Provenance by Anne Leckie

ProvenanceProvenance by Ann Leckie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

What I loved most about this book were the characters. Ingray is not a stereotypical strong female character she’s on the verge of tears most of the time and has a whole load of anxiety. It’s refreshing.
I also like how this book is focused on Ingray and a small number of people around her. It’s smaller scope than the Ancillary books. I’ve only read the first one and for whatever reason it didn’t stick in my head. I’m planning on re-reading it at some point.
I love the gender fluidity and queer relationships. It’s great that none of the characters care about sexual orientation and it’s not even pointed out.
The only thing is I listened to this as an audio book and I think I missed bits and pieces because I was driving or doing other things at the same time so I really want to listen to it again. I’m still amazed at how someone can do so many different accents and voices so well that I know which character is speaking. This is only the third audio book I’ve listened to so I can only compare it to Artemis and Alien: out of the shadows but this is as good as both of them.
I really want their to be a sequel because I love the characters but it also ended in a really satisfying way. So I’d want the sequel to have a different main character and explore this little part of the Ancillary universe some more.
The only reason I haven’t given this five stars is that I don’t love it as a whole. It changed direction so many times I got pulled out of the story. I didn’t really mind it going where it wanted to but the thought would cross my mind that I’ve got no idea where this is going. And really you want to be so totally engrossed that you’re not thinking about the ending at all, just about what’s going to happen next.

Top 5 Worst Movies of 2017

I didn’t see as many movies as I did last year mostly because everything seemed kind of shit and those are the movies you’re meant to watch to make a worst of list.

There was no way I was going to watch Transformers and support something that mostly seems to be product placement and explosions. So different  from the comics which could tell some great stories if they were made into movies. I didn’t see the last two in the cinema and I’m not going to see anymore until they completely reboot the whole thing and boot Michael Bay out. Then I’ll give it a chance but if a reboot doesn’t make it about the characters then I won’t be watching those either.

The same goes for the Emoji movie. I wasn’t supporting a cynical cash grab of what’s popular with the young people. The Lego movie was great and I liked Lego Batman but those movies have a lot to answer for in the trend they’ve set. The Angry Birds movie come to mind. Unless it’s getting great reviews about how surprisingly good it is, like the Lego movie, I’m not watching any movies based on games that don’t have a story or things you can find on your phone.

So onto the list, which is very short and not representative of what came out this year. Mostly this is just me griping about movies I hated because illness meant I didn’t do any blogging this year about movies (or anything really).

5) Justice League

I didn’t hate this movie as much as I thought I would. I even enjoyed myself a bit which I have no doubt is down to Joss Whedon taking over the project. But I don’t want to attack Zack Snyder at the moment.

I liked the Flash and Wonder Woman and the action scenes weren’t terrible. But that’s about it.

Batman v Superman is a huge shadow over this movie and they tried to retcon away parts of it but they can’t get rid of the bad taste in my mouth. It almost made me laugh when Bruce decides they have to bring Superman back from the dead because he was such a beacon of hope to the world. What movies were they watching? I think they’ve got themselves confused with every other version of Superman apart from this one. I thought they didn’t want any hope or other positive emotions in there. Isn’t this the movie universe where Zack Snyder said Bruce Wayne would be raped if he went to prison. Everything has to be dark and gritty and awful. Superhero movies aren’t fun they’ve got to be grown up and realistic. Yep those two things go together so well.

Anyway back to Justice league. I was excited for Jason Momoa to be Aquaman but this made me not want to see the Aquaman movie. I don’t have any strong feelings towards it, I just don’t think I can be bothered. Maybe the Flash movie will be good as long as he’s not as much of a screw up as the TV version (I only watch the crossovers of the Arrowverse).

All I want is another Wonder Woman movie.  I don’t care what else we get as long as we get that. Although it better be done by Patty Jenkins or another female director because there were way too many ass shots of Wonder Woman in this movie. And an up-skirt shot while she’s fighting. I’m not impressed. At all. She’s pretty much the only good thing in this movie and you’re reducing her down to her body parts.

Other than that the most disappointing part of this whole debacle is that Ben Affleck never got to be a good Batman and he looks so sad. I was actually looking forward to his version of Batman and he wasn’t bad in Batman v Superman. I liked his version of Bruce Wayne, especially when he was talking to Alfred.

But this version of Batman doesn’t fit with this retconned version of events. They’re trying to make it lighter, funnier (more MCU like) and while I find it funny when he’s lying on the floor in pain after Superman asks if he bleeds, it’s becoming satire. I’d love a parody movie making fun of superheroes but this is meant to be DC’s version of the Avengers. So it should be fun not making fun of itself. As I watched it the whole time I was painfully aware of what had come before.

The only good thing if this whole universe gets rebooted is that hopefully we’ll get a different Superman. And I don’t just mean how the character acts. I want a different actor because Henry Cavill was fine, I guess, when he was broody but trying to be normal Superman shows he’s not a very good actor.

So Justice League is a terrible mess of a movie but because it’s a bit fun it’s not as bad as Batman v Superman or Suicide Squad. That’s barely a good thing.

 

4) Flatliners

There’s not to much to say about this movie or at least not as much to say about it as Justice League or some of the other movies on this list.

