Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

Well hello to all of my loyal readers. All three of you. I have to admit I have been pretty lax in my blog posts recently and even more so on my reading. I am in the worst reading funk since my son was born. I have been so busy and preoccupied that all the free time I have is reserved for trying to catch up on sleep or spending time with my wife and kiddos. They grow up so fast and this is thee busiest time of year for us with all the family to see.

I wanted to write one final post for 2016. I have decided that this is the beginning of a break for me. Yes I know I have been on a break on and off for awhile recently but I need to step back. I'm going to hopefully get back into reading and take this time to try and stock pile some reviews so I can get ahead of the game at my new slower reading pace. There are so many books I have on my to read list and so many I can't wait to read. I just haven't had the drive to pick one up. I wanted to be through the Dark Tower series by the time the movie came out and I'm not sure that is going to happen. I have been trying to read Trigger Mortis the new James Bond novel (when I say new it has been out for at least a year) for 8 months now. I just can't seem to be able to get more than 15 min at a time to read and that's on the weekend.

It has been a great year and there is so much more to come in this last little bit left. I will get back to posting after the first of the year because I love the year in review posts and goals for the next year. I think that is what I need to try and get me back into posting. Now I just need to get excited to pick a book. Right now I blame Metallica for having an amazing new album I have been waiting 8 years for and Hardwire.. to Self-Destruct is the best metal album I have heard in a long time. Ok,, I'm off my music review soap box, but seriously, this is the best pre-order I have made in a long time and i have been listening to it everyday since it came out on November 18.

I have some ideas for next year and my blog and I hope to actually follow through this time. I hope you all forgive my absence and I look forward to posting again and hope you all have a great Holiday and Merry Christmas. I will say I wanted to star a Christmas were I reviewed my favorite Christmas mvies like I do for Halloween but I don't have the energy this year. Maybe next year will be my first annual Christmas week. Good luck with you holidays and a Happy Happy New Year.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray

I was expecting something completely different that what I got with this book. I had read articles on blogs and reviews that said this was what happens to Ben Solo to become Kylo Ren. I figured off the description for the book I was finding this would be awesome. I am dying to know how Ben Solo became the evil version of himself. I was so excited to put my name on the reserve list and read this. Now here is the description from Goodreads:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Starscomes a thrilling prequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, set roughly six years before the events of the film.

So reading this it tells you absolutely nothing about this book. Great marketing, let people think what they want with the very least amount of information possible. Well guess what, The blogs I read and reviews were absolutely wrong. This book has nothing to do with Ben Solo and barely has Han Solo in it. This book is all about Leia and her journey to become the First Senator and the rise of the First Order. Now, I'm going to rant a bit here and possibly give away some spoilers so if you don't want anything ruined I would skip to the last paragraph and just read my ratting.

This book was so boring and mostly because of the false pretenses I was under when going into this book. If you love politics I would highly recommend this bit of fiction but to tell you the truth, I'm so sick of politics that if I had any idea this is what it was about I would have avoided this like my life depended on it. This book was so boring I could barely get through it. I have been in a reading slump and I was so excited when it said this book was in at the library. I had high hopes this was going to get me out of my reading funk finally. Sadly it just put me further in one. As soon as the book was over I haven't started a new one and have no idea what I'm going to be reading next.

This book focuses on Leia and how she got to where she is today in the Force Awakes. The rise of the new Republic and the beginning fires of the First Order. This could have been a novella if all of the filler boring stuff was cut out. In no way did I feel this should have been as long as it was. We do get to see a stronger side to Leia and learn more about her past to deepen her story. Ok here is the big spoiler and I'm going to talk about it. Towards the end Leia's secret that her Father is Darth Vader comes out and it destroys her. She is so worried because Ben doesn't know. He is a grown adult and they have hidden this from him for all these years. This is the only hint at what causes him to turn to the dark side and it was such a cop-out. I really hope we get this story in the movies or there is another book out there that gives this story because that was what I really wanted.

Ok, I have not made sense long enough and if you read the wwhole thing you know I am pretty pissed about this book. I need to say that I have nothing against Claudia Gray. She captured the characters perfectly and her writing was well structured and executed. She is a good author but all of the assumptions and lies I had read before I read this destroyed the book for me. It is completely my fault for not liking this book because I expected something different than what I got. I hate to do this because it isn't all that fair to the writer but I give this 2 out of 5 stars. I really want to give this 1 star but the writing was quality and it had these characters I have loved for years which just pushed this to be rounded up to barely a 2. If Leia is your favorite character then by all means read this book and I hope you enjoy it. Otherwise, go into the book knowing you will not read anything about Ben Solo except he is mentioned a few times but isn't actually in the book. This is a political fiction novel set in a science fiction world.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher

I am in such a Dresden withdrawal. When I saw this was available on Netgalley for an advanced reader copy I jumped at the chance. I couldn't wait to get a new Dresden file to visit with old friends I have missed. I feel like all of my Dresden reviews should start with "Harry has gotten himself in a heap of trouble again. 

Two women have their entire life force pulled out of them. The white court of Vampires are being blamed and Marconi is looking for any excuses to start a war. Dresden knows there is something deeper and he has a very small window of time to figure it out before everything blows up and takes the city with it. Karen Murphy is working hard on the police side while Dresden seeks out his Godmother and risks his life to get information from her. 

I loved this book. The story is very well written and the art work matches perfectly. I am anxiously waiting for the next book in the series but I will happily take a graphic novel any day. It is so great to see my favorite characters on these pages. I highly recommend this book to any fan of the Dresden Files. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I might be a little bias because I have missed new material since I caught up on the series. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Goodnight Batcave by Dave Croatto

I'm going to be honest. I'm not a big fan of the MAD anything really. I saw Goodnight Batcave and immediately requested this to read to my kiddos. After I requested it I realized that this was made by MAD and I thought there is no way I will be able to read this to my kid. So thanks to Edelweiss I got an advanced reader copy of this and read it really quick on my own. 

