Still Alice Book Review

A harrowing look at a crippling disease…..

Still Alice does not shy away from being a full on look at what Alzheimer’s can do and you can’t help but watch the entire time, no matter how bad it gets. I had heard about this book because just last year (2015) there was a movie adaption to the book. I never saw the movie but I made a mental note to myself to pick the book up and give it a read. And the book absolutely pulls at the feels (I don’t mean to sound disrespectful or sarcastic when I say that). Still Alice is a book that you won’t want to put down until you have read the last few words.

The Story

The story revolves around a distinguished psychology professor at Harvard, that goes by the name of Alice Howland, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s early on in the story. With early-onset Alzheimer’s, we follow the struggles of Alice as her mind is slowly deformed by the disease. Sound depressing? It really really is. But the book isn’t all “woe is me” the whole time like I make it sound. There are some really nice moments in this book, like rays of light shining between the words. Even though it seems like a depressing read, I would encourage everyone to read it because Still Alice is a very real book about a very real disease. In the story, we see family members fight over what to do with Alice, we see people drift from Alice because of her disease, and we also see Alice forget things. The story is very very informative about Alzheimer’s as well which is really cool. I never understood the science behind the disease, but this book lays it out for you on a table and I like that it did that. It’s obvious that the author, Lisa Genova, did her homework because you learn the causes of Alzheimer’s and the effects.

The Characters

Still Alice mainly revolves around Alice, her husband and her three children. Much of the struggles of the story are inward struggles in Alice’s mind, but we see a lot of tension in the family as well. There is one scene in the book that I absolutely love and it’s when the three children fight over how Alice should try to remember things in her day to day life. It paints the characters perfectly and also shows some tension that is likely to happen when a loved one has Alzheimer’s. We see the husband fighting with acceptance of the fact that Alice has Alzheimer’s and that leads to tension between the two as the story moves forward. All in all,  not only the story is real, but the characters are very real as well and I like that. Every character seems to build upon the story in different ways and you will grow to like the characters in the time that you’re with them.

The Verdict…….. 5 out of 5 

  • Offers a very real look at Alzheimer’s
  • Has a great cast of characters
  • Well written

I’d recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It’s a must read, even if it is a little depressing. What did you think of Still Alice? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you for giving this review a read! It really means alot to me. Stay tuned for more reviews and other sorts of blog posts! Have a great weekend!

Suicide Squad movie review

It’s finally here Ladies and Gentleman!

Suicide Squad, which was just released a couple of weeks ago, faces a large task of trying to redeem the DC movie universe after the tangled mess of BVS. If you haven’t read my review of that movie than you should know that I wasn’t a big fan of that movie. Let me just say right off the bat, I saw this movie as a definite improvement over Batman V Superman. Is it perfect? No. There are a number of imperfections in the movie that take away from an otherwise very fun experience.

The Story 

 The plot of the movie is honestly a little underwhelming though. I don’t want to say that it’s a jumbled mess, but you will feel slightly confused at some points. And the story definitely won’t blow you away. For most of the movie, I felt as if it was rushed. It was like we were being pushed from scene to scene with little time to do any sight-seeing. I found myself wishing for more scenes when it was just the Suicide Squad talking to each other (I explain more in the characters section) and not just spectating fight after fight. The villain didn’t seem threatening to me so it was kind of hard to care at some points. The squad didn’t seem challenged at all by their opponents which made it even harder to care. The story really did seem like a cut and paste job with a tacked on villain and a lack of depth. Where the movie might fall short on story however, I think it makes up with it’s cast of characters.

The Characters 

The characters and the actors were actually pretty great in this movie. Margot Robbie killed it as Harley, so did Will Smith as Deadshot. Viola Davis played the ruthless character, Amanda Waller and she did a killer job. Jai Courtney surprised me by playing a great Captain Boomerang. Basically everyone in this movie did a pretty good job (or at least I think). One of the most annoying things about the movie (as mentioned before) is that there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of interaction between the actual Suicide Squad. You can tell that the characters in the spotlight are Deadshot and Harley Quinn. The rest kind of fade into the background, delivering one liners at the appropriate times. It makes you kind of roll your eyes when they talk about being like a family (Like really? You guys have barely said ten words to each other all night). One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when the squad are in a bar (you see it in the trailer) and they’re just talking to each other, building their characters. I think these actors actually have some great chemistry with each other and it makes the bar scene really stand out from the movie. If only there were more moments like that.  

