I’m phasing out Comcast Cable (crappy HD, shitty DVR that’s years behind Tivo in reliability and functionality, and execrable customer service), which is unfortunately the only TV option provided by my apartment management, and one of the services that is replacing it is a renewed subscription to Netflix, because of its new streaming features. For $10 a month I can have one disk out at a time (and that disk will be Blu-Ray if the flick is available in that format) and unlimited real-time streaming of the movies they have available, of which there’s a surprising abundance (I have over three hundred listings in my personal “Watch Instantly” queue).
It’s really great, as I can choose something on the spot to give a try, without worrying about it tying up my physical rental for a few days of mailing back and forth, and if that choice sucks, I just stop watching and move on to something else. It also has allowed me to find some really great stuff I hadn’t been aware of, the latest being the BBC miniseries Jekyll.
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.
So begins The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman’s latest dark wonder, in which he kind of retells Kipling’s Jungle Book, but has the orphaned boy raised not in a jungle by wild things, but in a cemetery by things that go bump in the night.
It works. Gaiman is a master, and this book is pure Gaiman, spooky and clever and wry, written with a simple grace that belies its artful complexity. It’s one of those books that’s like drinking eggnog; it’s so good, you gulp it down, finishing it fast then immediately wishing you had more. (Plus, Gaiman’s book has no calories, so it won’t add to your gut).
The Graveyard Book is a fine book, and a great read for anyone over ten.
You like movies that exist just so you can watch people be tortured, right?
Eh. Screw that crap. I like real horror movies, real monster movies, real thrillers. I have no problem with grue, but it has to be in context, and there has to be a goddamned story. Preferably a good story.
So, for those who might like to watch something scary and good, I figured I’d throw you a few bones. Collect ’em all and you can build a skeleton. Continue reading →