Reviews

Review – Savage Things #1

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Review – Savage Things #1

You want to hurt. You revel in suffering. You are monsters. That is fine. We simply want you to be our monsters.

See below for a review and preview images from the newest book from Vertigo: Savage Things #1. (The book itself has some pretty explicit images of death and dismemberment, but the preview pages I was sent left out the very worst page, so you can read this review over breakfast if you feel like it.)

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Review: Alien Stars

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Review: Alien Stars

Former boxer and aspiring investigator Harry Stubbs is back in a new adventure, this time in his own novel!

David Hambling’s latest book features a hunt for a mysterious artifact, one that seems to be leaving a trail of bodies in its wake. The artifact is sought after by people from both the lowest and highest rungs of society, involving wealthy cult members chasing after its supernatural power, and thugs hoping to sell it to the highest bidder. Harry will have to figure out who his friends are in a hurry, because there’s someone else involved in the search, someone who’ll happily kill to protect their secrets.

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Review: Oscar-nominated documentary shorts (…that I actually saw…)

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Review: Oscar-nominated documentary shorts (…that I actually saw…)

I figured I’d sneak in one last post for the 2017 Oscars. Last year I saw all the nominated documentary shorts, which was a first for me. Normally the documentary categories are when I get up to use the restroom or grab a snack, but last year I actually cared who won. So I figured I’d do the same this year.

I was mostly successful. This year’s nominations were on the depressing side, but well-made, timely, and I think very important, especially considering the current political environment.

One of them I didn’t watch. Because reasons. (But maybe not the reasons you’d think.)

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Review – Hell or High Water

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Review – Hell or High Water

By guest columnist David Leninhawk.

Hell or High Water at times feels like a film from the 1970s. It has a simple story, but that story is told with a focus on interesting and well-drawn characters and with the smallest amount of formula necessary. It is dark in tone while being bright and hot in visuals. The acting is about as superb as can be. The violence is abundant, but not gratuitous.

This is a film too smart and well-made for the modern era of American moviemaking. If it weren’t for the constant visual references to the 2008 financial crisis (a plot involving mortgages and predatory loans, constant billboards advertising payday loans and foreclosure notices), one would be forgiven for not knowing this was a modern film.

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Review: Norse Mythology – by Neil Gaiman

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Review: Norse Mythology – by Neil Gaiman

Elizabeth and I are going to try something different with this review. Obviously the two of us are huge Neil Gaiman fans, and we both read his Norse Mythology pretty much on the same day that it came out. (It’s a very fast read.) Since we couldn’t decide who should write up a review, we decided to have a discussion about the book (and the myths, and various things that the book reminded us of) via instant messenger, and then post highlights of the conversation here. Click the jump for the full transcript.
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Review – Florence Foster Jenkins

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Review – Florence Foster Jenkins

By guest columnist my_year_in_movies.

Admittedly, I’d decided to hate this movie well before I saw it. The concept alone was enough to make we want to peel my eyeballs. It looked twee, it looked ridiculous and when I heard Streep had received yet another oscar nomination I assumed it was because she’d just turned up and that’s generally enough.

I forced myself to watch it because I try to see all best actor/actress/picture/director Oscar nominees before the awards. And you know what? I actually really enjoyed it.

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Review – The Wild Storm #1

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Review – The Wild Storm #1

It’s been a while, but I remember reading WildC.A.T.s for a while in the 90s. It was full of women in painted-on micro-armor and men with shoulders that could block doorways. Everyone was always posing dramatically and scowling those beautiful, Jim Lee, dark-eyed glares (even when it wasn’t Jim Lee’s art, that’s what everybody was trying to do back then.)  (Well, him or Liefeld anyway.) Long tassels of hair swung around in perfectly-timed breezes, and there were leg-pouches everywhere. I thought they were pretty silly, and I was completely obsessed with them for at least six months.

I skipped the New 52 reboot of many of the Wildstorm characters, and now I’m sort of glad I did, because The Wild Storm looks to be a selective re-reboot of everything, and if the first issue’s any indication, I’m going to like it.

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Review: The Etched City

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Review: The Etched City

My random pick for a book review this week is the lovely Steampunk story from 2004. And by lovely, I mean strange. Really strange. And by story, I mean a collection of things that happen in a roughly linear timeframe to characters who don’t really have a concrete motivation and you’re not entirely sure what happens to them by the end.

Come to think of it, this isn’t really a Steampunk book either. Gaslamp fantasy, maybe, but set on a different world where all the plants and animals are the same, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not this really meshes with history and the author didn’t have to make up any new life forms.

The Etched City is K.J. Bishop’s first (and so far only) novel. The press release compared it to the works of China Mieville; I can’t really say I agree, but it certainly is the kind of fascinating writing that I can just fall into for days at a time, even if I’m not always one hundred percent sure I know what’s going on.

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