Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of rather gruesome books written for Young Adults, the book takes place in North America however it is now a large city called Panem, Panem has twelve districts within its borders and each district is controlled by the Capital, the districts are all slightly different for example one district may focus heavily on coal mining while another may focus more on harvesting crops, these districts tend to be filled with lower and middle class citizens while the upper class who can afford a life of luxury live in the Capitol.

The Capitol holds an event every year called the Hunger Games and during the event two tributes one boy and one girl from each district are chosen at random to take part in a  live event where they will fight to the death in order for both them and their families to be able to live a better lifestyle by moving out of the district and into the Capital.

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The main protagonist of the series is Katniss Everdeen a 16 year old girl from District 12, Katniss lost her father in a coal mining accident and due to her mother being very sick has too put all of the food on the table and takes care of both her mother and little sister Prim, The first Hunger Games book is a thrill ride from beginning to end, in my opinion it only gets really good once the actual Hunger Games begin, its during the games that you get to see the strengths and weaknesses of each character although the book mostly follows Katniss on her journey, the book is a lot better than the movie in my opinion as I felt that the characters were better presented here and also certain events were better written than they were portrayed in the film.

The Hunger Games is emotional, tragic and intense all the way through and its bound to keep you interested, at some points I got so lost in the book that time would just fly by without me realising, its one of the best books I’ve read in a long time and it is a great start to my Reading schedule for 2018

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Not so Christmas Review: Chicken Run

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Chicken Run is a very unusual movie to say the least, Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman teamed up with Dreamworks animation to make an animated version of the Great Escape starring chickens and its fantastic.

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In a slightly kinder interpretation of a Nazi Concentration Camp Chickens are forced to produce eggs for their farmers and if they dont produce enough eggs for the week then its off to the chopping block, all of the chickens are miserable and want to escape but with the farmers Mr and Mrs Tweedy only living only a few feet away from the pen and their sadistic dogs killing any chickens that get out of the pen escape looks near impossible, that is until one day a rooster lands into the pen and Ginger (One of the chickens) sees this rooster as their saving Grace possibly giving them a chance to escape their captivity.

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The Voice Acting in Chicken Run is really great but to be honest I don’t recognize much of the cast except for two people, the first is Miranda Richardson who plays Mrs Tweedy and of course Mel Gibson who plays Rocky the Rooster.

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The Animation is done using stop motion, but like many of the past Aardman productions which have used this method the stop motion in Chicken Runs animation is so smooth that it may fool you into thinking it was made using CGI, due to the nature of the the film most of imagery is dark and depressing most likely to match the atmosphere of the film, I did notice that happier characters were decorated with brighter colours but I’m not sure if these colours were to help empathise their good spirits.

Chicken Run is one of greatest British animated films of all time and it needs to be seen by everyone, I’m not sure if it was released outside of Europe but if you haven’t seen it then you can stream it on Netflix or you can purchase the film if you would like to support Aardman to make more great movies.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Chicken Run

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at

ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

The Wolf Man (1941) Review

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The Wolf Man is quite a peculiar production as for an older film it doesn’t throw the possibility of a monster into your face, it is entirely possible that Larry Talbot didn’t actually get turned into a werewolf and it may just be the trauma of him killing a wolf and the old folk tales that have driven him into madness and turned him into a serial killer who doesn’t know that he is a murderer.

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The Title role is played by Lon Chaney Jr who is the second son of Lon Chaney aka the man of a thousand faces, the Wolf Man is a very sympathetic monster and I would argue that he is the most sympathetic of the Universal Monsters even more so than the Frankenstein Monster because even though the Monster didn’t understand his actions and didn’t realise he was causing harm Larry Talbot had no control over his actions at all when he transformed into the Wolf Man and once he transformed back into a man he couldn’t even remember what he had done just a few hours before.

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The make up for the Wolf Man was once again created by Jack Pierce who did work in some of the previous movies we have taken a look at this month, during the production process it is a well known fact that Lon Chaney Jr and Jack Pierce didn’t get along at all, the photograph above is very famous as it looks like Chaney is about to punch Jack Pierce in the face and while many believe it to be genuine I personally believe that Chaney is just messing around and having a laugh.

