Joy Movie Review

Joy is a 2015 movie that has recently hit Netflix in the UK.  Joy is a biographical comedy that was directed by David O. Russell with Jennifer Lawrence starring in the lead role as Joy.  Didn’t know what to expect from this movie and although well acted from multiple members of the cast the movie’s pace just didn’t seem right.

Joy after doing some research was loosely based on self-made millionaire and  Joy Mangano and although the movie does have an air of being based on a true story the lack of setting the scene and details in some respects, were missing mainly the years that things happened.  That being said it was well structured for a fictional story because it was set out from Joy’s childhood and well explained, but that inability to understand what era this all took place in for a biographical picture just wasn’t great.

While being a very slow paced the desperation wasn’t quite there.  It felt as if she was going to win all the way through because all the hurdles she faced, there was no hardship for.  There was obviously huge hurdles in the story but as soon as Joy faced them, there was a near enough instant solution and with the pace of the movie, there could have been more of a build-up giving time to understand how dire the situation is for Joy.

Overall Joy is a movie that can be recommended if you like Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper because they owned their roles but expect quite a slow and erratic at times plot line.  Joy, however, will also appeal to anyone that believes in The Big American Dream.

Joy at best gets 5/10 for me because although great performances and based on a true story, just feel it could have been better paced and a bit more detail put into the story.  Giving the audience time to really appreciate the struggles the character was going through especially once she had gone into business.

How did you find Joy?

FIre and Fury – Michael Wolf Review

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff is a non-fiction book that is focused on the first 18 months of Donald Trump’s Presidency.  The book takes on quite a few different points of view and opinions on how the White House under Trump has been run and can be at times quite insightful.  The reason for picking this book up was mainly because of the storm that surrounded it.  The intrigue was there to find out The President didn’t like about the book and to try and understand more about the man whether it is right or not.

First Edition Cover Fire and Fury
First Edition Cover of FIre and Fury by Michael Wolff

Fire and Fury starts from the election campaign and with the notation that:

 

“President Trump never really wanted to to be President he was just there for the fame a glory and that none of his team really thought he could win the race.”

As events unfold Michael brings in different views of the events and how and why Trump has made the decisions he has and the reasoning perhaps for his behaviour.  The book was narrative as if you were having a conversation with Michael about the events, and the interviews that he had, had with his sources without actually asking the questions.

The book has a nice flow to it, and at some places even feels like fiction.  While this could because the book leads you to wonder why the characters in question have a place in such roles.  However, the analysis of each individual feels really well done.  For all the negative that Michael brings up about the falls within in the Trump administration, it is backed up by theory and examples of why it is happening.

Having read this book as an Audiobook, it was interesting as the narration was done really well and I found myself able to move the speed up 1.5x and then found it even easier to get through without feeling like I was missing something or listening to a chipmunk.

Fire and Fury by Michael was an interest perceptive on the Trump administration. Along with being well structured and thought out.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has an intrigue or interest of the man that is Donald Trump or even politics.  Although I wouldn’t take this book as fact because it had moments of feeling like fiction but at the same time it seemed to be based on perspective and as such insightful.

 

Audio-book Thoughts

While out with friends we were discussing Audiobooks as I had been recently been using Podcasts as a way to chill before bed.  The problem being that for some reason I hadn’t been able to sleep properly, but to be honest that isn’t a huge deal as this isn’t uncommon for me to go through stages of not being able to get my full 8 hours even if I do need them.

However what I was finding this time around by listening to Podcasts, I was able to put a sleep timer on the player and it was a good way for me to chill out and what I was actually doing was setting an alarm so that I knew it would be time to stop what I was doing and get ready for bed and get listening to a podcast.  I do like crime relative podcasts and although they were working and I was able to learn while listening and it was allowing me also get myself into a routine and helping my sleep patterns.

So while discussing this with friends, and the topics that the podcasts while interesting they were starting to get heavy and it wasn’t quite what I wanted.  So while we were discussing this we talked about Audible and titles that my friend had listened to and although Sci-Fi related I wasn’t sure The Dresden Files.  I am not a huge fan of Wizards and stuff like that but this book was also a crime based book so I thought why not and signed up for my free audible book and got listening.