I thought this would have something interesting to say about the afterlife and being human but I’m not sure there was anything to take away from it. Other than you shouldn’t stop your heart even in a hospital because it’s dangerous. I haven’t seen the original movie and I doubt I ever will.

It turned into a horror movie at the end which I was not expecting. The only good thing about that was my Dad hates horror movies and he had bruised ribs so every time something made him jump he was in pain. So I’d start laughing which would make him laugh and his ribs would hurt more. I’d feel bad at being a bad audience member if I thought anyone in there was invested in the movie. It was so boring.

 

3)Annabelle Creation

I liked The Conjuring and I was looking forward to all the sequels but not anymore.

The first Annabelle was terrible in so many ways. It was a huge let down but I still had hope for The Conjuring sequel because that’s a completely different director. Then the sequel happened and I liked it but I guess my expectations were too high because I felt disappointed. So I thought this was going to be bad and I was right.

I was bored and it left so little impact on me that I forgot I watched it until I saw another worst movie of the year list. Then I remembered my disappointment at this series. I look forward to the Insidious movies more than the next Conjuring movie and I didn’t think I’d ever say that. (I’m not saying the Insidious movies are bad. I enjoy them especially now that it’s all about Elise.)

 

2) Alien: Covenant

Alien is one of my favourite movies ever and so is Aliens. So do I need to explain why I hate Covenant so much? I will anyway because ranting feels good.

The most glaring error I can see with this movie is that none of the characters are memorable. They’re all meant to be couples (I think) but I have no idea who’s meant to be with who. The only way you can get to know the cast is if you watch the YouTube videos that they cut out of the movie. I’m not watching them, I’ve wasted enough of my time on this movie.

So I have no reason to care about the characters which means it’s very unlikely that it could ever move me in any way but there was still potential for an entertaining horror movie. After all I enjoyed Prometheus. It wasn’t good but it was entertaining at least. I watch loads of horror movies that have unlikable characters and they entertain me. Unfortunately this isn’t scary and it’s not entertaining.

It had potential to be a movie I could like. The trailers got me. Humans landing on an alien planet, exploring and then realising the massive amounts of danger they’re in. That is one of my favourite things.

It’s how this movie starts and I can even ignore the characters taking off their helmets even though they know nothing about the planet other than it has breathable air. Nobody’s worried about disease or viruses. Fine. I’ve adjusted my expectations to normal science fiction horror levels. Then David from Prometheus shows up and it stops being a horror movie. All tension goes out the window and I stop caring. The flute scene happens and I’m waiting until I can leave. It’s so boring.

I hate this middle ground of bringing back characters from Prometheus. I didn’t like Shaw but at least she had personality. I was kind of interested in her search for why the engineers created humans and then tried to kill them.

The main character we’re meant to root for this time has no personality. She’s just a cheap Ripley clone. I’m tired of writers thinking they can just make their main character female and that suddenly makes them interesting. There are strong female characters everywhere. What I mean when I say that phrase is that I want complex female characters. We need complex characters male or female and that is exactly the opposite of what we get here.

The worst part is that this is a beautiful movie and could have been so much more. Unfortunately it’s all surface. There’s nothing deeper even if they’re trying to pretend there is by that opening scene where David talks to his creator. They should have cut that instead of the character stuff with the cast.

 

1)The Greatest Showman

This movie feels like an insult. They take a conman who exploited disabled people for money and make him the hero.

What makes it worse is that they made it in 2017. The year of Trump and Nazis and things just generally getting worse for marginalised people. They make the bad guy the hero because he’s a straight, white, able bodied, neurotypical, cis-man.

Regardless of everything else I was already tired of this type of movie. The ‘freaks’ can’t be the hero of their own story they need the handsome guy to do it for them. I wouldn’t have as big a problem with this movie if one of the marginalised people were the main character and Hugh Jackman was just helping them.

It gets worse because they add Zac Effron to it. I’ve got no problem with him as an actor but he’s just another straight, white, able bodied, neurotypical, cis-man taking away from the types of characters we rarely see. I see his type in movies everywhere. It’s boring.

And having one swanc-man handing his legacy over to another swanc-man just pisses me off. (swanc is straight, white, able bodied, neurotypical, cis-man but I can’t be bothered to keep typing it and I have a feeling it’s going to be a theme of next year too.)

I knew it was going to be bad just from the trailer. Having a song about empowerment play over Hugh Jackman setting up his ‘freak show’ made me roll my eyes. It wasn’t until I saw reviews and I realised this was based on a real guy who exploited disabled people for the amusement of the ‘normals’. That’s when my feelings towards this movie turned to hatred.

I know this isn’t a clear cut issue because some of the people back then who were exploited have a different opinion of their place in history. And I think their opinions matter more because they know their own experience.

If this movie acknowledged the harm that was done and not been so completely positive in favour of this conman then I might have been able to enjoy it a bit. As it is the musical numbers are no where near good enough to distract me from how it completely rewrites history in favour of an abusive man. In 2017 this is offensive.

 

Next I’m going to post my favourite movies of 2017 because I need to balance out the depressing with the positive.

