Tuesday, May 31, 2016

X-Men Apocalypse - Movie Review

Well...  I almost didn't do a review on this movie and then thought it needs to be out there.  I really enjoyed the last two X-Men in the current series.  Stories were on point.  Then Apocalypse comes out.  I remember when the previews first came out and we got a glimpse of Apocalypse... boy was his look awful. It's no fun to stare at it through the whole movie either.  The really should've done away with those side cords.

Anyways... I didn't really hear a lot of hype about this movie.  In fact, I saw a commercial the day before release with all those quotes from people who loved the movie and those commercials are usually bad news.  That means... the movie studio are really trying to prove that the movie is good and I knew then that was not good. But of course I went because the other two were good.  There was just way too much going on in this movie.  They tried to go big ... too big.

The characters weren't really developed in this movie.  The villains hardly had any speaking lines (other then Magneto and Apocalypse).  Storm, Jubliee, and Angel and just blah characters that should've shined in this film. Then they brought back Dr Moira MacTaggert for no reason.  Just another character added in to the many of the film.  A character that did work was Quick Silver.  He was hilarious and brought some much needed relief to the film.  There is also a good scene with Jean Grey during a fight scene that was really well done.

I love this guy!

The plot started out kind of good.  The film starts in Ancient Egypt with some pretty powerful mutants.  Neat.  Progress to today where we get to see the school at work and an introduction to some of our favorite X-Men.  Next thing I know just lots of things start happening. We lose what makes the most important X-Men story line which is mutants vs non-mutants.  Instead we get a cheesy battle with a villain who wants to rule the world.  A story line done too many times.

This could be a spoiler though most of you probably know this character was going to make an appearance in the film. Skip this paragraph if you don't want to know about the cameo.
Wolverine appears in the film.  I liked it and didn't like it.  Wolverine appears in a place where a previous film was... what bothers me though is that the characters in the previous film acted like they had never been to or seen the location.  Continuity people!!  I need it!

The end credit scene isn't worth waiting for.  It's does progress the story and only confuses people who aren't familiar with comics. Just go home and google is and don't wait around.

This movie gets a C

Friday, May 27, 2016

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Title: Through the Woods
Author: Emily Carroll
Pages: 208
Published: July 15th 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: library
Links: goodreads

'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.' Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss. These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll. Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...
I heard about this book way back when it first came out but for some odd reason my library hadn't ordered it until recently. This is a fantastic graphic novel.  So spooky. Basically it is filled with five different short stories, very similar to In a Dark Dark Room.   The artwork is phenomenal as well. It goes perfectly with each story bringing them to life. The book is unsettling, creepy and just what I love.

You can read this book pretty much in one sitting.  All the stories do end in an open ending kind of way, very much like Stephen King's books.  I don't mind this in horror, though I'm not sure every story needed to end like that.  You will be a bit confused by some of the stories but that is what makes it even more creepy. I always like to find a book that is unique... unlike a book I've read before.  I read a lot of comics/graphic novels and this is unlike anything I've read.

I would do a little synopsis of each story but I feel like that will just give them away.  You should go into the book without any knowledge of the stories to make them more creepy. All the tales happen in the woods which if you've ever been camping ... then you know the woods are pretty scary at night. I looked through the author's bio and I'm not sure if she has anymore books coming out?  I am hoping to see another graphic novel from her soon.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Title:  Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Pages: 296
Published: September 18th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Source: library
Links: goodreads,

SHHHH! Don't spread the word! Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island. You do NOT want to miss it. It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury. But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
I recently read a fantastic book called And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.  I was so into it and never figured out the murderer.  After I read it I remembered hearing about a book that was a retelling of the Christie novel.  I couldn't wait to get started on it.  Well... such a disappointment.  The book is about a bunch of teenagers who are all invited to a party on an island out in the middle of nowhere.  Something about how the teenagers were written was just too childish for me.  More like a middle school book then a young adult book, it's the darker themes that make this book considered YA I suppose.  The book is full of teen speak... you know that annoying way teens are supposed to speak.  Plus... I had issues with some of the dialog.  For example, there is a black character who is made fun of for going to be the one who ides first.  This is a typical joke among horror movies.  People are used to joking like that and the guy who says it is accused of being a racist for saying that. The teens were serious about that accusation too.  Um... that isn't racism to me.

To be honest... I am surprised that this book has such high ratings on goodreads.  I just couldn't buy that a teen set up this whole murder weekend.  I don't see how in this book one could even ever figure out the murderer.  The relationships between characters is just ugh.  One girl is friends with another girl who bosses her around constantly but that's OK but the bossy girl has mental illness and is just off her meds.  This bothers me too.  There is mental illness in my family and that really isn't something to make a gimmick.  I hate when people are considered off their meds then they are just plan mean and crazy.  There of course was the dorky teen fights over who gets the boy.

The book is about making people feel guilty because a girl committed suicide and murdering them for it.  Eh... I guess I also don't like people being punished for something they didn't even know they caused. You never even really care about the characters who die.  Most of them you barely know anything about other then theirs names.  Also.. no one's parents checked in with their kid at all during that weekend??  NO ONE'S?  Please my mom would've been like where the hell are you and why can't I get a hold of you.

I would pass on this book.  It is a middle school book written for teens.  The writing just isn't that strong.  It's too bad... I feel like the book could've been so much more.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Comic Adventures Issue #41

read a lot of comics and rarely review them here on the blog. That's because I really don't have a lot to say for an entire post.  So I thought I would review several comics on one post.  I will still review graphic novels on their own now and then, but this is where I will talk about super-hero type comics (DC/Marvel) or sequels to some that I have already reviewed.

