Spider-Man: Far from Home: Movie Review

Hello, readers!

We’re back today with a brand-new movie review: Spider-Man: Far from Home, which made its theatrical debut on July 2nd.

Directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland in his 5th (yes, 5th) time as the titular web-slinger, this film follows Peter Parker post-Endgame while he tries to juggle being both Spider-Man and a normal 16-year-old kid all at the same time.

If you have not seen the film and do not want to be spoiled but do want to know if it’s worth seeing: Yes. A resounding yes.

Now, for the love of Peter Parker, shoo.

SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT.

(THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO TURN BACK.)

Still with me? Ok, here we go…

Continue reading “Spider-Man: Far from Home: Movie Review”

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn – Book Review

Aaaand welcome to our first review of 2019! (Yes, I realize we’re 4 months in. I’ll try to do better at this blogging thing, I promise.)

Today I’ll be talking about a brand-new YA book from a debut author – You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn.

You'd Be Mine - Erin Hahn

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

This book was one of my most highly anticipated YA novels of 2019, so did it meet my expectations? Find out below the cut (SPOILERS abound)!

Continue reading “You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn – Book Review”

Signed, Sealed Delivered: The Road Less Traveled (2018) – Movie Review

Hello again, dear readers!

Today we’ll be talking about the latest installment in my favorite Hallmark movie series ever – Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Road Less Traveled.

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If you’re not familiar with the sheer awesomeness that is SSD, check out my review of Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground for a #POstables crash course. If you’re just trying to keep the viewing order straight, it’s as follows:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (2013) – Pilot episode

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (2014) – Television series

Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas (2014) – 1st film on the then-newly rebranded Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris with Love (2015)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Truth Be Told (2015)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Impossible Dream (2015)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From the Heart (2016)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: One in a Million (2016)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Lost Without You (2016)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground (2017)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Home Again (2017)

Signed, Sealed Delivered: The Road Less Traveled (2018)

This latest postal mystery takes place shortly after Home Again (which I somehow missed reviewing, although I’ve seen it many times since the premiere last year), and has our intrepid POstables on a road trip.

The Postables take a road trip in an old Winnebago in order to track down a small boy who they fear may have been kidnapped. The discovery of a 1980’s era instant camera and the unusual photographs it contains, send our team on a wild ride across Colorado using the pictures as a guide.

One thing I absolutely LOVE about this series is not only the dead letter (or in this case, camera) mysteries, but the relationships between our core characters. As of The Road Less Traveled, Shane & Oliver are in a committed relationship and Norman & Rita are busily planning their wedding (which will be shown in the next movie, currently being filmed in Canada).  Both couples hit a minor speedbump in their relationships (Norman & Rita’s being Norman’s insecurity and Shane & Oliver’s being a secret Shane had been keeping), but through love, trust, & communication resolve their issues well before the end of the film.

Written by Brandi Harkonen, who has co-written & produced many of the past SSD movies with series creator, Martha Williamson, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Road Less Traveled is a wonderful addition to the series beloved by #POstables the world over. There are callbacks to prior films, parallels between the postal mystery & the POstables personal relationships, and many lessons to be learned in each of these wonderful shows & films. For a deeper look at the messages hidden in the film, I highly recommend checking out the Alameda & Downing blog, the ‘official’ source of all things SSD.

FINAL RATING: 4 1/2 SPORKS

The movie that’s currently being filmed is the last one that’s been ordered, so show your support by Follow Martha, Brandi & the cast on Twitter @MarthaMoonwater@BrandiHarkonen, @Eric_Mabius@kristintbooth@geoffgustafson, & @RealCrystalLowe, Tweet along using the hashtag #POstables, and letting @hallmarkmovie@MichelleVicary, & @billabbottHC that you want more SSD!

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck – Book Review

I’ve finally got some free time, so today we’ll be diving into a new book review – A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck.

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Here’s the description of the book from Goodreads, which mind you is the ONLY description I read before actually reading the book:

The unrequited love of the girl next door is the centerpiece of this fiercely funny, yet heart-breaking debut novel.
Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him.

This review contains MAJOR spoilers under the cut, so if you want to read the book not knowing what happens, I suggest you bow out right about now.

Continue reading “A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck – Book Review”

Mazie Meadows Morning Show Revisited – Podcast Re-review

Greetings, readers–

The first time we here at The Spork Review reviewed the Mazie Meadows Morning Show it was still a brand-new podcast with only 2 episodes having been released. Since episode 12 has just been freshly dropped as a special Veteran’s Day bonus, we’ll be making our way back to the Meadows for our very first re-review!

If you’re not familiar with the Mazie Meadows Morning Show, check out my initial thoughts HERE.

This is one active little town! Since we were last in Mazie, we’ve met more residents, stumbled across more dead bodies, (not all of which I believe are TOTALLY dead), had a golf tournament, went looking for Bigfoot in the woods, and as of episode 11, witnessed an amazingly epic talent show. In fact, once you’re done listening to the talent show episode give the 2 original songs featured in the episode a download here. I’ve caught myself humming “A Little While” on multiple occasions, and Uncle Rick’s Chicken Rap is one of the best things I’ve ever heard.

