Latest Entries »

The Four Star Book Review That Ticked Me Off

Often, when looking for a book on Kindle or the Amazon website, since we are all human (based on a genetic code I sometimes wish I could exorcise), what always pops into focus for yours truly are the star/number reviews given to that body of work.  To be clear, if you have ever read any of my reviews, you know I don’t rely on other opinions (or stars, numbers, etc.) prior to writing my reviews.  However, those little stars and numbers DO have an impact on most of us in one way or another.  This is my true story of being totally pissed off by one of them, so I decided to write The Four Star Book Review That Ticked Me Off.

The DescentIn case you were wondering what it was that prompted this diatribe, it was the Amazon review star factor of 4 — for a book that I didn’t just love, but have — and here’s the key — remembered for years after I read it.  Every avid reader knows that you might slightly enjoy and finish the bad ones (if you’re feeling generous), have a good time with the good ones, but you remember the great ones.  The great book I am referring to is “The Descent” by Jeff Long.

Before I get going again, I highly encourage you to read this book.  If you enjoy a story that begins a bit benign, then takes you down a dark, creepy pathway and then shoots you in the butt — this book is for you!  It’s kind of like a funhouse on horror factor X.

So okay, here’s the little bit I’m gonna give ya.  Hell exists, only it’s been below us all this time and we never knew about it until we went down and found out about it.  Okay, that’s not the greatest description, but I don’t want to ruin anything for you.  Bottom line is that this book makes you think about what Hell really is.  And who is down there lurking… and waiting for you.

I know I didn’t give you much to go on — but that’s part of the fun isn’t it?

PS.  I admit I read this book years ago, but I wrote this review from memory.  Still own it on my Kindle, so I will be re-reading this bad boy soon.  Very soon.  To me, it’s like a warm and fuzzy sweater in the back of the closet I forgot I had and now must wear again to feel right with the world.

A SPECIAL PSS:  To those “readers” who gave this book 1, 2, or 3 stars on Amazon — either you need to have your eyes checked or your ability to recognize a great book when you read it.  On a side note, you also suck if when writing a book review you ever picked on:  the “character development”, “wasn’t what was expected”, “had too many curse words”, or my favorite to hate “had grammar problems”.   You DO realize that someone else created a work of art for you to escape into a fantasy world that THEY created for YOU.  I hate to be crass, but FUCK YOU if you expect perfection on their grammar (some of these authors SELF PUBLISH — look it up how much editors cost!) or even worse have the audacity to sit dwn and write a review abut how mnay times thye used the work FUCK.  Oh hey, FUCK, FUCK oh and then they really FUCKED!  (NOTE:  My little rant does not reflect what is in the book “The Descent”, just for the record.  It is only this readers complete annoyance at asshats who think that because they are offended while reading something they can put down screwing up an authors review online.  Just sayin’)

James Patterson’s “ZOO”

jp zoo

When I saw this book on the shelf in my local grocery store, I thought to myself “Ya’ know, you haven’t paid a lot of attention to “popular” writers lately, so maybe you should get off your high horse and check it out”.  Well, that’s not exactly how my thought process went, but it’s pretty close.  Ergo, I went home, went on-line and looked the book up.

When I logged in, I discovered that it was an audio book, and that they have become somewhat less expensive these days; I was used to purchasing the CD’s for a fortune.  So I said “What the heck!” — it’s James Patterson and a book that seems interesting as the tag line on the inside of the book in the store was:  “This time, it’s not zombies.” I admit: on that, they had me.

Now on to the review.  In an effort to keep this short, sweet and to the point this book depressed the hell out of me.  To be sure, there was a lot of science (none of which I have even attempted to verify) and great story telling.  The problem with this book is simply that there was a lot (and I do mean a lot) of MAN HAS DONE SOMETHING TO KILL THE WORLD!!! in it.  There are also a few shots taken at Fox News Channel which I found totally perplexing — at one point the narrator/protagonist says about a female Fox News Anchor — “The blond bimbo said…”.  I mean REALLY?  As a female and a thinker, it takes quite a bit to offend me, but this was just over the top (and I’m a red-head!).

