It’s a blogging anniversary…and again it’s not mine!

You know, I just realised something. My blog turns three years old next year (If I make to that date, which isn’t so sure anymore, but more on that later this week) on june the 6th to be exact. And I have never held a blogging anniversary. No idea why really. Maybe it’s because I just like being happy for other people more? Yeah I know: I’m weird that way. Today it’s time to celebrate again, as someone’s blog has turned one year old. Now a while back I promoted Irina’s blogging anniversary in this way as well, and by a strange coincidence the blogger that celebrates today is also from Canada. You would almost think that there is a certain trend going on here. Anyways, I am of course talking about the wonderful, amazing, funny and totally awesome Nicole aka the Bookworm Drinketh. I already prepared her that I was going to do something like this (because well I want to avoid physical and mental trauma, both on her side and mine). So….let’s get to the celebration already!!

D0731BA2-C36B-48D6-8AC9-737FD6570724
Not that I won’t get punched in the face anyway.

Far Side Tuesday

One of the things that I really like about Nicole’s blog…or should I say about Nicole, is her sense of humor. Everything she writes pretty much always includes something that makes me laugh out loud. Her writing focusses primarily on books, but the reviews that she writes are not only very good (you hear that Nicole, they are VERY GOOD), but it’s the humor that adds that special ingredient to the cocktail. Another feature of her blog is the Far Side Friday cartoons that always announce the weekend and never fail to make me smile. So of course, I just had to include a couple of those in this post.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Celebrating The Bookworm Drinketh’s anniversay is best done with a Nicole cocktail (Just probably not this one…..)

6538965E-9BD8-42EA-B813-CA405D76FA12

Now, no post for Nicole would be complete without at least including a drink. If you aren’t following her yet (for the love of God why aren’t you yet???!!!) she always concludes a book review with a home made drink. So it goes without saying that I have to include one here right. Sorry this one is non alcoholic (But, I guess that is just what makes this one extra funny, seeing as Nicole just loves a good drink! 🍸)

Ingredients

  • One can of Cherry Coke
  • One straw
  • A few slices of Dutch Cheese
  • A pack of cheese crisps
  • A plate
  • A bowl

Directions (Like you need them for this)

  1. Open up the can (be careful not to cut into your fingers while doing this)
  2. Put the straw in the can
  3. Put the slices of cheese on a plate
  4. Open the bag of cheese crips (begin eating them) and put them in a bowl
  5. Put on your favorite tv show/movie
  6. Sit back in your favorite comfy chair, and start binging (both the show and the food/drink)

To close things of….

081BB3BE-5580-4625-A456-CAA2F736CB0D
Okay, I was saying to close things of, not destroy things……

All good things must come to an end, but it would not be me if I wouldn’t at least go on one final speech as to why you should follow Nicole in the first place. You see Nicole is one of those persons that doesn’t like to be put in the spotlight, because she just wants to be there for other people. She always has a kind thing to say, works hard, and goes above and beyond the call of duty to promote books for writers that she loves. And she does this all for free. Best of all it once again proves that you can really gain some great friends from blogging. And you don’t always have to be living in the same country to establish some truly wonderful friendships. So let’s try and blow up Nicole’s blogging stats today. Go ahead and leave some likes, but especially some comments (she loves those) on her posts.  If you aren’t following her yet, just go ahead and press the link, and subscribe: You won’t be disappointed! Nicole: Happy Blogging Anniversary, and hopefully your blog will continue for a lot more years! Here’s to many more years of  friendship 🍻🍻

4B50E28B-9D62-4C33-91DE-6E245ABFDF9A
Yep: go and rush over to Nicole’s blog: like ASAP!

 

Advertisements

A D-mail conversation with Raistlin (part 2)

Hello everyone!

Today I’m presenting you a new collab project that I am very excited about. And my partner in time, erm crime, is none other than the wonderful Irina. We have been planning to do a project together for quite a while now, and we finally succeeded! It’s probably no secret whatsoever for everyone who knows Irina, that she is a massive Steins; Gate fan. I however had a different opinion on it when I first saw it. Seeing as that would make for a very interesting discussion our plan was to write a post about our different viewpoints. I did want to do a rewatch to refresh my memory seeing as it had been quite a while since I had last seen it. And that pretty much threw our entire original plan out of the window (yep, that blame is on me). But everything worked out fine in the end as now Irina and me now bring you a semi fictional time travel review for Steins; Gate. The fun started out on Irina’s blog last week: check it our right here! Today it’s my turn. It was so much fun writing this, and I really hope you will enjoy reading it just as much!

FFC4A975-4E29-4287-AE34-82E29315B1E7
You see that the original plan was all worked out already on the board.

Inbox G-mail: Raistlin 0903, dated 2017/18/02

From: Irina

It’s better with friends

Hi Guys! I have just watched an absolutely amazing anime for the first second time called Steins Gate and I just had to share my thoughts on it with you. Now this show is a fan favorite, and no one is more passionate about it than a blogger who you probably haven’t even met yet called Irina. I’m telling you all that should keep an eye on her in the future as she is destined to make an enormous impact in the wordpress blogging community. Don’t ask me how or why I even know this, I just do: and trust me she is awesome, kind and an amazing blogger, and I just can’t wait for you all to meet her!

