Hey, all – if anyone is still reading this blog, you know it’s now 2018 and I haven’t really posted on this one in about four years. This is mostly due to having another blog which I enjoy writing on very much called Away With Words here on WordPress. However, that blog is a very different sort of blog with various personal stories, book reviews, and short fiction along with writing prompts and travel and opinion pieces.
Here’s the thing – I miss doing reviews. Aside from the books, my other blog isn’t really a space for that. So, I am dipping my toes in once again, and I plan to start slow and catch up on some reviews of games and movies and anything else I’ve seen/played since 2014 (sounds like a lot already). We’ll see how it goes. If people like the new reviews, maybe I’ll stick with it. Who knows.
In any case, thank you for the continued interest in this blog to all of you who’ve popped in over the past four years, off and on. I hope the new ones live up to the old.
Happy holidays, everyone – if you celebrated. I definitely did celebrate and it’s been a whirlwind of family visits and events around the city, so I have been crazy busy. I am still working on a few reviews to add, but currently my internet is wonky and I can only post while at work on my half-hour break. So, until I can catch up (hopefully soon – maybe this week), I hope you’ll check out my other blog:
AWAY WITH WORDS
This review blog is something I have a ton of fun with, but Away With Words is a more serious (most of the time, anyway) blog where I showcase my friends, events in my life, and random musings. Check it out, pass it around. I update them both about equally – whenever the mood strikes. Thank you for reading, and I hope to see more of you during this exciting new year of 2015!
Me in a Wonder Woman Onesie I got for Christmas from my “Secret Santa” at work.
I just wanted to take a moment to give thanks for all the views, likes, and comments on my review blog. I hope that if you celebrate Thanksgiving, you eat lots of good food and spend time with friends and/or loved ones.
I have some reviews coming up soon. One for a novel or two I’ve finished, a couple new PS3 game reviews, some movies, at least one restaurant in the Portland, Maine area (maybe two) – and who knows what else is in store. Thank you for your continued support!
I’m very thankful for Pizza! (Hint – this was taken at a restaurant I’m reviewing soon!)
So, just so everyone is aware, I am – in fact – still alive. I haven’t posted much because I literally haven’t had time. I am supposed to get my MFA in July but I still have a lot of work to do and I have deadlines to do it by. So, while I do have a backlog of reviews to give on various things – I won’t be doing them until I make a little headway.
I did my taxes, got my car pretty much fixed and finally got a new laptop cord so that my laptop essentially functions like new again.
The reviews, they are-a-coming….but until then – here’s me in a steampunk eye patch.
So, I’ve been thinking about what this blog is.
For me, it’s sort of been a way for me to write as often as I can (if not every day) as well as to showcase my love for all things pop culture.
In a lot of ways, I’ve grown in my ability to write as well as review. That is due to me being with my MFA writing program for the past couple of years but also because I’ve reviewed quite a bit of material (and I have a lot of stuff backlogged, to boot).
So…this leaves me thinking, as I said above – what is this blog?
Well, it’s a review blog for the average person, for the “average joe”. Whenever I search for a review on something online, I don’t want an insane, in-depth critical analysis unless I’ve already read it, already watched it or already played it. This is why my reviews are so to-the-point. I wanted someone to find my blog, search for something they perhaps want to see or play or read and quickly judge whether or not it might be worth the time.
However, I do feel that my reviews could pack a little more punch. This is why I might go through and update some of the older reviews. Also, I may be adding more content than before to future reviews. If it’s a book, I could provide links to a sample of the book’s pages and/or a link on where it could easily be purchased. If it’s a film or video game, I might provide more screen shots and/or trailers.
I’ll be posting some more reviews soon!
For those of you who don’t know me too well, I’m in my fourth semester with an MFA program called Stonecoast. Well, I’m stopping in to say that due to all the work associated with this program, I’ve been away for a couple weeks and over the next six months until I graduate, I’ll be working on my thesis – so I won’t be able to do as many reviews as I normally do.
Stonecoast has been amazing, thus far. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different and talented authors including Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Wench), Nancy Holder (Resurrection, Domino Lady, Buffy) , Michael Kimball (Undone), David Anthony Durham (Acacia: The Sacred Band), James Patrick Kelly (The Wreck of the Godspeed and Other Stories), Elizabeth Hand (Radiant Days) and Elizabeth Searle (Girl Held In Home) (. I’ve also had the pleasure of working closely with authors such as Mur Lafferty (Shambling Guide To New York City), Thomas Morrissey (Faustus Resurrectus), Laura Navarre (By Royal Command) and Magdalen Braden (Blackjack and Moonlight) among other many talented writers of all genres.
This is not to say that I won’t be doing any reviews, though. I have a backlog of both new and old pop culture items to post reviews on. Until then, here are a couple pictures of me at my residency in Freeport, Maine:
So, I’ve been sort of sporadic about updating the blog because not only have I been busy with school (I get my Master’s Degree in June, hopefully!) but also….it has been Halloween/Comic Convention season during the past couple of months.
