Castle Rock Series Review

Introduction

Today we’re going to look at the JJ Abrams produced Castle Rock for HULU. Castle Rock is named after a town in a lot of Stephen King novels. So is Castle Rock worthy of being part of Stephen King’s world? We will find out.

Plot

The plot focuses around a young black man, who is being raised by white parents in Castle Rock, Maine. One day he goes missing and is later found on the lake without hypothermia or any frostbite, he might even be the potential killer of his adopted father. In typical Stephen King fashion, none of this is truly as it seems and ultimately it leads to a weird ending.

Characters/Acting

The best developed character happens to be the main lead, who is super fantastic. The rest of the cast is pretty decent. Only two characters really seem to stand out besides the main character, those are the adoptive mother and the weird mute prisoner.

Style

Style is decent, doesn’t really strayed too much from typical television fare at the moment, but otherwise, it is fine.

Dialogue

Very good, nothing seems awkward and everything seems genuine, even in a story about the supernatural.

Conclusion

Castle Rock is not your typical scary show, if anything it is more reminiscent of the X-Files in the 90s. Sadly it’s not as interesting or engaging as the X-Files was, but it has potential here and there. If you are looking for straight up scary, this is not it. This is tension building up until the final moments which you may find intriguing. I personally do not like any of this whatsoever. Occasionally there is an interesting aspect but it’s only cringe, never really scary. I love all the Easter eggs to Stephen King stories but ultimately none of that is really worthwhile if you have to sit through a show this painful to watch. I find that this show is always pretty bland when it could be a lot more intriguing and I don’t see myself watching any more seasons. I think you will feel the same way too. Should you find yourself wanting to watch this, feel free to, but otherwise I give it a :

3 out of 5 stars

Summer of 84

This is my first time blogging from a tablet so bear with me, because my laptop is on it’s last legs.

INTRODUCTION

I just got finished watching Summer of 84 on Shudder and have to say that it is quite marvelous. Take Stranger things, combine it one fantastic story and this is what you come up with.

PLOT

Typical 80’s and 90’s plot of bored kids in the Summer stumbling onto an adventure, in this case, is my neighbor a murderer.

CHARACTERS

Very relatable, all different, all rememberable and more importantly we care about them, which is rare in a movie.

STYLE

Retro piece usually border on parody or inaccurate. This one is absolutely spot on. You can tell they took care to ensure accuracy over parody.

ACTING

Superb. They all seem like friends from the get know about and even though these characters are of a different generation from me, they seem so genuine that anyone could relate to them.

CONCLUSION

There is nothing original here, but that isn’t the point of this movie. It was a really great throwback that, had it existed then, would have been made back in the 1980s and remembered fondly with the likes of Fright Night, The Goonies, Stand by Me, IT or any other retro flicks. This hits on all the right notes and actually decided to be a great movie as well. Give it a look.

4 out of 5

Kagemas: 1922 movie review

INTRODUCTION
Ho, ho, ho, merry Christmas. How I loathe this season. Idiots crowding the malls, poor people spending even more than they earn and kids acting like entitle little shits. Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la, la la, la la. So what better way to start off Kagemas then with 1922, a Netflix “original” based on the Stephen King Novella, of which I have not read. If you love Miracle on 34th Street and other feel good family, well, you’re in for a treat, because this shit is the complete antithesis of it.

PLOT
Dude is poor with a family on a farm in 1922. Everything is fine, until plot twist, greed takes over. See, I told you this was a great choice to start off Kagemas, it is exactly what this season is about, greed, gluttony, fat ass spoiled children and annoying family members you want to kill, which incidentally, is exactly what the Punisher or Thomas Jane, if you want to get technical about it, does. Long story short, ghost, dying and rats about sum up this claptrap.

CHARACTERS
None of them are develop whatsoever. We basically go from happy family for 22 mins which leads directly to killing the wife. It is all downhill from here as his son takes a girl he likes with him and goes off ala Bonny and Clyde, both die. Thomas Jane loses a hand. The best developed characters are the rats.