87991F1D-F7FD-4C50-B7F9-9C88118F69E1
Don’t you go and question my wisdom for this now!

Anyways, back to the show. I think the most important thing for me to start with is mentioning the great cast of characters.When Stein’s Gate starts we meet up with the strange and pretty goofy character Rintaro Okabe. He sees himself as a “mad scientist” and pretty much can’t stop talking about that fact. Seeing conspiracies everywhere he also runs a laboratory in his appartment together with his friends the loveable Mayuri Shiina and Itaru Hashida. And I do say loveable as Mayuri is just the most innocent and sweet girl you are ever likely to meet. There is not a single evil thought in her mind, and I also love the fact that she talks about herself in third person. She is a childhood friend of Okabe and the two of them share a very deep bond. Itaru also known as Daru, is just so much fun. He is a hacker, otaku, totally in love with Faris who runs the maid cafe MayQueen Nyan Nyan (don’t ask) and also a bit of a hentai (pervert). But he definitely delivers most of the comic relief in this anime.

3D248BF9-0AF2-44DA-AB4E-A7159F251EA5
Who are you calling a hentai here?

But if you think the fun stops just with these three characters think again! It would be a mortal sin for me not to mention Kurisu. She is one of the strongest characters in the show, and serves as the voice of reason to Rintaro’s madness (but IS it really madness??). I loved her growth as a character. Where she starts of as this pretty serious woman, in later episodes she becomes more vulnerable, and as such it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with her. And a certain someone does. Did I mention this show has a lot of great female characters? Because it doesn’t stop with Kurisu. Rintaro’s laboratory is situated above the CRT television store run by mister Braun (Well, that’s what Okabe calls him anyway as that isn’t really his name). Now this gruff, but still very kind hearted man one day, after the shortest job interview ever, hires a new employee: the feisty and mysterious Suzuha.

88631711-4B5A-4E13-B571-DC7B3AD3C5A5
Sorry I don’t have a clue WHAT you are talking about right now.

This young girl soon meets up with the rest of the cast, and as the story progresses you get this feeling that she knows more about what’s going on then she lets on. I loved her warrior like mentality, as well as the many great conversations that she has with Okabe. Speaking of mysterious let’s not forget Moeka. Being the paranoid guy that he is, Okabe is at first shocked when this woman seems to be taking pictures of him with her phone. It becomes even weirder as pretty much the only way she communicates is by sending him texts on his phone. This often results in hilarious moments, where Rintaro is giving one of his many speeches, and keeps getting interrupted by texts on his cell by Moeka. Last but not least there is Ruka who looks like a girl, but is in fact a man (or is he?). Pretty much the only one who seems to know that is Okabe, but of course he is ridiculed by all the other characters (and often scolded at) for even so much as implying that. Ruka is really shy, but also very sweet and kind.

88440A1E-E834-4319-B63C-57C95E474252
Let me see if you are feeling alright here. Isn’t this a bit too much praise?

This cast is phenomenal and one of the many reasons this anime works so well. Steins Gate is full of dialogue, some of it funny, some of it really serious, and at other times heartbreaking. But all of it feels as if you are looking at lifelike and real human beings. In fact I would go as far as saying that this show might contain some of the best characters ever seen in an anime. Period! Yep, that is a bold statement I know, but I stand by it. I could have just mentioned only three characters and be done with it, but that would not really get my point across. So that’s why I took some time to introduce this wonderful cast, and it’s importance in this anime. Because every single one of them, even Faris who I didn’t talk about much, has an important role to play in the unfolding events. And if there is one thing I like as you know, it’s characters that you grow to care about. This anime achieves that, and then some.

A busy week….

Hi everyone! This is just going to be a very short post where I’m just letting you all know that I am not going to be around much on wordpress this week. As I have four days where I have activities planned right after work, and there are some plans for the weekend as well, I won’t be home a lot. As such I unfortunately won’t be able to keep up with reading all your posts and providing my usual comments on them. My apologies for that, but I thought I would at least let you all know, hence I wrote this post. There will be one scheduled post coming out on wednesday from me, which is the second part of my collab post with Irina. Other than that the Raist isn’t going to be around again until next week. That is unless the alien invaders from the galaxy of Andromeda finally decide to attack the Earth or the horrors from Dimension X get summoned. But I guess we all have bigger problems if that happens. I hope you will all have a great week, and I will talk to you all again soon!

D75B494E-977F-4086-82B7-5588C96D29BE
Let us hope this isn’t on the agenda for next week……..

 

Game Of Thrones Season 6, American tv Series (2016)

One of the plus sides of having way too many hobbies is the fact that I am never bored. There is always something that I can do, whether it’s watching anime, going to the cinema to watch the latest movie, read a book, or play a boardgame. And that’s just the tip of the ice berg. But on the flipside of that is the fact that I am always behind on pretty much everything, especially when it comes down to watching televion series. People have often asked me how on Earth I can wait with something as good as Game of Thrones for instance. The answer is pretty much always the same. I have absolutely no idea. It brings me back to the opening sentence I guess: I just have way too many hobbies, and as such way too many things that I love to do. In this world of social media though, that really is becoming a bit of a problem. As much as you try to avoid things as spoilers, these days one only has to switch to something as simple as Youtube to find whole clips of pivotal moments of your favorite shows. Some even have bold capital letters proclaiming things like “ the death of so and so” or “ shocking scene of whatshername”. For some things I don’t mind spoilers, but when it comes down to Game of Thrones I have so far managed to avoid them.