To be fair, if the character in the story had a background that called for such views, I would have accepted them in stride and perhaps even applauded them for building the character and the readers view of him/her.  Unfortunately for this book, no such background existed, unless we are to infer that because the protagonist owned a chimpanzee, he loves animals and everyone at Fox (or who watches that channel or might be a blond bimbo) does not.  Jeez.

Fox News and blond bimbos aside, the main reason I did not enjoy this book is because of the obvious pulling of heart-strings (which in some books is an excellent idea) and complete and total let down at the end.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have read, listened to and enjoyed many works that do not have a happy ending.  However, this is the first, especially by an Author I really used to enjoy, using such low-down tactics to push his own view-point onto his readers in such a way — and then have the nerve to charge them for it.  At least Stephen King, like it or not, was honest and forthright when he wrote and published “Guns”.

UPDATE: By the way, the “hero” of this story left his chimpanzee when he went to go off to do this own thing.  This is a poor chimpanzee who loved and depended on his owner (who the chimp looked at as a father/protector) was left in the dirt by our supposed “hero”.   Just FYI.

For instance, who knew “Wrong Turn 4″ would be so interesting to people?

New Year’s Resolution:  Post more reviews and follow more great blogs and writers.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 

Hope you rock it out and gross out at least one person describing a book or movie you have enjoyed!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,200 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. (Actually, they did the whole thing to be honest.)

The Christmas Tale

This little gem came on a DVD I bought quite a few years ago (2009) and unfortunately can’t find now dagnabbit!  However, we are only talking about a couple of years ago, not like, 20 so relax.  Nonetheless, I felt the need to share it with you all since A) it takes place in the 80’s and B) is pretty freakin’ awesome and more importantly C) most people have never even heard of it, which saddens me greatly.  In fact, I had a hard time finding info on it when Googled.  Now that’s a first.

Now I don’t like reading reviews before viewing a flick nor do I generally put much stock in others reviews mainly because I’ve got my own ideas, but I’ve already seen it and this Amazon reviewer nails it (emphasis mine):

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money!, October 10, 2008
This review is from: 6 Films to Keep You Awake (DVD)

Any horror fan will be plenty satisfied by this set. Of all the films 3 are good, 1 is a must own, 1 is okay and 1 is a dud. Of all the films, A Christmas Tale stands out as the most original and well made. The film is like the offspring of Silent Night Deadly Night and The Goonies. If that doesn’t perk your ears up then forget this set. The packaging is a disappointment and the extras are a bit light. However there is a making of for each film. Overall if you are a fan of horror and want to see what the Spanish directors of the genre are up to, this collection is for you.

A Christmas Tale3

Now, you probably noticed that this is a Spanish film with English subtitles, so if that’s not for you — cool.  Just know that if you have any connection with the 80’s and horror movies you are only doing yourself a disservice by not watching this flick big time.  This film will survive without you.

Anyway, once again without giving too much away, there are lots of 80’s references in this film.  Toss in some awesome creepy child actors and one deranged-assed Santa you get a perfect recipe of horror goodness.  I love Halloween.  I love Christmas.  To combine them both and do it well, is movie making at its best and is movie watching gold.

If this pic doesn’t do it for ya, well I don’t know what will!

A Christmas Tale4

PS — Enjoy the holiday season the right way and watch this flick!!

The World’s End (2013)

The Worlds End 1If you are like me and fell in love with the buddy duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Shaun of the Dead, when you heard about this flick you wanted to see it.  The question was — just what kind of movie was this?  The previews pretty much only showed Simon, Nick and a few other guys going on a bar crawl and then encountering something very odd and creepy.  Well, if you took that from the previews you got it right.

Without giving too much away, Pegg plays Gary, a childhood friend of a gang of guys, one of which is Andy (Frost), who get together after being childhood BFF’s and find out how very different they have become since becoming adults and growing apart.  Their goal is to finish a pub crawl at “The World’s End” — the final pub of a “one pint a bar” visit in a total of 12 in the crawl.  And where they are all standing tall in an effort to redeem themselves after their first attempt as youngsters ended like most bar/pub crawls do — with lots of alcoholic happiness and lots of vomit.  Personally, I think twelve pints in one night is for amateurs but to be fair, there were a few shots imbibed — albeit begrudgingly.   Anyway, don’t watch this film without at least a beer in your hand because you are sure to want one at about 10 seconds in.

