A Case of X-Philia (Part 1)

In the Season 1 episode Fallen Angel, Mulder succinctly summarizes that “no government agency has jurisdiction over the truth” and the appeal of The X-Files has been peeling back the enveloping layers of conspiracy. Theorists have bandied speculation around JFK, alien abductions, 9/11 and cattle mutilations. Chris Carter didn’t scoff at these accusations and now is a wonderful time for X-Files to resurface to disabuse us of cover-ups and bureaucratic mendacity. We need another whistleblower and The X-Files has always proven to be an ingenious battle between the rational mind and leaps of faith. Before the miniseries begins, I’m purveying the 202-episode arc with a comprehensive overview for fellow X-philes.

Continue reading A Case of X-Philia (Part 1)

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Review: Ash Vs. Evil Dead (Season 1, Episode 10)

Entering into the season 1 finale, I was positive that there would be a sense of closure with Ash’s full circle back to the Michigan cabin. After all, they filmed the entirety of season 1 before Starz officially announced the greenlight for Season 2. With almost breakneck speed, the conclusion picks up directly after Ruby’s confession that she wrote the Necronomicon and she plans on unleashing its inhabitants upon the world.

Ash’s chainsaw has never been wielded against him which is fitting irony for Amanda, his ex-sweetheart turned foe. She reversed his affection against his foolish heart. Additionally, Ash is coerced into actually saving someone close to him like Pablo who has recently been suckled facially by the book like Jim Carrey in The Mask. It raises the stakes for Ash who is usually a hapless bystander and completely inept when it comes to others’ salvation.

It would be deus ex machina if Ash’s dream about the Armageddon’s beginnings was a viable way to stop the forces. Thankfully it was just a ruse for a truce. Like Mephistos trying to persuade an unsuspecting nonbeliever, Ash somehow resists the temptation…until he resorts back to his usual idiocy by the last frame. On a sidenote, I have to agree on Ash’s contrarian assessment on The Godfather (“Too long and boring and not enough boobies”) and his penchant for Charles Bronson’s Death Wish.

It’s safe to say that Kelly is a full-fledged Apache warrior. No longer the meek new employee. She is the female counterpoint to Ash: intrepid, savvy and capable. When she slaps the dental hygienist into submission, we applaud her metamorphosis into an Ellen Ripley in Sam Raimi’s brainchild. With flashes of Evil Dead 2 stock footage and the Knowby-excavation tape recordings, I was tingling with familiarity.

The creepy birthing scene of a Deadite demon from Pablo’s mouth smacked distinctly of Poltergeist II’s tequila worm and the embedding nails were nods to the needlessly gory 2009 remake. Horror fans can scrawl a list of odes and none of it feels borrowed or secondhand. This season capper never ceased with energy but it wasn’t the least bit exhausting or repetitive. Of course, Evil Dead wouldn’t be complete without another error in Ash’s judgment with a emergency broadcast signal alerting us that his victory and gatekeeper deal with Ruby was short-lived.

Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the end result: it was relentlessly paced, enormously fun and most of all, verifiable proof that Campbell deserved to be more than a debonair gunslinger like Jan Michael Vincent and Joe Don Baker in the 80’s (the gas money negotiation with stupidly hilarious).

Rating: 5 out of 5

Podcast January 1st – Best of 2015 Part 1: Television

So, with 2015 drawing to a close, Cory and Tristan have decided to run down their top picks in television, film and music. The music article will be coming Monday in the regular column Music to Your Ears, while this week the podcast will focus on television.

Cory expounds on Ash vs. the Evil Dead, Better Call Saul, Rick and Morty among others.

Tristan enlightens us on such shows as You’re the Worst, Mr. Robot and Parks and Recreation, among others.

Listen in to find the best television of 2015 (and don’t forget to come back next week for their picks for best films of 2015!):

Music to Your Ears – Cage the Elephant, Coheed and Cambria, LCD Soundsystem, and Wakey!Wakey!

