Posted in 2018, Movie Review, Movies

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) movie review

mv5bmtyymtcxnzc5m15bml5banbnxkftztgwotg2ode2mti-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_Years after the original trilogy, Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) is still looking for his father Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) who was cursed by the Flying Dutchman. He has read about Poseidon’s trident, an object that is said to be able to break any curse. However no one knows where the trident is, or if it even exists. Legends say that there is a map that gives the trident’s location however it is also said that no man can read this map. Meanwhile Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) has been locked up for being a witch even though she is a woman of science. She is an orphan and the only thing she has of her father’s is a small journal. Henry and Carina must go on a journey to find the trident and in order to find it they need a ship. They end up going with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), however this will only make their journey more perilous because Jack is being hunted by a fleet of dead men whom he aided in the demise of and to make matters worse he is the one who allowed them to sail the open sees. The trident is needed to break their curse of undeath before it’s too late.

I liked how there was a return to the plotlines of the original trilogy with the Flying Dutchmen and the love story between Will and Elizabeth. I also like how the writers introduced another aspect of Jack’s backstory and how there are multiple new plotlines partly involving old characters such as Will and Barbossa. I feel like this is a good return to the series that no one asked for and it gives fans of the series a better end to the series than On Stranger Tides which was a mediocre movie.

However this is not the end of the series as indicated by the post credit scene. If you want to watch this movie to completion you need to watch until after the first set of credits. The scene alludes to the next film of the franchise which I’m both excited for and fearful of. This is because on its own Dead Men Tell No Tales would have been the perfect conclusion that no one ever asked for. Now there is going to be another conclusion that no one ever asked for which could possibly be less than perfect and could be harmful to the series as a whole.

I recommend that you watch this movie if you’re a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean. It doesn’t even matter if you have watched any of the past movies in the franchise because of the prevalence if new characters and ew plot lines. I enjoyed watching this movie and I hope the next movie in the series is just as good if not better.

Final Rating –  47/50

Posted in 2018, gaming, Video Game Review

Pokemon Picross (2015, 3ds) video game review

250px-pokc3a9mon_picross_logoThis game is essentially picross only with Pokemon. Each puzzle is an image of a Pokemon and as you complete them you collect them. You can put Pokemon into your party in order to use their abilities to complete the puzzle. This is basically the hint system of this game. It is free to download and play on the 3ds e-shop, however you may want to buy some extra Picrites (the ingame currency) in order to beat the game quicker. This part requires actual money.

Personally I found this game to be inferior to all the other picross games I’ve played since playing this one. I like how you can use Pokemon abilities to make solving a puzzle easier but I don’t like how you have to wait to get more Picrites if you don’t want to spend any actual money on the game in order to continue to the next level. When I play a picross game I want to sit and solve puzzles until I get bored. I don’t want to be forced to stop playing so that I can wait a few days to gain enough Picrites from the “daily training mode” (only about 3 per day, some levels require at least 70 Picrites to continue to the next level).

Because of this system I do not recommend that you play this game. It can be fun and enjoyable, however this game would have been better off as a game that costs a few dollars so that I can actually beat it without waiting ridiculous amounts of time to beat it. Besides I found that it was really easy to just Google the puzzles and solve them that way. This helped me preserve my Picrites whenever I restarted a level, however it made the game less fun.


Posted in 2018, Fiction, LfaAW, World Builiding, Writing

Lessons from an Amateur Writer: Setting as a Character

From this day forward I will not include the month or the week in the titles of these posts. To be honest I kept on forgetting how to format the titles with the months and weeks in them so I had to keep going back to the post of the last week. It was annoying and the titles look nicer this way anyways. I may even go back and change the earlier posts to this format.

Anyways on to this weeks topic. The setting of any story can easily be in of itself a character which changes as the story progresses in the same way a person would. If you think about it in terms of a city which is about to have a municipal election then it can be easy to see how this can be. There are two mayoral candidates each with their own ideas of how best to lead the people of the city. In order to be elected mayor one of these candidates must have over 50% of the votes. All the people who live in this city are kind of like a personality. They all have ideas and people with similar ideas and standards of living tend to clump together. No matter what happens there is almost always going to be a main idea of the city which is represented by the mayor since the voting process in this city makes sense. The main idea can change if the mayoral candidate with the other idea is elected, however up to that point the voters are all contemplating who they want to vote for and as a whole they are already deciding ig the main idea is going to change or not.

Now I just explained how the setting can be a character using a long tedious metaphor which may or may not actually work. Anyways what I was trying to say was that settings change like characters do as the story progresses. Maybe the setting even has its own personality. This is something that you should probably think about before you write your story, however you don’t need to think about how your setting changes until you get to that point in your writing.

Now for the activity, all you have to do is ask yourself this question, “how does the plot affect the setting in this story, and is there any perceived personality?” Remember you don’t actually have to do this activity, nor do you need to do it. The whole point of this is to get you thinking about your own writing.

