Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Book Spotlight: Theta Head

The Spotlight Is On:

Theta Head by Greg Dawe

Stark naked consciousness is exposed like a raw nerve as Georgias search for her missing boyfriend, Ben, takes her from London through Asia.

On route she discovers that Ben has been using a neuroscience technology one that offers the potential of complete liberation to anyone who uses it.  It is a technology Georgia must embrace if she is to find Ben, but one that is such an intimate catalyst for change Georgia isnt sure she can handle the side of herself it uncovers. 

It is only her desire to find Ben which drives her on; a force which leads her to the Theta Heads and a choice: continue using the technology to hack away at her layers of mental static and find the real reason he disappeared, or let go and face a future without him.

Theta Head technology doesnt need a mind of its own, it can have ours.

Publisher: http://www.cnpublishing.co.uk/

Author Bio:
Greg Dawe was born in London, and has been writing since he was 12. Just as the web was emerging in ’93 his interest in new technologies led him to study the UK’s first multimedia degree.
He then worked in London for as long as he could before buying a one-way ticket to South East Asia, where the laidback lifestyle gave him the peace, space and time to write more persistently.
Drifting in and out of teaching English to sustain this writing habit, always more at home in a foreign country, Greg is still wandering in Asia, slowly learning that wherever he goes, there he is.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A review and recap of Supernatural: "Exile on Main St."

Now as some of you may know I am a huge fan of the show "Supernatural", so I have lived in high anticipation for the premiere episode of season six, Exile on Main St.. 

Here is my review; some spoilers follow:

It was a very low-key episode, with more emotion than action.  The opening sequences were fabulous, showing us Dean's new life with Lisa and Ben, cleverly juxtaposed with flashback clips of the old one with Sam.  It was fun to see the alternating clips, using salt as ward against demons vs. salt used for breakfast seasoning, Dean using a power saw for its intended use instead of for killing vampires, etc.   It was odd, to say the least, to see Dean in a quaint domestic setting, complete with a job, a truck and a neighbourhood barbecue, but there was a touch of the old Dean still evident if the shotgun and holy water under the bed were any indication.

So we join Dean in suburbia, having a beer with his new friend Sid, and apparently in a state of domestic bliss because he didn't hit on the waitress.  As Dean leaves the bar he hears a scream, gets his gun and investigates.  He finds blood and some strange claw marks, but nothing else.  Later he sees more of these claw marks and he is spooked enough to go prowling around the neighbourhood with his gun.  The only thing he finds is the neighbour's dog; a Yorkshire terrier, a cute nod to the episode, Yellow Fever.  After a hasty excuse to Sid regarding his behaviour, about rabid possums no less, Dean heads home.  There things get really screwy with the Yellow-Eyed Demon and Sam showing up.
At this point I'm thinking maybe there was a sale on resurrection and get-out-of-Hell-free cards, but no, it turns out Dean was just poisoned by the djinn -those nasties from the episode, What Is and What Should Never Be- and hallucinating.  The brother's reunion was quiet, emotional, with just a touch of anger when Dean finds out Sam has been back for a year.  And Sam is not the only one who is back, Grandpa Samuel has also returned from the dead.  Both claim they don't know who or what brought them back, but they have been searching.  Along the way they have picked up more of the Campbell family cousins, who are slightly creepy. 
Dean's worried that the djinn might be after Lisa and Ben, so everyone heads to his house, where his domestic life, complete with golf clubs, gets sneered at and Lisa and Ben appear safe and sound.  Dean takes them to the safest place he knows, Bobby's, where, surprise, he finds that Bobby knew Sam was alive.  The old Dean resurfaces here, lashing out in anger at them both.  I found it interesting that Dean seemed angrier with Bobby than with Sam for lying; it was if he almost expected it from Sam, but was hurt that Bobby lied.
Of course all this leads to a showdown with the djinn (and finally a bit of trademark Dean attitude when he comes up with the plan to trap them).  Their trap turns bad, the neighbours get killed and Dean gets poisoned again.  He has one heck of a hallucination about the Yellow-Eyed Demon, Lisa and Ben, confirming that most of Dean's issues stem from childhood trauma.  The Campbells and Sam save Dean, but not before the rather sinister Campbells, including Grandpa, take a djinn prisoner; they are definitely up to something.
The episode ends with Dean deciding to stay with Lisa and Ben and Sam leaving.
I liked the episode on the whole, although I did miss the attitude from Dean; a quiet, normal Dean seems wrong somehow.  They have set up the season with some nice teaser plotlines and I'm looking forward to seeing the new relationship between the brothers.  The most intriguing thing is that Dean and Sam have almost switched roles from where they started; Dean's become the cautious, caring person who wants a normal life and Sam has stepped into the role of the dedicated, hard-nosed hunter.  It should be an interesting season.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Expendables

I went out to the movies last night for a break and to finally see The Expendables.

Being an avid fan of action movies I'm probably a bit inclined to like this movie simply for the cast, which if you haven't heard is a list of who's who of action stars past and present.  However, the movie was actually fun, if not very original in the plot department.

The plot is a standard generic story, an old save the girl tale, and just an excuse to get the actors from fight scene to fight scene and explosion to explosion, but it makes sense and has a couple of nice softer moments.  The dialogue is entertaining and fast paced and the repartee between Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone is first rate;  I'd love to them together in another movie.  I did think Jet Li was a bit under used and I would have like to have seen more of his character, but Mickey Rourke had a small but memorable role.

