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Isaak von Seggern [2018] GAMING


Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus [Xbox One/PS4/Windows] * * *



Ok, it really isn't like the best twist on the Pong formula we all know and love, but it's still pretty cool.

This game is especially important to me personally, because I am like, so against Nazis and stuff. Also the KKK. And fucking EA as well.

I guess the point I am trying to get at, was that it was just really therapeutic to be able to castrate people with fire axes and laser guns alike. BJ don't play no games when it comes to castrating dudes. In that sense, it does a really great job of realistically portraying that time period, because Hollee Shit friend-o, if you were a Nazi back then, it was kind of like just counting down the days till you get your lower legs castrated from the rest of your body with a fire ax.

Also for being a game where you play as a Lego Bionicle dual wielding nail guns/castrating dudes legs, shooting at 'Natzies, it is surprisingly thoughtful. Or at least not obnoxious. God knows we don't need another Captain Price shouting about flesh wounds and strangling dudes with his beard.

BJ is soft-spoken, like Halo-Man, so he gets an A+ in Isaak's book of protagonists for just shutting the fuck up most of the time. He quietly talks to himself most of the time, not unlike a crazy person, but you know, like a chill crazy person. Dude makes John Wick look like a whiny, petulant child.

All in all, it doesn't exude the typical male fantasy that these kinds of games typically do. Then again there is a part where I blinked, and all the sudden his wife was topless, dual wielding automatic machine guns, literally covered in the blood of the enemy (Nazis or EA employees, I don't remember which), but that only happens at the end so they had a good thing going for most of the game.

My father wonders if there will ever be a game where you get to play as a Nazi, and I think probably not, but I'll give it a shot if they offer compelling weapons of mass castration and the main character is Udo. Also, Udo has to constantly give insight into fashion in the '40s, and turns out to be a vampire at the end of the game. Forget about your Hans Gruber or whatever your previous ideas of what a Nazi can be, I think Udo could give a really compelling performance as one. Hell, if Kenneth Branagh AND Hitler can do it, anyone can!




Isaak von Seggern [2018] FILM


The Ritual [2017] * * *



There are some spooks to be had I suppose.

It's just that the main character's full acting range is him squinting at things, kind of like he is doing a really bad impression of Clint Eastwood, but he isn't cool like Clint Eastwood, so it comes off like he needs glasses the whole movie. The rest of the characters all kind of suck too. The film is beautifully shot and slower paced than most horror films these days, but at the center of it you got these Jackwagon, dudebro, wannabee Steve Irwin fucks, running around in the woods looking like they are trying to film a North Face commercial. And all of their dialogue is just:

"I am a manly Alpha-man European man and you're just a child-kid-man Zeta-Man European Man-Man, and that is why we as a group are going to do THIS stereotypical thing people in horror movies do."

Which leads them into pretty much every poorly made decision that culminates with someone getting turned into a literal Christmas Tree Ornament by the almighty Jawa? I don't know, if you can imagine a Jawa as a Pokemon, whatever the thing in this movie is, is like the final roided up evolution of a Jawa.

Anyway but yeah, the characters are all like, "Ayy lets cut through the woods."

And then they find a disassembled animal just hanging out in a tree, and they are like, "Haha those hunters sure are funnee guys."

And then they find this creepy ass house in the middle of the night, and there is like a chicken wicker man thing in the attic, and they are like, "That chicken wicker man is a fuckin zeta Chicken male, nothing can stand against my insulated water canteen that automatically refills when it gets empty, or my North Face jacket that literally shoots rain back out at the sky when it gets wet... let's sleep here tonight,"

and on and on and on, until at least I was like, Christ I hope they all do get turned into handmade Christmas decorations.

