Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Iron Man

I was quite impressed with this movie. I'm not a comic fangirl by any means, so I love it when I can walk into a movie that has it's roots in comics but makes an effort to include me. Also, the movie was kid-friendly (unless you're sensitive to drinking alcohol), which was an added benefit for me since I saw it with my parents, and then AGAIN with my neices and nephew.

(It's funny how that cross-relates, isn't it? I don't like watching heavy horror or heavy sexual content with my parents. Maybe I've gotten to that age where I'm starting to take a care-taker role. Or maybe it just makes me uncomfortable knowing that my parents can see how comfortable I actually am with gore and sex? Who knows...on with the review!)

The flow of the movie was very well-paced and the action sequences were fast; there were lots of things blowing up (yeah!). It rarely lagged, and then not for long, and moved in an easy-to-follow logical progression. Robert Downey Jr. did a wonderful job as Tony Stark, to the point that I can't imagine another actor fitting the role nearly so well. Evidently he worked out quite a bit in order to fit the image of a "superhero" and I applaude him for that. He did look good, and fit the character to a "T".

The other characters were also well done, although I did have minor issues with Terrence Howard's character, Col. Rhodes, and his apparent uber-authority over all things deemed "experimental technology." These all stem from my own military background though, and are not really significant. Although it also bothered me that he was conveniently always there... but that, too, is minor.

One military-related item of note that was well done, though: all the scenes of Afghanistan looked like Afghanistan! That made me happy. (The Qatar scenes from Transformers made me squicky, in comparison, seeing as to how I have family stationed there, and it is NOT that way, at all. My sisters, who are there, were so sidetracked by that they missed the first 30 mins of the movie complaining about it.)

Another peeve of mine from the movie is the apparent indestrictibility of Tony Stark himself. You'll note it at several points in the movie, no doubt, since I can't be the only one that it bothered.

All in all, though, I'm nominating it for Best Movie of the Spring of '08. I can't say it's the best movie of the year at present, but, since the spring is over, I'll give it that. There are, of course, going to be sequels, and I've heard and sincerely hope it is true, that the actors are signed up to remain the same. I'm completely down with watching them, and also the other spin-off movies that go with this, which I'm just not a fangirl enough to keep track of. I'll let the movie sites do their job, and just stick with my own personal musings here.

So, overall, I'd say 4.5/5. Great job, guys! Please don't screw up the sequels ... ahem ... Spiderman ... ahem.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Oh, this is too cool!

Check out this website...I'm thinking it could be good for some sort of practice or something, but really, I just like that I can win.

I wish you could choose your car, though.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Midnight Breed Series, Lara Adrian

I'm going to write this review for the whole series, as of now, as opposed to doing it book by book. BUT FIRST! Here's the books, themselves, from Lara Adrian's website:

Kiss of Midnight: Lucan and Gabrielle (I had a friend by that name way back in Jr. High! We failed Geometry together.)
Kiss of Crimson: Dante and Tess (Tess is just a weak name to me, but hey! it could be Tehss)
Midnight Awakening: Tegan and Elise (Loved Elise's name, it just fit her so well.)
Midnight Rising: Rio and Dylan (Dylan's the girl, in case you were wondering.)

I read Kiss of Crimson first (I
Paperspine, and it came in before the others, by some strange twist of US Mail fate) but had no problem jumping right into the world of these vampire ("Breed") men. The worldbuilding was great, the characterizations were believable, and I appreciated the "everydayness" of the writing. It flowed easily, and (I just can't help comparison's to JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series) there wasn't any needless name-dropping or ghetto-ing up of the language in order for the series to stand out on it's own.

Which was great! Reading this subsequent to reading Ward's books makes them feel almost like a shadow of the BDB world, but really (really) Adrian's world is just better. I can't say it plainer. The worldbuilding is tighter, the heroines are stronger, the men are (more) believable, and I fully enjoyed both the individual books romance plots and the overarcing series' story.

But I do have somewhat to say about the series, as a whole, that I was disappointed in. Perhaps I'm jaded, but I LIKE when a person's issues stay alive EVEN AFTER (gasp!) they've found Twue Luv. Addicts are still fighting addiction, cutters still find solace in cutting, anger issues don't evaporate like the mist after dawn...sorry, got poetic. But you get my meaning. If a character is dealing with an issue, it's just so unrealistic to have that issue be solved through the presence of a spouce/loved one/Twue Luv. And I know I'm dealing in an unrealistic venue as it is, being romance, with a pre-requisite HEA, but STILL. There's nothing wrong with a character being real, and reality is, while a Twue Luv makes life easier, it doesn't make life's problems go away. And I, for one, am ready for that kind of reality in my paranormal romance...

