Category Archives: Reviews

Interview: The Beauty 6-21-15

THE BEAUTY

TheBeauty-01-1
Cover of Issue 1

An Interview with Jeremy Haun and Jason Hurley about their recent work The Beauty set to hit the shelves August 12th, 2015

↓CHECK IT OUT RIGHT HERE↓

If you’re interested in following them on twitter and their message about personal Beauty check out the #
#BEAUYTFREE

The Comic will be available for $3.50 print or $2.99 digital from the link above but you can always pick it up from
Escape Velocity Comics

“This is the story that I wanted to tell”
~Jeremy Haun

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A SLYK Quickie Review of : X-Men: Days of Future Past

Once this movie ended I sat for a minute enjoying the lingering nerdgasm.

The flawlessly choreographed fight scenes left me elated, in fact the entirety of the movie left me feeling this way. The passion with which the characters that I have loved from my youth were portrayed gave me goose-bumps.

This movie made up for every disappointment I have had at the interpretation of the franchise in the several movies preceding it. This even erased the third film, X-Men: Last Stand, from my anger. This movie was the X-Men flick I have been waiting for. the X-Men movie we all deserved. It feels like a movie in which the writers, directors, and everyone else involved are fans in their own right.

We were excited on the way to the theater, but the moment the lights dimmed I was thoroughly impressed, entranced by the magical beauty unveiling before my eyes. The dialogue, costuming, acting, special effects, character development came together in an amazingly perfect film. I was enraptured as my doubts and fears melted off of me with each scene.  It will remain in the forefront of my mind for a very long time.

Editor: In short…go see it!

Review: LORDE – Pure Heroine

Lorde appeared on the scene with such force that at this point you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard her. Her distinct style and soulful, creamy voice couple brilliantly with her unique personality and already established sound. She is an amazing talent with a confidence that is inspiring and a presence that is captivating. There is not a song on the album that isn’t incredible on its own and drenched in her polished sound and style. The order that they are compiled feels perfect, as though you are in fact taking drugs and letting the high build and build, washing over you in waves.  Intelligent and unique lyrics speak of a wisdom and passion many fail to attribute to an artist of her age, but as with “the XX” she demonstrates that youth has no bearing on talent. The multi-layered tapestry feels as though it is splashed with the paint of her bright passion. With such an amazing debut she can only continue to succeed. It is an album that you would lie on the floor in the dark listening to over and over again.

Yazoo : A Tap Room Tour and Review

 

 

Hello hello,

So, this past week I had the amazing opportunity to travel to the far away land of Nashville, TN to attend the wedding of our dear Librarian and Mr. Librarian. Groom’s day (wasn’t really a bachelor party, so this name seemed appropriate) was spent enjoy the sights, smells, and more importantly the tastes of Yazoo Brewing Company at their local tap room. I am going to stop the story here for a moment for a warning:

If you are planning on going on the tour and drinking a lot, EAT FIRST. They don’t have a kitchen, and the cheese plate they offer can only go so far. Luckily for me, Crepe’ A Diem was right outside, pushing heir delicious wares on the tap house patrons.

Continuing on!

The tour is a reasonable $7 per person, and with it you get a souvenir tap room glass and a sample of 3 delicious brews: Dos Perros, Hefeweizen, and the Pale Ale. All the while, you tour around the brewery, looking at the vats, learning the history of Yazoo, smelling the hops, and then being utterly disappointed when you learn the brews are not available outside of the region. The tour itself is very entertaining, supposing you get a good guide. I was lucky enough to be led around by Seth Green…not THE Seth Green, but a very good impostor.

Overall the place had an amazing feel, an awesome swag collection, and did I mention awesome brews? Well, read below to see what I drank and how I feel about it, BUT if you are in Nashville, go here! Tours are Saturday only, but you can check it all out at yazoobrew.com. Otherwise, I’ll catch you all on the next show!

P.S. – We are going to be on Podcast Peak at Denver Comic Con, so come say hi!

