Smacked Upside the Head With Another Tag!

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I was sitting here minding my own business when Sandra over at Quirkybooks reached right out and smacked me upside the head with another blogging tag! OUCH!

Seriously, I have to thank Sandra for thinking of me (I will get you back! *evil laugh* heh, heh, hehhhh.) Kidding aside, I always feel two things when I get tagged or nominated; 1) Surprised, and 2) happy. I should also mention that I feel a great deal of trepidation as I tag or nominate just a few out of everyone that I follow.

This particular exercise in sharing the WordPress love (pronounced lurve) is fairly simple, you answer the 11 questions posed by the “Tagger” and then set another 11 questions for the 11 bloggers you “Tag.” And how many times can you get the number 11 in one sentence. I feel like the Count from Sesame Street! You probably should link back to the blogger what “brung ya.” Aka, who tagged you and maybe thank them? Just a thought.

So here are Sandra’s 11 questions:

  1. Have you ever been made redundant from your job and how did you feel about it?
  2. If you were interviewing someone for a writing job, what 3 qualities would you look for and why?
  3. What is your favourite board game and why?
  4. When you look at the stars, what do you see?
  5. When you look at the ocean, what does it remind you of?
  6. How do you overcome writer’s block?
  7. If you could say 3 encouraging things to another person, what would they be?
  8. Do you prefer to write your stories/books/poetry/prose/articles on paper first, then type them up and edit them, or do you like to type them straight into your computer to edit?
  9. Do you like writing in one genre or more?
  10. As a writer, do you think actions speak louder than words?
  11. What is your favourite quote and why?

And here are my answers:

  1. Yes. But like the CNA Wing Commander once said, “I’ve been fired before and I’ll probably be fired again. Well, I’m still here!
  2. Vocabulary, spelling and personality (both in their writing and their self presentation).
  3. Scrabble, even though I always start off huge and wind up losing by the end of the game. Just a glutton for punishment I guess.
  4. Blurry images! My eyesight leaves a lot to be desired in the dark! Also how small we are compared with the cosmos.
  5. Jaws, salt, and Capt. Ahab.
  6. The last time I had writers block was years ago and it took years to get over, I did this by writing a blog, sort of a detour.
  7. Don’t take life too seriously; Don’t sweat the little sh*t, and Don’t worry about life, you’ll never get out of it alive!
  8. Always on computer/word processor. Before that, on typewriter. When my mind cranks up, long-hand is too slow and if I try to keep up, I cannot read what I’ve written!
  9. Horror and westerns (although to be truthful, I haven’t started writing my western yet).
  10. Yes, especially in a short story, which is my favourite type of story to write…hmmm, should that have been included in 9?
  11. “Sure life is hard. It kills you.” – Katherine Hepburn. She had the same attitude to life that my grandpa did.

Now here’s the part that I always dread. I think that to save time and energy (and a whole lot of guilt) I’ll pick 11 names out of a metaphorical hat (a la Bullwinkle) and the blogs are:

  1. Benedict Inman: Living and Learning
  2. Crazy Goblin Magazine
  3. True Mister Six
  4. Andy Watches Movies
  5. Written in Blood
  6. Cinema Schminema
  7. Films and Things
  8. The Cinema Monster
  9. this man’s journey
  10. The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger
  11. Mr Rumsey’s Film Related Musings

That concludes my random picks. If I missed you out, “I’m sorry!” There’s just so many of you who I’d like to choose!

Still, I hope to learn more about the great folks who follow me and it just remains for me to say, “I’ll be reading you later!

PS: It’s now 2158 GMT and I only just found out that I sent this puppy out missing a little something! I inadvertently deleted my cheeky statement that said, “Due to laziness and the fact the the questions that Sandra asked were damned good ones, the 11 folks I pick should just answer those.” That should have come after the “save time and energy and before Bullwinkle! Now that’s sorted.

Cheers, all the best!
Cheers, all the best!

Open Graves (2009): Sizzling Dushku

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Directed by Álvaro de Armiñán and written by the Father/son duo of Roderick and Bruce A. Taylor Open Graves is like Jumanji on PCP or alternatively for grown-ups.

There’s nothing new here on offer. An old board game that “magically’ comes alive to inflict horrible deaths on the losers and maybe give the winner their ultimate wish. Sort of like Jumanji on acid or PCP.

One complaint about the film on IMDb was that, “The board game was created in 1465 Spain, so how come all the directions and cards are in English?” Fair point I suppose, but if the game is magic doesn’t it stand to reason that if English-speaking folks play it, the game switches to…oh…say, English? So if Spaniards or some French folks start to play, then the cards and directions would be in Spanish and/or French, respectively.

Just a thought.

I will openly admit to liking the film. Mainly because it features the sexy, sultry, and sizzling hot Eliza Dushku (who was obviously on break from the 2009 telly series Dollhouse) who plays the love interest in the film. But the lovely Eliza had a little competition from actress Naike Rivelli  who, if they ever film Ava Gardener’s life story could play The Barefoot Contessa quite easily, she could be Ava’s twin.

The male “love interest” is Mike Vogel whom you might recognise from Cloverfield. He makes a pretty fair romantic match for Dushku’s character.

The film opens with scenes of torture. A lot of nude women being cut, maimed, burnt, et al; all in the pursuit of proving their innocence or guilt in the area of witchcraft. All this murder and mayhem before the opening credits. The end result of all this “Witchfinder General” type activity results in one of these unfortunates being found guilty of witchcraft.

The lady in question, one Mamba by name, is skinned alive for her poor career choice and her skin and organs are used to make a “cursed” game. Somewhat similar to  the board game in Jumanji,  cards are drawn that state (in rather morbid prose) what the player’s fate will be after their “token” lands on a certain space.

It is now “present day” and a group of twenty-somethings are on holiday in Spain. Jason (Vogel) and his mate Tomàs (Ethan Rains) are at the beach when Jason notices Tomàs chatting up a gorgeous beach babe (Dushku) whose name is Erica. Jason is immediately smitten and Erica reciprocates the emotion.

These two lovebirds decide to play a game that Jason has found called (appropriately enough) Mamba. Erica seems to know an awful lot about the game and the two of them talk the rest of the gang into playing.

The end result is that the losers die gruesome deaths not long after getting bumped off the board. Jason and Erica must complete the game in order to save their friends.

Despite the low score on IMDb (4.0 if you’re interested) I thought the film was pretty enjoyable. The pacing was good, the effects impressive and the story, while not blazingly original, did not insult the audiences intelligence too much and there was a good old sense of urgency to the groups survival.

I’d love to go into the films “nuts and bolts” a bit more but that would be skirting dangerously near spoiler territory and I don’t want to go there.

The film is available on Netflix at the moment, which is where I saw it (on UK Netflix) and it was worth the time spent to watch it. So pop yourself some popcorn, prepare a big glass of your favourite beverage and sit down to enjoy this ‘board’ game adventure, you won’t get ‘bored’ I promise.

And on a sad note; Film critic Roger Ebert passed away today and while I quite often did not agree with his views on film, I will miss his often acerbic possessions on films and can only wonder what he would have made of this film. If I’m correct, I don’t think he would have thought too much about its relevance or value. I guarantee though, that he would have stated his views vociferously and scathingly as only he could.

RIP Roger Ebert (B: 1942 – D: 2013)

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