Ryuk the shinigami destroys a ferris wheel.

“Death Note” (2017) Review

I love Death Note, but this movie is not Death Note.  It may bear the title of “Death Note”, but it’s really not.  It doesn’t surprise me that this movie is bad.  I fully expected the American version of Death Note to be bad, but I didn’t expect it to be quite as terrible as this.

What is Death Note?

In case you’re not aware, Death Note is an anime about a Japanese high school honour student named Light Yagami who finds a shinigami’s notebook, which allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes in it—usually by heart attack.  Light decides to use the notebook to become, as he puts it, “the god of the new world” by killing all the world’s criminals, followed by anyone else he sees as unworthy to live.  A brilliant detective named L realizes early on how dangerous “Kira the Saviour” is and makes it his goal to catch the serial killer.
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Scapple, an application by the creators of Scrivener.

Scapple Review

A simple flowchart created in Scapple.I use Scrivener by Literature and Latte for all my writing.  I’ve already written a review of that app so I’ll just sum it up by saying that it’s a fully-featured studio for writers; it has virtually everything you’ll need to write and organize any writing project.  Sometimes, however, you just need to map out a few ideas, and for this purpose Literature and Latte created another app: Scapple.
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Orcs singing in the Rankin/Bass Return of the King cartoon.

Review of Rankin/Bass “The Return of the King” (1980)

Orcs singing in the Rankin/Bass Return of the King cartoon.This cartoon…  This is the one that broke me…  I feel drained after watching this.  Before there was Peter Jackson, there were three cartoons almost unrelated to one another, and I made the mistake of deciding to review all of them.  The first was a children’s animated TV special by Rankin/Bass that removed almost every element that made The Hobbit great.  The second, based on the first half of The Lord of the Rings, was at least for adults, even if it was a poorly-rotoscoped cartoon that payed little attention to the subtleties of the book.  The third, which I’ll be reviewing today, is called Frodo: The Hobbit II, but it’s more commonly known as The Return of the King: A Story of the Hobbits.
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One rapist kills another rapist.

The Grimdark Genre and Why I Hate It

I’m supposed to be the one with cynical, even nihilistic tendencies.  Why is it that I’m the one having to stand up and defend humanity as not being irreparably broken?  I once wrote an article about the differences between Epic Fantasy and its largely American counterpart Sword & Sorcery.  This article will be somewhat similar, except that I didn’t really have much of an opinion on the quality of Sword & Sorcery.  Grimdark, on the other hand…  I can’t bloody stand it.
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Why you should use Scrivener for all your writing needs

Why All Writers Should Use Scrivener

Why you should use Scrivener for all your writing needsI don’t know if I can offer Scrivener any praise that’s not already been said, and even as I write this I’m terrified of simply regurgitating what many, many others have written on the subject.  Still, not enough people know this app exists, so if I can make even a few people aware it’ll be worth it.

To put it simply, Scrivener is the app that all writers desperately need.  Most writers, wholly unaware of Scrivener, write their stories using an application called Microsoft Word, which is only slightly more efficient than using a typewriter, which is only slightly more efficient than writing the whole book by hand.  Granted, countless masterpieces have been penned by all three of these tools, but countless masterpieces were painted with white lead before there was a non-toxic alternative.
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H. M. Turnbull's list of Five Terrible Film Scores

Five Terrible Film Scores

Think of any great movie you love; chances are it wouldn’t be half the film it is without the music that accompanies its amazing writing and performances.  The right music can amplify the emotions of a scene or change its meaning entirely.  Often it sets the tone for the film.  Beyond that, a great score is usually also something you can listen to even outside of watching the film.  Scores like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones become as iconic as any other aspect of their respective films, and it’s hard to imagine such films with any other music.

H. M. Turnbull's list of Five Terrible Film ScoresI’ve been working for a long time on a list of my favourite film scores.  This is not that list.  No—that list won’t be finished for quite a while.  In the meantime, I’ve made a list of some of the worst scores I’ve ever heard, so I hope this will keep the music-lovers among you satisfied until then.  Unlike my list of the Top 10 Worst Book-to-Film Adaptations, this list is in no particular order.  Were I to make a list of the five worst, then it’d probably be filled with scores that sound the same, so I instead chose to talk about five unbelievably dreadful scores that are all awful for more-or-less different reasons.  Coincidentally, the movies they accompany are each just as bad as the scores.  And so, let’s get on with this agonizing list of Five Terrible Film Scores!
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H. M. Turnbull's Top 10 Worst Book-to-Film Adaptations

Top 10 Worst Book-to-Film Adaptations

H. M. Turnbull's Top 10 Worst Book-to-Film AdaptationsThere’s been some controversy concerning Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit, with some criticizing decisions such as making a three-part movie, the addition of original background characters, and many even pettier complaints.  Some have even gone so far as to say that it “wasn’t very true to the source material,” despite staying far truer to its source than almost any other adaptation has.  When I’ve listed the reasons for which these changes are all either insignificant or necessary to adapt the story to an utterly different medium, I’ve heard people retort that it was “the worst possible way to do it.”  As someone who has read and loved many books, so many of which have been horribly bastardized in film adaptations, I cannot help but wonder…  Have these people ever even seen a bad adaptation?

It is for this reason that I decided to compile a list of truly abhorrent adaptations, movies that actually did exactly those things of which Peter Jackson has been falsely accused, including earlier attempts to adapt Tolkien to the screen.  In fact, many of the films on this list go beyond even the craziest of accusations, and it’s hard to believe that some of these actually exist.  Rest assured, however, that these abominations do indeed exist, and rest assured too that they are all bloody awful!
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Arthur Sailes hums while burning Father Rabin to death.

“Ben & Arthur” Movie Review

The first thing I ever reviewed on this site was an adaptation of The Hobbit that Gene Deitch made in 1966.  Later I reviewed a Harry Potter fan-fiction called My Immortal by Tara “XXXbloodyrists666XXX” Gilesbie.  What connects these is that they are both so-bad-they’re-good.  Ben & Arthur, on the other hand, is almost so-bad-it’s-homophobic, and it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

Arthur orders Victor to tell him who the hitman is.It’s not that Ben & Arthur can’t be entertaining in its failings, but Ben & Arthur’s outlook on the world is veiled more thinly than The Room’s misogyny.  And what is this outlook?  Why, it’s that “straight people are all evil, bigoted psychopaths,” of course!  Why then did I say that the film is borderline homophobic?  Well, because it’s both heterophobic and homophobic.
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The inspiration for one of Peter Jackson's scenes.

Review of Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” (1978)

Frodo, Sam, and Gollum in Bakshi's cartoon.Last year I reviewed the 1977 Rankin/Bass cartoon adaptation of The Hobbit.  Today I’ll be taking a look at another such cartoon: Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 attempt to bring The Lord of the Rings to the screen.  As I did with the Hobbit cartoon—and as I’m planning to do with the final instalment in the cartoon trilogy—I began by live-tweeting as I watched Bakshi’s film, the highlights of which can be found here.  As I had feared going into this, Bakshi largely failed to capture quite what he needed to capture with this one.
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