Sunday, April 29, 2012

Return of the Ancients: The Valkeryn Chronicles Book 1 by Greig Beck (Book 2012)

I've read a few other books by Greig Beck and have always been satisfied with his excellent character-driven adventure stories. This one took a different path in terms of it being a science fiction/fantasy novel, but rest assured that it still had an engrossing plot, great character development, and was an excellent read that I could just not put down.

The main character is this adolescent kid who gets thrown into the future where humans are extinct and two primary, animal-like races reign supreme. Their societal and technological development has reached the equivalent of the medieval era so we're talking full plate armor, swords, bows, knights, mounted cavalry, etc. The kicker is that the two races seem to have developed from wolves and cats but they are bi-pedal and can talk.

The interesting part of the setting is that it's the future on Earth, not some new dimension or a separate fantasy-based world like Tolkien's Middle-earth. Because of this, there's a lot of history and unknown questions that exist in this post-apocalyptic, future Earth. Luckily, the main character is much like most readers in that he interested in finding out what happened.

When you add a great story and compelling characters into the mix, this 3-part series positions itself to be a great epic. I truly can't wait until the next book comes out.
Rating - High

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Artist (Drama 2011)

I didn't really think I would like this movie since it was one of those silent films, but I have to say that I was proved wrong. When watching this silent movie I noticed how much more you pay attention to facial features and expression to try to get a sense of what the characters are thinking or feeling. Pretty crazy that I think I knew exactly what was going through the minds of all of the characters even without audio.

The movie was nice and solid for what it was. Music was also heavily utilized to convey situational mood, but yeah, vocals not needed. Who woulda thought?
Rating - A

Monday, April 16, 2012

Anonymous (Drama 2011)

This movie was pretty good I thought. It took the story of William Shakespear and gave it a little twist in terms of history. Don't know if any of the details in this rendition have any bearing whatsoever but it was a good tale nonetheless.

The main thing of note was the costumes and the dialog, both outstanding. The story was good but it could've been expounded upon. Definitely worth a watch...many details reminded me of HS English class.
Rating - B

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Flowers of War (Drama 2011)

So this was a period war piece about Nanjing and the shit that went down over there. It was a drama so, as far as I'm concerned, it wasn't based on a specific story. I've seen probably 3 or 4 movies about this event so maybe I'm just numbed by what was in the movie...mainly a few kinda graphic scenes but yeah make no mistake that it was pretty bad and the invading Japanese army was inhumane. I'm sure the sequential killing and rape of many peeps happen during any war but theirs was all over the place.

Either way as a drama movie it was OK. Christian Bale did his thing so he's always a good actor, but yeah the story had a bittersweet ending so feelings are mixed.
Rating - B

The Divide (Drama 2011)

This movie was fucking repulsive. The trailers made it seem like a post-apoc survival film of some sort but it wasn't. It was a human nature film about a bunch of people being trapped in a tight space and they all go crazy as all humanity goes out the window. Everyone loses it one way or another and it's just plain disturbing because of some of the characters.

I had a similar reaction to Blindness, another movie that kinda had similar shit going on. Either way fuck it. If a survival situation ever turned into anything near what this movie was about, everyone would nutters permitted. Oh yeah and the main chick is not Mila.
Rating - F

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Act of Valor (Action 2012)

This movie was an odd one. It was played by real Navy Seals so it was cool to watch these guys in action, but yeah the movie didn't really have a story to it. They went on a few missions and then the movie was over. The acting wasn't very good at all, as expected, but yeah the firefights were pretty neat. Too bad most of the scenes were already shown in the previews.

One very impressive scene was when they got into a sub at sea. Don't know why I thought that scene was so pimp but it was.
Rating - C

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (Action 2011)

For a MI movie this one had a bunch more slapstick humor. I think it hurt the overall actiony feel to it, but it did make the film more lighthearted. I don't think it was meant to be lighthearted though...

So yeah the movie was mostly like your run-of-the-mill MI film but it wasn't as polished as the first few. I'd probably say it was the worst one yet, but even so, I still think it's worth an evening watch.
Rating - B