New Moon

new moon

So the horror continues in the next hair raising adventure of Bella Swan with Twilight’s inevitable sequel, New Moon. Again my friends, full disclaimer, I was 18 years old going through a major emo phase. And oh this book is freaking emo. So this story picks up 6 months after Twilight left off, with Bella turning 18 and anxious about aging because Edward never does. She has a nightmare about becoming her grandma while Edward remained the same. So she mopes through the day, leading to a birthday party for Bella at the Cullen house. A paper cut throws the name into chaos, Jasper goes into a frenzy trying to maul Bella but the family stops him (damn those meddling vampires). Edward feels responsible for vampire shit and putting Bella in danger, breaks up with Bella…after walking her miles into the woods…with no one around for miles…so he could go back to her place take all the shit from her that had anything to do with him (cuz that ain’t messed up at all) and not have to deal with her. So catatonic, she wonders in the dead of night until a buff shirtless Native American dude named Sam found her and brought her back to the search party I’m pretty damn positive Edward didn’t send. Months go by and Bella’s still catatonic, waking up randomly screaming. Bitch has issues. Then to shut her dad up she goes into the city with a friend she doesn’t really give a shit about and puts herself in a situation she may get raped…because she starts to see and hear Edward. Elated by this, Bella finds a couple of crappy motor bikes and goes to buff, dorky, Native American boytoy Jacob Black to fix them. Jacob gets a boner for Bella as they become friends; Bella just wants to trip balls on Edward. They see a bunch of buff shirtless Native American teen boys with Sam cliff jumping and this gives Bella ideas, while Jacob tells her he thinks Sam’s a cult leader. Oh and people are scared of bears, forgot to mention that. So after a night at the movies with Jacob and his whiney Mike got that gets broken up by a stomach virus, Jacob disappears. Weeks later he’s a spitting image of Sam, and this is one of the last times Jacob wears a damn shirt.  So pretty much with no friend to lean on, Bella goes to the meadow her and Edward used to sit and oogle each other at and almost gets mauled by a vampire that tells her James’s pissed off ex girlfriend Victoria wants to kill Bella. When Bella’s about to get mauled, she’s saved by a pack of massive moose sized wolves….ok, so Jacob’s a werewolf. So’s Sam and a bunch of the other shirtless buff kids. Bella still wants Edward though Jacob’s got badass wolf stuff. She jumps off a cliff and almost drowns and Jacob saves her. Alice, Edward’s sister comes back, Edward wants to off himself by letting himself get killed by the Volturi- royal family of super vampires…

New Moon, like the first book has cool ideas laced in it but on a whole it kind of bites. There is more action than the first book but damn does it come off whiney. Bella’s whining about Edward; Edward is whining about missing Bella; Jacob whines he can’t have Bella. Jacob is  sympathetic to a degree but after a while he starts to come off as a jealous dick; Edward really becomes a creeper and a emotionally abusive dick; and Bella flat out uses Jacob’s ass. There is interesting lore and plot threads littered throughout but the focus is on the love triangle of bad people. It’s eh on first read, not the worst Twilight has to offer but dear god don’t watch the movie. But oh my friends, the horror of Bella Swan ain’t finished yet, til next time.

Salem’s Lot

Salems lot

Ah welcome to best and worst of Vampires part 2 (see my Dracula and Twilight reviews for part 1.) So as I said in my Cujo review, I was going to be covering a little more Stephen King and since the Dark Tower movie approaches, I thought this would be a great time to hit up Salem’s Lot, which comes into play towards the end of the series with Don Callahan, one of our main characters.

Salem’s Lot was Stephen King’s second novel after his huge success with Carrie, about how the quiet town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine is quietly taken over by a Vampire named Kurt Barlow and his assistant Straker who move into the “haunted” Marsten House. You notice how I kind of emphasized the word quiet? Well, Salem’s Lot is a quiet book. Do not read this if you are expecting a bloodbath, rich emo kids that sparkle, or vampires that turn into giant bat creatures and fight werewolves for the fate of the universe or some shit like that. Hell, King’s vampires in this are pretty typical. Pale, fangs, lure you to let them in, crosses, holy water, sunlight, and only come out at night- the classic vampire mold. And that’s not a bad thing, because we are given relatable characters and a simple setting many of us either live in or can picture and how it can be creepy or unsettling.