This is such a cute book and I loved it. It is totally a kid friendly book also. It's short and half of the artwork is in color and the other half is in black and white, but the story is cute and well worth reading to your kids. 

The artwork is goofy as only MAD does but the story is clever for a kids book. I really liked it. There isn't all that much that I ca say about this book without quoting it word for word. I will be so sad when my ARC has expired and so will my kiddos. This is going to have to be must buy for my collection. If you have little kids who love Batman even half as much as my kids do then this is a book you have to buy. 5 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Superman: The Final Days of Superman by Peter J. Tomasi

I have not read any of the Superman books since New 52 started. I stopped reading comics when my son was born because I couldn't afford my outlandish spending on comics so I lost touch with the world of Superman until New 52 began. Since Superman is one I enjoy but not my favorite hero I put these books on the back burner and then started hearing somethings I wasn't to keen on. There was a lot that was changed in Superman's story, most notably the fact that Lois and Clark were just friends and the man of Steel was dating Wonder Woman. No matter how many times I see this it is still weird. I figured with Rebirth having started I would just pick up with Superman here and see if it was back to the hero I knew. Then I heard that Superman was going to be killed once again. I had to find out what was going on. The Superman Doomseday story was epic and one of the best comic book stories I have ever read so I wanted desperately to find out how they were going to kill the Man of Steel this time around. Thanks to Edelweiss, and DC Comics, I was able to get an advanced copy for a review and I couldn't be more grateful. 

Ok, here is my warning, I hate spoilers and with this book I'm not sure what could be considered spoilers because I haven't read any of the Superman books that leads to this. I'm going to write my review and say what I want and if you want to remain completely in the dark as I was when I read this then skip to the last paragraph and see my rating. 

Last chance... Ok so here I wondered what villain of super villain team was going to bring down the indestructible Man of Steel and I anxiously swiped pages on my digital copy till I found out that Superman is being killed by Kryptonian Cancer. Are you Frikin kidding me?!?!? Apparently there were 3 major events in the Superman stories that made him susceptible to a Kryptonite tumor. One of the events also has Superman win a battle by letting off a solar blast. What the hell is this?!?!? Since when has superman had the ability to blast solar energy like an A-Bomb? I really have missed a lot. There were also so many similarities to the Death of Superman that kind of irritated me. In this book we have a Superman created from the solar energy from the blast giving him this energy power. Wow, this sounds really close to the Eradicator Superman from Return of Superman. Also we have a Superman who wears the black onyx suit with the Silver S logo on it just like how Superman came back from the dead the first time. 

So you have read my grievances let me tell you what I liked about this book. It opens with why Superman is dying and he gets his affairs in order. I really loved watching him go to friends and family to tell them the bad news. There is a great scene after Superman tells Batman the news that I really liked. We also get to see the trinity back in action to find this energy version of Superman which was a lot of fun to read. The artwork in this book was really good and I love the detail in every panel. This was a well written and artfully drawn book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if there was a little more information at the end of this book and if I knew what was going on leading up to this book. 
Even since I haven't read anything I can say that I enjoyed this book despite my issued. I give this one a 3 out of 5 star rating. I might go back and catch up on the New 52 books but I will have to wait and see what happens ffrom the ending of this book first. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Gates by John Connolly


This was a really odd book. I have heard good things about John Connolly and I have been anxious to read one of his books. Sadly since the only time I have is for audio books at work this was the only one I could find at my library. I had no idea that this was a young adult book until I started to read it. 

This book opens with the story of creation of existence. After a lot of footnotes about the beginning of existence we jump to a young boy named Samuel Johnson who has decided days before Halloween he is going to go Trick-or Treating to beat all the other kids to the best candy. I have to give Connolly credit for this Idea because I loved it I can totally understand the was Samuel thinks to make sure he gets the best pick, but the logic is flawed because not everyone gets candy until the day of. This begins to solidify the character aspect that he is an odd duck. After a failed attempt at his neighbor's house known as the Abernathy's, Samuel finds a side window looking into the basement and spy. While Samuel and his dog peak in to the neighbors house they see a portal open and replace all the people in the basement be replaced with demons. Oh, did I forget to mention that the Abernathys and friends of theirs were participating in a devil ritual.

Ok now I need to switch gears and show you the other side of this story. We get to meet some scientists who work on a Particle Accelerator and while watching data, they noticed that a particle escaped the accelerator which should never have happened. This section of the book is the scientific explanation of how the gates of Hell have opened to allow demons to roam free of our world. Satan himself has been watching this accelerator because he feels it is the key to setting him free. Or he is a fan of The Flash TV show, who knows. 

I honestly don't know how I feel about this book. It wasn't scary but that is probably because it was written for a younger audience. It is a very lighthearted read for such heavy dark content so this doe succeed in being funny and cute in some spots. It is just not what I was expecting or really hoping for. I can't fault the writing because it was well structured and there is clearly talent there. There was an over abundance of Footnotes that interrupt the story constantly and that was really annoying. Explanations can be worked into a story so much easier than by using footnotes. I've seen it done plenty of times. 

Alright, so if I have to give this a rating I'm going to fall smack in the middle with a 3 out of 5 star rating. I could easily give this 2 stars because of the annoying footnotes and the fact that the book didn't live up to my expectations. However, to be fair this did keep me engaged for the most part and Connolly's writing was good enough that I really want to read his adult fiction but I'm not sure I will continue with this series. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Hangover and R.I.P. Wrap Up

I love Halloween and as much as I love it and hate that it is over. I need a nap. Here it a day later when I write this and I'm still tired. My feet hurt, and I haven't had enough sleep. First of all I had the roughest week last week and I was on vacation. That's a long angry story and I'm not going to get into that. Second I went back to work after a busy fun weekend and then we took the kids out to Trick-or Treat last night. The weather was so perfect it was like something out of a movie. 70 degrees, clear night with a few wispy clouds. The kids are a little older and we decided to walk a little farther and hit more houses than we have in previous years. That only worked for a bit. Half way back to my Aunt's house and the kids were done. 

