Review: City of Glass – Cassandra Clare

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The Mortal Instruments #3

SYNOPSIS: To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost? – via Goodreads

Continuing my binge, I zipped right on through this one, and it is without a doubt my favourite of the bunch so far. It’s a great read that answers questions, does its thing, builds on a fantastic story so far, and is really immersive.

We return to the world of the Shadowhunters, and ideas that have been taking shape in my mind since the first book have started to come to fruition here, and it has been awfully rewarding. Also, there was a plotsie that happened that had us all cheering, because nobody really believed the whole thing of Jace and Clary being related (right? Or my denial was so strong). I think it would have been more ballsy if Clare had left that one there, that would have been the shocker of note, so I think we were all really just waiting for her to correct things. Anyway.

Our favourite characters are back, and we get to journey to Alicante, the city we have heard so much about and never been to, so it is fascinating to read about the city and the laws. Jace is his tortured self, and reading about him and Clary is painfully heartbreaking. I loved reading about Luke assembling the Downworlders to work with the Shadowhunters, to potentially unite against Valentine, because unity is strength. While we are on that topic, we get so much more insight into Valentine and the monster that he is and it is properly horrifying. Ick man, that man is cuckoo katchoo! What a dark bastard, but great for us who likes a good villain.

So many events take place in this book, and you are so hooked you just race on through it to learn more. The characters, too, change and grow in this, becoming even more real, and the relationships between characters grows more complicated in some instances, and less in others, but all the while moving towards something. I do so love reading about this world, it is fascinating. I really hope that they speak more about the concept of parabatai, it is such an enthralling idea, so painful and yet so full of hope.

City of Glass breezes buy. It is chock full of action and plot developments, character growth and revelations, and I adored every second of it. The others have entertained me, but this one ensnared me. I was so hooked. I feel like I loved this one so much that I can’t collect myself enough to really review this and express myself properly. Oh well. Now on to the next!

Review: City of Ashes – Cassandra Clare

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The Mortal Instruments #2

SYNOPSIS: Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father? – via Goodreads

So I dove straight on into this one after City of Bones. Naturally, this was after I calmed down about that horrific plotsie. Meaning I had to sleep on it, collect myself, breathe deeply, steel myself and then return to the world of the Shadowhunters. Glad I did, even though I still want to flip the heck out about the Jace/Clary arc. UGHHH. But we will come back to that.

City of Ashes returns with Clary’s mother still being comatose in hospital, which is, of course, exactly what Clary needs, what with this entire alien world and all the confusion it brings. Like, why would she need guidance? There is also the sudden shifts of Jace being close to the Lightwoods to them being his actual adoptive family, which was never actually mentioned in the first book. But we will move on from that. The book wastes no time getting back on the “Valentine is cuckoo crazy” train, and the journey is still good (though, just like the first, a little long in places).

There was so much frustration, pain, and suffering for me reading the scenes between Jace and Clary, and I don’t know when last I resented something so much and wanted it changed. There were parts of this book that inspired hope that it’s all been a mistake, and others that make me afraid Clare will try stick with this preposterous development. Then there is Clary and Simon, who actually start sort of dating each other, and it is just awkward. Like, it doesn’t feel right, even though I like Simon, I don’t like him with her, and he deserves someone that wants him totally, too. The Magnus and Alec arc is also a strange one, but one I totally appreciate and am hoping for the absolute best on.

There is more craziness going down than you can shake a stick at in this one, and not nearly as much world building as City of Bones, but that does not make this any less engaging or entertaining. I am quite enjoying this series so far, and will definitely see where it goes. There is a lot going on with Valentine, and the more I read about him, the more I think he is not nearly as straightforward a villain as you are initially led to believe, which is interesting. The Inquisitor made me think a little of Umbridge in some ways.

In any even, this series has been good so far, and I hope it continues this way. City of Ashes is an easy read, though a touch too long (as I said), but I am enjoying them. There is a lot to like here, I can highly recommend.

Rapid Review: Constantine (2005)

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“What if I told you that God and the devil made a wager, a kind of standing bet for the souls of all mankind?”
– John Constantine

SYNOPSIS: The story of irreverent supernatural detective John Constantine, who has literally been to Hell and back. When Constantine teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost. – via IMDB

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GRADE 7.5This is a movie that really isn’t as bad as people make it out to be, and I thought that Keanu Reeves was, in actual fact, cast really well for the role. I thought that the way the movie was laid out was decent, and the story itself was cool, too, though there were some inconsistencies and plot holes. That plagues most movies though. I have a soft spot for this. Constantine really is the most bizarre and hardcore exorcist, and he is hell bent on enforcing the balance. The cast was also good, and even Rachel Weisz didn’t get on my nerves or anything. Constantine boasts some insane cheese, but it works absolute wonders here. The war that was described in the movie between Heaven and Hell was interesting, and the way that Hell looked was impressive, too. I didn’t think the effects were awful or anything, especially when taking into consideration how long ago this was made. Keanu Reeves rocked the white shirt, black tie, black pants, severe smoker and tortured soul thing – so good at being deadpan – I really thought he was well suited, despite what so many other people have to say. There is just insane amounts of fun to be had with this movie, really. It has a cult following for a reason. It had cheese in the right places, humour, too, and a solid cast to carry it. The effects weren’t bad and the progression was exactly what it needed to be. The movie manages to introduce us to Constantine and his world before immersing itself in the battle between Heaven and Hell adequately, so that we are not thrown into the deep end and left floundering. Also, I need to make mention of the tease that Constantine was in this… I mean if I were Angela I would have flipped out with his lingering and never doing more. The frustration. Poor woman. Anyway, if you haven’t seen Constantine, I think it is well worth looking into and a good time to boot, just don’t take it too seriously, you will ruin the experience for yourself. Oh, and embrace the cheese.

