Posted in Movie/TV Reviews

REVIEW: Blacksad: Under the Skin

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*No Major Spoilers*

**This Game and Series is rated M (Video Game Terms) or R (Movie Terms)**

Blacksad: Under the Skin is set in New York City during the 1950s, and takes place chronologically between Blacksad: Arctic Nation and Red Soul. Its story begins when protagonist John Blacksad is approached by Sonia Dunn, daughter of a boxing club owner who has died suspiciously. She asks Blacksad to investigate the situation and locate the club’s starfighter, who has been missing since her father’s death. So it’s up to Blacksad to solve the case, or the daughter will have to shut down her father’s gym forever.

I love the Blacksad series. I am a huge fan of crime noir and hardboiled detectives. This is the perfect series for those that love mysteries and anthropomorphic animals. Blacksad is a private detective who deals with the scum of the Earth. He likes to help others when he can, especially if they are a helpless female.

This game is a must for mystery lovers and visual novels alike. Just when you think you have solved the case before Blacksad, the game throws a wrench in your theory. There were several theories Blacksad had and I was asking him where he came up with that. Nothing against the character himself, it’s just part of being a detective.

I admire how much joy and care the developers put into this game. I can tell they read and studied the graphic novels and took the material to heart when creating this game. The characters are well written and this case was built in a way where I couldn’t solve it before the Blacksad.

Overall, I love this game and I think it’s worth the money for any fans of Blacksad, crime noir, historical fiction, and hardboiled detectives. This game was well worth the money, although I do recommend waiting for it to go on sale, buy it nonetheless. Blacksad: Under the Skin is a great game for fans of Blacksad or just looking for a new mystery to solve.

Read more about Blacksad here!

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Posted in Movie/TV Reviews, Non-Fiction, Personal Blogs

REVIEW: The Confession Killer

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From IMDb.com

Henry Lee Lucas was known as America’s most prolific serial killer, admitting to hundreds of murders, but, as DNA results contradict his confessions, will they expose the biggest criminal justice hoax in U.S. history?

I have been a fan of true crime for the past few years. My first memory of being fascinated with true crime, was when the Casey Anthony trial was going on in Florida. However, I’ve only been really invested in learning about true crime since the big boom of true crime trending on the Internet. Although I believe the true crime genre has always been a focal point in society ever since the very beginning.

I had never heard of Henry Lee Lucas before I got invested in the genre. After I listened to a few podcasts that discussed his crimes, I just brushed him off as another severely mentally ill individual who murdered whoever crossed his path.

I watched this docuseries while I was at home recovering from a bad cold, and I was shocked at how out of control this story ended up being. Not only do you have another mini-series that is “this is why he’s evil”, and “this is why he’s innocent”, but you get a conspiracy to cover up the Lucas case.

This was a fascinating watch. I was enthralled as they kept showing pictures and videoes Lucas helping the Texas Rangers and other detectives from different areas close these cold cases by “confessing” to them. I was shocked at how many crimes he actually confessed to, and seeing them on a map was stunning. However, when they discuss the timeline of his crimes, and how many contradict each other was impossible to ignore.

I liked how they had various people who both knew Henry Lee Lucas, and have had a part in the case. It was interesting to see how not only were the Texas Rangers the highest power in law enforcement before the FBI fully developed a behavioral analysis unit but for the fact they had the power to make the mistakes they made during the case disappear or become “confidential”.

I can understand how much pressure more rural town police departments have when a murder happens in their town, and they aren’t trained per se, but hearing about a serial killer who is confessing to all of these seemingly mysterious murders would ease their case-load.

The only issue I had with this docuseries is I wish they had discussed more of Lucas’s background. They mention that his mother was physically abusive and was a prostitute. As well as how his father has a severe drinking problem that caused him to get into a train accident where he lost both of his legs. Lucas even discusses this in the clips of the interviews they had with him. However, I kind of wish they went further into his childhood.

Overall, I really enjoyed his mini docuseries. The focus was on the victims’ families and not glorifying what Lucas had done. It was a real deep-dive into an investigation that was corrupted and severely mishandled. Hopefully, we can learn from their mistakes and not repeat these events going forward in the world of crime-solving.