This year we all went to Trunk-Or-Treat at my work for the second year and that is always a good time. We also went to a friend's house for a Halloween party on Saturday. My beautiful Wife made her own Scarecrow costume out of her own close and make up. I put name tags with different names all over me and went as Identity Theft. I have started to do some work as a Fraud Investigator for my company so it was perfect. My son drecided he wanted to be Batman this year and the costume was really cool. My daughter went through at least 30 different costume ideas until she settled on Batgirl.

This year we all got our own pumpkins to carve. What I mean by this is the kids got a pumpkin and to pick what goes on them, but the extent of what they did was clean out the pumpkin and punch in little holes to outline the patterns they picked. I alwayss have to do a traditional Jack-O-Lantern and my wife picked a pattern. The kids pumpkins are on the right and my wife's and mine are on the left. She had the shoes and my daughter had the kitty. I was pretty proud of my Bat mouth.

I read hardly anything this year. I was really in a reading funk and I kind of still am. This year the books I have submitted for the R.I.P. Challenge are:

From a Buick 8
Dawn of the Dead
Locke and Key
The Waste Lands
Outcast Vol 3: This Little Light

Last year I read 9 books for this challenge and this year I only read 5. More than I realized to be honest but not as many as I had hoped. Movie this year were huge. I had such a long time period for movies for my Halloween week. The books were kind of a disapointment for the most part, but the movies were pretty good. Here are the movies I reviewed:

The Awakening
The Lazarus Effect
Dark Skies
Would You Rather
New Nightmare

This was a fun Halloween and I am already thinking about next year's Halloween Week and what theme I'm planning on doing for my movie reviews. I'm already looking for books to read for the R.I.P Challenge so if you have some really scary recommendations, and I mean pee your pants, sleep with the light on books, let me know. Hope everyone who celebrates Halloween had a great day and now the holiday rush begins till the end of the year. Oh Goody (sarcasm).

Monday, October 31, 2016

New Nightmare (1994)

Happy Halloween everybody!!! I love this holiday and I am so excited to take my kiddos out Trick-or-Treating. They look so cute in their costumes and I just love hearing how cute they look by all the people we visit. As a parent I just love people gushing over my kids. If it wasn't for the fact that by the time we get home and get the kids to bed I'm just exhausted, I would do what I used to and watch as many horror movies in the dark as I could until I passed out on the couch. Instead I saved the best for last. 

Freddy Krueger is one of my all time favorite monsters. I say this but I must clarify that he is one of my favorite next generation monsters. The Universal Studio monsters are still classics but there are those that came after. Freddy Jason, Leatherface, and Michael Myers; these are what I consider the next generation of monsters. Nothing has really come since them and the original movies may be considered classics but there really hasn't been a good monster character boot up a new franchise. At least not one I know of, so if I'm wrong please let me know.

Ok so why do I think this is the best movie of this Netfilx list. Not only is Freddy Krueger one of the scariest monsters out there but this movie crosses the barrier of fiction to reality. I know what you are thinking, I have lost my mind because this is still a movie and a pure work of fiction. In this movie most of the original cast of A Nightmare on Elm Street is back but they are back as their real life selves. They show interviews and such and how these actors are living their lives after this movie masterpiece has been out and about. Freddy is starting to push through the lines of fiction and effect Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp which pulls Heather into the movie as Nancy once more.

This is the perfect Halloween movie and I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun scare. I say fun scare because the first time you watch it it can have it's moments that can really get under your skin and push the goosebumps out, but it is still a campy horror comedy that is just a fun ride. Robert Englund is also the absolute best Freddy Krueger out there. He created the screen version of the character that set the rules and tone for the remake and any future remakes. No one will ever play the role as well as he did. This wasn't the last time he donned the makeup to bring Freddy to the screen but it was one of the last. 

I can't say how much I love this movie and it may not be the best horror movie out there but I rank it very highly. I was so glad to see this on the list so I had an excuse to watch this a review it here for Halloween Week. 5 out of 5 stars for this one. Happy Halloween. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Would You Rather (2012)

I'm so sorry I'm a little bit behind on my post for today but we had a big day yesterday and I didn't have time to write this up. So let me start this by asking you a simple question. If your life was in a dire place and you could turn it around in the blink of an eye, what would you do to make this happen? I'm sure we all have played the game would you rather at some point in you life. Like would you rather risk a speeding ticket, or be late to the interview of your life? It can be harmless and funny, but it can also take a dark turn. This movie is the dark dark version of what this game could be. 

Iris has lost everything and given up even more. She lost bother her parents, and her brother has cancer. She gave up school and a job to move back home to take care of him while trying to cope with the mounds of bills that her parents left her. One day she gets the offer to come to a dinner party and play a game, compete in a contest to win life changing amounts of money to save her brother's life and allow her to get back to hers. Of course she is skeptical and not even considering it until desperation cuts deep and she feels there is no other option but to go. At this dinner party the game is played until only one person is left standing. Not only does Iris have to fight for her brother's life, but she has to make decisions to save her own. 

This movie really made me think about what I would have done in the same situation. Could I do what was asked of these characters? One thing I can say is I would think that no matter what amount of desperation I wouldn't attend a weird to go to be true dinner party offer. I hope I never have to find out. This movie was interesting and disturbing all in one convenient package. There is some blood but not as much gore and grossness as you would expect based on the movie poster.