I think movies like The Blair Witch and even Alien are scarier, because, despite all of the characters' best intentions, they were fucked the moment they walked into those woods or the moment they went into that ship. Nothing they could have done was going to save them, even if they tried it (except for Ripley I guess). So there is a feeling of helplessness that sets in as both of those movies deal with death in a very meaningful way. But here, the characters have every opportunity not to be Jawa'd and still they are like,

"No dude you don't understand, I WANT to get fucking Jawa'd."

And it's just irritating more than anything else. What rational group of adults is like, let's take a short-cut off of any trail, through the woods? The answer is NONE, no one is that stupid, woodland areas like that are like the ocean, and you don't fuck about with the ocean. In Blair Witch at least they had a logical reason, and they kind of do here, but it really doesn't make too much sense if you think about it, and thus I just ended up not caring whether or not they all get vasectomied by the monster.

They almost ruin the movie too, but like I said earlier, it is kind of spooky for the most part. I am all about slower horror movies that really take time to let the dread build, and that is the best part of The Ritual. It's got waaaayyy too many jump scares, but the camera work and the setting make for a pretty creepy movie.

As a final note too, if you are one of those people that complains about how special effects peaked with the third Matrix movie or whatever then this shit is about to blow your mind. Ok, it's not like amazing or anything, but none of it is bad looking, and at least in my professional opinion (I am a doctor, after all) it was pretty great.

Also, I was lying about the whole Jawa thing earlier, it turns out to just be the Cloverfield monster in another tie-in, John Goodman shows up, it's this whole... dumb fucking thing.




Curtis Loves Movies [2018] FILM


Friday the 13th [2009] * *


Fuck this movie.*

While I will acknowledge that the people who made this are fans of the original movies, they have no fucking understanding of why those movies attracted an audience.

Exhibit A: The first kill. Bloodless. A loud slashing sound against a black screen. Compare that to the original. 1980. A throat slashed, no cut away, right there before our very eyes the flesh opens and the blood flows. How the fuck did I just see what I saw? Tom Savini magic. 2009. Nothing. Fuck this movie.

Exhibit B: Jason gets his mask. 1982. I want to toy with my victim before I kill her. Let me put on the mask her friend was just wearing and spear gun her in the fucking eye socket. 2009. I just killed some nobody for no reason. Oh, there's a mask on the floor. Looks good in the mirror. (What's a hockey mask doing in a fucking barn anyway???) Fuck this movie.

The only thing this movie nails is the banter between the kids. It's genuinely entertaining. Remove the murder and this could have been a completely acceptable American Pie sequel.

I think this movie is best enjoyed with friends as either fodder for comedic riffing or as a drinking game.

- Rule 1: Drink when you see boobs.
- Rule 2: Drink when someone dies.
- And, as I told my buddy, when the topless girl gets killed under the dock, Rule 3: Boob death. Drink twice.

*Mock anger. It's just a movie.




jmunky [2018] FILM


Madagascar [2005] * * * *


I dream about steak too.




Nickodemus [2018] MUSIC


Sade - Love Deluxe [1992] * * * * *


I can't say that I listened to Sade a lot growing up. I know I heard some of her music on occasion but I never really knew who she was. More recently I was listening to a music streaming service on random and some of her music popped up.

The song was "Bullet Proof Soul". I was immediately hooked by the slow easy groove. The lyrics really hit home for me because I have always been kind of a beta male. I am used to seeing these sort of macho guys take whatever they want and forcing things to go their way. Some might call it confidence but I think Sade was trying to tell a different story. Instead of coming in all guns blazing, trying to force an outcome, go down to the soul heart level and be yourself. We are so focused on getting what we want that we sometimes forget about the consequences of our actions. We miss out on real love because we are pushing our agenda. That really speaks to me on a personal level.

After hearing that song I was pretty much hooked, and purchased several of Sade's albums online, including "Love Deluxe", the album featuring "Bullet Proof Soul". I became obsessed with her because, let's face it, she is probably the most beautiful woman to have ever lived and her voice is dripping with sex appeal (sorry Emilia Clarke you're going to have to take a back seat this time). After listening to her nonstop for a month or two, I really grew to see her as an icon. Similar to Etta James or Aretha Franklin, and so much more soulful than more modern artists like Lady Gaga or a Beyoncé. I don't care if she is 25 years older than me. This woman is my heartthrob.

