Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies – Gamefans8

Another great WTF story from Seth Grahame Smith, we get a new way to reintroduce the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice, to young folks of this generation. Add ninjas, guns, and a zombie apocalypse and whamo, we have Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. The five Bennett sisters are divided women, raised to be sophisticated ladies of old time British society by there mother, but there father wants them to be strong to survive the mysterious zombie virus. Because of him, they’ve been trained as warriors. Elizabeth sticks to the warrior life close, not wanting to be a frail lady, but will she be doomed to be alone and unmarried? She finds herself connected to fellow warrior Darcy, but he is most disagreeable; but Elizabeth may be able to meet her hero as her sisters fall off of the path of the warrior…

This is a weird one to review. For much of the book, it is very much Austen’s classic. More experienced, clever? readers will notice the transitions between Austen and Smith (I don’t Jane Austen wrote about zombies and ninjas back then.) I will warn people though: it is in old English for most of the book so that turn off quite a few readers. All this being said, it is a cool, if not batshit crazy at times and the illustrations add a nice touch. I can’t say I liked it as much as Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but it’s a fun book. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – Gamefans8

Seth Grahame-Smith: a man who has made so many eye catching WTF titles, I damn near found it impossible not to pick up just on premise alone. I mean let’s be serious for a second, Abraham Lincoln- one of the most fascinating presidents of U.S history and arguably one of the greatest…and we’re supposed to imagine him slaying through the fiends of the dead. I admit, I thought it was going to be a ridiculous comedy but I was pleasantly surprised.

The story flips back and forth between Lincoln’s personal diaries and third person narrative discussing his life, his personal demons and his years hunting down vampires while trying to keep a family and keep to the path we know of in history.

I was impressed how grounded the book was and even creepy at times. There is a great sense of tension when Abe is around vampires, and he does get his ass kicked. He’s not a damn superhero as he is portrayed in the film. The book is well paced and as a general reader, the historical context isn’t unreasonable. There really wasn’t anything that made me call Bullshit or anything. I think it’s worth a read and may the gaming gods bring you glory and safe from vampires.

Sun Tzu: The Art of War – Gamefans8

One of my favorite books of all time even when I was younger is The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. The book is famous for being a military strategy guide discussing topics that range from how to use a spy properly to why capturing enemy supplies are worth far more than your own. However the book is also used by many other people in life. For a time many business people all over the world have read it for guidance.

Looking into the history of the book tho it becomes even more interesting.? Sun Tzu wrote what even today is considered by many the greatest military book ever written. Its thirteen chapters weirdly don’t focus much on actual combat but how to make plans. Born around 545 BCE Sun Tzu was a Taoist that believed combat was at times unavoidable, but was the most dangerous thing the state could undertake and as such should be done only as a last resort and only when plans were meticulously planned.

What is also surprising to many, he may not have existed at all. More on that?here. Some believe Sun Tzu was actually a title of a man in the Sun family ( I once read maybe Sun Wu but admittedly can’t remember where or how reliable it even was) and many people over the years have added to the book and left it under the name Sun Tzu.

Regardless of who wrote the book, over 2,500 years later lawyers, military generals, sports coaches and people in business still use it today. It is very much worth reading. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Dante’s Inferno – Gamefans8

Dante’s Inferno, the first of his epic poem Divine Comedy (no not the way we know it like haha funny). The other 2 are called Purgatorio and Paradiso which as you can imagine if the Inferno is Dante traveling thru hell those are Purgatory and Heaven.. But those aren’t important right now.

Inferno is believe it or not a poem of Dante traveling the 9 circles of Hell, being guided by The Roman Poet Virgil. Each circle is dedicated to a different type of sinner. I don’t normally like to quote Wikipedia but if you are interested in the deeper things on how the poem is structured?Divine Comedy ?isn’t a bad for a general idea.

The actual read while can be interesting is honestly a bit boring at times. This isn’t the kind of book you are likely to sit down and just read in one night for fun. Its good, but it is a dry read so to speak. You read it a bit at a time probably while drinking some coffee or like I did while I was at work. Its worth reading by the way, it just wasn’t a quick read. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Flowers in the Attic – Gamefans8

I’m starting this off by dedicating this to my lil sis who told me about this book and gave me the most depressing book I’ve read.

