The Hellbound Heart

Hbh1 So because the Savior reviewed the iconic movie adaptation of Clive Barker’s disturbing romance novella, I figured I’d cover the lesser known novella, The Hellbound Heart. In a rare instance, Barker did the novella as well as direct the film adaptation which definitely shows. Both are very similar. Frank Cotton, a discouraged sexual deviant, sits in a candle lite room and toys with the ominous Lemanchard’s Configuration (or Lament Configuration), a beautiful, ornate puzzle box that once opened will call forth the seraphic Cenobites to bring him absolution and pleasure. Little does he know how subjective pleasure can be. Frank disappears and his house back in the states goes to his brother Rory, his beautiful but cold wife Julia, and his daughter (in the book their relationship is less specific and she never really refers to him as Daddy or father but rather implied) Kirsty. Rory is a kind, boring man. Julia is a prude who fantasizes about banging Frank, and the brief affair she had right before marrying Rory, and Kirsty is a normal teen girl who loves her dad and tolerates Julia. When moving, Rory scratches himself on a nail and that little bit of blood summons the horrible remains of Frank to find Julia and our plot begins. Julia needs to bring horny men to Frank so he can slaughter them and take there flesh to recover his flesh before the Cenobites find him. Desperate for zesty love Julia obliges. Kirsty, suspecting Julia of having an affair, follows her only to find the horrible truth and comes face to face with her skinned perverted uncle Frank. She manages to escape with her life, waking in a hospital with the box. She opens its and out emerge the Cenobites, not the angels we were lead to believe but gruesome, deformed creatures lead but a tall, colorless figure with a grid craved into his face and nails dug in that would be called Pinhead by fans for decades after. The Cenobites tell Kirsty they want to show her pleasure; she barters her life if she produce Frank. They agree, only sparing her if they can punish the bastard who fled them.

Hellbound Heart is my favorite love story; and it is a love story as well as a soap opera. The Cenobites are written to make you picture them as angels and are masterfully revealed not to be both in the opening and the third act. Clive Barker write Pinhead to have a fearsome, quiet presence reminding me a lot of classic Darth Vader, which is the best compliment I can give. Even in his later works, anytime Pinhead is involved, he gives the story a sense of dread and despair that only the best characters in horror can. It’s a short read, maybe 130-140 pages if that, so definitely pick it up for a good scare and stay away from old music boxes!

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The Lego Batman Movie

lbm  I gotta say this was a weird turnaround, watching the grim and bloody Logan to popping in fun and campy Lego Batman in the same night. Essentially Lego Batman is the story of asshole Batman who has to learn it’s ok to need people, even his villains, and it’s ok to open your heart and accept people care about you. First, I gotta give a huge round of applause to the animators of this movie because holy shit it was cool to watch. It was epic how fluid Legos could actually be. Alot of this movie”s humor wasn’t for me per say but I loved how many jokes there were regarding all of the pre-existing Batman films, and the awesome password to the Batcave. Zach Galifinakis is indeed a better Joker than Jared Leto; sorry bro. The climax is pretty sweet where Joker unleashes a army of our most well known, dastardly bad guys from the Phantom Zone Like Voldemort, Sauron, King Kong, The Krakken from the original Clash of the Titans, and even the damn raptors from Jurassic Park. My favorite laugh involved Adam West’s shark repel-ant and Jaws. The cameos are impressive. It’s a fun, energetic movie that’s a fun way to keep you and your kids entertained for a couple hours.

