October Releases

Monday, August 23, 2010

Christopher Moore - A Dirty Job

    I finished this over the weekend and was so happy with it. This was the first book I have read that made me smile even though it is not your typical happy ending, everything is just fine-and-dandy type book. Though that is not saying this book was depressing. It is dark and yet finds a way for you to not feel sad, instead you laugh and cheer for the strangest of reasons.
     The book starts off with our lead character, Charlie Asher, who we find out soon enough has very ridiculous, irrational fears. He is a Beta Male so it is obviously encoded in his DNA. He is scared his brand new, straight out the womb daughter, Sophie, is a shiksa (with horns and a tail). He is harassing his wife, Rachel, about it and she threatens to have him thrown out by security. Nonetheless, it starts of very sweet and relatively normal beginning. This is where the normalcy takes a skydive and falls into nonexistence.
    A little while later, Charlie comes back into the hospital room to check on his wife again and he sees a very tall black man dressed in bright green next to his wife's bed. The man, who we find out is named Minty Fresh (seriously, how can you not like that) and he can't believe Charlie can see him. Charlie panics and is very pissed. The man mysteriously does not show up on cameras and he took his wife's Sarah Mclachlan CD.
    So he is devastated and doesn't understand the "murder" of his wife. So while he is struggling with being a widower and a new father. He spins finds out he is to become something else, Death. Well, a Death, not THE Death. Since he saw Minty, he finds out that his new job is picking up souls from people through certain inanimate objects. These objects glow red when he knows they need to be collected. He finds out that when he doesn't, they get picked up by what he calls the sewer harpies. They are big, black, scary ravens that when they get these objects, their powers grow and of they get too powerful, they will pretty much destroy the world, starting with good old San Francisco.
     So Charlie also finds out that talking to another Death Merchant can bring along these sewer harpies. But he needs to talk to someone about it and the only person that knows is his employee, Lily who is a quick mouth, goth chick with no care in the world. She accidentally gets Charlie's Great Big Book of Death before him and she thought she was death (I mean it was only fitting). But she was not and she knows his secret. Which is good compared to those he has to bide from.
   This book is full of misunderstandings, mixed identities, and misfortunes. Being a guy who owns a family run thrift store who just got a daughter and lost his wife to then find out he is the bringer of death definitely takes its toll. Some of  the objects he collects are quick and simple (since he can go unnoticed), but others were suspicious or just downright hilarious. Example, the object (well objects) he had to collect was a fuck puppets breast implants. She noticed him noticing her big glowing assets and that is where even more trouble ensues.
    He then comes across names in his "death planner"  and he can't find them. Until he come across Aubrey and finds out his form of soul swapping isn't the only thing out there. Together and along with her special friends, they try to take out the trio of darkness and their leader.
    This is a great book. It is not your conventional, heroic book, not your typical book on parenting and not your typical book on love and life. Yet, these are the reasons to read this book. The characters are amazing and each of them bring different levels of smiles and laughs. This is my first Christopher Moore book, but I am aware that some of the characters are in other works by Moore and I would love to read more about them. Read this book, it is funny as hell and full of fantastic twists.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

     I saw this film a couple of days ago. I think it is safe to say (big in take of air)...THIS IS THE GREATEST FILM EVER!!! Seriously, if I dreamt up my perfect movie, it would probably look and feel a lot like this. The level of innovation and fun in this movie was more than enough to have me smiling from beginning to end.

     This is a movie about a guy named Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) who is in a rock band who's love life is a little uncoventional. He is a 23-years-old and he is dating a 17-year-old high school student, Knives Chau. Things are going...well, can't say well. They were just together, but they obviously shouldn't have been. He was having second thoughts and she was very middle school-crazy-perky. It was obvious he was going to break up with her, with or without his friends and older sister telling him so.

     Then one day he falls asleep and has a strange dream about a girl, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), rolling through his dream (literally). He sees her everywhere and falls for her quickly (while he is still with Knives). So one day after he invites Ramona to one of his band's concerts, he is quickly confronted by a crazy and overly eccentric fighter who happens to be one of Ramona's exes. Then Pilgrim finds out that in order to date her, he must defeat all seven of her exes. No draws, no injuries, has to be total defeat with his own two hands.

     So while he is in the middle of defeating The League of Exes, Knives finds out that Scott was with her and Flowers at one time before he dumped her. She becomes even more crazy and quite the stalker in the movie. But she matures, sort of.

     I absolutely love this movie. I am going to check it out again tomorrow. There were so many things to love. First off, of course, was the look of this movie. It was a comic book and video game put together (with a little bit of anime thrown in).

