Monthly Archives: August 2015

No Escape, movie review

This movie takes exactly the right amount of time to get you acquainted with the main characters, before the action begins. You have a good understanding of the mental state of the leading roles, and then the slaughter begins.

The action never lets up. It’s a roller coaster of unpredictability and horror for ninety minutes. The frightening thing is how relatable it all is. Any one of us could easily picture ourselves in the situation the characters are in. They aren’t making stupid or wrong mistakes, they are doing exactly what anyone would, in order to survive.

If you are looking for a fast paced action movie, this is a good one to see.

Hitman: Agent 47, movie review

In the opening credits I saw this movie was based on a video game. And the movie plays out exactly like a video game. For the entire hour and half, I could almost see the assigned missions and goals given to the game player. The problem was, this wasn’t a game, it was supposed to be a movie.

The plot fell rather flat. There’s a lot of action, but it would be more fun to be playing than watching. The ending of the movie became a crazy mess in the last few minutes. I don’t know what the intention was, other than to make us all go, WTF.

I don’t know if I’d recommend the movie. It was like “Doom” but no cool monsters, just emotionless people and a plot that goes from being boring and predictable to just insane.

American Ultra, movie review

This movie puts a comedic twist on the whole sleeper agent idea. You have a character who has been brainwashed into being a super assassin agent. Then the program was shut down, so he was brainwashed into forgetting. This movie is out to make a mockery of other movies who used this as their premise.

Yes, the newly activated agent has some moves that kick in when he needs them, but he’s an idiot who points out they left the loaded gun next to the bad guy, which then prompts the bad guy to start shooting them. The plot is weak, but the characters and dialogue are what make it work.

If you enjoyed movies like, “Shaun of the Dead” and “Tropic Thunder” then you will love this movie.

Fantastic Four, 2015, movie review

The reviews kept me away from this movie. Everyone seemed to dislike it. Then I read a synopsis, one wrote by a person who was giving it a horrible review, and as I read it, I was like, wow this movie sounds awesome. So I decided to go see it.

And guess what? The movie is awesome. The thing is, you need to go to it and view it as a regular science fiction movie. Throw away all your bias and expectations for marvel comic movies. Don’t go in, expecting an X-man or Avengers movie. Just go in and enjoy and nice science fiction movie.
Really, the writers should have made the characters new and completely severed ties with the marvel world. If they had, this movie would have been a success.

The plot was well thought out, the acting was good. The only bit I got annoyed with was how first Ben and later one of the business guys, kept chewing gum with their mouth open. It was noticeable and annoying, just like seeing someone do it in real life is. So I would like to smack whoever thought of that idea.

The ending did get a little cheesy, but that’s to be expected in this genre of movie. And yes, the movie ends leaving you wanting more and prepping you for a sequel, but that’s the idea, right?

Straight Outta Compton, movie review

Okay, so I went into this movie blind. I’d missed the start time of the movie I intended to see, and this one was next in line to be shown. I’d never even seen a trailer for it.

Aside from the length—the movie was nearly three hours long if you include trailers—the movie is one of the best this year. It reaffirmed my belief in movies who are centered on real life musicians actually being capable of having a point and plot. (Unlike Bessie that I still don’t know why it was made)

The audience is exposed to the brutality of racial abuse by police found in many urban areas in the 80’s and into the 90s. I, like many I’m sure, had no idea the police were so violent and aggressive. Yes, it may have been exaggerated for Hollywood, but the point is still the same. Real news footage is shown at various parts of the movie, solidifying the film’s basis in reality.

The ending, and plot, come full circle with the death of one of the main characters, Eazy-E. As if the moral message of how these men rose from a rough situation and became something isn’t enough, we are now given a grisly reminder of how deadly AIDS is and how easy it is to think you are immune.

Overall, I would say this is a good movie to see. You’ll learn a lot, and not just about the N.W.A. group, but about American history in general. Although the movie was long, I was never bored and my quick run to refill my drink was done in haste because I didn’t want to miss anything. There were no dull or boring moments for me to take a quick intermission.

