Bring Back HBOs Carnivale


Sofie : You know, the people in these towns, they’re asleep. All day, at work, at home. They’re sleepwalkers. We wake them up.


Enter the world of Carnivale. A down trodden melancholy look at life for a group of mysterious outsiders belonging to no other but the travelling circus in the dust bowl era. They are hardened hustlers that support one another through the events and strange encounters they’re faced with while on the road.

Ben Hawkins is the newcomer who is swooped up after being caught in the middle of an economic dispute dealing with his family’s land and the banks that want it. His last known kin being his abusive mother suddenly passes away and he’s left with no one. The Carnivale troop is reluctant at first to pick him up because they notice the chains around his ankle signifying he’s an escaped convict. But they take the chance and hide him while on their way to their next show. Thus the story of Ben Hawkins and the characters of Carnivale unravels.

I believe that Carnivale is one of the most important shows HBO has ever produced as far as amazing storytelling goes. Daniel Knauf had the gift of weaving old Americana folklore with the realism of a generations need for escapism during the depression. I was a fan of the shows slow pace which isn’t something many people can appreciate now a days. A mere 2 seasons didn’t grant the show enough justice.

For we are the carnivale audience left shrouded in mystery. Our questions are looming as we’re strangely drawn to the freak shows, waiting in line to see the world’s strongest man, and drifting past the eerie backdrops of props and stages.

Is it possible for the world of Carnivale to be revisited? If Chris Carter can successfully revive the X-Files, then I have hope for Daniel Knauff. I remember the web rumours going around about there being a Carnivale movie to give fans some kind of closure, but nothing came about. Although it’s been a lifetime since the show last aired I still believe that the cult of Carnivale will never die and will continue to grow. It will be revived in one form or another and there will be new tales wrapped in mysticism waiting to envelop us.



High Rise(2015)



Dr. Laing sees the blueprint and says it’s like  “An unconscious diagram of some kind of psychic event”


Meet Dr. Robert Laing, a psychiatrist who has just moved into a luxury high rise experimental community building trying to start over and trying to find the place where he belongs in society. He’s a fluid man who sways and flirts with the tenants from different socioeconomic backgrounds. But they know better. The tumultuous and never ending argument between the tenants on the top floors versus the tenants on the lower floors does not deter him from the everyday and seemingly rigorous task of living his life. The architect is played by Jeremy Irons, a seemingly intelligent figure who reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. He’s the man behind the dream, the man who envisions and brings his idea of the perfect living environment to life but like the Wizard, once the curtain is pulled you find out he has no real idea of how to really construct a full functioning and decent habitat for the different social classes.

I didn’t see much difference within the social classes that resided in the high rise. To me they were both barbaric, heathens, selfish, and greedy in their own ways. They had their own agendas. The building itself didn’t seem like the type of place you would consider a luxurious place you’d want to start over. It was drab and gray with high balcony walls that didn’t offer a picturesque view at all, almost prison-like. Reminds me of living conditions in our society. Gates and bars to keep the riff raff out. Gates and bars to imprison ourselves. But in this case the riff raff resided behind the walls. The tenants were sheltered from the outside against the very ugly things that hid within them all along.

Dr. Laing couldn’t find it in himself to settle down because he wasn’t really home. He wasn’t comfortable. There were too many life expectations. Boxes remained unpacked. He couldn’t decide on a paint colour. He was an outsider gathering mental commentary on the different people and groups he spent time with only to experience madness in his day to day grind.The use of metaphors was so delightful and intriguing. We are given a vision of fruit rotting as the architect explains how certain things about his building are falling apart or settling in. All unravels, as the architect becomes unhinged. His marriage falls apart, his building, the quality of life for his tenants. He even states that, “I am the architect of my own accident”. There is also the theme of going over the edge. There are some important scenes that take place on the balcony and in the movie they are recurring.

There is violence, lust, voyeurism, celebration, and death. There is a thin line between being civil vs going over the edge. But for how many? It forced me to ask the question, under what circumstances would I break? Would I riot? Would I hurt an innocent? Would I steal? This film would be a perfect topic of discussion for a sociology or psychology class. Are we all susceptible to being stripped down to our inner most animalistic urges? According to Freud and Pavlov it depends on the psyche. According to me, it’s all a matter of our environment, psyche, and influences all mixed up together creating a concoction of who we really are. But do we really have control over what or who we really want or aim to be? Dr. Laing had a career. He made money. He was handsome. He got sex. He had what he needed but he still had desires that weren’t being met, and it drove him mad. At the end of the movie when all those things were stripped from him and he didn’t have a social class to gravel to he was at peace.









