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Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" RSS Feed (Shelby, North Carolina USA)
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The Gingerdead Man
The Gingerdead Man
DVD ~ Gary Busey
Price: $5.89
30 used & new from $1.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Charles Band cooked up something good with The Gingerdead Man, December 24, 2015
This review is from: The Gingerdead Man (DVD)
The Gingerdead Man is classic Charles Band – a bad, completely ridiculous, abnormally short film (the film itself runs about an hour) that somehow manages to be entertaining. The Charles Band recipe of filmmaking rarely produces a product that tastes delicious, yet it’s good enough to keep many of us just keep coming back for more. Admittedly, Gingerdead Man is pretty ridiculous, even for Charles Band. So, yeah, I can believe that the grieving mother of executed killer Millard Findlemeyer sent his ashes in the form of gingerbread spice to the pretty young baker that testified against him, but there’s no way she could have even fantasized that someone would drip blood in the batter, actually bake it up with the blood, and time it so that a freak electrical incident would supply the necessary juice to actually imbue Millard’s murderous spirit into the baked product. Of course, watching any Charles Band movie requires you to accept the impossible – it’s all in the name of camp.

Millard Findlemeyer (Gary Busey) isn’t the smartest of criminals. First, he decides to rob some dive with about four customers in it, then he hangs around to taunt, kill, and injure the diners until the cops show up. For some reason, though, he decides not to kill young Sarah Leigh (Robin Sydney) after offing her father and brother, so she’s able to guarantee him a trip to the electric chair two years later. Now Sarah is struggling to run the family bakery. A city slicker competitor and his mega-spoiled daughter Lorna (Alexia Aleman) are trying to run her out of business. That’s the least of her problems, though, when she lets one of her workers hold his bleeding arm over a bowl of batter, which said worker then goes ahead and bakes up. The next thing you know, a foulmouthed little gingerbread man is running around chopping off fingers, cold cocking people in the head, and inventing some new baked goods of his own. Trapped inside the bakery (only because they think it’s safer to stay inside than to leave, despite the fact that they know the killer is in the bakery), Sarah, Amber, and misunderstood bad boy Amos (Ryan Locke) must find a way to stop Millard Findlemeyer’s tasty little mini-me before he kills them.

Gary Busey is great as Findlemeyer and the voice of the Gingerdead Man, delivering even the cheesiest of one-liners with gleeful hostility. I loved Robin Sydney, as well, and not just because she’s extremely easy on the eyes. All of the characters were pretty much stereotypes – the misunderstood bad boy, the narcissistic beauty (and drama) queen, the baker with aspirations of wrestling glory – but that’s fine. A film about a killer gingerbread man doesn’t really call for any deep character development. This is just a fun little farce of a horror movie, and it makes for an hour of great B-movie entertainment.


Invicta Men's 21475 Pro Diver Analog Display Swiss Quartz Blue Watch
Invicta Men's 21475 Pro Diver Analog Display Swiss Quartz Blue Watch
Price: $89.99
3 used & new from $89.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a nice watch, but it's not functional enough for me, December 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I haven’t worn a watch in over twenty years, largely because they just don’t make the kind of digital watch I wore – and wore out – in my younger years. Yes, I am incredibly stubborn. When this watch turned up on Vine, though, I decided it was finally time to try something new. This wasn’t the prettiest watch I had ever seen – in fact, it looked rather garish, especially with the blue band, but it also looked rather big and did have subdials for the date and day of the week. With the Swiss quartz movement, I wouldn’t have to worry about winding it, either.

It arrived in a really swanky – albeit hideously ugly yellow – box, looking just as huge as it did on the website. When I put it on, though, I found it to be less heavy than I expected; I can wear this thing comfortably with no problem. I do have to say, though, that I have to fasten mine at just the third loop, and I do not have a large wrist by any means. I’m not sure that someone with a really large wrist would be able to fasten and wear this thing.

