The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann – Show Review

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann (2019)

Director: Chris Smith

8 episodes

Synopsis: The story of Madeleine McCann, the young girl who went missing while on holiday in Portugal.

Source: Netflix

I have been loving the documentaries that Netflix is putting out, and this one isn’t an exception. However, I have some thoughts about it.

Firstly, I feel that it makes the Portuguese police look too much like useless buffoons. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot they could have done better when it came to this case, but it felt like the doc was trying to paint them as the villains, when all they were trying to do was help (excluding, maybe, the chief of police, but that’s another whole can of worms).

Another thing that bothered me was that the doc acted like the Portuguese were evil for qustioning why the parents would leave their children unattended, at night, witht the doors unlocked, when thy easily could have opted for the night time creche. I know that I’m biased when it comes to this, given that I’m Portuguese, but you need to try to understand us.

Even though we’re a fairly safe country, we never, I repeat, never leave children unattended, it’s just impossible for us, we’re a protective bunch.

Also, the documentary left some things hanging. For example, when it came out that the DNA found in the stuff the dogs said had blood and/or a corpse smell had “inconclusive” results, the doc simply forgot about it. I don’t agree with this approach at all – the results were inconclusive, which means that Madeleine could have died there, but also equally means that Madeleine didn’t die there.

Another thing that was left hanging was the fact that the babies didn’t wake up when all that fuss was happening. It simply doesn’t make sense.

Apart from that, I really liked the fact that Netflix brought people from different sides of the case and tended to have decent spelling and pronounciation of Portuguese things.

I also loved the fact thatthey recorded scenic footage in Algarve and allowed some people to speak Portuguese.

I didn’t like the “reenactments” but, to be honest, I never do.

Rating: 7/10 – somewhat factual but highly entertaining.

What to watch next:

Osho in Wild Wild Country (2018)

Wild Wild Country is a beautiful Netflix documentary about a… hum… religeon? cult? Both. I feel that it’s a lot more factual than the McCann one and has absolutely beautiful cinematography. Also, I learned a lot from this doc, given that I knew absolutely nothing about the rajneeshes.


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Mistakes Were Made (Bookburners Season Two Episode Three) – Book Review

Bookburners Season Two Episode Two

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Author: Brian Slattery

49 pages

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Asanti and Liam sneak invites to a magical conference in Russia, and find the bad coffee and cheap cups the least of their problems. While Asanti struggles with her feelings towards the Society and its mission, everybody else struggles to stay alive.

Source: Netgalley (in exchange for an honest review)

This was such a nice episode.

In it, we get to know Frances a lot better and, to be honest, I’m surprised I fell in love with her this quickly.

Not only that, Asanti becomes more complex, which is great.

But the plot… the plot knew when to be serious and when to be funny, and everything’s written in a way that makes sense.

“New” creatures are introduced as well, and now we have a small lead as to what happened to Team Four.

I honestly can’t wait to read more of this serial.

Rating: 4,5 stars

Want a different review? Click here!

She was sociable enough, she thought. She loved parties. But there was something to the silence, too, to just looking out the window.

A Walk Through Hell Volume One – Book Review

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Author: Garth Ennis

Artist: Goran Sudžuka

Editor: Mike Marts

120 pages

Genre: Horror Comics

Synopsis: So these two FBI agents walk into a warehouse…
Special Agents Shaw and McGregor handle the routine cases nowadays, which is just the way Shaw likes it. She’s pushing 40, a borderline burnout, the ghastly memories of her last investigation still clinging like shadows. McGregor is younger, more dedicated, hanging onto some measure of idealism whatever the world might throw at him.
When two fellow agents go missing inside a Long Beach warehouse, Shaw and McGregor are sent to investigate. But what they find waiting is far from routine, as the local police have already discovered to their cost. Before the night is out, our heroes will encounter terror beyond their most appalling nightmares―in a place where the night may never end at all.

Source: Netgalley (in exchange for an honest review)

This book was okay. I first picked it up because the synopsis made it so that the story had legs to run a marathon, if you understand what I mean.

