Mini Reviews: Comic Book Edition

Since the mini reviews were quite well received last month and I didn’t have the best of reading months in July, I just wanted to do a short round up of all the comic books I read. I hope you like reading those too!

Click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!

Deadly Class, Vol. 1+2

Deadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan YouthDeadly Class, Vol. 2: Kids of the Black HoleI wanted to check out Deadly Class so bad before the show starts airing (check out the trailer here) and I got very lucky when a friend of mine decided to unhaul some of his comic books and I got them really cheap. I’ve heard so many people raving about this one, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I can definitely see the appeal in terms of the storytelling and dialogue, because it’s more than kids just beating each other up. It’s about depression, anxiety, moral ambiguity, tough circumstances and even tougher choices and all of it in a high stakes setting.

“This isn’t a dress rehearsal Marcus, you only get the one turn. Life is a series of unique opportunities. It’s our job to find the happiness in each one.”

Still, as I read on, I just found that the art style and the violence weren’t for me in this type of format. I think I can still see myself enjoying the show a lot, but as soon as I realised I was skipping panels because I really didn’t want to read or see what was happening, I gathered I probably won’t be continuing with the comics, even though I would like to know what will happen in the overall story.

Fazit Vol. 1: 4/5 stars! It was a wild trip!

Fazit Vol. 2: 3/5 stars! This kind of proved to me that I probably won’t be reading this on the long run.

Faith, Vol. 1

Faith, Volume 1: Hollywood & VineI gravitated towards this story because they want to adapt Faith for the big screen and I really wanted to check out what her character was all about. I can’t say that Valiant comics are what I usually strive for, so I kind of missed Faith’s origin story (which was in a previous series and not in this one) but I didn’t feel too disoriented.

As a character, I really loved Faith! It’s not often that you get to see a plus-size female superhero and such a funny, geeky and badass one at that. (The pop culture references were on point!) She charms you even when the story is only meh and you want to know more about her regular life, romantic entanglements and alliances.

On a side note, I am also very curious about the casting should they go forward with the movie! I can’t think of anyone from the top of my mind, which is sad if you think about it.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! I can see myself really following this character for a while.

Magritte: Ceci n’est pas une biographie

Magritte: This is Not a BiographyI don’t know if any of you know this about me, but René Magritte is one of my all time favourite artists. It’s not even all his paintings or themes, but he was one of the first artists I really discovered for myself and quickly learned to distinguish in exhibitions (Seriously, I can spot a Magritte a mile away). I don’t remember why, but we learned a lot about him when I was around the age of 10 and his life story just sort of stuck with me. I won this book and to get a whole graphic novel that’s basically a homage to his life, art and shortcomings as well as accomplishments was really great.

It’s a weird story for sure, but so was Magritte’s art. I liked that they kept the surrealist approach while making it their own and also educating people on parts of his life some might not have known about. It was really fun and with a certain unexpected ending.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Such a nice short homage to Magritte!

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these or do you have thoughts on them? Let’s chat in the comments below!

We All Looked Up Book Review

There’ve been so many great books released this year and We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach is definitely among my favourites! There won’t be any major Spoilers unless noted otherwise!

 

We All Looked Up is a story told from the point of view of four teenagers interconnected with each other, who have to deal with the very real possibility of an asteroid hitting earth and destroying it. With that knowledge, how do you still know what’s important? Does anything matter at all or is everything that you do even more significant now that it could be the last time?

First, let me start by saying that I love the cover. It was one of the things that instantly drew me towards the book, because it was just so simple yet beautiful. But even more importantly, the short description on the back of the book really hit home with me. It’s very Breakfast-Club-esque and I loved that. Stories about putting down labels are always great and it having that unique twist with the asteroid made it even better. I don’t know exactly what genre it is though, maybe pre-apocalyptic? Is that a thing?

Anyway, the four characters played off each other very well, although it sometimes felt very obvious who they were “destined” to be with. Nonetheless, they all had that authentic touch and each had their very own voice. I loved the questions they were confronted with as society began to panic and disintegrate. Everything in this book resonated with me very much and to quote it right there:

“The best books, they don’t talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you’d always thought about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you’re a little bit less alone in the world. You’re part of this cosmic community of people who’ve thought about this thing, whatever it happens to be.”

