A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Movies/DVDs/TV Seasons/Concerts Watched in 2014

This is a running list for the year. The list will include the movie and indicate whether it is a re-watch otherwise it can be assumed it was my first time watched.

(the year)(owned/rental/library/borrowed/theatre/Netflixed) and a brief review which could be just one word such as good, great, just OK, whatever. If I feel like expounding on the review I will. No rules here just a list with a bit of extra information. I will also probably note who I watched it with.

January - May: 0

Nothing.  Proof that I really do not watch TV much.

June: 3

1.  Godzilla (2014) (theatre) - saw for Matthew's birthday.  Was ok, fun. Matthew LOVED it.  I prefer the original. 

2. H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer (2004) (Netflix). This was an hour long documentary probably made for TV, was well done, in the style of A&E's various killer shows.  Holmes was not America's first serial killer, the "Bloody" Benders were at least 10 (up to 20) years earlier and there are others.  But Holmes is certainly a most gruesome case and though there are no facts, hypotheses exist that he was Jack the Ripper, fled to the US, etc.  Anyway ... I love the case and couldn't pass up watching the film.  Lots of great old photos which prompted me to buy the kindle version of the original documents from this case, Holmes' "confession", a pinkerton detectives' memoir of his dogged search for the missing children, plus others.  

3. Michael Buble Concert (2014) London, ON, Budweiser Gardens - Sigh..................................

July: 2

4. Final 24: Season 1 (2006) (Netflix). Never heard of this show before but the only TV I can keep my mind on these days is documentaries so decided to give this show a try.  It focuses on the last 24 hours of famous people's lives who died under strange or mysterious circumstances.  I thoroughly enjoyed each episode and thought it very-well done.  A Canadian/BBC production; even though I'd heard all these stories before there were still lots of footage I'd not seen and the material was refreshing. The only story I knew nothing about was Sid Vicious and I thought that was just plain sad.  The only episode I didn't really care for was the John Kennedy, jr. one as it only seemed to brush the top of any topic that could possibly have been of any interest.  Tragic story, but frankly boring presentation.

5. The Godfather (1972) (Netflix). I have wanted to watch this movie my entire life but nobody would ever watch it with me.  Either they've seen it or have no interest.  But I love mafia movies and this is supposed to be epic so I finally sat down one evening when hubby was at work and watched it myself.  Wow!  As good as I expected. Brando was superb, so many character actors I recognized from future parts and boy! was Al Pacino cute back then! The horse head scene came way earlier than I expected, of course it wasn't gross by today's standards but it still packed a punch as to how ruthless the family could be.  Loved, loved, loved the movie.  Now must read the book some day!

August: 10

6. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) (in the theatre) - We just watched the regular non-3D version.  None of us knew anything about this as I am not a Marvel reader (I'm a DC girl), and the guys are superhero movie fans, not comic readers.  So we all went, including Uncle Jeff, so that made 4 of us and we all really enjoyed it but no one thought it was extra-special or anything.  Of course, we all loved Groot, even though he is waaaaay too soppy for a superhero in my opinion. Then Rocket Raccoon was hilarious, the rest were just 'meh'.  Good movie, better than ok, but not great.  I'd definitely buy a Groot Funko POP!  

ETA: It is now the end of Aug. and I have in my possession a Groot POP Bobble-Head!!

7.  Final 24: Season 2 (2007) (Netflix) - I really enjoyed this show.  Season 2 had more episodes than the first season and I found it quite a quality production.  There was no tabloidism to it at all, which was very refreshing and made episodes such as the one on Anna Nicole Smith (which I rolled my eyes at before watching thinking how could anything new be told about that circus?) truly interesting and brought the celebrity down to human level and we saw what a sorry, sad ending she really had.  I ended up feeling for a lot of these people.  My only complaint was too many of the episodes were about stars who OD'd, but there was a bit of variety on other types of famous people who died of other strange circumstances such as fashion designer Versace and infamous (rather than famous) cult leader David Koresh.  

