Mid-Week #Movie – Petals on the Wind

Petals

So, as you may recall, I discussed the Lifetime movie, Flowers in the Attic back in January. I discovered they were making the second book in VC Andrews’ Dollenganger series and was pretty excited because I enjoyed Flowers and wanted to see what they could do with Petals. I forgot it was on last Monday and recorded it over the weekend, finally getting a chance to watch it last night/this morning.

Well, I wasn’t completely disappointed, but I won’t say I was as pleased with Petals as I had been with Flowers. They skipped enormous parts of the book and changed many of the characters (Henny in particular wasn’t mute). Julian..god, that man was a jerk. A controlling, twisted, jerk.

And then there was Carrie. Poor, poor, tormented Carrie. My heart almost broke when the bullies locked her in the storage closet at the school. The actress playing her really did a great job. And the final shot of her laid out after she kills herself…ohhh, man. Poor Carrie.

I wish the grandmother had been in there more, but I liked the Cathy/Bart scenes. I thought the pair was good together. Cathy/Chris, on the other hand…talk about your squicky moments. Yeesh. I know it’s incest, it’s supposed to be icky, but…yick. Totally, totally yicky. Kudos to Lifetime for keeping that in there though.

Foxworth Hall was still too small, IMO. I always pictured it like one of the great manors from England and it’s just…tiny.

So, those are my very brief thoughts. Lifetime reportedly is going to do the other two books in the series and possibly My Sweet Audrina (now that is a bizarre book). Personally, I’d like them to do the Dawn or Heaven series, Heaven in particular if they can get the right casting for Heaven and Tony. Ahhh, Tony. Sick, sick, but all-too-attractive Tony.

Anyone else catch Petals? What’d you think? Any thoughts on them continuing to do VC Andrews adaptations? Talk to me! 🙂 See you Friday.

Mid-Week #Movie – Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD

 

 

 

SHIELDOkay, I know Agents of SHIELD is a TV show, not a movie, but it ties very closely into a huge movie franchise (the Avengers series of movies, including Ironman and so many others). And after last night’s episode blew my mind, I knew I had to blog about it.

Now, SHIELD is set in the same universe as the Avengers series of movies, and the team in the show is run by a beloved character from Phase I of the Avengers set, Agent Phil Coulson.

PhilHe’s gathered a group of agents (and one hacker, Skye, just recently officially added to the SHIELD payroll directly as an agent, rather than a “consultant” … long storyline there) together to sort of police the world monitoring “weird” activity now that the presence of aliens has been made known to the world at large after the Battle of New York (Avengers movie).

The season has done a lot to build to the point it’s at now, starting with almost no actual superhero presence save for abilities being chemically added to normal humans to create characters such as Deathlok. However, after the winter break, it started added superheroes, including Lady Sylph from Thor/Thor: The Dark World. One analysis I read of the show said that this progression was deliberate, trying to draw in other audiences who might not watch a “superhero” show, but would watch an action show, then once the fan base was established, pull in those who love the movie franchise. I think they made a good call there and the season’s been getting better and better.

Now, as to how this so closely ties in. As you probably know, Captain America: Winter Soldier came out last Friday and is a monster hit. It features, duh, Captain America as he battles enemies from SHIELD’s rival entity, HYDRA. Now, by the end of the movie (SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT), the SHIELD organization is decimated by HYDRA, leaving it scrambling, as HYDRA has infiltrated the organization at every single level, leaving very few true SHIELD members to clean up the mess. Well, last night’s episode of Agents of SHIELD showed HYDRA’s reveal from the perspective of Agent Coulson and his team, as they’re nearly shot out of the sky by what they think are their own people.

MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS ahead if you haven’t seen last night’s episode.  The entire episode left you reeling as you tried to figure out who was HYDRA and who was SHIELD trying to root out members of HYDRA. I mean, one of the heads of SHIELD (Victoria Hand) was directly trying to shoot Coulson down, so she had to be HYDRA, right? Well, as it turns out…not so much. She thought Coulson was HYDRA, though that’s left in the air until the last 10 minutes as to which side she was actually on. I know Hubby and I were waffling on which side she was actually on until literally the moment of the big shocker reveal.