Now let’s talk about the Joker, played by Jared Leto. Now we’ve all heard the crazy stories that surrounded him while he made this movie and we’ve also heard some harsh words said about him playing as the Joker. I for one, will not be jumping to any conclusions about his character. He’s more of a cameo than an actual character in this movie and that’s not entirely a bad thing. I wouldn’t call his performance bad however. It was merely a new and interesting take on the Joker and I don’t think we’ve seen enough to judge so harshly. I for one am very excited to see more of Leto’s take on the character. If you absolutely needed to hear my opinion, however, I’d have to say that I kind of like what Leto is doing. So to all those critics that are calling for Leto’s head, let’s tone it down a little shall we? I mean the guy took this role on after Heath Ledger gave his legendary performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Leto’s obviously gotta be a little crazy for doing that right?

The Verdict…….. 3.0 out of 5

  • rushed story
  • lame villain
  • great actors and great chemistry

Suicide Squad is not a bad movie but it has some weird flaws in it that really annoyed me. Obviously there are always going to be people with different opinions. Feel free to let me know what you thought of this movie in the comments! Did you like Jared Leto as the Joker? Did you like the movie or did you hate it?

Thank you for reading and I’ll catch you next time…..

 

Green Day Releases a new single “Bang Bang”

Green Day just released a BANGING new single!

It seems that I’ve finally crawled out from the void of summer long enough to write a litte track review of the latest Green Day single. It was released just a few days ago and I’m sure most of the diehard Green Day fans have heard it already, looked up the various interviews about the song and even heard about the new album. That’s right, Green Day finally has a new album coming out in October called Revolution Radio and I couldn’t be more excited to listen to it. If you haven’t heard about it then you can find the video for the song right below!

Part of this is due to the pretty awesome single that was released yesterday called Bang Bang. Now if you know me, I’ve been a huge Green Day fan since middle school. I love everything they have done (granted, it’s not always perfect) from 1,039 Smoothed out Slappy Hours all the way to Uno, Dos and Tre. You can say what you will about Green Day but these guys obviously aren’t going anywhere anytime soon with Revolution Radio being their 12th studio album.

But anyways, back to the single. Bang Bang is a fast paced song with lyrics that describe mass shootings from the POV of the shooter. It makes for an interesting (if not disturbing) look at the situation surrounding maniacs and gun control. The song should immediately resonate with old time Green Day fans just because of the energy, which feels like something that’s been missing since the Nimrod days. What’s even cooler is that the melodies and lyrics give off a very 21st Century Breakdown vibe. It’s almost as if they took the fast aspect of punk rock and combined it with some of the darker sounds that they’ve flirted with in the past. In my own opinion, it makes a perfect combination.

All in all, I think Bang Bang was a pretty great first single for Green Day to release. It got me pumped and excited for what is to come in the future. I’ve already preordered the new album! Thank you for giving this a read and as promised, the lyric video for Bang Bang is right below. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Bang Bang Lyric video

 

P.S

I actually really liked 21st Century Breakdown. Fight me.

The Shallows offers an intense experience

The Shallows opened in theaters a long time ago, I know, but I actually just saw it the other night. Since I need to go into overdrive for the next few weeks and catch up on my posting and what not, I decided to write a review for this movie. Is The Shallows perfect? Absolutely not, but it does make your heart race if you can suspend your beliefs a little.

The Shallows takes place somewhere in Mexico when a girl that goes by the name of…….. you know what? We’ll just call her Blake Lively, since she’s the actress who stars as her. Anyways, Blake is currently running from her life after her mom recently passed away. She dropped out of med school and instead went on a world tour of sorts. She goes to a secret beach that her mom told her about so she can go surfing. Long story short, she gets stranded on a rock that is just 200 yards from the shore with a killer shark circling around her.

It’s a pretty simple premise, but it works wonders in terms of cranking up the intensity. The fact that Blake can see the shore throughout the entire movie but she can’t seem to get at it adds to her desperate situation. Blake Lively did an excellent job and she really carries this movie actually. She’s probably not going to win an oscar for this performance but she proves that she’s got a natural talent for it.

The Shallows is an intense survival movie starring Blake Lively who is trapped on a rock by a killer shark
The Shallows is an intense survival movie starring Blake Lively who finds herself trapped on a rock by a killer shark.

Now of course, this movie isn’t without it’s flaws. One of the big flaws is the shark itself. The CGI didn’t look too great in this movie, first of all. It doesn’t necessarily ruin the whole movie but it was a minor annoyance with me. Oh and the shark’s behavior was definitely unbelievable. I’m sorry but there really aren’t any wild sharks that will hang around a rock for three days, kill three people and be able to do some of the other things that this shark does in this movie. When watching this movie, you pretty much have to completely erase your mind of everything that you know about sharks. Oh and it was unbelievable how stupid Blake’s character was. She told her driver at the beginning that he didn’t need to come check on her, even after he told her he lived close by. She didn’t have a designated ride (Uber doesn’t count) and she was in the water alone, swimming up to dead whales. I just shook my head the whole time during the first half hour of this movie.