I give this movie a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I might even watch it again for another Halloween marathon. I am including this in my RIP challenge for the very last two days of the event. This may be my last entry since my final movie posts tomorrow and it is back to work for me and then Trick-Or Treating with the kids so I usually don't get on my computer on Halloween. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hush (2016)

So I know there are very few people who read this blog but I do this for me. Life happens and it has been a rough week and I happen to be on vacation. I almost didn't get this posted or watched but I like to keep up with my traditions. My wife and I just finished this movie and you know it isn't the best movie when your wife asks "How much of this movie is left"

This movie is about a writer who is def and mute. She lives in isolation because she is isolated because of her disability. At the very beginning of the movie Maddie is a character you just like and root for all the way to the bitter end of the movie. It was very interesting to see her struggle from her point of view. It has to be so difficult to not wonder if someone is sneaking up behind you when you can't hear them coming. 

This is a short movie but it felt longer. I think this clocks in at about an hour and 20 min. The suspense builds and then stalls very quickly. The ending of the movie wasn't bad but I had heard so much amazing stuff about this movie I was a little let down. This movie has a bit more blood and gore than the last selections as my wife pointed out to me. My Halloween week has been a bit light on the blood and guts movies this year. 

I give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars. I'm glad I watched this movie but I wont be re-watching it I think. Once you have seen it the suspense is gone. I knew how this movie was going to end early on but once it is confirmed then it completely deflates. This is going to be another entry in my RIP Challenge  as part of Peril on the Screen. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Dark Skies (2013)

I have to be honest. I'm not usually one for alien movies aside from the original Ridley Scott's Alien, or Independence day. Still this movie is on the list for best Halloween movies and I like Keri Russell. I've seen some of her movies and they have been enjoyable. I liked her in the Adam Sandler movie Bedtime Stories. So this movie is of course about a family plagued by Aliens and have no idea how to stop them or even if they can stop them. 

For not being all into Aliens this movie really creeped me out. The thing that is so scary about this is that Aliens could be watching you for years and you'd never know until they decide they want you and its over. You could be living a peaceful happy life and be watched by Aliens and you'd never know it until it's to late. That is a really horrifying idea to wrap your head around which makes this movie scary on a different level. What do I mean by this? Well, normally when you watch a horror movie, you can easily realize you know more than the character. "Don't go in there!!!, If that were me I wouldn't have decided to live in the house that tried to eat my dog," and on and on. You can also rationalize movie plots like, I know I'm safe because I have lived in this house/neighborhood for a long time and these people moved in and BAM, they were haunted. You feel safe because of rational thought. 

Since this movie plays on the fact that if you try to rationally think you way out of it, you will only dive deeper into the rabbit hole. Bravo for luring me in like this and holding my attention for the most part all the way through. To be fair, My wife and I were carving our pumpkins the night we watched this so I wasn't exactly watching when I was cutting out the face of my Jack-O-Lantern. Still, I had plenty of moments when my goosebumps were practically flying off my skin and my heart rate was a little elevated. 

I highly recommend this if you are looking for a good scare this Halloween. So far i haven't had a gory slasher flick in the bunch and a lot of great psychological thrillers. Once again I am going to include this in the RIP challenge for my Peril on the Screen section. Thanks for joining me on this 5th day of my Halloween week event. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Lazarus Effect (2015)

I'm not going to lie. I love Olivia Wilde. I will pretty much watch anything she is in even if I don't care for the movie. The trailer for this looked so creepy that I was really excited to see it, yet, when it finally came available to rent or stream I always found an excuse to watch something else. 

In this movie a group of scientists start out trying to find ways to help coma patients regain higher brain function and end up stumbling on the cure for death. They find a way to bring the dead back to life and not in a way that turns them into the Walking Dead brainless zombie. They begin with bringing back a dog and find that the dog isn't exactly quite right. Just at the peak of their research a pharmaceutical company swoops in and takes all of their research.  With hours left before they are locked out of their lab for good they decide to recreate the experiment and something goes wrong killing doctor Zoe. What what is left they go against the laws of nature and bring her back to life. 

This was a pretty good movie but the beginning was a little slow. the last 20 min of the movie however was intense. If you can make it through the slow build then it is worth it. I don't want to give anything away but the serum has some extra effects that the group is learning about the hard way. 

I did enjoy this movie and I'm so glad I finally watched it. This will not be on my to watch every Halloween list but I'd watch it again. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars when really it should be a 3.5 star movie. This will also be added to my RIP challenge in the Peril on the Screen section. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Awakening (2011)

I knew nothing about this movie but had seen it in my recommend section on Netfilx. The article I chose to be the theme for this year's Halloween Week was all the nudging I needed to give this a watch. I can't believe it took me so long to watch this movie. It was amazing!!!! I'm going to go against my usual format and just rate this now. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and if you wish to read on you will find out why. If you have read enough and want to experience this for yourself then by all means. Hit up Netfilx and enjoy.

This move was so scary and at the same time had a great story and a good ending. I will do my best to not spoil anything for any future viewers. This movie is about a woman Florence Cathcart who is racked with guilt and grief after the passing of her fiance during World War 1. She has made it her mission to debunk every psychic, ghost hunter, supernatural sitting, and fortuneteller. She wants to make sure her love isn't still out there and he is actually gone.

With her experience she is called upon to check out a mysterious sighting of a boy ghost is sighted at a boarding school. This movie relies heavily on the pop out scare but at the same time is very cerebral. The story gets into you and you start to live with the characters as the story plays out. It's psychological and not a gore fest. So many movies these days rely on the gross out gore to scare an audience and this one doesn't which I loved. It is a good old fashion ghost story. 

I really loved this movie and it was one of the best horror movies I have watched in a long time. I bet this remains my favorite of the new movies I watched for this week. Re-Animator and Wes Craven's New Nightmare I've seen but there are 6 movies I haven't seen in this weeks line up. If you like ghost stories and a good scare as well as a great story/plot then you have to see this movie. This is going onto my RIP Challenge as an entry in the Peril on the Screen section. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Re-Animator (1985)

This is a classic. One of the best cheesy horror movies out there and this is only the second time I've seen it. This has every aspect of an 80's horror movie should have. Cheesy over the top gore, a story that is so out there it can be hard to wrap your head around, and gratuitous nudity. So what is this movie about? A scientist Herbert West is pushing the limits of life and death. He has developed a serum that restores life to a corpse. The movie opens with him and his professor in Sweden grappling in an office because West has brought his dead professor back to life. 

