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text 2017-07-24 04:33
Valerian from Page to Screen
Valerian Volume 1: The New Future Trilogy - Jean-Claude Mézières,Pierre Christin

On a whim (and due to a complete implosion of plans for D&D today), I ended up catching Valerian, which timed nicely with the fact that I borrowed Valerian, Vol 1: The New Future Trilogy from my library to read.

Right off the bat I have to say the movie is utterly gorgeous.  Absolutely breathtaking, with moments of travel that I think if I watched in 3D or IMAX I'd end up trying to fall out of my chair.  Some of the aesthetics and feel look like the work of the Wachowskis.  Overall, a fun, consistent story, if a bit heavy on the romance.  Though I'm forced to ignore the implications of all the structural damage inflicted.

I started out a bit hesitant.  The trailers made me think the film was some hot new YA series, and I had stumbled across a few reviews saying the movie lacked in substance.  That our first interactions with Valerian and Laureline involves heavy flirtation and a clear statement of romantic intent on Valerian's part increased my wariness.  But you know what?  She spends just as much time rescuing him as he does her (if not more, to be honest), and the relationship between them in the graphic novels is... odd.  Constant referring to each other as "my Valerian" and "my Laureline," with an undefined relationship that reminds me of relationships in Heinlein's work.  And while Laureline is certainly capable, she spends noticeably more time in the role of arm candy, supporting lady, or as a maiden in distress in the graphic novels... even if some of those times it is as part of a plan.  So I'm actually happier with the on-screen characterizations.

You can very easily see how the graphic novel that this was based on inspired many of Sci-Fi icons, which will undoubtedly have many people calling it out as "derivative" wherein the accused derivations were in fact inspired by the original.  Perhaps most present is the influence of Luc Besson's work on adapting Valerian from before he made The Fifth Element, in which he included specific elements seen in Valerian and in the concept art submitted by Jean-Claude Mezieres himself.  If you like The Fifth Element, you will see "pieces" of it all over Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.  Pieces that you'll also see when reading this graphic novel from the 60's.

Highly enjoyable translation of visual elements from the comics, with various tweaking of narrative place, name, and role.  Some elements are spot on, like their armor and their ship.  We even see a Transmuter in Circles of Power, though it is not at all in the same role as the Mul Transmuter.  Regardless, the illustrations are unmistakably the same creature.  Others like their actual roles (spatio-temporal agents vs military officers), and different concepts have been more dramatically modified.

Good way to spend an afternoon.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/07/valerian-from-page-to-screen.html
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review 2017-07-13 19:59
Boystown - Season 7
BOYSTOWN Season Seven - Jake Biondi

Oh this was once again...tasty!

 

 

There are not many who can pull off this level of soap opera drama and do it so well but Jake Biondi has a knack that just can't be matched.  This was every bit as enjoyable as the other seasons and the backstabbing, cheating and crazy antics being had here are so damn enjoyable I swear we could hardly keep a straight face. Marco and I had a blast!

 

 

Once again, trust no one...

 

 

because you never know what will come next...

 

 

or who is telling the truth...

 

 

or who is sleeping with who...

 

 

or who wants to strangle who.

 

 

I only just wish there had been some scenes in the hospital...

 

 

Bwahahahaha!!!  Because I swear at one point there may have been not 1...

 

 

but 9 cast members in a hospital bed.  Gawd I love it.  

 

At this point, I honestly could handle a few being killed off...

 

 

Because...quite frankly the number of characters is overwhelming and keeping track of all the details can get to be a lot.  And yet, I am completely consumed.  

 

I only hope Camille remains...because there are very few like her around.

 

 

Once again the number of cliffhangers left our minds racing! And with 2 funerals in store, who will be in the caskets...actually dead??  We shall see.

 

Can't wait for this crazy train to continue!!

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review 2017-07-11 18:00
Review: "BOYSTOWN, Season Seven" by Jake Biondi
BOYSTOWN Season Seven - Jake Biondi

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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review 2017-06-25 15:54
Book Review: Slipspace: Harbinger
Slipspace: Harbinger - P.C. Haring Slipspace: Harbinger - P.C. Haring

*I read this book for my own enjoyment and in exchange for an honest review.

Oh! Starting this book, it caught my attention from the first sentence. Nice! There are creatures and outer space in one book. And more! I liked it!

We start with meeting the commanders who have a hefty past and as they all come together on Mjollnir with Captain Cody Amado. As they arrive and the new large vessel is running trials, there is a computer glitch. Something that appears to be fixed, but Captain Cody Amado and Melor fear sabotage. On a low, Melor is investigating to see if it was sabotage of not. This seems to quickly get put to the back burner as the ship soon finds itself in the middle of a mission which then leads to much more, and more time consuming projects... like fixing the ship... and winning battles.

Captain Amado and his crew are sent on their first mission in the large heavy battleship Mjollnir. They are to investigate what happened at Artez and why the colony is not responding. This is interesting. As we investigate Artez, and move to places where we meet other beings, we get a view of the brutal past that's been lived. Humans have fought a costly war with a deadly race. And there are uneasy peace with other beings in space. But, humans can always use more allies especially after the toll on Artez and the possible battles to come.

A great sign of crafted characters is when I have strong feelings about characters. This is hats off to the author for creating each character as their own individual.

