A tiny review of “Stake Land II” (2016)

“Stake Land II” (2016) can’t match the magic of the original, but it’s still good enough to recommend, I guess.  I’d give it a 7 out of 10.  (I’m told that an alternate title is “Stakelander,” but I refuse to call it that, because it sounds too much like a spoof of either “Zoolander” or “Highlander.”)

This sequel has a direct-to-video feel to it.  Set a decade following the events of the original, the movie reunites Connor Paolo and Nick Damici, as the now-adult Martin and the enigmatic, vampire-killing powerhouse, “Mister.”  Paolo feels flat this time out, the movie is occasionally slow, and the action sequences are a little underwhelming.

Still, Damici shines.  And I couldn’t help but find myself engaged by the movie as a whole.  Even if the film isn’t a classic, the brutal, unflinching “Stake Land” fictional universe is still front and center.  The post-apocalyptic setting and character backstories are so dark and unpredictable that the film is still fun for a seasoned horror fan.  It’s at least as interesting as an average episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”



“Consciousness Haiku,” by Eric Robert Nolan

Consciousness Haiku:

Self-aware atoms
in a byzantine system —
Neurons feign a man.

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2017

Photo credit: By Nevit Dilmen (talk) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1510783

Two cents from a former news reporter.

I spent time as a newspaper reporter. It was only a couple of years, but it was a demanding job that I “lived” more than worked. And it was my first professional job after college.

I loved it. It was a priceless experience for learning about the world and about my fellow human beings. And I honestly think it shaped me.

Let me tell you something — public figures who vilify the news media should not be trusted.

They are few and far between. (You might be surprised to hear me tell you that plenty of “politicians” are actually good, admirable people, working hard and doing their best to serve their community.)

But those who blast the media, or seek to control it, tend to be power-hungry individuals who are simply unaccustomed to having their authority questioned. They also tend to be less intelligent than their colleagues who are more at ease dealing with reporters. I swear it — local officials or staff who have poor relationships with reporters definitely tend to be less educated and more extreme in their views.

You know, of course, whose tweets (sigh) prompted me to write this. (It’s getting so that my abhorrence for the man makes me cringe at even typing his name.)

Of course I may be biased as a former “newsie.” But bias in America lately seems to be all the rage.

Seriously. Like June.

I don’t know what these are (Japanese Mazus?  Birdseye Speedwell?), but they arrived today to brightly pepper the hills around Roanoke.

Maybe it’s because this February feels like June.

“Birdseye Speedwell” sounds like a hillbilly superhero.

[UPDATE: a friend of mine has informed me that this is “Blue Star Creeper.”]








Throwback Thursday: the Monogram (?) glow-in-the-dark Godzilla model!

Now here is a treasure from my 1980’s boyhood — the glow-in-the-dark Godzilla model.  When I sat down to pull up some background on this, I first thought that this was one of the Aurora model kits.  It indeed started out as one.  But I think it’s more likely that I had the one produced from the same mold by Monogram, which was released in 1978.  (Mine was a Christmas or birthday present around 1980 or so.)

This was a sturdy model, as it survived just fine amid the debris of that disastrous desk I kept as a second grader.  And its glow-in-the-dark head and hands were damn cool.

Dear God, did I love this thing.