A Wizard and a Saxon

My brother handed me book 1 of The Dresden Files this week, and now I’m hooked. I read the first two books of the series in two days, and I’m just itching to get started on the third. Hopefully my brother has already ordered it on Amazon, because otherwise I have to walk my little butt to Barnes and Noble, and who does that anymore?

So you might be wondering why I’m enjoying the series so much, and really–what is so great about the main character, Harry Dresden? Well, he’s a wizard, of course! And not like Harry Potter. Probably more like Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but not as polished (and not as cute or smart). He kinda bumbles along, and you know what? It’s great to follow a bumbling wizard. I can’t help but to cheer him on. He’s the underdog, through and through. And who doesn’t like an underdog?

Another interest at the moment is The Last Kingdom, which just had its third season released on Netflix. I’ve been bugging my brother to watch this show for awhile, but he’s a little punk and would rather watch Pokemon reruns. Anyway, I hope you do check it out. It’s like Vikings, but better. Better writing, better acting, just better.

And Uhtred, the main character, is just a cool dude. He was born a Saxon, but raised a Viking, and now stands between both worlds. Which will he choose? Will he stand with King Alfred, King of Wessex, who wishes to annihilate the Vikings? Or with his adopted brother Ragnar Ragnarson and his childhood friend Brida as they war against the Saxons?

It’s a mess of a situation, but it makes for entertaining TV.

Anyway, that’s all I have for this week. If you guys have any books or shows you’re into and would like to share, let me know in the comment section.

Movies and TV at the moment…

This week was a good one. The day job is going pretty well, I spent some decent time with the family, and I also got to do a little bit of writing. Not bad, I say. Not bad at all.

I also got to see the new Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. It was excellent! At least I thought it was, anyway. I can appreciate a character like Newt that isn’t your typical hero. I also appreciate that he happens to be on the autistic spectrum, which makes for a completely different dynamic in the way that his story plays out, especially his past relationship with Leta Lestrange. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, so that’s pretty much all I say about it right now.

Narcos: Mexico also premiered on Netflix this Friday. I’m three episodes in, and I’m enjoying it as much as the other Narcos series. Michael Peña did a great job as DEA Agent Kiki Camarena. And it’s got me so hooked, I’m a little disappointed I promised my mother I’d watch it with her, because I can’t binge the way I’d like to!

Another show I’d suggest watching is The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix. It’s weird, but a good weird.

Ok, folks! That’s all for me this week. If you have any movie or TV show suggestions just comment!

Some random things…

Now it’s November, and I’m pretty sure the holidays will arrive then pass in a blur. Before we know it, it’ll be the New Year and I’ll say: What happened to 2018?

But until then, I just want to soak in the last few months of the year, write, and enjoy the gloomy weather that’s hit South Texas.

If you’ve never been to Texas, let me just say, sometimes it just seems like the perfect setting for horror or fantasy. Like for instance–the fog was rather thick this week, and there were times I felt like I was in Silent Hill. Other times, it’s non-stop rain, which usually isn’t our norm–but still, pretty gloomy.

Things I’m also doing–spending time with family. It was my Dad’s birthday this week, and we took him to see Overlord, which was not as good as I expected. I thought it was written by JJ Abrams, but it actually wasn’t, and I could tell–It didn’t have that special “Human” feel that Abrams manages to pull off. The heart that is apparent in many of his films. Don’t get me wrong, the movie tried, but it was a facsimile of what I’m used to.

Also, if anyone cares how I’m doing in my two Fantasy Football leagues: I’ve got ZERO chance of winning one. Ok, not zero chance, but I’d have to win out and hope for many people to lose, so not much chance there. The other league I’m not doing so bad! I actually have a chance to go to the playoffs.

Alright then, that’s pretty much it for me for now. I hope you guys are enjoying the beginnings of November.

Norseman and their Gods

I have a confession. I’ve become addicted to Vikings. The series is on Hulu, and I haven’t been able to watch anything else. I’ve actually been meaning to watch it for a few years, but I always ended up getting distracted with other shows, but after watching a few episodes, I realized I really should’ve given this show a chance a long time ago.

