Wednesday, May 28

Book Review: The Lost Duchess

Author: Jenny Barden
Title: The Lost Duchess
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Pages: 448
First Published: November 7th, 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

"Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset.

Emme joins Kit Doonan's rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least.

As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves; he has his own inner demons to confront, and his own dark secrets to keep...

Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh's settlement in Virginia was abandoned in 1587 its fate has remained a mystery; 'The Lost Duchess' explores what might have happened to the ill-starred 'Lost Colony' of Roanoke."


Like earlier stated, I was given this book by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.

First of all....I LOVE the cover. It's so pretty. :) The summary sounded good, but when I seen the cover it really was the cherry on the top. Also, I couldn't help but want to read Jenny Barden's "theory" on what happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Another great mystery of history that no one will ever, ever know the truth on. Honestly...this theory is close to what I think happened. I won't discuss details, but it's a good one.

Poor Emme....luckily Queen Elizabeth allowed her to go on this adventure. She truly needed it, because she really had some bad luck happen to her. Honestly, I think Queen Elizabeth knew sort of what happened to her, because she hints at it near the end that she knows. Love Queen Elizabeth she hates idiot men and she makes them pay with their pride and will humiliate them to knock them down a peg or two. 

Poor Kit....he got screwed too. He didn't have an easy life and his first wife died horribly. :( Luckily, his son lived and he met Emme. The love they find is not an easy one to obtain though, which makes sense. They are from different social standings and they have a lot of past issues they need to work out. Also, it doesn't help that they are in the middle of an adventure to a new land, so they don't have a lot of time to work on their relationship. Food, shelter, and the constant threat of death takes priority over love. I'm glad that the author made their love story a realistic one. It's not all rainbows and butterflies all the time. 

The only thing I didn't really like was the ending. It was too open-ended. :/ Perhaps I'm just being picky. I just prefer having a nice lid-tight ending. One could really blame me growing up on the 'Dear America' books that had an epilogue that gave lid-tighter endings to all the main characters. IDK. However, as a writer, I LOVE leaving open-ended endings to my stories. I'm evil like that. Hehehehe. The ending in THIS story though, does end well, but it is a little cliff-hanger-y. Perhaps she did this on purpose, so if she wants to continue the story of Emme and Kit, she can. *shrugs* We shall see (I would definitely be all over a sequel for this novel). 

In the end, this was really, really good. I enjoyed every moment of the book! Even the bad events kept me hooked. The ending left me hoping their is a sequel, because I was left with some open-endedness. Besides for that, I liked it a lot! I would recommend this to those that like Historical Fiction or looking for a good adventure book. Out of five stars, I shall stamp this with 5 stars. ^.^

Favorite Character(s): Emme, Kit, Rob (cute kid), Queen Elizabeth, and Lacy
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Captain Fernando (ass, I hated his face.) 




Monday, May 26

Happy Memorial Day

I just wanted to extend a Happy Memorial Day to all the veterans of not only the US, but to all nations.

I especially want to say thank you to all my family members who have served.

My Grandpa Carol

Friday, May 23

Movie Review: Godzilla (2014)

Length: 2 hours & 3 minutes
Released: 2014
Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery, Action, & Drama
Rating: PG-13
Directed By: Gareth Edwards

Where I Got It: seen in theaters

SUMMARY:
The world's most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. A powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring Godzilla rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenseless. (Used to different summaries and put them together)



TRAILER:

CAST:
  • Ford Brody - Aaron Taylor-Johnson
  • Elle Brody - Elizabeth Olsen
  • Joe Brody - Bryan Cranston
  • Admiral Stenz - David Strathairn
  • Dr. Ishiro Serizawa - Ken Watanabe
  • Vivienne Graham - Sally Hawkins

  • REVIEW:
  • Made a major mistake...went and seen this in 3D and didn't get there WAY early, so we had to sit in front. MY EYES AND MY HEAD! I hate 3D movies with a passion. It's highly overrated and it gives me a migraine/headache. *shakes my head* Meh. However, it was a group outing, so I had no real choice, because I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally wanted to see this.

