Tag Archives: movies

Non Sequitur: Vuelva a la Biblioteca!

I’m back in good graces with my local library, so I’ve been a multimedia fiend for the past couple of weeks. Here’s a list of the audio, video and printified goodness that I’ve enjoyed recently or will be enjoying shortly:

  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Read by Lenny Henry. Gaiman’s follow up to American Gods focuses on African and West Indian deities. Anansi Boys has a much more sympathetic main character (Fat Charlie), and the world felt much more fleshed out than the stark landscapes of American Gods. Top-notch narration by British comedian Lenny Henry adds even more flavor to the rich story.
  • Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen. Read by Lee Adams. I’m a little over halfway through this quirky tale of lust, revenge and the general decline of basic civility, but I’m enjoying it quite a lot. The main character is a bit of a nutjob, which makes her difficult to sympathize with at times.
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Read by Simon Prebble. This will take a good chunk of time to get through, and it doesn’t help that it was Laura, not me, who checked it out of the library. I haven’t started listening to Jonathan Strange just yet; I’ll begin as soon as I finish Nature Girl, if Laura will let me.
  • M:I:III, also known as Mission: Impossible III, starring the actor formerly known as Mr. Nicole Kidman. I heard rumors that Tom’s talkshow antics really hurt this movie’s box office performance. I’d dismiss those rumors as whiny excuse-making, except for one thing: M:I:III is the best of the series. It’s got tons of over-the-top action, lots of super-cool spy gadgetry, and Philip Seymour Hoffman makes a damn good villain. I only wish I’d had the option to get a widescreen copy, as the pan-and-scan on the fullscreen version is practically painful at times.
  • The first season of Sledge Hammer! starring David Rasche. Sometimes the things that we thought were funny and cool two decades ago should be relegated to fond memories and not revisited on DVD. Sledge Hammer! doesn’t seem anywhere near as funny today as I remember it being. I got a few chuckles out of it, but the show feels incredibly dated today.
  • Date Movie starring Alyson Hannigan. Date Movie — along with its even more inane cousin, Epic Movie — are proof-positive that the writers (or some subset of the writers) of Scary Movie have shot their collective wad. Alyson Hannigan barely (and I do mean barely) makes this unfunny parody worth watching.
  • Smokin’ Aces starring a whole bunch of folks.
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman. The only ink-and-paper title on the list. I’m only a few pages into this tale of heroes and villains of the super variety. I like what I’ve read so far.

Moviestuff: Adaptations.

I knew I was forgetting a few things in yesterday’s Geekstuff post, so here are some tidbits about upcoming movie adaptations of comic books, graphic novels and cartoons.

Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday, by Alan Dean Foster, is the “official prequel” to the upcoming Transformers live-action movie. I’ve got mixed expectations for the movie and I generally avoid movie tie-in books like the plague (ditto for comic book tie-in novelsA recent exception was Devin Grayson’s Inheritance, a novel set in the DC Universe. Unlike the handful of other comic book tie-in novels I’ve read, this one managed to make the jump from panels to prose pretty well.); on the other hand, I’ve enjoyed some of Foster’s earlier novels (particularly his Spellsinger series) and I do loves me some transforming robots. When a bookstore gift card was dropped in my lap earlier this week, I decided to give the novel a look.

Zack Snyder, who directed the brilliant, beautiful and brutal movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel, 300, has apparently been tapped to helm“[T]apped to helm” is officially part of the Hollywood vernacular, it seems. another movie adaptation: Alan Moore’s Watchmen.The likelihood of Alan Moore’s name appearing anywhere on screen is slim to none, as Moore wants nothing to do with his works being adapted to film. Thanks to tricksy comic book companies like DC taking ownership of the works their artists produce, several of Moore’s graphic novels — most notably V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell — have been turned into movies without his consent. I thought 300 was a fantastic movie, but is about a stylistically removed from Watchmen as you can get; it will be interesting to see what Snyder does with a graphic novel whose fans are sharply divided as to whether it can (or even should) ever be properly adapted to film. It’s been a while since I read Watchmen, but I think Bruce Davison (Lathe of Heaven, X-Men) is well-suited to the role of Dan Dreiberg, AKA Nite Owl.

