Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Flight Before Christmas (DVD)












I’m one of those people who can watch Christmas movies in the summer. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, I can always enjoy a good holiday film. Well, with the season fast approaching, I need to mention a new Holiday film that was just released on DVD. This one’s called The Flight Before Christmas. It’s about a reindeer who doesn’t know how to fly, but is determined to learn how, just like his dad. The reindeer’s name is Niko and his dad is one of Santa’s reindeer. The problem is that Niko never met his dad. So he sets off on a journey to the North accompanied by a flying squirrel named Julius (Norm MacDonald). On his trip, he runs into a group of wolves that are planning to eat Santa and his reindeer! So now, not only is Niko on the run for his life, but he has to get to Santa before the wolves and warn him about the danger. The CGI in this movie was great and the story had just the right elements to make it one of the better holiday films in recent years. Definitely add The Flight Before Christmas to your list of movies to watch this holiday season.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (DVD)












I love how people get pissed off when it comes to movies. Speaking of pissing people off, George Lucas seems to be an expert at it. If it’s not Star Wars, then it’s Indiana Jones that someone is screaming about. I keep hearing how bad the latest Indy film is, how farfetched it is… blah, blah, blah. Newsflash people: Indiana Jones is SUPPOSED to be farfetched! If you’re looking for a blockbuster film filled with loads of action, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull won’t let you down. The theme is basically the same as the others. Indiana Jones gets recruited for a mission to find an ancient relic that can potentially give an evil army unlimited power. Before, it was the Nazis. This time, it’s the Communists. And the ancient relic? That would be the mysterious crystal skull. I think it’s awesome what the “crystal skull” turned out to be. Indy has aged quite a bit, but he can still crack that whip! As he’s proven in all the other films, the bad dudes still can’t stop him. As expected, the special effects were amazing. When you have George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg working together, would you expect anything less? The DVD is out now and I recommend checking it out. The 2-disc special edition is loaded with special features, including one called “Production Diary: Making Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull". The feature takes you from New Mexico to New Haven as you follow the crew filming the movie. All the interviews thrown in with Lucas and Spielberg on this feature will have your head swelling with knowledge on the making of this latest Indy film.

And don’t listen to what the haters say. Just watch this one and make your own conclusions...

Free DVD giveaway!












Check this out. I'm giving away a FREE DVD for the new movie The Good Life. This movie stars Mark Webber, Zooey Deschanel, Chris Klein, and Bill Paxton. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, The Good Life is a comedy/drama about a young man (Webber) who is encouraged by a new friend (Deschanel) to cope with living in the small town where he doesn't necessarily fit in. The DVD comes out November 4th, but I have a copy available NOW. All you have to do is send an email to societys.elite@gmail.com and include in the email 3 names that you can make up from the name "Zooey Deschanel"! You don't have to use all the letters in her name. I'm just looking for the most creative. I will notify the winner via email. Good luck!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Journey To The Center Of The Earth (DVD)












Journey To The Center Of The Earth

It’s a cool concept when you can combine action/adventure with a little comedy. It’s another thing to make it family friendly without making the film really cheesy. Journey To The Center Of The Earth is all of the above (except the cheesy part). It’s got action, comedy, and it is a family film. Brendan Fraser stars here as Trevor Anderson, a quirky professor that takes his nephew Sean in search of the underground world referenced in Jules Verne’s novel. On their journey, they are accompanied by a “tour guide” named Hannah. The three of them had no idea what they were about to encounter, like fighting off fierce piranhas and getting chased by a huge dinosaur! At some parts, the movie felt like being in one a ride at Universal Studios. This experience was enhanced by the option to watch it in 3-D (glasses included). Another fun feature on the DVD was an interactive game called Adventure at the Center of the Earth Challenge. Here you get to use your remote control to steer a mine car ride and fight those pesky piranhas from the movie. Overall, it’s a DVD that adults can enjoy... but kids will probably have more fun with it.