Logan

logan It took 17 years but we finally got our R-rated Wolverine movie and they did save the best for last. Logan, adapted from the popular story Old Man Logan, is the story of an ancient, weathered Wolverine in a world where the x-men are no more and mutant-kind is on the brink of complete extinction. He lives in the Mexican desert, caring for a diseased Professor X who is suffering from erratic seizures that can be deadly not just for him but everyone around him. Logan is no longer the spry killing machine we’ve come to known him as the past 17 years but a angry drunk whose incredible regenerative ability is now almost nonexistent as we see him with unhealed scars all over his body, puss bubbling over his knuckles- a chore to even draw the claws we’ve all come to know and love, and even his sight is beginning to fade when we see him wearing glasses to read. One day a woman finds him, offering him a huge sum of money to take her and her “daughter” across the US to a place referred to as Eden. He refused and is immediately questioned by the Reavers, a group of cyberneticly enhanced men tasked with hunting down the last mutants. Wolverine goes to confront the woman only to find her dead, with just her daughter left. Professor X urges Logan to take her with them, that she was the mutant he’d been communicating with. Her name is Laura, at first mute and peculiar. Soon Logan discovers how when she shows her own metal claws, two protruding from each hand and two from each foot, along with a very similar regenerative capability; she is clone born to be a Reaver weapon in there dark plot to have the ultimate mutant weapon. So it’s up to Logan and Prof X to deliver her to Eden where she can be safe.

I’ve seen many reviews praising the hell out of Logan as a masterpiece; I wouldn’t go that far. It’s no way a bad movie. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart deliver great, complex performances as a fitting finale to their iconic roles; the supporting cast is great but for me, the winner here was the R-rating. X-Men films in particular have been hindered if not damn near murdered by the obligatory Pg-13 superhero rating it took 2016’s Deadpool movie to break by showing not every movie with supers in it has to be for kids and can be succesful. Movies like The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future’s Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse  would have benefited much more from a R-rating, dealing with violent characters and dark themes; it was a pleasure to see the Wolverine I’ve always read about cleaving through people as a growling bad ass. <y problems with this movie is that it’s a 2 and a half hour movie that feels like 3. Also a question about what timeline is this story supposed to be taking place in comes to mind, is it the original timeline or the timeline from the very end of Days of Future Past or perhaps a new one considering the meta element of the X-men comics not only existing but playing a key role in the story? Also, I don’t hate the final boss of Logan as I HATED it at the end of the origins movie, but I couldn’t help but have that taste in my mouth resurface briefly, but thank god it was done much better than the movie no one should ever speak of. Overall, If you love Wolverine or like dark movies in general, I suggest it. Just please don’t think it’s a kids movie; if Logan’s a kids movie than Deadpool’s guest starring on Barney next week.

The Lantern Rainbow

lantern2 So before we bite into the meat of what I’m covering in Green Lantern mythos, I thought it’d be a good idea to cover what the other Corps represent and what light of emotion drives them, as well as talk about the entities a little bit. So Let’s work our way up the rainbow shall we:

  1. Red- the manifestation of the universes rage and anger. Red Lanterns are characterized by the froth of molten blood plasma they projectile fire from their mouths which is there most common weapon besides constructs and brute strength. Red lanterns must always remain at the height of their rage at at all times; many times this impedes upon there ability to think rationally. Atrcitious is the leader of them on the planet Ryut. There entity is the Butcher, the collection of the universe’s rage
  2. Orange- Larfleeze, the one and only. Orange is avarice, greed. It’s all consuming, leaving it’s victims much like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. The Orange Corp mainly stems from Larfleeze’s constructs of all the beings he’s slayed in the name of his greed. Ohphridan is there entity, trapped inside of Larfleeze’s lantern.
  3. Yellow- fear, the greatest weakness of the Green Lantern Corps. The Sinestro Corps was forged from the fallen Green Lantern Sinestro while exiled on the planet Qward. There power stems from there ability to instill fear in others. Deputy bearers of the yellow ring have included Batman, Scarecrow, and Mongul. Parallax is there Entity, one of the most powerful and destructive beings in the galaxy, nearly turning Hal Jordan into a murderous demigod capable of slaughtering whole planets. Fear users are weak against the blue light of hope but can tear through the green light of will with ease.
  4. Green- the original light harnessed by the immortal, emotional Guardians of the Universe on planet Oa. The green light comes from the user’s willpower, creating constructs of their imagination. There greatest weakness is fear, dripping down into the “yellow impurity”, a problem many lanterns had where golden or yellow objects could break their constructs.  Ion is their entity.
  5. Blue- hope. Besides the orange corp, perhaps one of their greatest threats, the blue lanterns are the second fewest in number. Saint Walker is the main blue lantern we get to know, a calm, caring alien who in the groups darkest hours repeats the blue lantern corps mantra of “all will be well”. Acting as their Guardians are ex-guardians Ganrhet and Sayd. A blue lantern can partially subdue a red lantern’s rage and cancel out fear, but as for there powers to be at there greatest they can have have a symbiotic relationship with a green lantern. They live on planet Odym.
  6. Pink- The Star Sapphires, the lanterns of love. Love was harvested by an ancient race called the Zamorans, who act as their Guardians. Though powerful, their power can corrupt their minds, being mind controlled by the Zamorans when needed. Carol Ferris, lifelong friend and love of Hal Jordan. There entity is the Predator…I hope I’m not the only one who can see the irony in this.
  7. indigo- Compassion. An extremely mysterious breed of lantern, speaking a dialect no other lantern can translate, having no identity other than Indigo and a number; Indigo-1 is the lantern we get to known best. She carries a staff instead of wielding a power ring like the others. There numbers are unknown as well as the extent of there powers; Indigo-1 is able to teleport between planets with ease.
  8. Black- death. The end of life. Black lanterns are resurrected corpses that can’t be killed except by fire, blending green light with that of another Corps, or the white. The Black Hand is there devoted champion. Nekron is there entity.