FA454629-4157-4B3A-8FFB-554A40B129AF
Yes, she still looks like a queen for real.

Yes people, I have only now completed season 6 of Game of Thrones. I know, I should be flogged for committing such an atrocious act of negligence. I’m afraid to even admit it but I still have to start with the next one too. Yep, I know Winter is coming and all that. Be that as it may, I am of course not going to deprive you of my thoughts on this season. Even though they are two years late. Be warned this section does contain a few spoilers for the previous season , but as probably most of you have seen that one anyway, I don’t think there will be any real surprises here. But just to be on the safe side: *Spoilers Start* Jon Snow is dead. Well, really how could he not be right? Season 6 picks up right after the horrible moment when everybody’s favorite hero got stabbed multiple times and was killed. That was one heck of a shock ending last season, something this show always excells at any way. Season 6 is Jon’s season though, and then some. Erm, wait what do I mean by that? He’s dead right?

3DC0AF9C-EE48-4C70-96C5-4C7CEDCBDFA9
So….I guess sometimes size does matter?

Well he was but by an act of magic by the Red Witch Melisandre, Jon is brought back from the dead to fight another day. As with every season of Game of Thrones, there are many things happening to all of our beloved (and sometimes hated) characters. Daenarys has been captured and is heading towards an uncertain fate. Tyrion tries to keep things together in the city of Mereen, where chaos seems to be ruling the day. Cersei has her own problems with her son Tommen, the King, who seems to be slowly turning against her. And then of course there is the ever present danger of the army of the dead, the unseen threat that marches ever onwards. But it’s Jon who is going to have the biggest challenges ahead of him. Especially when he has to try and retake Winterfell, from the horrific and sadistic Ramsay. Winter is coming alright….and it brings with a storm of epic proportions *Spoilers end*

1B38D3EC-D416-44F6-BD33-722CFBF00E88
Ah yes, Cersei. Probably the most gentle soul you are ever likely to meet. Erm, not.

Where previous seasons of Game of Thrones sometimes felt a bit slow, this season seemed like everything all of a sudden was put on some kind of speed trip. So many things happened this season that it’s hard to even know where to start. But that said, I think to date this might have been my favorite season. I have always thought of Game of Thrones being a show that comes the closest to a true cinematic experience. Everything from the sets, the lavish costumes, the special effects, all of those combined just leaves pretty much every other television series ever made biting in the dust. But let’s not forget one of the most important things that makes this show so highly enjoyable as well: the characters and the actors that portray them. Each season I am always astounded at pretty much all of the performances on this show, season 6 being no exception. You want highlights? Well, let’s say that episode 9 especially was maybe the most impressive episode of maybe the entire show. (Erm, keep in mind, I still have to watch season 7 lol).

959D5C16-7097-4457-AF63-75E2BB5F0BCA
When you find out what Hodor really means, your mind will spin. Trust me on that.

But seriously though, that episode pretty much made my jaw drop to the proverbial floor. So many good and memorable scenes in that one single episode. Both in terms of action, but especially in terms of acting. As usual Game of Thrones isn’t shy to get rid of it’s cast members (seriously I would be scared to work as an actor on that show), and of course we get a few that kick the bucket in this season as well. The final episode of this season brings quite a few storylines to a close, as well as drawing battlelines and setting up things for season 7. So will I be waiting another two years to start on that one? Nope, not this time. In fact, I’m going to start on the next season this weekend. And even though I am not a Lannister I plan to keep my word on that. In closing, as if this wasn’t really clear yet: this season just rocked. I haven’t had a single episode where my mind drifted off, or I got bored in some way, which did happen occasionally in some of the previous seasons. If for some reason you have never watched this show, trust me check it out. It’s one of the best television shows ever made, and that is the total truth.

I give season 6 of Game of Thrones a 9 out of 10 score.

A D-mail conversation with Raistlin (part 1) — I drink and watch anime

Hi everyone! Today I’m very pleased to present part one of a very special six part colab with the wonderful Irina. The kick-off for this has started just now over on her blog, so please press the link and check out the post below. Next week I will pick up the story over on my own blog. We both had a lot of fun writing this one, so hopefully you will have just as much enjoyment in reading it!

Hello Everyone, Raistlin and I have been looking for a project to do together for some time now and after I published my recent completely biased non reviews of Steins;Gate 0, he suggested we try to find something on that theme. Don’t let the good times end… Raistlin had a somewhat different opinion of the…

via A D-mail conversation with Raistlin (part 1) — I drink and watch anime

Halloween, American movie (2018)

We have a new kind of trend that has been going around in Hollywood for the past few years. It seems that a lof of older actors are going back to the past to revisit some of the roles that made them famous. We have Arnold Schwarzenegger once again creeping into the role of the “ It absolutely will not stop….ever…until you are dead” Terminator. Sly Stallone is playing Rocky Balboa in Creed 2, and after that he will play his other iconic character John “ my war is over” Rambo. And of course we had Harrison Ford reprising his role as Han Solo in Star Wars Episode 7 as well as Rick Deckard in Bladerunner 2049. I have seen online arguments where people were asking the question if this is a good thing. If these actors are just not simply past their prime and should stop acting. I for one am not one of them. I loved Creed for instance and Stallone did an amazing job in reprising his role which even gave him an Oscar nomination. Blade Runner 2049 ended up becoming my favorite movie of last year. So no, as long as they keep making movies that are as good as these, they can keep making them in my opinion.