I had a copy of the new, extended cut of Fantastic Four in my hands twice a couple of days ago, but ultimately left it in the store. It seems that “Ultimate Collector’s Limited Edition” DVD — which came in a round tin that won’t sit nicely with the other DVDs on my shelf — isn’t quite as ultimateCome on, Twentieth Century Fox, get with the program. Once you’ve released an “ultimate” version, there should be no more versions. The word has a meaning; look it up! as one might expect, as the new release contains twenty minutes of previously unreleased footage and a second disc, undoubtedly jam-packed with new special features. Tempted though I was by this new version, I realized that those twenty minutes are far more likely to contain scenes of Johnny and Ben bickering than an extended battle sequence with Dr. Doom. I’m sure I’ll pick it up eventually, as special DVD features are like a kind of crack to me.

I’d say something about the Wachowski Brothers’ live-action adaptation of Speed Racer, but I’ve never actually watched the cartoon. If you’re the enterprising sort, you may be able to find a photo of Speed’s car, the Mach 5, on the Internets, perhaps even here somewhere.

Geekstuff: May 2007 Roundup

One of these days I’m going to write another real blog entry, but for now a little of the stuff that’s currently flipping my geek switch will have to suffice.

Star Wars Roleplaying Game. My copy of the core rulebook for the new “Saga Edition” has been shipped from Amazon and should arrive in a few days. I’m looking forward to digging into this one, as from most accounts the changes made by Wizards of the Coast make for faster, more cinematic gameplay than was possible using previous editions. Ken Newquist has posted a review on SciFi.com and more thoughts in two separate Nuketown posts.

Game Night. On the 29th, Chris Miller, Miscellaneous G™ and I got together intending to play Primetime Adventures, the roleplaying game in which players create a television series then roleplay episodes of the same. We got a little carried away during the creation phase and before we ever got around to deciding who our major protagonists would be we had outlined the major story arc for season one leading up to and including the cliffhanger season finale. I’m not sure whether we’re going to pull it back into Primetime Adventures or take it in another direction, but it was three solid hours of a very interesting creative vibe and we could all see a lot of potential in the end result.

Habeas Corpses by Wm. Mark Simmons. I bought this book at the airport in Oklahoma City because I didn’t relish the idea of three hours on two planes with nothing to read. Had I realized that Habeas Corpses is the third book in a series, I definitely would have bought something else. As it was, I was in a bit of a hurry and the cover doesn’t in any way indicate that it’s part of a seriesNot that I saw anything on the cover but cleavage and bare midriff., so I put my money on the counter and rushed to my gate. It’s a decent read that involves, vampires, werewolves, Native American tribal spirits and Nazis. I would give it a wholehearted recommendation except for one thing: the puns. I could understand giving the protagonist a propensity for punnery, but it seems like every one of Simmons’ characters spews puns left and right and after a while it just gets annoying and detracts from the story.

Pan’s Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth. This is quite simply the best movie I’ve seen in recent memory. Over the past few evenings, Laura and I have been watching Pan’s Labyrinth with director Guillermo del Toro’s audio commentary. It’s clear that this project was a labor of love for del Toro, and his commentary explores everything from mythical elements in the story to how scenes were lit to how Doug Jones’ faun makeup changes during the course of the film. Unfortunately, del Toro has a voice that puts Laura to sleep after about fifteen minutes, so it’s taking us a bit longer than usual to get through the commentary track.

Geekstuff: The Birthday Rundown

Well, I’ve been thirty-four years old for a week now and I’ve gotta say I’m liking it so far. There are times when being an adult is all about socks and shirts and ties, oil changes and mortgage payments, but I’m happy to say that my family and friends know that I’m still all about the books, comics, toys and games. Apart from a very nice polo shirt from my mother-in-law, most of my birthday bounty would have been eagerly received by seventeen-year-old me.

  • LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy for the Xbox, from my young apprentice. Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.
  • The Making of Star Wars by J.W. Rinzler, from Laura.
  • A Boba Fett t-shirt, also from Laura.
  • The Ultimate Fantastic Four trade paperbacks volumes 1-5, from Miscellaneous G™.
  • Three Hellboy comics signed by Mike Mignola, from Chris.
  • A green FlyTech Dragonfly, from my sister-in-law and her family. A remote-controlled ornithopter! How cool is that?
  • A musical Batman card from my elder, bigger little sister.
  • Filthy lucre from my parents, mother-in-law and grandparents-in-law, which I used to buy:
    • 18 by Moby (CD)
    • Play by Moby (CD)
    • Hellboy: Sword of Storms (DVD)
    • Dune: Extended Edition (DVD)
    • Blade Runner: Director’s Cut (DVD)
    • Pan’s Labyrinth (DVD)
  • Last but not least, pumpkin pie from my grandparents-in-law. Yes, it’s more of a fall pie. I don’t care. I will eat it now and then, I will eat it anywhen!

[EDIT: I forgot a couple of things!]

  • Police Squad! The Complete Series on DVD, from the Wiitalas. Police Squad! didn’t succeed as a television series (a shame, because it’s hilarious), but it eventually evolved into three Naked Gun movies.
  • Spamalot Original Cast Recording, also from the Wiitalas. Laura and I saw Spamalot last year, and it was fantastic. My favorite song is probably “The Song That Goes Like This”, but they’re all good.
  • The first season of Arrested Development on DVD, from my sister and her boyfriend. Despite several people telling me I should have been watching this show when it was originally on the air, I’ve never seen it. I’m probably directly responsible for its cancellation.
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma, also from my sister and her boyfriend. I’m not sure, but I think this book has something to do with that “fourth meal” I’ve been hearing about at Taco Bell.

Are my friends and family not awesome? Yes. Yes they are. They made me a very happy birthday boy.

Moviestuff: Where’s the Spidey 3 Review?

I haven’t seen Spider-Man 3, yet. I could have gone on opening weekend, but I didn’t; I could probably find some time this weekend, but chances are I won’t. I’ll see it in the theater, but I’m clearly not rushing out, which — given my love of all things superheroic — is incredibly unusual.

So where’s the excitement about Spider-Man 3? I’m pretty sure it was snuffed out by Spider-Man 2.

See, I really enjoyed Spider-Man; it wasn’t perfect, but as superhero movies go it was pretty darn close. Then Spider-Man 2 was released. It had amazing action sequences and I loved the way Doctor Octopus was brought to the big screen, but — as I wrote in my 2004 review — the little annoying things I didn’t like about the first movie were amplified tenfold.

I own Spider-Man 2 on DVD, but I’ve never watched it. I watched a lot of the special features, but I haven’t sat down and watched the movie from beginning to end again. I know there’s a lot of really cool stuff in it, but I don’t want to sit through the syrupy melodrama to get to it. I suppose I could fast-forward through all the angst and preaching, but that feels like cheating somehow.

So I’m not in a big hurry to see Spider-Man 3, because somewhere along the line Sam Raimi decided that along with the proportional speed, strength and agility of a spider, Peter Parker also has the proportional melodrama of a daytime soap opera.

Television: Coming in March

The first item on my television radar for March is Robin Hood, a new series from BBC America, which premieres this Saturday, 03 March. As is the trend today, this Hood (played by Jonas Armstrong) is a bit younger than previous incarnations, as are many of his allies and nemeses. Maid Marian is played by Lucy Griffiths, who has only two other television apperances and not movie credits, but is still nice to look at. All in all, I’m thinking Dawson’s Creek runs through Sherwood Forest.

Hellboy Animated Production Diaries

Hellboy: Blood and Iron premieres Saturday, 17 March on Cartoon Network. I enjoyed the first Hellboy animated movie (Sword of Storms), but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I thought the animation was excellent, but it seemed like Ron Perlman and company were sleepwalking through some of the dialog. Still, Sword of Storms was good enough that I’d like to pick up the DVD (which looks to have some good bonus features) and I’m looking forward to Blood and Iron.

Last but not least, IFC is showing This Film is Not Yet Rated — a documentary that delves into censorship and the convoluted, seemingly arbitrary MPAA film ratings system — on Saturday, 31 March. I’d say more about this, but the [CENSORED] at the [CENSORED] won’t let me [CENSORED] my [CENSORED].

