Movie Review:  Fifty Shades of Grey (and a giveaway!)

Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey (and a giveaway!)

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Thursday night I went with my friend Mindie (and her mom, and her grandma!) to see Fifty Shades of Grey. I went into the theater planning to be critical and not let my soft spot for the books color my opinion of the movie, but honestly?  I surprised myself by really enjoying it.  I’m not going to go into the story line, I think the book has been around long enough that most of us know what it’s about, or at least have a general idea.

What I liked:

  • Dakota Johnson – I was not happy when she was cast and expected to hate her as Anna Steele. Here’s me admitting I was wrong: She was fabulous! I wasn’t expecting her to be so funny and have a great sense of comedic timing. The audience laughed a lot and I was right there with them. She was my favorite part of the movie.
  •  Marcia Gay Harden – I didn’t look up the characters aside from Christian and Anna, so I had no idea MGH was Christian’s mother. She was perfectly cast and I enjoyed the few scenes she was in.
  • Their e-mails – I liked their electronic communication in the books, and it was cute in the movie: little boxes with their messages would pop up on screen.  Not distracting at all.
  • Anna’s wardrobe – I want her stylist! Mindie also commented on Anna’s great style (aside from her interview outfit, of course).
  • Jamie Dornan’s ass – *fans self* It was nice. As you’ll see below, I am not a fan of Jamie Dornan as Christian, but I am *definitely* a fan of his ass. I wonder if his ass has a twitter account…
  • The ‘negotiation’ scene – I enjoyed this scene; it showed Anna with a little backbone while still being humorous.

 

What I didn’t like:

  • Jamie Dornan – Honestly, it seemed to me that he was phoning it in. His half-hearted use of the ‘toys’ in the playroom and his stilted delivery of the lines just didn’t work for me.
  • Luke Grimes as Christian’s brother Elliot – I don’t remember his character being a skeevy club-rat, but that’s how he came across in the movie. Mindie said he looked like a gas station attendant; I agree.
  • Lack of peen – Yeah, I said it. Seriously, we see Dakota Johnson’s breasts in probably 10 scenes; I could probably draw you a picture from memory, but not even a flash of his man-bits, aside from his butt (see #5 above) and some abdominal shots. For a movie so heavily targeted at females, this surprised me.
  • Some of the dialogue that worked for me in the book didn’t come across as well on screen. As Mindie said to me, they assumed the viewers had read the book so the holes would fill themselves (heh).

 

Let’s talk about sex, baby:
The first sex scene where he takes her upstairs to ‘take care of this little problem’ was hot. The other sex scenes were a little disappointing – her first spanking was lighter than a ‘love tap’ husbands give to their wives whenever their butt is in close range 😉 There was nice use of the ties and ropes, but the flogger scene was half-hearted at best. Don’t get me wrong, Dakota Johnson did a wonderful job of appearing turned on and sexually excited, but Jamie Dornan didn’t seem to be very into her.

 

Final Thoughts:
I found myself noticing several times during the movie that Dakota Johnson has beautiful eyes.  And Jamie Dornan has weird fingernails.

But seriously, as you can see from my lists above I think that there were more positives than negatives. Is it going to win any awards? Probably not, but I enjoyed the movie and I’m glad I didn’t wait for it to come out on DVD; Fifty Shades of Grey is a movie that pairs perfectly with a girls’ night out, a few drinks, and a lot of fun.

Hey Parajunkee, if you want to go see it, I’ll go again!! ~P

 

Young Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal Romance

The Giveaway:

Shades of Dornan

From film and TV critic Jo Berry comes the unauthorized biography of model-turned-actor Jamie Dornan, starring as Christian Grey in the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey film!

Jamie Dornan is quickly becoming a megastar. The announcement of his lead role in the upcoming movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey caused a media frenzy and he has been hitting the headlines ever since. After English actor Charlie Hunnam stepped away from the role, Dornan was catapulted into the international spotlight. Previously a model for Calvin Klein alongside Kate Moss, he has appeared in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, has dated Keira Knightley, was cast as the sheriff in the hit fantasy TV drama Once Upon A Time, and followed it up with an acclaimed leading performance in the TV thriller The Fall. With details compiled from in-depth research into both his personal and professional life, this insightful book will reveal fifty shades of Jamie Dornan—a no-holds-barred biography of the man who everyone wants to know intimately.