E459FB92-0703-434C-A3D1-092FCF05D962
The mask apparently hasn’t aged well either…..

Jamie Lee Curtis was 19 years old when she played the role of Laurie Strode in the classic John Carpenter movie Halloween. It immediately made her famous, and the movie itself was of course a huge succes. Now exactly 40 years later, Jamie again plays the role of Laurie and as such she is also going down the road of the aforementioned trend. Now Halloween has been a franchise that has had it’s ups and downs. A lot of the sequels that were made weren’t very good (although there were a few that I did like like Halloween H20 for instance), and this new version just pretty much resets the timeline. Meaning it dismisses all the events from the previous installments, and just acts as the true sequel to the original movie. After the events from Halloween it appears that Michael Myers has been living out his life in a rehabilitation hospital for the last forty years. Laurie herself has not been doing well. She has had two failed marriages, a daughter that she hardly speaks to, and she has become kind of a recluse preparing for the potential day that Michael returns. Her daughter Karen ridicules her for that, and tries to keep her own family away from her mother as much as she can.

B83058A3-42E9-46CD-A3D7-09CBCFBA7970
Fight night!

However when Michael is about to be transferred to a new facility the proverbial crap hits the fan. The bus he was being transferred on crashes, and the serial killer escapes heading for Haddonfield. The unsuspecting town has no idea what’s coming. Because on Halloween night, Michael comes home. But this time, Michael himself might also not really know what’s coming for him…..I was quite excited for this movie, especially since the film so far has been gathering mostly positive reviews. But at the same time, there is always this small warning voice in my head that tells me to not get too excited. And guess what, the voice was right. While I would not call this one a bad movie, that would really be taking it too far, I also don’t quite understand why there are so many positive reviews for this film. In keeping with the positive things first, I like the fact that there are quite a few nods to the original. Some of them are very subtle, and easy to miss if you have are not very familiar with the original. But for fans, it’s definitely fun to see those.

C69F0857-8A0A-49D9-B8D9-2149BD7A992E
This gives a whole new meaning to the term walk in closet.

Another positive is Jamie Lee Curtis herself. She pulled a, what I would like to call Ellen Ripley in this movie. Meaning that she was just being a very tough bad ass chick, just like Sigourney Weaver was in Aliens. First being dismissed as a bit of a loon by most people (and something that I honestly don’t really blame them for) when the threat of Michael becomes real, she is the one that people turn to. Despite the fact that Laurie appears not to have all her marbles in working order, she definitely knows what she is doing. Jamie really seems like she has been having a lot of fun playing this part, and it’s definitely the one thing that keeps this movie just on the side of a positive score. What this movie really lacks though is the nailbiting tension. Except for maybe one scene, this film just never really got thrilling. And with a horrormovie that is always a bad thing in my opinion. We see Michael killing people but it never gets tense. Because we can see the kill coming from a mile away, and most of the people getting killed are just very stupid.

F436A254-B7D8-45F9-9E1C-FD16BEF07FB7
Hard to tell when you look at this picture who is the crazy one.

Which is another thing that is not done well in this film: the people. Except for Laurie herself, most of the characters in this film just lack any real substance. Even Laurie’s daughter and grand daughter hardly have any background to them, and just aren’t really persons that you can form any attachment too. You just don’t care about them, like at all.  Which is also important in a movie like this. You want to be able to feel something for them, anything, when Michael is doing his hunting. It just never happened. Halloween felt like an empty movie to me. While not everything in it was bad, without Jamie Lee Curtis this film definitely would have gotten a negative grade from me. I have to say that I honestly liked Halloween H20 a whole lot more. Made 20 years after the original, it also featured Jamie Lee, but that one really had some good tense scenes, and very fun characters as well. As always though, don’t take my word for this. For the most part Halloween has so far been received very positively, and you know that means we will undoubtedly get yet another sequel. Probably won’t even have to wait another 40 years for it either.

I give Halloween a 6 out of 10 score.

Special Features presents: Farewell……

Yes, that is a very dramatic title isn’t it? Farewell…. Am I saying goodbye to you all? Is this finally the end of Raistlin0903? Nope…it is not. This is going to be a little bit of a different post than you are used to seeing on my blog. It’s meant to hopefully become a bit of a discussion piece about a topic that I think is very interesting. Unless you are not really following the world of television series, I think it’s been very hard to miss that on sunday something very dramatic is going to happen on The Walking Dead. After nine seasons the show’s main star Andrew Lincoln, who played one of the most memorable characters in television history, is going to exit the show. Now let me be clear: I love The Walking Dead. It’s still my number one alltime favorite tv-series. Granted the show isn’t as good as it used to be anymore, but despite that fact I am still looking forward to new episodes every time. A big part of that reason is Andrew Lincoln, or more specifically the character he portrays: Rick Grimes. Over the course of more than a 100 episodes we have seen the world of the zombie apocalypse through Rick’s eyes.

