‘Stoner: By John Williams’ – Book Review



A beautiful and devastating novel about academia, and failed dreams. Stoner is about a man in the late 19th century America who went to school because of his farming parents. He went to study agriculture but fell in love with literature and became a professor. The rest of the story chronological his life and his constant stream of failures and regret. It’s a depressing read but my god the writing is beautiful. Almost like an ‘Elliott Smith’ song based on the academic life. It’s a very straightforward story and John Williams does the impossible by making an unremarkable story and turning into something rare and true. The writing is gorgeous, the plot is soul shattering and the ending will leave you speechless. I went back and read the highlights of this book twice. It’s been a year since I’ve read this book and it still gnaws in the back of my mind at least once a week. One of my favorite books ever and a story worth reading.

“Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”



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Kill or be Killed Vol 2 – Comic Book Review



OH, MY GOD. It is very rare for a second volume to follow up an explosive one like the first volume. But I’ll be damned if Brubaker and Phillips didn’t deliver. Things are really starting to get “real”. The protagonist Dylan is now realizing he’s in way over his head. And we’re introduced to a new character who’s a good detective on his trail while trying to figure out why Dylan is doing what he’s doing. Also, this volume leaves juicy history on Dylan’s mental health. I’m going to stop here in the plot before I spoil the whole thing. Basically, this story is excellent and had me reeling. As for the art, Phillips is still a ‘G’ and its awesome as usual. No real complaints and no funny ‘derp’ face this time around. Overall fans of comics/crime need to read this. The characters are more developed this time around, the stakes are rising and the plot’s pace is going so fast on this wild roller coaster that it’ll derail and crash off the ramp.



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Moonshine, Vol 1 – Comic Book Review


Honestly I don’t understand the hate behind this book. It’s noir, Southern gothic, horror story, following mobsters and hillbillies in Prohibition-era Appalachia. Oh and theirs werewolves which is awesome in my mind. The writer Azzarello strikes a great, balance between the dialog and characterization. It comes of well and really kept me enthralled with the story. Eduardo Risso the illustrator is fantastic as usual. In my mind he’s always mastered the art of subtly. His use of bold silhouettes, white space, and lighting have always been incredible in ‘100 bullets’ and it continues in Moonshine. I feel like almost every page could be a cover for the story.

Now the flaws, My only complaint on Risso is that some facial features come off very strange, which bothered me, and some of the supernatural appearances made were hit or miss. A bigger problem in the book is Azzarello. ‘100 Bullets’ could get very confusing and complicated at times and it was starting to show in this book. Granted I didn’t get lost, but the story was teetering on the edge of confusion. Another factor with the story is that it sort of went in circles. Nothing really got resolved until the final issue. That’s where part of the confusion lies in. I figured Azzarello was trying to build up suspense but it didn’t necessarily work all the way through.

Still this is a great volume that I recommend. Doesn’t deserve the hate that it gets and I’m looking forward to the next volume.





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‘Catwoman: When in Rome’ – Comic Book Review



Conflicted. This is a 6/10 book, with an extra score because the art is stunning. I love Tim Sale’s art and enjoy his layouts, and use of silhouettes. Yet this book had water coloring by Dave Stewart and it added a whole new level of gorgeous art.  Now the rest of the book is mix. Loeb is great with Selina and brings back some sarcastic, internal dialog that works out well. The book is a fun heist book mixed up with Selina seeking information about her parentage, in a Rome setting. Yet Loeb is the real issue in the story.  He can’t get past the falcone story from his previous works and focuses this entire story around the falcone’s to the point it feels rehashed. Speaking of rehashed there is dialogue and internal dialogue that’s basically copied and paste from ‘long Halloween’ and ‘dark victory’. Sure it can be argued that it was used for referencing or a nod to his previous works. But it comes off more like lazy writing. Still the story had a bunch of great twists from Loeb that caught me off my guard. Overall decent cat-woman story with amazing art. Definitely worth the read for batman fans.





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Descender, vol 1 ‘tin stars’ – comic review


A space opera with a lot of heart. Jeff Lemire does it again as he mixes Star Trek and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Jeff of course blends his own version of storytelling. I may have enjoyed the work more if Lemire himself drew it because he’s drawings work perfectly with his writing. Then again that’s ridiculous of me to say when Dustin Nguyen is doing the artwork. His watercolors bring a nice layer to the story. I wish I could say what was holding this book back from a nine or ten rating. It had everything in it, yet I really wasn’t drawn into it compared to his other works. Perhaps that’ll change in the next volume seeing as how the climax/ending ended on a wild note. Overall Lemire surprised me with this book and its well worth the read for fans of scfi or fans of the author.






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Murder Games By James Patterson – Book Review




This book is the equivalent of rubbing sandpaper into my eyes. whoever his co-author is, sucks and is as bad as Patterson. The amount of cringe this book has on story and dialogue knows no bounds. It’s a good ole Cop vs Serial Killer battle, that had promise but the main character is a professor partnering with a cop and the professor is pretending to be a cop and a cop above all the rules no less. It’s a mess.

