Sunday, August 28, 2016

What I am reading/watching/playing in September

So, here is what I plan on doing in September.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Touchstone by Melanie Rawn
The Accidental Sorcerer by K.E. Mills
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisen (for book club)
Marvel Runaways graphic novels (have reaad the first few)
Various Star Wars comics

Playing on my PS4
I am Setsuna
Divinity: Original Sin
Until Dawn
Resident Evil and may Resident Evil 4

At the movie theater
The Magnificent Seven
Deepwater Horizon

Jungle Book
TMNT Out of the Shadows
The Nice Guys
Huntsman: Winter War

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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Why Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is so important

Everything amazing has to have a beginning. 

I remember when these books first came out and how quickly they were dismissed by a lot of people (including myself), as "children's books". As if there is anything wrong with that. But back then, there was not A LOT of these type of stories that were mainstream. Yes, you could read The LotR or Chronicles of Narnia, but I don’t remember there being a lot of new stories that people were reading. This was before the Hunger Games, and even before that pile of garbage Twilight. This book is almost 20 years old. It can almost vote at this point. Crazy. 

I went on a date with someone and she wanted to see this movie. I was like, why? But as I said above, I was convinced it was just a kid’s book. The movie opened my eyes to something that I was not expecting. I was hooked and I went out and immediately bought the first four books (which were what had been written at the time). 

This started the resurgence of fantasy novels for young readers, which is something that cannot be understated in its importance. Yes, there were other stories, but the Potter phenomenon was insane.

But to the story itself. We are introduced to Harry Potter, a young child that somehow survived the attack by the most notorious wizard in the world, Voldemort. Years later he his living with his only surviving relatives the Dursley's. They treat him pretty poorly as they hate anything that comes from that "world". Everything changes when he receives a letter a school called Hogwarts. 

So, in the first book we are introduced to this world. So, there is a lot of setup for the reader as you get acclimated with the setting and everything that comes with that is something to remember as the series goes on, cuz I love this book, but it is one of the weakest in the series. That isn't meant as an insult as this book was clearly written for children and is the most safe. I have no issue with that as I said above, there was a lot of setup in this book. Which is handled brilliantly by J. K. Rowling. 

The Four Houses, the different types of classes each kid had to take due to the different types of magic, Quidditch, and Hogwarts itself are just a few of the things she did such an amazing job introducing you to. These things are improved upon by later books, but she did an amazing job in this book of setting up the world. That isn't an easy thing to do and she nailed it. 

Theme is another important part of this book. You have a child that has his parents murdered when he was a baby, and grew up in a household where they treat him poorly. He lives under the cupboard for heaven's sake. Now to defend the Dursley's they did take him in, fed him, and gave him a home. But they were not friendly, and although Harry did not have a pleasant childhood leading up to his 11th birthday, he made the best of it. Somehow he was a normal kid, and that in itself is amazing. 

One of the reasons both children and adults connected with this book is that we all remember what it was like to be that age. Trying to fit in and figure out who you are. These are things that we all understand and were able to relate to. I find that an amazing thing as making books that both a 5 year old kid could love, and a 45 year old man (like myself) can love, is a very hard thing to go. But people of all ages, sex, race, this book. 

But the biggest importance (in my opinion), is that it turned whole new generations into readers. That isn’t to say that there may not have been other books that could have done this in a smaller way, but this book (and the rest of the series) grabbed children’s heart and just would not let go. You hear so many stories about how so many people grew up with this series. Not to mention all of the young adult books that came out after it. Some of them being great, and others just trying to capitalize on the new craze. I am looking at YOU Eragon. Must be nice to have parents that are publishers. 

But the love and passion children had for this book was crazy. You could not go ANYWHERE without seeing children reading it. That also goes for adults, as they were also reading this book quite often. This became even more evident when I moved to NYC in 2003 and started taking the train. At that point Order of the Phoenix had just come out and that book was EVERYWHERE on the subway. It was kind of surreal to see all of these people reading something so…nerdy. 

But as the opening of a series, this was a great book. Not my favorite by far in the series, but that is ok as well. The twist ending? The relationship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione? Snape? Malfoy? So much awesome in this book and it sent me and others on a path to something we will forever love. 

I would rate the book 7 out of 10
I would rate the movie also 7 out of 10