The biggest shocker of the night, beyond the fact that a TV show so clearly reflects actions in a major block-buster movie, was in the final 5 minutes of the show. Given Coulson assembled the team, you’d think they were all above reproach and above-board, right? Well, as it turns out, Agent Grant Ward (the most trusted of Coulson’s gang, Mr. Do-Right, bleeds red-white-and-blue) was an Agent. Of. HYDRA! OMG. He proves this pretty much without a doubt when, in cold blood, while supposedly escorting Agent Garrett (revealed as a major HYDRA agent after several episodes of looking like a good Agent of SHIELD) to the Fridge where he can be locked away for his misdeeds as the series-until-now-badguy The Clairvoyent (another secret that comes out in the episode), he murders Victoria Hand and the SHIELD agents escorting them all.

This leaves Garrett/The Clairvoyent to be settled into The Fridge, which is where SHIELD has been placing the most dangerous of the weapons that Coulson and his people were gathering all season long, right after Victoria and Coulson agree that the Hub and the Fridge were both now safe, since they had people they trusted in charge there (Victoria was to take hold of the Fridge while Coulson held down the Hub). Now…not so much, and Coulson won’t know about it for a while, maybe.

But wow. Grant Ward a villain all along? I dunno, but if he is…WOW! I have my waffling moments, but after he kills Victoria the way he did, I gotta think he might actually be bad. And that’s quite a shocker, after all he’d done, even in last night’s episode up to that point.

I love Agents of SHIELD. It’s a fantastic show and anyone who’s even remotely entertained by the Marvel Universe movies should be a fan of this show. It’s AWESOME!

Okay, so…have you seen Agents of SHIELD yet? If you have, what do you think? More specifically if you’ve seen last night’s episode and/or Captain America: Winter’s Soldier, what do you think about the emergence of HYDRA?

 

 

Mid-Week Movie with a Friend – Pitch Black

Thanks for having me on the show, Tory!

All we need is that Merv Griffin set Kramer had in his apartment (TM – hehe, that probably works as a reference for most. I refused (and still refuse) to watch Seinfeld). Remind me to look through the trash outside my brownstone.

Riddick is inaugural-movie-review-post worthy. He is the reason I subscribed to this blog (Awww, and here I thought it was just for me and my eye-lash batting at you). Now I get to hang out and talk about the other “Chronicles” of Riddick.

220px-Pitch_Black_poster

Pitch Black is the first full-length installment of the Riddick series and I saw it last. When Pitch came out, it got mixed reviews. That’s not why I waited fourteen years to see it.

It was just not on my radar back then. (I know what you mean. I remember the commercials, but only because of a VERY weird dream that I still remember, dealing with having to be out during the day on a planet similar to the one in the movie.)

Critics were hung up on the plot of this movie–hackneyed and tired, they said. We’ve already had the intergalactic version of the USS Minnow crash on a distant planet, they said. We’ve already seen its payload, they cried–a diverse collection of folks who have to survive its inhospitable surface, plus one dangerous dude who escapes and later saves everyone from the savage alien lifeforms that appear. At Night.

Yes, we’ve already seen this storyline and the criminal turned hero. Nevertheless, I destroyed twenty newly installed acrylic nails watching it. (not really–but my own nails came out worse for wear.)

And that’s all I’m going to say about the actual movie. Go watch it.

However, I will address the plot device of the anti-hero. VERY difficult to pull off (Agreed, but yet the villainous heroes can be the most fun! I love dark ones like that). Why do screenwriters attempt it? Because we’ve seen (a billion times) heroes and heroines who are unbelievably amazing and can Kung-fu grip anybody. Talk about hackneyed.

Pitch Black takes a chance and employs the unemployable. Even better, the movie lets him drive the plot. No wonder Vin Diesel believes in this character and this series.

Sci-fi is a hothouse of external plot craziness and Riddick is a master-gardener. He’s in control just enough to let us enjoy the contrast between his badness and the horrible things incubating in distant star-systems.

Side note: critics also stumbled over Pitch Black’s seemingly impossible plot points. The triple-sun/eclipse event, for instance. And a lifeform that hibernates in a hostile environment–like–forever.

Multiple stars per planet: Having seen Star Wars (Tatooine), I’ve never questioned this.

Lifeforms with millenia half-lives: are you familiar with the life cyle of spores? The fact that the prion which causes mad-cow disease can survive the surface temperature of a star? Well, almost–it can survive my microwave oven, I’m told.

You get my point.

Next time–the Chronicles of Riddick and a great example of fresh world-building that is deceptively simple and yet oh, so very complex.

Angelyn blogs about history and romance. Fall in love with both at www.angelynschmid.com.