 

Review: Ms. Marvel #2

Story:

“KAMALA CAN!
• On the Avengers and on a roll! All Kamala needs to do next is take down the evil suits destroying her city without ruining her personal life!
• Too bad all of Jersey City thinks Ms. Marvel is the real enemy!
• Bad guys and bad hair days. (Also the title of Ms. Marvel’s next album.)”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Ms Marvel #2

Review:

This time there’s definitely racial profiling going on as the residents of the new condos have moved in and security is checking that everyone on the street are people who are meant to be there. So a woman in Muslim clothes (Aamir’s girlfriend) gets stopped and questioned. Even though as Kamala points out people use the side walk to go places.

They then meet some of the residents who have glowing eyes and talk strangely. If it’s that obvious something is wrong, and these people are just on the street where anybody can see them, then how has this not been reported. It’s the marvel universe there must be a hotline for when things like this happen because it must happen all the time.

Security’s on high alert because Kamala broke in and she got away with a can of purple goop so Bruno can analyze it.

The villains are very obviously bad guys and they don’t seem to care about hiding it either. Explaining your evil plot is not smart and neither is revealing who you are no matter how foolproof you think your plan is.

Elsewhere in the plot Kamala’s mother doesn’t want her being a superhero anymore thanks to all the negative publicity. And I really like that she has to keep her grades up if she wants to continue to be Ms Marvel. I love the conversation they have but Kamala proves to be right in that you can’t just ignore a problem when things get bad.

And Aamir gets a girlfriend who Kamala approves of because they exchange a Dune reference.
It’s also funny how this comic is criticising a company taking Ms Marvel’s image and repackaging it for marketing purposes when that’s what marvel does again and again.

I’m not keen on the cover because she doesn’t fight a robot with a tentacles in the comic and Mike, Bruno’s girlfriend, doesn’t appear in this issue unfortunately. But at least the image is more fun than the last cover.

I want her to have better villains. As fun as a giant frog is, she needs something a little more diabolical. And this new villain is in the big leagues so much so I’m actually worried about how this will turn out with Bruno in the firing line.

Kamala continues to have real world problems and fight real world issues. This issue wasn’t as much fun as last issue but replaced it with lots of interesting conflict and left us on a solid cliffhanger.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Previous Review: Ms. Marvel #1                                                       Next Review: Ms Marvel #3

Review: Deadpool

Story:

“Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing down when evil scientist Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures, disfigures and transforms him into Deadpool. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor. With help from mutant allies Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Deadpool uses his new skills to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life.”

Deadpool

Review:

This is pretty much what I expected and that’s both good and bad. First the good stuff. It’s funny and fast paced and they get Deadpool spot on. The violence is over the top and hilarious as well. The fourth wall breaking doesn’t go so far as to break the movie.

The supporting characters are good and I wasn’t expecting colossus to be so entertaining. He plays the straight man to Deadpool and it works really well. T.j. miller from How to train your dragon is good as well. It took me a while to place him. They’ve even got an old lady as Blind Al but she’s only in a little bit.

The only good thing I wasn’t expecting was how good the romance between Deadpool and his girlfriend was going to be.

So far in super hero movies I can name two couples that are actually compelling and I like to watch. That’s Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, and Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, who were the only good parts of The Amazing Spiderman 2.

Vanessa is just as weird as Wade and they play off each other really well. So much so that it’s actually emotional when he gets cancer and they have to deal with it as a couple. I got emotionally involved in a movie where Deadpool gets shot up the arse and you see the bullet hole.

But it feels like all that good stuff gets wiped out when she then gets treated like female characters always do in these movies. The bad guys get hold of her because Wade’s causing them trouble and he’s got to go save her. Boring.

You know I actually believed this trailer when they had her saying I’m no damsel in distress. I can’t believe I fell for that.

And you’ve got so many people saying this is such a different super hero movie, it’s reinventing the genre. No it’s not. It’s just more focused on comedy than your typical super hero movie and is quite a bit more violent but everything else stays the same.

It felt like watching Guardians of the Galaxy and being disappointed with Gamora all over again. Or like with Ant-man and how they treated Hope.

Why couldn’t she have been a mutant or been involved with the plot in some way other than just being the love interest.

The expected bad stuff is that he may be pansexual but I didn’t see any reference to it. And if I missed all the little implied references, well that’s not good enough. I’m tired of it being implied and having it go straight over my head.

If a bigot can watch it and deny the sexuality of the main character then it’s not good enough. It’s cowardly and pathetic. The director confirms Deadpool’s pansexual to people who ask, who have a vested interest in Wade’s orientation, but won’t state in clearly on the screen. All you needed was one line from Wade stating he had had a boyfriend or he’d slept with men. Something.

I guess I got what I asked for though. There’s no homophobia. At least I don’t think there is, again all these little implied things tend to go over my head. Although there was one scene where she had a strap on and they were trying anal sex but he didn’t like it and I suppose that was meant to be a joke. Why isn’t he allowed to like anal sex?

I guess I also forgot to ask for no sexism because it’s 2016 and we should be over all of this shit by now.

It’s good enough movie and it made me laugh. And once I get over my disappointment I’ll be re-watching this movie. That will just take a bit of time. By the time the sequel comes out I’ll be fully on board again and hoping for better. As always.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Review: Angela: Queen of Hel #2

Story:

“Their joyous reunion actually a little less “joyous” and a little more “How about I reunite my fist with your ear,” Angela and Sera meet face to face at last!
To rescue her beloved, Angela learns that she cannot steal Sera from Hel–she must conquer Hel, and rewrite the laws as old as death to free them both from the abyss!”

