10 grossest moments from ‘The Strain’ series debut

hugsy99:

Good Start, kinda liked that they focussed on suspense, improved the gore effect. ūüėČ

Originally posted on Inside TV:

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The small-screen adaptation of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire novel saga The Strain got off to a slow start during its premiere.

In fact, The Strain waited more than 20 minutes (without commercials!) to get gory‚ÄĒwhich is somewhat surprising considering the criticism of the horror show‚Äôs skin-crawling (and eye-slithering) billboards. If the show‚Äôs safe-for-the-street art was considered too extreme, then surely a series on the envelope-pushing FX network would delight fright-ophiles from its start? Well, yes and no.

Once The Strain got rolling, it featured some seriously squeam-inducing moments, as is only natural with a series led by epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll). Virus science is gross, y’all. Unlike Eph, viewers are already clued-in about the cause of hundreds of mysterious deaths thanks to a series of 10 scenes that, to paraphrase EW’s critic Melissa Maerz, would make you cover…

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My favourite Magazines

Hello, my name is Christoph and I am …

As you may already know by now I am quite a fan of all things considering Movies, Books, Comics & Music. Therefore it may not surprise you at all that I also love to read magazines, and a lot of them, too. Over the years I gave a lot of printed media the chance to surprise me, to entertain me and keep me hooked up. Only a few of them remained until now … and some of them are …

SFX

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I remember the day I discovered this magazine very well. I was on my way home from work, I went to the railway station in vienna and was a little early. Not having something to read I decided to go to the newspaper store and take a look. I was intrigued by the cover, it had Eliza Dushku on the cover and some information and interviews about Buffy were promised. I bought it and read the magazine during my ride home. Since then I went to the newspaper store each month to get my copy of SFX. This was not that easy because they only received one or two issues per month, due to the situation that it was a very small store.

After some time I left the job I had for another one and my route therefore changed. Luckily enough I found out about http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk and ordered it immediately. I am since then a regular reader of SFX and I never regreted it for one day. Recently I even prolonged it for another two years.

What got me hooked up and what made the difference is kinda easy to say. The team was and still is a group of fans writing for fans. In each article, preview and interview I have been reading I always had the feeling that they wrote about what they loved, what they liked and what they wanted to tell the world. They always gave me the feeling to be friends, to be a part of them. They treated each artist, writer, director, actor and media well, with love and with respect. They completely had me when I read something about guilty pleasures and found some movies and books in their lists which I also loved, even by knowing that they are kinda … ahh you know what I mean … but are produced with love for the genre, no matter what others may think. In the end this is something that matters and furthermore some of the so-called cult movies were made this way.

For the moment my thanks go to Dave Bradley, his team (also all their predecessors) of writers, keep up the good work and thank you very much for the issues so far.

COMIC HEROES

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Honestly, this didn’t came as a surprise for me. Within SFX there were always references to the Comics Media, especially due to the fact that the number of movies adapted from comics started to rise very fast.

I liked it from the very beginning, from the special issues and bookazines by SFX and the very first steps as a stand-alone magazine. What I liked at the beginning was that they included artists and books from the french and belgium area and not only from the US market. Over the past years this got a little bit lost but to be fair there is a lot to tell about this media (don’t forget the huge japanese Manga part of the comics world) and until now they provided a lot of good and well written articles. Furthermore there is no other magazine in existence which comes even close to the quality.

Like SFX the authors give you the feeling that they are fans of the media, the authors, the artists, the series, the characters and their many story-lines. Within their articles they focus on stuff that is surprising and/or new for fans and interesting for people who are new to the media. Treating each one with respect is something that made this magazine to be outstanding.

TOTAL FILM

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That’s the classic, the mother of them all. I discovered this by recommendation from a friend some years ago, I kinda liked it then but I missed something, something that I got from other magazines like SFX and Comic Heroes and I am very grateful for that. I bought some issues at the local newspaper store but unfortunately due to the fact that it has to be imported from UK to Austria the price was high. I decided quite soon to buy this one via Zinio and read it on my iPad, this is more than comfortable enough for me.

Apart from that I also love magazines like GEO (especially the series SPECIAL, EPOCHE & SAISON), BrandEins (which is one of the best considering the topics Economy, Society and Politics, very critical in a positive way) and the Rolling Stone Magazine (both the US and the German Edition).

