Tag Archives: The Cubicle Escapee

The Casquette Girls

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.

My Review:  This book was fantastic, I loved every single moment of this book.  The characters, the relationships, the mystery.  Every. Single. Thing.   Lately I have been in a reading slump and haven’t really had a book that pulled me into the story.   This book pulled me out of the slump and now I can’t wait to devour books again.

This boo was exactly what I needed.

I loved Adele, to me she was a kick ass heroine that isn’t a weak character that depends on dudes to bail her out of situations. She was a fantastic heroine and I feel a lot of author’s could learn from her character.  Yes there is a love triangle but guess what she doesn’t need either dude.

They mystical element was not overdone and the vampire lore was a fantastic story element.  Like I said I could not stop reading this book, and so far this is my favorite book of 2017!

If I was you, I would go to Mutianyu

If I was going to recommend a section of the Great Wall I would recommend Mutianyu.  The section is beautiful and lacks people.

In fact, I was asked if I photo shopped a picture of me on the Great Wall because there were no people…  I mean there were people obviously but not crazy crowds

Plus this section is a bit fun, you can take a ride up to the tower of the Great Wall and then take a toboggan down if you are feeling adventurous.   I didn’t choose this route, because truthfully by time this week day came around I was beat & sore… very sore.  I chose to take the cable car both up and down (once again I was reminded just how out of shape I am) If you are super fit, you can hike your happy bottom all the way to the top and back down again, just make sure you give yourself ample time to do this… because this restored section of the wall is large… like really large.  It is hard to explain you really do have to see the Great Wall in person to understand just how impressive it is.

I can say, that if you are wanting to go to a fun section of the Great Wall this is your section.

If you like cable cars?  This is your section.

If you are wanting to go to a restored section of the Great Wall with less crowds?  This is your section.

I am so excited to have knocked another thing off my constantly growing bucket list, but the Great Wall and China were my number 1 bucket list item… so I guess I can die a happy chick now.

Have you been to the Great Wall?

Stay tuned for my favorite Great Wall photos 🙂

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN – DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Let me give you a word of warning: so far, before this Pirates movie, I have only thought the first one was fantastic. Dead Man’s Chest is only half a good movie, At World’s End feels like a disappointing remake of Matrix Revolutions, and At Stranger Tides is frankly a piece of absolute shit. So when I say that PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN – DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES is the best Pirates film since the first one, and the only other one I actually enjoyed immensely…you know I have to be telling the truth.  In fact when you wake up early on the weekend to make a 9 am showing like I did, and the movie captivated you the entire time, you know that you won’t make that movie swab the poop deck of your mind.

What the movie does well is try to be it’s own adventure. I know that On Stranger Tides did as well, but On Stranger Tides completely relied on Johnny Depp to bring the whole movie together, and it failed completely. It didn’t try to make you care about Ian McShane or Penelope Cruz’s character, and the Tree of Life MacGuffin was used so stupidly I can’t even fucking remember why they wanted to find it in the first place. I guess to live forever? Which if I wanted to watch a movie that pulls that off I’ll just stick The Last Crusade in my Blu-Ray player again. This MacGuffin, the Trident of Poseidon, actually has different purposes, not just for one character, but for ALL of the characters, where you actually want them to reach the goal because the goal is extremely important to the plot.

And while some people might think it is lazy writing, the film introduces new characters that have to do with past Pirates characters that we care about, so it actually has us default to care about them a little bit. But their acting also works as well. Brendon Thwaites and Kyra Scadder…(I’m not looking up how to spell her name so I’ll say the girl from The Maze Runner movies) are actually quite good in this and bring some chops that were missing from Ian MacShane and Penelope Cruz from the last adventure. The film also does a great job by not just relying on Johnny Depp to bring the movie together. He is there a lot, but the film gives equal time to the other characters so we don’t get sick of Depp’s performance like we did with On Stranger Tides. I also like that there are really two MacGuffin’s in this film, where the black compass that we have seen Depp with throughout all the movies, has an interesting role to play.

And I’ll get this also out of the way. Yes, you get to see Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly in this, but just a warn of warning, one character gets about 5 minutes of screentime, and the other maybe two minutes, so don’t rely on their nostalgia to make you like the film. I would be also remiss if I didn’t mention that the action sequences in this movie are all pretty awesome. Yes, you get the cool ship pirate battles with cannon balls galore but this film has so much more fun stuff in it. You get a great sequences of not just a bank safe but an entire bank building being dragged through a town, a cool sequence with zombie dead sharks trying to keep two of our heroes, and the finale (I don’t want to spoil it here) is the most memorable of all 5 movies, with incredible set design and special effects. Yes, it is even better than the finale of the first film.

