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April 24th, 2015

Movie Review - The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline



Starring: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew, Hugh Ross, Hiro Kanagawa, Izabel Pearce, Cate Richardson, Anthony Ingruber, and more.


Directed by: Lee Toland Krieger Screenplay by: J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz Story by: J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz Cinematography by: David Lanzenberg Music by: Rob Simonsen


Premise: After an unusual series of events, Adaline Bowman no longer ages. Forced into a life where she must change who she is and where she lives every decade or take a chance at being grabbed and locked away to be experimented upon, Adaline has allowed very few people into her life, with only her daughter actually knowing the truth about her. On the cusp of once again changing locations and identities, she meets a forceful young man named Ellis. Will she give in to her growing feelings for him or run once more  to keep her secret. (Rated PG-13)


Review:


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Blake Lively does a marvelous job as the emotionally starved and understandably paranoid Adaline Bowman. Her distress and feelings during the film are very easy to read.


Michiel Huisman as Ellis makes for some great eye candy for the ladies and made it a lot of fun to watch his character's pursuit of the mysterious librarian.


Harrison Ford was a great choice for William Jones - his reactions when he first sees Jenny and during his recollections of Adaline, were wonderful to watch. Ellen Burstyn as Adaline's daughter in 2015 added great little touches by her presence. A similar approach used by Judd Hirsch's character Abe in "Forever".


2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up:  Believe it or not, there were several big special effect gags in the film. Cars tumbling down hillsides and the audience seeing the chaos from inside the car. The rather spectacular lightning bolt that gets frozen in time. And wait until you see the asteroid hitting the moon and the cool Earth shots! The ceiling of the movie theater was quite awesome. Really nice work.


3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The tale is told by a narrator played by Hugh Ross. No explanation is ever given of who he is or how he knows the story he's telling - so the audience just has to go with it. While the info he gives is definitely interesting, the fact they felt they had to explain the different phenomena that made two separate events possible felt rather odd.


The methodology for taking the audience back in time and showing them pieces of Adaline's life, however, worked rather well.


On the weird side, they telegraph several pivotal points of the film before they happen. Back around 2002 to 2005, the gimmick of having people in a car having a conversation then having them get slammed by another car was fresh and innovative. But in 2015, the move has become cliched. They've been done so often and it's so easy to tell when they're coming - they don't hold much of a surprise factor anymore. (At least not to me.) This makes the story come across as pretty straightforward with minimal surprises for the audience. The one surprise that would have made everyone lean forward with interest had already been disclosed in the previews, so wasn't a surprise at all.


Still, the tale is told well and we learn enough about her to empathize and care about her and those around her. So it was entertaining.


5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The film had many wonderful cinematographic moments. The San Francisco bridge is used to full advantage with lovely day shots, but even more impressive night shots. The time lapse segments were lovely as well.


6) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: Great work by the costuming and makeup departments. Just by looking at Adaline's clothes and hair, you could easily identify the time frame being portrayed. The 1963 segment when she's in the taxi was especially well done by showing us one of the rarer fads of the time. Nicely done! (And Blake Lively looked good in everything! lol)


Conclusion: "The Age of Adaline" is a cute little love story with a supernatural slant for added flavor. No real surprises, but the film still moved along well and entertained.


Rating: 3.5 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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