  • EKKKK! I was so excited when I seen Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins starring in this film! I love them both SOOOOOOOOO much! Mr. Watanabe played in a couple movies I have seen and loved him in, like 'Letters from Iwo Jima' and Batman Begins (I forgot he was in that one). He is such a great actor and even though he's older now, I still think he has a handsome son of a gun. haha. Ooooh and Sally Hawkins, she played in my FAVORITE Jane Austen inspired movies, 'Persuasion' as Anne Elliot. Fantastic. The other actors are okay and I approve and they all did a great job. 

  • HOWEVER, I wish that this wasn't an American made film, because the film seemed to focus on the people and their stories more so then Godzilla. I know, I know, in movies you can't JUST have action and monsters attacking each other, but still. I wish they had toned it down a little and added more shots of Godzilla and more fight scenes. This one quote says it all, "Godzilla handles everything the military hurls at him: ships, guns, planes, rockets, even a squadron of HALO paratroopers. The only thing that can cut him down to size is being relegated to a supporting role in his very own movie" (Christopher Orr, The Atlantic). I also wish that they focused more on the Doctors who studied these monsters. Maybe they should've had the US military ACTUALLY listen to the Doctors.....

  • UGGGGH! Stupid military and stupid government. They decide to try and nuc Godzilla (who is only trying to help) and the parasite monsters. Yeah...great plan. Were they not listening when the doctors said, "They feed off radioactive material and are drawn to it." Okay. So lets create two huge warheads and try to draw it to the ocean and blow it up. >__> Great idea!....*grumbles*idiot*grumbles*. HOWEVER, it is realistic for them to have them try and do that in the film, because I know that would happen in real life if such a thing were to happen. Meh.

  • I could ramble about this movie all day. 

  • I loved the Godzilla movies in the past and I feel that this was a good way to reintroduce him to the new generation. The effects were outstanding and I loved how big and realistic this Godzilla was. The other monsters were cool too. At first I thought they were going to be spider type things when it was first coming out of the ground. Ugh, I would have been scared the whole movie. BUT alas, they are not. *wipes sweat from brow* The acting was great and the ending was great. The fight scenes between the monsters were fabulous. Especially the last fight between the female parasite and Godzilla. hahaha it was epic! I shall not spoil it!

  • In the end, I'm glad I went and seen this on the big screen. Totally worth it! I wish that the group had gone and seen this in 2D, but alas, I still enjoyed it. The headache afterwards was totally worth it seeing it with my Boyfriend and our friends. :) That's all we talked about when we went out for dinner afterwards. I would totally recommend this to anyone who liked the Godzilla movies in the past or for newbies who want a good Sci-Fi actiony movie. Out of five stars, I shall stamp this....mmmm....4 stars.  

  • Favorite Character(s): Godzilla (of course), Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, Vivenne, and Joe Brody (poor guy).
  • Not-so Favorite Character(s): Admiral Stenz (leader of the idiots)
  • RE-WATCH: YES!






Thursday, May 22

Book Review: To the Tower Born by Robin Maxwell

Author: Robin Maxwell
Title: To the Tower Born
Genre: Historical Fiction & Mystery 
Pages: 320
First Published: September 2005
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"Debated for more than five centuries, the disappearance of the young princes Edward and Richard from the Tower of London in 1483 has stirred the imaginations of numerous writers from Shakespeare to Josephine Tey and posited the question: Was Richard III the boys' murderer, or was he not? 

The events are witnessed through the eyes of quick-witted Nell Caxton, only daughter of the first English printer, William Caxton, and Nell's dearest friend, 'Bessie', daughter of the King of England, sister to the little princes, and founding ancestress of the Tudor dynasty.

With great bravery and heart, the two friends navigate this dark and dangerous medieval landscape in which the king's death sets off a battle among the most scheming, ambitious, and murderous men and women of their age, who will stop at nothing to possess the throne of England."


