Movie Review – Avengers: Infinity War

IMDb Summary

As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.

InfinityWarPoster

Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, is the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Not since the lead up to the first Avengers film released in 2012 has an entry in this ambitious cinematic universe been so anticipated. Thanos (Josh Brolin), the villain of this feature, was first teased in a post-credits scene of that film, leaving fans to eagerly anticipate his appearance as a main villain. Most MCU films since have teased, introduced, and/or involved infinity stones since then as well, all in preparation for this massive crossover event. The cast is honestly too expansive to list; nearly every hero makes an appearance to fight this threat on different fronts. I was highly anticipating the film myself, though cautious about how effectively an effective story could be told with such a large cast of characters in play.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/11/01

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

I’m still “currently reading” Star Wars: From A Certain Point of View, though like I said last week I’ve put the book on hold. After a slew of finished titles I’m actually not in the middle of reading anything at the moment.

Recently Finished

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrorsTrue to my word last week there are a lot of entries under this heading this week. First up is Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, which I finished up shortly after my post last week. You can find my full review here. I liked the book a lot, though ultimately it lacked the wow factor that I had with the first anthology I read a few months ago. After everything the character has gone through, however, I’m happy to see authors writing him so effectively.

UzumakiOver the last few days leading up to Halloween I read through Uzumaki by Junji Ito, a short horror manga (comic book) series collected into a deluxe hardcover. At times it could drag a little, as some chapters felt more episodic and inconsequential to the overall story, but these moments were outweighed by how messed up this story could get. So many horrifically imaginative moments of body horror and distortion of reality populate this book. The art is especially to die for, bringing the story together in a way that other artists could not.

ThroughTheLookingGlassLastly, I finally finished up the run of Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis et al that I’ve been going through, having finished the event The Black Vortex and the final volume Through the Looking Glass. I think I’m going to do a little write up on my experience trying to read through these. There’s a lot of good about the characters and some of the stories, but thanks to the way Marvel manages its books it was very frustrating to keep track of what was going on sometimes. I’ve been a frustrated regular reader before, and it wasn’t a feeling I welcomed back heartily.

Reading Next

ItDevours!I’ve still got to get started on It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, so I’m definitely going to be starting that novel either today or tomorrow. I’ve got a spike in available reading time coming up over the next week, so I’m hopefully going to power through it over that time so I can move on to other books. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t manage to read this book within October.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/10/25

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrorsI am a single short story away from finishing Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors. Though I tried, I did not manage to finish it off before today. Needless to say I will be finishing it off before today concludes, and a review will follow soon after. I’m enjoying it as I did Odd Jobs, though the stories feel less unified by a central concept. Nevertheless, they demonstrate that writers still have plenty of mileage with the character. The final story is called “Tales of the Worm Lord” and I’ve got a good feeling about a title like that.

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewI read another several stories from From a Certain Point of View, which has moved us along far enough to reach Mos Eisley. Some of the stories are getting rather creative, such as the story “Not For Nothing” by Mur Lafferty, which is written as a chapter out of the biography of the band that was playing at the cantina where Luke and Obi-Wan met Han and Chewbacca. I’ve put this book on hold now, however, to focus on getting others completed.

TheBlackVortexLastly, I’m a few issues into The Black Vortex by various, the Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men crossover I discovered I needed to pick up so I wouldn’t lose whole swathes of storyline. It’s been fine so far, though I haven’t gotten further than chapter two, which I read in Through the Looking Glass. At this point I sadly feel like I’m only finishing up this run on general principle.

Recently Finished

Nothing finished for this week, but I’m hopeful there will be more than one entry under this heading come next week.

Reading Next

UzumakiAs a surprise acquisition I managed to get a copy of Uzumaki by Junji Ito, a notorious horror writer and artist from Japan. It is specifically a deluxe hardcover, containing all three volumes of his limited horror series about a small coastal town afflicted not by a monster, spirit, or malevolent entity, but by spirals. I haven’t read much of his work, but I’ve seen plenty of his art and it is wonderfully chilling. A friend has been recommending this book for ages, so I expect a lot from it. Hopefully it shall be the perfect skin-crawling read in the final days before Halloween.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/10/04

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

Guards!Guards!Due to some current travel and misuse of reading time over the weekend I’m still about 100 pages shy of finishing Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett. Regardless, it is quickly becoming one of my favourite of the Discworld novels I’ve read thus far. I had already expected to really like it, but it has taken some unexpected turns that have made it even better. A figure I thought was only going to be a plot device became a key player in the plot and I love where it has gone thus far. I should have it finished soon, with a review up within the next week.