3A06D879-BF93-415C-99B1-A8E0521DAF96
Rick is definitely in trouble..then again they might just want to say hi to him!

And now on sunday that is going to end. We don’t yet know exactly how Rick is going to be exiting the show, but many think that it’s not going to be pretty. A lot of fans also have been announcing that after Rick’s departure, they will stop watching the show. Forever. Which pretty much gave me the idea for this blogpost. I was thinking today about how the world of television has changed. In the old days, it was very rare for important characters to leave a show, much less die on it. Good always thriumphed over evil, and while there could still be tension in a series, we were never worried too much. Because really, our heroes can’t die right? The first show that really made me change that point of view was 24. The show starring Kiefer Sutherland as special agent Jack Bauer, just did things that I had never seen before up until that point. A good example, and obvious spoiler warning, was the end of the first season: Jack’s wife which he had tried to protect during the entire season ended up getting killed. It was a gut wrenching ending to a roller coaster of a show.

D0AB06CB-788F-45AD-83A0-D8C1517F157B
Jack is always such a nice guy….really….

 

After that, 24’s following seasons continued in this fashion. Important characters just kept getting killed in sometimes very unexpected ways, and in that way that feeling of safety you had from the older television shows was suddenly gone. These days, some of the big names in television especially Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead excel at unsettling viewers in horrific ways. It certainly makes for some compelling television, I won’t deny that. However some characters are just so important to a show, that it will never be the same without them. To again take 24 as an example, after nine seasons Kiefer Sutherland was done with the show. Fox tried to revive the series by doing a kind of reboot with a new character. Needless to say, that attempt failed. While certainly not bad, 24: Legacy just wasn’t as good without the iconic character of Jack Bauer in the lead.

624429FD-83BC-442B-94B0-7DA8AFE8E286
24 without me?! Over my dead body, damn it!!

Which brings me to the point of this post (Wait…there actually was a point to this post? ). With more and more series killing off characters left and right, is this actually a trend that is a good development? In the case of The Walking Dead, it’s Andrew who has decided to leave the show in order to spent more time with his family. But the show will continue without him. At least that’s what the creators want anyway. Is it actually going to work though? If I look at myself, I will stick with the show regardless. Having invested nine years of my life to it, I would not all of a sudden drop it. Besides, I do want to see how it’s eventually going to end. But even though I’m going to give it a fair chance, it just won’t be the same without Rick. Some characters are just so good, and have such a big impact, that when they aren’t around anymore, it feels like something completely different. Sometimes on very rare occasions that works out, but more often than not, a show fizzles, and then slowly dies out.

91AC8D75-5F14-47C5-950C-6239AAD9778E
Yes, I am leaving!! And there is nothing you can do to stop me!!

So that brings me to you guys. If an important character in a tv-series leaves a show, is that a reason for you to stop watching it? Or don’t you care about it either way? Are there any examples where you thought a television show didn’t change when a main character left? Or became better because of that character leaving? Yes, a lot of questions, and you don’t have to answer them all, or any at all. But, I would definitely be interested in hearing your opinions. Let me know in the comments! As for me, like most Walking Dead fans the upcoming sunday is probably going to be hard (living in Holland I will see it no sooner than on tuesday). So, that brings me back to the beginning of this post, and it’s title: Farewell…. Farewell Rick, thanks for all the great moments, you will be missed…

23933A84-3060-4BB4-B799-980200FAF5F5
Let’s hope Rick just rides off into the…erm…well can’t really call this a sunset….

 

 

 

Day Four, a novel by Sarah Lotz (2015)

We all have a bucket list, or at least things that we want to do at some point in our lives. I don’t even think I have a really huge one, but one of the things on it shouldn’t be too hard to achieve. It’s making a cruise on a big ocean liner. I don’t even care about the destination to be honest. But just the experience of being on a huge and beautiful cruise ship crossing the ocean and gazing at the beauty of the sea, that alone would make it worth it for me. So why haven’t I already done this? Good question. I could go into all kinds of lame excuses but the fact of the matter is I totally could have done this a million times over already. Maybe it’s lazyness, maybe it’s simply me not taking a step in trying to do something really different with my life for a change. Whatever the reason, I still plan on doing it. It’s pretty ironic though that Day Four, the sequel to The Three a book that I recenly read and highly enjoyed, once again makes me wonder if making such a trip is a good idea. First she did it with planes, now she sets her sights on a cruise ship. I see a pattern emerging here….

4DBEB9B3-D3A4-4D51-8904-C7DBE62B06CF

The Beautiful Dreamer is huge cruiseship that has hundreds of passengers aboard, that are enjoying a trip across the ocean. For three days things have been going well and everyone seems to take pleasure in the many things the ship has to offer. Also aboard is acclaimed psychic medium Celine del Ray, who is able to commune with the dead and is able to bring closure to the family members of the deceased. Or so she claims. Madeline who is the assistant of Celine has her own knowledge of the things her boss can do. But ofcourse being her assistant and all she is not going to ruin things. However on day four of the cruise, disaster strikes. The electricity fails, stranding the ship with nowhere to go, and no way to call for help. If that wasn’t bad enough already, a mysterious ilness seems to have taken hold aboard the ocean liner, with more and more people falling victim to it. But then things become even worse when a body of a young woman is found who has apparently been murdered. Increasingly frightening events are happening aboard the ship, and fear and tension take hold of the passengers and crew. Madeline is beginning to get more and more convinced that someone, or something doesn’t want the ship to reach land…..ever again….

