Monday, February 16, 2009

The Glitter, She is Everywhere!

Combine one very creative six-year-old girl, some cardstock, glue, and glitter, and you get...well, you get very cute homemande Valentines Day cards. But you also get glitter...on your face, on your shirt, on your butt...even on the pets! Actually, it's kind of refreshing. Food looks tastier, everything sparkles, and I often forget how much the pets irritate me with their hair and vomit (now sparkly hair and sparkly vomit).

G spent a good amount of time making Valentines Day cards for the whole family. and we had a big presentation when she handed them out to us. I believe that was my favorite part of the day. When she gets going, there's no stopping her. Unfortunately, that holds true in most everything she does, good or bad.

So I'm totally hooked on Fallout 3. I love immense worlds with long storylines and freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. Much like Morrowind and Oblivion, you have complete autonomy in the game; doing whatever you want, even if it doesn't move the main story at all. The way I usually roll with these games is to play them intensely for a while, then shelf them for maybe a year, then play them to completion.

I like the Fallout world (played Fallout 1 and 2) but I'm still not as big a fan of technological, scifi games as I am of fantasy games. I like Oblivion better than Fallout 3, but Fallout 3 is definitely a quality game. I find that games like this are rare and it is a good idea to snatch them up whenever you can--even if you aren't going to play them for a while. I've bought some real turds in my life and learned from my mistakes. Fallout 3 was definitely worth the purchase (which I got for 20% off at the now closing Circuit City).

SciFi Pictures Original: "Splinter"
Seeking: Spiny creature seeking single, loving, spiny creature to share intimate nights with, and to possibly eviscerate fleshy creatures with.
Enjoys: Killing fleshy creatures and using their bodies to kill more fleshy creatures. Also enjoys jerky movement and weird camera angles.
Turn-Offs: Fire. Fire bad! Fire hurt!
Hobbies: Blood, death, killing fleshy creatures and inhabiting their bodies. Also, needlepoint.

Alright, so, in this SciFi Saturday gem called Splinter, we have a young, loving married couple thrown into the mix with a rough convict all fleeing hideous death at the hands of a spiny creature that we barely get to see. It would seem that SciFi has taken my words to heart and adopted the "just because you have CGI doesn't mean you have to use it" mantra. Foregoing the oodles of bad computer animation that makes your badass monster look like a puppy with wings and a horn, they decided to give us the "less is more" theory of horror. Does it work? In this case, yes.

I am of the opinion that Willis O'Brien may have created the creepiest dynamic for horror movies when he invented the stop-motion method. (At least, I think he invented it. Ray Harryhausen would later go on to be the most popular stop-motion artist.) To me, there is nothing creepier than a monster moving in awkward, jerky ways as it comes at you to devour your liver and play ping pong with your spleen.

True, you rarely see the monster in Splinter. And what you do see is jerky, awkward, and downright creepy. Plus the creature itself is an amalgam of body parts and spines, much akin to the Flood from Halo (though the Flood doesn't have spines). It works. It definitely works.

The movie itself is less cliché than most movies I see in the theater. Sure, it sort of follows one of the SciFi formulas--the convict taking people hostage as the monster hunts them all. But that's about it. We get no explanation as to the origin of the monster, and that works as well. Also, surprisingly, not a whole lot of people in the movie actually get picked off. Two dudes, two chicks, and a dog--that's it. Low body count, in this case, equals more suspense. Though the convict's last stand and the ending were things I could see coming from the other side of the planet.

Oh, and the only person I recognized (not the name, mind you) was the nerdy husband. Neither K nor I could place him until I IMDB'd him. His name is Paul Costanzo, and he was Michael Tribbiani in the short-lived sitcom Joey. This is the first time when starring in a SciFi Pictures Original might be a step up!

Drive-in Totals:
Deaths: 5 (if you count the canine)
Crazy Nutjobs: 1
Incompetent Cops: 1
Backfired hair-brained schemes: 1
Shotgun-fu
Gas Pump-fu

4 stars

Don't believe the words you're speaking

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