While it was enjoyable to walk/hike the K&P Trail initially, I was pretty keen to jump on my bike for the longer sections. The issue itself is probably the one-way nature of the trail: a loop provides a constant change of scenery, wherein a straight path like this one forces you to double-back on yourself. A terribly insignificant complaint, but still, there it is.
To fleece or not to fleece? This is the time of year where I'm not really sure what to wear "on the trail." The past few weeks have been a bit cooler, so I've been comfortable wearing two t-shirts and a fleece with long pants; but Tuesday was a bit warmer, and made me remember a rule I had back in grade five when I would watch the weather station before school every day: if it's over 15 degrees, I wouldn't wear a jacket. Tuesday was sitting around 16-17 degrees and I just wasn't sure what to do; so, I brought along the fleece, got a feel for the wind and elected to wear it for my walk. It was the right decision. Although sunny, the temperature was falling a bit and the wind was definitely ever-present.
The section of the K&P Trail from Bur Brook Rd to Corduke Rd has always been one of my favourites (so far) as it rides along a sloped forest that highlights the rail roots of the trail. Heading north from Bur Brook, is a fairly steady incline all the way through; although you spend more time going west than north, you get to appreciate the wide curve that these trains had to take on, and marvel at how much power it would have taken to climb this particular grade - which I assume maxes out about 2%.
Friday evening brought a quiet, post-rain coolness to Lemoine Point, so it was time to venture out into the conservation area for the first time in a few years. On the drive there I was concerned about the bugs, specifically, those midges that float about in so many numbers this time around (they make that walk from the parking lot to the building that much worse when heading into the office). Of greater concern would be the mosquito's, but I wasn't entirely convinced it was late enough in the season for them to show up.
As I work my way through a few different classic series, I stumble upon the third in a franchise and always forget one important trope from the '80s: the third movie MUST be in 3D.
Of course, I don't have the 3D version of Friday the 13th Part III, but the effect is obvious and quite frankly, distracting. Instead of panning across suburban street with kids playing baseball, the camera focuses on the child holding the baseball bat directly at the camera for a few seconds before moving on. We've got a yo-yo scene (which goes on for seconds too long), juggling, brooms and of course, lots of stabby weapons, including both ends of a pitchfork. This may seem like nipticking and it really is. I just can't help but think of all the scene setup and extra seconds here and there "wasted" on the 3D visuals, but on the other hand I would be really interested to see what these effects looked like in theatres back in the '80s, having only really experienced modern, Avatar-type 3D over the past few years myself.
Part III adheres to the formula of the first two, albeit with mediocre characters. I saw another review that noted that all the women look identical and it's true: it was tough telling them apart. We have a group of locals who cause trouble for our teens in a "subplot" that feels exaggerated and over the top but serves the purpose of adding more to the film's body count. Our camp friends aren't that much better, and some are just downright awful.
I must say that I was not expecting Jason's iconic mask to be so humdrum in origin; if anything, it was a bit disappointing but I was happy to see it happen organically, at least.
It's a fairly negative review but I did enjoy the movie for what it was; being just the third one in and coming off the one-two punch of greatness, it's inevitable that the series takes a turn for the worse, and I suspect that it gets much, much worse than this.
This movie is seemingly receiving much more hate than I think it deserves. While it's not without problems, it certainly fulfilled the exact requirements I had for a Tuesday night popcorn film, but with an added panache that only Guy Ritchie could provide.
That's right: I was digging the editing, the heavy music and crunchy visual effects. I had shivers whenever Arthur grasped the sword with both hands, as Ritchie and his effects crew conveyed to me the sheer, brute magical force that this weapon conveys. Then he shows it off in a couple of action sequences later that left me satisfied: we don't float down the 300 slow-mo river too far, although we skipped dangerously close.
My favourite rendition of Arthurian legend lies in the epic book series 'A Dream of Eagles' by Jack Whyte. It takes a very grounded, realistic look at the legend of Arthur, his bloodline and the creation of Camelot. Whyte goes to great lengths to explain the more "extra-natural" elements of the legend, such as the magic of Merlin, and the unique qualities of Excalibur. So it can be refreshing for to take in a full fantasy-driven approach that lets my inner child live vicariously through the adrenaline-injected on-screen action.
At the very least, this is a superior alternative to much of the sequel-driven dribble we've been subjected to for the past while.
Rated a respectable 4 / 5 stars; check it out and enjoy!
