Blade (1998)

I have a subscription to HBO Max and there is so much content! My Watch List has grown exponentially while my rate at watching new movies can’t compare. On HBO Max are the three Blade movies starring Wesley Snipes as the hybrid vampire, Blade. One of the main reasons I started watching the original trilogy is because Marvel relaunching Blade starring Mahershala Ali Blade is an extremely well-made movie ahead of its time.

Blade is ready to kick ass.

Blade (played by Wesley Snipes) is a vampire hunter while being a hybrid vampire himself. His mother was attacked by a vampire while pregnant with Blade. As a result, Blade has good vampire attributes while still being human. Blade is mentored by Abraham Whistler (played by Kris Kristofferson) so he can be the most well-training hunter. When vampire rebel Deacon Frost (played by Stephen Dorff) wants to capture Blade to resurrect a blood god; that’s when all hell officially breaks loose.

The Blade opening sequence has to be one of the best openings in an action movie. The film opens with a man being walked through a butcher shop into a vampire rave. Blood is sprinkled among the crowd as the vampires go into a feeding frenzy. This frenzy is stomped on when Blade enters with his sword and wrecks havoc while the strobes flash. This opening scene helped keep me invested as the movie unfolded.

Blade also doesn’t force a romance between the protagonists. Assisting Blade with taking down Frost is Karen (played by N’Bushe Wright). Karen is a hematologist who is attacked by another vampire named Quinn (played by Donal Logue). Blade rescues Karen and keeps her safe since she’s been marked after being bitten. Its clear Blade starts to care for her safety, but they aren’t romantically entangled when the credits roll. This doesn’t happen in many action movies. Additionally, Karen isn’t dressed sexually either. She’s dressed practically which allows her to kill vampires and fight back.

Watching Blade, it doesn’t feel like a movie made in the ’90s The one exception to this is Deacon Frost’s overall aesthetic. Deacon looks like a former Backstreet Boy who was turned into a vampire. Otherwise, the movie has aged well and it’s still enjoyable to watch.

Blade was a blast to watch. The day after watching Blade, I watched Blade II. I will write a Blade II review soon because I was surprised how well this holds up as a sequel. Blade is available to stream on HBO Max.

Final Girls, The Ex & Echo Killing – Book Reviews!

I’m at 39 books out of 50 for my Goodreads goal with three full months ahead of me, can I meet my reading goal? The easiest way to reach this goal is to read graphic novels and psychological thrillers. When I think about the types of books I gravitate towards, psychological thrillers & mysteries are high on the list. I can read a 400-page mystery book in two days if the mystery is enticing. I finished reading three mystery books in a short time, so I’m combining them all into one post.

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Ten years ago, Quincy Carpenter was the only survivor of a brutal massacre in an isolated cabin. Quincy remembers nothing of the experience as her brain protects her from the trauma. In the media, she has been labeled a “Final Girl” and grouped into a victim category with two other girls who survived their violent events. When one of the “Final Girls” is found dead by apparent suicide, Quincy is forced to dive into her memories to remember the massacre and how this relates to the death of the “Final Girl”

Reading Final Girls is similar to watching a slasher movie. In the final climax of the book, Quincy confronts her horrors and recognizes what truly happened during her time at the cabin. Final Girls had unexpected plot twists that I wasn’t fully comprehending what was happening in the story.

Final Girls was a fabulous read and my head is still spinning from what I read. I plan on re-reading this book sometime next year to see if I pick up on any foreshadowing I missed. I rated Final Girls 5 stars on Goodreads and added this book to my favorites shelf.

The Ex by Alafair Burke

Olivia Randall is a sophisticated defense attorney in NYC. She is called to represent Jack Harris who happens to be her ex-fiance. Olivia feels she owes it to Jack to represent him because of how she treated him in their past relationship. As she represents him, she recognizes Jack isn’t what he seems.

The Ex is more of a legal thriller with court scenes and legal jargon sprinkled throughout the book. I found Olivia Randall to be an unlikable character. She seems cold and ruthless, but as the book develops, Olivia gets better. The mystery itself was predictable, however, there were mini reveals I hadn’t anticipated.

The Ex wasn’t my favorite mystery book I have ever read, but it was still enjoyable nonetheless. I rated The Ex 4 stars on Goodreads (I would probably rate this 3.5 stars).

