Apr 6, 2014 - TV    No Comments

“How I Met Your Mother” Series Finale Thoughts. *****SPOILERS*****

Like many, I have grown to love How I Met Your Mother over the years, and managed to avoid spoilers for 5 days before finally watching the series finale. Finally after watching it, I can understand why fans were so enraged.

During this final season, everything has been built up to Barney and Robin‘s wedding, only for their marriage to be dashed 10 minutes in. Poor Marshall broke down to his wife’s whim and went to Italy, settling his dream to have hers come true, when years after he still desperately wanted to be a judge and delt with a shit job for years waiting for the phone to ring for a second chance.

Ted‘s wife, whom we finally learn is named Tracy dies of some mysterious illness that is never mentioned in the finale. Barney‘s 9 years of character development disappears after his divorce, only for him to knock up some random sexual conquest and find love in being a father to his new born daughter. And the worst part is Robin in the end getting together with Ted, even though throughout the series, the storytelling displayed how bad of a fit Robin and Ted would be together.

Despite what I have said above, I don’t disagree with the official ending. I do believe however that it was poorly executed.

Barney and Robin:
Why make Barney and Robin a thing and have fans fall in love if it was never really going to be? I recall Barney‘s final play, “The Robin” one of the best How I Met Your Mother episodes I have ever seen. My heart aches for their characters because they both changed so much and developed not only individually, but as a couple. The fact that their marriage didn’t work out, makes me sad. I understand that not everyone has a happy ending, but these are fictional characters fans have loved together and to marry them, then tear them apart so suddenly is just darn right cruel. Barney denying romantic love because if it wouldn’t happen with Robin, it wouldn’t happen with anyone, broke my heart.
Above all characters on this show, Barney deserves love. I understand deep down, Barney really wanted children but was willing to let that go because he loved Robin. But having a random child heal all his wounds is NOT the answer. A baby takes and does not give, having Barney love a child that can’t necessarily consciously love him back is a poor ending to his otherwise wonderful character. Loneliness and emptiness in one’s life should not try being filled by having a child. I just feel Barney Stinson as a character was so much more than that.

Lily and Marshall:
These two were pillars of strength for Ted. I have never really disagreed with their characters until Lily wanted to move to Italy. Lily had already ran off, broken up with Marshall and decided to pursue a career to be an artist. That failed. That put both Marshall and Ted through a world of pain. Not only that, but Lily was pregnant. At what point is it financially, logically and emotionally viable to pack up and move overseas to Italy when your husband has been offered to be a judge? Something he has worked up to for years and has always wanted. Lily has already had her dream! Why is it that Marshall had to give up his, then wait for years for a second chance, all the while working in a job that he was clearly openly miserable about when all of this could have been avoided if they DIDN’T go to Italy? Just thinking about it enrages me!
When you are a couple, you are one unit and your dreams should be entwined. Clearly the relationship between these two characters clearly wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, but because it was Ted that was narrating the story, perhaps he was too blinded by his own relationship to truly see the cracks in theirs? Ever since the characters decided to go towards Italy in that crossroad, I have been unpleasant about their relationship ever since. And I’m hoping that it’s not just me that feels this way.

Ted and Robin:
Whilst I am aware Ted could have started his story at any moment, he started it when he first met Robin signifies I must have missed many extremely subtle hints of these two characters ending up together in the very end. But then why were viewers shown how bad these characters were together? If the fans reactions are that severe and against Ted and Robin being together, it is obviously because the writers initially led fans to that conclusion. There would not be a backlash if this was not the case. Life is not blue-printed. Nothing is set in stone. Growth is never controlled. Whilst I am aware the reaction from Ted’s children was filmed back in 2005, things can and do eventually change.
As a writer, I understand that you can’t really start a story without having an ending, but that does not mean the ending is not re-worked or changed after developing a storyline. And all of this is not an excuse for the extremely poor execution of this finale. Perhaps the writers did want everything to come “full circle”, but how often in life do you come full circle to conclusions like this? I also never felt any vibrant chemistry between these two characters compared to Robin‘s relationship with Barney.
And all this time having these characters try let each other go, only to still come back to each other years later, as much as it sounds romantic still doesn’t sit right with me. Robin can’t have kids, but can now magically have kids because Ted already has kids because the wife died. How convenient. I can’t get over the fact that Ted was in love with Robin, but Robin always seemed to use Ted as a back-up plan. I believe she loves Ted but was never in-love with Ted. Why anyone would want that kind of awful relationship is beyond me.