Filter - Anthems For The Damned











Filter, the band led by former NIN drummer Richard Patrick, is back with a new album. This band was at its height during the late 90's and early part of this decade. Now, after a short break, Filter releases the new album Anthems For The Damned. The outcome is a politically charged album that still has that trademark Filter sound to it. It's nice that the band hasn't sold out their style. Highlights of the album are the title track "Soldiers of Misfortune" and the heavier sounding "What's Next?" I saw them at a show this summer here in NJ and they sounded awesome. It's good to know Richard Patrick and company are back in business.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can’t Hardly Wait: 10 Year Reunion Edition DVD












There’s always one high school movie that stands out every decade. The 80’s had The Breakfast Club and the 90’s had Can’t Hardly Wait. Recently, they just released a 10th Reunion DVD of the film. It wasn’t as profound as The Breakfast Club was, but Can’t Hardly Wait was a fun film to watch. In the movie you got to see a nerd turn into a stud, a jock look like the prick that he is, and a guy win over his freshman crush. What’s not to like about a film like this? If you grew up in the 90’s, there are a lot of subtle jokes here that you’d really get. Speaking of the 90’s, one of the cool features in this DVD is a trivia game called “You Know Your '90s If...” After answering all the questions I found out I was “sooo 90’s.” I guess you can’t shake off certain things in life!

Can’t Hardly Wait: 10 Year Reunion Edition is out now on DVD.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sex and the City (DVD)












Sex And The City was one of those shows that was real good after the first few seasons, and then ran out of ideas. I mean, how many times can you keep running around the same cycle of “Carrie hooks up with Mr. Big/ gets dogged by him/ goes and finds another boyfriend only to realize she still loves Big/ hooks back up with him/ gets dogged again/ and so on and so on? That’s not to say the show wasn’t funny. It was hilarious when it was at its best. However, I think they just ran out of juice to keep the show running. Anyway, this past year we got to see Sex And The City brought to the big screen. I didn’t read any reviews, so I'm not aware of what’s been said about it, nor do I really care. I just watched the DVD version and it felt like a very long final episode. That’s not a bad thing either. It had its hilarious moments and found a way to bring in some drama. Anyone who’s been burnt in a relationship before can relate to Carrie’s pain during the middle of the film. A lot of the scenarios in the film are predictable if you’re familiar with the history of the show. However, there’s a twist towards the end that puts the series to rest in a good way. Sex And The City won’t win any Oscars this year, but it does turn out to be a good film to kick back and have some laughs with.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

SilverHawks: Season 1 Volume 1 (DVD)












SilverHawks: Season 1 Volume 1!!!

There was a time when a partly metal, partly real super-team battled evil across the galaxy. The time was the 80’s, and the team was the Silverhawks. One of the most popular shows in the 80's, Silverhawks was up there with "the giants" of the cartoon world. Cartoons like He-Man, Thundercats, and Silverhawks were massively popular with kids everywhere. By now, most of the big 80's cartoons have been released on DVD, except for Silverhawks. I'm happy to say that the wait is now over for all you Silverhawks fans. SilverHawks: Season 1 Volume 1 has just been released in a four-disc collector set that includes 32 exciting cartoons. This set is one that I have been anxiously waiting for. Other than the 32 awesome episodes the set comes with, there's the special feature called "Partly Metal, Partly Real." This feature takes you down memory lane with the creators of the show. If you ever wondered what it took to make the Silverhawks series, this should give you more than enough info. It's no wonder that this show was such a hit, especially since it was done by the same creative team that made Thundercats. Overall, SilverHawks: Season 1 Volume 1 is sure to bring out a sense of wonder for the audience that grew up on the show, and gain new fans at the same time.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Spongebob Squarepants: WhoBob What Pants (DVD)












This is one of those DVD’s you can’t miss. Why, you might ask? Number one, it’s Spongebob, and who doesn’t like Spongebob? Number 2... well, I think Number 1 is a good enough reason. Out now is the new DVD Spongebob Squarepants: WhoBob What Pants? It includes 1 Disc with 78 minutes worth of Spongebob to fill up on. Episodes on the disc are:

- What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?
- Goo Goo Gas
- The Two Faces of Squidward
- SpongeHenge
- Banned in Bikini Bottom
- Stanley S. SquarePants

Be prepared to laugh, laugh, and then laugh some more with this brand new DVD of America’s most loveable idiot sponge.