Posted in 2018, Anime, Anime Review

Ef – A Tale of Memories (2007) anime review

50411Hiro Hirono runs into a girl named Miyako Miyamora on Christmas Eve. She “borrows” Hiro’s bike to chase after a purse thief and he later finds his bike wrecked and her unconscious. The two end up spending their Christmas Eve together and soon love begins to blossom. Elsewhere Renji Asou meets a girl named Chihiro Shindou, the twin sister of Hiro’s childhood friend Kei. Renji decides to write a novel together with Chihiro, but he learns about her disability. She can only remember things within thirteen hours in the past. Meanwhile Kei catches the eye of a womanizing photographer who is looking for the perfect shot for his movie, Kyosuke Tsutsumi. Thus begins three different romances guided by two mysterious adults.

Screenshot (52)Normally I only watch romances when I hear a lot of praise for them from other people. With this one I found it by using the random feature on Crunchyroll. After quickly looking at the reviews for this series I decided to add it to my quickly lengthening watch queue. This was an entertaining series focusing on the lives of six high school students each with their own interests and problems. At times this series becomes a tearjerker, at other times it will bring a smile to your face. This is your typical romance anime, but it is also more than that. This anime is well written and the animation is good as well as the art style which I like despite the age of this anime.

Screenshot (53)If you want to watch a romance anime, here is a good one to watch. However if you don’t like romance definitely don’t watch this series because there is not much else in this series. This is a good series exploring the philosophy of impermanence using the relationships between three couples.

Final Rating – 43/50

Posted in 2018, Book Review

The Child Finder (2017) book review

32223884Three years ago 5-year old Madison Culver disappeared while her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. The authorities have already given up hope, but Madison’s parents believe that she was kidnapped. Refusing to give up hope they call upon Naomi, a private investigator who has a knack for finding missing children. She takes the case and in the process ends up working close to the town she grew up in. In her past she in a position similar to that of Madison which allows her to better understand these children. Her memory of the past is fragmentary at best, and while she is taking this case she may be forced to begin confronting the demons of both her remembered and forgotten past.

This is an excellent book to read if you enjoy mystery stories. Naomi is smart and refuses to give up when looking for a missing child and I feel that she is an amazing character. She is dynamic, developed, and is mysterious, what better protagonist for a mystery novel. The best part about The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld is one of the perspective characters. There are two, Naomi and someone else. I will not tell you all much more about the other perspective character because of the surprise.

Of course since this is a mystery I should talk about the main devices and aspects of such a story. There is a lot of foreshadowing and a good amount of Chekhov’s gun. Almost every aspect of the plot fits into two categories, the main plot which I think is the case, and the subplot which focuses more on Naomi and her past. Everything fits together. I love it when that happens.

I recommend that you read this book if you enjoy mystery novels and books that delve into the psychology of the characters. It looks like this is going to be a series which I’m excited about because I really want to learn more about Naomi. There is still so much to learn.

Final Rating – 44/50

Posted in 2017, poetry, Writing


She cries

alone in the alley

waiting for her hero to come,

but no one ever comes.

She is alone,

truly and completely alone.

No one is coming.

She has become the only character

in her tragic story.

But she gets up

and leaves the alley behind

to search for her hero herself.

She is still alone

but now she lives for something.

Maybe she has a hero,

maybe she doesn’t,

maybe she never needed to wait at all

and she is her own hero.

Posted in 2018, Movie Review, Movies

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015) movie review

mv5bmtu3njg4mdm3ov5bml5banbnxkftztgwmje5odm3ode-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) is a man working menial jobs and is living at the edge of poverty in the city of Madras in India. While doing his job his employers notice the fact that he seems to have exceptional skills in mathematics. He had been working on several theories on his own for some time. They convince him to try to get his work published and noticed by several universities by sending letters to each of these universities. One of these letters is sent to G. H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons), a famous mathematician at the University of Cambridge. Hardy invites Ramanujan to come to Cambridge in order to test his mettle. He quickly proved his ability. Now Hardy is trying to get him to prove his theories so that they can be published. However his life at Cambridge isn’t that easy. He has to face racism, people being ignorant of his culture, and prejudices against his people.

This movie is a true story about a real man and is adapted from a book with the same name which was published in 1991. I enjoy experiencing stories like this one because it is stories like these ones which are often overlooked and which often have a greater impact than one would expect from how often these stories are told on today’s world. I think at actors who played these historical figures did a good job and the director did a good job of portraying the relationship between British people and Indians, though since I wasn’t alive during this time period and I’m Canadian I don’t actually know how accurate it is.

I recommend you watch The Man Who Knew Infinity if you enjoy learning about people like Ramanujan who were amazing. This is a good movie and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

Final Rating – 48/50