Movie Review: Ghost Rider (2007)

Ghost Rider (DVD)Ghost Rider (2007)

Starring Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Donal Logue, Peter Fonda, Wes Bentley, Laurence Bruels, Daniel Frederiksen, Mathew Wilkinson, Brett Cullen, Matt Long, Raquel Alessi and General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross

Directed by Mark Steven Johnson

If you had asked me two years ago who I thought should be cast as Johnny Blaze, Ghost Rider’s stunt-cycling alter ego, Nicolas Cage would not have been high on the list of possibilities. For starters, Cage’s hair(piece) is the wrong color. True to his name, the comic book Blaze has fiery orange hair. Unfortunately, the only actor I know of whose hair even approaches orange is Carrot Top (and yes, I’m being generous with the word “actor” here). Apart from being uncommon, orange hair just isn’t going to look right outside the pages of a comic book.You might not think that hair color is all that important when it comes to casting a superhero (much less his alter ego), but ask yourself if you’d want to see Bruce Wayne as a redhead or a blond Clark Kent.

Denis Leary has what I consider to be a reasonable real-life approximation of Johnny Blaze’s hair, both in terms of color and style.When Blaze first appeared in 1972, he was definitely a product of the time, and his hair was a bit longer than Leary’s, but I still think the styles are reasonably similar. Alas, like Nicolas Cage, Denis Leary is at least fifteen years too old to play Johnny Blaze, regardless of how appropriate his coiffure might be.

Johnny Blaze, Ghost Rider
image-547
Too old or not, right hair color and style or not, Nicolas Cage is Johnny Blaze on the big screen, though not right away. When Ghost Rider begins, Matt Long plays a much younger Blaze, a carnival stunt cyclist who sells his soul to Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) in order to cure his father’s cancer. Barton Blaze (Brett Cullen) is cured, all right, but Mephistopheles arranges for the elder Blaze to die in an incredibly lame motorcycle crash the very next day. Yeah, Mephistopheles is a bit of a bastard, but that’s what you get for trucking with demons.

After his father’s death, Johnny runs away from everything, including his sweetheart, Roxann Simpson (Raquel Alessi). Blaze crashes his motorcycle at a crossroads where he meets Mephistopheles, who — apart from having a name that’s a pain in the ass to type — informs the young man that he will be called upon to serve the demon sometime in the future.

Years later, Johnny has become a world-renowned stunt cyclist and Roxann has become Eva Mendes. Roxann has also become a television reporter whose wardrobe consists almost entirely of low-cut, cleavage-revealing outfits that also happen to hug her shapely derrière. Roxann re-enters Johnny’s life as he is preparing to attempt a record-setting 300-foot motorcycle jump in a packed arena. Though Blaze does not normally give interviews, he makes an exception for his childhood sweetheart, possibly because she is enticingly back lit, wearing a very, very tight-fitting dress and just happens to pose like a runway model whenever the camera is on her.

Meanwhile, at a bar in the middle of the desert, Blackheart (Wes Bentley), the demonic son of Mephistopheles, kills a bunch of badass bikers and summons his entourage of fallen angels. Blackheart intends to retrieve a contract that the original Old West Ghost Rider stole from Mephistopheles a hundred and fifty years ago.

Mephistopheles learns of his wayward son’s plan and decides to intervene; he pays a visit to Johnny Blaze and calls forth Ghost Rider, transforming the stunt cyclist into a fiery-skulled Spirit of Vengeance and his motorcycle into a supernaturally-fast, flaming chopper.

While Ghost Rider battles Blackheart, Johnny Blaze struggles to gain control over the Spirit of Vengeance and turn his curse into a force for good. He is aided by the mysterious Caretaker (Sam Elliott), who has extensive knowledge of the Ghost Rider legend, not to mention some of the most manly facial hair ever seen in the history of motion pictures.I believe that Sam Elliott may be the only human being who could actually grow hair on his eyeballs if he wanted to. As the Caretaker, Elliott sports a beard that climbs so far up his cheekbones that it very nearly flows into his eyebrows. The Caretaker tells Johnny that if Blackheart successfully retrieves the contract of San Venganza, the demon could bring about Hell on Earth.

