This blog is mostly going to be reviews of books, comics, and occasionally movies, that I have read or watched. These reviews also appear on Goodreads, and I will occasionally do a compilation post of shorter reviews I did for that site that don’t necessarily warrant a full work-up here. I do review for the San Francisco/Manhattan Book Review, and those reviews appear here as well–usually in a longer form, since I typically have more to say than their 200 words will allow. The views expressed within are simply my opinions, and should be taken accordingly. I would be more than happy to discuss them, if you care to leave a comment. I encourage it, in fact! I also have a tendency to binge on one particular series or another, meaning that at times you are going to be inundated by Star Wars or Buffy reviews. Sorry, not sorry. If that’s not up your alley, just click on past. Even at those times, I’m not solely consuming such media….its just that I can read an arc of a particular comic book in the course of a couple hours, whereas other things take more time.
My views: I am a Christian, and politically very Conservative flirting with Libertarianism. These views fall into the “not up for debate” category–that’s not why I’m doing this. Any comments attacking me for these views will be deleted.
My assessment of the content in books, movies, or comics: I will usually include in any given review a statement about what a reader/viewer can expect in the way of profanity/sexual content/violence from the work reviewed. I will also say a word about any occult material present, if any. As noted above, I am a Christian. However, I believe that it is sometimes necessary–even appropriate–for this material to show up in a story, if it is done well. For example, profanity can be used by an author in an attempt to illustrate something about a character or a situation without it becoming gratuitous. Does that mean its appropriate for all audiences? Not by any means. The movie Gran Torino is a good example–it is clearly an R-rated film, and deservedly so, but for an audience that can handle the violence, profanity and racial slurs it tells a powerful story. In fact, the film would be diminished by the censorship of the profanity and racist language. Another example: the sex scene in The Terminator is central to the entire movie franchise–if Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese don’t shack up, John Connor is never born to start the whole thing (yes, I realize its a paradox, shut up). But that doesn’t mean I need to see it in such graphic detail. Its perfectly obvious what’s going to happen well before the scene gets R-rated.
I will also note that I do not dismiss a work simply because it features magic or the occult. I saw no problem with how magic was handled in Harry Potter. I understand those who do, though I respectfully disagree, and so will make note of when such appears in a story.
Over the years I’ve gone back and forth on the issue of the proper chronological order to read series in–either publication order or internal chronology. I’ve settled, at least for now, on reading things in the order they were published the first time through, then in future read-throughs going by internal chronology. In the case of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, the first book chronologically, The Magician’s Nephew, is not nearly as strong a book if you haven’t read the first published entry, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. In the Star Wars films, Darth Vader’s initial scene in A New Hope doesn’t have quite the menace it had in 1977 if you have already seen the much-maligned prequel films released in the last decade and a half.