Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Captain Underpants - The first epic movie - Film Review



Took Bel to see the new Dreamworks movie Captain Underpants in Cleethorpes as the weather is like winter.

Also my inner child secretly wanted to watch it too.  Based on the children's books by Dav Pilkey who's books I've seen about and wanted to read but too old .

It follows two school kids George(Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) who are two pranksters at school but also create their own comics in their tree house including Captain Underpants.
This is thought was good as shows young kids it's fun to be creative. 

They are forever in trouble at school and sent to Principle Krupp office.  On this occasion he threatens to separate them in class which they believe will end their friendship  (even though they live next door to each other.)

As a last resort they use a hypno ring from a cereal box and it actually works.  As the Principal looks like Captain Underpants they make him believe that's who he is.

From here there is more fun and toilet humour and Captain Underpants is a great parody of Superheros. 

The animation and voice cast are great and the movie blasts along at great speed like a huge long fart.

Overall - A great first movie and if the get the story right then a sequel won't be pants.
Take you kids and inner kids to see this.


Bels Score      -   10/10

My score        -   10/10



Monday, 24 July 2017

Book Review - Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist



This is the sequel to Raymond E Feist's excellent Magician and book two of The Riftwar Saga.

Set a year after the initial invasion by the Tsuranni the world of Midkemia has been at peace.
King Lyam and his brother Arutha now the Lord of Krondor has sailed around the Kingdom and now back for Aruthas marriage to Princess Anita. 

On his arrival to the city and assassination attempt on Arutha life is thwarted by Jimmy the Hand the best thief in the Mockers Guild and who briefly appeared in Magician helping the Prince.

A second attempt on Prince Aruthas life on his wedding is again stopped by Jimmy but Princess Anita is hit by a poisoned arrow. 

The now powerful magician Pug the main character in the previous novel puts a spell on Anita to slow time for her as the poison will kill her.

The Prince, Jimmy, Pug and another small group find out the cure is from the Silverthorn plant which is found in only one spot in the Northlands which is home to the dark Mordhel and a new enemy wanting the death of Arutha and the destruction of the Kingdom.

I loved Magician which I wish I had read when I first got it twenty years ago and the same is said for this.
In fact I enjoyed Silverthorn more as I already knew the main characters and the World(s) they inhabit.

Whereas second books can sometimes lag this had more action and more enemies including undead Mordhel and humans and giant magical beasts.

The characters are again well rounded including minor ones and Jimmy is now a main character which at first wasn't keen on but he's one of the better ones.

Again the other world of Kelewan is visited by Pug  who manages to open a portal there to find out which dark forces are responsible. 

Overall   -  more action, more monsters a quicker lighter read with characters you love. Can't wait to read the third novel A Darkness at Sethanon. 


Score     -   10/10

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Writing Mojo/Group or writing is a lonely game



Hi guys

Well it's been a long time since I've actually written a post on writing .

This is mostly because in recent months I've hit a slump and probably a depression so not done half as much as I should including writing and gym.

Anyway starting to feel like the old me again and after attending Monday's Cleckheaton Writers Group it has me fired up again.
Was great to catch up with them and hear their WIP.

Even though I haven't written for nearly a year.  I started a ghost story last August.  I will be back on full cylinders as I've still had some great ideas.

Luckily still been reading as you'll have seen my book and film reviews here.  Soon will be reviewing Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist.
Have also been buying Writing Magazine but not reading fully so to catch up with those too.

To get my creative juices flowing I will be writing a few bits of fan fiction.  I've a few set pieces which have played in my mind for a few months so will write those after Cleethorpes next week.  They may not be full stories just a chapter or two which I thought would be good.
They are set in two of the biggest franchises going - can you guess which ones?

Anyway will chat later guys -  will leave you with a pic of me back writing x



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Transformers 5 - The Last Knight - Film Review



Went to see the fifth instalment of the unpredictable Transformers Franchise again directed by Micheal Bay.

So far for me the best of the franchise have been Transformers 1 and 4 and that stands.
Although this is watchable like the second in the series it's all over the place and sometimes didn't make much sense.
Spoilers -
In this film it goes back to the Time of King Arthur who is losing a battle.  His magician Merlin knows of Transformers who have crashed and given a staff of power which only his line can use.  Also the guardian Transformers agree to help and merge into a three headed Dragon.

Switch to modern times and Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen)  is still lost floating in space sending a call to the Transformers creators.
Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) is wanted by a Transformers killing unit and hiding out with the remaining Autobots including Hound (John Goodman) and Bumblebee.
He comes across a Guardian ship whereby the pilot gives him an amulet that means he's the last Knight and has to defend the last line of Merlin.

You still with me?  Told you it's a convoluted plot.

Then we go to England where Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) and his Transformer butler Cogsworth are guarding the secrets of the round table and looking after Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) the last Merlin family member.
The Autobot Hotrod is also helping them.

As this is going on Optimus Prime finds Quintessa (Gemma Chan) who is the Transformers creator and means to take a dying Cybertron to earth to mend Cybertron with Earths energy as Earth is really Unicron - Cybertrons sister planet.  She takes over Optimus and makes him evil and to find the staff of Merlin.

Add to all this a girl with a cute robot and the return of Megatron somehow.

