Tuesday, May 24, 2022

REVIEW: Gintama (live action movie)

Gintama is a live action movie adaptation of the manga, which is largely a comedy but which also has some dramatic moments. I bought my copy brand new.


This takes place in an alternate Edo-period Japan in which aliens have invaded the country and taken control, outlawing swords. This technically starts in a cafe, where Shinpachi first meets Gintama, a former samurai. However, that's just a fake beginning: the real beginning is a quest to capture a beetle (Kagura just wants one, while Gintama hopes to sell it for a profit). And the actual for-real beginning is when Gintama learns about a serial killer, and a dangerous sword. The killer may have murdered a friend of Gintama and his group, so they go after him in an effort to find out the truth and stop him from killing again.

REVIEW: Stardust (book) by Neil Gaiman

Stardust is fantasy. I bought my copy new.


This begins with the story of an ordinary young man who wants to gain his Heart's Desire, spends some time at a mysterious market that only happens every nine years, and ends up accidentally fathering a son with the probably-not-human slave of a witch. 

When that son, Tristran, turns 17, he's head over heels in love with Victoria, the most beautiful girl in his town. She, not realizing he'd take it seriously, sets him an impossible task to win her heart: bring her back the star they both saw fall. And so begins Tristran's journey away from his ordinary village, into a world where witches, unicorns, and magic exist, and where fallen stars take the form of young women. 

Multiple characters' stories end up intertwined: a witch seeking the fallen star so that she can harvest her heart for its power to grant youth; several brothers competing for their late father's throne; and of course Tristran.

Monday, May 23, 2022

REVIEW: Pacific Rim: Uprising (live action movie)

Pacific Rim: Uprising is a sci-fi action movie. I bought my copy new.


Pacific Rim: Uprising takes place 10 years after the first Pacific Rim movie. Parts of the world have recovered from the past kaiju attacks, while other parts are still in ruins. Jake Pentecost, the son of Stacker Pentecost, who sacrificed himself to save the world in the first movie, is living as a thief in Santa Monica, California, one of the still-ruined parts of the world. Jaeger parts fetch the best prices, but they're also heavily guarded - he and another thief, Amara Namani, are caught and put in jail. Jake's adoptive sister, Mako, gives him a choice: he can either go to prison for a very long time, or he can reenlist in the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps (PPDC) and help train young cadets, including Amara. Jake reluctantly agrees to reenlist.

Amara is a huge Jaeger enthusiast and excited to be given a chance to pilot one, but first she'll have to learn to trust and work together with other people. Unfortunately, there isn't much time, as as the PPDC finds itself up against an upgraded threat to humanity.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

REVIEW: Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder" (live action movie)

Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder is a crime thriller based on a play written by Frederick Knott. I checked it out from the library.


Margot Wendice is married to Tony Wendice, a retired English tennis player, and has been having an affair with Mark Halliday, an American crime fiction writer. Neither Margot nor Mark realizes that Tony knows about their affair, and Tony has now set in motion plans to murder Margot for her fortune.

It should be the perfect murder: Tony plans to use Mark himself as his alibi and has blackmailed a former acquaintance of his into agreeing to be Margot's murderer. Things don't go quite as planned, but Tony's a quick thinker and figures out a way to take Margot down regardless. Or so he thinks...

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

REVIEW: Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars (book) by Nick James

Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars is YA science fiction. It's not an ARC, but I did pick it up at a conference for free ages ago.


This alternates between first-person chapters from Jesse's POV and third-person chapters focused on Cassius. There's a lot to the world-building, and I'm probably forgetting large chunks of it, but basically this is set on a devastated Earth that's horrifically hot and kind of toxic. There are two main political factions: the Skyship dwellers who live in massive ships in the Earth's stratosphere, and the corrupt Surface government that controls the "Chosen Cities," oases protected from the results of the chemical bombings that made so much of the rest of the planet nearly unlivable. Both groups are after one thing: Pearls, mysterious little orbs that fall from space and can power entire cities or ships.

Jesse is a young Skyshipper on what should have been a simple Surface mission to retrieve a Pearl. Instead, he accidentally crosses paths with Cassius, a young Pearl hunter for the Surface government. The encounter changes both of their lives, awakening powers that neither one of them understands.