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November 18th, 2011

Movie Review - Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt 1

Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt 1

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Gil Birmingham, Sarah Clarke, Ashley Green, Peter Facinelli, Anna Kendrik, and more.

Directed by: Bill Condon Based on the Novel by: Stephanie Meyer Screenplay by: Melissa Rosenberg Original Music by: Carter Burwell

Premise: Bella and Edward finally tie the knot, yet something unexpected occurs while in their honeymoon. Something that might very well cost Bella her life. (PG-13)

Review: The film starts out a little off key, the dialogue and acting not quite jelling for some reason, but luckily that improved before long.

Lots of little funny moments splattered all over the first half of the film. A lot of subtle touches too, so that they 'show' a lot of emotions at certain moments rather than 'tell' them, which was great. 

There was even a sub story thrown in, which if you're not paying attention could be easily missed. Keep an eye on Billy, Charlie, and their lady friend. Edward and Jacob aren't the only ones with love troubles. 

The CGI for the wolves was good, though they change back to humans seemingly fully clothed. But where the movie truly excelled was all the work they did on Bella. There's a bathroom scene that gave me chills as we see her shoulders and backside. And then the scene with her almost at the end of the film. Beautiful seamless transitions that truly brought the point home. Kudos on that, guys!

As you should expect, the movie leaves you hanging for part 2, but the film itself does go full circle. Make sure to stay through part of the credits as there's a little more to see - a quick peek on what we can expect part 2 to be about. Trouble is coming!

Overall, it was fun and entertaining. 

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Movie Review - Immortals

Immortals

Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, John Hurt, Joseph Morgan, Anne Day-Jones, Greg Bryk, and more. 

Directed by: Tarsem Sighn Written by: Charley Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides Original Music by: Trevor Morris

Premise: King Hyperion is searching for a special bow he can use to release the Titans trapped under Mount Tartarous. It's how he seeks to reap revenge on the gods who failed him as well as the rest of the world. Young Theseus, unknowlingly trained by Zeus, gets thrown into the middle of Hyperion's chaos as he searches for the weapon. (Rated R)

Review:  I would STRONGLY caution against taking children to this one. There is a lot of carnage but also truly vicious implied torture and abuse. That being said...

This had one of the coolest and most intriguing beginnings that I've seen in a long time. The music ramped up at just the right moment to make the whole scene sing. Masterful. (And creepy. Oh so very creepy.)

Forget about what you know about Greek Mythology when you go see this film, however, as this follows it very very loosely and in some places totally changes it. So you've at least been warned. :)

Great costumes and sets and some amazing colors and contrasts. The CGI vistas are breathtaking. A lot of detail on everything. They also have a lot of fun with scene transitions, several of which were quite lovely. Depictions of murals and buildings looked very legit for the period so gave great atmosphere. And when something godlike happened, you had no doubt of it! Weirdest head gear you have ever seen as well 0 very imaginative for the gods and the priestesses. Even had some foreign tongues in a few places for flavor, though they do fall back to modern English and worse, British accents, but what the hey. 

Lots of great fights! Was super impressed when Henry Cavill made some moves like pulling a sword or holding his spear (even chopping at a log that never gave) seem very natural and fluid. Aside from a little time spent on Theseus and a couple of others, the rest didn't get much in the way of build up, but it doesn't hurt the overall story too badly.

There is one bit of bad planning by the architect of the Wall, but then again I don't think they ever thought anyone would get that far. Still, the movie is fast paced, the villain has depth, and I liked the role of the gods, how they have rules they've not shared with the humans, and therefore make what they do or do not do, seem fickle to those below. Definitely a new take on Zeus for sure. 

The ending was also quite neat and leaves you with a sense of unease at those things which we can't see.

     

Overall, quite the visual and fun romp. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"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."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
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."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

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.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“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.



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

Excerpt:

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.”



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

Excerpt:

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.



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

Excerpt:

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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