What’s so great about this show is that it focuses a lot on Norse mythology, and to be honest, before watching the show, I hadn’t been exposed much to Vikings and their beliefs. I also had preconceived notions that because the show was on the History channel, that it was going to be more of a historical show and wouldn’t delve into fantasy elements. This was completely inaccurate of me.

From the first episode, Ragnar has a dream about a large battle where he sees Odin and Valkyries bringing fallen men to Valhalla. Somehow Ragnar interprets this dream as a reason to raid west when all raids to this point had been to the east. So from the very first, its apparent that the Gods will play a huge role in how Ragnar and other Vikings live their lives.

Other positives about the show is that it’s extremely fast paced with plenty of action. If you love period dramas with a little bit of fantasy than this is the show for you. And if you still need convincing to give it a try–my dad watches it, and he doesn’t watch anything.

A little distraction never hurt…

So last week I posted about Fall, Halloween, and how it’s a great time of year, but today I watched, like, fifteen minutes of Jeepers Creepers and now I’m so freaked out I don’t think I’m going to sleep well tonight. So screw you Fall! Screw you to hell!

Just kidding. I still love Fall.

And I still love the scary stories, too. But I need to watch something to calm me down, and guess what?! Empire Records is on Netflix!

For those of you that don’t know what Empire Records is, it’s a 90’s cult classic that combines all the best things I love about that decade. Music, comedy, love, angst–this movie has a little of everything.

It’s got Renée Zellweger and Liv Tyler before they found plastic surgery and went under the knife. There’s even a young Ethan Embry who plays a goofy skater that is just the right amount of weird. And it has Johnny Whitworth, who plays a Jordan Catalano look alike, who is completely in love with Liv Tyler’s character. The music is pretty cool too (“Plowed” by Sponge is one of my favorite songs, ever).

It even touches on some serious topics like drug use and attempted suicide, but even so, not too deeply, and all in all, the movie is fluff. Massive, massive fluff.

So it’s pretty much the perfect movie to watch after being scared the heck out of. And I know it was just fifteen minutes of a scary movie and hardly any time to get properly scared, but still! It was more than enough for this poor scaredy cat.

The Marvel Universe

So like a lot of people out there, I really love the Marvel Universe movies. But recently I was speaking to someone and they mentioned how the movies are all the same, regardless of who the main characters are. So that got me thinking, is Marvel really cranking out the same plot with different characters and settings? Well let’s see.

Although Avengers: Infinity War is the most recent release–for this post–I’d like to focus on Black Panther. Personally, I love Black Panther. I loved Wakanda and the whole idea that there was this country that was covertly strong with high tech. Also that Wakanda seemed to have a thriving culture and a monarchy that was just and fair.

But lets take a closer look at T’Challa, the protagonist of Black Panther and King of Wakanda. When T’Challa’s father dies, he assumes the throne, as is his birthright. When Ulysses Klaue, a villain from the past pops up, it’s T’Challa’s responsibility to bring him in for Wakandan justice. Unfortunately, Erik Stevens, the “Killmonger” and T’Challa’s long lost cousin, brings Klaue back to Wakanda dead, and also to challenge T’Challa for the throne. Stevens wins, and brings chaos to Wakanda as there are some Wakandans that want to bring weapons of power to people of African descent around the world so that they may fight their oppressors, and then there are others that don’t. A huge battle ensues, and T’Challa is able to wrestle control back of the throne before the weapons are made available to the public.

So after that quick recap, I wonder, does this story bare any resemblance to other Marvel movies? A hero, a villain, the conflict? Hmm maybe Spider Man? A little bit of Iron Man, too? Maybe some Captain America and Doctor Strange as well?

But you know what? It doesn’t matter. It’s the movie’s differences that set it apart, and make it great.

And besides. It’s Stan Lee’s story. They’re all Stan Lee’s stories. And if he likes to repeat motifs, then why not? It’s not like they don’t work.