Tag Archives: Books

Big Update Thing

9 Jul

It’s been a while since I posted anything, so I figured I would give you an update on life and stuff!

 

Cover of

Cover of Shane

 

 

First off, I finished two more books! “The Andromeda Strand” and “Shane.” I’m going to try and make some podcasts about then today. Both were very good in different ways; Andromeda Strand was a Sci-Fi thriller, good but scary. Shane was a Western, and it is now one of my all-time favorite books. If you ever get the chance to read either of them, you should. Very, very good books.

 

 

Tron (film)

Image via Wikipedia

 

Also, my mom signed us up for full Netflix, and I was setting up the cue, and seeing as I wanted to see the original TRON (we just watched the sequel) I put it on the cue! And I got it.

 

 

AND I LOVED IT.

 

Seriously though, a very good movie! Sure, the effects were lame (It was the 80s!), and the score was awful (It was the 80s!), but how can you possibly get over all the very “It was the 80s!” stuff about the costuming? It was like watching a period drama! Not to mention that Tron was just super awesome. And Jeff Bridges! I LOVED him in this movie. In Legacy he was very serious, but in this one he was more of the goober that I see him being in real life. I liked that.

 

So of course I do some fan art.

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Programs

 

And I added a couple of shirts from the movie, which I will be ordering as soon as my mom gives the okay.

 

I’ve been drawing lots of other things, but I don’t really want to spend ten minutes uploading stuff, so check out my deviantART page. Maybe I’ll post an art dump later, but not now. 😛

 

In other news, I’m leaving for Alabama on the 12th! My mom has lots of relatives out there, and we try togo every couple of years. We’re staying at my Mammaw’s house. 😉

 

I have no clue what time we’re leaving (If I could guess, sometime probably around 8:00am), but I do know that we’re arriving at 4:00pm. I know that airports have WiFi, so I’ll probably try and update during a lay-over. Do airplanes have WiFi? Let me see…I think they do. I dunno. My mom just said the airplane takes off at 7:00…And you usually have to get there at least an hours early… D:

 

But anyways, while I’m in Alabama, I’ll have easy access to the computer. We bought my Mammaw one a while ago, and she never really uses it, so I can check my accounts and I will definitely update the blog. 🙂

 

Well…That’s really about it! I’ll try and update some more and I will work on some podcasts today.

 

God bless,

 

~Agent M

Book Review – Death Cloud

28 Jun

Sorry I didn’t post it last night!

Anywho, a mid-length podcast. Sorry it’s so long…There was a lot to talk about.

I’ll try and do another podcast, be it a review or just a normal one, soon. I’m prently reading “Shane”, “The Andromeda Strain”, and “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”. My mom and I also got “TRON: LEGACY” and “Annie Get Your Gun” from the library, so maybe I’ll do a movie review too.

Well, that’s about it! I’m off to the dentist!

~Agent M

The Final Problem: A Review

14 Jun

Sherlock Holmes (r) and Dr. John B. Watson. Fr...

Image via Wikipedia

So, I just finished reading Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Published in 1893, only a few short years after A Study in Scarlet, the first Holmes book, came out in 1887, it contained eleven good Holmes stories. These were a good read, but, there was something lacking in them, compared to his short stories in Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The stories in that book are brilliant, and some of the most famous, including “The Red-headed League,” “The Five Orange Pips,” and many more. I’m not saying “Memoirs” was bad, but there was something that was not quite at the same level as the “Adventures”. I had just finished a rather long short story in there, which was interesting but a bit dull at times, and I turn the page and am greeted with “The Final Problem.” A bit perplexed, I started reading. (Remember, these books are told first person from Watson‘s point of view)

It is with a heavy heart that I take up my pen to write these the last words in which I shall ever record the singular gifts by which my friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes was distinguished.

What? I was rather confused. I knew there was a story where Holmes was killed by Moriarty, but I did not expect it to come so soon. I have the two-volume set of the complete works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, (All the Sherlock Holmes stories as well as a few essays, the left out some of his historical fiction works and his works on spirituality) and this isn’t even the last story in the first volume! After this is The Hound of the Baskervilles. I put off reading the story for a day or two, but yesterday I decided to read it.

 

It continued:

 

In an incoherent and, as I deeply feel, an entirely inadequate fashion, I have endeavored to give some account of my strange experiences in his company from the chance which first brought us together at the period of the “Study in Scarlet,” up to the time of his interference in the matter of the “Naval Treaty” — an interference which had the unquestionable effect to preventing a serious international complication. It was my intention to have stopped there, and to have said nothing of that event which has created a void in my life which the lapse of two years has done little to fill.