The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty

Harper McClain is a skilled crime reporter. She works the late shift with her partner, Miles. Harper has a unique relationship with the police allowing her to succeed at her job. Fifteen years ago, Harper’s mother, Alicia, is murdered in her childhood home. The murder has since been unsolved. Harper is sent to investigate another murder strangely resembling her mother’s case. The real question is whether these murders are connected?

Harper serves as a great main character. She’s fiercely independent and passionate about her job. She keeps investigating even though she’s told not to by several cops. Towards the end of the novel, she does what she needs to do even though it’s dangerous. She doesn’t rely on anyone to help her. As a leading protagonist, Harper is well written.

This book surprised me as I expected everything to be uncovered, but there are still so many unanswered questions. I can’t reveal any of this information without spoiling the book, but immediately after I finished The Echo Killing, I looked into ordering the second book in the series. I held off for now because I need to read more of the books in my pile, but in my next book order, I will for sure purchase the sequel.

The Echo Killing is a well thought out mystery series. I like the scenery of Savannah and how the reader gets to know Harper’s friends and where she hangs out. I’m curious to see if book #2 will answer these questions. I rated The Echo Killing 4 stars on Goodreads.

I’m always open to book recommendations, so if you have any mystery or psychological thriller recommendations, please leave them in the comments below.

Casting Spells in Hocus Pocus The Game

For my birthday, my friend bought me the Hocus Pocus board game. I was skeptical at first because it seemed the game was catered to kids. As we played a couple of rounds of the game, we learned how challenging this game was and how it stuck to the source material. Since my first time playing, I still have yet to win a game against the trio of witches.

Hocus Pocus is a collaborative game in which players must stun the Sanderson witches three times before the sun rises. If the sun rises before this is completed, the players lose along with running out of potion ingredients to draw. This seems to be a simple explanation, however the game is more challenging than that.

Missing all the ingredients we needed!

The challenging part comes from the lack of visibility of available ingredients. Cards in a player’s hand are kept secret. To begin a turn, I would ask a question to my friend to determine what color or ingredient type she has in her hand. The only way to see her hand entirely is to play an ingredient with Binx the cat on it. This allows one player to reveal their whole hand. It’s difficult to collaborate when you can’t actively speak to each other.

Binx is here to save us!

There are three ways to stun a witch. An example of stun is to have five different potion ingredients, but they’re the same color. The same witch can be stunned three times in a row. Besides being unable to speak with other players, it’s difficult to coordinate the ingredients to align with the stun for a witch. In multiple games, we were missing an ingredient and weren’t able to draw the ingredient we needed, so we lost the game.

I’m impressed with the Hocus Pocus game. The game is easy to learn and each game takes anywhere between 30 – 45 minutes. The game says it’s for six-year-old kids, but as a twenty six-year-old who’s obsessed with Halloween, I loved every second of playing this game. Hocus Pocus has a lot of childhood memories for me and it was awesome to be able to relive them. Additionally, I like how this is a collaborative game. It’s a great way to teach younger kids the importance of working with others.

Hocus Pocus is a fun, spooky game that’s family-friendly or the game to bring out during the Spooky season. I still haven’t managed to win this game, but the challenge has been accepted.

Taking All the Hogwarts Sorting Quizzes!

One of my favorite vloggers on Youtube is Tessa Netting as she is the ultimate Harry Potter fangirl. She posted a video where she decided to take the Buzzfeed Harry Potter sorting quizzes to see what her responses would be. I wanted to turn this concept into this blog post. In Tessa’s video, her results didn’t align with her house, so I’m curious if this happens to me

Before reading my post, I highly recommend viewing the original video and following Tessa on Youtube. She is truly a breath of fresh air.

**Quizzes were all made by Buzzfeed**

Sorting Quiz To Tell You Which Hogwarts House You Will Be In.

Quiz Link:

Phoenix Feather all the way!
Few close friends for sure.

My Results are…

I’m still a True Hufflepuff at 29%. I’m shocked to see my second rated house is Gryffindor. If I had to pick, I think Ravenclaw would be the second choice.

Pick My Favorite Disney Characters and We Shall Sort Your Hogwarts House!

Quiz Link:

Belle has always been my favorite Disney Princess

My Results are…

Slytherin!?!!? I didn’t even choose villains. I picked Ariel, Simba, Woody and other nice characters. Fascinating.. not sure about this one.