The book follows the Dollanganger family, the seemingly perfect family…until the father dies and everything unravels. They’d been living on a mix of luck and credit and are about to lose everything. Mother, Corrine, tells her four children they have to go to her estranged, ultra-rich parents; the kids are shocked to find they have grandparents, there last name is really Foxworth, and these grandparents aren’t great people. Corrine’s father is dying, so her plan is to become daddy’s girl again to get money so they can scram. Corrine’s mother hates her with a fiery rage and instantly despises the children; her stipulation is they have to live in the attic, having to pretend they don’t exist. Oldest of the four kids, Christopher and Cathy (the narrator) have to care for there younger brother and sister while dealing with there cruel, hateful grandmother, there mother who has forgotten them, a host of ugly family secrets, and forbidden feelings for each other as they stay in the attic…

I won’t lie, I love this book but holy crap is it heart? wrenching. V.C Andrews ingeniously dangles hope in front of them only to crush it by reality without making the book seeming to feel completely hopeless. I’ve frequently seen this book labeled “horror” and to an extent, I agree. Some of the images and scenes are pretty damn disturbing and there is as much tension if not more than I experienced in many other horror books. I absolutely recommend this book to aspiring writers like myself and people who need a good tear or two. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

The Hobbit – Gamefans8

I’m not really a major fantasy nerd by heart but I’ve always been told to read it if you want to become a writer. So I did, finding myself perplexed but impressed at the same time. While not as grim or action packed as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it is in fact an epic adventure to the core and I love that Tolkien writes in a particular style of not dumbing his world down for us to understand it, he challenges you to experience it for yourself. I respect that.

Bilbo Baggins is an ordinary hobbit in The Shire, boring, polite, and something of a homebody. That it is until Gandalf the wizard shows up, and then after that the pesky dwarves show up to his cozy hobbit-hole, requesting his presence in their party as a master thief on Gandalf’s behalf. Bilbo hasn’t done a damn thing like thieving. The dwarves, led by Thorin, a monarch who’s family was forced out of his kingdom and castle full of gold by a badass dragon named Smaug. Thorin wants Smaug gone and his shit back. The group sets off, facing trolls, spiders, a sweet barrel ride, and an important encounter with Gollum and a ring he is obsessed with. The whole time Bilbo grows into the role Gandalf set up for him, armed only with a glowing sword and the ring that let’s him become invisible, but can he raise to the challenge and defeat Smaug?

The Hobbit is a simple classic that has a great range of characters, setting, and world building. Of the three times I’ve read it, it does get better each time I read it. It is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy but I love that it’s not a A-B prequel, which was a huge reason I loved that direction for?Prometheus?; you can read it perfectly fine as a standalone book. The book was cut into three full fledged, 2 hour plus movies even though the book is just about 300 pages. What almost drew me to the movies was Benedict Cumbatch’s portrayal as Smaug, which was terse but perfect; friends that are way more into Tolkien than I am told me the trilogy was a waste of time in the end. I highly recommend the book, especially if you are a aspiring writer, but I can tell you it’s ok to skip the movies. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Children of the Corn – Gamefans8

I will never step foot in a corn field, or anywhere predominately full of kids without thinking I’m going to get mauled and put on a damn corn cross. At the same time, Children of the Corn is my favorite cult movie. I briefly talked about the short story when I talked about the book?Night Shift?by of course Stephen King, but let’s go a bit more in depth…

General premise: under a demon influenced child preacher, the children of Gatlin Nebraska murder all the adults and take to human sacrifices for “He who walks behind the rows” lurking in the corn, and a couple stumbles upon this after running over a kid they found with his throat cut. This is pretty much where the similarities end.

In the story, Burt and Vicky are a couple who hate each other driving through the deep nowhere of corn because Burt has a interview. They hit the kid and uncover some weird shit in his possession. They park in town and split up. Vicky gets taken by the kids, which is the last time we see her alive; the last time she’s on the cross with her eyes ripped out and corn husks jammed in her sockets. Burt discovers that the kids murdered there parents and murder anyone past 18; and that they’ve been procreating extremely young. A kid named Amos is seemingly the one who started all this and Issac and Malachi are on the chopping block. Burt finds what’s left of Vicky, but He who walks behind the Rows finds him first…no happy ending, not even close.

In the movie, Burt and Vicky are married and mostly happy but there’s a rift because Burt has issues with kids. They talk to a old mechanic that lives on the outskirts of Gatlin that directs them away, but the corn is never ending and traps them there, then they hit the kid. Issac is the preacher that brought this madness, aided by his violent lieutenant Malachi. Again Vicky gets taken while Burt finds some messed up shit. But unrest in the group keeps her alive; Malachi turns on Issac and hosts him up for sacrifice with Vicky. Burt gets rescued by nonbelievers Jobb and Sarah, and together they ban together to get Vicky back and stop the children.

There’s a remake which blends both but I couldn’t bring myself to finish it; does this premise at all seem fit for a made-for -TV movie?

I love both story and movie but for different reasons. The story is bleak and very ambiguous; piecing what those kids were doing was half the morbid allure of it. We really didn’t see faces, no speeches, just remains they left behind. While the movie has creepy parts, I love the look and the child actors, especially Issac and Malachi and how over the top they could be and some of the shitty effects are just fun. Either way, I’d check either out, and may the gaming gods bring you glory? Outlander!

