Kagemas: Spicy fun

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Me trying a chocolate 7 pot. One of the hottest peppers in the world.
A gift given to me 12/24/21

So the above photos are to give some background to this short Kagemas review. I have been eating hot peppers heavily since I was about 17. This would be 2003. Although I did try some in the 1990’s, I wasn’t overly enchanted with a lot of spicy stuff. Anyways, the point is I have a pretty high fuckin’ tolerance after nearly 20 years of eating hot shit.

Let me start with Steve O’s hot sauce. I watched Jackass as a kid. It had it’s moments, but it isn’t high brow by any stretch of the imagination. Steve O is a fuckin’ idiot, so when I was given this hot sauce, I actually had high hopes that it would be stupid hot. That wasn’t to be. While it smells and taste great, it is, overall a mostly meh sauce. You can get one that smells like, but taste slightly different than this one, if you buy Badia’s Ghost Pepper sauce or Melinda’s Ghost pepper sauce. Both are far cheaper than this stuff is and probably comparably hot. Granted, it will probably be hotter if you’re not a “expert” like I am at peppers or eating hot sauce, so a rookie might think it is too hot. Overall though, it’s good and I could be inclined to keep a bottle around every once in a while.

3 1/2 stars out of 5.

The next product is not to be underestimated. It only has the scoville rating of a Jalapeno, which, for me, is like eating a bell pepper. So I had a bowl, sans the stir fry part and boy did this fucker kick. You would of thought I was a rookie at eating hot stuff, but nope, as I assured you above, I have been an hot sauce idiot aficionado, for quite some time. I can see why so many people didn’t make it through the Youtube challenges. It’s price is decent, but not the cheapest ramen. If you try it, make sure to have milk, because it doesn’t fuck around.

4 out of 5 stars.

Kagemas: Dicken’s A Christmas Carol

INTRODUCTION: A Christmas Carol is one of my favorites of Dicken’s novels, but that doesn’t mean that it is perfect. In fact, quite the opposite, but still, this book has its charm and it is pretty much his most iconic novel ever made. Innumerable movies have been made from it, including my favorite, A Muppet’s Christmas Carol. So, what can we say about this book 200 years later?
SYNOPSIS: a cranky old miser finds himself on Christmas Eve being visited by three ghost whom are there to get him to change his wicked ways.

PROSE: As much as I love this novel and others of Dickens, here he isn’t at peak form. He has one too asides, that while iconic, are just not needed. I refer to things such as “Marley was dead, to begin with.” This is one par with a “It was a dark and stormy night.” He shows a bit but relies too much on telling from some nonexistent narrator. He doesn’t tell us much about what the other characters look like, but Scrooge gets the most emphasis. I know we need to “hate” Scrooge, but he could have described the other characters better. Dickens was better than this, but his uneven prose here, especially for such an iconic book, is annoying.

DIALOGUE: Excellent! A hell of a lot of iconic lines.

CHARACTERS: The only really developed character is Scrooge. The rest are only kind of developed at the end of the book, during the hauntings. Scrooge is a fantastic character, though and a way writers should be building characters and something I like to do myself. Much like Bram Stoker, the dialogue reflects who the character is, his core being, if you read between the lines. Fred for instance is really a horrible character and worse than Scrooge could ever be. He hate people, but parades around like a mirthful little shit who loves people, but really he is fake as fuck. Scrooge may be a misanthrope, but with lines that suggest he thinks his workers are horrible and that Christmas is the one time they can stop acting as if they’re (upper class) are better than his workers and a few other horrible lines, suggesting he is no better than Scrooge, it really shows the subtlety that is in Fred’s character and that he is just pretending to be something he isn’t.

SUBTEXT: Most people put the subtext as Scrooge being an analogy for Dickens himself, but I disagree. I think the movie “The Man Who Invented Christmas” nailed it as Scrooge being England and other cultures at the time whom had banned Christmas until about the mid 1800’s. I did notice though, that while it seems shallow of more subtext, the second ghost, seems to be an analogy for god himself. He even mentions that humans put blame on them, but I cannot recall a time period in history in which ghost were so senselessly victim blamed. Only the heavens seemed to get that. So perhaps there is more to these “ghost” than just gravy.

CONCLUSION: This book still shines in spite of its flaws, that it is almost like Scrooge himself, who, despite the flaws is redeemable and while I doubt that was Dicken’s intent, it still adds character to the novel. Still, there are stronger versions of this book and we never got it, but it is still a testament to Charles Dickens that even a weaker version is still so iconic. Personally, Scrooge is one of my favorite characters ever and I am glad this book gave birth to him and his iconic persona. Christmas truly is a bah humbug and even though Scrooge was eventually redeemed, someone had to mention it and while Scrooge has never put a dime in my pocket, I say, he has done us good and will do us good, so I say God bless him.

This book gets 4 out of 5 and isn’t a poor excuse for hogging up a man’s time every 25th of December.

Kagemas: Christmas Evil Review

INTRODUCTION: Here is an old movie that, sadly, I have never seen. It is one of those hidden gems and it has the benefit of being in a rare category of Christmas horror films that are not done well, or at least, not often enough. This though, this isn’t a lump of coal. Whoever was on the good list that year, thank you, because this is a fun flick!

SYNOPSIS: A young boy suffers a traumatic Christmas one year in the 1930’s. 50 years later, he takes his love for the holiday a bit too far.

