A New Year, a New Book

2018 is upon us! Everything has changed!

Well, maybe not.

Still, as a single digit changes on the year counter, society has drawn a solid line. 2017 was then, 2018 is now.
For now.

And since the year is brand-spanking new, I’ll honour it by starting a new book. (I may have cheated slightly and started it in 2017, oh well.)

Ready Player One is by no means a new book, but I’ve never read it, so it’s new to me. I’m not far into it, and I have yet to make up my mind. It’s unfair to judge a book too early. Some authors need time to get going, and so far I’m trying to give Ernest Cline the benefit of the doubt.

The text is small, and the world-building is still taking place. Let’s leave it there and anticipate what’s coming.

With so much praise and an imminent movie, surely there’s more to come.

Of course, the premise is interesting even if the setting isn’t.

Thanks to the trend in many YA books and the movies they spawn, I’ve grown tired of bleak, near-future dystopias. Yes, I get it. Humanity’s future is rather grim, but come on.

Other than that initial impression, it appears Ready Player One is definitely not a YA novel. I am eternally grateful.
While I don’t utterly hate YA novels (Young Adult, for those who may be baffled at this point), I did grow up reading them and I’m tired of them. They’re angsty, they take themselves seriously, they’re dramatic, and they’re filled with the linguistic equivalent of teenage hormones. I’ve grown tired of them. The only YA series I will happily read annually is the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. (And no, I don’t count Harry Potter as YA exactly, except maybe Order of the Phoenix.)

Anyway, the premise for Ready Player One has me intrigued. We’ll see how the story resolves itself. I’ll have a fuller impression once I finish it.

And finish it I must, before the month is out. I’ve yet to decide how many books I want to pledge to read for my challenge this year. 12 or 24? 24 might be a bit much, especially if the year is as busy as I hope. 12 is reasonable, at one book a month. It gives me leeway. Decisions, decisions.

I’ll get back to that. Maybe devote a whole blog post to it.

For now, happy new year.


My 2017 in Review

2017 has been a year indeed. Well, it will have been after tomorrow.

Compartmentalising life into portions seems simultaneously absurd and natural.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you experience life? One portion of time at a time.

So, let’s break 2017 up into sections for the purpose of my review:

Personal Aspects

Overall, this has been a bit of a rubbish year. In context, I’ve had worse. I walked away from what was initially a dream job (but turned out to be a bit of an egregious lie, so I made the right choice). I’ve been unemployed for a bit. I was a bit depressed for a while thanks to the “not doing what I realised was my dream job” any more (for now).

On the bright side, I still live a comfortable life, relatively. Things aren’t perfect, but I am extremely fortunate, and in turn grateful.

Another up side is that I set out to complete the Zombies, Run! 5K trainer programme, and I finally did! That only took about 5 years since I first downloaded it (no jokes, it came out in 2012 and it’s been on every phone I’ve had since, just sitting there, judging me). I can run 5km now without immediately dying! Yay! Well, I can shamble 5km without immediately dying at least.

So, I think actually getting fitter and dragging myself out of a depressive mire counts as a win, despite how the beginning and middle of the year went.

Verdict: Not as bad as I thought at first.


You know, the bits that aren’t just my personal life, non-essentials in a way.


2017, by popular consensus, was a brilliant year for video games. Nintendo released the Switch and bunch of popular titles there. Unfortunately, I don’t care about Nintendo and their products. It simply doesn’t interest me; I’ve never owned anything Nintendo related, ever. So I won’t be talking about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey, or any of the others.

Even if we exclude the bits of gaming I can’t or won’t comment on, it has been a great year for games.

My personal favourite of 2017 was Horizon Zero Dawn. A close second is Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. If you get a chance to play either, do so. Now. Or soonish.

I have a list of other games I enjoyed, or am enjoying. Destiny 2, despite its issues, has been an enjoyable time sink. It’s great to play with friends, new and old. Lawbreakers is a great game, but the latency issues due to foreign servers means it’s virtually unplayable for me. I do hope the game every success though.

I have two personal flops for 2017: Star Wars Battlefront II and Call of Duty WWIIBattlefront II has been covered in detail by many others, ad nauseum. All I will say about it is that I found almost every aspect of the decisions EA and DICE made in terms of modes, features, campaign story, and overall structure extremely disappointing. It’s not a bad game, it’s just not very good. I enjoyed the first Battlefront, and forgave many aspects of it. I no longer feel like indulging problems in that franchise.