This issue I talk about Harley Quinn Vol. 3 Kiss Kiss Band Stab,  The Doom that Came to Gotham,  1872, and Lumberjanes vol 2 Friendship to the Max.

I love Harley Quinn!!  I never really loved her till the New 52 series. The beginning of this comic is a bunch of side stories... a couple of Christmas/Valentines Day issues.  Which was probably fun for those who buy this comic in individual issues.  Of course reading those at the start of summer wasn't as cool but still I enjoyed them.  The comic then goes into the fact that Quinn is totally stressed, has way too much to do.  Which I loved because it makes it seem like she is a real person.  She has a job, she is in a roller derby club, she is dating, trying to save animals, has friendships and she tries to be a superhero/villain.  I love it!  The only thing in the Harley Quinn comics I don't love are the constant dream sequences.  The comic writers even find a way to squeeze them in.  The one thing that's a plus in the dream sequences is that they bring in a special artist to draw them and then go back to the artist who is drawing the volume once the dream is over.  That is nice for up and coming artists.  The Harley Quinn comics aren't usually serious and are pretty fun.  That is why I just hope they continue into the whole DC Rebirth that's coming up.
4 out of 5

I have been trying to figure out what comics are going to be in the new DC Rebirth.  This came into my library so I put it on hold. This was a unique tale.  I think it has nothing to do with any on going series which I liked. It kind of a Batman Lovecraft tale.  It takes all the characters we know and changes up their origin into more spooky tales. The comic takes place in older times... almost 1930's??  There are pirate ships frozen over ... ghosts... really enjoyed it.  The art really works for the story too.  Great matchup. Though... the cover artist is of course different the artist who does the actual comic.  I always think that's sad.  If you are hired to do the inside of the comic you should be allowed to do the cover as well.  Why hire these high profile artists to just do the cover, apparently they are way too busy to draw the whole thing.  Rant over.  I wouldn't want to continue reading this comic so I like the idea that this was just a stand alone Batman story.  Worth the read.

4 out of 5

I had no idea what this comic was when I checked it out from the library.  The cover looked cool that and the name 1872 (I didn't see the Warzones title at first).  This comic is apparently apart of a series called Secret Wars that is a Marvel story arc.  Well I've never read that.  Luckily I think this comic can be read without reading those.  It's kind of a retelling of Avenger characters in 1872.  How they got to 1872 I don't know... maybe they are supposed to have originated there?  It didn't seem like they were from the future or anything. Basically we see all the characters as if they are in a western story.  I am assuming there will be even more stories in this time period because it does day at the end that the Avengers will return. I'm not going to keep on with this comic series but it was fun to read something new and different. It had the western elements that happen in those stories. A bad sheriff, shoot outs, cops and robbers, indians, and all that.  Since I don't read a lot of Marvel there were a few characters I didn't recognize.  One of the cooler one was Vision, he was a fortune telling machine.  Thought that was clever.
4 out of 5

I am so in love with Lumberjanes! Volume 2 was just as good as the first. This story follows the same characters while they are at camp.  I love how each chapter is still about a badge and how to earn it. One is about music so the girls start trying to figure out a song to defeat the baddies. I think this comic is also perfect for younger girls who are looking for a comic.  In fact I might even purchase this for my cousin who is 8.  This comic will make you wish you would've went to a summer camp in a forest somewhere. Oh and there are actually directions on how to make a friendship bracelet. I almost wanted to go find some string and make one. I would like to point out that this comic has such great diversity in it... without making it seem like it's forced either.  It kind of reminds me of growing up on a military base.  Such a big variety of people!  I love it. The artwork is fantastic.  It's a simple comic look but it works perfectly for the story line.  I have the third volume from the library in my hands right now and just can't wait to get started on it.
5 out of 5

This counts for 33 comics towards my 2016 Graphic Novels Challenge.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Title:  Winter
Author:  Marissa Meyer
Pages: 824
Published: November 10th 2015 by Feiwel and Friends
Source: Library ebook
Links: goodreads,

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long. Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
I had been waiting for this book forever!  Well probably not as long as most people since I only read this book series for the first time last year but it felt like a long time. When reading this book as an ebook I had no idea that it was as long as it is.  800 + pages.  It really didn't seem that long.  One thing I was most excited for in the book was that all the characters were going to finally be together in one book.  I wasn't disappointed either.  Such a great bunch of characters. Great friendships and no love triangles (claps hands).  Meyer's writing is just so great.  Character development, world building, and all that jazz.

I love fairytale retellings so that might be another reason why I love this book series.  This one obviously had more Snow White aspects to it.  The title character in this book Winter is a little crazy. I kind of liked that though... it was almost like she was representing a community of people with mental illness.  I saw a lot of people complain about this book being called Winter but that Winter isn't in it very much.  Honestly if this is the last book in the series I feel like everyone should've expected that it would end with all the characters ending up together.

I do have issues with how the villain Levana was defeated.  This is a spoiler so if you are avoiding spoilers skip to the end of this paragraph.  She was traumatized by the fact that everyone got to see her uglyness .. her scars. Next thing you know the people of Luna didn't like her anymore and she got week by knowing that.  Meh.

It really was a great series.  I enjoyed it so much.  There are only a couple of people I've met who didn't like Cinder (shocker).  I have the next book on hold... Stars Above.  I also just found out there are two short stories that go with this book I hadn't read before so I am going to go out and hunt for those.  Great ending! I hear that Meyer's next book is about the Queen of Hearts from Alice and Wonderland when she was a young teen.  Can't wait!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer