Monday, 24 December 2012

Their Dear Little Ghost


Just in time for Christmas Eve, a special edition of Hypnobobs for the Geekplanet Christmas Stocking! As you might expect, this involves Mr Jim Moon reading a suitably seasonal Victorian ghost story - 
Their Dear Little Ghost by Elia W. Peattie.


or 

Direct Download here



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Friday, 21 December 2012

HYPNOBOBS 104 - Christmas Eve at King's


It's Christmas Eve, and you are all invited to King's College, Cambridge for a special Christmas revival of the legendary Chit-Chat Club. Mr Jim Moon is in the armchair by the fire and presenting a humorous seasonal haunting from Mr John Kendrick Bangs - The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall, some festive verse from Sir Walter Scott and Walter de la Mare, and talking about the ancient traditions of Yuletide. But of course, the highlight of this evening's entertainment is a reading of a ghost story from MR James, The Tractate Middoth.

Direct download - Christmas Eve at King's

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Sunday, 16 December 2012

HYPNOBOBS 103 - Festive Favourites


It's nearly Christmas and so Mr Jim Moon is drinking too much port (oh yes he is!) and rambling on about  favourite festive viewing! We discuss what makes a good Christmassy watch, and you can find out who's naughty or nice from this random stocking-full of festive features - The Snow Queen (2005), Jack Frost (1996), Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964), Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and Stalking Santa (2006).

Direct download - Festive Favourites

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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

SEVEN OF SPECTRES



We are very proud to announce the release of the very first book from the new minted Hypnogoria Press! Now available for the Kindle (and Kindle enabled devices), Seven of Spectres is an anthology of weird tales all detailing most unwelcome returns from the grave! Selected and introduced by Mr Jim Moon, there's stories from old masters such as MR James and Bram Stoker, but also less well-known works from authors such as E Nesbit and F Marion Crawford. And each tale comes with it own commentary, notes and a full page plate illustration (as can be seen below). If you're looking for a selection of classic ghost stories to read by the fireside this Christmas, look no further!

Find SEVEN OF SPECTRES here! 


PLATE VI
“It was like the body of a man long drowned, and yet it moved”






Sunday, 9 December 2012

HYPNOBOBS #102 - The Haunted Dolls' House


Christmas is drawing near and naturally Mr Jim Moon's thoughts turn to all things festive, such as presents, toys and ...er... the ghost stories of MR James! And so we proudly present the first of the now traditional Christmas readings of James tales, The Haunted Dolls' House.

Direct download - The Haunted Dolls' House

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Thursday, 6 December 2012

COMING SOON...


Coming very soon to an e-reader near you... 

SEVEN OF SPECTRES
 THE FIRST HYPNOGORIA BOOK OF UNCANNY TALES

A selection of classic tales of ghosts and hauntings selected and illustrated by Mr Jim Moon!


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

HYPNOBOBS 101 - Fighting Fantasy


Yes, at long last the Great Library of Dreams is opening its doors once more, and what an epic length show awaits you all! For this week Mr Jim Moon is waxing lyrical about the history and the mystery of the legendary Fighting Fantasy gamebooks! So grab two dice, a pencil and a bit of paper for the lands of high adventure await!

Direct download - Fighting Fantasy

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Sunday, 25 November 2012

HIGHWAY TO MARS - Children of the Stones


For the esteemed Highway to Mars Podcast, Mr Jim Moon joins Odile Thomas of the Sending A Wave Podcast to discuss in-depth the seminal 1970s childrens' British TV series Children of the Stones. We try to unravel what is actually going on in this fondly remembered and somewhat enigmatic serial that featured standing stones, ley lines, arcane astronomy, mind control, time loops and ..er...  morris dancing...

Downlaod here - HIGHWAY TO MARS - CHILDREN OF THE STONES


Sunday, 4 November 2012

HYPNOBOBS 100 Part III - Final Statements Concerning Randolph Carter


In the third and final part of HYPNOBOBS 100, Mr Jim Moon's epic investigation into the background of The Statement of Randolph Carter takes him into the mysterious heart of the Everglades, where worst than gators lurk in the swamps...