Randomly stumbled upon this at my library and I had read a Robin Maxwell novel in the past and I had liked it, so I thought why not give this a try? Well...I truly had mixed feelings about this one. 

The twist with what happened to the lost princes surely did make me think. Is it crazy to think that a certain someone kidnapped them? (I shall not name names) But it all makes sense. This person (who is not Richard) was the one to do it. This person had every reason to do it and I'm ashamed that I never even contemplated this person. The ending annoyed me though and was rather cheesy. Unless, of course, Bessie and Nell made up everything to just get Henry on Bessie's side. HAHA! 

However, the story was hugely historically inaccurate and some bits were rather cheesy. Like the whole Nell and Bessie being best friends; honestly, Queen Elizabeth would never allow her daughter to be besties with a commoner. A daughter of a rich and liked publicist, but still...a commoner whatsoever. Granted Queen Elizabeth was a commoner to begin with before she married the King, but honestly her ambition was huge and this would not benefit her daughter. 

Besides for those two huge things, it was a fun adventure and I loved the theory. I honestly personally believe that the person in question might have been the one to do it. This person really would benefit from it. Mmmmmm.

In the end, if you look past all the historical inaccuracies and the cheesyness, it was a fun adventure and an interesting look at the mystery that is the missing Princes. I would recommend this to those that like historical mysteries and historical fictions. Out of five stars, I will grant this 3 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Nell, Lord Rivers (poor guy), Prince Edward, Dickon, and Bessie
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Richard, King Henry VII, and Lady Margaret 




Monday, May 19

RIP Queen Anne



It's been 487 years since Anne Boleyn was put to death by her husband, King Henry VIII, for false charges and selfish reasons. Through all this, she went out in the grace and charm she always showed:

"Good Christian people, I have not come here to preach a sermon; I have come here to die. For according to the law and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak of that whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the King and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never, and to me he was ever a good, a gentle, and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me"

Friday, May 16

Book Review: The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern
Title: The Night Circus
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy 
Pages: 387
First Published: September 13th, 2011
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂȘves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance."


Wherever do I begin?

Well, this was another read for the book club I'm in with my pallios. I probably wouldn't have picked this up on my on. I would contemplate it, but I would probably bypass this. Who knows though?

Mmmmm....this was certainly an adventure and I was highly addicted to it. I could barely put it down. I would find myself reading oddly fast for myself. *shrugs* Perhaps it was due to the fact that I wanted to find out what happened next, because it was killing me how Marco and Celia gets out of this "game". I don't know time seemed to get away from me.

SPEAKING OF the "GAME". That was stupid....annoying....and boring. I was expecting at some point they would have to battle or something. Or a threat that loomed over them. No, no. This was a competition of who can endure longer and these two endured for nearly 30 years. MEEEEEEEEEH! This "game" was the boredness of two sociopaths who liked playing with people's lives and they didn't care about anything, but trying to prove each other's method of "teaching" and "magic" was wrong. >_>


Honestly...I was more involved with the Murray twin's and Bailey's story. I didn't like or trust Marco for many reasons. Especially how he went about with the whole Isobel situation. He was a jerk, but what do you honestly expect from a boy that was raised by one of the sociopaths, Mr. Grey (that is my name for him). Mr. Grey wears only grey and his heart is that color....if he has a heart at all. Celia? Mmmmm, she was alright. She was defiantly the stronger and better of the two and if they didn't "fall in love" she would've kicked Marco's butt. THAT, though, would have defeated the whole story. They were "destined" to be in love.

Why does this book's message seem familiar to me?

"All magic comes with a price."

HAHA! Rumple indeed rules the world.