Film Review – Goat (2016)

Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)


Title – Goat (2016)

Director – Andrew Neel (King Kelly)

Cast – Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Gus Halper, Danny Flaherty, James Franco

Plot – Still struggling after living through a horrific assault, new college student Brad (Schnetzer) finds himself enduring a new kind of terror in a fraternity hazing period that his brother Brett (Jonas) is a proud member of.

“Pledges gotta go through hell, otherwise, what’s the point?”

Review by Eddie on 08/03/2017

The tradition of college pledges and hazing has seemingly been around as long as the hills themselves and in a movie sense has been a part of almost every college film we’ve laid eyes upon, often portrayed as hilarious and laughter inducing events that are a rite of passage for college teens looking to establish themselves in a fraternity or “brotherhood/sisterhood” of lifelong friends and accomplices. That Andrew Neel’s Goat therefore feels like the horror version…

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The Prophecy (1995)


The Prophecy is one of my all-time favorite movies about the war in heaven between angels, God, and Lucifer over man. It stars Christopher Walken as Archangel Gabriel, an angel who served as the right hand of God, but who has felt betrayed because of God’s decision to favor man over angels. To him the hierarchy doesn’t make sense so he decides to take matters into his own hands by trying to start a war between the angels who remain loyal vs the fallen. Angel Simon (Eric Stoltz) is one of the protagonists who is loyal and just. He tries to protect the sanctity of heaven and God’s rule by talking sense into Gabriel but is saddened at his failed attempt to convince him otherwise. Simon is prepared to go up against his brother Gabriel’s plans to find the wickedest soul in existence to aid him in his war. There is also a detective/ex-priest named Thomas Dagget (Elias Koteas) who accidentally gets caught up in this war. He wants no part of it, but is drawn in when the life of a child is at risk.

The Prophecy was released in 1995 and for the time of its release it was a pretty good thriller with impressive special effects when compared to other movies that came out during that time. The story was well written with colorful quotes and unforgettable dialogue. Don’t forget the all-star cast that gave amazing performances, especially Walken as Gabriel. He expressed envy, greed, and maliciousness in a way that really had me thinking about the stories in the scriptures and what a creature like an angel might really think about man. I feel pretty old calling this one a classic but it is classic and I do believe that if you’re a fan of Christopher Walken this is a must see.

HELLRAISER: ANTHOLOGY Graphic Novel in April 2017



Right now I’m in the middle of reading the Hellraiser graphic novel series, and after that I plan on reading the Hellraiser Dark Watch series. In April, we’re going to get another Hellraiser graphic novel series and I thought it would be based off the films but will most likely be a collection of all new story lines which is even better. This will be good folks! I’m really enjoying what I’m reading so far with Hellraiser, and am so happy that Clive Barker is very much involved with the graphic novel stories. The series that I’m reading right now doesn’t wander too far off from the original characters and that’s great for fans. When I’m finished with this series, I’ll review it and move on to the Dark Watch, but I’m eager to get the upcoming works from Clive and production. You should visit Clive’s official website for more details!


Simon Dark

Simon Dark caught my eye years ago at one of many visits to my favorite comic book shop, Meltdown Comics in West Hollywood, CA. The cover of Simon Dark issue #1 stated “Gotham’s Other Protector”.  I was immediately drawn to his cryptic mask and the blood dripping from the wire he held in his hands. I read, and with the help of one of my best friends collected the entire series. It’s a unique twist for another super hero of Gotham. I won’t lie, I like the fact that he protects the innocent but much like the Punisher, he isn’t afraid to kill. It’s something that comes naturally to him and he doesn’t give it second thought.


He isn’t human but learns what it means to be human and the emotions that go along with the baggage that he carries. His first love is a young girl that he saves from the hands of a serial killer. She takes a liking to him and introduces him to another world that he is ignorant of. He has no mother but has a creator that pieced him together from the parts of other young men. This is kind of similar to the Frankenstein story. His powers are great but he really isn’t privy to how powerful he is seeing as he figuratively and literally lives his life in the dark. He’s quite the opposite of what we’re used to seeing with The Batman, and it’s refreshing. He isn’t wealthy, he doesn’t have to go through physical training, and he really isn’t a famous name in the city. Just a neighborhood saviour living in the sewers and stealing books. Occasionally emerging at night to forage for whatever he finds useful and following dangerous criminals that pose a threat to innocent people.  I like that there were no cross overs leaving us to focus primarily on Simon’s character and what he brings to Gotham City. I really wish they’d bring this series back as I really do believe that he has a good story line and a great underground following. I could picture a PG-13 or R rated animated series and it doing very successful. One can only dream. Check out more info on Simon Dark. There are single issues which are a bit harder to find in comic shops but you can also look for the complete graphic novel series online.