 

 

Tribute to Sherlock Holmes in Meiringen, villa...

Tribute to Holmes near Reichenbach Falls, the place where he died in the story

I read the book, and it was very good, I admit. However, I say the end coming. It was obvious; Holmes and Watson had been, essentially, running away from Moriarty for the entire time, and Watson gets a mysterious letter calling him back down to the hotel he and Holmes had been staying at, leaving Holmes alone with a guide they didn’t know very well, and Watson sees a man walking up the mountain as he goes down. It really was not a very difficult mystery. To put that into perspective, I have only figured out one story, other than this, before the end. I figured out the short story “The Yellow Face,” but it was really not meant to be that hard of a mystery, at least that how it struck me.

 

It seemed more a story of dread than of mystery; it would be like if you saw the end of “The Sixth Sense,” and then watched the entire film. It would rip out all the suspense and make it more about feeling the black anticipation that accompanies knowing the end. You end up just wanting to scream at Watson and Holmes. And perhaps that’s how it was supposed to be: Holmes knew that the letter was a fake and sent Watson off so her could ‘face his fate’. And, the not-shocker-of-an-ending ends with Sherlock being presumed dead, along with Moriarty, having (perhaps) fallen into the waterfalls. Holmes was given time to write Watson a letter, and Watson reads it and then sums up the story in a few short paragraphs.

 

I cried. It was a rather sad story. And it was clear that that was all the story was meant for; to give a good end to Holmes. Yes, he went down fighting and nailed the baddie. The writing was good, but not the same as his earlier works.

It seems like Doyle really wasn’t enjoying writing these any more, and it’s a shame. I think that his early works are brilliant, some of the finest mystery writing of all time. I think that Memoirs was written just because Doyle needed a way to get out. He wanted to write other things. Of course, his escape route failed, as he returned to writing Holmes stories a few years later.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A good short story, in my opinion. One of the best in Memoirs. Perhaps one of my favorites, I’m really not sure yet. I’ve been going back and changing my mind multiple times while writing this, and my opinion has changed a lot. The story itself was good, and it was a fitting end for the detective. However, I think it could have been better. Doyle just did not want to write Holmes stories anymore. And because of that, the quality of the work decreased. It truly is a shame, because his early works are some of my favorites. I really wished he had enjoyed writing these to put more effort, perhaps even an entire full-length novel, into the ultimate but heroic demise of my favorite detective.

 

Overall rating:

8.5/10

As I said, the story itself was rather good. It just seemed to me that it was written so he could escape. I think that if he had cared about writing these stories more, he could have still killed Holmes off, but in a way that was better written.

 

 

“Sherlock” – a TV/Movie Review

8 Jun

Sherlock Holmes in "The Man with the Twis...

Image via Wikipedia

I wouldn’t be that surprised if a lot of people are confused with this title, so let me explain:

A while back, BBC did a series (British for ‘season’, as in TV season) for a TV programme which was based off of Sherlock Holmes, but set it the modern day, aptly named “Sherlock“. I say TV/movie because the series is only three episodes long, but they are an hour and a half in length, each.

Anyways, let’s start with the actual review:

I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I haven’t read all the books yet, but I rather enjoy it when I do. Not too many kids are into reading them, or at least not too many that I know, but they are very well written. That being said, I also like watching movies and TV shows, but the problem is that there are a lot of Holmes spin-offs, but a lot of them are not very good. I haven’t watched too many, just because Netflix is a bit limited sometimes. You may have heard about crazy Lord of the Rings fans, who get mad when the movies don’t do justice to the books, and get all psycho and complain a lot.

Well…

I’m a bit like that when it comes to Sherlock Holmes.

Now, I’m not all crazy about it staying EXACTLY the same as the books. I don’t mind when they deviate a little, or when they even make up their own story lines. Whatever, I get that it can be hard to stick to something. My problem is the acting and the writing. My biggest beefs:

Sherlock Holmes (2009 film)

Playboy genius superhero? Yes. Amazing detective who has some social problems? No.

