Author Archives: Jim Knipp

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Family Game Night

Looking to spice up your family game night?  Check out these great games to gift the geeks in your life, after the break!

rankinbass

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot

Sometime around 1980 a new paperback appeared in our household reading library (which conveniently doubled as our bathroom). This in itself was not an odd occurrence.  Pretty much my entire reading universe at the time was comprised of whatever novels I happened to find in the bin next to the toilet.

...yeah, way too much information, Jim...

…yeah, way too much information, Jim…

Find out what I found, after the break.

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Jim Knipp On… It’s Alive

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

In 40 years of watching horror movies, I have viewed a cadre of serial killers bloodily dispatch teenagers in increasingly disturbing and creative fashion, and not lost a moment’s sleep.  I’ve chuckled while vampires and demons consumed and corrupted the innocent beyond count.  And have gotten the munchies watching zombie hordes eat intestines like pasta at an all you can eat buffet

...also known as Saturday Night at the Olde Country...

…also known as my Saturday night in the Olde Country…

Yet for all the really scary stuff that’s left me yawning, it’s a cheesy 70s movie with a subtle-as-a-brick-to-the-head social message that somehow overrides my terror filters and sends me on a one-way trip to peeyourpants town.  A pleasant little film called It’s Alive.  Find out why after the break.

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True Detective S02 E08: The Omega Station

I’m not sure how they did it, but “True Detective” pulled a rabbit from their hat to close out season two.  Granted, it was a snarling, 300-pound rabbit with matted fur and a taste for blood,

...with a taster for babies...

…and babies…

…but they took what had been an uneven, frustrating season and turned it around with a gripping closing episode filled with action, tension, and emotion.  Lots to cover after the break.

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True Detective S02 E07: Black Maps and Motel Rooms

Ani_E07

Oh, hi there, True Detective!  How nice of you to finally show up, 7/8ths of a season later.  Oh, I know you’ve given some hints that you were around, like in episode three and four, when you blew everyone away;  but then you’d turn around and get lazy on me, spend an episode where your characters wander in circles for an hour, or one where you add a bunch of new plot lines that appear to have nothing to do with anything.

So really, TD, do you think you can just walk in here in seven hours late, with your taut storytelling, your character reveals, and your plot lines all nicely tied together and I’ll just forgive you?  Well do you?  Do you!!!!? Find out after the break.

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True Detective S02 E06: Church in Ruins

TDsearch

True Detective” continues its messy second season with an ‘everything AND the kitchen sink’ episode six.  Clues start to fall into place, Ray and Frank take turns trying to channel Mike Brady, and the crew participates in the strangest, most far-fetched party infiltration since Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks had to save the virgin Connie Swail from the clutches of P.A.G.A.N.  An episode that was three parts tension tempered by two parts silliness, nonetheless, it got the job done and set us up for the final quarter of the season.  Find out more after the break.

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True Detective S02 E05: Other Lives

highway

“It’s never too late to start all over again,” Ani Bezzerides assures a reluctant Ray Velcoro; and apparently our “True Detective” showrunners took that advice to heart, as episode five explodes in a tangled highway of new and resurfaced plotlines that bring us back to the bad old days of episode one.  Find out what I really think after the break!

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True Detective S02 E04: Down Will Come

CRAP! I had to go and waste a good “Game of Thrones” comparison way back in episode two of “True Detective,” didn’t I? For one stinking, surprising  killing of a major character (who didn’t even stay dead!) Now what am I going to do? I can’t use the same line!

Hell with it, I’m going there again. “True Detective” interrupts a perfectly serviceable, quiet episode with a “Game of Thrones”-ian style blood bath that left you unable to look away from the screen (or take notes for a recap), find out what I think (as if you don’t already know) after the break.

...all it needed was this guy swooping in from the valley and it would have been perfect...

All it needed was this guy swooping in from The Valley and it would have been perfect…

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True Detective S02 E03: Maybe Tomorrow

frankcrew
Our second season of “True Detective” may have finally found its stride as we discover Ray Velcoro’s fate, get some more character backstory, and say a tearful goodbye to Stan in an exquisitely tense and weird episode three.  Find out more after the break.

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Jim Knipp On… Dungeons and Dragons

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

Sometime around 1980, the twelve-year old version of me happened upon a book with the very promising title of “Monster Manual.”  I had no idea what it was, but the pages were filled with line-drawn pictures of various monsters of myth and history: unicorns and dragons, dinosaurs and something called “Green Slime.”  The book included descriptions of these beasts, and a series of arcane looking numbers and letters labeled ‘Treasure Type,”  “Armor Class,” and most mysteriously “THAC0.”  I wanted to buy that book badly, but I was broke so I did the next best thing.  I convinced my best friend to buy it, and then I borrowed it (for like six months).

...can you blame me? Look how awesome this is!

Can you blame me? Look how awesome this is!

Little did either of us know the decision we made standing in that Waldenbooks aisle would change both of our lives forever.  Find out how after the break…

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