Friday, December 30, 2011

Empire of the Gods by David Stag (Book 2011)

Transparency: I was emailed a copy of this (very long) book to read and review so here is an unbiased report.

To start out, the author’s writing style is very detailed and articulate. It can get a little too wordy at times, but there is no loss for descriptive measure. As the story progresses, a lot of the writing diverges off into philosophical and moral inner-monologs of main character, Linus. This assists with making the subject-matter concepts more interesting and intelligent, but it does detract away from story progression.

In all honestly, plot does not seem all that important in this book. Things happen to carry Linus to different locations and meet different people, but that’s about it. A lot of the book is about what Linus is thinking and how or why he does not agree with what is going on. So a lot of it is about analysis and not about action or drama.

Character development for Linus is terrific since the story revolves around him and his experiences & thoughts, but any other development that occurs with other characters becomes irrelevant as the setting of the story abruptly changes too frequently: 3 major times by my count. Each time this occurs, Linus is shoved into a new environment with a whole new group of characters and it seems a tad odd that the previous personnel are eliminated as if they were old candy wrappers. This causes a non-fluidic change in story atmosphere that seems a bit artificial. This is where improvement can be made in terms of writing an actual story.

Because of the fact that most books I read are plot-driven, this one was quite a change. It was intelligently written and makes you think, but it was definitely not an “exciting page-turner”, although I doubt the author meant it to be like that. I would recommend this book to those who want to experience good writing but are not looking for a particularly thrilling story.

I do appreciate David Stag’s efforts and encourage him to write more. He really is a good writer…much better than a lot of other authors I’ve read in the past. There is room for improvement though as the ending was a bit too underwhelming and “Pleasantville-ish”.
Rating - Mid

Warrior (Action Drama 2011)

Just finished this movie a few minutes ago. Not too bad, just like a modern Rocky but with better music. One of the mains, Tom Hardy, is a friggin' beast. He got some very intimidating traps, just like those roided out WWE wrestlers.

But yeah, the movie was nice and exciting. It never got slow and was kept up a good pace. Nick Nolte actually did a really good job being a recovering alcoholic although I doubt he'll get any props for it. And of course the music was very inspirational. Good evening watch.
Rating - B

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Help (Drama 2011)

Yeah so this was a pretty solid movie. Lots of drama back in the 60s...I wonder if housewives back then were really that caddy. So the story followed around these maids down in the South as they faced segregation and other racially non-kosher actions by the white peeps back then. Odd how much has changed in the 50 sum years since those days.

But yeah the drama was real and the acting was good (for some of the characters), but the main character of Emma Stone was kinda sub-par in my opinion. She seemed fake and non-convincing. Be forewarned that there were a few scenes of some female emoting going on. Yeah I think you have to be a girl to feel anything with these scenes; I find them uncomfortable and lasting a few minutes too long...

Overall it was a good, solid movie with a great story.
Rating - A

Crysis 2 (FPS PC Game 2011)

Gosh it's been close to a year or so since the last time I played a FPS game. I kinda gave up on PC gaming for a while there since there weren't many games out there and having a dedicated desktop machine seemed like a waste. But good thing is that I build an eGPU rig and now I can still have my laptop and game at the same time. In a while I'll post a review of that setup, but for now off to this game.

Crysis 2's visuals were better than that of Crysis and Crysis Warhead. It did support DX11 but damn did my video card not like that one bit. I'm sure if you had a badass SLI box, everything would be A-OK but yeah I could not play on Ultra when everything was maxed. There was also a large texture file that could be applied for more detail and that was a nice addition.

So for this game they took out the "strength" mode for the armor and added some weird alien bonuses. Besides that the game was just like the other two. I don't know why but I just don't find fighting aliens fun. It's just like Halo where the mobs are these humanoid alien type beings that are overdrawn. Crysis 2 had mobs just like these except they were glowing red instead of glowing purple. I'm sure my dislike stems from the fact that finding the head for a head shot is not intuitive enough.

