Monthly Archives - December 2022

The Year in Fantasy: 2022 

I don’t think there has ever been a worse year for the genre of fantasy than the year of our Lord 2022. There is something almost magical in the way that an entire school of storytelling has been so unrelentingly subjected to incompetence in every way available to it.  How could any studio which theoretically exists to make money, so thoroughly fuck up everything they touched?   Writing. Set design. Costuming. Casting. Direction: Cinematography.   These shows failed consistently on every single level.  One of the most important elements of epic fantasy...

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RE:Play Duke Nukem 3D

It was an appropriately horrible way to start such a horrible game.   The first scene was Duke Nukem, clearly and obviously getting some mouth magic from both of the Olsen Twins.  Given how long Duke Nukem Forever was in development, you can’t help but shudder at the thought of how young they had to have been when they were written in.  I mean they were in school uniforms and everything.  I won’t remind you how their story ended in the game, or what Duke...

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Minimum Effort Tuesday

Tonight's post was supposed to be a RE:Play of Duke Nukem which is 90% done. But 90% is NOT done. I will finish the other 10% tomorrow. Here is the first trailer for the Doctor Who mini-series starring a much older David Tennent. This thing going to be a memberberry milkshake. A former Doctor (at least one that we know of), a former companion. And it's headlined by the Tom Baker-era logo from the 1970s. They are bringing back...

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Yes, Virginia…

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus? VIRGINIA O’HANLON.115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET. VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia,...

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The Polar Express Origin Story

Behold the Santa Rocket Express which used to grace the ceiling of Herpolshiemer's department store in Grand Rapids, Mi. It traveled around the ceiling while mothers got on with frantic business of shopping for presents in world where Amazon would bring you nothing because it didn't exist. That was a real bit of magic for kids. It ran from 1947 to 2000 and it now sits in the Grand Rapids Public Museum, instead of rotting in a junk yard. You can sit...

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A Legitmate Question

The Dark Herald and His Lady are having a Christmas film fest while we are completely snowbound. We were watching one of the dance numbers, when one of the kids cruised by, stopped looked for a couple of minutes then asked, "When was this made?" 1954, was the answer. "It was that bad back then?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-cXP1uDFpA

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Rudolph’s Propagandistic Beginnings

There are no Gen-Xers that don’t have fond memories of Rankin/Bass Christmas specials (at least the ones who aren’t sad and miserable).  They were part of the magic of Christmas for my generation.  Earlier generations had one-horse open sleigh rides, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and Bing crooning about he’d be home for Christmas. I suppose we still had Bing, but it was Charlie Brown and Rankin/Bass that signified we would soon be getting a two-week break from school and driving our...

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The Rings of Power – A Process Dedicated to Failure

It seems likely that I'll be doing without electricity thanks to a storm of the century that is about to hit the Mid-West like a frozen freight train. I get the power back when I get it back. But I obviously can't be posting until then. Amazon just released a making-of documentary about Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power like they were proud of it and everything. I steadfastly maintain that without Tolkien doing the actual writing, it was never...

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The Dark Herald Recommends: Avatar – The Way of Water

My opening line was supposed to be, “It was the best of Cameron. It was the worst of Cameron.”  But the Critical Drinker beat me to that too!!! I have talked to people who loved it and I really wasn’t one of them.   It has it plusses.  No question. Men weren’t stupid for a start.  A lot of this film was about strong fathers and the importance of the family unit.  It’s nice to see that in American filmmaking. Instead of Beverly Hills latch-key kids making...

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