Friday 28 December 2012

Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

About The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012):
A younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on a "unexpected journey" to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim a their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug.
Source: Info in the About The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) was taken from on 28/12/2012.

My Thoughts:
So I finally watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and I was disappointed. It was just a first chapter of a bigger book. The movie ended in a cliffhanger. Although the mixture of digital animation with live actors was beautifully done and seamless! Kudos to Weta for a real professional job! But I think I will not be rushing to the cinema for the next installment of this series. I might just buy or rent the dvd.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 cherries

Movie Trailer of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012):

Sunday 18 November 2012


Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)
Released by New Line Productions, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers and WingNut Films.
A star-studded affair including Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee and Cate Blanchett to name a few. Directed by Peter Jackson.
Format: dvd

About Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring:
In the Second Age, the Dark Lord Sauron attempts to conquer Middle-Earth using his One Ring. In battle against the Elves and Men, Prince Isildur cuts the Ring from Sauron's hand, destroying his physical form and vanquishing his army. However, Sauron's "life force" is bound to the Ring, allowing him to survive while the Ring remains. Isildur, corrupted by the Ring's power, refuses to destroy it. When Isildur is killed by Orcs, the Ring is lost in a river for 2,500 years. The Ring is found by Gollum, who possesses it for centuries until it is found by the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

Sixty years later, Bilbo leaves the Ring to his nephew, Frodo Baggins. Upon learning that the Ring belonged to Sauron, the Wizard Gandalf the Grey warns Frodo that Sauron's forces will come for him. Gandalf catches Frodo's gardener Samwise Gamgee "eavesdropping" underneath a window and sends him with Frodo to leave the Shire. Gandalf rides to Isengard to meet with the head of his order, Saruman the White, who reveals that Sauron's servants, the Nazgûl, have been sent to capture the Ring. Saruman reveals himself to be in service to Sauron, and imprisons Gandalf atop his tower. Saruman commands Sauron's Orcs to construct weapons of war and produce a new breed of Orc fighters: the Uruk-hai.

While travelling to Bree, Frodo and Sam are joined by Merry and Pippin, and are nearly captured by the Nazgûl. At the Inn of the Prancing Pony, Frodo meets the mysterious ranger Aragorn, who hides them from their pursuers and agrees to lead them to Rivendell. During the journey they are attacked by the Nazgûl. Aragorn fights off the creatures, but Frodo is wounded by their Morgul blade, which will turn him into a wraith. While chased by the Nazgûl, Frodo is saved by the Elf Arwen who uses her magic to summon a surge of water that sweeps away the pursuing Nazgûl. Arwen takes Frodo to Rivendell where he is healed by her father, Elrond. Gandalf escapes Saruman's tower with the aid of Gwaihir the eagle and travels to Rivendell. Elrond calls a council of the races still loyal to Middle-earth to decide what should be done with the Ring. It is revealed that the Ring can only be destroyed by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom, where it was forged. Frodo volunteers to take the Ring, accompanied by Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, and Aragorn. They are joined by the Elf Legolas, the Dwarf Gimli, and Boromir, man of Gondor, to form the Fellowship of the Ring.

The Fellowship set out but are hindered by Saruman's magic. They travel through the dwarf Mines of Moria. Inside, they find that Orcs have overrun the mines and slain the Dwarves; they also realise that Gollum is following them, determined to reclaim the Ring. The Fellowship is attacked by Orcs and a Balrog, an ancient demon of fire and shadow. Gandalf confronts the Balrog, allowing the others to escape, but both Gandalf and the Balrog fall into an abyss. Mourning Gandalf's apparent death, the group flees to Lothlórien, where they are sheltered by its rulers, the Elves Galadriel and Celeborn. That night, Galadriel informs Frodo that it is his destiny to destroy the Ring. The Fellowship continue their journey. Meanwhile, Saruman assembles a force of Uruk-hai to hunt the Fellowship.

After arriving at Parth Galen, Boromir gives in to the Ring's corruption and tries to take it from Frodo, believing that it is the only way to save his realm. Frodo manages to escape by wearing the Ring and becoming invisible. Boromir realises what he has done, and attempts to find Frodo, who decides to continue his journey alone, heeding Galadriel's warning that the Ring will eventually corrupt the other members of the Fellowship. The Uruk-hai arrive and Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli attempt to hold them off while Frodo escapes. Merry and Pippin lead the Orcs away from Frodo and are nearly killed. Boromir tries to save them, but in the process is shot fatally by the Uruk-Hai leader, Lurtz. The Uruk-Hai capture Merry and Pippin. Aragorn slays Lurtz and tends to a dying Boromir, and promises him that the world of men will not fall. Boromir dies with Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas by his side.

