Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Young Frankenstein - From The Vault

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement... 

Obviously this week, I'm going over Young Frankenstein... however instead of sticking to my notes and bullet points that I prepared for myself last night, I just went total stream of consciousness... and I think the video came out better that way. Still I've included my notes below.


With the recent passing Gene Wilder, obviously a lot of interest has been put on his films, particularly his iconic ones like Wily Wonka, The Producers, Blazing Saddles… and the one I pulled off the self to talk about, Young Frankenstein.

Co-Written by Gene Wilder and Mel Brookes (who also directed) and released in 1974, this black and white film that satirizes not only Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but also a lot of elements and associated with the early horror films, such as the film transitions and how things were shot, without question it’s a classic.

But what makes it a classic in terms of a comedy? It’s quite simple really… despite it being a comedy, and clearly a parody and a farce, everything is played with enough seriousness to make the comedic spots stand out, on top of that there there’s none of the ‘breaking’ or expectation that comes with the result of letting a scene linger to have the audience react with laughter as with modern films.

Then of course is the atmosphere… which was done to closely replicate and parody the first Frankenstein film and Bride of Frankenstein... which again, plays to the comedic aspects of the script.

That said, the writing is very sharp, and holds up exceptionally well… if you remove the comedy, it could easily fit in with the numerous Frankenstein films and ‘sequels’ that have been made over the decades. Some of the word play is just awesome such as Igor using oversized door knockers, Frankenstein being impressed says ‘What Knockers’ and Inga responding ‘Why Thank You’ because Frankenstein is eye level with her chest, or Frankenstein damning the eyes of Igor, leading him to reply too late because actor Marty Feldman had a rather unique face.

Of course the entire cast was perfect, but of course the star here is Gene Wilder, who walks that fine line of creating a character that easily gives in the madness of the moment when accepting his great-grand father’s work of bringing the dead back to life. It’s a flawless performance that sets a standard for the ‘mad scientist’ trope that has not ever really come close to being surpassed.

So without question, this is a great film to have your collection… but which version

Now onto the DVD itself, the version I have is the ‘Special Edition’ released in 1998, it’s presented in the Widescreen Format – 1.85 to 1), includes basic Menus, and a nice set of extras from out-takes, bloopers, to commentary from Mel Brooks, deleted scenes, trailers and a nice 36-minute documentary on the film that also features Gene Wilder and how he came up with the idea of the film, the creative process with Mel Brooks and so forth, it’s really insightful and bring something extra to how special the movie actually is.

It has been re-released a couple of times on DVD and once on Blu-Ray, in 2006 and in 2014 for the 40th Anniversary, and I think now with Gene Wilder’s passing, if you don’t already have it, I suggest you go get Young Frankenstein.

Today's oddness

Sometimes I just don't know what comes out of my head lol

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Yay Or Nay For The Hall Of Fame - Stars From Backlash 1999

Hello Dwellers and Welcome to The Basement!

The WWE is bringing back Backlash PPV, so this week I'm looking at the cases of Test, Albert, Ivory, Val Venis, D'Lo Brown and Hardcore Holly for the WWE Hall of Fame, cause they are all border line cases.

Here are some brief details on each of them

WWF Intercontinental Champion
WWF European Champion
WWF Hardcore Champion (twice)
WWF World Tag Team Champion
WCW Tag Team Champion

WWF Intercontinental Champion
IWGP Tag Team Champion (twice)
G1 Tag League Tournament Winner (twice)
New Japan Cup Winner 
GHC Tag Team Champion

Val Venis
WWF European Champion
WWF Intercontinental Champion (twice)
WWE World Tag Team Champion

D'Lo Brown
WWF European Champion (4 Times)
WWF Intercontinental Champion 

WWF Women's Champion (3 times)
GLOW Champion
GLOW Tag Team Champion
POWW Champion

Hardcore Holly
NWA World Tag Team Champion
WWF Hardcore Champion (6 times)
WWF/E World Tag Team Champion (3 times)

Today's scribble

Totally nonsensical

Monday, August 29, 2016

Thoughts On Gene Wilder

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement...

So we're back again, with another remembrance piece, this time for the great Gene Wilder, who passed away today. No real blog or script notes, as I had a couple of things jotted down on my screen for me to touch on, but basically, Wilder was one of the very few actors who could give a performance where the characters he played walked a fine line between being normal and being nuts (this really shows in Willy Wonka & Young Frankenstein) and that when he stepped away from actor, he pretty much stayed away, cause the last thing I remember seeing him doing was an episode of Will & Grace.

