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Rated: 4/5

500 Days of Summer

Tom has found "the one", the girl he's destined to be with for the rest of his life, he's found Summer. Unfortunately Summer doesn't believe in either destiny or long term relationships. 500 Days of Summer chronicles their time together, but as the opening narration warns, this is not a love story (actually it is, just not a typical love story). 500 Days of Summer is an emotionally resonant portrayal of a couple with mismatched expectations that manages to stay light-hearted while dealing with the worst part of love gone wrong.

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Rated: 2/5


After the loss of their child, a husband tries to help his wife through her grief and mental anguish, uncovering deeper issues and leading into a spiral of violence. With hints at the either the supernatural or insanity, Antichrist contains some beautifully crafted and well acted scenes as well as scenes of graphic sex and genital mutilation. Although Antichrist appeared to tell me a story, in the end I could not make enough sense of it to justify the experience of watching it.

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Rated: 3.5/5

Battle Royale

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami takes place in an alternative Japan named "The Republic of Greater Asia" ruled by "The Great Dictator". Every year as part of an ongoing research project the republic runs an event informally known as "Battle Royale" where all of the students of a randomly selected high school class must kill or be killed. While the physical story follows the students to the competition's bitter end, the psychological story is an exploration of humanity when life is on the line. And there's more going on than first appears. As grim or as silly as this concept sounds, the book worked for me. I often drifted off in reflection exploring my own morals.

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Rated: 4/5

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik

Empire of Ivory is the fourth book in the Temeraire series, by Naomi Novik, and literally picks up where book three left off. Far from a happy homecoming, Captain Will Laurence and dragon Temeraire discover an epidemic is ravaging the Aerial Corps. As one of the few healthy dragon teams left, if falls to Laurence and Temeraire to search out a cure ... a search taking them to Africa: the dark continent.

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Rated: 3/5

Full Dark House

Full Dark House is the first book in Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May mystery series. Arthur Bryant and John May are a classic pair of odd couple opposites partnered together in the North London Peculiar Crimes Unit. The story starts, "It really was a hell of a blast." and we discover one of the team is dead. The other sets out to solve the murder and discovers it's linked to their first case together. Fowler wove an interesting mystery and it's what kept me going to the end of the story. Unfortunately, his characters didn't click for me, making it just an OK read.

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Rated: 4.5/5

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In is hard to pin down. It's a story about a boy and a girl, it's a story about relationships, it's a story about bullying, it's a story about isolation, and it's a vampire story. Oskar is isolated, bullied, and harboring pent up aggression. When he meets his new neighbour Eli a friendship rapidly developments and we learn Eli is not a normal girl. The story is a study of two damaged people finding each other, with some disturbing overtones enabled by supernatural story points. Let the Right One In had my full attention as it unfolded and left me saying "wow" when it was done.

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Rated: 3.5/5


Moon is the story of Sam Bell, the lone worker on a lunar mining base. Not only is he getting ready to go home after working in isolation for 3 years, he may be going crazy. Moon is a solid sci-fi psycho-thriller and I enjoyed watching the story, with all its mysteries, unfold. Sam Rockwell puts in a great performance. Unfortunately, the dramatic tension never seemed to increase and I found the story a bit flat. Even with its lack of high-tension I enjoyed Moon, and recommend it to sci-fi fans.

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Rated: 4/5

Perdido Street Station

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville is the story of a scientist named Isaac in an alternative Victorianesque city. Entirely by accident Isaac has loosed something dangerous on the city and he's desperately trying to make things right. The city has a government out of the movie Brazil, the science is steampunk with a dash of magic, and the humans aren't the only intelligent beings in the city. After a slow start, there's a lot of details to assimilate, Perdido Street Station was a hell of read! Like pop-rocks for the brain story details fired my imagination and stimulated my thoughts in sometimes horrific but mostly delightful ways. Recommended.

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Rated: 3/5

Prince of Persia

Based on the video game of the same name, a prince saves the world. It's a fun romp if you don't think too hard about the plot.

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Rated: 4/5


Revanche is a brooding character study of one man's loss and the revenge he contemplates for it. You don't want to know too much about this movie before seeing it. It's a chameleon that will pleasantly surprise you with some unpredictable moments. Though it's Austrian with English subtitles, so much of the communication is visual you won't do as much reading as you might think.

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