I would recommend this docuseries for fans of true crime, and for anyone looking for a good watch on Netflix.

Posted in Movie/TV Reviews

MOVIE REVIEW: Joker (2019)

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*Minor Spoilers here*

Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker. -IMDb

The never-ending battle between Batman and Joker is a good vs. evil scenario that will continue into pop culture history. We all know the story of Batman. Ten-year-old Bruce Wayne witnesses the murder of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. Thus the beginning of our epic hero begins.

However, what do we know about the Joker’s backstory? How did this man descent into such madness and psychopathy to cause great harm to Gotham City?

Throughout the Joker’s comic history, his origin story keeps changing. He has told so many origin stories that he doesn’t remember which one is the correct one. So this somewhat ambiguous backstory gave the writers of Joker the freedom to create their telling of Joker’s beginning.

I had heard early reviews that this movie was a different take on the Joker character. I am up for a unique story or a different way to tell an origin story. However, when I watched this movie, I had found a movie that I needed to chew and digest.

First off, Gotham City is experiencing not only a garbage man strike but a bad financial recession. In the comics, Gotham City has always been portrayed as the ghetto or where lower-income families live. I feel these circumstances extenuate how not only how Arthur feels, but how the lower-income citizens feel.

This film came under a lot of controversy for “glorifying gun violence”. To a certain extent, I can understand where those people are coming from. The Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting caused a ripple effect when it comes to movies and portraying violence. On the other hand, where the Deadpool movie was just pure chaos. I felt like the people Arthur, and then Joker, murdered were meaningful and had a reason behind each one.

Of course, this brings up the issue that comes with all violent acts, real or fictional, where mental health is the main factor. People use gun violence because it’s a tangible concept “I can see a gun, and I’ve seen gunfire”.

Whereas the idea of mental health isn’t tangible to most people who are either uneducated in the matter or choose to ignore mental illnesses. “I can’t physically see mental disorders” or “I don’t know anyone with mental illnesses” plague the evergoing argument.

Joker is about a man with mental disorders. Life keeps throwing him hard balls, and he loses his sanity after he lost his job and can no longer afford his medication. He gives up on trying to hide his disorders and trying to just be satisfied with the way the world is in Gotham City. He lets the madness consume him.

Overall, I really enjoyed Joker the psychological aspects of this and my love of the comics made this movie my favorite movie of 2019.

Check out my other movie reviews here!

Posted in Discussions, Movie/TV Reviews, Personal Blogs

DISCUSSION: My Thoughts on Doctor Who: Past, Revival, and Current Re-Generation

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Ever since I started this blog, I feel compelled to share my love of Doctor Who, however, I feel I’m constantly repeating myself when I’m reviewing a Doctor Who novel or audiobook. So I have finally gathered up my thoughts on Doctor Who in its entirety to share with you.

How I discovered Doctor Who

Back long, long ago, my ex-boyfriend told me his brother was watching Doctor Who on Netflix. It took me a couple of tries to watch the pilot episode of season 1 of the “reboot/current” series. But once I got past how the monsters were mannequins (hello another irrational fear) I binged the rest of the series.

Now that Doctor Who isn’t on any of the streaming services anymore, I missed 3 seasons of the show. It was Peter Capaldi’s run of the lovable Doctor. I feel like I didn’t miss too much since I follow the memes and humor on the Internet. As well as the fury about the writers changing things (thank goodness most of those were only temporary), and the downfall of the writing quality overall.

Classic Doctor Who

There is so much more of Doctor Who than anyone can keep up with. The show started in the ’60s and they had no idea how huge this small, low budget show would become. Thanks to the Internet, the reboot took off. With the addition of David Tennant and Matt Smith, the show would remain in the mainstream for years to come.

I love Classic Doctor Who and all of its cheesiness. I only just started watching Tom Baker’s Doctor before the streaming services stopped showing Doctor Who. There is so much left to watch, read, listen, and enjoy from this long-lasting franchise.

