Twin Peaks: The Return Part 2

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If you haven’t seen the original series and the prequel movie, Twin Peaks: The Return won’t make any sense (come to think of it, even if you have seen the previous material, it still won’t make sense.) Disappointingly, we don’t get closure for many of the season two cliff hangers. We don’t learn if Leo survived or not (he only appears in a clip), we don’t learn what happened to Annie or Donna or Hank (they don’t appear at all), and we don’t find out how James Hurley got out of being a murder suspect. Continue reading

Twin Peaks: The Return Part 1

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I was a fan of the original Twin Peaks (1990-1991). It stood out from other network television series by being weird. There were quirky characters like a lady who carried a log with her at all times. There were dream sequences that were filmed with the actors speaking backwards. And the whole thing was a soap opera parody with almost everyone in town having a secret affair with someone else, people faking their own deaths, and even a surprise twin showing up. Continue reading

Is the Book Better Than the Movie?

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It’s become a cliche to say “the book is the better than the movie”, but it’s a cliche for a reason. The Girl with all the Gifts is better as a book than as a movie because the book goes into much more detail than the movie can given its medium. How boring would it be if a movie just showed someone thinking for thirty minutes? And yet whole chapters of books are filled with nothing but the thoughts of characters and it remains fascinating. Continue reading

The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2012

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In her introduction to The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2012, editor Paula Guran says “dark” can mean different things to different people, thus not every story in this collection will necessarily be considered “dark” by every reader. Fair enough. Most of the stories in this collection are horror, although we do get a couple humorous pieces and even some romance. Continue reading

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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Certain Dark Things takes place in an alternate version of Mexico City in which vampires are known to exist. There are ten different types of vampires listed in the glossary, each with their own strengths and weaknesses (somewhat reminiscent of the role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade). Only three different types of vampires appear on screen which is for the best as trying to keep track of ten different species would have been confusing. The fact that there’s a wider world of vampires out there does leave plenty of room for a sequel or even a series. Continue reading

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

“The poets do not sing of this, either, how death begets the urge toward life. I, who knew how to take pain, took Hyacinthe’s. Pain and delight, I took from him, and gave him back both, until we understood, the both of us, how they are intertwined, how one does not come without the other.”

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a masochist, both by inclination and by training. She has the ability to heal quickly, which comes in handy for a masochist, although she also has bad luck. She begins the book as a courtesan in training at the Night Court which contains different houses, each appealing to a different taste. She eventually becomes a ward to Anafiel Delaunay who trains her in observation, making her a spy as well as a courtesan. “All knowledge is worth having” is his motto and Phèdre concurs. I loved that even after she is warned that there are some things she shouldn’t know, she intends to find out anyway. Continue reading

Some Kids Movies that Stand the Test of Time (Or Don’t)

Not all movies stand the test of time. We’ve probably all experienced shock at rewatching a childhood favorite only to discover it’s not as good as we thought it was. I remembered The Transformers: The Movie (1986) as being sophisticated because Optimus Prime dies in it and tried to get my wife to watch it one time, only to be chagrined to find out it’s basically just one long toy commercial. Continue reading