AUGUST IS OVER!!!

One of the three longest and dreariest months of the year is behind us! Two down! One to go!

The others are January and September.

Granted, ever since I dropped out of college my life hasn’t really followed the rhythm of “summer in June, school in September,” but I’ve got kids in school, and I track it for their sakes. Plus I just love the summer, always have. But August can burn in the hell that surely spawned it.

I don’t read a lot of manga, but…

…as I’ve been reaching into the backlist of this popular genre, someone recommended that I check out “Chainsaw Man” and it did not disappoint.

Chainsaw Man, Vol. 1 | Book by Tatsuki Fujimoto | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Utterly demented in the way that only a manga can be, and very comfortable with its own concept, this one just jumps into a world where demons are real and they can kill you, or save you if you befriend one.

Our lead character is trying to pay off his dad’s old gambling debts by hunting down demons and slaying them for pittances. When he falls in with a group of much more organized slayers, he starts to dream of a better life, which is within reach, but it will cost him.

I need to get better at grabbing the reader soon and just having fun with whatever story I’m telling. That’s one reason why I read stuff like this.

FREE GUY was really funny.

The last time that I laughed and cheered and screamed in a movie was Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Granted the Coof screwed over 2020, and my first movie back was Black Widow, which wasn’t good, so I’ve been on the lookout for a fun theater experience.

Free Guy delivered, and it wasn’t just Ryan Reynolds carrying the thing. The cast did great, you could tell they all got really into their roles. I’d seen most of the leads in other things, hadn’t even seen Jodie Comer in anything but she did perfect as Millie/Molotovgirl.

Holy crap though, the cameos! From other Hollywood Alphas like Channing Tatum and Chris Evans, to the YouTubers like Pokimane and LazarBeam…I’m not exactly a die-hard gamer, but I do spend time on the Internet in 2021, so I know who some of these Web personalities are, and I get a lot of the in-jokes.

Even if you aren’t super into gaming you can generally pick up on the lingo. I took my mom, who’s in her 60s, and the only thing I had to explain to her was “NPC” and that was just because she had misheard it.

Anyway, my only knock is that it was pretty heavy on the swearing, and Guy dropped an F-bomb that didn’t need to be there, so be on the lookout. Fun flick.

To my YouTube Subscribers:

I did a live stream the other night, my first one. It went okay. Chatted a little, wrote a little, left it at that.

It’s been about a month since I published a video, but I’ve got a few on deck, I just need to record them. I work at a bunch of resorts in the summer so you can imagine how busy life gets.

Anyway, subscribe to youtube.com/thegraham721

GEA Chapter 5 is live on the pod.

My apologies for the numerous delays on Chapter 5: The Caribbean Conflict. I wanted to get it right, and there was a lot to cover in terms of transitions and transportation.

The final two segments should come together better than this one did. If they don’t, I’ll let you know here, and I won’t post them if they aren’t ready.

I’m tempted to get started on the next Adventure but I’ve really got to buckle down and finish this one.

Here are the links:

Anchor

Google

Apple

Spotify

7 years later: my tirade against “Age of Extinction”

Okay so hey, it looks like the Transformers movies are going to do what we expected instead of what we hoped, and they’re making sequels in the vein of the first 5 (terrible) movies instead of following the soft reboot of Bumblebee. The next one is set in the 90s and will have Maximals and Predacons in it.

Transformer: Rise of the Beasts Movie Details Released

I’m not going to get excited for this. There’s just no point. They should have done an Optimus sequel to Bumblebee, and then concluded the trilogy with a Megatron finale. Let it come to the present, erase the other five movies from the timeline, and then go from there.

There was even talk of a CGI Beast Wars movie trilogy on a streaming platform in the coming years, likely Netflix. Now I don’t know what to think. They just casted Ron Perlman to be the voice of Optimus Primal. Solid meh from me.

I didn’t realize that I was part of the problem by making these movies successful until I sat in the theater for the 4th one, got halfway through, and slowly put it all together.

