Book two in the Mistborn series continues this the storyline directly after the climactic events of the first novel. This one is on par with that story. It may lack the more instinctually satisfying “kill the main bad guy” over-arching plot, but the characters continue to grow and the writing may even be a bit better here. The Mistborn are like Jedi, but Sanderson does a great job laying out the ground rules for how their powers work. For example, whereas in a lazy fantasy story like Harry Potter the author would just supply a cheap deus ex machina type answer for a plot complication (wouldn’t you know it, there’s an Adam West shark repellent spell for just this type of situation), the Mistborn have to work within the strict rules of their craft to accomplish seemingly impossible feats. A very compelling read, however I could do without the pages and pages of battle planning and procedural politicking.
Racing the Beam is a fairly accessible look at the technology behind the Atari 2600 video game console. Apparently the 2600 was an incredibly very difficult system for which to write programs. Basically, it was designed to handle Pong and Combat style games. The fact that games as complicated and awesome as Pitfall! and Yar’s Revenge were developed on a system that supported a background, 2 sprites, 2 missiles and a “ball” gives you new appreciation for the games on the system. Okay, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is still an abomination, but you get what I mean.
I decided to try this one out on a whim. I like Adam Carolla and his humor translated pretty well into book form (although I would much rather hear him tell these stories as a monologue or audiobook). I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times. He jumps from subject to subject and off into tangents so it’s a good book to just pick up and read from any point.
Michael Lucas is best known as the schtick-loving bassist of The Phantom Surfers. This book was self-published under his own Rudos and Rubes monicker. The cover of this book makes it look like it’s some sort of hard-boiled crime thriller. But, while the crime element eventually comes into play, the story mostly revolves around the protagonist’s relationship with the dysfunctional employees at the high-end furniture store for which he works. The book is darkly comic and is filled with many strange and vivid characters. I especially enjoyed the pokes at high culture and religious nuts. Honestly, I was hooked in by the end of the first paragraph. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it highly.
And here we go again with what I thought was going to be another sleazy women in prison movie. To my surprise, the prison portion of the film is only the first fifteen minutes or so. What this really is is a women on the run movie. You know the kind that got parodied in cartoons all the time where the two main characters dislike each other but happen to be chained together as they try to escape. This was another sleazefest that turned out to have a rather engaging and dark plot. The supporting cast of thugs, cops and revolutionaries add to the fun and the climax pulls no punches.
This was another grind house era women in prison movie. I suppose the twist here is that Pam Grier is the bad guy in this one. Despite the obvious sleeze factor here, I found this to actually be a rather well plotted and entertaining film. The acting is, hands down, some of the worst I have seen… And I have seen Troll 2. Nonetheless, I like this one.
With the demise of Drop.io I have had to find a new place to offer MP3s of my musical project, Martian Law. In the process, I have rearranged the site a bit and given all my releases their own pages: The Exciting Sounds of a Compaq P133 and Upgrade Downgrade. I have also added a new track for download from the 2002’s Lumpenwave 80s cover compilation.
This was a slight twist on a typical teen slasher movie. A very, very slight twist which you will see coming from a million miles away. These are some of the most grating, annoying and dumb film teenagers since Hostel. Hostel at least made you root for the frat-boys, despite their dickheadedness, with pure adrenaline infused tension. This movie just lumbers along with no suspense or horror to drive the plot along. Better casting may have made this one work, but, as it is, yawn.
Once again, I am off in search of fantasy books to match the greatness of the A Song of Fire and Ice series. Amazon seemed to think this book was up to the challenge, so I decided to give it a try. While it has some of the gritty edge of Martin’s books, this novel really fell short. The plot is at times very dull and lacks any sort of larger story arc that one would expect from an epic trilogy. Most of the time is spent establishing the characters. That’s fine and all and it may pay off in later books, but I found myself wanting them to just do something, anything besides wander about and use the F-word.
This film was next in line in my recent rash of bad movies: Troll 2… Birdemic. Unlike those Legendary crap fests, this made-for-TV feature is a little too self aware. Sure the stilted love affair between Debbie Gibson and the Japanese scientist is epic, and the submarine battles defy all logic, but there is just a general lack of enthusiasm from the cast which keeps this from being at the same level of cheese as Plan 9, Birdemic, and the like.