     Second, the characters. I am a huge fan of Michael Cera, but everyone else was fantastic too. I loved Pilgrim's gay roommate, Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin). He is always introduced as his gay roommate. He was funny, witty and sarcastic as hell. He was also the "unintentional ring announcer" at the beginning of Scott's fights. There was Gideon Gordon Graves (Jason Schwartzman) who I am also a huge fan of. He was the boss to beat in the final level in the film. Also Julie Powers (Aubrey Powers) was great. The movie is PG-13, so when an F-bomb was dropped (specifically from Powers), she had the black box over her mouth the block out the word. That was one of many genius little
ideas in this film that was so pleasant.

     That ties in with the third and most important thing I loved about this, the directing. Everything that was done was purposely meant to give it a certain feel. There were plenty of onomatopoeias (words that sound the same as they are spelled, comic book words like "ring" or "thwap"). You just got learned. Also there was a little sitcom parody to Seinfeld in the film which just added more to the film. And so many other thingsthat were just incredible.

     Bottom line, this is not only one of the beat films of the year, this is one of the greatest movies I have seen in my life. Now if you are a geek like me, of course this movie will appeal to you. But you don't have to be a geek to appreciate the awesomeness of this film in my opinion. Unfortunately not a lot of people agreed with that given that this movie only showcased at number 5 in the box office. The saddest travesty I have ever seen. There is so much in this movie, it is impossible not to find something enjoyable about it. There have been plenty of comic book movies, but none of them are anything like this beautiful gem here. Go to the theaters and check this out of you know what is good for you. No seriously, you better watch it.

What did you guys? Why do you think this did not make it to number one?

 + 1

Adrian Phoenix - In The Blood (Maker's Song 2)

In the Blood is book 2 in the Maker's Song series (hence the title) and this was just plain amazing. After the first book, I knew Adrian Phoenix was going on my favorite list. Seriously, there is good and then there is if I was stranded on an island with only one book to take with me, one of the books in this series would be my choice. Well it would actually be a fight between this or something from Karen Marie Moning.
    This is one of the most unique books I have ever read. This is part two of the Maker's Song series and it is just as incredible. It is a series full of mystery, characters that are realistic (well as realistic as angels and vampires can get) and creativity. Now for a little catch up.
     In the first book of the series, A Rush of Wings, we are introduced to Heather Wallace. She is an FBI agent that was in the middle of a cross country chase. Wallace was chasing the Cross Country Killer (uh, duh) and she ends up meeting a young man named Dante Baptiste (or Prejean, as a hound boy). He is a mysterious, sexy lead singer to his band, Inferno. This all blends well with his a don't-give-a-shit attitude. But Dante has a lot of issues.
    Baptiste was a foster child who was molestated and used as a boy. He was stolen by a company that wanted to use him as a weapon (they calledl him S to activate him). He got out of the foster home by killing everyone (he was activated to do so) and through the activation he kills the only person that was close to him, his adopted sister, Chloe. But after the masacre, they fiddle with his brain some more and he can't remember a thing without having massive migraines, nosebleeds and seizures.
     Dante also happens to be a Maker (a very powerful angel). He can literally create and destroy living things with his hands. His friend, Lucien DeNoir (who he finds out is actually his father and a fallen angel), is trying to help him not get discovered by his angel brethren because they plan on using him.
     Now in In the Blood, the angels are coming after Dante and his condition is getting worse. Wallace finds Dante again and more importantly, she finds the doctor who messed up Dante's brain the first place. The doctor was trying to create the perfect child, a god. But lost Dante in Project Bad Seec (that was the name of their experiments). So he creates his own children (twins) who are both sociopaths, Alex and Athena Lyons. Athena though is schizophrenic amd Alex thinks Dante cam save her. Alex is playing trustworthy cop to get to Wallace since he knows she knows Dante and the company sccrets. Athena thinks she is Hades, God of the Underworld.          
    Wallace sets out to not only save Dante, the love her life, but she also wants to bring down the various companies that are after her. Other companies want to know what Wallace knows about them. Since they suspect that she not only knows Dante, but has saved his life, they sent various assassins after her and Dante. But fortunately (and unfortuantely) they seem to have their own motives.
Overall, if you want to read an original and innovative vampire series, I highly recommend this to you. It is dark, complex, destructive and a breath of fresh air.

