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All reviews - Movies (6) - Books (3)

What is this movie?

Posted : 7 years, 5 months ago on 4 March 2010 02:01 (A review of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief)

Umm, this is not Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. It is some weird perversion of the awesome book. First of all, and really difficult to overlook: Percy is supposed to be 12 years old. The actor who plays him is 18 and they definitely put him in high school in the movie. The way it as translated onto the screen is just plain cheesy. I like corny movies and I like kids movies, but I just couldn't stop rolling my eyes. They seemed to take themselves so seriously on screen without explaining enough to make anything believable. They expect us to care about what's happening without telling us why. Once I explained to my companions that Percy was supposed to be 12, there was a more serious and legitimate reason for Poseidon not being involved with or even claiming to be Percy's dad, there is a legitimate reason for Camp Halfblood being a training ground for heros, etc. Ugh. Anyway. The previews should have been warning enough to stay away, but alas, I did not and am sad I will never get that time back.


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The Golden Compass review

Posted : 8 years, 7 months ago on 11 January 2009 02:05 (A review of The Golden Compass)

So I completely understand that movies are not books. They are a different media all together and you get different things from them. I understand that when making a movie adaptation, it can be really difficult to please everyone because it's hard to squeeze all that content into a watchable length of time and not bore the crap out of anyone.

That said, I do think there are ways to do it. For example, you might choose to omit things from a movie that were part of the book if they are not central to the storyline. Or combine certain elements, or... whatever. I don't think they tried to do any of that in this movie. I think they just wanted to cram every scrap of the book into the movie that they just managed to give a summary of the book. I felt like the scenes were really rushed, barely able to get into a scene before being whisked off to the next event. Nicole Kidman was not very believable as Mrs Coulter. You felt there was something off with her right from the beginning when they should have made you like her, as Lyra does, at first.

All in all, I felt it was just a rushed summary of the book. I would have preferred to miss out on some key scenes and seen some deeper development of the more important points, or just a longer movie. The graphics were nice and the movie itself was pretty to watch, but overall a poor adaptation of the book. I found it at least entertaining, although if I hadn't read the book I probably would have been confused at parts. The book was excellent so I hope the movie doesn't discourage others from reading it.


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Infidel review

Posted : 8 years, 7 months ago on 7 January 2009 06:05 (A review of Infidel)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an amazing writer and has been through some amazing and horrendous experiences. I am thankful that she has been able to share them with us in this amazing book. While at times the book can be a little graphic and hard to read, it is the story of her life thus far and what she has lived through and is mostly just engrossing. It gives me hope that she and women like her have been able to escape the bonds of their enforced religion and society, but it also saddens me that there are so many more women who are still in that situation with no freedom and no choice, sacrificing their lives and children to the Islamic cause. This is mainly an autobiography of Ali's life, but, as anyone who does know who she is will understand, Ali also has a political agenda. She strongly speaks out against Islam and the government of her home country and others in which she has lived.


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The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs review

Posted : 8 years, 7 months ago on 7 January 2009 05:56 (A review of The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs)

Patricia McConnell gives us some insight on what we are already saying to our dogs. We may not know it, but everything we do says something to our dogs and sometimes we send mixed signals, which leads to a lot of frustration and confusion for both us and our furry friends. Dr. McConnell helps us to understand and communicate with dogs a little more easily. Dogs communicate mostly with body language, but they also respond more to the tone or inflection of your voice than to the words. Ever hear a dog speak English? Didn't think so. The words are nothing to them and once we understand how our movements, postures, expressions and tone are communicating with our dogs for us, we can more easily communicate and train our companions. The part that spoke most to me was when Dr. McConnell explained the dynamics of teaching the "come" command. Most people face their dog while telling them to come, but to a dog that means "don't come any closer". Very good book about dog communication and behavior. I really suggest it for anyone with dogs, but especially for those having a difficult time training.