Gameplay was just like any other EA game + FPS...the story was fair but forgettable. It was nice for a one-time thing but I'll probably never play the game again...good thing I got it for a small $10 sum. Yeah I've decided that a game has to be under $10 for me to purchase it unless it is so sick that I have to play it immediately. These days you can't resell games anymore so that totally put a dent in how I buy this stuff.
Rating - Mid

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Contagion (Drama Thriller 2011)

This movie had a lot of potential. It was really good at the beginning when the outbreak first started but then near the end it got kinda boring. Maybe this was because I was expecting a total breakdown in the system and a post-apoc world to take its place, but sadly they found a vaccine to the disease.

I think the main kudos to this film was how it demonstrated pretty accurately how governments and the CDC would try to "contain" information about any outbreak that were to happen. That and how people would start freaking out and start breaking laws and such to survive. It's always nice to have a few guns around just for this...

The whole ending had to do with finding a vaccine. I dunno how all that science and testing works but I would think that it would be more difficult to pull off than it was in this film. Either way, freaky plot...but I think it would be way worse in real life. There is a very thin line that keeps people from taking what they want from others or doing what they want when there is little to no rule of law.
Rating - B

Cowboys & Aliens (Action 2011)

Well this movie wasn't too bad. It had an OK story with enough action to keep it interesting. Harrison Ford made a nice appearance. Haven't seen him in any movies in a long time so that was a good change. All his character did in this one was scowl though; that sorta got old. Daniel Craig played a silent cowboy so there was very little talking coming out of him.

The plot was different...aliens attacking a small area of land in the West while looking for gold. After abducting some Indians and townsfolk, people started to gather up and go hunting for their peeps. So yeah, not a terrible watch but a little slow at times.
Rating - C

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Star Wars: Crosscurrent by Paul Kemp (2011 Book)

This book wasn't half bad. The beginning was slow as all hell, but at around the 70% mark, all I wanted to do was finish it because the story drew me in.

This book is the first part of a pseudo-new series so there aren't any other books that are required in order to understand what is going on. The second book, Riptide, was just released a while ago so I'll be sure to put it on my list.

The story was split up into 2 sections, the past where a Sith cruiser and a stowaway Jedi are battling it out, and the present where another Jedi is trying to get to some mysterious beacon on a frozen moon. The stories collide when the 5000 year old Sith ship has a freak hyperspace jump and warps through time to the present when drama ensues.

The action was pretty good as was the story after it picked up. The likeable characters all survived so the next book should be a nice ol' adventure with the crew. Good times.
Rating - High

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Conan the Barbarian (Fantasy Action 2011)

Man, where is Arnold when you need him. This movie was so crappy when you directly compare it with Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer. Even with the new visuals that can be accomplished with today's CG technology, it still doesn't hold a candle to a better written and directed movie. And yes I just made the statement that old school Conan had a better story...yeah this one was that bad.

I don't even know why they chose to remake this with such an asstacular screenplay other than to hopefully try to make money. The plot did not flow at all it was straight out of a Sci-Fi special. Stephen Lang from Avatar was in it..."I'll get you your legs back". And Rachel Nichols was not too shabby for the main chick. Her IMDB account says that she graduated with a Math and Econ major from Columbia? No shit...she can do Calculus and Linear Algebra and Differential Equations? Fucking amazing. The main guy, Jason Momoa, is Drogo from Game of Thrones so that just showed that he can't really act, but I'm sure he'd be a cool guy to hang out with. Oh yeah...that's something to mention...there was tons of overacting in this film. Lots of grunting, barring of teeth, and scowling. So bad...
Rating - D

Friday, December 02, 2011

Arsenal Bulgarian Milled SLR-95 AK-47 Rifle

So I acquired this rifle late last summer at a local gun show. I was looking for a VZ-58 but surprisingly enough all they had were WASRs, a shit ton of SKSs, 2 overpriced MAK-90s, and this beauty. The price was good so I went ahead and nabbed it. Of course my intention was to convert it to a normal AK, but after I got all the parts, selling it became a more profitable option.

So let's get to the nitty gritty. This gun was brought into the country through Arsenal back in the mid 90s in a thumbhole stock format. It has a milled receiver and a Styer chrome-lined barrel. It had 2 possible additions: a muzzle brake and/or a side mount for optics. Mine only had the muzzle brake. Compared to my old 1960 Polish, for a milled rifle, the SLR-95 felt substantially lighter. Fit and finish were also on a much higher scale than that of the CAI Polish. 30-round steel mags fit very well and had next to no wobble. The safety that annoyed the fuck out me on the Polish locked in perfectly on the SLR. The only physical negative I saw was that the front sight was slightly canted. Not as bad as the polish but still canted.