The Alchemyst and The Magician

Brand new reviews by my associate Amica Paige for the books The Alchemyst and The Magician. Check it out!

I've gone to L.A. several times, but not San Francisco, yet. Listed in my tall order of fascinating places to visit, the home of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Fisherman's Wharf, and streets that brim with art culture and quaint and quirky stores enthralls me as much as stories that take place there. Incidentally, Michael Scott has convincingly crafted such setting in the fantastically fast-paced and fascinating tale, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: The Alchemyst, and its sequel, The Magician, which takes place in another sure stop I've also yet to take.


Now, I've read countless books, 99% of which I haven't written reviews for—from Matthew Arnold's Essays in Criticism to Emily and Poe's anthologies, to Jonathan Strange, Wicked, and The Undomesticated Goddess; to Narnia, Magyk, The Lightning Thief, Charlie Bone, Harry Potter, and much more in between, such as the writings of Beatrix Potter, Tim Burton, William Steig, Mo Willems, Avi, and myriad other brilliant authors. A common line often used in book reviews, I've noticed, is "this is the next thing to…or if you like so and so, you'd dig this and that…" But that's just too easy. I don't want to apply those clichés except maybe in classifying genres. In this case—this story involving modern-day American twins, a 14th century French alchemist, the immortal Nicholas Flamel, and his wife, the sorceress Perenelle, and a host of other intriguing mythical and historical figures enmeshed in a familiar theme that is the battle between good and evil—I refuse to report that this is the next thing to read if you've gone through a withdrawal period from Harry Potter or just because you're into Twilight.

The Alchemyst is truly engaging, period—Harry Potter or not. Michael Scott surely captivates with engrossing details, magic, and adventures that unexpectedly transpire for two fairly ordinary teens, Sophie and Josh, a part-time coffee shop attendant and a book store clerk. The story begins with Sophie in the middle of a typical tête-à-tête on her cell phone at the cafe and Josh filing books across the street, in a bookshop owned by Nick Fleming, who is really Nicholas Flamel in disguise, when mayhem suddenly strikes with the stink of "rotten eggs", emitted by the wicked, English magician, Dr. John Dee, who manages to steal an ancient text, the codex of Abraham the Mage, from Nick's guardianship, but only after Josh has fortuitously snatched its two most significant pages. Next, the teens are swept along a mad flight with the French magicians and a vampire ally named Scathach. Nicholas must retrieve the magical book to protect the twins, whose destiny intertwines with the fate of the entire world, and stop Dee from summoning the evil gods of the Elder race, the dark elders who'll either enslave or destroy humanity and ultimately rule the world. Nicholas must also recover the codex to prevent Dee, whose immortality had only been granted by a dark elder in return for total servitude, from acquiring the secrets of the elixir of life hidden in the book. The alchemist and his wife, themselves, need the ever-changing spell for immortality, for without it, they age and weaken about a year's worth each day.

Brewed with enchanting humor, horror, as well as depth and smart references—from
Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, and Beowulf to The Simpsons, Shrek, and Superman, brace yourself with The Alchemyst' magic and follow Nicholas and his allies in their pursuit across magical realms, amidst very curious and dangerous creatures, like Hekate, the Crow Goddess, and the Witch of Endor, to form new alliances and get the twins' magical aura awakened.

