Reading, Living and Reviewing

Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts

Movie Review: Vampire Academy (2014)

Friday, May 02, 2014
          The Vampire Academy series is definitely one of my favorite vampire books and I wanted to see the movie since I’ve heard news about the adaptation. Even when the first trailer appeared I kept my enthusiasm because unlike others I decided to wait for the actual movie in order to judge it.

          So I finally saw the movie and I liked it, not loved it, but liked it. I think that there was room for improvement, but it was certainly better than what I’ve seen in the trailers. If you are a fan of the books don’t expect a very serious, dark movie. The producers decided to turn it into a comedy for teenagers. The Mean Girls vibe was there in the dialogue, in the school and in the plot. The central point of the plot seemed to be the students’ social problems and their love lives, which as far as I recall was noticeable in the books as well, but not as much.

The Cast

          First of all I loved the actors, I am a huge fan of Zoey Deutch and I think that she did a great job portraying the funny, sometimes sarcastic and also a badass Rose Hathaway. Lucy Fry also did a decent job in portraying Lissa Dragomir, although I would have imagined her a little bit different, but exact physical matching between the characters and actors were never a must for me. Although I was pretty pleased with most of the characters, one bugged me through the entire movie: Dimitri Belikov (played by Danila Kozlovsky).
          At first I thought it was cool that they chose to hire an actual Russian actor to play a Russian character, but for me it was weird. The actor looked older than he should have looked and ironical his Russian accent was barely noticeable. I am sure that Danila Kozlovsky is a very good actor, but maybe this part was not for him.

The Love Story
          This is the thing that annoys me every time a book to movie adaptation shows up: the love story. I may be different, but when I read a book, and that book is any other genre besides romance, I tend to focus on things that are not related to the love relationships. I have nothing against them, but in movies they are always rushed and awkward and Vampire Academy was no exception.

The Plot
          The entire plot felt chaotic. There were no indicators for the time passing so it looked like the entire action moved at the pace of a couple of days. Some things felt rushed while others felt like were moving too slow.
          Overall I enjoyed watching this movie, but much like in The Mortal Instruments case, this is a movie I am only going to enjoy once. I would have loved to see a slightly darker version with the witty, sarcastic characters. It worked for Buffy, it could have worked for Vampire Academy too.


Movie Review: The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
          I finally had the chance to watch City of Bones and I was nervous about it because all the negative feedback around it. I myself am a little confused about how I feel right now. I’ve seen it two times and I couldn’t see anything wrong with it the first time, but I couldn’t finish the movie when I tried to watch it the second time.

          I don’t consider myself as being a huge fan of the books, but I read the first three in the series and I could see that some things were changed and most of them not for the best. They just tried to add in the movie as much as they could from the book and the story seemed rushed.

The Cast

          I don’t usually comment about the cast. Seriously, I don’t really care who plays whom. It’s obvious that no matter what, our dream cast will never become reality...that’s a fact. I liked most of the actors from the movie except two of them: Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Valentine). It’s not that I don’t like the actors, but I think that the characters were poorly portrait. I just couldn’t watch Jamie Campbell Bower and see Jace. The entire movie I felt that was something wrong with him, it’s like Jace’s personality was forced. As for Valentine, that was more of a shock. I don’t know if I read the book in the wrong way or I have a crappy memory, but I thought that Valentine was elegant with blonde/gray-ish hair. What I got to see: a pirate.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Valentine)

Changes brought in the adaptation

          There was one thing that changed and I loved. In the books Clary’s mom is presented in a constant sleeping state, but in the movie she gets her own fighting scene and she kicks ass, then she slips into a coma.

          Even though Magnus Bane is among the most popular characters in the books, he only had the chance to appear twice in the movie. It’s such a shame because I remember him being fun and sarcastic and I couldn’t wait to read about him.

          The final battle took place in the institute, but I remember clearly that it was not the case in the books and Hodge’s importance was minimized until the point I actually thought that he was only a poor old man forced by circumstanced to do what he did.

The love story
          I think I have an allergy to love at first sight and love triangles. Don’t worry, City of Bones doesn’t have love triangles, at least not yet, but it has love at first sight. Every private meeting with each other is cheesy and predictable and sometimes hard to watch. And then again those were the parts that I hated in the books as well so I quickly learned how to just ignore them.

Jace and Clary
Fight Scenes

          I loved the fight scenes, special effects and the uses of the runes, although I imagined something less noticeable like scars, not tattoos. The Institute reminded me in small parts of Harry Potter, but I guess it was inevitable.

          All in all I liked the movie, it wasn’t as horrible as people made it out to be, but I don’t think it stood up to the books reputations.

Did you have the chance to watch Mortal Instruments? What do you think?

