Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Review of "The Spy-Catcher Gang," by John Kelly and Inklink

Review of
The Spy-Catcher Gang, by John Kelly and Inklink ISBN 9780756638504

Five out of five stars
 This short graphic novel is also a history lesson regarding the first year of World War II in Europe. The German Armies have defeated France and now control all of Western Europe. Their next target is the defeat of the last European power that they are still at war with and the aerial battle of Britain is at its ferocious height.
 Harry Tucker is twelve years old and lives in the East End of London and it is 1940. His father is off fighting the war, so he lives with his mother and baby sibling. Air raids are a nightly occurrence, so they spend a great deal of time in the shelter and try to lead as normal a life as possible. Harry has read about German spies and through a coincidence, he encounters one and very bravely pursues the matter at great risk to himself. With the help of Jenny, a girl his age, he is able to expose the spy and do his bit to aid the war effort.
 While there is a bit of embellishment in the specifics, the background of this graphic novel is historically accurate. The people of London faced daily terror with the regular deaths of people they knew. Yet, the adults went to work and the children to school as best they could. While they did this, the fierce air war was taking place over their heads and quite likely decided the ultimate victor in that titanic struggle for world supremacy.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Review of "Postcard History Series: Waterloo," by Brandon J. Brockway

Review of
Postcard History Series: Waterloo, by Brandon J. Brockway ISBN 9780738583396

Five out of stars
 The books in the postcard history series are some of the most interesting, for they tell the history of the subject via images that people considered to be most significant at the time. In this case the subject is Waterloo, Iowa. The pictures are of buildings, streets, parks and other memorable features of the city, many of which no longer exist. At one time, Waterloo was a major manufacturing center, the John Deere plant took up acres and the Rath Packing Company slaughtered approximately 1.5 million animals each year. Those facilities are pictured, Rath is now but a memory, shutting down in 1985. Churches, advertisements for the city and a few other gimmicks are also included.
 A short explanatory caption is included with each image, nothing extensive, just enough so that the reader unfamiliar with the region will know what is being pictured. This is a fun book to look through, there is nothing definitive about the history, just a collection of easy to understand snippets about a city that has undergone significant change.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Review of "Gothika" DVD version

Review of
Gothika DVD version

Five out of five stars
 I am not a fan of horror movies and when I do watch them it is a rare occasion when I give a start response to any scene in them. That was not the case with this one, the combination of the scene, the music and the action executed by the actors had me with a brief shimmer of chill coursing through my body several times.
Halle Berry plays Doctor Miranda Grey, a staff psychiatrist at Woodward Penitentiary for Women. When her husband is brutally murdered with an axe, she is accused of the crime and placed in that very facility as an inmate. The evidence against her is very strong and she is experiencing powerful visions with a great many supernatural components. With help from those forces, she must fight to maintain her sanity and somehow determine who the real criminals are.
 This is a movie where it is impossible to remain dispassionate, there is no humor and all the tense scenes are well acted and structured. If you want the sound effects of a horror movie to rattle your bones, this is the movie for you.