I have one copy of Shades of Jamie Dornan by Jo Berry courtesy of Gallery Books.  US only.  Enter via rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Divergent #Movie Review

Divergent #Movie Review

Well it is here. Are we trembling? Are we swooning over Theo James and wearing black? Are we gripping our copies of Veronica Roth’s epic book in our fingers as we witness DIVERGENT come to life on the BIG screen?

Divergent, Movie Review from a reader's perspective

Well, I wasn’t. But, there might have been a few of them in the theater. I felt sorry for their husbands. Yes, they were mostly thirty somethings, and a Baptist Church van of 70-somethings (where they came from I have no idea). I wonder how they thought of the big picture representation, especially the few readers in the audience? You can always tell who are the readers – they have this look of anticipation in their eyes as they wait anxiously for the movie to start. It’s hard to describe, but I always can tell. I usually stop them after the movie and ask their thoughts.  As far as me – my thoughts were very lackluster as I left the movie theater. The film was playing over in my mind and I couldn’t really say I didn’t like it, but I couldn’t really say I loved it. Which makes the hardest reviews to write.

What impressed me the most about the movie, Divergent?

The setting. Dystopian Chicago was amazing. They did such a phenomenal job with everything. I can’t even begin to imagine how they handled this. Unlike movies of its similar ilk, i.e. The Hunger Games where they have to come up with “new stuff,” The Capital, which is mostly CGI and dusty District 12 – Divergent had to represent an actual city, ravaged. The shores of Lake Michigan, obvious, but not so obvious. It was pretty cool how they did this, granted – it was a big tanker, left to rot on the shores…but it was still cool. The setting and the effects get a 5 star rating. Everything from the wind turbines on the buildings, to the rotted out ferris wheel that is a key scene in the book, everything thing was done spectacularly. I wouldn’t have imagined the interior of Dauntless headquarters, quite like they had it – but it worked.

Divergent the movie review

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of the film, or the novel it is based on, you have this dystopian world, scavenging off the remnants of a war-torn Chicago. They have a big wall that goes around it and everyone in this wall is separated into factions. There are five factions, each one represent a different virtue. Tris Prior is non of these faction she is Divergent and she has to face the consequences of being born this way. It doesn’t help that at this moment in time, certain events are happening that make being a divergent very dangerous.

Yes, blah, blah – I know most of you that are reading this review, know about the story. I’m just saying it just in case.

Back to the movie. So, we have Beatrice “Tris” Prior, who is played by Shailene Woodley. She is the main character of the film. The numero uno, sole focus of the story. Shailene Woodley, in all honesty, was probably the worst casting for this role. This movie would have been so much better if they would have cast this role differently. Woodley’s acting was about as stimulating as a robot. In fact a robot playing Tris might have done a bit better. The girl had the emotional capacity of a sea apple, if you’ve ever met a sea apple – you know how little emotion that is. The scenes in which she is supposed to show emotion, it just seems, well forced, I cringed instead emoting with her. Tris is supposed to be reserved, but this was bad acting, not reserved.  Jennifer Lawrence does reserved in The Hunger Games, Shailene Woodley did robotic. The only time she really captured the part was when she was having the snot beat out of her, or when she was trepidatious. She’s got trepidatious down – now on to the next gamut of emotional reactions…nope…it didn’t happen.

Her acting ruined the movie. Even her narration was to be desired.

Then to expect LOVE from her. It didn’t happen. I didn’t even sense attraction. What girl wouldn’t at least look attracted when they viewed Theo James. She should have gotten that down…

Again, I’m going to compare this movie to another of it’s kind. TWILIGHT. Don’t freak. But, really – Twilight got a lot of shit about the bad acting of it’s cast. Just the intense blinking of whats-her-name that played Bella, received it’s own Tumblr blog. But – the reason the movie kept the fandom movie-goers happy – because of the Romance. Or, the swoon factor. The angsty, sexy, teen romance of awesome. Romance works. How many times have you seen Titanic?? Was it the sinking ship or the romance?