Last year I started to reduce the number of magazines I subscribed to a very small number. One of the main reasons was that I didn’t find the time anymore to read all of them, not even most of them. Another was that I loved to hoard (or collect) them and I reached the frontiers of my home and didn’t find any place to store anymore. It was kinda hard to decide but now I can say that I made it. So far only two are landing in my home on a regular level, SFX and Comic Heroes. Some of the others are now read by me digitally at Zinio or the digital Newspaper store.

So far, thanks to all of you, keep up the excellent work.

 

Are we there yet and am I completely in love?

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This one came quite as a surprise for me, kinda missed her breakthrough with the album before. Never heard about her before and now the typical phenomen comes up and you hear and see her name and her music everywhere and you ask yourself ‘is it just me?’

People say I am a one-hit wonder,
but what happens if I have two?

So far I can tell you something about her latest album ‘Are We There’. I received the link to a YouTube Video from a friend and liked it immediately, as usual I tried to find out more about the artist. In most cases I tend to find more of the artist that I like, sometimes even better songs.¬†
 
In this case I completely fell in love with the album and plan to get my hands on her previous albums. Right from the beginning I had the feeling that I heard her beforte and then I got it; she appeared on the soundtrack of the movie ‘Only Lovers left alive’ and I have to admit that I liked her material there but it didn’t move like it did with this album.¬†

The album rotates on my turntable and on my iPod at the moment, and the song that I kinda got hooked up most is ‘Your love is killing me’. I love her voice, her feel for harmonies and melodies, I am very curious about what I will find by hearing her previous albums, especially her breakthrough album from 2012.¬†

 

 

Mirror Mirror, trapped in a magical chamber

 

 

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… surrounded by Pinocchios Brothers, some Barleycorn Women and a Head called Frankie, telling them a story. A story about a mirror? No. A story about The Magic Mirror? No. It’s a story told by The Magic Mirror, specifically it is about Thirty Tales of Seven terrible Days!

Magic Mirror: I confess, my first tale of the evening was more prologue than proper standalone story.
But the true ones can be like that, eschewing traditional structure. Stay with me and you’ll see I haven’t wasted your time.

The Magic Mirror tells a story about a murder that happened in the community of the fables, a murder that needs investigation and due to the fact that Bigby (the Big Bad Wolf), who was the former Sheriff of Fabletown is currently not available because of being more or less ‘broken’. So who else to ask than Cinderella who is working as a spy for the Fables. First mistake she makes is that she thinks as a spy, later on we see how she gets better in the job and we have some Agatha Christie moments right there when she finds clues and puts together quite fittingly.

With this book Bill Willingham once again proves that he is an amazing storyteller. Within this Graphic Novel we are offered  a story that has it all, love, deception, murder, crime, double-dealing, devious characters and some cliff-hangers from chapter to chapter. What we even get is one murder after the other and after some panels I had the feeling of reading a George R. R. Martin book, or a Joss Whedon story or even a typical tv show episode written by Steven Moffat. Yeah, magic wands or guns do not kill people, those guys do, trust me.

 

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Furthermore it surely was a tough decision to tell this story in thirty chapters with an “amazing array of artists”. Each of them bringing a quite unique touch to the story, giving each chapter the atmosphere it needs. It helped a lot that some of them are quite often working together with Bill Willingham to draw some stories. We get Chrissie Zullo, Adam Hughes, Shawn McManus and Mark Buckingham among many others. One of my favorite is the two-pager by Dean Ormston who gives quite a creepy touch to the character of Cinderella, which I like because usually we see her cute as a button and fighting like a ninja. In these panels she interrogates a possible suspect and it feels like scene of a cop show. By the way loved what Dean Ormston did back then in the Lucifer series, some series worth rereading, but I’ll come back to that later, promise.

Also be warned, as you may already have found out by reading the above this is a story meant for fans who read most of the story lines¬†that were published in the past few years. It would be interesting how someone may think about¬†this story without knowing who the characters are, what motivations drive them each day and why the Magic Mirror ist trapped within this magical chamber. In my imagination so many questions are unanswered in this book. This is even a very non typical story in the Fairest series, because so far many of them were handled to be quite stand alone stories with some hints to the main Fables story line but it didn’t seem mandatory to know them.

