UPDATE RE: SEATTLE GEEKLY

Due to real life complications, we’ve had to end our weekly Tuesday and Friday blog post reviews (the podcast ended in Feb 2015) as of 6/12/15.

If you are a publisher and/or author who has already sent us material, we’ll get to it as soon as we can, and post a review on my Goodreads page (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2170158-shannon-flowers). Any physical media that we get after 6/12/15 will be donated to local geeks.

We are no longer taking review material as of 6/12/15. Please take us off your lists for reviews, press coverage and/or PR opportunities.

Our site will be up until the current hosting ends later this year, so download those episodes you’d like to keep now.

Due to the nature of our abrupt ending, we will not be able to monitor our email account it as much as we used to.

We will continue to be active on Twitter @seattlegeekly and if you need to contact us ASAP, please use Twitter. We can help you promote your book, show, music, etc. on Twitter, but no longer on our website.

Thank you for your understanding,
Shannon Flowers
Creator / Previous Co-Host / Show Producer
Seattle Geekly

P.S. – Love to all our Kickstarter backers, listeners, readers and fans! We will miss you!

Tuesday Reviews 6/9/15

An interesting movie and Pinhead are in today’s reviews.

SIFF2015_700x238

Circle (2015)

This is the last of the 41st Annual Seattle International Film Festival that I was able to see. The regular showings were in high demand, so I was happy to see a press screening before the festival ended.

Circle is a sci-fi thriller mostly, but there are bits of horror and social commentary in the movie as well. The movie starts pretty much as you see in the trailer above. There’s a circle in which 50 people stand. White, black, Asian, old, young and middle aged. A few people wake up to the rest of them standing, seemingly unconscious. Then all at once they all wake up. It’s chaos for awhile until the Circle starts to see what is happening to them. Every 2 minutes or so, an alarm goes off and one of them is killed. Once they figure out that everyone is the circle is controlling who to kill, the movie gets that much more interesting. Don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler per se, they figure it out in the first 10 minutes and that’s what makes this movie interesting. Will people choose based on age, color of skin, whether they have children or if they’re a good or bad person? Why are they in this circle? What’s behind all of this? You’ll have to see Circle to see what happens.

You leave the movie feeling challenged and possibly thinking about what you’d do in that situation. One of the only recognizable actors in the movie is Julie Benz, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dexter and Defiance fame, but it really doesn’t matter if you were to recognize anyone and I think that’s to make you feel immersed into Circle. When Matt picked me up after the film, he wanted a description of it. It was pretty hard to come up with a definitive one. I enjoyed the film, but there were parts that were so true about the characters choices, it was hard to get past the predicament if this actually did happen. Matt was under the impression it was a torture-porn film like Saw. It’s not, it’s intelligent, and there’s actually no blood in the film whatsoever. I’m not sure I would’ve been happy to pay $13 to see it, but it’s definitely something you should rent when it comes out. It’s got over an 8 on IMDB for a rating, and I agree with that after thinking about the movie. It’s not a movie you’ll want to buy and watch over and over again, not because of the violence, but it’s kind of a one-off movie. Once you see it, you “get it” and that’s all you need.

Circle (2015)
Dirs: Aaron Hann, Mario Miscione
IMDB page
SIFF page

scarlet

The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker

Clive Barker adds to his “Hellraiser” mythos with The Scarlet Gospels, his latest novel. It’s part sequel, part reboot to another of his characters Harry D’Amour, seen mostly in the Hellraiser comics from BOOM! Studios from 2011, or played by Scott Bakula from the 1995 film, Lord of Illusions.

The Scarlet Gospels is mostly about Harry D’Amour coming into contact with “Pinhead” or as he’d prefer to be known, the Hell Priest. I’ve not read the comics, but the fact that Harry knows that “Pinhead” is a derogatory name to call the Hell Priest/Cenobite leader, makes me think that Barker is using the comics as a bit of canon. While the book is split in two at the beginning, the story comes together later on through a Hell bound rescue mission. The Hell Priest is determined to take over Hell, and Harry is on a mission from one of Norma’s ghost clients to stop information to be revealed in New Orleans.