Similarly, Call of Duty WWII isn’t even a game I bought. I played the beta and decided not to get the game. Since then, I have played portions of the full game. My opinion is unchanged: I do not like it one bit. Yet another example of a game that isn’t bad, it’s just not something I personally enjoy or feel like indulging.

While the releases for gaming were great, the overall gaming industry and community seem to be going through some worrying changes. Publishers and developers are testing the boundaries in terms of business practices and ways of making money from gamers, and gamers in turn are starting to push back. Not the majority, but a vocal minority have already helped influence some major gaming trends. We’ll see what 2018 holds, but I think the whole hobby and industry is going through a major change, and it will take time to find some kind of equilibrium.

Verdict: Some good stuff, some interesting future stuff to keep an eye on.


I may not speak about it here often, but I’m an Arsenal fan. Somewhat less rabid than I used to be, but I still consider myself a Gooner.

This season and last have been less than ideal. Sure, we won the FA Cup for the third time in 4 years, but that only seems to highlight some of the issues surrounding the club. Once again, these issues have been analysed to death around the internet and the footballing world.

Personally, I’m just bored of the same old story. The pattern has become tedious, and I find myself switching off during games when they start going south. Why should I run on a treadmill of suffering as a football fan? Things aren’t going to change drastically at the club any time soon. So, for now, I’ll follow football casually. Maybe if things change, so will my mind.

Verdict: Meh.


This year has also been a banger for movies. Notable titles are Logan, It, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor Ragnarok, and Star Wars The Last Jedi. My personal favourite was The Last Jedi. My runners up would probably be Thor and It. Both great movies, one hilarious and the other haunting.

Before we get to the flops, there are some honourable mentions. These are movies that I enjoyed watching, but won’t go out of my way to gush about. Some were popcorn flicks, some good but not great, etc. Wonder Woman and Passengers were both very good movies, but haven’t entered my personal MOTY list at all. The Mummy wasn’t as bad as people say in my opinion. It’s campy and action-y, but I enjoyed it at the time. Baywatch was a bit crude at times, but I find myself enjoying most things with Dwayne Johnson in, even Zack Efron.

Now, the unmitigated flops. The one that comes to mind first: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. I said enough about that movie in the linked post.
The other title that I absolutely did not like was Ghost in the Shell. Thankfully I went to see this movie for free. I never knew the anime, and I don’t care. It was crap. I’m starting to think that poor Scarlett Johansson is doomed to star in movies that either make me rationally (not a typo) angry or just rub me the wrong way.

If there were other flops, I’ve wiped them from my mind.

Verdict: I probably haven’t been to the movies this much since 2010 or 2011. And it was fun.


This was a disappointing year in terms of how many books I read. I failed at my initial target of reading at least 12 books this year. I started about 6 books this year, I haven’t finished those. I’ll get back to them for 2018. I did end up reading the entire Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. And I’m glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I plan to write a post or two discussing the series in more depth in future.

My priority next year is to get more books read and finish the ones I started this year. I also want to review them. I grew up a bookworm, albeit a somewhat fussy one. I want to go back to my roots, and immerse myself in the wonderful world to be found in the beautiful art of written language. Fiction and non-fiction alike.

Verdict: Missed a bunch of goals, but I still enjoyed what I read.

Final Verdict

2017 wasn’t entirely terrible. There were several positive aspects that seem to outweigh the negative when I look back on the year. Hopefully 2018 is even better, we’ll have to see.

A New New Start

It’s 29 December 2017. There year is almost done. The almost arbitrary human estimation of a year at least.

Soon we’ll be in 2018. Who know what the 365 days of this next year will witness? What will humanity accomplish next? What will be the big scandals? What will happen?

We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.

I’m not one for resolutions, but I’m going to make one. I don’t want to commit to a full year of this resolution, mind you. I’ll just do a bite-size one.

I hereby declare that my resolution is to write [at least] a single post per day for an entire month. That month being the 31 days of January 2018. 

Done. Witness my intentions, and potentially my failure.

Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (Spoiler-free)

I’ll keep this spoiler-free, promise. However, if you want to go in without anyone influencing your opinion of the movie beforehand, click away. I positively gush. 

I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi last night. So, these are my impressions.

Firstly: the movie was phenomenal. I’m convinced that this might be my favourite Star Wars film. I’ll need time to watch it repeatedly and process some more, but at the very least it’s right at the top there. I almost anticipate the internet to love it and turn against it at some point, when some snarky person nit-picks at it, but I will always love this film.