Magic Mirror: One of Briar Rose’s birthday blessings was the gift of music, she could play anything.
In the 60s her instrument was the Fender Duo-Sonic Electric Guitar, mated to an amplifier dialed up to Eleven.
With three mundy girls, who’d no idea she wasn’t the same, Briar Rose founded a girl group called “The Dirty Birds”.

In case you are new to the Fableverse, read it and if you enjoy it than try to get the first chapter of Fables in your nearest Comic Book Shop, you will not be disappointed.

By the way – keep watching the car and count the “changes”.

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Mommy, Daddy, there’s an Evil Mirror hanging on the Wall

Kaylie Russell: Hello again! You must be hungry.

 

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First of all, I have to admit that I love a good ‘scary’ story. Thanks to SFX Review¬†and the mention of Karen Gillan, who has been a Doctor Who Companion for a couple of years I discovered this little¬†gem.

I may have not missed it completely but surely wouldn’t have discovered it that soon. This was in ‘original’ a short story¬†by the same director/writer quite some years ago. I have never seen this episode but now I plan to do so, just for comparison.

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The story starts with two kids running through a house, hiding from their father who obviously means to harm them. When the kids have no way of escaping anymore the boy puts the gun on his father. Right afterwards we then see him, being older sitting in a sanitarium, working on what happened so many years ago. Later on we discover that the boy gets released from the sanitarium and his sister picks him up, confronting him that she found and bought ‘it’ and reminds him of his promise.
During their conversation we learn that his sister is convinced that the drama that happened to their family didn’t happen because her father was a crazy man who tried to kill his wife and his kids but because of an artifact, specifically a mirror which their father bought and hung up in his office.
She convinces him and they go back in the old family house, together with the mirror and some installed cameras. All she wants is to present the world enough evidence that there is an evil entity living in the mirror which destroyed her family among many others before.

From this moment on we are told two stories, in one of them we see the siblings being young and in the other story they are grown up and. In retrospect we see how the whole family arrives in their new home, how they start their live there. In the present we see how the girl presents the preparations to her brother to remember him what really happens.

The way of the storytelling is one of the main strengths of this movie, both story lines evolve together to one very high point at the end. There is no flaw, there is no lack of suspense on the way to this point. These are two stories well told.

Alan Russell: I’ve met my demons and they are many. I’ve seen the devil, and he is me.

The characters that are shown are focussed on the family members, during the film we see the parents and their kids and the rest are reduced to being background actors, some of them not even that. The actors for these roles are well cast, we see Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites fill their roles completely. Especially the performance of Katee and Karen as Mother and Daughter is outstanding. How their characters develop during the story is amazing, both working hard on keeping the family alive, each one in their time line.

In the end these are entertaining 100 minutes of suspense, we have some typical Horror Movie stuff but very well written and directed, there are even some moments where you hold your breath. But be warned, there are no big surprises lurking around the corner, what you see is what you get – a good and well told ‘scary’ story without a big switch at the end.

Take a look and enjoy.

 

Kaylie Russell: I found it!
Tim Russell: What do you mean?
Kaylie Russell: We only have few days.
Tim Russell: A few days for what?
Kaylie Russell: To keep our promise. And kill it.

 

 

Thank You Jack White

… this time not for the fibre-optic jesus you may have given to Wayne Coyne but for your new Album.

 

My veins are blue
And connected
And every single bone in my brain is electric

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Jack White did it again, after playing with successful Bands like “The White Stripes”, “The Raconteurs” and “The Dead Weather” he decided to go Solo with the Album “Blunderbuss” in 2012. It became a great success, and the step to change the used colors from Red (from the White Stripes Era) to Blue was a good one, too.

Still, each Band and each Album was clearly influenced by the Blues Rock from the early 50s ¬†and mixed in different forms with modern Rock Music. This time in comparison to the Album “Blunderbuss” he went one step further into the past and plays even more of the Blues sounds of the early 50s.¬†I really love the last Album but this time he reduced the Rock sounds and made more Ballads and we can find many more slight melodies.¬†When you think about all his albums you have the feeling that this even feels like the closest thing to a¬†Prog-Rock Album that Jack White can go.

