Saturday, 30 April 2011
Friday, 29 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: Z
Book: Winds Of Change by Jason Brannon
Shortly after witnessing a falling star a group of strangers find themselves trapped in a hardware store. Stepping outside means instant death as everyone who ventures out disintegrates into a pillar of salt.
The group contemplate the reasons for the nightmarish scenario they find themselves in and as theories come and go personal differences emerge.
This moves at a relentless pace and demands that you keep reading so it’s all over pretty quickly. It feels like a refreshing slap in the face compared to some of the laborious horror novels I have endured.
Brannon is one to look out for, I will definitely be checking out more of his work.
Ric’s Rating: 82%
A - Z Challenge: Y
A- Z Challenge: X
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Book: Lake Charles by Ed Lynskey
Brendan Fishback is facing a murder charge, so while out on bail awaiting trial, he decides to go on a fishing trip to Lake Charles. Accompanying him are Edna, his sister and Cobb, her husband and Brendan’s best friend.
Their little getaway soon becomes something a whole lot more when Edna vanishes leaving Brendan and Cobb to get to the bottom of it.
Ed Lynskey’s tale of kidnap, murder and drugs is set in the Smokey Mountains of the late 1970s and it quickly draws you into an atmospheric journey through dangerous countryside as the guys encounter some not so friendly locals who will shoot first and ask questions later.
The star of the show, Cobb’s Father Jerry, turns up to lend a hand and things take a strange turn when Brendan begins to dream of the dead girl he is accused of murdering.
This feels like a psychedelic Deliverance so fans of that movie and any similar tale will revel in this.
It’s an absorbing story and although I would have preferred some more action the characters involved make it a compelling tale of revenge and redemption.
Ric’s Rating: 73%
Lake Charles is available now on Kindle and the paperback will hit shelves on 28th June 2011.
A - Z Challenge: W
W is for.................................Willard.
This curious little film from 2003 stars everyone's favourite eccentric Crispin Glover as Willard, a man able to command a colony of rats to do his bidding.
When he is fired by his obnoxious boss, he turns to his "friends" to help in his quest for revenge.
This won't be to everyone's taste but I enjoyed it, it was pretty original and Glover is always worth watching.
A - Z Challenge: V
V is for............................Vin Diesel.
After some small roles Vin Diesel exploded onto the big screen as Riddick in the fantastic Pitch Black.
Then came box office hits The Fast & The Furious and XXX, these were followed by the under-rated revenge drama A Man Apart.
After a couple of flops Diesel has wisely returned to the Fast & Furious franchise, the latest of which, Fast & Furious 5 aka Fast Five is in cinemas now. Hopefully I'll be reviewing that soon.
Monday, 25 April 2011
The blockbuster season starts with a "mighty" bang as Marvel Studios bring us their latest comic book adaptation, directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Thor is the all conquering God of Thunder who wields his imposing hammer with complete confidence that he can defeat any foe. This confidence borders on arrogance and an act of agression enrages Thor's Father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) so much that he casts his Son out of the realm of Asguard to live as a mere mortal on Earth.
Of course Thor's troubles soon follow......
Chris Hemsworth is perfectly cast in the leading role, he looks as Thor should and puts in a charismatic performance. As well as Hopkins there is terrific support from Tom Hiddleston as Thor's brother Loki, Natalie Portman as Jane and Ray Stevenson as old ally Volstagg. Look carefully and you'll also spot Idris Elba as The Gatekeeper.
Anyone familiar with the comics will have an idea of how the story pans out but it's all done very well and it's laced with some nice "fish out of water" type humour.
It's a perfect way to kick off the Summer movie season and the best superhero film in a long time.
Ric's Rating: 90%
A - Z Challenge: U
Saturday, 23 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: T
A - Z Challenge: S
Check out the trailer for this disturbing drama from Jennifer Lynch, daughter of David.
I won't give too much away but it involves corrupt cops, serial killers and features Michael Ironside alongside Julia Ormond and Bill Pullman.
Highly recommended but not for the squeamish.
Thursday, 21 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: R
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: Q
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: P
Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) is on death row. He has been convicted of murder and his alleged victim was the President’s brother.
Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) is convinced of Linc’s innocence so he devises a meticulous plan to help him escape the notorious Fox River prison. Stage one is to deliberately get himself convicted so that he can set his plan in motion from inside the prison walls.
Sounds more like a movie than a tv show but this brilliant drama lasted four seasons and featured some of the best tv performances of recent years. The pick of the bunch has to be Robert Knepper’s portrayal of the despicable “T-Bag” who unbelievably ends up as everyone’s favourite character.
It consistently delivered high tension, action packed episodes and is a must-see for fans of quality tv.
Monday, 18 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: O
Saturday, 16 April 2011
Preview: Winds Of Change by Jason Brannon
A - Z Challenge: N
Friday, 15 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: M
Thursday, 14 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: L
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Film: Source Code
DVD: The Warrior's Way
A - Z Challenge: K
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: J
Monday, 11 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: I
Saturday, 9 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: H
Friday, 8 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: G
G is for..........................Robert Goddard and here is my review of his new novel, Blood Count.
Dr. Edward Hammond, a liver specialist, performed a life saving transplant on one Dragan Gazi in 1996. Gazi went on to command forces who massacred civilians in the Balkans war.
Shortly afterwards Hammond’s estranged wife was murdered and when Gazi’s daughter comes calling she demands Hammond does her bidding or he will be implicated in the murder.
So begins Robert Goddard’s latest novel of intrigue as Hammond’s endeavours take him on a long and winding road through Europe encountering some complex characters along the way. This is the first time I have read one of Robert Goddard’s books and the quality of the writing jumps off the page but the endless just one step further to go type scenarios manage to make what should be a thrilling journey come across as more of a depressing road trip.
Hammond himself is a man of questionable virtue and everyone involved has a hidden agenda that makes it difficult to root for anyone, except maybe the Mother looking for her long lost Son.
All the twists and turns, some more obvious than others, eventually come to a reasonably satisfying conclusion but there is never the huge dramatic moment that the author intends.
This should satisfy Goddard fans, of whom there are many, but there isn’t enough here to attract newcomers.
Ric’s Rating: 56%
Thursday, 7 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: F
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
A - Z Challenge: E
E is for...........................Every Dead Thing by John Connolly.
It's the first in the Charlie Parker series and the high standard has been maintained.
Tormented and racked with guilt over the brutal slaying of his wife and daughter, Charlie Parker, ex-cop with the NYPD, agrees to track down a missing girl. It is a search that will lead him into an abyss of evil. At the same time, he is warned by an old black woman in Louisiana that 'The Travelling Man' is about to strike again. Multiple strands converge with a horrific confrontation in which hunter and hunted are intimately connected by guilt.
A - Z Challenge: D
D is for.........................Dead Man's Shoes.
This fantastic British revenge film stars Paddy Considine as a man out to bring to justice the gang who constantly torment his disabled brother.
Dark, violent and intelligent this is a must-see for fans of revenge stories.