Direct download - Final Statements Concerning Randolph Carter

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Friday, 2 November 2012

HYPNOBOBS 100 Part II - Further Statements Concerning Randolph Carter


Continuing his epic investigation into the mysterious background and origins of HP Lovecraft's classic chiller The Statement of Randolph Carter, Mr Jim Moon uncovers dark secrets in ancient Florida history...

Direct download - Further Statements Concerning Randolph Carter

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Thursday, 1 November 2012

INTO THE LION'S DEN



Yes, it's another tale of young folks heading off the beaten path and finding horrors in hicksville! However this time, it's a little different...




Monday, 29 October 2012

HYPNOBOBS 100 - Some Statements Concerning Randolph Carter


Hypnobobs is 100 years old! I mean, 100 episodes old! And to celebrate we're having a special two part investigation into a Lovecraftian classic! In Part One, we hear a reading of HP Lovecraft's seminal tale The Statement of Randolph Carter and discuss its themes and significance, while in Part Two Mr Jim Moon sets off to the story's location deep in  the Everglades to discover what truth lies behind the story...

Click here for the letter from Lovecraft to Derleth referred to in the show

Direct download - Some Statements Concerning Randolph Carter

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Friday, 26 October 2012

SKYFALL (2012)


+++ CLASSIFIED - ALL EYES +++
+++ NO SECURITY SENSITIVE INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN +++

So then after somewhat unscheduled hiatus, at long last Bond is back. The follow-up to A Quantum of Solace was originally slated to appear far sooner, however MGM's recent financial woes meant that the production got trapped in the resulting limbo. And the production was on enforced hold for so long that there was even rumours of Eon Productions taking the franchises elsewhere and that Daniel Craig might be moving on. However thankfully the real world evil queens and kings of numbers sorted their act out so we could have a third outing with Craig as 007 just in time for Bond's 50th anniversary. 

So then the big question is, is Skyfall worth the wait? Well, the short answer is most definitely yes! This is a cracking outing of everyone's favourite secret agent and a very well rounded Bond movie. Furthermore, at running the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I reckon that Skyfall is going to be making its way into a lot of folks' personal Top Five Bonds very soon.  

Certainly having rewatched all the Bond canon very recently, this latest adventure deftly avoids the usual pitfalls that bedevil Bond's screen adventures. There's no deus ex machina gadgetry saving the day, there's a female agent who is actually very competent indeed rather than utterly useless, and while there is humour, including the trademark Bond wit, there's no over-quipping or one line groaners. But most importantly Skyfall doesn't fall into the perennial trap of being a string of flashy set pieces with only very thin threads tying them together. 

Here we actually have a very well paced story that fits together tightly and neatly, with it's actions scenes being beautifully orchestrated with the unfolding plot. At 143 minutes, Skyfall is the longest Bond film to date, however it's a testament to Sam Mendes' direction that the running time flies by, with the none of the longeurs between explosions and chases you find in so many other entries in the franchise. In fact ,I'd go as far to say that this is one of the best executed storylines we had for Bond in a longtime. 

Daniel Craig and Judy Dench of course are excellent as always as 007 and M, however I daresay this is the best we've ever seen them. And that's mainly due to the emphasis and the depth that Skyfall brings to them. For while both roles often are mere ciphers in the plot, in this outing they really blossom as proper characters. Of course we don't want to see too much of their inner workings, after all this is a big budget spy flick not an art house psychodrama,  and indeed we don't. However we do enough to make them realer people than perhaps we've seen before; they remain iconic figures but they are real enough to give the movie an emotional weight that many Bond movies lack. And the rest of the cast, with many of the key supporting players being similarly well defined and crafted. Both Ralph Fiennes' Mallory, a Secret Service mandarin, and Naomi Harris' Eve, the afore-mentioned kick-ass lady agent, both have very pleasing story arcs. 

