Saturday, August 20, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child spoiler review

So, this is a very spoiler full review of this, so if you have not read the book stop. You HAVE been warned.

I went into this, not really knowing what to expect. Yes, J.K. Rowling did write it, but as a screen play. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that as I am someone that loves the theater, but I just didn't know.

Wow, what a story. I was stunned as to how emotional this story was as there were so many connections with the prior books and I was just floored.

So, let's get this out of the way. It is a script for a play and it does take a bit to get used the simple nature of that. Not a lot of description, and it really puts a lot weight in the dialogue. Luckily, the dialogue (for the most part), is just great.

You are introduced to two new characters. Albus Potter, and Scorpius Malfoy. First of all, having them be friends is something that was an interesting choice. We all know the history between Harry and Draco, and having their children be best friends was something I really liked. Combine that with that fact that Albus and Harry have such a bad relationship, and Harry just not really knowing how to connect with his son just made for amazing dialogue. Albus despises being Harry’s son and it makes him surly and angry all the time. Ginny is frustrated with Harry as he cannot just accept Albus and that he cannot just show Albus that he loves him. Ginny is not a HUGE part of this story, but she has a few great moments.

The kids idea to go back in time to save Cedric in the Tri-Wizard tournament was both amazing and such a kid thing to do. It set the book in a pace that I loved and Scorpius being in a world where Voldemort killed Harry at the battle of Hogwarts was just phenomenal.

Things I liked:
Mean Hermione. She is the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher and is bitter and angry. Just so bizarre seeing that.

Snape. I have to admit, seeing Snape again hit me kind of hard. As Scorpius convinces Snape, Hermione and Ron he is from the future. In this world Voldemort killed harry and they are the only ones left that try to fight him. Hell, Umbridge is a professor at the school! The fact that the three sacrifice their lives so Scorpius can escape was amazing. This is a scene that will stay with me for a long damn time.

Umbridge. Just her being in the book at all made me so happy. I hate her so much as she is just such a great character.

Harry is also interesting throughout as he struggled being a father, and especially connecting with Albus. He doesn’t understand his son, and falls into the trap of doing what he thinks is best for his son, instead of talking to him. He and Draco are cordial to each other, but Harry falls into old prejudices and tries to keep Albus from being friends with Scorpius. This is fascinating as it is obvious that he doesn’t know how to handle his son and it even causes friction between Harry and Ginny.

The last bit where you find out the girl that was manipulating Albus and Scorpius was actually Voldemort’s daughter was interesting. I knew from the start that she was not who she claimed to be, but I never made the connection to her being Voldemort’s daughter. So when they are trying to stop her in the past, it is just a surreal and amazing scene. Harry having to watch Voldemort killing her parents, and having to allow it to happen? Wow.

What I did not like.

Ron is not utilized at all. He runs the joke shop and raises the children. I have no issue with that, but considering how important he was in the other books. There was a cool scene her or there, but overall not really important. Also, overly goofy.

Wow, did I love this book. Took some getting used to at first, but once the kids ran off and tried to save Cedric, things really took off. I did not expect to see Snape again and that broke me a bit. I mean that was just so great and sad and everything I could have wanted. Such a fun read.

Rating 9 out of 10

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Things to come on the blog

So, I have been pretty lazy for a while. I have not spent a lot of time writing anything on here and I finally reached the point where I want to do something about it. I miss writing, and this is a way to get me back into it.

A few things I plan on writing about.

Harry Potter-As I am a huge fan of these novels/movies, I plan on writing a post about each one. Thoughts on each story, and where they stand with the rest. Talking about both the novels and the books. I have read and watched the first six in the series, leading up to me reading Harry Potter the Cursed Child sometime this week.

Movies-One thing I am trying to do each month is to watch at least 8 new movies each month. Especially trying to watch movies that I may not normally watch as I usually love things with magic, lasers, or superheroes.

Star Wars-I want to talk about a few different Star Wars topics leading up to Rogue One coming out this year. My first one is about diversity in the new canon.

Video games-Lord knows I play a few of these. So thoughts about certain games or maybe even a review here and there.

Television-Lord knows tv seems to be getting better all the time. I just watched Mr. Robot and Stranger things, and may want to talk about them a bit.

