After reading Ransom Riggs' amazing debut novel this summer, I was thrilled to go see the movie adaptation. With my 3-D glasses and super sized soda, I was ready for some thrills, some magical moments, and the depth I got from the book.
At the beginning, I was thrilled about the adaptation. While I gave the book a 4 out of 5 star because it moved too slowly at the beginning, the movie jumped right in. Some changes were made, but I was okay with them because I enjoyed getting to Miss Peregrine's Home sooner.
The first half of the movie was pure magic. I loved the actress who played Emma and thought she had good chemistry with Jake. I also loved Miss Peregrine's portrayal in the movie as it stuck to the book for the most part. Burton managed to give us the magic of the home while also showing some of the horrors, some of the negatives. It had a thoroughly creepy feel mixed with magic, a difficult feat to pull off.
The last portion of the movie, however, ruined everything for me. Suddenly there were strange, killing skeletons that were more cheesy than creepy. The suspense Burton had been building collapsed in a semi-goofy, odd scene that really lost the wonderful, creepy feel we had up until this point. I think Burton would have been better off to stick to Riggs' initial vision for the story line; although the book's ending was less dramatic perhaps than the version in the movie, I think it stayed true to the characters and the plot. The last twenty minutes of the movie made me want toss my terrible 3D glasses early and head out the door with my popcorn.
Typically, a movie has a hard time living up to my expectation after a book. I understand things have to be adapted, I do. If the ending hadn't become so oddly corny, I would have been okay with the other changes. However, I think whoever approved the ending of this movie lost sight of the initial mood and feel of both the book and movie.
Overall, I would rate the movie a 3 out of 5 star watch. If there is a sequel produced, I'm honestly not sure I'd be running to see it at this point.
When my husband first said we should see Tarzan, all I pictured was a weird monkey-like man swinging in the trees with that godawful yell. I said no.
Then I saw the trailer... and realized Alexander Skarsgard was Tarzan. I quickly amended my response. A fan of Tru Blood, I am also a fan of Alexander Skarsgard (and his crystal blue eyes and lovely rock-hard abs). That man could star in a movie about the DMV and I would go see it.
Alexander's good looks aside--or not--this movie was amazing! As an avid romance movie lover, I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the love story in this movie. Jane and Tarzan's love was portrayed in such an "awe" worthy way. Their connection, their relationship, and the lengths Tarzan was willing to go to in order to save the woman he loved--beautiful. The love story was actually a central focus to the movie, which made me happy.
Alexander was also a perfect choice for Tarzan because of his brooding, serious nature in his works. His portrayal of Tarzan matched his portrayal of Eric Northman. He was serious, mysterious, brooding, and a bit intimidating. However, both characters have a serious soft spot for the women they love. Alexander does such a good job at playing the stoic man with a big heart.
I also loved the use of flashbacks. It kept the story on the conflict the directors focused on. This movie didn't just go over the Tarzan legend we all know; it seriously expanded upon the typical Tarzan focus, using flashbacks to fill in the gaps. The overall plot was exciting, and the fighting scenes kept my husband interested in the movie as well.
We saw it in 3D, which was just gorgeous. The landscapes, the action scenes, Alexander's abs in 3D... it was perfect ;)
In all seriousness, both my husband and I gave this a ten out of ten stars. It is truly the perfect couple's movie because it appeals to both genders. The directors did an amazing job at taking a legend we all know and making it something we can all love.
Did you see The Legend of Tarzan? What did you think?
There's nothing worse than finishing your favorite show on Netflix. Seriously.
You aimlessly browse show after show, looking for another to make you laugh, cry, to suck you in. You look for that binge-worthy show.
If you're like me, it's hard to find that replacement. I will start twenty different series, discounting it in the first five minutes because it's just not the same.
This is what happened after I finished all my favorites. Jane the Virgin, Reign, Once Upon a Time, Orange is the New Black: after waaayyyy too many hours of binging, I was caught up.
Then my friend Christie mentioned Wentworth.
At first, it was just okay. I liked it, but it wasn't Orange is the New Black. I could stop after just one episode.
And then, around episode eight... I couldn't. I'd found my new binge-watch just in time for summer.
Wentworth Vs. Orange is the New Black
Wentworth is an Australian drama set in a women's prison. Like Orange is the New Black, it gives us a cringeworthy, dramatic look inside prison life. You start to root for the characters, you see the connections develop. You see relationships on the outside fall apart. There's a whole lot of lying, cheating, stealing, killing, crying, and drama. I love that the prison staff isn't immune to all of these things, either.