Sam finds Frodo, who reluctantly lets Sam join him. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli set out to rescue Merry and Pippin. As Frodo and Sam gaze out at the land before them, they grieve over the others. Frodo says that he is glad that Sam is with him and the two Hobbits set off towards Mordor.
Source: Info in the About Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring was taken from Wikipedia at on 18/11/2012.

Movie Trailer of Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring:

My Thoughts:
When I re-watched this dvd last night I was fresh from having just watched Immortals (2011) and I could appreciate the distinct difference between a well-done animated software combination with live actors cinematography and one which is not. Lord Of The Rings (LotR) is obviously well-done. It wasn't dark all the time to hide imperfections. And it made a world of difference in the watching experience! I have to say that Peter Jackson did a pretty good job! I heard that he is a stickler to details. And it paid off. It made the difference between a 5 out of 5 movie and one which is a 3.5 out of 5.

Both films (LotR & Immortals) have numerous fight scenes. Both in a one-on-one kind and mass battles. One of my complaints in Immortals is that their fight scenes were not quite realistic, though I have to give it to the actor that the moves looked smooth. Still ridiculous. None of that ridiculous fight scenes can be found in the LotR. Even after a few re-watches, I could not find one. Maybe the director of Immortals should have hired the fight scene expert/coordinator in LotR.

I also have to give a nod to the actors for doing very well! None of them was like Kristen Stewart whose "sad face", "shocked moments" and "sad performance" all looked the same. I have to give it to her though, she is pretty, but she can't act. The actors and actresses in LotR were not only "lookers", but they can act! Sure, I have a few nitpicking issues, but, I can forgive those for the wonderful movie time I got out of this film. Suffice to say that I really enjoyed this film and there will be more re-watches in the future and looking forward to watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) in December!
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

Movie Trailer of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012):

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) movie release date: 13 December 2012 (UK)

Saturday 17 November 2012

Movie Review: IMMORTALS

Immortals (2011)
Released by Universal Studios and Relativity Media.
Starring Henry Cavill and Mickey Rourke in the lead roles as heroes and villains.
Format: dvd

About Immortals:
Before the dawn of man or beast, immortals waged war against each other in Heaven. The victors declared themselves gods while the vanquished were renamed the Titans and imprisoned beneath Mount Tartarus. The Epirus Bow, a weapon of immense power, was lost on Earth during the war. In 1228 B.C., the mortal king Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) of Heraklion searches for the bow, intending to use it to release the Titans to spite the gods for failing to save his family. Hyperion captures the virgin oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto), believing that she can use her visions to find the Epirus Bow's resting place.

In a small village nearby, the inhabitants prepare to flee to Mount Tartarus to avoid Hyperion's army. One inhabitant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) is a skilled warrior trained by his mentor the old man (John Hurt). Theseus and his mother Aethra (Anne Day-Jones), considered undesirables because Theseus was born from Aethra being raped, are forced to stay behind by Athenian soldiers including Lysander (Joseph Morgan). Theseus ably battles multiple opponents until the Athenian officer Helios (Peter Stebbings) intervenes and discharges Lysander from the army for his actions. Lysander travels to Hyperion, offering his service and the village's location. Hyperion accepts, but maims Lysander for being a traitor. Hyperion's forces attack Theseus' village, murdering the villagers and Aethra, and taking Theseus captive.

The old man is revealed to be Zeus (Luke Evans) where he meets with his fellow gods Athena (Isabel Lucas), Poseidon (Kellan Lutz), Ares (Daniel Sharman), Apollo (Corey Sevier), and Heracles (Steve Byers). Zeus warns them not to interfere in mortal affairs as gods where Zeus believes that until the Titans are released, they must have faith in mankind to defeat Hyperion. Theseus is enslaved alongside the thief Stavros (Stephen Dorff). Phaedra, who is held captive nearby, sees a vision of Theseus. Phaedra organizes a riot, using the chaos to escape with Theseus, Stavros, and the other slaves. Theseus decides to pursue Hyperion and attempts to capture a boat, but he and his allies are overwhelmed by Hyperion's forces. Poseidon purposefully falls from Olympus into the ocean causing a tidal wave that wipes out Hyperion's men. Phaedra sees another vision of Theseus standing near a shrouded body. She determines that Theseus must return home to bury Aethra.

