Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Tritonian Ring

I just finished this fantasy novel by L. Sprague de Camp, famous for contributing to the Conan mythos post-R.E.H. I picked it up from a local store because of the author the the cool Frazetta cover art.

The book was so-so. I can't help but compare it to Robert E. Howard, as the tale has many resemblances to a typical Conan yarn. But de Camp just doesn't flow or doesn't paint quite the same vivid pictures in your mind.

Having said that, it was still a good read. I definitely imagined a myriad strange the wonderful beasts and epic landscapes and cityscapes as I made my way through the book.

If you're not super picky about your sword and sorcery tales...fuck it, give it a read. It's pretty good.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Wow. That was heavy. That was really freakin' good.

Road is a documentary about the Dunlop family of motorcycle road racers. Two generations of Irish brothers constantly succeeding at the highest level of competition.

The sound design in this movie is particularly good. The editing is great. And the overall story arc is wonderful. The Directors really did a fantastic job of pulling this all together. It's not a high budget film, but it didn't need to be. The story-telling is just so spot-on. It's a great achievement. Terrific sporting documentary.

And it's a tear-jerker. Yup.

Highly recommended.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Real Miyagi

I just watched a documentary that sprang up on my Netflix feed. It's about the sensei who inspired the character, Mr. Miyagi, in the Karate Kid. But that's only one aspect of Demura sensei's story.

The flick is about 80 minutes long or so. There're interviews with the likes of Dolph Lundgren, Steven Segall, and Michael Jai White. And of course quite a bit from Pat Morita, the Oscar nominated actor who played Mr. Miyagi in three films.

I really dug the story. Definitely parallels Jackie Chan's bio. Coming from poverty in Asia. Making it to America to work on films / entertainment. And really bringing martial arts to a much broader audience in the US.

Fumio Demura seems like a really freakin cool dude. Huge heart. Incredibly talented. Movie even brought a wee tear to my eye at times.

It's pretty low budget, though. Written, Edited and Directed by one guy. It's a shoestring budget, but the story-telling is pretty good. It could have been slicker, but the meat is there. I found it worthwhile, but if you don't care for martial arts then you can skip it.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Swedish Death Metal

It's been years since I first read this book. I'm on a music bio kick, and since I have so many good ones it's easy to go back and reread some of them when there's nothing new on deck.

I remember thinking this book wasn't that great the first time around. My initial reaction was that it was more of a list of events, rather than a story. But upon a second reading I've definitely changed my mind. While I don't think it's as deftly woven together as Choosing Death, I'm rescinding my first judgement. I really liked it.

Swedish Death Metal is an authoritative retrospective of the early years of the movement. The book starts pre-death metal and goes up until the explosion and peak in the early 90's. Ekeroth sticks a fork in it around 94 or so. That's essentially food for another book, should someone choose to take it on. But this tome is about those early years, one could argue the classic years. 

So yeah, if you like death metal then by default you've gotta like Swedish death metal, therefore you should buy this book! It's only logical.

This occupies a well-deserved space on your shelf next to Choosing Death and Lords of Chaos.