  1. Sherlock (actor): Most of the time, you don’t get a very good actor playing Sherlock Holmes.* I’ve watched a few movies and TV stuff, and it seems pretty hit-and-miss. It is the biggest turn off for me when I see a picture of whoever’s supposed to be Holmes looking completely unlike the original character! Prime example: Robert Downey Jr. I liked him (as much as you could like him) in Iron Man, because he really fit the part. When I saw posters for the Sherlock Holmes movie, however, I knew it was not his character. I will admit that I did not see the movie. It just didn’t look like something I would like. I was pretty sure it was going to a butchered, sigh-worthy portrayal of the books.
  2. Sherlock (writing): I watched a movie version of “Hound of the Baskervilles” not too long ago. The actor who played Holmes was cringe-worthy enough, but the writing was pretty horrid as well. It completely ignored how the original Holmes was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle! Very annoying factor that you unfortunately cannot foresee, and only realize once you start watching. I especially hate it when they make Holmes a lady-killer. He’s a withdrawn, odd, rather emotion-less man who can’t make friends very well in the first place, let alone a girlfriend.
  3. Overall Writing: Outside of problems with Sherlock, my biggest peeve is when they totally butcher the story. You can waiver a bit off the original, sure. I don’t even care if you totally make up a new story line, but keep it so that it matches the style. I also don’t like it when they rush through the story. The books are generally not very fast-moving books. And when you try to condense something slow-moving while not upping the pace, it just gets weird and hard to follow. If you think you can improve the story so it works better with whatever medium you’re using by either adding in things of your own making or from other Holmes stories, go ahead. I get that you really can’t do all the stories word-for-word, line-for-line. But if you do make changes, make them ones that Sir Doyle himself wouldn’t mind, or might actually enjoy.
  4. Watson: Watson is not a high priority on my list to be frank. Sure, the books are told through him, but I give movies and TV more wiggle room with Watson than I do Holmes. Nigel Bruce was alright at playing him. I thought that he did a good job. Looking back, perhaps if he was a little less over-the-top goofy, I’d have been a little happier, but whatever; it was the 1940s and Basil Rathbone‘s Holmes makes up for my little issues with Watson. However, I look at that movie poster next to me and think that Watson looks more like a villain who’s holding young women in his basement for ransom rather than the former-Afghanistan medic who’s the gluey-friend that keeps Holmes from completely falling apart, while still maintaining a good business and a, for lack of a better word, cute marriage with Mary Watson.

*The two exceptions I have found to this rule are Basil Rathbone and Benedict Cumberbatch. Both of them play a very different Holmes, but they are both excellent actors and very enjoyable to watch.

 

Photograph of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holme...

Original Holmes. One of the best.

 

So,  four things. Seems easy enough, right? Not quite. I found that Basil Rathbone’s Holmes movies all got 3.5/4, just because Watson could be at times a bit too goofy. Basil Rathbone is one of my all time favorite actors and is just an amazing Holmes. For some 1940s black and white films, they really do the books justice. I didn’t think I’d ever find anything like them.

 

Until I watched “Sherlock”!

 

Most of the time Holmes movies and TV adaptations are taken out of their original, late 1800s habitat and dropped into the modern world. This can be at times a bit odd, and even a turn-off. Basil Rathbone’s Holmes was set in the 1930s/40s, which I didn’t mind too much. Seeing Holmes fool some Nazis was fun, I have to admit. But, imagining Holmes in the modern world of the 2000s seemed a bit scary. But, I had heard very good things about it and still wanted to see it.

 

After watching all three episodes and mulling them over, I really have found that I quite enjoyed them. One of the writers for it is Stephen Moffet, who I absolutely adore. He’s written the latest two season of Doctor Who, some of the best writing in the entire series’ history, if you ask me. I was quite excited when I saw his name up on the opening credits.

 

 

 

The Predecessor. Lookin' good.

Benedict Cumberbatch did a great Holmes, but all-together different from Basil Rathbone’s interpretations. This Holmes

is a bit darker and a little less social. Of course, keep in mind, so was the original. I say darker, but I really don’t mean all that much darker. I think it was just something that came along with being moved into the 21st century; I’m sure that in contrast to the upright, polite Britain of the 19th century, Holmes truly was the bohemian he was described as, and was viewed as strange and darker. But as society has moved on and embraced less-polite behavior, the character had to be tweaked a bit to maintain that ratio between Holmes and the rest of us. They’ve replaced him smoking habits (And I think his opium and other drug habits) with Nicotine patches; good move I say. I couldn’t see Holmes smoking a Camel and pondering the Red-Headed league, and I admit a pipe might be out of place in 21st century London. He doesn’t quite look like the way I always imagined Holmes, but he’s over six feet and he has a really cool name like his predecessor Basil Rathbone, so that’s got to count for something. On a personal note, I think he’s kind of cute. Not the character, because Holmes is a bit odd, but Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously.

 

Anyways.

 

 

On Location 3f

Different, but good.