Read more about it on Goodreads.

Angela: Queen of Hel #2

Review:

So we learn some stuff this issue that effects the previous Angela series. In Angela: Asguard’s Assassin Sera was already dead and in Hel but controlling Malekith who was disguised as her.

So Sera’s angry about being left in Hel for a very long time and a lot of magic gets flung about. Angela is all very apologetic and because she’s an angel, who are all about making things fair and repaying debt, she asks Sera to name her price. She’d probably do anything for Sera anyway but the guilt’s making her promise the world. Like getting Sera out of Hel when that’s kind of impossible because she’s dead. There’s also the question of how much she should feel guilty because she didn’t know for quite a while that Sera was dead.

Angela decides to challenge Hela for the throne like the unstoppable force she is, even as she notes that Hela is more than a queen here. More like a goddess and Hel bends to her whims.
Sera being the all knowing narrator tells her she has to go through trials to defeat Hela and Angela doesn’t even stop to consider not doing it. I mean as they’re having this conversation she’s fighting Hela’s minions so she’s already in defiance of her.

The art work is the same as before being the standard super hero type of art for the present but we do get another flashback of Angela’s memories of them together and it’s that beautiful art work again from last week’s flashback. I also love the cover. Sera looks more sad and defeated than you’d think she’d look attacking Angela.

But this comic is ultimately a love story and Sera even references it in her narration. She also breaks the fourth wall a bit. I’m always wary of characters doing that (unless they’re Deadpool), especially when it’s a dramatic story rather than a comedy, which I think is easier to get away with but Sera’s aware of her narrator status and she uses it to her advantage. And you don’t know exactly how her magic works so it could come with her being able to see things.

I’m not usually into romantic stories but I’m fully invested in this one. They would do anything for one another and they don’t just talk about it. They have their quiet sweet moments like Angela having cold feet in bed. Then they also have a lot of power individually but together they seem unstoppable and I really want to see what the consequences of Angela being queen of Hel is. Ripping things apart for the one you love is nice and everything but you can’t go messing other people up because something went wrong.

I can’t wait to see what the other trials are and I hope they won’t be quite so easy as the first one. I want Angela to be really challenged. She is fighting to take over Hel after all that should be a hard thing to do, even for Angela.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Previous Review Angela: Queen of Hel #1                                         Next Review Angela: Queen of Hel #3

Review: Constantine: The Hellblazer #3

Story:

“Someone is murdering ghosts, a supernatural crime so impossible to solve that John Constantine is forced to return to London and seek help from the one person he hates more than any other; a magician above reproach, a darling of London high society, and a friend to superheroes everywhere. She is Georgiana Snow…the HECKBLAZER!”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Constantine: The Hellblazer #3

Review:

So we delve more into Constantine’s past this issue but I really don’t like the art they use for it. It’s all very purple and I find it off putting. There’s also a change of artist for the non flashback bits as well and I’m not keen on that either. I really liked the other style in the first and second issue but I guess I’ll get used to this.

Constantine has gone back home to England and is looking up old friends but it appears he doesn’t have many. The only one alive is Georgie who is very competent and makes Constantine look like an arse. He rushes in without thinking and it’s very annoying. I don’t know the character well enough to tell if this is out of character behaviour, having only known him for two issues before this but he was over confident in the last issue so I guess that’s just what he does.

And he gets himself into a lot of trouble that Georgie has to save him from. She works for the supernatural division of MI5 or something like that. She knew Constantine back in the good old days and didn’t really like him then either.

I love the cover though. That really stands out and I love how Constantine is trying to smoke even while Georgie’s crushing him with her boot.

It didn’t really feel like much got accomplished this issue. Other than John annoying Georgie. We learn a bit about his past but none of it really gripped me. I think it must be because of how much I loved the previous issue that this is a bit of a let down.

We get to see how he interacts with others who know about demons and stuff. He’s a bit annoying but I like that the less nice parts of his personality are on show and get criticised. Things like that always make characters feel more human but then you can’t do it too much because the audience has still got to like the character and root for him. This almost crosses that line for me. He messes up and I found myself thinking that he should stay out of Georgie’s way but then he had a very humanising moment and you realise how alone he is and I’m back on his side.

While this issue wasn’t as good as the last issue it still develops the mystery of the ghost killer, if only a tiny bit. And I think John and Georgie are going to be a really good pair of characters to play off each other she’s all about studying, high society and being uptight. While he seems to wing stuff and have sex in clubs.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous Review Constantine: The Hellblazer #2                          Next Review Constantine: The Hellblazer #4

Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

10) Fantastic Beasts and where to find them

I love Harry Potter. These books were my childhood and I loved the movies but this feels like a cash in. Franchises are in at the moment and who ever owns the movie rights to Harry Potter has realised there’s lots more money to make here.

I have some hope because Rowling’s involved so it should be decent, but I don’t like Eddie Redmayne that much. I think he’s way over rated. Although I kind of liked him in Jupiter Ascending because his performance was so over the top and entertaining.