Power Rangers

power rangers So I have to say as a 90’s kid, I was really skeptical about this particular reboot of one of my favorite shows from back then. I love the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and twenty plus years later I still enjoy the campy fun of the show and movie from time to time. The early trailers made me cringe, making me think we were getting a fusion of the Breakfast Club and Amazing Spider-man with a little Chronicle, Fant4stic,  Pacific Rim, and Twilight sprinkled in for good measure. To an extent, I was correct. The first act of this movie is pretty much what we get in the trailer, a edgy teen melodrama about kids who get superpowers from aliens. I’m very happy to say it really picks up during the 2nd and final acts. I laughed, cheered and even even felt kind of touched during a scene where our five teenagers with attitude actually bond over a campfire. If you are able to let go the obvious teen movie cliches here and there and the drastic changes to the source material, there’s some fun to be had. The actors portraying Jason, Billy, Kimberly, Trini, and Zach are surprisingly deep while still being relate-able and funny. Bryan Cranston as Zordon, Bill Hader as Alpha 5, and Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa are fine support. I wish they kept Rita’s appearance creepy and weathered throughout the film instead of a sex symbol clad in green armor at the end, but that is just me. The Zords are bad ass and the suits have there own kind of coolness, though I feel their could’ve been more of their original personalities in these new ones. Regardless of your stance on Power Rangers, this movie’s a fresh start; it’s not perfect but neither was the original either.

power rangers 2   GO GO POWER RANGERS !

Don’t Breathe

Don't Breathe A lesson from Torsten V and the makers of this movie: breaking and entering is a very bad idea. Also the general point of Don’t Breathe in general. I don’t have much to say about the movie’s plot except that besides the trailers giving you everything you need to know about the plot. Three petty thieves plan one seemingly easy last score by breaking into the home of a old, blind army vet who’s holding onto a fat settlement from the people who killed his daughter in a drunk driving accident. What was supposed to be a easy task turns into a live or die game of cat and mouse when they quickly discover this old man is extremely dangerous. He’s attuned to his other senses quite well, being a formidable shot with a 9MM and a brutal hand to hand combatant, along with one mean ass seeing-eye rottweiler. Besides a very disturbing revenge plot from the old man against the woman he’s holding captive in his basement, the same woman who killed his daughter, this cat and mouse is the bulk of the movie. It is paced well and the movie is overall good. Stephen Lange is great as the blind old man, a very good villain in his own right and damn right creepy once his true intentions are known. The suspense is good throughout most of the movie but the The ending overstays it welcome by going on an extra 5 minutes longer than it should have. My biggest gripe about it is that theirs alot of fake outs with the other male lead. With most horror movies, it’s acceptable and pretty much expect once, maybe twice. But I swear it happens four or five times with this poor bastard throughout the film, finally killing him with twenty minutes left and feeling kinda lackluster because it got annoying. Lange had his share of fake outs too but he’s the villain so I can cut the man some slack. Overall I liked it and loved the concept but I can’t say I’d own it but worth some netflix watchings in a dark room with a chickenshit friend