But the best thing about the movie is, of course, the action.  There were some fabulous fight scenes, especially the end sequences where there are multiple fights happening simultaneously.  It also rates high on the destruction scale with a series of magnificent explosions; they demolish just about everything.

It's not strong on plot, but it is a kick to watch.  I'd give it a 3 out of 5.

The Expendables on IMDb:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1320253/

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recap/review of select shows from Monday Sept. 20th

A few quick recap reviews of the highlights from Monday night's TV schedule:

A few episode spoilers are included, so beware.
  • Castle:  The show started with conflict between Beckett and Castle, mainly due to Castle failing to call Beckett after the summer break.  Of course her arresting him for murder didn't help matters.  Castle is proved innocent and worms his way back into the investigation, which involves several bodies, counterfeiters and some gun play.  By the end the criminals were caught and Beckett and Castle were partners again.  It was a nice opening episode and great fun.
  • Chuck:  Things are definitely in place for a great season, with Chuck on the hunt for his mysterious Mom, and he finally has a serious romance with Sarah.  In the first episode, his search for his mother crosses paths with Sarah and Casey, pulling Chuck back into the spy game, the Buy More is now a CIA/NSA Headquarters and Ellie is expecting.  It was a fun episode, full of cool guest stars including Linda Hamilton as Chuck's Mom, Harry Dean Stanton as a Repo Man and Dolph Lundgren as a Russian named Marco.  I can't wait for more.
  • The Event:  The show is better than I expected, and it did have some intriguing plot teasers in the premiere episode.  Who is kidnapping people, trying to crash planes into the president and that mysterious prisoner?  Who or what made the plane disappear?  And just what was "the event"?  It was well-written and well acted and I will stick around to watch, at least for now. 
  • Hawaii Five-O:  A nice updating of the iconic '70's show, with a great cast.  It should prove to be a nice cop show based on the first episode, which had a good pace and a reasonably interesting plotline.  And I did like the tip of the hat they did with the opening sequence.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My favourite episodes from "Supernatural"

The Season Six premiere of the show Supernatural happens this Friday Sept. 24th, entering into a new era, Post-Apocalypse if you will.   This is a short retrospective of my favourite highlights of the past five seasons:

Some of my Favourite Episodes:

-Caution these blurbs contain some spoilers-

Season One-
Phantom Traveller:  Having a demon that tried to crash airliners was an interesting twist to the plot that played on fears of air travel.
Home:  The first thread in unravelling the Winchester family plot line.
Asylum:  Looking back the fight scene in this episode could be prelude to the final showdown in season five.
Scarecrow:  The first of several episode where they go head to head with pagan gods.  It was also the introduction of Meg.
Faith:  The first time we see the Reapers.
Hell House:  The introduction of Harry Spangler and Ed Zeddmore.

Season Two-
In My Time of Dying:  Sets up the entire Season Two in motion and subplots that lead into other seasons.
No Exit:  What happens when serial killers don't die.
The Usual Suspects:  With a clever guest star in Linda Blair and a great ghost story, it makes for a cool episode.
Crossroad Blues:  We learn about crossroad demons and deals for souls.
Tall Tales:  The introduction of the Trickster storyline.
Roadkill:  A bittersweet ghost storyline, with  a nice twist.
Heart:  Sam finally gets the girl, too bad she's not what she seems.
Hollywood Babylon:  Dean goes Hollywood as they hunt down the strange hauntings on a horror movie set.
What Is and What Should Never Be: Dean finds out what life would have been if his mother had lived.

Season Three-
The Kids Are Alright:  We learn a little more about Ruby and Dean reconnects with a girl from his past, who's living in a paranormal hot-zone.
Bad Day At Black Rock:  The introduction of Bela and some amusing scenes when the boys find their luck coming and going.
A Very Supernatural Christmas:  What is Christmas without death and pagan gods?  And you have to love what they did with the Christmas tree.
Mystery Spot:  Someone wants to kill Dean, repeatedly, as Sam lives the same day over again.
Ghostfacers:  A great episode satire of Ghost Hunting shows and the return of Harry Spangler and Ed Zeddmore.
No Rest For The Wicked:  Dean goes to Hell!

Season Four-
Lazarus Rising:  Castiel the Angel brings Dean back from Hell, with a dire warning of a coming Apocalypse.
In The Beginning:  Dean goes back in time and discovers a family secret.
Monster Movie:  A fun episode, shot like an old horror movie.
Yellow Fever:  Dean gets a fatal case of fear and paranoia.
It's A Terrible Life:  What if Sam and Dean weren't Hunters, or even brothers?  And just what is haunting their workplace in this strange alternate reality?
The Monster at the End of This Book:  The introduction of the "Supernatural" books and Chuck.
Lucifer Rising:  The Apocalypse -and Lucifer- cometh.

Season Five-
Sympathy for the Devil:  What happens after you unleash Lucifer upon the world.
The End:  An unsettling look at the future, where Lucifer is winning.
Fallen Idols:  Famous icons, including Paris Hilton, are killing.
Changing Channels:  An amusing parody of TV shows and we learn the truth about the Trickster.
The Real Ghostbusters:  Sam and Dean go to a "Supernatural" convention, complete with real ghosts.
Dark Side of the Moon:  Sam and Dean die, again, and go to Heaven.
Point of No Return:  Dean takes out Zachariah.  That scene alone is worth watching this episode.
Swan Song:  The Apocalypse showdown between Sam/Lucifer and Dean.

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