CHARACTERS: This movie predates Joker, which just came out and I have to say, there is a similarity between the two characters and while, even though I haven’t seen it yet, I am sure Joker does it better, but this is an even cooler concept than just a psychological expose on an Incel in 1980’s New York. The character, in my mind, is more sympathetic, because he seems out of place in the world. There is an innocence, instead of mental illness. He is creepy, albeit, not intentionally. He loves Christmas and he is not very accepted by the world. The rest of the characters could have used more development, but the point of view is Santa.

ACTING: Very, very good. No one is going to win any awards here, but it is better than a lot of modern TV shows and very good for the B movies of the time.

DIALOGUE: is very good, nothing to complain about.

MUSIC: Excellent to build up the tone and tension.

VISUALS: It’s the 80s and very low budget but good for what they wanted to achieve.

SUBTEXT: None, except that being yourself isn’t beloved by everyone.

CONCLUSION: This movie is nearly two hours long and it really has few kills to make it a horror movie. It still builds up tension well and makes you wonder when he will finally go insane. It has flaws, but they’re few and far between. It is, as I pointed out, a character piece akin to Joker and very good at that. Why this isn’t bigger around the holidays is beyond me, but it really needs to be.

3 ½ stars out of 5.

Kagemas: 1922 movie review

INTRODUCTION
Ho, ho, ho, merry Christmas. How I loathe this season. Idiots crowding the malls, poor people spending even more than they earn and kids acting like entitle little shits. Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la, la la, la la. So what better way to start off Kagemas then with 1922, a Netflix “original” based on the Stephen King Novella, of which I have not read. If you love Miracle on 34th Street and other feel good family, well, you’re in for a treat, because this shit is the complete antithesis of it.

PLOT
Dude is poor with a family on a farm in 1922. Everything is fine, until plot twist, greed takes over. See, I told you this was a great choice to start off Kagemas, it is exactly what this season is about, greed, gluttony, fat ass spoiled children and annoying family members you want to kill, which incidentally, is exactly what the Punisher or Thomas Jane, if you want to get technical about it, does. Long story short, ghost, dying and rats about sum up this claptrap.

CHARACTERS
None of them are develop whatsoever. We basically go from happy family for 22 mins which leads directly to killing the wife. It is all downhill from here as his son takes a girl he likes with him and goes off ala Bonny and Clyde, both die. Thomas Jane loses a hand. The best developed characters are the rats.

STYLE
I like the cold tone it has throughout. It doesn’t look very cheap, even though it clearly was.

ACTING
Superb from all of them. Shit, too bad this movie was such fuckin rubbish and a waste of fuckin talent.

CONCLUSION
1922 is a horrible, unoriginal pile of dung, filled with shallow characters, lack of development, decent visuals and pretty great acting. Like an aging rock star, it is a shell of what it could have been, without the benefit of being a great once was.

1 out of 5 stars.

The Man Who Invented Christmas Move Review

INTRODUCTION
     I have always loved A Christmas Carol. It was one of my favorite Dickens tales and one of my top ten books of all time. It is the original Christmas tale, not counting the story of Jesus or Santa Clause himself.
The movie is a basic concept about Charles Dickens being down on his luck and really needing a bestselling book. Which of us don’t, though? The rest of the movie is a search for inspiration and the struggle against writers block, combined with a weird rendition of the novel itself, don’t in bits and pieces, sewn throughout.

STORY
     There isn’t a real story here. At least not a very interesting one, anyways. Writer needs inspiration, writer finds inspiration, and writer publishes. Most of us that are writers go through this on a day to day basis, so it makes me really wonder who this is for. Is it for writers, creators, family or Victorian era England aficionados?

     I loved all the little Easter eggs to the Dickens other works,such as the orphanage that a young Charles Dickens was forced to labor in, when his after was arrested, leaving Charles stranded, the inspiration for Oliver Twist. I love the meeting with a Constable, named David Copperfield. The language coming directly from the world around Charles Dickens and the fun, but most likely, overly exaggerated way he worked.

T     he problem is, who is going to care if Charles Dickens is going to finish A Christmas Carol? What happens if he doesn’t publish it, besides being in debt?

     Nothing in this film is really of the essence and none of it is really going to draw us into the story and watch this for over an hour. Thankfully the screenplay was well written, so at the very least, we didn’t fall asleep during the middle of it.

ACTING
     The acting is superb. Not a single bad actor in the lot and all did a very good job at their individual roles. The two break away performances belong to Scrooge himself, slicing at Dickens with his acerbic wit and Dickens himself. An honorable mention goes to the character of the young Irish house maid, whose emotional investment in Charles Dickens book is the desire of every writer to have and also the soul of every single one of us when we finish a good book.

VISUALS
     Beautiful lighting, fantastic sets, it really looked like the embodiment of the area that we’re accustomed to seeing. The CGI is on point and I think it will hold up in the years to come.

CONCLUSION
     This movie is probably not for everyone. If you’re a Dicken’s buff, a fan of his work or a writer yourself, then you’ll absolutely will appreciate this the most. Even if you’re not a fan, it is decent enough to hold your attention for the duration of the movie. It is hardly a terrible movie, but to be honest, it is one that I don’t think we really needed, either. Regardless, it is a rousing Christmas romp that isn’t a horrible way to spend a night with the wife and kids, if you’re looking for family fare.

3 ½ out of 5 stars.