Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back

William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh BackWilliam Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is just as hard to review as the first book, just not as good. Maybe some of the originality wore off, I don't know. One thing I do know is that changing Yoda's speech patterns, which are already at least semi-Shakespearean, to nothing but haikus, is just brilliant. As I said about the original, I would love to see this performed sometime, and someone really should get on that. Now.

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And that's my one hundredth book review on the blog. It only took three years... trust me, I read a lot more books in three years than that, I just slacked on the blogging for the first year or so. Anyway, this marks the first of my blog categories to reach one hundred posts, and it's kind of exciting. To me, anyway. I wonder what will break the milestone next? Time will tell. But in the meantime...

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

It's after 11p.m. on Easter Sunday and I'm tired and I should be sleeping because I start my new job with Google tomorrow morning, but I didn't want the day to end without throwing a "Happy Easter!" wish out to all my readers. I hope your days were all as good as mine. For my part, today wasn't just Easter but also my girlfriend's birthday, so as a present I had her over for Easter dinner with my family.

Just kidding. That would be a hell of a bomb of a present, huh?

I did have her over, but that wasn't her present; there were plenty of other things as well. But the day was nice, we had a great time, and I just wanted to share my current abundant happiness with the world at large. Maybe for the first year ever, Easter really does feel like a time of renewal for me. Good things are happening, and today was no exception. So I hope everyone else's day was as good as mine. I'm about to watch some TV and hopefully doze off soon. So, again...

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - Dangerous Women

Dangerous WomenDangerous Women by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Anthologies are tricky beasts by nature. With the amount of talent involved and all the different writing styles, it's almost a guarantee that you aren't going to like every single story in a given anthology, but as they're usually based on one genre or another, you'll probably like the bulk of them. In the case of Dangerous Women, however, the theme isn't a genre, it's a character type (a theme that, incidentally, fails miserably more often than not, as half the stories are sexist and there are so few actual strong women to be found), and that makes things fuzzier, as the stories cross all different kinds of genres. That might go a long way toward explaining why out of twenty-one stories, I only seem to have enjoyed about five of them. Most of the stories were genres I could never get into. One thing I can say about this work is that the story by Jim Butcher finally got me interested in reading The Dresden Files, and I've already picked up the first book in the series and added it to my pile. On the flip side of that, George R. R. Martin's novella that wraps the book up was my first time reading his work (yes, I watch the show), and, while I enjoyed parts of it, it read way too much like a lesson in a history textbook and less like an actual story for my liking, and may have turned me off his writing. We'll see. There's a second chance coming for all this in the Rogues anthology I'll be getting to soon enough. 

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Advance Movie Review: Neighbors

Has it really been two weeks since my last blog post? Damn, I sure have been slacking. Other than a few weak TV shows that it turned out I didn't care enough about, not a whole lot has motivated me to write lately. I'm going to try to change that with a few more posts this week since I won't have a whole lot of time once I start my new full-time job on Monday. So it's a good thing for me that tonight gave me a good reason to post something!

I caught an advanced screening of Neighbors on 42nd Street tonight. The line was very long and my guest and I ended up sitting two rows from the front and the movie was so good we didn't mind at all.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play a married couple, Mac and Kelly, who are raising their baby when a frat moves into the house next to them. They immediately worry that the frat will be all raucous and loud at all hours of the night, partying and whatnot, basically doing what frats all across the country do. They decide to welcome the frat to the neighborhood by giving them pot to ingratiate themselves, and then ask that the frat just stays mindful of it's neighbors. Initially they are embraced by the frat and its leaders Teddy (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco) and even join in the first party the frat throws, where everyone gets along and hilarity ensues. Of course, if that stayed the status quo we'd have one dull movie on our hands, so another party and a noise complaint later and everything goes to pot... in some cases, quite literally.

What follows is a Hatfields and McCoys style feud between the frat and the family and their friends, and it is absolutely hysterical. They constantly one up each other on horrible ways to bring the other down in what amounts to a hilarious, cameo-fueled war. Seriously. This movie has appearances from the Workoholics, Lonely Island, Phoebe Buffet, McLovin, and Dunder Mifflin.

The stars are great. Seth Rogen does what he does best; you know what to expect and if you like him, you like him, and you'll laugh your ass off. Zac Efron plays off him very well in the third role in a row of his I've enjoyed (Liberal Arts and That Awkward Moment being the preceding two), and also has great chemistry with Dave Franco. The only part of the cast that didn't stand out for me was Rose Byrne, and even that wasn't because she was bad, she just felt sort of interchangeable, like her role could have been played by anyone else and it wouldn't have changed anything.

To wrap it up, if you're looking for a raunchy R-rated comedy in the vein of all the other "Apatow Bunch" movies, check this one out. It just might be the funniest movie I've seen all year.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - Reamde

ReamdeReamde by Neal Stephenson

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was very disappointed in this book. Pretty much the only aspect of it I enjoyed were the descriptions about the creation of the online game that is integral to the plot, and the only reason I enjoyed that much was because I'm a former WoW-er myself. The characters were alright but nothing special. The plot was convoluted beyond words and stretched credulity beyond any recognition of the word. All of that, however, I could have gotten over if not for the massive info dumps. The entire book, already too long as it is, is filled with massive blocks of text that have absolutely nothing to do with the story other than to provide background on something that is, at most, barely tangential to the plot. Any time I felt like the story was picking up speed and beginning to draw me in, one of those info dumps would happen and all it would do successfully was dump me right out of the story. Honestly, for me at least, all this book did successfully was make me want to play WoW again...

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