I did have some problems setting and reading everything on the watch. Granted, I’m well overdue for a new pair of glasses, but I can’t read two of the three subdials without a magnifying glass. The image on the website shows the subdial information clearly, but these little subdials seem much smaller on the real thing. I can see where the subdials are pointing, but I can’t read the days and numbers around the subdials themselves. Even the time can be a bit hard for me to read at times, when either of the two hands overlaps the metal semicircles on the outside of the top two subdials. This might not be a problem for folks with 20/20 vision, but the subdials are pretty much useless for me. This made setting all of these subdials rather frustrating, as well. The watch comes with instructions – a page for this watch in particular and a 56-page booklet that covers the whole line of Invicta watches – but I found them somewhat hard to follow. Setting the hour and minute hands is a piece of cake, but those subdials are a different story. For one, the minute hand has to be between the 55th and 5th minutes, and the instructions for setting the date were essentially the same as those for setting the time – I had to use the quick correction settings instead. Of course, now that everything is set, I shouldn’t have to worry about resetting anything until the battery needs to be replaced.

In the end, this watch is more stylish and more comfortable than I was expecting, so it is something I could wear on a regular basis. I probably won’t, though. I still find it a bit too flashy and loud (and I mean loud in a fashion sense; the watch does make a ticking sound, but you have to put it to your ear to hear it – and even then, it’s quite faint). I also have to believe the leather band might get a little sweaty in summer heat. I can’t read the small subdials, and I don’t really care about the tachymeter functionality. I just want to be able to see the date and time at a glance, and this watch – as nice as it is in many ways – doesn’t allow for that.


A Christmas Slay
A Christmas Slay
DVD
Price: $4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring low-budget slasher, December 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Christmas Slay (Amazon Video)
I love Christmas horror films, especially slashers, but Christmas Slay just screams “amateur production” in every aspect of its production. It’s no surprise that the film got much of its funding via a Kickstarter campaign. I totally respect the filmmakers’ commitment to make their film without any CGI whatsoever, but a bad film without CGI isn’t much better than a bad film with it – and this is just a bad film. The acting is terrible from top to bottom, and the mad killer has absolutely no personality and spends the whole film looking like he’s incredibly bored. There’s nothing menacing about him, even when he’s swinging his axe into some victim’s torso – and that’s a real problem, especially when this viewer finds it impossible to even remotely like any of the other characters.

So our killer’s some skinny, homeless guy who likes to celebrate Christmas by putting on a nasty Santa coat, breaking into houses, killing people, and then eating their Christmas sweets. He finally got caught, but sadly, he ended up in some extremely low-security facility seemingly staffed only by a time-challenged nurse and a gruff doctor. Of course, our main characters know nothing about this as the three of them make their way to some abandoned lodge on some Scottish mountainside. One of them just found their boyfriend cheating on her, so the other girls want to cheer her up as they celebrate Christmas. Well, they don’t end up having a holly, jolly Christmas – although they do get a visit from Santa.

The CGI-less blood and gore aren’t bad – although we never get to see any bloody axe blows to the bodies, and there’s no way things can be inserted into the skull as easily as this killer makes it look. The filmmakers throw some twists in toward the end, but these only prolong the agony of watching the movie. I can put up with bad acting and formulaic plots, but it’s the complete disinterestedness of the killer that makes Christmas Slay such a subpar slasher. Fruitcakes are scarier than this boring killer Santa.


Pinnacle Studio 19 Ultimate
Pinnacle Studio 19 Ultimate
Price: $109.95
22 used & new from $109.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive and stable video editing software, November 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After an absence of many years, I’ve recently started posting videos to YouTube again. I’ve just been doing clunky editing using Windows Movie Maker, but I want to start using some of the fancy features I see in so many other videos these days – picture in picture, special effects, a fancy opening, etc. So it’s the perfect time for me to fire up the newest version of Pinnacle Studio Ultimate and try to learn how to use it. I had an older version of this software (16, I think) – but I was lazy and never really applied myself to learning it. “Good enough” editing just isn’t good enough anymore, though, so I have to step up my game.