While laying Aethra to rest, Theseus discovers the Epirus Bow embedded in nearby rock. He frees the Epirus Bow, but is attacked by Hyperion's henchman the Minotaur (Robert Maillet). Theseus kills Minotaur and uses the Bow to save his allies from being executed before collapsing from poisoned scratches inflicted by Minotaur. Phaedra tends to Theseus and later falls in love with him, stripping her of the visions she deemed a curse. The group returns to Phaedra's temple while Hyperion and his forces are away at Mount Tartarus. At the temple, Stavros and Theseus are lured into an ambush and Theseus loses the Epirus Bow. Outnumbered by Hyperion's men, Ares directly intervenes to save Theseus and Athena provides the men with horses to reach Mount Tartarus. Zeus arrives and angrily kills Ares for disobeying his command. Zeus tells Theseus that he and his allies will receive no more aid from the gods and he must justify the faith Zeus has in him alone. Before leaving with Athena, Zeus tells Theseus to prove him right. The lost Epirus Bow is brought to Hyperion.

Theseus, Stavros, and Phaedra travel to Mount Tartarus. Theseus tries in vain to warn Hellenics' King Cassander (Stephen McHattie) of Hyperion's plans, but Cassander dismisses his talk of gods as myth, intending to negotiate peace with Hyperion. The following day, Hyperion uses the Bow to destroy Mount Tartarus' seemingly indestructible wall killing Helios. Theseus leads the Hellenic army to war against the Hyperion forces, killing Lysander. Hyperion ignores the battle and storms through to Mount Tartarus killing Cassander. Hyperion uses the Epirus Bow to breach the mountain and free the Titans before Stavros and Theseus can stop him. The force of the release knocks the mortals down. Stavros takes the Epirus Bow and kills a Titan, but is massacred by the other Titans. Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Heracles and Apollo arrive and battle the Titans while Theseus fights Hyperion. Zeus destroys the Epirus Bow with the Warhammer of Ares. The gods prove more powerful than the Titans, but they are overwhelmed by the sheer number of Titans with all but Zeus and Poseidon being killed. Theseus kills Hyperion and Zeus collapses Mount Tartarus on the Titans before ascending to Olympus with Athena's body and Poseidon. The collapsing mountain wipes out Hyperion's men. The mortally wounded Theseus is also transported to Olympus for his sacrifice and given a place among the gods.

Several years later, Theseus' story has become legend and Phaedra has given birth to Theseus' son Acamas (Gage Munroe). Acamas is met by the old man who informs the child that in the future, he too will one day fight against evil. Acamas sees a vision of the sky filled with gods and Titans fighting with Theseus amongst the combatants.
Source: Info in the About Immortals was taken from Wikipedia at on 17/11/2012.

Movie Trailer:

My Thoughts:
I like the premise of gods and humankind fighting for good versus evil. Hey, I am a fantasy geek! Anyway, so I bought this dvd. And of course because it was on sale at Asda's. The cinematography was quite good although a bit dark. I guess the darkness helps hides the imperfections. So I wasn't too fond of that. I could allow that some scenes might be in darker mode than others, but the entire movie in the dark?? Well, anyway, I still like the blending of magical elements with the actual live actors. Now the plot, Like I said I like the premise of gods and humans fighting for good, but, it was never properly explained why the rules are as they were. So what if somebody breaks the rules? What then? King Hyperion was evil so he has to be defeated, but I think he has the right of it to question the rules. If he wasn't evil, I would have rooted for him! To me things has to make sense. Not just it is so because the director says so. No, I don't buy that. It drops the rating of the movie a notch down.

This movie obviously has lots of fight scenes. One-on-one and mass battles, the works. I appreciate the acting abilities of the actors in making things look smooth and expert-like. What I don't appreciate is the logical-ness of the fight. Of course your opponent is going to point his blade to his own neck instead of towards the enemy?? WTF!! Yeah, the fight scene expert/coordinator of this movie needs to be shot!

Okey I have a few rants about this movie, but I can fast forward those bits which are annoying, so I still enjoyed this movie. I give it a rating of 3.5 out of 5 in entertainment value.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Saturday 17 March 2012

Movie Review: JOHN CARTER

John Carter (2012)
Directed by Andrew Stanton. Starring Taylor Kitsch
Genre: scifi fantasy

About The Story:
Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior.