Video games-I have thought about doing short Youtube videos talking about some of these things. Not sure I want to do that or not yet.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Movies I watched in July 2016

So, I saw a good amount of new movies this month. 8 in total, and I have to say most of them were really good.

Thirteen Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Wow. A Michael Bay movie that did not make me want to smash my head into the wall? I have to admit that I did not have too high of hopes for this, and it turned out to be a good movie. It probably helps that it was based on actual events and he coulud not mess with that. But overall, a story of soldiers that do what it takes to save people in a bad situations. Still a few Bay things about the movie, that made you roll your eyes, but overall pretty good.

Rating 7 out of 10

Wow, what an amazing movie. I remember Brie Larson as the ex-girlfriend in the Scott Pilgrim movie. But wow, she was amazing in this movie. The movie was so intense as she and her son Jack were in a horrible situation, and the long journey to recovery afterwards. But man the relationship between her and Jack throughout the movie. They had such chemistry and it just told such a great story. This is a move everyone should watch.
Rating 9 out of 10 

Eye in the Sky
Holy shit. What a great movie. What a horrible decision to have to make. You have two suicide bombers about to leave a house, and up to almost possible deaths that could occur. So the brits, and the americans try to determine if they can do a drone strike killing the terrorists. The problem a young girl is right outside there house selling bread and would likely die from the blast.
So, the question is this. Is one child's life worth possibly saving countless others?
This was tense and well done. I don't know the answer to this question, but the movies does a great job of making you feel the tension and pressure of it.
Rating 8.5 out of 10

This is a tough on as the original GB is one of my favorite movies ever. Overall, the four Ghostbusters were amazing and did a wonderful job. They were funny and up until the last 30 minutes, the movie was quite enjoyable. Sadly, the last part of the movie was borderine awful, and it brought the movie down. The cameos did not do anything to help the movie and it makes me wonder if this should have ever been remade. Still, an enjoyable movie overall.
Rating 6 out of 10

Midnight Special
This movie was boring as hell. I wanted to like it as I was looking forward to it, but nothing ever really happens in the  movie and they do nothing to really explain why the kid has powers. Not horribe (and the acting was great), just kind of boring. No, really damn boring.
Rating 4 out of 10

The Clone Wars
I cannot believe I have never watched this considering how much of a Star Wars fan I am. But I have heard that it was awful, and that is pretty much true. It felt like a disjoined and boring version of a Clone Wars tv episode. I can see how people would not like liked Ahsoka at first as she was really annoying in this movie. Which is a shame considering she is one of my favorite SW chracters.
Rating 3.5 out of 10

Star Wars Beyond
I am not a Trekkie, but I have always had enjoyed the movies for the most part. This movie was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed all the crazy and unbelievable things that happened. But the crew has a lot of chemistry and the action was on point. It was a bit corny, but so is the rest of Star Trek for the most part. It was really sad seeing all of the crew in the final shot and knowing Anton Yelchin will never be in another movie due to his tragic death.

Rating 8 out of 10

Attack the Block
Wow, was this movie fun. A bunch of street punks in London fighting aliens from another world? Why not? It sounds ridiculous and it kind of is...but in the best way. It has John Boyga (from Star Wars), and it was just a pleasure to watch. The alien creatures were actually kind of terrifying and the movie was a lot more tense than you would think it would be. Overall, a lot of fun..

Rating 8.5 out of 10

Overall: A great month of movies as I watched things outside of my box a bit, and it paid off.

Best movie: Room. This movie was amazing and creepy and I loved it.
Worst movie: The Clone Wars movie. As much as I love Star Wars, this was awful.
Biggest disappointment. Ghostbusters, but only cuz I wanted it to be better. It was ok.
Biggest surprise: 13 Hours. I assumed it was going to be another Michael Bay shitfest.
Best performance: Brie Larson in Room. She was amazing and I can see why she has won an oscar.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Uncharted 4 review (SPOILERS)

I am going to be spoiling the hell out of this game, so be warned. 

Wow, this was a great ending to the Uncharted series. First of all, the game is the best looking game I have ever seen on a console. It is just so gorgeous. I had to stop occasionally to just look around at all of the beauty. Also, with emotions on their faces. Doubt, disbelief, anger, laughter, etc. All were awesome. 

Some people do not like the pacing of this game, but I loved it. There was a lot going on in different timelines of the story, but it made for such an incredible beginning to the game. Slow? Yes, but in the best possible way. 

