Esoterica – The Thirteenth Floor

The Thirteenth Floor

Year: 1999

Director: Josef Rusnak

Writer: Daniel F. Galouye, Josef Rusnak & Ravel Centeno-Rodriguez

Starring: Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol & Armin Mueller-Stahl

“You can go there even though it doesn’t exist.”

Throughout the 90’s it became almost expected of fans of sci-fi – “geeks”, if you will – to be vocally derisive of certain types of movies.

Most specifically, those movies that sprung from the creative efforts of that decades dynamic duo of Hollywood: Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich.

Without wanting to burn through too much time explaining who they are, allow me to simply illustrate in three easy steps. Continue reading

Cash Cows – “…I’m Batman” Part 2

Trip the Light Bat-Tastic!

Since I am staunchly opposed to the imbibing of perception-altering psychedelics, and I never went to uni, I have been saddled with an unshakably clear vision of reality that occasionally lacks the vibrancy of color and the growing sense of unease leading to panic and terror.

I never feel like I’m missing out on anything though, because I like comic books.


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Esoterica – Enemy Mine

Anyone out there remember Wizard magazine? You know, the fairly long running publication for comic book news and prices which spent the entirety of its existence becoming progressively less interesting and highly prone to upsetting nearly everyone in the four-color world. No? Hardly surprising since Garub Shamus thermite plasma’d his bridges with such terrifying efficiency that the destructive effect has actually rippled back in time so that we may be spared painful memories.

But before ripping off subscribers and attempting to convince comic-book readers of twenty years that what they really wanted to read about was professional wrestling, Wizard experimented with a series of specifically targeted pop-culture magazines under their imprint. Toyfare was, relatively speaking, a hit and stayed around for a while.

and gave us this. So… that’s kinda cool

A much lesser known attempt was Sci-Fi Invasion, which only ran for four or five issues, probably giving you some indication as to the quality of its content. But, from the darkness, there is light. Or, more accurately, from crappy writing there is a worthwhile recommendation (which is something I pray about every one of my posts). Continue reading

A Case of the Mondays – It’s My Party

“This is it, the final battle. Nobody’s ever faced odds like these before, and for good reason; any smart man would call this mission suicide, but it has to be done. The fate of the world is riding on our shoulders people, if we don’t succeed here, there won’t be a home to go back to. Are you ready? Great! You two come with me, everyone else stand over on the sidelines while the three of us take on these ridiculous odds. Let’s go!”



Seems crazy doesn’t it? But time and time again players are confronted with this scenario in role-playing games. The fate of the world hangs in the balance, but they’re forced to tell most of their party to stay behind and take it easy while the player takes a couple of companions on a suicide mission. It’s become such a common part of these games that a lot of players barely even bat an eyelid when this happens – it’s the norm rather than the exception.

We all know the reason; it’s a video game and all of the fights are based around the player having a 3 character party, if they could bring everyone along the game would be completely unbalanced. But RPG’s are a story driven genre, and from a story perspective, the decision to leave everyone behind doesn’t make any sense. So I’m going to ask the question:

Why can’t I take my whole party with me? Continue reading

Cash Cows – “…I’m Batman.” Part I

Do you have any idea how many men have spoken those words?

Not counting the guy who was peeing next to me in the men’s room yesterday…there’s been a lot.

While Warner Bros. may not have the most stellar track record when it comes to their rather abundant supply of comic book properties, there is a pretty solid understanding among the brass that one stands above the rest as the franchise. Since one very canny funny-book creator first put his spin on the pulp hero trope in 1939, the character of Batman has been the subject of constant film, television and comic book versions of the property. Continue reading

Esoterica – Metropolis

Here, at the commencement of a New Year, is a time when so much new stuff lay ahead to look forward to. For many people, it is inevitably a time when we look back at what has been…if only to figure out exactly where it was in the past it all went so wrong.

Thus the New Year is simultaneously a time of reflection & anticipation – and if you’re the unfortunate soul who has little to anticipate, then it is the time make the Old things New again.

And so with that tenuous philosophical tether, allow me to take a New look at an Old film – something that perhaps you have anticipated watching at some point in your life; something that the title of “esoterica” was, quite simply, made for. Continue reading

The Best and Worst of 2012

With the new year kicking off, it’s time to look back at 2012; a year that brought a close to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the Twilight franchise as well as kicking off a new trilogy in the form of The Hobbit. Marvel’s multi-movie continuity experiment payed off with The Avengers taking over $1 billion at the box office, and studios continued to push 3D – re-releasing everything from Titanic to The Phantom Menace in a bid to rake in some extra revenue.

There were a lot of great films this year, but if I was to write about all of them my hands would probably fall off. So I’ve narrowed down the field to a few standouts. Without further ado, let me present my awards for 2012; like the Oscars, but without any of that pesky credibility.

Continue reading