Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Fantasy Action 2013)

Well this movie was OK I guess. It was pretty fast-moving action with some humor sprinkled in. It had some well-timed, liberal cursing which was nice. The chicas were OK but not as good as Total Recall. The setting environment had an artificial Sleepy Hollow feel to it. So you can try to put all of that together. Story was kinda lame, but it gave the actors reasons to continue on. Yeah it was definitely not theater worthy but probably OK as a drunk rental.
Rating - C

The Attribute of the Strong (Battle for the Solar System Book: 3) by Stephen J Sweeney (Book 2012)

I recently just completed this third and final book. All I can say is wow, what a great ride. I think the whole trilogy has potential of being a movie or miniseries as both the characters and the plot really stuck out as being sensational from the Sci-Fi perspective. Who knows why the genre isn't more popular in films and such.

So in this book the plot goes through the ending of the war and all of the action and drama that occurred in between. Everything was great about the story. It answered many questions that were still up in the air, tied together all loose ends, and had a solid yet realistic ending. Hopefully Sweeney writes more Sci-Fi books as this series has reminded me what great writing and storytelling can get you.
Rating - High

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Always Shop Around


So the saying goes that you can save 15% or more on car insurance. How about saving 54.77% equating into $774.60 a year on car insurance while elevating the coverage from 50/100/50 to 100/200/100? Yeah I've always stuck with USAA since I turned 18 but holy shit was there a very drastic difference between the two. If it were a few bucks per month I probably would not have changed but such a jump is ridiculous. I'd recommend shopping around like a mutha since you also could be saving more on car insurance.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Third Side (Battle for the Solar System Book: 2) by Stephen J Sweeney (Book 2011)

This book was actually better than the first one. It continued along with the story that the first book ended with and jumped straight into the action and drama. New characters were introduced and the main mystery of the plot was finally revealed.

The more I read the more I am noticing how much better of a writer Stephen Sweeney is verses that of other authors. He writes very well and is both thorough and well-paced in his delivery of the story. I am very much looking forward to the 3rd and final book in the series.
Rating - High

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Five-Year Engagement (Romantic Comedy 2012)

Yeah I haven't really given any priase to any romantic comedies in years because they have all pretty much sucked. These days the only comedies you see are the ones that totally have the cookie cutter plot of girl meets guy, they hit it off, girl finds out that guy is lying about something important or has purposely not revealed some sort of important information, they break up, then they get back together in the end. The other comedy is something like Ted where a liberal use of hilarious, crude hijinks is utilized to get laughs. This movie was neither of these and somehow it totally came out on top.

Romantic comedies rarely get exceptional ratings because they just don't, but this one did. From the get go I was laughing at least once at every scene but it was because the comedy and dialog was actually quite funny and/or realistic. I'm not sure what it was as it didn't seem like it was written in the same way a normal screenplay is usually done. The conversations seemed quite natural and I think that is what helped the humor along. It reminded me of how my friends used to banter back and forth and sometimes they would strike gold with one or two sentences comebacks. Either way this movie had a bunch of this and yeah it was pretty funny. Maybe it was the chemistry between actors as well? Who knows, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie.
Rating - A

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Honour of the Knights (Battle for the Solar System Book: 1) by Stephen J Sweeney (Book 2009)

This was a pretty darn good book. Got it free from Amazon so yay for demo books. There are 2 more in the series so I'll definitely be jumping on them in the near future.

The story revolves around a small group of starfighter pilots who are in a war with an unknown enemy that has taken control of another major power in the universe. It was kinda confusing in the beginning because I had no idea who was actually fighting who, but I think I connected all of the Lego blocks.

Either way the characters were well developed, the story started out slow but got very intriguing towards the end, and yeah it reminded me a lot of Starstrikers minus the fact that these pilots are just aviators and not multirole troopers. I always like a good space military story centered around a small squad of peeps, and this plot had just that.
Rating - High

Farcry 3 (FPS PC Game 2012)

So this was a pretty fun winter game. I spent quite a few hours to complete the main storyline but if I wanted to complete all of the sub-quests and find various special relics and such it would've taken quite a bit more time.