3D3BA0F4-7058-4C64-9BB6-76F28D8A4F51

Day Four takes place after the events of the first book. But I do have to say that if you did not read that one, you could still enjoy this book as it stands pretty much on it’s own. There is the occasional reference to a name from The Three, but other than that you don’t really require any knowledge of the first book. For those who of you who read my review for the first novel you might recal that it was written in a very unique way. Using interviews, news paper clippings and skype conversations it spun it’s tale and showed very effectively what happens when fear and paranoia take hold of the world. Day Four is a more traditional book. Although near the end of the novel, the author again uses the same trick she used in the first one to uncover the final truth such as it is. We experience this novel switching between multiple characters. Each chapter spents time with one of them as they try to stay alive during the nightmare events that are unfolding before their eyes. We have a pretty diverse number of characters, ranging from a pair of elderly women that have plans to commit suicide, to the assistant of the medium, crewmembers, and even the killer who is aboard.

D973CA2C-3B48-443E-AA1C-959B35846387

Each of them had their own little background story, some working better than others, but overall it was a nice diverse cast. I do have to admit that I would have liked a little bit more depth to some of them, which would have helped me form more of an attachment to a few of the characters. But just like in the first book it’s creating the oppressive atmosphere that Sarah Lotz excells in. As can be expected in situations such as these, tempers are beginning to run high. It starts of rather innocently with people just complaining about the fact that they are going to be late in catching a flight or not having enough towels in their cabins. As soon as it is beginning to become clear that rescue isn’t coming, and food is running short as well, people are slowly reverting to animal behaviour. Just like in the first novel, it’s again not exactly clear what is going on. Is it a supernatural force, aliens, something even more sinister? Whatever the case might be Lotz again manages to write a very engaging novel, that really is one of those books that is engaging your brain in trying to figure out the puzzle.

63C642D8-7352-43B4-B554-82A6B16EEF73

Is the book as good as The Three though? I would have to say no. But that’s mainly due in part to the fact that the style of the original novel was very unique and something that I had not really seen before. Here we have for the most part a traditional novel, that while still very good, isn’t really unique. I also had a bit of a problem with the ending. It was pretty abrupt, and although I do like open endings that leave you speculating what just happened, I would have liked a little bit more closure to the final events. Overall though this was still a great read that I highly enjoyed. There are some elements in the book that fall into the horror category, but it never gets gory in any way. This is more of mystery/supernatural story, and a great book to just curl up into bed with, while a storm is brewing outside. I definitely recommend this novel, and if you liked The Three, chances are that this one will be to your liking as well.

I give Day Four a 8 out of 10 score.

 

Angels of Death, anime tv series (2018)

Let me just start off this post by saying that I really suck at dropping shows. When I start with something, whether it’s anime or a regular tv show, I have a really hard time just not finishing it. No matter how bad it gets. I always have that nagging voice in my head whenever something is starting to turn ugly that keeps saying “ But what if it turns really good later on?”. It’s crazy isn’t it? I’m sure I’m not the only one that does this either. So why do we put ourselves through this kind of torture? (Aside from maybe having some very masochistic tendencies?) I have had plenty of times where I finished a show and found myself wondering why I wasted so many hours of my life on a piece of crap. And I honestly still don’t have a real answer either. If you have a cure in some way for this sickness let me know alright? Well, of course there is a reason for me bringing this up right now, as the anime I am about to review is one of those type of shows. Angels of Death was dropped by a lot of people after the first few episodes. I stuck with it though and I was not alone as a few others did as well, most notably the wonderful Irina.

572D443E-51C3-4D87-97B8-DF88DE0D4A1E
Yes Rachel: Everybody hates you.

Irina wrote some terrific weekly posts on it (but then again everything she writes is terrific so if you are not yet following her yet, a fact I doubt very much, please do so now), and we had fun in exchanging thoughts on a weekly basis. Moreover we also were pretty much on the same page for most of the time. Now, I am writing this post on saturday, and her post for the final episode will come out tomorrow. As such I have yet to discover what her thoughts on the show’s finale will be. But I digress. Is Angels of Death really such a bad anime? Let’s first talk about what this show is about, before I will be answering that one question. In Angels of Death a young girl called Rachel wakes up in an unfamiliar building having no memories of who she really is. While exploring the building she runs into the scythe wielding psychopath known as Zack. He is covered from head to toe in bandages and he immediately tries to kill her. Eventually though a really strange bond begins to form between the two of them. And it becomes even stranger because of a promise that is made between the killer and the girl. But the building holds many secrets, and many strange and terrifying occupants. Will the two of them be able to escape this nightmare…..

189BE788-A009-4904-81F2-3FCA35DD5F01
He seems like such a nice guy doesn’t he? Newsflash: he really isn’t.