Tracy:
Her first relationship that she felt was perfect ended when her partner Max died. After that, she found love in Ted. Then Tracy dies early and Ted finds another love. Considering the show has been titled “How I Met Your Mother” and only introducing the actual mother around near the end of the series, makes this series feel dishonest and misleading. If the show had been titled anything else, having this character killed off probably would not have pisses off so many fans off as it did. All the pieces come together and finally add up, leading up to them meeting. And then the writers kill her.

Apart from the series finale and the above things I disagree with, I can’t deny that How I Met Your Mother has been an AMAZING series. I have grown to love Ted Mosby, Barney Stinson, Marshall Eriksen, Lily Aldren and Robin Scherbatsky as friends, even though they are fictional characters. And I will miss seeing Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders and Neil Patrick Harris on screen together.

I guess that all good things can come to an end, but that doesn’t mean the end is necessarily as good as the journey. The best part of the series is not Ted or Barney’s sexual conquests and love life dilemmas, but the interaction and friendship between the characters.
Despite these things, How I Met Your Mother taught me that love can make people change; like Robin and Barney. But in just this one finale episode, the writers destroyed that when they got divorced and in a split second Barney went back to chasing girls and Robin back to her stubborn independent ways, living by herself with her multiple dogs. 9 years of character development, all for nothing. I don’t care what people say, there is no such thing as “right person, wrong time”.

Sure, this is the ending that was planned from the start. Doesn’t mean it was the right one. And that doesn’t make it not awful. Disappointed is an understatement. WORST ENDING EVER.

Apr 5, 2014 - Film    No Comments

“Vampire Academy” Film Review.

Now I know, I know you’re all sick of vampires. Who isn’t? But this book series by Richelle Mead, and now film adaptation are completely different to the franchise I know you’re thinking of.

Vampire Academy is more about a friendship between two girls, Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir played by Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry. Although both vampires, each girl is from a different race of vampires with different roles. Rose is a guardian and protector, whilst Lissa is vampire royalty. After living a normal mortal life and being on the run for years from Vampire Academy, they are found and dragged back reluctantly to live on campus with their own kind. All the while, trying to figure out what evil is threatening Lissa and establishing their place in vampire society.

I’ll be honest, the trailers for this film never looked promising. But after reading through the book all in one go, I ended up going to see the movie on the same day after finishing my book, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love the book series and I definitely enjoyed this movie.

Although their are some things in the film that don’t happen in the original novel, I can understand why the movie creators did what they did. I unlike some fans don’t believe the page to screen interpretation has ruined the film, and am quite satisfied with what I saw.

I love the tongue-in-cheek snarky humour this film displays. It holds the same mood as the novel, is fun, light-hearted but never too much to make the film cheesy. The casting, acting and directing are great too. It is considered an action-fantasy-comedy, so the humour is on purpose and not present to parody anything regardless of what silly critics say.

My only disappointment is that the previous vampire franchise may have dashed any hopes for this film being properly recognised, acknowledged, and that there may not be a sequel. But let’s not think too far ahead for now.

Although not for everyone, I think that if people gave this film a chance with no hidden expectations or disappointments, they’d enjoy it. As stated before, I did not find the movie trailers promising at all and expected the worst. But after giving the book series a go and seeing the film for myself, I’m glad I did. Vampire Academy is a fun, entertaining film, and I am not ashamed to say that I loved it.

