Archive for July, 2016

IndieBook Review – Indiot

Indiot is the follow-up to Ana Spoke’s debut novel, Shizzle, Inc., chronicling the hijinks of Isabella Maxwell, a naive blond who wants nothing more than to change (or help) the world, getting herself into extraordinary circumstances along the way. In Shizzle, Inc., this trouble came upon her mostly by accident, as the world seemed to open opportunities she’d then exploit for her own means, messaging the truth and more often than not, putting her foot in her mouth. In Indiot, the tables turn a bit, as Isabella (or Isa, for short) begins to take hold of the reigns of her own destiny. She still gets into plenty of trouble, but instead of unbelievable circumstances pushing her into various comedic predicaments, her conscious decisions now tend to lead her into trouble — a switch that gives her narrative more reliability than in Shizzle, Inc. It doesn’t feel as if Isa is lying as much about what’s happening, making her adventures more authentic and enjoyable. At the same time, her character seems to grow too much too fast, as if the lessons she learned in Shizzle Inc. have taken root, but have matured faster than an alien baby in a science-fiction movie. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Lights Out

I didn’t know much going into seeing Lights Out; I don’t even remember seeing a trailer for it. But I must have because I had this odd sense I was interested in checking it out. It’s one of those odd little ducks that make an impression, but not really. Was there something about the plot that I found interesting? Was it the cast that sparked my curiosity? Was it simply because it was a horror film, which always tend to draw me in? I’m not sure because upon seeing it, I’m not sure any of those would have been the magic formula to do the trick. Lights Out isn’t a bad film, but it’s nothing special — basically just another simple horror film among many (like one of the previews, Don’t Breathe, which I thought to myself, “Now that should have been called Lights Out“). Read the rest of this entry »

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Movie Mayhem – Ghostbusters (2016)

I wasn’t intending to see the new iteration of Ghostbusters. And it wasn’t because it was an all-female cast, or because it didn’t look funny (trailers can be deceiving), or because the special effects looked like crap, as a lot of annoying little trolls slammed the trailers with. It’s because I’m getting rather tired — as I’m sure a lot of people are — of Hollywood dipping back into a well no one asked them to dip their money-grubbing hands into. The majority of movies are made for a certain generation, so when you see all of these retreads and reboots and sequels and prequels… what does that really say about our current generation of movies? I’ve argued this point before, but with remakes of The Magnificent Seven and Ben-Hur on the way later this year, it’s starting to get rather pathetic.

The thing is, I started to hear some not so terrible things about Ghostbusters, so I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt, to see if, unlike most other remakes, this one could actually live up to its predecessors — sort of a test to see if the trend of poorly remade classics could turn around for the better. I must confess — this new iteration of Ghostbusters isn’t necessarily a bad film; it’s simply a pile of missed opportunity. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – The Secret Life of Pets

Since their inception in 2010, Illumination Entertainment has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. They may have gone a little too minion happy, proving there can be too much of a good thing, but minions aside, they have proven themselves to be a strong contender in the field of computer animation, alongside Blue Sky (Ice Age series), and Dreamworks Animation (Shrek series). With The Secret Life of Pets, Illumination’s newest entry that doesn’t include minions (no, wait… I take that back; there is a somewhat humorous short prior to the movie that does include our favorite yellow pills… sorry folks, you just can’t get away from ’em!), the studio tries to take what it’s learned thus far in their young life and apply some Pixar magic, a combination that helps them raise the bar, but still fail to capture the pure sweetness and storytelling capacity of that aforementioned computer-animation titan. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – The BFG

Growing up, The BFG was one of my favorite books. It’s been a very long time since last I read Roald Dahl’s inventive story, but I do remember the feeling of joy I got every time I read it. Dahl’s style was so creative and light, the wonder that he produced poured through the pen and onto the page. You didn’t have to catch dreams to be ignited by the wonders of Dahl’s imagination. So you can imagine how excited I was to learn The BFG was finally being made into a live-action feature film (after all, Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has already been made into two films!) and that Steven Spielberg was going to be behind the reins of capturing that magic and delivering it to the masses. It’s with a heavy heart, then, that when I walked out of the theater, their was no delight in the lack of wonder Spielberg and his team had produced. Read Full Review

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