I haven't read this because my exposure to Lovecraft is rather limited. Having said that though this movie really makes me want to read his stuff. This movie isn't scary but it isn't so goofy you tune this out. The story was really interesting and I was hooked from the very beginning, and I was so happy to see this pop up on the best Halloween movies to stream on Netfilx. I'm not sure I would have written a review on this movie ever had it not been on that list. As much as I like this movie and want to watch it again, I really don't know what to say about it. It's not that this movie is forgettable, but I have so much floating around in my head that trying to put it in to words and not spoil this movie is proving to be a challenge. 

The serum is highlighter yellow and easy to pick out in any scene. It not only brings back a cat and several corpses but it brings back a head too. each scene plays out so well in this movie and the acting was very good for this type of horror movie. I do enjoy this movie quite a bit and if you are looking for a classic horror movie I highly recommend it. Check out the trailer below for yourself. 

I do wish this movie was scarier but it is still on my short list of favorites. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. This is my second entry in my Halloween week and for my Peril on the Screen for RIP. I highly recommend you check this out this Halloween for your own sake. It is worth the rental. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Holidays 2016

I knew nothing about this movie before I watched this except that Kevin Smith write and directed a segment, and his daughter is in it. I had heard so many different things that either claim this as a cult favorite and the worst movie ever made. Usually if people claim a horror movie is the worst ever made it has to be good. This movie is a collection of segments or mini movies for each holiday.

This movie is messed up and bonkers crazy. Some of the movies really held my attention because I wanted to know what was going to happen, but others were just goofy and dumb. It was a good mix of the two which I feel does raise this up to a cult horror favorite. The holidays I didn't care for were St Patrick's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day. St Patrick's Day was just weird and Mother's day was a subject matter I'm not ok with. Father's Day could have been good but there was a whole underlying back story that was missing to make the short little ending make so much more sense.

On the flip side I did enjoy Halloween, Easter and Valentine's Day. These had complete stories that felt well put together for how short they are. Halloween and Valentine's Day have a sort of revenge aspect that I liked in context of the story and Easter was just a creepy take on a cute little bunny holiday. I also have to say that I have such high expectations whenever Kevin Smith directs or writes something. He did Halloween and it was the best one in the bunch.

Ok, so how on Earth am I going to rate this movie? Most of them were either ones I didn't like or just kind of Meh. Three were really enjoyable so should I rate highly because of those 3 I lied or should I rate lower? I've got to give this a 2 out of 5 star rating. It came down to the fact that I've seen it, I don't think I will ever watch this again. It's over and I can put it behind me and that isn't a good sign when it comes to enjoying a movie. I am entering this as my first movie for Peril on the Screen with the RIP Challenge.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Halloween Week 2016

Happy Halloween week!!! This is my 4th annual Halloween Week and I can't believe it has been 4 years. I look forward to Halloween every year and no matter what I may be going through I have fun writing these every year. I have been trying to figure out what I was going to do this year because I like to have a theme. This year I poured over different topics and things just didn't seem to work out for me. My Blu-Ray player crapped out on me so I was limited to only movies I could stream. There are a lot of great streaming services that are out there but when you are looking for a specific movie it always seems none of them are ever available. 

If you google Best Halloween Movies on Netflix there are a lot of great articles out there. I looked through so many different lists and then decided to pick my own movies on Netfilx that I wanted to see and finally clean out my watch list. I then found this one titled Your Guide to the Scariest Movies Streaming on Netfix in October. This had a bunch of the movies I already wanted to see and could get my wife to watch with me. When we were younger she loved Horror movies as much as I did, but having kids changed her. She just doesn't watch as many as we used to and for the most part I'm on my own. 

So here is my list of what will be reviewed during this ever so horrific week of fun, in no particular order.

Would You Rather
The Lazarus Effect
The Awakening
Dark Skies
Wes Craven's New Nightmare

So here it is and lets see how many of these are worthy for Halloween movies. I realize that my reviews come as we get closer and closer to Halloween but maybe my reviews with help you figure out new movies to watch for next Halloween. Stay tuned for the reviews this week. Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Friday, October 21, 2016

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King


I've had this on my to read list for a long time and this seemed like as good a time as any to give it a read. Of course when I saw the title I figured this had to be a re imagined version of Christine which was a great book. The more I read about this book I could see similarities but also differences between the two books. I honestly saw a lot of similarities between this book and NOS4A2 which just shows the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

This book opens with one of the weirdest events I have seen in a King novel. A man shows up with this customized Buick at a gas station and heads for the bathroom. After about a half hour the Attendant starts to wonder what happened to the guy. The Buick he left behind is taken by the local troopers and kept in a shed out back, Weird things start happening like fire work like shows coming from the the Buick as well as strange creatures coming from the trunk. Ok, this is about all I can say about the book that wont ruin the good parts. 

I had such high hopes for this book and after the reading funk I have been in I thought what would be better to bring me out of it than a Stephen King book. Boy was I wrong. This not only didn't bring me out of my funk but I couldn't wait to get finished with this because I was bored. There wasn't enough substance to keep me interested. I found myself day dreaming about anything but this book and wondering how much I had left to go constantly. 

I swear, this year and last, the RIP challenge has been the kiss of death for my reading life. I have yet another disappointing selection. It's not the challenge's fault I have just made really poor choices it seems. I read this in audio for and there were several different actors to read the different character parts, and these are fairly popular actors. Normally this would be a big plus but I found myself getting lost with the quick change not only between the different characters but also between the different time periods. Oh yeah, we get the story from characters in the present as well as when they were experiencing the story as it unfolds. 