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My Rating:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mivie Review: The Other Guys (2010)

I saw this film on Monday and I loved it. I think after the catastrophe that was Land of the Lost, Will Ferrell has redeemed himself. This was a comedy that was just crazy, irreverent and only mildly raunchy (not surprising given the PG-13 rating, but I would have liked an R-rating).
This film opens up with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Yum) and Samuel L. Jackson wrecking the city chasing Rastafarians (who were only carrying a pound of weed I believe) in the middle of New York. They are pretty much the city's "real life" action hero cops with a God complex. They think the can do anything and are invincible. But the film shows otherwise (which was very random and strange, but you really couldn't help but laugh). They are definitely cameos in the movie, but they worked well.
Then you have the Other Guys. Guys that are cops but do the desk jobs. Guys that don't get out of control. Our lead guys Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) and Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) are the other guys. But Hoitz doesn't want to be the other guy. He wants to go out and get some action. He would have been your action cop if not for a very embarrassing accident featuring Derek Jeter.
Gamble doesn't want to be that kind of cop. He is ranted on by all the cops in the office about him not being a real cop. Gamble is a very easy target because, well I don't know why. Could be he didn't seem that bright a lot of the time or he just didn't have that great of an attention span when it came to the rest of the world. I think a little of both.
But an opportunity presents itself for them to rise above the mundane and into something great. But no one has faith in these guys and they think that they are creating things out of nothing. But they soon find out that nothing is what it seems.
The comedy in this movie was a lot like Tropic Thunder. It was hilarious, random, dumb and smart all at the same time. Also this movie was just as quotable  there were lines in this that I know I will be using. Then there were others that will give me nightmares (the soup kitchen term has scarred me)  But there wasn't a person who out-shined the rest though. Everyone seemed to be on an even and equally hilarious playing field.
Like always, I am keeping these short due to how long I use to make these reviews. But trust me, this film is worth it. Even if you are not a fan of Ferrell and/or Wahlberg, you should check this out.

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My Rating:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Michelle Obama's visit to Spain

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     My grandmother told me about this  and she got pissed. Then I read the article and I could see why. This was hands down the dumbest news-not-news ever. Let me get this straight  Our First Lady takes a vacation to Spain and they say she was being glitzy. She is the First Lady, she can do whatever she wants first of all. Second of all, this woman had money before she was married to President Obama. It is not fair for anyone to bash her over something so mindnumbingly stupid. Yet when Paris Hilton or any "celebrity" not worth my time goes and spend $85000 on earrings (yes, I have heard of this), it's nothing. They are suppose to spend money on something you will see once.
     Now think about this. Reverse this "situation". When she did go to Spain, would they have been happier if she rested in the slums? Of course not. What would they say? That even the Obamas are having financial issues and that would cause an unnecessary storm as well, now wouldn't oh so useful "news" media?
     Another reason this article was pointless, two words. Two words that any American with a brain would know it is time to turn your head in a different and accurate direction. Those words are...Fox "News". Of course they would say something about Michelle Obama. What don't they have to say about the Obamas (besides something actually positive)? My point is the "news" media has been itching to say anything about our First Lady and this is what these morons chose.
    My point is, get a life. There are plenty of things going down around the world. There are plenty of trust fund babies and fuck puppets (thank you Christopher Moore for vernacular) to pay attention to. Women we give reality shows to for Christ's sake. Is the First Lady spending time in Spain spending money she has the right to spend really the only thing you guys can find to bitch about? Welcome to America, land of hypocrisy and ignorance.

P. S.- In case someone thinks this, I am not anti-America. I love my country, it is just the "news" media that pisses me off and the people who actually listen to them without thinking for themselves.   

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stephen Sommers coming back to do G.I. Joe 2

   Well, well. It seems we are going to get a whole lot of expensive, pretty nothing (sounds more like A Real Housewife of Orange County when put that way) from Stephen Sommers. I know a G. I. Joe sequel was inevitable, but still, come on! Now as asked, does adding new writers make a difference? Well, yes and no. Now grammar and dialogue means a lot in a movie to me (and well just in general). But good writers or not, the director has the final say.
    Take a writer like Alex Krutzman. I believe he is a great writer, but it is proof that a director can, of course, do what they want. He is the writer for Fringe and wrote the script for Star Trek (2009). But he also wrote the script for Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen (2009). So yes, I do believe good writers mean plenty. But if you don't have the right people delivering it or just a hacked job of a script, it won't been shit. Talented or not, it is not always a for sure thing. I know I am not the only person who was let down by a sequel (I am sooner to take a dump on Transformers 2 than watch it again).
    But a bit of advice for part two of this movie, try giving Channing Tatum a personality. Yes he is hot, definitely worth looking at. Yet if I were to take all the characters he has played and lined them up in line next to one another and have them act out their scenes, I would not be able to tell the difference. He is one of the most bland actors in Hollywood. I think the only film he is half decent in, for me anyway, was She's the Man and even still, Amanda Bynes stole the show.
     All in all, we do want the CGI, explosions, car crashes, the whole 9. But without the right actors and a good script, you might as well play the first G. I. Joe movie. Oh wait, please tell me this won't be in 3D? That is most likely to its saving grace.   