Animal Farm

Animal farm1 “Four legs good, two legs bad.”- the summary of the ten governing commandments of Animal Farm. George Orwell wrote this disturbing parable about communism when tensions between The US and Soviet Union were at there peaks and the Cold War was in full swing. On a personal note, I didn’t begin reading books until after high school when I decided to take writing more seriously and Animal Farm was the first book I ever read without a report or school’s curriculum, though it was taught to me in the 8th grade. The story is short and sweet but effective. The Animals of Manor Farm live under the drunken neglect and tyranny of Mr. Jones. One night, an old respected pig named Old Major calls a meeting amongst all of the animals where he tells them his time is near an end but he had a dream where they would all be free, without man. A day or two later Major dies and life goes on. Finally comes the day when the  animal’s rebel and overthrow the Jones’s and cast them out. The word spreads; Jones tries to recapture the farm to no avail. From the ashes of Jones comes the rule of the pigs, Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer. Snowball goes about trying to improve the animal’s lives and slowly they form there own laws, abilities to read and write, and eventually formulate a plan to build a windmill to power the farm. Suddenly Napoleon breaks the peace by unleashing a group of dogs he’d been hiding away on Snowball, chasing him out and taking control with Squealer manipulating the limited intelligence of the animals. History becomes distorted by false facts and promises; resources deplete to shit; and in the end with the heartless death of Animal Farm’s most loyal worker, the spirit breaks and suddenly the realize they became what they hated to begin with. The story is short but powerful- definitely a great book if you don’t read much or you want a more modern fairy tale. Do not expect a happy go lucky story for the kids.

Ride to Jla

jla  Hey everyone, it’s Torsten V here telling you all about a line of DC comic, TV, game and movie reviews I’m doing before the JLA movie hits theaters this November. I’ve already begun with my Green Lantern stuff beginning with the movie and Secret Origin review, culminating into the ENTIRETY of Blackest Night and Brightest Day as a finale. Next I want to cover Green Arrow: Year One, followed by a detailed review of seasons 1-4 of Arrow, and maybe season 5 if I see people are responding to my posts. I’m starting with the prominent members that aren’t going to be in the movie, leading into each of the movie’s six; eventually ending with a bang with the final sets being those for the man of steel and the dark knight themselves. I just want to say I will be doing other reviews too and oh don’t worry Marvel fans, next year is your turn and who knows, the Savior may help me with those. I am financially limited so I’m only able to cover what I already have at my disposal, which is a shitload of graphic novels and a redbox at work. But if anyone has a request when I get to your favorite, please leave me a comment below any of my posts or follow@Torsten V  on Twitter. May the Gaming gods be with you all, keep supporting us, and enjoy. Thank you all from me and Savoir

Green Lantern: Secret Origin

gl2 If you caught my previous review of the live action Green Lantern movie, you’ll realize I sorely don’t recommend it. This book, Secret origin, is a much more cohesive , better told story of Hal Jordan’s coming of age into being one of the most powerful Green Lanterns of all time. The story begins much like the movie with the story of young Hal Jordan; a young boy who dreams of growing up to be a pilot like his father. After he dies in a tragic plane explosion, his life begins a slow, lonely spiral of trouble making, straying further from his living family until he joined the air force at 18 at which point his mom disowns him until the day she dies because of his choice to follow this father’s footsteps. Hal is a natural flyer but his smart mouth and rebellious nature cause him to hang onto his job for dear life…Light years away, the great Abin Sur- greatest of all Green Lanterns- is transporting the savage Atrcitous of the five Aversions across the galaxy to interrogate him. Abin has been uneasy and paranoid unto the clasps of utter madness over a prophecy the Guardians of the universe and creators of the Green Lantern Corps may have been hiding. He fears the coming of the Blackest Night. Atrcitious breaks free and because of Abin’s fear, he’s weak to the attack and becomes mortally wounded, and there ship crashes to earth. Atrcitous escapes. Abin commands his ring to find a suitable replacement- Hal Jordan. The story after stays fairly close plot-wise with the exception of Parallax. Inside a rookie Jordan and now dubbed greatest Green Lantern Sinestro must put there differences aside to defeat Atrcitous, whose armed with a weapon fueled by the power of their rings, before he murders young William Hand who he believes is the key to Blackest Night.