The riveting adventure continues in Paris, in the spellbinding sequel, The Magician, wherein fiends, like the Italian immortal, Machiavelli, the beast, Niddhog, and the war god, Mars, among others, wreak havoc and formidable new allies continually beguile. You'd never dare imagine the Eiffel tower in the same light as Joan of Arc's husband, Saint-Germain, has. As the alchemist aptly puts, [Humans use but a tiny percentage of their senses. They barely look, rarely listen, never smell, think that they can only experience feelings through their skin. But talk—oh, do they talk, which makes up for the lack of use of their other senses]. But whereas "Desperate men do stupid things," says Saint-Germain in referring to Machiavelli and Dee, who, like the dark elders, only see "the humani", or humans, as "a bunch of people", "slaves", or "food", "Stupid men make mistakes," replies Nicholas, who see "individuals, with worries and cares, with family and loved ones, with friends and colleagues". The alchemist clearly sees "people"; I wish politicians had the same view. But for now, we have a truly enchanting tale to follow—from the Warrior Maiden's dojo, to Hekate's Shadow Realm, where the Yggrasil thrives, to Ojai, where Sophie learns the Magic of Air, to Alcatraz, where Perenelle teams up with Juan Manuel de Ayala's ghost and Areop-Enap against the sphinx, and the Morrigan, to Rue du Montmorency, where Nicholas and Perenelle once lived, and to the catacombs of Paris, where the sleeping God lies awake. I can hardly wait for the third sequel, The Sorceress, and set off for London, where the magic continues.

Inside The Actors Studio with Robin Williams (DVD)












Robin Williams: the comedic legend with a mind that races faster than a rabbit on coke. He once did an episode of Inside The Actors Studio that turned out to be one of the most requested episodes ever. This was much more than an interview. What started as an interview almost turned into a stand-up routine. Every question answered by Robin wound up becoming a chance for him to let loose that outrageous personality. I never thought Inside The Actors Studio could be so entertaining! Well, if you never got to see it, Shout! Factory has just released this episode on DVD. It includes the entire episode along with other scenes that didn’t make the cut (but should have). This is a great DVD to own if you appreciate Robin’s crazy style of comedy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Happening (DVD)












In most of M. Night’s films, you always expect for the “surprise” to kick in at the end. Whether it’s the Sixth Sense or Signs, his films have a way of teasing you until the very end, where usually you are left with an expression of “Holy Shit!” I know his last film Lady in the Water has gotten some horrid reviews. I still haven’t watched it, so I can’t judge. But if it was as bad as I heard it was, then he needs to work hard to redeem himself. So I guess you can say The Happening is his chance for redemption. When a mysterious phenomenon strikes the Northeast U.S., apocalyptic paranoia spreads like wildfire. This invisible “attack” hits NYC, then Philadelphia, causing mass suicide in both cities. By the time it hits Philly, high school science teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) and his wife have fled the city, just in time to spare their lives. However, no matter where they run to, the invisible attack follows them. Theories abound as to what is causing it. But you are given no definite answers as to what it really is. You’re given a few options to come to your own conclusion, but that’s as far as the film goes. Some people may be pissed that the film ended the way it did. I didn’t mind it for the same reason I didn’t have a problem with Cloverfield. I’m ok with a film that ends that way because it makes you stretch your mind to form your own conclusion. It may drive you nuts, but it does get you thinking. Overall, it’s a suspenseful film that has its fair share of chilling scenes. One chilling part that stood out to me is when they arrived at the old woman’s home towards the end of the film. Her character was just as disturbing and mysterious as the unexplained phenomenon. If you expect the typical Hollywood film where everything gets wrapped up nice and tidy at the end, then you might be a little bothered. But if you watch The Happening with an open mind, I don’t think you’ll get let down.