*****

I haven’t done a giveaway in a while. I have a movie promo Vampire Academy iPhone 5 case I am happy to give away. All you need to do is just comment on this review. I’ll pick a winner at random. GOOD LUCK!

Apr 5, 2014 - Film    No Comments

“Veronica Mars” Film Review.

Almost a year ago, I helped fund the Veronica Mars Kickstarter Project as many dedicated Marshmallows* (*Dedicated hardcore Veronica Mars fans) did. Yes, I too was campaigning for the movie ever since the original TV show was cancelled. So when the Veronica Mars Project appeared on Kickstarter, I did not hesitate to give them my money.

I pledged $265 for the Deluxe Logan Lovers package which included a personalised autographed Jason Dohring photo, signed movie poster, PDF copy of the movie script, digital download of the film on the day of release, 2 different designed backer t-shirts, constant movie progress updates and a blu-ray/DVD copy of the film. This was all on top of making the Veronica Mars movie a reality.

Expensive as it sounds, this was one of the best things I have ever done.

The Veronica Mars movie takes place 10 years after Veronica, played by Kristen Bell graduated from Neptune High. She finds herself drawn back to her old town to help Logan Echolls, played by Jason Dohring out a out of a murder mystery pickle, whilst at the same time arrives in Neptune back in time for her high school reunion.

This isn’t just a reunion for Veronica, but for fans too; reunited with favourite characters from the series such as Keith Mars played by Enrico Colantoni, Wallace played by Percy Daggs III, Mac played by Tina Majorino, Piz played by Chris Lowell, Dick Casablancas played by Ryan Hansen, Weevil played by Francis Capra and many more…

Unfortunately, the movie is very limited in cinemas as the film was available for digital download the same day it was released. I was lucky enough to catch a one-time screening in my city however, and it was such an amazing experience to watch the film along with other die-hard Marshmallows, some who also like me invested money into the making of the film. Our reactions were all the same; we laughed, we gasped, we cheered – it was incredible.

As for the movie itself, I actually attended the film with a non-fan who ended up enjoying the movie just as much as I did. You don’t have to be an already obsessed fan to enjoy the Veronica Mars movie, but it helps. And as a fan, you’d pick up a lot of inside jokes and remarks that pay tribute to the original series.

The story itself is great and action-packed full of drama, mystery, humour, surprise and a love triangle that fans will continue debating about for years. Director, writer and creator, Rob Thomas has not only truly outdone himself and satisfied fans that have beeso long for Veronica to finally have a proper ending, but has also ignited a Veronica Mars book series which continues directly after the film in case you want more.

It is no secret that I loved the Veronica Mars movie. As a Marshmallow myself, I am not only satisfied with this film concluding so many things that were left open for years, but I am finding myself itching for a movie sequel. Should opportunity arise again, I would not hesitate to hand over my money once more. And I am hoping that this book series will help suffice my hunger for more Veronica Mars for now.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend a viewing of this film. Because you haven’t seen this film yet, you haven’t lived.

Mar 11, 2014 - Film    2 Comments

“300: Rise of an Empire” Film Review.

Thanks to IMAX Melbourne, I was invited to the Melbourne premiere of “300: Rise of an Empire”. Eight years after the original film was released, a new film of the now newly formed film series has emerged to follow up “300”. But it’s not really a prequel, nor is it a sequel. “300: Rise of an Empire” is actually a story that rides alongside the original film, taking place before, during and after the events of “300”.

For someone who hasn’t seen the original, I don’t doubt that this film would be easy to follow. However, because I did a refresher and watched “300” prior to watching “300: Rise of an Empire”, I believe I enjoyed this movie more because I could identify the subtle tributes in reference to the original movie.