DIVERGENT, the book, has angsty, sexy, teen romance of awesome. Divergent the movie did not. Watching Woodley make-out with Theo James was akin to viewing make-out scenes with Catherine Zeta-Jones and ex-hubby Michael Douglas. Everything is legal, but, um… ew.  Theo James, as Four is a man. Woodley as Tris is a girl. And they have this emotional music playing, Ellie Goulding’s Dead in the Water, then they have this sudden kiss and she says “stop” – and cut. Nothing. The song even cuts off mid passion. That clip you saw. Yeah, this one…

…shows all of the teen angst and romantic interplay in the entire movie.

This was it...the romance of the movie.

This was it. All you got.

And that was the crux of the whole endeavor. You have a great story, you have a great setting, but the main actress, is just not doing it for me and suddenly the whole movie just collapses and I’m not feeling it.

On to the happier points. Like I said, I enjoyed the movie Divergent, I just didn’t love it.

Divergent Movie Review, Dauntless, EricTheo James was spectacular. Ashley Judd, phenomenal in her small roll as Natalie, Tris’ mom. And even Kate Winslet, whom was inflated in her roll as Jeanine, was great. They gave Winslet so many more scenes then she should have had – all because she was playing this roll, I’m sure. I really don’t remember Jeanine being so significant in the first book. She even did the whole “bad guy monologue” of why she is taking over the world – which I really don’t like about the books. I don’t remember this being in the first book.

But, moving on to like. I even was impressed with Eric, played by Jai Courtney. But that was probably because I was lusting after him. Gawd those neck tats and eyebrow ring. Yeah, he was a bad boy, evil guy, but who cares!

My overall thoughts are that I enjoyed the movie. The acting of everyone but was excellent. The setting was excellent. And I just can’t get over the casting of Tris – have the movie makers watched the SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER? They probably are hoping that she’ll trump Jennifer Lawrence as actress sweatheart now that she’s landing roles like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (I shudder to think how that one will go over!). But, hey I don’t make movies. Also, they showed clips of the sexy scene – and the fans went wild – why was it so neglected in the whole movie? That sells tickets. Romance. It was just too subtle. I didn’t feel it.

This is not THE HUNGER GAMES. It might be a close second, though. A ton of critics disagree with me. They love Woodley, calling her acting “subtle.” I guess it was too subtle for me.

I’m unfortunately of the opinion that the movie makers have to step away from the “best selling YAs” for awhile, leave them alone. Come up with your own ideas for a bit and let our global consciousness forget these few attempts at trying to blockbuster and already phenomenal piece of literature. In the EW piece they say this about DIVERGENT: “The template seems simple enough: adapt a best-selling dystopian YA book with a dynamic female heroine, sit back, and start counting the moolah.” But, I don’t agree. Out of the last ten films, only a few are a home run…mainly just two franchises in particular, TWILIGHT and THE HUNGER GAMES. And I doubt DIVERGENT will come anywhere close to those type of ticket sales.

Go see it though, you’ll enjoy it on the big screen. It is worth the extra expense to see it in all it’s glory. The panoramic views of the city will take your breath away. The action scenes, the jumping, the fighting the zip lining. All fun. All worth it. It’s just when Woodley opens her mouth…

#VAMovie Review – Vampire Academy from a fan of the books perspective…

#VAMovie Review – Vampire Academy from a fan of the books perspective…

The Vampire Academy movie was a well-done translation of the popular series by Richelle Mead.  The movie stayed almost religiously true to the book, which should make all of you fan girls squirm. But, does it have blockbuster potential? No. I have a feeling that this movie is not going to “wow” moviegoers that aren’t familiar with the books. In fact I’m pretty sure it will come under fire by a few critics that will literally be lost in translation as this movie flies through the back story of Rose and Lissa.

But was it good for me?? OH YES.

Daniel Waters (screenplay) you are a fan girls BFF.

But, was it a lot to take in? In such a short amount of time? Yes.
My head was spinning as each character was introduced and the world was splayed in quick succession before viewers — so I can imagine what uninformed viewers were feeling. I mean Mead’s world is ridiculously full of plot and setting – to have that translated into one film of only 1hr 44min‎ is hoping for a miracle.