I absolutely did not trust Rian Johnson before this movie. He made Looper, which I found to be mediocre, and Brothers Bloom, which was enjoyable but also more on the side of slightly less mediocre. He was unproven, and the risk that entails was uncomfortable for me. Star Wars means a lot to me. I’m not one of those über-fans when it comes to the franchise, but it’s special to me. I still get giddily excited, even though this is the third year in a row that we’ve had a Star Wars film coming out.

That said, Rian Johnson, you can make another Star Wars film with my blessing. Unless you were a one-hit wonder.

The movie was excellent from star to finish. The pacing was brilliant, the story captivating, the humour frequent and refreshing. The movie carried a wit about it, that I would love to discuss in a spoiler-rich version of my impressions at some point. Where Force Awakens bridged the gap between an old generation and the new, The Last Jedi was something new built on the legacy of the past. The original trilogy have their own tone, the prequels too have a certain idiosyncrasy, and the tone of the sequels might be set with this film.

From beginning to end I found this film profoundly emotional, while not afraid of being funny when the opportunity arose. It was honest like a Star Wars film tends to be. It just brought a new flavour to that honesty. So many of the themes present here were expertly handled.

Staying spoiler-free at this point becomes more challenging. So I’ll leave with this:

I can’t wait to see The Last Jedi again. It’s an instant classic in my opinion. Not only does it hold up as a great Star Wars film, but it’s a great film (Star Wars fans know what I mean, hopefully).

Until the next entry: May the Force be with you, always.

Game Awards 2017 Impressions

It’s been an eventful few days since Thursday in the gaming community. The Game Awards took place, and PSX has been underway this weekend. Along with these have come some interesting announcements, trailers, and updates about up-coming games. Today we’ll look at the Game Awards, and tomorrow I’ll deliver my impressions on what PSX produced.

I missed the live stream of the Game Awards. It was on at 03:30 in the morning here, and I honestly didn’t care enough to tune in like I do with E3. Still, some exciting trailers came out of the show. Before that, however, let’s talk about the award winners.

Horizon Zero Dawn walked away from the Game Awards without a single win in any category. This is a disappointment to say the least, but it also demonstrates the smorgasbord of quality games we got in 2017. It’s been a banger of a year, and probably won’t be equalled any time soon. This is in terms of the quantity of quality on offer alone.

Yet, I do find myself thinking: what does it matter? A lot of those games deserve to be up there, plus an awards ceremony doesn’t invalidate or validate my own enjoyment and love of a game. Still, I’m happy that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice got the recognition it deserved. That game is phenomenal, and is probably the second best or even tied best game I’ve played this year. But I think I’ll do my own post on my personal GOTY list another time.

Now, let’s talk trailers.
The award show itself had quite a few appearances, but I’m only going to mention those that stood out to me.

Of course, Kojima showed up with a lengthy and utterly bizarre cinematic for Death Stranding.

I don’t understand it. It didn’t excite me for the game in any way. However, it is strange enough to mention.

Next, a small but significant mention in my opinion: Accounting Plus. The original Accounting is a free VR game/experience on Steam for the Oculus Rift and the Vive. It was created by Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty creator) and the guy behind The Stanley Parable, William Pugh. It’s foul, it’s funny, and it’s a tonne of fun. Now, it’s coming to PSVR, and I’m sorry I don’t have one of those headsets. They’ve expanded the game itself, and I can’t wait to try it for myself one day.

Following that, we have a game from a genre I’m not usually interested in. GTFO appears to be a co-op horde mode kind of shooter. It looks fantastic, and from a relatively unknown studio (at least unknown to me). The visual style also seems to be quite retro action movie-esque.

Before we get to my favourite announcement trailer, let’s have one or two honourable mentions:

Shadow of the Colossus appears to be on track, and quite gorgeous. I was almost morose to have missed it on PS2 and PS3. Yet, with the passing of time I’ve had the game spoiled to me, without the basic nostalgia of having played it myself. I’ll probably pick it up after launch, but I’m not going to lose sleep from any excitement.

There seems to be a World War Z game in the works too. I’m not the biggest fan of the zombie trend over the last decade or so, in games or films, but this does look like it’s could either be great or utter rubbish. Worth keeping an eye on at the very least.

My last honourable mention goes to Soul Calibur VI. I’ve played bits and pieces of the series, having spent quite a bit of time with Soul Calibur III on PS2. I have a soft spot for the franchise, but I’ve also gone off fighting games almost completely. It might be the first one to tempt me back though, we’ll have to wait and see.

