Movie Review

Star Trek

Space… the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms, and new civilisations. To boldly go, where no one has gone before.

I’ve been putting off watching anything to do with this series for the longest time. First it was because I just really wasn’t that into sci-fi, but then when I got more interested in the genre, I heard from so many people that Star Wars was so much better than Star Trek. I watched Star Wars, and honestly I wasn’t that impressed, so obviously I thought that I would just waste my time with Star Trek…

Last Friday I got stoned and decided for some reason to watch Star Trek, which had been sitting on my laptop for ages. From the very beginning of the movie I was hooked. I don’t know how much of my amazement and fascination had to do with being stoned, but OMG, I LOVED everything about it! 

I especially loved how they basically started everything from the beginning, so that someone like me, who has never watched any of the classic series, wouldn’t have to go back to that in order not to miss out on any plot points. I’m still going to try and get my hands on that, but wow, just how ingenious was that? They can pretty much do whatever they want now without having to worry about continuity!

Like I said, I don’t know anything about the classic series, but I haven’t been completely living under a rock, and I think Zachary Quinto was a brilliant choice for Spock, and Chris Pine does a great job of playing the rebellious good guy. I’m struggling with accepting Simon Peg and John Cho as serious non comedic characters, but they’re still great, and I love both their characters.

I watched both the movies in one sitting, and of course, being such a huge nerd as I am I had a slight fangirl attack when Benedict Cumberbatch entered the scene. I find it disturbing that I can identify him by his voice alone and that I’m slowly but surely coming around to everyone else’s opinion that he’s quite good looking… because he’s really not… but then he kind of is…

He did a great job of making Khan relatable, and the mark of a good villain is that they make you feel sorry for them… which you can’t help but feel for Khan. Being a mother, I can understand that you would do anything for your family. I’m not sure I would have gone as far as he did, but yeah, I get it. I’m glad they didn’t kill him, but I feel like they might have set the stage for a return in the future… and I’m sure nobody will complain.

I’m not sure how I’m going to do it, but I can’t wait to get my hands on the originals! Live long and prosper!

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Movie Review

Movie Review: Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle

What the hell was that even? You know, for once I’d like it if the movie didn’t completely butcher the book it’s based on… and if you’re going to do that, then don’t call it the same thing as the book… rather just say it’s based of “this” book.

Okay, rant over, but still. The movie was enjoyable, but it would probably have been better if I hadn’t read the book so recently. Most of the time while watching, I was in a state of “that didn’t happen” or “this isn’t even close to correct!”

Some of the things that bugged me:

– Sophie’s whole story is ignored. The only family you get to meet is Fanny, but you don’t get to know her name, and Lettie, but you don’t get told that she’s in fact Martha or Sophie’s sister.
Also, for some reason Sophie’s age keeps changing in the movie, and I get that it’s supposed to show that she’s keeping the curse on herself and it shows how she changes at certain stages, but come on… that’s completely not what happened in the book at all. She was old and that was it.

– The scarecrow. Not only does Sophie like it in the movie and it helps her do things etc, but it also turns into the lost prince (which is right) who then says that the spell was “somehow” cast on him and could only be broken by his true love… what? NOOOO! That’s just so wrong it makes me mad! What about the story behind him becoming the scarecrow (kind of)… which leads me to:

– The whole plot around the Witch of the Waste was completely changed and ruined. They decided a war was for some reason a better idea and turned the Witch into a pathetic old biddy that Sophie takes care of even though she cursed her. This whole point makes my blood boil, because it was so integral to the book that I just can’t believe they changed it so much. They ignored that the witch had killed and maimed and tried to build a perfect human (wizard) and they also completely missed her demon part, because wizard Suliman never went missing and is now a woman and the actual villain. WTF?

– Michael is suddenly a pre-teen little thing called Marko instead of a teenaged boy. Apart from him doing some work right in the beginning, there’s also no mention of the fact that he does most of the work or that he’s an apprentice. Most of the time he’s just in the background. You also don’t get to know his story or the fact that he’s crushing on Lettie (who’s of course Martha in disguise).

– They completely ignored Howl’s wicked way with women. The book practically revolved around the fact that Howl’s passion is making women fall in love with him and then he drops them, but in the movie there’s a passing remark and then the rest of the time it ignores this and blow’s Sophie and Howl’s love out of proportion. Let’s not forget the reason Howl couldn’t love truly in the book was because he didn’t have his heart anymore, but in the movie he doesn’t seem to have a problem completely falling for Sophie. To be fair, I do think he did develop really strong feelings for Sophie in the book, but he only truly felt love for her once he got his heart back.
Also, he changes into a bird-monster periodically, which probably represents that he’s going bad? I’m not too sure about that but it seems most likely… I still don’t buy it.

