Category Archives: movies

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Well, jeez. Apparently my 2016 theme is the apocalypse and post-apocalyptic survival. Last month the focus was The Walking Dead. This month, four days in, I’ve finally watched Mad Max: Fury Road and The 5th Wave. (While, yeah. I’m frankly just waiting for TWD to return.) Both movies were good. However, I really enjoyed The 5th Wave.

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Short summary of The 5th Wave (via Google search):

“The human race stands on the brink of extinction as a series of alien attacks decimate the planet, causing earthquakes, tsunamis and disease. Separated from her family, Ohio teenager Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) will do whatever it takes to reunite with her brother Sam. Fate leads her to form an alliance with Evan Walker (Alex Roe), a mysterious young man who may be her last hope. Forced to trust each other, Cassie and Evan fight for survival during the fifth assault from the invaders.”

With a quick glance at the Rotten Tomatoes score of the movie (Critics: 16%, Audience: 48%), I actually don’t get it. The plot was decent: it had a good pace and the logic made sense. The movie wasn’t horribly predictable either. Maybe there were a few cliches, but, hey, cliches are going to happen in some form, in every story. You can’t avoid them. The acting was phenomenal, the movie had it’s tense moments, and the book itself (I read the first couple pages via Kindle tonight) is very well written… a lot better than other YA novels that are getting screen time.

One of the reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes blames the lack of interest in The 5th Wave on the over-saturation of the YA market right now. While I do recognize that a lot of ads, TV shows, movies, and books seem to target the young adult market, I don’t think that’s 100% the reason why people aren’t as interested in The 5th Wave. I honestly was half-and-half about seeing the movie because, simply, aliens have been done–over, and over, and over again. Since the 1950s when The Day the Earth Stood Still and War of the Worlds classics released, Earth has had their imaginations looking upwards.

Storytellers of varying eras have thrown every alien, post-apocalyptic conspiracy at their audiences. Remember how I talked about cliches? Well alien horror movies could, arguably, be a subclause of trope themselves. Just like zombies, haunted houses, romantic encounters, and murder mysteries.

It’s our job as storytellers to come up with new ways of telling a familiar story. And Rick Yancey has done it with his series.

For example, the concept itself of “Waves” is very intriguing. Like, yes. They’ve been seen before. However, these attacks haven’t been seen together (as far as I know: I haven’t viewed every apocalyptic story). At the very least, the thought of multiple attacks from a group of Beings hell-bent on destroying our species is enough to get the adrenaline going.

I definitely do suggest checking out The 5th Wave. I’m not sure that I’ll go out and get the novels right away, mainly because I have so many books to catch up on and I’m stubborn. But when viewing the trailer, my “Movie Geek Sixth Sense” tingled. It’s a great ride.

Check out The 5th Wave trailer:

Honestly, I think I’ll keep on this pattern and watch The Road next. Maybe. I’ve heard it’s good though. This is all a secret way to bide time until The Walking Dead comes on V-day. Hah!

What apocalyptic stories do you friends suggest? Comment below!

Have a great week, friends and fans! I’ll see you on Friday with the next installment to my Transformers series!

2015 Favorites; 2016 Resolutions

Lord almighty! I cannot believe 2016 is upon us already! Honestly, 2015 was a bit of a challenge for me. I’m happy for the lessons I’ve learned this year, but I would be lying if I wasn’t excited for 2016. I hope for me and my family that it is a good year; it seems the recent years have been a bit of a challenge for us. I’m also looking forward to finally accomplishing some goals in 2016, but more on that later.

First, a bit of fun. Below, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite movies, music, books, and TV shows of 2015. Not all of them were released in 2015, but I encountered them this year.

Here we go!

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Favorite movie: (A TIE!) Jurassic World and No Escape.

2015 was a year of nostalgia: Star Wars launched a new trilogy, The Hunger Games ended, and Jurassic Park’s reboot, for me, started it all. I was never a huge fan of dinosaurs and Jurassic Park wasn’t a series I was entirely devoted to until recently. Frankly, I was more loyal to the classic adventures I grew up with (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and James Bond). However, to pay tribute to the great Steven Spielberg, I decided to go to the reboot.

I. Was. Not. Disappointed!

What especially caught my attention was Chris Pratt’s devotion to his Indiana-Jones-like-dinosaur-trainer: a character who was full of heart but a total “badass” (as one of the nephews put it).