Also, I cannot stand when an author is so clearly in love with his own voice. Patterson destroys his narrative and characters because of this. There would be moments where the professor and a student would casually flirt but would feel forced. Meanwhile, the whole class does something stupid like, ‘oooohhhh’ it’s dumb and not needed. Now to the worst part. Nothing pulls me out of a book more than when the characters speak or behave in such unnatural ways that it doesn’t feel human. There is some dialogue that’s so bad it’s hilarious. For instance when the serial killer in the first chapter explains his ways of killing he simply says in the first person, ‘Me? I like to mix things up.” The only explanation is that the author couldn’t figure out how humans work. Or maybe Patterson is a serial killer.

Now the chapters, each chapter is between 2-5 pages. Some chapters end in the middle of dialogue and pick up literally in the next chapter/page. It’s dumb and makes no sense and it hurts my head.
Any writer who makes over $70 million a year must be doing something right, and James Patterson is obviously doing something right. Because he’s more of a marketing genius than a writing one. I won’t be reading another James Patterson book anytime soon. There are so many books out there and so little time. I honestly didn’t expect I made it half way through Murder games sober. If I had to read this again I would need a suitcase full of drugs like in ‘Fear and loathing’ and have all the drugs injected into my vein from those morphine bags.



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Death: The Deluxe Edition (Death of the Endless #1-2) by Neil Gaiman – Book Review


One day Gaiman smashed into my bedroom like the incredible hulk and yelled at me to read this. Of course, I had to oblige since a crazed British man in a black trench coat busted into my room. “excuse me Mr. Gaiman” I said. “You do know this Sandman book is all about death right?” Gaiman proceeded to power bomb me through my own bed before he flew off into the stars. In my confused daze on my destroyed bed, I realized that Gaiman was right. This book is just as amazing as the original series.  This book is essentially a series of short stories about the character Death. Each story has a unique feel to it and at times I feel like the stories were written by a different author. But then I remember that it’s Gaiman and he’s made of magic. Right, when I think I’m getting bored with a story Gaiman comes back into my room and sucker punches me. Damn you, Gaiman, Damn you and your glorious writing.


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‘Samurai Jack – XCIV’ TV review


Damn am I’m glad Samurai Jack is back. The episodes this season have gotten better and better. Not to mention the transition from a kids show to an adult one. But I digress ‘XCIV’ is the third episode of the fifth season and it exceeded all expectations and took Jack through uncharted moral territory. Not only that but this episode delivered one of the most intense fight sequences in not only animated television but on TV as a whole.


Last episode became a game-changer when Jack took his first human life. Throughout this episode it goes into a journey of Jack’s mental well being and shows a heavy burden to bear for jack. Warped versions of his consciousness comes to chastise him. His consciousness turns into a talking nightmare and bares all of his doubts onto him tempting him to end his life. (Yeah definitely not the same show I watched when I was a kid). Though the dialogue sort of dragged, it hardly mattered when the show demonstrated the idea to bring fourth this kind of trauma on a cartoon with mature themes.

At one point you see Jack covered from head to toe in blood and it comes off very terrifying yet artistic. Around this time a wolf appears from a previous episode and stays with Jack in a cave. What follows is a bond forged between them and a spectacular display of characterization with no words of dialogue. It gets even better with the symbolism as it becomes noticeable that the wolf and Jack are basically two ancient figures in a new world filled with machines and aliens. It has a very kindred spirit atmosphere and when these two interact it comes off naturally and beautiful.

Eventually Jack finally overcomes his doubts with a rare flashback of his childhood that showed his father fighting and killing men and possibly showing Jack’s first encounter with fighting and death. Jack’s father eventually gives him advice that echoed throughout the episode, “The decisions you make and the actions that follow are a reflection of who you are”. With these words the Jack we know from the previous series returns in full form and gives the viewer an incredible shot of Jack coming to terms with himself.

The later segments of the episode revolved around the female assassins aka “daughters of Aku” who are hunting Jack down in order to gain some recognition from Aku. In this episode we finally get to see how warped and naive the assassins are. They come across a deer couple that show their affection by brushing their noses. When the daughters see this they freak out and don’t know how to react. Then it clicks to the viewer. They’ve never seen wildlife, affection or any positive trait in life. All they know is pain and death. So when Jack comes to offer them a chance to walk away echoing his fathers words. They yell at him to die and shut up. It’s tragic in a way, because even though their merciless killers their still children who don’t know any better.

What follow suit is one of the greatest fight scenes in TV. Jack shows no mercy from then on, and the viewer witness’s probably the most artistic killings. Then a chase through a snowstorm that creates a very minimal and stunning canvas on the screen while Jack dispatches the assassins one by one luring them into a false sense of security. I’ve spoiled enough already and I feel that I can’t spoil this. Because what happens from the climax to the ending  is beyond awesome.

