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Ender’s Game – Review

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Over all, this was a great movie. I was very pleased with it, as a just a causal watcher and as someone who read the book. I am usually very picky, but they did well. The visuals were awesome. They gave light to some of the more confusing scenes/aspects that were deeply sci-fy and brought a lot of the imagery to life.

It was a lot like the book, but there were the obvious difference as in any movie adaptation. They had to speed some things up and cut some things out, and even change a few small things get a message across quicker. It was a long and intricate book that needed to be conveyed in a feature film length time period. It left some of the depth and inner development out, but all in all it stayed very true to the book in spirit and accuracy.

The small things that were off were the friendships seemed too quick and the enemies too scarce in battle school. In the book it took a long time and some even hated him first before they were friends. And the Bonzo fight was a bit different In the book it was more strategic (Ender actually put the soap on himself for a reason), it took slightly longer, and it was more badass/devastating. Plus, he didn’t know right away that Bonzo was that badly injured and dying. But, again, that’s just a time issue and the idea was convey. Though, it was sped up, the scene was still the same as in the book overall.

A bigger issue and one of my only real issues is: the ending. Compared to the book it left something to be desired. It was a dramatic ending which was cool, but you didn’t get the full thing. I was aksed why he did something or what some of the things meant.
For example: **Spoiler** In the book the Queen actually talks to Ender, but it was the new queen and she did so thorugh the egg/cocoon. They converse and come to an understanding. I don’t want to give too much away, but they realize peace. It doesn’t seem to come through completely in the movie. They should have done a little more to convey that. And then he brings the egg somewhere.. it leaves it hanging. In the book he goes to another planet that they are colonizing and gets to govern it. His sister joins him. It is actually there that he finds the egg thing in a landscape made spcifically for him by the “buggers” as a message because they linked to his dreams and much later he brings the egg to another planet. The movie doesn’t tell you where he’s going or why he was just able to go. But, I get why they did it. Again, more of a time constraint and drama thing.

They did a good job showing the growth of Ender as a commander, though it was obviously more detailed int he book, and the actor was very good at personifying Ender. It was a great choice, though in my head he looked younger in the beginning.
The movie was great. My family liked it, I liked it. But there is so much more to the book (even a little side story with his sister and brother) and more insight. It is totally worth reading and this is worth watching each for their separate and consolidated reasons.

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Divergent – Movie Review

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Some parts of the movie were done really well and I enjoyed the experience of going to see it. It is a pretty good movie, especiially if you haven’t read the book and are not biased like me. My fiance, who went with me, said it was really good from his stand point. I, however, left the theater feeling like it could have been much better. It’s not just because “they left some parts out from the book.” I feel they were true to the book. But, I was disappointed because they lacked in development. The characters had more depth than was portrayed. We needed to see the pain, the fierceness, the feelings to answer all our why’s. Int he beginning it did an excellent job of explaining the system and how the place worked. But, as we kept watching some things weren’t explained well enough. I got a lot of questions about parts of the movie. I feel some of the characters weren’t portrayed right and some scenes went too quickly or jumped to another scene in an awkward way. But, I understand that there was a lot to cover.

There are some specifics things I was upset about, but there were some things I was really happy they did, too. I’m not going to get into the specifics here, though. I’ve seen movies adapted from books do a lot worse, so it wasn’t all that bad and if you were to view as just another movie, it was pretty good. The book, however, made me feel ten times more inspired and touched my heart. Maybe the book is just too important to me to see the movie objectively, though. So Divergent: I am disapointed. Well, that is not entirely true. Some parts were really well done and I did enjoy the experience. It’s a good movie, especially if you haven’t read the book and are not biased like me lol It stays pretty true to the book, but doesn’t do it justice. I am disapointed because it could have been better. Not just a “they left that part out” stand point but from the development they left out of certain parts. But, not horrible. Glad I got to see it. We’ll see what I think when I watch it again sometime (I usually am less picky the second time).

Oh, and one more tiny little thing: I don’t think the movie poster should have such happy go-lucky colors. I mean it is inspirational and she does conquer a lot, but it is not really a “happy” story. It is supposed to be edgy and fierce. It looks cool, it just bugs me that the stand out colors in the clouds (distracting) are pink. But, maybe I’m just being too picky. Oh oh, also, did anyone else have a different vision of how people and things looked in their head?