We also have at last a new Q played by Ben Whishaw. Now the great Desmond Llewelyn left pretty big shoes to fill and nor would the old style semi-comic Q Branch scenes work in the new rebooted Bond universe. Hence this is a different take on the character - rather than the paternal uncle of Llewelyn (and later Cleese), here they've inverted the relationship with the new Q being many years junior to Bond. However things aren't that different as there's a similar cut and thrust of banter between Bond and Q that works wonderfully, particular as we see develop a mutual respect as the movie plays. And I have to say Whishaw knocks it out of the park, showing the same blend of irascibility and subtle humour as the classic Q. Yes folks, at last we do have a noble successor to the great Desmond Llewelyn.

We also have a very fine opponent in the shape of Javier Bardem's Silva. He presents us with a villain who is far more colourful and entertaining than many recent Bond adversaries and indeed in many ways he's a return to the larger than life evil masterminds of the classic Bond era. However he has more depth than the cackling meglomaniacs of yesteryear. He's charming yet chilling, with his theatrics only ultimately underlining his psychopathy. 

Actually both Silva and the new Q encapsulate what is great about Skyfall - it retains all the much need grit and realism the Casino Royale reboot injected into the franchise but at the same time it recaptures the spirit of classic era 007. There's many elements that are classically Bondian, indeed there's some lovely homages  to 007 history, but they are beautifully handled unlike the nods and winks crowbarred into Die Another Day.

And while there are several plot elements that are quintessentially Bond, they are beautifully integrated into a very modern story so that the movie never feels like it is merely salvaging pieces from the franchises' past and slapping a contemporary coat of paint on them. For Skyfall is the next logical development on for the Craig's agent who we met two films. Craig's 007 ago has maturing into a fully fledged Bond for the 21st century. All in all, it's a very appropriate for the movie appearing to mark the character's 50th anniversary, and Skyfall is a great outing to celebrate the character's half-century. 





Sunday, 21 October 2012

HYPNOBOBS 99 - Zombi Zombi Part III - The Gates of Hell


Rising once more from the grave, it's Part III of our series on all things living dead Zombi Zombi! And in this  edition, Mr Jim Moon is descending into all manner of benighted worlds of ill to explore Italian maestro Lucio Fulci's the Gates of Hell trilogy, looking in-depth at City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981) and The House By The Cemetery (1981).  The Sea of Darkness awaits!

Direct download - Zombi Zombi Part III - The Gates of Hell

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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Lovely Molly (2012)



From one of the codirectors of The Blair Witch Project, Eduardo Sanchez comes Lovely Molly, a creepy tale of ... a haunting? ...or madness?



Friday, 12 October 2012

HYPNOBOBS 98 - Pickman's Model


This week due to technical difficulties Mr Jim Moon is raiding the vaults again. And so we are revisiting an old classic with a brand new reading of HP Lovecraft's classic weird tale Pickman's Model.

Direct download - Pickman's Model

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Thursday, 11 October 2012

THE DEVIL'S BUSINESS (2012)


Pinner and Cully are out on a job. They've been despatched by Bruno to pay a Mr Kist a visit. However this is no ordinary social call, this is a gangland visit of a fatal variety. Pinner is an old hand in the hitman game, whereas Cully is a young hoodlum just learning the ropes. They arrive at Kist's house, let themselves in and wait for him to return home to conclude the business, quickly and quietly. All should go smoothly, however when they discover various indications that Mr Kist's has some very unusual hobbies, things start to go do badly off the rails...





Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Lost Episode (2012)



Another found footage horror? No, not quite... The Lost Episode is A) far worse and B) directed by Michael Rooker... Yes, THAT Michael Rooker...



Sunday, 7 October 2012

HYPNOBOBS 97 - The Room In The Tower


This week  Mr Jim Moon presents an introduction to a fine author of many a cracking weird tale, Mr EF Benson. And we sample his canon with a reading and discussion of his celebrated story of troubling dreams and nightmares, The Room in the Tower.

Direct download - The Room In The Tower

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Sunday, 30 September 2012

HYPNOBOBS 96 - Captain Jetlag's Random Movie Round-up


This week, a just back from his holibobs Mr Jim Moon proudly presents Captain Jetlag's Random Movie Round-up!  Featuring extended rambling and aural bollocks on BattleshipSherlock Holmes - Game of ShadowsChronicleLawlessParaNormanThe Adjustment Bureau! And Real Steel! There's be laughter! There'll be tears! There's be random tips for travellers! And blowing a whole years worth of exclamation marks!!!!!!

