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May 4th, 2012

Movie Review - The Lucky One

The Lucky One

Starring: Zac Effron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R Ferguson, Adam LeFevre, and more. 

Directed by: Scott Hicks Screenplay by: Will Fetters Based on the Novel by: Nicholas Sparks Original Music by: Mark Isham and Hal Lindes Cinematography by: Alar Kivilo

Premise: A marine dealing with PTSDs and survivor's guilt, searches out the woman in a photograph he found while on tour, believing he owes her for his survival on his third go round. The woman, in turn, is still wracked with grief over the death of her brother as well as other complications in her life. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Zac Effron and Taylor Schilling were fun to watch. At first closed up and unemotional, the actors slowly shed the layers of protection they'd placed around themselves as they finally deal with their different issues. Riley Thomas Stewart was adorable as Beth's son, Ben. The depth Jay R Ferguson added to what could have been the typical bully part was admirable. His scene in the church spoke volumes and gave a glimpse into his character no one suspected.

2) Special Effects - Thumbs Up: While not the type of film that would require a lot of special effects, the beginning of the story was in Iraq, so some gun play and explosions were involved. In one specific instance, an explosion was done in slow motion, skipping back and forth between characters, and the techniques used on Effron for some of the blow-back on that was fun to watch.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: You don't expect a lot of surprises with this kind of film, yet there were a couple, so that was quite refreshing. A lot of standard tropes were used to indicate the PTSDs and a few other things, but there were also several surprising ways they chose to share certain aspects of the story as well, which made up for it.

I very much enjoyed the added depth given to the token bully/adversary towards the end of the film, making the character of Keith more of a real person. He, like the rest of those in the movie, was human, and learned and made mistakes with everyone else. He too was looking for something he'd not yet found. 

The story is told slowly, with details revealed with each passing day, so it might seem to crawl to some. Personally, I can quite enjoy a leisurely paced progression as long as I am given more and more to think on as we go along and this film definitely did that.  

Hanky Warning: If you're prone, like me, to tears at movies, make sure to bring a handkerchief or two. You'll need them for this film. You can't help but feel empathy for all parties involved.

4) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: If you have ever had any inclination to move to Louisiana but haven't done it, this film will make you get up and move there immediately. There were lots of utterly beautiful shots in this film. Great job!

Conclusion: If you like this type of film, you'll love this one. I feel it has enough there to satisfy male audiences, but they probably won't go willingly. Fans of Zac Effron will be quite pleased.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (No Hubby rating as he's out of town working.)  

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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