Monday, February 27, 2012

[Movie Review] Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaways

This was a suggestion from Netflix because I’d watched The Runaways on streaming, and since watching the movie made me interested in their lives together (because there was so little insight in the movie and it mostly focused on Joan Jett and Cherie Currie), I picked this as one of my weekly movies.

This is a documentary that Vicki Blue (former bass player) directed. She talked to the former members of that band, except Joan Jett, about their time together as a group. This documentary provided so much insight into the dynamics of the women and what led to their eventual demise.

It was heartbreaking watching them talk about how much they went through—from the verbal abuse (and possible sexual abuse seemed to be hinted at) they dealt with, to their own managers sabotaging them, to the personality conflicts, to the drugs. These women were very candid, but at times, I felt they were holding back, attempting to be dignified about the whole thing.

They chose their words thoughtfully, but there were times when they really just put it all out there. They were all very careful what they said about Joan. Maybe because she wasn’t there to speak for herself. But they didn’t hold back when talking about Kim Fowley, and this documentary seemed to provide an outlet to allow them to lash out at him.

Some things they didn’t want to talk about at all. A constant phrase you hear throughout the documentary is, “I can’t remember. I must’ve blocked it out.” It made wonder if they really did block these memories out or if, even after all these years, some things are still too painful to be told. This was a great film that provided a better look at who these women were and how their experiences made them they women they are now.

So much fuss is made about Joan and Cherie that it’s easy to forget about the other women who were in the band fighting the same battle.

Note: Old review that I'm importing from an old blog.
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

[Comic Review] Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice

Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice
Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice by John Layman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not entirely new to this series, but I’m mostly new. I have a friend who’s a fan of the series, and I’d thumbed through the first two or three issues. Recent discussion on Google Buzz mentioned that Showtime had PICKED UP THE SCRIPT to Chew to possibly turn into a television show. From what I’d read of the series and discussed with my friend, this actually seems like the perfect series to adapt to television.

It’s full of dark, dry humor and its morbidity is in the same vein as Dexter while being something different from what’s already on television. It doesn’t have many elements that might make it an overpriced choice, and being that it’s Showtime, fans won’t have to worry about them trying to tone down the things that make it work.

So, I decided to pick up the comics and start getting a better feel of the characters and their world. The story revolves around Tony Chu, an ex-cop who now works for the FDA. Tony is a cibopath. That means he gets psychic impressions from anything he eats—except beets. He lives in a world where the FDA is now running things after a severe case of avian flu killed millions of people. Because of this, chicken is banned, replaced by a chicken substitute while the real thing is considered a black market commodity. Tony is recruited—but not entirely by choice—by the FDA after using his “gift” to bust a serial killer. They want him to use this same gift to help their special crimes division. And this is where Tony’s adventures really begin.

I don’t know what to say about my official introduction to this series without rambling on or spoiling it for other readers. I really like the cast of characters that I’ve met so far. Tony comes off capable, straight-laced, if not a little bumbling at times. You can tell he has the best of intentions and believes in following the rules faithfully. Tony’s new partner, Mason Savoy, is wordy, distinguished, a bit shady, and a man of many surprises. He’s helping the inexperienced Tony learn the ropes and learn to deal with their overbearing boss, Mike Applebee, who already has it out for Tony.

Tony’s love interest is introduced early, but it’s not instant love for her at least. Tony is taken by a food critic named Amelia Mintz, a saboscrivner, who can write about food so accurately she can give people the sensation that they’re actually tasting it. For the first time, through her writing, Tony is able to “taste” food without getting any psychic impressions. In his mind, he’s smooth and suave with her. In reality, he’s a mumbling mess where she’s concerned, a quality that adds even more to his likability. Tony’s brother, a disgraced chef, also makes a couple of brief appearances.

The premise of the series sounds a bit bizarre, but the story is well-written and fast paced. You’re not overwhelmed with information about this new world. It’s presented to you in bites (no pun intended). I found by the third part that I was totally immersed in this story and really laughing out loud at some of their antics. I have to applaud the writer for creating this imaginative world where food plays such an integral role right down the name of every character—both major and minor—in the series so far.

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[Movie Review] The Runaways

Biopic chronicling the story of The Runaways’ early years starring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie.

Where to start with this one? I enjoyed it very much, even if it took me a minute to get over watching Dakota Fanning grinding around the screen in underwear. She’s one of those actresses that I have a hard time allowing to grow up in my mind’s eye.