Martin Freeman, who plays Watson, does a good but all-together totally different Watson than I’ve ever seen. Unlike the usual fat-and-jolly Watsons you see, he plays a thin, good-looking Watson with an interesting past in the Afghan war (Funny how it all works out, huh? War then, war now). He’s thought to have Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder, after being shot i n the field and having a limp, but it’s later shown to be psychosomatic (he doesn’t actually have a limp, his brain just thinks he has one). He strikes me as more scared of Holmes than he was in the books, but then again, Holmes is a bit darker and scarier.  I like the fact that he doesn’t just acquiesce to everything, but points out Sherlock’s short-comings (mainly in the emotion department) and behaves like a quazi-normal human-being, trying to make friends and maintain a good relationship with his girlfriend, in stark contrast to the rather-inhuman Holmes. (Don’t even get me started on Watson’s girlfriend. I have a theory about that. But, moving along.)

 

As a side-note, the scenery is awesome and the music is interesting. They pull a lot of cool stuff off without special effects and the show never looks cheesy. I also adore the fact that the living room in Holmes’ house is set up a lot like the book’s illustrations and the one in the time of Rathbone: the big fireplace in the middle with some windows beside it and chairs and the like surrounding it.

 

The story-lines are often cherry-picked from several Holmes stories; a main idea from one, a few minor bits from several other stories, and a dash of new things, along with the modernization. Watson, instead of publishing his adventures with Holmes like in the books, maintains a blog, as does Sherlock. (I think. I might be wrong but that’s how it seemed.) There’s lots of other stuff that would be too boring to go into, so just watch the show.

 

My complaints with the show are very few. I think Sherlock is made a little too out-there sometimes, and most of the police officers are just kind of mean and spiteful towards him. I understand this, but I think you should have some who are nice to him. The only other thing that gets me is they make so many jokes about Watson and Holmes being a couple. They’re not, and it’s always like “Oh are you two together?” “Oh no no no!” Watson has a girlfriend. Holmes just…fails with girls. So badly it’s funny. (He tried flirting with one girl who works in the morgue so he could look over a body and it was really rather funny.) It’s not canon. I realize that yes, if two guys are walking around and sharing an apartment, that unfortunately in modern society unnecessary eyebrows are raised. I also know, however, that the BBC is prone to doing that. Look at David Tennant’s time on Doctor Who. Russel T. Davies seemed to live off of those jokes. In “Sherlock”, they over-do it so much, that it not only gets repetitive, it gets predictable and dull. It’s like in a Disney movie, when all of the sudden the scene either gets brighter or dimmer, and the music suddenly changes; you can tell a song’s about to start. Except it’s a Holmes x Watson joke.

 

Other than that though, it’s a great show. I really do love it! I hear they are currently filming, and I can’t wait for it to get out onto Netflix in the US.

 

Overall rating: 9.8/10

A well-executed show based off some great, classic books. They are exciting and scary in a good way, like the Sixth Sense was. The shows take interesting turns and will surprise you, especially “The Great Game”. The acting, writing, and almost everything is superb. Cut down on the swishy jokes and you’d get a 10/10.

 

 

Redwall Request

31 May

Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventures of She...

Image via Wikipedia

I  know. It blew my mind too.

 

LIKE THAT PICTURE OH YEAH.

 

(I’ll explain later)

 

 

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I was requested to do some fan art on the Redwall Wiki. DUHN DUHN DUHHNNNN.

 

I was a bit surprised, seeing as I am pretty much completely inactive on that website. (The incredibly low amount of users combined with the fact that I have a bad past with the place doesn’t exactly beckon me to return.) But, I found a request on my talk page that was about a week old (this was a few months ago FYI) and I decided to take it. I drew up a sketch pretty quickly and then put off the coloring bit, the most time consuming, stressful, and un-enjoyable part.

 

JUST LIKE OLD TIMES!

 

But today, seeing as it’s summer and I have nothing to do I wanted to waste some time, I did it!

 

 

As always, I didn’t design this character, just drew it.

 

Well, I should go and eat lunch and do something of actual value. Like reading! I’m reading a very good book, albeit very long, right now by Tony DiTerlizzi, one of my favorite artists. I’ll probably do a special book-review-podcast of the book once I’m done. And then I can attempt to finish some Sherlock Holmes! YUSSSS. (Remember the funny picture with the two men and the gun. “Ohhhh” you say. Yes, Ohhh.) Why? Number one I like it, Number two we’ve started watching the amazing show ‘Sherlock’ done by the BBC. Technically, it’s a series of three one-and-a-half hour movies (plus one unaired pilot that I have yet to have seen) and we’ve already seen two. After I watch the final one I’ll do a review of it.

 

I like the guy who plays Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch. He has cool hair.

 

Anyways….

 

 

Off to eat a sandwich!