One big con with this product is the complete lack of documentation that comes with it. OK, I understand that printed manuals are taboo now in the digital age, but would it kill you, Pinnacle, to actually post a user guide of some sort online? It’s a big problem because I am currently unable to edit any videos taken from my webcam. The audio plays at supersonic speed, making me sound like Mighty Mouse on helium – and I have yet to find any way to fix this (or explain why it is happening). It happens on previous videos I open as well as new videos I film using my webcam software within Pinnacle. Having the ability to open my webcam software within Pinnacle Studio 19 Ultimate and record my video there is a nice feature – but it does me no good for the time being. The audio is fine, though, if I try to edit other videos or live screen captures. I wish I could wait and post this review later on, after I’ve had more time to figure out my problems and actually use this program, but Vine program rules demand that I post a review now.

So, all I can really talk about here are the features I’ve read about. One new feature I really like is audio ducking. It seems like everybody and their brother are using musical backgrounds on YouTube these days, and I hate that because as often as not the music is too loud and makes it hard to hear what the person is saying. Auto ducking allows you to tone down the volume of the background audio during the narration of the video. If you’re going to use music in your videos, I highly recommend taking advantage of this feature.

If you’re a really fancy videographer and have a setup with multiple cameras, Pinnacle Studio 19 Ultimate features a really great tool for synching your videos – for up to six camera angles and two audio tracks. That is probably not a feature I will be using, but I have watched some tutorial videos about it and find it really impressive. People also seem to be excited about the addition of project bins, which afford you the advantage of grouping all of your files for each project together.

Obviously, given the problems I’m having importing webcam videos, I can’t give this product five stars. Even if the problem is entirely my own fault, it should not be so difficult to find help in identifying and troubleshooting the problem. Overall, this looks like really good video editing software – not very intuitive but certainly powerful. I’ve encountered no error messages or slow processing times working with my files, so it seems to be a very stable video editing program (unlike several other programs I’ve used in the past). If I’m able to fix my audio problem with webcam captures, I’ll update this review or add that information as a comment.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 7, 2016 12:43 PM PST


Kiss Him, Not Me 1
Kiss Him, Not Me 1
by JUNKO
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.84
67 used & new from $4.36

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never thought I'd read a shojo manga, but I actually did enjoy this, November 22, 2015
This review is from: Kiss Him, Not Me 1 (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What am I doing reading a shojo manga? I’m a grown man, not a teenaged girl, and I try to stay as far away from boys’ love territory as I possibly can. I can identify with the main character of this story being an otaku, but that’s about it. I am trying to build up my manga collection, though, and that’s really the reason I plucked this book off the Vine – that and the fact that it seemed rather cute and innocent in terms of the BL component. I have to admit, though, that I did enjoy the story and actually might consider following the series a little longer. The main character only fantasizes about the boys she knows getting friendly (and her fantasies aren’t that vivid), so I can handle that. Plus, the girl’s cute.

Serinuma Kae starts out as an awkward, chubby, and rather forgettable young high schooler – and serious otaku. When her all-time favorite anime character shockingly dies, she spends the next week grief-stricken. Apparently, that’s the magic formula for dramatic weight loss because the Kae who eventually emerges from her locked room is a slender cutie that immediately attracts the attention of four guys at school. Now she’s popular and dating all four guys, enjoying a new confidence that makes her game to take on challenges she would never have considered before. Of course, as much as she enjoys all of the attention from her four male pursuers, she can’t help fantasizing about the guys getting friendly with each other.

Kae’s fantasies about the guys are really just a small part of the story – here in Volume 1, at least. This is more about a shy and awkward girl suddenly blossoming and gaining self-confidence without really changing who she is inside. According to Junko, the writer and illustrator, the foundation of the story is based on her own youthful experiences, and I think that gives it a sort of endearing quality. It has plenty of funny moments, as well. So, in the end, I did enjoy this first volume of Kiss Him, Not Me!


Black Thunder - Choco BAR Japan!
Black Thunder - Choco BAR Japan!
Offered by SamuraiJapan
Price: $12.06
17 used & new from $9.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Best chocolate bar on the planet, November 14, 2015
Named for Raijin, the Japanese god of thunder, Black Thunder delivers (as per its slogan) “delicious taste in a flash of lightning!” If you want to break it down, you start with a cocoa-flavored cookie bar, mix in some rice puffs, and then coat the thing with bittersweet chocolate. The end result is all kinds of delicious. Back in 1994, the Yuraku Confectionery Company initially targeted college students and relied on word-of-mouth (and a cheap price of 30 yen) to market their brand new chocolate bar. Sales didn’t really take off until 2004, when more traditional marketing strategies were employed. Since then, it has become one of the most popular candy bars in Japan.

Some describe the taste as similar to a chocolate-covered Oreo, but my taste buds are not in agreement with that comparison. Frankly, I’m not a big fan of Oreos, so just covering them with chocolate can’t possibly produce something as good as a Black Thunder chocolate bar. I can’t really compare the taste to anything else because this is far and away the best chocolate bar I’ve ever tasted. I’ve heard that they may start selling these things in America – and I really, really hope that happens. Until then, you’ll have to import these things from Japan – but they are so worth the extra cost that involves.


All Hallows' Eve 2
All Hallows' Eve 2
DVD
Price: $3.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The more you liked the first film, the more you'll hate this lame, terrible sequel, October 28, 2015
This review is from: All Hallows' Eve 2 (Amazon Video)
As a horror fan, it hurts me to see a good and effective film like All Hallows’ Eve followed up with a truly lame sequel like this one. The anthology of stories in the first film were all linked together by the character of Art the Clown, a bad guy who was tailor-made for Halloween. All Hallows’ Eve 2 is just a lame excuse to string together a bunch of forgettable short films that were about as frightening as wet noodles. So, yeah, in both movies, someone gets an unlabeled VHS tape on Halloween night and decides to watch it, but that’s where the similarities end. In the first movie, the stories on the tape looked as if they could be real, but there’s no mistaking the artificiality of the dull entries on this second movie’s tape. Where the first movie’s stories all featured Art the Clown and basically brought Art to life, none of the stories in the sequel have anything to do with the pumpkin-faced weirdo who leaves the tape at the doorstep of the designated viewer. There’s no buildup to anything, just a totally predictable ending that lacks any intensity or interest.

I won’t go in to any of the boring details of the eight short films included in this anthology because none of them are worth the effort. With each one coming from a different director, it’s little surprise that the film as a whole has no continuity. Frankly, I expect I would get more enjoyment out of watching eight random fan-made horror shorts on YouTube. Even Art the Clown could have done little to save this sequel – but he darn well should have had the chance. Dropping his character entirely from the sequel makes absolutely no sense to me. Seriously, All Hallows’ Eve 2 is one of the most disappointing horror sequels I have ever seen.


All Hallows' Eve
All Hallows' Eve
DVD ~ Catherine Callahan
Offered by Jumpin Joes
Price: $7.69
26 used & new from $3.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated little horror film with quite a memorable killer, October 26, 2015
This review is from: All Hallows' Eve (DVD)
Let’s face it – clowns are just about the creepiest things to be found on this earth. No normal adult would ever smear makeup all over his face, dress up in some ridiculous outfit that even Liberace wouldn’t wear, and go out in public. And they’re mimes, which makes them pure evil in my book. That silent laughter bit isn’t funny, and that whole bucket-throwing shtick was old about a hundred years ago. I say we wait until these freakish buffoons are all crammed together in their little cars and wipe them out. Why am I ranting about clowns? Well, obviously, All Hallows’ Eve features a killer clown, one who has gone even farther down the path of evil than John Wayne Gacy.

It all starts with a videotape, which little Timmy discovers when he dumps out his bag of Halloween candy on the table. Now, when I was a kid, I watched what people put in my bag, wanting to know who was giving me fruit instead of the good stuff, but Timmy has no idea where the tape came from. Unfortunately, babysitter Sarah (Katie Maguire) gives in to Timmy’s and his sister’s demand to watch the thing. It appears to be some kind of unnamed horror anthology featuring a sinister clown doing unnamable things to people. It’s just the kind of thing to get under the skin of horror novices like Sarah and the kids. After the first of the film’s three stories, Sarah finally shuffles the kids off to bed, but she continues to watch in an effort to convince herself that what seems increasingly real is not in fact real at all. That, of course, is a big mistake.

The middle of the three anthology stories is pretty darn weird and barely features the clown, but the first and third are pretty good examples of your typical slasher fare. Two of them look like drive-inn shlock from the 1970s, so I was surprised to learn that all three scenes came from recent other films made by director Damien Leone. They do have that old-school look and feel to them, though, and that’s a plus in my book.

All Hallows’ Eve doesn’t deliver any surprises, but I enjoyed it. The director wasn’t shy about using blood and gore, and Mike Giannelli puts in a memorable performance as Art the Clown. He’s even more sick, twisted, and evil than your average killer clown, and that makes All Hallows’ Eve eminently worthy of a spot in your Halloween week horror movie rotation.


Nobel - Chibi Sours Candy, 6 x 80g (Japan Import)
Nobel - Chibi Sours Candy, 6 x 80g (Japan Import)
Offered by SAMURAI Shop
Price: $24.99
18 used & new from $19.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Best gummies I've ever tasted, October 8, 2015
These Nobel Chibi Sour Fruits Gummies are delicious. I especially like the peach flavor, but the apple, grape, and orange ones are excellent, as well. These have a more natural fruit flavor that you find with American gummies, and a smattering of sugar crystals on the outside makes your taste buds happy before you even bite into them. They really aren’t that sour – just that natural sort of tartness you get from the fruits themselves. With American gummies, the initial burst of flavor tends to go away quickly as you keep gnawing on them – and I sometimes have to do quite a bit of gnawing before I feel comfortable trying to swallow them. With these Sour Fruit Gummies, though, the flavor lasts as long as you keep chewing. I really like the consistency of these candies, as well – the inside is softer than the outside, so it’s like having two phases of yumminess in each little gummy ball.
Your standard 2.82 ounces bag contains four servings (yeah, right – I could eat bags and bags of these in one sitting) of seventy calories each. Yes, there’s sugar and some artificial ingredients thrown in there as well, so this isn’t exactly a health food, but those aren’t bad numbers. Personally, though, all I really care about is the taste – and these things are delicious.


AmazonBasics Lightweight Mini Tripod
AmazonBasics Lightweight Mini Tripod
Price: $6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great little tripod for my webcam, October 8, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I decided to pick up this little tripod to go with the new webcam I just bought. My monitor is on a raised shelf, so my old webcam pointed down toward me at an angle. That often left me looking up at it above my glasses – and some people seemed to think this made me look creepy. Now I can put my tripod-mounted webcam on the shelf where my monitor sits and have it face me pretty much straight on. I was initially a little surprised at just how small this tripod is, but it has worked out perfectly for me. You don’t get any instructions in the box, but it isn’t too hard to figure out. You mount your camera to the screw on top, maneuver it to whatever angle you want, and then use the dumaflache on the side to tighten it up to hold that position. Once you extend the legs of the tripod, there’s no worry about the thing slipping or falling over. It’s definitely portable, as well – heck, I could carry this thing in my front pants pocket without any problem. You need a special clamp if you want to mount your smartphone on this thing, but I can mount my old Flip camera just as easily as I can my webcam. I’m very happy with this little tripod.


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