A set of Headphones plugged into a plain blue book
Book with Headphones

This was one of the best moves I have made, listening to fiction at night really was helping.  It was having the same effect of podcasts but not being as heavy as real crime and it took me about a week to complete the first book in the series.  This led me to cancel my subscription and reactive it and by doing that I ended up getting another credit to get the second book.  I also got through that within about a week and a half.  Having had a busy few weeks of late has had my routines not quite being there so things have slowed up thankfully because dealing with only having a book a month is not enough at the moment with books that are only 11 hours long.  That does seem strange when you put this in writing because 11 hours does seem quite a long time when you think about it.

In conclusion, I am really glad to have taken the time to give Audiobooks ago and although people will say its not really reading or it’s not the same as reading the book.  I would say there is an obvious difference but at the same time, it’s still the same story. As such I do plan on trying to write book reviews where possible.  I may need to re-listen to the book before writing them however because it’s been ages since I’ve written a book review and as such I want to read some guides to do them justice.

Have you tried Audiobooks however you found them?  Let me know and if you have any recommendations feel free to let me know in the comments below.

The Shallows Review

Wanting to get back into reviews after a particularly hard day at the office shall we say I picked up my phone and decided to randomly stop on a movie that was on the many on demand services that I use. Recently added to NOW TV is The Shallows.

While probably not the best genre at the time for both my physical and mental state. Anyone that knows me knows I jump at everything and this was a movie that was guaranteed to make me jump. I put it on anyway NOW TV had it at 3 stars so I wasn’t expecting much from it.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, the way in which they used the threat of shark and the performance of Blake Lively was brilliant. The synopsis of the movie is a medical student has gone soul-searching after the death of her mother, and has found it in surfing but she gets attacked by a Shark and on a remote beach and has to fight for survival.

Now most movies like this, concentrate on the Shark and show off all its teeth, but this one was different. Yes you do see the teeth and it is an imposing figure of fear when you do see the animal leave the water but I felt that they didn’t over use it, they relied on the threat more than its physical presence. The major thing that came from this, was half way through it left me wondering whether this was a true story or not?

After the movie however I did a quick Google and found that it wasn’t based on any true story, and a long list of reasons’ why people weren’t happy about the movie from a Science perspective. As some of the movie and the way shark was acting has not scientific evidence. However that said if they movie has you wondering whether it’s based on a true story or not then it must be doing something right?

In conclusion if your stuck for something to watch over this festive period and have a NOW TV/Sky Cinema in the UK I would recommend checking this movie out. It’s a suspense jump scare type horror, but has the right balance and left me question whether it was a true story or not?

Until Dawn Review

Until Dawn is a QT based game, which is highly story driven. If you guys haven’t guessed by some of the other reviews I’ve done, I really enjoy this style of game. Telltale is one of my favourite publishers and I am quite surprised I haven’t picked up this game before.

Josh Chris and Ash with a Ouija board
Nothing more spookier than a Ouija board

Until Dawn focuses around a group of teenagers that go to a Lodge on a Ski range where something strange is going on. It is a horror based story with quite a few jump scares but the story is really well told with some good twists and turns. Other scenes can be telegraphed and you can see coming but that just adds to the suspense.

Gameplay wise it has some interesting controls, which add to the emission. There is an option to have the controller in motion mode although through the run through I went to classic. There were still places in the game you had to hold the controller dead still not to move. While adding to emission sometimes it was hard to hold it still enough not to move your character and I do want to do another playthrough to see whether I can improve on that. The other part of the gameplay that is encouraging for a replay, is that all the really important decisions you make it pops up with Butterfly Effect Updated. Such a simple addition and Telltale do say at the beginning of their games, that your decisions affect the story but after that, there doesn’t remind you.

