Thursday, May 29, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past - Movie Review

THEY just KEEP getting Better and Better

Movie Blurb by Fandango: In order to prevent a grim future in which mutants and their human sympathizers are systematically hunted and killed by towering, unstoppable robots called Sentinels, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) travels back in time to change the course of history in this sequel that finds X-Men and X2: X-Men United director Bryan Singer returning to the helm.
The film opens in a dark and desolate future that was set in motion in 1973, when brilliant scientist Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) created a series of giant robots called Sentinels for the sole purpose of wiping out mutants, whom he claimed were a direct threat to the human race. Although initially programmed solely to target mutants, the Sentinels soon began eradicating humans who possessed the DNA to breed mutants, and eventually, any mortal mutant sympathizers. Desperate, Prof. Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) devise a plan to have Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) send Wolverine back to the year when Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) assassinated Trask -- it turns out that Mystique inadvertently accelerated the Sentinel program when she was subsequently captured by Sgt. William Stryker (Josh Helman), who succeeded at harvesting her DNA to make the robots more powerful than ever before.

Upon arriving in the past, Wolverine quickly seeks out a much younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), as well as Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and together they help break a young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) out of a heavily fortified prison cell hundreds of feet beneath the Pentagon. Meanwhile, with the help of Havok, Ink, Toad, and Spike, Mystique is already moving in for the kill. Although Wolverine, Beast, Charles, and Magneto manage to thwart the assassination, Charles and Magneto once again find themselves at odds after the latter attempts to alter the plan at the last moment, creating a mass panic during a post-Vietnam War peace summit in Paris. And Dr. Trask, still fuming from having had the Sentinel program rejected by Congress, takes his proposal directly to President Nixon (Mark Camacho), laying the groundwork for an even darker future than the one Wolverine was sent back to prevent. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

MY REVIEW - Oh my gosh! Have they figured out how to make kick butt movies or what? I have to admit, I've seen ALL of these comic book based movies. And the first few attempts were just okay (at best). But this year, they must've gotten some good writers working on these. Let's just say, it's got action, character development, did I say action? Yep, lots of that. Family went to see it and we can honestly say - we didn't want it to end. The flipping forward and backward in time was WELL done! Bravo! Marvel. We all gave it a 5 out of 4 well because we just felt that they put a lot into this movie.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

GodZilla - Movie Review



I really have a history with this creature.

When I was a little girl, I would RUN home to see this show. Yeah, it may have been a man dressed up in a suite, but hey, it was a monster that ripped up streets and fought off BAD Monsters to save us, each and every day.


The blurb:

The world's most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.



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Okay, I admit I had pre-conceived notions about this movie. So I headed off to this with my movie guru hubba and my entourage of teen and tween reviewers. It started with a bang. Yep, I was captured at 'hello'. Then they started building a distorted storyline around the scientist who lost his wife in a blast and the son. It was alright, but there could've been a better woven tale. It was hard for me to really connect with the characters, not because the acting was bad, but because the writing didn't have that much depth. But. I did not care because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was going to be a major monster smackdown fight coming. All Godzilla shows had that, it's what I ran home to watch everyday. Then it happened. The monsters started fighting then 'cut!' boring story part butts in. So the amount of fighting they did was minimum based on what I expected from my old days of Godzilla. Or maybe it just seemed long since I was a kid. Who knows, but with that I add. It was a decent movie. Enjoyable, kept my interest, although my younger kid started to get bored midway in. Out of 5 monsters we voted on a 3 roars.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Disclosure In Books


So, how many times have you picked up a book, started reading and was shocked to find out that some SAUCY things were taking place in your Middle Grade or Young Adult book that you were not prepared for.


There were so many books I purchased for my daughters and sons that we read outloud only for me to find out that the back cover did not warn me that there were 'adult themed' topics in my teen or tween books.


Now thinking back to when I was a teenager, I realized that my dear mom didn't do much in the way of observing what I read. I was 13 yrs old reading Stephen King and every Harlequin Romance I could get my hand on. (tsk tsk)


But my teen daughters are really picky about what should be in their reading and they don't like horror or the adult romances that their mom liked sneaking to read.


I appreciate when books disclose what's in them. Let me know if there is adult material (aka - a teen pregnancy in my daughter's YA book - yep that happened). Or a graphic gay relationship in another (yeah, I'd like to know about that in advance - because if it's not my thing, it's not my thing). Sorry, but I too, know we should note violence, but if it's a book about fighting to get out of something - that's pretty much implied. Those other types of shockers above, I rarely see noted in the back cover blurb.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Amazing Spider Man 2 Movie Review

I Love me some Spidey! But...

