Monday, November 24, 2014

The Mockingjay Part 1: Movie Review! (Spoilers Marked!)

Hello, everyone! I'm back, and I'm here to review The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 the movie! If you're a fan of YA book to movie adaptations and haven't been living under a rock this past week, you'll know that this movie came out this past week making $55 million it's opening day. Not too shabby for another “Part 1” finale of YA movie franchise. But enough about that, let's get to the review!

First things first. There will be spoilers in this review, but they will be clearly marked for those who haven't seen the movie yet. You'll be able to skip over any spoilers or spoil yourself to death depending on your judgment.

So, what's going on in this movie? Well, you should probably watch the first two movies (you can find them on Amazon and Catching Fire on Netflix). But the Cliff Notes version is this: Katniss has escaped the games and is now living with her family underground in District 13. President Coin asks Katniss to be the Mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion, and in return they have to save the captured victors, including Peeta, from the Capital while a war is raging across Panem.

Let's start out with the good. We have a great cast again for this movie with a couple of new faces. One such face is Alma Coin, President of District 13, played by Julianne Moore. She was absolutely amazing and her scenes with Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Plutarch, were just excellent.

Of course we had our major players. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen was flawless as usual. I expect no less from her. But we did get to see more of Liam Hemsworth who plays Gale in the movie. I thought he did a really good job, but nothing can compare to Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta, who isn't even in much of this movie, but (and no spoilers) he's been given some good material to work with and he kills it.

I think that they depicted the war very well in this movie. Since it is a movie, we get to see more than Katniss's point of view. We get to see the leaders of the war making decisions and the reasons behind them, something that was impossible in the book. We see it first hand, and some things that were not explained fully in the book get depicted in detail in the movie.

One thing the book lovers may be concerned with is what they changed from the book to the movie. Let me just say that is not a problem. I will get a little more specific in the spoiler section, but I will say the changes that they made did not bother me, and I'm a stickler about that. For example, they had Effie, Elizabeth Banks, have a major role in this movie, and that was such a wise decision. Six Fluvia's couldn't match the awesomeness that is Elizabeth Banks.

I'll mention this here and not in the spoiler section because you do get a clip of it in the new TV spot for the movie, but Jennifer Lawrence sings “The Hanging Tree” in the movie. I thought that they may dub her over with a professional singer, but they didn't and she killed it! It's haunting and beautiful and hauntingly beautiful, and it will give you goosebumps when you hear it in it's entirety in the movie.

Now let's talk about some of the things that I didn't like. First things first: this may sound like a broken record but this movie doesn't need to be in two parts. It's clearly a marketing ploy that we've all experienced by now, and it makes me a little sad. There were so many times were I thought “It doesn't need this scene. This could be done in a montage. I feel like we did this scene already.” I just felt like it was stumbling a little bit, and for a movie that's two hours, you need to pick it up a little bit.

Also, I won't mention names here, but there were some characters that were featured in the promos that I didn't get to see onscreen until the very end of the movie. They got more screen time in the commercials than they did in the movie. Seriously.

This is the Spoiler Zone! Stay away if you haven't seen the movie yet!

For a dark movie, this movie had great comedic timing. Jennifer Lawrence playing Katniss as a horrible actor is just hilarious. Effie trying to coach her makes the scene even funnier. They both look like they are trying so hard, and the result is sub par at best. Then Plutarch starts yelling at her but trying to be kind, and it was really great.

Speaking of Effie, thank God they put her in this movie. She's still Effie. She doesn't quite get why everyone has to eat the same things and, heaven forbid, wear the same things, but she does her best to help her victors. She's an escort, and she doesn't let anyone take that job away from her. Not to mention her flirtation with Haymitch, while dark, is also great to watch.

The TV crew is great. They do a great job, acting wise, being persuasive to the audience as well as to Katniss. They are still worried about the art, which brings it back to their Capital roots, but they also know what this could mean for the rebellion. They acted like a legit camera crew, which is interesting because you have a camera crew filming a fake camera crew.

Let's talk some Peeta. His progression in the interviews with Ceasar Flickerman were absolutely amazing. He starts out normal, and with each of the interviews, you can see the effect torture has had on him. When he shouts out for Katniss, warning her about the Capital's plan to bomb District 13, it's scary but in a good way. At the end where we see Peeta attack Katniss, I got scared. It was visually stunning and the acting for both Lawrence and Hutcherson was incredible.

You are now out of the Spoiler Zone! You can come back if you want my final thoughts!

Final thoughts about this movie: despite the fact that this movie would be better as a one big movie rather than be split into two parts, it is still a really good movie. With that in mind, I give this movie a solid four explosive arrows out of five!

That it for this post! Comment down below on two part movies you wished were one movie. Subscribe to the blog by adding your email to the Subscribe Box down below or off to the right. Add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ Button off to the right. Follow me on twitter for up to date information about the blog and ridiculousness about my life @KK_Donna_Blog. Follow the tumblr dedicated to the blog, which you can find at this link. Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Storytellers: New Voices of the Twilight Saga - Vote Now! News #1

Lionsgate The Storytellers: New Voices of The Twilight Saga

Hello, everyone! I'm back, and I'm excited to share some news with you today. As you may have read in a previous post, there is a contest going on that's all about Twilight. The Storytellers: New Voices of the Twilight Saga contest is rebooting the Twilight Saga on Facebook, and they apparently they need our help.

Firstly, it is not based off of the original four books. Instead, they are taking characters' stories from The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide. I have read this book, and I have to say that I'm really excited for a chance to see some of these characters on screen.