YAZOO BREW BREAK DOWN

Dos Perros:
Color: Dark
Smell: Malty
Taste: Light – Mexican style beer, not too bitter
Chugability: Excellent
Score: 4/5

Hefeweizen
Color: Light / Cloudy
Smell: Bananas?
Taste: Bananas meets citrus meets beer
Chugability: Good, but why would you?
Score: 4.5/5

Pale Ale
Color: Medium Amber
Smell: Hoppy
Taste: Slight to moderate hops, coffee-esque taste
Chugability: Slight
Score: 2.75/5

Note: I am biased. I am not a Pale Ale fan, and my scores are skewed since we never give out 5/5  🙂

Lost Girl

We could name Lost Girl, “Canada’s Sexiest TV Show,” and it would most certainly be true, there are more things at play in the than just sex appeal.

The show follows Bo (played by Anna Silk), a succubus who feeds off of life energy, as she attempts to navigate a world she has only just discovered exists, which includes learning many interesting and hard truths about herself. She makes friends along the way, not the least of which is Kenzi (Ksenia Solo), her human sidekick extraordinaire, who has quite a few secrets or her own. Bo and Kenzi use their “special skills” to act as private investigators, doing jobs for both human and Fae, but which are always ultimately the result of Fae involvement.

With the beginning of its third season, which premiered just a couple of weeks ago (January 6th on Canada’s Showcase, January 14th on USA’s SyFy), already we’ve seen elements that form the core of the show. Right versus wrong, loyalty,  helping a friend in need, and a good bit of humor serve to make this show one of the best fantasy/sci-fi series on television. Bo is a dynamic heroine who is always trying to do what is right, regardless of risk to her livelihood, since very often this means she is running straight into the face of danger. Luckily she has her friends–Kenzi, Dyson, Lauren, Hale, and Trick being the main group (though at the end of season two and into season three, an old foe appears to have become one of them).

If you haven’t seen the first or second season of this awesome show, I won’t go into specifics, but season three is taking a slightly different turn, and I think the theme here will be more about how much Bo can trust herself. She has been such a strong, good character, but an excellent plot theme that many shows and movies use is to have us all question that strength and goodness. In this season, I think Bo will be pushed to the edge and back, and alienate more than a few of her friends before (hopefully) winning them back. Even though Bo is persistent on not choosing sides, she has, in the past, inevitably made friends with the Light. In this season, and starting with that old foe, I think we will see more of the Dark side, and more specifically Bo’s dark side, as she takes an introspective look at who she is.

Right now, Lost Girl is one of the more satisfying shows I’ve seen; yes it has its sensationalism, but it is also fantastical in a major way. Tales and legends from a diverse group of cultures pop up in the show, and are visualized in new and unique ways. Once Upon a Time does this also, and while I also love that show, Lost Girl has a certain grittiness that Once Upon a Time does not have. OUAT has a wonderful fairy tale quality that I am hard-pressed not to love, but Lost Girl does away with that and throws me right into the action. In this genre we also have Grimm, which has a hardness or dreariness that Once Upon a Time really does not have, but like OUAT, does not include the sexy seductiveness of Lost Girl. A hard comparison, no doubt.

Any lover of fantasy and sci-fi should give this show a chance, unless you are a prude, in which case I’ve got to tell you something: We have no room for prudes, and what the hell are you doing here?

This is a great show, so if you haven’t already, go watch a few episodes, and come back and tell me what you think in the comments below!

Brave

Brave is a new Disney Pixar movie that highlights the trials and tribulations of Scottish teenager Merida, who is nearly forced into marriage by her mother, Queen Elinor.

Does this sound like a movie for children to you?

I’d argue that it is and it isn’t, but the complexity of this movie really makes it reachable for all ages. I am a twenty-something American female, and I connected with Merida for a lot of reasons: she is headstrong, competent, excellent at a task that in her culture is generally reserved for men (archery), and wants to live her life the way she sees is right. This is a 21st century girl caught in a medieval world, and she is not understood by anyone until the end of the movie, but that’s the point. It is about being yourself and not letting anyone tell you otherwise…possibly, or very likely, to your detriment, but knowing in the end that you preserved the thing that makes you you.

That being said, some ideas along these lines may not be suitable for young children, who for the most part, cannot possibly understand what that really means (side note: this is a good thing! Let kids be kids!). I’ve heard a story or two of children picking up some of Merida’s headstrong characteristics, for example, applying her arguments against why she does not want to get married to why they do not want to eat their broccoli. Heads up, complainers: that’s what parenting is for! Have meaningful conversations with your children about subjects like these, and no they won’t get it at five years old, but at fifteen, they certainly will. In the mean time, please laugh your ass off when they act like something they’ve seen, and discipline where appropriate if it gets out of hand.