The story centers around Ben Mears, a famous writer who grew up in the lot and returned to it after twenty five years to write about the Marsten House that scared him as a kid. He becomes friends with old Matt Burke, a teacher, and gets the hots for Susan Norton, a young college grad who’s a fan of his. Ben finds out a man named Barlow bought the old Marsten house for his antique furniture business but no one has seen him, just his partner Richard Straker. Not soon after, people start disappearing and others start dying but don’t stay that way. Soon it’s up to Ben, Matt, Sue, young Mark Petrie, Dr. Jim Cody, and struggling father Don Callahan to ban together and finish the undead crisis weeping through quiet little Jerusalem’s Lot before they become next in Barlow’s horde.

Movies have been made about this book and/ or mini series but you’re better off just reading it. It’s a decent vampire story that’s well written, has some genuine chills in it. If you want a decent adaptation that frankly ain’t a adaptation, I recommend checking out the anime Shiki. Both are pretty damn similar but Shiki gives you some darker pathos and a six episode slaughter-fest at the end, but as one of my favorite high school teachers used to say, I digress. Definately check out Salem’s Lot if you’re a Stephen King fan or want a good classic vampire story without the goth romance tropes that have become commonplace in vampire fiction (and anime fans, check out Shiki).

Cujo

cujo book

So with Stephen King movies returning to the spotlight of the silver screen after way too long with the long anticipated Dark Tower movie in August and the equally anticipated remake of It in September, I’ll cover some King on the way. I’ve heard it confirmed that Cujo will have a cameo in the Dark Tower film (before his turn I imagine, I’d like to think a rabid St. Bernard wouldn’t get too far in New York City.) so I figured why not not start with this underrated King classic.

Cujo is a simple, confined story of a mother and son trapped in there busted down car in the middle of a empty farmhouse at the mercy of the blazing summer and a massive, diseased St. Bernard gone insane after getting bitten on the nose by a rabid bat. The Trenton family, mom-Donna, dad-Vic, and young son Tad are a reasonably happy young family living in the small burg of Castle Rock, Maine, at least at first. Donna had an affair with tennis player, furniture fixer uper, and total douchebag  Steve Kemp. On top of dealing with Donna’s infidelity and his Ford Pinto breaking down all the time, Vic’s small advertising business is caught up in a scare involving defective breakfast cereal and the backlash of legal weight accompanying it, putting everything Vic worked so hard for and his family’s lively hood at stake. Vic has to go away to try to save his business, leaving Donna to go to the town mechanic’s house in a last ditch effort to save that dying Pinto with her son. Joe Cambers is the town mechanic, and a abusive alcholic; Charity, Joe’s wife, wins a small lotto pool and tries to use the money to take herself and there son Brett up to her well to do sister’s place and disappear from Joe’s assholery. He agrees to let her go, planning on going into town with his buddy and scoring some hookers and booze while the wife and kid’s away. This just leaves us to the most tragic character, the lovable St. Bernard Cujo. He’s kind and loves his family but sadly chased the wrong rabbit, ramming his head into the wrong hole where the fateful bats lurked. Cujo slowly loses his mind, his slow, loving nature deteriorates into relentless crimson hate and a lust for blood. When Donna and Tad venture up to the Cambers house on the outskirts of town, Cujo has already slaughtered Joe Chambers and his buddy and will not stop until he kills the Trentons.