Choose a Food in Every Color and We Will Reveal Your Hogwarts House

Quiz Link:

Not picking Pumpkin Pie for Orange? How Dare You.
Rainbow Cookies with Sprinkles of some sort? Yes please!

Hufflepuff, yay! This is the second quiz where I have resulted in my true house.

Rate The Romantic Pairings & We Will Choose Your House

Quiz Link:

100% one of the best OTP’s on TV.

My Results are…

Gryffindor! Most of the ships I liked are really popular choices i.e. Leslie + Ben, Steve Rogers + Peggy Carter. I wonder if this is why I was grouped into Gryffindor.

If you want to do this prompt, I did link the quizzes I took throughout this post. Tessa took way more Harry Potter sorting quizzes than I did, so watch her video to find more.

Ghosts, Wars & Horror – Graphic Novels Review

I’m a bit behind in my Goodreads reading goal. My goal is to read 50 books this year. I’m at 37 books right now. I always count reading graphic novels towards my reading goal. I still have a solid stack of graphic novels to read, but I was able to finish a couple of them recently. I wanted to share my most recent graphic novels I read.

Ghosted in LA by Sina Grace, Siobhan Keenan and Cathy Le.

Ghosted In LA by Sina Grace, Siobhan Keenan, and Cathy Le. Published by Boom Box!

Daphne Walters moves to LA for college and her innocent high school boyfriend. After her boyfriend dumps her, Daphne stumbles upon Rycroft Manor, a magnificent mansion near her college campus. As she explores the mansion, she finds ghosts inhabiting the property. Having ghosts as roommates will certainly add to the college experience.

I adored this novel! The artwork was bright and upbeat. The ghosts had personalities of their own. I felt the story accurately depicted what the college experience is like. Reading Ghosted in LA allowed me to reminisce about my college memories. Additionally, there’s LGBTQIA+ representation which is always a bonus.

I cannot wait to read vol. #2. I rated Ghosted in LA Vol. #1 4 stars.

She Said Destroy by Corallo, Kangas, Nalty, and Ujimori

She Said Destroy by Corallo, Kangas, Nalty, and Ujimori. Published by Vault

Over Millennia only two gods exist Brigid and Morrigan. Brigid brings the light while Morrigan is the goddess of death. Winona is the savior who is sent to gain wisdom from Morrigan after Brigid drops her troops for a full invasion. When Morrigan tells Winona she needs to “destroy”, Winona knows what she needs to do.

She Said Destroy wasn’t great. The story was incredibly difficult to follow. This all-out invasion happens in the beginning when I barely know the back story of why Brigid and Morrigan hate each other. Winona is the savior in this story, but I hardly knew a thing about her. A major character is also killed off towards the end, but their death was glossed over.

I rated She Said Destroy Vol. #1 2 stars on Goodreads.

Glitterbomb by Zub, Morisette, Russell, and Dillon.

Glitterbomb by Zub, Morissette, Russell, and Dillon. Published by Image.

Farrah Durante is a middle-aged actress struggling to find acting work in LA. She’s a single parent and rent isn’t cheap. She’s had a rough go and finds herself contemplating her life while sitting at the beach. As she wades into the water, she’s pulled under by a black creature who invades her body. The entertainment industry tore Farrah apart, will this creature put her back together?

The art in this is horrific! The sequence where this creature inhabits Farrah and forces her to kill people is gruesome. This is a horror graphic novel by nature. The words could have been removed and I still would have paged through this novel because the art is so intriguing to look at. The alternative covers have so much detail that I found myself staring at them for a while. Glitterbomb is easily a contender for the graphic novel I read with the best art.

Glitterbomb is a horror graphic novel at its finest and is a fitting read for the upcoming Halloween season. I rated Glitterbomb Vol. #1 3 stars.

Let me know what you’re reading in the comments below. I always like having recommendations on what comics I should be reading.

Harry Potter WYR Ride a Motorcycle or Drive a Bus?

I’m a fairly decent driver, although my parking skills need some work. I drive a Subaru Forester which I adore, but I used to drive a minivan and I found parallel parking a minivan to be quite challenging. In today’s Harry Potter WYR question, it’s all dependent on vehicle preference.

Harry Potter WYR: Take a Ride on Hagrid’s Flying Motorcycle or Drive the Knight Bus?

