Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Review”

Audible Review: X-Files Cold Cases & Stolen Lives

The X-Files is a pop culture phenomenon that has spanned decades and various mediums, including TV, movies, video games, and audiobooks. Speaking of which, there are two Audible Originals for X-Files fans to enjoy: Cold Cases and Stolen Lives. Both of these books feature David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their iconic roles. There’s also a full cast and various sound effects to round out the top-notch production, making each audiobook feel like a full-fledged episode of the show.

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WWE 35 Years Of WrestleMania

DK is back with another WWE book. This time it’s an updated version of WWE 30 Years of WrestleMania, a book I got autographed by “Mr. WrestleMania” himself: Shawn Michaels. This new edition expands on the previous one by adding five additional WrestleMania events, as well as other content. Below is my video review of WWE 35 Years of WrestleMania.

KISS: The Hottest Brand In The Land

KISS: The Hottest Brand In The Land is a new coffee table book by Nicholas Buckland. Clocking in at 390 pages, it is the officially licensed story of the KISS merchandising craze of the late 1970s and early 1980s. While the Ultra Deluxe Edition, which was autographed by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, and the Deluxe Edition are sold out, the Standard Edition is still available for $99.

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Hershey’s Last KISS

Last night I attended my third concert, so far, on KISS’ End Of The Road Tour, and it was great! I previously saw the band back in the spring in Philadelphia and then Atlanta. Both of those shows were inside large arenas, while this one was outside, making for a totally different atmosphere. With 20,000 fans in attendance and sweltering heat, it was a high-energy performance that had people on their feet the entire time. And with it taking place in an amusement park, I know it conjured up images for fans of the cult classic KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.

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Audible Review: The Quick Red Fox

The Quick Red Fox is the fourth book in the Travis McGee series and it’s the first one that I didn’t care for, which surprised me. While this audiobook is well narrated and that McGee charm is pervasive, the story itself is incredibly slow. It takes forever for something meaningful to happen and there are a significant amount of inner-dialogue moments, which slow down the story even further. It’s a shame because I wanted to like this audiobook much more than I did. That said, I still look forward to future entries in the series.

Audible Review: A Purple Place For Dying

The Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald inspired numerous thriller and mystery writers, so I thought it would be a great idea to check out these books for myself. The audiobooks for the Travis McGee series are exclusive to Audible, and I recently completed the third book: A Purple Place For Dying. Each book includes a color in the title, making for unique and interesting names. As with the previous two entries, this novel was highly enjoyable.

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Review: Cats Comes to Philly

From June 18 through June 30, Cats, the award-winning and record-breaking Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, is in Philadelphia. I had the opportunity to see the show and it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I love cats (my wife and I have two that we adopted), and I love musicals. I also adore Barry Manilow’s interpretation of the signature song from this show: “Memory.” However, I found this show to be one of the weirdest musicals I’ve ever seen.

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Patti LuPone: Don’t Monkey with Broadway

Patti LuPone brought her one-woman show, “Don’t Monkey With Broadway,” to Verizon Hall in Philadelphia on June 9 and it was phenomenal. The two-time Tony Award winner performed classic Broadway show tunes by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Jule Styne, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin. She also told stories in between songs about how her life-long love affair with Broadway began and her concern for what the Great White Way is becoming today.

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Review: Alive by Tommy James

Tommy James, best known as the lead singer for Tommy James and the Shondells, is back with a new album: Alive. Overall, I’m impressed with the vocals and music. However, there are a few duds and the album has a disjointed feel to it.

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Book Review: The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

I love thrillers and I’m a huge video game fan. The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver is supposed to blend the two together. The problem is video games aren’t referenced until over 100 pages in. To make matters worse, the first chunk of the book is rather boring. Even more puzzling, what appears to be the main mystery of the story is resolved within the first 130 pages. Not all thrillers need to follow a formula but they should be well structured and true to their description. As a video game fan, I was let down. As a thriller fan, my interest became non-existent after 130 pages. With this in mind, I can’t recommend this book. It’s a shame because I was looking forward to reading it.

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