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January 21st, 2011

Movie Review - Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travel

Starring: Jack Black, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Catherine Tate, Billy Connolly, Chris O'Dowd, and more...

Directed by: Rob Letterman Screenplay by: Joe Stillman and Nicholas Stoller - based on the book by Jonathan Swift

Premise: Realizing his life is going nowhere, Gulliver tries to work himself up to asking out the girl he likes, but instead digs himself into a hole and ends up taking a writing assignment out in the Bermuda Triangle. While traveling to the spot for the article, he's swept away in a giant waterspout and ends up very far away from home.

Review: I'd seen the commercials for this film and seeing the kid humor displayed in them wasn't sure it was for me, despite the fact I like the tale and concept and that Catherine Tate (Donna Noble from Dr Who!)and other fun actors were in it.

While it did have some of the kid humor as shown in the commercials, however, I was glad I went to see it. The film had several things going for it that made it quite enjoyable above and beyond the gags.

The first major thing was that they played a short before the start of the film - Skrat's Continental Crack-up! Yes, Skrat from Ice Age did a short right before the movie! And it was one of the best ones yet. A wonderful explanation of the splitting of the original continent of Pangea :P Too funny. Poor little guy can never catch a break.

The second major thing was the awesome attention to detail in the film. When it begins they do a beautiful rendition of the city with overhead views and everything looks miniaturized. And not in the sense that things are far away and look small, but like made up models and toy cars even as real people walk about. It almost made the 'real' world seem fake, the fantasy, while the land of the Lilliputians the true world.

The costuming, the buildings, the mechanisms in Lilliput were very detailed. The tech all had a very awesome HG Wells feel about it. Pseudo steampunkish in a way. And though we didn't learn much about the society, there was enough there to make the Lilliputian way of life feel real and structured. In some ways their lives are too structured and strict, and here comes a strange visitor who drives all to loosen up a bit and have more fun, in a manner of speaking. The changes you see as the film progresses are interesting, some utterly fun, and a few a little sad.

Not everyone is happy about the changes Gulliver has brought about due to his presence though. Not happy at all!

I appreciated seeing how Gulliver brought with him the means to his own destruction - within himself and without. Of course in the end he comes through, but there were a couple of unexpected twists along the way I very much enjoyed.

Overall the film was entertaining and at times even humorous. And with Skrat doing the lead in, it was definitely worth seeing it.

Rating: 3.5 (4 with Skrat) out of 5 (Hubby: Matinee price w/o Skrat, Full Price with Skrat):P
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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