As I delve deeper into the world of horror movies of the 70s and 80s, I often skip across the surface of these famous Italian directors and producers. I was really impressed with Inferno and Pieces, and with that, I probably saw The New York Ripper on a list and managed to get my hands on it. I feel so dirty now. Gore is definitely a major factor in these films, but Ripper takes it a step further. The director, Lucio Fulci, takes New York and allows the city to breathe its dirty eighties breathe all over, not unlike what William Lustig's 1980 film Maniac. I thought it interesting that Maniac takes place, for the majority, in the dark, while Ripper embraces the daytime. They both showcase everyday places that you would find yourself and cranks the horror and gore to untold levels. This lit approach to the film leaves nothing to the imagination; it leaves nothing for you to hide yourself behind. You have no choice but to look away, as each murder escalates in intensity and terror.
While I was fascinated by Maniac from the get-go, I was mostly turned off and bored throughout most of this film. If I had a theory, it would be that most of the film is a bit of a mystery that centers around Jack Hedley's detective slowly attempting to crack the case. Maniac focuses on the killer: his state of mind is up front and center, while our killer here remains a mystery. I see many reviews that say the identity of the killer is obvious, but I must admit I was a bit too involved in my phone, or pacing back and forth searching the cupboards for a quick satisfying snack to bother putting anything together. I can't help but think now that the sleazy feel of this film forced me out of my seat all too often. The most cringe-worthy, violent scenes made me uncomfortable in a way that other movies haven't, which may in fact be praise when that's the director's intention.
And with that, I can't imagine this particular film staying with me to the extent that others have. But it is definitely bringing me into a new light of a niche of cinema that has remain largely unexplored. In an era where I can't find anything original at the cineplex, I don't have far to go to find films like this.
Perhaps more interesting than the film itself is the history behind it; banned in the UK for decades, it "recently" came out on DVD (early aughts, that is) and was quickly gobbled up, as the film was able to amass a truly cult following for those who managed to get their hands on a copy. Now we're being treated to original releases of these films, cleaned up a bit and released in high definition by a variety of boutique distributors.
I gave this a two-star rating on Letterboxd, bumping up a half star after I read more about the release of the film and where it stands in (and introducing me to) the world of giallo film.
Tackling Hollywood’s latest video game adaptation was always going to be an interesting exercise. It’s a wonder that any of these become made; even in the face of an abysmal track record, producers will always make an attempt at adaptation when some semblance of a built-in audience is already around. Indeed, I got right into the video game when it first came out, and eagerly played the second (which was even better). I played the hell out of the third title, Brotherhood, and got burnt out on the fourth: Revelations. I believe there have been eight or nine main entries in the series to date.
With that many titles in the series, there’s a lot of story to pull from, and it’s easy to see the variety of ways that you could adapt these scenarios into compelling action and drama on the big screen. The base concept is interesting enough: it’s the story of two groups - the Templars and the Assassins - waging war for centuries in the hunt for pieces of eden, which apparently when combined, would allow for the control of the entire human race. Conveniently enough, the technology assists that allows an individual to relive the memories of their ancestors. In this case, Desmond is a modern-day man who comes from a long line of Assassin’s, which allows us - as gamers - to wreak havoc and see events unfold in a number of timelines.
You can see how the concept is well suited for a series of games: each game could take place in a different time, with one continuing story in the present to string it all together. THis is, of course, exactly what they do, as we start the series in the Third Crusade, then advance through history (and all over the world) with each iteration. It seems straightforward, then, to adapt the exact same premise into a movie franchise. It can’t be that simple though, right? Of course not.
Firewatch puts you in the shoes of Henry, a forty year old man working as a lookout in the US national forest of Shoshone in the year 1989. It’s your job - a Henry - to keep, well, a lookout, for local fires, and act to assist in preventing them. You’re not really a firefighter, but more of a watcher and warden of the park; indeed, on your first day your supervisor, Delilah, spots fireworks coming from a nearby lake, and it’s your duty to stop the park’s visitors from setting them off, which could spark a forest fire. The position isn’t glamourous, and shouldn’t be too exciting, but Henry finds mysterious occurrences in the woods, that require some investigation. You’re in near-constant contact with Delilah through a walkie-talkie; she’s miles off and can see your own tower, and is also responsible for maintaining contact with the other lookouts in different sectors.
Your first day is abnormally packed with activity. Upon investigating the source of the fireworks, you fight with two young women, and on your way back a mysterious figure shines a flashlight on you and promptly disappears into the woods. You discover a locked cave, and soon after, you discover your tower has been broken into and various belongings either trashed or straight up stolen. Not a good way to start your summer job, right? The next day, you’re set on a task to find the suspect campers and to investigate a broken communication line. You become acquainted with the park and the various trails all while developing a relationship with Delilah who is, in effect, the only other person you can expect to talk to (and not even see) for the duration of your position.