8. Dredd (2012) (Netflix) - I am a huge Judge Dredd fan and read a lot of the comics.  I didn't watch this when it came out and had no intention of watching it because how could they portray Dredd realistically.  No one would like him!  But I was taking too long to pick a movie and went ahead and am sorry I watched it. Dredd was not the Dredd of the comics.  He let sooo many people go that he would have sent to the cubes that is was unreal.  Dredd follows the rules, he doesn't care if they have an excuse!  And he sooo would not have passed Anderson in that situation, she broke too many commandments.  Plus, as far as I've got in my reading Dredd has been credited with passing only one recruit ... ever ... and it wasn't PSI Division, Judge Anderson.  If I was rating I'd give this a 4/10.

9. Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics (2013) (own) - This was interesting and tells you all about the history and personalities of DC's Rogues Gallery.  It's a documentary with loads and loads of commentary from DC writers and illustrators, with Christopher Lee narrating the whole thing.  I thought it was pretty cool getting to see what some of my favourite writers and illustrators looked like.  Scott Snyder looks like a cross between Quentin Tarantino and Neil Patrick Harris.  LOL and Geoff Johns is cute!  Anyway very interesting but it was too long (99 min) and started to drag.  I lost interest way before it was over and think I might have napped at some point.

10. Saints and Soldiers (2003) (Netflix) - I randomly picked this to watch; had never heard of it but was interested in watching a war movie.  It was very, very good.  An independent movie so not full of Hollywood action/adventure, long battle scenes or tons of blood.  There is some action but this is a very talky movie and starts off with the Malmedy Massacre and then has four American and 1 Brit soldier making their way through enemy lines to bring vital information to HQ.  One character belongs to a very strict Christian sect (never mentioned) which does not allow smoking, drinking or even coffee and his character is wonderful, not preachy at all, but he brings to the table discussions about what war/the enemy is.  Are they not the same as us with different uniforms?  The medic of the group vehemently disagrees and while not being anti-war in anyway the movie does bring much provoking thought.  The actors were unknown to me but I thought the acting and production was overall excellent for a low budget independent movie.  There is a sequel I'm going to watch next, though I don't believe it has any of the same characters.

11. Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed (2012) (Netflix) - This is made by the same people and has the same star as the first S&S movie but not the same characters; it's a sequel in a sense that the theme is the same.  This again had a religious character and this time was about three US Airborne paratroopers who are trying to get to their rendezvous but they meet up with a female French Resistance who asks for their help in rescuing her comrades.  This was a bit more violent than the first movie but again as an independent film was more talky and thought provoking than an action movie.  Once again it visits the same theme of bringing a German and US soldier together realizing they are both human beings first.  I liked the characters in this one, but we didn't get to know them as well as those in the first.  Both movies are excellent though and I can't make up my mind on which I liked best.  There is a third movie in the series but it is more recent and not on Netflix yet.

12. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) (theatre) - Again we watched the regular version, not the 3D.  I thought this was pretty lame but my husband and son quite enjoyed it.  I found a few funny moments and the action at the end good but especially liked Shredder; that was one awesome villain costume he had.  Otherwise it wasn't much.  Was surprised to see Will Arnett, I haven't seen him in anything besides Arrested Development and here he seemed to play the exact same character as Jobe Bluth.

13. The Red Baron (2008) (Netflix) - I really enjoyed this, even though a) everyone started out with awful German accents then went back to their natural British ones and b) Baron von Richthofen was made out to be some wholesome, wonderful humanitarian.  Yeah. right... So, I don't really know much about him but I'm guessing he wasn't as nice and charming a person as he was presented here.  Otherwise, as fiction, this was an enjoyable WWI movie from the German perspective for a change.  They were the good guys, from their point of view and that was the only point of view this movie shows.  This *is* a German/UK made movie, btw.  One thing I didn't know, and found interesting, was that during WWI the Germans had a lot of Jewish pilots, many of them heavily decorated.  The actor who played the Baron is dashingly good looking and played the role wonderfully.  A lot of good aerial scenes of WWI planes too. Unbelievable they had so little protection up there!