STYLE
I like the cold tone it has throughout. It doesn’t look very cheap, even though it clearly was.

ACTING
Superb from all of them. Shit, too bad this movie was such fuckin rubbish and a waste of fuckin talent.

CONCLUSION
1922 is a horrible, unoriginal pile of dung, filled with shallow characters, lack of development, decent visuals and pretty great acting. Like an aging rock star, it is a shell of what it could have been, without the benefit of being a great once was.

1 out of 5 stars.

Kagegiving: Interview with the Vampire Book Review

INTRODUCTION
     Long before vampires sparkled, they brooded and could not shut up about it. I should probably point out, I was never an Anne Rice fan. I read Servant of the Bone, since she was recommended to me, because I liked Stephen King when I was a child and hated it. That was 20 years ago, so I decided, hey, why not give it another shot. Oh boy, was that the wrong way to think. This review is going to give a subjective opinion, but with an objective star rating.

SYNOPSIS
     Young, possibly gay or bisexual, introverted male, gets turned into a vampire by extroverted bisexual vampire, who then live a weird life of pedophilia together and bitch like a married couple, whilst nothing else of merit happens. Oh and a holocaust so easy to cause, that it would make Hitler blush.

CHARACTERS
     Let me start by saying that Anne Rice is very good at making her characters developed with very little. What would make other character’s shallow by other writers, she can get away with. So I’m very pleased that the characters are evenly built and seem like real people, when they are not just melodramatic and throwing tantrums. The main character is an analogy for herself, because homosexuality makes great subtext for your wishy-washy feelings about god. Lestat is a boyfriend, apparently similar to her husband and then there is the sexually abused girl.

DIALOGUE
     This is something I have often overlooked in reviews, mostly because it takes a hell of a lot of effort to write really bad dialogue, but I’m going to start including it here. Dialogue is mostly decent, given one or two weird spots. Not much to complain about.

PROSE
     You can tell Anne didn’t know if she wanted this to be third person or first person, so she settled for both, but wrote 99% of it in first person. The book is annoying in third person, with great lines such as “The vampire looked at the interviewer.” How the hell does anyone know he’s a vampire yet and if God is telling the story, why the fuck do we have to deal with a whiny emo bitch? Once she finally picks a fuckin’ narrative, business picks up. Spoiler alert, she picks first person, presumably because she realized what an “Interview” was and that it did not allow for third person, but I might be giving her too much credit here.

     She is descriptive enough to make the world seem plausible. She does not overdo it with too much description, but it isn’t lackluster either. That said, this woman doesn’t know what the fuck a chapter is, nor what a scene break is and the writing is dense as fuck. To be fair, by the end of this book, she finally got scene breaks right, but far too late as reading this is a nightmare.

     Other than those technical aspects, the only flaw would be the waxing philosophical about nonsense topics. Pseudo intellectualism has never been more fun with such shallow topics. Interview with the Vampire is like doing your Philosophical PhD thesis on the Insane Clown Posse, but instead of being laughed at and ejected by the college, people willingly paid you hard earned money to read your work. It wants to be literary and in some cases, it has merit, but like I said, it isn’t decent enough to be called such.

CONCLUSION
     While Anne is on record saying the main character is an analogy for herself, which always makes for horrible writing, at least I could understand why this was fresh in 1976. Up until that point, most vampires were vicious and here is one that is different from all the rest. The homosexual aspect was not needed. I’m on record as stating that vampires being dead, do not need a sexuality. I’m not saying you cannot see them as analogies to feeling like an oppressed minority, but straight up making them that way is dumb. One of the things that makes classics is the ability for multiple people to pick up different aspects of subtext, which could have worked to make this a classic like Dracula, but falls way short of that. Vampires are predators, first and foremost. Sexuality is a sirens call, at best and an easy way to trap prey. I noticed that Anne and others like pointing out the vampire’s fetid breath, normally to showcase dead people do not bush their teeth. Logic states that if vampires don’t eat or brush their teeth, they don’t have enough time to suck cock either, just saying. Regardless of that gripe, she at least cut out a lot of stupid shit, like garlic and crosses, so that was a plus. She was the progenitor of the near sparkling vampire though. Also, it could of removed the weird pedophilia shit as well. So is this book something to be thankful for? Nope, it is like giving a small pox blanket to a Native American.

