Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Dresden Files: Ghost Story (Jim Butcher)

Title: Ghost Story

Series: The Dresden Files

Author: Jim Butcher

Released: 2011

Rating: 6/5

Basic Plot: Harry Dresden, who has recently died, must go back to Chicago to find his killer. While he is in Chicago he realizes a lot has changed since he died.

Who Harry Dresden's Killer Is
The person who killed Harry and why it happened are very interesting to find out. I spent a minute or so in shock when I found out. However, the drawback of that is it makes the beginning of the book pretty pointless. That should make me hate the twist and the book, but it doesn't. The truth is, the Chicago Ghost Harry returns to is very pleasing to read about that it makes up for that flaw (though the changed Chicago will probably only really please long time fans of the book series).

How The Other Characters Change
The characters (besides Harry) get a very good change up. Those familiar with the series will be able to really see how good the changes to the characters are. My favorite one who changed was Karrin Murphy. As soon as she spoke one line of dialogue I could tell this wasn't the same character as the one in Changes. I thought she was possessed at first.

Harry Dresden Thinking About the Events in Changes
Harry spends a good deal looking back on his mistakes in Changes. Mainly about everything he risked to save his daughter (Maggie) and why things turned out poorly. I think this does count as a small growth in Harry's character as he has to take responsibility for his apprentice (Molly) becoming a psycho, Murphy becoming a much more hard hearted woman than before, and all the disaster he brought upon Chicago. He does come to peace by the end of the book, though.

Final Thoughts
This book is my favorite in the series so far. By the end of the book I was rushing through it (especially when Harry's killer is revealed). I would highly recommend this book to people that like fantasy/mystery books. The things brought up about the afterlife and ghosts are really neat. I bought this book hardcover and full price and I feel I got more than my money's worth.

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Title: Cowboys & Aliens

Director: Jon Favreau

Based on the Comic Book: Cowboys & Aliens

Comic Book Written By: Fred Van Lente & Andrew Foley

Comic Book Drawn By: Dennis Calero & Luciano Lima

Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde

Rated: PG-13

Released: 2011

Rating: 4/5

Oscars: N/A

Basic Plot: Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) wakes up and doesn't remember who he is. He then gets involved with a plan to stop aliens from invading Earth.

Combing a Sci-Fi and Western Film into One
This is the highlight of the movie. It combines sci-fi and Western film elements so well that it doesn't feel like one takes center stage over the other. The first part of Cowboys & Aliens is strictly a Western. If you like sci-fi and Western movies I highly suggest you go see this movie.

The Aliens
In the comic the aliens talked, in the movie the main aliens don't. This is a little bit disappointing. However, what the aliens look like and their technology do look pretty cool. There is one alien that does talk, though.

The One Annoying Character
Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano) is the most annoying character in the film. Funnily enough, he's the one that drives a good chunk of the plot along. Luckily he is gone for a good majority of the film. He is captured by the aliens pretty early on so you don't have to put up with him that much.

Final Thoughts
I am a big fan of science fiction so I went into the film purely for that element. The fact that it was also a Western film was a big bonus. I was sad about what happens to Olivia Wilde's character, but it was very fitting. This movie does have some romance which fits the tone the movie sets. I saw this movie a few weeks ago (when I was up in Lake Tahoe, California) and so am sorry it took so long to get this review up.

Media-Slayer Shutting Down (jashycam 31)

A few days ago Media-Slayer shut down. Here are my opinions on the matter.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Do you believe in aliens or life on other planets?

Yes. I believe they'll come to take me home.

Ask me anything

What do you think about Media Slayer closing? Did the trolls win?

I don't know the full story but I don't like it. If it was because of the trolls, yes. If Arthur was just a dick and/or was having financial troubles, no.

Ask me anything

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jash and Sarah

This is a HIGHLY fangirly music video showing my love for Sarah Connor. It also serves as a shortened vlog for my California trip in 2011.

The basic premise is that Jash (yeah, she/it is supposed to be me) fell in love with Sarah Connor and Sarah Connor eventually rejected her.

This music video, then, is me...I mean Jash mourning not being with Sarah Connor anymore.

Will there be another in this series? Probably not. I took around 38 minutes of footage and around 195 pictures when I went to California. That means I had a lot to go through.

However, if I go on another long trip (like the California trip in 2011) I might continue with another tale of Jash.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Dresden Files: Blood Rites (Jim Butcher)

Title: Blood Rites

Series: The Dresden Files

Author: Jim Butcher

Released: 2004

Rating: 5/5

Basic Plot: Harry Dresden must figure out who is killing female porn actresses (who are acting in Arturo Genosa's latest film) and for what purpose.

It Being On a Porn Set
Jim Butcher never tells you what goes on during the shooting of the porn. So those hoping for a book overflowing with sex: this isn't the book you're looking for. And for those of you who don't want to read a porn book: don't worry, this book isn't like that.