Maybe my reading funk had an effect on my enjoyment of this book, or maybe this wasn't one of King's best. All I know is I'm glad I'm done with this book and it will not be on my re-read list. 3rd book in a row I have given a 2 out of 5 star review. This is the week of 2 star books. I really need better book choices. This will be my 5th entry in the RIP challenge.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dawn of the Dead by George A. Romero


I absolutely loved this movie, both versions too. The 1978 was just the right level of campy horror and lame special effects gore to make it one of the best cult zombie films. The remake in 2004 was a bigger budget movie with amazing special effects and a cast that fit their roles perfectly. So when I saw this book on Audible for 1.99$ last year as an after Halloween sale I jumped on it just for this year's RIP challenge. 

I was so excited to get started on the book version of this and I hate to say it, but I preferred the movies. This is all about the end of the modern world. Zombies are popping up everywhere and those that have survived are constantly fighting to stay that way. A random group of people which includes swat officers and a reporter find their way into the local Mall and try to make a home. One thing I found reading this book is that, when you take out the over the top gore, campy horror make up and zombie action scenes, there really wasn't a lot to keep me interested. 

For me the fear and horror that comes with zombies needs to be seen. My imagination can only picture so much. The decay and peeling flesh is so much scarier when you can see it so the fear factor of this already dropped. My next little issue was with the story itself. It was kind of slow and where you would expect this kind of story to have a lot of character development, I felt this book didn't even have that. It was just a day in the life of an apocalypse survivor. Since I have seen the movies first this kind of story was far from what I expected. This is probably why I was kind of bored through most of the book. Had I read this before I saw either movie I might have enjoyed this more. 

Sadly, I am going to have to review this and it is not the rating I had hoped to give this when I started. I give this 2 out of 5 stars. So far the books I had been saving for the RIP challenge were kind of a let down. This is the second year that I haven't had the greatest selections for the challenge. This is my fourth entry in the RIP challenge and this completes the commitment I made. I am going to keep reading and submitting until the end of October. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Locke & Key by Joe Hill


I first read this series the way it was originally intended, in Graphic novel form. When I saw this was offered as a free pre-order last year on audio through I jumped all over it. Since I have already read this series I saved this specifically for the RIP challenge this year. Let me start off by saying this review is based on the audio version only.

I loved the series. These books were expertly written and drawn. This is a story about a house who holds all kinds of different keys and doors that have all kinds of magic. One Key separates the soul from the body, one puts your soul in the body of an animal, and other keys do things from controlling shadows and allow the user to open their head and remove or put in anything they wish. It is a very creative idea and I loved finding out all about the different keys as the story progressed.

The Locke family has been through a horrible tragedy. While on vacation two students or the father kill him and brutally beat his wife. The oldest son Tyler walks in on the brutality and beats both assailants to a bloody pulp almost killing them. After the funeral the family moves into the old family mansion  where they stumble on the keys. The magic only works for the kids and once they grow to adult hood they will forget the magic like it was nothing more than a dream.

This audio was really cool on first look. This is done as a radio drama with several different actors, sound effects and an impressive musical score. I may have waited for a year to listen to this but I was excited to finally get to it. As I listened to this I realized that it really shouldn't have been made into an audio. The problem with this series is it was written for comic books which means the movement and pace of the story relies heavily on the art work to move the story in several areas. There are moments of action sequences where all you hear is grunts and sound effects because the book didn't have any dialogue.  I was kind of disappointed because of how much they relied on the musical score instead of just describing what is going on.

If you haven't read the comics or comic books are just not your thing then this is worth the experience. Radio dramas are a thing of the past and when I find a good one I tend to hold on to it. The story is also very good. Sadly where I loved the series on it's own I have to rate this Audio book as a 2 out of 5 star book. This is my 3rd entry into the RIP challenge and one more will meet my goal of 4 books.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wizard and Glass by Stephen King


I can see why some people may not have liked this book. It is very long and strays away from the path of the beam. This book picks up right where the Cliffhanger of The Waste Lands leaves off with the resolution of the whole Blaine the Monorail story. After this stressful event our Gunslingers take some time to rest and reflect. It is finally time for Roland to come clean about his past. Eddie and Susannah have asked a few times in previous books and Roland just answers with, it's not the time. 

Flashing back to the days of Roland's teen years we get to find out exactly how Roland became a gunslinger and how he was the youngest to reach this honor. There is trouble in Roland's family and shortly after reaching Gunslinger status he walks in on his mother with another man. Torn with rage he goes to his father who just tells him that he knows. Roland is sent out to check a small town to keep him out of harms way. Little did his father know that there was more danger waiting for Roland and his Ka-Tet in this quiet little town that if he'd have stayed in Gilead. 

I loved this book because I loved the history of Roland and the glimpse into what his world was like before it moved on. I will admit that this is a slow build once the Blaine story is over but I was hooked from the very beginning to the last word. I loved watching Roland come into his own and meet his friends. However, the best part of this book was watching Roland fall in love. This book may show up on every Horror list I have dug through looking for Halloween reads, but this is more of a romance than anything else. Roland falls in love with Susan Delgado, a young woman with problems of her own to contend with. Roland and Susan may have some hurdles to get over with her being promised to another, but with a witch, and a dishonored gunslinger plotting against them even Shakespeare would have said give the kids a break. 

The reviews I have read either love this book or hate this book. So many of them are negative because of the 6 year wait before this was published, to end up with a flash back novel. I didn't read these till after the final book was published so I didn't have to deal with this frustration. I also love an origin story so I wasn't to upset to take this little detour. I fit in with those that loved this book. I had my issues but even on a second read I still hung on every word no matter what. I don't have this one in illustrated edition so no pictures to share for you but I will give this a 5 out of 5 rating and recommend if you haven't read this series you should. Also, when you get to this book, keep an open mind and just enjoy the ride. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Waste Lands by Stephen King


I love this book. This is my favorite of the series even on a re-read. I will admit that I hate how this one ends and I'm so glad I read the Dark Tower series after it had finished so I didn't have to wait for book 4. I wont give away the ending but it just stops in the middle of the action. I bet King fans were furious when they read this book when it first came out. I remember I was buying the paperback copies and I only had the first 3. The day I finished this book I immediately spent money I didn't have and ordered the 4th book so I could start it. Thank you Amazon prime for 2 day shipping. Now that was years ago and here I am enjoying this for the second time of many I'm sure. 

