March 2020 Wrap Up

In March I started reading more and doing other hobbies more as with the virus I’ve been at home more. I read six books in March which had been my best month so far this year.

Books:

36495876._SX318_Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition volume one by Hiromu Arakawa is the first volume of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series. This is a special hardcover edition that the publisher has started to release. The story follows brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who are attempting to restore their bodies after trying to bring their mother back to life and failing. This series is a reread for me and I still love the story as much as the first time I read it. I’m reading each volume as I collect these editions.

45899240Monstress volume four by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda is a fantasy graphic novel that continues the story of Miaka and how she is connected to the demon who lives inside her. This volume gives the reader more information on Miaka’s past and where the major conflict is heading. I can’t wait for the rest of the story.

52186666._SX318_SY475_The Deep by Alma Katsu is a historical fiction with supernatural elements focusing on the Sinking of the Titanic. The story follows maid Annie Hebbley who survived the sinking and is working as a nurse on Titanic’s sister ship Britannic during World War I and her connection to soldier Mark Fletcher. I loved the concept of the story but felt that it switched perspectives too often for me to connect to the characters. I received this book from the publisher by winning a Goodreads contest and there is a full review on this blog and Goodreads.

33116011The Race to Save the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport in a historical nonfiction book about the different plan to possibly save the Romanov family and the ideas to get them out of Russia. While good I prefer historical books about the family directly than events that they didn’t have any control or input on so not my favorite book about the Romanovs. It would be a great resource for anyone studying this time period.

44660930._SY475_Five Nights at Freddy’s Fazbear Frights #1: Into the Pit by Scott Cawthon is the first in the series of Five Nights short story collections. All of the stories take place in the world of Five Nights at Freddy’s and show different elements to the previous books and game. All the stories are very creepy and good for teenagers. They remind me of R L Stine’s and Darren Shan’s series and books. As someone who is into the lore surrounding the games and story I do plan an reading the next books in the series.

26114463Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is the first book in an adult fantasy series following Mia Corvere to train to be an assassin and kill those who destroyed her family when she was a child.  I loved this book even though it took me quite a while to finish. The first hundred pages before getting to the Red Church are slow but it pick ups from there. I love Mia and Tric’s relationship and its one of the strongest parts of the book. I also have a full review posted.

TV Shows:

Series12Promo2(1)Doctor Who: I finished Doctor Who series twelve this month and I liked it much more than series eleven. At times it still didn’t feel like Doctor Who to me and I felt that there could have been more fun stories that didn’t need a message but I liked the dynamics between all the characters and the companions being fleshed out more. However, the Timeless Child story line was dumb and was not something that the series needed. The fact at the end of the series that it had no impact and nothing really changed meant that the writer had no reason to add it in. I do plan on watching the next series but I generally wait to binge watch it.

Movies:

downloadKong: Skull Island: I watched Kong: Skull Island because I heard that I wasn’t bad and I want some mindless entertainment one night. Though the plot isn’t all that interesting the acting is good and the visual effects are great. The ending sets up the idea that Kong and the other monsters like Godzilla all exist in the same world and I’m interested in where movies that these ideas.

The Cloverfield Paradox Review

Cloverfield_paradox_posterSo I finally sat down and watched The Cloverfield Paradox which I liked the most out of the Cloverfield movies so far. The movie starts out with some info dumping about how Earth is running out of power sources and so the world has sent a team to a space station to work with a massive particle accelerator to attempt to find a new power source. When the experiment works all hell breaks loose on the space station has they ended up breaking the fabric of reality. Though it is a science fiction movie I would classify it more as a body horror such as Alien or the Thing than just straight sci-fi.