Harry Potter WYR: Take a Ride on Hagrid’s Flying Motorcycle or Drive the Knight Bus?

Being a passenger on Hagrid’s motorcycle would be an experience. Hagrid doesn’t seem to be the best driver in the world. Granted, Hagrid was trying to escape Death Eaters. I’m afraid of both heights and rollercoasters, however it would be refreshing feeling the breeze high above the world.

As I mentioned above, I’m a terrible parker. I would be the worst driver for the Knight Bus. I’m someone who gets motion sickness in a car now and then. I don’t know how I would get through driving the Knight Bus without vomiting.

I’m going to pick. . . Being a Passenger on Hagrid’s motorcycle. It’s probably much more dangerous than driving the Knight Bus, but it would be a cool way to traverse the Wizarding World.

Which option would you pick?

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a movie I have never watched until last weekend. There is a Rocky Horror Picture Show themed party room at Convergence every year, but I never knew what the references were. My friend was shocked I had never seen this movie and ultimately, she pulled the DVD from her collection and made me watch it. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the ultimate horror-themed musical.

Throughout the movie, the unnamed narrator tells the story of the newly engaged couple Brad Majors (played by Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (played by Susan Sarandon). They hit a flat tire and stumble upon a massive mansion. Brad and Janet are invited inside and are immediately introduced to Dr. Frank-N-Furter (played spectacularly by Tim Curry) a transvestite from Transylvania. Brad and Janet see Furter create a human named Rocky (played by Peter Hinwood) who becomes Furter’s lover. There’s sex, music, murders, and generic chaos as the story unfolds.

I’m typically not a fan of musicals, but The Rocky Horror Picture Show is an exception. I like the references to various horror films. An example of this would be when Rocky is created as a mad scientist experiment by Furter. The music is catchy and I didn’t know the rockstar Meat Loaf was in this movie.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is an important musical for its time. Released in 1975, this movie has men dressing up in drag along with sexual liberation seen by Janet when she hooks up with both Rocky and Furter. Androgyny is also highlighted amongst several characters. It doesn’t surprise me that The Rocky Horror Picture Show has a cult following or how this attracted the LGBTQIA+ community to the film.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is so fun. I can’t believe I waited so long before watching this. It’s the perfect blend of sexuality, horror movies, and musicals. It’s fitting I watched this right before the Halloween season. I’m going to have the soundtrack on repeat for weeks.

BlacKkKlansman A Memoir

After viewing the BlacKkKlansman movie directed by Spike Lee, I discovered the movie was based on a book. Ron Stallworth is a real person who’s undercover investigation fooled the Klan. My expectation upon reading this book was to read about the KKK investigation with added history interwoven in the story. This book delivered exactly what I was looking for.

After viewing the BlacKkKlansman movie directed by Spike Lee, I discovered the movie was based on a book. Ron Stallworth is a real person who’s undercover investigation fooled the Klan. My expectation upon reading this book was to read about the KKK investigation with added history interwoven in the story. This book delivered exactly what I was looking for.

Ron Stallworth joined the Colorado Springs Police Department in the early 1970s. Assigned to guard police records, Stallworth wanted more from his career. In a few years, Stallworth is transferred to the undercover division of the police department. After seeing the KKK recruitment in a newspaper, he decided to infiltrate the Klan. With help from his white police officers, Stallworth convinced David Duke over the phone that he is invested in preserving the white race.

Besides reading the undercover story, Ron adds historical information to keep the reader invested. Ron discusses the history of the KKK along with the specific timeline of the KKK in Colorado. Back in the 1920s, the KKK was everywhere in Colorado. The senate, the governor, and the police were either Klan members or paid off by the Klan. For a while, the Denver airport was named after a politician who was an active Klan member. This was all new information to me. It saddens me that an airport was named after such a racist person.

One of the major criticisms I have of this book is Ron’s writing. The first page had one of the longest run-on sentences I have ever read. At times, Ron repeats statements to the point where I ask myself if I already read this section of the book. This book could have been edited better, but on the flip side, the book feels more authentic because Ron’s original writing is featured.

It’s crucial to mention the differences between the book and the movie. Some of the negative book reviews I read said this book was boring. In the BlacKkKlansman movie, Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington) is trying to stop a bomb plot planned by the KKK. This is added into the movie for flair, but it’s complete fiction. The book tells the story accurately, while the movie adds fictional events.