You had words flying across the screen (literally) as Rose narrated the tale of the royalty, the Moroi, the Dhampirs, the Strigoi. Characters were introduced in quick succession, the story told in Rose’s succinct narrative and then wham bam Strigoi attacks, bitchy high school bullshit, sexy kissing scenes all paced by Rose and her fun witty comebacks. Oh they did such a good job with Rose’s sense of humor and snark. That was literally perfect. I hope those uniformed masses will look past all the crazy and just fall in love with Rose, like we fangirls have done from reading about her!

But there were times when it was too much…

I was about to have a panic attack at the first Christian and Lissa scene. It was so fast, so blown-by,  but so by the book, that I was about to stand-up and scream – “wait! Can we rewind that?!”  If only right? You have Lissa and Christian meeting in the “secret spot” and Rose witnessing it via her link – and she is commenting on the events. In a book, it gets the point across. In the movie, it was a lot.

Vampire Academy movie review

Are you getting my point yet? I mean this movie was almost word for word by the books. But, because of this it was hard to follow. They had to SQUISH it all together and put some things out of order, turn a bit topsy-turvy, all the while making sure that Rose and Lissa did just as was told by Richelle Mead. If I was Richelle Mead I would be severely pleased, but if I hadn’t read the books, I might be a bit overwhelmed.

But, enough of that.

I know what is on all of your minds. Was it cheesy? Was the interpretation a Mean Girls meets Twilight? Nope. They did a really good job. The fangirls should be out doing a dance in celebration of righteousness. The acting was done well, Zoey Deutch, well I want to wrap her up and stick her in my purse and keep her around so I can bring her out and sniff her when no one is looking. (SORRY!!!) Lucy Fry who played Lissa, I was a bit distracted by her mouth for most of the movie, but she did a good Lissa portrayal. Danila Kozlovsky who played the book boyfriend of book boyfriends, Dmitiri Belikov, well he needed to be so much more hotter, but yeah I was swooning…

Vampire Academy movie review

The only time it came close to cheese ball was those stupid Psy-hounds. They were pretty bad. Seems Syfy isn’t doing as bad of a job with their werewolves as it seems. Cause these were just kind of drooly and growly. Okay and yeah the dance scene was pretty silly with all the mean girls baring fangs. Which was the first trailer that I saw — which lowered my estimation of the movie BIG time. But it was one silly scene, that culminated in a ridic Dmitiri blink. Close to the book, yes. Kind of cheesy. Yup.

But, lest I forget…oh Mason. I just wanted to grab him up and sniff him too! So well done by Cameron Monaghan. That was not how I pictured Mason. But, loved it. *sniffle*

Overall enjoyable movie for a screaming fan of Richelle Mead, I just have pessimistic views on the turn-out that this movie will get and all is riding on the turn-out if there is hope to film a second movie. So, hopefully I am wrong.*please please please* be wrong!

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So go see it fans!! Especially if you want a second movie. You’ll love it as a fan of the book.

All images are from va-movie.com

Ender’s Game Movie Review

Ender’s Game Movie Review

Ender's Game the movie, review

Title: Ender’s Game
Director/Writer:
Cast: (Ender), Harrison Ford (Colonel Graff), (Mazer Rackman), (Petra)

ENDER’S GAME the movie is a stunning realization of the book it was based off, by the same name. The movie was a joy to watch, complete with superb acting, inspiring visual effects and a screenplay that reflects the original book with complete respect, you can’t go wrong with this flick.

Review:
The basis of the movie is a translation of about half of the novel, covering Ender’s POV entirely. The movie starts exactly where the book begins, with Ender in school, his monitor installed, the governing military of present day Earth, the International Fleet watching his every move. Their goal is to see if he is a perfect candidate to go to Battle School and hopefully become the next commander of the Fleet. It is quite evident from the beginning that Ender has been chosen not only to lead the Fleet, but is their last hope for a commander to protect them from an invading alien species. An alien race that decimated Earth’s population 100 years earlier.

Ender is taken out of his home, which isn’t exactly a warm and friendly place and put into Battle School which is even more “unfriendly.” Ender is given trial after trial to force him to become not just a good leader, but a leader that can take the human race to victory over the Formics.