I’ve never loved any of the Cloverfield movies and this ones no exception though I do like it better than the others. In Cloverfield, I felt like the characters were very annoying and I didn’t care what happen. It doesn’t help that I have never been a fan of found footage movies either. 10 Cloverfield Lane on the other hand was a movie that I like the concept of but found the movie as a whole very boring. So, I didn’t have high expectations for Cloverfield Paradox. Though I don’t think Paradox was needed as part of the Cloverfield series I did like the concept of the movie and I wasn’t bored. If any of the Cloverfield movie got direct squeals I would want it to be Paradox as I feel like it has the most that could be done with it given how the story and ending is set up. It is the only Cloverfield movie that has any real horror in my opinion. 

As the movie progresses it starts to feel like they characters are trapped in space where no one can help them which preys on the fear of the dark and unknown. The one thing that I’ve always disliked about theses movies is that most of the characters are just unlikable with few redeeming factors. For instance in Paradox, Ava’s arc does work  as she wants to stay in an alternate world where her children are still alive but she doesn’t think what thorough the consequences of if she stays and there is a version of her in the world. And then there’s Jensen who was on the other ship and who’s reality is in jeopardy who comes off as a bitch who just wants everyone dead so, I was very happy that she ends up dying.

Paradox also is the movie where the explanation for how the alien invasions happened in the other movies is supposed to exist. This is never really explained, just that in accidentally ending up in an alternate reality and then jumping back to their own unleashed horrible monsters. I do feel like Paradox has the best ending out of all the Cloverfield movies just because its slightly more hopeful than the other two but the ending of these movies are never very good.

March 2019 Wrap Up

So March was a very busy month for me, so I didn’t read very much but I did watch some TV shows and movies.

Books:

34895950The only book I read this month was The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill. The Tea Dragon Society is a short graphic novel set in a fantasy world where tea leaves are harvested from dragons. The story follows two young girls, Greta and Minette, who are learning about tea dragons and how to take care of them. It’s a beautifully illustrated story inspired by anime and manga with very unique fantasy concepts. Many of the characters are a combination of different fantasy races and use different fantasy elements. I would like to see the story continue as this first book is so short at only 72 pages there isn’t much time to connect with and learn everything about the characters. 3.5/5 stars.

TV Shows:

clonewarsI finally finished the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV show which will be getting a continuation on Disney’s new streaming service that is supposed to come out sometime in 2019. The Clone Wars show is set in between the Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith movie and does fix some of the problem that the prequel movies have. The big thing is it gives much more information about the Clone Wars and fleshed out most of the bigger relationship from the movies. This show made me believe that Obi-Wan did consider Anakin his brother and the relationship between Anakin and Padme is much better and is given time to grow. Anakin is given a padawan in Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka is an amazing character but also allows the audience to see Anakin as a leader and in different stories and positions from the movies. However, there are some episodes that are just not that good and can be skipped without missing any plot or story elements. I would recommend not watch most to the episodes that feature Jar Jar or primarily focus on the droids. Also the show was not originally released in chronological order so there are two ways to watch it, episode release order or chronological. I would recommend watching the show in chronological order as it gives you a better sense of the state of the Jedi during the Clone Wars but before Revenge of the Sith.

Movies:

Captain_Marvel_posterSo I saw Captain Marvel and I liked it, I do have a full review here so I won’t go completely in-depth. As the newest MCU movie and connected to Avengers: Endgame I would recommend going to see it but it’s also a good movie that can be understood without having seen any of the other Marvel movies. Connections to other MCU movies are mostly in little Easter eggs that you will understand if you’ve seen some of the other movies but they don’t detract from the story being told. I loved seeing a younger Nick Fury and how the Shield that we know from the other movies started. All of the acting is great and while the movie is funny none of the jokes become too much and make it feel like a comedy. However, many of the jokes will not connect if the 90’s references are not understood. Ultimately, it’s a movie about a woman realizing and coming into her own power.

