Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Horror! A Halloween Mega Review Post!

Reviews Of Unusual Size


Directed by Adam Gierasch
2009, 93 mins, Rated R
Re: A group of rowdy college-ish aged kids throw a party at an old Loisiana mansion. When the cops roust 'em, a select seven, mostly played by people in their late thirties of questionable acting ability, manage to get locked in. They play spin the bottle, get it on and get possessed. Crappy monster effects and gore ensues.
Outstanding:I really liked Monica Keena in some other stuff. The intro, filmed poorly in a 1920's style was at least a good idea...
Unacceptable: Everything. I don't even know where to begin with how bad everything was in this flick. 
Summary: Bad in a way that only a movie made in the aughts, featuring hard rock, computer generated gore and c-list actors can be. Barely worth finishing. And I'm not even sure why I say that.


Directed by Samuel Bayer
2010, 95 mins, Rated R

Re: A remake/reimagining/encapsulation/renovation/modern take on the original. If you don't know the plot, well... I'll probably post a non-Halloween post on Thursday.
Outstanding:I really like Jackie Earl Haley, and I think a few things they did with the story were unique.
Unacceptable: Everyone else was generic and forgettable. There were a few scenes that  has abysmal special effects. Pretty sad for a film with $35mil to play with.
Summary: Granted, I've never really like Freddy. His style of dream antics and goofy deaths has always seemed silly to me. Silly but enjoyable. This movie managed to remove both of those things. Hmm.



Directed by Scott Charles Stuart
2010, 100 mins, Rated R

Re: God has gotten tired of us, so he decides to unleash heaven on us. Kill 'em all and let himself sort it out, I guess. But for some reason, he gave us one last chance, in the form of a pregnant girl, working in a roadside truck stop. Oh, and Paul Bettany is an angel that wants to help out. He has lots of guns.
Outstanding:This movie knows it's goofy and dumb, but it also knows how to have fun with that. There are a few well done scenes and Doug Jones as an angel-possessed Ice cream man. That's pretty cool.
Unacceptable: Y'know, maybe it was my mood when I watched this, but despite its shortcomings, there wasn't really anything I hated.
Summary: It's not gonna win any awards, but if you're looking for a flick where grannies walk on ceilings and angels pack glocks, check it out. It's kinda amusingly diverting.


Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
2010, 97 mins, Rated R

Re: BANGBANGBANG. Weird four mouthed zombie things! Convenient reunions! BANGBANG! Big goofy zombie thing! BANGBANGbangBANGduckBANG! mumble, swim, BANG! Matrix guy. BANGGITYBANGBANG! Goofy non-ending!
Outstanding: Is that Tig, from Sons Of Anarchy?
Unacceptable: Is that Milla, staying clothed for the entire movie, despite a perfectly good, badly written, shower scene?


by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
2009, 608 pages, ebook
Re: Del Toro and Hogan spin a new take on vampires, one that's both modern - steeped in the paranoia of today and classic - inspired by legends from the past. In their world, vampires are a virus, infecting us. Turning us into pale, sexless, evil drones with stingers and white, worm infested bodies. 
Outstanding:I still love this take on the vampire legend. The characters are well-rounded and excellent. You really feel for them, you want to know what happens to them. And the vamps are everything a vampire should be, violent, evil, nasty and infectiously awesome.
Unacceptable: Despite how much I love this book, it suffered a little bit the second time around. A few sub-plots seemed less important and a little long, but overall still a very enjoyable read.
Summary: When I first reviewed this book, back in 2009, I gave the book 5/5 and said it was probably one of the best of the year. I wouldn't go that far this time, though it's still easily a 5/5 book. I just didn't find myself devouring it as eagerly as I had before.

By Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan 
2010, 320 pages, ebook
Re: The sequel to THE STRAIN and book two in a planned trilogy. Setrakian, Goodweather and crew continue their valiant battle against the vampires and the nation of misinformation that claims the plague of neck suckers is merely a plague of a conventional sort. And the Master ramps up his plans to subjugate the world.
Outstanding:Del Toro and Hogan really know how to write a story. Everyone stays intriguing and fun to read and the action is cranked to eleven within the first few pages. I really like the track they took with the Ancients, a breed of old school vamps, the originators of the virus. Luchadore!
Unacceptable: There's a lot of stuff going on here, and some of it is far more impressive than others. There's a couple of sub plots that may pay off in the long run, but seem like they're unnecessary here. There's also a spot in the book where I would have sworn a man's arm is broken, yet he uses it with no difficulty a chapter or so later.
Summary: Not as strong as the first novel, but still a well written one. I'm pretty excited to see what happens in the final book... In a year or so.

by Jonathan Maberry
2008, 480 pages, ebook
Re: It all ends here. Maberry's excellent Pine Deep Trilogy concludes with an all-out explosion of chaos as the evil massing in the cellars and fields of the tiny town take to the streets of the Pine Deep Halloween festival. With plans to feast.
Outstanding:I love Maberry's writing. He infuses things with an easy sense of humor and his dialogue is as natural as listening to a couple of buddies talk. He also knows whats scary and nasty and revels in dosing it out.
Unacceptable: The pop culture references wore a little thin for me, with entire chapters dedicated to the efforts of the real-life  horror dignitaries at the festival. It was fun for a while, but I think it went just a wee bit over the top. 
Summary: Overall a very excellent book. High on drama and action. It's not easy writing a trilogy like this, I would imagine. His mythology is deep and twisty and he balances dozens of fairly important characters without us ever once getting confused or lost, only hungry for the next pages. I loved my visit to Pine Deep. You should plan a trip, but book ahead if you plan on visiting around Halloween. Things get pretty busy that time of year.

by Brian Keene
2004, 336 pages, ebook
Re: Zombies rule the earth. For every man, woman, child or animal that dies, they come back. Walking, eating and yes... the bane of zombie novels for me, talking. In Keene's universe, when something dies, something else takes over that body. A Sumatran spouting demon that remembers what the previous inhabitant knew and wants nothing more than to continue porting their brothers over. Oh yeah, and a guy tries to travel cross country to save his kid that is supposedly still alive in an attic.
Outstanding:As much as I despise talking zombies, I was entertained by these guys. They're possessed, drive around like something out of Mad Max and know how to use your loved one's feelings against you. Kind of original.

Unacceptable: Man, the living in this book bored me to death. Every one was a stereotype of the highest order, and while that's almost a requirement in a zombie book, these guys were all really bad. There was the selfless Priest, the hardcore ex-hooker, the stalwart and determined single father, the scientist carrying a load of guilt for starting the whole thing and the military asshole. 
Summary: Despite my annoyances with the main characters, I had a good time reading THE RISING. It's a traditional zombie road trip book with some unexpected twists along the way.

Weighty Matters - 
My Current Weight -  296
Progress Thus Far -  A couple pounds. But on the plus side, we finally got some healthy snacks for me to take to work, so that should help.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back In The Saddle, Sans Spurs

Now Playing -
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy  by The Puppini Sisters

Life - 
Well, I had planned on being more regular with my posts...

I spent the last week in Belfast, ME, setting up a new store and immediately derailed a few things. My roommate was a great guy, but MAN did he snore! ANd not just a heavy sawing, that I could have handled, this was a jittery, hodge-podge of sounds. Anything from a slight wheeze to a barking, sharp cough, interspersed with some slight mumbling. This, coupled with the warmth of the room (I typically sleep with the room quite cold, in the low fifties) I had an incredibly difficult time sleeping. And because I spent a week in a hotel working 10-11 hour days, I also ate in restaurants for all of my meals, which temporarily shot my diet to hell too. 

On the plus side, it did prompt me to slide on my headphones, queue up Pandora and type to drown out the Adam Sandler movies they seem to play on repeat on TBS. Why do they do that, anyway? One night, they played the same insipid, horrible Sandler movie three times in a row, starting the next showing before the credits had even finished rolling. Madness. Then again, my roomie kept falling asleep and waking up in time to cath the next showing... SO there's that, I guess. 

My wife and I have started to avoid the the TV like the plague on vacation. I know a lot of folks that turn the TV on in a hotel room before they even flick the lights or set their bags down, and one of the managers I worked with even left hers on all night as a kind of strobing, loud, night light. I'm not sure when it happened, but we never even touch it anymore. I think it's kind of a good thing. What about you, fellow readers? Do you run the TV in the background or find other ways to occupy your time on vacation?

