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Review : Arq

​First, the not spoiler review

Netflix original movie, Arq is a fast paced action adventure. I went in knowing nothing about the movie other than it was a Netflix original and sci-fi. When things started going I ended up glued to my seat trying to figure out what was going to happen next. I loved this movie! I hope it gets a sequel because I would love to see more of the world.

The entire movie takes place inside one house. You do get a feel for the world outside the house, but they manage to do a beautiful job of telling a story with this limited set, and only six characters. 

I honestly think I got more enjoyment of the story because I did not know what to expect. I came in blind and was able to take in the pieces as they were given to me, and got more interested the farther down the rabbit hole we went.

Now, for the spoilers

Arq isn’t a new idea. Time looping and sci-fi have gone hand in hand for as long as most of us can remember. I can think of several Star Trek episodes, plus movies like Primer, Looper, and Groundhog Day. All of which deal with people repeating a day, or week, or moment over and over again.

Arq is, however, creative in the way they do it. One person remembers. As they loop more people start to remember, and each new person who remembers causes new complications along the way. The fact that all of this is happening during a home invasion just makes it even better. 

The interaction between the two main characters is fantastic! And the fact that it keeps changing as they keep learning new things about each other through the loops is great. 

The ending was a bit of a OMG moment. I thought “fantastic, let’s go to the next episode, this is great.” That’s when I realized it was a movie, not a series. This would make such an interesting series!

Hoping they make a sequel to this. It really deserves one.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2016 in Review

 

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Review: Jessica Jones

Jessica JonesI finished watching Jessica Jones just last month and I have to say that it is one of my favorite shows to come out last year.

They did a great job of setting the series up. Here we have a bad ass woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone, and has the strength of a hundred men. Then someone mentions Killgrave and she’s visibly terrified. This bad ass chick that just lifted a car, jumped to the second story of a building without a problem, and gives no fucks about anyone or anything, is terrified of this guy. This guy must be really dangerous if she’s scared of him, right?

Then we start finding out what kind of a completely messed up guy this really is, and what he does to his victims. Mind control with absolutely no conscious, no empathy. It’s horrifying. He thinks nothing of telling people to kill themselves, or others, or having children sit in a closet and die of starvation, unable to move or call for help just because he told them not to. It’s one of the most sadistic villains I’ve ever seen in a super hero movie or TV series.

Jessica Jones at first decides to run. She wants to get as far away from Killgrave as possible, but even in running we see that she has altruism at heart. She isn’t running because she’s afraid of what he’ll do to her, he’s already raped and tortured her, and while that’s terrible it isn’t the worst he can do. She’s terrified of what he will make her do to other people.

This is the crux of the entire season of Jessica Jones. She isn’t fighting for herself, I sometimes wondered if she could fight for herself. She’s motivated by helping others, and trying to stop Killgrave from harming anyone else.

The creators of Jessica Jones really did their homework on the psychology of abuse victims. While not everyone reacts the same to abuse there are some similarities that they portrayed throughout the season. There are a group of Killgrave’s victims that come together and discuss what happened to them, and try to overcome their problems together. Then there is Jessica Jones who shuns such help, and would rather drink away her memories. The sharp contrast serves to set her apart from everyone. She doesn’t want their help, even if she sometimes needs it.

Krysten Ritter does a phenomenal job of portraying Jessica Jones, a smart, sassy woman who’s tough as nails and broken at the same time. Her opposite, Killgrave, played by David Tenant, does a fantastic job of bringing a horrible villain to life with all his quirks and idiosyncrasy. Together they make a nail biting series that I just could not stop watching.

They even play homage to the origin of the characters. Killgrave, once The Purple Man, is seen wearing purple suits in a couple of episodes. Jessica Jones’ sister brings out a costume for her to wear, a copy of the Jewel costume that she wore in the comics.