I think my favorite part about this movie was the cinematography. The Shallows blew my mind with the camera shots. The angles and the action were obviously thought out very thoroughly and shot very well.

The Verdict………3.0 out of 5

  • Intense
  • Great acting
  • A little unbelievable

Thank you guys for reading this review! Have you seen this movie yet? If so, what did you think? Do you plan to see the movie? Leave a comment below and let me know! Please like and subscribe to my blog if you wanna see more reviews just like this one! Thank you again!

California Album Review

One of the biggest bands in pop punk is back…..

…….but this time with a slight twist in the line-up. For those of you who weren’t on the internet at all during 2015, Tom DeLonge was pretty much kicked out of Blink 182 and he is currently being replaced by Matt Skiba (frontman for Alkaline Trio). Now with Tom DeLonge on the sidelines, I can see why some people might be anxious about this new album and even angry that Blink 182 would go on without the famous UFO enthusiast. Let me assure you that DeLonge was not the only person that made Blink 182 what they are today (a band that knows how to put out a good tune) and this album proves it over and over again.

California will get all of the old Blink fans feeling nostalgic for earlier days with some recycled riffs and ridiculous songs such as ‘We Built This Pool’ and ‘Brohemian Rhapsody.’ Some people might not like the rehashed riffs and sounds, which is understandable, but I can see why this kind of album needed to be written in the first place. With a lot of people saying that Blink wasn’t Blink without Tom, I guess Mark wanted to show them that they’re wrong. Even with the recycled riffs and familiar sounds, you can’t deny that California is a great time. You’ll be singing along with the lyrics in no time, jumping like a madman whether you’re seeing them live or you’re listening to them in the car (on a side note, please don’t jump around like a madman while you’re in a car). I feel like Travis Barker always brings his best and California is no exception. Just the first song, ‘Cynical’ sees Travis going crazy with those sticks and it only goes uphill from there.

Mark Hoppus and Matt Skiba are absolute beasts at the vocals, switching seamlessly and taking turns for different verses and choruses and it sounds great. It almost sounds like they’ve been playing together for years and they’ve only just now  created an album together. They don’t harmonize too much in the album, however, which is kinda different from the dynamic between Mark and Tom. I also believe that Matt’s influence on the album was a little lacking. I know he writes darker songs in general and he’s really only stepping in for now, but I feel like he could have helped push the band in new directions.

That’s probably the worst part of the album. It feels like the band is staying in the same place. I know I said just earlier that I understand why they re-hashed some riffs and sounds, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t wish they would experiment a bit more in the genre. There are a few songs that sound more progressive than others such as ‘Los Angeles’ and ‘Home is Such A Lonely Place’ but overall, this album is classic Blink. Some might not like it and some others might. All in all, California finds a comfortable middle for the band with plenty of room to grow.

The Verdict………….4.0 out of 5 

  • Great vocals
  • Some amazing drumming from Travis Barker
  • Re-hashed sounds and riffs
  • A whole lot of fun

But enough about what I think! What did you guys think about the album? Do you guys hope to see Matt Skiba become a full-time member of Blink or would you like to see the return of Tom? Leave a comment and let me know what you think! Thank you very much for giving this review a read and please like and share this if you liked it. Have a great day!

Captain America: Civil War movie review 

What a great movie!

I’m just going to start this review off by saying this is in fact a freaking awesome movie and you should definitely go see it. It’s one of the best Marvel movies yet! So if you don’t want to read this whole thing, then I’ll just say it now: Captain America: Civil War is worth watching.