So the ending was the only bad thing about this book and it wasn't enough to change my review from my very first read. Speaking of my first read, I decided to check out my original review on Goodreads and like so many of my early reviews it is vague and not very good. If you are reading this review and haven't read the first two books then stop here and skip to the last paragraph for my rating. If you have read the first 2 but not this one I promise to not give anything major away. 

This book finds our three Gunslingers Roland, Eddie and Susannah stumbling through Roland's harsh version of our world. Roland is slowly going insane and Eddie and Susannah are trying to learn to be Gunslingers while hoping they don't have to fear for their lives from Roland. As we learned in The Drawing of the Three, The third door was the Pusher and is the man responsible for not only Susannah's dual personality and loss of her legs, but was the man who pushed Jake into traffic bringing him to Roland's world. Since Roland stopped him from killing Jake he now has to realities clashing in his mind. The one where he and Jake travel through the mountain and he dies again, and the current reality where Jake never died which means he never made it to Roland's world. Ont he flip side Jake also has this same issue. This book bounces from Roland's point of view to Jake's. I loved this because Jake was a character I loved and was crushed when he died in the first book. Something told me I would see him again and I'm so glad. 

The world's around Jake and Roland are crumbling the longer they stay apart. Jake remembers both of his deaths and wonders how and why he is still alive. As he fights his own mind he starts to find things that pull him back to Roland's world. He finds a bookstore where the owner a Calvin Tower gives him a kids book called Charlie the Choo Choo and a book of Jokes and Riddles. A construction site calls to Jake and shows him a single rose that holds the universe in it. This was a cool scene to imagine in my head but, since this is one of the illustrated editions I was able to get there is a beautiful picture of this. I had to take the picture with my camera so there is a bit of a glare on the glossy picture so it doesn't do it justice but you can see a little of what I mean.

Jake isn't the only one having weird things happen to him. Eddie is having visions while he sleeps. Are these visions of the future? Eddie has no idea what is causing these and if he should even tell Roland and Susannah but one vision takes him to a field of roses where the beams meet at the Dark Tower itself.

I love this series and I'm so glad I decided to re-read these before the movie comes out in February. Which I'm super excited for. Knowing the rumors around the movie I can say I'm completely ok with the plot of the movie and the changes that have been made. I am curious how they are going to fit aspects of all the books into one move without Eddie and Susannah, but this isn't a movie review this is for the book.

There is so much jammed into this book and this isn't even one of the longest ones. My favorite part of the whole book begins in Lud where our group finds Blaine the Monorail. I'll let you read to find out why Blaine is a pain and that is the truth.

I love this book and since I've already said this is my favorite of the series I will skip the fluff and tell you I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Since this book is found in every horror list I have searched looking for books, I'm going to use this as part of my RIP Challenge. This will be my second entry in this event and I have many more planned out between now and Halloween.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Outcast Vol 3: This Little Light by Robert Kirkman


These books are very much like the Walking Dead in the sense that they cover one big story. There are events that take place that make this an interesting read but if you haven't read the previous books you are going to be lost. So I will treat this like on off the Walking Dead books reviews. If you haven't read the previous book there will be spoilers but if you have read the other two and not this one, I will not spoil anything. 

Ok, so this book picks up right after the second one leaves off. Kyle's sister has become possessed by a demon and her husband packs up their daughter and goes to ask Kyle for help. This is a huge step for him because he has hated Kyle from the very beginning, so to swallow his pride and ask for help is huge character wise. Kyle grabs Reverend Anderson and they head over to try to save his sister before it's to late. This is really only the beginning of the book but probably the biggest part of the story. At least it was for me. The rest of the book delves into Kyle's hunt for answers which we get a little bit more but not much. 

That is the one thing that irritates me a bit about these books. We still have no idea what the Outcast is other than Kyle is one of many. After 3 books I had really hoped for a better understanding of what the Outcast is already. Still I have to create my own meanings and wait to see if I'm right in future books. For the rest of the book I do love this series. It is all thanks to the show on Cinemax. I was on the fence after reading book one but the show renewed my interest and I flew through this book. 

If you are a fan of the supernatural and good character development I would highly recommend this book. I really liked this and it only makes me wish I had the next volume right now. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I am also going to include this in my R.I.P. challenge. This is my first review in the peril in the first and what a way to kick this challenge off.

Monday, September 12, 2016

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI


This year I'm a little behind the curve considering this challenge started September 1st. Where did the year go? The R.I.P. Event is my favorite blogging event of the year and I look forward to this from the moment it ends till the moment I can write my sign up post for the next one. I just love Fall for so many reasons, one of which being the return of cooler weather. I love everything about Fall, the leaves turning on the trees, that first cold breeze pushing the back drenching heat of Summer away, and the horror and mystery novels I pull off the shelf for this time of year. There is nothing better to help not only get my hyped up for Haloween, but also help me pass the time than the R.I.P Challenge. The Readers Imbibing Peril challenge is a whole event dedicated to reading Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, and Supernatural. This challenge is put on by Stainless Steel Droppings and I am so happy that Carl is running it again this year. Last year was a ton of fun and it was masterfully put on by The Estella Society since Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings took the year off. If you read my blog you know that the genres featured in this challenge are my favorite to read. If you are feeling up to the challenge then click on the link above and get your sign up post ready. The Challenge runs from September 1st to October 31st and I'm almost ready to get going. I need to finish my current read before I can officially begin but I will start posting soon. .