Now on to the creepy factor, during our friends drunken foray, bad and odd things start to happen. To be honest, it’s sort of a “Stepford Wives” only with blue blood and drunks kicking their ass kind of thing.  But really there is more to this film than that:  it’s a buddy film at its core.  The point of this film tell us that yes, you are my friend and I love you, and you are a total shithead, but when the End of the World comes about, I want your shit ass beside me to face it.  Now that’s what I call friendship.

The Worlds End 2

 The Conjuring – 2013

theconjuring1

Let’s face it:  going to the movie theater is no easy feat these days.  For one, ticket and concession prices are re-joke-ulous, second the previews last forever  (I used to love previews but a half hour of previews??? Really???) and third, there is always the possibility of people talking on their phone or just being asshats in general.  That being said, I made the trek to see The Conjuring mainly based on a preview I had seen a few weeks back (I immediately knew it had to be seen) and the hype surrounding the film.  It didn’t hurt that James Wan directed it either.

So let’s get to it, shall we?  I enjoyed this film for many reasons.  First, the setting in the 70’s took me back to a place I remember with a great deal of nostalgia;  you actually had to get up to turn off your TV (which was likely to be bigger than your couch), the wallpaper was tacky, everyone drove a station wagon and there were no cell phones glued into everybody’s hands.  Ah, good times.  Anyway, the film centers around two families — the family being tormented and the couple who come to investigate and hopefully help.  The first part of the movie is really a slow burn, allowing the viewer time to get to know each family, which in this horror movie fan’s opinion is sorely lacking in too many horror films these days.  Personally, I am sick of movies where a bunch of strangers are thrown at you and then die so fast you could really care less.  Call me heartless.  Whatever.  The second half of the film, however takes off like a roller coaster.  I feel a little bad that on one of the first real scares I yelled out “Holy Shit!”  After that, I said it a couple more times, just a little quieter.

Here’s the thing:  The Conjuring was a really good, scary movie that if you are a horror movie fan (and even if not) you should go see.  Was it scarier than the Exorcist?  Hell’s no.  But that wasn’t what the director set out to do anyway.  He set out to make a truly scary film (which he did) that could be rated PG-13 (which he did not — thanks to the MPAA).  The acting was great from the entire cast and there are lots of faces you will recognize — in a good way.  If you go into this movie without any preconceived notions you will have a blast and be surprised by some of the twists and turns thrown at you.  But if you read a gazillion reviews that make this movie into something it’s not, then there is a good chance you will be disappointed and share that disappointment with others.  That would be doing a disservice not only to yourself, but to a really good movie that doesn’t deserve it as well.

theconjuring2

Note:  The concept that this film was “based on a true story” really is not relevant to the enjoyment factor of the film as it works without it.  I dunno, I think I’m just jaded to that kind of hype after so many big time fakers (The Blair Witch Project — I’m looking at YOU).  Also, for the reviews I have read that bash the God versus the Devil concept of the film, maybe you should refrain from writing reviews about DEMONS until you have looked the word “demon” up in the dictionary.  In case you are too lazy (which I suspect you are), here you go: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/demon

Just sayin’.  :-)

Releasing Books In Parts Is Shorting Your Fans

If you are like me and switched with the times (or just ran out of room in your house) from hardcover/paperback to E-books (Nook, Kindle, etc.), you may have noticed a relatively new trend — shorts.   At first, I sort of liked the idea.  In fact, my first introduction to “serials” was Stephen Kings’ “The Green Mile“.  I loved it!  But at that point there were no internet devices like iPads (or much of an internet for that matter) and I could sign up to have them mailed to me rather than having to go to the bookstore for the next installment (did I just date myself?  Oh well.)  As much as I loathe Mr. Kings recent short “Guns“, I have to admit the serial idea was genius — as well as him being one of the first to foray into on-line books.   Go ahead with your bad self Mr. King.