I want to like this so much and I just want more Harry Potter. There are so many stories to tell in that world and I’m disappointed that we are getting another lead who’s the typical lead for pretty much all Hollywood movies.

 

Batman v Superman

9)Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

This is another movie that I really want to like but I have a feeling that I won’t.

Mostly that’s down to Zac Snyder directing and the choices he makes. Like hiring an inexperienced actress to play Wonder Woman based on what she looks like rather than talent. I’ve got nothing against Gal Gadot, she’s an actress and this is her job, and I don’t like all the body shaming that went on when she was hired. I think the criticism should be on the choices Zak Snyder is making. Wonder woman is an icon and one of the most well known female super heroes ever. They should have got an actress who was really experienced to play her. Like they got Ben Affleck to play Batman. Instead they get a woman who’s not done a lot of acting and you know they hired her because she’s hot or pretty or sexy or what ever. When that shouldn’t be the basis for hiring the actress to play wonder woman.

And if they hadn’t made other sexist choices I probably wouldn’t be as sure about that but we still haven’t gotten a female led super hero movie where someone actually puts effort in to make a good movie. And that’s a criticism levelled at marvel as well.

But this is meant to be why I’m excited for this movie. Well all of the above is why this isn’t higher on my list. And this is only the second movie in the DC cinematic universe so they don’t have my trust yet.

What I’m excited for is Batman v Superman. I’m sceptical about how much I’ll like the movie but even the trailers are getting me excited. With Batman promising to make Superman bleed, and Superman destroying the bat-mobile just by letting it crash into him.

I’m hoping that even if I hate the overall movie there will be lots of awesome moments that I can get excited about. It doesn’t matter how many times I explain this movie to my dad, he still doesn’t believe Batman can fight Superman.

 

Suicide Squad

8)Suicide Squad

This is higher up my list than Batman v Superman because it’s not Zac Snyder directing but we still get Batman and the Joker. Add to that Harley Quinn and Will Smith playing one of them (I don’t know the DC universe that well). This looks exactly like my sort of movie. I’ve bought some of the comics so I’ve got a lot of reading to do.

 

Finding Dory

7)Finding Dory

I hope this won’t be one of those occasions where Dory was a good side character but only tolerable in small doses. A lot of people felt that way about Minions and while I liked the movie I get where they’re coming from.

I liked Finding Nemo but I don’t love it the way other people seem to and I’m pining all my hopes for this movie on one character. I love Ellen, and Pixar doesn’t usually make bad movies as long as you don’t count Cars.

 

Star Wars: Rogue One

6)Star Wars: Rogue One

After seeing The Force Awakens I’m fully on board with Star Wars in a way that I wasn’t before. Now I’m invested in these movies being good.

They’ve finally got characters I can relate to and care about. I don’t know all the details and things that happened in the other movies because I can’t remember and rewatching them isn’t a priority. But even I understand what stealing the Death Star plans means to the Star Wars universe.

I hope that some of the anthology movies explore different parts of the universe and get away from this one part.

There must be so many stories you could tell. I know they’ve decided to make all the books not canon anymore (as if it matters what they say, I’ve got my own head canon for most things I watch and get all fannish about so really that seems like a giant waste of time trying to dictate to me what is and isn’t canon) but there’s got to be some good stories in all those books.

I’m not that interested in a Han Solo movie, that’s exactly what we need, keep the Star Wars universe small and go back to it being about white straight cis gendered able bodied men. That list has a lot of adjectives they should choose to change at least one in their main characters.

 

Ghostbusters

5)Ghostbusters

A sci-fi movie with all female leads who are also really funny. I don’t know how they can screw this up to make me not like it.

All I can say is, it’s about time. About time that women were recognised as a legitimate part of the audience who have money they can spend. About time that a female lead is surrounded by other women and not just men. About time that all the whiny idiots get ignored and people realise that, like when women go see movies about men and can relate on some level to them because we are all human, so to can men go see movies about women and relate because women are also human.

All the controversy surrounding this movie is ridiculous and irrational but then no one ever said misogynists were rational.

The first Ghostbusters movie isn’t being taken away. You can still see it. And don’t worry the amount of male leads in the movies is still far ahead of the number of female leads. Just look at this list. I’d say most of them have male leads.

Although Finding Dory has Dory replacing Nemo so maybe they’ve got a point. Don’t worry though it’ll still be a few more years before we’ve replaced all the male parts with female ones.

 

Captain America: Civil War

4)Civil War

The last Captain America movie was so good and I want to like this one so much but the civil war story line in the comics was terrible. It was all over the place and inconsistent between different books. It was also when I stopped reading comics for a while.

I have mixed feelings about this because it can’t be the same story line as in the comics. None of them have secret identities so they’ve got to frame the issue a different way.

Also in the comics it was Iron man who was meant to be right. The pro registration side was the right side and cap was on the wrong side. But due to crappy management of the entire thing it didn’t across that way.