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Let's just call it a trilogy

Posted : 8 years, 7 months ago on 6 January 2009 12:48 (A review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

Oh I was SO looking forward to a 4th Indiana Jones movie. The anticipation was almost unbearable. I was so excited that Karen Allen would be returning as I liked her the best of all the women in the other three movies. Also Cate Blanchett is one of my favorite actresses and I was excited to see her in this new Indy movie. Anyway, I had heard it was horrible from a couple friends and it had bad ratings from the critics, but I still had high hopes that I would enjoy it anyway. When I finally got around to seeing the movie, I was sorely disappointed. I've always loved how Harrison Ford gave some realism to the character of Indiana Jones. Yeah, sure he gets in some crazy situations and manages to get out of them in even crazier ways and it is a little corny, BUT he doesn't make it seem particularly easy, he gets injured, he hurts and he's hilarious at the same time. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull takes that silliness and turns it into camp. It's so silly that it's ridiculous. Eye-rolling silly, not funny silly. I expected silly cartoon sound effects at parts of the movie it just gets out of hand. Then... the aliens. I just don't know what to say about the aliens. I understand it's the 50s and the whole Roswell thing and the alien craze at the time, but it just did not work. Indiana Jones is silly, it's a little fantastic, it's a little supernatural, but it's not aliens. Oh and my poor Cate. I was so looking forward to her, but I just did not buy it. Maybe it was the whole atmosphere of the movie that made her performance seem ridiculous, but who knows. All I know is, there is an Indiana Jones trilogy. I'll just pretend they never made a fourth and be happy with that.


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Fist of Legend review

Posted : 8 years, 7 months ago on 5 January 2009 10:48 (A review of Fist of Legend)

Best Jet Li movie, ever. This is the movie that turned me on to martial arts movies in the first place. The story is not very unique from many other martial arts movies I've seen, but Jet Li is amazing and there are some awesome scenes. The choreography is very cool and not quite as theatrical as many movies have gotten.


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Slumdog Millionaire review

Posted : 8 years, 7 months ago on 5 January 2009 10:39 (A review of Slumdog Millionaire)

Absolutely amazing. This is one of those movies that is gritty and sometimes hard to watch. Seeing those children living in the slums of India dealing with some truly horrific experiences is wretched and difficult, but there are many moments of humor and you really find yourself rooting for those kids. This is mainly a love story but it's also about ambition, persistence and a strong desire to better oneself while doing what is right. True, you can see the end coming a mile away, but by the time you get there, you find yourself really wanting it.


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I'm your huckleberry.

Posted : 8 years, 7 months ago on 5 January 2009 10:35 (A review of Tombstone)

This has been my favorite movie since the first time I saw it ages ago. I'm not a big fan of most westerns, although there are a few I do enjoy. Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer were absolutely amazing as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holladay. Of course Sam Elliot was born to be a western star and really helps make this movie great. I love him in anything he does. Tombstone is mostly about what lead up to the shooting at the OK Corral in Tombstone, but it also explores the friendship between Wyatt and Doc as well as Wyatt's romantic relationships. Doc Holladay has some hilarious and memorable lines. They truly do make this movie and Val Kilmer was perfect for the part.

Also, the director's cut has some good additional scenes that aren't pointless like in most extended edition movies.


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Series Review

Posted : 8 years, 7 months ago on 4 January 2009 09:58 (A review of Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1))

This is a review of the series as far as I have read. It's hard to differentiate between each book after reading them all, but overall I give all of the books similar ratings.

On a positive note, I did find the books at least entertaining. As these books are intended for an audience of the "me generation" I feel that the author developed a character in Bella Swan who successfully resonates with the intended audience.

That said, the more I think about the books, the more I dislike them. For me, a heroine should be strong in some way and, even if she isn't a good person or a perfect person, she should have some redeeming qualities that make you like her or relate to her in some way. Unfortunately, I think too many girls reading these books DO relate to her and that just makes me sad. Bella is an utterly useless person, barely even able to walk down the street without falling on her face. While this may have been turned into a comic characteristic, it just makes her more pathetic. Her infatuation with Edward is disgusting and unhealthy. Her entire life is meaningless until she meets him, then when he goes away, she's even more pointless than before. She can't do anything and is constantly in need of being saved by someone.

While reading the book, I found myself rolling my eyes at her and wanting to just smack her. Tell her to get a back bone and do something with herself. The more I think about these books and the way they have been received by a generation of young girls, the sadder I get. I hope that many girls who enjoy these books see it for true fiction and do not idolize Bella or want to be in her shoes. As an educator and sibling of teenagers, I see enough girls acting silly or dumb and wanting nothing but to be the beauty who is taken care of and coddled to be sickened by this work.


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