Monday, May 20, 2019

Oh, and while I'm catching up on stuff I should've posted to the blog weeks ago...
The Honest BookTuber Tag

The video in which I was tagged by Dane:

Youtubers mentioned/ tagged:
Graham Quigley:

Stripped Cover Lit:

Steve Donoghue:

1. Have you ever lied about reading a book?
2. Have you ever avoided a book because of controversy around the content/author?
3. Have you ever been sent a book for free and not disclosed it?
4. Have you ever bought a book with no intention of reading it?
5. Have you ever got caught up in booktube drama?
6. Have you ever had a hate comment, and did you respond?
7. Have you ever made a video just because you knew it would get views?
8. If you could go back to the beginning of your channel, would you do anything differently?
9. Are there any channels you wish you could be more like?
10. What's something you love about your channel?

Vlog Playlist HERE

I've been keeping up with my weekly Game of Thrones reviews on Youtube, but (after posting the first and second one) have neglected to update the blog for the rest.  So here are the final 4 episode reviews.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3: TV Review

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4: TV Review

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5: TV Review

Game of Thrones Final Episode (Season 8 Episode 6): TV Review

And the whole Playlist HERE

Monday, May 13, 2019

Avengers: Endgame

(Movie Review)

I'm 2 weeks late on this because it's a lot harder to make it to the cinema after having a baby.  But the wife's sister agreed to watch the baby for one afternoon so we could watch this.

I do genuinely enjoy these movies, but they've also begun to feel a bit like an obligation.  It feels like you absolutely HAVE to make a trip to the theater to see this, or you're missing out on an important cultural milestone.
I do also wonder at what age I'm going to become too old for dumb superhero movies.  I mean, here I am, 41 years old, and still planning my day around seeing a superhero movie.  Should I have stopped watching these 10 years ago, or has the culture shifted so that these are now acceptable for adults?
At any rate, after some 20 movies watched, I feel like it's too late to back out now.  At this point I have to watch this one to see how it all ties together. 

Actually to give credit where credit is due, whatever else you want to say about these movies, they are not "dumb superhero" movies.  The plotting and continuity off these movies has become complex enough that at this point, I have to admit the people making these movies are a lot smarter than I am.  They're juggling a lot of characters, and a lot of story-arcs here, but they manage to do justice to them all.  And they throw in a some interesting plot twists and subverted expectations.

We've also reached a point where the convoluted continuity of comic book characters (which used to be something only geeks cared about), has now become mainstream.  Pity the poor person who tries to watch this movie without a detailed understanding of the previous 20 movies before it.  This movie is chalked full of Easter eggs and references to previous movies.  (My sister-in-law got dragged to this movie by her boyfriend, and didn't understand anything that was going on.)
Me? I've always been a geek, so I eat this kind of stuff up.  I loved all the call-backs, references, and continuity nods to previous movies.

There were a few plot twists in this movie that I thought were very clever and some of which took me off guard.  Kudos to the writers--there's some really clever plotting and set-up and pay-off things going on here--which is difficult considering how many characters they're juggling.

I also really enjoyed the humor in this movie.   (I that that whole fat Thor thing was the funniest thing ever.)
The action scenes were decent--I liked the battle between Thanos and Thor/Captain America/ Iron Man.
The big battle at the end was well-done also.  Although this is (by my count) the 4th Avengers movie that has ended with a big battle against an invading horde.  I guess if you're going to bring all the Avengers together into one movie, then you need to have something big for them to fight.  But too much of this could get tiring quickly.  (I'm happy to wait a few years before the next movie that has the Avengers battling a huge space army).

8 out of 10 Stars.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Reviews Links

1. Iron Man
2. The Incredible Hulk
3. Iron Man 2
4. Thor
5. Captain America: The First Avenger
6. The Avengers
7. Iron Man 3
8. Thor 2: Dark World
9. Captain America 2: Winter Soldier
10. Guardians of the Galaxy
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
12. Ant-Man
13. Captain America 3: Civil War
14. Doctor Strange--Haven't seen yet
15. Guardians of the Galaxy 2
16. Spider-Man: Homecoming
17. Thor: Ragnarok
18: Black Panther
19. Avengers: Infinity War
20. Ant-Man and the Wasp ,
21. Captain Marvel--Haven't seen yet

Video Review HERE and embedded below

Link of the Day

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Like everyone else, I was saddened to hear off the death of Rachel Held Evans.
From Vox: How progressive Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans changed everything

I gave my opinions in 2014
I've come across Rachel Held Evans before.  I forget exactly how, but I think someone I know on Facebook must have linked to her blog in the past or something.  I haven't read a lot of her, but my impression is that she is pursuing a dialogue within the Christian faith.  She's defending a liberal view of Christianity against the more conservative view she grew up with.  When I was 20, I would have been very much on board with her, 

Isle of Dogs

(Movie Review)

* The plot moves a bit slowly at points.
* Too much sentimentality at points.

* That deadpan Wes Anderson humor is great.
* All actors are good, but especially Bill Murray and Edward Norton are great at delivering the deadpan Wes Anderson humor
* I'm not much of a cinema expert, so I can't talk about this in great depth, but it's obvious that Wes Anderson views every frame as a piece of art.  And it shows in his shot composition.
* Related to the above point, my friend the Cinephile once told me that Wes Anderson is heavily influenced by Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, who also was obsessed with creating symmetry in all of his shots.  So, the Japanese setting for this movie is appropriate, and works beautifully.

Other Notes
* I know this is only of interest to me, but... Back when I lived in Japan, and was obsessed with Japanese oldies, I had "Tokyo Shoeshine Boy" in my music collection.  (This is the song that is playing in the background in the izakaya scene.)

7 out of 10.  (In the past I've given 10 out of 10 to Wes Anderson film The Grand Budapest Hotel.  But I didn't enjoy this one quite as much.  It loses a couple of points for the slow moving plot, and the sentimentality.  But... the funny parts were really funny.  (I love that deadpan humor).  So 7 out of 10.

Video Review
Video review HERE and embedded below:

Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky on Venezuela