These movies were never going to be good with Michael Bay at the helm. Bumblebee was good, really good, perhaps not great, though it had moments of greatness. (I mean, it did have John Cena in it, so there’s a ceiling on this thing.)

But as I was a month away from turning 30, and I had one kid in the world, and we were planning on our second, something must have clicked for me in the Maturity Department and I saw what was going on. I was being taken for a ride, for my nostalgia, at the cost of my bank account, but worse, at the cost of the legacy a beloved franchise from my youth.

It could have been great. Instead it was this.

Bored at the new transformers movie. It’s pretty bad.

They could have made a wonderful apology for the last three, but they made this. No Dinobots yet. 90 mins in.

I actually want Shia back. I am rooting for the human characters to die. (If memory serves, this was right when the Irish adult explained the law that allowed him to bone a teenager in Texas)

Oh look, they are wrecking Chicago again.

Do they just hate the idea of properly executing the Galvatron/Unicron story?

Hey hey, the plot showed up! Let’s see how long this lasts.

Thirty seconds of plot after fifteen minutes of pointlessness and awful dialogue on a spaceship. No reason.

John Goodman as the voice of Hound is the most defensible thing about this so far. The soundtrack is good though. (Author’s note: I meant the score. The soundtrack had Imagine Dragons on it, which is like having Nickelback but with herpes.)

If they had cut out the last thirty minutes and gotten right to this we would be in good shape.

I don’t know why I expected any different.

And F-bomb. Greeeeeeat.

Kelsey Grammar was wasted on this script.

Why in the hell did I think this movie would make sense?

Anyway, there it is. I still haven’t seen The Last Knight and I promise you, I never will. I’m not excited for this. I’ll have to wait until I see a trailer, and if I’m enticed, then I’ll wait until I can get the DVD from the library, but dammit I am not paying for this movie. Not happening.

Pieces Of A Superhero

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I’ve been reviewing THE HERO NEXT DOOR so I can get the fine details right for future books in that series. Haven’t set a date for it to happen but it will, and in the coming years. Nick Stavros has a big role to play in the DreadVerse.

Here’s some of the stuff I looked up for him when I put the visuals together for him in 2017.

1971 Dodge Demon

Nick’s has the hood scoops, and an all-black paint job.

Padded motorcycle shirt

Troy Lee Designs Kids UPL7855HW LS Padded Shirt at MXstore

Hard knuckle motorcycle gloves

Best Motorcycle Gloves 2021 - Reviews & Buyer's Guide | JohnBurrCycles

Ballistic pants

Obermeyer Synthetic Ballistic Pants in Black for Men - Lyst

Hard-toe side-zip boots

Black Composite Toe Side Zipper military boot - Thorogood 804-6191

Parabolic microphone

Hearing Aids, Parabolic & Shotgun Mics

Rapelling hook

New Stainless Steel Rock Climbing Hooks Outdoor Mountaineering Climbing Claw Grapple Hook Travel ...

Hardest image to find was the mask, I basically had to make that up, but you can see it in the illustrations.

Anyway, that’s all, I had fun doing it.

Doing Just Enough To Be Good

I’ve been rewatching Beast Wars with my boys, remembering what it was like to get into it as a kid, even though I was one of maybe three kids I knew who cared what it was.

Like any kids show, each episode is elaborate 22-minute commercial to sell toys. Companies figured that out in the 80s once Star Wars figures started selling like hotcakes. (T0 date, Star Wars toys have grossed roughly double the amount of money that the movies have at the box office. Think about that.)

Since I was in the business of buying those toys when the show was on, the show worked on me exactly as it was supposed to. Now I have twenty-plus years of writing under my belt and I can see the story for the mess that it is.

That’s fine though. It’s still cool to check out clips of the ‘bots and let my imagination run with it. That’s what good toys do. You shouldn’t be restricted to what it was “made for,” you should be able to goof off in your mind and do whatever you want. That was why I ended up becoming a writer.

At the end of the day the show was good enough to sell me toys, and great enough to entertain me when I was sitting in math class, refusing to pay attention.

Good stuff.