The movie was very fast paced, they had a lot of material to cover. Ender’s launchie days, his transfer to Salamander army and then his subsequent promotion to Dragon Army Commander. Then  back to Earth and then later Command School, which is where some of the most stunning visual effects occurred. It was a lot to cover in one movie and because of this I was a bit apprehensive about the movie. But, they did well. Gavin Hood did cut a lot, but what was included made the point.

Ender's Game The MovieI was highly impressed with the movie, the acting of Asa Butterfield was to the tee Ender Wiggins, I don’t think they could have cast that roll any better. Colonel Graff was played by Harrison Ford and while Graff’s character was a bit more caustic and reprehensible, compared to how Harrison Ford’s portrayal, he did do a good job. The surprise of the movie was Viola Davis playing a Major “Gwen” Anderson. A role that was male in the book, but was made more believable by Volia’s performance, since Anderson was the only one that seemed guilt-ridden by their treatment of the children.Mazor Rackham Ben Kingsley as Rackham was also a bit of surprise, but it was his casting it was the fact that they depicted him with the Maori facial tattoos. This was not once mentioned in the book, but it was brought up in the movie. Rackham claiming that his facial tattoos were there to commemorate his father’s Maori heritage, his way of “speaking for the dead.” Again, this was another idea of Ender’s that was taken away from him within the movie. The concept of speaking for the dead being covered at the end of the book, when Ender begins his life as a colonist and a Speaker For The Dead, his first tome, the story of the Bugger Queen. This was the only mention of this concept in the movie and one of the most poignant concepts that I identified with in my adult reading of Ender’s Game. Poor Ender wasn’t the isolated mega-genius that he was in Card’s book, but a cog in the wheel of greatness that was the team of Ender’s Game the movie. I don’t know what Ender I liked more, movie Ender or book Ender. At least movie Ender was more relatable, since in the books, I could never make up my mind if I actually liked Ender as a person.

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The special effects of the film were stunning by comparison to other space movies that I’ve seen. Sweeping camera shots of the space stations, alien planets and rocket launches were breathtaking. They also depicted the battle room exactly how I imagined it.

Lines like “The enemy gate is down.” Were reiterated within the movie to give substance to Ender’s mind and how it worked. The movie actually brought most of the points of the book together, much simpler then how the book did. Card’s writing left you to interpret a lot of the motivations behind Ender’s maneuverings and the movie stated them aloud.  It worked though, having read the book, numerous times before seeing this movie.

Recommendations: You don’t have to have read the book to enjoy the movie. Fans of science fiction and action movies should really enjoy. The movie was not inappropriate for children, there were a few scenes of violence and explosions but nothing that would make me uncomfortable to show my own child. Because of the duration of the film and some scenes I do recommend for 10+ age range. Younger children will be bored because of the more mature themes and storyline.

Overall, a fabulous movie. There is no reason a person needs to read the book before seeing this movie, there were no areas that weren’t covered or scenes crafted “just for fans of the book.” Every point covered within the movie was to get to the final scene. The overall feel of the movie covering the basics of what the book had to impart. Go see the movie, you won’t be disappointed.

Book to Movie Discussion. There will be spoilers.

As a fan of the book, I knew there would be no way that the entirety would be translated into one feature film. The book within those 400 pages covers so much, including Ender’s young life for over a few years.

urlThe first deviation from the book was with Ender’s age and the time period of his point-of-view. The movie only takes place within a few months of time. Which seems a bit childish to think that this fourteen year old boy could learn to command and entire fleet within such a short time? And they probably could have covered the same kind of time-line that Ender’s Game is set within – but would that have been received well by movie watchers? A six year old beating the crap out of other kids? Probably not.

ENDER'S GAMEThe second large deviation I noticed was that Ender was not as isolated within the movie as he was within the book. Ender was quickly accepted as a leader at Battle School in the movie, being given his Jeesh early on in the film, they put Bean in his launch group and used him as a kind of sounding board. Instead of Ender coming to all the conclusions that he did within the novel, Ender and members of his jeesh came to those conclusions together. Mainly “The enemy gate is down” was processed when Ender and Bean first stepped into training in the Battle Room, instead of just Ender on his own. It worked in the movie though, since this process was all internal with Ender. The avoidance of a lot of internal monologue led to Ender not being portrayed as completely isolated like in the book. One major account was also Petra’s character as a main role, leading me to believe this was included for “hopeful romance” scenes. Ender did train with Petra, like in the book, but it was a key focal point in the movie. Petra being Ender’s first ally instead of Alai.