Overall I give it a:

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But only a regular one, not a super on :p

When Life As You Know It Ends, What Do You Do?

Moon in sky.

Wish upon a lucky star, or you know, the moon if that’s all you’ve got.

I generally don’t make personal posts about my life, but I feel it is necessary this time. I feel bad that I haven’t been posting at all lately and I thought I could share the reason why to how ever many followers I have left.

My family and I have been going through an ordeal. On the 29th of December, two days before his birthday, my dad suffered a carotid artery dissection. Basically, that means the inner lining of one of his arteries tore. His tear went from the c6 vertebrae (basically the base of the neck) up into his skull. The torn inner lining rolled up like a rug and blocked blood flow. This cannot be fixed. The outer lining then bulged out and pushed on a lot of the nerves leading up his face into his head. This caused his eye to droop ( a rare condition that does not always accompany dissection called Horner’s). Because his eye drooped and his pupil was not responding, my mom took him to the emergency room where he found out he narrowly missed a stroke. He was there for a week before he got to come home. Now, almost 7 weeks out, he is still in incredible pain (which most people who have suffered similarly say won’t go away). He also has had to come to terms with his mortality. He is 47 years old. Most people who have a carotid artery dissection have multiple strokes and another dissection in a different artery. I hope that he is the exception.

Let me tell you a little something about my dad:

He is extremely stubborn and extremely physical. His trade is carpentry and he is very good at his job. His whole life he’s been a physical person and his job requires him to lift weights that even the younger guys can’t (which he prides himself on). He was the bread winner of the household (which he was also proud of, providing for his family). Now, he is no longer to lift anything over 8 pounds or bend over or reach high. Those actions could tear his artery more or cause a stroke. But, he also gets tired and in pain when he does those things. The other day an older gentleman had to help my mom get something to the car from a food pantry while he stood helpless. He is also not allowed to stress. Which is already an impossible thing to do on top of being scared you’ll die or become brain dead. But, wait, there’s more…

All of a sudden he can’t work and will have to be on disability. We have no money coming in and we were already behind in several payments. We are worrying about money for food, medicine, medical appointments and bills, and, now, we are getting kicked out of our house because the rent is just too high. We are fighting to take care of my dad, to keep each other sane, to stay alive, and to stay together. I really would like to be able to help more, but I cannot do enough to get us out of this whole. None of us can. Not yet. We need time to get back on our feet. But, we don’t have time.

My parents have always been the ones to take others into our home or give a helping hand when they could. They have always provided for me and my brother and gave us the best they could. The greatest thing they have given us was their love, understanding, and respect, as well as taught us from their experience. They have always been the type of people to sacrifice themselves to give to others and I love that I have grown to be like them. And as I watch them struggle because they cannot give us better circumstances and because they cannot provide enough, I wish I could do more. One of the hardest parts of this whole thing is to watch them hurt. If I had to move out and be on my own just so THEY could get help, of course I would hate being away from them, but I would do it in an instant. I want them to stop stressing. I honestly worry that it will kill them. And on top of that, they have always tried to help my dreams come true, yet they have never really had theirs come true. I want so badly to be able to give them that. I would settle, however, on just giving them a place to stay with minimal stress and enough money for medications, but I can’t. Not on my own.

This is where you come in. I hate asking for help. I would much rather be giving to others, but part of giving to others is excepting graciously and paying it forward when you have the chance to again. Plus, it is a necessity right now. You do not have to do anything, but I will ask anyway. If you could please spare anything, please donate to help us out. And if you can’t, please just share the donation site on any social media networking site you have. We are not asking for luxuries, we are asking for enough to just get by.

In other news, I will try to post more on this blog as it is something I love to do and seems to be a nice place for others to share their opinions.

Catching Fire – Review

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Yes. It has finally come. I had high expectations and I wasn’t let down. They did a phenomenal job with this movie. There was great detail in the scenes (though they could have spent more time on them, but I understand the constraints of films) and it stayed fairly true to the books which made me extremely happy. I thought the acting was really good as well.