This is such a cool challenge, and since this is a category I mainly read anyway I am sticking with the highest amount. I am going to pledge to be part of:

Peril the First means I will be reading four books, any length, that I feel fit into this challenge. I was able to get an audio book or two last year that I have been saving for this challenge so I hope to have some decent reviews this year. I am also in the middle of the American Vampire Graphic Novel series so I hope to get some of those read to try and get back on track for my graphic novel challenge too. 

I am also going to take part in:

It is no secret that I'am a big fan of Horror movies, and the cheesier the better. October is the month of horror for me. All month long I watch as many of the Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween movies I can. My blog is for both books and movies so I really look forward to reviewing some of my favorite horror movies in October, and better yet to include them in this challenge. I'm proud to announce that this will be the fourth year for my Halloween Week here on my blog. This was where I review popular, classic, and any other type of horror films. I'm not sure if anyone other than myself looks forward to my own little event, but every year I have such a blast putting this together. Like every year around this time, I haven't settled on a set group of movies but I'm kicking around a few themes. You will just have to come back and check out my list when I get that post up.  Each one of those reviews will be used for this challenge so don't worry if you miss them. I will have it linked to the R.I.P. review site. 

One final thing I want to mention which I have neglected to do the last few years is mention the incredibly talented Artist who does the banners and pictures for the event.,. I don't think I ever paid much attention to this but now that I know Abigail Larson is the one who does the art I want to make sure you click on her name and check out her blog. It's really cool. Now good luck and I hope those who decide to try this out for the first time have a great time and come back next year. Now go read, or watch some TV, it's up to you. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Suicide Squad

Image result for suicide squad movie poster

I have been waiting for a very long time for this movie. DC Comics has done, I think, a great job with their new DC Extended Universe or DCEU. The movies are great no matter what those bloated Marvel loving critics think. One thing that remains constant in every review I have read for every DC Comics movie is they are always compared to Marvel movies and that isn't fair since they are different universes. DC is not as cheery and bright as Marvel is. For Chrristmas my wife and I got a gift card and ticket vouchers to go to the movies and I knew when this was going to come out Iwasn't going to have the excess funds to see it so I horded this and saved it. A few weeks ago my wife and I finally got to see this. I just haven't had the drive to write anything let alone a review for one of the best movies of the summer. Big claim I know, but I liked it. 

So for those of you who don't know what the Suicide Squad is here is a basic explanation. The Government has these jobs that they don't want to waste on soldiers beause they know it is more than likely going to end in a large loss of life. So they don't have to use soldiers they implant these explosives in the necks of criminals so they ddo exactly what Amanda Waller wants. Otherwise, she activates the explosive and kills them. A very dark premise yes but the criminals they choose are the worst of the worse so you kind of go along with it because the world would be better without them. At the same time the more you get to know these misfits the more you want them to win. To find a way to disable their explosives and get away to freedom. The writing on these comics is great so I was very excited for the movie. 

Image result for suicide squad movie posterIn this movie we get some of the best villains and cameos. Batman plays a bog part in the capture of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and Killer Croc. We get to see The Flash take down Captain Boomerang also. We also get Diablo, and Rick Flag who isn't a criminal by the way. All of them are are fighting against a supernatural villain who wants to destroy all of mankind. Katana is also in this team up but she isn't really a villain but she is no stranger to killing.

The story was great despite the little plot holes that popped up occasionally. I enjoyed learning the "origin" stories of some of these characters as well as the origin of the team. Also, seeing these characters in live action was the first for most of them and a huge thrill for this life time comic book nerd. I also loved Margot Robbie, Will Smith, and Viola Davis. I read a lot of reviews about this movie before I saw this and not many of them were good but the one commonality was that most of them raved about these actors performances. Will Smith brought a soft human quality to this character who is a stone cold contract killer which made his story a little more interesting. Viola Davis was absolutely perfect for the role of Amanda Waller. She brought the evil this character hides behind a tough exterior. I can't believe how perfect she was at this character that you love to hate. The real star of this movie though is Margot Robbie. She was over to top amazing at Harley Quinn. I was really impressed with her performance and it was like the character lept off the pages of the comics I love and was standing before me.

I will admit that I had a few issues with this movie so it wasn't the perfect blockbuster I make it out to be. Before I get into my grevences I have to say that DC Comics and Warner Brothers knocked it out of the park with casting their female characters so far. Gal Gadot, Margot Robbie, and Viol,a Davis were amazing choices for these characters. On the flip side they have done a terrible job with the villains. Jesse Eisenberg is the worst Lex Luthor I have ever seen and he is the worst possible choice for this character. Well I feel the same way about Jared Leto as the Joker. First of all the look was entirely wrong for the character.  The Joker isn't tatted up with a gold teeth grill. He is crazy and calculating in a way that makes no sense. Not this characture of the worlds worst criminal. He was over the top cartoonish and just terrible. I would have been so much happier had he not been in this movie. Jared Leto is a great actor and I can't fault his skill entirely. This could have been due to bad writing or costuming or I don't know what else, but I felt this just crapped on what the character of the joker really is. Heath Ledger was the quintessential Joker and it makes sense that it drove him insane and to take his own life. The joker is the darkest character I have ever read. Aside from the Joker in this movie I was kind of bummed they stuck with a PG-13 rating. Deadpool was a huge success as the first R rated comic book movie and I feel this move warranted that R rating so this movie could really be what it should be. I felt this was restrained like the movie wanted to be more but was censored. I also felt that they maybe shouldn't have tried so hard to be funny.

Batman Vs Superman was a dark movie as it should have been but this got so much negative press. Because of that DC decided to lighten up all of there upcoming movies and it showed in this. The one liners were great but there were times it felt like they were trying to hard to get a laugh. With all of this being said I still loved it and can't wait for it to be released on iTunes. I give this movie a 4 out of 5 star rating. I can't wait for the rumored Harley Quin movie as well as the next chapter in the DCEU. Check out the trailer yourself if you haven't seen the movie already. The trailers were amazingly done to fit the soundtrack background. Some of the best trailers I have seen were the ones for this movie.