, that collects all of his appearances in TOXIC magazine, as well as the Dark horse Comics. That is so a MUST BUY! I have the Toxic issues, and I’m keeping them because it is great to see the artwork at full, magazine size, but having all his work collected in one spot on quality paper… sign me up!

Here’s the link to the hardcover. I would recommend buying two copies, one to keep and one to resell when it goes out of print, because it will. Thank me later. 🙂

https://amzn.to/2P7kRzg

Cover Image

If the movie is half as insane as the comic strip, it is going to be a whole lot of fun. And looking at the trailer… it is.

You can get the movie either via streaming or DVD/Blu-Ray:

Accident Man [Blu-ray]

https://amzn.to/2BQaiPA

Considering the Blu-Ray comes with an audio commentary and making of features that reward multiple viewings, I would spring for the Blu-ray/DVD over the streaming version. Especially considering you can get the disc a bit cheaper. You can use the link above to order your copy today.

Thanks to Alien Bee of Alien Bee Dot Net for providing the special features details that even Amazon did not have. Go check out the Alien Bee site for more great reviews:

http://www.alienbee.net/blu-ray-review-accident-man/

Subscribe and like if you found the post informative, and please spread the word. And  email or comment with what your purchase, recommendation of the day was. Till next time!

 

Richard Carpenter’s seminal 80’s ROBIN OF SHERWOOD may just be the best TV show of all Time

‘Nothing is forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten.’ — Richard Carpenter’s ROBIN OF SHERWOOD

 

 

 

Richard Carpenter, no relation to John Carpenter, is largely unknown to modern audiences, however he shouldn’t be. In the 80s he created a TV show, ROBIN OF SHERWOOD, which became a surprising hit. Here in the states it was broadcast via PBS, and even watching it then, it felt mythic and larger than life. Revisiting it 35 years later, not only does the short lived series hold up as great television, those first two seasons remain the best version of Robin Hood ever conceived.

Richard Carpenter taking the traditional Robin Hood myth, and adding unheard of mystical and Moorish and pagan and Arthurian elements to it, created a show that was the crystallization of myth. Add the perfect confluence of young, hungry actors , a brilliant creator/writer at the peak of his powers, groundbreaking directors and cinematographers, led by Director Ian Sharp, that were rewriting the way action could be filmed, and a score done by Pol Brennan and hot new touring bad Clanad, and you had a show that was as mythic and forged by destiny, as the fiction it chronicled.

 

  • Michael Praed
  • Ray Winstone,
  • Nickolas Grace
  • Judi Trott
  • Clive Mantle
  • Robert Addie
  • Phil Rose
  • Mark Ryan
  • Peter Llewellyn Williams

 

The above actors were the perfect cast (thanks to Beth and Esta Charkham) to give life to Richard Carpenter’s groundbreaking mythic and mystic version of Robin of the Hood.

The writing, married to the performances, is at once eloquent and elegant; and like all great myths it is endlessly quotable and memorable. In the 35 years since, what Richard Carpenter invented for his series, the mystical elements, the addition of a Moor to Robin’s Merry Men, making Marion a vital part of the story, has been stolen by other tv shows and films, but none to any great effect. Because those were part of Carpenter’s vision, and 35 years ago he, with the exact right people, and the exact alignment of stars… gave birth to that vision.

Will someday someone make a Robin Hood series or film as good? Well they haven’t yet, but the good news is ROBIN OF SHERWOOD is available on DVD/Bluray and Streaming for a new generation to discover, and long term fans… revisit.

The first two seasons (called Set 1) are essential television. The third season (Set 2) is fun, but is not essential.

Get your fix here:

http://amzn.to/2H8TSQI

http://amzn.to/2ElZrxo

 

If you would like to try before you buy, Season 1 is available right now via Amazon Prime. But the commentaries in the Bluray’s are a clinic on film-making and storytelling, and are a must listen. As well as the other features, and interviews with the cast, it is… in the age of streaming; a must own Blu-ray.

Gift Idea/Product of the Day! LIFESAVER Systems 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle

I just watched an excellent Michael Pritchard TED Talk on making filthy water drinkable. At only ten minutes you can view it here:

As someone who has always been concerned with the quality of drinking water, and has over several years tried various remedies to ensure clean water, the talk was of definite interest to me.