Thomas' Revelation for Harry
In this book you find out that Harry and Thomas are half-brothers (they have the same mother). I liked this as a big thing with Harry was not having family. He had friends but never family (his mom and dad both died). So a family member being thrown in the mix was very interesting to watch.

Mavra's Apparent Death
I don't think that Mavra actually died in this book. She is supposed to be very powerful and her apparent death is just too easy. I liked it when Kincaid pointed out to Harry that she might still be alive. If I find out that Mavra was killed in this book, I'll be very disappointed.

Final Thoughts
I highly enjoyed this book and liked the focus being on the White Court. You learn how White Court vampires are made, a little of the social structure, and how the White Court vampires usually deal with problems. The producer working on porn films fits in very nicely with the huge focus given the White Court in this book. The only thing that doesn't fit is the little focus on the Black Court. It is interesting, but could've been left out of the book without a problem.

The Dresden Files: Death Masks (Jim Butcher)

Title: Death Masks

Series: The Dresden Files

Author: Jim Butcher

Released: 2003

Rating: 4.5/5

Basic Plot: Harry Dresden has to find the missing Shroud of Turin (which leads to a deeper plot), duel a Red Court Vampire, and deal with his feelings for his ex-girlfriend when she comes back to town.

The Detective Work In This Book
Even though Harry Dresden is a detective there is an obvious lack of being a detective in this series. However, in this book, it is the most detective like of the books in the series (that I have yet read). That doesn't last by the end of the book, but it is good enough.

Susan Coming Back
Harry and Susan were a couple. I like how their relationship was dealt with in this book. You can tell both still love the other but life has pulled them apart. In the sex scene the raw emotions that get released seem very real. And this is a sex scene that has a huge payoff in Changes (another book in The Dresden Files series).

The Plague That Was Going to Be Released
Many people may think that the plague was a doomsday event. However, I do not believe that is the case. The Denarians tell Harry that the plague is not to be the end of the world, but a spreader of chaos. So the plague would last a little while but would probably not cause the end of the world.

Final Thoughts
If you liked the other books in the series, you will like this one. I feel this is the weakest of the books, but it still does an excellent job. Some things in this book don't make sense like how all of the Knights of the Cross are not Christians. It's a very odd plot point that just confused the heck out of me. The Denarians are a great group of villains.

California 2011

My trip to California in the year 2011. From the dreary Orlando Airport to the breathtaking landscape of Lake Tahoe.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Announcement August 2011 (jashycam 30)

I'm going away for a little bit. In this video I give more information.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Final Destination 5: Why?

There are many movies that deserve sequels but don't get them, movies that don't need sequels but get them, and movies who get sequels long after their expiration date.

The Final Destination 'series', from what I've read up on it, is the same movie getting done over and over again. I've looked at comments from people who have seen the entire series and even they are bored of it.

The basic...oh, what the heck am I say: The ONLY premise of this 'series' is that one person has a premonition that a disaster will happen, save some people from said disaster, and then they all slowly die throughout the course of the film.

What has changed throughout the series? Well, the deaths get more elaborate. It also seems that in the fifth installment people can kill others so they won't be killed. Though that probably won't work.

I would recommend staying away from this movie so the 'series' can FINALLY reach its Final Destination.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Thoughts on the Apollo 18 Official Trailer

Brian told me to look up the trailer for Apollo 18 and I did. So how do I think the movie will turn out?

Apollo 18 seems to be one of many movies following the mockumentary format. I have seen The Blair Witch Project (extremely boring until the very end) and Cloverfield (a fun little sci-fi romp). These movies became popular but aren't really good movies.

Apollo 18 being a mockumentary makes it seem like it's following a fad. This fad is probably popular in that it makes you think that what you're seeing is real (which is VERY useful in any medium). Is it a successful fad? It seems to be, so it may get some money because of the genre.

But what about the plot?

Conspiracy Theorists are going to love this one. There was an Apollo mission to the moon that was never publicly disclosed (Apollo 18) and the mission explains why we never went back. If you guessed the reason we never went back is because something spooky is living on the moon: Congratulations! You aren't retarded!

The plot is paper thin at most and will probably turn out like The Blair Witch Project. Do I mean it'll have the success of that movie? No. I mean the movie will probably consist of mostly people acting scared and nothing happening. Since nothing will really happen you'll keep hoping that all the people will die so that the movie will be over. Oh, and the only exciting thing will happen at the end.

I think critics with a refined taste (aka snobs) will probably hate this movie while critics with a more laid back view will like it.