Monday, October 13, 2008

LEGION OF SUPER HEROES: VOLUME 3 (DVD)











Legion of Super Heroes is an animated series that takes place in the 31st century. This team of heroes consists of a teenage Superman and includes other characters such as Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Timber Wolf, Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy and Phantom Girl. Together they battle evil forces to protect mankind. Besides Superman, I have never heard of any of these characters. In fact, this is my first time being introduced to the show. Although it’s targeted at a younger audience, I thought it was an enjoyable show filled with lots of action and comedy. This Volume 3 DVD includes 5 fun episodes of the show’s first season. I didn’t expect the dramatic turn the show took during the last couple episodes, where a member of the Legion had to make an ultimate sacrifice to defeat the galaxy destroying weapon known as the Sun-Eater. With all the many superhero shows and cartoons out, this one turned out to be a surprise, and is definitely worth checking out.

Legion of Super Heroes: Volume 3 is out now on DVD.

THE SMURFS: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2 (DVD)












THE SMURFS: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2

It is round 2 in The Smurfs' move to DVD. Season 1 Volume 2 is out now, and it is a must see for any Smurf fan. The animation looks as good as new on these 20 re-mastered and uncut episodes from the second half of the season. Maybe I’m biased because I grew up on this show, but I can’t get enough of it. The shows on Volume 2 contain the usual beef the Smurfs have with Gargamel, but there are other troublemakers they have to deal with. For example, there’s the character with the monstrous appetite known as Big Mouth. Just like Jokey Smurf’s “surprise box”, each episode has its own little surprise. A bonus feature included on this 2-disc set is one called I Smurf the Smurfs! The feature is like a “Smurfology 101” class as it takes you all the way back to the show’s beginning. On this feature, random people who grew up on the show, like Candace Cameron from Full House, share their memories of what it was like to grow up watching The Smurfs. Whether you grew up on the show, or are just getting introduced, this is an essential set that reminds us why it was such a massive hit.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Film Club












As a kid, I would have loved it if my dad said to me, “You can drop out of school as long as you watch 3 movies a week with me.” How cool would that have been! Being a typical teen, I thought I could have done fine without school. Through hard lessons in life, I realize now that I thought like a dumb-ass back then. But no one had to teach me that. Life taught me. That’s sort of the idea behind the book The Film Club. In this memoir, David Gilmour details what happens after he decides to let his son drop out of school, as long as he promised to watch 3 movies a week with him. The movies would all be chosen by Dad, and each one served a specific purpose in his son’s “life lessons”. As someone who seems like a walking film encyclopedia, David uses his knowledge to try and teach his son. David never came off in the book as trying to be a “cool” dad. He struggled with making the decision to let his teen quit school. In fact, he frequently wondered if he made a huge mistake. When you let your kid make the choice to drop out, you can’t help but wonder if you’re helping them ruin their life. I appreciated how open he was in the book about his doubts and fears. I can relate to that being a dad myself. And even if you’re not a dad, you can pick up nuggets of wisdom throughout the book. It’s an unconventional story that really makes you think about life.

Bright Lights, Big City 20th Anniversary Edition DVD












Bright Lights, Big City 20th Anniversary Edition

I remember I was about 11 years old when this came out. I was already a fan of Michael J. Fox's films after seeing Back To The Future, Teen Wolf, and Secret of My Success. After watching the previews for Bright Lights, Big City, something felt different about it. To my surprise, I found out he was playing a cokehead in it! I couldn’t believe it. The same guy who played Alex from Family Ties and Marty McFly from Back To The Future was playing a junkie (when you’re 11 years old, news like that shocks you). I recently checked this film out after hearing about its 20th Anniversary DVD being released. This movie is just as relevant in 2008 as it was 20 years ago. Fox’s performance of Jamie Conway shows a realistic picture of someone’s life spinning out of control. The perception of Fox always playing “wholesome characters” is quickly shed after seeing him hooked on coke and alcohol in the film. The scene where he gives a drunken monologue to his co-worker is classic. Another thing worth mentioning is Kiefer Sutherland's role as Jamie's friend named Tad. He was convincing in his performance of Tad, who is a real asshole in the film. Overall, it’s a sobering movie that shows the reality of living a life dependent on drugs. It’ll make you sad, but as you get to the end you’ll see there is light at the end of the tunnel for Jamie.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Bigger, Stronger, Faster