2015 is wrapping up (thank God), and we’ll wrap up this column with a few last minute offerings from the music world:

Wakey!Wakey!Heartbroke

I was surprised that this tender tribute to loss and troubled souls was so soft – but singer Michael Grubbs has this tendency to flaunt his smooth vocals, so maybe it’s not so surprising how driven this song is. The piano beat drives the tone of the song and the lyrics bring you to a point of poignancy. I’m not sure what I really get from this song, but I’m rambling a bit now. Just check it out and see if it gives you any feelings. Don’t know why I can’t place a finger on this one, but that’s really what I get from this band. They had a handful of songs on One Tree Hill back in the day, and it sounds a lot like music that would play in the background of that show, a sort of Snow Patrol-lite.

Continue reading Music to Your Ears – Cage the Elephant, Coheed and Cambria, LCD Soundsystem, and Wakey!Wakey!

The Lost Podcast! It’s Finally Here!

It’s a Christmas miracle!

Here it is – at long last, the Lost Podcast is finally found.

Way back around October 9th, Cory and I saw an advance screening of the little seen film Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page. Afterwards we recorded the first half of our weekly podcast, intending to splice it together with a second half of news and other films, including The  Martian, we saw in the period between. Instead, the day we recorded it, I came across a few technical difficulties getting the first half into the program – Audacity – to fit it in front of the second half.

Around 7 PM things moved rapidly into motion for me on a job I got working in props on a television program that’s running on the Science Channel. I thought I’d have time in between work to take care of it, but other things came up, including other podcasts and more work. Before long it became a sort of myth, this podcast, and Cory would speak fondly of the Lost Podcast as if it might never resurface.

Well, without further adieu, here are our thoughts on Freeheld, The Martian, and other oddities from the first week of October 2015:

Review: Ash Vs. Evil Dead (Season 1, Episode 9)

For my Christmas gifts this year, I received a lot of special and deluxe editions of my favorite TV shows and movies (Scream Factory’s release of Ghost Story, The X-Files: Season 1 blu-ray, Caligula: The Imperial Edition, etc.). But the most apropos present may have been the 25th anniversary edition of Evil Dead 2. The timing couldn’t be better to watch the gonzo roots of the franchise and then dive headfirst into the penultimate episode of its TV counterpart.

In a recap, Ash’s love interest, Amanda, was bid a bittersweet farewell in the last episode by Evil Ash. And now Ash must mightily contend with his most esoteric foe: himself. To prove that Ash is actually who he says he is, Ash shouts racial epithets towards Asian babies. The quirkiest indication of Ash’s laissez-faire attitude is when he extrapolates that Kelly and Pablo shoot them both in order to conclusively end all of the Deadite contretemps. Clearly, Ash would suggest this because he always prefers “the easiest way out.”

Ash might be a clueless ignoramus however he has the clairvoyance to hastily julienne his clone (“Just the Two of Us” is an exuberantly funny touch) and Amanda before they return to reanimated terror. He also guides the backpackers away from the cabin before they are victimized by the airborne virus.

As per usual, Amanda isn’t anatomized in time and her Deadite alter-ego might be my favorite as she puppeteers the corpses into a taunting dialectic about Pablo and Kelly’s murky relationship. Finally, Ruby poisons the minds of Ash’s sidekicks with the revelation that Ash might be inadvertently culpable for the death toll as long as he still possesses the Necronomicon.

Just when the audience is certain that she isn’t the antagonist that we envisioned earlier, Ruby’s incantations begin to cause the dark-and-stormy pyrotechnics to swarm outside. The final line is an enormously breathtaking cliffhanger for who the ultimate ringleader is. The Kandorian dagger is obviously an impressive weapon against the Deadites and flaying the skin off the binding is a decadently gooey visual effect.

For Ash, the 30-plus years fighting the book still conjures some sentimental value for the lummox. The book’s statement that Ash will cease being a superhuman and just retrogress back to being a mundane stockboy isn’t a far-fetched prognosis. Until next week, the viewers will eagerly wonder how Ash can possibly save both Pablo and trounce the last remaining Knowby descendant.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Interjections Podcast Dec 26th – Trumbo, Carol, The Hateful Eight, Youth, The Revenant, The Danish Girl, Concussion + Joy

Welcome to our Christmas edition of the Interjections podcast!

With Oscar season in full swing, Cory managed to see a full slate of films, including The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Carol, Youth, The Danish Girl, Joy, Concussion and Trumbo. Tristan presents Cory a massive “what if” by playing Radiohead’s cut song “Spectre” from the most recent Bond film.

Listen in as Cory takes Tristan on a journey through awards season:

Knowing the right time to talk about movies, music and television