I’ll be honest, there isn’t really much of a plot. But for the little plot that the film does have, Greek general Themistokles, played by Sullivan Stapleton leads the Athenian soldiers to battle against the Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, played by Rodrigo Santoro, with Artemisia, a vengeful commander of the Persian navy fleet played by Eva Green at his side.

Whilst the cinematography, graphics, costumes and props are great, what “300: Rise of an Empire” lacks is character development and spirit; two things defiantly evident in the first film which made us love300” in the first place. Throughout the entirety film, there is an emptiness that only Gerard Butler‘s King Leonidas could fill. It was great to be reunited with brave soldier and storyteller, Dilios played by David Wenham and Queen Gorgo played by Lena Headey, but these characters don’t stay on screen for long, as this film is not about the Spartans, but about the Athenians. And to be frank, it just didn’t feel the same. This film lacked the ingredients which made it’s predecessor a phenomenon.

If you want a film that’s historically accurate, I really don’t suggest this film as they are based on the Frank Miller graphic novels. The accents are all over the place, and some things don’t even really happen. But that’s what’s so great about it. It’s fiction. And I don’t think it is meant to be taken seriously.

You could either see the funny side of it; almost naked caped men all fighting alongside each other on boats… or you could enjoy the action scenes for what they are, because there is blood, and lots of it. Regardless of your mood and expectations, I believe if given a chance one would find300: Rise of an Empireto be quite an entertaining film either either 3D or 2D. I believe, the bigger the screen, the better. I personally enjoyed it and would definitely recommend a viewing over popcorn.

Mar 9, 2014 - Film    1 Comment

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” Film Review.

Ben Stiller has really outdone himself with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, not only as an actor, but as a director. Now I’ve never actually seen the original 1947 film, so I can’t really compare. I do understand that for this remake however, it had a lot of new elements and was practically a re-imagining of an old story.

Ben Stiller plays Walter Mitty, a negative assets manager for Life Magazine who has spent most of his life constantly daydreaming about going on adventures, but never acting upon his desires. Although he has been working at the company for 16 years, Mitty has never adhered to Life Magazine‘s motto; “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” When his job threatened and finds himself embarking on a quest to crack the mystery of the missing photo he was meant to receive from photojournalist, Sean O’Connell played by Sean Penn. Better than any dream, Mitty creates his own journey through life far more exciting and eventful than he ever imagined.

Whilst there were some scenes in the film that weren’t as funny as they should have been, for the most part the serious emotional dimensions of this film make it more substantial. And even though The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is far from perfect, this does not mean that it is not beautiful. The overall plot was consistent, the character development is unmatched and the visuals in this film are stunning.

Not only did this film reignite my dreams of travelling the world (as I too am a daydreamer), but it also made me appreciate the beauty and art of photojournalism. The moving, touching and emotional scenes in this film are enough to make me overlook where the movie is flawed. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be appreciated and loved. And I for one LOVED it.

Mar 9, 2014 - Film    2 Comments

“Last Vegas” Film Review.

I know there are a lot of films about a group of friends going to Vegas and it’s a story that’s been told over and over again, but for me, Last Vegas is an exception to the norm, as this movie is absolutely delightful. This delightful film brings together friends Billy played by Michael Douglas, Paddy played by Robert De Niro, Archie played by Morgan Freeman and Sam played by Kevin Kline who have been friends for 58 years and reunite for a bachelor party and wedding in Vegas for one of their own.

The chemistry between these famous four actors is undeniable. The plot progresses so well because of the fantastic character development. Instead of the typical gross toilet humour that most Vegas films display, Last Vegas has chosen for a mischievous, fun, vibrant and cheeky approach. And it works.

I loved Last Vegas. It is exceptionally funny and actually has a lot of heart. Although the idea of friends going to Vegas has been overdone, Last Vegas manages to provide a fresh approach full of love, laughs and will leave you more than satisfied. I would love to see a sequel for this film, and I have yet to meet someone who did not like this movie. This is one of the best comedies that I have seen in YEARS. A must watch!