Movie Review: The Purge [Guest Post]

Thursday, August 08, 2013

The Purge, released 7th June 2013 is a film that for many will cause controversy, shock, entertainment and sheer astonishment. The film is set in the United States, the year is 2022 and crime and unemployment has hit an all-time low of 1%. The reason behind these promising results, ‘The Purge’. 

The Purge is an annual event that takes places over a 12 hour period, whereby citizens are able to release their anger and negativity through the means of theft and even murder. During this 12 hour period, crime is legal and all emergency services are suspended, making sure that no person injured during the event can seek medical assistance until it is over….that’s if they make it of course.  

Although a shocking and preposterous idea the Government have seen fit to do this to conquer the despicable evil that took place on their streets every day. The Purge has made a significant difference to the country therefore making it “a nation reborn”.

With the exempt Level 10 government officials who may not be harmed during the purge, it is a distressing and even fatal 12 hours for the rest of the country. For those living in remote, expensive and friendly neighbourhoods however, there should be no problem at all. At least that’s what the family of James Sandin, a wealthy salesmen who has made his money selling security systems to his neighbours thought. 

Worst comes to worse though when a helpless homeless man seeks help from the family as a gang of ruthless killers enjoying the purge look for him. When the youngest son of the Sanding family grants the homeless man access to the home their nightmare truly begins.

The film looks at the disturbing events that take place through the night and how helping one man can make you question your own actions and loyalties. Could you really hand over an innocent man to be butchered for the sake of your family? Could you do it for the nation? Could you do it at all?

With their own lives hanging in the balance its time to make that decision, will you give in to their requests or will you stand together and fight? As you follow the lives of the Sandins on the night of The Purge you soon discover that there is also more to their neighbours than first meets the eye. 

A great watch that will fill your mind with questions, wonder and utter disgust. Do you dare to purge?

Author Bio:
Aidan is a keen writer who is extremely interested in security issues. He has a particular interest in safe rooms and specialised security solutions.

Movie Review: The Host

Saturday, April 20, 2013
          When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.
Release Date: March 2013
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons

My Review:

“Her name is Wanda. Not it.”
          I don’t understand why people hate this movie so much. I saw that many didn’t react that good when they found out that is based on a book written by Stephenie Meyer. I am not a fan of the Twilight series, but that didn’t stop me to watch The Host, which I found completely different from the other books.
The Host was a little more mature; I somehow still felt a teenager-ish part in the story, I guess that mostly in the romance part. I will blame the fact that the book looks pretty big and they didn’t have time to explore all the important issues.
          This was a light, not to complicated movie. I could easily follow thought the story and I loved the entire concept of it. I am still conflicted on whether the aliens were good or bad guys. I mean, yeah they took humans bodies, erasing their being, that way committing genocide, but then again they weren’t violent beings and they were pretty neat with only one goal: to take off the entire humanity. See? They are not that bad (let the invasion begin).

          I don’t think I hated any of them, not even the aliens. I found them likable and I think that all the actors did an excellent job portraying them. I enjoyed the duality of Melanie and Wanda, the fact that they were different: Melanie a bad ass chick and Wanda a newborn soul, still discovering life, much softer than Melanie, but she grows toward the end and ironically, becomes more human than most of the rebels. She learns compassion for her kind and humans as well and ends up helping humanity.
I don’t know which one was supposed to be the main character, but Wanda stood up, and the entire movie was based on her. Maybe that is because we don’t really see Melanie, but we hear her a lot and acts more like Wanda’s consciousness.

          I would like to talk about a non-romantic relationship, which I found adorable: Melanie/Wanda and Jamie, her brother. He was sweet and unlike the others, he never misbehaved when all of them thought that Melanie was dead and Wanda an evil alien. They connected so beautifully until the point Jamie felt Wanda like another sister and she risked a lot to save him.

“Kiss me like you want to get slapped.”

The romantic relationship. Now, this was complicated and a little confusing. The good part was that it was not a love triangle, nope, that was a square and not really. Yes, it was a little complicated because there were two guys and technically two girls, but had the misfortune to live in the same body so in anyone’s vision and in mine as well, there were two couples in The Host with a lot of kissing each other…well, except Jared with Ian…that would have been interesting and pointless in this case.

The Ending
For me, the ending was predictable, shocking and predictable again. I was not expecting a happy one and deep down inside I wished for shock and one final sacrifice for the greater good. I sure hope that the book has much more development in the end since in the movie it felt kind of rushed and convenient.

Book 2?
I can’t understand this. Why write another book when this one was meant to be a stand alone? I am sure that the author will have plenty ideas to continue the series, but the ending (at least in the movie) was a closed, happy one. 

And now I will want to read the book. I need to know what I’ve missed and I am sure I will like it.

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