The point is, my issue is not with Stephen King or shorts.  It’s with the authors lately that have been putting their books out in parts for the Nook or the Kindle — if you’re an avid reader you know what I mean.  You buy the first book for 99 cents only to find the book doesn’t really have an ending — and guess what — you not only have to wait for however long it takes for them to release the next installment, but then they turn around and sell the whole book for $2.99.  When the actual followers paid closer to $8  based on their dribs and drabs.  To put it bluntly, as the reader, you don’t get an ending unless you pay up.  And pay up.  And so on.

So let me see if we get this:  We (your customers) buy your book.  We think it is good.  Then, we don’t find out until the “end” of the book that we can’t find out what happened to the characters you made us care about (which we appreciate, therefore we bought your work!) so we have to wait — until you are ready to release the next chapter.   Then in order to sell your next installment, you tell us about WHAT YOU ALREADY WROTE, BUT DIDN’T RELEASE.   Then, we have to pay again to find out the next chapter.  This is BS and your readers are noticing.  To use an old phrase:  please put up or shut up.  We love you but are onto you.    For this avid reader, it has been not only a wake-up call when it comes to books, but also a bit of a nightmare.

PS.  Examples of The Offenders

I didn’t want to mention the authors that should know better than to alienate their base by charging ridiculous fees for a short ass book (you can call it a novella all you want — it’s a short ass book).  But,  yeah I will.  I get that authors need to earn a solid income — AS THEY SHOULD.  But asking for $3 for a book that is so short most of us can read it in an hour is NOT okay.  It’s screwing the people that support you, which, well… just sucks.

Amy Cross  — Her shorts are actually very good.  But get used to waiting for a new “short” as opposed to the  whole book.  Like the story?  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.. Wait.  Wait.  Wait. Wait. And wait some more.  Oh, she will come up with a new “novella” that has nothing to do with the “short” you just read — instead it’s a new short that will make you wait some more!  UGH.  Good writer, but clearly does not care about the people who like her work.  Personally, I am about to tell her to suck it.

Jeff Strand — This one really hurt me.  I loved all of his other books and he seemed like a down to earth guy.  But recently, paying full price on Kindle for books that are insanely short just makes me sad.  I know you know what I mean Mr. Strand.  Not to mention your new book that is listed on Amazon at $17.95 for a PAPERBACK.  Whuhhh?

Point is that we book buyers need to not only appreciate the authors, but kick them in the ass when they try to mug us — as they are trying to do with this short thing.  We are readers.  We are not stupid.  We know what you are trying to do and will not tolerate it.  Well, maybe that’s just me.

BLOG OWNER SCAM ALERT!

The other day I received a letter (in the regular mail) that looked very official from a company called Domain Registry of America indicating that the domain name of this blog needed to be renewed.  Of course, the renewal cost money and would “cover” me for either a year, 2 years or 5 years — and the latter two included a discount!  LOL.  Thank God I took the time to read the whole thing and am slightly savvy when it comes to scams, otherwise I may have just sent these douchebags my hard-earned money and been trapped.

The thing here is that the paperwork does look pretty darn official.  But after about 12 seconds of Google searching I realized that my suspicions were correct — the letter was a scam designed to get me to switch my domain ownership to them, at well, a heck of a lot more money than I am paying now.

If you have received this letter, by all means do your own research, but do not send these people money.  Jeez.  I never thought I would have to write a post letting my fellow blog owners about this ree-joke-ulous scam that is being sent out – and apparently has been for many years now.  Here is a link that explains the scam and even has a screen shot of a letter that is almost exactly what I received.  The only difference is that the costs are now higher.  Talk about chutzpah.  http://support.tigertech.net/droa

Bottom line of this post is to watch your behind and make sure you are checking out everything and anyone who asks for money.  We bloggers need to have each others backs, and that’s really all this post is about.

– Giz

 What The Hell Has Happened to the Syfy Channel?

tv_stargate_atlantis13First, I am still not clear on exactly why the SciFi Channel suddenly became the Syfy Channel (other than the Marketing Department, those liar, liar pants on fire fucktards).  I am sure there are some black suited men, sitting behind a desk who have never liked, seen or heaven forbid — read — anything related to Science Fiction.  Too bad for them, and apparently, too bad for us also.