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A few famous face made their way into the Wolf Man including big stars Claude Rains and Bela Legosi, other well known actors include the likes of Maria Ouspenskaya and Evelyn Ankers.

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The sets and prop design for the Wolf Man are absolutely beautiful, from Talbot castle to the design of the silver cane and the most amazing set design has got to go to the forest where the Wolf Man makes most of his kills, the designers added a mystifying fog for a more spooky effect but I like to think that the fog is to symbolize getting lost in the forest while trying to hide from the wolf in a similar manner to Red Riding Hood or broadway productions such as Into the Woods.

the_wolf_man_1941_poster_2_by_smalltownhero The Wolf Man is a really fun movie to watch, unlike the Invisible Man which used a lot of comedy to entertain its audience the Wolf Man is fun due to its fast pace, it has a good build up to the monster but unlike some films it doesn’t wait too long for its reveal, the movie is quite action packed for a horror and I am sure it would have scared the pants off people back in the day, a cool fact is that the Wolf Man created the legacy that were wolves can only be killed by silver and also that if they bite another person they too will transform into a were wolf.

With his hairy make up and terrifying growl the Wolf Man is a horror movie to watch every year.

The Wolf Man is generous with its Bonus Features it includes four documentaries, original trailers and a commentary track

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Death Note Anime Review

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So after I reviewed Attack on Titan I got a barrage of emails for me to review a bunch of anime’s, out of all these anime’s the one people wanted me to review the most was Death Note and with so many people telling me how great it was how could I possibly not give it a watch?

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This is Light Yagami an intelligent high school graduate and natural genius, Light is the first human in the anime to find one of the famous note books known as a Death Note, a Death Note is a notebook owned by a Shinigami (God of Death) and if a human beings name is written in the Death Note that human being will die of a heart attack after 40 seconds, the author of the Death Note can choose the method of death if they write that in the Death Note within 30 seconds of writing the victims name, another rule is that they can only kill a victim with the Death Note if they know the face of the person they are killing the reason for this rule is that there may be many people who share the same first and last name

851Ryuk is the Shinigami that dropped the Death Note into the human realm, he did this for his own entertainment and he enjoys watching Light use the Death Note.

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Light originally uses the Death Note to kill criminals, his father is the chief of police and because of this he has been brought up with a strong sense of justice, unfortunately for Light his mysterious murders start a serious police investigation that is led by his father, he also gains a lot of support from followers who think of Light as a god and these followers refer to him as Kira which is the Japanese pronunciation of the word Killer, the police hire a private detective who is known as L, L  suspects Light of being Kira and he sends people to investigate him this makes Light begin his journey towards madness and he begins to use the Death Note to kill anyone who gets in his way making him a very dangerous serial killer.

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Later on into the anime Light actually joins the investigation team that is investigating him, the show gets really intense the further you get through it and its really cool to see just how psychotic Light becomes when his evil persona begins to take over his life.

Without giving away too many spoilers that’s about all I can say about Death note, it is one of the most unique anime I have ever seen, the animation is amazing for 2007, it uses a great blend of shadow and light effects to help emphasize the dark nature of the show as well as to give the art a more realistic style, I thought the voice acting on the English dub was very well done its not often that you can notice the amount of love and effort that was put into every characters personality and style of voice, I cant say much about the music in the show, none of it was that memorable and I didn’t even enjoy the theme song that much.

Death Note is a very popular anime and it has reason to be, I don’t think it could be recommended for everyone due to how dark the premise is but if you like dark anime then you should give this one a shot.

They did release two specials after the show ended the first was Death Note Rewrite Visions of a God and the second was Death Note Rewrite 2 L’s Successors, apart from the first 10 minutes both of these are just a compilation of clips from the show and I recommend skipping them

I hope you enjoyed this review of Death Note

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com
You can find me on miiverse by searching for draskafer