I will still want to see this movie because it is a science-fiction (plus, as a bonus: horror) movie. However, I don't think this movie will be good and I might wait for it to come out on DVD.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekly Update 8/7/2011

Popular Ways to Get To My Blog
Media Slayer Productions (website)

Top 5 Post of This Week

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
I highly enjoyed this movie. It was a good end to the Harry Potter franchise.
Views: 7

2. Alice in Wonderland (2010)
No, I didn't see this in 3D.
Views: 5

3. Sushi, Sake, and Tanuki: Enslaved 2
I did release an Sushi, Sake, and Tanuki chapter recently but this isn't it. This is back in the first section of the series (the current section is the third one: A New Leaf).
Views: 2
Views on Deviantart: 28

4. S&N: Curse Revealed 1
This is the most recent chapter of S&N.
Views: 2
Views on Deviantart: 6

5. The Green Hornet (2011)
I think my rating isn't what the majority think.
Views: 1

I want to remind people that the view numbers (except the Deviantart ones) are ONLY from this week and not the total view count.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Green: Illegal 2

"What cure?" I asked the burglar.

"Gralg." The burglar said and I remembered the advertisement that I kept with me. "My wife, she's suffering from some type of depression. I woke up one morning and she was trying to kill herself."

"How-" I started to ask but Plague cut me off. I realized that the memory hurt the man. I decided to take another questioning route. "Couldn't you afford counseling for her?"

"I tried that." The burglar cried out. "But it didn't help. I decided to get Gralg. It was supposed to be the one thing that would save my wife."

"What does this Gralg look like?" Plague asked and I noticed that he was angry.

"It's a green pill. It's very hard to get." The burglar replied.

Plague nodded. "Watch over him, Matthias, I'm going to call the police."

"Okay." I replied and he walked out of the room.

Watching the burglar I started to feel sorry for him. Never mind that he would've killed me just a few minutes ago.

"Please, let me go, I need to save my wife. I don't know if she's alive or not. I need to help her." The burglar begged me.

I thought about disregarding Plague's orders but I felt he had his reasons for turning the burglar in. Mainly that the burglar broke in, entered, and was willing to kill both me and Plague. I shook my head and he moaned louder.

Plague walked back into the room. "I called the police. They'll be here shortly."

I nodded and we all waited. Finally the police came and took the crying burglar away.

"Who was he?" I asked Plague.

"It doesn't matter." He said. "What does matters is that he was going to buy an illegal substance."

"Gralg is illegal?"

"Yes. It was originally created to help those with mental disabilities. But it had some side-effects that were very damaging."

"What were the side-effects?"

"I don't know. But they were bad enough to make it illegal." Plague said.

I thought about Thomas Savan and the green algae. Maybe there was a connection between Gralg and the green algae. Or maybe I just needed more sleep.

If you could, would you travel to space?

Yes I would. I'm a big sci-fi nerd. My dream is to one day live on Mars.

Ask me anything

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Title: Alice in Wonderland

Director: Tim Burton

Based on the Books: Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There

Books By: Lewis Carroll

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter

Rated: PG

Released: 2010

Rating: 3/5

Oscars: 2

Basic Plot: Alice returns to Wonderland (but doesn't remember being there before) and ends up having to save Wonderland.

The White Queen
Let me just say that Anne Hathaway was gorgeous as the White Queen. In fact, she was one of the best looking people in the movie. The antics of the White Queen were amusing to watch and fun. However, how she holds her hands (for the good majority of the film) does get a little irritating (though it looks good for a little while).

The Dark Atmosphere of the Film
I love when a movie isn't fully all happy and go lucky. This movie does have some scenes that might make little kids uncomfortable (the beheadings in the movie for one). For an older audience, however, these things aren't that troubling at all. Plus the movie does end on a happy note.

Better or Worse Than Other Versions
I only remember seeing the old Disney Alice in Wonderland animated feature a long time ago. I didn't form any memories that make me look back at the film with nostalgia. That version, though, was much lighter than this one. Bad things happened in that film but Burton's film is much darker.

Final Thoughts
This film is a decent fantasy film. It has the tried and true plot of a person (Alice) finding out that she is, indeed, someone with an important destiny. The villains are funny but never too threatening. If you are looking for a film to relax to, this one will do fine. If you're looking for a good fantasy movie, there are always other choices.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Teacher's Motivation

Recently a reporter told Matt Damon that a teacher's only motivation is losing his/her job. At which Damon corrected the reporter.

I agree with Damon on this one. Teachers go in to education because they want to teach. Do they get a good deal out of their job decision? No! They have a horrible deal with the low pay and the kids they have to deal with. I am surprised that anyone decides to go into teaching in the first place.

If teachers had it certain that they had a stable position and good pay, there would be more of an incentive to teach.

Extras 14

Alternate takes, bloopers, and a little vlog!