I’ve been a Clive Barker fan for decades. After picking up The Scarlet Gospels, I realized that even though I consider myself a fan, I haven’t read very many of his books. My first was Cabal (aka the Nightbreed movie) from 1988, and the most recent Mister B. Gone from 2011, but I guess I’m a fan of the horror movies based on The Books of Blood, the Hellraiser stories. I’m determined to right that wrong this summer.

Even if you haven’t seen Lord of Illusions, and OMG why would you if I remember correctly, you should be able to fall right into Scarlet as long as you’re familiar with the Hellraiser short stories or movies. Barker continues to impress with his masterful use of his type of storytelling. There’s blood, torture, sex and gag worthy descriptions, but also well developed characters that make you root for them. I liked this book. It makes a great reboot if that’s what Barker is actually doing. I’d like to see more Hellraiser type stories, or even more books about Harry D’Amour.

I’d like to give a warning to new Clive Barker readers. This is probably one of the more tamer books by Barker. If you’re worried if you might not make it through The Scarlet Gospels, try one of his Hellraiser short stories first, then proceed to Scarlet. His books are always entertaining, but there’s always at least one scene where you’d prefer not to have eaten that big lunch.

The Scarlet Gospels
Clive Barker
St. Martin’s Press
368 pages
May 19, 2015

Tuesday Reviews 6/2/15

I actually wasn’t able to finish the book I meant to review today, so I’ll be giving you a preview of upcoming books I’ll be reading and a couple fun things to do here in Seattle in the next week.

cinerama

Seattle Cinerama playing Mad Max for limited time

madmaxx

The Seattle Cinerama, the BEST theater in the Seattle Area, in our humble opinions, will be playing Mad Max: Fury Road from June 5th to 9th, in between SIFF showings and right before Jurassic World (they’re playing Tomorrowland right now…must not be doing well). If not only to see the movie, but since their renovation, the Cinerama has added craft beer and chocolate popcorn as well.

It’s a great time to go see Fury Road again in the theater. This’ll be the first movie we’ve seen twice in a movie theater since last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

TICKETS

nwpinball

NW Pinball & Arcade Show 2015

It’s been awhile since we attended this convention. We haven’t seen it in it’s new location in Tacoma, though we’ve heard awesome things since they left the NW Rooms at the Seattle Center.

If you grew up playing stand up arcade or pinball games at your local 7-11, or pizza place and want a fun weekend to go yourself or take the whole family, the NW Pinball & Arcade Show is a great weekend destination. If you’re a geek, you have an even more reason to attend. The show will have the brand new The Hobbit pinball game from Jersey Jack Pinball.

hobbit

As the posters say, over 400 pinball machines, gaming tournaments, panels and vendors will be there all this weekend for you retro game fans. If the show is just bigger with even better space, it’s a fun show for everybody. They’ve even added some console gaming for the younger retro gamers. Put on by members of SMAC, it’s a yearly event you won’t want to miss.

TICKETS ONLY AT THE DOOR June 5-7
Weekend Passes: $65
Friday only 12pm-11:30pm: $25
Saturday only 10am-11:30pm: $30
Sunday only 9am-3pm: $20

Friday Reviews 5/29/15

I was able to go see another SIFF 2015 movie this week and since SIFF is almost done I’d like to remind you of a few movies that I’ve reviewed that still have screenings.

SIFF2015_700x238

The Hollow One (2015)

I braved the sunny weather yesterday to go see The Hollow One. This was the second and final screening of the movie at the 41st Annual SIFF, so unfortunately, it’ll be awhile till you can see it yourself, but you should keep an eye out for it.

The story revolves around a family in a rural area near Seattle. The father has contacted a private investigator to look into his wife’s background so his two daughters know where they come from. His wife has always been mysterious about her past and there’s a reason. Her parents uncovered a metal cylinder that is older than humanity itself. After the cylinder is activated, the whole family’s world turns upside down when an evil force tries to finish what it started eons ago.

