Tag Archives: Eric Robert Nolan

“Doctor Sleep” (2019) was ABSOLUTELY ****ING FABULOUS.

“Doctor Sleep” (2019) was ABSOLUTELY ****ING FABULOUS. I had high hopes for this movie after seeing the trailer — yet it exceeded my expectations. I’d easily rate this a 10 out of 10.

This is a story-driven horror film just brimming with blackly creative ideas and weird world-building — I haven’t read Stephen King’s source material, but I feel certain this was a loving adaptation of the 2013 novel. It is also genuinely touching at times. (I was trying to explain to a dear friend recently about how King’s work can surprise the uninitiated — the monsters and devils typically occupy only a portion of his imaginary landscapes. The remainder is inhabited by good people who are bravely doing the right thing.)

All of the movie’s story elements are painted vibrantly by Mike Flanagan’s beautiful screenwriting and nightmarishly trippy directing. The film’s action and often incongruously bright visuals are reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s visions in “The Shining” (1980), to which this film is truly a worthy successor. (Flanagan was the director and screenwriter for last year’s fantastic “The Haunting of Hill House.” The qualities that you loved about the Netflix show can also be found in “Doctor Sleep” — in some ways, they are very similar stories.)

Rebecca Ferguson is mesmerizing as the story’s antagonist, Kyliegh Curran is pitch perfect as the young anti-hero, and Ewan McGregor is predictably terrific.

The only quibbles I had were minor — there was one plot device (presumably from the novel) that didn’t translate well to the screen. It concerns how the bad guys replenish themselves … I’ll bet it worked well in King’s prose, but it seemed corny and cliche when visualized on film.

You could also argue that “Doctor Sleep’s” constant references to “The Shining” were pretty heavy-handed. But that didn’t bother me too much … I arrived at the conclusion that “The Shining” and “Doctor Sleep” were really two halves of an epic supernatural road trip. Your mileage may vary.

One final caveat — this film does portray violence against children. It isn’t extremely graphic, but it’s still especially disturbing. (It technically isn’t gratuitous, I suppose, because there is an in-universe reason why Ferguson’s tribe of villains targets the young.)

This is easily the best horror film that I’ve seen in years. Go see it.




Dudes, this might be the biggest leaf I’ve ever seen.  That is indeed my foot next to it.  And I don’t have small feet; I wear a size 11 and 1/2.  (Now, now … this is a family blog, people.)

I found these tarp-sized leaves in the exact same place where I encountered that giant spider — the one the size of a housecat.  This makes me think there’s some sort of “Food of the Gods” -type sci-fi shenanigans going on in the vicinity.

Will investigate and report back.



The melon-choly days are come.

Well, hot damn.  Not all healthy food is stultifyingly gross to eat.  I can’t remember the last time I ate watermelon — maybe in college?  I’m pretty sure that watermelon-flavored Jolly Ranchers don’t count.

But this is a miracle food.  I didn’t have to add any salt or sugar ore even fry it in order for it to taste delicious.  Why didn’t people advise me to eat this to start with?

Tomorrow — tofu.  Or maybe not.  I bought a tray of that #$%*, but it’s been sitting in my fridge for a while now, because I’m too afraid to open it.  I swear to you … the loose, cool weight of it in that little plastic dish feels precisely how I would expect a slice of prepackaged cadaver to feel in my hands.  I might leave it out for the turkey vultures.  (Note to New Yorkers — the South indeed has these truly enormous birds called “turkey vultures” or “turkey buzzards.”  You kinda have to see it to believe it.)  I’ll update you guys.



Throwback Thursday: “The Birds” (1963)!

“The Birds” (1963) was yet another film that I grew up with; it got plenty of air time in the 1980’s, and it was such a gem that my Uncle John had it in is movie library too.

As far as I am aware … this is the only time Alfred Hitchcock delved into science fiction -horror.  (Somebody please correct me on that if I am wrong.)  I only learned just now that it was based on a 1952 novel by Daphne du Maurier.  (I thought the name sounded familiar upon reading it, and also learned that she wrote the eponymous source material for Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” in 1940.)

The trailer below is kind of interesting — it features Hitchcock himself hamming it up, with almost no footage from the film.  I don’t think it would make it past a modern marketing department — it’s more than five minutes long, and it takes a bit too much time getting to its point.




Throwback Thursday: “C.H.U.D.” (1984)!

Happy Halloween!  “C.H.U.D.” (1984) was another science fiction-horror movie that I and the kids on my street really enjoyed back in the day — it was a bit of a legend in my peer group, and it actually scared me a little.  The monsters were a lot of fun.  They were gross and ferocious, and they popped snarling out of the shadows of the New York City sewer system, and that’s the sort of thing that holds a middle school boy’s attention.

The movie boasts a young John Heard and Daniel Stern among its leads, and none other than a pre-fame John Goodman in a minor role as a cop.  (It was only his fourth film role.)

I’d love to hunt this flick down and revisit it.  I have no idea how well it’s held up since the 80’s, but I can’t say I’m hopeful — its audience score over at Rotten Tomatoes is just 32%.

Ah well.



I try weird $+&# so that you don’t have to.

This is “veggie bacon.”  Its ingredients are soy and disappointment.

The package portrayed it as “delicious,” which is precisely the kind of dangerous, calculated lie I’d expect from a jailed serial killer or Craigslist personal ads or the White House Press Secretary.

Alright, maybe I’m being too harsh.  This isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever tasted.  It tastes better than it smells, so there’s that.  (When I was frying it and noting its failure to sizzle, I recoiled from what I can only describe as a vague, radioactive-carrot odor.)

It just doesn’t taste like bacon.  It maybe tastes like processed pork rinds.  Seriously.  They ought to call it “veggie pork rinds.”





Southern hospitality, I guess.

Chilling in the Star City with a café mocha — courtesy of a super-cool writer pal. Thinking up some future stories.  (Thank you, m’Dear.)  No, I cannot close a Starbucks lid correctly — it’s why I’m always spilling coffee on myself.

Everyone is so extraordinarily nice in this town.  People actually slow their cars to a stop to allow you to cross the street — even when they have the right of way!  They even make eye contact, and smile and nod when they do it!  Such a thing would be virtually unheard of in New York, which is basically Thunderdome when compared with Roanoke.

How can such vast numbers of people in this city be so polite?  This city might be the eighth wonder of the world.

I need to learn to be a little more pleasant and sociable to match the spirit of humanity here.  I can think of it as getting into “Roanoke-mode.”