A few other deviations:

  • The aliens were never called buggers, only Formics.
  • Peter and Valentine were only siblings, there was never any discussion of Locke or Demosthenes. This cut out a lot of the book, since a good portion of the books POV was Valentine’s.
  • While the term Third was brought up, it wasn’t expounded on in the movie.
  • Bernard’s character was brought throughout the entire movie and was even brought into Ender’s jeesh, which I didn’t understand. Characters like Carn Carby, Dumper, Hot Soup, Shen and Vlad were never introduced.
  • It went from Salamander Army to Dragon Army, there was no Rabbit Army in the movie.
  • The colonist movement was not introduced, Ender discovers the Queen on the movies “Eros.” The planet in the movie was actually  not named, only that it was a planet taken over from the Formics and close to their home world. The Formics in the movie were restricted to one world only, their home world and not spread out on different planets like in the book.

There were a bit of deviations, but as a hole it captured the feel of the book. I enjoyed it, I hope you do also.

 

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – #TMImovie Review

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – #TMImovie Review

onesheetPJV Quickie: I actually think I liked the movie more then I liked the book!

Review: The setting of the movie is the same as the book, we are introduced to Clary Fray on the eve of her birthday and she is battling with seeing symbols and having almost a compulsion to write them down. To escape her current problems her and her friend Simon go to a poetry reading and then decide to stop in at a Goth club, where Clary spots the same symbol that has been plaguing her on a sign of the club. There she spots some crazy dude with a sword impale a hot guy that had gotten her into the club.  Clary’s life changes forever from that point as she realizes that the world around her isn’t at all what it seems.

The movie actually goes hand in hand with the book, following it from step-to-step without hardly any noticeable flaws or really, not flaws, but deviations. The deviations are probably only to support the hurried pace of the movie, because obviously you can’t portray everything that happens in CITY OF BONES in one movie. It would probably be tough to get all the nuances of the book into two movies, much less just one.

Speaking of nuances, what I rally enjoyed about the movie was exactly that — the subtle nuances that played to readers of the book. The fact that it hinted at things that only readers of the book would understand, but instead of dumbing it down for the general viewing public and nixing any complicated plot lines that would not be able to be shown, it brushed around them, allowing fans and readers to wallow  in the moment and get to experience “knowing” what is going on as their fellow movie-goers just shook their heads. It was a fun experience and my kudos goes to the screen writer, Jessica Postigo Paquette for her interpretation of the book. I think she did a fabulous job.

Now for the acting team…Lily Collins (Mirror, Mirror) plays Clary and she was my favorite by far. She delivered a great interpretation of Clary that seemed believable.  Jamie Campbell Bower (Caius – Twilight Saga) was someone I never could mesh with Jace as far as looks, but his acting was pretty good. I just kept thinking — the boy needs to eat! He was so skinny, I just expected Jace to be a little more filled out and less emo boy, who’s leather pants sag on his rear (ducks). But, the two of them delivered the best acting of the teen casting. Kevin Zegers, Jemima West and even Robert Sheehan who plays Simon and Godfrey Gao who plays Magnus were rather unimpressive in their acting. I think I was least impressed with Bane’s character, I wanted to be overwhelmed and the only thing shocking about him was the fact that he showed up in the first scene in his underwear. He had a great look (but all of the cast did) his portrayal of the character just wasn’t as robust as I would have hoped, he was a rather deflated Magnus Bane and frankly, Bane was probably the character I was most expecting to be WOWed by. Him and of course, Valentine, who was played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I was not scared by Valentine at all, I just wanted to lick him (TMI? *snort*) because he was so yummy with his shirt all open and his fake tattoos and crazy native hair-do. Sorry ladies, I didn’t notice his acting, I was distracted.

At about the time Valentine’s character shows up is where I noticed the big deviations from the book. One of which was a line between Hodge and Valentine — which I do not remember in the book (but it has been awhile since I read the book so I could be really wrong) — where he basically reveals the “BIG MYSTERY” of the entire series. I mean he just laid it out with one line. If you’ve seen the movie and read the book, do you remember this in the book? The reveal of the lie about Valentine and Jace? Because I remember reading the books and not really knowing about the big ANGST until the very end. But again, I could have missed it in the book, it was just ONE line.