The price of the two men teaching these kids magic is that they can not escape the game until someone dies and a victor is declared. Love is the price they may have to pay if they can not get out of this "game". I will not give any spoilers, but the ending surprised me. OKAY, one baby spoiler: *SPOILER ALERT* there is a huge loophole where no one technically has to "die". This loophole is haunting the book and no one thinks of it until the end and that is what causes the "game" to end. *END OF SPOILER* See? A baby one.

I have a lot of mix feelings for this book. It certainly was an adventure and I'm glad I gave it a chance. The ending was totally worth it. I must give some kuddos to the author for the twist at the end. I certainly didn't expect that. She didn't take the easy way out. *cough* look at spoiler *cough*. 

In the end, it was a good ride and even though I couldn't help but glare at the text sometimes, it was an interesting book. I certainly would recommend it to those that like magic and human drama. This was certainly human drama-filled. In the end, I shall stamp this with 4 stars. It is more like 3.5, but I don't give decimals, so I rounded. 

Favorite Character(s): Poppet, Widget, Bailey, Isobel, & Celia
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Alexander (sociopath #1), Hector (sociopath #2), and Marco (total jerk). 

P.S - This was nagging me until now. Both Alexander and Hector both never disclosed their real names (that we know of), but they just picked names they liked. They both picked these names - why? What do they mean? I finally realized it as I typed there names down up above...from Greek mythology! Alexander the Great and Prince Hector of Troy. It may not be right, but it's interesting and there are a lot of old references (like Billy Shakespeare references). Haha! Sorry for my ramble




Thursday, May 15

Movie Review: Elizabeth (1998)

Length: 2 hours & 4 minutes
Released: 1998
Genre: Drama
Rating: R
Directed By: Shekhar Kapur

Where I Got It: borrowed from library

SUMMARY:

 In 1554, Queen Mary I tries to restore Catholicism as England's single faith. With no heir to the crown, she maneuvers to keep her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth from succeeding her, but her efforts fail. With Mary dead, Elizabeth is proclaimed Queen of England in November 1558. Elizabeth relishes the return from exile of her childhood sweetheart, Lord Robert Dudley. Chief adviser Sir William Cecil urges the young Queen to forget personal matters and instead address the country's pressing problems. England is bankrupt, has no army, and is under serious threat from abroad. Elizabeth even has enemies within her own court, the most dangerous being the Duke of Norfolk.

TRAILER:


 CAST:

  • Queen Elizabeth - Cate Blanchett 
  • Sir Francis Walshingham - Geoffrey Rush
  • Duke of Norfolk - Christopher Eccleston
  • Robert Dudley - Joseph Fiennes
  • Sir William Cecil - Richard Attenborough

REVIEW:
This is the second time I've seen this movie and I am still in awe of it. I simply not only adore Queen Elizabeth, but also Cate Blanchett. Fantastic choice and so far the best Elizabeth I've seen to date. ^.^ Honestly, the whole cast is great, so kuddos to the casting director. If I was to be queen of some country (I wish) I would want a man like Sir Francis on my side and my main man. He was so dedicated, clever, cunning, never showed weakness, and just all over perfect. I would want him on my side, because if he fell into the wrong hands it would be over for me. haha.

I also must give kuddos to the costume designers. They were lovely! Some pieces historically inaccurate, but it's hard to be perfect, because perfect may bore the unhistory-nerds out there. Yes, you want to appease people like me, but you also must dazzle those who could care a lick (thats Hollywood man). It was a nice medium and I absolutely adored the majority of costumes. 




Forewarning...the beginning is a little graphic. It always gets to me. *shudders* However, it is necessary to show the audience that horrors people like Queen Mary would put on their people JUST for a simple, stupid thing like religion.Stupid humans. >__> It's been a horrible thing humanity has had to deal with for centuries and it has caused more war and death then ANY disease. Silly. As Elizabeth says,"Why must we tear ourselves apart over this small question of religion? Catholic...protestant...we all believe in God." Words hundreds of years before her time. Elizabeth was like her mother, Anne, in so many ways. They were women ahead of their time. So sad they had to be torn apart by death. Imagine what the world would be like if Elizabeth was able to be under the wing of her mother? 

