Doctor Strange—Good Second Half

Doctor Strange movie poster
Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange is the first Doctor Strange movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (actually, as of this writing, it’s the only one but I’m assuming they’ll do more). It follows Dr. Stephen Strange as he looses the use of his hands and goes to Nepal to try to get the use of them back and instead finds a sect of mystic sorcerers.

1—The Effects

Let’s start with the good. The special effects in this movie are fantastic, in both senses of the word. They did a great job with the special effects, of which almost the whole movie uses. The effects themselves are also fantastical, with folded cities, portals through space and time, and a living cloak with a sense of humor. Continue reading “Doctor Strange—Good Second Half”

Advertisements

Stardust (the Movie, Not the Book)—Fun But Not Free of Problems

Stardust movie poster
Stardust

Stardust is a romantic fantasy adventure movie based on a book by Neil Gaiman. It’s follows Tristan as he crosses the magical wall that separates his little English village from the magical realm of Stormhold.

1—Beautiful Movie

Stardust is a gorgeous movie with excellent set design, special effects, and editing. The music is often big and bold but also appropriate to each moment. Continue reading “Stardust (the Movie, Not the Book)—Fun But Not Free of Problems”

Lost Girl—I Just Feel Like Something Is Missing

Lost Girl tv series
Lost Girl

Lost Girl is a SyFy show now on Netflix. It’s about Bo, a young succubus of mysterious origins raised as a human who must now contend with the world of the Fae.

1—The Fae

The Fae are a collection of species that live alongside humankind. There are a ton of them, all drawn from mythology (or, in this world, the inspiration for human mythology). There are sirens, werewolves, succubi, kappa, furies, and so many more. They make for an interesting cast of characters, recurring and one-shot. Continue reading “Lost Girl—I Just Feel Like Something Is Missing”

Deadly Curiosities—Good But Not Great

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin book cover
Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin is an urban fantasy told from the first person point of view of Cassidy Kincaide. She’s the proprietor of Trifles & Folly, an antiques store with the secret agenda of finding and neutralizing haunted items.

1—The Crew

Cassisy is a phychometric psychic, meaning she can read an objects history by touching it. Sometimes, if the object is powerful enough, she doesn’t even need to touch it to be overwhelmed by the memories of dead people. Then there’s her employee Teag, an expert fighter who possesses Weaver magic, which he mostly uses to weave together information and hack the Darke (sic) Web, the supernatural version of the Dark Web. There’s also Sorren, Cassidy’s silent and secret partner in Trifles & Folly, a five hundred year old vampire. He’s part of a supernatural Alliance and Cassidy’s family have been helping him for generations. Continue reading “Deadly Curiosities—Good But Not Great”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2—Family is Complicated

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie poster
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy and was not disappointed by this sequel. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two is a superhero space movie following the further adventures of Peter Quill—aka Star Lord—Gamora, Drax, Rocket the raccoon, and Baby Groot (a tiny sentient tree-creature) as they save the galaxy again.

1—Fatherhood

Rocket and Baby Groot are adorable together. Baby Groot loves music possibly even more than Quill does and Rocket…well, Rocket is a jackass but he’s got his reasons. They don’t stop him from looking after Baby Groot, along with the rest of the Guardians. Continue reading “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2—Family is Complicated”

License to Ensorcell—Good But Not Spellbinding

License to Ensorcell by Katharine Kerr book cover
License to Ensorcell by Katharine Kerr

License to Ensorcell, by Katharine Kerr, is an urban fantasy told from first person point of view. Set in modern day San Francisco, the story follows psychic agent Nola O’Grady as she seeks out a serial killer of werewolves.

1—Nola

Nola O’Grady works for an organization so secret even she won’t even tell the reader its name. She’s an agent of Harmony tasked with finding and stopping Chaos breaches. Serial killers aren’t usually in her bailiwick but this one is using silver bullets to kill his targets. And of course, it turns out that this same killer is the one who murdered her own brother a year ago. Continue reading “License to Ensorcell—Good But Not Spellbinding”

Murder on the Orient Express, the Movie (2017)—A Well-Done Version of a Classic

Murder on the Orient Express movie 2017
Murder on the Orient Express

Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh as the inimical detective, Hercule Poirot, Murder on the Orient Express is adapted from one of murder mystery maven Agatha Christie’s best known books.

1—Well Paced and Characterized

Murder on the Orient Express has a lot to set up in little time, lots of clues and characters to introduce, but neither pacing nor characterization feels cheated. Everything flows naturally, including the gradual shift in tone from the lighthearted beginning to the emotional struggles of the climax. Continue reading “Murder on the Orient Express, the Movie (2017)—A Well-Done Version of a Classic”

Strange Practice: A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel—The Monster Doctor is In

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw book cover
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

Strange Practice, by Vivian Shaw, follows Dr. Greta Helsing, Lord Edmund Ruthven, and Sir Francis Varney as they try to stay alive while being hunted through modern day London by mad medieval monks. It’s a lot of fun.

1—Mad Monks and Blue Light

There’s been a series of killings in London but what no one knows is that the killers aren’t just targeting humans but supernatural creatures as well. At least they don’t know until Varney turns up on Ruthven’s doorstep stabbed half to death and babbling about monks. Turns out there’s a new/ancient order running around “cleansing” the world of the wicked—and everyone is wicked. Continue reading “Strange Practice: A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel—The Monster Doctor is In”

Penny Dreadful Season One—Dreadfully Good

Penny Dreadful tv series
Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful is a Gothic horror series that mashes up stories from the 1800s—Dracula, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, etc. The story centers on Vanessa Ives, who along with Sir Malcolm Murray and several others, try to save Sir Malcolm’s daughter Mina from a vampire.

Be aware, there is full frontal nudity of men and women in this show. Not a lot, but it’s there.

1—Monsters

The vampires in Penny Dreadful aren’t the suave sexy kind—they’re grey-skinned, have many sharp teeth, and rip into people, and were never human. The vampire’s human servants are transformed to an extent—white-haired women, all craving blood and fresh flesh. There’s Frankenstein’s Monster, strangely sympathetic for all his murderous ways. It could be said that all the characters are monstrous in their way. There is also a werewolf. Continue reading “Penny Dreadful Season One—Dreadfully Good”

Whispers Under Ground—Trouble Under London

Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch book cover
Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground, by Ben Aaronovitch, is the third in the Rivers of London series. This time wizard’s apprentice and police constable Peter Grant is investigating the stabbing death of an American art student who happens to be the son of a senator.

1— Mysterious Places

This book’s adventure sees Peter spending much of his time underground. The murder starts in a subway tunnel and leads Peter to an old ceramics company, and thus to a race of large-eyed pale people living in the sewers. There’s also an art galley and a Goblin Market, both of which places a River Goddess shows up. Continue reading “Whispers Under Ground—Trouble Under London”