The whole purpose of getting this rifle was to, of course, pay a little less while maybe being able to put in some elbow grease to turn the rifle into a regular-looking AK with a pistol grip. Doing the math it should've come out a little bit cheaper than your run-of-the-mill stamped SGL Arsenal. What is discovered was that for parts, yes, but for time and effort it didn't seem worth it for me personally.

So first off you have to know that most milled AKs are supposed to have 2 tangs on the rear: one on the top and one on the bottom. These tangs are thinner and a lot less sturdy than the single tang used on stamped AKMs. Because of its configuration with a thumbhole stock, the SLR was made with only 1 upper tang and no bottom one. People have solved this problem by purchasing a lower tang through K-var or on the secondary market like Gunbroker. To install you have to either drill & rivet or weld it onto the receiver.

So you have 4 options for a buttstock:
  1. Get a buttstock for a milled receiver and only screw in the top tang without a reinforcing bottom tang. This is the cheapest method but it is not as secure and there is a chance that the buttstock can come out of the half-an-inch hole and maybe even break or bend the top tang.
  2. Get a buttstock for a milled receiver and also get and install the lower tang. This one is doable but you have to have the tools and/or skills.
  3. Cut off the top tang and attach an Ace Receiver block and then put on one of their buttstocks. This process will bubba the rifle and it is quite expensive for anything made by Ace.
  4. Purchase a custom buttstock from Ironwood Designs. I went with #4.
So here are some pics of what comes with the Ironwood set. I refinished the wood so it looks all nice and shiny. They essentially made a custom stock with a hole drilled through the middle so a long bolt could be connected to a nut at the end. The nut stays inside of the receiver and is tightened from the wood end. This way it gives the stock enough stability with only the top tang, but yeah it's definitely a custom solution vs that of a regular, 2-tang milled AK.

The bottom handguard that came with the set didn't fit into the front trunnion so that was very annoying. I'm not sure if the lower was measured for some other obscure AK model, but all I know is that the rectangular cutout was much too large for the rectangular hole in the front trunnion. 20min with a Dremel would've solved that problem but I really didn't want to go through the hassle.

  • Great quality
  • Cheaper than other milled AKs
  • Can get very good deals if you look hard enough
  • Considered one of the more accurate AKs.
  • Rifle + Costs to make it a PG with a correct buttstock = the cost of a current-production Arsenal AK
  • Non-standard configuration with the rear tangs
  • Muzzle break pinned on
  • Front sight block also non-standard
  • Tapco 30-round polymer magazines will not fit (much too tight; would have to remove material from the magazines in order to get a good fit. I had the same problem with my Russian SKS)
Don't get me wrong, the rifle was a sweet AK. But for me personally, it was a much greater hassle to get the rifle to look like how is should with a pistol grip, wood furniture, threaded front sight block, and a bayonet lug. If you have the patience, tools, and ability then it's a great project gun. It shot great, had a very smooth action, crisp trigger, and it never had any jams with cheap Wolf ammo.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another Earth (Drama 2011)

This movie was hella boring. It tried to be all artsy and slow such but really it was just a crappy movie. Story goes like this. HS chick gets drunk, drives and kills a University professor's wife and son. She goes to jail for x number of years and gets out. Finds the professor, acts like a worker for cleaning service to gain entrance into his house, goes back and cleans some more, eventually fucks him, then tells him that she was the person who was the drunk that wiped out his family. WTF. Of course you saw this plot coming from a mile away but really...WTF.

The ending had something to do with forgiveness and redemption but really all I could think was that she boinked him...super messed up. The chick can't act either; needs a haircut as well.
Rating - D

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Greyfriar by Susan & Clay Griffith (Vampire Empire, Book 1) (Book 2010)

I didn't think too much of this book when I started reading it but by the end I was pretty hooked into the plot. The story takes place in an alternative historical setting where vampires have taken over most lands of the Europe, the US, Japan, etc. The atmosphere is very steampunk with airships, guns, and swords. Late 1800s is the ballpark era.

