Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Summary: Prequel to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Born into an oppressive, colonialist society, Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent sensuality and beauty, but soon after their marriage, rumors of madness in her family poison his mind against her. He forces Antoinette to conform to his rigid Victorian ideals.

My Review: I discovered this book in a late night googling session. I was researching books set in Dominica for my upcoming trip. SO I admit I simply requested the book from my local library and went about my day. I had no expectations I just needed a relevant book.

What I got was something amazing. This book is in fact a prequel to Jane Eyre, as I am some one that LOVES that book (hated in high school, loved in college) I knew I had to read it.

This book tackles hard subjects, namely slavery and what happened to people who were slave owners when you know, slavery became illegal. This book was a fascinating tale set in Jamaica, Dominica and England.

If you are someone that loves very realistic fiction that just so happens to be a prequel to one of the greatest books ever I highly recommend reading this book.

The book is divided into three parts.  All of the parts make up the journey as to how she became the mad woman in the attic and all work in one amazing way that even though this wasn’t written by Bronte it could have been.   In fact, this book really made me want to re-read Jane Eyre.

 

 

Road Fever by Tim Cahill

Summary: Tim Cahill reports on the road trip to end all road trips: a journey that took him from Tierra del Fuego to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in a record-breaking twenty three and a half days.

My Review:

I am a person that loves travel memoirs. I always find that they drive me to keep pursuing and working to achieve my goals of seeing the world. This book was fun mostly because at the time he traveled from Tierra del Fuego to Prudhoe Bay in record time.

At the time this was amazing and that is why I love this book. Going on an adventure like this was not the norm.  Now you are always hearing about some travel record being broken that if you love to travel like I do, you just go… not to beat some record because it will likely be broken the following week 🙂  That is why I love this book it was not normal and he WENT for it!

Very well written book. I laughed so much in this book. Anyone that has ever traveled will understand the perils he went through because they still exist today, so overall this is a great relaxing book to read!

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: SUPER TROOPERS 2 (pot free and spoiler free!)

I’m just going to break the ice, I think SUPER TROOPERS 2 is better than the original movie. I really do like the original movie (albeit I think it is still maybe a tad overrated), and I still think Beerfest is the best Broken Lizard film. I could go into a bunch of shenanigans about how comedy sequels rarely work, list the handful that do, and explain why they work, but I’ve done that kind of review before and am not going to do it again (I might touch up on it if Deadpool 2 turns out to be amazing). Here, I’m just going to tell you WHY I thought this one was better than the first, hopefully with valid reasons to you, the reader, and without divulging any of the really funny jokes. And I did this all without smoking any weed of any kind (I never have in my life, never have even tried a cigarette). So here we go with my first WTF comment:

If you rewatch the original Super Troopers, it is safe to say (and my friend Daniel pointed out to me right before seeing it) that the only the first 20 minutes of the movie are really funny and memorable, with small dashes of the minor skits of “meow” and the whole Farva/Burger incident along with it. While I still do really like the movie, it is more of a miss than hit affair. Time has been kind to the first film, as when I first saw it, I laughed at the first 20 minutes and was wondering why I wasn’t the last hour and ten minutes not so much. But just like Anchorman, Zoolander, and Cable Guy, multiple viewings is a must to bring a cult classic palette to your movie watching tongue.

With Super Troopers 2, I was consistently laughing throughout the entire thing. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some misses in this film and no, the beginning of 2 doesn’t even near kick the snosberries out from under the original, but the rest of the film does. While it doesn’t repeat any of the jokes from the original, a la the Austin Power movies, the crazy hijinks that they all get into were more hit than miss in this one (although there are one or two nods to the original jokes, but no outright re doing). There is this hilarious bit in where two of our lovable highway patrol men are dressed up as the Canadian border/highway troopers and use French accents to make ordinary words sound like dirty ones that had the whole audience on the floor.

The plot? It is just a means to an end. It’s kind of like the first one, drug related again, but the who-dun-it is sort of different. Basically, the guys are now doing different jobs like construction and what not because they were fired from their regular policing gig they got at the end of the first film because of a “Fred Savage incident” (stay a little bit into the credits to see what hilarity happened with the kid from The Wonder Years and Princess Bride). However, due to some weird ancestral border markers being moved or something like that, a little part of Canada is being moved into United States territory, so for some reason the mayor rehires them to replace the Canadian troopers and transition everyone and everything into the new United States territory. Sounds weird and messed up right? But it is actually hilarious. A bonkers off the wall plot just to merit there being an actual sequel to the first movie, where you get new funnier skits and a bunch of good Canada jokes galore. Eventually the guys find a bunch of different types of drugs stashed somewhere (what each drug does is hilariously brilliant) and they have to find out what is going on.