So, for the most part the book and movie are similar, though I will recommend the book over the movie for two critical reasons. The first being Cujo’s change which King hauntingly narrates through the big dog’s perspective, being both tragic but also more frightening as the dog almost comes to symbolize the devil coming to make Donna pay for her lustful sins. The second reason is the ending to the book is more heartbreaking but more harrowing than the movie’s. In the movie, Donna pulls a unconscious, dehydrated, and overexposed Tad into the house, giving him CPR desperately until Cujo appears where she finds Joe’s shotgun and blows Cujo’s filthy, bloody ass away, Tad wakes up, happy ending. Well, the book says F you happy ending. Donna has had several severe infected wounds from the mutt; Tad never wakes up and dies scared wanting his daddy; Donna beats Cujo to death in the hot sun until Vic and the police pull her off of him. By no means is the movie bad, it’s actually a solid movie and the imagery of the dog is terrifying as hell.

cujo movie

There is a flaw either way: it drags a bit either in book or film. The book handles it a little better. I’d suggest shortening it but it’s already a little over 350 pages which is short as hell for any Stephen King story. I have to say, I hope the rumors of a remake are false because a lot of this story would be null in void if told in our modern day (one cell phone call- end of story in twenty minutes.) Definately pick up the book or catch the movie on netflix and may the gaming gods bring you glory and don’t send Cujo on your asses.

Laserlife

laserlife

Ok, so I admit I first bought this because it was 3 bucks during a PlayStation sale and it reminded me of a weird music game I got with a P.O.D CD back in 2004. Laserlife revolves around the skeleton of a spaceman floating around the cosmos. We play as two streams of consciousness as we reconnect his memories and learn more about the spaceman through various psychedelic mini games. I cannot lie, this game is a beautiful, vibrant acid trip and a half. You control each stream with your control stick and essentially  fly them through pretty colored clusters or avoid pix elated memory blocks. It is fun, simple but more challenging than you would think at times, testing your hand-eye coordination pretty intensely each memory. It’s a calming change of pace from most common games nowadays but it is short. If you find it on sale, go for it, but I discourage paying the full $20 price tag for it.

JLA trailer review

jla 2

So its the weekend of San Diego Comic Con and the trailers are all aflutter, including a huge Justice League trailer. First I have to say, it’s no surprise Wonder Woman was the forefront of the trailer after the success of her solo film this past summer. She was flat out my favorite part of what I saw. Gal Gadot is a gorgeous bad ass that in my opinion stole the show in her brief appearance in BvS. I was also thrilled at a lot of what we got to see of Cyborg and Aquaman. I’m not really feeling the film’s version of Flash so far; I feel having two separate actors  playing the same exact chacter confuses the shit out of a lot of lesser informed fans. How many times have I been asked since trailer 1 for this thing : is TV Flash going to starting hinting at JLA soon, why does Flash have a different costume in the movie than the show, is Flash still Barry Allen, why is his lightening blue in the movie but orange/ gold in the show- is it all a different universe? This are just the questions I’ve been asked on this one thing (I’m not not even going to start how many people scratched there heads when Henry Cavill didn’t pop in SuperGirl as Superman or how many times I have to explain Stephen Amell won’t be making a cameo appearance as Green Arrow in the movie or Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern…ugh). TV Flash comes off with a look that feels realistic but also practical while his film counterpart looks more he came out of the game Injustice: Gods among Us rather than something suiting someone of Flash’s traits. As for Batman, I enjoyed Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight in BvS but I fear the HUGE tonal shift between BvS and JLA may hurt his character a bit. When we were reintroduced to Batman, he was cold, cynical, and grim; he was a weary older man almost lost with anger and fear. I loved that take on him instead of from an origin point, as a comic fan soaking in all the little nuggets to piece why he started cracking ( RED HOOD MOVIE DAMMIT!). But suddenly now we have a Batman that cracks some jokes and seriously, nothing against Affleck at all, but the tonal shift screws with the overall flow. Still, the cast of heroes has a lot of potential. We got a first glimpse of Steppenwulf and I couldn’t help but get a major Thanos vibe from him. My two biggest problems with what I’m seeing from the trailers come down to tone and style. I feel DC is trying to sway into Marvel’s flavor a bit more but it doesn’t fit what they established and we can tell. As for style, you can tell this movie was made by the guy that gave us Watchmen and 300. Especially 300. The slo-mo gets irritating after a few trailers, it makes me nervous what a 3 hour movie will be like. Anyway, this is what I took from it but but what did you all think? leave a comment below and until next time may the gaming gods bring you glory.

