Tuesday, September 24, 2013

OMG. You've got to see this movie!

I read a review in the paper that spoke very highly of the movie, PRISONERS, so I decided to check it out. It stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. I've never watched a film with Jackman in it. I do believe he has a new fan. Boy, was I impressed with him in this film. And not only him. The entire cast was awesome. The film was awesome! This was one review that didn't exaggerate.
It's about the saga of two families. One white, one black. They're good friends and spend Thanksgiving together. But, the fun doesn't last long. The two young daughters from both families go outside to play.
They disappear.
And all hell breaks loose.

Hugh Jackman's character loses it. He's the father of one of the missing girls and this man means business. He's going to find his daughter by any means necessary...and I mean by any means! The other dad, played by Terrance Howard of The Butler, is pulled along for the ride...whether he thinks the means of accomplishing the goal is legal or moral.
That's one of the major themes of this film. What would you do for the love of a child? How far are you willing to go?

And what if you're wrong?

This movie was exactly two hours and thirty minutes. It's lengthy, but not a moment is wasted. It's almost agonizing, waiting to find out what happened to the girls. I heard several folks crying in the theater.
As a therapist, I often see the dark side of people. This film goes there and doesn't pull any punches.

You think you know people.

You don't.

There are people who do things for the sheer evil joy of it. You may know people like this and not even be aware of it. Yes. It is scary.

I could tell people were kind of thrown by the ending. A number of folks, including myself, stayed until the last credit to see if there was going to be a surprise scene or something. If you see the film, you'll know why.
You can't go wrong seeing PRISONERS. It deserves serious Oscar buzz in my humble opinion. If you see it, enjoy!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book Review: SCORCHED by Mari Mancusi

Mari Mancusi takes on one of the less common creatures in young adult sagas: the dragon, and goes on a rip-roaring tear with it.

After a family tragedy, it’s just sixteen-year-old Trinity and her grandfather trying to hold it together and they’re hanging on by a thread. Grandpa is sure life is about to change when he finds what he believes to be a rare dinosaur egg, but it just leaves Trinity rolling her eyes. She’s accustomed to her grandfather’s eccentric ways. He’s right about one thing, though. Life is about to change, but in ways neither he nor Trinity could ever imagine. It all starts when Trinity hears voices in her head. Is she turning into her mother or is it coming from that egg? Two brothers from the future have their opinions about the matter and they’re diametrically opposed. Trinity finds herself right in the middle—with a dragon by her side. The only thing any of them is sure of is destruction, of man or dragon, unless someone figures out what to do. And time is running out.

Scorched has clearly infused some of the elements from The Terminator movie and made it it’s own. In case you think you’re imagining it, one of the brothers is named Conner and our protagonist, Trinity, makes reference to the movie several chapters in. Instead of this coming off as a warmed-over rehash, it feels like a cool insider joke. The author has carried you along to that point, eliciting flash points of familiarity. When Trinity casts that thought—something those familiar with the film may be thinking—it makes for a hearty and well-earned confirmation.

Scorched is an excellent example of how one can take a known pop cultural moment, gain inspiration from it and use it to weave a new work into something fresh and different. This novel doesn’t let you put it down for long. The crescendo builds as a consistent thread, pulling the reader along. You have to know what happens! Are one of the brothers lying? If so, which one? Why? Will Trinity regret trusting either of them and will it cost her the ultimate: her life and that of those she loves? You have to keep reading to find out.

This tale ends with a solid conclusion, but it’s clear the story is not over. Wherever it goes, if Scorched is any indication, Ms. Mancusi is sure to keep the excitement and the questions coming.

Scorched released September 3, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire.

Toodles, ya'll!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Movie Review: Mortal Instruments--City of Bones

I've had The Immortal Instruments trilogy sitting on my shelf since spring and haven't had time to read them. I didn't let that stop me from seeing the movie today, though. After all, I didn't even know Twilight was a book until after I saw the movie!

For the few people in the world such as myself, that didn't have a clue as to what The Immortal Instruments is about, let me give you a quick rundown.

Teenager, Clary Fray, witnesses a murder in a club in NYC, but she's the only one who can see the participants. She soon learns that they are "shadowhunters" and she herself is descended from a long line of shadowhunters, also known as demon-slayers. Life only goes down hill from there. First her mother goes missing and then Clary finds herself fighting and warring in the midst of this invisible world that functions as an alternate universe along side the "real" world.

My friend, Pattie. of Books, Thoughts and a Few Adventures, told me The Immortal Instruments received some pretty sucky reviews. I was kind of surprised because the previews looked pretty interesting. Well, I've been influenced by reviews in the past and decided not to see some movies. Not this time. I had to know for myself. I'm glad I did.

I had such a good time! It's not perfect, but The Immortal Instruments is certainly entertaining. It made me interested in getting started on reading the books. I really need to do that because I got a little confused about some of the plot points in the movie. The Valentine character is on a quest to find the "eternal cup", but I'm not really sure why or what he plans to to with it. He did talk about it, but I missed some of what he said. There's a guy who was kind of in the role of Clary's guardian, but I'm sure there's more to him as well. I think some of my confusion is because there is so much going on in this movie. To say it's action-packed is an understatement. It was action turbo-charged!

Some of the dialogue was a bit cheesy, but there were laugh-out-loud moments too. I cracked up watching Clary's mother in a fight scene. Let's just say, that woman put a hurtin' on those guys! LOL!!! The Jace character was cute and the focus of Clary's affection. Her best-friend-wanna-be-more, Simon, was good looking too, but in a geekier kind of way. I could tell they had his character wear glasses to take the edge off his cute looks and give the upper hand to Jace.

The film kind of had a Harry Potter feel to it. Maybe it was the magical elements and the scenery. The imagery and set was dark, lush and very rich. The Valentine character reminded me of Valdomort.

All in all, I truly enjoyed this movie. I've heard that those who read the book were disappointed with some changes. See. That's the value of seeing the movie first. I don't have a clue as to what's been changed or left out. I don't have an image of the characters in my head. I either like the movie for itself or I don't. In this case, I really liked it and can't wait to see the next installment!

Toodles, ya'll!