Whether you enjoy this game may be whether you connect with Nathan and Sam as brothers. They spend a lot of time together and if you don’t like that, the game may not work for you. I loved it. Getting to know how they get together in the game was handled well with a few flashback scenes. Those flashbacks to them when they were children were just so interesting and cool. Along with a few twists along the way, their relationship was handled very well. Yes, there was the expected (at least to me), betrayal, but it was even done with a cool misdirect. 

The downside was that you did not get as much of Sullivan as usual. He was in the game, just not as much and that was a small complaint. 

Then there is Elena, who may be the best character in this series. First the scene where she and Nathan were playing Crash Bandicoot to see who did the dishes was both unexpected and just amazing. Made me tear up as I realize how much I grew to love these two as characters. I enjoyed them in previous games, but it really hit me here. 

I was a little worried playing the game that Elena was not in it enough, and then suddenly she was. Also, the interaction between her and Drake was very sweet, and at times heartbreaking as usual Drake being the bonehead he is, lied to her about the “job”. So, she had no idea what he was doing, that he even had a brothers, and where was. So, that came to a head and she was hurt and angry and you spend time in the game wondering if they lived, if their marriage would last. It was handled so well and even though she did not leave him, for a moment you thought she might. 

Then to the villains. I really liked Rafe and Nadine. He was obviously a bit of a nut job, but the flashbacks did a lot to explain his relationship with the Drake brothers. Nadine was cool too as she spend her limited time in the game just beating the hell out of anything with the last name Drake. The last fight between Nathan and Rafe was pretty awesome as well. 

The voice acting was amazing, all across the board. Just amazing. 

The only real downside to the game was the introduction to vehicles to the game. This was only cuz I sucked at it.  Although driving the crew off a cliff was kind of funny. There was one scene where I was being chased and I kept dying cuz I was not handling the driving well at all. That more on me than the game though. 

The epilogue was amazing. It sets up future games with their daughter Cassie if they so choose. But it was just so damn sweet as she walked around their house and you can see the Nathan and Elena were still out doing the things they loved. I love the symmetry of her coming across the same items that Nathan did early on in the game in the attic. Just a lot of sweet moments and the perfect way to end the game. 

Rating 10 out of 10. One of my favorite games of all time and very slightly under the Last of Us. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Why letting go of my hatred of the prequels is not easy

I have been a Star Wars fan for almost 40 years as A New Hope came out when I was 6 years old. So, this goes back a LONG time. My love for these movies is immense, and it helped shape a large part of who I am as a person. Which is why I am so damn excited with the Force Awakens that is coming out, as the feel of them reminds me of the originals. Also, if you have not watched Rebels. Do it. Forget that it is on the Disney Channel as there is a lot of awesome there.

Then there are the prequels. There is not a person alive that can convince me that these movies are anything other than awful. That is just me. If you love them? That is awesome. The more people love Star Wars, the better it is. I just really don’t like them at all.

But it is time to let that go. They are a part of canon, and not every part of them were awful. But first a bit as to why they have been such a sore point all these years. 

I was really excited that there were new movies, but it was tempered by the fact they were telling a story I already knew the ending to. To be fair, I don’t really like prequels in much of anything. I ended up seeing the Phantom Menace five times, and it went from thinking it was good to wondering if I liked it at all.

I am also in the minority in the fact that I think the Phantom Menace the least awful of the three. It has two things the others did not Qui Gon Jinn and Darth Maul. Of course, they both died, which to this day I feel like was a huge mistake to have your two most interesting characters die in the first movie.

I honestly felt like the next two movies were worse. Where they tried to push a love story that in the best of times was just creepy as hell. Not to mention diminishing Padme from a good character in 1, and a love struck mess afterwards. As for Revenge of the Sith.  I walked out of that movie on opening night. Really did not like it at all.

It is why I never watched the Clone Wars as they reminded me of everything I hated about them. I am watching it now, and to be fair there still are a few things I don’t like about them that are directly related to them. The top three are: how dumb Grievous is, how inept the battle droids are, and yes, Jar Jar. But those things aside, I am really enjoying it so far. I love how portrait Anakin in the show and you can see his slide into madness. This is handled pretty well. And I love Ahsoka Tano.