The Shining – Gamefans8

Heeeere’s Torsten with another long overdue book/movie review. Savior once covered the movie, link here to see his thoughts:?The Shining

Either way you go, the Shining is the story of the Torrance family spending a winter care-taking for the Overlook Hotel. Father, Jack, is a disgraced English Professor and struggling novelist and ex alcoholic. Mom, Wendy, silently resents Jack because he’s a F-up and last time he got drunk accidentally broke there psychic son, Danny’s, arm. While Danny sees things inside the hotel, Jack discovers the dark secrets of the Overlook’s past, things go shit up when they are trapped inside the Hotel and madness ensues, turning Jack against his family…

While the premise is the same, the executions are really damn different. Remember those creepy ass images from the movie: creepy twins, elevator full of blood, and whatever the hell was going on between the bear suit guy and that guy in the tux? Well there’s none of that in the book. In the book we got hedge animals that come alive and a hornets nest… Ok, so sorry no really creepy visuals in the book. What sells the book is the atmosphere and the build up to Jack losing it. The characters in the book are very deep but I can’t say I ever really found the book scary but a family drama with a dark ending. I like the movie better for a few reasons. Whereas I found the Overlook’s history ok in the book, I love the imagery Kubrick created from the same backstory (though the bloody elevator was all him.) I felt the family in the book was actually a loving family that would have been Ok if this didn’t happen, but the family in the movie seemed off, like a family pretending they weren’t about to explode. In the book, it’s plain that it’s a freaking ghost story but it was more intriguing that we didn’t know for sure what the hell was going on. Last was how the movie had a darker ending which I felt more fulfilling.

In the end I thought the book was Ok but the movie is legendary. Stephen King again proved he’s a master storyteller. May the gaming gods bring you glory and happy Easter from us to you.

The Ultimates – Gamefans8

Since we still aren’t totally done with the Marvel haul for the year as far as cinema goes, let’s talk about the Ultimates, the book that kick-started? Marvel’s Ultimate universe as well as influenced some key factors of the MCU, while also giving us movies like?Amazing Spider-man?and Fant4stic?as well as an entertaining but watered down animated adapation called Ultimate Avengers.

Ultimates begins in WW2 as the war seems to be coming to a head. Captain Steve Rodgers faces off against a seemingly unkillable Nazi that has been feeding them really advanced alien tech. Seemingly, Cap defeats him but appears to have died saving us from a deadly missile. He survived but finds himself frozen, kept alive by the serum in his blood. Pretty much, the end of?Captain America: the First Avenger?Awake, walking amongst us, he is hit with the conclusion that Nazi dude still ain’t dead and ain’t even human to begin with. Nick Fury, head of S.H.I.E.L.D searches out the mysterious Iron Man, delusional protester? “Thor”, disgruntled scientist Hank Pym and his way more awesome mutant wife Janet, as well as recruiting agents Black Widow and Hawkeye, fickle aid from the mutant duo Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and lovers gone cold Betty Ross and a sedated and tortured Bruce Banner. They hardly make a team though. Between the disastrous ego of Pym, Banner’s inner demon coming to almost be a bigger threat than the aliens, and Fury’s secrets, can these rejects come together and beat an old evil?

While I’m not a huge Ultimate fan as I stated in my?My thoughts: DC New 52 vs Marvel Ultimate?post, I do like a lot of the changes made to some characters. I like that Thor hangs out with hippies, I like the dark, creepy tone of Banner/ Hulk, and while I hate Pym’s character from a standpoint, I love watching him get his ass kicked. Giant Man is a piece of shit in this story but it leads to one of my favorite Cap 1 liners “Get big,” before he beats him into the ground at full size. Cap is a full on action movie hero, not quite the super goodie as before. Aesthetically, you’ll see a lot of where the MCU got inspiration in modernizing the looks of a lot of there characters. It’s an entertaining story and the characters are good but a flaw I felt was that the final boss fight was almost anti-climatic compared to other events in the story. If you are new to Marvel, this is a good place to jump in but remember, this isn’t classic Marvel. May the gaming gods bring you glory.


Fight Club – Gamefans8

There’s one quote that comes to mind, made synonymous with this story: “Rule one, don’t talk about Fight Club. Rule number two, don’t talk about Fight Club.” And weirdly enough because of the movie, we do…

Fight Club is a strange story of a hapless white collar smuck who hates his boring, meaningless, empty life. The only solace he gets is wandering into support groups where he meets up screwed up Marla, a woman he is fascinated by but too meek to really engage. Until one night he meets Tyler Durden, his exact opposite. Cool, badass, mischievous, and outspoken. They come to a conclusion, start a Fight Club to make them feel alive and get out there frustrations; this soon becomes a new kind of revolution on it’s own, albeit a malevolent one. Durden is a full scale Anarchist and wants to tear the world down and our weak narrator is in the middle, trying to stop the only real friend he ever had.

Fight Club is a strange beast, it’s such a BRO story with some strong philosophic innards, enough to satisfy both demographics. I read the book as well as saw the movie. The book is written very strangely I admit, Palahnuik’s writing style takes a bit of getting used to but becomes addictive once you get immersed and the end feels more appropriate. The movie is stylish and damn near perfect but I do like the book ending better and the expansion to the characters themselves in the book. Either way, Fight Club is a messed up story? that is irresistible as hell and I highly recommend it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.