JB & The Chop Do: Amityville 3-D (1983)

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In what will surely become a hotly contested and polarizing debate, today we present the abysmal Amityville 3D (sometimes tagged with “The Demon”). I thought this movies was going OK until we got to the last act when I almost croaked out of unbelief. WHAT. THE. FUCK? Who thought that was OK?? ARGGGGGGGGH! My part contains spoilers if you feel like watching this….

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SYNOPSIS: A reporter moves into the ominous Long Island house to debunk it of the recent supernatural events and becomes besieged by the evil manifestations which are connected to a hell-spawn demon lurking in the basement. – via IMDB

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By now we all know how much Sweet, Tiny JB hated Amityville 2 but I still contend that it’s better than this turd. This thing starts off with a couple of dopes researching the murder house in question. While the copy I watched was NOT 3-D, the 3-D effects were absolutely HORRIBLE looking and I questioned the 80s for ever existing. Anyway – these two dopes debunk the house for being stupid and eliciting fear for money and then they shoo everyone out of the house by opening their overcoats and exposing their floppy dongs.  Then, the guy who looks like Will Farrell’s dad BUYS the house for dirt cheap and tells his old lady ” We bought the house, not the ghosts, Sugarlips.”

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Soon, Meg Ryan and the chick from Full House come calling – playing the daughter to whatshisface and her bestie friend.  They’re cute and, according to fashion at the time, they wear their Guess? jeans up over their belly buttons and say things like “Rad!” and “This is fresh!” and “Bitchin’!”

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After a typical series of scenes involving fucking flies and a giant hole in the ground that goes to hell that no one has ever sealed up, Ryan wonders what it would be like to have sex with a ghost and then they do some Ouija conjuring.

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Eventually, the pervert flasher gets trapped in an elevator, there’s more flies and dripping blood and then, just when you think “I guess this is going OK, I wonder how I’ll review this,” the daughter drowns out in the lake and comes back to Earth as this:

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“RAAAAAAAH RAAAAAAAAHHR RAAAAAAHHHHHHHRRRRRRRR!!” She says with light coming out of her mouth. “RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHR RAAAAAAAAHHHHHHR!!”

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So she kills the one pervert guy and the other guy and his squeeze escape and the fucking house explodes to smithereens so there can be NO MORE SEQUELS. Because the house exploded in fiery 3-D flames they can’t possibly have an estate auction selling off the possessions of the family that lived in it prior, before it went to auction. Right? It EXPLODED.

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Elsewhere, Margot Kidder shits herself in disgust after viewing this…..

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I totally hated this movie and I totally hate this foreign poster for it:

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Now, I know that this is one sorry little film for the Chop, but let me just tell you, after the fuck up that was Amityville II: The Possession, this was just amazing by comparison, yet still a pretty stupid film. Like I said, Shitfest Fridays for quite some time to come.

The story was weak and all over the show. That is undeniable. It’s a train wreck that just goes on and on and on, and even though you can totally see what it happening, it does nothing to allay the pain and suffering you are experiencing while watching. Dramatic, I know, but oh so damn true.

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The acting was just… bad, but it is still better than what comes in the later ones (I swear, just as you think they can’t get worse… they just… oh man…). The music was ridiculous, and the story went from trundling along to rocketing into some crazy shit: people burning in cars, drowning, walking through the house, the whole toot. Because it can. Just go ahead and do what you want, it all makes perfect sense!

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Apparently this was the start of the whole “evil leaves the house” thing, because guess what? An elevator tried to kill someone! AND NOT EVEN IN THE VICINITY OF THE HOUSE!!!!

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I want to talk about the crazy shit that finally came to pass as the end because it was the biggest what the fuck moment for the movie. I mean this genuinely and sincerely because I have no fucking clue what the hell that was all about… we had flying fish, crazy Freddy vs Jason water hopping moments (though really not done well), a house that went crazy, people in mourning being all different, a house that would not free them, film cameras up the wazoo and people everywhere and people dying and some fish monster and fuck, I just laughed. And laughed some more. Because the movie was taking itself so seriously the whole time and then devolved into this as an ending? What the heck happened?!

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I know that this was like… 3-D and all for it’s time, and the poster is right… we, the viewers, are the victims. It was a bit of a misison, but I made it… though you never think that finish line is in sight. So after all that ludicrous fish-flying stuff is going on and you have no idea if the end is in sight, just when you think you cannot take but even a second more, there is this crackpot crazy explosion. Whoosh. Big. BURN IT ALL TO THE GROUND.

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Oh my goodness, we have like… another nine or ten to watch, right?! I swear, every time I check out Wikipedia, there is another entry. True story. I just checked now and guess what? Another two on the list!!!!! OH HAPPY DAYS!!!

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PS: It was an absolute nightmare to find gifs for this, so I would like to thank Televandalist for the gifs!