Monthly Archives: March 2015

Whiplash, movie review

I was hesitant to watch this movie. The premise didn’t sound like the plot would be very entertaining. An abusive music teacher? Not much you can do with that, ya know?

So I skeptically sat down, expecting to be bored. And wow, was I not. I mean, the plot was pretty basic. But the drama, the hidden emotions and the characters, wow. Both main characters were troubled and had their problems. They seemed to feed off the energy of the other.

The plot didn’t go in the direction I was expecting. There was blood, car accidents, abuse, twists, and ultimately both characters got what they wanted. But in the most untraditional way.

The music is amazing, acting top notch, the dialogue exchange great. Now, this movie isn’t for everyone, there is a lot of blood, like borderline horror movie. But it happens, a ballerina or dancer will practice until their feet bleed, so why not a musician? It made sense to me.

The ending requires you to do a little thinking, but a lot of movies like to end in that manner, so the audience can draw their own conclusions.
Overall, I’d say this is a must see. So long as you can endure the blood and cussing. This not a movie to watch with the kids.

Insurgent, movie review and book comparison

It’s been over a year since I read the book. But I remember enough to know that the movie is barely anything like the book. In a way, I think this is a good thing. The book was confusing and focused a lot on Tris being suicidal and quarreling with Four. Those aspects are pretty much gone for the movie.

I first noticed the plot was massively different when the Amity part ended rather quickly. I remember that lasting for like, half the book. So many boring council meetings. Not a one in the movie.

There was this “secret box” too. So the secret Tris’ parents were keeping became an object. I thought it was a nice touch for the movie. It helped in simplifying other storylines so the movie could be understood by anyone, even those who haven’t read the book.

The ending was a shocker. I didn’t think that much info was exposed in book 2. But I could be remembering wrong. Either way, the ending was quite nice, to me. They could almost just stop and not make any more movies.

I would give this movie a higher rating than the first movie and a much higher rating than the book. I applaud the producers. The changes they made worked well.

Click here to view my original review of the book Insurgent

Decompose Twilight Books

I have combined my first four novels into one novella containing abridged versions of all four, Decompose Twilight Books. The kindle is available for 99 cents.

The undead are rising… and unicorns are among us.

Earth is much like you know it today, the Plague of Decompose is present but unknown. Mortimer suspects more is going on, possibly alien abductions. The only way for him to uncover the truth is to remember a son he wishes only to forget.

Decompose is free. For the first time in his life, he is free. The plague drives him mad and Dee, soon to be known throughout the galaxy as Decompose, unleashes his plague on his home world, Earth. Those infected turn into raving cannibals—often called zombies.

Discover how Jhon became the cure to the Plague of Decompose is this abridged collection of the four novels covering the initial outbreak of the infection.

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Cinderella (2015) Disney, movie review

Despite being advised against seeing this, I was allured to this movie by the flashy commercials. The movie appeared to be a quaint romance and perhaps a new, cheery take on the classic story.

I guess it was… but it was also boring. This is the first movie that I’ve ever viewed where I was wishing someone would break out in song. It would have livened things up. Scenes dragged on where people just stared at each other, or the audience was forced to stare at a character that was really doing nothing. I mean, it took so freaking long for Cinderella’s dress to materialize…

First, the part that grated on me the most was the computer animated animals. Some might have been robotics too, I don’t know. But the goose, I wanted to smack it off the screen every time I saw it. The mice and lizards were obvious CGI. Why? Real animals could have been used and could have performed very similar tricks that the computer animated ones did. With the technology we have today, I think most viewers expect more. If you can’t create me a CGI character that’s so good I have trouble telling whether it’s real or CGI… then you are better off just giving me a real animal.

Second, the acting. I have no doubt the actors were performing as directed. But every character in that movie came off as having a low IQ. I mean, super low. Some had their mouth hanging open for the entire movie, but that could have been the corsets at work.

The comedy fell short, for pretty much the entire movie.

I tried to think of who would want to see this movie, who it is targeted at. Best I can come up with is your young girls. But they would need to be old enough to sit through a boring movie but young enough to not realize every character in the movie is an idiot.

Maris: The Brotherhood Chronicles, book review

This is the third novel I’ve read by this author, although it’s listed as a new series, it takes place in the same world as the previous Deamhan novels. (you can follow it just fine, even if you haven’t read the others)

Unlike the other novels, this one follows one Deamhan in particular, Maris, from day one of her becoming a Deamhan. I enjoyed this method of introduction to the Deamhan world. I never felt like the character knew more than me, so we both learned through trial and error, who to trust and who not to trust.

The story is quite graphic, these are not friendly or romantic vampires. (Deamhan are similar to vampires but of a different species, there’s a glossary in the back to help you sort it out.) Humans are killed without remorse, which can take a bit to get used too. But if you are a dire hard vampire or horror fan, this book should be right up your alley and on your to-read list.

Maris: The Brotherhood Chronicles
by Isaiyan Morrison

Curious, by R.G. Alexander, book review

A lot of love stories are hard to believe, because you have two characters that have just met and they are suddenly madly in love. And you as the reader know it’s just lust but you’re forced to believe it’s true love because the author says so.