And that’s just exactly how it felt! Everything was connected and even if you didn’t agree with the decisions characters made, you still could empathise with them and that’s the most important thing anyway.

SPOILER AHEAD!!

During the course of the book some people died … actually quite a lot and a main character among them. While I did feel a little sad, I thought there was never actual time to grieve. I am aware that they were all under a lot of pressure and short on time with the asteroid on the way, but those moments always felt so … rushed and unimportant, which I think is a pity.

Also, a lot of people have debated over the ending and of course I have something to say about it as well. I’m a little torn to be honest. On the one hand, it was perfect! It probably couldn’t have ended any other way and by keeping all the possibilities open, it gave the readers even more to think about than the book has already done thus far. Yet, on the other hand, it was also extremely mean. You’ve spent so much time building a relationship with these characters and then you are denied to know their fate. But I know that it wasn’t really possible to tell the story any further. It would’ve ruined the flow.

Fazit: A very engaging read that will give you a lot to think about!

If you’ve read the book as well or have any questions, let’s discuss in the comments! For more details on the book, either go and visit Tommy Wallach‘s website or click on the picture above to get re-directed to goodreads.

 

Summer Review: UnREAL

I’ve been raving about UnREAL for a while now, making it my most anticipated summer TV show of 2015. You can’t believe how happy I am that it also delivered when I finally got a chance to watch it. I’m already addicted and I’ve only seen one episode so far! I don’t think there are any major Spoilers in this review, especially not if you’ve seen the promo, but decide for yourself with how much information you want to go into this.

UnREAL chronicles the shooting of a reality show called “Everlasting”, which is very much like the fictional re-imagining of “The Bachelor”. It is a behind-the-scenes-look from the producers point of view, especially freelancer Rachel, who has returned to the show after a mental breakdown (that was, like everything else, caught on camera). There are so many “unscrpited” TV shows on these days and I just don’t believe them – I love that UnREAL takes a bit of a hit at them, trying to expose the process behind “great TV”. In fact, the show is so on-point that it could just as well be a docu-series. (Although I seriously hope that real producers aren’t that ruthless!)

Here are some more specific thoughts:

  • Shiri Appleby as the lead, Rachel Goldberg, is perfect!!! She looks so honest, nice and sympathetic that you wouldn’t guess how manipulating she can be. I’m so very much looking forward to seeing her journey and if she’ll get out of this sane. I mean being hated by so many people, having to destroy people’s lives and working with your ex … that’s gotta take its toll.
  • Quinn (Constance Zimmer), the head producer who has an affair with show-creator Chet, is candid and offensive at the same time. Often you can’t believe what she’s saying but there’s always truth to her words. She knows how to do her job and she knows that she can’t make friends while doing it. I’m not quite sure how it’ll pan out that she sent the PA to do Rachel’s service hours. I hope it doesn’t backfire!
  • I haven’t quite figured out Freddie Stroma‘s character Adam yet. Is participating in a dating show really the best way to do damage control for your reputation? I don’t think that I’d invest with someone who tried to find love on a TV show, but maybe that’s just my opinion. Nonetheless, he intrigues me and I can see the sparks between him and Rachel.
  • The way all the contestants got cast for their part on the show and how the producers dug into their past is messed up. You’d like to think that that was one of the “unreal” parts of the show, but it’s at least partly how these dating formats are run. Maybe it’s not as extreme as it’s portrayed here , but it’s still freaky to think how much of it all is staged.
  • I love Arielle Kebbel and I hope she’ll make another appearance on the show!
  • The whole setting, the house, the location, the crew – it all looks so “real”. I have to hand it to the creators for that one. I’m sure someone spent a lot of time watching dating-shows for “research” purposes!
  • Just fyi: the show is inspired by Shapiro’s short Sequin Raze. Haven’t seen it, but I now very much would like to!

UnREAL is the real deal for me and required summer-viewing! I can already see myself sitting on the edge of my seat every week, anticipating what they’ll come up with next. What do you say?

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2014

Before I start this post: I wish all of you readers happy holidays! It’s been a great year and I am thankful for all the support I’ve got from you. I’m truly happy about every visit to my page, like and comment! Thanks!

Now, on to Doctor Who! Despite the fact that the episode was named after the single most terrible Christmas song ever produced, meaning Last Christmas, the episode wasn’t nearly as bad. Beware of Spoilers ahead!

