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Dear Justice League | Book Review

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Fans get to ask their favourite heroes... Does Superman make mistakes? Does Hawkgirl eat small mammals like actual hawks do? All the important questions that you've always wondered about.


This is the first title I've seen from DC Zoom, DC's newly launched imprint for middle grade graphic novels, and I have to say my first impression is that I can't wait for more.

Dear Justice League is written by Michael Northrop, author or the Tombquest series, and illustrated by Gustavo Duarte.

Sadly I only got a 36 page sampler of this one but it was more than enough to work out that it's a super title.

Even as an experienced comic book and graphic novel reader I still have trouble following some of the complex page layouts, so I'm pleased to see how well this was laid out. Every spread is a simple left to right progression that is natural to follow and flows well with the inclusion of more "advanced" cross page boxes and illustration between pieces. It will work a…

The Girl Before by JP Delaney | Book Review

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Renting isn't cheap these days and it's even worse when you don't want to compromise on location. What if you didn't have to? What if you just had to fill out a lengthy application form and agree to live by a very specific set of rules?

The Girl Before has left me uncertain. I'm going to try and explain that, but having pondered it for some time I'm still not exactly sure how I feel about it.
The books is split into short chapters from one of two points of view, Emma, the previous tenant and Jane, the new tenant. This works well although took me slightly longer to get used to, not because of the characters or the story line, but because of the writing itself.
Something I noticed fairly quickly was that there are whole sections of this book where speech is basically ignored. It'll appear as you would expect it to in the writing but there are no speech marks to highlight it. At the time of reading it was horrendously annoying, having just flicked through a few p…

Lanzarote - Day 7

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Today should be described as "rain stopped play". A lot of rain, and some flashy stuff too.
I woke up early to what I thought were the lights flickering but was in fact the small gap along the bottom of my curtains creating enough of a flash to brighten the room.
Outside looked beautiful, despite what it meant for the day. The whole sky, still black at that time of the morning, was sporadically lit up from the lightning on the other side of the volcano. It was truly epic. I took a short video of it but it really doesn't do it justice... and it won't attach properly to this email post so I'm afraid if you want to see it you'll have to whizz over to Twitter.
A lot of new arrivals were due in. It wasn't exactly the best welcome, especially as the journey from terminal to coach stop isn't entirely undercover.
A bit of a freak occurrence, the hotel isn't really equip for constant all day rain, unsurprisingly. It's a bit like the British and snow. So th…

Lanzarote - Day 6

Lanzarote-wise nothing exciting happened again. There was sun. There was napping in the sun. There was finishing another book. The usual.
But in the evening I was feeling out of sorts so went straight back to my room after dinner. Food hadn't been a wise idea and the drink before hand hadn't either.
My evening plans were either going to be read more of the new book or watch something I'd downloaded from Prime Video. The latter won out and boy do I wish it hadn't.
Cut to me watching Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws.
Ghost Shark was a glorious cinematic masterpiece of sharks. Ridiculous, yet serious. It really made me believe in the Ghost Shark phenomenon. Ghost Shark 2 on the other hand made me want to start a petition to have it completely erased from the face of the earth.
I love shark films, but I guess there always has to be an exception to the rule... and there was me thinking that it would have been The Last Sharknado: Ot's About Time.
I want to say that the beginning is l…

Lanzarote - Day 5

It's Tuesday... I think. Honestly at this point I've forgotten. One of the wonders of a holiday, the only way to really know what day it is is to find the activities board. "It was Guacamole Monday yesterday so today is Tequila Sunrise Tuesday."
After getting unexpectedly (it was totally expected had I engaged my brain) sunburnt yesterday I decided to sit myself in the shade and enjoy my next discovered book. Someone had left a copy of Adam Hills' Best Foot Forward and so far it's very entertaining. (Note: it's now Wednesday morning and I'm nearly finished. I might have to go on a hunt for more books or I'm actually going to have to read one I brought with me!
Absolutely nothing exciting happened today... nothing... nada... it was wonderful! I'm hoping for more of the same tomorrow.
The one thing I did today was notice things about people... people in general.
I always say to mum that if she's picking a hotel it has to have free WiFi. But thes…