Monday scribbles

Ragnarok and Roll - Lets Play Star Trek Online

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement...

We have one more mission to close our Admiral Sobar's story (until the game developers add more missions), so let's play Star Trek Online and deal with that old time Ragnarok and Roll!

Before we get into the mission, let me state that going through all these missions week after week has been a blast, particular once I started the blog to go over thoughts on each mission. Since we are at the end of Sobar's missions, next week I'll be rolling a new 23rd Century character to go do a series based around the missions that actually explain the temporal cold war and everything we've been through in greater detail. But that's next week.

As you may remember, Daniels is now dead.... the Temporal Fleet has arrived, but the Noye and his allies are pressing their advantage at Procyon V... our only hope is the Tox Uthat... and the only ship that can power it... is the Enterprise.... NCC-1701-J...

Now remember what I said last week that Temporal Reckoning was basically a warm up for this mission... I'm not kidding, cause right off the bat you are fighting off waves of enemies just to REACH the future Federation Flagship... it's a slug fest from the word go. The good news is you have a few ships helping you out... but it is a struggle for a poorly equipped ship to get through. Once you reach the Enterprise you beam down and team with not only Chekov... but Scotty as well...

Wait how are they there? Well that's why I'm going to do the 23rd Century missions next week... they explain and have certain details that explain these things...

Anyway, you're on the Enterprise-J... and like when Jonathan Archer visited her in the Enterprise episode 'Azati Prime' we basically just see a corridor and head to engineering to hook up the Tox Uthat... but it's not that simple, no... Leeta and the Terran Empire are there to stop you, and there's a fun shoot out you get to play, serving as basically a 'boss battle' cause Leeta takes quite a lot of damage. Then it's back into space for a long drawn out space battle, to give Chekov and Scotty time to finishing hooking up the Tox Uthat... and of course you will succeed... your ship may be blown up once or twice, but you will get through it. 

The day is saved, the expanse and sphere builders are sent packing... but we're not done... it's time to hunt down Noye... and with a fleet of ships with you, The Annorax doesn't stand a chance, you beam over... deal with his loyal troops and confront him... and like Leeta, Noye is basically a boss battle, and he takes even more damage that she does, not to mention, you fight him in stages, periodically, he will summon guards to defend him. Once he's defeated and in custody... we get a lovely wrap up... turns out Daniels is alive... thanks to Noye being stopped

But unlike with the Iconians... there is no celebrations or parades, just a job well done, because everything has to be kept a secret.

This mission basically is all action.... there is no ever dialog, or a crisis of conscience like with the end of the Iconian war... the objectives are very straight forward. It's not my favorite 'final chapter' of a Star Trek Online story arc, but it gets the job done and leaves the door open for more battles.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thoughts on Mr. Fuji - The RAW VIEW

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement...

The late great Mr. Fuji passed away, and while I did not see him as a wrestler, I grew up seeing him as a manager in the 80s and 90s.... and in this quick vlog, I give my thoughts on why he isn't the worst manager of all time... particularly since he was living up to his nickname of being 'The Devious One' 


Super Sketch Painter #2 - Comics From The Basement

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To Comics From The Basement…

Four months ago, I did a double review, reviewing Why So Ratchet and Super Sketch Painter #1, published by On Q Comics and brother Samad and Suliman Onque. And of course in the four months since that review, as I’m certainly more comfortable now speaking to the camera as I was back at the end of April… so I figured, enough time has past, and it’s time to go over Super Sketch Painter #2.

For those who may not know, Super Sketch Painter, is the story of a young artist named Khalil Jenkins who after reading his favorite comic book hero killed off, is motivated to create his own comic book hero that wouldn’t suffer the fate of the dreaded editorial mandate… he is then drawn into the world and realizes he has powers… and good thing too, because he is going face to face with War-Cat!

Issue #2 kicks off with Khalil in War-Cat’s clutches as he is being down towards the ground at a terminal velocity, a mysterious presence tells Khalil to pull up via his ability… and he avoids disaster, and disables his vile opponent in mid air… and in a bit of odd behavior, we see that Khalil was more than willing to let War-Cat go splat until he’s forced to save him… once the battle is over, the villian is transformed back into comic book pages… and we get to learn about Khalil’s powers and what is happening to him. His passion and art brought forth his ancenstral guides and the world needs a hero, he is the ‘The Artistic Creator and Comic Book World Protector’… he is here to save the world and a close friend...Talburt Willis, a postal worker who devlivered Khalil his first ever copu of ‘Hero Man’ 7 years prior, who is now trapped inside of a fortress… knowing his goals, Khalil returns to the ‘real world’ where he is ambushed by a new fiend… an evil mail box named… MAIL FRAUD… ending this comic on an en epic cliff hanger.