I didn't expect to love this version of Spiderman. I really thought it would be a big ole' redo. So boring. BUT, but , but...

Okay, let me back up and give you the overall picture.

Blurb (Fandango and IMdB): Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life.

The web-slingin' wall-crawler hits the screens once again in this follow-up to Marc Webb's 2012 reboot of the series. Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker, who squares off against the villainous Electro, played by Jamie Foxx.

As the film opens, we find Richard (Campbell Scott) and Mary Parker (Embeth Davitz) stealing away with some crucial Oscorp files while leaving young Peter in the care of Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben. Flash forward about a decade, and Peter (Garfield) is swinging into action as Spider-Man; having successfully thwarted the hijacking of an Oscorp truck by notorious Russian criminal Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti), Peter ditches the costume just in time to meet up with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) at their high school graduation. Despite his deep love for Emma, however, Peter remains haunted by his promise to her late father not to get emotionally involved with her for fear that she could be targeted by Spider-Man's enemies.

Meanwhile, young Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan) inherits OsCorp and a deadly retrovirus from his father Norman (Chris Cooper), and brilliant but timid OsCorp scientist Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) gets infused with a powerful dose of electricity while attempting to fix a faulty power circuit in the lab. Upon regaining consciousness, Max discovers that he has the power to harness electrical currents - the higher the voltage the more powerful he becomes. When a battle with Max in Times Square shorts out Spidey's web-shooters, Peter goes to work on developing a more reliable model of his signature weapon while Harry grows convinced that Spider-Man's blood is the key to his survival. Later, villainous OsCorp chairman Donald Menken (Colm Feore) steals the company out right out from under Harry, driving the vengeful youth to break Max -- now Electro -- out of the heavily-guarded Ravencroft Institute for a two-pronged attack on Menken and Spider-Man. The stage for that battle is set when New York City goes dark just as Peter declares his love to Gwen, plunging the wise-cracking web-slinger into a fight that could forever alter the course of his life. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi

My Review: Well talk about pleasantly surprised. I truly believe these comic book guys are learning to write and script better movies. This was another one that totally exceeded my originally low expectations. I have to admit though, I have a soft spot for Spidey so yeah, I was going to go see the movie anyway. My husband was really skeptical but of course my kids were super on board to go see this one. I have to say though, the actor who played Spiderman has grown into the role. In the first movie it seemed like he and Spiderman were still trying to figure each other out. However, in this movie, he bought his 'A' game and he had to because if he didn't both villians would've stolen the show. The actor who played Harry was really good and I felt for him, really I did - til he turned bad. Yet, he didn't really have a choice now did he? Now with Electro - wow! Jamie Foxx totally nailed his character to the wall. The duality of his character was there, only we didn't really get to see it develop since so many other things were going on. I really enjoyed this version of Spiderman and will add it to my playlist at home. I took a vote from the family and all of us agreed on 4 out of 5 webs for this baby.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Beautiful Stranger by Alicia Kat Vancil

The Marked Ones Trilogy Book 0.5
Beautiful Stranger releasing May 21st!

Patrick Connolly is about to get the one thing he has always wanted…kinda.
We all have that one thing—that one thing we wish for on every first star of the night. Wealth. Fame. Love. For geeky artist Patrick Connolly, it is the attention of his beautiful and seemingly unattainable classmate Nualla Galathea. There’s just one problem—he’s got less than a snowball’s chance in hell, and that’s being generous.

However, when a heated argument erupts in the halls of Bayside Academy forcing Patrick and Nualla’s paths to collide, Nualla surprisingly jumps at the opportunity to be his date. Patrick may think his wish has just come true, but this gentle boy will need more than artistic talent to combat the deadly secrets lurking behind his dream girl’s veil of normality. Like the fact that she isn’t even human.

Beautiful Stranger is a Marked Ones novella that is approximately 20,000 words long.

Goodreads link

About the Author

Alicia Kat Vancil grew up in the heart of Silicon Valley where she amused herself by telling stories to anyone around her—her family, her friends...random strangers. Eventually she actually started writing those stories down instead of just spending hours hanging out in fake Ikea living rooms and telling her friends about them. Somewhere amongst all the character-torturing and epic explosions she managed to get a BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art University and open a graphics studio (Multi-tasking for the win!).

Kat still lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two very crazy studio cats, and nine overfull bookcases. And when not running a muck in the imaginary worlds within her head, Kat can usually be found performing, watching anime, or hanging out in Twitter chats.

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