So that's my main problem. Also, while the women aren't the dhoormats of a certain other serhies, they still aren't as kick-ass as I wish (which leads to my up-coming series review: Kresley Cole!). However, they ARE getting there! So that give me enough hope to wait out the next two anticipated releases. For all that they stretch into next year...

All in all, I was quite happy with my decision to tackle this series. I'm giving each individual book scoring about a 3.5/5, but the series gets a solid 4/5, due to it's great worldbuilding, and the author's ability to take an (admittedly) used concept and doing it as well (if not better!).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase

I read like lightening, so any book that takes me longer than one day to read has something going on with it...could be good, could be bad. On a quick side note, too, I read The Duke and I (Julia Quinn) concurrent with this, so I'm having to think hard to keep the two of them straight.

Anyway. This was a good read, but it took me a while because, while the writing was wonderful and the story entertaining, it just didn't suck me in like usual. Which is a con, I suppose. There was never any doubt that I wouldn't finish it, it just moved at a leisurely pace; a pace I am not used to reading at.

So it took me two days to read this one. I have high hopes for the next two in the series (I love love love series books, but only if the whole series is out, as I hate hate hate waiting for books), as they have commanded some high marks. So here's a quick rundown:

I loved the older heroine, Mirabel. She's great, and at no point does she not behave like what she is: a 31-year-old, well-established, thoroughly intelligent woman, who is held in high regard by her family and community. I love how old she is, and how the author used her age to develop her as a character.

The hero, Alistair, was also well-rounded, and made a great match for Mirabel. He came off as younger than her (hell, he could BE younger than her, for all I know...I never did catch his age) which is fabulous, because he had so little experience with responsibility and she's just had so much, it would look odd if it weren't that way. And so much of these characterizations were shown and not told, that I really did love Mz. Chase's writing.

The plot was well thought out, and provided the right amount of movement for the story. There were some "revelations" near the end that I thought could have been incorporated better into the beginning of the story, though, and would have provided some interesting development of both protagonists' parents. It seemed a little tacked-on, to me, although it sat well with the story as a whole, it's just that the reader was not a party to the happenings, so when it was introduced, it sort of blindsided me.

But the writing was wonderful, and the relationships and the hang-ups, and the characters' individual issues and quirks were so well realized, I DID love reading the book. In the end, though, I had to give it a 3.5, because it seemed my attention just lulled, or something, and that is rare. But I'm looking forward to the next two, secure in my knowledge that they will make up for this lapse. You can check out Loretta Chase here.

First Posting

Well, this is exciting. Everyone's doing it, and so now I am too!!

A quick rundown of what I hope to do with this:

1. I read massive amounts (mostly romance novels, some fantasy/sci-fi, some mystery), so I will be posting my opinion of the books I've read. I'm not a writer, not affiliated with any writer's organizations, nor so I have any experience in writing, publishing, or rejection (which I hear goes with the territory there...), nor will I be keeping tabs on the world of writing, publishing, etc, except in those instances where I am all aflutter to read a newly released book.
2. Who can resist social commentary!? Not me!! Although I must be upfront and admit that I am absolutely not interested in politics (except political humor), and most current events rate about a 2/5 on my interest-o-meter.
3. Family and work-place humor, because seriously, I have run in to some funny shit. The stories I could tell! WOW! I'm recently separated from the Air Force, and THAT, my friends, is fodder right there for a good season's-worth of comedy on any TV show. The government! Wow.

4. I love me some movies, so expect comments on new and up-coming movies. Not chick flicks,'d think that would be my thing, reading romance novels and all, but no. I love the action movies. Guy flicks. That's where it's at. Exploshuns!! Blood! Gore! Squee!

Which leads me to my next numbered list:

1. I cuss. Yeah. A lot sometimes, even. But I'm grown, so I'm allowed. If you don't like it, please either ignore it or head on out. I'm really not doing it to piss you off.
2. I'm a mean person. Things I shouldn't find funny?? They are. I'm just wrong like that. But that's why this blog is so great! My cheerful, bubbly, happy personality won't screw with your perceptions! You won't have issues believing me when I say that, because you've never been taken in by my super-fabulously animated and easy-going nature!
3. Feedback is like gossip to me. If I feel like it applies, I'm down with listening. If I don't...see #2 above. Don't get me wrong, though. I LOVE gossip. It rocks.

I'm excited about this, though! This is going to be great! And if not? At least I've left my own piece of pink inter-garbage out there...