However, this book ran a few meters and waled the rest.

In the beginning, I was truly fascinated because, even though the characters weren’t interesting, the story was. The way it flowed from the present to the past was absolutely perfect.

However, there was a part in which I lost interest in the story. At some point, it felt the story was, like the characters, walking in a labyrinth that always lead to the same place.

The were also scenes that felt like filler, something that should never happen. The worst part is that the filler pages were the FBI agents talking about how bad the alt-right is (which I completely agree with) and how odd it is that they have the president they do. There’s a time and place for political commentary and, even though this book had the perfect places to talk about Trump’s immigration scandals and other stuff he’s done, it never ceased the opportunity, the political parts always came at the wrong time.

Rating: 3 stars

Book Learnin’: A Pie Comics Collection – Book Review

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Author: John McNamee

128 pages

Genre: Humor Graphic Novel

Synopsis: Pie Comics began as a college comic strip way back in the mid ’00s, when flip phones roamed the earth. But after a shoulder injury forced cartoonist John McNamee to simplify his drawing style and improvise comics, Pie Comics evolved into the beloved strip it is today! This new collection from The Onion and the New Yorker contributor features his most incisive and hilarious comics on knowledge, how we obtain it, and how we distort it.

Source: Netgalley (in exchange for an honest review)

This is another of those graphic novels with a lot of small stories. What makes it different from the others?

Well, like the others, it has simple drawings, but they don’t look lazy at all. And, unlike the others, this has lots of colour.

Not only that, this one is actually funny. Everything is ridiculous and caught me off-guard.

Also,t he themes themselves made it so that things were interesting too.

I’m glad I read this.

Rating: 4 stars

What to read next: If you like silliness, read The Professor’s Daughter by Joann Sfar.

The Umbrella Academy Season One – Show Review

Ellen Page, Robert Sheehan, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Jack Lewis, Aidan Gallagher, and Emmy Raver-Lampman in The Umbrella Academy (2019)

Creator: Jeremy Slater

12 episodes

Synopsis: A disbanded group of superheroes reunites after their adoptive father, who trained them to save the world, dies.

Source: Netflix

Even though I love TV and movies, I don’t care that much about superhero stuff. It tends to be formulaic, bland, and always takes itself too seriously.

So, when I saw ads about this show, I didn’t care all that much. However, when I heard about my friends’ feedback, I decided to give it a go. How bad could it be? Worst case scenario, I’d drop it.

So, I watched the first episode. And I fell in love.

You see, this show isn’t just about super heroes, it’s also about what it takes to become one. At its core, this show is about mentally damaged siblings who have to deal with a great loss.

Each sibling is very different from the other, all of them are a fully constructed character. Each has their quirks, and you’ll fall in love with at least one of them (I, for example, fell in love with Klaus on the first episode).

But even though the characters are fully realized right from the beginning, we still see them grow beautifully.

That added to how the show perfectly switches from seriousness to silliness makes everything better.

So, even though there are some pretty obvious plot twists, I couldn’t help but tag along.

Rating: 8/10

April 2019 Wrap-Up

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This month started with a mildly interesting book, A Walk Through Hell Volume One, by Garth Ennis. In the beginning, I was stuck to its pages, however, as time went on, the interest died off. There were some concepts that could have been better explored and there were scenes that did nothing but fill pages.

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I also read the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace. This book stumped me. I have absolutely no words to describe how much I loved it.

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Then, I finished The Body in the Library (Miss Marple #3) by Agatha Christie. This book was pure fun, I had missed whodunits as fun as this. Now, I want to read more from this author, and especially more stories involving Miss Marple!

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To finish the month off, I read Ghosts (Bookburners Season 2 Episode 4) by Margaret Dunlap. When I started this episode, I feared that maybe I wouldn’t enjoy the story because I haven’t picked this serial up in a long time, however, I was wrong, which is great. I had forgotten how much I love the characters and the writing, I definitely need to get in the habit of reading more Bookburners.