Like Dare Devil before this, Jessica Jones is one of my favorite super hero shows. I think Marvel did the right thing in giving Netflix the go ahead to make these series. With more planned I feel that my subscription to Netflix is the best value in TV I can get.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in Review

 

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Review: Between

I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix originals lately. They are usually great shows with interesting plots, great writing, some fantastic directing, etc. Daredevil and Jessica Jones are fantastic. Hide of Cards is captivating. Etc.

So tonight I sat down to do some Christmas decorating and thought I’d try “Between”. The premise seemed interesting. An unknown disease kills off everyone in a small town over the age of 22 leaving the children and young adults to fend for themselves. The government swoops in with promises of a cure and quarantines them.

Add in some tensions between some of the high school boys, a couple of love triangles, and a couple of mysteries and you have yourself a TV show, right?

Well, no. Not a good one at least.

I’m kind of sad because it has some interesting story elements, but the writing for this show just goes flat. The characters aren’t believable, and half the things going on are just contrived. In the six episodes there are a handful of interesting moments, but often the bad plot line or mediocre acting gets in the way.

I could have lived with mediocre acting. But the story and unconvincing character lines just couldn’t make up for it. In the end I have to say: don’t watch it. Go watch Jessica Jones instead.

Want an example? One of the main guys is a “rich boy” that almost kills someone by speeding past them, then gets out of trouble because money. Then when his parents die he suddenly wants to take charge, and he gets ahold of a bunch of guns to do it.

Then there is the sisters, one a teen pregnant and about to give her child up for adoption. The other a ministers daughter to the core constantly going on about her sister needing to repent.

Most of the characters are stereotypes. It’s incredibly lazy writing. And I kind of wonder if the director didn’t take half a vacation while this was being edited. It’s that bad.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2015 in Review

 

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Internet “fast lanes”?

The FCC just announced new rules that will make “internet fast lanes” a reality.

What is an internet fast lane? Imagine all you favorite web content is still out there, but unless that website pays the web services extra they get slowed down. Netflix is already seeing this. They are paying Comcast and Verizon blackmail money so that their subscribers don’t get their content slowed way down. Netflix had to raise the prices of new members because of this, and while $10 isn’t a huge raise the point is they never should have had to do this in the first place. Black mail is ILLEGAL!

What about Youtube, iTunes, or your favorite streaming site? What happens when they start throttling downloadable content like games, and music? A lot of these places are free. What happens when they aren’t anymore because ISP’s are double charging everyone?

The marvelous thing about the internet was that it leveled the playing field. People who created finally had a way to sell their creations without growing through middle men. We could design our own books, games, movies, and music, upload and sell it directly to the people who wanted to view it. Or put it up for free and let it spread via word of mouth.

Now picture that road barricaded unless you spend a lot of money to get that same content put out.

Net neutrality has already been killed. But we still have some options. The FCC is going to be voting on weather or not they should be letting this through, and not all of the chairmen agree. Let your voice be heard. Let them know what you think they should do.

Write an email to tom.wheeler@fcc.gov and tell him how you really feel about him doing this. He’s the guy directly behind this, and he’s getting paid a lot by Comcast and other ISP’s to do this.

Even better, copy your email and send it to ALL of the leaders of the FCC. Let them know how you really feel about it all.

At this point I’m worried that Google and the fibre they bring will be the only chance for us to get out from under the foot of the ISP’s who refuse to upgrade their systems. But Google can’t spread the fiber fast enough, and many cities that want to install it themselves can’t. Seattle tried and Comcast bought the mayoral election to kill that plan. They are doing it in other cities too.

Everyone benefits from a free and open internet. It should be classified as a common utility, not a luxury. Tell the FCC to do that. Too many of us make our living by using the internet. Stand up for your rights to make that living without barricades.

The petition to stop this:

More information:

http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/23t7qj/why_comcast_will_be_allowed_to_kill_net/

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/news/comcast-twc-chart

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in News

 

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There’s nothing on tv

Let me just start out by saying that I count myself as a “cord cutter”. Technically I still have cable. There is a cable box under my TV, unplugged, and I could technically plug it in any time and watch something on it. Not much, but something.