And finally, the game that has me the most excited from a trailer alone from the Game Awards 2017: In the Valley of Gods.

This game is only coming in 2019, and I know nothing about it other than what appears in the trailer above. It’s made by Campo Santo, the people who brought us Firewatch. While I didn’t enjoy the conclusion to the story of that game, it was a quality product and I’m excited to see what else that studio produces. Especially with this trailer. The setting seems to be early 20th Century Egypt. The pair of people in the trailer seem to be archaeologists, but I’m not going to make too many snap judgements.

What I do know is this looks like it’s going to be another narrative-driven experience. I anticipate that it will be relatively short, like two indie films stuck together. The musical choice for the trailer, compared with the art direction are beautifully combined. I’m genuinely excited for this game, and thankfully we only have the entirety of 2018 and probably a chunk of 2019 before we get to play it.

Overall, the Game Awards 2017 announcements and trailers have offered up some quality fare. Sprinkled with some triple-A games, the combination is exciting. While 2017 has been a great year for games, while also controversial in some aspects with some major flops, scandals, and disappointments, it does seem that there are developers and publishers out there who just want to make great games.

Until tomorrow, stay classy.

Disclaimer: any and all typos and errors are purely there out of laziness. 


This has been an eventful year. Personally, especially.

In May, after quitting my position as an editor, I sort of jump-started my blog. It sputtered along, I’ve hardly posted anything worthwhile.
It’s also been a hard year in some ways.

I have a mild desire to start blogging daily, and maybe I can maintain something for December. It is, after all, the time of year when people look back on the previous 11 months.

An eventful year indeed.

My M.O. is still supposedly about the three biggest things in my life: gaming, football, and reading. Now, it’s time to see if I can write anything worthwhile.

This is, tentatively, what I plan to cover:

The books I’ve been reading.

Ever since my preteen years, I’ve let my love of books and reading lapse. Other distractions have come along. Yes, I’ve read some books over the last few years, but I’m hardly a bookworm anymore. I want that to change.

I’ve read 3 of my goal of 12 books so far for 2017 (shocking, I know). December will be the month I try to reach as close to 12 as I can (no pressure though). I’ll drop reviews on each one I read, and hopefully I can share some of the excitement that they’ve elicited in me.

The games I’ve been playing.

I’ve played more games this year than books I’ve read. And I’ve only ever put drafts and empty promises of my “reviews” on here. That’ll change too. I’ll be reaching into the sparse depths of my memory, and share my mercurial opinion on the titles I’ve played this year.

The things I’ve watched.

While my love and patience for television shows has sharply declined, I’ve watched one or two of those this year. I’ve even seen a few films. Those are the only full-on reviews I have on here, so I’ll be sharing some more of those too. Most notable will be my first impression of Star Wars: The Last Jedi next week.

General opinions.

Lots of things have happened in my various spheres of interest this year, and I have opinions on those. Many are topical and the time to discussed them has passed, but some are pervasive. So maybe you’ll endure some of my waffling there.

Overall, my purpose is to find my own idiosyncratic rhythm with this blog. I’ve let my writing die off. That’s got to change.
Maybe we could even change that single view I get from some far-off country every month or so into two views, every week or so. We’ll see.

Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok might be my favourite Marvel movie to date.

There, I said it. It’s only been a few hours since I went to see it, and I still need to internalise and process most of what I saw, but I can say that it’s a contender for sure.

Unfortunately, because I’ve been so heavily neglecting this blog, I didn’t have any critical part of my brain switched on. And I’m certain that if I had tried to, the movie would have shut it down anyway. So, here goes what I remember from my experience.

Immediately, the movie smacks you in the face. We’ve all seen the bright and colourful trailers, but this starts off in a dark, demonic underworld, quite reminiscent of that in DOOM (2016). Despite the initial setting, the tone of the movie is firmly established. This is going to be an epic tale, one that doesn’t take itself or its protagonist too seriously

Personally, this is a welcome change. I didn’t hate the first two Thor flicks, but they left little impression on me. While I think Thor has shown some silliness in his personality before, I always felt like he took himself quite seriously. Now, they’ve rolled with the personality he showed in those hilarious roommate skits. It’s like a whimsical evolution of his character. During the intro, Thor sits in a cage, narrating to a skeleton. The sequence that follows is witty, whimsical, and hilarious. At this point I knew I had fallen in love with this film.

I won’t go into further detail, because of spoiler culture (and just plain old consideration) , but I do want to touch on some of my general impressions.