I’m assuming the movie would inset this line to give viewers HOPE that Clary and Jace could one day be together, I’m assuming this because they also ended the movie with a similar line, but they still left it as an assumption, not a fact. Which the line that Hodge delivered was a statement of a fact, not a hint at a mystery. Sorry for going on about this, but I had thrown up my hands  in the movie at this line, because I did read the whole series and I know that the driving factor of this series is the mystery of Clary and Jace and their relationship.

I digress, so I’ll move on. Overall, a good book to movie interpretation. The effects were spectacular. The shots of New York were really breathtaking and the fights scenes were intense and fun to watch. Because of these fight scenes this isn’t a movie to drag your younger children to, there are demons and vampires that are pretty scary. I don’t know how well this movie will go over with people that have not read the book though. I think, because it stuck so TIGHT to the book, it might actually turn off the casual movie-goer. Because as you know, the book is choked with young adult paranormal cliches and angst. Love-triangles, sexy gay warlocks, vampires, werewolves, hinted romances, unrequited love from all ends of the spectrum…you name it, it is there. Some of the reasons I had a mediocre reception with the book. And all of it was shoved willy-nilly into the movie. Which is what I was mentioning earlier with the nuances only a fan or reader of the series would REALLY get. But…this is something that brings this movie UP in my estimation. Because they fell on the line of deliver to the fans of the book, not the guys that just show up to see a paranormal movie.

If you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, this is a movie you should go see. The movie-makers did a good job with it, there was no playing to the teenie-bop crowd with angst filled scenes and pop-culture references. The movie was gritty, with decent acting, great effects and lots of action. I can’t speak for the author, but I think she should be proud of how they represented her novel.

Rachel Rivera

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Movie Review

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Movie Review

Percy-Jackson-And-The-Sea-Of-Monsters-new-Spanish-posterPercy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Based on the books that I actually didn’t come to love until later on in the series, when Percy matures into a more Young Adult character instead of a middle grade boy, I wasn’t too sure how I would like the movie. I did enjoy the first movie, but nothing about it blew me away and frankly I have to say the same thing about the second movie.

While the graphics were phenomenal, the acting much better then the first and the story-line darker in this one, I couldn’t help but think that the movie was a little too inspired by other movie-greats for my taste. Scenes like the taxi-ride with the three fates, reminded me of the double-decker bus ride from Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban and the rise of Kronos had Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark all over it! This is a big turn-off for me when it comes to movies, because the PErcy Jackson books are so original, it is a shame that the movie-makers ripped-off other great scenes.

The story follows Percy Jackson, now planted firmly in his life in Camp Half-blood. During a routine competition, a bull breaks through the barrier of the camp, greatly injuring the tree and forcefield that protects the camp from the beings that would kill all the children of the gods. Their only solution is to go on an epic quest to find the Golden Fleece and heal the tree. The only problem? Clarisse , not Percy is chosen to go on the quest – even though a prophesy states that Percy must attain the fleece and battle Luke for it’s ownership.

With a star cast of Nathan Fillion (Firefly) as Hermes, Leven Rambin (The Hunger Games) as Clarisse, Stanley Tucci as Mr. D aka Dionysus and even Anthony Head (Buffy) as Chrion, there wasn’t a spare moment where I didn’t get all excited when I spotted a beloved favorite. Especially Fillion, who’s take on Hermes was fabulous.

I would recommend seeing this for fans of the series. I found myself enjoying the movie, even if little things did drive me crazy. My daughter enjoyed it and was able to follow along with me, there was nothing too violent or inappropriate for it’s PG rating.

Book Comparison:

This one actually lined up with the book a lot better then the first movie. The kids are still way older then their book versions, but at least they tried to get the hair colors right at least. A lot of things were changed though, like Tyson’s introduction and the politics with Chiron…along with Clarisse’s personality and her actual usefulness. The chariot race is also replaced with some kind of crazy moving wood thing and is out of order – this is what the movie opens with and is not actually in competition for the Quest…I could go on for a long time about the differences in the plots.

Rachel Rivera

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