The only thing hard to get used to is the lack of humor. This IS a DRAMA. It was weird because I kept waiting for the punchline, for the crazy Susan moments. They don't come. There aren't any laugh out loud moments.
But... there are a whole lot of good things.
The main character, Bea, is very likable. Unlike Piper, she really is much easier to feel sorry for. Bea finds herself in a very difficult position, one we can empathize with. I really feel for her throughout the drama.
In my book, Australian accents are awesome, so there's that going, too.
I feel like the atmosphere in Wentworth is a bit more realistic since it is a drama and not a comedy.
The verdict? I'm still an #OITNB fan all the way. It's still my favorite.
But if you find yourself in a "show hole" (Kristin, are you smiling? :) ), Wentworth is a good watch for in-between seasons.
So now... I'm off to watch more of season 2. Happy binging!
P.S: If you're feeling like reading instead, check out the book Orange is the New Black. It's very different from the series, but I found myself "binge reading" it. It's rivoting. Here's my video review on Youtube to check out.
Sequels never live up to the original. I know that, we all know that.
But in this case, I was pleasantly surprised that the sequel to the beloved My Big Fat Greek Wedding did, in fact, live up to the first.
The story picks up years later, when Toula has a high school age daughter. I love how at the beginning of the movie, Toula’s kind of returned to frump girl. Motherhood and life’s business have sort of shattered her dreams again. She even has to put back on the old glasses when hers break.
The movie covers a range of real-life issues: losing your identity as a mother, dealing with aging parents, keeping the spark alive in marriage, and letting go of those you love. I liked the depth in the theme and plot. There were a lot of “real” moments.
Of course, there was also the signature humor. There were a lot of scenes that made me laugh, even if they were sometimes predictable or cheesy. Just like the first movie, this one made me wish I was Greek and had a huge, crazy family like Tula.
This movie was a perfect balance of cute, funny, and dramatic. I really recommend this to women of any age, since there are characters every woman can relate to.
If you’re a fan of the first My Big Fat Greek wedding, definitely go see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. I also adore that the entire cast came back together for this, which really helped make it just as great as the first.
Reckless Abandon by Jeannine Colette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Our lips entwine, melding together like branches of a hundred year old tree and my entire body melts into his embrace.”
Reckless Abandon is a perfect mix of emotion, romance, drama, and spice. I read Colette’s Pure Abandon and really liked it. However, I have to say Reckless Abandon was even better!
Emma Paige has experienced a lot of tragic loss in her life. While on vacation with her sister in Capri, however, things seem to turn around for her. She meets Alexander Asher, and the two connect on an emotional and physical level. A few major events lead to the destruction of their connection, however, and Emma decides to leave Asher in her past. Thanks to fate and some relentless assistants, Emma and Asher re-enter each others’ lives in New York City. As the two try to overcome emotional hurdles and issues, they come together. There are plenty of twists and surprises, however, in the plot. Just when I thought everything was going to wrap up neatly, there was always another surprise. This kept me wanting to read more, and I really enjoyed the plot. Sometimes in this genre, plot takes a backseat to character development. Colette, however, expertly crafted both character development and plot to create a story that will resonate with you long after you close the book.
I liked Alexander Asher’s character in Pure Abandon, but I wasn’t absolutely obsessed with him. He had a Christian Grey, alpha male feel, which isn’t really my thing. In this book, however, I got to see a much softer side of him. I really, truly liked him better in Reckless Abandon. He still felt like the same character from Pure Abandon, but just more mature and likable. I would like to think that is because Emma Paige brings out better qualities in him. There are still “selfish,” alpha tendencies to him at times, but I found them much more forgivable in this book.
I also loved Colette’s writing style again. She has a very descriptive, emotional style that pulls you in from page one. She has a lot of relatable references and always gives her characters just enough quirkiness to make them memorable. I also liked how there were some spicy scenes, but they were still tastefully done. I felt like they perfectly complemented the development of the storyline and relationship. Emma and Asher’s relationship, thus, was a perfect balance of emotion and passion. It never felt out of balance.
Overall, I really enjoyed Reckless Abandon. It had so many great things about it. The setting, the storyline, the characters—they were all memorable and enjoyable. I will definitely be looking for more work by this talented author!
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