Your Worst Inhibitions Tend To Psych You Out In The End


Gus and Shawn are a great pair together. Shawn happens to be the son of a legendary policeman named Henry, while Gus is his life long friend and companion. Sure this show at times reminds me of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson yet it has a unique twist: Shawn pretends to be a psychic. The police use them as consultants although they also have their own private detective agency. Lassiter and Juliet are the two police detectives who put up with their shenanigans as they all try to solve cases every episode.

What I love about this show is the rapport that Gus and Shawn have with each other. The jokes come fast and are rather sharp. Also the supporting cast is fantastic. You also have Henry, who is the reason why Shawn has a heavily observant ability in the first place. Although the show lacks a true arc save for some episodes there are requiring characters and the show does focus on certain aspects.

One of them being Shawn’s dangerous twisty game with an infamous serial killer. The other being Shawn and Juliet being near perfect for each other. Also the major underlying theme of the show is that Gus and Shawn have to keep up the idea that Shawn is psychic. If the police find out Shawn could be in serious trouble. However thanks to the pair’s gift for getting themselves in and out of trouble such worries are pushed aside.

Many episodes are hilarious and I am working back through Psych while anticipating the last season, which is not on Netflix. I do reflect on the show’s joyous aspect plus its great sense of humor and style. The USA Network has some good shows yet I’ve grown mostly attached to Psych over the years. Also its theme song rules.

Favorite Albums Presents: Blood On The Tracks


Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks is a masterwork, a 70s classic perfectly made by a poet at the height of his creative powers. Few albums have captivated my attention as much as this one, which is easily among Dylan’s best works and was also the first disc I ever heard from him. I remember being a young college freshman using my CD player to hear every track numerous times, as I’ve lost count over the years. Moving on from his legendary 1960s works and responding bitterly to a divorce, “Blood” has themes of love and loss, loneliness and anger. Yet it never becomes trite or ugly, and Dylan fashions songs that have stood the test of time.

Most notably the famous piece “Idiot Wind,” an almost eight minute song that is both funny and furious with Dylan responding to his critics and also commenting on his own career itself. The opening track “Tangled Up In Blue” and its followup “Simple Twist of Fate” are lyrical and beautiful. “Tangled” is lighter and witty but also a musing on love gained and lost, while “Simple” is a tragic one night stand between two people unable to connect with one another. “You’re A Big Girl Now” is rather wistful, simplistic and a little bit funny even, giving way to not only “Idiot” but also the gloriously sharp “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” Which happens to be one of my favorite pieces on the album because of the amazing lyrics and because its sad without making me sad as Dylan longs for a once alive relationship now dead.

PS: It seems that too many of these songs are not on YouTube in their original form. Weak.

The second half of the album is very similar to the first, although the ending is quite different from the beginning. “Meet Me In The Morning” is a bluesy song-its Dylan as troubadour, a wander quietly strumming on his guitar about where he’s been and what he’s seen. “Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts” is the most lively song on the album and also the longest, a pure epic that features one of Dylan’s finest qualities: his ability to spin a tale musically. Its a piece that is humorous, gloomy, poetic and also quietly fitting in terms of fate and destiny happening to a group of people-some who expected it, others who are caught by surprise. “If You See Her, Say Hello” is probably the saddest song, tender while reflecting on past love and what ruined something special that two people had.

Oddly this gives way to my favorite song on the entire album, a piece that was used in Jerry Maguire: “Shelter From The Storm.” Dylan not only serves up lyrics that blow my mind, but he also showcases his raspy singing voice, a talent of his that catches flake. I never understood why people think that Dylan’s singing is terrible, as it fits his music incredibly well; if you want perfect singers go to the opera or watch American Idol. My favorite part of the song is this:

I was burned out from exhaustion buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes and blown out on the trail
Hunted like a crocodile ravaged in the corn “
Come in” she said
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

After this tour-de-force Dylan concludes the album with “Buckets of Rain,” a song that over the years I have become a fan of after realizing its proper use in the context of the album. After the noise and fury, sadness and regret, Dylan closes out the proceedings with a whimper instead of a bang. Maybe that’s how the too many relationships end, or perhaps that is how the human race will finally end. There is no way of telling, although at one point we could look to Bob Dylan and ask him how he thought it would all shake out. Dylan is no longer a young man or a prophet, but a wary ancient poet that we should all treasure before he shifts off his mortal coil.

Bah Humbug!


The Grinch had a point about X-Mas and the modern-day remake with Jim Carrey missed that point: this holiday sucks now. Kids are too young to realize that the joy of the holiday season has been drained by greedy corporations who don’t care if people die on Black Friday while trying to get an overhyped bargin.

This is all disgusting and sad yet not surprising. The War On Christmas has nothing to do with banning the Little Baby Jesus from appearing in schools. Nope it’s all about how overbearing capitalism ruined a nice and simple tradition. For the almighty profit, of course, the God that they pray to.