Feb 8, 2014 - Film    4 Comments

“Robocop” Film Review.

I really loved the original film, so I had hoped that this remake would’ve been a nice tribute to the original film, however I was sincerely disappointed.

Robocop (2014)is one of the worst remakes ever made. The entire storyline is an insult to the 1987 original science-fiction masterpiece. Instead of a man having his deceased remains donated to science, we have a man who is near death, yet kept alive by robotics. THAT change made me extremely uncomfortable during viewing the of this remake, as it seemed morally wrong. The storyline did not flow at all and the plot never really came to a resolution. It didn’t help that I wasn’t really cheering for anyone, and I kept constantly hoping the main character, Alex Murphy played by Joel Kinnaman would die to put the character out of his misery.

The fact that there a lot of well known actions in this film with the likes of Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Jennifer Ehle, Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel and Samuel L. Jackson makes the film sound promising. But all that talent goes to waste because the storyline is so bad. I could be stuck in an elevator for the same amount of time this film runs for, and still be more entertained than watching this movie. That is how bad this movie is.

The fact that there are so many talented actors in this film, and the movie still turning out to be awful actually makes me question the talents of all these actors. The constant exposure of Samuel L. Jackson making appearances throughout the movie to say scripted nonsense as a fictional version of himself in an attempt to fool audiences into thinking “You know what, this film isn’t that bad. I mean, it’s got Samuel L. Jackson in it.” were obvious and ridiculous. I honestly love that man as an actor, but even in this film I couldn’t stand him. His character doesn’t even exist in the original film!

To conclude, this movie sucks. There is no nice way of saying it. If you’re really curious, you can wait for it to come out on dvd, but even then, SERIOUSLY, you’re better off watching something else… like the original film. Don’t watch this shit. I’m doing you a favour right now, seriously, don’t. DON’T.

Feb 2, 2014 - Film    2 Comments

“Saving Mr. Banks” Film Review.

Saving Mr. Banks” is a Disney production based on truth about another Disney production being created, Mary Poppins. What we never knew until now was how difficult it was to create Mary Poppins and how the film was almost never made. In “Saving Mr. Banks” we see how difficult of a time Walt Disney and his team had trying to convince P. L. Travers into letting them take Mary Poppins under their wing.

Tom Hanks‘ portrayal of Walt Disney was respectful, believable and justifying. In the film, it isn’t really about a business man trying to make a film happen, but more so about a man who wants to keep his promise to his daughters, and I really liked that. Paul Giamatti, Ruth Wilson, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin Farrell were also amazingly outstanding in their roles. But the true hero of this film was Emma Thompson who was simply captivating in her role as P. L. Travers, displaying a complicated, stubborn woman with a bitter-sweet back story and a hidden tender heart. Mary Poppins isn’t just a book to her, but a representation and honourable re-write of her childhood, giving her father the happy ending that he could have had and (in her heart) deserved.

This film was so beautiful, I was moved to tears. I felt like my heart broke into a million pieces and then was put back together again. WatchingSaving Mr. Banksput me through a rollercoaster of emotions; happiness, pain, sorrow, awe, admiration, respect and love. I am so enraged that Emma Thompson has been overlooked for an Oscar, but don’t let that dishearten you from letting this beautiful film into your heart. I loveSaving Mr. Bankswith all of my heart.

Feb 1, 2014 - Film    1 Comment

“Ender’s Game” Film Review.

Ender’s Game” is based off the 1985 science fiction novel of the same name by Orson Scott Card. Although I have not read the novel, this didn’t make the experience of the film any less comprehensive or enjoyable.

Ender’s Game” is about a young Ender Wiggins played by Asa Butterfield, recruited by the International Military to lead humanity in the fight against a genocidal alien race which nearly destroyed the human race in a previous invasion attempt. With the International Military, Ender is trained under the watchful eye of Colonel Graff played by Harisson Ford.

