Sunday, May 9, 2010

Not Dead Yet

So, uh....hello there. Remember when I said I'd be updating the blog at least once a week?

Well, life happened. Specifically, the second half of senior year happened. As it currently stands, I've got two papers to write (a 6-page paper for English and a massive 20-page term paper for AP European History), tests to study for, a number of books to read, and various functions to attend so that I at least appear to have something of a social life. All the while, I still have to find time to read, write, and sleep.

But not to worry; I'm not whining. I know this is how the real world works, and if that's the case, so be it.

Which is why, effective immediately, I declare Celluloid Dusk back in business. (*cue ACDC music*).

I should be posting my review of the second Hiram Grange novella soon, along with reviews of other books that have been piling up during my absence. Also, I've got some articles and commentary I might like to share.

So, in the immortal words of Mark Twain, "the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."


Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Refusal of the Refusal of the Call

Tom "SteepInKline" Kline here, and welcome to 2010!

Fun things will be happening over the course of this year, particularly on this blog. As you may have already seen, I started the year by posting my review of the first Hiram Grange novella; this is just a taste of what's to come. Now that I have a boatload of books, games, and movies to review, expect lots of reviews and commentary in the future.

Also, I'll try to post more often, with probably at least once a week, so check back often.

And remember: 2010 will be the Year of Celluloid Dusk!

Until next time, I'm SteepInKline, and I'm Oscar Mike!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Book Review: Hiram Grange and the Village of the Damned by Jake Burrows

Meet Hiram Grange. He's got a number of addictions, a tragic past, and a rather unhealthy attraction to Jodie Foster. He's also got a Webley MK VI Revolver and an important job to do, so stay out of his way, will you?

In the first of five novellas in The Scandalous Misadventures of Hiram Grange series, readers are introduced to the aforementioned Hiram and his fellow misfits as they uncover a terrifying secret in the quiet village of Great Bay, New Hampshire. Because Great Bay is one of twelve "major confluences" which house a great amount of supernatural energy, Hiram is sent to investigate, and comes across a plot to destroy the entire village (and possibly the world). The fate of Great Bay ultimately rests in the hands of an opium-addicted, absinthe-drinking misanthrope. So much for playing the odds.

Shroud Publishing's first foray into the world of Hiram Grange is an exciting and pulp-filled thrill ride, with an interesting cast of characters and an almost comically disturbing story. Burrows manages to take an unlikely hero and pit him against impossible odds, all the while laying the foundation for future entires in the series; he also never ceases to keep the adrenaline (and the gross factor) pumping constantly, and though his descriptions can be verbose at times, they ultimately enhance the story's general pulp vibe. Fans of horror and/or pulp will find a great friend in Hiram Grange.

Celluloid Dusk gives Hiram Grange and the Village of the Damned a 5 out of 5.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Update on the Review System

The following are the guidelines for any review posted on this site, effective immediately:

1). Reviews will be no more than 250 words long, except on extremely rare occasions where the limit may be raised to 300 words. This limit is designed to keep the reviews as cohesive as possible, and to keep to professional standards.

UPDATE: The final sentence of each review (which gives the score of the item reviewed) is not counted as part of the 250-word limit.

Also, video game reviews are exempt from this rule, as they have different professional standards.

2). All items that are reviewed will be scored on a five-point scale, with 1 being the lowest score and 5 being the highest.

3). Reviews will be written in the third person so as to eliminate any personal bias that might occur if written in the first person. Like Guideline #1, this is to keep with professional standards.

4). While reviews do serve as purchasing advice, it is important to remember that it is up to the reader to decide whether or not to purchase any item reviewed on this blog. Thus, the reviews posted should NOT be taken as the sole factor in deciding to purchase something.

Remember that this is only the policy for reviews. Any other topics will have their own format and guidelines.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Call To Adventure (or, Genesis)

Welcome. If you're reading this, you probably fit into one of two groups: those who have followed a link from anywhere I've posted it, or those who accidentally clicked on this blog in Google. Either way, I'd ask you to stay for just a moment and read what I have to say.

I should start by introducing myself. The name's Tom Kline. As of this writing, I am 18 years old, and hail from Upstate New York. I am, as my bio states, a "student by day, actor/podcaster/aspiring writer by night." I have been published by Bohemian Alien (a Christian website that sadly died shortly after my work was featured, which is why I have no link), as well as by my school's Creative Journal. Also, I can be heard (almost) every week on Counter Culture Weekly, a media and pop culture podcast.

I started this blog in addition to my Giant Bomb blog because I wanted to cover broader topics in an environment where people might actually read them. This gives me a space to post book, movie, and music reviews, as well as any interesting topics or rants I may have. Plus, if I post a blog on Giant Bomb, I'll probably post it here as well.

I'll get into specifics about how my reviews will work soon, but let me just say that it may or may not involve ratings out of 5 and/or a list of strengths and weaknesses for each piece of media I review. Honestly, I haven't decided, and probably won't until I'm ready to write my first review (which should be anywhere from 1-2 weeks from now, assuming all goes well).

Anyway, it's late, and I've got some stuff to do before I go to sleep. So, before I go, allow me to apologize for any lack of comprehension. It is, after all, 10:40 PM when I'm writing this.

Well, that's all for now. Check back every now and then, as I'm sure I'll post new stuff all the time. Until then, this is Tom "SteepInKline" Kline, and I'm Oscar Mike!