Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Million Ways to Die in the West (Comedy 2014)

Yeah so this wasn't as funny as I thought it would be. It was a silly film where Seth MacFarlane pretty much created a character for himself and made it a part of this movie. He seriously went through the whole thing describing how crappy it would've been to live out in the West during the late 19th century.

Most of the jokes were toned down compared to some of his other projects since I think I chuckled only a handful of times. No belly-laughing situations here. Yeah quite mediocre compared to what I thought it would be for a theater flick.
Rating - D

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bad Cheese

So the next time you're in the snack isle at Costco, avoid this item. It's some sort of Italian cheese cracker and man...no bueno. After eating only one of these things you start getting this nasty aftertaste in your mouth. It's quite hard to get the smell and taste out of your system. Good thing is that it was only $4 for a pack of 4, but still, save your money.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Buccaneer - A Dane Maddock Adventure by David Wood (Book 2014)

Even though the cover makes it seem like this book is about pirates, it isn't. There was a pirate in the first intro scene, but then the rest of the book barely has anything to do with real pirates. This one was about the crew setting out to find the 3 sacred weapons of the legendary King Arthur. Pretty average for a David Wood adventure book. Some scenes were done well while others were way too short, but in the end everything fit into place though.
Rating - Mid

Maleficent (Disney Adventure 2014)

This movie sucked. I'm trying to think of something good to say, but I really can't. It wasn't good at all. There was this one scene where Maleficent lost her wings and it was oh so crappy acting on the part of Angelina Jolie. I mean I felt embarrassed sitting in the theater watching it because it was so bad. Pretty much every single scene that Jolie was in was her looking solemn and crass from various different angles. Straight-on, to the side, tilted down left, tilted down right, turning around, etc. She only acted in about 3 scenes.

The main theme of the story was a la Disney and the ending was very Disney-esque as well but damn...it was a pretty awful movie overall. They should totally stick with their animated musicals; this one was a flop.
Rating - D

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Book 2011)

I've never read a book like this before; very unique and special. It's a story about the future and how people all log into a MMO-like world and pretty much live there. People go to school, go to work, go on adventures, get experience, buy items for their avatar, etc. It's like a world within another world, but one that most people prefer to live in vs. real life.

The kicker with the writing is that it uses many aspects of gaming from my childhood as a core component of the story. I mean do you remember this arcade game back in the 80s? I totally forgot all about it before it was mentioned in this book. They also go into many other arcade and console games and pretty much everything else gaming-related. The 80s-specific details were a total blast from the past. It was quite fun to read through the whole thing.

So yeah a loud golf clap goes out to the author. I've never read a fiction book that brought back so many good memories of my childhood. I think it would've had more of an effect if I was born in the mid 70s, but still close enough. The characters were great, stories and details were great, and I very much enjoyed the ending; totally felt like a movie/game within a book.
Rating - High

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Animated Adventure 2014)

Not as good as the first. That pretty much sums it up. Was it OK still? Yes, but it reminded me of how Shrek 2 wasn't good as the original either. Don't know what's up with Dreamworks but they always seem to try to add things to a franchise that just doesn't play out in the long run. They should really just stick to the original equation.

This time around Hiccup and Toothless are in another adventure as they run into a new baddie and a new goodie. This was fine, but there were too many unanswered questions about the main baddie and these Alpha dragons. On top of this, there was one odd singing scene that lasted way too long and lemme tell ya, average kids in the audience wouldn't give a hoot. This whole section could've been taken out along with the beginning scene and parts of the ending as well.

The main thing was that for a kids movie, it seemed much too long and didn't have the necessary content to support it. Let's not make a third, eh?
Rating - C

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (Sci-Fi Action 2014)

Very nice. This movie was as expected and didn't disappoint in any area. That being said, I was expecting a pretty darn good movie since it was one of this summer's top films that I was looking forward to.

The movie was a mix of Starship Troopers, The Matrix, and Groundhog Day. Kinda weird combination, but it worked. Tom Cruise did his normal "good job" acting and Emily Blunt played a sullen super soldier who had no personality. Their chemistry was blah, but you're not really watching this type of movie for the interpersonal relationships. The purpose of this film was to move the plot along and have a shit-ton of action, which it did have. The ending was acceptable and it was an overall fun time. I'll note that the movie wasn't one of those super solid ones, but it definitely wasn't a B.
Rating - A

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Apocalypse Z: Dark Days by Manel Loureiro (Book 2013)

Pretty good read for this 2nd book to the series. It's always nice when you jump around to different authors and genres and then to come back to a style of writing that is both familiar and comfortable. Manel's writing is just that; simple and to the point.

Even though I pretty much forgot the whole plot from the first book, the beginning in this one gave a very good intro that allowed the reader to jump right back into the mix. It was a perfect insertion. In this sequel, the crew reaches the Canary Islands and then pseudo-reintegrates back into the remnants of civilization. Unfortunately the book never really gets into "daily life" on the island because in the very next chapter, the two main characters are sent back to Spain for a supply run. Drama happens and the end of this book leaves the characters in as unstable of footing as the first book left them.

I would've liked it if this book was longer and had more details pertaining to life on the island, but at least there is a 3rd book now. Got to wait a month to rent it.
Rating - High

Monday, June 02, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Action 2014)

You know I was quite surprised, but this movie was actually pretty darn enjoyable. This newish Peter Parker, played by Andrew Garfield, is quite eccentric and entertaining to boot.

Emma Stone was OK, but she seemed to have way too much makeup on in all of her scenes. One thing that was well done was the choice of music and songs. I'll be researching the OST for this one. Even though it was predominately an action flick, the movie did have a more romantic feel compared with the Toby Maguire Spiderman series. I dunno if that added to the bonus points I'm giving it, but the director handled those relationship scenes very well.

The movie wasn't perfect though. The whole ending with Rhino was a pointless afterthought and the actor, Dane DeHaan, who played the Green Goblin looked too much like Eddie Furlong and was overacting in a lot of his scenes.

I liked it though. The plot moved along quickly and the music was wonderfully placed.
Rating - B

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Raising the Past by Jeremy Robinson (Book 2013)

I had thought that this book would be another adventure one, but unfortunately I was mistaken. The beginning started out OK, introducing all of the characters and setting up the premise of a mammoth encased in ice, but then the story went off a cliff as it went into aliens and philosophy.

I read another one of Jeremy Robinson's books, Island 731, which as I recall was pretty good except for some odd-ball parts. But yeah this book totally tricked the reader into thinking that it would be more scientific and anthropologic, but instead it just turned into a bucket of silly.

The main characters were PhD scientists who all magically turned into Indiana Jones mixed with a Crossfit enthusiasts. That was far from believable. On top of this, a lot of people started dying off and these characters barely blinked an eye. Normal people would have total emotional breakdowns; especially academics, so again way too unrealistic for my tastes.

Long story short, this book wasn't what it seemed to be from the description since the characters, story, and setting were all too fanciful. It felt like I was watching a really crappy movie after the aliens came into play, and unfortunately that lasted all the way to the end.
Rating - Low