 

Mid-Week #Movie – Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Once again, better late than never (sadly, most of this was actually written on Wednesday, I just never got around to finishing it). While Hunger Games: Catching Fire isn’t a movie I just saw (I saw it back in December I believe), it is coming out on DVD/Blu-Ray this Friday, hence my decision to use it to write about for my weekly movie discussion. In case you haven’t figured it out, I love sci-fi/futuristic/dystopian movies. Such a geek, I know.

This movie is based on the second book in Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games trilogy. In my opinion, this book was the best of the three by FAR. There was just so much material and for me that’s where I felt the lack in the movie. There was an entire subplot dealing with District 13 that pretty much got swept under the rug because (I assume) you can only get so much in a movie and this movie already ran long. The movie does talk briefly about District 13, but some characters Katniss meets before she goes to the 75th Annual Hunger Games (and then runs into one of them in one of the creepier scenes that slams home how horrible the government really is while at the Capital for the Games) are completely eliminated from here and only because I remembered the plot from the book did one of the scenery characters (characters who are there, but have no lines and just stand in the background) during a meal catch my attention.

Katniss has to make some pretty messed up choices in this book. To survive after her (SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT) triumph in the 74th Hunger Games, she has to play up the apparent relationship she and Peeta forged during the Games which means sacrificing, which of course screws with the other romance she has, with District 12 citizen Gale. President Snow makes it very clear he knows she’s faking the Peeta relationship and so she has to be even more careful. As she goes on the Celebration Tour after the games, she’s witness to the outlying Districts growing restless under the control of the government.

And then comes the 75th Hunger Games, the 3rd so-called Reaping where only former winners are thrown into the Games. Katniss, being the only living female Tribute is of course one of District 12’s competitors and heads back to the Capital. I loved the presentation of her wedding dress/bird dress designed by Cinna. And of course the Games themselves…wow. Tension filled and full of lots of “OMG, which side is X and/or Y on again? GAAAH, I can’t remember the book!” moments.

It’s tragic about Phillip Seymour Hoffman because I loved him as Gamemaster Petrarch. Thankfully he didn’t have much left to film so something can be done to finish out his role.

So – have you seen Catching Fire yet? Have you read the book? Do you intend to see/read it if you haven’t? Talk to me!

Mid-Week #Movie – Thor: The Dark World

Thor PosterLast night, with this post hanging over my head, I made the supreme sacrifice for all of you lovely people. I forced myself to watch Thor: The Dark World. Oh…the horrors, the torture…forced myself to oog…er, sneer at the muscle-bound blond gorg…er, spectre of nightmarish proportions that is Chris Hemsworth, and mock the sleek, slender bea…scrawny black haired …

Damn. I can’t even get that full paragraph out before I roll my eyes at myself. Yes, I admit it, I love Thor. I love the Marvel movies. I AM a geek! Proudly. And daaayum, I liked me some Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston (Thor and Loki respectively). I mean, c’mon, what’s not to like about them? In case you haven’t seen the trailers/commercials (and how many can honestly say they’ve never seen these two beautiful men), and because I like to have drool-worthy pictures on my blog, I present Thor and Loki.

Loki Thor

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I’ll be up front and honest with you (now). I didn’t really care too much either way when I saw the first Thor movie. I didn’t think Chris Hemsworth was much to look at either. Big, blond, big whoop. It wasn’t until I caught it on regular TV and happened to glance up at the right time to see him saunter across the screen without a shirt on that I might have finally caught on to why women appreciate him.

Still, when all things are considered, I’m still more of a Loki girl. I mean, c’mon. He gets the best one-liners (gets punched by Natalie Portman, smirks, and comments, “I like her.”), he’s a magic-user, and quite a bit of the bad boy/evil. I think the jury’s really out on whether Loki’s truly evil. I guess it depends on just what happened to Odin (watch the end of The Dark World to see what I mean). Hopefully they’ll have a third Thor movie and explain that one.

Okay, let’s get on to the movie itself. It picks up some point after the events of The Avengers and Thor’s been busy cleaning up the mess made in the Nine Realms, presumably by Loki before he was captured. Loki’s brought before Odin and thrown in the dungeons for life for his crimes against his people. Back on Earth, things are getting a bit weird (it’s in conjunction with a 5000-year cycle, at the end of which all nine realms align in some big convergence…very cool visually when they show it) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) manages to get infected with this Aether stuff that the bad guys want, bad guys thought to have been destroyed 5000 years ago by Odin’s father.

The Dark Elves (bad guys) sense Jane has the Aether and come after her (she’s been taken to Thor’s homeworld…I loved her reaction to the trip through the Einstein-Rosen bridge “Can we do that again?”). There’s a huge battle sequence and tragedy follows. I loved when the Dark Elf Hulk is freeing everyone in the dungeons, stops at Loki’s cell, and then continues on without freeing Loki.

