“0.03” Is Number 1 In My Book

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

If I had to guess — and I don’t, but I will — I’d surmise that the title for Haleigh Buck’s self-published (on nice heavy cardstock) 2018 (I think?) mini 0.03 refers to a particular size of pen tip . Probably a very tiny pen tip. But I could be wrong about that.

What I’m not wrong about is that this compact collection of illustrations was, in fact, drawn with some pretty tiny-tipped pens — and the detail in each of them is as staggering, even as unsettling, as the subject matter they explore. Roll call : death, skulls, demonic entities, random historical settings, nature, and more death. Picking up on a theme here?

This is seriously obsessive work, and I can only speculate on how much time was spent getting every aspect of every drawing exactly right. “A hell of a lot” may not be much of…

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In The Know On “Bow Vs. Bow”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

I don’t know if Leslie Weibeler intended to create a treatise on the dualistic nature of both art and existence with Bow Vs. Bow — a physically and aesthetically gorgeous Sonatina-published comic from, apparently, 2014 that flew so far under the radar that even I didn’t notice it upon release — but nevertheless that’s what we’ve got here, and if such wasn’t the author’s aim, it’s almost a more impressive achievement than if it were.

It might seem that a re-set would be in order after just one paragraph here — that going back and making sense would, ya know, make sense — but roll with me on this : Weibeler’s illustrations are breezy and maybe even slap-dash on a purely technical level, yet are imbued with so much weight and depth that they absolutely belie their own humble origins, and the same holds true for the poetic and…

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LifetimeFilm Review: The Sweetheart (a.k.a. Dating A Sociopath) (dir by Max McGuire)

Is this Canadian film from 2018 called The Sweetheart or Dating a Sociopath?

It depends on where you first saw it.

When it was on Netflix, it was called The Sweetheart.  However, when the film recently aired on Lifetime, the title had been changed to Dating A Sociopath.  We all know how much Lifetime loves to change titles and, in this case, I think they made the right move.  Dating A Sociopath just has a certain punch to it that The Sweetheart lacks.  The Sweetheart makes it sound like this is a film about one of those old women who always has 60 year-old candy sitting in a glass jar.  Whereas Dating A Sociopath tells you pretty much everything that you need to know about the film.

The sociopath of the title is Brian (John Cor), who is a personal trainer who apparently has a nice side gig going where he seduces wealthy women, spends all of their money, and murders them.  John Cor does a pretty good job of playing Brian, turning up the charm even while he’s doing some of the worst things imaginable.  As played by Cor, you can understand just how exactly Brian has managed to be such a successful con artist.  There’s also a great scene in which a jewelry store employee attempts to blackmail Brian and Brian responds not with the expected violence but instead by precisely explaining everything that he will do to the employee if he doesn’t keep quiet.  In this scene, Brian is both charismatic and dangerous and scary as Hell.

Brian’s latest target is Samantha (Jessalyn Gilsig), who is currently separated from her well-meaning but alcoholic husband.  Samantha thinks that Brian is the best but her oldest daughter, Jane (Hannah Vandenbygaart), is immediately suspicious of him  Of course, Jane has problems of her own to deal with.  Thanks to her father’s lack of sobriety and basic driving skills, Jane has a broken leg and is forced to spend most of the movie hopping around on either crutches or using a cane.  Making things even worse for Jane is the fact that Brian keeps messing with her medication, the better to keep Jane in constant pain and to also fool everyone into thinking that she’s become a pill-popping drug addict.

And I have to say that, as someone who has broken her ankle on multiple occasions and who knows just how Hellish the healing process can be without painkillers, nothing made me dislike Brian more than those scenes where he would sneak into Jane’s room and switch out her medication while she was sleeping.  I mean, if I didn’t already know it from the title, those scenes would be all the proof that I needed to know that Brian was a sociopath.  At the same time, those scenes also firmly put me on Jane’s side.  By the time Jane finally stood up for herself and started her own investigation into Brian’s past, I was ready to jump and cheer.

Dating A Sociopath is a pretty entertaining Lifetime film, even if it wasn’t originally made for Lifetime.  John Cor and Hannah Vandenbygaart are both well-cast in the two most important roles and if nothing else, the film will encourage anyone to think twice before dating a sociopath.  Even a charming one.

Music Video of the Day: 2099 by Charli XCX featuring Troye Sivan (2019, dir by Bradley and Pablo)

I don’t swim and I have a morbid fear of drowning but I still absolutely love jet skis.  I’ve only been on one a handful of times and every time I was the passenger as opposed to the driver but still, it was a blast.  Of course, I was scared senseless the whole time but still.  It’s kind of like riding a motorcycle, except you’re in the water and you can pretend like you’re in a movie or something.  As this video shows, jet skis are very cinematic.