Direct download - Captain Jetlag's Random Movie Round-up

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Saturday, 29 September 2012

DOCTOR WHO 7.05 - The Angels Take Manhattan


Scanners indicate an absence of spoilers

So then, here we are at the mid-series finale, or rather the the mini-season climax as I think of it. After this, there's no more Doctor Who until Christmas. But what a fine choice of adversary for this final episode! Following in the footsteps of both the Muppets and Jason Voorhees, the most iconic of monsters that new Who has spawned, the Weeping Angels, return for a third momentous outing!  

Now I must confess, in what seems to be a somewhat traditional fashion for this series, the title did give me pause for thought. For this isn't the first time, that the TARDIS crew has visited the Big Apple. However the last time was the less than fondly remembered Daleks in Manhattan. Of course, considering their previous appearances, Blink and The Time of the Angels/Flesh And Stone, some the better adventures the series had delivered since its triumphant return in 2005, I really shouldn't have worried. 

Well, not about that at least...

...What I should have been fretting about is how in the name of Sutek am I going to review this without spoilers! For, of course, this final episode sees showrunner Steven Moffat returning to scripting duties. And as long-time readers know, his episodes always give me a headache reviewing sans spoilers! 

So then what can I tell you? Well, the Angels are on top creepy form as per usual, New York looks fantastic, the performances are great and the scripting is Moffat on good form... And that's it, thank you and goodnight! 

What you want more? Who do you think you are? An extra in Oliver! ?

Oh alright then... but be warned....

POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR ANYONE WHO HAS SUCKED BACK IN TIME BY ANGELS, IMPRISONED ON A PYRAMID ON MARS OR OTHERWISE BEEN OBLIVIOUS OF WHAT IMPORTANT EVENT THIS EPISODE CONTAINS

Still with me? Ok then...

 ...*deep breathe*...

... This episode sees the return of River Song! 

Right that'll teach you to skip ahead, oh impatient one! 

ABSO-FLIPPIN -UTELY LAST SPOILER WARNING FOR ALL THOSE LIVING IN A CAVE WITH THE TRIBE OF GUMM AND HAVEN'T SEEN A SCINTILLA OF WHO NEWS IN THE LAST NINE MONTHS


Right then, no messin' about, in this episode we bid the Ponds a fond farewell. And this departure has been billed by all concerned as 'heart-breaking'. And indeed, judging by the amount 'ahm fine... I jus' got somefink in mah eye...' style twitterings on my time-line, I think it's fair to say that this was no mere hyperbole! 

Of course, the big question is HOW they go and one I won't answer here. However what I will say is that I thought is was a very satisfying departure. It's a very fine, and yes rather touching (look I jus' got somefink in mah eye...), conclusion to the whole of Amy and Rory's story arc. Definite thumbs up (and hanky in the other mitt) from me. 

And I also think it's fair to say, that in that light, it does seem like that this has been a little complete series on its own, rather than a half-season. Furthermore, having got the conclusion, I do think my initial suspicions were correct - namely, that this set of stories are as unconnected as we were lead to believe. 

Now then I know many of you have been missing the spoilerific second reviews I've done for series past of Doctor Who and so therefore I've having a marathon rewatch of this quintet of adventures in the coming week and will deliver a suitably epic, no spoiler left unturned, end of season round-up, and test the above hypothesis... probably to destruction! 

But for now, I'll round this off by saying that this series has been a rather strong run. It may not have been biggest, or best, and it may have been rather light-weight much of the time, but it's certainly been fairly solid, without a single episode I've not enjoyed. The show's been ticking along nicely, and while some may feel it's been idling, I would point out that next year is the big 50th anniversary and I suspect they are saving the really big guns for then...



Sunday, 23 September 2012

DOCTOR WHO 7.04 - The Power of Three


Scanners indicate an absence of spoilers

So then, let's get the obvious facetious remark over with first... Why was The Power of Three, the third episode? Come on Mr Moffat, you KNOW how obsessive us SF fans are! Having it as the fourth offends our geeky love of numerical symmetry! You're stirring a wasps nest here! 