This comic is awesome… we get the conclusion to Khalil’s battle with War-Cat, and learn why he has his powers and what they are far, not to mention seeing the tie in to Khalil’s past with Talburt, who he considers a personal friend and for all intents and purposes, helped start him on the path to become the Super Sketch Painter. The only slight negative here is that we saw that Khalil was more than arrogant to let War-Cat plummet to his death only to be TOLD to save him by his Ancestral Guides, showing Khalil isn’t without some character flaws, still that stood out.

The artwork is just gorgeous, bright and colorful, which makes it easy on the eyes, it’s a great contrast to some of other other items I’ve been reading lately from larger publishers who tend to things in a very much dark and depressing style of presentation.

The verdict here, go get this and issue #1 of Super Sketch Painter… why you’re at it, also get Why So Ratchet as well… because unlike a lot of the other comics I’ve talked about here in the Basement, you can really only get them at one place…, and click where it says On Q Comics.

Now I have to wait until Super Sketch Painter #3 comes out… which I hope comes out around April 8, 2017… why? Because that’s the date for the next Camden Comic Con! That’s where I met the Onque Brothers, was introduced to the character of Super Sketch Painter, so it would be perfect if issue #3 is out in time to make it great tie-in!

In the mean time, here in the Basement, next week, it’s back to Star Trek The Next Generation with part two of the Ardra and Shanzibar trilogy!

Till then my friends, and you are my friends, have good one!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ziminiar - Lets Play & Review

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement...

Recently I was asked to take a crack at playing the demo for video game that is currently in development. The game is called Ziminair and is currently being developed by 2AM Productions. Keeping in mind this was a demo that I was playing, the game is a long ways away from being completed, but the fact they have a working demo and are looking for feedback says a lot.

The story is that the player's character (by default named Harold) wakes up in a mansion, alone, no memory of who or where he is... and from there, it's just a matter of being stranger in a strange land, full of friendly people... and talking animals. There are some elements of an apparent larger story and various mysteries, but it's very loose... the big one being that a talking dog named Dogge is a theft and his owner is missing.

That said, the folks at 2AM Productions did a hell of a job at 'world building', as nearly NPC I came across had dialog, and several with branching dialog. And this is where I get the impression the developers are wanting this game to shine, cause I got a few chuckles with some of the humor that is displayed, cause I found myself talking to pretty much every NPC I came across because some of the lines were quite clever.

Controls wise, and for the first time in years I found myself using the directional arrows to move about, which was a bit uncomfortable, being used to using the WASD keys. Q brings up the Quest Screen, I for Inventory, C for Clock... ESC the general menu, etc. Shift is the run, Spacebar to Jump and Enter is pretty much the full action / select  / confirm button. For a game like this it works, particularly in the demo stage.

Graphic wise, Ziminiar is on par with a lot of RPGs one finds on Steam, it looks great for what it is. The world is colorful and you want to explore everything to try and find whatever you can by checking never cupboard, barrel and grave site you can find.

There is also an interesting 'injury' aspect, where certain choices (such as forcing up a cupboard) would cost you some Hit Points, not to mention falling from a high place takes a large chunk of HP as well. That's a dynamic I've never really seen in the number of RPG's I've played over the years.

If I have to nitpick something about the demo, it's the default text seen in the dialog boxes, which makes it rather difficult to read (Switching to a non-stylized font would be a big plus), and there are a few odd grammar flubs as well. And at the end of the game play video, you can see I apparently hit a glitch that saw me roaming the boarder of a house and then basically trapped in a room when I finally get a sword and a shield... so if there is a combat system in place, I didn't come across it while playing.

THE VERDICT: Keeping in mind this was just a demo that I was playing, I see a lot of potential. The world of Ziminiar is clearly going to be a strength of the finish game with making people want to chat with every NPC. The demo is very much worth checking out, particuarly if you want to try and discover things that I did not.

Where to get the Demo:

Guests Of Madam Guillotine - Tales From The TARDIS

Hello Dwellers and Welcome to the 
Basement…. And Tales From The TARDIS!