You drink water, I drink gasoline, one of is happy the other one is mean.

My favorites on the album are “Three Women”, “Temporary Ground”, “Alone in my Home” and “Just One Drink”,¬†they are along the other songs very fine Ballads and Rock Songs. Give it a try.

Apart from this Jack White  was in the mood to make something new and when you are interested in buying it in vinyl do it, please. This album is labelled to be an Ultra LP and I was kinda curious what hidden gems Jack put there. After buying the album I arrived home, took the disc out of the sleeve put it on the turntable and I was amazed. I knew about some of the specials that were offered but still, by playing this thing I was amazed Рhe made it possible that you can simply enjoy the album completely and play some bonus tracks, hidden intros when you change the speed or try to find the right spot with the needle.

This is great and surely will help to make vinyl even more popular … hopefully. Funny thing is that I remember the first published CDs and the Labels included Bonus Tracks and Alternative Versions on the discs to make it different and more attractive for the audience. This time Jack White showed that it goes the other way, too and I love this very much.

Thank you, again Jack White for providing us with good songs and supporting vinyl. Keep up the good work!

This may not be funny, but hilarious

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The hilarious and wonderful moment where I discovered the works of Sergio Aragones for the very first time is still so well remembered, I still believe it to have happened yesterday. So many years ago in a small newspaper shop in my hometown I got my hands on a german edition of the Mad Magazine, I was standing there for a couple of minutes enjoying each page of the magazine, it was the one where they made fun out of the recently published movie with the title “E.T.”! ¬†Maybe some of you remember this one. Ha.

Most of all I loved the small things that happened between the panels, small animals, figures and/or characters who happen to be funny ¬†just by being there. At this time I didn’t know who Sergio was and wasn’t ¬†interested in the names of writers, authors or even artists. As many other kids my age I only wanted to be entertained, and entertainment was something that Mad Magazine kindly offered ¬†me. From the wonderful Spy vs. Spy, the typical Don Marin page and the “riddle” at the end of each issue.

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I grew up and learned a lot about people and/or artists like Rene Goscinny, F. Ibanez, Andre Franquin and many more. Over the years I rediscovered the works of Sergio, especially when I found the series “Groo”. First I thought that it doesn’t work out for me but after some issues I became a huge fan and I remembered my first contact with his work within Mad Magazine.

Since this time I follow each and every work done by him, from his series “Action speaks”, “Louder than Words” and all the DC/MARVEL mash-up stories.

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When “Funnies” appeared I started to buy from the very first issue and first I thought that this may be “just” a collection of funny stories, sketches, gags and a little bit more, similar to Mad Magazine but smaller and single-handedly done by Sergio who surely would have been able to draw each single issue of Mad Magazine, due to being the fastest cartoonist for quite some time.

What I loved most about this series was that Sergio included some stories about his personal life, how he grew up, where he went to school, what his father was working, how his relationship with his mother worked out and how he earned his first peso. We are confronted with stories like the one where his father, a producer/director of movies needed some actors for a movie and asked Sergio to bring some students to the set. As you may imagine this didn’t work out well for his father but perfectly good for him. we also see some famous collaborators from the Mad Magazine Team and their trips, one of those trips was even organized by Sergio himself because they decided to go to Mexico.

Each story is hilarious and because of knowing most of his biography I can say that¬†“in the centre” they are true. The included jokes may be pure imagination or may be a little exaggerated but they are well told stories. I specifically love the one story in issue #12 where he tells us about his meeting with the unique actor Toshiro Mifune, you can feel with each and every panel how much he adores the person and how much each meeting meant for him.

Apart from that we also get some short stories from him where he offers us something to think about and sometimes gives us some panels just for the fun of it.

 

-022 copy-025 copyOne of his strength always was and will be to make us smile, draw a panel which you can reread as often as possible and will find something new hidden somewhere and it will surely make you laugh.

So, with issue #12 it reached its end after three years. In the introduction of the last issue Sergio himself tells us that he will continue to publish “Funnies”, if not at Bongo Comics then maybe somewhere else. We will see and I know that I will be there, like so many years ago, standing in a comic shop and buying the very first issue, again with a smile and a glint in the eyes and I will feel like a kid, again.

Thank you for that, Sergio …! As long as you will keep on drawing I will keep on reading your works.

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