So it worries me that they’ve got the civil war story line in a Captain America movie. I’m not much of a fan of Steve Rogers. I hated Captain America: the first avenger and I didn’t much like him in Avengers Assemble either. He grew on me a little bit in the Winter Soldier. But now they’re pitting him against Tony Stark who’s one of my favourite super heroes and I don’t want to watch a movie where they make him the villain. He won’t be the main villain but he could be one of the bad guys.
Despite all that I love the marvel cinematic universe and I want to see what they’re going to do with it. I trust them enough to be fair to all the characters (unless it’s a female character then you’re screwed). And after seeing the trailer where Steve and Bucky fight Tony and Tony cradles a broken Rhodey I’ve got to admit I’m getting excited.

The directors are the same guys who did Winter Soldier and who are going to be doing Avengers: Infinity Wars part 1 and 2. So I have a lot invested in liking this movie.

 

The Conjuring 2

3)The conjuring 2

The first one was so good. A horror movie where I actually care about the characters shouldn’t be something different and new but so many horror movies have awful characters and I can’t wait for them to die. So there’s no tension and it just becomes a guessing game of who’s going to get it first.

The Conjuring actually had characters I liked and where as most horror movie franchises seem to be based on the villains (Freddie kruger, Jason, Michael Myers) these are based around the Warrens who are the heroes.

It’s a good basis for a franchise and I can’t think of any other horror movies that have done this. There’s scream but Sidney doesn’t go out looking for serial killers to fight. They find her.

Anabelle was a huge disappointment and a giant step back for the franchise but there were so many people in the cinema when I went to see it and that’s unusual for a horror movie.

 

X-men: Apocalypse

2)X-men: Apocalypse

Days of future past is one of the best super hero movies ever so I’ve got really high expectations, especially with Bryan Singer back as the Director. Jennifer Lawrence is back as Mystique and it’s Hugh Jackman’s last time as wolverine in an X-men movie.

I’m so excited for the apocalypse story line. X-men was what got me into comics. I used to watch the cartoon and then one day I saw an X-men comic in amongst the magazines. I didn’t buy them consistently until I was older and had a part time job but I was always on the lookout for X-men stuff.

Apocalypse is such a good villain and so far Bryan Singer hasn’t made a bad X-men movie for some inexplicable reason, despite making some really bad movies.

 

Deadpool

1)Deadpool

He’s one of my favourite super heroes and I didn’t think we’d ever get a movie about him because it’s Deadpool. He’s violent and a lot of what he says isn’t for kids so to get a good Deadpool movie you need it to be more adult and that cuts out all the kids they want to make money out of.

Blade is the only adult super hero movie I can think of and it’s a bit old now. So this will be refreshing to have a different sort of super hero movie for a change because I doubt the rest of them will be anything unique.

The director has also confirmed that Deadpool is pansexual so this will be the first super hero movie with a queer main character. At all. I’m not just talking about being the main title hero. I can’t think of any queer character in any super hero movies. Or science fiction movies. Or fantasy movies (I’m going to do some research. There’s got to be one). So it’s kind of a big deal.

Of course he’s got a girlfriend in the trailer so I don’t know how much he’ll be expressing his sexuality. I doubt we’ll get much, if anything that will make it impossible for other people to deny it. That’s how I judge representation now. If it’s only implied and can be denied by some bigot then it’s not good enough. We’re in 2016 it’s time to stop pandering to the bigots.

The only thing that’s making me apprehensive is if his sexuality is a joke. Because that seems to be the only time when sexuality, other than heterosexuality, is allowed to be expressed. To make the male straight audience uncomfortable and so they laugh.

Can this movie not be homophobic? Or biphobic? Or panphobic? It’s really not a lot to ask.

I’d like to come out the other side of this movie not feeling like shit. It can be a bad movie (I’ll probably still enjoy it) but can it not be homophobic. They’ve got my hopes up by actually being aware that other sexualities exist beyond straight. I so want to like this movie.

They’ve got the marketing for this movie so right. They obviously understand Deadpool in a way that the creators of X-men Origins: Wolverine didn’t.

Review: Starve #2

Story:

“The scathing look at foodie culture and celebrity chef fandom continues. Think Anthony Bourdain in a Transmet world.”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Starve #2

Review:

The environmental and criminal excess message gets a little more heavy handed this issue as he tracks down a fish that’s thought to be extinct, and if you can find it, costs 100grand per pound. So not only is it exclusively for the wealthy they’re also flaunting their wealth to people who probably can’t afford to eat on a reality TV show.

It does raise some interesting points though. Like why would the wealthy continue to ignore an environmental problem that eventually will effect them just so they can continue to spend more and more money to pretend it’s not happening.

It’s again something that’s going on now and is kind of fascinating. How can you ignore a problem like that? I guess some of it is blissful ignorance but in this day and age it’s hard not to be aware. That’s something you have to work at. You have to shut your mind down at any evidence. And I guess it’s a bit of fatalism. Loads of people think the world’s going to end anyway so I guess you might as well die comfortable.

I just don’t understand how you can be aware of a problem and not help solve it if you are in the position to do so. That’s probably why I’m finding this comic so fascinating.
So Gavin and Sheldon go out drinking thinking they’ve got a lot of time to the next competition but the chef in charge hates Gavin and changes the times. Somewhere between issue 1 and issue 2 Gavin made it to the finals.