Whether you’re a Jurassic Park fan or not, I strongly encourage you to see Jurassic World. The plot is well done, the action is gripping, and the nostalgia is purely palpable.

Speaking of badass movies, No Escape was probably my most favorite film of 2015. When I first watched the trailers, I thought I’d pass on the movie. However, what got me into the theaters was Owen Wilson; it was a first to see him in a serious, action-packed role (vs a comedy like Zoolander) and I wanted to see how well he did. I will tell you: he did not disappoint in the least!

Furthermore, No Escape brings up an issue that not everyone thinks about: monopoly in a third-world country. The cause of the uprising in the unnamed South-East Asia country is, put plainly, a first-world country taking control of their resources. Owen Wilson is unknowingly a part of this takeover and he puts his family in the center of it.

No Escape is certainly action-packed and very violent, as an uprising would be. The pace of the plot is wonderful: fast enough to keep the heart pounding, but it slows down at the appropriate points when Owen Wilson discovers exactly what his employers have been up to. I definitely suggest seeing it.


 

Favorite song: Lost Stars, sung by Adam Levine.

Lost Stars is an original song found in the movie Begin Again with Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. It was nominated in the 2015 Academy Awards for Best Original Song, which was well deserved (however, it did lose to Glory). The lyrics of the song are poetic and entirely soul-felt. I doubt there is a person in the world who wouldn’t identify with the story it weaves.

The chorus alone gives me chills as the song builds in its ballad:

“And God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young.
It’s hunting season and the lambs are on the run,
Searching for meaning.
But are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?”

 

Another astounding thing: this song stands apart. It complements Begin Again, but it’s a song you can put your own meaning, your own story to. It’s universal.


 

Favorite book: Welcome to Night Vale

Oh, Night Vale. Ever since I started listening to the famous podcast, around two years ago, my love for Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor’s “quiet desert community” has grown. I was SO FLIPPING EXCITED to delve into their novel that expanded beyond Cecil’s narration. What’s even better is how the podcast mentions the events of the novel here and there, only being blunt about its existence in the novel excerpt clip above. (I think a few episodes ago Cecil mentioned “that King City fiasco.”)

God, Night Vale will always be one of my most favorite works of creation EVER. AND THEY’RE COMING OUT WITH THREE BOOKS NEXT YEAR!! AHH!

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*cough* Anyways–


 

Favorite TV shows: Supernatural and Expedition Unknown
Ok. Yes. I couldn’t let the new year begin without mentioned my TWO MOST FAVORITE TV SHOWS!! (Seriously. Go check out my Tumblr: Supernatural is almost all I reblog; and I’m always fangirling over Josh Gates in my various social platforms.)

Supernatural has, and always will be, my top favorite show. There’s a reason why it’s currently airing season 11. For most people, it has to do with the brotherly relationship between Sam and Dean Winchester. However, while I do love the Winchester brothers, they aren’t my favorite characters. Castiel, Gabriel, Lucifer, and Balthazar are. In short, I love how they weave known mythology into the show and put twists on it. Especially ever since season 4, I’ve absolutely adored the angel mythology. Supernatural is the only medium that writes angels the way I believe they should be written (except for the “angels are dicks” thing, because, let’s face it: they aren’t).

I’ve especially loved how season 11 is feeling a lot like season 5. They’re focusing on Biblical mythology again and are bringing back well-loved characters for cameos (Lucifer just appeared in the most recent episode: “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” EEK!)

My second favorite TV show has to be Expedition Unknown. I’m a legend junkie with a passion for traveling and exploring cultures. However, I do like where I live… and I don’t want to travel nearly as much as Josh Gates does. Frankly, two-five trips a year will do me good.

But I love seeing what new adventures Josh Gates gets himself into. From searching for Amelia Earhart’s remains to investigating the True Cross of Christ, Josh Gates is always bringing new things to talk about on his show. He brings us along as he rock climbs, scuba dives, and crawls through caves.

In May this year, I met him for the second time and it’s only made me more adamant to watch his show. He is kind-hearted, brave, a joker, and so passionate about his job. Literally, it’s like he’s our Universe’s Indiana Jones.

He’s my role model… and I don’t think I’ll ever stop watching Expedition Unknown.