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The Terminator (Part 4)

The Terminator is an average action flick but it does have something that makes it stand out from the rest.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

S&N: Curse Revealed 1

It had been hours since I had escaped The Net facility and stolen another car once I had gotten far enough away. The Net facility had been my home since my rebirth. I shouldn't say rebirth since I am now a machine. I was once a living, breathing, human girl and now I am a Machine. A filthy Machine.

Though I was allowing an inner dialog inside my head, I was focusing more on my surroundings. I would shortly be with Samara and I couldn't wait. I felt that if I could still feel something with Samara I would be human enough.

I finally found the apartment and felt a feeling close to happiness. It wasn't the same, though. I should have been feeling extreme bliss after being away from Samara for so long. I slowly got out of the car as I imagined that Samara would not accept me. Hell, I didn't even accept myself most days now.

I walked to the door as I gathered courage that I did not feel. Before I got to the door I looked behind me and saw something that I couldn't really tell if it was there or not. It flickered in and out. It seemed to be a young woman who was all in white and her whole form was nebulous. Finally she just disappeared. I would have to get myself looked at later.

Turning back to the door, I walked to the door and hesitated a moment and then knocked. With my Machine hearing I heard more than one person in the apartment. Was I already replaced by Samara? Would it now be easier for her to push me away?

The door opened and a man greeted me. My human memory didn't recognize him but my database did. It identified him as a member of Karma. My friend unless he found out what I really was.

"Can I have a glass of water?" I asked while giving him the hand signal.

The man looked at me a moment before nodding and letting me in.

"Why did Karma send you here?" The man asked after he shut the door.

"I can't tell you because of orders." I replied. Karma sometimes would have its members keep secrets from other members. This was, of course, so that the secrets could be better kept. Also allowed less of a chance for betrayal. "But what I can tell you is that I'm looking for Samara Crichton."

I was worried that this was pushing away the Karma member's trust in me. Looking around I could see two other members in the room. I could see their distrust of me but they had to follow their leader.

After a few minutes the Karma member nodded.

"I will have her location in a few minutes. I don't believe I've heard anything about Crichton's location being kept secret." He said and paused a moment. "And maybe you can help her. She lost her lover a few years back and you look like her type of woman."

The Host Rant (Part 16)

Melaine Stryder makes friends with Wanderer, decides to go into enemy territory, and she loves a man called Jared.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Title: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Director: Tim Burton

Based on the Play By: Stephen Sondheim

Play Released: 1979

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman

Rated: R

Released: 2007

Rating: 5/5

Oscars: 1

Basic Plot: Benjamin Barker (now renamed Sweeney Todd) goes back to London, England and seeks revenge for the rape and murder of his wife.

The Dark and Feel of the Movie
This movie is very dark. I would not suggest watching this if you're depressed (like I did). However, the dark feel is very fulfilling and makes you feel. It's not merely dark to be dark, the subject matters it deals with aren't very happy at all. The gore depicted in the movie is sometimes funny.

The Songs
I didn't particularly care for the good majority of the songs. There were a few songs that I enjoyed and most of them I could stand. The songs, though, do add to the plot of the movie. In that sense, the songs do their jobs.

WTF Moments
There were a few moments in this movie that it took me a moment or two to realize what the characters were talking about. This wasn't because I couldn't understand them, but the subjects they talked about were odd. Such was when Todd and Mrs. Lovett talk about making pies from people in a very happy tone.

Final Thoughts
I enjoyed this film even though it doesn't have a very happy ending. However, the dark feeling of the movie is its highpoint. It isn't afraid to show the graphic scenes in the movie. If you don't like bloody movies or ones that end on a low note, don't watch this movie. If you're watching it merely for Johnny Depp: he doesn't do a bad job as Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Title: Inglourious Basterds

Director: Quentin Tarantino

"Nation's Pride" Director: Eli Roth

Starring: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, and Eli Roth

Rated: R

Released: 2009

Rating: 4.5/5

Oscars: 1

Basic Plot: The Basterds (a group of Jews who kill Nazis) go on a mission while a woman unknowingly helps.

Slow Pacing
This movie isn't for those that want action all the time. It takes its time building up tension in scenes and always rewards you for your patience. If you can't get through the opening scene I don't think you'll enjoy the rest of this movie.

Old Fashioned Film
I like the style of this film in that it feels like an older movie. The visual quality is good but the setup doesn't look modern. This is most noticeable in the first round of ending credits.

The Killing Nazis Ending Scene
This scene is very well done and very chaotic. It is also graphic. Everything that happens in the movie is paid off in this scene. Yes, Hitler being shot at is very rewarding but I was too caught up in the scene to pay that much attention to it. I would suggest watching this movie if only for this scene.

Final Thoughts
For those that like to get immersed in a world, and don't mind a lot of dialogue, I would highly recommend this movie. Also, there are subtitles but don't let that fact make you not see the movie. If you don't like gore I would, of course, warn you away from this movie.