The first episode of Angels of Death was good. I would not say great, but it really set up an anime that had some great potential. A creepy atmosphere, a few fun and over the top characters, and some nice tension. Though there were a few cringeworthy bits like some cheesy voice-acting overall it promised us an entertaining B-type horror anime. Now understand that I sometimes love watching “So bad it’s good horror movies/animes”. I enjoyed King’s Game for instance, and well most of you know how awful that one sometimes was. Angels of Death though, sadly did not fall into that category. After the first episode, the second one turned the show into something totally different. It went into a real weird comedy act, that just felt completely out of place, especially when compared to the way the show started. But it did not stay that way (luckily: else I really might have dropped it), but it also didn’t become much better. There were some episodes that showed a hint of what might have been. At the halfway point I genuinely thought that the show was about to redeem itself. There were even some real attempts at character development (gasp) and the story became more interesting too.

2B9742C2-D23D-4CC7-BF29-0CEA09ECC5A5
Stuck in an elevator….

Now that we are talking about the characters let’s just take a little sidestep and explore the two leads. First up it’s Rachel. Young girl, blonde, doesn’t smile a lot and talks in a really monotone voice. (If you are beginning to feel like my writing is turning a bit into the sarcastic territory, you would be right). She was just a very uninteresting lead, and over the course of the show I just could not find any symphathy for her, like at all. Even when we got to learn a little bit more about her background and what exactly made her tick, I found that I could not care less about her. Strangely enough it was Zack that eventually kept me returning each week to watch this. At first I really thought he was quite the annoying guy, with a grating voice that would give Asta from Black Clover a run for his money. (Yeah, you are right…no one can beat Asta in the annoying voice department). But he grew on me, and eventually I really liked him, a lot. There was just something cool about him. He provided the best moments in the show in my opinion, and without him this anime would really have been a total loss.

A091F933-175F-422E-9ACA-A18662645A18
Sorry Rachel, I’m immune to your innocent girl act. I still don’t like you.

Which is not to say that it wasn’t. Angels of Death is based on a videogame, and at times it felt like we were watching that. Progress from Room A to Room B, find a key, move on…repeat. While this is sounding a bit harsh, and the show certainly did have some good episodes later on, overall it’s an anime that was just too uneven to recommend it to you. I kept hoping for a final episode that might have, in some way, at least redeemed the show but even that was simply not to be. The ending was as lackluster as most of this anime was, and after spending 16 weeks with this, I’m honestly feeling a bit relieved that it’s over now. There are two things that I will miss: Zack, and Irina’s posts for this one. Other than that though, this is an anime that will slowly fade from my memory and I won’t regret that in any way. So have I now learned my lesson and will I start dropping shows like flies? Erm…probably not. I’m even considering returning to Black Clover. Okay…maybe not…

I give Angels of Death a 5 out of 10 score.

Joy Ride, American movie (2001)

Who among you have ever pulled a prank on someone? Come on….don’t be shy now and speak up. I think it’s pretty much rather safe to say that we all have at some point, right? Whether it’s as a kid ringing the doorbell at a house and then quickly running away, or it’s as an adult thinking up something more elaborate. We all sometimes like to play a joke on someone. Sometimes when I have a lazy day, I like to go to YouTube and watch some truly crazy prank videos of people trying to scare the living daylights out of others. Some of them are really stupid, but there are also some that are amazingly brilliant. It’s always nice to see the response that people have to these pranks. A lot of people just laugh at the jokes, but there are also a few that really turn angry. For me those are the funniest ones to watch, but you also have to wonder at what point a joke isn’t really funny anymore. I draw the line at jokes that intentionally hurt people. I mean fun and games are all good, but if it ends up truly hurting someone, that for me isn’t a joke. But what if a prank gets turned around completely…and turns into something deadly? Funny (see what I did there) you should mention that….

34D84472-2922-4DAC-8E3C-B42C421C8E94
You are in my parking space!!

Lewis Thomas is a university student who is on his summer break and is preparing to drive home on a cross country road trip. But before he heads home he has to make a stop to pick up his friend and crush Vena who has just ended her relationship. And of course this is a perfect time for Lewis to maybe make his move. However when he calls his mum announcing his plans he learns that his older brother Fuller has been arrested yet again. Not being happy about it, but having very little choice in the matter, Lewis bails Fuller out and he comes along for the ride. While at a gas station Fuller decides to install an old CB radio on the car of his brother. On the road the two of them listen in to truckers conversing with each other and eventually the two of them decide to do some talking as well. Fuller has always been a prankster and he wants his brother to impersonate a sultry woman on the radio waves. Lewis goes along and introducing himself as Candy Cane he seduces a truck driver called Rusty Nail that totally falls for it. However, the joke will soon be on them as Rusty Nail turns out to be a complete psychopath. Lewis and Fuller will soon be in for the ride of their lives….literally….

3EDB6CB3-2F30-4390-857E-61EB5F1B69B5
That moment where you think you are dreaming, but it ends up being real.