A few of the characters to mention as examples:
-Admiral Marr... oh I liked him when we first met him. But when he sent Cody and our crew on a mission that could very well be their death! Oh I didn't like him at all. He seemed to enjoy this moment to much for me, in just the smile he had. But it is his job. He's got his own personal troubles as well, with his daughter.
-Cody's wife, the doctor on ship as well, seems a bit to needy for me (in her personality that's well written). She knows her stuff and has a very good idea what she's getting into, but when she arrives on the ship she's very demanding and upset, over a few things but one was not having a window. Nira grew on me as she grew as a character. She seemed to start to adapt to being on ship more and more.
-Melor is probably one of my favorites of the the crew. She's also the engine mechanic aboard, in simple terms. She's brilliant and knows the process that needs to be done, so takes no crap from anyone. She's a pivotal character here as she's not human, but she's saved the ship in one spot to maybe doom it in another for being who she is. She has her past that haunts her as well.
-Cody seems like a rather level headed man. He's actually perfect for Captain of the ship. Really, I think so. He thinks everything out and goes for the good.
-Cassandra sometimes doesn't see the good to be done, but to defend her, she's lived the battle with the terrible creatures that threatened her and her soldiers lives. She knows what they can do and what to watch for. She just doesn't want to see it happen again.

All of these characters have a past that drives them in their way of thinking and decisions. All their connections and pasts are presented to us and we understand why they take the paths they do. All this comes out as the ship moves forward in it's mission, and brings us to where they need to be.

I found it easy to slip into the world with the characters because they seemed personable. We live in their day. The characters live and think as normal people we feel all their emotions. This story is more than just a space War Story it's a story of family and friends and their lives they lead. That's part of what makes it a Space Opera. I could see people who enjoyed Star Trek enjoying this read. It's not overly science fiction strong with terms and usage of Technology. It's a story of people trying to live their lives and find peace for all in space.

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review 2017-05-04 16:19
The Choices We Make
The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2) - John Scalzi

The Ghost Brigades" took a while to get going for me. I was honestly worried about getting into a DNF situation because the first part is typical Scalzi-disease. He starts trying to over explain the world and the science behind everything at the same time. Usually I am just confused and then go, wait, I don't think that works. This time I was just 100 percent bored. After a while, I started to skim because reading about DNA is not fascinating. At least to me. But once we got past that, the book really started to hum and I found myself reading as fast as I could because I got worried about the characters we started to follow, and what would become of them.

 

As readers found out in book #1, "Old Man's War" the Colonial Defence Forces (CDF) have been taking volunteers in order to fight battles across the galaxy. If you can survive two years, you can then be given a homestead on a colony. We followed main character, John Perry, as he volunteers to be part of the army and at the age of 75 has his consciousness transferred to a stronger and faster body (that is green) and through his journeys finds out that the CDF took the DNA of his dead wife and she is now Jane Sagan. 

 

Book #2 doesn't have John Perry (he is mentioned) but instead we focus on a scientist who turned against the CDF, Charles Boutin. The CDF in a computer finds a copy of Boutin's consciousness and then decides to download it into a new brain in order to find out more information about Boutin's plans.

 

The person that I would consider the main character is Jared Dirac (who has Boutin's consciousness alongside his own) that has no idea that he has another person's consciousness sitting alongside his own. As CDF waits to see if their experiment works, they send Dirac off to the Ghost Brigades and he finds himself under a platoon under the leadership of Jane Sagan. 

 

You really do need to read book #1 in order to understand some lines here and there. Some other characters note a change in Jane that happened years ago after she almost died and readers of course realize that is because of what she found out about her former life she doesn't remember due to John Perry. Also, we get to see how others view the Ghost Brigades (not real since they don't have a soul). Unlike with John, Jared is more serious, thoughtful and you start to think more and more about the concepts of a person's soul. Or at least I did.

 

There are a lot of characters in this one, but I thought it was easy to keep everyone straight. The dialogue at times was funny and I did think the writing was good. The flow was good once we got past the whole this is what DNA does pieces in this book too.

 

I thought ultimately this book really was about the choices that people make. We start to realize that everyone's choices pushed them to where we get to in this book. That some of these choices may have been morally wrong at times and you can see some of the characters struggling with the weight of those decisions. In the end I loved that we get to see Jared and Jane both evolve a lot further and instead of just taking orders, making sure that they were making choices that they can live with.

 

I don't know if I will read the third book in this series or not. I don't think that the CDF is full of bad guys, but they are doing some questionable things. I think that some of those things are going to bite them in the butt eventually. I do like the ethical questions that Scalzi brings up as you read this book. You get into the concept of torture, murder, what makes a person real to you and to me, etc. 

 

Bank:
April 15: $20
April 17: $23. I read "The Wangs Vs the World", electronic pages 368.
April 24: $28. I read "Dream Wedding", electronic pages 512.
April 25: $28. Landed on BL and had to post a vacation photo or tell a story about a vacation.
April 29: $31. Read "Whitethorn Woods", 354 pages Kindle edition, $3.00
April 29: $34. Read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", 256 pages;$3.00.

May 4: $37. Read "The Ghost Brigades" Paperback, 346 pages; $3.00

 

 

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