Sunday, 31 December 2017

Review: Werewolf - The Beast Among Us

As I stated way back in 2013 when I did a retrospective of The Howling franchise, werewolves are my favourite monsters in basically any medium. Hell, they're even by far my most picked (and most successful) deck in Smash Up. However, despite all that love, even I have to admit that most werewolf films are total garbage, with only a handful of true gems managing to stand out. That said, if you're the sort of person like me who can gleefully appreciate a trash film, then there are plenty to pick from in the werewolf subgenre. Hell, I have (on more than one occasion) seen crappy looking werewolf DVDs on video shelves and decided that I needed to see just how bad it actually was for myself. One of the more memorable instances of this was when I saw a copy of Werewolf: The Beast Among Us on a Walmart video shelf and thought that it looked promising... well, promisingly dumb, at least. Fast-forward 5 years and I saw that the film was on Netflix. I didn't have anything better to do with my Boxing Day evening, so I decided to check it out for a laugh...

Not trying to spoil what my feelings on this movie were, but the official cover art here is definitely hyping you up for a far cooler film than what we actually get.

Werewolf: The Beast Among Us actually has a bit of an interesting history. It was born out of the ashes of the 2010 remake of The Wolfman. It was a critical and commercial failure and, while I actually really like it (especially the director's cut), it did not do well with audiences either. At the time, Universal was in the very early stages of trying to get their classic monsters back onto the big screen (in fact, they originally offered Guillermo del Toro oversight for this initiative, which would have been incredible). However, with The Wolfman failing to resonate, Universal thought that their best option with the property was to remake it again. However, this project ended up morphing into a plan for a loose series of low-budget spin-off films of the 2010 remake, although The Beast Among Us was the only one which would actually see the light of day. This is because it would release in the same year as The Avengers, which would lead Universal to attempt to launch The Dark Universe with Dracula Untold and The Mummy (2017), both of which failed to garner any enthusiasm. Considering how difficult it was for me to even explain Universal's thought process in the last 7 years, it's little wonder that The Dark Universe has been such a colossal failure.

I'm getting ahead of myself a bit here though. Universal had much more modest aims with The Beast Among Us, aiming for the direct-to-DVD market... which, apparently, was still a thing in 2012. Huh, who knew? 2012 must have been that awkward period where the DVD/Blu-ray market was losing viability but the VOD-release market hadn't risen to prominence yet either.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Holy shit, this blog is now 5 years old

Wow, I might have optimistically expected to be writing blog posts 5 years after I started this blog, but considering that I have gone on 2 very long hiatuses (...hiati? Hiateses?) in that time frame, the fact that it has lasted 5 years and has over 200 blog posts is fairly impressive to me. So, as a celebration of 5 years of IC2S, I'm going to use this post to highlight 5 posts which I think you should check out, representing some of the most interesting, funny or enjoyable content on this blog.

1) Extraterrestrial Jesus
How would religion respond to the discovery of alien life? Does alien life instantly refute the narratives of the major religions? This is one of those weird theological posts that I really enjoy writing, where I take something totally theoretical and then try to apply it to the real world. I hope you find it thought-provoking.

2) So... What's the Point?
Considering that a lot of my longer, better thought-out pieces revolve around sexism, I figure we should have at least one major representative for those posts. This is one of the more recent ones and is largely a culmination of the ideas I have stated previously, and also focuses on social justice in general on a larger scale, and why standing up for it matters. Plus, it links to a lot of other related posts of mine on the subject, so it's a great starting ground if you want to dive into this rabbit-hole.

3) Video Game Review: Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 - Venus
And speaking of sexism, considering that I went out and imported an embarrassing, Japanese-only video game just for this review, I think that more people need to see it. Those trophies are never leaving my PSN account, after all. And, in retrospect, I definitely feel like I was being too soft on it in this review. I still feel like there's a relaxing level of enjoyment to be had in DOAX3, but good God this game is awfully designed. Team Ninja needs to stop putting their considerable talents towards this kind of tripe and more towards a Ninja Gaiden reboot or Nioh 2.

4) Gun Control, and Why Partisan Politics Need to Die
I was tempted to put up "Voter Ignorance" here, but this larger article covers the same sorts of issues and has more practical application. Plus, this line still rings true nearly every day in Trump's America: "It would seem to me that the main reason [Ted Cruz] is [lying about reasonable gun control measures] is because it will rile up potential voters and get them to support him. It doesn't matter whether what he says is true or not, as long as he gets the votes."

5) Retrospective: The Howling - New Moon Rising
I have written a lot of reviews on this website since I started it and, while the All the Boys Love Mandy Lane review and the Metal Gear Solid retrospectives are probably my best, I'll never get over just how much I tore apart The Howling: New Moon Rising... and good God did it ever deserve it. When the only good thing you can say about a movie is that you can usually see the things that they're filming (and yes, the film is so bad that I had to qualify "usually" about something that basic), you know you have a stinker for the ages. Birdemic seriously did more right than this film, and that movie is practically a home video production.

Thanks for reading. I can't guarantee that I'll be posting regularly, but I at least have a few more posts in mind, so look forward to content for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

My Favourite Albums of 2017

Hey... it's been a super long time since I made a post. Considering that I left shortly before all the bullshit with Trump started, that might have been for the best, but I'll make an update on what has gone on in my life sometime soon... because damn it has been quite a year.

But anyway, I was thinking back on the music I've been listening to this year and it caused me to realize just how many albums I've checked out since January. Then, before I knew it, I suddenly had half an IC2S list hashed out and knew that I had to finally get back into the blogging game. So, here I present to you, the albums I listened to in 2017, ranked from worst to best. Naturally, I'll note that music is super subjective, my list is nowhere near comprehensive, and I'd be shocked if you had listened to more than a couple of the albums on it. Just consider this some random loser on the Internet's list of albums he listened to this year, if nothing else.