Halloween is almost upon us, and while I would not call this movie a horror movie, it’s certainly one that comes close to that genre. Joy Ride is erm a fun ride (okay enough with the puns  already) that doesn’t takes itself to seriously but is still a joy to watch (okay…seriously quit now!). It’s always strange to see Paul Walker in a film knowing that he sadly isn’t alive anymore. He is definitely an actor that really went way before his time. In this film he plays the role of Lewis and as always he pulls it off with his natural charm. His character is just your typical highschool student, that you may have seen in countless other films. Still, it’s hard not to like him, as he is just someone that has been unwillingly put into a very dangerous situation and tries to make things right. Steve Zahn is the actor that was cast in the role of the older brother, and his character was the complete opposite of Paul’s. Fuller is a total prankster, and certainly serves as the comic relief in this film. Zahn simply excells in roles such as these, and this one was no exception.

590A50F3-68C9-4EAC-99D0-A3C189112EE1
Breaker, breaker…ten four….out and over…or was it over and out??

The love interest, Vena, was played by actress Leelee Sobieski. Once hailed to be a very promising young actress she pretty much disappeared from the big screen. Which is a real shame as not only was she very pretty, she was also someone who could really act. Which she proves in this film. While she hasn’t a huge part in this movie, I still liked her role a lot. But it’s not the acting that you want to watch this movie for, it’s the thrills, and for the most part the film definitely succeeds in that. I like the way the tension is cranked up in this movie beginning almost as a bit of a comedy, and then, with every passing minute it becomes darker. For people who might be squeamish when it comes to blood, you will happy to know that this movie doesn’t contain any scenes like that. This is a pure thriller with some heartpounding and nailbiting scenes, especially in the later parts of the film. About halfway through the movie it does have a few moments where the tension slows down, and while I would not necessarily call this a bad thing, it occasionally slowed down a bit too much.

D5E0980B-0BB0-4899-B70C-2A2CC967284A
I wonder what the punchline of this joke was. All three of them seem to struggle with it.

The truck driver who is voiced by an uncredited Ted Levine, is never seen fully which of course only makes it more enjoyable. For me at least. It’s the unseen terror that usually is just way more effective and that’s certainly achieved with this film. All in all there is very little not to like about this film. I do have to give you a small warning though. Joy Ride was followed by two sequels that went straight to video. If you were maybe thinking of giving them a watch after this one, just know that they are totally different movies. Instead of thrills, they rely more on blood and gore, and are simply a pale shadow of this one. The original though is just a great thriller, with some very decent performances, a whiff of humor thrown into the mix, and enough thrills to make your heart pump faster. It’s the perfect film to watch on Halloween, when you like your horror/thriller movies without blood. Just go along with the ride…..

I give Joy Ride a 8 out of 10 score.

Michels Book/Boardgame/Movie review Blog

Jean Lee's World

Author of Young Adult Fantasy

GD Holdaway

Multi genre fiction author of short stories & novels

Average Joe Reviews

Reviews, Discussions and Much More!

Wordaholicanonymous

Because booze cant cure everything...

The Animanga Spellbook

Exploring the magic of anime and manga.

Jason's Movie Blog

A Movie Blog for the Latest Movie Reviews, Trailers, and More

Mochadesk

From university to beyond...

Atari A to Z

Atari games, software, hardware... and memories

mibih.wordpress.com/

Anime - Movies - Wrestling

Shalini's Books & Reviews

Blogger, Reviewer, Publicist, Beta Reader

Welcome to Curiously Dead Cat!

Anime, Video Games, Manga, Literature, and Other Curiosities

The Spooky Red Head

Come for the pop culture. Stay for the bad grammar.

the wordy habitat

books, planners and obsessions

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

This Title Is (Not) Acceptable

I write about whatever.

My Utopia

An imaginary world of mine

KimchiSama

Anime for the Soul

Mechanical Anime Reviews

Reflecting on Mecha Anime, myself, the fandom, and other Anime

KONDEE Translations

Light Novel translation group

Of Midnight Ravings

Chizu's Readings, Raves and Randomized Ramblings

The Zodiac Room

"Consider, can the universe be justifiably called infinite? Doubtful. It may not have a discernible end, but it had a beginning and its component parts definitely have a limited cosmological shelf-life. Splitting hairs or not, if history tells us anything, it's that scientists often make very poor poets. We're all just a ship of fools chasing phantoms, heedless of what really underwrites natural law." - Okabe Rintaro

Anime Q and A

Asking The Big Questions on Anime and Manga

beetleypete

The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Welcome To Rose Simplicity!

Lifestyle, Beauty, and Wellness

Iridium Eye Reviews

Reviewing the best movies and series you've never heard of.

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Lili's Blissful Pages

Where Pages Bring Joy...

Ospreyshire's Realm

A blog from a poet that converges spoken word, post-minimalism, and electroacoustic noise

Merlin's Musings

All Flavors of Entertainment

The Aniwriter

Welcome, Weebs and Authors Alike

Random Discovery

Words are mightier than sword.

Tiny Ugly Animal

Anime, Manga & Mental Illness

Shoujo Thoughts: Otaku Ramblings

One Girl's Journey Into Life and Anime

KingDylbagblog

Manga, art and more!

The Moyatorium

A straw-made nest for anime and its music.

_LIFEisAniMovie_

Living life animated frame-by-frame

Purposefully Lackluster

Writing about anime among other things

Bradscribe

A fine WordPress.com site

pooled ink

Honest babble about books.

Wonderful Cinema

Short reviews on high quality films. No spoilers.

%d bloggers like this: