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Cool Stuff From February

SAVAGE BEASTS OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE came out in February, so that's cool, if you want to check it out, go to Amazon.

I also experienced some pretty great entertainment in February.

For the Valentine’s weekend, my wife and I went over to Vancouver Island to check out The Ministry of Grace at the Belfry Theatre in Victoria. It was excellent. It was an early showing (maybe the first general audience showing?), but the cast was totally tight and on point. Great writing and design, and I’m a sucker for the theme of Christianity as a means to moneygrubbing matched alongside nasty holy men. The extra edge of racism being mocked and laughed at by its victims is always appealing to me, guess I just like hardened characters, they’re refreshing. Felt much shorter than it was and that’s a huge win for a fidgety dude like myself. Excellent.

Next up comes the books:

DjinnPatrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara was fantastic. Had a great balance of childish voice and biting circumstances. Packed a major wallop.

My Sister, the Serial killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite tickled me in all the right ways. Funny and smart, but carried an underlying edge. The layers to the flawed narrator made for extra fun on afterthought.

Where are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark came next. She died in January and I’d read two of her books, almost meant to check out more. One of the ones I'd read before was an early book and the other being a later book. The early one was great, the later one was definitely geared to an older generation (over and over a young couple didn’t agree but had to defer decisions to the wise elderly people in the book, wildly unrealistic, but perfectly suited for the right audience) so I mostly grinned my way through. Where are the Children? was the book that got it all started for her and holy shit, no wonder. It ticks every suspenseful mystery novel box and does so with a bang. The reveals were grand. The suspense was palpable. The writing was quick and accessible. Awesome book.

I didn’t read it in February (I read it a few years ago, will revisit), but I found a special edition copy of Under the Dome by Stephen King, complete with art cards, for only $7.50 CAD (after my trade-in credits, which covered the other $7.50), still in its cellophane! Pretty jazzed about that one.

Lastly, I get to something that held a tremendous bit of weight for me. The Shining is my favorite book and my favorite movie. Probably it’s the elements that fit and drum up so many relatable vibes: screaming dad, losers at capitalism, addiction trouble, and frosty isolation. When I first heard there was going to be a Doctor Sleep movie, I was like okay, cool, will check it out eventually. Then I was watching the trailer and was like, looks pretty cool, but then end came and that familiar horn rang out. I just about lost my fucking mind, I shit you not. I watched it twice and then no more because I didn’t want to pick up anything spoilery (I’ve read the book, but movies are different).

Here in town, the theatre is run by some old heads who love cartoons and musicals. Since I’ve been here, I’ve only been aware of two horror movies showing (It: Chapter One and A Quiet Place). So I watched for news of Doctor Sleep, but it never came. Fast forward X number of months and the Blu-ray is out and I have it in my hands and I pop it into my Xbox and I sit and, whether I admit it or not, my entire universe is riding on this being done right.

See, I don’t like many things and as far as entertainment goes. The only thing I can revisit over and over with any regularity is The Shining (annual reread and two-to-three viewings of the movie per year). I do watch the Rocky movies at Christmas and make it through the Friday the 13th movies once every two years, but there are stretches in both those series where I’m just being dutiful (could skip Rocky 3,4,5 and could skip Friday 3,5,7,8,9,10) and I’m never totally compelled to watch any of them the way I am The Shining.

So Doctor Sleep starts and for once, it’s finally a thinking fan who’s making a movie from source material. Someone who respects the story and that some weirdos NEED this movie to be done right. Mike Flanagan employs those tense Kubrick-film horns and carries the suspense from the opening, and it is rare magic because we know the characters and the situation, we know so much that nothing’s wasted, it’s all bite. The story progresses and the worlds of King and Kubrick collide in that perfect melody that overwhelms in all the right ways. When it was finished, I could hardly believe it. It was perfect. Perfect. Perfect.

Mike Flanagan conquered a virtually impossible mountain and I am awed every time I think about it. Infuckingcredible.

#Books #Horror #Suspense #DoctorSleep #StephenKing #MikeFlanagan


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