Friday, May 30, 2014

Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014)

If forgotten, the sins of the past are likely to be revisited on the future. As the only nation to have nuclear weapons used against them, Japan has a duty to remember the scale of devastation Fat Man and Little Boy had on the unsuspecting cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. They commemorated these attacks by re-imagining the bombs as giant, invulnerable radioactive monsters who would devastate entire cities. It was fitting that The Doctor and I chose to honor the memory of the frightening destruction of the war by spending Memorial Day watching Gareth Edwards' thoroughly American remake of Godzilla, a creature spawned 60 years ago by the Japanese to remind us all of the monstrous effects of the most violent weapons ever unleashed on humanity.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Insomniac Theater Presents: The Prodigal Son (Sammo Hung, 1981)

In the 1970s, martial arts films from Hong Kong began to flood grindhouse theaters and late night television slots in America, creating a “Kung Fu Craze” that captivated action film fans. Martial arts director/star Sammo Hung, actors Lam Ching-ying and Yuen Biao made several standout films together together that not only fed the craze but also elevated the quality of film-making of the genre.  In the 1990s, my daughter and I used to watch bootleg VHS copies of these movies together.  One of her favorites was 1979’s The Prodigal Son, which was both a kung fu comedy with breathtaking action scenes and fight choreography and a warm tribute to the Peking Opera origins of the stars.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Insomniac Theater Presents: H.P. Mendoza's I am a Ghost

I started this blog in 2010, when I became ill and couldn't sleep.  The Insomniac Theater  was a chance to dump some of the obsessive thoughts into the larger muck pond of the Internet. My daughter's cat, Olivia, would pad into  my room as I set up my laptop and put on headphones.  Tucked under my chin, she would watch the colors of on laptop screen while I explored all the movies I could get my hands on.  We were a weird pair, me with my nearly useless limbs and this scrawny, angry black cat the only two creatures awake in the house.  A perfect time for ghost stories.

 H.P. Mendoza's ghostly chiller I Am a Ghost would have been a perfect movie for those nights.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


This special “I can’t believe it has been so long” edition of What I Watched Last Night presents a classic, double creature feature from the islands of “It’s More Fun in the” Philippines. Come to a land of beautiful sunsets, lush jungles, gorgeous, exotic women, blood thirsty vampires and horny, homicidal plant-people monsters and prepare your mind for the Twin Tales of Tagalog Terror!

The first feature was 1964’s The Blood Drinkers (aka Blood is the Color of Night), directed by Gerardo de León. The Blood Drinkers was the good movie for the night, a sure fire winner of a vampire film with its tragic love story and doomed search for redemption.  There is even a rubber bat (named Basra!)

Basra, the Bat

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Good Bye, Easynews

Here are my usage and loyalty statistics from Internet Usenet Provider Easynews:

"USAGE: 3,158,654,239,388 bytes web (2941.73 gigabytes), 204,150,990,984 bytes NNTP (190.13 gigabytes)
You have downloaded a total of 3131.86 gigabytes.
You've accumulated 3141.23 gigabytes (3,372,872,660,059 bytes) for downloading.
You have 9.38 gigabytes (10,067,429,687 bytes) remaining.
Your account will cycle on 2013-06-16
You have been signed-up continuously since Sat May 31 09:19:00 MST 2003 (10.03355514 years)."

After over a decade of using Easynews to get access to Usenet (probably one of the oldest Internet thingys still in use), I decided it is time to say "Farewell"

Usenet is the Internet without HTML.  It predates the World Wide Web by 10 years.  It started as a way to post messages among, well, if you want to know more, here is the Wikipedia page.

I do not know what I did with that 3000 gigabytes of stuff.  Probably a disturbingly large part of that  was pornography.  

At the very least, Easynews gave me access to a pretty large library of arcane and esoteric stuff.  That is the big advantage of Usenet over torrents:  stuff gets posted on a server so anyone who knows how can download it quickly, wholly independent of who many people are seeding or leeching or whatever the heck torrents are about.

Their service record is impressive.  There were very few technical glitches that affected me.  Easynews often give out free gigabytes to customers when troubles do come up (they are very generous). 

It has been a long, strange trip indeed.