There are so many other great songs on "Love Deluxe". It is really difficult to know where to start. I think the obvious choice would be "No Ordinary Love", one of the albums most successful singles. Again, being a beta male I really relate to this song. It is basically about unrequited love, trying to win someone over and convince them that you are anything but average. With that being said, if my penchant for female musicians and actresses says anything, it is that I can get a little obsessed. So maybe "No Ordinary Love" for me is being a little bit of a creeper. I am cool with that as long as I can use Sade as my mouthpiece. Who wouldn't be?

"I Couldn't Love You More" is set against a non-obtrusive drum machine track, including some somewhat cheesy hand clapping noises. Almost all of the songs on this album use an electronic drum and it brings me back to some of the house music I would listen to as a teen. "I Couldn't Love You More" follows Sade's winning formula from the 1990s, soft rhythmic percussion, sultry vocals and saxophone. The lyrics to this song are a little less deep but the sentiment is still there. It doesn't always need to be Shakespeare as long as the passion is present. I can dig that.

"No Ordinary Love", "I Couldn't Love You More" and "Cherish the Day" all have a similar feeling. I would compare them to the muscles that are holding all of the bones of the album together. "Cherish the Day" adds a haunting guitar riff and some keyboards to set itself apart. If you want a less dorky way of saying "Carpe Diem", just play her this song and she will understand. This trifecta of "Love Deluxe" says everything cool about the 1990s, at least everything that wasn't screaming things in not so subtle shades of flannel. Sade was more low key than that and it shows here.

"Kiss of Life" and "Like a Tattoo" are two songs I don't feel as strongly about. They are great songs and I would prefer to listen to them over many artists I think fondly of, but for some reason they don't click for me as much as some of the other offerings on the album. "Mermaid", an instrumental at the end of the album, is a nightcap that would have been much better with some of Sade's trademark steaminess. Every album has its weak points, and these are hardly weak, but personally I don't relate to them like I do many of the other tracks. They simply fall flat to me.

A more traditional effort with a full strings section, "Pearls" lovingly caresses the tragedy of the Third World. I have never heard Somalia referenced in a pop song that didn't originate in the country. After reading a great deal of news and meeting Somalis here in Minneapolis, I understand that this song really speaks to the struggle they faced before immigrating here. It is a beautiful song and the soft violins are a real tear jerker. I love it.

"Feel No Pain" is about a different kind of struggle, namely the situation in the inner city and welfare state. Sade seeks to tap into these painful topics and harvest the sweet soulful passions within. Maybe it was something she went through growing up. It seems to me that she has seen some painful days in her life. She never would have been able to sing like this if she hadn't. This song makes me question who Sade really is. She is incredibly private, doesn't often make public appearances if she isn't promoting an album, and seldom pens any new music. Nigerians are fiercely proud of her accomplishments, though she lived much of her life in the United Kingdom. "Feel No Pain" is just part of the mystery.

In conclusion, "Love Deluxe" is a solid, soulful, R&B album, with roots planted deeply in struggle and branches penetrating an azure sky full of unrequited longing. You can listen to this music and people will look your way and think, "There goes one smooth operator!" Har har har. But I digress, did I mention Sade is an icon? I guess I did. Happy listening, everyone!




Isaak von Seggern [2018] FILM


The Open House [2018] *



This was so boring that I dozed off halfway through and dreamed about dying slowly, but not before sending 13 tapes to Dylan Minnette, each just containing the audio of the scene where he busts through the bathroom door right as his mom is getting out of the shower and tries to pretend he didn't want some of that asssssssssssss.

Nothing interesting happens for such an ungodly amount of time, that is, unless spooky water heaters and plumbing misadventures are a turn on for you because that's all we got going on down here.