Between the live action movie and Secret Origin, I’d would say the general plot is 65% similar. The difference comes with Geoff Johns’s fantastic writing.  The story is fast paced but were able to get attached and sympathize with Jordan, get to see the beginnings of his stormy but true love for Carol Ferris- his childhood friend, old boss, and future Star Sapphire (pink lantern) and well as his tragic relationship with Thal Sinestro- mentor, partner, and rival that would one day turn his back on willpower’s green light and embrace fear’s golden light as the Corp’s greatest threat. The world is more flushed out and what I enjoy about much of John’s writing is it’s a extremely easy book to follow, even if you never knew anything about Lantern lore or even comics in general.

Final score:  9/ 10

May the gaming gods be with you all and til next time, I’m Torsten V and I’ll be back in a few days with my review for Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War.

Green Lantern

gl1 Ugh, this one hurts like getting a snapping turtle shoved up my ass. I’m 98% sure this film is the reason Green Lantern won’t appear in the upcoming Justice League (JLA) movie this November even though he’s been in the Justice League since it’s original inception. Green Lantern- Jon Stewart in particular- is my second favorite DC hero. What I love is that unlike most comic book heroes, Green Lantern does not pertain to one singular person but several diverse characters: Hal Jordan, Jon Stewart, Guy Gardener, Kyle Raynor, Simon Baz, Killowog, Arsya, and hundreds of others in a universe full of rich lore. Ideally, Green Lantern could be an amazing film franchise; Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films proved that there is a market for cosmic themed superhero films and can be well done. That being said, this movie has bright spots in my opinion both as a critic and a fan of the comics but what’s terrible murders this movie. The film follows the story of Hal Jordan, ace air force pilot and smart ass who is trying to live up to the memories of his father who died in a flight accident when he was a kid. One night, hes sees what he takes to be as a meteor crash or some kind of aircraft crash nearby him so he goes to investigate. He comes upon a mortally wounded purple alien named Abin-Sur, a great warrior of the Green Lantern Corps; he reveals to Hal that his ring guided him to him, so he can take his place. Hal takes the ring and Abin dies, before handing him his ring and a green lantern, instructing him to “speak the oath”. After he does he’s taken to planet Oa and brought into the Green Lantern Corps. The lanterns are intergalactic peacekeepers given rings forged from the concentrated willpower from throughout the universe with the ability to construct there thoughts into reality, fly, have access to knowledge collected from throughout the known universe, with the ability to travel in deep space. Hal discovers an ancient Entity of fear called Parallax was responsible for Abin’s death and has his sights set to destroy the Corps while being signaled by mad, mutated scientist Hector Hammond. So Hal has to face his fears and fight this seemingly unstoppable force and become the green lantern.

First, the positives. Overall, the acting is fairly good. Ryan Reynolds tries his ass off to pull the part of Jordan off. The supporting cast of the late Michael Clarke Duncan as Killowag, Geoffrey Rush as Toma ree, and Mark Strong as none other than Thaal Sinestro- one of DC’s most infamous villains ( which the after-cred scene reveals) are the best part of the movie. Problem is these actors would’ve shined but the script isn’t good. Its condensed to shit, the villain layout is wrong, and it tries way too hard to be other, more popular superhero flicks. The CGI is an atrocity, it’s everywhere and it shows; especially in Jordan’s costume and Parallax…and the race car. Oh the race car scene makes you want to drink.  I don’t recommend this movie if you want to learn about Green Lantern. Because of this movie, I rushed to find out more about the character. If you are interested in some epic lantern action I suggest Green Lantern: Secret origin by Geoff Johns or Blackest Night: Green Lantern. I’ll be covering some lantern books soon in the near future so stay tuned and let the gaming gods be with you all