Monday, January 31, 2011

White Flag of the Dead: Zombie Survival Series by Joseph Talluto (Book 2010)

Wow, excellent read. This is one of those that you just can't put down until you finish it. After going through my share of zombie books, I've finally found one that gets close to being on par with Day by Day and World War Z.

The story in this one is exactly what I wanted to read. Zombie apoc starts, a regular guy has to get his shit together, prepare, and do what he needs in order to save himself and his family. The catch is that he has a baby son with him...that's something new to the genre as dealing with a baby, their naps, the crying, diapers and such adds a whole different dimension of difficulty to the task. Convenient thing is that the main character's baby was pretty well-behaved. I personally know some babies who would've been loud homing beacons.

Although the plot is very good, I did spy two issues. The first was that quite a few words were misspelled...probably around 5 to 10, and I'm not even a careful reader. That's a lot for a regular published book, so the author needs at least one additional reader to do a once-over, but that's an easy fix. The second issue has to do with the accessory characters. In the story the main character does meet up with others and starts traveling in a group. Later that group gets larger and larger but the amount of drama does not increase in a linear fashion. Although it's always nice to see everyone get along, I thought that the characters were a little too amicable.

When you put males in a stressful situation, especially if they are directly responsible for their own, they are more likely to want to do things their way and not totally accept a 3rd string position. I think if the author integrated more realistic personalities into the story, it would make the whole thing flow better. The story did have two bad apple characters, but having more of a variety is always better. I believe the point I'm trying to make is that I remembered only 3 characters. Others have to have their own distinct personalities or else they end up as background noise.

But yeah other than those two minor issues, this book is exactly what an adventure zombie book is supposed to be. The writing style is a little simpler than Day by Day, but it's still a great read. Good thing is that this is the first in a series so I'll definitely be buying anything else that this author pumps out.
Rating - High

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Let Me In (Horror Drama 2010)

It's been a very long while since I've seen a well made vamp flick that isn't some dumb teen-oriented bullshit. But you want something good? This one is definitely one of 'em.

For starters this movie is slow-moving with very few characters so it's not an Underworld type in any way. You have this chick who is a vampire who befriends a young kid and then the story unfolds from there. There's not a lot of talking so most of the film uses body language and facial expressions to convey thought and emotion.

I'd have to say that the speed and music probably did it for me. It was a good combination that added to the overall ambiance of the film. Acting was good, especially from the up and coming actress Chloe Moretz (i.e. Hitgirl from Kickass). The guy was forgettable. So yeah if you're looking for a well-done vampire flick, look no further.
Rating - A

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The King's Speech (Drama 2010)

This was an excellent movie, as it's exactly what a drama is supposed to be. This one told the story of an English prince who had to take over the throne after his older brother abdicated to marry some chick.

The kicker was that this King George VI had a stuttering problem and had to handle a bunch of public announcements as well as radio speeches. You really start feeling for this guy after you get a bird's eye view into his royal life and the amount of pressure placed on him.

The acting by all 3 primaries was great. It's hard to believe that Helena Bonham Carter was the same chick in Sweeney Todd; makes me chuckle just thinking about it. But yeah the great acting mixed with the realistic story makes for a very satisfying watch.
Rating - A

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Quarantined by Joe McKinney (Book 2009)

So this book was a total accident of sorts. I was originally searching for a new zombie book to read and Amazon recommended me this. When I couldn't make a decision I just picked one and ordered it; this book was it. Yeah the book was about a flu that came to TX and started killing peeps in droves. Sadly it did not have any undead; just people surviving in a disease-filled city that was under quarantine and blocked off from the rest of the country.

The book was a murder-mystery, and I don't usually read books from this genre. I wasn't bad but it wasn't all that great either. I cleared it in 2 days of light reading. The plot was simple and the characters were pretty bland as well. I don't know...I was looking for zombies that just were not there. As a book it was OK but I would say that it's a $3-5 book; certainly not a $10+ one.
Rating - Mid

Friday, January 14, 2011

Unstoppable (Action 2010)

This movie had all the regular ingredients for an action thriller. A simple plot, fast-paced music, and a few special effects here and there. For what it was this film did its job; it was plain, brainless, and entertaining. There was absolutely no depth to it at all but sometimes it's good not to think.
Rating - B

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

127 Hours (Drama 2010)

So yeah this movie was about that one guy who was hiking, got his hand stuck under a boulder, and had to cut it off in order to survive. James Franco actually did a very convincing job being a super outdoorsy & adventurous type of guy. Yeah I never understood those people, but as long as they can get their bells rung, everyone wins right?

So yeah as a movie it was pretty good. There wasn't a lot of dialog but you do get to feel for the guy as he used everything available to him to try to survive for a long as possible. I woulda died the very first night, no joke. So yeah the main thing to remember is. Have a cell, have more water, tell peeps where you're going, and above all, bring a buddy.
Rating - B

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Never Let Me Go (Drama 2010)

So this movie was kinda slow and depressing. I wonder who writes these numbing stories? The movie is about a group of kids who get raised at a "special" school. The special part of it is that the school essentially raises kids up through adulthood so that their organs can be used for other people. It's sorta like The Island just without the secrecy.

Yeah the main question that I had about this movie was that if you knew that your life was that of a donor and you were trying to extend that life, wouldn't you just run away? The plot had a few parts that showed how some of these peeps wanted to be with one another and not die for a few more years, but each time they just voluntarily sat on the cutting board. Personally I think human nature would kick in and survival and self-worth would come into play vs. that of just allowing yourself to get harvested.

So this rating is not saying that it's a bad movie. It was very well done in terms of a slow, English film. But it just didn't have much of a point when the main premise of the movie could be bypassed if the peeps just ran away.
Rating - C

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Tuff 5-in-Line Pistol Magazine Pouch

So after going down the pistol route, I spent forever looking for a product just like this. Usually pistol mag pouches only come in 2s and 3s, but rarely any more than that. Wanting to get the most for my money, I Googled the hell out of it and found this 5-slot pouch. While searching I also found numerous other pistol pouches that had more than 5 slots but these were for competition shooting and was literally that, a pouch. It had no MOLLE attachments or even belt loops; this Tuff item had both.

I've gone out and used it once as just a belt attachment and I have to say that it works perfectly and was exactly what I was needing. 6 mags, I believe, is a good even number so one in the pistol and 5 on standby is enough for any outing. It's easy to get the mags in and out and they fit snugly. My only reservation is that when you insert a mag, it hits the nylon at a 45 degree angle which might create a hole over time. I might try to put some cotton material down each slot to avoid any undue wear by making the pouch a rectangle, but this design flaw is of concern. I'm sure it was made like this to cater to the many types of double-stack mags out there.


So yeah overall I'm very happy with the purchase. I got it from LAPoliceGear when they had their Christmas 15% off sale. Other places that have'em are MidwayUSA and direct from Tuff.

Pros
MOLLE attachments
Belt Loops
Holds 5 mags as a single unit
Removable Velcro flap

Cons
Bottom nylon + stitched angle prone to wear
Even with 15% off, still a bit pricey

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Knight and Day (Action 2010)

So this film is a perfect example of one that will be forgotten after a few days. I watched it and promptly forgot that I watched it . No shitting you at all...I almost didn't write this review.

So yeah Cruise and Diaz had no chemistry at all and the action was just so dry. A few of the guns were cool; I think one was an MP7A1. A friggin' sick SMG. But yeah besides that one accessory the rest of the movie sucked. I wonder how much they blew on it?
Rating - D