Reviews Of Unusual Size
by Alton Gansky
  2004, 336 pages, ebook
Re: When Mayor Madison "Maddy" Glenn's confidants, advisors and friends start disappearing mysteriously, with only cryptic clues remaining, and signs that the abductor knows more than they should, Maddy must make a choice. Hide in fear or carry on like she has always done things, confronting the abductions and even a killer bravely and headfirst.

Outstanding: This was an interesting idea, and I thought the small town in California where it was set to be very appealingly described. Most of the characters were well rounded and had some personality.

Unacceptable:  Unfortunately, the story never grabbed me. It was a slog to continue reading as page after page was filled with emotional drama, the story focusing on her tears and internal turmoils and minor aches and pains with her job, rather than the kidnappers and the investigation, which was a genuinely good idea and could have been an engrossing story. There was also a major side story featuring the daughter of a victim and her estranged father that did nothing for the story but give it a broadly defined man to hate and some drama that should have come from the main story instead.

Summary: What tries to come across as a kidnapping thriller behind the cover of a legal thriller ended up being something more akin to a chick-lit book with a kidnapping. It could make a pretty dramatic movie of the week on Lifetime, with her constant bickering and fisticuffs with the estranged father and self-absorbed sniffling. The Incumbent feels like a novel written by a county clerk that wanted to write a police thriller but didn't know enough about police investigations or thrills to actually include any in the book.
Weighty Matters - 

My Current Weight - 298

  Progress Thus Far -   
Backsliding. Damn the crappy choice in restaurants in Belfast!

Writing - 
 I'm actually pretty happy with my progress so far. Not as substantial as I'd hoped, but I'm at just under 74,000 words on Graves, and I've started the plotting on my second adult novel.
The Last Sentence - 
"I wrecked this beast on my own." 
From - "Graves" (WIP)

Friday, October 15, 2010


Now Playing -
The Big Fish by Danny Elfman


We went "Leaf Peeping" to the North of Augusta yesterday. There's not much better than wandering around a cemetery in perfect autumn weather with your loved one. Not in my book, anyway. Beautiful! I will also have a new sculpture available on Deeply Dapper tonight, the first in my line of "Trapped Tikis" Check it out!
Tomorrow, I'm heading to Belfast for a week to help open a new store. I plan to have some downtime to update the blog and do some writing, but we'll see. Sometimes these trips get more involved than others.

Reviews Of Unusual Size  


by J.A. Konrath (as Jack Kilborn), Blake Crouch, F. Paul Wilson & Jeff Strand 
Release Date - October 19th, 2010, 389 pages, e-book Advance Copy
Re: This is an interesting book. Brainstormed by J.A. Konrath (writing under his Horror alter-ego, Jack Kilborn) and written tag team style by four generally well-respected horror and thriller authors, Draculas is a down and dirty re-imagining of the vampire legend. Ditching fancy cloaks and sparkling skin, these guys are nasty. They reproduce and hunger for flesh like fast moving zombies and if they escape the hospital where the initial outbreak occurs, God help the world. And all that stands between them and the world at large is a down on her luck hospice nurse, a lumberjack with a chainsaw sharper than he is and a gun-crazy deputy. 

Outstanding: Draculas is a ridiculously fun book to read. The writers styles mesh well, to the point that I had a hard time breaking down who did what, and the story is pure Video Nasty. In my book, that's a Very Good Thing. The "Draculas" as they are dubbed, are vicious, ugly creepy and cool as hell. I dig their take on the creatures, which is both original and old-school. The main characters are pretty stereotypical, but in this type of story, that's a strength. I don't want my big lumbering brute of a man to read Kierkegaard and moan about his feelings. I want him to break out a monster's teeth with the blade of a chainsaw while his ass flaps around in a hospital gown. (The ass part is purely optional, mind you.)

Unacceptable: There wasn't much I didn't like about this book. It's not for everyone - there's a lot of gore and violence, almost constant peril in fact, and some of it is ridiculously over the top. It's also a little short,  only taking up about 2/3 of the file's 389 pages, but the remainder is filled with some great DVD-style extras. I also had a problem with the advance copy of it on my nook. It had unusually slow page turns, sometimes as much as 5-7 seconds between each. 

Summary: Go back and read the first couple of lines about what was "Unacceptable" in this book. If that sounds more like a recommendation than a problem, then you should immediately GO HERE and order Draculas. It's crazy and filled with death in the best possible way. It is a little short, but the extras at the end, around 100 pages of interviews, previews of other books and short stories push the $2.99 price tag from being a good deal to being a steal. 


Weighty Matters - 

My Current Weight - 296
Progress Thus Far -   
I've lost a couple of pounds, but that doesn't seem too significant... since I can do that taking off my shoes..We went out and bought some healthy snacks too, which should help. If I can avoid Halloween candy for a month and Christmas candy for the two after that....

Writing - 
Not too bad. I've passed the 72,000 word mark, and have started to discuss e-publishing options with my wife. She has a few books earmarked for that market as well. I'd like to get this completed, edited and available for sale by Christmas. 

The Last Sentence - 
My grip tightens on the sledge and a smile seeps unbidden to my face. 
From - "Graves" (WIP)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Intermission Part Two

Reviews Of Unusual Size  

  by Jonathan Maberry
2009, 421 pages, paperback
Re: A zombie book by the new modern master of the undead.  Jonathan Maberry has written a few books on zombies now, including a "nonfiction" examination of them, this military style thriller and a young adult novel. He must like the staggering suckers, and he does a great job writing about them.

Outstanding: Last time I reviewed Patient Zero, about a year ago, I praised it for its lighting pace and the twist on zombies. Re reading it, I also found myself really liking the characters themselves, especially Joe's buddy, Rudy. 

Unacceptable: Not much to dislike here. I'm not big on drawn out descriptions of weapons and military specs, but Maberry adds just enough to keep it legit without feeling bogged down. The first time around, I found myself mildly annoyed with two of the villains, Gault and Toys, and assumed it would be the same this time, but even they were more enjoyable this read through.

Summary: An entertaining, well-written novel. I do have to say though, it's more of a thriller than a horror novel. Great for the zombie lover that also digs a good shootout, but if you're looking for a creepy book to read in the shadows, try his Pine Deep trilogy instead. 


Weighty Matters - 
  My Current Weight - 299 lbs
Progress Thus Far -   
This is a new addition to ROUS, and something I debated a long time about doing. I initally started this blog for three reasons - To record and share my families challenges and triumphs as we roll through life, to keep up with family and friends and to review books, movies and other things that entertain me.
Since that day, the blog's become a bit more, a place where I challenge myself to keep trying at things like my writing, a place to publicly remind myself to keep trying. SO I've decided to add this update to the ends of my posts, and attempt to start posting more regularly, likely every Monday and Thursday. As a motivation for myself. Once it's posted here, regardless of how many people read my blog, there's no going back.

I am overweight. Not that this is a recent thing, I've been heavy most of my life. It got bad when I had a rough time in Jr. High and High School and since then, I've always been about the same. It's not that I feel unhealthy, I carry a good chunk of muscle under the skin, and I think Big-boned is a pretty accurate description of my frame, but there's too much fat under there too, to the tune of 300 pounds of weight, total. It was getting better for a while, I was riding my bike to work, doing some weights and push-ups until December of last year, when I got into a car accident and shattered my right arm in six places. The splint they placed on it, by some miracle, managed to cradle the pieces of bone just right - they wouldn't have to operate, which was fortunate, as nerve damage was highly likely if they did, but it meant I had to be exceedingly careful with it. For six months I was required to stay pretty much immobile as my bones healed and the rest of my body went to pot. 

When they removed the wrappings, my muscles had atrophied. Skin hung off of my upper arms like a loose wet suit and I could barely use it. I'd also put on a lot of extra pounds. At the same time, we had moved to Maine and I'd started a new phase in my career at work, which keeps me really busy. But things are getting a bit more stable now, we've found a kind of rhythm out here and, inspired by my wife's recent 25lb weight loss and my friend Sherry's incredible drive to work out, I think it's time to dive headlong into losing the weight again and packing some muscle back on. 

I could do it silently, but I don't think it would be as successful as my posting it on here for the world to see. I've got no choice now. So wish me luck.

Writing - 
Progress, actually! I wrote another chapter in Graves, bringing my total word count up to over 71k, with only about 9,000 words left in my plotting, I think. My hope is to have this completed by Halloween and start editing it.
The Last Sentence - 
The infected are filing into the Double-U Drug through the shattered doors. There is no more time. 
From - "Graves" (WIP)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Now Playing -   
Supernaturally by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Life - 

We now take a break from our regularly scheduled recap of my vacation to catch up on some book reviews. (Primarily because I just realized that it was time for my quarterly review of reading and I'm VERY behind on my reviews.)

Reviews Of Unusual Size

by Raymond Chandler
1939, 139 pages, e-book
Re: The first Phillip Marlowe novel, published in 1939. Marlowe works a blackmail case for a millionaire that soon involves the millionaire's nutjob daughters, murder and more awesome dialogue than you can imagine.

Outstanding: Everything. I mean it. I love everything about this book, but if I have to tie down one particular thing, it'd have to be the dialogue. I wish everyone spoke like this.

Unacceptable: The daughter's antics got a bit old after a bit.

Summary: I've read this book a few times over the years and it never ceases to thrill. It's one of those books that I read when I'm feeling down, or that maybe I don't want to be a writer, or when I have a fedora, a cigarette, some whiskey and no case to occupy my time.

by Stieg Larsson
2010, 630 pages, e-book

Re: Lisbeth Salander is on the run and still a bit crazy. Blomkvist and crew do what they can to prove her innocence - such as it is - and unravel the twists and turns that result.

Outstanding:That outline doesn't really give proper credence to the plot here, which is pleasantly twisted and pretty fun.

Unacceptable: Once again, I thought Salandar's character was all over the place, bouncing between manic and crazy and extremely professional, but not in a way that suggests it was intentional so much as in a way that suggests the author couldn't decide which way to go.

Summary: I still think these books are overrated, but the plot was better this time around, with tighter pacing and a gloriously over the top climax.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

West Meets East - Part Two

Now Playing -  
One Day by Chris Isaak

Life - 

We chose the ideal way to start off our vacation with Lindsay's parents on Monday morning. Rich has always prided himself on his backyard. It's fenced in and private, with plenty of shade trees and a lush little garden, plenty of decks and places to relax. And in recent years, he's started feedinging and watching birds. He gets a huge number in his yard everyday, and delights in identifying them, and catering the feed to their liking. So when we were planning the trip and noticed that there was an Audubon sanctuary nearby, we immediately added it. 
Having never been there, it may have been risky, but it paid off extremely well.
Tucked off of the road near West Bath, the Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary is phenomenal. It has a two-mile trail through pines and oaks that skirts the edge of the bay, swampland and old-growth forests.
We spent a long time leisurely wandering the path, spotting birds, peeking under mushrooms for fairies, examining fishermen's buckets of bloodworms, and taking in the amazing scent of the pine forest. This was probably the highlight of my trip. I was still fresh and hadn't tired of driving everywhere and it was a joy to wind my way through root lined paths in the middle of nowhere.
Afterwards, we drove for a bit, ending up on Popham Beach. In the summer, this place is insanely busy. They have a pretty substantial parking area and when we went by in July, it was full and folks were parking along the highway. On a windy, rainy day in October however, it was just us. My in-laws surprised me by being remarkably game for this, and we spent some time there, dodging the surf and watching the Atlantic. 
Fort Popham was a logical next stop. Built in 1869, this crescent shaped granite Battery saw a little action before the nearby Fort Baldwin made it obsolete. Nowadays, the place is open to the public during the summer months and it's very impressive to wander around in. You can still see the mounting brackets for the cannons and the spray painted tags of the soldiers stationed here. I had a hard time deciding whether the fort would make a better backdrop for wedding photos or as a stronghold for the zombie apocalypse. 
We ate at a nearby restaurant, Smitty's, or something, where Rich had his first Maine Lobster. He was quite shocked by the small amount of meat you get for the work, though the flavor was as amazing as ever. I had a serviceable cheesesteak. Overall, it was pretty unremarkable restaurant, but it did have great waterfront views. We rolled on home after that. Lindsay watched a little bit of TV with her parents and learned that you can describe the entire plot of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind to some people and they still wont realize that they've seen it until the DVD menu comes up.

Reviews Of Unusual Size  


Thursdays, The CW
Re: Yet another remake of the Luc Besson story, this hour-long drama follows the adventures of a woman named Nikita. (Maggie Q) Trained by an underground governmental group, Nikita was burned and escaped. Now she's gone rogue and will stop at nothing to bring the organization down.

Outstanding: I've always liked spy shows, and I got a kick out of the 1997 series. 