ANYWAYS....

This was a great movie. Wonderful actors, lovely costumes, great dialogue, a great middle between historical accuracy and Hollywood add-ons, and a wonderful story-line. I would recommend this to anyone who likes history or likes good movies. In the end, I shall stamp this with 5 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Elizabeth, Sir Francis, and Sir William 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Duke of Norfolk (ass), Queen Mary (I wasn't that fond of the actress and how they portrayed her), and Robert Dudley (the queen's weakness)
RE-WATCH: Yup :)

Wednesday, May 14

Book Review: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Author: Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Title: The Scarlet Pimpernel (Pimpernel #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adventure, & Classic
Pages: 382
First Published: 1905
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Mom gave it to me - use to belong to my late grandpa)

"From the Shadow of Death...

It is 1792, the French Revolution's Reign of Terror. No aristocrat shall escape; la guillotine shall have them all. Yet, miraculously, so do escape - men dressed as women, children as beggars - spirited away from the revenge-crazed mob.

Who is their daring rescuer? The wily Chauvelin knows him only in his thousand disguises, who leaves as his calling card a taunting red flower..."


Ooooooooooooh I had forgotten how much I loved this book. :) Such a classic. Such a good book. Thanks to this book (and the others in the series) one of my favorite series, the Pink Carnation series, was born. Sadly, I have not read the other books in this series since I've been unable to find any in any used book store. Of course I can just buy them from Amazon (I think - I have yet to look), but I honestly like getting my classics from used book stores. Just a preference I suppose. 

Anyways....

This is such a great book. It's filled with adventure, intrigue, drama, and humor; everything done in perfect harmony. Me gads, is Sir Percy hilarious and such a fop (even though you know it's an act). You're suppose to be blind to who is the Scarlet Pimpernel, but you know right from the beginning, because the story mainly follows his wife, Marguerite. Poor chit. He is so cold to her, because she did something wrong a long time ago and he didn't believe her side of the story. Well, she didn't push her side of the story much...so he really didn't know the specifics....me gads...so much complicity! There were both wrong in the end. IF PEOPLE JUST LEARNED TO COMMUNICATE NONE OF THIS UNNECESSARY DRAMA WOULD ENSUE! Bleurgh. However, we wouldn't have a story then, because due to his coldness he turned to saving people and keeping it a secret even from his wife. 

The movie is good too, but this is SO much better. A lot more detail and story-line. There is more then at play then in the movie (which what can they really do? They have a time limit and a budget limit). The ending in the book is a lot different and more intricate and surprising then in the movie. I honestly can't tell you which ending I like best. They're both good. 

Honestly, I could ramble about this book/story forever. It's just so good and I simply love Sir Percy (I also am in love with the actor who played him in the movie, so now I imagine him as Sir Percy in the book). I love Marguerite too. Well....I love the whole crew (even the baddie). Sighs. I really want to read more of the series, so I may give in and look for them online. Meh. 

People who love the Pink Carnation series really must read this...this is what started it all. Papa Percy is the model in which all the spies model after. Even if you haven't read the Pink Carnation series (I read it before that series was born yet), you'll love it! It truly is a classic. Out of five stars, I will stamp this with 5 stars. HUZZAH!





Tuesday, May 13

Book Review: Love Will Make You Drink & Gamble, Stay Out Late at Night

Author: Shelly Lowenkopf
Title: Love Will Make You Drink & Gamble, Stay Out Late at Night
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction
Pages: 186
First Published: February, 2014
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

"All the stories revolve around life in Santa Barbara, the oceanside city north of Los Angeles, where people go after they've burned out in San Francisco and L.A. But there's no safe haven anywhere. Interwoven into Santa Barbara's picturesque setting, the people in these twelve stories reveal what their hearts and souls encounter in relationships. Their misreadings, mistakes, and misadventures bare what happens to people who love another."

Like earlier stated, I was given this book by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.

