Archive | Reviews

06 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Chronos Ruler

Anime Review: Chronos Ruler

chronoruler

Chronos Ruler teeters on the brink of being a really good show, but doesn’t take full advantage of the best parts of its story. It’s like the writer had a lot of ideas, kept throwing them out, and chose to stick with the most cliched plot threads because the audience would be most comfortable with them. And yet, there are parts that are genuinely good that make Chronos Ruler more than yet another show about people fighting monsters.

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30 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Get Out (Ray Bradbury Award Finalist)

Just a few days ago I reviewed most of the Ray Bradbury Award finalists (an award that is held alongside the Nebula Awards for movies), but I didn’t review Get Out because I hadn’t quite gotten a rental of it yet.  Just before the Nebula voting deadline, I’ve watched it and slipped in the review–the voting deadline is tonight!

Get Out is a thriller/horror film written by Jordan Peele and distributed by Universal.  It won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and was on the final ballot for Best Film of 2017.

Photographer Chris Washington reluctantly agrees to accompany his girlfriend Rose Armitage to her parent’s isolated rural estate.  Chris worries that her parents won’t be welcoming of a black man dating their white daughter.  He meets her neurosurgeon father Dean and hypnotherapist mother Missy and brother Jeremy, who all (unsurprisingly to Chris) make discomfiting comments about Black people.  There are a lot of things that are… off about the Armitages and what goes on on their property.  Their servants (both Black) (Marcus Henderson and Betty Gabriel) are oddly intense and hostile toward him, and Missy repeatedly pushes Chris to let her hypnotize him out of his cigarette habit.  One night, when he comes back into the house after sneaking a smoke, Missy catches him alone and seems to hypnotize him, but he wakes up sure it was a dream.  The next day the Armitages have company, a yearly gathering of all their friends, and things only get weirder.

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26 March 2018 ~ 1 Comment

Ray Bradbury Finalists Review 2017

The Ray Bradbury Award is given out every year with the Nebula Awards but is not a Nebula Award in itself.  Like the Nebula Awards, the final ballot and the eventual winner are decided by votes from members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (which despite the name has an international membership).

I like to use the award every year as a sampler of well-loved science fiction and fantasy movies from the previous year.  I have been very happy with this tactic, and this year is no exception.

Not included in this review is a nominated episode of The Good Place, because I don’t seek out individual episodes of TV shows for these reviews.

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21 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

From Dead to Worse is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2008, the eighth in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood).  The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.

After surviving the deadly bombing of the vampire summit, and surviving the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Sookie just wants things to get back to some semblance of normality.  But her boyfriend Quinn (a weretiger) is missing, she learns that she is descended from fairies and meets her great-grandfather who is fairy royalty, she is recruited to help investigate a series of mysterious werewolf disappearances, and the vampire King of Nevada seeks to wrest control from the wounded and bankrupted Queen Sophie-Ann of Lousiana.  So, well, I guess that is normality for Sookie.

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07 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time is a young adult science fiction novel written by Madeleine L’Engle and first published in 1962–it has been adapted for a movie that will come out in March 2018.

Thirteen-year-old Meg Murry is a smart girl, but who gets into trouble at school.  She excels at math, but not in the way her teachers want her to do the work.  She lives with her mother (a scientist) and her five-year-old brother Charles Wallace is a prodigy.  Her father (also a scientist) has been on a mysterious scientific mission for quite some time and Meg’s not sure when he’s coming back.  They encounter their eccentric new neighbor Mrs. Whatsit, who it soon turns out is a creature from another planet, one of a trio that are nearby. Mrs. Whatsit knows where Meg’s father is, and she knows that he’s in trouble.  Together with the neighbor boy Calvin they set out with Mrs. Whatsit and her friends to transport themselves to another planet and save Mr. Murry.

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31 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Despicable Me 3

Despicable Me 3 is the 3rd in a series of comedy/action computer animated films feature ex-supervillain Gru and his family:  three adopted daughters, and his partner also-ex-supervillain Lucy.  Gru and Lucy work together at the Anti-Villain League to take down villains like they themselves used to be. Together they track down the 80’s child star turned villain Balthazar Bratt, but fail to capture him.  This combined with an AVL change in management, and both Gru and Lucy are fired from the AVL.  Lucy is struggling with her newfound status as parent, and now Gru is struggling to deal with being unemployed–should he take up his first occupational love–supervillainy?  Pulling him out of his doldrums, Gru is contacted out of the blue by a brother he never knew he had named Dru.

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26 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Coco

Coco is the newest adventure/comedy animated film from the ever-popular moviemakers Disney/Pixar, released in November 2017.  The movie tells the story of Miguel, a young Mexican boy who is an aspiring musician in a family where music has been forbidden since Miguel’s great-great-grandfather abandoned his family to pursue his music career.  Miguel idolizes the legendary musician Ernesto de la Cruz.

Miguel is determined to enter the music competition on the Day of the Dead (the one day of the year when the dead are allowed to come back from the other side to visit their living relatives, as long as those relatives hang photographs of them in their honor), when his grandmother discovers his guitar and smashes it.  Still determined, he breaks into the tomb of Ernesto de la Cruz to steal the guitar enshrined there.  Stealing from the dead on the Day of the Dead curses him to be sent to the land of the dead (with his stray dog friend Dante tagging along) where only his dead relatives can free him back to the land of the living.

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19 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi is Episode VIII of the main number Star Wars series, picking up soon after the events of The Force Awakens, and with many of the same characters as well as some new ones.  Rey has just arrived at Luke Skywalker’s secluded hideout to ask for training.  The First Order has broken the New Republic, so that all that’s left of the republic is very limited resources and people, and the First Order has taken over rule of much of the inhabited planets.  Kylo Ren continues to be a main figurehead of the First Order, even as young and inexperienced as he is, and he answers to Supreme Leader Snoke, his Sith master.  

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12 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Classroom of the Elite

Anime Review: Classroom of the Elite

classroomoftheeliteClassroom of the Elite has some nice ideas, but swings wildly in execution. The premise is that Japan has set up a super elite school where every graduate is guaranteed to be accepted to the college of their choice. Though students are not allowed to leave their entire high school career and communication is cut off with the outside, the living facilities are top notch (there’s even a sizeable mall on campus) and every student is given a budget to live on, starting with 100,000 points (the equivalent of 100,000 yen or $900) to pay for their first month’s expenses.

Students are judged as a classroom, based on merit, and points are awarded at the start of each month. Otherwise they are free to do as they like. Several of the first year students of Class D fritter away that first month’s worth of money with the happy expectation that they will get the same amount next month. Others fall asleep in class once it becomes clear that their teacher won’t say a word if they do.

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05 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Fall 2017 Anime First Impressions

Fall 2017 Anime First Impressions

ancientmagusbride
I’m running late with this season’s impressions. Unlike last summer, which was fairly lackluster, fall had a number of new anime series I wanted to check out, including what is becoming one of my favorites ever, so I think it’s still worth bringing attention to these, even though the season is almost over!

As usual, I look for two to three series to keep me entertaining throughout the season and this fall wasn’t hard to choose from.

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