Thor and Loki team up in a momentary alliance due to their shared sorrow over the loss of someone important to them both and they flee the world with Jane, hoping to draw the Dark Elves away from the city. It works of course and there is another battle.

Lots of things blow up. Loki is awesome in that you can never be entirely sure who’s side he’s going to be on or appear to be on. In the end, I think Loki’s just out for Loki and if his goals happen to coincide with Thor’s, yay. If not, oh well.

I thought the growing romance between Jane and Thor was nicely handled, especially with the continually interrupted kiss moments throughout.

Hubby (who saw it when it was in the theatre) recognized one of Thor’s cronies as played by Zachary Levi (Chuck). I didn’t believe it was possible, because the guy was slender, graceful and, well, blond. And then in the credits, wow. It really was him.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters in this movie, Jane’s intern Darcy, Darcy’s intern (who’s name I don’t remember), and Dr. Erik Selvig, who figures out how to deal with the whole 9-realm convergence thing. While Darcy isn’t absolutely required for the plot, I enjoyed her character as part of the overall experience.

So – have you seen Thor: The Dark World yet? If so, what’d you think? If not…go watch it! It’s a great movie. And it has Loki! Yum yum.

PS: Did you know the actor who plays Dr. Erik is the biological father of the man who plays Viking Erik on True Blood (HBO vampire series)? Don’t believe me? Look it up on IMDB! Viking Erik also auditioned for the part of Thor back in the day. I think Hemsworth was the better choice. It’s all about the muscles baby.

 

Mid-Week #Movie – Man with the Iron Fists

Better late than never, right? At least that’s the theory I’m operating on. It’s still mid-week, and even still Wednesday. The movie I want to talk about is one I saw last night, Man with the Iron Fists.

First, the cast. It has a pretty great cast actually, which really isn’t a surprise when it comes to movies by Quentin Tarantino. You have Russell Crowe playing Jack Knife (yes, that’s his name…I thought they were inferring he was Jack the Ripper on the run in China because of his first appearance on camera, but not so much). Rapper/singer RZA was the title character (I’ve never heard of him before so I have no clue about his music). Lucy Liu was the madam of a brothel, WWE wrestler David Bautista was Brass Body, and Rick Yune (best known to me from The Fast & Furious as Johnny Tran, and more recently Olympus Has Fallen).

Second, the story. Very typical Quentin fare. Very gory at least in the opening, and then of course in the climactic final battle scene with the Black Widow prostitutes (very cool, I have to say) and the Silver Lion’s soldiers. I almost stopped watching because of the (yes admittedly cartoon/anime-esque) blood and guts spewing everywhere, but I stuck with it. I refused to chicken out. The plot was a bit convoluted, but Silver Lion killed the leader of the Lion clan (Golden Lion) in an effort to hijack a shipment of gold being sent through the local village. The Blacksmith is engaged by pretty much everyone to make their weapons, and he rescues Golden Lion’s son in a near-lethal battle with Brass Body. Later, for his interference, let’s just say events lead to his gaining the name the Man with the Iron Fists.

Russell Crowe was great as Jack, with a pretty cool knife/gun combination, and he actually uses the twisted line, “I always bring a gun to a knife fight.” Heh – okay, I found it amusing when he spits it out. His character was interesting as you tried to figure out just who’s side he was on and what he was doing in the small town.

Lucy Liu was awesome as the brothel madam. I wasn’t sure until the very end just who’s side she might come down on and of course it wasn’t where I thought of her going. More fool me.

Pretty true to Quentin’s style, and I say this with absolutely no spoiling in mind…lots of people die. A lot of a people die. In a variety of gruesome and sometimes amusing ways.

Conclusion – I can’t say I’ll watch it again because I generally don’t watch Tarantino movies a second time (Kill Bill is sort of an exception, though I can honestly say I never wanted to see Kill Bill 2 more than the one time), but with that in mind I can honestly say it’s a decent enough movie. Just not my general cup of tea. Enjoyable though – I didn’t even read too much while it was on, and for me that’s saying something.

So – have you seen Man with the Iron Fists? What did you think of it if you have? Comment below, pretty please, and let me know!

Happy mid-week everyone. Only two days to go!

Mid-Week #Movie – Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

JackWelcome back everyone! As you can probably guess (thanks to the title and poster) today’s discussion will be on, duh, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. I saw this last Friday with my husband for our tenth anniversary (I gave him the choice of Catching Fire or Jack Ryan…he chose Jack).