Lanzarote - Day 4

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Note to self: must keep up to date with posts!
Today marked the day that I could no longer pull the excuse that "it's the weekend, I don't do things at the weekend" when dad asked if I wanted to go on his morning walk with him.
Mum and I would happily lay on a sun lounger (in or out of the sun) reading our books all day. Dad however does not and as such tends to constantly on the move. A couple we've been chatting with brought it up with me yesterday. "He doesn't like to sit still does he? Where does he go?" Their guess is as good as mine in all honesty. Sometimes he's gone for 5 minutes, sometimes an hour.
This morning was an hour... yes, I was less than pleased! "Well you said you wanted to go to the shops!" I had meant the ones that are a five minute stroll away, but never mind.
We wandered out the front of the hotel and off towards Playa Blanca, dad being tour guide as we went.
"So if I'm going on a short walk I cut down this b…

Life Or Death by Michael Robotham | Book Review

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Audie Palmer has survived 9 years and 364 days in prison. In 24 hours he'll be free and clear. So why has he escaped and guaranteed himself even more time in prison when he's recaptured?
Everyone is looking for him. But he isn't running, he's keeping a promise he made a long time ago. He doesn't know who to trust but he knows his instincts. Can his ex-prison mate, Moss, and FBI agent Desiree Furness get to him before the people who want him dead do?

Sometimes the best books come to you unexpectedly. Life Or Death screamed at me from a table in my hotel. "Read me! Read me! I know you've got thirty other books but you'll love me I promise!" The book was right, always listen to the book!
The blurb intrigued me then the first couple of chapters hooked me in and I had to keep reading.
With Audie, Michael Robotham has managed to create a really likeable character even though for a significant amount of the book you're not really sure how to take him. He…

Lanzarote - Day 3

Or as it shall be forever known, the day of excessive food.
To be fair most days on an all inclusive holiday involve an excess of some kind. The first time you ever do one the novelty of the ability to have whatever you want pretty much whenever you want is very exciting. Some places have 24 hour drinking, some 24 hour food. You can have breakfast, mid-morning snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, midnight snacks or ice cream spread throughout the day so no one could possibly go hungry.
Our hotel has a buffet restaurant, a pool bar and restaurant (the one that lets the rain in), an a la carte restaurant, a main bar, a disco bar, a private bar and a cafe... I don't think I missed anything.
In a normal day at home I'll have a croissant or a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a sandwich or a box of something from the food market for lunch, and dinner ranges from nothing to maybe a pizza. On the weekends that dwindles to one random meal in the day dependent of other activities... I know, …

Lanzarote - Day 2

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To say that today was inactive would be a very large understatement. I did however walk up and down a few flights of stairs (intentionally this time) in a bid to find more books. I found this one...

With this stellar review...

I had considered leaving a review of the current one I'm reading inside it for the next person. Slightly more detailed than this so as to actually be useful to someone picking it up!
Hey hotels? You spend so much time and money having branded toiletries printed, why not do bookmarks where people can write reviews on the back and leave them in the book? Cheap as, and I've never seen any hotels do this before, it would be a book lovers paradise.
Apart from that I was pretty much sedentary for the whole day. I had told people this in advance. No I would not be walking to the shops. No I would not be playing mini golf. It is my weekend and I am going to treat it as such.
The only variation to the day was eating in the fancy restaurant to belatedly celebrate mum a…

Lanzarote - Day 1

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This post is brought to you by the wonders of auto-uploading via email. I have no idea how it's going to turn out so please bear with me! If only Blogger's app actually worked!
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After having explored the basics of the resort, both intentionally and unintentionally, I've got the lay of the land for the rest of my trip.
It seems fitting to start with the unintentional exploring as that's where I began my holiday when we arrived.
Firstly, this hotel is up the wrong way. You walk through reception to the terrace that presents you with a magnificent view over the pool and the fan of rooms below... but that means that the reception, and more importantly, the main bar are UP from your room. This, and the fact that the place is woefully lacking in signage, leads you to an exciting meander through the building until you can drill the new convention into your head.

I found my room relatively quickly, tomorrow I'm going to time how long it takes to walk back to the main buildin…

A Simple Favour ★★ ½ ☆☆ | Book Review

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Summary
Emily asks for one favour from her friend, Stephanie... Can she pick up her son Nicky from school... and she does, but Emily doesn't come to pick him up. As the search for her continues it becomes evident to Stephanie that her friend wasn't all she appeared to be.

Review
I'm going to make a sincere effort to save movie comparisons for later and just focus on the book for now. I will say that the reason I got the book was because I saw the film and was intrigued to read the source material. I also listened to this with Whispersync.

The story is told from four perspectives in the book: Stephanie, Stephanie's blog, Emily and Sean. The first half being Stephanie, before switching to Emily and finishing with a mix of all of them. I enjoyed the mix of first person narratives and it worked particularly well with the audio version.