As a biopic, I felt this fell a little short of really showing the depth of the band’s problems. It seems to skim only the surface of their issues. We see this stuff happening, but are given very little insight on the forces behind these issues aside from being young rockers who are faced with all these forbidden temptations.

It seemed more like a rock musical. The music was awesome, and this movie reminded me that I might actually like Kristen Stewart when her dead expression isn’t sucking my soul away in the Twilight movies.

If Joan Jett was/is anything like Stewart portrayed her… she is fuckin’ awesome for life. So, as a biopic, this movie was just okay, but it can still be enjoyed if you don’t mind the movie not going into much depth about the women (girls?) themselves.

Note: Old review imported from another blog.
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[Review] 28 Days Later Vol. 1: London Calling

28 Days Later Vol. 1: London Calling28 Days Later Vol. 1: London Calling by Michael Alan Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brief, spoiler free summary. American journalist, Clint, tracks Selena down at a refugee camp in Norway. He wants to enlist her help in getting into London, which has been quarantined, so he can tell the real story of what happened there.

How could that go wrong? End sarcasm.

I’ve already read the first five issues in this series. My goal was to read five by next Monday, but I’ve already beat that into submission in one night. The story started a little slow for me, but the pace quickly picked up.

I’m really loving how they’re using Selena as a lead character. Too bad there’s no Jim thus far. The readers are shown Selena’s life before the infection. It’s just glimmers of who she used to be intertwined with the action of the story and doesn’t intrude on the main storyline.

I’m not to keen on the artwork, but it isn’t terrible. And the cliffhangers feel too abrupt. I know they have to to keep you hanging on to come back for more, but they feel so premature. I’m not sure if this is intentional to match the hectic pace of the story or not.

Overall, it’s kept me interested. I’d devoured those five issues before I even knew what happened.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Gamer Problems: Headset Death

So... my PS3 headset met with an unfortunate accident last night, so I had to do some research before bed because I need people to hear me when I'm screaming at them on games. Wait, I didn't mean that. Yes, this will be my third one in the last year if you've been keeping up and taking bets like some of my friends have. Look, don't judge me. My headsets and I have a bad romance.

Anyhow, I decided to invest in a good wireless headset because I really hate the little bluetooth that sticks in your ear. Most of the time they're uncomfortable, especially since you can't change the size of the in-ear piece on many of them, and I usually need to use the smallest one to be comfortable. My ears aren't necessarily super small, but my canals are still easily agitated by in-ear pieces if I don't use the smallest size.

All my gamer friends who are serious about this stuff said I needed to buy a Turtle Beach headset, and that they'd be worth the money. I had settled on just getting the PS3 headset, though, since all my other gaming devices have their own headsets. And honestly, I figured I didn't need to spend that much on a headset for that reason, so I was all settled on my PS3 headset until I got to the store.

It was a trap from the beginning. You have your PS3 headset, and then, you have these awesome looking headsets right beside them that proclaim to be awesome and will work with all your gaming devices for maximum gaming experience and just be so seriously awesome... and whoa, price tag, but awesome! Did I mention they're supposed to be awesome?

I bought them because if I'm going to invest a new headset might as get something that everything will work with except I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm wearing my hair out. My hair defies over-the-head headsets like you wouldn't believe. Haven't opened them yet since I bought them on my lunch break, but I'll be back in about a week or two with my thoughts.

(Side note: thanks to everyone who endured my whining about this situation right before I went to bed and offered your input. You're great. I love you. Don't ever change.)
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

[Review] High Maintenance

High Maintenance
High Maintenance by Jennifer Belle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Definitely didn't like this as much by the end as I did in the beginning, but I stayed up all night to finish it. A pampered woman learns to take care of herself after her divorce from her cheating husband. This got creepy toward the middle. I mean, swallowing Clue pieces for no good reason? Freezing sperm in her freezer, in the ice tray? Carrying around a glock she found? It was so pathetic I had to keep reading. Good God, if that's the kind of insanity divorce promises, I think I'll stay with my husband forever, thank you.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

[Review] Batman: R.I.P.

Batman: R.I.P.
Batman: R.I.P. by Grant Morrison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Slight spoiler warnings. I’m not even sure how to sum this one up, but don’t take that as a bad omen for this story. I enjoyed it very much, but there’s so much going on here that it’s not easy to try to sum it up in a few words. However, I’ll try. Basically, this chronicles Batman’s descent into madness and his “death.” Batman has always led a troubled existence where he’s sometimes struggled with whether his actions as the caped crusader really do more harm than good.

