Archive | Reviews

27 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Minit

Minit is  a puzzle adventure game with a very short time limit published by Devolver Digital in April 2018.

The story begins as the duckbilled protagonist finds a sword lying on a beach.  But it turns out to be a cursed sword that will kill the holder one minute after finding it, only to be spawned back at his house only to repeat again and again and again!  Apparently these cursed swords are being produced at a local factory, so you need to go find the factory and complain.  Which wouldn’t be so hard, if you didn’t respawn every minute.  Minit is an incremental problem solver, where for each incarnation you have a minute to try to make some kind of progress, find a new item, find a new friend who might give you a clue, open a new shortcut to save you time next time.  Where the trend is always bigger bigger bigger, bigger world to explore, larger and larger map, it’s an interesting take to head in the other direction.  The game is fun, has a good sense of humor and the minute limit keeps everything pretty fast-paced.

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13 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Zombies

Zombies is a Disney Channel original musical movie that debuted in February 2018.  The story takes place in the “perfect” planned community of Seabrook where everyone fits the 1950s stereotype of a perfect family (and everyone wears pastel pink or pastel blue).  Or they all did fit, until a tragic power plant accident turns half the town into brain-eating zombies.  But they got better, once the government invented and issued Z-Bands, watches that deliver soothing electrical shocks to the wrists to make them like other people.  Zombies returned to a semblance of normal life years ago, though they look different (with green hair and pale white skin) and are forced to wear government issue clothing, and live in the neglected slums.  But a recent change to the law has forced Seabrook High to accept zombie students.

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06 August 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time is a 2018 science fiction action/adventure YA movie, directed by Ava DuVernay and produced by Walt Disney, based on the 1962 book of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle (which I reviewed here).

The main protagonist of the movie is Meg Murray (Storm Reid), a teenage girl whose scientist father (Chris Pine) disappeared mysteriously five years ago.  She lives with her scientist mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and very intelligent but peculiar five-year-old brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe).  Charles Wallace befriends a strange woman in the neighborhood who calls herself Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), who tells Charles Wallace and Meg that their father discovered the secret of using “tesseracts” to travel long distances but is now trapped on a dark planet called Camazotz by a powerful adversary known only as the IT (David Oyelowo) and that only they can save him.  Meg’s friend Calvin (Levi Miller) joins them and they meet Mrs. Whatsit’s friends, Mrs. Which (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Who (Oprah Winfrey), and together they “tesser” away from Earth to find Meg’s father.  

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25 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Ever After

Dead Ever After is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2013, the thirteenth and final book 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.

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20 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Review: My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Graphic Story)

I’m afraid I’ve gotten behind on my reading and so I’ve only read one complete entry and one partial entry in the Graphic Story category for the Hugo Awards.  I haven’t even finished a single one of the graphic stories this year all the way through, but I’ve gotten about halfway through My Favorite Thing is Monsters, written and illustrated by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)

Written as the illustrated journal of 10-year old Karen Reyes in 1960s Chicago, My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a beautifully illustrated mystery story with horror flair as Karen imagines herself as a werewolf and sees everything around her as a sort of a horror flick as she investigate the death of her mysterious upstairs neighbor Anka.

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11 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2012, the twelfth 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.

In the last book, Eric, Pam, and Sookie succeeded in killing the vampire Victor, the representative of the king of this vampire district.  As the book starts, Felipe de Castro, the aforementioned king, visits the area to investigate the disappearance.  Eric hosts a party in his honor, and during the party, a dead woman is found on the lawn of Eric’s house.  Meanwhile, Sookie is struggling with the quesiton of what to do with the magical fairy artifact left to her by her grandmother which will grant her one wish.

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22 June 2018 ~ 7 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2 is a superhero family action/comedy animated feature from Pixar, released in June 2018.  It’s the sequel to The Incredibles, the first in the series, released way back in 2004.  The Incredibles 2 picks up where the first one left off, after the superhero family has had their first big win together thwarting Syndrome’s plan to set up superheroes for failure, and with the emergence of the Underminer’s big drilling machine from under the city.

The family joins together again to save the city from the Underminer, and soon after Elastigirl aka Helen Parr, Mr. Incredible aka Bob Parr, and Frozone aka Lucius Best are approached by rich superhero-sympathist brother-and-sister business partners Winston Deavor and Evelyn Deavor, who want to start a new campaign to make superheroes legal again, starting with financing Elastigirl to fight crime and improve the public image of supers.  Bob and Helen talk it through and decide that she should do it, in part to make a more accepting future for their children Dash and Violet.  Bob stays home to watch the kids while Helen goes out on this mission, and their baby Jack-Jack begins manifesting superpowers.  Soon a new supervillain rises, Screenslaver, who uses hypnosis to turn others into his minions.

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20 June 2018 ~ 1 Comment

Anime Review: Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens

Anime Review: Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens

hakataramens

Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens has a ridiculous premise, but once you buy into it, it’s a lot of fun. Hakata City, within the Fukuoka Prefecture, is city so populated with hitmen and other criminal elements that they’ve essentially organized into businesses. Not public facing, mind, but this is the kind of show where in the first episode a hitman finds out someone else has already killed his target, because, well, hitmen are just that easy to hire. (I imagine people with enemies don’t last long in Hakata City.)

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13 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Dead in the Family is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2010, the tenth 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.

At the end of the last book, Dead and Gone, Sookie was tortured at the hands of two fairies that were part of the opposing faction of the short-lived but brutal fairy war.  As this book starts, she is still recovering from both the physical and psychological aftermath of this horrific treatment, with the help of her friends and her boyfriend the vampire Eric Northman.  Things begin to get very complicated when Eric’s maker, the ancient Roman vampire Appius Livius Ocella, shows up with another vampire he has made–Alexei Romanov, the last son of the last Czar of Russia who witnessed his entire family slaughtered and is still suffering from emotional imbalances even these decades later.  Sookie is asked to babysit the child of her (dead) cousin Hadley, who is also telepathic, and she helps him deal with social situations.  Meanwhile, Bill is still ill from the silver poisoning he got during the fairy war.  If his maker were still alive, she might be able to heal him, but the only chance is another vampire made by his maker–and Bill doesn’t want to contact her.

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11 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Kokkoku

kokkoku
I really wanted to like Kokkoku. I really did.

The setup in the very first episode has a lot of promise. Juri Yukawa is a young woman, newly graduated from college, and she’s from a middle class family that has fallen on hard times. Her mother is still working, but her father has been laid off. Her grandfather is retired, her older brother is unemployed, and her older sister is a single mother with a child she had with a man who has since exited her life.

All four generations of the Yukawas live in the same house and Juri feels like she needs to get out of town before she ends up going nowhere like almost every other adult in her family. She knows she’s not that special. None of her job interviews locally have resulted in any offers.

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