The Home of the Creative Mind

Welcome to PooBahSpiel, the online voice and home of the creative mind of Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire. Prepare yourself for an endless regaling of art directly from the hand of this stellar artist. And brace yourself against his mighty wind of pontification. Updates are kinda weekly and show daily sketches, current projects, and other really nifty stuff.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Comic Critic's Movie Review of "Captain Horatio Hornblower"

I guess every generation has their slew of popular writers. When I was in high school, it was Stephen King. My niece was reading J.K. Rowling before I got to her. When I was a kid, I was a voracious reader and didn’t limit myself to the popular writers of the time. I actively sought advice from librarians and other reading enthusiasts as to what I should read next. And I would go through phases of reading writers of a genre or an era. One month, my attention would be consumed by Victorian authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells; the next month, I would be devouring the Noir fiction of Raymond Chandler. During one of those phases, I was consumed by anything nautical. I chewed up Robert Lewis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” and Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe.” And it is only natural that when I talk about how much I loved these books that I was directed to C.S. Forrester. Movies were made of all of these writers’ creations. And while I love the movies, I encourage those who’ve seen them to give the books a try. C.S. Forrester is an overlooked treasure just waiting to be rediscovered. Go ahead and watch Captain Horatio Hornblower and then pick up the book and give it a browse. I bet you will find yourself reading the entire series. You might even give some of his other books, like “The African Queen,” a try.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Comic Critic's Movie Review of "The Uninvited" from 1944

The Uninvited might seem like an unassuming horror movie that’s quite tame by today’s standards. But it’s worth noting that back in 1944 this film broke unexpected ground. Before this one, most ghosts portrayed in film were played for laughs. An example would be an object moving by itself while a comic-relief actor reacted to get a laugh from the audience. Few films dealt with ghosts as an actual supernatural presence. Paramount decided to take the novel “Uneasy Freehold” and create a supernatural mystery. The incorporation of romance comedy dialog lightens the mood, and audiences were rewarded with a surprise second romance. There are little surprises hiding everywhere in The Uninvited. There’s a touch of psychodrama, a hint of possible lesbian activity, and a very good musical score. The composition “Stella by Starlight” became a jazz standard played by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. The cinematography is top-notch and did a great job of creating shivers and goosebumps. The Uninvited received an Oscar Nomination for its cinematography, but lost to LauraThe Uninvited was a scary movie in its day. It inspired many directors and writers. And it had to be toned down by British censors by the removal of some special effects for its release in Great Britain.