Movie Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017) 2.5 stars

Ghost in the Shell

Released: March 31, 2017 (US)

Director: Rupert Sanders

Watched: 10/2/2019 (via Hulu and SyFy)

Rating: 2-2.5 stars

Synopsis (from IMDB): In the near future, Major Mira Killian is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.

My Thoughts

Five years ago, I watched and reviewed the 1995 animated movie of the same nameContinue reading “Movie Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017) 2.5 stars”

Syfy’s Ascension Jumps The Shark In Its Very First Episode

Meh.  I don’t need another police procedural in a fish bowl. Ugh.

I began to suspect something was extremely fishy within the first couple of minutes.

If it was really early 1960s, then the examining doctor would not be wearing blue latex gloves.

Once we the audience ‘knew’ Ascension was a spaceship, my first thought was the microgravity problem. No spinning section yet people are walking around and using elevators like it’s a skyscraper.

And when a prisoner is locked in a cell it included a very modern shiny stainless steel sink and toilet combo.

The ‘Big Reveal’ arrived in the last minute, and sealed my dislike for this show.

Where are the explorers and scientists?

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

Update Mid-Afternoon:  And this show gets negative marks for the role of women in this ‘society.’  I find it extremely hard to believe that a society would be so locked in time (early to mid 60s) and not change little if any in fifty years.  For better or worse, some change would occur.  And there would be considerable wear and tear on the physical media: books, magnetic tape, film, vinyl, etc.  Most spaceship environments are also quite damp, which would have caused mold and mildew issues.  I wonder home many cathode ray tubes had to be provisioned as well as vacuum tubes.

Book Review: Sword of Michael by Wynne (2.5 Stars)

The Sword of Michael by Marcus Wynne

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Marius Winter doesn’t walk the road of the shaman-warrior alone. He has powerful allies in the Other Realms and in ordinary reality. His spirit guides are a Lakota war-chief and medicine man, First In Front; Tigre, a powerful feminine spirit who appears as a white tiger; and Burt, a spirit raven who channels an old Jewish bookie from the Bronx.

Now Marius is targeted by a powerful sorcerer. In the battle for the souls of his friends and lover, he must storm the gates of the underworld and fight through the Seven Demi-Demons of Hell to the deepest dungeons to confront Belial himself.

My Thoughts:

I found myself skimming and skipping most of this book.  The first two-thirds seemed your standard urban fantasy with a supernatural flare, demons and angels, the old Holy War, tied into or growing out of the Fall of Atlantis.  The dialogue was forced and re-used one-liner clichés poorly.  After about the sixth time I’d read a ‘one-liner’ I just about gave up.  I forged on, but the ‘pay off’ didn’t pay as much as just felt off.

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Movie Review: Seven Days in Utopia (2.5 Stars)

Seven Days in Utopia

2.5 out of 5 stars

Watched in February 2014

Synopsis from IMdb: After a disastrous debut on the pro circuit, a young golfer finds himself unexpectedly stranded in Utopia, Texas and welcomed by an eccentric rancher.

My Thoughts: Friday night after a short but long week at work and a wicked day of firefighting on the IT front line at a large law firm, I came home to an enjoyable dinner of tasty tacos with my hubby.  He had scheduled a band practice for the evening (the second one of the week), so I attempted to read, but couldn’t concentrate.  I switch to surfing through my Netflix streaming queue and stumbled across Seven Days in Utopia, seeing that Robert Duvall starred in the movie.  You can rarely go wrong watching Duvall, so I started watching while the band in the basement practiced classic rock covers.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Seven Days in Utopia (2.5 Stars)”

Restaurant Review: El Potro Mexican Cafe & Cantina (2 Stars)

El Potro Mexican Cafe & Cantina

2 out of 5 stars

Location:  Bonner Springs, Kansas (in the old Mazzio’s building west-northwest of the K-7/US-73 and I-70 interchange)

A couple of our friends mentioned that a new Mexican restaurant had opened recently in Bonner Springs, Kansas.  El Potro took over the old, long empty Mazzio’s Pizza building.  Terry and I made a quick trip to Nebraska Furniture Mart early yesterday evening and decided to try the cafe on the way home.

The parking lot was packed but we found an open spot near the front door.  The restaurant had no waiting area, so a dozen or so people were crammed in the corridor between the door and the hostess stand waiting to be seated.  The hostess took down our name and told us the wait would only be 10-15 minutes.  A few minutes later, one of the servers asked those waiting if they’d like to be seated at the bar for dinner and we opted to take him up on that offer.

Continue reading “Restaurant Review: El Potro Mexican Cafe & Cantina (2 Stars)”

Book Review: The Last Stormlord by Larke (2 Stars)

The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke

2.0-2.5 out of 5 stars

Read in June 2010

I just couldn’t buy an entire civilization that refused to seek out new horizons, explore beyond the status quo of barely enough water to survive in a desert, enabling themselves like addicts completely dependent on their next fix of water from their stormlord. I admit, the water magic system intrigued, but did not wow me. It reminded me of a psi-power system more so than an actual magic system.

All the characters fairly brimmed with potential to entice me to care about their predicaments and futures. Something just didn’t gel though, beyond the normal revulsion for obviously despicable villains and those cowardly scheming opportunists that waffle in the wind. The good characters lacked something, but I can’t put my finger on it. Convincing passion? Believable choices? Inspired intelligence?

Finishing the book was a relief. I could finally close the cover and not be beaten over the head with power plays and prison metaphors any longer.

For such a thick tome, I experienced no hindrance to a fairly fast read. Not a lot of subtlety or depth to ponder.

I doubt I’ll ever re-read this and won’t likely continue the series, unless GoodReads reviews by friends proves the next installment aspires to a higher plane of fantastic fiction.

TV Series Episode Review: Defiance Pilot (2.5 stars)

DefiancePilotPromoDefiance Pilot

First aired April 15, 2013 via the Syfy channel

2.o-2.5 out of 5 stars

Ninety minutes of my life I’ll never get back.  I don’t need another police procedural to watch, even dressed up with some passable CG.  Nor do I need overly complicated political intrigue among not just humans, but let’s throw in a few aliens and mutants.  Give me some good old action adventure or military SF, and less of the contrived relationship drama.

I didn’t find out until after watching the pilot episode, and wandering why the heck the writers and director didn’t better convey the backstory, that an ebook was released last week to help viewers ‘catch up.’  The “Essential Guide” is available free in iTunes and Amazon, but not Barnes & Noble or other retailers (yet).  Makes it somewhat difficult for me to acquire, since I’m boycotting both of the big A’s these days.

I may give this series a couple more episodes before pulling the plug.  Syfy has a high bar to surpass, since they keep cancelling prematurely their original series (case in point: Stargate: Universe, Caprica and Alphas).