I like to watch my shows in chronological order, so I started with the man who started it all, William Hartnell’s Doctor. He was a grumpy, yet lovable grampa by the time Mr. Hartnell had to end his reign as the Doctor due to health issues.

Next is Patrick Troughton’s Doctor. I feel this incarnation of the Doctor has a lot of “missing” episodes/stories. I do own one of the DVDs of one of the lost stories, so some parts are filmed, and some parts are animated. Mr. Troughton’s Doctor is the one I know the least about personality-wise. He often refers to his “500-year journal” since his regeneration caused him some amnesia. One of his more popular companions is Jamie, a young man from 18th century Scotland. Even though a lot of what the Doctor does and talks about is beyond Jamie’s understanding, Jamie still enjoys the adventures and travels through time and space.

Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor in the classic series is one of my absolute favorites. One of my favorite quotes from him is

“Courage isn’t a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.”

I’ve seen similar quotes to this, but this one struck a chord with me because when I first heard it I was going through a tough time and it helped me realize not every choice is an easy one, and no matter what you still have to make a choice.

Doctor Who Reboot

I have two main favorite doctors in the reboot/current series so far. Right now those favorites are the 9th and 10th Doctors played by Christopher Eccelston and David Tennant respectively. What I really enjoyed about these Doctors was their personalities, Mr. Eccelston and his sarcasm that he brought to the character was charming. Even though his stint on the show wasn’t long, he is still my Doctor. Mr. Tennant has a great sense of humor and adorable quirkiness. You can see his love for the franchise throughout his run. These two doctors were probably the most unique and interesting Doctors I’ve seen so far.

The Future of Doctor Who:

Right now as far as the current Doctor, Jodie Wittaker is a good actress, especially for the mediocre writing she’s been given, now that’s not to say that the current writing is very poor, but it leaves a lot to be desired. My favorite episode from the 11th season is The Demons of Punjab. The plot is:

The Doctor and her friends arrive in the Punjab, India, in 1947, as the country is being torn apart; while Yaz attempts to discover her grandmother’s hidden history, the Doctor discovers demons haunting the land.

This is my favorite episode because the story was interesting, the writing was better, and the cinemaphotography was gorgeous and made 1947 India a place to visit.

Going forward I’d like to see better writing and better use of the companions in each episode, for example, a companion getting tired and The Doctor brings them back to Earth for a break. Also, three companions seems a bit much for an hour-long TV Show.

Side note: My fiance thinks the audio mixing needs a bit of work, you can’t really understand much of what’s being said without a high-end audio system. Gotta make it work on All systems, ya know? -Alex Dickson (Fiance who loves his woman so very much he will surprise her on her birthday with something special, now with what, he doesn’t know yet, but he’ll figure something out.)

Read My Reviews of Doctor Who Novels and Audio Dramas HERE not all of these I realize are not Doctor Who directly, but other novels that remind me of the show.

Posted in Movie/TV Reviews

My Thoughts So Far on Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?

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Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? focuses on the Mystery Inc. gang as they solve bigger mysteries while also encountering many memorable celebrities, just like in The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Guest stars that have been announced for the show include Chris Paul, Sia, Halsey, Ricky Gervais, Kenan Thompson, Wanda Sykes, Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Mark Hamill, along with fictional characters such as Steve Urkel, Batman, Sherlock Holmes, the Flash and Wonder Woman.

I grew up watching Scooby-Doo as many of my long-time readers know. This show has inspired my love of paranormal, horror, and mystery. One of the more memorable Scooby-Doo series was The Scooby-Doo Show where celebrities of the times would guest star and help Scooby and the gang solve a mystery.

The more memorable ones for me are the episodes where celebrities like The Globe Trotters, Don Knotts, and Batman helped out with a mystery while adding a fresh breath of comic relief. A lot of people on the Internet has been wanting this idea of celebrity crossover with Scooby-Doo to be brought back. Well, they have responded with Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?. The first season isn’t over just yet, but I feel like I’ve watched enough to be comfortable giving my thoughts and feelings.

My excitement for this series following the abomination of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! was palpable. I have been DVR’ing every episode and I’ve been more or less enjoying them so far. The art style is reminiscent of What’s New Scooby-Doo? which is the series I grew up on more or less. I don’t remember a time of my life where Scooby and the crew haven’t been there.