On some levels it feels like a teen chick story because of the romance involved but then the fight scenes and drama are more graphic and mature so I'm not sure where it truly lies. All I know is that the story and characters are interesting enough and I'll probably continue one with the next book.
Rating - High

Waiting for 'Superman' (Documentary 2010)

So this movie was kinda interesting although it was highly skewed towards one side. Essentially it goes into how our public school system is hosed and how we have many bad teachers employed because they can't be fired because of unions.

Lots of different forum postings and teachers I've spoken to have given other viewpoints but yeah like politics, there is no real solution because there is too much red tape for things to be done.

All I know is that I was shuffled through many public and private schools in my day and I really didn't notice that much of a difference. You got some good teachers, a few bad ones, but most are just average. In class you had some smart students, a bunch of average ones, and a whole shitload of crappy ones. Just as long as you don't live in the ghetto, I think any student would be OK if they tried and didn't get preggers.
Rating - B

Green Lantern (Comic Action 2011)

Ryan Reynolds should stick with comedies. He doesn't quite cut it with action movies at all. Yeah this movie was more blah than anything else. I wasn't really a fan of the Green Lantern in comic books so that might've had something to do with it.

Acting wasn't good at all, action was the same old stuff, and the villain was too CG. Give it a few days and I'll forget ever seeing this one.
Rating - D

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Action Drama 2011)

So the final Potter movie was finally watched by yours truly. I think "anticlimactic" would be a good description. The whole series was a nice ride, and although this last one did have a lot of action, it didn't feel as extraordinary as it could've been.

Acting by all the primaries were all the same. It'll be funny to see if the red-headed kid will ever get anymore gigs right? But yeah the special effects were good, as expected, but the plot was hella rushed. It was action, action, action, ending. Hella fast with barely any real dialog. I barely remember reading this last book so it was all new to me but yeah it seemed way too fast and too much scrunched together. Oh well. OK ending to a long series but it didn't go out with a pimp bang as LOTR did.
Rating - B

The Mechanic (Action 2011)

This was definitely not one of Statham's best moments. I'm sure it's because he had this loser of a co-pilot, Ben Foster, on screen with him. I don't like this guy's face...really plain and boring-looking. Dunno how this clown ever became an actor. But yeah this movie didn't have any cool Audi's like in the Transporter series so thus it kinda sucked. They replaced cool suits and cars with New Orleans and trucks. How about no.

Action was still OK but not as good as others. Can't really go recommending this one as it was highly forgetful.
Rating - C

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Action Drama 2011)

This was a pretty good movie. Great intro to the whole series. James Franco was surprisingly good but the rest of the actors were unimpressive. Malfoy was in it so that was super annoying but at least he got his in the end. The regulations & science behind some of the decisions made by Franco's biotech company are questionable...I'm sure more approvals would realistically have to happen in order for various testing to occur on humans and such but yeah kinda scary if science labs can really produce crazy viruses and such. That's totally how zombies are gonna get created :-)
Rating - B

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Thing (Horror 1982)

In general I rarely, if ever, watch old movies. Most of them usually suck and they seem oh so generic. But boy was I surprised when I finished watching this one. 1982 yo...I was a super small tyke back then.

So yeah this movie had Snake in it back when he was much younger. Don't know how to fully explain it but this was a different type of storytelling that was very good even though they didn't have any of the newfangled CG that films these days have. A lot of the alien scenes were pretty cool as well as I have no idea how they made stuff happen in terms of robotic animation. I'm sure they actually had artists make the "creatures" and also build the walking alien things. Probably took a bunch of skill back then. But yeah the special effects were awesome when you think about what year they made it in. Suspense, drama, and gore were all there as well. Nothing really bad about the film at all. Thoroughly entertaining. I watched this cuz I saw that they were doing a remake and most reviewer said to just watch the original as the new one didn't really add anything.
Rating - B

Whiteout (Action Thriller 2009)

You know this review almost didn't happen since I had totally forgot that I had watched this movie lol. Yeah not memorable at all. This is one of those that you watch and you promptly forget because it was sorta boring. Even though Kate Beckinsale was in it, it's hard to cancel out a bland plot. Nothing more to say about it...Antarctica>a murder>most people evaced>find the killer & solve the mystery.
Rating - D

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Drive (Drama 2011)