Chasing Smoke, book review

The book is very well written, the characters are believable, this author even managed to pull off the “falling in love after a decade apart” bit. Which a lot of authors try to do, and most fail at. This one was explained well enough I could accept it.

My only problem with the novel seemed to be the length of the chapters and scenes. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book and finished it in three days. But I would often be in what was probably supposed to be a climactic scene… and I’d stop reading. Middle of a sex scene, unveiling of crime evidence, it would just go on for too long and I’d have to take a break. I guess the balance between the story and the erotica scenes wasn’t shuffled right, cause I’d go from being annoyed at all the investigation stuff, to wishing the kissing would end and get back to the story. Both plots were good, just not divided up in a manner that made it an easy read—unless you just breaks in the middle of an action scene like I did.

Chasing Smoke by K.A. Mitchell

Cost of Repairs, book review

Majority of this book hung on keeping the past of the main characters at close hold for majority of the book. Once those revelations are revealed the story goes by on cruise control for a bit, attempts to tie up a lose end or two, and then bam, some stuff happens out of left field that makes the ending a bit unbelievable. Once again, the author’s “the bad guys must get what’s coming to them” derails the story, as it did in her novel “Unearthing Cole”.

Overall it is still a good read, and one of the better written novels I have found in this genre. Both characters are well developed and the plot line, aside from the ending, is sound.

Cost of Repairs by A.M. Arthur

Shaun the Sheep, movie review

I wasn’t certain if I’d enjoy this movie. There is zero dialogue. But, a few folks assured me it was worth seeing. Sure enough, it was.

It’s amazing how emotions and thoughts are relayed from the characters to the audience, using only body language and the occasional written word. The animation is done old school, with stop-motion Claymation.

The movie has funny parts, a few touching-sad moments and surprisingly a well-developed plot. It’s like the Pixar movie Wall-E, but cuter cause it’s sheep. I mean, who doesn’t want to hug and cuddle sheep?

The movie is age appropriate for all. So grab up the kids and go watch “Shaun the Sheep.”

Discovering Me Series, book reviews

I can always rely on this author to provide me with well-flushed characters who have a strong background and personality. Cole not only has to deal with cleaning up his recently deceased mother’s house, who was a hoarder, but he’s on the run from an abusive lover.

I liked how Cole was able to recover and begin to have his “happy ending”. The only bit that bugged me was when the abusive lover showed up at the end of the book. I get that we needed some sort of confrontation with him, so the characters and reader could get closure. But I disliked how it was done. The abuser is now a beaten man, who suffered a brutal attack and has now learned the err of his ways, and might even be disabled. It felt a bit too much like the author was trying to drive home a point.

I didn’t find it believable and I actually think it might have worked better to never have brought the abusive lover into the story. He played off better as a person we didn’t get to meet and could imagine in our minds. Meeting him, kind of ruined it all.

Unearthing Cole by A.M. Arthur

The second book in the “Discovering Me” series flips the point of view to the other character. Here the couple undergoes a series of misunderstandings and the relationship hits a bit of difficult water. It was a fun read with some nice Soap Opera drama that concludes with a happy ending for all.

Understanding Jeremy, by A.M. Arthur

Always Been You, book review

I’ll start off by admitting I wasn’t able to finish this book. It started off with a good premise. Two teenage boys who are best friends, one is openly gay, the other undecided. But then a misunderstanding makes the two of them not speak to each other for a decade. Majority of the book is about them getting back together ten years later.

I found it really hard to believe that these two boys who were so close stayed apart for ten years. I could buy a year, at most. But ten just make it unbelievable to me. If they really went ten years without seeing each other, I’m sorry, but they would have moved on and got over it. In other words, they would have forgotten about each other. Or, they would have tracked the other person down sooner and cleared up the confusion.

Trying to overlook that flaw in the storyline, I tried to enjoy the story at face value. The whole, just believe it and move on theory, which is hard because it was the foundation for the book.

What sealed the deal for me was when the romance scenes started. The rest of the book’s writing was okay. But the sex scenes were an odd choreographed mess. The author really should have done themselves and the reader a favor and glossed over them, and kept this book in the romance department.

Always Been You by Jess Buffett