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May 27th, 2011

Movie Review - Kung Fu Panda 2

Kung Fu Panda 2



Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Huffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogers, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride, Denis Haysbert, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Victor Garber and more...


Directed by: Jennifer Yuh  Written by: Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger  Music by: John Powell and Hans Zimmer


Premise: A prince who'd been outcast from the kingdom after an act of atrocity comes back years later to take his revenge, and destroy kung fu, with the use of a new and mighty weapon.


Review:  Loved the original, loved the Christmas special, and utterly loved the sequel!


As anyone with eyes could see, yet never say, Po couldn't have been the birth child of Mr. Ping. We will see some of Po's past and how it is that he came to be the son of a bird. What's really neat is how they chose to do the flashbacks, history intro, and nightmare sequences. For some it was still pictures and minimal movement. For others it was straight animation in a slightly different style than the rest of the film. This later plays into a beautiful sequence where the past meets memory and acceptance towards the end of the film.


Everything is super detailed and some of the city scape, villages, and backgrounds are utterly breathtaking. With the 3D even more so. The 3D was used more for effect and contrast than the usual "at ya" gimmicks and worked incredibly well to give the whole story more depth visually and even in the telling. This is one of the first uses of regular 3D that really packs a punch in my opinion.


Lots of great fight scenes. And some awesome ones. You will see Radish Fu. You will see Peacock Fu. Warring Rickshaws! You'll also see the most hilarious take on a Chinese Festival Dragon EVER! I was laughing all over the place and I'm a hard one to make laugh out loud. (Crying is something else altogether and I did some of that too!)


The soothsayer was HILARIOUS! And Shen was both menacing, cold, hot, and utterly beautiful to watch. The story also has some nice twists and turns, which were great.  


All our favorite characters are back as Po learns another lesson and sets off to save China. Definitely a must see! They will even leave you a tantalizing cliffhanger bit right before the credits.  (Though nothing else is shown after the credits, do sit through part of them - a reenactment of Po's baby journey. Too cute!)


Rating: 4.5 out of 5! (Hubby's Rating: Would pay 3D full price again! This is his highest rating, by the way! heh heh)





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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