Mar 192012
 

Author: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Pages: 440

Publisher: Random House, Wizards of the Coast

Release Date: 4/1/1984

Genre: Fantasy

Characters:

Tanis Half-Elven- Warrior and leader of the companions.

Tasslehoff Burrfoot- Small humanoid called a Kender, thief and lock picker.

Flint Fireforge- Dwarf blacksmith, old and grumpy.

Caramon Majere- Large thickheaded warrior that will do anything to protect his brother.

Raistlin Majere- Caramon’s brother, and morally ambiguous mage that traded his health for more magic power.

Sturm Brightblade- Knight of Solamnia, and honorable to the point of personal injury.

Goldmoon- Barbarian princess with a magic healing staff.

Riverwind- Barbarian warrior in love with Goldmoon, but tribes rules keep them apart.

SynopsisIn the fantasy world of Krynn, a group of friends meet at the Inn of the Last Home after separating years earlier to go out and experience the world. Tanis, Flint, Caramon, Raistlin, Tass, and Sturm find trouble in the form of mysterious strangers dressed in cloaks lurking around their old home. The robed men are searching the blue crystal staff that Riverwind acquired and gave to Goldmoon as a token of his love. The companions take up the quest to protect Riverwind and Goldmoon and to find out what evil is threatening the peace in Krynn.

Analysis: I first read the Dragonlance Chronicles long ago when I was in 4th grade and the book was newly published. Before that I had played Dungeons and Dragons, the role-playing game that the book is based on. Even though the authors changed some of the rules around, they really brought the game to life.

It has been years since I last played any role-playing games or even read much fantasy, my taste leans more to science fiction, but I picked Dragons of Autumn Twilight at a rummage sale for a quarter this past summer and finally got around to reading it again recently. Reading it took me right back to 4th grade. I was rooting for the heroes, and hating the bad guys. This is a fun book. I hope to find the rest of the series soon!

Pro:

  • Very unique characters like Raistlin and Tasslehoff.
  • Gully dwarves and Fizban are great comic relief.
  • Some great random encounters with monsters like giant slugs.

Con:

  • Book reads like a DND campaign. For instance, the last battle scene is like a typical DND battle with 4 characters battling against a much stronger opponent, but not very heroic in a literary sense. I don’t think Sturm would have taken part.
  • Even though Raistlin is a pretty powerful mage, he is only able to make a few successful spells.

Conclusion:This is the beginning of a grand fantasy adventure. It is like a game of DND with a really good Dungeon Master. Go out and get it and if you find a good deal on the rest of the series, let me know!

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

3

Plot

2

Imagery

3

Read Again?

4

Average

3

 

Mar 162012
 

Author: Juicy Beast

System PC- Played on Kongregate.com

Length: Long, can play many hours to get achievements and upgrades.

Release Date: February 2012

GenreWrestling and Candy

Type: Flight, Launcher

Link: Burrito Bison Revenge

CastBurrito Bison and many types of gummy bears that Burrito Bison must squashed as he flies though the air!

Synopsis:  In this sequel to Burrito Bison, you still play Burrito Bison, a famous wrestler. During a wrestling match in Candyland, he realizes that he is missing his wallet. So instead of continuing the fight, he launches himself by pulling back the ropes and letting go. As he flies though the air he bounces off flying and ground based gummies, hoping that he has enough kinetic energy to make it to the end of Candyland where his wallet is. Along the way, he can pick up money to buy upgrades for advanced techniques to make him fly better and to increase the chance to find rarer gummies for better lift and more money.

Analysis: Even though the game is repetitive after a few hours, I became obsessed with winning and getting every upgrade and achievement. I love upgrades.

Pro:

  • Fun game with great upgrades!
  • Gummies must be smashed!
  • Sequel added many new gummies.

Con

  • I didn’t like how you don’t get close to getting all the upgrades before finishing the main game.
  • In Survival mode, the upgrades don’t work as well as in the main game. Not sure if it is a glitch, but should work the same in both.

Conclusion: Fun game, but expect to waste at least a few hours because it is so addictive!

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

1

Story

4

Upgrades?

5

Replay Value?

3

Average

3.25

 

 


Mar 152012
 

Director: Baz Lehrman

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 127m

Release Date: June 1, 2001

Genre: Musical, Romantic Comedy

Cast: Satine(Nicole Kidman),Christian(Ewan McGregor), Harold Zidler(Jim Broadbent), The Duke(Richard Roxburgh), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec(John Leguizamo)

Synopsis: Full of great mash-ups of popular songs, this musical begins as a young writer named Christian (Ewan McGregor) travels to Paris in 1900 to become a better writer and live among the bohemians. He meets Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo), and several other colorful bohemian artists that are working on a musical called Spectacular Specacular!.

Christian helps them finish writing the show and they arrange for Christian to present it to Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent) the owner of the notorious Moulin Rouge cabaret. Once there, he is completely smitten by Satine (Nicole Kidman), the club’s star dancer and courtesan. In a case of mistaken identity, Christian thinks he is invited into Satine’s room to convince her to pick his show for their next performance, but she thinks that Christian is the wealthy duke that might invest in the cabaret.

The Duke(Richard Roxburgh) shows up and through quick thinking and some singing Christian and his friends convince the Duke to finance their musical and have Satine as the lead in exchange for dating Satine. Even though Christian and Santine have fallen in love, she must pretend to like the Duke.  If the Duke found out, the funding for the show would disappear and Christian’s life would be in danger.

The situation gets crazier and crazier until the film culminates in a breathtaking showdown during the first performance of the musical.

Analysis:  I really like this move. The film’s melodramatic style  sacrifices a logical plot to instead invoke strong feelings in the viewer and the characters are one-dimensional, but the imagery and songs are really moving.  There is a heavy use of CGI  to recreate Paris and Moulin Rogue from 1900, and the writers put together some  great mash-ups of popular songs.

Pro:

  • Introduction to the Moulin Rouge in beginning featuring many songs including “Smells like Teen Spirit” and “Lady Marmalade”.
  • Famous artist, professional drinker and strange fellow, Toulouse-Lautrec!
  • Stage show at the end is Spectacular Spectacular!
  • Wonderfully creepy rendition of Madonna’s song “Like A Virgin”.
  • Green Fairy- great cameo by Kylie Minogue and combined with a scream by Ozzy Osbourne

Con:

  • Slightly disjointed transitions between scenes.
  • Sometimes it was hard to follow the action because too many things were happening at once.

ConclusionThe film isn’t going to change anyone’s life, but it is entertaining and has some very catchy songs! I recommend watching it, but expect to get a few of the songs stuck in your head.

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters 2
Story 2
Special Effects 4
Would Watch Again? 4
Average 3