However on the plus side, there was plenty in this episode which would delight the long-time Who fan, with a  delicious sprinkling of links and references to older stories and characters. And it's a good mix of allusions and callbacks too with nods and winks for both the classic old school series and the rebooted modern show.   Indeed in some respects, as Mr Danny Davies remarked upon the Twitters last night, this is one of the most RTD-esque stories we've had since the Moff took over. 

So then, we have a story that is about the mysterious appearance of odd little black boxes all over the world, complete with montage shots of said enigmatic cubes dotted around famous landmarks and famous faces  playing themselves as talking heads appearing on various TV broadcasts through the story. Furthermore however, this is an episode more concerned with characters and emotion than delivering big action and timey-wimey plot twists. Hence the so called 'slow invasion' of the little black boxes plot-line was largely just a MacGuffin to set up the real concerns of the story; the exploration of  the relationship between the Ponds and the Doctor.

And all of this works rather well. Yes, it's light and frothy fun for the most part, with Mr Chris Chibnall turning in another entertaining script and a character he introduced in his previous outing this series Dinosaurs On A Spaceship making a welcome return appearance. However while there is fun and games with spaceships, aliens and explosions, this is the same kind of romp as the earlier interplanetary prehistoric malarkey we had a fortnight ago. There's a lot more sentiment but thankfully a tad more humour to keep the story from drifting into the jagged candy coated reefs of sickly sweetness. Hence we have some very nice scenes between Matt Smith and Karen Gillan and Arthur Davril, which range from very funny to rather touching. And the story of the boxes is deftly threaded through the episode too, weaving together neatly the humour and the character work.

Now it would be easy to see this as a throwaway episode; a less expensive bit of running about in between the more blockbustery stories which relies on character and comedy rather than big special effects. It's a nice little story, possibly a little forgettable but there's nothing wrong with that... However I suspect other forces at work here, which may be considered spoilerific! So then...

POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING FOR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN FROZEN ON TELOS, ASLEEP, ON THE NERVA BEACON, OR TRAPPED IN THE SATAN PIT AND HAVE SEEN NO DOCTOR WHO NEWS FOR... OOH... LET'S SAY... THE PAST 18 MONTHS OR SO

Then as previous mentioned in reviews for this series, the Moffat credo for this series of Doctor Who is "a blockbuster every week"... and indeed that phrase is becoming the Bad Wolf of these reviews. However if the first rule of travelling with the Doctor is "the Doctor always lies!", then so too the first rule of watching Steven Moffat-era Who is "Moffat always lies". 

Now I'm not casting cheeky aspersions on the blockbuster quality of this run of episodes, although it's fair to say that The Power of Three has been the least cinematic of the four so far shown. But I am casting doubt on the idea Mr Moffat has been bandying about that there isn't a big story arc to this season. 

And my reason for this? Well, firstly this is a series in two parts - five episodes now, Christmas special, and the rest in 2013. And what's special about 2013 for Doctor Who? Well it's only the 50th anniversary of the show... and can you really see there NOT being a big story to lead up to this momentous birthday? 

Secondly, and more pertinently to The Power of Three, we know that the Ponds are leaving the show during this run. And throughout the episodes show so far there's been a running theme looking at the Doctor and his relationship with his companions, not to mention some subtle hints that our favorite Time Lord suspects, or possibly knows, there is dire danger in the future for Amy and Rory. And considered in this light, this week's episode suddenly doesn't look quite so throwaway after all...

Indeed I may well be wrong, but I rather suspect that the events of this fun and frothy story may take on a greater significance when we understand its place in the overall story arc. And indeed some of the sweetness on display here may well be the last moments of light this trio of characters enjoy...


Friday, 21 September 2012

HYPNOBOBS 95 - The Horse of the Invisible


By the fireside in the Great Library of Dreams, Mr Jim Moon once again opens up the Casebook of Carnacki the Ghost Finder. This time round, Mr William Hope Hodgson recounts Carnacki's investigation into a most troubling family curse and the manifestation of an exceedingly malign equine spectre...

Direct download - The Horse of the Invisible

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