**Spoiler alert**

Things I liked:

  1. The feel of the movie was very professional, cinematic, and true to the story.
  2. The actors were true to the characters they established in the first movie, which I found fairly accurate to the books more or less.
  3. Cinna is awesome.
  4. They did a good job portraying President Snow (though I thought he looked younger from Capitol procedures in the book).
  5. The scene where Katniss gives the speech at district 11 was sad but great in it’s brutality.
  6. You could truly see her feelings evolve for Peeta.
  7. Her dress is amazing!
  8. The arena was very accurate.
  9. They did such a good job on the monkeys.
  10. I love the characters of Johanna and Finnick (though the looks are just a tad off from my visualization. Not enough to count for Finnick but I envisioned Johanna as burlier.) I wish they had developed the quirky relationship between Finnick and Katniss more.
  11. The ending was just like the book in almost every way.
  12. It was very entertaining.

Things I didn’t like:

  1. There wasn’t enough time for each scene to describe situations, people, and relationships clearly enough. Friends who had not read the book were very confused at a few parts and it just left me feeling like there was more to be desired.
  2. There was no pearl given to Katniss.
  3. The part where she has to go off with Johanna is a bit confusing.
  4. I don’t remember her shooting the arrow into the sky in the book. I thought it was the wall, but I could be mistaken. Either way, it looked unrealistic.
  5. I wanted more from the book during the scene where Johanna changes in the elevator because it’s funny. But, that’s a minor issue.
  6. There wasn’t enough emphasis on Peeta’s leg or Katniss making the excuse about her ear.
  7. Small thigns were changed here and there (again just a small issue, really).
  8. It seemed like she kissed Gale more than int he book.

Overall, I definitely recommend this movie to anyone.

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Allegiant – Raving Review! (YA)

***SPOILER ALERT***

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This wasn’t what I expected. The way the second book, Insurgent, ended, I expected a crusade at the very least. But, it seemed to be lack luster, anti-climactic, though it picked up much later. More than half of the book is suffering. Not the suffering you do when you’re fighting for a cause, but the silent suffering that hurts inside. I understand, though, because of where Roth took the story. It was a very elaborate government cover-up that must have taken time to think of, but after all the build up… i think I just expected more.

Now here’s the coup de gras! I repeat, spoiler alert. Right after Tris and Tobias fix their relationship, maybe two chapters later, and they are thinking of their future, she dies! The main character dies. I debated writing this because I didn’t want to ruin the story for anyone, but I had to review it. I feel silly admitting this, but I actually hurt for fictional characters. I cried. I could feel the pain. I tend to get very immersed into the books I read, putting my self into the stories and comparing their relationships with my own. But, this story was written in first person, which further puts the reader into the role of the main character. I invested a lot into this series. I loved the characters… and many of them died. I, personally, read to escape reality so I tend to like a happy ending, or at least one where the main character doesn’t die or get permanently damaged. I thought, after Mockingjay, that I would be prepared this time. I knew it would be sad, but I had no clue it would be this bad. The worst part is I saw no reason for it. With Mockingjay, I at least saw the point. In this book, however, things would have ended up exactly the same if she had lived. She could have even almost died. I get it. She was supposed to sacrifice for love. It’s central to the story, but everything that happened after that moment would have been the same if she only almost died. She still would have been a martyr. Even Harry Potter lived. He actually died and came back! His world was maybe worse or equal to Tris’s, but he lived!

I was so angry and so hurt. But, as time goes by, my feelings mellow. It’s not the end of the world, I just really loved the series. I still do, but this book is not my favorite at all.

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Tales of Graces – Short Review

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Tales of Graces starts with the adventures of a child named Asbel Lhant in the world of Ephinea. Asbel during one of his adventures comes across a mysterious girl in a flower field which has a huge impact on his journey. The game was created by Namco Tales Studio and released in Japan in 2009 on the Wii. Tales of Graces is the 12th main title in the Tales series. Eventually the game was ported too the Ps3 and renamed “Tales of Graces F”. In 2012 was finally sold in both NA and EU, three years after the release of its original version.

