Review – Pathfinder 2e Gamemastery Guide & Advanced Players Guide

I’ve really fallen behind in reviews of the excellent Pathfinder 2e (P2e) products I’ve been buying. Here’s two brief reviews to make up for it: Anyone who has bought the P2e Core Rulebook will know it’s a hefty tome, both in size and price. I know Paizo (the company that makes the game) was tryingContinue reading “Review – Pathfinder 2e Gamemastery Guide & Advanced Players Guide”

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Review – Cult of Cinders

I’ve been buying all the Pathfinder 2e products, so I may as well review them. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to this adventure path. Just call me lazy. Spoilers!! Cult of Cinders is the second part of the Age of Ashes adventure path. It contains four adventures taking PCs from 5th-8th level,Continue reading “Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Review – Cult of Cinders”

Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters. A movie review.

No spoilers! If you like oversized beasties ripping buildings apart you’re gonna love this pic. Even the family drama at the centre of the movie was good. I enjoyed the first Godzilla a few years back, and then Skull Island, the Kong movie set in the same cinematic universe. This sequel works as well asContinue reading “Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters. A movie review.”

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. A movie review.

No spoilers! I hate Pokémon. But my son dragged me to see this because of his lifelong obsession with the cute and annoying cartoon creatures, and I have to say…it wasn’t that bad. Pokémon-less Tim (Justice Smith) finds out his estranged dad has died in a car accident and travels to Ryme City, where PokémonContinue reading “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. A movie review.”

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum. A movie review.

No spoilers! I’m a big fan of the John Wick movies. JW3 is another fine entry in the violent action series. Keanu Reeves is back as John Wick, the almost-retired hit man who loves his dead wife and wreaks bloody vengeance on, well, pretty much everyone over the death of the dog she left him.Continue reading “John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum. A movie review.”

Avengers Endgame. A movie review.

Avengers Endgame has been hyped to the nth degree, and for good reason: it’s really good. The Marvel Studios movie universe has been going for 11 years. 22 movies later, and Endgame arrives as part 2 of the Infinity War saga, and a movie that keeps most of the fans happy. I say most, becauseContinue reading “Avengers Endgame. A movie review.”

The Curse of the Weeping Woman. A movie review.

The Curse of La Llorona, or The Curse of the Weeping Woman as it’s called for Australian release, is an okay horror movie that does its best to scare you with a rejigged ghost story that’s fun to watch but fairly shallow and somewhat forgettable. I don’t watch a lot of horror movies, as IContinue reading “The Curse of the Weeping Woman. A movie review.”

Shazam! A movie review.

Shazam! is an enjoyable, feel-good superhero movie reminiscent of 80’s family flicks. Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is a resourceful orphan looking for the mother he was separated from many years before. Placed with a new and quirky foster family, he meets Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), foster brother and roommate, who is obsessed with superheroes. AfterContinue reading “Shazam! A movie review.”

Glass. A movie review.

Minor spoilers! Glass is the sequel to Unbreakable and Split. It’s the culmination of one journey and the start of another. It’s really good, and deserves more appreciation than it’s gotten from some critics. M. Night Shyamalan is an auteur director with a reputation for ‘twist’ endings and a distinctly uneven quality to his releasesContinue reading “Glass. A movie review.”

Aquaman. A movie review.

No spoilers! A fun, vibrant and visually spectacular superhero movie. Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is the son of a lighthouse keeper and an Atlantean queen. His half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) currently rules the hidden underwater kingdom of Atlantis and plans to bring war to the surface world. Mera (Amber Heard) and Vulko (Willem Dafoe) conspireContinue reading “Aquaman. A movie review.”

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. A movie review.

The best superhero movie I’ve seen. Ever. Miles Morales is a school student trying to fit in at a new prep school. He is bitten by a radioactive spider while practising his graffiti art one night (one of the same experimental spiders that bit Peter Parker), and stumbles upon Spider-Man battling Kingpin. We’re entering spoilerContinue reading “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. A movie review.”

Mortal Engines. A movie review.

No spoilers! Mortal Engines is enjoyable, with nice ideas, great design and big effects, but ultimately is overly reliant on cliched plot points. London is a futuristic steampunk city on wheels that travels the countryside consuming smaller towns for resources. Tom (Robert Sheehan) is a Londoner historian who gets mixed up in an assassination attemptContinue reading “Mortal Engines. A movie review.”

Comics: All-Time Personal Faves

I looooove comic books. I’ve been reading them since I was a kid, and in my currently bereft and almost moneyless state I don’t get as many opportunities to buy them as I used to. A loooong time ago, I said I was going to talk about some of my favourite comic book stories. SorryContinue reading “Comics: All-Time Personal Faves”

Widows. A movie review.