I took a different approach with my notes this week, instead of fully scripting things out for myself, I just jotted down various notes for the episode, to try and be more off the cuff with the video version.

Episode opens with show of Doctor laying in burning house, Cut to Paris and sight of the guillotine lingers before we see it dropped, and the name of the episode… that cut to a sign that reads ‘Conciergerie  Prison’, where that is seen written in ENGLISH… this episode takes place in 1790s, France… I get this show was made in 1960s Britain… but come on!

We see Barbara and Susan, Ian in front of a Judge (in the video I called him an administrator... cause I didn't realize he was a judge...) , who has the list of charges brought against them for being in the same place of two criminals, they are sentenced to be killed and are taken to the cells. They are separated, Ian in one cell with the women in another

The jailer offers Barbara a chance to escape for some ‘comfort’ and ‘company’ and she promptly slaps him. Go Barbara! She and Susan are put in the ‘worst cell’ which is rather smelly. They are reminded of when they were prisoners in the prehistoric era. Barbara gives Susan a boost to look out a window and they appear to be in a prison. Susan is worried about The Doctor

We see that the boy from the first episode has rescued the Doctor and is helping him recover from nearly being roasted. The Doctor is informed that his companions have been taken to the Consiguere Prison, the boy figures the Doctor wants to escape, but the Doctor is determined to head to Paris and learns the boy’s name is Jean-Pierre… The Doctor then begins his long trek towards Paris, and we see him crossing a field and walking down a road.

Back in the prison, the jailer peeks in on Susan and Barbara, they reflect on times they were in trouble in the past. Barbara is concerned about Susan who is normally optimistic. Barbara figures they could probably escape, and makes a makeshift crowbar to try wedge out some loose bricks to escape.

Meanwhile Ian is tending to his fellow prisoner who was shot when he was arrested. Ian figures it isn’t impossible to escape. The prisoner named Webster is sure France will stop it’s madness and turn its attention across the channel and says England needs to be ready for when that comes, cause it will be war. He tells Ian there is an Englishman who has vital information and swears him to try and find ‘James Sterling’ before he keels over and dies before telling Ian where he can find James with his last breath

The Doctor is continuing his long walk to France, and comes across a chain gang. The Doctor asks if he’s on the right road to Paris. The over-weight guard informs The Doctor the chain gang are tax dodgers, trying to complete their project by tomorrow. The Doctor gives some unwanted advice, telling him to work, and the guy reacts badly, forcing The Doctor to work with the chain-gang.

Barbara is working on knocking out the wall, but is exhausted. Susan offers to take over but her hands are weak from previous times they trade off. The jailer comes with their food and sees the blankets on the floor, but before he can discover what they are up too his is summoned.

A high ranking official named Lemaitre enters Ian’s cell and asks how long Webster has been dead. Ian refuses to answer at first, telling him Webster’s been dead for several hours. Ian lies about Webster speaking before he died. Lemaitre asks the Jailer if Ian and Webster spoke, and says he heard them speak. He then reviews the execution list, takes Ian’s name off of it and orders Webster’s body removed from the cell. Susan and Barbara eat the food they were given, and get back to work, where Susan is scared by a rat, jumping up on the cot, revealing a terrifying fear of rats, meaning they can’t escape.

Back with the Doctor he’s hard at work who notices the fat guard is counting his money. The Doctor comes up with a plan, saying there is going to be an eclipse. Getting the guard to come over, which allows The Doctor to pick his pocket for some gold. The Doctor acts like he found some coins and treasure… and the fat guard starts to greedily dig…. And The Doctor clocks him over the head with a shovel. The chain gang prisoners escape and the Doctor goes on his way We get several shots of the Doctor on his journey before he stops for a rest. , sitting on a sign post that reads that Paris is still 5 KM away


The episode closes with the jailer coming to get Barbara and Susan, it’s revealed the magistrate sparred Ian, but they are not so lucky and are off to meet Madam Guillotine. From his cell, Ian peaks out to see what’s happened as the episode ends with him looking on helplessly.

Overall: Episode is quite good, with the cuts back between the Doctor and the prison we get the feeling that time is constantly passing, so the episode doesn’t feel like its standing still. The shots of the Doctor traveling is quite good, and there is a big what if as it relates to Barbara and Susan if they were able to escape, Also Jacqueline Hill lift Carol Ann Ford with surprising ease, so safe to say she was quite fit in her day.

9/22/2019 Sunday Night Overwatch