14. Solved: Season 2 (2008) (Netflix) - Season 1 is not on Netflix so I had to start with Season 2.  This is a documentary show from Investigation Discovery (one of my favourite channels, but we no longer get TV beyond basic cable).  This is a really well-done show in the same vein as the classic A&E crime documentaries.  The cases featured here are all ones that have been solved, most followed the usual timeline of justice but a few went cold and were solved many years, if not decades later.  The show started off with husband did-its or wife did-its but then moved on to quite a wide variety of cases.  All involved a murder, usually just one and none of these are serial killings.  13 episodes, each an hour long (43 mins without commercials) and as an avid crime watcher/reader I was pleased to have not heard of any of these cases before.  Excellent!

15. Sherlock: Season 2 (2012) (Netflix) - I watched the first two episodes quite some time ago and just finished up the last one last night and wowza!  Is it a doozy!  I just absolutely love this show to pieces!  The last episode of this season is "Reichenbach Fall" which every Holmes reader knows is the Reichenbach Falls, (waterfalls in Germany) where Sherlock and Moriarty have their infamous fight and Sherlock supposedly falls to his death here.  Well this show always puts new and unique spins on the original stories but it still ends the same way.  With Sherlock's death.  But wow!! How are they going to explain this?  I'm presuming here they will follow the original and have Holmes fake his death, but it was very real.  How will it be pulled off?  I haven't a clue how they are going to do this, except I think they will turn back on Holmes' ability to be the master of disguise somehow.  Can't wait to start watching the next season!!!

September: 2

16. Solved: Season 3 (2010) (Netflix) - There are only six episodes to the last season and I still enjoyed watching them but the production wasn't as good as the last season.  These last episodes tried to be more sensationalistic and the very lack of that was one of the show's selling points for me in the first place.  This time I had heard of one case,The Bike Path Killer, a very famous one and out of place here because of that and it's being the only serial case of the entire show.  The other cases were unknown to me and all highly interesting though there seemed to be more cold cases than the previous season.  Overall a great show!  This one is unique in that you know each case is going to be solved to resolution and it gives an upbeat sense going in knowing the victim's families have found closure.

17. National Geographic: Inside Jerusalem's Holiest Places (2007) (online) - This was on TV one night and a friend called to tell me so I looked it up online and found it at the above link.  A very informative show about the history of the sacred Jewish, Christian and Muslim Temples in Jerusalem and the history of the fighting in the city from Biblical times to modern day.

October: 0

November: 1

18. The Family (2013) (Netflix) - dh and I felt like watching a movie since we were home alone and chose this one since it had Robert de Niro in it and I like mafia movies.  This is a black humour type of thing and it was good, enjoyed it but it was nothing special.  Had a few laughs, thought it was quirky but nothing great.

December: 2

19. All American Christmas Carol (2013) (Netflix) - watched Christmas Eve Day.  Never heard of it before.  A low budget take on the Dickens' tale.  Trailer park trash single mom has her life turned around as she is close to losing her kids when she's visited by the three ghosts.  An okay watch, some good parts but the low budget shows.  Watchable and not a waste of time.

20. Night at the Museum IV: Secret of the Tomb (2014) (theatre) - our annual Christmas Day movie.  Not much choice this year since The Hobbit Part 3 was the biggie and we weren't interested.  The guys have seen all the others, I've seen Part 1.  Decent enough movie, cute and funny.  Ben Stiller is just the straight man, everyone else makes the movie.  Kind of sad though because of Robin Williams' part and the nature of his character's acceptance of "death".  The movie is dedicated to him and also Mickey Rooney as this was his last movie too.  He just had a couple minute cameo.

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