Firstly, the movie is chock full of unexpected cameos (I’ll let you play the cameo bingo yourself), along with a truly stellar cast. I’m sure I may have missed few of the more obscure cameos, because I didn’t know much about the film at first. The one I will mention is that the director, Taika Waititi, plays a character that turns out to be more prominent than a mere cameo, but still is little more than comic relief in terms of narrative weight. He’s witty and hilarious, giving insight into where the film got its tone. Also, it’s worth mentioning that he’s directed some Flight of the Concord stuff, which might explain a bit.

Next, I adored the overall design scheme. Many have compared the garish colours to the type of thing we saw in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies. I’d say that’s a fair assessment at first glance, but the movie established its own tone and executed the bright and enjoyably garish colours in a way that suited the overall proceedings. It fits in with what we expect is the wider universe in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is reminiscent of some 80s comic panels in many ways.

The music was great, but I felt they could have explored the synth-pop side of things more. Along with the visual aspects, this movie presented a great amalgamation of Norse Mythology and sci-fi, in the way only Marvel can provide. And when you bring 80s-inspired colour palettes, sci-fi, and literally anything else together these days, you need your synth-pop. There are touches throughout, as if a keyboard player from that era lightly caressed the film’s score, but nothing that resembles a major theme. (When it comes to this genre, I am extremely biased, as if you hadn’t noticed.)

Another observation I have is that this isn’t titled Thor 3 anywhere. I may be wrong, and this might be my poor opinion against the previous two entries in the series, but I suspect this movie serves as a soft reboot for Thor‘s corner of the MCU. It remains consistent with the story up until now, both the main threads of the first two movies and the Avenger‘s flicks, but it’s refreshed Thor himself in a way that I just didn’t see coming. He’s far more interesting now, he’s funnier, and most of all: this was more of an adult entry than I expected.

Now: light spoilers about character development for a moment. Skip to the non-italics if you want. 

Thor himself appears to keep developing as a character, but I feel like one area we need him to find his footing on is his god-of-thunder[-and-lightning-technically] powers as separate from his hammer. I get it when we see teenage Peter Parker discovering more about his powers in Spider-Man Homecoming. What I don’t understand is that this is the 5th (I stand under correction if I’m wrong) feature-film that Thor appears in, so why is he still unaware that he’s more than his hammer? Odin has a great quote in the film: “Are you Thor, god of hammers?” No mofo, you’re Thor god of thunder [and technically lightning]. 

Spoilers have ended. 

Thor: Ragnarok holds its own in a year replete with excellent films, both released and upcoming. Logan might be one of the best non-comic book comic book movies out there, but I reckon Ragnarok is the best full-out comic book movie. It stands just above others like Guardians of the Galaxy, and Deadpool. In a year where I’m almost convinced where the only thing I will remember 2017 for is Star Wars: The Last JediRagnarok has left a remarkable impression on me. (Just saying that reminds me how many pies Disney have their fingers in.)

My rating is a solid three thumbs up, five stars.

👍👍👍 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



You know, I think courage is quite an interesting topic. I think there are various flavours and levels of courage. The kind I have in mind right now is rather specific.

Any arachnophobics in the house?
Well, I am. When I was a kid it was almost debilitating. I do look back and realise that I was simply dramatic in the worst moments, but it’s difficult to just dismiss it all the time. A genuine phobia does a strange thing to the mind. It’s ever-present.

It’s like a highly focused paranoia. It’s natural for me to check the corners of a room casually, especially in the summer and immediately after heavy rain. Any movements out of the corner of my eye, especially that perceived to be small and darting, inspires professional athlete-level reflexes in me. I’m well-practiced at instantly counting to eight, especially when the things I’m counting are spindly and arranged radially around a central and evil point.

Of course, I’m an adult now. With that comes various responsibilities, things you simply have to do. Like taking out the trash. You just have to. You can’t avoid it, wishing it away, hoping a random stranger will enter your home and take care of it for you.

Anyway, adults are expected to just do things. In fact, it’s not even an expectation. You just go about life. It doesn’t stand still, especially for silly little phobias.

So, when I get home and see an alarmingly familiar, and most importantly: extremely large shadow between the two wheely-bins, then you can imagine my sudden dread for trash day.

Yes. It was a rather large rain spider. For any non-South Africans, these are large (and allegedly relatively harmless) spiders that emerge during the rainy season. Google it if you need a dossier. I just did. What a mistake.