With the additional talents with the likes of Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld, Aramis Knight, Suraj Partha, and Ben Kingsley, the film goes above and beyond to do justice to the story of the 1985 science fiction novel for fans and new fans alike.

Personally, I really loved “Ender’s Game”. It is not just a science fiction film, but a detailed look of how humanity can act under strife. Asa Butterfield‘s portrayal of Ender in this film is incredible, and I really wish that he won awards for playing this role, because he is extremely talented and deserving of some recognition for this film.

If you have wanted to seeEnder’s Game”, I highly recommend that you do yourself a favour and see it. Completely underrated and a perfect nod to a written masterpiece, “Ender’s Gameis one of the best science fiction films of 2013.

Feb 1, 2014 - Film    1 Comment

“Free Birds” Film Review.

Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. But for those who do, I believe this movie would be more appealing. Although “Free Birds” contains the vocal talents from the likes of Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler and Woody Harrelson, their voice acting does not make up for a lacklustre plot. The problem with most animation films is that they’re aimed just at children and so creators tend to dumb down the storyline, implying if it were any more detailed, children wouldn’t understand – which is not true.

The only good thing about this film is the fact that George Takei lends his voice for the time machine known as “S.T.E.V.E.”, and those who know better, are aware that the man is a living legend of the science fiction world. Besides him, this movie is completely and utterly boring. I believe the concept of turkeys wanting to travel back in time to stop Thanksgiving is cute, but the execution didn’t work at all. And I don’t know if the characters realise that turkeys can be eaten all year round, not just Thanksgiving. Oh well.

Dec 29, 2013 - Film    2 Comments

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” Film Review.

I really loved the original film, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”. It’s not hard to find someone who enjoyed it. So when a sequel after 10 years of waiting was announced, I was very excited.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” brings Ron Burgundy and his co-anchor friends, Brick Tamland, Brian Fantana and Champ Kind played by Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner back into the spotlight reading the news. This time however, our favourite characters have relocated to New York and are now doing national news as opposed to back in San Diego in the first film. It is no longer about wooing and competing with the perfect woman that Ron is flabbergasted about, but is instead about Ron trying to maintain his anchorman career on a 24 hour news channel whilst at the same time trying to be a good father.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t like the whole father thing, and found the son character very annoying. When I want to go see Ron Burgundy in all his peacocking glory, I don’t want to see him being a dad. It’s funny when it’s just him and his friends, but when the character is passing his stupidity onto a child, it’s just not funny anymore. In fact, I rarely laughed viewing this film.

Steve Carrell shines in this film, reunited with the character he originated ten years ago, Brick Tamland who always seems to have the best one liners and the best moments on screen. I am not sure whether this is due to the writing, or the magic of Carrell‘s talent, but every single scene that Carrell was in was funny. The other main characters on screen including Ron Burgundy himself all seemed lacking and under developed.

Christina Applegate‘s character Veronica Corningstone also returns from the original film, but we barely see her at all, which is a shame because Applegate‘s on-screen chemistry with Will Ferrell was dynamite last time around, and in this film she’s only just there like a prop. Kristen Wiig is a great actress, but as Chani in Anchorman 2, she seemed very unnecessary and very forgettable. And what was the point of that Linda Jackson character played by Meagan Good? If it was to see Ron Burgundy hook up with another woman whilst somehow also keeping Veronica Corningstone, well then, that sucked and none of those scenes with her in it were funny at all.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continuesseemed very promising but failed to deliver the magic it once delivered 10 years ago in the original film which was quotable and actually funny. Fans will still go see it regardless and make it a blockbuster hit, I’m sure. But that still doesn’t excuse this movie from absolutely sucking. Best parts? Ever single scene with Steve Carrell, Harrison Ford as Mack Tannen and the cameos at the end of the film. Other than that, this film was just plain awful.