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Keri Arthur - Embraced By Darkness (Riley Jenson Guardian 5)

Embraced by Darkness, in my personal opinion, is the best out of the series so far. There was an actual mystery in this for a change. In the past books, you already knew who the bad guys were  That or you find out way too soon and there was not a whole lot of suspense. This definitely had more of an Anita Blake feel to it. This one actually had you guessing a bit.
This book starts off with Jensen on vacation from being a Guardian. A guardian is basically a cop for the supernatural (actually more like an assassin, given the crazy weapons they are allowed to use). While on this beautiful island she gets an unexpected and unwanted visit from her pack's Alpha Male. A man who has tried to kill her and her brother due to their mixed heritage (she is both a werewolf and a vampire, more werewolf though) and he "goes" to her to ask for her help to find his granddaughter. Jensen obviously doesn't want to help a man who despises her very existence, but he threatens to kill her mother if she doesn't. So, of course, she is on board.
Jensen has to help the Alpha Male find his granddaughter on the island she is on. So while investigating, she come across strange things on the island. A man who was supposedly there but wasn't there. She doesn't find much, so she leaves with Kellen. Kellen is the only person she is with at the moment and they want to go "solo" (solo as in both of them see each other and no one else). She, of course, freaks out and drags it along because she is afraid of going solo.
While back on the job, her new suspect is the most unusually thing ever. It obliterates the women (tear them to unnoticeable pieces and keeps their hair) and the men are somewhere, blocks away from the house, seeming as though they died of terror. It definitely a different kind of villain compared to the others in the past and I liked that there was two different things going on in this book. Mysterious on both sides.
Now I did like the past four books, don't get me wrong, but they weren't my favorites. They weren't favorites due to the lead character, Riley Jensen. Jensen is the most annoying female lead. She bitches and whines about how she wants her white picket fence and great husband to love and protect her. But when she has the potential to have them, she still whines about her freedom.
Since she is (more of) a werewolf,  her and werewolves alike have sex with numerous people because...that is what they do apparently. Jensen says it is stop bloodlust, but after reading these books so far, she uses that as an excuse to be a slut. In the beginning of the series, she meets a vampire named Quinn, who, of course, is not a fan of the whole multiple partners thing. But he still gives her a chance. He tries to protect her and all, all the things she wants and she bitches to him about his human outlook on sex. She gets on my last nerve. She wants everyone to see things her way, but she refuses to see anything in theirs. That is why I liked this book. She seems to have grown a little more more. She puts Kellen first in her mind ahead of her own wants.
Overall, this is the best book of the series so far. I hope Arthur has made the rest of the books more like this one. I really would hate to see Jensen go back to her selfish ways (well mainly selfish, she does put her brother ahead most). Seriously, she was annoying as hell.

If anyone has read these, what did you think? Do you think Jensen was annoying or did she have her reasons?

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Inception (2010)

   Hello. Sorry it has taken so long for a little something from me. My younger brother just left for the U.S. Navy. His date was changed for two weeks earlier so things have been going through a whirlpool here at home. So I am missing him but I am very happy for him. So before I start crying, why don't I bring some things up to speed.
     Inception! Man I loved this movie. It is so nice to know there is someone in Hollywood that can make original stuff. Christopher Nolan, if I ever meet you I think I will bend down and kiss everyone of your toes. No seriously, you are worth it.
     This movie is about a man named Dom Cobb whose job (well not job, he is a thief) is to get into someone's head for their deepest and most buried secrets. He extracts these secrets that are buried into the subconscious. But because of Cobb's personal demons, he is a criminal and all, he accepts a "job" that will give him a fresh start. But things don't go quite as planned. During a reverse heist if you will (instead of sneaking in to take something, they want to plant an idea), Cobb's demons put him and his team in jeopardy.
     That is literally the simplest explanation I can give you. This film is not for people with short attention spans or who are dimwitted. Even if these don't apply, you will still have questions when this movie is over. The level of thought and complexity that went into this movie made me smile. Such a breath of fresh air considering it came from Hollywood. This film manages to be thought provoking and visually stunning. Unlike the majority of blockbuster films that offer you more of the latter.
    This is why I love Christopher Nolan so much. He is not afraid to give the people an actual storyline that involves thinking and your point of view. A lot like one of his other films, The Prestige, when you get to the end, you instantly know you must watch it again to truly grasp what has happened. But Inception is probably 5x (wait, I take that back, make it 10x) more complicated than The Prestige. Thank you Nolan for not treating the average movielover like a dumbass. Thank you for remembering that we want something out of the ordinary, something that keeps us thinking long after we have left the theater.