Last Christmas … I don’t even know where to start. This was definitely the most Inception-like plot ever, because there were just so many dreams in dreams and technically we still don’t know if they woke up (just like in the movie). There were parts I really liked and others I didn’t like so much. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on this years’ Christmas Special of Doctor Who:

  • Nick Frost as Santa together with his elves was simply hilarious. Also I was very happy to see Nathan McMullen, who I first encountered on Misfits, in this episode. I like the way they incorporated Santa and left it open as to whether he truly exists or not, even though we don’t actually have Santa in my country and I never believed in him, the thought of him is quite nice. And just fyi: I like getting tangerines. They are totally yummy!
  • Leave it to Steven Moffat to make dreaming unsafe. I generally didn’t dislike the episode, but it was really confusing and even repetitive at times. A very interesting concept, but at times copied from Inception (as I mentioned above).
  • Unfortunately I didn’t care that much about the other dreamers. The only thing that was a bit interesting to see was where and how they woke up.
  • A lot of people wondered why the episode was called “Last Christmas” because there were so many rumours about Jenna Coleman leaving. In truth though, it was Clara‘s and Danny‘s last Christmas together. It was heartbreaking to see them part yet again. Danny is just too perfect, even if he was just a projection in a dream.
  • Well, Jenna Coleman didn’t leave, although I read somewhere that she had a change of heart at the last minute and that they had to rewrite the ending of the episode. (This information was never actually confirmed though) It was originally planned that Clara would die at old age with the Doctor visiting her for the last time. It doesn’t really matter now that that didn’t happen, although that part of was brilliant. The prosthetics didn’t look as terrible as they sometimes tend to look and I just loved the whole scene. The way the Doctor still saw her the way she looked like when she was young and Clara telling him that there was only one other man than Danny, but that he was impossible. In the end, I am very happy though to see her for at least another half-season. We’ll see if she still stays after that.
  • Clara and the Doctor on the sleigh was so cute and lovely. Another one of my favourite moments!
  • I’m not exactly sure I can pinpoint it, but a lot of this episode reminded me of Donna. The way Clara dreamt about her life with Danny, made me think of Donna while she was saved in the library and the Dream Crabs really reminded me of that thing on Donna’s back during Turn Left.
  • While we still don’t know when Series 9 will continue, we have a title for the first episode: The Magician’s Apprentice. Sounds interesting.

It may still not rank as one of my favourite Christmas Specials, but it wasn’t bad at all. I quite liked it, what about you? What are your thoughts?

Legion Sequel: Dominion

Although I really like angels and therefore stories about them, I must admit that Legion didn’t make it on the list as one of my favourite films. The only reason I watched it was because of Paul Bettany, but I will grant them, that the story had potential. Potential for a sequel that is and I am so very glad that Syfy decided to take it upon them to make the sequel happen, which is now called Dominion.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, let me give you a hint: In 2010 there was this movie called Legion. (If you haven’t watched it at all and still intend to and you don’t want to be spoiled, you should stop reading now. Consider yourself warned: Spoilers!) It’s about God having lost faith in humanity and therefore sending his angels (under the command of archangel Gabriel) to destroy mankind, but archangel Michael (portrayed by Paul Bettany) is not about to let that happen. He manages to save a young couple and the woman’s baby and tells them that the child will be the future savior of humanity. That’s how the movie ends, so you get why I thought there was potential for more to the story.

Now Dominion takes place 25 years after the almost extinction of mankind and is about the problems to keep humans alive, fight the angels, discover who the savior is and all sorts of power struggles. Since I love TV shows that much, I really think that this sort of sequel should be done more often. Having a mildly succesful feature film as reference material and then creating a TV show as a continuation of the story was a stroke of genius. There were some minor changes made, the cast is of course entirely different, but all in all I think that Dominion is an entertaining show. If you are interested in supernatural, slightly apocalyptic shows, you should definitely take a look at it!

Lastly, some facts about the show: It started airing on Syfy in June 2014 and is about halfway through the first season. The cast includes: Christopher Egan, Tom Wisdom, Roxanne McKee, Luke Allen-Gale, Shivani Ghai, Rosalind Halstead, Anthony Head, Alan Dale, Carl Beukes and so on.

What do you think about this sequel? Have you watched the original movie?