If given another chance, perhaps there may be an “Anchorman 3” to redeem the mess that was made in this film. But not every film that fails is given a second chance. With the ticket sales this film is getting, who knows? But if a third film is released, it is unlikely that I will be going to see it in the cinemas. Now excuse me whilst I mourn the magic of the first film and what could have been.

Dec 29, 2013 - Film    2 Comments

“The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” Film Review.

Last time, I was taken by surprise by HFR and the 48-frames-per-second+3D format. This time, when seeing “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug”, it didn’t seem as strange to me as I had seen this film format style before in the previous film. Although, I still don’t think it is necessary.

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” the second installment to “The Hobbit: Unexpected Journey” where reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins played by Martin Freeman has joined Gandalf played by Ian McKellen, and a group of spirited dwarves to help them reclaim their mountain home which was stolen by a dragon named Smaug, voiced by the talented Benedict Cumberbatch.

Like the first film, I wanted to love this film, but only just liked it. And even just thinking about it makes me dislike the film even more. Let me explain. The Hobbit is just one book. ONE. And what Peter Jackson is doing is somehow stretching this small tiny book into three 3 hour long movies. And when you make one book into three movies, surely there will be extra space/time and not enough content to fill the minutes of the film. So what does Peter Jackson do? He adds characters that are not in the book. It’s like the people behind this film forgot that this is based on a book!

Whilst the action scenes in the film mostly done by Legolas and Tauriel played by Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly were entertaining and somewhat amusing, I found this time wasted when it should have been spent more on character development with the dwarves. I assure you that many people don’t even know the names of all of the dwarves travelling with Bilbo in this film.

Although I did like Evangeline Lilly‘s character Tauriel, the character not only does not exist in the book, but does not exist in any J. R. R. Tolkien book. I thought this was meant to be a book adaptation? And we’re only scratching the surface, but with spoilers and everything, I’ll leave the rest up to you to see for yourself.

Peter Jackson‘s big mistake is making the films a prequel to Lord of the Rings instead of a stand alone story. What was meant to be a fine tribute to a beautiful book, has now turned into three horribly shocking films. Now I am not a purist when it comes to book adaptations, but The Hobbit film series takes the cake for book adaptations done wrong.

Unlike many, I am not blinded by the cinematography, costumes and all the pretty elves. I know a bad movie when I see one, and this was bad. The sad part is, Martin Freeman‘s portrayal of Bilbo in this is actually great, but it’s not enough to hold this film together. Disappointing is an understatement.

Dec 29, 2013 - Film    2 Comments

“The Butler” Film Review.

Lee Daniels‘ “The Butler” is an incredible masterpiece. Although inspired by truth and not based on truth, you would think that something in this film would be flawed. But “The Butler” is not flawed, it’s PERFECT.

Although the butler, Cecil Gaines played by Forest Whitaker and his family are fictional, many of the life events that he experiences are real and were inspired by butler, Eugene Allen who did work in the Whitehouse and served eight presidents during his tenure at the Whitehouse experiencing many major changes in American society and history.

In the film, Cecil Gaines has a wife and two children. One whom is a good obedient child that wants to fight for his country, the other who hates the expectations of society and wants to fight against his country. Although Cecil‘s son, Louis played by David Oyelowo is outspoken and against the prejudice of society. Although Cecil is against Louis‘ decisions and actions, father and son are actually both on the same side and both fight for the same thing, just in different ways.

Joined by a phenomenal talented cast; Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Redgrave, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravtiz, Colman Domingo, Clarence Williams III, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Elijah Kelley, Robin Williams, John Cusack, James Marsden, Michael Rainey Jr., Minka Kelly, David Banner, Mariah Carey, Terrence Howard, Liev Schreiber, Alex Pettyfer and Nelsan Ellis each play their part into making this film deep, moving and amazing as it is.

