Novel Philosophy Religion Science

New Review for Devlin!

DevlinGreetings, Dreamers!

I have a few bits of information today.

First, I just received an awesome review from Victoria Craven of Autodidact in the Attic — an amazing writer in her own right.

You can read the full review at Waking Dream: Devlin Book I by Michael Hibbard.

She absolutely got what I was trying to relay in my work, and that gives me hope that the book will start to catch on.  Yes, it is a quick read.  I wanted to introduce the world before getting into the details.  This first book is meant to tease you, because I am going to perform a trick on you, the reader.  I say to you that I am going to make a rabbit vanish into the hat, but at the end, I’ll do much more than make him return again.  Your mind will be left wondering, forced to look into yourself and find your own magic.

Here is an excerpt:

“There’s a bit of Poe and quite a bit of Lovecraft about the thing. A compelling plot, multiple inventive characters and situations and some rather gross moments (in a good way) made this one a winner. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of dark fantasy.

Devlin itself put me in mind of a grown up version of Hogsmeade. Just because you didn’t get your letter from Hogwarts doesn’t mean you can’t be Awakened to your particular ability–that can happen at any time in your life. So take heart!

The events of the book take place in the autumn and there’s magic and the lifting of the veil in a very big way so it’s the perfect book for this time of year.” – V.L. Craven

But wait, there’s more!  Starting next week, I will start posting a series of articles about the philosophy behind the Waking Dream, but it much more than that.  I am going to create a framework that will merge science and religion, creating a new philosophical framework, and drawing from the work of Dr. Erik Andrulis‘, of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, scientifically irrefutable “Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life” — which I urge you to read, both his theory and his blog.  I have entitled this new philosophy as Mism, the Merging of all isms.

And just one more thing, my book will be reviewed and I will be interviewed on Elaine Charles’ radio show about the Waking Dream and Devlin the weekend of October 27.  Details will come as to times and what local station you can hear it, and links to the podcast.

Thank you all for helping me write this book, and make the Waking Dream a success.  It is for you, because we need a little magic and hope in this world gone awry.

Guest Post

My Guest Blog Post

HP LovecraftFor all my horror fans, I did a guest post on The Autodidact in the Attic Blog about an awesome board game called Arkham Horror.

Take a moment and head on over and read all about it.

My next guest blog post will be about The Voodoo Museum in New Orleans.


Fright Night [2011]

I am Peter Vincent, Vampire Killer!

Being  child of the 80’s one of my favorite horror films of the time was the original Fright Night with Chris Sarandon, Amanda Bearse, William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall.  Like so many horror films of the 80s, it was campy, corny and comedic undertones.  I’ve always viewed this film as one of the best portrayals of the definitive 80s horror experience.  I was very dubious that any remake of this film could possibly do justice to such an iconic film.  The other night, I sat down at my Xbox and decided 480 Microsoft Points wasn’t going to break the bank, and rented it.  I was completely shocked at how well the movie was done.

The remake stars Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge, previously played by Chris Sarandon — who has a small cameo in the film.  It is no secret Colin Farrell is not a great actor in my opinion, but somehow he truly excelled in this reprised role.  In this version, he is masquerading as a construction worker in the Las Vegas suburbs.  What was interesting about the story, rewritten by Tom Holland, was how the recent housing issues in the Las Vegas are were woven in.  The sub-division featured in the story was completely isolated like so many other sub-divisions that were started and never finished after the market collapse — the perfect place for a solitary vampire to systematically convert the residents without drawing too much attention.

Anton Yelchin and Toni Collette do an outstanding job playing the Brewsters, keeping true to the spirit of the roles in the original movie.  Christopher Mintz-Plasse also does an admirable job as Evil Ed, though not nearly as creepy or detached as the original role played by Stephen Geoffreys.  The most interesting twist to the story is the way the Peter Vincent character was evolved.  In the original, Roddy McDowall played Peter Vincent as a has-been horror film actor, reminiscent of Peter Cushing from the Hammer House of Horror films.  Now, Peter Vincent is a Las Vegas illusionist, who reminds me of a british Criss Angel, played by David Tennant.

I caution you not to think of this so much as a remake as a “re-telling”.  Though the character names are the same, the film has a completely different feel.  It is much more sinister than the original, and though it has smatterings of comedic overtones, it truly is a horror film.  So if you’re looking for something other than “Twilight” or “True Blood” for your sanguine fix, this movie is absolutely worth the 3 dollars to rent.

Rated: R
Review: 3 Stars


30 Minutes or Less – Review

This weekend, I got a chance to see the movie “30 Minutes or Less” with Jesse Eisenberg.  The only real reason I watched this movie is that it was produced by the director of Zombieland, Ruben Fleischer.  In my opinion, Zombieland  is one of the best dark comedies of the last ten years.  However, the same cannot be said of this movie.