Cosmopolis (2012)


“A logical expansion of business is murder”

“The urge to destroy is a creative urge”


These are two of many good quotes from David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis film that I really loved. I’ve been a fan of Cronenberg’s since the first time I saw his film adaptation of The Fly starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. As a kid it freaked me out to watch the metamorphosis of man into fly, and I believe that’s why I enjoy his film’s so much. He’s very good at giving us examples of metamorphosis whether it be physical or psychological or both. In Cosmopolis, we are given a ceo’s metamorphosis from cool, calm and collective to a bit out of control and finally his breaking point.

This world that Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) is living in is already out of control with a society living within economic turmoil mirroring much of what we as a nation went through in 2008, and are still going through with our distribution of wealth and power, bank bailouts, and real estate uncertainty. The anarchists are protesting, looting, and attacking businesses with dead rats to give off examples of corporate greed. Throughout the film you’ll see and hear a lot about the rat and the symbolism plays an important role in the story. If you think about the rat in different cultural contexts, we have a creature that was responsible for spreading a plague that killed millions of Europeans. To many, a filthy disgusting pest that spreads pestilence and disease. Then you have other cultures that deem the rat a creature to be worshiped, a reincarnation of the ones who lived before us and whom are therefore blessed. Packer jokingly brings up the rat as a new type of currency and the banter is quite funny in regards to what’s currently happening in his world. It just makes since. Especially once you dig a bit deeper into the currency in our country. We no longer have gold backing the US dollar. What’s backing it you ask? Nothing, it is simply a note which is a long standing joke within itself.

So, you get to watch Packer’s slow steady decline, like sinking in water without the struggle or fear of drowning. His company’s portfolios and future are uncertain but what does Packer care about? Getting a great haircut and trying to get closer to a wife he is intimately distant from. Packer is an interesting fellow, I must admit I was actually drawn to him for some strange reason. I think it’s because I admired the way he was able to sit calmly amongst chaos and wasn’t afraid of it. He was attracted to it.

At the same time, he took solace and refuge in his limo. His limo windows were his eyes to destruction and the limo itself was his protective shell. His relationship with his wife was odd yet it understandable. They were distant and played a lot of cat and mouse games. The sexual tension between them played out very well. Pattinson gave a great performance as a husband with an insatiable and unquenchable desire for his wife. He says, “I need all the meanings of the inflamed”, and I believe his wife uses that to her advantage like so many dysfunctional marriages we see presently. So, you’re company’s future is uncertain, your wife is a platonic stranger, and the world around you is collapsing yet he finds freedom in it all. Was this simply his way of saying he’s adapting or was he giving up? I’ll leave that up to you to decide since we all have our own personal life experiences, but life is strange and ever changing.

We as a society have been able to adapt to many settings whether positive or negative. Some are stronger than others and are better equipped to handle those changes without losing our heads but on the other hand you know the story. The film experience was similar to watching a play, and it got me very interested in reading the novel by Don Delillo. You never know what could happen all within one day or how your life can change within 24 hours. Thank you Cronenberg for another great film and to Don Delillo for a great story. 











The Darkstepper Tetralogy: Waterhouse, Sundance, Blackwood, Windwalker

Showcasing Author Antonio Lozada!

I haven’t picked up this one yet myself but it sounds like a very exciting and fun read for those who love supernatural chronicles. Who wouldn’t want to read a cool story about Kung-Fu Witches? This is my suggested read and once I pick it up I’ll be giving you my review 🙂 If you’ve already read it please feel free to guest post your review!

Morgan (2016)



Morgan is a science fiction/thriller about a seemingly corrupt corporation who’s employed scientific team has been given the task of observing and “raising” a conscious droid. The movie immediately begins by showing us Morgan’s aggressive side. She’s shown attacking a scientist played by Jennifer Jason Leigh during an observation session. Throughout the film you see Jennifer’s character recuperating in a room with bandages over her eye and she’s still in a weakened state resulting from the attack. We get a sense of empathy and trust from the staff of scientists and staff working closely day to day with Morgan. She refers to her attack as an “accident” and also freely uses the word love. She appears to share the same naivety, innocence, and curiosity that any human child her age would have but underneath that appearance lingers something darker. The corporation starts questioning whether or not they should terminate her and they send in an agent to investigate her and the staff. This agent needs to collect her own data in determining how everyone should proceed with Morgan.

I enjoyed this story and believe it was executed well. I enjoy good twists and love stories about artificial intelligence and human droids. The cast was great. I’m biased because I really like Paul Giamatti, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michelle Yeoh, Rose Leslie, and I’m keeping my eye out for future films starring Anya Taylor-Joy of The Witch. I appreciate that the ending didn’t feel rushed yet the action didn’t dwindle. There’s a lot to the premise that they could’ve gone into a bit more but other than that I found it to be good story telling.