Category Archives: Writing

Soren the barn owl flying in a battle with a torch in his beak.

“Guardians of Ga’Hoole” Book Series Review

The cover of The Capture by Kathryn Lasky.I was really surprised by these books.  You see, I made the mistake of watching a film called “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.”  The film was awful, and I made the mistake of assuming that the book series the film was based on would be just as bad.  Later that year, another bad film came out based on my favourite TV show, The Last Airbender, and there were many who assumed the show must be as bad as the film.  Eventually I realized I was being a hypocrite, and so I decided to read the Guardians of Ga’Hoole Series by Kathryn Lasky.  These books surprised me because unlike the film, they’re really good.
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Bella Swan discovers Edward Cullen is a vampire.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” Book Review

The cover of Fifty Shades of Grey by Snowqueens IcedragonI used to think A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin was the worst book I’d ever have the displeasure of reading.  That was before I was introduced to Fifty Shades of Grey by Snowqueens Icedragon (yes, that’s really her pseudonym).  This fan-fiction based on Stephanie Meyer’s laughable The Twilight Saga makes Meyer look like a modern day Tolkien, and even writers like George R. R. Martin and Tara “XXXbloodyrists666XXX” Gilesbie seem competent by comparison.  As someone discussing Troll 2 once said of movies: with some bad books it seems like the writer didn’t know how to write a book; with some it’s more like they did know how to write a book but got hit very hard on the head.  Fifty Shades is more like if the embodiment of pure evil in the universe didn’t know how to write a book and got hit very hard on the head.
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A poor Japanese travelling circus.

“Midori: Shōjo Tsubaki” Review

I promised at the end of my previous article that I’d review something worse than Violence Jack next, and today I will keep that promise.  But what could be worse than Violence Jack?  I present to you… Midori: Shōjo Tsubaki!A little girl writhing in pain.   Midori was adapted from a manga by Maruo Suehiro titled “Shōjo Tsubaki” or “Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show.”  The man behind this adaptation is Harada Hiroshi, on whom I was able to find surprisingly little information.  From what I can gather, Hiroshi is a recluse who animated this whole thing himself because no one else would agree to finance it.  Their reluctance is unsurprising given the nature of the story being adapted.  Hiroshi has referred several times to Shōjo Tsubaki as an unconventional romance; it’s not.  Even after watching this thing I’m not sure I can discern any plot.  Rather, things just happen because they disgust, and for no other reason.
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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 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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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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