I rated BlacKkKlansman five stars because Ron’s writing didn’t keep me from enjoying the book. He does a great job detailing the chronological story of the investigation. This has to be one of my favorite non-fiction books I read in 2020

Suicide Squad + Gotham Knights

One of my beloved games of all time is Batman Arkham Asylum. This game was released in 2009 when I was a nerdy and awkward freshman in high school. This game helped me get through my toughest moments in high school. Rocksteady is a company where as soon as I find out they’re making another game, I pre-order it instantaneously. Rocksteady is making a Suicide Squad Game while Warner Brothers is making a Gotham Knights game My heart is exploding with excitement. I’m going to briefly discuss each game along with linking the trailers.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Suicide Squad trailer

From the trailer, it looks like Superman has turned evil and it’s up to the ragtag team to save Metropolis. Harley Quinn’s look in this game is flawless. She is stylish, not overtly sexual and the game captures her personality in the short four-minute glimpse of the trailer. Besides Harley Quinn, I like Deadshot’s new suit. This game also features both Killer Shark and Captain Boomerang. The music playing through the trailer is hip and fits the overall theme of the Suicide Squad.

I’m curious how the mission set up will be. Will certain missions be played by certain characters, or will I get to pick who I want to be? Both options would work as long as I have equal gameplay between all four characters.

From the trailer, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will be released in 2022.

Gotham Knights

Bruce Wayne is dead along with Detective Gordon. Gotham is in flames and someone has to step up to avenge Bruce and save Gotham. It’s about time the Bat-Family is introduced into this series of games. In Batman: Arkham Knight, there is limited gameplay of Nightwing and Tim Drake, but this game takes this to a whole new level.

Batgirl is seen throughout the trailer dive-bombing into alleyways. Batgirl is the best female heroine in DC Comics. This game has adopted her best look which is the yellow combat boots and the zipped up purple jumpsuit. Red Hood even makes an appearance. He’s a nice addition considering most of the characters are sneaky and Red Hood can go into a fight scene with his guns raised.

Gotham Knights will be released in 2021.

Before ending this post, I do want to discuss how Rocksteady is under fire for sexual harassment. The gaming industry is notoriously toxic to women, women of color, and non-binary or gender non-conforming folks. It’s a reminder of how the gaming industry still needs to be upfront with these issues and resolve to do better.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights are incredible. Rocksteady knows how to make decent DC games. I’m anxiously awaiting the day I can play as Batgirl.

Ghostbusters (2016)

Last weekend, I went to visit my friend for the weekend. Besides playing multiple board games, we like to watch movies together. In college, we would go see a movie once a month, at least? Her DVD collection is massive, and I decided to pick the Ghostbusters re-make for us to watch.

This particular Ghostbusters outing is a remake directed by Paul Feig who also directed Bridesmaids. The film is centered around physicists Abby Yates (played by Melissa McCarthy) and Erin Gilbert (played by Kristin Wiig). Erin is fired from her teaching position at Columbia University after Abby re-publishes the ghost book they wrote. Since Erin’s fired from her job, she teams up with Abby and Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (played wonderfully by Kate McKinnon) to hunt ghosts. Eventually, they meet Patty Tolan (played by Leslie Jones) as her expertise navigating around NYC helps the group locate the ghosts. Ghosts end up being unleashed and all hell breaks loose.

The show stopper in this film is Kate McKinnon. Her facial expressions and lines in this movie were the best. I wish Leslie Jones was more of the main character. She felt sidelined for a lot of the movie which is a shame. I can’t forget to discuss Chris Hemsworth playing the “dumb” secretary. Chris Hemsworth isn’t known for comedy, but his one-liners were great.

Although I liked Ghostbusters, this movie ended up being a box office bomb. There was so much controversy over having a female cast. I remember when the trailer for this movie hit Youtube, there was a remarkable amount of thumbs down responses. I’m biased in my response because I was a 90’s baby, so I wasn’t alive when the original Ghostbusters was released. It saddens me that fans had such a negative reaction to a movie before it was being released.

Ghostbusters wasn’t a perfect film by any means, but it was a campy sci-fi film starring incredibly funny women. I want all the Dr. Jillian Holtzmann merch. I saw her Funko pop and it’s so quirky. Let me know what you think of this movie in my comments section below.