Those feelings seemed to have come to a head in this arc where we read about his quest to understand madness. Batman becomes obsessed with a wealthy crime organization known as The Black Glove led by Dr. Hurt—who unbeknownst to Batman implanted a trigger word deep into his subconscious that would turn him into a madman. When the trigger word is finally used against him, Batman withdraws from life, living on the streets in a seemingly mad state, leaving Gotham prey to a crime spree orchestrated by The Black Glove.

I wouldn’t recommend this for the casual reader. You need to have a little knowledge of Batman and his world before diving into this. I read a few stories leading up to this arc, and I still had to feel my way around with the story a little bit. However, even though I still have some questions about the events leading up to this arc, I enjoyed this.

I’m a sucker for this kind of psychological mind trip, and it was fascinating to watch Batman go through this madness while still trying to be Batman. And the funny thing was that Dr. Hurt kept saying that Batman was done, that with his sanity gone he was just a shell of a nightmare. However, Batman said that sanity, which he equates with his “Bruce” personality, was the only thing keeping Batman in check.

The story also centered partly on Robin and Spoiler (in a tie-in Robin #175 and Robin #176) with some supporting scenes from Nightwing and faces familiar from Batman Inc. Robin realizes that something is wrong, that Bruce has been brainwashed in some way, and he sets out on a personal journey to find out the extent of the damage in order to know what his next move should be. We learn about Batman’s 49 days of solitude leading up to these events through Robin’s story. Spoiler helps and hinders him in some ways, which she reveals her reasons for at the end, and the tension between Robin and her is palpable due to her not revealing that she was alive all the time Robin thought she was dead.

The Joker was a break out performance for me. I have to say this is one of the creepiest ways he’s ever been depicted. He reminds me of Jack Torrance from The Shining as he appeared in the picture at the end. He also seemed to be channeling Pyramid Head in some ways with his body apron and knives. In his own sick, twisted way, he seems to be Batman’s biggest adversary and his greatest advocate. He’s chillingly disturbing here, maybe even more so than he was in Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Of course, the arc ends with Batman being aware of everything that has happened to him. Part of my beef with Batman was how he just seems to know everything. I know he has to stay one step ahead of the game, especially since he’s a non-powered hero, but there was little mystery left after you realize that Batman has played the game better than The Black Glove. However, it was spun in such a way that it didn’t come off forced or silly, just typical of Batman. The arc also ends on an ambiguous note. Did Batman really die or didn’t he? We all know the answer to that question, but it still makes for an interesting read.

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This blog is a mishmash of thoughts, pictures, and rantings among other things about games I've played, games I will play, and games I am currently playing. From time to time, I may post book reviews that I've written that are about different games and/or game worlds. Feel free to recommend games or add me on the platforms I've listed. I don't do competitive multiplayer much anymore, but I'm always down for some co-op these days. I'm usually DigitalTempest everywhere unless otherwise specified.



PSN: DigitalTempest | XBL: DigitalTempest | Steam: DigitalTempest | Raptr: DigitalTempest

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Tiara has read 6 books toward her goal of 52 books.

Tiara's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Elfstones Of Shannara
tagged: upcoming-reads, currently-reading, 2016-audiobook-challenge, classi...
Gardens of the Moon
tagged: currently-reading, fantasy, z-narrator-ralph-lister, 2016-audiobook...

Tiara's bookshelf: read

really liked it
Review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge and 2016-audiobook-challenge
The Girl from the Well
liked it
More reviews @ The Bibliosanctum TL;DR Review 2.5 to 3 stars. Not badly written… I’m just disappointed by the squandered potential. I’m going to reread Anna Dressed in Blood to make myself feel better about this Longer Review: T...
tagged: 2016-women-of-genre-fiction-reading, horror, and young-adult
Thirteen Reasons Why
I don't think this quite captures the complexity of bullying and suicide, and some of the issues that Hannah started facing toward the end of the novel really seemed to detract even more from the feelings she was going through by having ...
tagged: young-adult, popsugar-2016-reading-challenge, 2016-audiobook-challe...
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
liked it
Spoiler free review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge
The Phantom of the Opera
really liked it
tagged: classic-horror, classics, audiobook, 2016-audiobook-challenge, horr...

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