So this movie was kinda slow. It was actually very slow at the beginning but then some semblance of a story started shining through. I guess it was OK? as in it didn't suck, but when the movie ended there didn't seem to be much point to the time spent watching it. Carey Mulligan was a bonus though...not too shabby American accent. But yeah...I really didn't get the point to the whole thing.
Rating - C

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Busy Bee

So I haven't updated in a while because I don't seem to have time for anything I actually want to do anymore. Hopefully I can squeeze a movie in soon. In the mean time I have dumped Android and have gone over to the dark side again with the iPhone 4s. It's not too different from the iPhone 4 from what I can tell but a few annoyances are popping up, namely.
  1. How the hell do you sync Chrome bookmarks to their Safari browser? Searches have proved nil in terms of real solutions
  2. If you have location services on all day your battery will drain down to 50% within 10 hours. Not very impressive...
  3. No way to FTP movies onto this thing...will have to use iTunes and I doubt it'll read a bunch of formats either.
  4. Had to connect to my Google stuff via an Exchange connection...hopefully that's the right way to do it? Going it the Gmail way = no contacts.
  5. Not a bunch of good, free apps.
So what is the good over that of an Android phone?
  1. If I push a button or tap the screen, it'll work. No lag, no bullshit, it'll detect and work.
  2. Screen is purdy.
So yeah I'll see how this purchase pans out. Sometimes some tools in your life just need to work.

Update: I did not touch my phone since it was at 50% at 10ish this evening. At midnight I turned it on and it was at 1% before it died. Also, the thing was hella hot on the back of the phone and through a Speck Candyshell case. Something is wrong and this link says it's not only me. Terrific.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger (Action 2011)

This movie was a pretty fun one. It's probably on the same level as Thor, but not as good as Iron Man. The story, action, and witty lines done by Tommy Lee Jones were all up to par. I'm quite glad since there seems to have been a turnaround in the quality of comic book movies since the whole slew of horrible ones half-a-decade back. Yeah I'm looking at you Elektra and Daredevil.

But yeah this one is worth a watch...a good intro to the upcoming Avengers film.
Rating - B

Friday, October 14, 2011

Horrible Bosses (Comedy 2011)

So yeah this movie was supposed to be funny, but it really wasn't. I did laugh maybe 3 times in total but the characters were way too stupid for the humor to come through. Every comedy has to have some semblance of a story and this one didn't have a speck of it. Big no from me.
Rating - D

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Ironclad (Action 2011)

Yeah there's no way around it; this movie sucked. The whole story was so dull and all of the dialog was pointless. There were only 2 attributes what weren't so bad. The first was the gore. You got to see everything from hands getting cut off to an unlucky extra getting essentially sliced in half, like the main baddie from Rob Roy. The second was an impassioned speech made by Paul Giamatti explaining his royal divine right. It's funny to think that this was the same guy who played that nerdy wine connoisseur in Sideways.
Rating - D

Saturday, September 24, 2011

1944 Finnish VKT M39 Rifle

So here it is, a Finnish M39. After researching around one day, I found a pic of this rifle and thought that it looked mighty handsome. I then noticed that the magazine area looked exactly like my old Mosins, so I investigated further. Turns out that Finland used to be part of Russia before the Bolsheviks took over, and after they did, the country declared independence and confiscated all weapons in state armories located on their land. Most of the rifles were Mosins so they started working on improving them. There were other Finnish rifles that still looked like the regular M91/30s, but the M39 was the last iteration of those improvements.

As you can see the main difference is the wood near the handguard as well as the front sight post. The front sight is great on this rifle, even better than a more modern AK. It has 2 screws on each side of the sight. If you want to move the windage to one direction, all you need to do is unscrew it a bit on one end and then screw the other end tighter. They seem to hold pretty well as well so no apparent need for loctite.

The whole wood stock has actually been redone. The upper handguard is totally different as it is made up of a top wood portion with 2 metal bands that are screwed in. The main bulk of the stock is of much better quality and the grip area has an early 'pistol grip' mold as opposed to the straight stock of a Mosin.

What the Finns did was keep the receiver, magazine well, buttplate, and trigger assembly. Everything else they replaced such as: all the wood, front and rear sight, barrel, and bands. Finnish barrels are known to be very accurate and I can certainly attest to this fact. The rifle has lug for a knife-looking bayonet but supposedly it is hard to find a real bayo for this rifle. There are reproductions though so watch out.