ThroughTheLookingGlassI started reading the final volume of the Guardians of the Galaxy run I’ve been going through, Through the Looking Glass, but was disappointed to find that once again half of the issues in the book tied into an event. I’ll be damned if I read chapter 2 and 7 of a story without filling in the holes, so I put the book down to pick up the event comic and read it at a later date. It’s a shame Marvel never let this series stand on its own much at all.

Recently Finished

It’s been a slow week, unfortunately, so nothing finished for this week. I’m hopeful this will be a lull in an otherwise busy month.

Reading Next

ItDevours!Since I haven’t dug into any horror just yet, here’s the third book I have planned for reading this month: It Devours! by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor, which will be released on October 17. I’m a big fan of Welcome to Night Vale and loved the first novel, so I’m really excited to see what strange and intriguing places this book goes to.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/09/27

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

Guards!Guards!At the moment I’m about a third through Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, the eighth Discworld novel and the first to feature Sam Vimes and the Night Watch. I like it a lot so far. We get a closer look at the inner-workings of municipal institutions and guilds in Ankh-Morpork than we’ve gotten thus far, which further explains how the Night Watch has been dwindled to a meaningless cluster of rag-tag guards, rather than any sort of actual law enforcement service. It’s humorous as usual, but looks like it will also have a lot of heart too. I’ve read the follow-up to this story, so I’m excited to see how the Watch will start to rise above their meager status.

Recently Finished

NeverwhereOver the weekend I finished reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, a review of which is forthcoming. While it’s not one of my favourite books by Gaiman, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. I cannot help but find myself engrossed by his writing style and the personality he injects into all of his characters. I particularly liked the blend of magical realism with stark reality, turning the world of “those who fell through the cracks” into a literal yet surreal place hidden under London, whilst not abandoning some of the dreary reality of those who find themselves at such a place in the world.

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyOriginalSinI also read Original Sin by Brian Michael Bendis and Ed McGuinness, the fifth volume in the run of Guardians of the Galaxy books I’ve been reading. Half of the book revealed events that took place before this run began, so I knew little of the context that would have allowed me to appreciate it. It was enjoyable nevertheless. The latter half continued where the last book left off, specifically concerning Venom’s symbiote reacting strangely to being away from Earth. I wish there was a little more to it, but I really liked what they revealed about where the symbiote originally came from and its true purpose.

Reading Next

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrorsOctober is just around the corner, and while I haven’t finished my planned reading quite yet, my line-up of spookier books is becoming more set. One such that I have planned is Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, a Hellboy short story collection edited by Christopher Golden. This book actually just released at the end of August, so I’m especially looking forward to digging into something so new.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/09/06

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

TheAeneidI started reading The Aeneid by Virgil (translation by Robert Fagles), though really I’ve only read the fairly lengthy introduction by Bernard Knox thus far. As with copies of The Iliad and The Odyssey I read, Knox’s introduction does a great job of giving historical context and background information on the poem and its author. A lot of the information I recall having been taught before, but it was great to get a refresher. It feels a lot better to have this primer than simply jumping into the poem.

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyGuardiansDisassembledI’m also in the middle of Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians Disassembled. Not only am I excited I’m finally reading about Agent Venom’s time on the team (the main reason I even picked these up) but it finally feels like an honest-to-god story about this team without loose ties to other story lines or playing a more supporting role. They’ve already started to plant the seeds that they’ll explore where the symbiote (Venom’s alien suit) comes from, and though some of that has been spoiled for me I’m excited to read it firsthand.

Recently Finished

DarkDiscipleI finished reading Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden just before the weekend last week. Had a good train ride into Toronto from my parents’ to finish it off before Fan Expo. I post a review on Monday, which you can read here. I enjoyed this novel quite a bit, especially having just concluded the series it was originally written for. What I imagined as I read as routinely in the style of the show. It even felt episodic at times, where the endings of certain chapters could easily have been the closing to credits in an episode. It is very much a novel for fans, however. If by chance someone tried getting into Star Wars with this book, I imagine they would find it more confusing than anything else.

Reading Next

NeverwhereThough I still have two Guardians of the Galaxy volumes left after the current one I’m on, I find myself looking toward other comic books series I need to complete. At Fan Expo I managed to hunt down the last two volumes of The Dark Tower prequel comic books series, so now I will definitely start reading those soon.