As a whole the book was very simple, and by that I mean it was very easy to listen to. Lots of people are comparing the story line idea (a…

The Little Stranger ★★ ½ ☆☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
When visiting a patient at the nearby manor Dr Faraday encounters a little piece of his past and something altogether unexplainable.


Review
I can't say that this is a horror. It's a little bit creepy. It's also somehow engaging, despite it not having that horror aspect you're expecting.

Domhnall Gleeson is an interesting leading actor. He plays the roll well and it feels fitting for the period. But for me Will Poulter really was the best performance. Entirely believable and quite possibly the best thing I've seen him do. I can't say that I was particularly excited about anyone else in this.

The music, or the lack thereof, is very atmospheric. It's really noticable and brings that creepy sense just when it's needed. The visuals get the atmosphere just right too. There's a fantastic slightly out of focus (lets call it squiggly feeling) shot that was used when the supernatural was in the air and it worked intriguingly well.

At the time of wri…

A Simple Favour ★★★ ½ ☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
Stephanie and Emily become unlikely friends thanks to their sons. But when Emily goes missing Stephanie discovers that she doesn't really know anything about her at all.


Review
Fair warning, if you see this film you will want Blake Lively to be your lover by the end of the it.

There's no denying that this is an entertaining film. There's also no denying that it's predictable. Even without knowing the plot you can basically guess the way it's going to progress.

Blake Lively is amazing though. I honestly thought I'd never seen her in anything, but of course she's been in Green Lantern and Accepted. The latter being a favourite and the former... well, I thought Deadpool had taken care of that one for us... oh well. She does a great job of her role in this one. You can see her devious nature in the way she interacts with everyone and she really does improve the scenes she's in.

I love Anna Kendrick, she's funny and very talented but I wasn'…

The House With A Clock In Its Walls ★★★ ½ ☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
Lewis is sent off to live with his Uncle after the tragic death of his parents. The spooky house holds lots of secrets, including a mysterious ticking sound in the walls. The unlikely trio of Lewis, his Uncle Jonathan and their neighbour Mrs Zimmerman, must work out how to stop the hidden clock before it destroys the world.


Review (minor spoiler at the end of the review)
This isn't a bad film all in all, it certainly fills a more traditional (?) magical gap in recent releases.
The best thing about The House With A Clock In Its Walls is definitely Cate Blanchett, she plays eccentric beautifully in this one and I don't think there were any of her scenes that I wasn't fond of. She bounces well with Jack Black, and their little moments of bickering are amusing and express their playful friendship really well.
Jack Black is very, well, Jack Black in this. He's a good comedic actor, but his roles are always quite similar in ways. That's not a negative thing as …

Superfly ★★ ½ ☆☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
I had to look this up because for a significant portion of the film I had no idea what was going on.

Priest has his eye on very, very, early retirement from the drug game. He lives his life under the radar and likes his colleagues to do the same. But when he goes for the last big score greed and rivalries come to a head and put everything in jeopardy.


Review
This is a remake of Super Fly from 1972, not one I've seen, after seeing this I don't think I'll bother.

I can't say that any of the acting really stood out over the rest. It's not really my genre/subject matter, but everything did feel rather stereotypical. It was an interesting story, but for me the negatives outweighed the positives.

The style of the first and only real fight scene of the whole film was very good, if a little cheesy. It hit the spot for action but it didn't feel like any of the rest of the movie and stuck out a little for me. Perhaps because it's one of the few times we see…

American Animals ★★★ ½ ☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
Life must have more to it than this. Four students pool their talents to steal a collection of rare and expensive books.


Review
I'm always a little worried when you get documentary with motion picture, it gives me flashes of terrible Crime Watch style recreations. But watching the blend between the real and the fictional in American Animals was a pleasure. I felt like it drew just the right balance. You got less real life as the film progressed until the conclusion and that then brings back the reality of what happened.

We all know that moment when you tell a story with a friend and there's that pause... wait... that's not how that happened, is it? The film even accounts for that. It deals with the slight uncertainties in a fun way by breaking the... well, I'm not sure what wall it's actually breaking when it's the real person talking to his fictional self.

Each part was played really well, and everyone worked in harmony throughout the whole film. I w…

The Predator ★★★★★ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
When an alien craft falls to Earth Quinn McKenna is the only remaining witness from his team. He's being sold down the river to cover it up. But when the Predator escapes and is on the hunt for it's missing technology he knows where it's going, and he needs to get there before it does.