While it has its moments of amusement and hilarity, I can’t but feel as if the entire movie was thrown together.  The story is formulaic and overdone.  So many of the same elements you would find in any comedy.  Dead beat guy who has no direction in his life.  Guy trying to get girl who has direction in her life.  Guy thrust into a crime against his will.  Two bumbling criminals who have the tables turned on them.  Pretty much every crime comedy I’ve ever seen.

Be that as it may, it is not the worst movie I’ve ever seen.  Jesse Eisenberg plays the same awkward, self-deprecating character he always plays, and his role was less than remarkable.  He is outshined by Danny McBride (Pineapple Express and Land of the Lost) and Nick Swardson (Reno 911), who interact seamlessly and comfortably throughout the film. 

If you’re looking for something to watch, and you just aren’t finding anything, this movie will kill two hours and provide a few memorable laughs.  Go into it with low expectations and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  However, if you want something more fulfilling in this genre, I would suggest:

  • Pineapple Express
  • Strange Wilderness
  • Land of the Lost

Rated: R
Review: 2 Stars


Cowboys and Aliens – For all you Red Dead Heads

Colonel Dolarhyde: “What is that thing?”
Jake: “Why are you asking me?”
Colonel Dolarhyde: “Because you shot it!”

Last night, I saw Cowboys and Aliens for the first time.  I have to say that I was a bit trepidatious but the only thing that made me watch it was my recent obsession with the Xbox game Red Dead Redemption.  I’m here to tell you that if you love that game, then you’ll love this movie.  There have been a rash of westerns out over the last few years, and coming on the heels of the True Grit remake, this movie already had a great deal to prove.  But if you go into the movie realizing that it is based on a graphic novel, and that it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, you’ll be just fine.

The basic premise is that a western town has been overtaken by Aliens who have been stealing gold and abducting the locals for experimentation.  Pretty formulaic.  However, what really makes this movie are the actors associated with the film.  The film stars Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford, Keith Carradine and Clancy Brown.   (Who wouldn’t love a movie with Mr. Krabs!)  Despite is campy, 50s plotline, the cinematography, the special effects and the acting are top-notch.   There are some slow spots throughout the film, but when the plot finally gets going, it has a great deal of excitement and scares. (The Aliens are very creepy). 

So, if you’re looking for a fun movie, Cowboys and Aliens will be out on DVD on December 6th.  Definitely worth a watch.

Rating: PG-13
Review: 3 Stars


Hugo: Experience It

My whole life I have been an avid fan of the cinema.  In recent years, the calibre of movie has declined dramatically, in my opinion.  This is partly due to the overuse of special effects and CG — lacking any truly original story or content.  My opinion is further supported by the fact that studios are “re-releasing” and “re-making” films, rather than looking for original stories that have not yet been brought to the big screen.

Usually, I get to the theatre in time to see the coming attractions, and I could not have been more disappointed in the prospects for this holiday season.  Re-releasing Titanic, Beauty and the Beast and all the Star Wars films; re-making Snow White, Muppets and Footloose.  (Footloose remade?  Who watched that very dated 80’s film and said “We should remake this movie!”)  I know that we have not run out of ideas, Hollywood has just become lazy.  There are so many works of fiction that have never been released as movies, we should never be remaking or rereleasing anything.  So many classics, fantasy novels and science fiction to choose from.

I must admit that I was very doubtful in spending the money to see Hugo.  The advertisement for the film does not at all truly convey what the story is about, and misleads one to think its something along the lines of Narnia or the Polar Express.  This is not the case at all.  This is a wonderful story about the brilliance of Georges Melies, the visionary Parisian director from the early 20th century, intermingled with a heart-warming tale focused on an orphan searching for his purpose.

I chose to see the film in 3D, as I thought it would be more of a fantasy story.  In retrospect, had I know the subject matter before going to the film, I would not have seen it in 3D, however, I am delighted that I saw this film with the full 3D experience.  The views of Paris, the environments, the dreams — all of it was masterfully woven by the unique vision of Martin Scorsese.  In my opinion, this movie should be viewed as one of his crowning achievements, because unlike all of his other films, this is a movie that can be adored and enjoyed by everyone.  (I saw this movie with my 7-year old daughter who was equally stunned by the movie).

I think I would do an injustice to the film to try to explain it, or dissect it.  Hugo is simply a movie to be experienced.  For all of us who’ve ever felt discarded, forgotten, lost or lonely, this movie will remind you that we’re all in this together.