But now the new movies are coming out, and with that comes reflection. I am actually kind of embarrassed with how for so many years I got caught up in heated arguments about the merit of the prequels. Instead of just being glad that other people were fans of this series, we would just argue about it. It is something I still see as people are so quick to dismiss the movies (I know this cuz I have done this in the past). Then arguments ensue.

So, as I said above, I am letting it go. Love what you love.

The bottom line is this. For far TOO long there has been two camps of Star Wars fans. Ones that love the original, and ones that love the prequels. There should only be one camp. Those that love Star Wars and who cares about the rest.

So, there are less than two weeks until the Force Awakens comes out. Let’s come together as fans and just enjoy this amazing thing we all love so much. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My thoughts on the new Star Wars novels

Here is my ranking of the new Star Wars novels, from worst to best.

Heir to the Jedi  (between A New Hope and Empire)
By far the worst book in the series. Set in between A New Hope and Empire, it was a cool premise as it is Luke trying to figure out how to be a Jedi. The problem is that it never felt anything like Star Wars. It also took a chance in being from Luke’s first person perspective, and even though I was excited by that, it did not bring anything to the story. The sad thing is if you did not tell me it was a Star Wars story, you could have just placed this in any other universe. Also, did not like the way it was written at all. 
Rating 2.5 out of 10

A New Dawn (before A New Hope)       
I was really excited by this one as I am a HUGE Rebels fan. What a disappointment as the author of this story did a few things that just makes my brain hurt. 1. Made Kanan sound like Han Solo with jedi abilities. Even to the point where he kept calling people sweetheart. 2. Why do authors feel the need to end so many sentences with a exclamation mark?  I mean it happened. A LOT. Even having both Kanan and Hera did not help this story as I could never get past how it was written. It never worked for me at all. But it did at least have Kanan and Hera.
Rating 3.5 out of 10

I really wanted to like this more than I did. It isn’t even that I did not enjoy it as the back story for Tarkin was really interesting at times. But at other times it was just kind of boring. Now, I read this a while back and it is one of the ones I plan on reading again. But the interplay with Vader was really cool and any time Vader comes into a story and is written well, that is a plus. I just wish it held my interest throughout the entire story, but I was never that interested in Tarkin in the first place. BUt i wonder how much I went into it not wanting to like it? Which is why I need to just ignore that and try reading it again.
Rating 6.0 out of 10.

Aftermath (after Jedi)
Was really excited about this one as it is the story that takes place after Jedi. I do not think it was nearly as bad as people said it was. A LOT of people were not happy with it. I liked it overall, as I have read Wendig before and his writing style doesn’t really bother me. Saying that, the interludes that showed the rest of the universe were interesting at times, but also really stopped the flow of the story and it suffered because of that. Rae Sloan and Norra were awesome. How they used Wedge Antilles and Mister Bones was not.
Rating 6.5 out of 10

Smugglers Run (between a New Hope and Empire)
The image of an older Han Solo in a bar was really cool. Him being sent on a rescues mission by Leia (although relutctantly) was cooler. I also really liked Alecia Beck, the ISB officer that was trying to thwart them. Throw in a few bounty hunters chasing solo because he owed Jabba money? It was a fun read and it is also nice to see Han and Chewie at their best.
Rating 7.0 out of 10

Moving Target (between Empire and Jedi)
Leia being awesome. The addition of old characters like Mon Mothma, Ackbar, and Nien Numb was really cool.  Also, the fact that she is called General Leia? Nice. It was the first time I had heard that. Add to that the mention of Poe Dameron, it was just a nice touch to the movies that are coming out. Her ragtag group that she takes to try to trick the empire? I just really enjoyed this quite a bit and there were a lot of cool hints within.
Rating 7.5 out of 10

Lords of the Sith (After revenge of the Sith)
Vader is bad ass in case you missed it. Since this is taking place not long after Sith, there is  a lot of how Vader is becoming Vader. Struggling with what he has lost and destroyed, his relationship with Palpatine in this book is amazing. Also, Vader jumped out of his Tie Fighter into space, and single handedly killed everyone in a freighter. This is the Vader you always knew was there, but wow what an awesome scene that was. You also get the beginnings of the Rebel Alliance with Hera from Rebels father trying to assassinate the two Sith. Was a fun read.
Rating 8.0 out of 10

