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January 22nd, 2016

Movie Review - The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave



Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Alex Roe, Ron Livingston, Zachary Arthur, Maika Monroe,  Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello, Gabriela Lopez, Matthew Zuck, and more.


Directed by: J Blakeson Screenplay by: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinker Based on the Novel by: Rick Yancey Cinematography by: Enrique Chediak Music by: Henry Jackman


Premise: The Earth is attacked by an unknown and unseen alien species. Their attacks have come in the form of waves - world spanning EMP fields, mutated virus, floods, drones. A fifth wave is eminent, but no one knows the form it will take. Separated from her little brother Sam, Cassie struggles to make her way to him, even as unbeknownst to her, Sam and many other human children are being trained to fight. But more is going on than any of them realize. (Rated PG-13)


Review:


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Chloë Grace Moretz does a lovely job as Cassie Sullivan. Watching her transition from normal high school girl to determined survivor was fun to watch. Nick Robinson as Ben Parish/Zombie also did a nice job. Loved his understated demeanor making the 'zombie' nickname have more than one level of meaning. Alex Roe will definitely make teenage girls swoon as the helpful yet mysterious Evan Walker. I totally loved Maika Monroe's performance! Her character Ringer was a lot of fun.


2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The film has special effects in bursts, so you'll tend to forget how much there's actually has in it. Which would be a crime as they do a great job. I absolutely loved the main alien ship, especially when seen at night. Really would have liked to have gotten a closer look at one of the scout drones. The visuals on the infected humans were enticingly creepy.


The effects for the water attack were phenomenal. The tidal waves and back panned destruction came out great. I was especially impressed with the added touch of the woman in the stairwell. And the view Poundcake sees of the flooded city from the top the building really brought home the devastation.


Late in the film we get a lot of explosions and other forms of chaos. Nice!


3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: I've not read the novel this film is based on, so can't say much as to how close it matches the book. I will say, however, that all the teenagers in the audience seemed quite happy with it - at least all the Evan Walker parts. :P


There are a few bits that might give you a 'huh' feeling as the film progresses - most of these are actually hints rather than mistakes. I won't go into it, though, for fear of spoiling things for you guys. But I will say if it smells, there's likely a reason. :P


That being said, however, the plot does have a lot of the typical young adult book tropes (love triangle, good alien, etc.). Happily though, there was also the occasional surprise here and there.


One thing the film does suffer for, however, is the lack of a real reason/need for the aliens to take some of the steps they decide to take for the invasion. Showing off their ship for ten days before actually doing anything being but one of them. For creatures that seemingly don't believe in feelings, they sure like posturing and tormenting their targets. With their technology and what they already shown they can do, some of the steps they decide on later don't make any real sense as a next step.


4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The stunt peeps did some great work. Some great people/tidal waves stunt moments. There's also a couple of hand-to-hand fight scenes and gun battles.


5) Costuming/Makeup - Thumbs Up: I was worried for a while that even the apocalypse wouldn't mess up Cassie's hair, but they made up for it later. Great touch having Cassie's hair look longer and less styled once she's out on her own. They even put some dirt on her! :) And kudos for not having her running around in heels!


Conclusion: The 5th Wave has some lovely special effects and good acting. Plot could have been a little more diverse, but wasn't bad. Watching Evan Walker fight is a definite highlight (the lake scene was pretty darn nice as well - for the ladies!) :P


Rating: 3.25 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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