Ghost Rider is the rock and roll superhero movie. Nicolas Cage may not be the ideal Johnny Blaze and Eva Mendez may be little more than eye candy but when the sun sets and the Spirit of Vengeance awakens, the soundtrack cranks up to eleven and the visuals tear up the screen. The special effects are extravagant without being cheesy, the action is unapologetically over the top and there are flames everywhere.

On the incredibly arbitrary 27-point KJToo rating system, I give Ghost Rider a very respectable 22.

Rocking Out: 9
Ghost Rider (Score) @ Amazon.comAustralian rock band Spiderbait provides an excellent cover of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” that plays in one scene when the Old West Ghost Rider gallops across the desert alongside the motorcycling modern-day Ghost Rider. The song — which plays again over the ending credits — is an obvious choice for the movie, but the Spiderbait cover keeps with the hard rocking mood. At present, only the score for the movie is available on CD, but I would imagine that Spiderbait’s “Ghost Riders in the Sky” will soon be available on either a soundtrack disc for the movie or on one of the band’s future releases.

Hell’s Angels: 7
At the bar in the desert, Blackheart summons the Nephilim, three fallen angels who take the form three of the four elements: Gressil (Laurence Breuls), earth; Abigor (Mathew Wilkenson), air; and Wallow (Daniel Frederiksen), water. Each of the Nephilim is realized very nicely, and one of my favorite special effects in the movie is the ever-dripping Wallow wiping his left eye away with one finger, only to have it reappear a second later. Ghost Rider (who represents fire, the fourth element) faces the Nephilim in combat one at a time through the course of the movie. They would have scored higher if they hadn’t been so easy to defeat.

Fuego del Corazón: 6
Perhaps love makes the world go ’round, but it has an opposite effect on Ghost Rider; thanks to some painfully bad acting and a lack of chemistry between Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes, the love story sucks energy out of the movie. Any time the two strike up a conversation, it is stiff, awkward and artificial. Roxann lacks depth and consistently comes across as a pretty, pretty twit, which doesn’t do anything help build a believable love story with real impact to the plot as a whole.

Moviestuff: Next (Preview)

NextNext is a movie loosely based on “The Golden Man”, a short story by Philip K. Dick. The movie — which stars Nicholas Cage, Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel — is about a Las Vegas magician who can see into his own future and may be the only person who can stop a terrorist plot. The fact that Next is based on a Philip K. Dick story (as were Bladerunner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and Paycheck) is enough to make me want to see it, but the real reason is this snippet of audio I pulled from the trailer.

Moviestuff: Shatner DVD Club Mini-reviews (Part the First)

To commemorate the closing of the William Shatner DVD club, I watched four WSDVDC movies over the weekend: Thomas in Love, The Lathe of Heaven, Black Cadillac and Soulkeeper. I enjoyed them all, for different reasons:

  1. Thomas in Love is something of an experimental film, as the story unfolds entirely on the monitor of the title character, who has not left his apartment (or had visitors) for eight years and communicates entirely by videophone. It may sound gimmicky, but the premise works well and leads up to a satisfying (if somewhat predictable) climax. I use “climax” with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, as much of Thomas in Love involves the difficulties inherent in a sexual relationship with an agoraphobic who is deathly afraid of coming into contact with other human beings.
  2. The Lathe of Heaven, based on the novel by Ursula K. Le Guin, tells the story of George Orr, a man whose dreams become reality, and Doctor Haber, a psychiatrist whose attempts to use George’s “effective dreaming” to solve all of mankind’s problems turn result in one calamity after another. This version was originally broadcast by PBS in 1980 and was not available for purchase until 2000. While the movie itself (particularly in terms of special effects) is definitely dated, the story still stands up very well. One of the extras on the DVD is Bill Moyers interview with Ursula K. Le Guin, which is definitely worth watching. The movie made me want to read the book, and I consider that a compliment.
  3. I didn’t have high expectations of Black Cadillac, especially since Randy Quaid receives top billing. It’s not that I don’t like Randy Quaid — he was hilarious in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — he’s just not an actor I associate with the suspense and/or thriller genres. Despite my initial trepidation, Black Cadillac is actually pretty good. Based on an actual incident from writer director John Murlowski’s mis-spent youth, the story follows three friends as they are menaced by a black 1957 Cadillac El Dorado. I think “inspired by actual events” would probably have been a more accurate description, as Murlowski admits that the movie veers sharply away from reality when the reasons behind this apparent case of road rage are revealed. The movie is suprisingly dialog-heavy, which leads to some good character development and results in some flawed-yet-sympathetic protagonists. Murlowski uses the El Dorado very effectively, without descending into rampant cheesiness. Sympathetic protagonists + effective antagonist – cheese = good movie.
  4. Soulkeeper was positively wretched. It had an interesting premise — the amulet worn by Lazarus absorbed some of Jesus’ power when Lazarus was resurrected — that was all but obliterated by some truly awful acting (Brad Dourif’s accent was especially ridiculous) and some of the worst outdoor sets I’ve seen since Plan 9 From Outer Space). The trick to enjoying Soulkeeper is pretending that you are Tom Servo or Crow T. Robot while you watch it.