Weapon of the Jedi (between A New Hope and Empire)
This is the book that Heir to the Jedi failed to be. Luke trying to figure out how to be a Jedi. Luke flying with Red Squadron with Wedge Antililes. Him training with multiple training remotes and finding the Lost Temple. This books was just pure joy as it reminded me why I love Luke so much. Letting go of everything and using the force in his fight with Sarco? Also, Jessika Pave, female x-wing pilot made my day. I think it was said she was also the female x-wing pilot in the last tv promo. That is awesome.
Rating 8.5 out of 10

Lost Stars (taking place from before A New Hope to way after Jedi with the battle of Jakku)
This book is amazing. Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell are kids that all they want is to join the Empire and get off their backwater planet. Once they finally get there it is a love story that is sort of reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. Ciena loves order and that is what the Empire gives her. Thane? Just wants to fly and that is what the Empire gives him. But actions done by the empire forces Thane to leave the empire and eventually join the rebels. The story takes you through all of the original trilogy and gives you glimpses of the major happenings of those stories from a different perspective. It was amazing as you can feel for both of them as they struggle with how they feel for each other, but being on the opposite side of a galactic war. That is all that I will say about the story, other than it was written SO WELL and just was everything I wanted in a Star Wars novel, even leading up to showing how the Star Destroyer you see in the trailer actually crashed into Jakku. That in itself was such an amazing thing.

Rating 9.5 out of 10

More in depth review/ Lost Stars Review

I have not read Twilight Company or Dark Disciple as of yet. When I do, I will add them to the list. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review of Star Wars Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Star Wars: The Journey to the Force Awakens
Lost Star by Claudia Gray

This is the second Star Wars novel I have read this week that leads up to the Force Awakens this December. The first was Aftermath, I and really need to read that one a second time to see how I feel about it.

The good. The story of what happened in movies A New Hope through Jedi being told from a different perspective. Seeing how two people can view things completely different, even with how much they love each other. Ciena holding onto her need for order, even after seeing what the Empire was capable of (especially with the destruction off Alderaan. Her struggle with this was so damn good. She wanted so badly to believe that they Empire could bring order to the galaxy. Even at the end where she was wanting to end her life because she saw it as the only way she could have her honor. Holy shit! Her struggle to try to be a part of a the Empire while watching them do the horrible things they did was painful at times. She really wanted them to be something more, but in the end she found herself only losing everything she cared for in a cause she no longer believed in. 

Then there is Thane. He wants to believe in the Empire as well, or at least be able to fly cool ships. But after Alderaan, he cannot stay with them anymore. It isn’t that he even wanted to be a part of the Rebels, he just could not be a part of the Empire. It wasn’t until latter that the realized that he could do more and was recruited by my favorite Star Wars person, Wedge Antilles. Then he really saw the things the Empire did, such as terror through intimidation and even slavery. He eventually came to believe in the cause they fought for, but all the while still loving Ciena and wishing they could be together. 

Seeing the events unfold was really cool. Ciena and Thane both loved each other, but were on the opposite’s side of a horrible war. It did feel a bit forced at times that these two characters were always involved in major moments, but it was still cool to see things from their view. Things like The Death Star being destroyed, and the battles at Hoth and Endor. But overall, it was just sad to watch these two people that loved each other, but would likely never be together. Painful. But well done. 

It is a slow burn as the first third of the book is setting up the eventual defection of Thane and how that would affect the two friends/lovers. But it is worth is as just the behind the scenes look at the Empire was awesome, even when Thane got to dance with Princess Leia.

The last three chapters really were emotional as it looked like Ciena would do the only thing she could think of to be able to hold on to her honor. Crash the star destroyer into Jakku. That is intense as she felt as she had lost everything and this was all that was left. The fact that Thane saved her from that and into custody of the New Republic was crazy. What a bittersweet ending to a great book. Very emotional and very well done.

The bad. I really have to nitpick here as there wasn’t TOO much bad about it.

But does every star wars anything have to used “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”, and “rebel scum”, so much? Aftermath did this as well. I don’t think we need such ham-fisted reminders of the movies. Paying homage to the movies is good, but I feel it is being done too much in the new canon.

It was a bit forced how they were there for ALL of the famous events from the movies. There is an entire galaxy after all. Also, always just happened to be in the same area? As I said earlier, it was cool, but it did feel a bit forced.

Both of those things are very minor as the book was amazing.