July 2015

Killer Clans (8/10)

Another Shaw Brothers kung-fu extravaganza. This one was quite good with lots of blood, a complicated (in a good way) plot and a touch of nudity! An assassin gets in the middle of two rival clans as he attempts to kill an elder leader. Things aren't what they seem and there's intrigue around every paper-walled corner.

Blood Brothers (6/10)

Disc two in this Shaw Brothers set is the weakest of the lot. A pair of bandits join with an ambitious warrior to form a group of counter-revolutionary fighters. A girl gets between them and then things begin to go south. This is more of a melodrama than a kung-fu picture, but it has a few good moments. On the whole though, it was not my cup of (green) tea.

The Avenging Eagle (7/10)

The first film in the Shaw Brothers four-pack DVD I just bought. I loved USA Network's Kung Fu Theater when I was a kid, but I am hardly a connoisseur when it comes to these classic kung-fu pictures. The Avenging Eagle was pretty good with a nice array of weaponry and a decent story. The fights lack the realism and speed of a 90's Jackie Chan flick but they are still pretty great. As I make my way through the set I may change my opinion of this one, but I enjoyed this as an entry point.

Rock Around the Clock (6/10)

This film is really just a showcase for Bill Haley and his Comets. The plot and characters are tacked on just to get us from dance hall to dance hall to see The Comets lip sync, and watch the kids go craaazy with the new modern dance. Despite its schlocky premise, it's fun to watch for the "performances" and the dancing.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (7/10)

I want to eventually read Huckleberry Finn, so I figured I should read this one first. It's pretty entertaining, but not terribly deep and it takes a while for an overarching plot to develop. The first half of the book feels like a collection of short stories.

FarCry 3 on PC (10/10)

FarCry 3

I was a bit hesitant to play this game. I really didn't like FarCry 2 all that much. It was repetitive, dull and not a worthy successor to the first game. Then, I decided to give theeighties sci-fi themed expansion FarCry 3: Blood Dragon a try. That game was great, so when 3 went on sale I grabbed it hoping for the best, and, oh man, I was immediately blown away.

Raveler: The Dark God Book 3 by John D. Brown (8/10)

The most recent book in this series builds up to a grand conclusion, an last-stand battle of epic proportions, and then, once the dust has settled, it leaves you hanging. So, I guess this isn't a trilogy. That said, the stakes are higher here and, therefore, I enjoyed it a bit more than book two. It did, however, take a while for me to get used to the Ewok characters, or as they are called here, "Woodkin."