Cloverfield_paradox_posterThis month I also finally set down and watched The Cloverfield Paradox which I liked the most out of the Cloverfield movies so far. The movie starts out with some info dumping about how the earth is running out of power sources and so the world has sent a team to a space station to work with a massive particle accelerator to attempt to find a new power source. When the experiment works all hell breaks loose on the space station has they ended up breaking the fabric of reality. Though it is a science fiction movie I would classify it more as a body horror such as Alien or the Thing than just straight sci-fi. I’ve never loved any of the Cloverfield movies and this ones no exception though I do like it better than the others. In Cloverfield I felt like the characters were very annoying and I didn’t care what happen. It doesn’t help that I have never been a fan of found footage movies either. 10 Cloverfield Lane on the other hand was a movie that I like the concept of but found the movie as a whole very boring. So, I didn’t have high expectations for Cloverfield Paradox. Though I don’t think Paradox was needed as part of the Cloverfield series I did like the concept of the movie and I wasn’t bored. If any of the Cloverfield movie got direct squeals I would want it to be Paradox as I feel like it has the most that could be done with it given how the story and ending is set up. I do plan to post a full review so for all of my thoughts check that post.

Captain Marvel Review

Captain_Marvel_posterCaptain Marvel is the twenty-first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie set in 1995. The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes Captain Marvel when Earth is caught in a conflict between two alien worlds. For those who have watched most, if not all of the MCU movies Captain Marvel must be watched before Avengers: Endgame as it set up Captain Marvel for her potential role in the future movies.

Before going into the my thoughts and feelings about the movie, Captain Marvel is not the best MCU movie that we have gotten but it is nowhere near the worst. The movie starts out set in space and just drops the audience into the story without any background though if you’ve read the comics or follow information about the movie online you will have some idea of where the movie is going. Vers is a Kree operative sent with a team to another planet to find someone missing and during the mission they are attacked by the Skrulls, a group of shape shifting aliens. When Vers crashes on Earth the story really picks up as it becomes apparent that she is from Earth but has no memories about what happened to her or her past. Ultimately, Captain Marvel is a movie about a woman realizing that she has power, coming into her own and understanding the power that she has. Though I think that the movie is for everyone there are instances that I feel women will understand better because they speak to real life situations that women find themselves in.

The acting is great, I believed everyone in the roles that they had. The movie has funny moments it’s not as comedic as some of the other MCU movies. I personally liked the story and I loved that we get some information about how the Shield that we know from the other movies was born.

Though Captain Marvel is an origin movie set in the 90’s at this point Marvel Studios does kind of expect you to have seen at least some of the other movies as there are instances that things such as Shield are not explained as it is assumed that you know this information. However, it is a movie that can be watched without knowledge of the others since it is only the calls backs and foreshadowing to other movies that might be missed. Since the movie is set in the 90’s there are major references and jokes made about the 90’s that if you are not familiar with they might not connect. Stay through the credits as there is a scene that connects directly to the Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.

Overall, not the greatest Marvel movie but a good story with great characters that give us something good before what I feel will be the devastation to come with Avengers: Endgame.

Venom 2018 Review

518jo3Xlf8LVenom is the newest superhero movie of 2018 and the one that has divided reviewers the most. The movie follows reporter Eddie Brock a down on his luck reporter who ends up bonding to an alien Symbiote after breaking into an evil research facility and then saving the world from evil billionaire.

I went into the movie only knowing the basic plot and the fact that critics seemed to hate it but audiences liked it. Honestly, I feel like that was the best way to go into it, with very few expectations. Overall I liked the movie it’s different than other superhero/comic movies as Eddie and Venom aren’t really good guys. They end up saving the world because they don’t want the bad guy to win. It’s also very clear that the movie knows it’s a comic book movie and plays it up a bit.

The movie isn’t ground breaking but it’s not bad and doesn’t deserve the hate from the critics. It’s not anywhere near as bad as Catwoman or Ben Affleck’s Daredevil. Go into the movie just wanting a fun comic book movie and I think you will enjoy it. The only criticism I have is that the first half of the movie with all the setup feels like it drags a little and during the end fight scene the CG kind of blends together and make parts hard to follow.

Overall, Venom is not the greatest movie but by no means a bad film. It’s a fun movie that I feel like most audiences will enjoy watching.