It’s really hard to categorize this film. It’s part sci-fi part horror part thriller, but doesn’t entirely belong to any genre. The film was filmed in Carnation and Seattle so for local viewers, the farm area will look really familiar. The metal cylinder that they use in the film could be seen like the puzzle box that is used in the Hellraiser films, but the entity it summons isn’t a demon. After the screening yesterday, the writer/director Nathan Hendrickson said that originally he had thought of the evil force as demonic, but I think he was afraid that audiences would draw the similar conclusions that I did. The film doesn’t give you all the answers to some of the things going on in it, and that was intentional. Hendrickson gave us some backstory of the entity that helped me enjoy the film more, but without this info, I could see how some viewers might be left hanging on some of the details of the film.

I only had a couple problems with the film. The music that the composer used during the non-thriller parts, when the family was doing regular things was over-the-top sappy piano music. The filmmakers revealed that they were under a time crunch to get the film ready for it’s world premiere at SIFF. Now that they were done they would go back and take some time to finalize the audio. I REALLY hope they reconsider the piano music used. It really drew me out of the movie and I literally rolled my eyes at some parts. The other problem I had was pacing. The Hollow One‘s run time is 100 minutes. There were definitely areas when the movie dragged (and it may have been because of the music issue I had) and I think the filmmakers could just tighten the movie up just a tad. Don’t get me wrong, this was a good movie. I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars, but in the right hands this could’ve been a brilliant short or 60 minute short film. The filmmakers did say that if The Hollow One did well, we could see a prequel and a sequel from it. I’d love to see the prequel be a short.

After the screening I asked the filmmakers what was next. They said that after they fine tune the audio they’d submit to other festivals so The Hollow One could very well be showing near you or it may even come back to Seattle. If you have the chance, see The Hollow One. It has one of the most unique backstory mythos I’ve seen in a movie in awhile.

The Hollow One (2015)
Dir: Nathan Hendrickson
Official Site
IMDB Page

SIFF Movies I’ve reviewed

I’ve been fortunate to be able to cover the 41st Annual Seattle International Film Fest this year and a few movies still have screenings.

Cub

My REVIEW
TICKETS

Liza, the Fox-Fairy

My REVIEW
TICKETS

Tuesday Review 5/26/15

Geeky songs are at the center of today’s review.

The PDX Broadsides - Aim To Misbehave - cover

Aim to Misbehave by The PDX Broadsides

In their newest studio album, The PDX Broadsides prove they aren’t just “entry-level geeks”. They go “deep geek” in Aim to Misbehave into the geek worlds of Conan the Barbarian, BASIC, Miyazaki and as the album title suggests, Firefly.

We were unable to attend their concert at Norwescon 38 this past Easter weekend, but were delighted when they reached out with a review copy of their newest album. Both Matt and I are not completely proficient in the filking world, but we do love The Doubleclicks, Vixy & Tony and the since broken up Debs and Errol, so The PDX Broadsides style of music and the content of the songs were fairly familiar to us. What I didn’t expect was how far reaching their geekiness lies. The band is comprised of three members, Jessica, Hollyanna and Christian. All three sing on various tracks and Christian plays guitar for most of the tracks. They enlisted fellow Portland geek Aubrey Webber (of The Doubleclicks) to play cello on “The Story of Me“.

In general, a filking group will stick with specific geek content, many latching onto a tv show i.e. Firefly or a genre like “Steampunk“, but I was so impressed by how many different geeky things they touch on in this album. No matter if you like LEGOs, Xena, Mario‘s Nintendo world, or Game of Thrones, you will have at least one track that resonates with you. I enjoyed the entire album, including the bonus track you get if you buy the album on Bandcamp, “Nathan (PTYPO)“, which was stuck in my head until I fell asleep last night. After listening to that track, it seems like The PDX Broadsides love to have their audience to help out with songs, and it would be fun to see them live. Since they are just from Portland, OR, it’s not unlikely to see them up here in the Seattle area.

My suggestion? Pick this album up, it’s not only diverse in subjects but styles of music as well. It’ll make great geeky background music for your next tabletop game night. Just make sure you do buy it off of Bandcamp to get the bonus track about Captain Tightpants. You can listen to the entire album with the widget below and for more info about the band go straight to their website HERE.