We also meet another chef this issue who does what she does for the love of it and not to get rich or famous and Gavin considers joining her as she makes him an offer to start up their own restaurant. It’s a criticism of celebrity culture and doing things to make a a lot of money quickly. Getting rich and being famous aren’t everything.

I don’t like the cover. The fish is placed strangely and I don’t think it looks good. But it does stand out so I guess it does it’s job.

I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get to see him defeat everyone in the first round or in any of the other rounds. The enjoyment I’m getting out of this book is having rich selfish people get what’s coming to them and I want to see more of that. It’s still interesting but maybe I’ve been exposed to too many dystopian stories for this to hold my attention for long. The message also seems to be taking priority over character building and his winning moment this issue felt a little fake to me because of it. Gavin’s getting developed as a character but no one else is and I don’t know how long he can sustain a series by himself.

Rating: 6 out of 10

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Reading Challenges of 2016

So I read about Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge and got all excited. This resulted in a lot of googling and finding other challenges and then it got a bit out of hand and now I’ve committed myself to loads of them when I’ve never even bothered to do one before.

Hopefully some will double up. I’m also aiming to read 120 books on Goodreads. Last year I aimed to read 70 books and I read 114. The year before my goal was 60 and I forgot to track most of the books I read.

I’ll try to remember to link to them as I go along because most of the challenges have reviews as part of the challenge.

Book Riot: Read Harder Challenge 

  1. Read a horror book
  2. Read a non-fiction book about science
  3. Read a collection of essays
  4. Read out loud to someone else
  5. Read a middle grade novel
  6. Read a biography
  7. Read dystopian or post apocalyptic
  8. Read a book published the decade of your birth
  9. Listen to an audiobook that’s won an audie award
  10. Read a book that’s over 500 pages
  11. Read a book that’s under 100 pages
  12. Read a book written by a transgendered person
  13. Read a book set in the middle east
  14. Read a book wit an author from souteast Asia
  15. Read historical fiction set before 1900
  16. Read a first book in a series by a person of colour (recommendation: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler)
  17. Read a non super hero comic that debuted in the last three years
  18. Read a book adapted into a movie then watch the movie and debate which is better
  19. Read a non-ficiton book about feminism or about feminist themes
  20. Read a book about religion
  21. Read a book about politics
  22. Read a food memoir
  23. Read a play
  24. Read a book where a main character has a mental illness

Classics challenge 

  1. A book from the 19th century
  2. A book from the 20th ccentury
  3. A book by a female author
  4. A translated book
  5. A book by a non-white author
  6. An adventure book
  7. A fantasy, science fiction or dystopian book
  8. A detective book
  9. A book that has a name of a place in the title
  10. A book that was banned or censored
  11. Re-read a book you read at school
  12. A volume of classic short stories

Worlds Without End: Roll your own reading challenge

Here’s where it got a bit out of hand because I signed up to 28 of their challenges, which ranges from 6 books to 100 books each, but it’s meant to be a challenge and I always get in over my head.

  1. 12 awards in 12 months: I chose the ‘master’ reading level of 12 books because I don’t usually pay attention to awards but with all the recent controversy I feel like I should start.
  2. LGBTQ speculative fiction (they have their own LGBTQ resource so that helps): I chose the ‘Oscar Wilde’ reading level of 12 books because despite wanting to read more diverse books I’ve barely read any LGBTQ books.
  3. Listomania – pick 12 books from any lists on their site: The ‘listomaniac’ reading level of 12 books because I love lists.
  4. Second best – any books nominated for awards but not winners: The ‘also ran’ reading level of 12 books.
  5. Published this year: the ‘nebula’ reading level of 12 books. 24 books at the ‘hugo’ level seemed a bit much.
  6. Unloved – neither won or nominated: The ‘heartbreak hotel’ reading level of 12 books.
  7. Women of genre fiction – (they have their own Women Authors page): The ‘apprentice’ level of 12 books
  8. Cat quest: The reading level of ‘lolcat’ which is 6 books. I love my cats but I don’t want to read loads of books about cats. I’d also like to note the other reading levels are ‘Cat-astrophe’, ‘cat fancier’ and ‘chairman meow’.
  9. Science fiction from Australia: The reading level of ‘cherry ripe’ which is 6 books
  10. Punk’s not dead: The reading level ‘Joey Ramone’ which is 12 books
  11. Read the sequel: The reading level ‘blue fish’ of 12 books
  12. Series A to Z: The ‘entire alphabet’ reading level of 24 books. For this challenge I only have to read one book from 24 series, not all of the books in a series for each letter.
  13. Science fiction masterworks: The ‘master’ reading level of 12 books.
  14. Space opera: The ‘shai hulud’ reading level of 12 books.
  15. Star wars: I picked the ‘obi wan ken-obi’ level of 6 books because there was no way I was picking the ‘Anakin Skywalker’ level (as stupid a reason as that sounds). The other levels are ‘Yoda’ and ‘emperor Palpatine’ but that was too many books considering my interest in star wars is minimal.
  16. Tie-ins: the ‘journeyman’ reading level of 9 books. I might have gone for the higher level but I’ve never read a tie-in that I thought was really good. They’re mostly quite bad.
  17. Author! Author!: the ‘virtuoso’ reading level of 20 books
  18. Big fun in a little package novella reading challenge: the ‘large’ reading level of 18 books
  19. Tor.com short stories: the ‘wizard’ reading level of 96 books
  20. Discoveries in genre: the ‘explorer’ reading level of 6 books
  21. Genre non fiction: the ‘savant’ reading level of 6 books. That’s the highest reading level for this challenge. Ihave loads of books of this type and I love reading them.
  22. In translation: the ‘linguist’ of 9 books. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a translated book so I figured I’d start off slow.
  23. Io9 best of 2015: the ‘master’ reading level of 36 books which I think is the entire list.
  24. The weirdness: I picked the ‘worshiper of Dagon’ reading level of 9 books. There’s also ‘resident of arkham’, ‘Student at Miskatonic U’ and ‘High Priest of Cthulhu’ reading levels but even I can only put up with so much weirdness.
  25. 2016 I have just have to read more of that author: the ‘completely obsessed’ leading level of 12 books.
  26. Triumvirate (trilogies): the ‘novem’ reading level of 9 books
  27. New books of 2015: the ‘halogen’ reading level of 13 books.
  28. 2016 books I’ve read this year: the ‘voracious’ reading level of 100 books. This one should be easy it’s just keeping track of all the books I’ve read. So as long as I remember to track them as I go and don’t have to do it all at once at the end of the year there won’t be a problem.

So that’s 313 books if I don’t double any of them of them up and don’t count the 96 short stories from Tor. There’s no way I could read that many books in a year because I have other things I’d like to do in 2016.

The last reading challenge is from Panels and is about comics so shouldn’t be a problem because I read a lot of comics.

Panels: Read Harder Challenge

  1. Read a self-published comic.
  2. Read a feminist comic.
  3. Read a comic featuring one or more teenage protagonists.
  4. Read a superhero comic whose race or gender has been swapped from the original or traditional hero.
  5. Read a complete run of a comic.
  6. Read a comic based on a book and the book it’s based on.
  7. Read a graphic biography.
  8. Read a comic that was originally published in a language different from your own.
  9. Read a comic set in space.
  10. Read a collected web-comic.
  11. Read a comic with at least one creator of colour.
  12. Read a comic set in Asia by an Asian creator.
  13. Read a superhero comic NOT by one of the Big Two.
  14. Read a slice-of-life comic not set in the U.S.
  15. Read a comic that has been adapted from a T.V. show or movie (not vice versa).
  16. Read a comic about a real-life historical event.
  17. Read a black-and-white comic.
  18. Read a watercolour comic.

This shall be my master post where I keep track of what I’ve done and how far I’ve got to go because I am notoriously bad at keeping track of these things. I even forgot to post this back in January.

Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #3

Story:

“Gabby’s best friend Cindy remained on Earth at the end of her last adventure with the Doctor – a decision Cindy immediately regretted! Now, with only Gabby’s sketchbook of unseen adventures to guide her, she must find her way back to the Doctor… but sinister forces already have her under surveillance!”
Read more about the issue on Goodreads.

Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor Adventures (year 2) #3

Review:

I found this issue a bit boring. The journal theme was a good way to recap a lot of stuff and show how traveling with the Doctor works but I’d rather read the actual adventures.

I’m being a but cynical but that felt a bit like they were making a pitch to new readers. Here are the reasons why you should read Doctor Who. Although there is a reason in the story for the journal to be there. Gabby gave it to Cindy when she refused to come with them so she could read about their adventures. Now she’s regretting not going and the journal is making that feeling worse.

I’m also really glad that this issue turned out not to be a complete recap for the entire issue. I don’t like it in TV episodes and I think I’d hate it in a comic when I could just go back and read previous issues. And I would have bought the issue for new story it’s not like TV.

It’s also funny that this is a Doctor light issue because the TV show had Doctor light episodes to save money and give the actors a break. None of those reasons apply to comics. Although some of the Doctor light episodes have been some of the best (Blink) so maybe that’s what they were going for because some of the reviews I’ve read seem to like this as much as those episodes. Limitations do breed creativity. And while I like quiet episodes that explore character this didn’t quite do it for me.

The main action of the issue happens when the journal starts predicting the future and it freaks Cindy out. This spirals into the characters from the cult of the black pyramid having to save her from someone who wants the journal.

Then the best cameo ever happens and I become more forgiving of the parts I didn’t care for. I’m not going to reveal who it is but I really hope it’s not just a cameo and they’re in the next issue. Hell I hope the next issue picks up from this point. If you’ve watched the early new Doctor Who episodes you’ll know who it is and if you haven’t then I’m hyping it up for nothing.

I like this cover better than the others because I think it represents Doctor Who better as the fun mostly optimistic show it is. Cindy’s reading the journal and she’s lit up with wonder or excitement while panels of adventures float behind her. I wouldn’t have put it past them to have her sat on a park bench looking serious maybe with a little rain cloud floating above her head.

And the cover actually matches the art inside. But not the first style of art which is the journal part of the issue. The second part where Cindy is involved and the art is more ordinary. Let’s hope we’re done with gloomy covers.

I liked this issue and Gabby’s writing about how she sees the Doctor but also summing up Doctor Who being a thrill you won’t forget but also dangerous. Hopefully we’ll get Cindy traveling in the next few issues.

Rating: 6 out of 10

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