So that’s my list of 2015 favorites. Honestly, my head is kind of buzzing right now from the processing overload! But my Goodbye to 2015 post isn’t complete until I divulge in my 2016 resolutions. After all, it’s traditional to have goals for the new year, not to mention a good thing to do to keep procrastination at bay.

My plans for 2016 remain the same as they have for the past few years:

  1. Lose 50 pounds; feel healthy and capable of anything!
  2. Finish my first novel and get it put out into the world.

However, I do have goals for my social media profiles: I would like to keep to a schedule. Update my blog weekly, my Youtube videos every two weeks, and post to my Facebook page daily. Especially concerning the content of this blog, I would love to write more reviews; consider this 2015 recap the beginning of said reviews!

So, have a Happy New Year duckies. Say a generous thanks to 2015 and grasp 2016 by the hand — it’s almost here!

 

 

 

 

Writing Updates, Crimson Peak — HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

First off, let me say, I have been listening to “Valse Sur Une Berceuse Anglaise” ON FREAKING REPEAT since I saw Crimson Peak last Monday. The music plays in the background as Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) woos Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) into demonstrating the Viennese waltz. The following ensues:

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Yes. A highly romantic scene, a dance between two meant-to-be lovers, spouses caught in a horrible plot.

(THEY ARE MEANT TO BE. I WILL ACCEPT NO OTHER ANSWERS. FIGHT ME.)

Honestly, if Thomas Sharpe and Edith Cushing had been in a Jane Austen novel–especially if Tom Hiddleston played a male love interest–GODI think feminine hormones would take over the world and kill us all. Seriously. Go check Tumblr right now. I guarentee within the first page you’ll find someone gushing over Tom.

(I’m one of them.)

I swear, I SWEAR I was over gushing over Tom Hiddleston. And then the Victorian Gothic Romance fangirl in me reared her head. Doomed, I say! Doomed!

Others are making a big deal of the sex scene in Crimson Peak. Me? The waltz was my downfall.

“There are two kinds of people” as Tumblr likes to say.

Speaking of big deals, I found out that they announced Museum of Words last Friday when I was sick. I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t win. I was hoping I would, but I didn’t expect it, like I do with most things. It was a slim shot for anyone, at best. 35,000 stories were entered; the chances were slim at best for anyone. Furthermore, I think most contests look for literature-type, “real world” submissions anymore (unless they specifically look for fantasy, sci-fi, or speculative fiction). My style is more in line with pop culture. A fangirl through and through.

Honestly, I read the submission that won. Brava. She definitely deserved it, I will say that.

As JackSepticEye says in GTA V with Markiplier, Bob, and Wade, “I ain’t even mad, bro.”

(Maybe a little disheartened, but not mad.)

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Anyways, so here’s the hopeful optimist in me coming out. I have a theory: maybe I’m not winning contests or getting selected for journal submissions because my “big win” is going to be Angel’s novel being published. Maybe, just maybe, God is saving that moment, a “winning” moment, for when I will truly enjoy it. Isn’t that how he always works? Gives us what we need, not what we want?

I have confidence that you guys and gals will enjoy Angel’s story. And I’m excited for you to read it. Personally, I’m just happy the Museum of Words loss didn’t cripple me like I feared it would.

I also think Crimson Peak had excellent timing. Due to my obsession with the waltz (yes, obsession), I’ve been distracted in a moment where, in another time, I would’ve been depressed for longer. Points for you, God. Points for you. Funny how that all works out.

Bonus: I’m excited for you all to see my first Writing Updates video over on YouTube! I talk about my plans going into this next week regarding my writing. I’m definitely expected Writing Updates to be an ongoing thing, through NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and beyond. After all, people keep asking me how my writing’s going. Why not check out my videos for a more in-depth answer?

Hope you guys and gals have a happy and safe HALLOWEEN!! (Still have no idea what I’m dressing as. Instagram will surely reveal my decision!)

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Dual Wield Review: Everest + The Intern

This weekend I saw two movies that were phenomenal in their own ways. Everest and The Intern. I’ll admit: I had been more anxious to see Everest than The Intern. However, both entertained and spoke of values that we, as human beings all, identify with.

Everest 

Take a look at Everest’s trailer here:

“You, my friends, are following in the very footsteps of history. Something beyond the power of words to describe.”

– Rob Hall

These first words in the trailers set the tone of the movie beautifully. Everest is based on the true story of the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster. Now, I remember hearing about this catastrophe around the time that it happened. I don’t remember exactly when that was, I only remember my seven year old reaction: “I’m never climbing Mount Everest.”