Everything about this episode is perfect. The episode is intense, fascinating, and made a great continuation on what we’ve seen so far. The visuals were astonishing – every scene was essentially a artistic masterpiece. With the  contrasts, shadows and camera angles flowing smoothly across the scene along with incredible fight scenes this episode made be one of, if not the best Samurai Jack episode.

You truly get pulled into this episode and lose track of time. This episode shows what Samurai Jack is about and why it has a cult following!



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‘Rick and Morty: Season 3 Episode 1, The Rickshank Rickdemption.’ TV Review


Wow, like everyone else I did not see this coming. A season premiere at the tail end of April Fools. Also it kept going about 10 times in a row. Over placing other shows like Samurai Jack and Dragon Ball Super. No lie I was upset, yet at the same time I got new Rick and Morty so it sort of balanced itself out. Now there will be some spoilers later on in the review so if you haven’t seen it yet avoid a paragraph that has a bunch of words in caps.

So recap, on earth the galactic federation has taken over the world, Jerry has been promoted five times even though he doesn’t know what his job is, Morty and Summer try to rescue Rick while Rick is being interrogate by the federation and gives a goofy backstory on his life and a strange sketch on McDonald’s soy sauce that was used to endorse the movie Mulan.

(SPOILERS) so right off the bat things get crazy. Summer digs up a dead Rick from their backyard which was a nice callback to seasons’ past and a dark reminder of life’s pointlessness when multiple dimensions are involved. The duo find the portal gun and Morty takes us back to Cronenberg world to show Summer the devastation Rick has caused. Here, they find themselves in trouble once more, as Morty’s true family eat Cronenburgers. Luckily, Ricks from the Citadel of Ricks are on hand to save the day, sort of. From here on out everything turns into a fiasco with hilarious results. The whole episode ran smoothly with the plot and the comedy kept me roaring every few seconds. Right away I knew this was a fantastic episode.

The only flaw with the premiere is that it basically pulls a reset on the series. (SPOILER ALERT; DON’T READ THE REST OF THE PARAGRAPH IF YOU WANT THIS EPISODE TO BE RUINED) Rick is back, the council of ricks are destroyed and the Galactic Federation is no longer in control, so we’re all set to start over with weekly, self-contained, kooky sci-fi adventures. That’s sort of a let down because the last season had a build up to the finale and to see it all concluded in one episode felt anti-climatic. Still, at the same time, Jerry and Beth getting divorced (or at least taking the divorce theme more seriously) is a nice-fresh development that’s been a long time coming and the tag that brings Tammy and Birdperson or should I say “Phoenix Person” back implies there may be echoes of Rick and Morty’s past showing up to challenge their future.

“The Rickshank Redemption” essentially redeemed the idea of April Fool’s Day. This episode came out of the blue, and picked up right where the Season 2 finale left off. It kept the level of humor and quality high even as it repeatedly defied everyone’s predictions about where the story was heading towards. Like most Rick and Morty episodes, this one delivered plenty of weird, goofy humor along with the grim portrait of a mad scientist who hates everyone including himself.

Rick said it best at the end of the episode, “Nine more seasons, Morty!”




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‘John Wick 2’ – Movie Review


If I could quote Rick Flair I would say, “WHOOOOOO” this film is a wild ride. The movie starts off right after the first one and throws you back into the action immediately. The story goes over a member of the underworld who made a blood pact with John Wick and in order for Wick to finally be out of the life he would have to do one final task for this guy. What happens after that is sheer entertainment for the next two hours.

There are a lot of good fight scenes that are very well choreographed mixed in with some comedic elements and witty dialogue. Several action scenes had me laughing out loud by the sheer silliness of the situation with a clever blend of humor and fighting. The movie also does a good job of expanding its world building. Though their may be some cheesy moments with setting. The world still leaves a sense of mystery to it and certain areas of the setting stayed relatively grounded as the first one.

Then theirs Keanu Reeves who is as bad ass as he was in the first film. There were moments where he reminded me of Clint Eastwood with the squint eyes and grim expressions. He felt like a caged animal ready to strike and whenever any action scenes happened Keanu went loose. The fighting choreograph flowed with the acting and even out did the first film.

Now this film isn’t perfect either. I mentioned earlier that the world building felt a bit cheesy at times. I won’t give it away but when you see certain characters doing certain actions in the movie you’ll roll your eyes. That and it felt like everyone in NYC is an assassin. Though most of the dialogue and scenes hold up. There are certain moments where the dialogue feels cliche same with a few paces in the story. Finally the main villian has zero charisma, you don’t feel the seething revenge motive like you did with the first movie.

Though it may not be as good as the first movie, Chapter 2 is still a fantastic film. It recaptures the brilliance of its predecessor, and further explores its unique world, while still delivering on the explosive action and incredible stunts.






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