I don't know water heaters are pretty scary I guess.

The one thing I think we all look for in any great movie is: Did it stick to a repetitious formula?

Oh Me, Oh My, that it does my dear friends, and all just with a Home Depot Performance Platinum 9.9 GPM Natural Gas High-Efficiency Indoor Water Heater with Recirculation and Leak Protection.

So then Dylan's mom is taking a shower when the water suddenly changes temper drastically, better run naked all the way down into the pitch black basement with a broken flashlight to fix that shit real quick, because God so help her if she has to take a cold shower.

And it happens again, and again, and again, until eventually she calls the plumber and she's like,

"Hey, the water heater is in the..."

"Basement, I know," he replies.

I just wonder where else does she thinks people install water heaters? I for one keep my water heater inside of my refrigerator, lest the contents of the fridge get too hot.

Cinematic and Plumbing Perfection

And then top it all off you got fuckin Track Star D-boy from everyone's favorite Sassy Suicide Soap Opera Netflix Special, and he doesn't do anything except run fast? It's one of his character traits along with making mac and cheese (the only other thing he does in this movie). Also, his only visible emotion is him standing around a lot with his mouth slightly open, as can be seen on the poster. The fact he can run a sub 5:30 mile never comes into play, but boy they sure let you know over and over again as if it is.

See? It's like I said before, mindless repetition and formulaic decision making are the only two things you need to make a good movie. Even better though, is leading the audience on just for kicks. Anyway, the amount of times that the bad guy is, I can only assume, just tripping over a bunch of random shit in the basement to make all these random loud jump scares and Dylan is like "yeah I think I'll just go to sleep" is staggering.


Oh what, the crazy lady that lives across the street randomly showed up behind me in the driveway like fucking Batman at 1:00 in the morning claiming that my house was actually hers? Hmmm, that's weird, better go make mac and cheese and... jelk it out? (Idk what athletic people do with their free time, to be honest.)

And it all culminates in such a fuck you ending, like the directors assume the word "ambiguous" is a synonym for just not having to have an ending or an answer.

All in all, I learned more than I ever thought I would about the intricacies of water heater upkeep and maintenance. "The Open House" is a staggering tale of caution. Dare disrespect your water heater, and Mario/Luigi (the film never clarifies which) will come fuck your shit up for free.




Isaak von Seggern [2018] FILM


In the Realm of the Senses [1976] * * * * *


As the long-awaited sequel to "Kubo and the Two Strings", this was surprisingly tame.

There is a part in this where Eiko cuts of a fluff of Tatsuya's pubic hair with a kitchen knife, and then eats it, and the look on Tatsuya's face after is the sole reason I watch movies.

The movie brings up a great point about this actually in connection with its look at power dynamics and anti-militaristic stance. Pubic hair would indeed make a nice addition to the traditional snack line-up at the movie theater. I don't often get popcorn when I go see movies, as my religion won't let me drink melted sticks of butter. However, I think my boy Jesus could come around on a lightly salted piece of pubic hair from an AMC employee.

As far as food in film goes, "In the Realm of the Senses" really has got the market cornered. They do lots of kinky shit with food, and when they aren't, they just finger people, which is the only thing I do when I'm not eating too. There is a part where Tatsuya's chef tells him,

"YA GOT EAT YER MEAT BEFORE YA BEAT IT" - a direct quote -

and he just kind of looks at her, then bends her over and fingers her.

I ask the presiding jury, did that ever happen in "Ratatouille"?

I rest my case.

Did Jon Favreau ever hard boil an egg by sticking it in his vag in "Chef"?

No, that movie ends with him making fajitas, and people lost their damn minds.

I'll lose my shit if, and only if, Jon Favreau makes fajitas with no other conventional oven than his vagina, because otherwise he can just fuck off back to singing about bears with CGI children or whatever he does.

These two make "Fifty Shades" look like fanfiction for the Teletubbies.




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