Unacceptable: Too bad this show was so horrible. The acting was atrocious, the writing even worse, and I think Maggie Q is totally and completely unbelievable as a trained assassin. She's so skinny and gangly that the weapons she's holding look like Rob Liefeld cartoon guns, and her angry face is that of a model concentrating on the catwalk. Which is too bad, because I've liked Maggie Q in some other stuff. And that would be forgivable if the other characters weren't just as bad. None of them look like the clichéd stereotypes they're meant to play. The bad ass controller has a pretty boy face with a neatly groomed douchestache, and the computer nerd looks like a surfer. 

Summary: I will not be watching this again. I suffered through the first two episodes and actually found myself looking forward to paying bills afterward.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

West Meets East - Part One

Now Playing -
 Metropolitan Glide
by Tom Waits
Life - 

For the last week and a half, we've had a virtual parade of visitors here. First, our friend Jen for a few days, visiting us on a side trip while she was in Cape Cod with her aunt. Before we'd even put the cushions back on the couch, Lindsay's parents arrived from Idaho for a week, and halfway through that, her sister Marissa joined us. I had planned on making little updates of their visit each day, leisurely editing photos and relaxing on the porch in the evening after our adventures. SO naturally, we ran out of time each day and by the time I got home from driving around every day, all I wanted to do was turn my brain off and unwind.

So here is my mega-post of the week, part one, covering Jen's visit and my in-laws' arrival.

Jen was an interesting challenge. She's an awesome lady and really fun to hang out with, and she's been my wife's best friend for years, but she's also different from us in a lot of ways, which made showing her Maine a bit hard. We knew what my In-Laws liked and anticipated that, but how does someone show off a state to someone in just a day or two? She also arrived with short notice right before our family's planned trips, so we couldn't take any time off work, which left Linz to entertain them while I worked. So I missed out on the lobster dinner and the lighthouse, but I caught up with them in the evening on Thursday. It had been a long day already. Portland looks like it has a fairly small Old Port area, but once you start walking around, it gets big pretty quick, and she was tired of walking by the time I joined them. So we kept things simple, just a visit to the nearly abandoned Old Orchard Beach for some Beal's ice cream and an order of Pier Fries. 
That night she crashed on our couch and the next morning, we headed North. We drove around Bath a bit, doing a few of the things that we had initially planned to do with Rich and Sue (Linz's parents) before heading to Red's Eats for lunch. None of us had ever eaten there before, but I'd heard good things. The line was long, but the food was swell (You can read my review of Red's here) and we had a really nice time. We also stopped at a few cemeteries along the way. Jen, a forensic anthropologist by training, was a lot more into our obsession with cemeteries than Lindsay's parents are, so we took advantage of that.

Unfortunately, after lunch, Jen had to head back South to meet up with her aunt, so we bid her a fond farewell. We had one day of work before my in-laws arrived on Sunday night, and a bit of prep work in the house before they arrived, but it was too bad to see her go all the same.

Sunday, Rich and Sue's plane got in pretty late, around 7pm, so all we really did was eat some pizza at the Pizza Villa, which was also the first place in Portland that Lindsay and I ate back in January. We got to our house around 9, played with the dogs and they were asleep by 10, with Linz joining them soon after. I sat in a corner of the bedroom with a book for another 3 hours, quietly reading, something that would quickly become a pattern...

Reviews Of Unusual Size


Tuesdays, ABC

Re: This new series is an hour-long drama about a family that finds themselves in possession of super-powers after a plane wreck. The father (Michael Chiklis) ends up with strength and some amount of invulnerability, the mother (Julie Benz) is super-fast, the daughter (Kay Panabaker) can read minds and the son (Jimmy Bennet) ends up being able to do something relating to math that never really got explained.

Outstanding: I'll watch anything with Michael Chiklis, and he does great here as a somewhat disgruntled father who feels like he's lost his family to everyday life. The effects are pretty decent here too, especially the fight scene in the garage. The father's friend is really fun too.

Unacceptable: Nothing much happens in the first episode, just the typical discovery of their powers, which let's be honest, is a pretty clichéd origin. The mother's abilities are kind of goofy looking, and her method of proving that she's fast (Remember that thing? WHOOSH Here it is!) is silly as hell.

Summary: Despite the extremely tired premise, I'll keep watching. The show has a great cast and I'm curious to see where they decide to go with things - Sappy family drama, over the top sitcom super heroes, ridiculous villain of the week antics or something unique and cool... Time will tell.