Especially as I see more and more companies pressure nations and communities to privatize their water infrastructure; I think water, clean drinkable non-contaminated or tinkered with for taste water (Dasani I’m looking at you)… is going to increasingly not be guaranteed. Water, in this ‘tail wags Dog’ America and World, Is going to start being a luxury item you have to pay for, rather than a basic necessity that should be freely available and provided.  And those who can’t pay for clean, non contaminated water, will not get clean contaminated water.

A Trumpian Dystopian Orwellian future, made ever less far-fetched as the more passionate among us do nothing, while the venal and greedy and ignorant among us, shout loudly.

Michael Pritchard is one who did not stay quietly on the sidelines, turning his outrage on tragedies of nature, and failures of governments and men, such as Katrina… into action.

In this case a portable water filtration system called LIFESAVER that checks a lot of the boxes, that others miss.

  • One it requires no external power source.
  • Two it is designed to catch just about everything, rather than just a few, and
  • Third and most importantly, and the one that most water filters fail on… it shuts the water filter off when it has reached the point of failure.

A water filter is only as good as that point of failure, and a system that lets you know when you have reached that point of replacement is indispensable.

In my house I use the zero pitcher, for this very reason. It’s a quick and easy test you can run on every glass of water, and when the meter hits that number of 006 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) you know it is time to replace that filter.

LIFESAVER offers a similar level of confidence, where it matters even more… when you are on the go; away from your house. And I don’t just mean camping, I mean anyplace outside your home where you need to get a drink of water, whether that be the water cooler at your job, a public fountain, or a friends house.

I work for a billion dollar company, in a fantastic high rise in the middle of a major city, and way too often the water out of the tap, for the whole building… comes out brown. That is just not acceptable. And yes the company has mounted water filters, but are the filters getting changed as they should be? When the municipality of a so-called 1st World Nation can’t provide its citizens clean drinking water from the tap (or don’t prioritize such water), you begin to question the capability of every part of that chain.

We have this delusion in America, like so many delusions that allowed otherwise sane people to actually cast a ballot for Trump, we have a delusion that water quality is a third world problem. When the truth is, through the greed of billionaires, America is quickly becoming a third world nation. The problems of Mexico, and Sudan, and Kosovo, and Nigeria and India… these are quickly going to become American problems. Because we are allowing slavers and Robber Barons to make policy, that inevitably is designed to make the few masters and the many slaves.

Some of that you can combat through legislation, though voting, through boycotting, and some of it you combat by taking an active role, in making sure the basic necessities of life… clean water… in a pinch you can provide for yourself.

That is where the LIFESAVER System comes in. Its company grade is an A, and its Amazon Reviews have been vetted and are accurate (A lot of times they are not, don’t just assume a company with 4 or 5 stars on Amazon is a slam dunk of a product. Unfortunately unscrupulous companies use robots to pad their page with tons of fake 5 star reviews.)

You want to vet the company and vet the reviews, to see if the company is legit and the reviews are legit. There are various sites that will do this for you. I’ve checked the most reputable ones, and LIFESAVER as a company is an A, and its Amazon reviews get an A for being accurate, and non robot generated.

All this to say, this is the gift giving season, Dickens’ sweet story of a carol at Christmas, has been turned by savvy businessmen into a retailers dream, the need to purchase and buy, affecting all during this time of year, more like a fever, than anything to do with faith.

A compulsion.

Whether Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Vodun or Festivus you celebrate; we are all swept up in the compulsion to spend. All to some point swayed by the marketing push and Black Friday sales, or Amazon Monday sales.

But perhaps we can do better than the usual suspects of gifts. While the kids want (and deserve) their toys, for the adults give them the LIFESAVER. It lives up to its name. It is something that should be in each car you own, for emergencies, and one in the house as a backup filtration system. Essential for any bug-out bag.

And the lifesaver while impressive, no product should be considered an end all and be all. I would recommend having a UV pen water sterilizer as well. It is just a good one-two punch to get in the habit of doing. Especially as your filter gets close to its end of life.