Moviestuff: Shatner’s Last Gasp

My final shipment from the William Shatner DVD Club arrived in the mail today. Included were five movies, bringing the total number of DVDs I received since joining the club to fourteen. And so, as I bid the William Shatner DVD Club a fond farewell, here’s a list of all the movies I received. The five that came in the mail today are listed first, the rest are in random order.

  1. Soulkeeper (2001). There just aren’t enough movies with both demons and Robert Davi; at least I’ve got this one.
  2. Dragon Storm (2004). I know Gimli wasn’t as popular as Legolas, but could John Rhys-Davies have possibly parlayed his Lord of the Rings experience into something worse than Dragon Storm? Yes; it’s called Chupacabra: Dark Seas.
  3. King of the Ants (2003). There were two movies released in 2003 with the title King of the Ants. This is the other one. Featuring George Wendt (Cheers) as Duke Wayne, the cowboy electrician. Oh, and there’s a Baldwin. Which Baldwin? One of the non-Alec Baldwins. Nuff said.
  4. Black Cadillac (2003). The disc art on this one screams “Christine“, but will it be the tale of a demon-possessed Escalade or road rage taken to the extreme a la Spielberg’s The Duel?
  5. Epoch (2000). I know I saw this movie on SciFi a couple of years ago. All I remember is a big, floating alien rock. And not the good kind, either.
  6. The Attic Expeditions (2001). Seth Green is sentenced to a mental hospital where he is experimented on by Jeffrey Combs. Life can start imitating art any time now.
  7. Ginger Snaps (2000). Lycanthropy as metaphor for puberty. Your body is going to start to change in ways that you may not understand. On the other hand, you’ll be able to lick your own crotch.
  8. Close Your Eyes (2002) A decent supernatural thriller about a hypnotherapist on the trail of a serial killer. I’m going to count backwards from ten; when I reach one, you will no longer be lying on a table with half of your guts torn out.
  9. Thomas in Love (2000). A French film about an agoraphobic who hasn’t left his apartment in eight years and communicates with the outside world via videophone. Please don’t tilt the camera down any further, Thomas.
  10. Immortel (2004) Odd story about Horus, the hawk-headed Egyptian god parking his floating pyramid over New York City in 2095. Odd story, odd visuals, odd everything.
  11. it2i2 (2006). Written, directed by and starring Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf), it2i2 was described by the London Times as “The DaVinci Code meets The Matrix, only with a lower budget.” They certainly got the part about the low budget right.
  12. Falcon Down (2000). The only William Shatner DVD Club title in which the man himself makes an appearance. It’s Firefox meets Behind Enemy Lines, only with a lower budget.
  13. The Lathe of Heaven (1980) By most accounts this version is superior to the 2002 made-for-TV remake. It’s The Woodwright’s Shop meets The Matrix, only with… okay, no, it’s not.
  14. Wolves of Wall Street (2002). Eric Roberts is the head of a cutthroat Wall Street trading firm. You can tell it’s Wall Street because every other scene transition is a montage of “Wall Street” street signs. The members of the firm are all werewolves, if the nonstop barrage of ever-so-subtle double entendre is any indication. I haven’t made it all the way through this one yet.