Overall I really enjoyed this game and can highly recommend it if you’re into horror and a high story is driven games. The flaws in this game can be its graphics even though amazing in some scenes others can be blocky. It has replay value after doing some research as well because you can save everyone in the game and that butterfly effect.

MR ROBOT Season 1 Review

MR ROBOT was a random pick up when looking for a DVD pick up on Amazon.  While reading the plot I was sat there wondering why I had not picked this show up already and the answer was because it was only available on Amazon Prime in the UK which is about the only service I don’t have. What I was expecting for MR ROBOT wasn’t what I got and I am so glad it wasn’t.

I was expecting more of Hackers starring Angelina Jolie in 1995 but this was completely different.  MR ROBOT is focused around a seemingly social awkward security specialists that show autistic tendencies and seems to be one of the best people on the team at his job.  Elliot shows us how someone that is very intelligent but struggles in social interactions and interacting with the rest of the world, only finding it easy to interact with certain people in his life.

As the season develops, there are some real twists and turns that are unexpected but the speed of the show leaves the viewer enough time to think about what has just happened.  This is a change with most TV shows not giving people time to think about what is happening but this is also the only downfall because sometimes it feels a little disjointed, because a few things happened and then they jumped away from it.

The acting and characters I think are well balanced and well performed by the actors.  Everyone seemed to be in the right role and all the characters seemed to bring something to the overall plot.

Overall I would recommend picking up MR ROBOT even if you are not a technology-minded because it is a mix of conspiracy theories technology and so much more.  The only way to describe this show is a mix been The Matrix, Fight Club and Robin Hood with how the plot develops.

How did you find MR ROBOT?

Boku No Hero Academia Review

Boku No Hero Academia is focused on one child in the world where most have special abilities and he is born without one known as a Quirk. The quirks have been slowly expanding through the population but Izuku Midoriya still holds on to the dream of being a hero.

Cover Art
Cover Art

Izuku decides early on that he is a late developer or that if he tries hard enough and puts in the effort that he can one day become just like his hero the All Might. This anime does have a feeling of the western world comics in it but was a little harder to follow for me than ReLife but that was mainly to do with the speed of the dialogue. The story itself is solid and has some really good feel good moments and twists along the way.

The animation didn’t seem as high quality as ReLife that being said it could have been the quality that was watching in and that was 480p. However, you did notice the difference between ReLife and Buku No Hero Academia at the same quality.

Boku No Hero Academia gets the balance of story and action just right and shows the development of characters really well. One of the first lines of the series is no one is equal and although this is the motto all the way through it does show how you can work hard to get where you want to be against all odds.

Students ready to action
Students ready to action

The Verdict

Boku No Hero Academia is definitely worth a pick up as it gives the right amount of balance of action and story, to make you invested in the characters but at the same time, the pace of the action is fast enough for you not to get too bogged down in the story. There are plenty of twists and turns and if the studios allow there will be another season of this awesome anime. So believe in yourself pick up this anime and watch how anyone as long as they are in the right place at the right time you can achieve anything.

ReLife Anime Review

ReLife is only my third trip into the world of anime and I have to admit I really enjoyed it. The reason for choosing ReLife was it was one of the top Animes on the list I was looking at and had a synopses similar to Plastic Memories which was the last anime that I really sat down and watched.

ReLife Cover Art
ReLife Cover Art

ReLife is based around Arata Kaizaki who is unemployed 27 years old that is bouncing between jobs where possible and is approached when he is at his lowest to take part in an experiment. The experiment is to take a pill and go that alters his appearance so that he can go back to high school. This sounds quite interesting because it’s like starting over again putting someone that seemingly is struggling in life back into an environment that they have been before and stable one to boot.

There are a lot of twists and turns in ReLife as Arata comes to terms with his personal demons some were completely out of left field and was not expected others you could see coming right off the bat. The Japanese humour can be missed in western culture from my limited understanding and research but there was some real laugh out loud moments when some of the characters were put in some awkward positions.