America is a country where we like things BIG. Just look around you. We are a country that likes things Bigger, Stronger, Faster. That happens to be the title of an indie documentary on the topic of steroids. This film was done by a guy who IDOLIZED professional wrestlers as a kid. Imagine his shock when he found out most of them were juicin' it up. Like most documentaries these days, this one throws in humor to balance out the seriousness of the topic. You get to see interviews with people who are vehemently against steroid use, as well as those who don't think there's anything wrong with it. After seeing the film, I still don't see where the ones who are pro-steroid use are coming from. Overall, the film sheds light through entertainment on a topic that's become a huge issue in our country.

Snow Angels (DVD)












I have a hard time with movies like this. It’s not because the acting is bad (it was great). It’s not because the story was lame (it wasn’t). It’s because movies like Snow Angels get me all worked up and can fuck up my entire day. The drama is so disturbing because of how realistic it is. The torn relationships and the tragedy that a family suffers here is hard for me to watch again. I can handle disturbing movies like A Clockwork Orange because it’s easy to disconnect from reality with a film like that. But Snow Angels? You feel like you’re a part of the small Pennsylvania town where the movie takes place, and it’s hard to not get affected. Watching the pain the characters experience can really give you heartburn. If you watch, get ready to cry, get angry, and be thankful your life isn’t like some of the characters here. It’s a very well done film, but one that’s hard to see multiple times.

Snow Angels is out now on DVD.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Avatar Book 3 Complete Box Set (DVD)












Aang the airbender is moving on in life. In case you missed any part of Book 3 for the amazing animated show Avatar, the entire Avatar Book 3 Complete Box Set is out now on DVD. This is the perfect collection for any fan of the show. There’s over 8 HOURS of running time on this 5-disc set. If you can watch it all in one sitting, you are one dedicated follower. But if you like to take your time and really take in the story, there are 21 episodes to keep you busy for a while. It really is one of the better animated series to come out in a long time. The story is fast paced, there’s plenty of action, and the animation is top notch. In fact, stop what you’re doing right now and check it out. You won’t regret it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Baby Mama (DVD)











It's B-b-b-b-Baby Mama! In typical Tina Fey/SNL style that isn’t afraid to poke fun at people, this movie dares to take on the topic of single motherhood. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler work together to deliver lots of laughs in this film about a successful career woman who decides she wants to have a baby. When Kate’s (Fey) doctor says she’s unable to get pregnant, she hires Angie (Poehler) to be her surrogate mother. However, when they meet, Kate discovers that Angie is NOT the woman she expected to be carrying her baby. Angie is a free-spirited lady who still likes to party while Kate is the complete opposite. Although their personalities clash, they eventually learn a lot about themselves through each other. Baby Mama is a lighthearted comedy that both men and women can enjoy. It’s take on family life and relationships doesn’t contain a lot of gushy moments, which was great for me since I usually cringe at that kind of thing. Oh and how can I forget! Steve Martin’s role as a conceited, New-Age business owner of a health food chain is classic!

Baby Mama is out now on DVD.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go

Here's another review by my associate Amica Paige for the new book Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go. Check it out!