The whole setting is an open-world environment with 2 main islands although both islands are more/less the same. It has outposts where you can quick-travel to and it also has things like jeeps, ATVs, and hand-gliders to get around in.

Combat is pretty good/accurate. It has a whole slew of guns and mods. One thing is that a headshot will not result in a head being taken off the enemy model so that was a bit odd. Same with body parts and such so I think they wanted it more PG in that regard.

Story was OK but the main character and his 'friends' seemed like a pack of wealthy douchebags. The NPCs were all tribal folk so their accent got annoying after a while but the general voice acting was good.

Overall it was fun and there weren't many annoyances other than it was totally built for the console. It was plenty worth the $29 sale price it cost to buy it.
Rating - High

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass by J.L. Bourne (Book 2012)

Yeah what's unfortunate is that the first Day by Day book was the second story (First was WWZ) that allowed me to get into my huge Zombie binge that I'm still wading through. That first book was so intriguing and well written that I jumped right into the genre and didn't look back. Beyond Exile was equally good as it did everything it was supposed to, which was to tell a story, create real characters with depth, and have an interesting premise that keeps the story and characters going. Unfortunately this third book did not live up to expectations.

Yeah the beginning of this book was OK but then it kinda went into this burst mode where large swaths of the plot were glazed over and not fully described. Everything near the middle and especially the end were rushed and the actual ending climax wasn't elaborated upon and in my opinion was terrible. There was even one major section of the book that was 100% pointless as in it was totally unnecessary to have the whole section except to kill off some red-shirt characters.

Yeah the ending blew chunks all over the series. At least I still have memories of what Day by Day Armageddon used to be, but yeah something definitely happened to the author's writing style to cause him to rush the plot and turn the whole ending into a joke. All sorts of disappointing...
Rating - Mid

Dredd (Action 2012)

Yeah this movie wasn't really good at all. It was a ripoff of an Asian movie I saw that I don't remember the name. This one depended a lot of super duper slow mo special effects but everything else was pretty boring and cookie cutter for an action standpoint. It's scary to say but the old Judge Dredd was actually better than this; at least that one tried to have a story.
Rating - D

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Arisen, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead By Michael Stephen Fuchs and Glynn James (Book 2012)

This second book seemed a bit short as I cleared it in just a few hours. I think I know now why...the battle scenes are very short like something that should normally take at least 4-6 pages to describe it fully only takes these authors one or two to complete the same task. It lends to faster storytelling but it does take away from the anxiety that the characters are supposed to experience while being in their situations.

So yeah the story picks up from the ending of the first book and carries on. It's OK but way too short and not descriptive enough. I just want to finish up the series at this point.
Rating - Low

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Foreign Drama 2009)

This last movie carried along directly from the end of part two. It actually turned out to to be a very good as it completed the whole circle surrounding the story behind our heroine and how she came to be. I can see why these books were such a hit a few years back.
Rating - B

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Foreign Drama 2009)

So this was a pretty good movie. It continued with the story of Lisbeth Salander as it went into more details as to her past. More drama unfolds as peeps are murdered and the police suspect it to be her. I liked the whole mystery/conspiracy thing going on as it made the story move along quite quickly. I think the first movie was better than this one, but this one was still good.
Rating - B

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Arisen, Book One - Fortress Britain By Michael Stephen Fuchs and Glynn James (Book 2012)

This book was OK. It had regular zombies, fast ones, and even faster ones caused by some new mutation. It's a story similar to others I just read that followed around a group of Tier 1 military operators as they go on missions to try to rid the world of the infection.

The sentence structure and wording is a bit odd, but I found out later it was probably because the authors are from the UK. Still correct, but it seems different. Story and action weren't as good as other series' but this first book was good enough for me to move onto the next.
Rating - Mid