jla

 

Cowboy Bebop

bebop

I got giddy as hell just prepping this review; so many memories! Cowboy Bebop is a fascinating specimen of anime. One part space odyssey, one part soap opera noir, some ass kicking fights, all wrapped in stunning animation and a soulful blend of jazz and the blues creating a story of four bounty hunters and a dog going through space trying to make it rich and avoid old pasts. Our main characters (from left to right on the poster above) are Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine, Jet Black, and Ed (and I can’t forget Ein, the dog.) Each is a deeply rich character that leaves an impression. Spike is a lazy, good hearted fighter escaping his past with a deadly gang; Faye is a woman who had been Cryo frozen, broken hearted, and now breaks hearts for money; Jet is a tough ex cop with a synthetic arm and head of the ship; and Ed is a super smart, super quirky 11 year old hacker with no past we know of but her love of Ein.

Right from the get go with the opening theme titled Tank! you immediately feel pumped up and ready to go. No matter how bummed out I am, just hearing that classic opening spreads a smile on my face and a second wind in my soul. The show isn’t very long, about 26 episodes, but it fits right. Every episode gives you a little something different, though overall there is a beautiful sense of melancholy artists rarely capture without making it too depressing. The action is cool and more plausible than most other anime; in fact, although a Japanese anime, Cowboy Bebop feels very American, like a livelier Blade Runner with jazz music. If anime has ever seemed too over the top or too weird for you, I suggest Cowboy Bebop for an fan of drama, anime, or great music. See ya next time cowboy and may the gaming gods be with you.

Jigsaw first trailer review

jigsaw Ugggggggggh. Dammit I cheered in 2010 when I thought Saw was over. I actually stood up and cheered in a theater in downtown Scranton ( by the way, it was the first week it was in theaters and I was one of four people there so I’m pretty sure no one really gave a flying crap a fat guy up and cheered at the screen.) Well, sorry Torsten 2010, Saw has returned….with bucket-helmets this time apparently. Ok, I’m not going to lie, I am going shit on this trailer not because Saw returned with a fresh new plan. If I saw any kind of originality or even an inkling of anything I didn’t already see in the last 7 films, I’d gladly give it the benefit of the doubt. Alas, no go little doodle. A lot of the scenes reminded me of scenes I’ve seen in the others, just with a different actor, different lighting, or a slight variance to the trap. Example 1: broad daylight in a fairly populated area, people stop slowly and stare at what I’m sure is the sight of a Jigsaw trap going off for all to see (Saw 7). Example 2: five people strapped onto leashes against the wall, getting pulled to there deaths; granted, in Saw 8 they are being pulled forward into a wall of buzz-saw blades instead of a what the hell ever happened in Saw 5 ( I try to forget Saw 5 happened.) Ok, so in 7 we saw the end of Hoffman, but who knows if he’s really dead or perhaps now we’re into Gordan’s line of carnage since we know him and a group of Jigsaw survivors have taken up the mantle. What does this mean? No damn clue. So I will wait to until trailer 2 before making up my mind on even if I want to see it at all. When I was 12- 14, Saw was the shit. It was every middle/ high school kids favorite blood and gore slasher flick; hell, I’d go as to call it the Scream of the 2000’s decade. I think it is a fairly solid trilogy, or would have been if Loinsgate didn’t get greedy and people didn’t keep askin for more. So what do you think of Saw’s return? leave me a comment below or hit me up on twitter @TorstenV and may the gaming gods bring you glory and pizza!