Widows is a remake of a British TV series from some years ago, based on the book by Lynda la Plante. It’s stylishly directed, well written, brilliantly acted, but leaves you feeling somewhat flat by the end as a consequence of its dark tone and focus. Widows is a heist movie featuring moments of greatContinue reading “Widows. A movie review.”

Laidback Movie Reviews: ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

The Girl in the Spider’s Web * Claire Foy is great in everything (witness her dramatic turns in First Man and The Crown), including this. A shame the script leaves her little to work with. * Abundant cliches and criminally poor use of the Millenium series’ usually prominent supporting characters makes this movie more pedestrianContinue reading “Laidback Movie Reviews: ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’”

Bohemian Rhapsody. A movie review.

Rami Malek of Mr Robot fame playing Freddy Mercury? Lots of Queen hits with amazing sound? Bring it on! I’m a Queen fan from way back. I have all their albums, and Brian May continues to be my all-time favourite rock guitarist. So, as soon as I heard Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic of Freddy andContinue reading “Bohemian Rhapsody. A movie review.”

First Man. A movie review.

First Man is, hands down, the best movie I have seen in the last five years. It’s in my top 10 movies of all time. It’s that good. First Man is the story of America’s race to get a man on the moon before the Soviets in the 1960’s. But more than that, it’s theContinue reading “First Man. A movie review.”

Lazy Movie Reviews: The Predator and Venom

Yep. I love movies, but I’m over long movie reviews. Maybe you are, too? The Predator Unlikeable protagonists. The gung ho military men are caricature crazy, like everything in this franchise. “Let’s make the bad guy even bigger”. What is this, Jaws? The world building would be more interesting if the movie wasn’t so dumb.Continue reading “Lazy Movie Reviews: The Predator and Venom”

Lazy Movie Reviews: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘Teen Titans Go to the Movies’

Yeah, I’m lazy. But I just love seeing movies. Here’s a couple of reviews. Crazy Rich Asians • Bright and colourful Singapore setting • Conventional story with average acting • Much of the humour falls flat • Some great actors wasted in minor roles • I know this movie was considered a breakthrough for HollywoodContinue reading “Lazy Movie Reviews: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘Teen Titans Go to the Movies’”

The Happytime Murders. A movie review.

No spoilers, but does it really matter for this one? Where do I begin? The Happytime Murders is a muddled attempt at a comedic crime drama. The big problem: it lacks humour and a by-the-numbers conventional plot leaves you wondering why someone put up the money to make it in the first place. Puppets andContinue reading “The Happytime Murders. A movie review.”

What I’ve been watching 2

A few months back I did some mini-reviews of Netflix shows I’d been watching (Australian Netflix – some of these series are on different networks in America and Europe). Here are some more short reviews of what I’ve been watching: Star Trek Discovery Great sci-fi show set in the movie universe pre-Kirk, with Spock’s adoptedContinue reading “What I’ve been watching 2”

Mission Impossible: Fallout. A movie review.

Negligible spoilers! I’d heard good things about Cruise’s latest impossible mission and decided to give it a go. MI:Fallout has a reasonable story with twists I (unfortunately) saw coming a mile away and some very stoic performances. It rises to the occasion with lots of well executed and thrilling stunts, many performed by Cruise himself.Continue reading “Mission Impossible: Fallout. A movie review.”

The Breaker Upperers. A movie review.

New Zealand humour is quirky. The accents certainly help (no offence intended, kiwi readers—I love your accents). The Breaker Upperers, the new comedy from the scripting and directorial team of Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek (also the two leads) is funny and sweet, with a bit of raunch thrown in for good measure. MelContinue reading “The Breaker Upperers. A movie review.”

New Movie Trailers!

I’m a movie fan. More than that, I’m a HUGE superhero and monster fan, and a number of the announcements coming out of the San Diego Comic Con had me nerdgasming. Aquaman, Shazam! and Glass are superhero movies I’m really looking forward to next year. The next Harry Potter universe Fantastic Beasts movie premiered aContinue reading “New Movie Trailers!”

Skyscraper. A movie review.

No spoilers! Dwayne Johnson’s new movie is a cross between Die Hard and Towering Inferno. Despite the derivative premise it manages to be a successful homage to those movies and once again shows why Johnson is the world’s leading action star. ‘The Pearl’ is the world’s tallest and most technologically advanced skyscraper, built in HongContinue reading “Skyscraper. A movie review.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp. A movie review.

No spoilers! Marvel pumps out another enjoyable superhero sequel. Amusing but non-essential viewing. Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-man) and Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne/Wasp) reprise their roles from Ant-man, along with Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) and motor-mouthed Michael Peña (Luis). Along for the ride this time are Michelle Pfeiffer and Laurence Fishburne. Scott Lang has nearlyContinue reading “Ant-Man and the Wasp. A movie review.”

