Friday, October 8, 2010

1632 by Eric Flint (review)

Title: 1632
Author: Eric Flint
Illustrator: N/A
Kindle Locations: 9,611
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal:
ISBN: 0-671-57849-9
Kindle Cost: Free

1632 is a blast from the past. Having seen this book and its sequels on the store shelves for years, I've always passed it by because it looked very old-school and campy.

And it was. To a point. You see, Flint takes a different road than most writers. He doesn't try to layer on the intrigue and plot twists and detail. Instead he keeps his story neat and simple and moves it along nicely. So instead of describing a lot of minute details about how people survived the sudden change, he skips ahead a few months.

A lot of readers may not like that, I found it refreshing. I needed to take a break from all the details in other stories I was reading. Stories that were starting to sound like Robinson Crusoe with their detail.

While Flint's approach to keeping things simple was nice, I didn't care for his transitions between scenes. Maybe it was poor formatting from the e-book conversion, but the story jumped from plot line to plot line or character to character without warning. In fact, several times I'd go back and re-read two paragraphs because I didn't catch the change that came between them.

Overall, Flint does a good job. His style is a little rough and doesn't have the polish of other big names in the genre, but he still entertains. An added bonus is this story was free. Hard to turn down a deal like that and hard to put down once you start.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Knight and Day (movie review)

Title: Knight and Day (2010)

Since Tom Cruise went a bit nutty, I haven't been a big fan of his. And while he has had some decent movies in the past, like Mission Impossible or Days of Thunder, his performance in this movie was luke-warm.

In fact, it reminded me very much of a bad Bourne movie ripoff.

Aside from that, it was at least entertaining enough to keep me in my seat. There were a few scenes that were funny, a few were romantic, and a few were action packed. So all in all, it was fairly well rounded.

But my biggest problem was with the special effects. They reminded me of something cheap enough to make it onto a Saturday night movie on the SyFy channel. Very campy and so noticeable that it actually took me out of the movie for a second.

In the end, it was a decent movie. I'm not sure I'd spend big money on the DVD, but I might get it from the bargain bin since my wife has a crush on Tom Cruise. She can watch him while I stare at Cameron Diaz in a bikini.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kyle XY - Blame It on the Rain (review)

Episode Title: Blame It on the Rain
Cost: Free via Hulu

Yet another episode that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside while making you wonder who Kyle really is (and who the security guard is). And while there are points in the show when things get really campy and avoid questions (like why didn't Declan leave in the morning? The parents were okay with him hanging out all day?).

And yet, there's something oddly appealing that makes me keep coming back despite this campy feel. I know part of the mystery is that I've never seen the show and don't know what Kyle's story is in the end. How he came to be, where he came from, etc.

So in the end, I'll keep watching. It's good enough to at least keep me interested and entertained.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Last Airbender (movie review)

Title: The Last Airbender (2010)

I try my best to find the good in things, but sometimes I find it difficult. This movie was an exception as it was very easy to find the good.

Mostly because the movie was so horrible.

How this movie got so bad, I don't know, but it was like somebody took a decent if not good story and gang raped it. Holy cow was it bad. Atop the list of horrors in this movie was the dialog. It was so bad it was like somebody took a Japanese video game and tried to translate it into English with a translator that only knows Spanish. In fact, some of the lines sounded like my 2-year-old son pretending to be a robot.

And then there was the magic system. I know every fantasy world has a different base for their magic, and that's great. But the goofy looking hands and feet dancing around? Did they really need to look so silly to do their fighting? Couldn't they do the martial arts stuff to do physical fighting and then use magic with one or two simple moves?

Despite the horrible movie, there are a few glimmering jewels that, when combined with some popcorn and Junior Mints, might make it worthwhile to watch the movie. As long as somebody else pays for it of course. Those jewels would be a handful of actors that did a great job acting. Yes, their lines were still horrible, but their acting was surprisingly well done. First is Noah Rigner, the last airbender, who plays "innocent" quite well. Then we have Dev Patel, who does a wonderful job of playing the evil prince that has been ousted by his father. And the last was the father, the fire lord, Cliff Curtis. He did well in Trauma on TV and did well in his limited role in this movie.

So save your money and watch it when it comes to TV or Hulu. Meanwhile, you can go read a book. Or wash your dog. Or visit the dentist. Any of these would be more enjoyable than watching this movie.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Kyle XY - This Is Not a Test (review)

Episode Title: This Is Not a Test
Cost: Free via Hulu

I think I'm finally keying in on why I like this series and continue to stick with it. It reminds me of high school. Sure, some of high school was great, but other parts were horrible. And the sad part is I don't even talk to anyone from high school anymore. Heck, I barely talk to anyone from college (the big exception being my wife of course).

So aside from the flashbacks I'm having while watching Kyle learn about life, I enjoy his innocence and how other people react to it. Some make fun of him, others want to help him, and some want to hurt him. In this episode we see the school principal want to lock Kyle out of learning in school and yet he gets his ass handed to him when Kyle finishes the test in time. Then we see a school bully try to beat him up and his ass gets handed to him. And of course there's the cute little comic nerd who everybody hates but Kyle goes out of his way to make friends with him.

So in the end, I'm going to at least finish season one and if the finale is strong enough, which I expect it will be, I'll be back for the rest of the show.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kyle XY - Diving In (review)

Episode Title: Diving In
Cost: Free via Hulu

Wow. Can't beat young women at the poolside. Reminds me of high school when I was a lifeguard. Ahhh the memories.

And now that I'm an old man, that's all they are; memories. In this episode we see Kyle learn about erections. That's right, erections. Once you're done chuckling, I'm sure all the guys out there will know how it feels to have one at the wrong moment. And that's what happened to Kyle. He felt "pressure" but in a good way. Yeah. Corny, but funny. And true.

So as Kyle learns about his own body and the hormones that drive it, the mystery man quits his job. But we're not sure how that will factor into things yet, so I'm sticking around to see if he's a good guy or a bad guy. And I still say the younger brother, Josh, is the best character on the show. He's hilarious!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kyle XY - The Lies That Bind (review)

Episode Title: The Lies That Bind
Cost: Free via Hulu

Kyle, and the rest of the family, learn about lies and how they can hurt people. I'm beginning to think that this is more of a show that preaches values and has a bit of a sci-fi drama coating.

Not that shows preaching values is a bad thing. After all, I grew up on The Cosby Show and loved 7th Heaven. But in the end, it's not coming across as I'd expected it to. Meaning, it's not the hardcore science fiction stuff I'd heard about.

Moving on, we see a bit more from the mystery guy from Kyle's past and the mom finally discovers what the little lines mean on the art from Kyle. Took her long enough. Anyway, I'm still going to watch the show. It hasn't exactly hooked me, but it's still interesting enough to keep me watching. Better than some shows I've seen, but certainly not as good as others.