     3 out of 5.

Heffalumps and Woozles: The Devil Crept in Book Review

INTRODUCTION
     I really had high hopes for this author. I did a Google search looking to see what the modern landscape offered for new authors and most things yielded surprisingly little, which is shocking, given one Amazon search yields millions. Ania showed up on a list, along with Mylo Carbia. I had hopes for Ania, but Mylo seemed more like a waste of time. My thoughts weren’t entirely unfounded, but sadly, they we’re not entirely accurate, either. So let us take a look at the book on a deeper level.

SYNOPSIS
     Two cousins, best friends, live in a small town called Deer Valley. It’s a weird place, ala Stephen King and Joe Hill, but there is something more afoot, something evil, perhaps and it isn’t long before both find themselves in for the fight of their lives.

CHARACTERS
     We are treated to one, really good developed character. Two piss poorly developed characters through too much told back story, The rest are, well, pretty much just cunts to elicit sympathy from the reader. Alcoholic abusive stepdaddy, cliché I don’t believe my child mom, The douchebag older brother, think Buzz in Home Alone, Kindly old convenience store man and an aunt with nothing interesting about her. Stevie is the main focus and he is built well. I like him as a character. Jude is slightly more relatable, if you were ever the kind of child that marched to the beat of your own drum, which I did, but sadly, Jude wasn’t much developed past that and pretty much just labeled a nuisance for such.I’m not going to discuss the other two characters, because I would give too much away, in case you still want to read it.

PROSE
     When she isn’t bogging us down with backstory, she can be pretty decent, albeit, sparse writer. She reminds me more of Stephen King, but not as evocative as King, in terms of imagery. I think the biggest problem I have is with this being professionally done novel, with an editor, who is clearly inept. A running theme is “But” starting a sentence, when the last sentence didn’t need to end. Sometimes, you see the sentence as it should have been written, with just the “but” being the bridge of the sentence with or without comma. The word Tic for a mannerism, is spelled Tick throughout. Add in a few awkward analogies and it makes it seem like they rushed to print or the editor, as I said, was too inept. I’m not going to fault her here, because she is Polish, so English may be her second language and for the fact it isn’t her native tongue, she shows a lot of competency.

SUBTEXT
     There is none, except for some autobiographical writing. Such as a woman immigrating from Poland and the fear of being a foreigner, a mention of an inability to write a romance novel, which if you read the acknowledgements, you will see the link to her and not to mention, I think there was fear about being a new mom, strewn throughout.

CONCLUSION
     If she can improve the imagery of the world she is building, heighten up the suspense to actually make it scary, evenly build the characters, fix the few flaws with the style or find a better editor and pull back that exposition dump, she is well on track to actually being the next Stephen King, as opposed to Mylo Cabina, who pretty much called herself that. Outside of these few technical flaws, my only gripe with the book comes down to being able to call the entire ending by page 50 and the fact she has two narratives going back to back by the middle of the book, which wasn’t needed at all. It would have been better to perhaps made the child birth scene a prologue and stuck to one narrative, which, even with the bog of backstory, to build up Jude, would of made the pace of the book move faster. Still, I bought three of her other books on Kindle and plan to pick up a couple others, because I really feel she has a lot of potential. Either way, she is worth watching to see how she grows as a writer.

     3 out of 5

Heffalumps and Woozles: A Review of Stephen King’s book, IT

     32 years ago, a book was released by a pretty well-known writer. The book was called IT and the author is Stephen King. Maybe you heard of him? Stephen King is the guy who wrote fantastic books like Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shinning and The Stand. When it comes to his early professional works, 1974-1980, King really knew what he was doing. He developed great characters, top tier concepts, vivid but accessible prose and took on subjects like an author of Literature.

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