The Pros

  1. Open World for traveling and a mini sphere based combat when fighting monsters. –
  2. Side-Quest not only give you experience and gold but bonuses such as Titles, Costumes, and items that can help you on your journey
  3. Fluid game play throughout the whole game
  4. Good voice actors
  5. Re-playable bonuses: If you build up points you can use them to bring all your Titles, Items, and so much more on your new game+

The Cons

  1. Unlike previous games Tales of Graces F combat uses a number system. Depending on the attack it will deplete the number ; the number can be seen as Stamina because if the number is at 0 you cannot attack and must be conservative.
  2. Slow start because of the Prologue but afterwards it picks up really fast.
  3. Depending on music preferences some of the music tracks might not be as memorable as past “Tales of” video games.
  4. Storyline ‘might’ seem predictable.

Mockingjay – Review (YA)

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I know I’ve been posting a lot about The Hunger Games lately, but once I started revisiting it for the review, I couldn’t stop. And, honestly, can you blame me? It’s a riveting book, even the second time around. I wont say it’s the best book in the whole entire world, but it’s a very good book in it’s own right. The story seems original. Even if it draws from real life and past stories, it twists into it’s own, completely new tale. Suzanne Collins comes up with so many things to capture a whole new world and culture. It is impressive.

Mockingjay, the third and final book in her series, takes place after she is rescued from the Quarter Quell. But, Peeta could not be rescued along with her. She lives with the guilt and devastation of losing him, as well as the grief over losing her home town and most of the people who had lived there. Suzanne does an amazing job of capturing the devastation and loss of such monumental things as well as illustrating the horrors of war, which Katniss soon becomes immersed in. She also highlights just how cruel human kind can be. It is a sad book, but for some reason, it doesn’t seem to drag you into the depths of depression. There is triumph, hope, love, and so much more strewn through out the misery. I usually don’t read sad books, especially ones that could make me cry, but I have made this book my exception. I do not like what they did to some of the characters, but I can see how it would be necessary. I have to admit, though, that the first time I read  this I threw it at the wall when I was finished. I was so immersed into Katniss’s head, so wrapped in her guilt, and so angry that characters I had loved died. It still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and an ache in my heart, even though they are all fictional characters. Yet, I still LOVE this series. That is just how powerful it is. I would have liked if the ending had highlighted the positives a bit more, though.

There are positives, however: fighting to save a world from corruption and injustice, the ever expanding depth of Katniss’s love for Peeta, rebirth from the ashes…

I know that Katniss has some love for Gale and maybe once upon a time it would have grown to be something substantial, but her love for him is something completely different from what she shares with Peeta. Gale is more a friend, someone she loves, but isn’t in love with. In Catching Fire, however, it says that Katniss even notices she feels things she’s never felt for Peeta, like unsatisfiable desire and heat. She doesn’t want to be with out him. In the third book, she finally realizes how much he really means to her, while also, sadly, realizing how different her and Gale really are. In the end, I try to remember that salvaging the love between her and Peeta is a powerful thing and it should overshadow the darker aspects of the story.

Overall, it as an evocative, powerful, and great story, as well as series. Definitely, worth a read. Can’t wait to see what they do with the 2nd and 3rd movies.

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Spyro – Review

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I am most certainly not a master gamer. I try, but most of the time I end up running around in circles, frustrated. But, there are a few games I can play (and some I’m learning how to play better). I will always love Spyro, especially the old ones. Not only could I actually manage to play the games, but I liked the concept and Spyro himself.

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Sleepy Hollow – Review

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I was very reluctant to watch Sleepy Hallow for many reasons. I am always reluctant to hop on a band wagon, it is super complicated and confusing, and it’s creepy. But, I’ve watched a few episodes now and I don’t hate it. In fact, tonight, I actually enjoyed the episode and its humor. It was intriguing, engaging, interesting, compelling, but still creepy. I’m not really into creepy shows/ movies, but I liked the episode. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but I liked the concept. Maybe I’m beginning to like this show. It helps that it follows Bones. I love that show!

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Iron Man – Review

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I definitely enjoyed the Iron Man movie. Again, this is one that I have not read any of the comics, so that might be a factor, but it seemed like it was done well to me. I loved Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. The rest of the cast also did extremely well portraying the characters. It gave the movie that much more depth and it gave the relationships their dynamics. I loved the effects and the Iron Man suit. The development of Tony Stark becoming Iron Man was interesting. It’s worth a watch.

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