So yeah I bought this rifle on a whim. If I would've thought more about all the reasons I personally sold off all my other Mosin-Nagants, I would've convinced myself to not purchase this, but the price was good and pictures were great.

  1. The Finns made the trigger a 2-stage one like a modern Glock. This definitely makes shooting accurately much easier; it has a very clean break.
  2. The rifle is definitely more accurate than my old M38 and 91/30.
  3. The front-sight is very easy to adjust.
  4. The overall sight picture is better than a Mosin.
  5. It looks great!
  1. The rifle is still heavy as fuck. Just around 10lbs and yeah it just sucks if you want to shoot accurately but are either standing or are on a knee. If you are shooting at a range with a benchrest then yeah this would be a great target rifle.
  2. The Finns were unable to do anything to improve the action of the bolt. You still have to slap it hard like any other Mosin; remains lightyears away from the smoothness of a Mauser.
In a one-liner fashion, if you're even remotely looking at getting a Mosin-Nagant for a reason different from just putting rounds down range, you should really just look into a Finn M39. Paying $240-$350 as opposed to a $90 Nagant is totally worth the price difference in my opinion. There are just so many small issues with the M91/30 that end up being very annoying and you'll probably end up selling it anyway. There is always a chance for a historical find as well. My Finn was made on a hex receiver and it was marked with a R for Remington. Very rare even in the M91/30 world.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

America The Dead (White Flag of the Dead Series) by Joseph Talluto (Book 2011)

And the series marches on. I think he will have a 4th book coming out soon so hopefully I won't have to wait too long to continue with the story. This 3rd book picked up with John Talon as he set out on a new mission to save America from a new, evil antagonist. I can't say that I enjoy having this new character around though. Sure it does give purpose to the story but something about it rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps it's because he is so blatantly bad and a rapist to boot.

This book seemed to be not as exciting as the other two, especially the first book. I think things always get a bit boring when zombie apoc survivors settle down, stop running, and try to build a community. All that jazz is a little too mundane for an avid zombie reader like myself.

So yeah the writing style and story was good, but a bit bland. It also seemed short as well, as I cleared it in under 2 days with some light reading. Hopefully more action happens in the next few books.
Rating - Mid

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Company Men (Drama 2010)

I liked this movie. It was an accurate depiction of what can happen when one loses their job and is subsequently unemployed afterwards. Yeah talking to people who have never truly been unemployed can be one of the most annoying things to go through. They just don't know what the fuck you're talking about can cannot relate at all. Anyone who has been unemployed for any long period of time should know what it feels like: it's something that seriously eats at your soul while you sit there scraping by for any hint of a job, whatever the wage/salary.

But yeah this movie was about a few guys who gave their all for a company that ended up fucking them over in the end. Ben Affleck's character I couldn't give two shits about even though he was the primary because seriously...who buys a Porsche Boxster? If you're going to get a Porsche to be a DB, get a 911 like a real man. Anyway Affleck's character was obviously not very wise when it came to money. He bought a house that he could totally not afford with his salary and then he didn't have any real equity in it because why? I'm sorry if you make $120K + should be able to put in some equity on a house right? Yeah so he loses his job, then his house, then he has to move back in with his folks. All this happens in a matter of months. This guy was a fool with his money so it's hard to feel sorry for him.

As for the other 2 main characters, they were more well off so it wasn't as bad, but yeah it was pretty depressing seeing them go through demeaning interviews and moping around after being canned. I think if someone made a real documentary of this phenomenon in America, it would be a much better movie. But unfortunately this is all we got in the realm of cinema.

In looking at the core of it, being unemployed and either bombing or not getting any interviews makes one feel like a loser...a total loser. You keep thinking back to your old jobs and how you thought, and probably were, useful and important in some way. But after you apply to the black hole known as, it starts eating at you after the first 2 weeks and it just gets worse as your savings dwindle.

The end of this film was hopeful but yeah that was about it. It was overall kinda depressing but it did have some good parts/lessons.
Rating - B

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Dying to Live: Last Rites by Kim Paffenroth (Book 2011)

So thankfully this was the last book of the series. When you look at it as just a story, then it isn't all that bad, but when you look at it as a zombie apoc book then yeah it's all full of shit.