The latest episode, a Veteran’s Day bonus, features the return of Frank Arlo, the founder of the Mazie Meadows Morning Show.

It’s a great bonus episode that has just enough humor sprinkled in with a whole lot of appreciation for all those who have served in our military.

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Wise words, Uncle Rick. Wise words.

I didn’t think it was possible, but the show has gotten funnier & funnier with each new release. The townsfolk are all enjoyable to listen to, even the ones you love to hate (I’m looking at you, Zac Verral). The co-hosting chemistry between Charlie and Nick is excellent and the jokes are on point. I’ve had several close calls with beverages almost getting accidentally inhaled or spit out from laughter while listening to a new episode.

The show has definitely managed to hold other listeners’ attention as well: now a top 40 podcast with over a million downloads, several podcast award nominations, and even a section on the MMMS website dedicated to fan art it looks like the MMMS will be on the air for a long time.

Updated rating: Still 5 Medowian Sporks

You can find the Mazie Meadows Morning Show online at https://www.maziemeadowsmorningshow.com/, follow the show, Charlie, & Uncle Rick on Twitter at @MazieMeadowsMS, @CharlieMMMS, & @UncleRickBerlyl and subscribe via either iTunes or Android. Look for new episodes on the 1st & 15th of every month.

Mazie Meadows Morning Show – Podcast Review

Do you hear that, readers? It’s the sound of our next review – the creator of which will seem familiar from hit audio drama The Others and podcast Cryptid Creatures. Jesse Haynes’ latest venture, the Mazie Meadows Morning Show, is a new podcast done in the form of a small-town radio show.

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This is no ordinary small town, however; Mazie Meadows is home to some very interesting denizens. There’s Charlie, the host of the Mazie Meadows Morning Show, his brand-new co-host Nick, Uncle Rick, owner of Uncle Rick’s House of Chub and frequent caller, and Leroy, owner of a goat farm known as the Triple G.  Of course, that’s just a few of the human inhabitants…

The first episode begins with Charlie’s former co-host, Frank Arlo, retiring.  This sets up the main storyline as well as revealing that Charlie is getting a new co-host named Nick, who is introduced in episode 2. I can’t talk about too much detail without giving away any spoilers, but I will say that while I love all of Jesse’s podcasts, I really think that Mazie Meadows will be my favorite.  The show, while being a paranormal mystery, is hilarious. It’s pretty family-friendly; there’s some jokes in episodes 1 & 2 that will go over the younger listeners’ heads while entertaining the adult listeners, but there’s nothing too risqué. The entire cast is funny, but Uncle Rick & Leroy especially crack me up with gems like this quote from episode 1:

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And this one from episode 2:

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The dynamic between Charlie & Nick is great; Charlie is adorably awkward when confronted with having to give up solo hosting duties and Nick just fits in so seamlessly despite being new to the area. The mystery gets set up nicely in the first episode and makes you eager to get to the next to find out more.  The show is well-written –  Jesse can write sci-fi, humor, drama, horror, and mystery & make them all so different yet so right. The voice actors all do a phenomenal job with their characters – their line delivery is perfect.  I sincerely hope that we’re able to continue going to Mazie Meadows for a long time.

Final rating: 5 Meadowian Sporks

You can find the Mazie Meadows Morning Show online at https://www.maziemeadowsmorningshow.com/, follow both the show & Charlie on Twitter at @MazieMeadowsMS & @CharlieMMMS, and subscribe via either iTunes or Android. The show is set up on a bi-monthly schedule – episodes will be released on the 1st & 15th of every month.  In between, however, there will be new blog posts, which can be found at https://www.maziemeadowsmorningshow.com/blog/ on the 8th & 24th of every month.

For more information on Jesse Haynes, check out his website at http://www.jessehaynesauthor.com.

Wonder Woman (2017) – Movie Review

Hello again, readers! Today I’ll actually be reviewing something current – Wonder Woman (2017)!

Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot as the titular character, Wonder Woman tells the origin story of Amazonian princess/ Justice League member Diana of Themyscira, who leaves her home to go rescue humanity from Ares, the Greek god of war.

Aided by Captain Steve Trevor of British Intelligence (Chris Pine), Diana heads to the front lines of World War I.

While the movie is far from flawless, it’s the best DC comic-based film I’ve seen in a long time.  Gal Gadot was the best part of Batman vs Superman (for a film titled that there was very little versus going on) and continues to be the perfect Diana Prince/Wonder Woman.  She portrays the badassedness of Wonder Woman combined with the naivete of someone who’s literally lived on an island full of women her entire life perfectly and Chris Pine is fantastic as Steve Trevor.

Like i said though, the film isn’t flawless. For a huge blockbuster film, the CGI is actually not that great, which honestly shocked me. There were a few plot points that kind of annoyed me, and I really felt that David Thewlis was miscast. While he’s a wonderful actor and I love him as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter series, I just wasn’t feeling him in this film.

Is it worth seeing on the big screen? Absolutely. It’s actually a very good film and made me excited for Justice League.

Final rating: 3 3/4 Sporks of Truth