Anyway, giving even hints to the jokes, for which I am doing, feels wrong, so I won’t give out any more clues. Let’s just summarize by saying you get a bunch of funny celebrity cameos this time around, all the boys in the troop get fair and even screen time with a scene or two or three to shine. Farva, instead of being just annoying in this, is actually annoying and fucking hilarious, having some of the best liners from the two movies combined. Brian Cox seemed to really be in the game this time as, even though he is still the AND name on the poster, he has MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH more screen time in this than he did the original. The movie is silly. Just like the first one, but with better jokes and gags. Don’t go in expecting the greatest comedy plot of all time, just go with a friend and have a silly good time. Just to note, I had really really low expectations for this. I hope my review doesn’t lift your spirits up because coming out of the film you might think I’m insane. But for meow, I really did enjoy myself, and if you liked the first film, you’ll smile coming out of this one too I believe.

 

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: RAMPAGE (no spoilers)

You get exactly what the marketing for RAMPAGE promises you. A glorified hour and 40 minute film where the main citywide ultimate destruction happens within the last 30 to 35 minutes of the movie. And that last 35 minutes is filled with really great CGI, cool destruction scenes, and Dwayne Johnson being this decades Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold would have starred in this if this was made in the 90s. Easily. So what about the other hour of the film. Other than the cool little 5 minute prologue starring Marley Shelton with the best acting she’s ever done since The Sandlot, you get eye rolling set up with stupid bad guy characters, stupid plot devices, laughable dialogue, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan literally walking from The Walking Dead set to film this, not breaking character, but a good guy instead of a murderous psychopath.

Other than the last half hour, the movie is really a ho hum affair. As far as video game movies go (this is very loosely based, basically they took the three monsters and the antennae you are supposed to destroy in the game and tried their best to design an actual plot around it), this would probably be under Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat. But in the end, is that really saying much? This film was made to buy when it is on sale, and only watch if you have a giant screen and a great giant sound system, and then fast forward the movie and only stop and watch thru the destruction scenes.

And the movie really wouldn’t work at all if it weren’t for Dwayne Johnson and the actual bromance that works between him and George, the Albino Ape that goes ape-shit in the movie. Admit it, The Rock has great charisma (his best movie is easily The Rundown). That’s why half of his movies even work. And he’s not a bad actor. He’s certainly better than Schwarzenegger at his prime.  And Dwayne Johnson definitely hasn’t phoned in a performance yet (he will someday on a film he’s pushed into and doesn’t want to be in). The rest of the acting though in this film is laughable or bad. Bad in the sense that Malin Ackerman and Jake Lacy make the worst bad guys owning a multi million dollar company since….well, actually maybe ever. They are both terrible in this. Naomi Harris is okay but she looks like she’s just filling time before she’s called back on Bond 25.

And now let’s talk a tiny bit about Jeffrey Dean Morgan. He’s is Nice Negan in this. He literally walked over from the set of AMC, and just didn’t break character. Maybe that was the point and why he was hired? Instead of Negan in a black leather jacket, he’s wearing a suit, and instead of a bad, it’s a gun. But the Cowboy drawl is there, and even some of the dialogue seems like it was lifted from cut scenes from a Walking Dead script. He isn’t bad per say, but it was a little distracting and laughable. I did like how his character was actually smart and not some dumb government asshole, I just wish that it wasn’t a Negan-like performance, and it might’ve even been better than Johnson in the movie.

Again, let’s face it, the movie is ho-hum and almost laughably not watchable except for the first 5 minutes, and the last thirty. The destruction is awesome and the special effects are really good. The action cliches are watchable, and it brings me back to watching the best destruction parts in the first Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, San Andreas and even the stupidest shittiest parts of 2012. It’s not the cheesiest of cheese you can get, but it is a whole lot of cheddar. You just have to decide if you are lactose intolerant or not.

Just escape the cubicle already

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