This book is a collection of short stories written by Shelly Lownkopf. They all revolve around life in Santa Barbara. All the short stories also reveal the messy thing we call "love". These stories are a like, but ooooh so different. For this review, I shall divide it up by short story and talk a little about it.

The Ability
It was really good, but the ending was a little confusing. I had to read the last page a couple of times. 2 stars

Mr. Right
I totally did NOT expect the huge twist. It was a little awkward when I figured out what was happening, but sort of cute. It was also funny and a little random, but I liked it. 4 stars

I've Got Those King City Blues
Ugh, I wish this was longer! This was one of my favorites, but ooooh I wanted to know more! 5 stars

Absent Friend
The ending made me really have to think. The ending was really sad once I realized the true measure of what happened, but I really liked this one as well. 4 stars

The Man Within
Very cute and on my top 3 of favorites. The ending was fantastic! Asher was kind of creepy, but cute at the same time. Is that possible? 5 stars

Molly
Hahahaha. Wow. This one was cute, but a little creepy. xD You'll see what I mean when you read it, I don't wanna spoil it. 3 stars

Witness Relocation Program
Ooooh I had mix feelings about this one. It was sad, but happy, but really sad when you think about it. I felt bad for the dog and for the owner. All of this, however, is very symbolic of love itself, I believe. 3 stars

Death Watches
A very sad story. Poor Langer. I know he really messed up a long time ago with his girl and he has truly regretted it since then. It's been YEARS (I'm assuming) and the girl just can't let it go and give the older and wiser Langer another chance. Super sad. 5 stars

Love Will Make You Drink and Gamble, Stay Out Late at Night
Another one where I had mixed feelings about. I felt bad for the "couple" in here, but I feel like they just wanted love soooooo bad that they didn't care with who or what the who does. I'm not spoiling anything. 4 stars

Messages
Wooooow. This story truly does show that little things can make or break a relationship. Also it shows that how people react to the small things can make or break a relationship. The guy was a total idiot. *shakes head* 5 stars

Between the Acts
Oh my goodness....CINDY WAS A PSYCHO!!!!!!!!! Poor Bender. That is all. 4 stars

Coming to Terms
A great ending! This was a fantastic way to end not only the story itself, but to end the book. I liked it a lot. 5 stars

CONCLUSION:
Overall, this was a good collection of stories. There were a couple I didn't really like, but the vast majority were awesome. I loved the fact that all of these centered around Santa Barbara. I feel that a few of the characters may have passed each other; especially I noticed that the Xanadu (spell?) Coffee shop was mentioned a couple of times. I'm thinking that all these stories happened in the same time frame. That would be epic! This could make a cute movie (a couple may have to be cut out for timing purposes and too many characters running around will confuse the audience). 

I recommend this to those that like short stories about everyday people struggling with love in some sense. Each of them had different, but similar stories. It's cute. Out of five stars, I shall give this 4 stars (I found the average of stars). 





Sunday, May 11

Happy Madre's Day!

Just wanted to wish all the mothers out there a happy Mother's Day! Especially my very special and lovely mother. You've always been there for me. :)

<3s

Thursday, May 8

Movie Review: The Deer Hunter

Length: 3 hours and 3 minutes
Released: 1978
Genre: Historical Fiction, War, and Drama
Rating: R
Directed By: Michael Cimino

Where I Got It: borrowed from library

SUMMARY:



An in-depth examination of the ways in which the Vietnam War disrupts and impacts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.







TRAILER:


CAST:

Michael - Robert De Niro
Stan - John Cazale
Nick - Christopher Walken
Steven - John Savage
Linda - Meryl Steep
Axel - Chuck Aspegren
John - George Dzunda
Angela - Rutanya Alda


REVIEW:

OH my goodness....these actors are SO young! It was really weird to see them this young. I've seen in other films during their youths, but it always boggles my mind. Especially De Niro (played Michael). He's good looking now, but in this film he was EXTREMELY good looking. Wow. Even Christopher Walken looked good.