I’d take it back if I could. In fact I was going to before the representative on the other end of the line asked me if I’d like to pay less for my internet for an entire year. Pay less, you say? Why of course I’d like to pay less. At the time Comcast had a deal to sign a contract and pay $50 a month for internet and very basic cable. Or, I could pay $70 if I wanted internet only.

Let’s see, $20 less and I just have to store a stupid cable box for a while, and keep it safe so I can return it at the end of the year. Ya, I can do that. No one here watches sports. I’d have to pay extra for sports anyway. I don’t want HBO, Showtime, or Skin-a-max (except when Game of Thrones is playing), so basically it saves me $20 to hold onto this equipment.

Now, when Game of Thrones is on I wait until the season is mostly over, then I will rent HBO for one month for $5-10 and binge on ALL of it at once. Saves me so much money, and I get to watch it all instead of living in suspense from week to week. If it wasn’t so expensive to rent each episode I’d do that, but I don’t mind waiting.

The problem I have with the cable box, besides the fact that there is nothing on there I want to watch, is that I’m now one of their statistics. Just another number they can add to make it look good to investors. We have “this many” subscribers, and they can view “this many” tv shows. Doesn’t matter much that I don’t watch any of it. It just matters that I subscribe, and pay them money for the privilege of having access to their crappy product.

It pisses me off even more now that Verizon and Comcast are having Netflix pay blackmail money for the privilege of using their service.

What do I watch? There are some awesome science shows on youtube. I also like to listen to music while I write, or I might watch some game play of a game I don’t have time to play. But mostly I just create my own content instead of consuming someone else’s.

Maybe that’s why there are so many cord cutters now. It isn’t that we don’t consume things, it’s just that our generation places more value one creating something, be it memories or items, then they do on sitting in front of a TV passively watching things. That and we know most everything we want is online already and we don’t need the cable companies anymore. Too bad we need the internet and it isn’t a public utility yet.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2014 in On Writing

 

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FAQ- How do I promote my book?

Okay, you have a book. It’s up on Amazon, Kobo, and everywhere else… Now what?

Well, the best answer is… Go write another book!

No, seriously!

Here’s the deal, if you have one book and go promote it, great, people can buy that book. But, a lot of people won’t buy a book if you only have one up there. They like to sink their metaphorical teeth into their favorite authors and read LOTS of stuff from them, so if you have only one book out, and they love you, then they aren’t going to be as willing to take a chance.

Also, what if you do well with your book? Where do the readers go from their? And what if you put the first book up for free, they read it, but have no second book to buy?

It just makes sense to have more books out. The more you have, the more you can share with your readers. The more you share the more they can share.

The concept of visibility dictates that the more surface area you have, the greater the chance someone will spot you… so give yourself lots of books, and lots of feelers out there for maximum chance to be seen.

Okay… got your second, third, etc, book done? Great!

Now… go play on social networks. Meet people, comment on their threads, share your stories. DON’T PROMOTE!

Seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? Yes, well, we are living in a counter intuitive world. How many of us skip cable, TiVo, use Netflix or anything else, just to avoid advertisement? Why would you think anyone would want to see and advert about your book if they don’t want to see a commercial in the middle of their TV show?

No, they want you to interact with them. Be funny, be interesting, join the conversation. Or produce something worth talking about. if you can do both then you are GOLDEN! People will go looking for you to see what you say if you are interesting enough. People will search out your commercials on youtube if you’re funny. They will Google your story if you’re exciting. They will post tributes, make fan fic, and generally make a joyful noise as long as you making something they care about, or you are someone they care about.

My best success hasn’t been screaming “BUY MY BOOKS!” It’s been making friends. Sharing stories. Interacting with fans. That has brought more people into my little corner of the web then anything else out there. And I am so grateful to all the friends that have made this possible.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in On Writing

 

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