 

God bless,

 

~Agent M

Vote Please?

4 Jul

Just wanted to redirect some peepz over to a contest I entered. I’m Long Patrol Girl/LPG on there, so look it up and VOTE VOTE VOTE! 😀

I entered a user’s contest on the Wiki with a DVD Cover I made for English last year with a buddy of mine. The same buddy who commissioned this:

And this:

And that is a BOY character…not a girl…I don’t know how somebody could find him in any way feminine, AT ALL, so…that is a boy’s tunic. They make them long sometimes…

Moving on…

Remember this?

Okay, maybe you don’t…but this is it.

It was supposed to be a DVD cover, and so here’s the back:

I’d like to give full credit to the synopsis to my partner, who you may call Agent J. He wrote that, I edited it only slightly. I came up with the actors though…Now before I am hung by the neck until I photoshop those people out, this was for a school project and I thought it would be better to cast people that were more well known then just random people. I probably would change this now with some still fairly well known but probably better fitting voice actors, but please, no flaming. I wasn’t actually planning on making this a movie…

*dodges rain of tomatoes and bits of shale coming from audience*

Review: “The Thief Lord”

1 Jul

I’m in the middle of watching “The Thief Lord”. I ADORED that book, but the movie leaves more to be wanted.

Amazingly, they actually stuck to the book…the majority of it anyways. I think Scipio looks like a Jonas brother, and the effects are absolutely awful. They made Bo see magical animals looking at him…that never happened in the book.

The way they did it makes it seems kind of…lame. The book was amazing, but the whole movie is lame-tastical.

They skipped through, in my opinion, the best part of the book, and the majority of it, too, in about 45 minutes. You find out the huge twist literally 45 minutes in.

The Merry-go-Round scene, which I’m watching now, is very lame. All of the worm hole-like effects, however ‘well done’ they may be, are not in context or appicable to the scene.

Auggh…wincing…Scipio just got off the Merry Go Round. And is about 6 foot tall. As my mom said, “WOAH.”

Awkward…

Oh…but now I smile. I remember what happened to Barbarossa.

Gah. Awkward Scipio with stupid hair.

Another thing that bugs me is that it seems that nobody’s voice changes. WITH AGE.

The movie is, like the majority of movie renditions of books, is lacking in the plot development and the wonderment (Which actually IS a word) that the book contained.

Oh no!! The Merry-Go-Round is kaput!

😆 Baborossa is teeny-weeny! LOSER! His voice is impossibly high. It doesn’t even look like it’s the actor’s voice. Augghh…Awkwaaaard…

Another hole in the movie is that they’re all British in Venice. Who’s ever heard of Venetian Brits? 🙄

They sped through the book, so fast you don’t even learn anybody’s name! Especially Hornet. She was a main character who was sadly down-sized.

And on that note, Scipio needs a haircut.

And on that bomb-shell, it’s time to end. And they all lived happily little moppet ever afters. The End.

It’s Raining.

9 Feb

No, the old man is not in bed. And I’m not in Spain. Just another simple atmospheric disturbance. 😛

My feet are cold and wet. When we got out today the rain reached a climax. And I didn’t have an umbrella. And I wore my canvas Vans today. So my feet are wet, but I’m not too wet all around, ’cause my dad has an umbrella. 😀 But it thundered and lightninged. COOL!!

Ohh…cold feet…

Anyways, a few days ago I got some new Inking Pens, because my old ones were old and getting cruddy.  But these ones are SPECIAL!! They’re Faber Castell (I like their pens) and it came with eight PITT (Whatever that means) pens; three are inking, in small, medium, and brush, and then there’s five gray brushy pens. For coloring and shading and stuff. Because the good markers cost about $1000 for a 72 pack (Owch!!) and I wanted to try it. Looks cool, and my test-runs have came out good!!

I have two editorials (Sorta thing) now. First:

Up: The Movie That Everyone Was Talking About Last Summer But I Never Saw

I got it on Demand last night and me and my mom watched it. GREAT MOVIE!!! We cried three times. The animation was awesome and Pixar amazed me with another brilliant plot. I love that company!! I don’t want to give away details, but just go watch the movie. AWESOME!!!!

In other news, I am going to get a Doctor Who novel. I’m excited and want to read one, after my book report, of course. Blech. Reading “Martin the Warrior” for the third time seems much less exciting now. So I’m searching on amazon and Barnes and Noble and probably my library soon, too. Call me a geek. And obsessed. I’ll agree. 😛

Planet SMLAARRRGGGGGGG is blue and there’s nothing I can do…

(Space Oddity by David Bowie)

–Agent M