Also, the movie finally had some balls on some of the fates of the characters. It managed to course correct one fate of a character I didn’t care with what they did with him/her in the last couple of films, and not everyone survives this journey, which I appreciated (everything can’t all be happy and hunky dory). Also, Javiar Bardem makes the next best villain since Geoffrey Rush in the original. I never really cared for Ian MacShane or Davy Jones in the other sequels. Be sure to stay through the entire credits for an extra important scene possibly setting up the next film (although I kind of don’t like what they might be doing) that gives two important characters one or two more minutes of screen time.

But I really really really enjoyed this Pirates film, and I can’t see why critics aren’t enjoying this one as well, especially when they enjoyed the so-so Dead Man’s Chest and meh-meh At World’s End. This movie is entertainment in spades and will definitely check this out again. Maybe I liked it so much because On Stranger Tides is one of the biggest pieces of shit at the bottom of the adventure ocean. But this film gets a promotion, and is nowhere near having to walk the plank for this Movie Pirate.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BAYWATCH

We all know that PG-13 comedies don’t work anymore. That’s why every comedy I am thinking of that comes out this summer, like BAYWATCH, Rough Night, Girl’s Night Out, are all rated R. Can you think of the last PG-13 comedy that actually worked? We need the dick, fart & vagina jokes. The ones that are clever at least. There are some R rated comedies that don’t work though. You can have the dick, fart & vagina jokes, but they aren’t that clever, and the chemistry of the actors can’t be there. With this, the jokes are hit & miss, it kind of drags a little in the middle, but the chemistry of all the actors, especially Johnson and Efron, make this film a very perfect, if ultimately forgettable, perfect one time Netflix watch.

I was bringing up PG-13 comedies because if this was PG-13, it would’ve been absolutely awful. While the jokes hit or miss, the jokes that do work are completely raunchy and wouldn’t worked edited for TV. While I think the mainstream critics are right on some of their critiques of this film, they are being a little too harsh. This food is not awful at all, at least watchable, and somewhat entertaining. It actually has  a story, and the magic charisma that Dwayne Johnson brings to every film is here and it works very well, especially with Efron. In fact, all the characters here work. Daddario has great romantic chemistry with Efron, and Rohrbach has great chemistry with the fat kid. And I also like that the fat kid didn’t have to win her the entire movie, that she actually liked him the whole time and just needed to display a little confidence to get to the next stage in their romance.

Also, Chopra (who is the main lead in TV’s Quantico), although VERY underused, made a great villain. I haven’t seen an episode of Quantico, but here acting here works, I just wished they used her a little bit more. I loved all the different names Johnson was giving Efron the entire movie, especially one that will make you laugh really hard because of it’s directness. The thing that could’ve rocked this movie into greatness though was if it poked more fun at itself, kind of like how 21 and 22 Jump Street did. There are a couple of jokes of how lifeguard’s doing what they are doing in this film is kind of ridiculous, but it doesn’t take that joke to the next level, and instead becomes buries itself in the plot that doesn’t matter, and gets a little too serious for it’s source material.

I saw this at the Alamo Drafthouse, which always has a great 30 minute pre show with selected baffoonery that gets material from Youtube that relates to the film that is about to play. I saw a bunch of ridiculous shit from Baywatch over the years, and the pre show kind of got me really amped because I saw a bunch of opportunity to really kick the old ridiculous show in the balls while also being ridiculous in its own right. And like I said, there are a couple of jokes in their, but it doesn’t take any of them where they need to go. It really is a missed opportunity and will ultimately what will make the film kind of forgettable for me in the long run.

But the critics are wrong, this movie isn’t horrible at all. It’s the perfect Netflix watch late night with friends while drunk or (I’ve never even smoked a cigarette so I’m just guessing) high as fuck. The film kind of drags in the middle, and the action sequences could’ve been more planned out, ridiculous, and fun, are kind of tame. But the film ultimately keeps it out of being mediocre from the chemistry of the leads and the good jokes that stick the landing. And the film has one of the better blooper reels in the credits that I have seen in a really long time. You won’t miss anything by seeing this in the theater, but if you are bored on a long hot summer day and you don’t want to be in a crowded pool area, you could do a lot worse than seeing this film.