Is it overkill? Probably. But considering it only takes seconds more to UV your drink after filtering, it is probably just a good routine to get into. But even without the UV step, I consider the LIFESAVER absolutely an indispensable purchase in 2017 and beyond, and a fantastic gift.

Get yours here:

LIFESAVER Systems 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle

You are going to also need to have replacement filters on hand (In the words of Nick Nolte, from EXTREME PREJUDICE [one of my favorite movies, and easily his most iconic role] ‘One without the other, ain’t no damn good.’)

Lifesaver Bottle Ultra Filtration Water Bottle Replacement Carbon Inserts (4-pk)
And here’s the recommended UV pen:

SteriPEN Adventurer Opti UV Water Purifier

And here’s the pitcher for your kitchen (and you could also use an additional one for your bathroom or just go with an on tap unit for your bathroom faucet):

ZeroWater 23 Cup Dispenser with Free TDS Meter (Total Dissolved Solids) – ZD-018

Or more convenient for your bathroom would be a on-faucet filter, that also offers a end of life replacement light, which would be the below:

PUR 3-Stage Horizontal Water Filtration Faucet Mount Chrome FM-9400B

So that’s it guys. When I started this blog, far more than a decade ago, one of my early concerns was water quality. I had tried distillers, table top water filters, and tons of options in between.

And all of that research has brought me to the recommendations above. You want to give a gift this holiday season, give the gift of clean water.

It is… a start.

Use the links above and help this blog earn a few pennies with your purchases.

Enjoy!

 

AMAZON PRIME Deals/Buys/Gift Ideas of the Day : BLUE MoFi HEADPHONES!

My obsessions, like most tech and toy intrigued guys… goes in phases. This particular week audio is dominating my interest.

I’ve spent over a hundred hours determining signal from noise, and great purchases, from fraudulent stacked reviews. Which unfortunately Amazon is full of.  Lots of those 4 and 5 star reviews, are caused by disreputable companies flooding amazon with bogus reviews.

Well kids I’ve done the hard-work and heavy lifting to determine real from fake reviews, and great products from garbage.

Without further ado, this weeks items worth buying.

HEADPHONES:

Blue Mo-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones with Integrated Audiophile Amplifier

“In short, the Mo-Fis easily produce the best quality sound of any headphones I’ve used.” —Engadget

From a stateside company called BLUE that has a great reputation in the microphone/podcasting community., comes their first Headphone… THE MOFI.

The real reviews are in on both Amazon and Youtube, and the verdict is… these are game changers. Particularly if you are looking into getting into high quality personal audio, and don’t currently want to spend the money for a dedicated amp or receiver, these MoFi’s allow you to take the sound direct out of your CD or LP or Laptop or Media Player, and for a reasonable cost get a high quality headphone AND Amp in one package.

It is a definite WANT.  Though at $399 its original retail, I felt it was definitely pricey. However even at that price it is not unreasonable given the new ground it is breaking, a kind of all in one entry level rig, for those who want great headphone sound without having to deal with the hassle of selecting a dac/preamp, than a microphone amp, then a pair of speakers.

This one purchase, if you don’t already have a system,  and don’t really want multiple components just to listen to a headphone,  well than it is a VERY reasonable and enticing purchase at its original retail.

But while reasonable, I couldn’t pull the trigger on it at that price. However, Fast forward 6 months later and the MOFI is now on sale for $279 (Blue having released their new models the SADIE(A $399 powered headphone with built in amp, that basically just loses a bit of the weight and the clamping of the MOFI, but sound-wise is similar. From all reports negligibe difference over the MOFIs) and the ELLA (A $700 Planar Headphone with built in amp).

So the arrival of the new models, means we can now get the MOFI for over $120 off, bringing it down to a very doable $279. Now at that price for a combo high quality headphone and amplifier, it is a no-brainer of  a purchase. And if you are willing to purchase used, you can get it even cheaper.

You can price and order it here:

 

Blue Mo-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones with Integrated Audiophile Amplifier

And if you are the type who has to have the latest and greatest, and money is no object, then the $700 ELLAS are waiting for you here:

Blue Ella Planar Magnetic Headphones with Built-In Audiophile Amp

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61EG8uRKDUL._SL1500_.jpg