The film is a mix bag and jumps from location to location although it does have some great action set pieces but the ending is a mess with too much going on.  Plus there isn't much of Optimus.

The best and funniest parts are with Anthony Hopkins slightly mad Sir Edmond and his robot servant Cogsworth who's trying not to be a psychotic killer.

The film as a whole is watchable just sometimes doesn't make sense.  The main bug bear is Megatron coming back as he was killed in the third film and in the forth a new Transformer Galvatron was made with Megatrons head.
I'm guessing inbetween the movies he works to making himself into his former image though wish they would mention it.

There is also a quite good Suicide Squad nod when Megatron is requesting the humans release some of his Decepticons.
Also there is more of a connection to previous films with Josh Duhamel reprising his role as Colonel William Lennox and photos of previous characters.

Overall  -  good acting and special effects just the story gets tied up in a knot and there is too much going on.  Plus the final battle is a mess.  Worth a watch. Just.


Score   -   7/10

Monday, 3 July 2017

Despicable Me 3 - Film Review



Hi guys

Took the daughter to see the newest Despicable Me film from Illumination animation.

Gru (Steve Carell) is back with his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and his three adoptive kids and his trusty Minions.  Although Dr Nefario (Russell Brand) isn't in this as he's frozen himself in carbonite.

The film starts with Gru and his wife Lucy failing to catch eighties child star turn villain who believes he's the character he portrayed Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker).
Because they fail to capture him they are sacked from the Anti Villain league and the Minions want him to be bad again.  Gru disagrees and the Minions led by Mel (who I can't remember from the other films) revolt and go on their own.  Although two are left behind to look after Gru.

As they face hard times Gru is summoned to Freedonia to meet his long lost twin Dru (Steve Can tell again).
He is the opposite of Gru but wants to become a villain like their Father.

The film had some funny moments including the Minions on a talent show and in prison.  It isn't hard to dislike them but I wondered if the joke was wearing a bit thin as there are only so many rude things they can do or say like bum and boobs.

Also Gru and Dry bonding had some emotional and funny moments.

Overall  -  the film felt flat compared to the first two films and forced although there were some funny gags and great visuals it didn't click with me.

Although my daughter lived it and that is what counts.


Bels Score   -   10/10

My score     -   7/10

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Wonder Woman - Film Review



Hi Folks

Again long time no blog - sorry!  I really need to do more posts although not sure how many reading them - become a Follower so I have an idea.

Anyway went to see the new DC film Wonder Woman starring  Gal Gadot in the main role of Wonder Woman/ Princess Diana of the Amazon's.

The film starts with Diana growing up and learning the history of the world and the God's and the Amazon's.   This was a great scene showing the God Zeus being betrayed and having to fight his son Ares the God of War who wants to corrupt mankind.

It shows Diana training to be a warrior on the Amazonian island which is hidden from sight so Ares doesn't find them.

This changes when World War 1 pilot Steve Trevor  (Chris Pine) crash lands and she saves him.
Once she finds out the world beyond the peaceful idyllic island is at war she sets off with him to help stop the war.  She thinks it's Ares causing the conflict and to stop the war she has to kill him with a God slayer sword.

The film moves at a fast pace with plenty of humour mixed in which hits the spot more than Batman Vs Superman dark bleaker tones.

With a twist near the end as to who Ares really is this is one of the better Superhero movies I've seen in a long time.  Even better than the first Captain America film which is similar due to its war setting.

It helps that Gal Gadot is hot and nice eye candy although I thought sometimes she had a funny shape head.


Overall    -  So far the best DC film with humour, heart and a strong female lead hope Justice League film follows suit.


Score  -  9/10

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Book Review - Magician by Raymond E Feist



Hi guys

If you remember last year I mentioned I bought loads of books in the 90s from Fantasy and Sci Fi Book Club really cheap!
One set of books were the first four novels by Raymond E Feist.  At the time started reading it and got to chapter three and vowed to finish it one day.

Fast forward about twenty years and I've actually come back to it and read it all and boy am I glad I did.  Although I wish I had read it back then but was less patient then and more interested in going clubbing.

Now I've matured I've really got into Magician, the first novel in the Riftwar saga by Raymond E Feist.
It starts off in typical fashion the kitchen hand Pug realises he has powers becomes an apprentice magician to Kulgan and studys whilst playing with his friends including Tomas and Princess Carline who he falls for.

This is pretty standard fantasy fare and reminded me of David Eddings farmboy come magician Garion.

It all changes when an alien looking vessel is beached and warriors who speak a foreign tongue appear.  Things hot up when a rift to another world appears.

The novel is huge in scope as not only is there world building for the main planet of Midkemia but also the planet Kelewan where the Tsurani invaders come from.

That is double the amount of characters to most books plus histories, languages, politics and magic let alone small details like weapons.
This book must have been planned for a long time as it can be quite complex yet easy for the reader to get into.
It also has a time frame of over nine years and by the end our heroes have grown into young adults.
Some including Pug and Tomas are changed forever.

There is plenty going on from political fighting and double crossing to magic battles and dragons.

I wish I hadn't waited so long to read but glad I did.


Overall   -  a huge epic novel taking on two worlds worth of story telling.  Now to read its sequel  Silverthorn.


Score     -   10/10