Wow!  Long time, no write.  I have had quite the last few days.  My night shifts have officially ended, but my body still requires some recoup time.  Completely strung out and guarana still running through my veins, I began to blog all of my adventures up to that point, when out of nowhere, my hard drive decides to up and crash.  Ahh, blue screen of death, you tip your hat once again.  I am no stranger to the hard drive failure, as it has occurred on more than one of my computers in the past, so I know what to look for.  What I don’t understand, is why they crop up without any warning.  Your system will work perfectly fine right up until the crash.  My laptop was functioning as if it were brand new out of the box, and just as sudden as a Sharon Stone crotch-shot, blue screen and shut down.  They always say, “Make sure and back up all crucial data on a separate drive.”  But who’s to say that drive won’t fail on you too?  Then you need to back up your back up drive?  Where does it end?  Paranoia and the spending of hundreds of dollars on terabyte drives is where it leads to, but as to where it ends, I have no answer.  In any case, my computer is currently at my local ‘chop-shop’ for repairs. 

    No matter what kind of credentials you possess, technicians always treat you as if you know nothing.  They just nod and pay little attention to what you are saying as you hopelessly ramble on about the problems you are seeing and the troubleshooting techniques you have tried.  You know they are doing it too, but there is nothing you can do about it.  I just stand there and continue on my useless diatribe, looking into their expressionless faces, all the while knowing what they are thinking.  “All right buddy.  Just shut up and give me the damn thing so I can run my diagnostic and get back to my video game in the back.”  They say the turn around time is three to five business days, depending on the complexity of the problem.  Never have I seen a bigger example of ass-covering since one of my students got a bloody nose and his doctor told him no activity for three weeks.  I know they are doing nothing too, because when I arrived they were all just standing around shooting the breeze.  As I type, I guarantee my computer is sitting on a shelf not being touched. 

    The worst part of all, however, has to be the fact that I know what is wrong and could fix it myself.  The only problem is, I do not have the equipment, nor the imaging software required to do the job.  The hard drive needs to be replaced sure, which is an easy task since it is straight IDE, but first the data needs to be saved by first ghosting the image to another clone system.  I do not have a clone hard drive to waste, nor do I own a software license for Norton Ghost.  I suppose I could pirate one, but that still leaves me without the drive.  So my hands are tied and I am at the disposal of the technicians and am paying $130 dollars and losing my computer for a week for a job I could do in about four hours for free labor. 

    Anyway, enough about my current woes.  I got out in the sunlight briefly to walk into the theater to see The Strangers starring Liv Tyler.  I am a huge horror fan, but not so much of the slasher type.  I enjoy more of the classic horror that involves the undead such as zombies and vampires.  This one peaked my interest simply because it came with the tag line ‘based on true events’.  Now I realize that that basically means, “Hey some people died in this house.  This might be how it happened.”  But nevertheless, it seemed intriguing.  Not to mention, I have been in dire need of a good horror movie for quite some time considering the crap that has been put out there lately. 
    Anytime you go to the movies nowadays, you want to make sure you are seeing a worthwhile picture.  Thank God for online reviews because the box office prices are insane!  I try and avoid crowds at the movies whenever possible, so I always attend the matinee.  The matinee price is now a whopping $8.00 per person!  That is simply criminal.  Heaven forbid you see a bad picture.  Although I have never tried, I have heard you can put up a fuss and get your money back. 

    After getting over the ticket price I sat down in the upper row to critique, and hopefully enjoy, my film choice.  As always, I broke out my Palm Treo smart phone and took notes on the opening trailers (I would never use a cell phone during a feature, a point that I need to make clear).  Although I use for all of my news on upcoming films, sometimes I need to see the trailers to make my pre-judgment complete.  A film entitled Quarantine looks to have some promise, and I will watch it closely as it nears its premier.  Then a trailer came on for the latest cheesy comedy written by a South Park exec.  What is it about the male mind that makes it impossible for us to see an actress, no matter how esteemed they have become, in a film without picturing them as they were when they did a nude sex scene in a previous film?  Elizabeth Shue makes a cameo in this abomination and all I can think of is Leaving Las Vegas.  And I always will.  I digress…

    I left the theater quite disappointed as yet another modern horror did not live up to my expectations.  It wasn’t terrible though, I must say.  It had very good qualities about it.  I compare it to films like Halloween or Friday the 13th, in the way that you find yourself repeatedly thinking, “No you idiot!  Don’t walk in there!  He’s right behind you!  Ahh, you see?  Now you’re dead.”  I will admit it had some creepy vibes by the use of clown like masks and whenever the villains attack, they never have a sense of urgency.  The victims are screaming and crying, blood everywhere, running all about helpless, but the killer is just slowly and steadily walking toward their helpless prey.  Its that confidence that the killer possesses that gives the audience the feeling that he is real sick and twisted  beyond measure.  Further more, when the villain chooses not to speak, it makes for and even creepier vibe, telling his emotions from body movements.  The director did a good job in making his killers seem very sick and demented, especially in how they end up “finishing the job”, but it was lacking in some key areas.  They tried using the record player as an eerie background sound to heighten and lower the tension, but at times, gave too much of a comic relief more than a horror feel.  There is an ending scene that is meant to leave you with one final bit of shock, but instead only makes you wonder why there were not more truths involving this couples’ murder released.  It could also have been longer in that I would have liked to see more toying with of the victims.  If the intention of the killers was to terrify their victims, as we are to assume it was, then play with their head a little more and don’t reveal yourselves so early.  In a sentence, don’t pay the full box office admission, wait for the DVD, curl up with a loved one in the dark and enjoy a few heart jumping moments and a mediocre modern horror flick.

    I am off to bed now.   Remember until next time, keep watching the skies and always do your chewing in the sewer…