Halloween wrap up

Another Halloween season is down and I tried to delve into the season with mixed results.  Here are my findings.

Trick or treating was rather tepid.  We had some kids come by but nothing spectacular.  I can’t blame them however.  The community set Trick or Treating hours from 1-4pm on the 30th!  It’s like they sat down to try to figure out how to suck all the fun out of the day.

We started our way through the Twilight Zone catalog.  I thought I’d seen all of them but apparently not.  What a brilliant show.  Rod Serling was a particularly interesting guy and I highly recommend you check out this interview (parts 2 and 3 are on YouTube as well) with him circa 1959.  You could see the struggles between ‘selling out’ and commercial success being fought out even in TV’s early days.  I found his bluntness surprising and inviting.  Could you imagine a producer today alienating so many potential demographics on the eve of launching a new show?

We watched a couple of movies.  The first was titled Moon and the second was a Spanish movie called Timecrimes.   Both movies had promise and weren’t bad but I think both suffered from spending too much time with their central idea.  Both would have been much better had they been shorter (45 minutes or so…definitely less than an hour).  It’s kind of a shame there isn’t much of a market for shorter films like there is for short stories or novellas.  I’m not sure I could recommend these films but I wouldn’t actively dissuade someone from seeing them either.  If you find yourself on a barren asteroid with lots of free time on your hands, go check them out.

But, something I most definitely can recommend is The Passage by Justin Cronin.  The book has a number of similarities to Stephen King’s The Stand but without some of it’s flaws (primary among them the fact that Stephen King was the author).  At 845 pages it’s just about a massive as the King book (and since it’s only the first of a proposed trilogy the final project will dwarf The Stand) but without the long descriptions King is famous for that convince you the guy is getting paid by the word.  It also avoids the incredibly lame ending of the Stand (although to be fair, since this is only the first installment of the series comparing the end of the first book to the end of King’s entire project may not be appropriate).  It’s got something for everyone:  out of control military test projects, vampires, the apocalypse and cross country travel.  What more could you want?  There are some nice twists to the story, namely the way Cronin plays with the vampire mythology and adapts it to his universe.  There was some interesting imagery used in the story and it might deserve a second read to see if there’s more than just a entertaining post apocalyptic yarn in there.

Mrs. TwShiloh and myself got to catch up on the new season of Dexter and we continue to be flummoxed at how this show manages to avoid jumping the shark.  Every time we’re convinced the writers are going to have to go for the easy and predictable contrivances, they surprise us yet again.

And finally, I saw the pilot episode of The Walking Dead on AMC.  As much as I enjoy the comic I have to admit I envy those who haven’t read it since the whole storyline will come as a surprise.  Still, the series has a great deal of promise.  The actors they’ve shown so far are quite good as are the effects and if they can keep the quality up this promises to be a great, plot heavy series.

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