So, one of the big points of this movie is the conflict between mother and daughter. I have noticed that older women with children tend to side with the mother, and younger, childless women (like me) tend to side with Merida. The conflict is this: the Queen has, for all of Merida’s life, been preparing her to be a proper lady, a princess, and a future Queen. In turn, Merida has been a willful child, learning all of these things but pursuing her own path. What they fail to realize is that Merida is EXACTLY like her mother. The Queen basically rules the roost and does things her way. She is competent at what she does, and as a result, their kingdom appears to be prosperous and happy. Unfortunately, she has come to believe and act like her way is the only way, or only right way. This results in her criticizing every move that Merida makes, constantly picking at the girl. Wouldn’t you flip if someone acted this way towards you for years and years? I know I would. Ultimately, the film is also about familial obligations and responsibility, and that is what the Queen was trying to teach her daughter…and what went so terribly wrong.

In this story, both sides are right, and both sides are wrong. Eventually they come to see this, but of course not until mayhem, terror, and a little bit of hilarity ensue. This movie is surprising in that it has some actually scary moments, because they are some serious near misses concerning characters’ lives, and while I know things would end well (because, uh, it’s Disney!), I still had to wonder if some truly bad things were going to happen. Disney movies with threat of impending mortal peril have always been my favorite. This is why Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorites. I mean, come on, Maleficent is already terrifying…and then she turns into a dragon! A FREAKING DRAGON!!

Anyway, the one problem with Brave is that while mother and daughter make up and accept one another as they are, Merida’s apology is much greater and detailed than her mother’s. I really thought that the Queen had some serious apologies to make in return, besides accepting her daughter for who she is. I mean, that is a mother’s job anyway. Most of it wouldn’t have happened if she had listened to Merida in the first place. She never apologized for being what she had come to be, which is a raging control freak. An admission of said control-freak-ness would have been nice at least. At some points I really felt she was unnecessarily cruel, and Merida did not act in a similarly bad manner until it had been done to her over and over. In this situation, the vulnerable one is ALWAYS the child. Let me say that again…THE VULNERABLE ONE IS ALWAYS THE CHILD (no, that doesn’t mean kids get to be rude to their parents…it means if parents are rude to their kids, who are more vulnerable and sensitive, what do you expect is going to happen?). The Queen got what was coming to her by treating her daughter with such a lack of compassion, but I still didn’t feel like she apologized well enough, because it’s not like Merida was having a picnic while her mom was suffering…but what that suffering is from, I will not say. That’s up to you to figure out!

So what about the fun factor? Part of the appeal of this movie is how beautiful and striking it is. Merida’s bright red hair certainly helps make this a really appealing film as far as graphics go. Another thing that adds to the fun is Merida’s three little triplet brothers, who are adorable and hilarious. Many a laugh can be gained from them, and not only that, but they are very helpful little guys…with the right bribe in place! The situations King Fergus gets himself into can also be pretty funny, especially a scene where all the men have used their kilts to fashion a rope, and the shot pans out to reveal their bare bottoms. I think I cried laughing. The men in this movie are not exactly main characters, but they are rough and rowdy, funny, and dedicated to their kingdom. They also don’t mind being told what to do by a woman, which is fairly unusual for the time period that is being portrayed, but so is a girl not getting beaten for refusing to get married (which obviously happens in this movie, right…). It is different for something set hundreds of years ago, but let’s be real, this is a made up Disney version of “medieval,” and it’s kind of nice to see that the men respect the Queen, and do as she says, because they trust her and her husband (and she can have quite the sharp tongue, as I alluded to in the last paragraph).

All in all, while this is a Disney movie, I felt it had some real complexity that is deserving of conversation and inspection. The problems in it, like those in real life, do not have black and white solutions, however simple the plot may be. I think parents and their older children can use this movie as a way to discuss subjects like individuality, integrity, bravery, and duty to family. It is excellent fodder for some discussions on the differences in people, and how and why to celebrate that.

I rate this one two thumbs up, if only because (thank heavens) there is no romantic story line except for the King and Queen’s, who very clearly love one another and are committed to each other and to ruling their kingdom well. There is a reason this won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film, and I can safely say that it might be one of the best movies of 2012.

Blink-182: Dogs Eating Dogs

This week I am going to reopen the old CD booklet and do a little music review for you guys! Back on December 18th, Blink-182 released an EP entitled “Dogs Eating Dogs.” This of course being their first commercial release since their first full length in over a decade, the 2011 album “Neighborhoods.”

Being an EP the track list is relatively short so I am going to do a track by track review and then a general feeling of the whole album.

Now we open up with “When i was Young” it starts with an electronic-type organ intro before it hits into the real song. The pace really picks up and carries through the song and features everyone’s favorite nasally front man Tom DeLonge on vocals. The main hook fo the chorus echoing “it’s the Worst Damn Day of my life” expressing how youth is the best time wishing to go back to when you were young.

Next up is the title track, “Dogs Eating Dogs,” the track really highlights Mark and Tom trading back and forth the vocals. The song is probably the highest energy song on the record and is, in my opinion, the best song on the record. The song in itself expresses a roller coaster of a relationship, “we need to find some middle ground/ it’s always sex or suicide.” From there the aggression picks up, this song could have easily been on Blink’s untitled album as it fits that vibe perfectly.

The album takes a sharp left with “Disaster.” The song is what I like to call “DeLongeian” in that it has a very Angels and Airwaves feel, goofy metaphorical lyrics included, “What do you fear, my love? Hold on, you’re breaking up”

Fourth we have the single off the EP in “Boxing Day.” A Soulful acoustic ballad in the similar style of “Miss You.” A very heartfelt break-up song “We could reignite like fireflies/ like an atom bomb at all hours/ you left me on the day after Christmas / there is nothing left to say and so goodnight.” Solid choice for a single, and solidly the second best song on the album.
The album closes with “Pretty Little Girl,” I don’t care for this track and don’t really feel like dissecting it. I’ll just close with rap and blink don’t mix ugh. Terrible close for a great album. The song is great until yelawolf chimes in, 35 seconds of my eyes glazing over.

All in all the EP is solid, and a far more spirited effort then the groups last effort, if blink can duplicate this energy for their next full length then I can honestly say they will easily return to the spot where they left off, it’s a fun up and hill record and a definite buy off the iTunes marketplace.

Definitely give it a listen. 4/5

 

 

 

The Casual Vacancy

How can you review a book you didn’t read all the way through, you may ask?

Easily. With a little bit of hate and online spoilers.

Okay, yes, hate is a strong word. I don’t think I hate J. K. Rowling’s newest release The Casual Vacancy, but it is not without its issues. Let’s talk about those.

1. This book is a major downer. I don’t just mean that things happen, and those things are sad. I mean every word is perfectly sculpted to relate to the reader the absolute misery the people are living in. Rowling is good at what she does; every bit of the book that I read (save the last three chapters) was extremely realistic. The problem is that when I tried to read it, I was left with a depressive funk that was hard to get out of. If you can handle it, good on you, but I couldn’t.

2. The plot kind of sucks. Your take on this is dependent on what you’re used to. Me, I’m a fan of adventure stories, and fantasy elements get me excited. Even so, I can really enjoy some general fiction if I feel invested in the story and the characters. The plotting in The Casual Vacancy is okay; the real problem is that it’s boring anyway. It isn’t supposed to be an exciting read, and I get that, but very little was interesting in this book. I never felt like anything was really happening, despite events occurring. I didn’t get to the end, but even after reading spoilers online to make sure I knew how it ended…I’m not convinced that I would have ever felt like anything did happen. It is a bleak treatise on the lives of these miserable people, and it all just flows along plainly.

3. It even looks boring. This probably won’t bother most people, but the cover and design really make me say, “Eh.” It reminds me of some bad 70s ad.

It had its redeeming qualities. Rowling is an expert at tongue-in-cheek, and she’s great at realism (maybe too great?).

Overall, the best description I’ve heard of this novel is, “Dull,” and I’m not going to argue with that.

Two out of five stars to The Casual Vacancy for being a perfectly realistic, dreary, and depressingly boring novel.

Photo from Sonia Belviso/Flickr