Anyways....

This was certainly a pick at the Vietnam War and all wars in general. They did not sugar coat anything in this film. War is nasty business and it can really destroy someone - even if they don't die or get maimed. It can cripple you or mess up your mind. I'm glad that the writers decided to show each side of the madness of war. One friend gets crippled forever, one snaps mentally. Poor Michael trying to hold everything together before, during, and after the war. He was their leader, their best friend. They guy everyone went to. I loved him, but man, did I feel bad for him.

I'm not going to lie...I usually don't watch many Vietnam War movies and I wasn't too keen on this one. However, Boyfriend REALLY wanted to watch it and so I gave in and watched it with him. Low and behold, I actually liked it. Perhaps it was because of all the actors in it. They are all fantastic! The beginning really was super slow and I nearly gave up. HOWEVER, it picks up after the deer hunt they go on. I get WHY they made the beginning slow. There are a lot of characters they wanted to establish and get you to know and understand. They wanted you to see how life was BEFORE the war. After the movie was done, I really appreciated the beginning, because it allowed me to connect with all the characters.

OH! The ending made me tear up, but it certainly was a good ending. It made me a little mad...but it certainly was good. I shall say no more.

It was a good movie and I recommend anyone who has any interest in history or likes a good movie, should watch this. The acting was wonderful. The story was engaging even though the beginning was a little slow. It was certainly worth the 3 hours. Out of five stars I shall stamp this 5 stars. It's more like 4.5, but I don't give decimals, so I rounded.

Favorite Character(s): Michael, Linda, Axel (I wish he had more camera time), and John.
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Steve, Angela (pull yourself together woman!), and Stan.
RE-WATCH: Sure. 

Monday, May 5

Book Review: Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Author: Tamora Pierce
Title: Wild Magic (The Immortals book 1)
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Adventure, & Sci-Fi
Pages: ebook
First Published: December 1st, 1992
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Online freebie)

"Young Daine's knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horse-mistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine's talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself."




Another book from the book club I'm in. For this review, I shall divide and conquer:

The Good
- Some of the characters were very dimensional and I liked them.
- The author did a great job with the battle scenes.
- The author also did a great job making the world come to life.
- I loved how it took so long for Daine to master her wild magic; she wasn't perfect and still isn't and has a lot to learn still.
- It was a cute YA and I wish I had read this in my youth.
- It's great to see a strong female protagonist.
- THERE'S A DRAGON! I was so excited when it came around.
- The ending was a touch sad, but I liked it. 
- No real cliff-hanger, so I don't HAVE to read the next book in the series.

The Bad and the Ugly
-  Some of the characters were very "perfect"...like the Queen and King. It was annoying.
- A couple times it seemed that it was dragging. 
- There was sad part I didn't like at all. It made me furious and upset.
- How everyone LOVED Daine, besides for the baddie and the Queen of the Stormcrow. 
- I liked Cloud...but it seemed to have waaaay too much personality and human-like qualities for a horse.

Conclusion
It was a cute YA and I wish I had known about this in my youth. I know I would have been all over it, but alas, you can't change the past. The author seems to have some talent in writing; the battle scenes were great (not too gory and not too vague), the world came to life, the characters came to life, and many kuddos for adding a dragon (and it wasn't a baddie, yipee!). Even though some of the character were annoyingly perfect (like the King and Queen) I enjoyed them. I especially enjoyed Daine's character development; it seemed natural and not rushed. Honestly, I wish this wasn't a YA...I think it would have been absolutely awesome if it was written for an older crowd. 

This was certainly a journey. I'm not sure if I'd read the second one or not; maybe someday. We shall see. I would recommend this to those who like YA mixed with magic. Out of five stars I grant this 3 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Daine, Numair, the dragon, and Onua
Not-so Favorite Character(s): The King, Queen, and the Sprinels (whatever they are called - they are half spider, half human....UGH!!!!!!!!!)