I don’t have any answers as to why the SciFi Channel, which seemed so hopeful in terms of great, original new shows like Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, Eureka, Ghost Hunters, etc. had suddenly turned to shows like “Shark Attack Times 1000!”, “The Catfish that ate your Mother”, or “The CROC THAT ATE ATLANTIS!”.  Even worse “Smackdown!”.  Obviously, I was joking with those titles, but they aren’t too far off.  Unfortunately, here are some real ones:  “Sharktopus”, “MegaShark vs. Crocosaurus”, “Dinocroc vs. Supergator” and “Smackdown” (that one was real, and just as bad).  Heaven help all of us science and fiction geeks, but that sad list goes on, on and on in terms of the films SyFy is willing to torture us with.

There are, however, some bright spots in the content downfall of the channel, and as anyone with common sense knows, there are but a few shows holding that channel together.  They are:  Warehouse 13, Ghost Hunters (which I used to love but is getting bor-oor-oring), and FaceOff, which is a great show that I encourage all of my peeps to check out.  That is all I will watch on that channel these days, and that is just damn sad.

If I were a betting person, I would lay down lots of money that whoever was put in charge of programming once the change was made is a Godzilla fan and maybe, just maybe a zoophiliac.  I know it’s hard to think about, but why else would someone choose to kill a burgeoning channel with lots of viewers?  Someone cancelled great shows like Stargate Atlantis and Eureka to make way for “My Dingo Ate Your Crocodile”.  Even worse, “Lost Girl” which does nothing but try to capitalize on young mens desires to see two chicks make out.   Really??  She NEEDS to suck face with everyone she meets to survive?  Please God tell me we are not that stupid or that ruled by our loins.

Look, I get the fact that men want to see that kind of thing.  But are you willing to let a TV show eat your brain away so much that the plot no longer matters?  If so, I got nothing for ya.  Come on you other guys, I have more faith in you than that.    Frankly, that’s what porn is for, not prime-time shows showing crap our kids can see.  Eh, whatever.

Now, if you want to watch a channel that is actually Science and Fiction try the Science Channel. They are showing Fringe and they even have a show called “Dark Matters” which is what the SyFy channel promised to be, but never delivered.  It can get a little gross at times, but it’s still great eureka-showand informative.  You know, kind of like life… and science.

Please do me a favor and stop watching the SyFy Channel just because it’s there.  You now know we have the Science Channel, which gives us a lot more than “Smackdown”.   And quite frankly, don’t be a dumbass consumer or teenager with a hard-on, both of whom will believe anything…. including that the Syfy Channel is still worth watching.

Update to the 31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Day 20 Apology

I just realized that I sort of hosed you guys on day 20 of the countdown by re-posting Jeeper’s Creeper’s 2001.  Sorry about that.  Day 20 should have been Jeeper’s Creeper’s II, 2003.  So, to make it up to you here it is:

Number 20:  Jeeper’s Creeper’s II, 2003  Okay, so this one wasn’t as new of an idea as the first, but it still did a pretty darn good job.  Our favorite creepy flesh-eater is back only this time, he has a bus full of kids, some pretty savvy adults and a flash scene with one of our original characters (Justin Long) who just happens to be well… dead but sort of helpful nonetheless.  Anyhoo, what I really liked about this film was the father (Ray Wise) who was not going to stop trying to kill the slimy bastard (played by Jonathan Breck) who killed his son no matter what.  Now that’s my kind of man — Ray Wise that is.

Lastly, since I was really unable to add pics of every film I love in my last post, I think you deserve a few of them to whet your appetite.  MAD props to the Special Effects Team.

Jonathan Breck Before Creeperization:

Mr. Breck (I can’t stop giggling over that name but I am goofy that way) AFTER Creeperization:

Gotta tell ya, makes me think back to guys I have dated — in terms of their before and after pics!

But enough about me and Mr. Breck.  How about a photo of all three (well, sort of).  Nice…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: