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February 10th, 2012

Movie Review - Journey 2: Mysterious Island

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzman, Vanessa Hudgens, and more.

Directed by: Brad Peyton Written by: Richard Outten, Brian & Mark Gunn Screenplay by: Brian & Mark Gunn Based on the Novel by: Jules Verne Original Music by: Andrew Lockington

Premise: Trying to bond with his step-son, Hank goes with Sean in an attempt to find Sean's Grandfather after Sean receives a cryptic coded message. A message stating that Jules Verne's Mysterious Island is real.  (Rated PG)

Review: "How about an adventure?" a repeated theme with stunning visual results, just lacking in good writing. Sad to say as I'd really been looking forward to the film.

We lost Frasier and gained Johnson. Not a bad deal as both are more than capable. Even gave the writers fodder for internal conflict. If only they'd not been so heavy handed about it. 

Gorgeous visuals. The storms out at sea and then the vistas on the island were magnificent. One promised breathtaking view definitely was that. The flaura and the fauna were all well done and pretty darn cool. The underwater scenes totally rocked.

But for every place the visuals or the acting sang, the story telling pretty much crashed. Which is a pity. Heavy handed, with awkward conflict, the only parts that somewhat worked were the comedic bits. Luis Guzman added a lot to the film to make it tolerable, and of course the Rock's dating tip number three was a hoot. (No, guys, that does NOT work! lol) 

The story ran hot and fast, so fast, you couldn't appreciate much of the island. And there were discrepancies or conveniences that just couldn't be explained or made no sense. Sorry, but an old man alone for two years on the island could not do what Alexander did, even if it was cool.

Ten to thirteen year olds won't see those flaws, so they should have a blast. For us old timers, seeing the city and the Nautilus will be half the treat, even if the sub is kind of small.

So for a family film, it will do. Give wonder for the kids, hormones for the teenagers (boys and girls), and cool visuals for the adults.

Rating: 3 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Better For Matinee)

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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