I watched this movie last night and it was good. I enjoyed it! But it took a determined and willful suspension of disbelief. They used a very good software with great skill to blend the fantastical elements of the movie to live action which was beautiful! Have to give the cinematography kudos for a job well done!! However the director need to pay a little bit more attention to the little details like when Carter burst out of the white ape's back covered in gore, the sword he subsequently raised to the spectators needs to be covered in gore too, not sparklingly clean. Even with those "clerical errors", I still say that this movie was good entertainment! I'd give it a 4 out of 5.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Movie Trailer:

John Carter Official Site

Thursday 2 February 2012

Review: HARPER CONNELLY series

At first I would have said that this series is a YA. However, by Book 3, I would not recommend it to anyone under 18. This series then has become an adult urban fantasy.

The pace cannot really practically be rated because a listener can only listen as fast as the reader reads. So the pace is rated "not applicable".

I already liked this author's work despite Sookie Stackhouse's being too stupid to live (TSTL). But this author has such a wonderful story telling ability and her world building is so vivid that I got addicted to the Sookie Stackhouse series despite the TSTL. Charlaine Harris displayed the same wonderful story telling ability and world building in this series, so of course I am addicted again. On top of that, with this series Charlaine Harris has shown a marked improvement in her writing style. Harper Connelly, the main protagonist, for one is not as TSTL as Sookie Stackhouse. Which is a major plus for me!! It means that this series is not as annoying as the Sookie Stackhouse is. Additionally, the plot has also developed a more coherent structure. Although the plot in some books were just slightly a bit "holey"... Still the books were good reads... And addictive.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4.5
The stories themselves = 4
Endings = 3.5
World building = 5
Cover arts = 2
Pace = N/A
Narrator = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Read by Alyssa Bresnahan

Format: audiobook
Genre: urban fantasy
The "New York Times" bestselling author of "Dead as a Doornail" introduces a new supernatural mystery series featuring Harper Connelly, a woman who has what one might call a strange job: she finds dead people.

Source: Info in the About Grave Sight was taken from GoodReads at on 02/02/2012.

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
Read by Alyssa Bresnahan

Format: audiobook
Genre: urban fantasy
Charlaine Harris is already a star and a New York Times bestseller with her vampire mysteries starring Sookie Stackhouse and her Lily Bard mysteries. This second installment to her new supernatural mystery series might just be her biggest hit yet. Grave Sight's Harper Connelly is back, and her ability to find the dead and see their last moments is in higher demand than ever...

A college class gets more than it bargained for when Harper gives a demonstration of her uncanny talent. Instead of just finding one body in an old grave, she finds two: the original occupant and a recently deceased girl whom Harper had tried, and failed, to find two years previously. To dispel suspicions about her own innocence, Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver undertake their own hunt to find the killer-only to find yet another body in the same grave.

Source: Info in the About Grave Surprise was taken from GoodReads at on 02/02/2012.

An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
Read by Alyssa Bresnahan

Format: audiobook
Genre: urban fantasy

About An Ice Cold Grave:
Hired to find a boy gene missing in Doraville, North Carolina, Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver head there-only to discover that the boy was only one of several who had disappeared over the previous five years. All of them teenagers. All unlikely runaways. All calling for Harper. Harper soon finds them-eight victims, buried in the half-frozen ground, all come to an unspeakable end. Afterwards, what she most wants to do is collect her fee and get out of town ahead of the media storm that's soon to descend. But when she's attacked and prevented from leaving, she reluctantly becomes a part of the investigation as she learns more than she cares to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of Doraville-knowledge that makes her the next person likely to rest in an ice-cold grave.

Source: Info in the About An Ice Cold Grave was taken from GoodReads at on 02/02/2012.

Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris
Read by Alyssa Bresnahan

Format: audiobook
Genre: urban fantasy

About Grave Secret:
New in the series from New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels.

Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver take a break from looking for the dead to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But, as always happens when they travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood resurface.

To make matters worse, Tolliver learns from his older brother that their father is out of jail and trying to reestablish contact with other family members. Tolliver wants no part of the man- but he may not have a choice in the matter.

Soon, family secrets ensnare them both, as Harper finally discovers what happened to her missing sister, Cameron, so many years before.

And what she finds out will change her world forever.

Source: Info in the About Grave Secret was taken from GoodReads at on 02/02/2012.