Monday, February 29, 2016

Two Inches Below the Heart

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Wednesday night, we finally watched a movie that we’ve anticipated since we first heard about it on “Electric Boogaloo” the documentary about Cannon Films. The working title of this movie may have been “Space Vampires in London” and based off a similarly named novel… but this 1985 sci-fi feature from director Tobe Hooper (“Poltergeist”) & the writer of the sci-fi classic “Alien”… also premiered the flawless nude body of 19-year old French ballet dancer Mathilda May (still f**king stunning at over 50 BTW). I’m talking of course… about the movie “Lifeforce”!!! Now… I had never heard of this movie before the documentary… and I have no idea how that’s possible. It must have REALLY tanked. It also wasn’t on Netflix either streaming or via mail… so I actually bit the bullet… and purchased the Blu Ray sight unseen (thanks Amazon). So the story picks up in deep space… where an American-British collaboration space team is exploring Haley’s Comet, when they notice a large (phallic) spacecraft in the comet’s tail… and discover a weird sort of holding cell with these flawless humanoids in suspended animation (and some charred remains of giant bat creatures). Well, they decide to take three of the humanoids & one of the bat creature corpses on board… and set the course back to Earth. Spoiler alert: Something goes wrong. So then the shuttle is free-floating in Earth’s orbit (auto pilot) and they send another team of astronauts to go get them… but find that everything & everyone on board has basically been charred… except for the three humanoids. They bring them down to Earth… and soon find out… the horror that they’ve unleashed on the planet!!! Okay, that’s all I’m going to say… because I want you all to watch this movie by any means necessary. Hit me up if you want to watch it again! I’m not going to lie… based on the documentary (and other Cannon Films), I went into this movie with low expectations & just wanted to see some 80’s effects and some Mathilda May boobage… but this movie was f**king legit in a lot of ways. Here, I’ll break it down:
What I Liked About the Movie:
·         The Special Effects – Look, I recognize that some of the green screen portions of the movie are a little hokey & jaunted… and some of the puppetry effects are slow & dated by the 80’s… but compared to what I was expecting & have seen from other 80’s movies, this sh*t is on point! The green screen portions may be a little dated… and the comet is ridiculous… but the backgrounds & sheer visuals of it are on point with 2001 & some of the H.R. Giger type stuff. The puppetry effects aren’t bad… and there are a LOT of explosions. Knowing that the movie was done on a budget… I was seriously impressed.
·         The Symphonic Score – The London Symphonic Orchestra scores this movie… and it’s f**king amazing! They build great tension throughout… but it doesn’t seem old & repetitive. I think the end credits song is even one of the classics that they use on NFL Films presentation. Great job with the score!
·         The Randomness of Things – There are guilty pleasures of mine in movies… and it’s often from just not knowing what to expect. This notion of unpredictability was alive & well in Cannon Films movies. This movie is no exception. Because you really have no idea what to expect from the storytelling, the acting, the effects, and how they keep trying to connect these random threads for little or no reason… it keeps you glued to the screen… because you don’t want to miss the craziness (or random boobs). The “she’s a masochist” scene… whoa!
·         Sir Patrick Stewart – YES!!! Captain Picard is in this movie… and the scene where he’s on the table & the aura of Mathilda May is speaking through him to our protagonist… fantastic!
·         Mathilda May – Let’s not f**king joke about it… gorgeous. She may only be on screen for like… ten minutes maybe? She may not actually say any words in the movie (dubbing?). Make no mistake that she’s the focal point of the movie though in every conceivable way. I feel like teenage Angelina Jolie took some notes after catching her dad watching this movie & turned it into her empire.
What I Didn’t Like About the Movie:
·         The Vampire Thing – Look, I know that this is based on a story about space vampires… but this movie didn’t really have vampires. I also know there’s the whole thing at the end of the 2nd act where Professor Exposition starts saying that perhaps the legends of vampires of the old world were based on these humanoids and blah blah blah… but you know what’s NOT explained? The giant bats!!! Is that part of their maturation? Once they hit a certain galactic age, do they just sprout wings and become fanged gargoyles? (I smell a sequel?) These humanoids suck the “lifeforce” out of humans every two hours to keep from… basically exploding into dust… and from what I can tell, their powers are being stunningly sexy, strength, being impervious to bullets (grenades?), some telepathic powers, the ability to transfer their lifeforce into other people & shattering glass with their comatose expressions… but they don’t transform into bats, rats or any of that other vampire stuff… garlic is fine… there are no fangs… there’s no cloaks and/or poofy shirts… hell, there’s not even clothes unless I assume the set was about 40 degrees and they just wanted to drape a sheet over the actor to keep them from freezing to death! What’s the one traditional vampire thing about the whole movie? How they can be killed… IRON STAKES THROUGH THE HEART… or as the movie puts it, something like “The Old Way! Leaden iron… through the energy center… two inches below the heart!” You know… the Old Way. None of these newfangled ways like… grenades.
Overall, I’d say that you have to check this movie out at least once! Hell, I’m going to watch it a few more times… probably because it’ll be an episode on the Podcast… but I may be getting ahead of myself on that one. The movie is a little difficult to find… but well worth it.
Wednesday night, I met up with some of the future in-laws for dinner at Elevation 66 Brewing to celebrate my future mother-in-law’s birthday. It was a lot of fun… the food was great… the people were even better… here are some pictures…

Saturday, Cesar, Heather & KJ were in the Bay Area… so while Heather was at a seminar in Oakland, the boys Cesar & KJ came to have fun with us… and we had a great breakfast at a place called Grindz in Pac Heights… and then went to check out Japantown… and then relax (long night before for them) by watching “Animal Fight Night” on Netflix… seriously, that show is DOPE!!! We ended the evening with dinner at Elevation 66 (yes, twice in about 48 hours… boom!). Here are some pictures…

Sunday, we had a birthday party for Izzy’s mom & sister Tess at the Aunties’ house… and we get to see the wee nephew Everett… here are pictures of that too…


Lastly for this update, Izzy & I had some brewing stuff to take care of. First up, we had our Barrel-Aged Barleywine to bottle (and test before various birthday celebrations in the coming months) so here are some pictures of that…
…and then we had an empty barrel with a little souring going on… so we barreled our intentionally Sour Chocolate Stout from the double batch a few weeks ago to age in the barrel and get a good sour going that we can visit in a few months…
...kegging our regular Chocolate Stout...
…and lastly, we transferred our Homegrown Galena Hopped Pale Ale to secondary.
Whew… a pretty busy week if I say so myself with both of us working full-time… but a LOT of fun & a LOT more fun to come. So until next time, have a great day everybody!!!

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