As with all shows, each episode is a hit or miss. Not all famous people can act. Voice acting also isn’t as easy as it looks. My favorite episode so far is “Peebles’ Pet Shop of Terrible Terror” where Wanda Sykes guest stars. Most of the guest stars are more for the older generation and adults.

The reason why I liked this episode so far out of the four I’ve seen so far, is because I felt like the writing was good. I have my nitpicks with the episode, but they’re just subtle observations I’ve made. I felt like Scooby being good friends with Wanda was believable and adorable. I also liked how the writers use their friendship to show how much Scooby loves his best friend Shaggy. It felt like good character development and even though the story wasn’t the best, I still had fun watching this.

I would totally check it out if you’re a Scooby-Doo fan yourself!

Posted in Movie/TV Reviews

REVIEW: Scooby-Doo Pirates Ahoy!

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The Mystery, Inc. gang are caught in the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, while vacationing on a creepy eerie cruise, with ghost, pirates, and monsters.

This direct to DVD movie was based on the What’s New Scooby Doo era. I grew up on all of the variations of Scooby Doo. I recently revisited this movie, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on Scooby-Doo Pirates Ahoy! 

Overall, I enjoy this movie. It’s not my favorite, but it’s not terrible. I think the fascination with pirates is something that we will always enjoy.

I thought the motives for the bad guys were weak. I won’t spoil what their motives were, but let’s just say that I felt the writers cared more about wreaking havoc to other ships rather than developing motives for the villains.

I love the music they made for this movie, that is something that will always keep me watching this movie in particular. The chase scenes with the pirates were comical and funny. The music made me feel like I was ready to join a pirate crew and have some fun.

Overall, I enjoy this movie even though it’s not my favorite, this doesn’t mean it’s my least favorite. I think it’s a fun watch for people of all ages, especially for those who love pirates, adventure, and Scooby-Doo!

Posted in Movie/TV Reviews

My Latest Netflix Binge: Rilakkuma and Kaoru

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If you are looking for a relaxed, adorable anime look no further! Rilakkuma and Kaoru is a Japanese animation about two adorable stuffed bears and a little baby bird.

The official summary goes like this:

Her life might be a little mundane, but Kaoru gets to go home to Rilakkuma, her endearingly lazy roommate who happens to be a fuzzy toy bear. -Netfix

I know it’s not much to go on, but trust me you will be getting all the cute feelings from how the characters interact with each other. I’m not familiar with the famous Japanese pop icon Rilakkuma, so I called him “Big Brown Bear” and the other bear “Vanilla Bear”.

From Wikipedia:

Rilakkuma’s name is a combination of リラックス rirakkusu, a Japanese transliteration of the English word “relax”, and クマ(熊)kuma, the Japanese word for “bear”. He is a soft, toy-like bear whose interests are mostly limited to sleeping and eating, although these traits are portrayed positively, with fans and consumers encouraged to, at least sometimes, emulate Rilakkuma as sort of cure or treatment for stress.

Now enough backstory and explaining. Let’s get into what I liked, and what I didn’t like about Rilakkuma and Kaoru!

I loved all of the characters, the bears, Kaoru, and even the neighbor kid who brings a child-like perspective to the bears’ lives. There’s funny moments, heartwarming ones, and there’s at least one episode everyone can relate with.

My favorite episode is the Rainy Season. It’s Typhoon season in Tokyo, and even though Kaoru has a difficult trip to her little office job, it’s not as crazy as what’s going on in the bears’ apartment! Hilarity ensues and it’s a good reminder on not to do too much lazing about.

Another thing I loved about the show is how each episode ends with an inspirational quote. They’re always positive, and I found it was a nice way to end an episode. It was kind of like a “what did we learn today?” kind of ending.

There really wasn’t anything major I had an issue with, mostly just nitpicks and minor things that don’t affect my overall feeling for the show.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this anime, it held my attention, and it gave me a good laugh and heartwarming feelings. I hope Netflix will invest in a second season! I will be looking forward to a new adventure with these loveable characters.