Imagine getting trapped in a nightmare where you're on the run from your pursuers—the mall security and a foe so foul that it could only be, well, your worst enemy and no, it's not your wicked stepmother or vicious aunt either, but the one who loathes you for no reason, the bully Damian—and you haven't the faintest idea how you got into this mess, especially when it's virtually impossible for you to even get into the slightest mischief, since you're basically a good person with glasses, who intends to stay out of trouble by immersing yourself in everything nice and intellectual, like your books. And your name is Miltoneven Harry Potter has a better chance in life more than you. You're just Milton, not a wizard. Anyhow, you're caught in the middle of a blind escapade, where you're suddenly thwarted by a giant marshmallow bear towering over a mall's main hall. So, your ruthless enemy wastes no time in blasting the colossal treat to destroy you. Apparently, he succeeds and, in a massive explosion, you go down in quite literally a rapid descent into a hellish place called Heck, which is a great deal more horrendous than your revolting foe. In short, your nightmare doesn't end, since it isn't really a nightmare to begin with. It's real. In fact, everything that's transpired in one continuous, uncontrollable, rapid flow of events is real, and Heck is where you really get banished for your misdeeds prior your ill-fated death, even if you were genuinely as sweet as an oversize melted marshmallow your whole life. The fact is you stole something, even if you were tricked and are truly innocent. Therefore, you're damned like a regular imp, because "the Big Guy doesn't grade on a curve…" and "your last sin is typically your greatest…with no chance to redeem yourself with your sticky end". And it only gets worse. You're supposed to survive this nightmare called the rest of your life in the company of a total mischief in the person of your sister, Marlo. This blue-haired Goth, who delights in dark stuff and exploits, and steals out of sheer enjoyment and simply because she can, was also the punk who fooled you, plucked you out of your comforts, dragged you into her capers, inadvertently died with you in the explosion, and ultimately got you into this appallingly huge Heck of a mess. But you've no choice but endure this wretched place with her roguish presence, as well as the demonic principal, Bea "Elsa" Bubb, and her monstrous minions, including a hair-net donning, hairless cafeteria witch that boasts "hairy moles and weeping boils" and relentlessly serves overcooked brussel sprouts that resemble "wilted globs of pale green snot" for a nourishing after-life lunch. To top it off, the nasty vermin, Damian, who maliciously blew you up above ground has now followed you underground. Meanwhile, you feel like the vermin, yourself. You're only eleven years old with a fuzzy ferret named Lucky. And, again, you're just Milton. The only consolation you have is meeting a clumsy character, Virgil, who becomes your buddy, the possibility of your sister's unlikely allegiance to you, and a slim chance for escape,
and still, perhaps, a little bit of luck.

So, journey through this ludicrous limbo where time doesn't exist, yet you get punished for coming late to your first day of "disorientation" and where issues are thoroughly dealt with in the "Department of Unendurable Redundancy, Bureaucracy, and Redundancy". David E. Basye definitely brewed a wacky and wicked juvenile version of "H-e-double hockey sticks" seasoned with mythical and historical characters such as Ammit, Annubis, Pemberton, Nixon, and Dior, among several other curious creatures. This book surely has the mental energy and verbal acuity of youth nicely wrapped in both profound and confounding thoughts. Heck is highly entertaining and an absolute treat for younger bookworms yet reflective enough for more mature readers. For all those who have Peter Pan Syndrome like Basye
(Life with Children: 'Heck' A Vivid Success) or have simply forgotten how it is to feel young again without loosing any sensibility, here's an excerpt for you:

"And for the first time in his life—and death—Milton enjoyed being different. He felt free: free from caring what people thought, free to choose his own path…All our days are numbered, he thought before drifting off into unconscious bliss, but that number is infinity."
Enough said. Here's a link to author, Dale E. Basye, for more info.

The Fletch Collection (DVD)












The world of comedy is definitely missing the bumbling presence of Chevy Chase. I was reminded of this while watching him on The Fletch Collection, a 2-disc DVD set that contains the films Fletch and Fletch Lives. In case you were born too late to see these, or were asleep when they came out, Chase plays reporter Irwin Fletcher, known as “Fletch”. It’s hilarious watching him play this reporter/investigator/master of disguises. I don’t think anyone other than Chevy Chase could have pulled off a film like this. If it had been another comedian, the results might have been disastrous. This collection of both hilarious Fletch films is great to own if you appreciate some classic Chevy Chase. Another thing that stood out to me was a feature that included interviews with most of the original cast, except Chevy. What a bummer. One other cool thing is the box it comes in. It comes with this wheel that you spin to change Fletch’s face to one of his many disguises.

The Fletch Collection is out now on DVD.