If any of you know me, you know what this entails: Lots and lots of time and money spent costuming.
So, I went to Coast City Comicon in Portland, Maine (where I live) and also to Super Megafest in Framingham, Massachusetts. Both were really fun, with Coast City Comicon being a true comic convention while Super Megafest was more of a pop culture convention.
I dressed up as Obi-Wan Kenobi for all of the events and was able to meet some really cool people. Ray Park (Darth Maul from Star Wars: Episode One) stabbed me with my own lightsaber. I taught Ernie Hudson (Winston from Ghostbusters) the ways of the Force. I also got to meet Lee Weeks (Artist from Daredevil) and J.K. Woodward (Dr. Who/Star Trek).
Here are some of the pics to show you how busy I’ve been. 🙂
Me with my friends Spencer Doe (Snake Eyes) and Nicole Marie Jean (Shredder) at Super Megafest
Me with some other Obi-Wan cosplayers of various ages at Super Megafest
Me with Ray Park (Darth Maul from Star Wars: Episode One) at Super Megafest
Me with Sergeant Slaughter at Super Megafest! He was one of my childhood heroes!
Lots of other talented Super Megafest Star Wars Cosplayers.
Me, teaching Ernie Hudson (Winston from Ghostbusters) some new tricks!
Me with Slave Leia at Super Megafest
Me with Chewie in Salem, Mass
Me with Boba Fett and a Stormtrooper in Portland, Maine on Halloween
Me squaring off against Vader in Salem, Mass
Me with Strawberry Shortcake in Salem, Mass
Me promoting artist J.K. Woodward’s site as Obi-Wan at Coast City Comicon
The Mandalorian Mercs finally got me as Obi-Wan at Coast City Comicon
Lily (Loren Taylor) is a socially awkward girl who has a crush on Jarrod (Jemaine Clement), who is equally socially awkward but thinks of himself as a Renaissance Man. Jarrod reveals to her that he is going to confront a bully who tormented him in grade school, and so the two of them return to Jarrod’s hometown where Lily meets his family and sees how Jarrod is trying to live up to the legacy of his amazing-but-dead brother, Gordon (Taika Waititi).
I had been wanting to see this for the longest time, because I love almost anything that Jemaine Clement is in. (Gentlemen Broncos was the only one I didn’t really like as much as some others) I was not disappointed.
The film is New Zealand’s mostly successful answer to Napoleon Dynamite. Though not set in the midwest, with all its quirks and interesting characters, New Zealand can definitely hold its own in the zaniness department.
Jemaine Clement is in top form here, playing the loser-who-thinks-he’s-awesome role that he’s so good at playing. Loren Taylor plays a really good wallflower, but she gives her character depth so she’s not just a one-note song.
The film is filled with lots of quotable lines and moments that had me laughing. There was lots of awkward humor, which was great, and Jemaine and Loren really played well off one another.
If you like Napoleon Dynamite at all, then this is going to be right up your alley. Check it out.
JOE Rating: ★★★★★
Butter is a way of life in Iowa, and the king of butter carving, Bob (Ty Burrell), is retiring. Angry that Bob isn’t trying to use his butter-carving talents to get into politics, his too-ambitious Sarah-Palin-clone of a wife Laura (Jennifer Garner) steps up despite never butter-carving before to try and fill his shoes. However, there is a little girl named Destiny (Yara Shahidi) who discovers her own butter-carving talents who just may undo everything Laura has tried to achieve.
I had no idea what to expect with this film. I had never seen it advertised and the premise seemed hokey, but interesting, so I gave it a shot. It was okay, but it wasn’t the best film ever.
The thing that intrigued me was the butter carving aspect. The whole “Midwest” thing has been done to death with these kinds of movies, but the butter aspect played itself out really early on in the movie. Some of the sculptures were neat, but the whole thing went way over my head because some of the sculptures were unbelievable just in terms of character achievement.
The acting was pretty good, overall. Most of the big-name talent was wasted, though. (There was even a bit part played by Hugh Jackman).
The story was pretty weak. I felt like it wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be an allegory, a comedy/farce or a drama. There wasn’t enough heart for it to be an allegory or a drama, and there weren’t enough funny parts for it to be a great comedy. By themselves, the main characters were boring. Bob is a cuckolded husband character while Laura is, as I wrote above, an over-achieving Sarah-Palin clone. Destiny is an okay character, but her development arc gets confused with that of Laura’s. The stripper character, Brooke (Olivia Wilde), was funny but she was tossed into the mix as well in an unbelievable way (the same old boring stripper clone who is uneducated and poor and would shit on someone’s lawn). The way everyone was introduced and interacted was just chaotic.
Overall, this movie wasn’t groundbreaking in any way. There are a couple of scenes that made me chuckle. Olivia Wilde is nice to look at. Seeing Hugh Jackman as a car salesman is kind of funny. So, you may be entertained for one viewing.
JOE Rating: ★★★