The Laid back DM – Mini-Reviews

Hiya all! It’s been a while since I reviewed any tabletop role playing games (“What the?!” I hear you say. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, check out this link here). Without further ado: Vagabonds of Dyfed This lovely little game was the result of a recent Kickstarter. It’s an elegant little system,Continue reading “The Laid back DM – Mini-Reviews”

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. A movie review.

The dinosaurs are back! The sequel to massive money-spinner Jurassic World and the earlier Jurassic Park films contains all the big action bluster you expect from a major tentpole movie, and just enough story to keep the audience engaged for the two-hour running time. A volcano is about to erupt on Isla Nubar, home ofContinue reading “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. A movie review.”

Incredibles 2. A movie review.

I loved The Incredibles. Made by Pixar at a time when Disney was just a distributor of Pixar movies, before Disney bought the animation studio and started focussing on the bottom line. The Incredibles has humour, heart, action, conviction, amazing music and is a wonderful homage to 1960’s spy flicks and comic-book family, the FantasticContinue reading “Incredibles 2. A movie review.”

Solo. A movie review.

No spoilers! I read the scathing and toxic reception of fandom to Solo, a Star Wars Story, read the critics’ poor reviews and generally dismissed the movie without giving it a chance. I’m happy to report that a friend dragged me to see it, and I was not only pleasantly surprised, I got to seeContinue reading “Solo. A movie review.”

Looking for Alaska. A book review.

I promised to review the last of John Green’s books left for me to read (ironically, his first). I finally finished Looking for Alaska, yesterday. You can find the other reviews at the links below this one. Looking for Alaska, like many of John Green’s books, is a young adult book featuring a number ofContinue reading “Looking for Alaska. A book review.”

Tag. A movie review.

A bunch of friends play tag for 30 years: for the month of May, they attempt to tag each other with the winner reigning supreme until the next year. One of the friends has never been tagged and he is about to retire. Time for the team to take him down! The whole idea ofContinue reading “Tag. A movie review.”

Deadpool 2. A movie review.

No spoilers here! No doubt you’ve read a thousand times that Ryan Reynolds was born to play fourth wall-breaking, motormouthed mercenary superhero Deadpool, so I won’t repeat it. Oh, I just did. Sorry. Deadpool 2 is a fun and incredibly violent movie. Yep, it’s not for the kids. It’s funnier than the first, but muchContinue reading “Deadpool 2. A movie review.”

Life of the Party. A movie review.

Saw Melissa McCarthy’s new movie the other day. I’ll admit up front that I am a McCarthy fan. I like her sassy, in-your-face and inappropriate witticisms. I guess they remind me of my own big mouth. Her movies tend to be overly formulaic, though, as scriptwriters and directors stick to the McCarthy formula her coreContinue reading “Life of the Party. A movie review.”

Avengers: Infinity War. A movie review.

Okay, okay! I said I wasn’t going to the movies this week, but I did. Couldn’t help it. Avengers: Infinity War is a star-studded extravaganza, the culmination of ten years of Marvel world-building. It’s one of those movies that fans will love to death— you need to have seen the previous movies to be trulyContinue reading “Avengers: Infinity War. A movie review.”

What I’ve been Watching.

No movie reviews this week, but I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix lately (Australian Netflix – some of these series are on different networks in America and Europe). I haven’t found a series on the streaming service I haven’t liked, yet. Here’s a short sample of what I’ve been watching: Stranger Things – 1980’sContinue reading “What I’ve been Watching.”

Ready Player One. A movie review.

You know how spoilers spoil movies? Well, there are none here to spoil stuff. Just thought you’d like to know. Ready Player One is the Steven Spielberg-directed movie based on Ernest Cline’s best-selling novel of the same name. I have the book but haven’t read it yet (it’s on my ever-growing list). Wade Watts livesContinue reading “Ready Player One. A movie review.”

Tomb Raider. A movie review.

There’s no such thing as spoilers (in this review, anyway)! Alicia Vikander is the new Tomb Raider (for those of you not familiar with the previous movie incarnation, Angelina Jolie was the titular heroine), and she ably fills the tank top—umm…role. This is a reboot of the franchise, based heavily on the popular computer gameContinue reading “Tomb Raider. A movie review.”

Annihilation. A movie review.

Alex Garland’s new science fiction movie, Annihilation, is now available on Netflix in Australia (part of Paramount’s current risk management strategy is to recoup production and distribution costs in smaller markets by going directly to streaming). Natalie Portman stars as Lena, a Cellular Biologist with an Army background, whose army husband Jake (Oscar Isaac) hasContinue reading “Annihilation. A movie review.”

Red Sparrow. A movie review.

A few minor spoilers! Red Sparrow is a harrowing spy movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton and directed by Francis Lawrence. Why harrowing? Because it includes several excruciating scenes of graphic torture and explicit violence (there’s sex, too—surprisingly it’s kept to a minimum, but it’s generally pretty nasty as well). Lawrence plays a RussianContinue reading “Red Sparrow. A movie review.”