Oct 23, 2018

[Books] The Hunters (Twilight of the Clans - Book 3) Review

The Twilight of the Clans story arc is one with potentially epic implications at the end of things but one that is a little tricky to enjoy. As this is my first (albeit delayed) time to read this part of Battletech's history, I'm experiencing all this with fresh eyes. But that doesn't automatically mean it's a perfectly enjoyable experience every step of the way. And man, it is taking forever for this multi-book event to get into gear.

The Hunters addresses the first leg of the journey of Task Force Serpent, the long-range strike against the Smoke Jaguar homeworld of Huntress. Similar to the situation in Grave Covenant, the forces sent beyond the known territories of the Inner Sphere were a mixed group that drew from pretty much all the major political factions under the banner of the new Star League. And that's both the fleet's biggest benefit and also its biggest challenge.

Figuring out how to bring together former enemies to work together is never easy. What more when they're working in the cramped confines of interstellar starships with long periods of tense waiting for something to happen. That's a powder keg right there.

Oct 22, 2018

[TV] Disenchantment: Season 1 Review

There are a lot of animated television shows these days that are not geared towards children. You can tell which shows these are as they all depict the same behaviors of drinking, resorting to profanity and making questionable life decisions. And a lot of them end up feeling very similar to me as they have a lot of characters shouting at one another and bad things happening because of course they do.

Disenchantment is one of the more recent entries in this category with a lot of the same traits but with a fantasy premise slapped on. But more importantly is the fact that this Netflix-exclusive show was conceived and created by Matt Groening of The Simpsons fame.

I suppose it made sense for him to go this route as The Simpsons has always been distinctly contemporary in terms of setting while Futurama was the science fiction spin on things and now we have a fantasy one with this show. And yet we also don't.

Oct 20, 2018

[Movies] How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017) Review

The writings of Neil Gaiman are much beloved by fans around the world and in recent years it feels like more and more television and movie executives are greenlighting projects based on those works. But beyond his full-length novels, even his short stories can be used to inspire feature-length movies.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties is one such adaptation with a somewhat unexpected creative team behind it. The movie aimed to add on other themes on top of the original story to create an entertainment piece that is a distinct, evolved version of that first story.

I recognize that the structure of this movie is not an easy one to understand right off the bat and the narrative style is quirky, sometimes a bit too quiet and also understated. But I still enjoyed it despite those quirks and found some resonance in the story it wanted to tell. It was both a celebration of Neil Gaiman's original story and something else entirely - perhaps something just a little alien in nature.

Oct 19, 2018

[Movies] Next Gen (2018) Review

Netflix continues to churn out more and more original content in order to provide more original value versus other streaming services. And that apparently includes new animated ventures that will try to go head-to-head with streaming content from studios like Disney-Pixar and Dreamworks.

Next Gen is one of those tentpole efforts for original animated content as it certainly had the feel of a big budget animated feature. The movie certainly has a lot of familiar elements involved that you may or may not remember from other animated features that makes it almost feel like a marketing-driven story in terms of behind-the-scenes decision-making.

The movie was quirky and had its own share of fun to be had, certainly. But it also didn't quite hit the right notes perfectly and left me with mixed feelings. I keep saying this about Netflix original ventures but it again didn't feel terrible nor did it seem exceptional and so it was very middle of the road to me.

Oct 18, 2018

[Theater] Kinky Boots (Marina Bay Sands) Review

My love for the original Kinky Boots movie made the decision to watch the Atlantis staging of the musical an easy theater decision to make. But when provided a chance to catch the international touring production while in Singapore came up, it took a while to reassure myself that the cost was totally worth it.

And yes, the show was even more amazing that I had expected it to be and I'm super glad that we watched. I wish I had been able to catch it with my partner Tobie, but at least I wasn't entirely alone either.

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