Basically, the disaster goes as follows: on May 10-11, 1996, Everest was full of climbers — numerous teams and some solo adventurers– all attempting to reach her summit. A fast moving blizzard surprised all of these mountaineers… and eight people lost their lives. To date, it’s one of the worst disasters ever recorded on the mountain, only surpassed by 2014’s 16 fatalities and 2015’s 18 — both from avalanches.

The movie itself caught my attention this summer. It looked like a good action movie. I completely forgot that it was based off of a true story. I just wanted to see a movie about travel, adventure, and pushing yourself to the limit. All of these themes are present in the movie. However, it strikes harder and deeper than one would expect. Maybe it’s the added element that these people existed that makes the move stick in our minds. I think that it’s definitely a strong draw.

Everest, in its way, reminds me of Titanic. Minus the Jack and Rose plot, the actual historical context of the movie is fairly accurate… and definitely hits where it hurts. That’s the reason why I’ve watched the movie so often. Not because of the romance, but the disaster, and seeing people fight for their lives. That’s the reason why I enjoy action and suspense stories, in fact: the fight for survival.

Everest is all about extreme survival. Climbers trapped in harsh conditions. Some choose to let go, others fight for as long as they can — some survive, some don’t.

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When Everest first came out, I saw a few critics giving negative reviews. Their reason? “It has no plot!” I strongly beg to differ. What critics see as a lack of plot, I see as an effort to make a movies as real as possible. For Hollywood standards, Everest did a heck of a job. They successfully made a movie, respecting the memories of these amazing adventurers. Heck, the director took the cast and crew to the base of the Himalayas, hired a professional climber, and actually filmed the whole movie on a neighboring mountain.

When I see filmmakers make an effort to tell a good story (especially if it’s based off of a true story), I admire them. So, Everest is very worthwhile to see just for that reason: it’s real.

Warning: There are graphic moments in Everest; the filmmakers respectfully show the effects of climbing the world’s tallest mountain. A man vomits blood. People freeze to death. It’s highly emotional and real, like I said. Some things are hard to watch. So be prepared for that.


The Intern

Now, for a change of mood.

Take a look at The Intern’s trailer:

For those who are in need of inspirational life-stories, The Intern is a rollicking ride. It reminds me of my favorite dramedies like Dan In Real Life and Love Actually. It’s the kind of story that speaks of life’s little challenges: growing old and following your dreams while also valuing family time. These challenges are embodied in Robert De Niro’s Ben Whittaker and Anne Hathaway’s Jules Ostin.

What’s most compelling about this movie is when Jules and Ben start working together. There’s a bit of time where the writers establish a reluctance on Jules’s part to accept Ben’s wisdom and help, mainly due to his age. Eventually it does happen, though. Ben and Jules find respect and friendship in each other. Ben finds his drive again and Jules finds a way to love her business, but be less stressed.

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Ben finds his way into the hearts of all his colleagues. They benefit from his wisdom in various ways, whether it be de-stressing Jules or teaching the other interns a classy way to dress. The theme I picked up with this movie is to respect all walks of life and help others. You never know where help will come from, and with whom.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Yesterday I went with my boyfriend to see the new Tranformers movie.

Let me just say: I HAVE BEEN WAITING THREE YEARS FOR THIS!

AND IT WAS FLIPPING AWESOME!!!!!!!!

Seriously. I think I just go to these movies to see Optimus Prime. Cause he’s awesome. And I’m a bit of a Prime fangirl. I… actually have a crush on him… which can be considered weird. I don’t consider it weird. But it’s, like, human + robot.

Eh I’m a nerd.

I’m so excited to see what they do with the next movie. Transformers 5 is going to rock. And it might be a little different because of how they ended 4… but I’m purposefully not giving spoilers.

My ONLY criticism with the movie is: they had no mention of Sam, Mikaela, Carly, Lennox, Simmons.

You don’t know what happened to them!!

I know Michael and the writers wanted a fresh start (see the article here: “Transformers 4 producer explains where Extinction fits” ), with a fresh cast, but Sam’s relationships with Bee and Optimus were grounded. They were established. And both parties were not the kind of people/robots to just randomly walk out of a friendship like that.

So I would like to know: what happened to everyone in the five years between 3 and 4?

What about you guys?