The animation quality as I’ve come to expect is awesome, even watching in 480p the quality compared to some of the western counterparts was out of this world, but at the same time simple and not to complicated

The Gang off ReLife
The Gang off ReLife

The Verdict

ReLife is a romance anime but don’t let that put you off if your not into that type of thing, because it explores all aspects of social behaviour and has some really good character development. Along with some really interesting twists even towards the end, just as you think that you have the direction that they are going with it makes another turn. One that I would say is definitely worth catching if you’re low on anime and want a nice easy fix

Game Dev Tycoon Review

It’s probably not known that well on this channel that I really do enjoy the Tycoon games. I spent many hours playing Zoo Tycoon back in the day and much more, but this was part of a bundle that I had bought years ago but I forgot about it.

Which is a shame because the gameplay is so simple yet addictive, and the one game that has some real replay value even though it feels a little short. The problem is the story is based on the generations of the game industry and the speed of the game seems to be quite quickly.

This, however, doesn’t take away from the time that can be invested in the game because as you’re playing the game which is a simple you find little features that you didn’t know what existed. The tutorial pops do a good job of explaining the game but after a while, you start skipping some of the dialogue so you might miss some of the important things.

What I would do to improve this game is to try and add other objectives, expand it from just trying to get the best rating for your game and make the most money. I know that is the aim for Tycoon games but the truth is what the big studios did well with this type of game they gave a scenario for you to do and then they would adjust them. This game doesn’t have that a such you can go through without doing training just about without some smart decisions but having done that and getting to the end of the game, I just want to go back and improve having been given a final score.

Being a techy I constantly wanted to improve the engine every given time but now I’ve got to the end I want to go back and play it again with a different approach to unlocking other aspects of the game to see whether there is a new approach and can get a better score.

I can’t recommend this game high enough for the type of game that you can put down and pick up. It’s a casual strategy that anyone can do and you can try different ways to get success.

The Flash Season 2 Episode 14 “Escape from Earth-2 ” Review

Escape from Earth-2 carries on straight from Welcome to Earth-2 and the cliff-hanger that Barry is held captured by Zoom and the problem with the breach being unstable.  The breach being unstable is huge because it means that the team that went to Earth-2 will not be able to come back.

Iris and Barry from Earth-2

Barry is struggling with the fact that he cannot get out of his cell on Earth-2 with Cisco and Wells worried that they might not be able to achieve anything without him.  The need to find Zoom’s liar has become even more important to get Barry back and within the time that they set themselves.  The problems for Earth-1 also continues as Geomancer is still running loose in Central City and is starting to make people more aware that they cannot just rely on The Flash. This is where Iris has a conflict because although she has written a positive article about the Geomancer situation her editor wants something a little bit more realistic and highlight the fact The Flash might not be able to save them all the time.

While in search for Barry and trying to save him from his captor, it leads Cisco and Wells to try to make a deal with Killer Frost.  Cisco hopes that reasoning with her about Deathstorm’s death in Welcome to Earth-2 will work but it does not go so well and they have to use force that they did not really want to use.  Jay was the focus in Escape from Earth-2 on Earth 1, this seems strange as all the action is happening on Earth 2 but in order to save Jay’s life and the city Caitlin needs to help him get his speed back.  The mystery character in the other cell adds another dimension and questions to the Jay Garrick character.

Cisco and Killler Frost and Iris from Earth-2 negotiating

The stabilization of breach from Welcome to Earth-2 seemed to be fixed a bit early in Escape from Earth-2 but leads to an interesting twist to it returning to being unstable.  The problem with this is that it just did not feel like the sequence was required.  That sequence, however, adds some more development for Caitlin and Jay.

The Verdict

Escape from Earth-2 is a good development from Welcome to Earth-2 but just doesn’t seem to have the freshness.  Grant Gustin puts together a good performance, it was interesting to see him play the Earth 2 Barry as the character seems completely different to the Barry from Earth 1 and Earth 2 Barry does get more exposure.  The cliff-hanger that the team is left with will ensure that there are definitely more crossover episodes to be seen and that is encouraging just to see how the actors deal with playing two characters at once.