This book dared to be different. The two men in this book have been friends for decades, best pals. And the adage, you end up marrying your best friend, comes true for them. When one friend decides he wants to experiment and try a few homosexual things out with his longtime friend, the two end up falling for each other.

If the backstory of them having known each other for so long wasn’t there, it wouldn’t have been a believable story. Same for how paranoid and insecure Jeremey is. He was given a backstory, parents abandoning him, which explained why he has an illogical fear of his new lover leaving him. That’s how you make real believable characters. You give them a history.

The best parts of this novel were the witty dialogue between the characters. Just when things were seeming too serious, a character would say a one line zinger that would leave you in stitches. Just like a real friend would. Again, this book shined in the believability department.

If you are on the prowl for a good male/male erotica, this is a good one to pick up.

Curious: The Finn Factor Series
By R.G. Alexander

Call and Answer, book review

A homosexual black man who can morph into an alligator? Who has an affair with an eighteen-year-old white boy? In Louisiana? In the 1950s? There was so much potential to this plot set up I couldn’t help but read it.

Sadly, the story fell short of my expectations. The whole alligator shape shifting deal never had a point. Why give a character that ability but then have it play no role in the plot? He did morph a few times, but he could have morphed into a mouse, kitten or puppy and the story would have been the same. I was hoping for some alligator fight scene where he defends the white boy.

The racist thing, never really played much of a part either. Really, this book could have taken place today, rather than the 1950s and people’s reactions to the couple would have been the same. Same for the gay factor, no one really reacted much different than they would have today.

So… what did happen in this book? Nothing. The whole book read like a tease. I rolled my eyes when the “sex magic” was introduced. But again, nothing really came of it either. They would create magic when they’d have sex… and what would they do with that magic? They fixed some brakes on a car that were going bad. No joke.

The writing style read a little rough for me too. I could tell the author was attempting to be creative and detail oriented. But the details were directed at the wrong items. I’m reading an erotic sex scene and getting a graphic description of the color and design of the boxers one of them is wearing. Yeah… you’re just slowing down the story buddy. Or the suspenseful scene where we are getting into the car to go save the mom from some guys who have boxed her car in, and we pause the story to tell me how the character uses his sleeve to open the car door cause the sun has made it so hot. I’m sure you get the idea. Those moments just jerked me from the story and made it difficult to stay in the moment.

So, would I suggest giving the book a read? Well… no… not really. This one wasn’t bad, just not as good as it could have been.

Call and Answer by Val Kovalin

The Interview, movie review

This movie won me over in the first five minutes. It has Eminem in it! The interview with Eminem set the stage well for the rest of the movie. If you enjoy those first few minutes, you’ll enjoy the entire movie.

There was never a dull moment. And the movie included a serious underplot, so it isn’t all silly jokes. But it really is the witty banter between the two main characters, James Franco and Seth Rogen that make the movie what it is. The bro-love is quite endearing and entertaining.

If you’ve enjoyed other comedies staring Seth Rogen, then you’ll enjoy this one. It reminded me of “Tropic Thunder” but with a different cast. Same kind of humor. Yes, there is a bit of foul language, and lots of sexual jokes. Usually those start to wear on me, but this movie did them in a manner that I found acceptable.

I’d recommend putting aside all the media hype about the movie and go see it if you want to spend a few hours laughing. I promise you’ll be delightfully entertained.

Chappie, movie review

I had high expectations for this movie and I am happy to report—it met them. Usually Hugh Jackman picks good movies to be in, from the ones I’ve seen anyway, and this one was no exception.

I would compare it to Hugh Jackman’s movie “Real Steel”. This movie takes you on an emotional roller coaster as the characters struggle with survival in a world of chaos. Few of the characters are completely likeable. They are all given true flaws that make you dislike them. Just like in the real world, everyone has imperfections and can be corrupted.

On the surface you may think this movie isn’t original, but I can assure you it is. I especially like how the movie takes place in South Africa. So many writers think a movie or book needs to take place in America. I know authors who have never been to America but base their books there. Why do that? The rest of the world is a perfectly fine place to set a creative tale. And I am thrilled these writers did so.

If you are looking for a refreshingly original take on artificial intelligence, Chappie should be on your must-see list.

Note for parents: This movie is suitable for all ages, although it does have sad moments and some foul language. There is no graphic gore or blood and no sexual content. Well, there were some penis graffiti drawings in a few scenes, but nothing your kid probably hasn’t already seen.

Lazarus Effect, movie review

I had high hopes for this movie. I envisioned a movie similar to “Hollowman” with Kevin Bacon and “Deep Blue Sea” with LL Cool J. I know some of you remember those classics. This movie seemed to have the same idea with well intentioned scientists letting things get out of hand.

But this movie tried to rely too much on cheesy scare tactics and adrenaline pumping background music. I mean, sometimes the music would do the drastic change and give away the scare before it would happen. You know how when the masked murderer lunges for his victim and the music suddenly drums out a really loud cord? That kind of thing was common in this movie. And annoying.

The actors gave it their all. But the plot didn’t provide enough back story to enable them to create interesting characters. Instead it was the traditional horror movie where each person got picked off one by one.

And the ending… very creepy. That’s all I’m going to say.

But, it’s only an hour and 23 minutes long. And it does go quickly. If you like cheesy horror movies, then this is a must see. If you don’t… then run away from this movie… run fast and far.