If anything we shouldn’t give a shit about the gifts we receive on X-Mas day. I like free stuff as much as everyone else but I don’t think it should come with a hidden price tag attached. Nevermind that Jesus wasn’t really born on this day or that Santa doesn’t actually exist. This should be a time for rejoicing with those who love us.

A time to celebrate and be glad for what we have.    It’s sad that a simple and beautiful message gets lost in the madness but I think that’s what Dr. Sess was trying to tell us all those years ago. The same goes for Charlie Brown, a poor sap mistreated for daring to find out what this day is all about. Lucky for us he believed in that really crappy tree while trying to direct the school play. If you thought that the insanity of the holidays was driving you crazy, at least you don’t have to get a bunch of jazz loving hippie children to act on cue.

No matter what religion you are or what you believe in I think we can all get behind the ideal that the holidays should be about people and not material things. Stuff fades away or breaks; we tire of shiny trinkets. However those we love stay with us no matter what. Such a message is the best gift of all. Well that and an XBOXONE. Kidding. ..

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: Cemetery Man (1994, Michele Soavi)


The dead won’t stay dead, that pretty girl you met loves someone else and the mayor won’t listen to you. At least you have a mentally challenged fat man and your best friend for company. Otherwise you would take that pistol you use to silence the dead and off yourself. Life feels empty and pointless. Being in charge of a cemetery doesn’t really help matters either.

Dellamorte, the film’s protagonist decides to shoot other people instead. He goes on a violent rampage that accomplishes nothing. He falls in love with a girl twice only to lose her multiple times (the same woman each being played by the gorgeous Anna Falchi). Each of the ways he loses her are cruel, existing as if they are nasty cosmic jokes being played upon poor Dellamorte. A nice old lady calls him the Engineer, a title he rejects even if it is true. This film alternates between comedy and drama, all contained within a bleak horror movie featuring plenty of ghoulish moments.

Chief among them is a bus crash resulting in dead old people and children. In a scene that is both horrific and really funny Dellamorte sits in his chair drinking wine, talking on the phone and blasting each and every one of the bus crash victims. Death comes to us all without warning and yet in this universe it is far from being the ending. Oh and it occurs to all, even those who are important and also feel important.

I love the interactions between the dour Dellamorte (Rupert Everett in an inspired and career making performance) and Gnaghi (François Hadji-Lazaro, who is really quite funny and likable). The two have a natural rapport that makes the film work, and what happens to them forms most of the film’s darkest and most humorous moments. This film is what you get when a man-in this case Michele Soavi-spent plenty of time working with two excellent directors in Dario Argento and Terry Gilliam. I feel that this film is kind of a mix of those two’s styles, although I sense more Gilliam and less Argento.

Events continue in a circular motion and only too late does Dellamorte realize he cannot escape his fate. Or is it destiny? I’m not sure. But the ending blew my mind and I think this is a truly marvelous film. Man believes he is master of his world until someone or something proves him wrong otherwise.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: Immortality/The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998, Po Chih Leong)


Made before Jude Law became famous, Immortality is a film that I decided to watch after looking through the horror selection of Netflix Instant Viewing and deciding “Hey this looks interesting.” This is as much a monster movie as it is a vampire film, although Law’s seemingly normal doctor kills his prey in the manner of the vampire so it counts. He has a strange disorder that requires not just blood but also the emotions of his victims; therefore he fests only on women who he meets by pretending to being a charming stranger. The problem he encounters is that he finds a woman that he likes from the beginning: in turn he starts to experience feelings of love that complicate his ability to feed and survive. If a vampire falling in love with a human and not killing her sounds familiar, well that forms the basis of the Twilight series. While I’m not sure that a series I really despise ripped off this movie, it wouldn’t shock me. Anyways Innocent Blood from 1992 really did the whole “Vampire and human fall in love bit” even earlier, and I’m sure there is another film that also covered a similar subject.

However in this case Law’s Steven has bigger problems: the police are on to him after a couple previous “girlfriends” died mysteriously, and there happens to also be a menacing gang of street toughs. He is forced to protect Anne from such thugs in a scene that is funny yet also kind of cool. Apparently being a vampire means you know how to fight, although perhaps Steven like most vampires has enhanced powers. Still that’s not even the highlight of the film-I much prefer the scene where Steven and the cop pursing him, Inspector Healey (Timothy Spall) discuss the nature of evil and what it takes for someone to lie to people, to be a truly horrible person. A moment like makes this film more above the typical level of a vampire film, and not enough of them properly flesh out or even dare to humanize their main vampire characters.

Tragic, romantic, and actually creepy, Immortality was a pleasant surprise during my Horrorfest viewing. Elina Löwensohn is a natural as Anne, a woman clearly in over her head yet refusing to give up Steven despite her judgment telling her otherwise. This film has a sense of both style and grace that is intoxicating and engaging, mediating upon the nature of the beast and the beast’s interactions with others. I also much prefer the other title The Wisdom of Crocodiles because it fits the movie better and is a more accurate representation of what the film is truly about. Particularly since at times Steven has the manner and habits of the crocodile, a great watery reptile that lurks in the reeds, waiting to pick off its dinner at the most opportune moment.

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