There also seem to be different levels of the contest: one where everyone can participate and some that are meant for very specific people. The first level is for everyone. They want fans to vote on the different characters that will be featured in the videos. Then things get a little complicated. They what female artists (screenwriters, directors, actors and such) that are thirteen years and older to submit their work based on these characters. You'll be able to find more information about when and what to submit if you want to enter at there website which you can find at this link.

I'm really excited about this. I'm sure there will be a lot of submissions, but the fans get to determine what gets made as well as having judges to narrow down the search. I'm hopeful for what will come of this, and I'm excited about what we may be seeing in the up coming months. Not to mention there are nearly half a million dollars in prizes for the winners. So go ahead and take a stab at it if you fit the requirements. Right now you can just vote for the character that you would like featured, but you'll be able to vote for screenplay outline come November 20.

That's all for this post! Comment down below on what you would like to see come from this contest. Subscribe to the blog by adding your email to the Subscribe Box down below and off to the right. Add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ Button off to the right. Follow me on twitter for up to date information on the blog and ridiculousness about my life @KK_Donna_Blog. Lastly, follow the tumblr dedicated to the blog which you can find here. Read on, lovelies. I'll see y'all next post!

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Update: Where I've Been

There are so many things going on right now, my lovelies, and I would love to say that any of it had to do with reading. A little did, but for the most part, I've had a hard couple of weeks. I've been getting all of my graduation forms together so that I may graduate on time.  It's getting closer and closer to the end of the semester which means I'm about to hit due dates for research papers and finals. Each bring along their own set of worries, but both together is enough to send me into a state of panic.

Part of me doesn't want to write what else is wrong because it would feel like setting something into stone, and I don't want it to be true. But it is, so I will. On the other hand, it may help me feel better talking about it with other people. I lost someone very close to me two weeks ago. He was my great uncle, but really, he was a second grandfather to me.

You may remember me mentioning him in How to be a Heroine when I was discussing archery equipment. He gave me his recurve bow and took me to archery store that his friend runs. The last thing that we did together was go to the store, buy a finger guard, and grab a couple of cheeseburgers. It was such a normal day but a happy day, and I'm glad that was the last day that I had with him.

I wanted so many more days, but he just started chemo therapy. It made him so sick, and he couldn't do the things that he wanted to do anymore. As cliche as this may be, he loved working on the farm. He liked tending to the horses and riding around in his truck. He wasn't going to be able to do those things anymore. He would have been miserable.

But he was such a good man. He came to live with my grandmother after her husband died. He wasn't her only brother, but he's the one that chose to stay with her and to help her. He was with her for more than a decade. He was essentially my grandfather for as long as he lived with her.  He is someone that we are all going to miss.

I will be getting back into a routine, but as you can tell, it may be a little hard for me to get back to a semi-set schedule. But thank you lovelies for listening to me ramble about a man you don't even know. It feels good to just let it off my chest. I think that will be where I end this post. Read on, lovelies. I'll see y'all next post.
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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R. A. DeCandido: Book Review!

Hello, everyone! I'm back with another Book Review! October has come and gone, and I figured what better way to keep the spooky spirit alive than reading a spooky book. Lately, I've been really into Fox's TV show Sleepy Hollow, and lucky for me, there's a tie-in book. It's called Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R. A. DeCandido.

The book follows the show faithfully, but it does not retell an episode. This is a new adventure never before seen on TV. It does take elements from the show, specifically from episode two of season one. In this book, a coven of witches try to bring back their leader Serilda of Abaddon who caused some mayhem in the previously mentioned episode. But let's see how this book stands without the television show.

The book follows the two witnesses, Abby Mills, a police officer, and Icabod Crane, a soldier from the Revolutionary War,  as they try to prevent the apocalypse and defeat the four horsemen in the little town of Sleepy Hollow. Serilda, a fiery witch hellbent on helping bring forth the end of days, is being resurrected by her coven, and it's up to Abby and Icabod to stop the ritual.

As a lover of the show, I really enjoyed this book. I found myself reading it whenever I could, which sometimes included class. That's horrible but not the point. I really enjoyed how it read. It flowed easily, and the way that all the events took place was fast-paced but not straining to read. It had action and mystery, and it was a really enjoyable read.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this book is the mixing of the historical facts and the realistic fiction. In order for this story to really work, every detail needs to work together whether it be from the author's imagination or American history. I think that they both flowed seamlessly in this story.

One thing that really erks me in books is multiple point of view changes. They just seem ridiculous in most books, and there always seems to be one point of view that is better than the rest. This book does this several times. My personal favorite is Icabod's point of view. It's just interesting to see him in the modern world when he has no idea what the modern world consists of. It's really cool. I hated reading scenes that went back in time to the Revolutionary Era. It was the one place in the book where I was ready to put it down. However, the saving grace was seeing some scenes from the culprit's point of view. I won't say who that is, but I think that the author captured both the evil witch side and the compassionate human side of the character. It something that I don't see in every episode of the show, and it was really nice to read.

Another aspect I didn't really like was the title. "Children of the Revolution" told me nothing of what the book was about. Maybe it could be a title for the overall series, but for this particular book, I would have went with something more pertaining to the plot. I'm hoping to see more books like this one, and I think it would be better for this series for the title to reveal something that is special to that particular book. 

So was this book mind-blowing and life-changing? No. It was a fun read and something I would recommend to a friend as a "in-between series" read. I think it's just the thing to get be back into reading for fun.  I'm giving this book a solid three and a half piles of ashes out of five.

That's it for this post! Comment down below on some of your favorite television tie-in books. Follow the blog by adding your email address to the Subscribe Box down below and off to the right. Follow me on twitter for up to date information on the blog and ridiculousness about my life @KK_Donna_Blog. Add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button off to the right. Lastly, follow the tumblr dedicated to this blog, and you can find it here. Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!
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