I could have forgiven some small changes (like Sophie’s age changing constantly, I get that), but such a complete rewrite of everything shouldn’t be associated under the same name. If it had been presented as similar but different, then at least you know not to expect a visual representation of a story you loved, but instead just something along the same lines…

Book Review

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

My Rating: 5 Stars

I loved this book and I think it was written exceedingly well. There’s a lot less action and adventure than I would normally like, and it did remind me heavily of The Stand, but I just loved the simplicity of it.

I liked the way it switches between before, during, soon after, and 20 years after. It gives you a pretty good idea of the world the author had created and how it got there, although I did kind of feel that people would be way more resourceful than they were in the story…

I’m not too sure about my initial 5star rating, but if I can get to the end of the book and think “what a good book”, I think it deserves 5 stars whether I thought there was a couple things wrong or missing or not.

Book Review

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

My Rating: 4 Stars

I absolutely loved this book. As soon as I finished I wanted to start reading it again, and when I found out there’s a movie, I got indecently excited!
Half of the time I wasn’t sure if it was a childrens book or not, but it didn’t matter, because the story is fun and interesting and written in such a way that it really doesn’t matter if it was meant for kids, because adults can love it too… If it is a children’s book though, it’s got a couple of gruesome scenes and everyone is very blase about death…

There’s a lot of adventure and excitement though, and I’m sure I missed a lot of the hints throughout the book. The plot of the story was brilliant and it’s been a while since I’ve been so delighted with a plot twist… everything seems so predictable these days that it’s awesome to find something new.

The only negative I can point out is that it did lack a little something when it comes to making me feel the characters were real, because although I liked Sophie and Howl and Michael and Calcifer, they stayed characters in a story, and didn’t jump out of the page and become real like some of my other favorite characters did. There was very little real emotion, and I guess this is where the saying “Show, don’t tell,” came from, because although we’re told characters feel a certain way, their actions made these emotions fall flat… except when Sophie throws a jealous tantrum and Howl over acts when he’s sick or upset. Howl is a HUGE drama queen…

I still loved the book though and as soon as Goodreads figure out how to do re-reads, it’ll definitely be in my re-read list!

Book Review

The Martian by Andy Weir

                   The Martian by Andy Weir

My Rating: 5 Stars
(Read February 13, 2015)

I started listening to the audiobook earlier today and finished just now. It’s 3:25am.
First off, let me just say I HATE tech talk, and this book is about 2/3 tech talk… Yet it’s done in such a way that it kept me interested and hooked on the story!
Mark is very resourceful and funny, although I wonder if anyone would really have held up so well in the same circumstances… Not seeing anybody for more than a year, bland food everyday and minimal entertainment… Let’s just say I find it amazing that he didn’t lose it…
There was a couple of times where I got really nervous for him, and often I wondered whether this would be one of those books where the main character died… Honestly, it kept me wondering right to the end… Poor Mark ha a lot of shit to deal with!
I thought the characters were well rounded and relatable, even though all of them are much smarter than me and on a MUCH higher paygrade! The voice artist was amazing and I’m pretty sure he was most of the reason the characters were so interesting.
All in all a VERY good read/listen… Now I need to get some sleep!

Book Review

Revolution by Jennifer Connelly

Revolution

My Rating: 5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit leery at first because I tend to avoid YA – I just can’t deal with all the misplaced and overblown angst – but I’m really glad I stuck with this one. It’s definitely super angsty, and sometimes you just wanted to grab Andi and shake her – not to mention her friends – but it also brought back my own teen years and I remember how everything was absolute and anything could bring on end-of-the-world freak outs… good times -_-

Jennifer Donnelly is an absolutely amazing writer and I adore her prose. She has a gift of drawing you in and then grabbing you and carrying you along more effortlessly than Gaston picked up those French chicks…

The history was fascinating, especially because I dropped the subject in high school and never knew anything about the French revolution except from what I gleaned from the movies Marie Antoinette and Les Mis (no, I didn’t read the book)… Also, there was that one Doctor Who episode, but I believe that was before the revolution so doesn’t in fact count… Anyway, back to the point. I came away from this book with more knowledge and understanding than when I started, and if a book can do that for you, teach you something genuine and interesting and real, that deserves 5 stars in my opinion.

I can’t even imagine those times though, when terror and starvation ruled the day and gave birth to cruelty and oppression and madness. I try and really put myself in the revolutionaries’ shoes and still I can’t understand what would drive a person to waltz around with a severed head on a pole and crow in laughter. What would make them lock up and starve and torture an innocent child just for what he represented? And it also makes me wonder what I would have done, on whose side I would have been on, if I had lived in those times… because at the end of the day, if you have to, you can convince yourself that evil is necessary…

There was a lot going on in this story, and some of it was unnecessary and maybe a bit over the top, but the characters were well rounded and became real in my head, enough so that I could imagine them and feel for them and with them, which is always a good thing. The story was flawless and flowed easy, and by the last page I felt like the story had served it’s purpose and served it well.