The Story

Civil War starts off strong and only gets stronger. There’s a lot of tension between the Avengers and the government currently and the Avengers are taking sides with one side led by Tony Stark and the other side led by Steve Rogers. Tony believes that it is best if the Avengers and all other superheroes are controlled by the government while Steve thinks that it’s the worst idea because politicians have agendas and the government would hinder the Avengers from ddoing ther job. The first half of this movie is really just alot of the ideologies clashing without any real fighting between the heroes. We have a lot of scenes where the Avengers debate amongst themselves about what’s right and what’s wrong. Let me be honest….. you’re going to change which side you support throughout the runtime of this movie (that is until the last 30 minutes or so) which is awesome. Both sides make some really good points and you feel very torn between the two which makes it even harder to watch the fight ensue. Throughout the movie things continue to escalate until we have a big fight scene between both sides which was awesome. I think my favorite part about the entire movie was this fight scene and more specifically Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Someone give that guy a medal because he KILLED IT. I look forward to seeing him in future Marvel movies because he was just awesome. Don’t believe me? Go see it for yourself. Alright so I have one minor complaint about the story overall and it doesn’t really take away from the movie, but it did kind of nag at me while I watched it. The funny part is, I was kind of expecting it. Since this is a Captain America movie, you can guess that this movie very subtly takes the side of Captain America. At first the movie has two very clear sides with very debatable opinions, but as the movie progresses Captain America seems more and more like the good guy of the movie and Tony Stark is the bad guy. Now before you get angry, I know that Tony isn’t a bad guy, but there are certain situations in the movie that seemed to paint Captain America in the good light and Tony in the bad. It just annoyed me a little bit but it didn’t ruin the movie.

The Characters

I believe this is the first movie where we see everyone in it (exclluding Guardians of the Galaxy) since Ant-Man and it’s a real thrill. The ony thing that is possibly better than the story is the characters who bring the story to life. It was just awesome to see Scarlett Witch go up against Vision and to see Spider-Man face off against Ant-Man and etc. Oh and it is always a pleasure to see Bucky back on the screen as well. I was excited to see Bucky again because, frankly, I thought he did such a wonderful job with Captain America: Winter Soldier. I think he grows even more as a character in this movie and it was pretty great, getting to see him fight alongside Captain America again. Oh and did I mention Spider-Man and hw amazing he was? For the first time on screen, I actually felt like I was watching a teenager so good job there. Basically I just really liked seeing all the characters and finally getting to see them face off. It was a real good time and has officially revamped me for future Marvel movies.

The Verdict……..4.0 out of 5.0

  • Awesome story
  • great characters and great actors
  • Spider-Man
  • Awesome fight scenes

Alright so what did you guys think of this movie? Leave a comment and let me know! Be sure to like and share if you liked this review. Don’t be afraid to subscribe either! If you would like to see more of my reviews and many other things I write, you just need to look to the sidebar on th eleft and you can check it out. Thank you guys so much for giving this a read.

Misadventures Album Review

It’s been FOUR STINKING years since Pierce the Veil released their last album, Collide With The Sky and it’s a given that fans have been dying to hear some new music. Misadventures is the 4th album by the band released May 13 of this year. A little history on my love for Pierce the Veil: the first song I heard by them was King for a Day and I was hooked. I soon bought their album, Collide with The Sky and listened to it on repeat for a few weeks. I also listened to their older albums and I just really fell in love with them. They just seemed pretty different to me, even for a postcore band. So now, after four years in the shadows, how does Pierce the Veil sound in their new album?

Awesome. They just sound awesome in this new album. It was definitely worth the four year wait to get our hands on some new music. Pierce the Veil has honestly taken it up a notch in terms of writing music. I’ve already hit repeat on this album 4 times.

The album opens with the song, ‘Dive In’, which starts off pretty slow but goes from 0 to 100 real quick. You can tell immediately from this song that Pierce the Veil is still Pierce the Veil, with their melancholy tunes and sick breakdowns. The breakdown in ‘Dive In’ is just brilliant and the rest of the breakdowns in this album follow the same formula. They all sound so groovy, like I’m serious, they all just flow really well. You don’t just want to headbang and jump around like a crazy person, you can just nod in appreciation to how it sounds (but I’ll headbang like a crazy person anyways). So yes the breakdowns are impressive and they are among some of the best I’ve heard. Besides the breakdowns, Pierce the Veil keeps the melancholy melodies that they’re so good at. Vic’s vocals match the music really well, as always and his screams are exceptional. I feel as if Pierce the Veil has struck such a great balance between brutality and melody which makes for a great listening experience. If this album has shown anything, it’s that a band can still sound just as new and refreshing when playing with the same formula.

I have a few gripes however (I know, I know). Sometimes I would be listening to the music and there were a few parts in the album (I don’t remember on which songs right now) that seemed a little forced and a little awkward. It kind of disrupted the flow of the album which is only a minor grievance.

All in all, Misadventures is a great album and was honestly worth the four year wait. Pierce the Veil has obviously still got it and they’re tearing it up with some great tunes.

The Verdict…………….4.0 out of 5

  • great breakdowns
  • excellent vocals
  • very original sounding music
  • some awkward/forced parts

Thank you guys for giving this review a read! Be sure and give this a like and a share if you liked it! Also, feel free to check out my other reviews and such on the sidebar to the left. What did you think of Misadventures? Comment below and let me know! Have a terrific week!