The story in this book follows around the main zombie characters who have maintained some semblance of their intelligence. They meet up with many others who are not mindless, and that throws the whole "world" into a loop. Either way the author does a good job telling the story from the zombies' point of view so that's good, but yeah it's hard to not look at this as a zombie apoc book and the last part of a series. Overall the whole series is not worth reading, but as a standalone book was fair.
Rating - Mid

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thor (Action 2011)

This comic book adventure wasn't half bad. One good thing they did was that they kept a lot of the action is Asgard and not on crappy Earth. I hate it when a movie base its plot on Earth when it's supposed to be a Sci-fi-like movie just to save money. The most memorable film that did this was Star Trek IV. So this film wins points by not screwing with the trailer to trick the viewer.

Anyway, the main character, Chris Hemsworth, seemed like a jolly guy. It's good to see that him being an ass at the beginning was really just acting. His attraction towards Portman did seem a bit fake though. Not a lot of chemistry there from what I could see but Portman did try to make it work. The rest of the movie was enjoyable to watch...nice summer flick.
Rating - B

Your Highness (Comedy 2011)

Oh my...I'm hard pressed to think of another movie that I've seen that can even slightly resemble this one. This movie was pretty dumb but oh did have a good number of highly crude one-liners that almost made me piss myself.

Yeah this was one of those films that was so dumb and foolish that you may have thought it might be associated with the Wayans Bros. I only kept watching because I wanted to see if they could top the next level of low-brow humor that the previous scene showed. Because yeah everything really sucked about it. Story, plot, acting, environmental special effects, etc. But hey it did make me laugh right?
Rating - C

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Water for Elephants (Romantic Drama 2011)

You know surprisingly this movie wasn't half-bad. I mean I still don't think Pattinson can act worth a damn, but the storytelling was pretty good. The main actor that was more-so impressive was Christoph Waltz. He usually plays a bad guy in most films, so it was only fitting that he was the main ass in this one.

The rest of the movie was your average romance flick. Some parts were more convincing than others, but it wasn't too Notebooky and the end didn't have the same sap.
Rating - B

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dying to Live: Life Sentence by Kim Paffenroth (Book 2008)

Ok this series just went and took a shit in the woods. I have no desire to read about thinking zombies, none whatsoever. I thought this series was supposed to be just like all the others...surviving in a zombie-infested world. Who voted for the story to tangent off into a la la land of zombies who actually think and are not only out for blood and brains?

Yeah fuck a whole bunch of this...I finished this one and unfortauntely I already bought the 3rd book before I knew about this change. What a load of horse shit.
Rating - Low

Super 8 (Adventure Drama 2011)

So this movie was OK. I don't remember if I ever did watch ET so I can't compare it to that even though everyone who talks about this film say it's much like it.

The story felt like a "coming of age" film. The kids were all immature and such in the beginning but a few of them had to start maturing pretty quickly as the movie went on. The plot was kinda simple though...I'm sure that was intentionally done to insure that it would remain understandable to the youngins. I did notice that the music was really good at the last scene so I'm guessing Spielberg had something to do with that.

So yeah...the story was OK, the monster was not too impressive, and some of the younger actors like the main fat kid and the primary chick were pretty good.
Rating - B

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hanna (Action 2011)

Now this movie was much better than the last one. Think The Bourne Identity in female form. The main chick actress, Saoirse Ronan, did a good and convincing job as a sheltered assassin. Her first kill after getting captured was nuts. But yeah the movie was very fast paced and action-filled. A good investment of a Saturday nite.
Rating - B

Source Code (Action 2011)

This movie was OK. Some parts were more exciting than others but overall a decent watch. The story kinda didn't make sense as in "how" the scientists were able to make the system that the whole plot took place in. I found that unexplained hole to be one of the only downsides of the story. Everything else was your average, run of the mill action movie.
Rating - C

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth (Book 2010)

So this book is the first in a 3-part series. It was one of the main zombie books listed on Amazon so I thought I would give it a try. The beginning was OK but then after the main character got to an encampment the rest of the plot went stagnant.

This book was just a little too slow. The writing was very descriptive so that was a plus but there wasn't enough action that I'm more accustomed to. I already bought the other 2 books when I bought this one so I'll finish up the series but this first one didn't win any real points.
Rating - Mid