Review
I went into this expecting some good action and some decent graphics. I did not expect to find so much comedy. This was a real treat to watch.
There's just something about "seeing" The Predator when he's invisible that really hits the spot. It gets you on the edge of the seat and fills you with just the right sort of anxiety. Had someone tapped me on the shoulder during the first time that happened in the film I probably would have swung for them while wailing like a banshee.
Lots of actors that you'd recognise from other things and everyone has their own little quirk that works well together in the scenes. It didn't feel like any of the talent was …

Mile 22 ★★ ½ ☆☆ | *SPOILER FILLED* Movie Review

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Synopsis
Silva's tactical unit are tasked with getting an asset off foreign soil so that they can unlock a hard drive containing information on the location of missing radioactive isotopes.


Review
With a run time of 1 hour 34 minutes, and such a fast flowing story line, you certainly don't feel like you're bored at any point during Mile 22. There were plenty of times where I was confused, and a couple where I was amused, but never bored.

Overall the story is a good one and I felt like the twists and turns come in just the right places. But there's no denying that this could have been a 4/5 star film for me had there been some differences.

The opening titles set about cataloging Silva's (Mark Wahlberg) personal history so that we know what sort of person he is and how he's ended up at the head of this team. While it actually worked well I'm unsure of why it was needed at all. Most of the traits that were being shown are ones that frequently pop up in movies…

Puzzle ★★★★★ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
Agnes has an ordinary life, an unfulfilling life. But she finds a passion for puzzles when she opens a birthday present from her Aunt that leads her on a journey that will change her life.

Review
Goldilocks... It's the only way I can think to describe this film. It's not too short or too long, it's just right. It's a simple tale and yet thought provoking. Everything about it is just right.

A movie review isn't really the right place to go into those thought provoking moments, but everything is done so well that you really do identify with Agnes and what is happening in her life.

The one thing I didn't like about this film was the ending... it's not even really that I didn't like it, it's just not where I wanted the film to go. It was still a perfect conclusion to the film.

Both Kelly Macdonald and Irrfan Khan are excellent in Puzzle. Seeing them develop throughout the film was a pleasure to watch.

I very much enjoyed this film, even though…

Yardie ★★ ½ ☆☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
When D's brother is murdered he's taken in by King Fox, a Kingston Don and music producer. Never being able to let his brother go, D has some anger issues that lead him into trouble. To help him lay low for a while King Fox sends him to London with a shipment for London gangster, Rico. With his childhood sweetheart and their daughter living in London, he seeks them out and starts to enjoy the family life. But when he double crosses Rico and then discovered the man who killed his brother he's got some hard choices to make.

Review
This was the first film in quite some time that has had a trailer that accurately portrayed what you ended up viewing. So often I find I'm confused about something or, surprisingly, end up wondering where a clip from the trailer has actually gone during the film.

Yardie was a good watch. But... I don't really know. I honestly wish I knew what I didn't like about it, perhaps it's more accurate to say that I can't actuall…

King Of Thieves - Unlimited Screening ★★☆☆☆* | Movie Review

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Synopsis
Brian has promised his late wife that he'll stay on the straight and narrow, but when his young friend Basil brings him an opportunity it's difficult not to get the band back together.

Review
I'd been on the fence about this one. The trailer King Of Thieves looked both good and bad in equal measures. Some of the clips they used weren't even particularly good when you saw them in the context of the whole films so I have no idea how they made it into such an important cut. Since seeing the Unlimited Screening I've seen the second trailer that is actually much better than the first. It's probably a god send that I didn't see it before the film otherwise I think I'd have been even more disappointed.

The film runs at a surprisingly short 1 hour 48 minutes, but don't worry, it feels like a lot longer than that. At one point I checked my phone for the time and nearly audibly swore (which probably would have been drowned out by the swearing of the…

Movies Of 2018 - August Recapped!

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This month started with the promise of 23 new films, but you know how that goes! I did manage to get 16 new releases in this month though, as well as 6 re-watches and another film at the place that must not be named.

I'm over on Letterboxd as well now where you can see my reviews as they happen, but if you come for my awesome waffling banter then this is definitely the place to catch that still! (Please stay for the waffling!)
Ant-Man And The Wasp 3D ★★★★★
Scott, Ant-Man, is under house arrest after breaking the accords and running amok in Germany. He's three days shy of getting his ankle monitor taken off and going out into the big wide world again when, while soaking in the tub, he has a vision. He's back floating through the Quantum Realm again, and suddenly he's Janet Van Dyne circa her disappearance.

Retrieving a mobile phone he's hidden in the wall he calls Hank Pym and leaves him a message. Soon our housebound hero is waking up in a car after being tranquil…