Guess what I did this weekend. I spent about five hours at the local dollar theater, for one thing. Now you get to hear about it.
First up was Underworld: Evolution. I have to admit I hated the idea of the first Underworld movie and resisted it at first. But it grew on me quickly once I finally watched it, despite some absolutely horrid acting from the guy who played Craven. I came to like the story a lot and looked forward to the sequel. Then Evolution came out to mixed reviews, with people calling it everything from “gratuitous crap” to “better than the first one.” I think it fell somewhere between there. I liked it okay, but there didn’t seem to be as much story as there was in the first one. A lot of action, Kate Beckinsale in her black latex — and nothing — nice scenery and Craven was killed early.
A couple of nitpicks … Constant thunder but little rain in a landscape covered in snow. Something about that didn’t make a lot of sense. Also, at one point Selene tells Michael that he’s the first and only hybrid, then she says that Markus is a hybrid. Michael was also mortally wounded too many times. Either kill him, or don’t.
Then we watched the DVD of Dodgeball yesterday evening. It was okay. Typical cornball comedy, but I laughed a few times.
This afternoon me and Sara went to see King Kong. Yes, finally. I really liked it, despite some flaws. It took way too long to get Kong on the screen, making me glad I didn’t take Jacob, despite his love of the original. (He’s three years old, by the way.) Some of the back story on Ann Darrow was okay, but not necessary. The scenery was beautiful and the special effects blended with the natural scenery really well. But, overall, the original seemed more authentic for some reason. The T-Rex battle, for one thing. Come on … Kong whips three of them while holding Ann in one hand? And the kid who’d never used a gun before machine gunning the giant insects off the writer? There were some credibility issues that are just common crap for action movies, I guess. I also really preferred the Carl Denim character from the original. Jack Black was better than I dared hope in the role, but the character itself was just so unlikable.
The ending seemed to drag a bit, but was pretty moving. Kong’s expressions were incredible throughout the movie, but especially there at the end.
Three reviews and I didn’t slam any of them. Odd. Maybe I should balance it out with a review of the horrible book I quit reading the other day. Nah … in its defense, it’s 24 years old and is typical of the dreck put out in the horror boom of the 1980s.
In writing news, I finished my short story, “One Night in Benevolence.” I’ve read it and edited it a few times already. It says what I wanted it to say, but something just doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t written a new short story in so long that I feel like I haven’t crammed enough into the story. I don’t know.
Julia Sevin, co-owner of Creeping Hemlock Press, got this blurb from some guy named Jack Ketchum today: “[Corpse Blossoms is] the best, most consistantly satisfying anthology I’ve read in years. My congratulations! Clearly these stories were chosen for good writing first and foremost over simple shocks, which is refreshing as hell in itself, but it’s also very well-organized, and the comments and bios are welcome grace notes to the texts. You’ve also given me some new writers to watch, for which I thank you.”
In case you’ve forgotten, or are new here, that’s the anthology with my short story “The God of Discord,” which is on the preliminary Stoker Award ballot. You know you want to buy a copy.