Oprah Winfrey is fantastic in this film as Cecil‘s wife, Gloria Gaines who is the complete opposite of what the actress actually is, and what Oprah actually stands for. But the one who deserves praise the most is Forest Whitaker with his performance moving me to tears. And I will be extremely upset and disappointed if this performance does not give him an Oscar nomination.

With factual truth and a lot of heart, it’s hard not to be moved by this film. Lee Daniels has definitely outdone himself as a producer and director of this masterpiece and I hope that this film gets the recognition that it deserves. I am neither American, nor have I ever really been big on politics, but this film impressed me. I cried so much, I ended up giving myself a headache, and no film has ever done that to me before. “The Butler” is definitely one of the best films of 2013.

Dec 22, 2013 - Film    2 Comments

“Captain Phillips” Film Review.

Captain Phillips” is based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the hijacking of the US carrier ship “MV Maersk Alabama” in 2009.

From Oman, the crew of the MV Maersk Alabama were fully aware of pirates in the region, yet still decide to travel near Somalian waters through the Gulf of Aden towards Mombasa. When the ship is hijacked by Somalian pirates lead by their captain, “Muse” played by Barkhad Abdi, Phillips must be wary of his actions in order to keep his crew safe and unharmed, even if it means throwing his life on the line for the sake of others.

I know that Tom Hanks is the poster boy for this film, but he didn’t impress me. I am not denying his talent. I always trust his choices with films. But it wasn’t Hanks that wowed me, it was Barkhad Abdi with his portrayal of Muse. Even though the character was aware he was doing something wrong, you couldn’t entirely hate him as you could see the pain in his eyes and the limited choices that he had being born in a third world country, struggling to survive.

Although I understand this film is based on factual events, I personally found the character of Captain Phillips very wreckless with his decision to choose to take the ship and its crew on a dangerous shipping route in the first place, knowing that they were alone and that there would be pirates about in the waters. Had he taken a safer but longer route, this hijacking may have never happened. But that’s just my opinion.

Captain Phillips is a film that will hold your attention. With great acting and an interesting story based on truth, I do believe that if you went to see this film, you would enjoy it as it’s got a lot of great things to offer audiences (if this is your kind of film). However, although I personally liked this film, by no means is this film one of the best of the 2013.

Dec 22, 2013 - Film    2 Comments

“Blackfish” Film Review.

I hadn’t heard of “Blackfish” until a friend who is also a film nut suggested for me to go see it. And I am so glad that I did. “Blackfish” is a documentary displaying the immoral actions of humans obtaining killer whales for human entertainment, and the despair and consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity.

Tilikum is the main whale and topic that this documentary speaks up about. This whale has attacked many Seaworld trainers in the past with 3 lives being lost, and Seaworld blaming the trainers for their own deaths. But it is not Tilikum that is the enemy, it’s us. The ones that blindly are entertained and pay money to see orcas do tricks at amusement parks, and those that make money from the killer whales and their suffering. It’s absolutely unusual for so many attacks to happen from orcas as they’re very kind and peaceful to humans in the wild. Tilikum is frustrated, and you would be too if you spent your whole life stuck and enclosed in a bathtub, because that is practically his life. I can’t blame Tilikum at all in this entire predicament.

This is something you really need to see for yourself. It really opened up my eyes. I can officially say now that I HATE SEAWORLD. At least the American Seaworld counterpart responsible for all this mess, the suffering and the deaths. Last I checked, the Australian Seaworld don’t actually have killer whales at their amusement park in captivity. But you can never be too sure. For me, any animal cruelty is disgusting and I am shocked that Seaworld have managed to get away with it for so long. Absolutely appalled!

Since the release of this film, many people are boycotting Seaworld in the US, including celebrity acts that have cancelled their appearances since seeing this film for themselves. But that is not enough. Hopefully something can be done so that Tilikum can be freed, and that no other orcas in the future have to suffer the same fate that Tilikum still suffers.

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