Well, I got home, and I saw it on the wall between the two bins. It nighttime, and the outside light cast a sinister shadow of each of the creature’s demonic finger legs. As if the basic silhouette of an arachnid isn’t terrifying enough, their shadows have to be particularly nightmarish when looping unnaturally around the subject. I did the only thing any sane adult does: I glanced, processed, and almost instantly ignored it. It’s not a threat if you completely ignore it. Yes, I’m aware of the irony of that attitude after what I said about earlier.

The human mind is remarkable in that way. If you will a thing away, it just goes away. Out of your mind at least.

Come Tuesday, and it’s time to take out the trash.

The only thing more horrifying than seeing a spider is not seeing spider that you know is there (or there, or here, or anywhere).

Back to courage.

Courage is sometimes as simple as taking out the trash when you can’t account for where the spider is.


Warning: This probably contains mild-ish spoilers. Maybe it doesn’t. Either way, it’s just a discussion of my impressions of a movie. 

I went and saw the latest film version of Stephen King’s IT over the weekend.

It’s (Heh. Okay, I won’t do that again.) quite literally haunted my subconscious. Which is a pleasant surprise.

I went in with relatively mild expectations. I’m of the opinion that today’s film industry has major potential when it comes to remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, reinterpretations, and the odd sequel. That potential isn’t always delivered on, but it’s there. For example, I thought that Disney should have left their animated classics well alone, until I watched 2016’s The Jungle Book. That film was quite the shock. It left the original intact, while presenting an amazing re-imagining that can appeal to both the older generation who grew up with the original and a new generation who never knew it.

I’ve never read a King book, but I’ve watched many of the movies based on his culture-defining works. I watched the original IT movie-cum-miniseries featuring the legendary Tim Curry when I was a teen. At the time it was not only underwhelming, it was the subject of ridicule in our group. Never-mind that we watched the two-sided DVD the wrong way ’round, we thought it was utterly rubbish.

No such accusation can be levelled at 2017’s IT. My, what a film. I’m going to be bold: this is the best movie I’ve seen in theatres this year, and a strong contender for my personal MOTY (why is that not a thing? Damn your Oscars and Globe things, let’s have more MOTY lists).

For long periods of my life, I’ve avoided scary films. I had an over-active imagination as an only child, and I really didn’t need the stress, especially not as a result from an escapism activity. As an adult, having come to terms with most of my ethereal demons, I’ve started seeking out some good thrills in the form of the odd scary movie. And yet, this rendition of IT, while containing the scares you would expect, transcended a mere horror movie with tropes and jump scares. This was a complex, multi-layered story with actual character development, a compelling story, and a mixture of clear and subtle themes all centred around the menagerie of main characters.

Of course, I’m no film critic, so I won’t dive deep into the themes and such. However, I appreciated that through a mixture of stellar casting, phenomenal acting, inspired direction, fantastic writing, and astounding cinematography, IT held me firmly glued to the screen. There was a main story thread, supported by a spectacular balance and combination of secondary and tertiary narratives. They came together simultaneously without overwhelming or speaking down to the viewer.

The group of young actors, along with their supporting adults, was an ensemble that I imagine will be hard to top any time soon. The individual talent on display, and the collective effort to bring the relationships to the fore in a realistic and meaningful way, left a deep impression on me.

The movie had its share of scary moments, but I found myself only jumping once. Most of the time the pre-scare cues were fairly obvious, so you could at least steel yourself. Despite that, the tension that was built was often palpable, and would get my pulse racing. I had the odd moment where I was ripped out of my immersion by the inherent silliness in an attempt at a scare here and there, but for the most part I was held in my seat by a strong sense of impending doom.

It’s my understanding that this version of IT, the first of two parts, is so far the most faithful in capturing the spirit of the book. Even though they’ve changed the time period from the 1950s to the 1980s, and taken other creative liberties necessary when translating from one artistic medium to another. While I can’t comment yet on the faithfulness to the book, the movie has inspired me to read my first King novel. So, I’ll be able to provide feedback on that front in the future.

There was something about this film that resonated with me, and has left it hooked in my brain like a prion. Even with films like Dunkirk and Logan having released this year, IT has stayed more closely with me. While the aforementioned titles, and others, have been great, there’s something about IT. I even anticipate that with Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I won’t forget this movie any time soon.

It’s probably the fact that we got a movie that presented a near-perfect blend of incredibly grounded human characters and fantastical horror monster. The gritty humanity of this film was often the most engaging, compelling you to care about the characters and their situation. I’m awaiting part 2 while a great deal of anticipation.

It gets a solid three thumbs up from me, with a hearty high-five.