“My Friend Dahmer” by Derf Backdorf (2012)

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I first heard about this graphic novel/memoir hybrid when it was first released a few years ago, and while I thought it seemed interesting, I’d no serious inclination to track it down.  It’s funny how sometimes these things end up finding me.  I’m on a book binge recently was browsing through the local library yesterday when I happened upon My Friend Dahmer.  I checked it, came home, and binged on it.  At about halfway through, I realized My Friend Dahmer was having a negative affect on my psychological well-being.  I had to put it down.  I woke up unable to sleep around 3 am today and finished this book over a cup of coffee. Continue reading

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

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Let me start off by saying two things:

1)  In high school I was a big Star Wars fan.  Time has eroded this.

2)  This review contains spoilers and assumes you’ve seen the film.

The Force Awakens is the first of the new new Star Wars trilogy of sequels and follows a new group of heroes and villains as they square off for control of the galaxy.  After defeating the empire in Return of the Jedi the rebel alliance is now again trying to defend the freedom of the galaxy against the First Order — a group trying to reinstate the Empire (at least that’s what I think — the film never explains this).  The First Order is helmed by new Sith Lord, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver, Girls, and I just threw up a bit in my mouth).  Continue reading

Phantasm II (1988)

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Sometime in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, I was hanging out in the lobby of a movie theater with my parents looking at posters and being enthralled at one for an upcoming film called Phantasm II.  “What’s a phantasm?”, I asked my mom, followed by “There’s a Phantasm part one?”.  I immediately had to look up the word “phantasm” in the dictionary, and tried to get my parents to let me rent the first movie.  I was unsuccessful on the latter, but somehow managed to get them to rent Phantasm II for me shortly upon it’s release on VHS.  We had a car that was broken down and I think they were more preoccupied with getting it fixed than what I was watching on TV.  And so I finally saw a film that would become one of my favorites and introduce me to a series that would become a lifelong obsession. Continue reading

“Driven” by James Sallis (2012)

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A year after the film adaptation of his book Drive, James Sallis returns to his character of Driver to tell the story of what leads to him “going down at 3 am on a cool morning in Tijuana”.  Seven years after leaving L.A., Driver has assumed a new identity, established a business, and gotten engaged.  All that is taken when two thugs kill his fiancee, setting off another violent chain of events that puts Driver back to doing what he does best. Continue reading

“Drive” by James Sallis (2006)

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Set somewhere in a time period where pay phones exist, Drive tells the minimalist tale of The Driver, a stunt man by day who moonlights as a getaway driver during his off hours.  He falls in love with his neighbor Irene, whose husband (Standard) is in prison for a robbery.  After Standard is released, he strikes up a very profitable friendship with The Driver.  After a job goes wrong, Driver finds himself with a bag full of money belonging to the mafia and a price on his head.  He doesn’t take kindly to this and ends up having to kill a bunch of people to survive.  Continue reading