Slaughterhouse Five

sh5 So if you’ve been following us here at Saviorgaming.blog, you may have seen a pattern in the book reviews I do: I love horror and fifties era books. Truth be told I’m not much for modern literature respectively, not to say their isn’t good reads out there ( but every modern feels like a landmine in a age where Fifty Shades runs supreme). I was inspired the 50’s- 60’s era of repressed literature when these kind of books were not only fiction but a ways to let things out, and I think a world as exposed by media and the internet, I wonder if we lost some power in our fiction as time goes on…but I’m here to review a book dammit so let us begin.

Slaughterhouse Five is Kurt Vonnegut’s World War 2 strange opus of Billy Pilgrim as a P.O.W, plane crash survivor, alien abductee, optometrist and the revelations of time and space brought onto him by the Trefladorians (my apologies on the botched spelling). Both a fascinating non linear story with dark comedy, sad moments and well done characters. For a story as unconventional as this, it flows really well and though it drifts sporadically, it isn’t hard to follow. I seriously couldn’t put this book down. I read it in the span of a couple days and got me back into reading after a long hiatus. If you are looking for a unique classic that will make you laugh, scratch your head, and ask some questions bout time, sanity, and the horrors of war, definitely pick this up.

Spyro the dragon

spyro Wanna talked mind blown as a kid? From the n64 era I got a few glimpses at the size a video game can be, but Spyro the dragon for PlayStation was the very first game that swallowed me up in it’s world. A coming of age story about a young dragon whose left after all the bigger, more powerful dragons are turned to crystal and his quest to free them from Gnasty Gnorc who got pissed watching them bad mouthing him during a TV interview (God bless the 90’s). Spyro and his dragonfly companion, Sparx are freaking awesome. Spyro mainly charges and bursts fire, and can hover a bit except for the epic flight stages. The scenery is beautiful and the characters inside are detailed excellently for there time. It handles amazing and with so much loot, enemies, and new beautiful realms to explore, it’s hard not to love this PS1 classic.

Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns

redlantern So we’re one step closer to Blackest Night with the first of two preludes to it, introducing us to Atrocitus as the leader of the red lanterns as well as the introduction of Saint Walker and the re-emergence of the Star Sapphires, while giving you a Easter egg of Larfleeze at the end (tune in next time for his crazy ass). To refresh our memories, in Green Lantern: Secret Origins we learn Atrocitus is a infamous murderer with a group called the Five Inversions obsessed with slaughtering the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe for the Manhunter’s galaxy wide massacre that killed Atrocitus’s family. In Secret Origins, Jordan and Sinestro defeated before he could kill William Hand. Well, our story begins right after Sinestro Corps War ends, Sinestro is awaiting execution in a Green Lantern Sciencecell, while the Guardians deal with the consequences of releasing the power rings nonlethal protocol. When Green Lantern Laira searches out a certain member of the Sinestro Corps and murders him in cold blood, the Guardians order the formation of a new subdivision within the Green Lanterns called the Alpha Lanterns, hybrid soldiers of lantern and Manhunter, to keep the regular lanterns in check. Laira flees only to have her ring replaced by a new, sinister that replaces her heart with boiling rage. Forged by blood and hate the red lanterns emerge and strike at the green and yellow light, Atrocitus yearning revenge on the legendary defenders who beat him years ago. So Hal Jordan and Sinestro must band together with the mysterious blue Saint Walker, who teaches them green and yellow are no longer the only lights in the universe, the spectrum has shattered and others are coming…

atrocitus  Again, like with the last book, this Should not be your first step into the world of Green Lantern. If you didn’t read SCW, you are pretty screwed trying to follow. However, once again the writing by Geoff Johns is amazing and the art is violent and colorful. Fans of lantern will love this story centered around fan favorite Atrocitus, who kicks major ass as always. May the gaming gods bring you glory and “With blood and rage of crimson red ripped from a corpse so freshly dead together with our hellish hate WE’LL BURN YOU ALL- THAT IS YOUR FATE!” red lantern oath.