Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The 2014 Year in Movies

It's New Year's Eve, and that means that before the partying and excessive drinking begins later, it's time to enjoy my look back at the best and worst movies of the year. The usual caveat applies: I didn't see every single movie that came out this year because come on now, so it's just a round-up of the movies I did see. Also, no reviews, just a list, and maybe a few comments. But probably just a list, because I've got a ton of stuff to do today and about four hours left to do it in. And, as usual, I'll be giving out two awards at the end; The Ghostie (named in honor of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance for painfully obvious reasons), to the absolute worst movie of the year, and The Jimmy, to my favorite movie (but not necessarily the "best") of the year. So let's dive on in with our first category

The Worst Movies (Half a star... or less)
Devil's Due
I, Frankenstein
The Legend of Hercules  (Not the version with the Rock, if you were wondering)
Two Night Stand  (It kills me to hate a Miles Teller movie, but this was awful)

The Good Movies (4 stars)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2  (I know it had its mistakes, but what it did right worked for me)
Big Hero 6
The Drop  (I'd say Tom Hardy can do no wrong, but Locke came out this year too...)
St. Vincent 

The Great Movies (4.5 stars)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Gone Girl  (one of these things is not like the other...)
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

The Best Movies (5 stars)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Wish I Was Here

And now, the awards!

The Ghostie goes to...

This movie was pure shit on wheels... or wings, I suppose. Just completely irredeemable. And the award it gets for this is the detestable Nicolas Cage as Ghost Rider pissing hot fire garbage all over it.

And finally, The Jimmy goes to...

Easily my favorite movie of the year. I could gush over it for paragraphs. Or you could go read the link above to where I initially reviewed it because I'm too damn lazy to gush right now. It joins the list of Jimmy recipients that started back in 2007 with Dan in Real Life and has gone on over the years to include Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, (500) Days of Summer, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Warrior, Silver Linings Playbook, and most recently The Spectacular Now.

There ya go. If anybody out there would like to share your own take on this year's best and worst movies, feel free.

And just in case I'm in no shape at all to post this message tomorrow, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - The Magician's Land

The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3)The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Honestly, this is one of the most predictable books I've ever read. The author alternates between two different story lines that of course dovetail together, but unfortunately they do it in very predictable ways. Everything from character reappearances to relationships to plot devices can be seen coming a mile away; except when they can't because they make no sense whatsoever and go completely unexplained. Grossman also has a tendency to spend pages on little things and glide completely over big things, but that's one of his style quirks I've grown used to. None of the above, however, takes away from the fun of the story, which boils down to the characters. I really like them and the way they've all grown while managing to stay the same people. The ending is pretty perfect, too, and there's more than enough magical action to keep people happy. It's billed as the final part of the Magician's trilogy, but with the way it ended and with a TV show on the way, I wouldn't be at all surprised for there to be more coming soon.

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"Big Hero 6" Review - Written by Jim Herling

Monday, December 8, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - Doctor Who: Lights Out

Lights OutLights Out by Holly Black

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Much like the story before this one, Neil Gaiman's "Nothing O'Clock" about the Eleventh Doctor (my personal favorite Doctor), what Black does so right here is nail her Doctor's voice. I could hear Twelve delivering the lines, picture his face in my mind, etc. And it's entertaining as hell just for that. What she does wrong, though, is write a far too breezy story. It's very short, possibly the shortest in the series, and easily the most superficial, which was disappointing. Maybe it's because Twelve was still new while she was writing this and she didn't have much to go on, I don't know. The ending was very easy to guess. She also harped on eyebrow jokes way too much; yes, we all love the Attack Eyebrows, but don't beat it to death in a thirty page story. That's just weak.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own AutobiographyNeil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It should come as no surprise to me that NPH is as good at writing as he is at everything else. He tells the story of his life, both personal and professional, with wit, charm, soul, and honesty, and he uses the clever choose your own adventure conceit wonderfully to show the different, usually ludicrous, ways his life could have gone (although, full disclosure, I felt the conceit didn't work as well as an ebook, the way I read it, as it would with a hard copy, but I still love the idea). The testimonials from other people were nice touches as well, and someone like me could certainly enjoy the drink recipes included. My only complaint is that some topics felt like they were just touched upon superficially because they were expected and he could have gone much deeper. Still it's his legen-wait for- oh the hell with it, you know the joke already-dary life, I'm just reading it. And enjoying the hell out of it, too.

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