Otherwise, I want to get myself reading some Neil Gaiman again finally. I have two of his books on my 2017 to-read list, yet haven’t touched either yet. I will probably start Neverwhere once I’m finished with The Aeneid. Hopefully that will be within September, as I want to read some horror for October.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/08/16

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

HellboyOddJobsI recently started reading Hellboy: Odd Jobs, an anthology of short stories edited by Christopher Golden. I’d been focusing on getting some other books read, so I’ve only read one story so far. It captured the spirit of a single-issue Hellboy case quite well, though for a large chunk of it the story felt rather unremarkable. What did work well was how it dealt with its monster, Medusa, integrating more obscure aspects of her mythology into where she comes from. I also really liked how it depicted being petrified by her, and the subsequent reversal of stone back to flesh and blood. The visual evoked by worn and broken statues returning to what they once were was unsettling.

Recently Finished

PyramidsI finished reading Pyramids by Terry Pratchett a few days ago, which I posted a review of yesterday. This novel was much more interesting than I expected it to be, though admittedly that stems from knowing almost nothing about it. Unlike others in the series that I’m looking forward to, I read this one because it was next. Nevertheless, it tells a thoughtful tale of belief, ritual, identity, and how becoming too engrossed in accompanying traditions can prevent us from moving forward.

 

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyAngelaCoverI also finished Guardians of the Galaxy: Angela, the second volume in the series that ran from 2013 to 2015. Unlike the first volume, this was rather disappointing thanks to Marvel’s unfortunate tendency to tie independent series to their yearly events in half-assed ways. I had to look up information for their Age of Ultron event series as well as Infinity to have a frame of reference for what was going on. Angela was an interesting addition to the team, but I’m soured that I couldn’t just get an extensive Guardians of the Galaxy story instead of dealing with the leftovers and sidelines of other storylines.

Reading Next

DarkDiscipleI’ve finished watching The Clone Wars, so Star Wars: Dark Disciple looms in my near future. The only thing that makes me hesitate is my desire to watch the unfinished episode arcs available on the Star Wars website. I’m on a kick with this franchise right now, and knowing there’s more story (even if the animation is horrifically incomplete) is actually alluring to me right now.

Otherwise, I’ve been thinking more about the classics I wanted to get through this year like The Golden Ass by Apuleius and The Aeneid by Virgil. I especially need to get the latter of the two read so I can finish the connected trio of epics, even if The Aeneid was written far later and was basically propaganda to help legitimize the Roman Empire.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/08/02

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyCosmicAvengersCoverHaving just finished a number of books I’m taking things a little lighter with some Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis et al before I get back to some lovely walls of text. I’m only a couple of issues into the volume but I’m liking it a lot so far. I have to keep reminding myself character backstories are different from the movies, but the two interpretations are rather close to each other so it doesn’t throw things too much. I especially like that it has started to confront how insanely frequent cosmic threats are on Earth, and in turn shows how uncanny and even dangerous the planet looks to Galactic community.

Recently Finished

AssaultOnNewOlympusI finished reading the final two Incredible Hercules volumes I had, The Mighty Thorcules and Assault on New Olympus by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente et al. The former was a fun romp with Hercules along with meaningful plot development from Amadeus Cho. The latter was a worthy conclusion (though it’s not quite the last volume as it turns out) with everything that’s been building throughout the series finally coming together into a showdown of Olympic proportions.

I also finally concluded Reflections: On the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones and posted a review yesterday if you want to check out my thoughts in depth. It became a bit of a chore to read so much of it at once, but Jones’s insight was utterly valuable nonetheless. Though some details are repeated a lot, her history is fascinating as well. I only regret that I’m not yet a bigger fan of her work.

TheOldManAndTheSeaCoverLastly, within a span of eight hours I read through The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I know that’s no spectacular feat, it’s only 100 pages long, but I was proud of myself for sticking with that personal challenge all the same. The dialogue at the start felt a little rigid to me, but once it gets into Santiago’s struggle with the marlin things really pick up. I especially admire his determination to succeed mixed with reverence for nature and the animal itself, as well as the regret that can come with pursuing something so formidable to its death.

Reading Next

PyramidsI’m determined to get through the six volumes of Guardians of the Galaxy I picked up, so expect to see those here in the future. I’ve also decided to continue onward through Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. The next book shall be Pyramids, the seventh novel in the series. I’m interested to see how he produces a more standalone novel, unlike those previous which are parts of sub-series that continue throughout Discworld. I won’t be surprised if this novel has it’s connections and Easter eggs too, though.