I’ve never read any of the Jack Ryan books, nor have I seen the movies from the 80’s and 90’s. So I went into this with a mostly clear perspective, with no pre-conceptions…except one. I expected a LOT of explosions, high-speed chases, and so forth. Pretty standard spy/thriller movie fare.

That’s not what I got. At least not for the first quarter to third of the movie at the very least. It opens with Jack learning about the 9/11 attacks while studying in England toward his PhD and then jumps forward to him being a 2nd lieutenant in the Marines, where he’d gone after the attacks. His heroism brings him to the attention of the CIA for recruitment (not to mention the papers and reports he’d been filing prior to his helicopter crashing and injuring him). Then the movie jumps forward 10 years, where Jack’s now an auditor for a financial firm and analyst for the CIA, watching for global terrorism possibilities in the economic world.

He finds some irregularities and that’s when the more typical spy/thriller stuff comes in. He’s off to Russia and action/adventure commences as he tries to adjust from being a desk analyst to an actual field operative. I loved that they showed Jack’s vulnerability, confusion, and upset over being forced to take a life (hey, the assassin was trying to kill him – kill or be killed). It gave the character some real depth, not just letting him go off and kill people and not think twice about it.

Jack’s mission in Russia (trying to uncover exactly what the Russians are doing with the money they’ve hidden) is thrown a bit into a tailspin when his long-time girlfriend (and former physical therapist from the helicopter crash) shows up and gets dragged into his cloak and dagger stuff. Let’s just say she was….stunned to discover he was CIA. I loved her reaction when he told her. She’d thought he was cheating on her, so her reaction when she discovered the truth of it was…amusing.

And that sort of humor could be found throughout. No, this isn’t a comedic movie, nor should it be thought of as trying to be. However, there are little tidbits of humor sprinkled throughout. Kevin Costner was great (and he’s abruptly busy again in the movie world). He’s aging quite well and I thought he played Harper well and believably. He wasn’t doing ridiculously tough stunts that wouldn’t be believable in a man his age, but neither was he just sitting back and letting his operatives run into danger without providing backup.

Chris Pine as Jack Ryan – a very nice choice. Pine’s doing a great job at avoiding being typecast as Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek franchise. God knows he’s done a bunch of movies (This Means War, Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Rise of the Guardians, etc.). I enjoy his acting and let’s face it – he’s easy on the eyes. Not gorgeous in a Michael Fassbender/Eric Johnson/Tom Hiddleston sort of way, but still pretty good looking.

I will say though, despite the great casting, it was jarring to hear Keira Knightly without her British accent. I kept expecting her to burst out with it, but she held it together decently.

Overall – I thought Jack Ryan was a great movie and worth the time to go see. While it wasn’t my first choice (I wanted to see Catching Fire again, which hubby hasn’t seen), I don’t regret going.

So – have you seen the new Jack Ryan movie? If so, what’d you think? If you’ve seen it and the prior Jack Ryan movies, how do you think it compares?

 

Mid-Week Movie – #StarWars: Revenge of the Sith

SithHi, my name is Tory, and I am a Star Wars addict. I feel no guilt over it, nor do I regret loving the prequel trilogy (well, okay, I love Episode 3, tolerate Episode 2 if you cut out some of the bad writing/acting for the love story part of it, and like Episode 1 if I squint and pretend Jar Jar is…well, not Jar Jar).

This discussion will contain spoilers, but if you’re reading this, I dearly hope you’ve actually seen the movie, considering it’s been out approximately 10 years or at least know the story by now.

This week’s mid-week movie discussion is on Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, my favorite movie of the six (hubby disagrees, placing it second on the list, behind Empire Strikes Back, but he’s delusional – heh).

First, I will acknowledge the movie’s shortcomings: the dialogue/bad acting in places. I’m not going to deny Hayden Christopher’s wooden in places (crashing the ship onto Coruscant, “We’re coming in too hot”) and Natalie Portman is way abused with her dialogue (wistfully thinking of Naboo, wanting to go back there and just be in love…blech).

That does not, however, mean it was a bad movie. The special effects were phenomenal and I would dearly love to see this movie in 3-D, especially the opening space battle sequence as Anakin and Obi Wan try to get to Chancellor Palpatine to rescue him.

Unlike many people I’ve talked to, I believe this movie adequately explains Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side. He was bonkers about Padme, which is all well and good (and I wish there’d been better acting involved to show that love), and he went evil believing it was the only way to save her life (thanks to some heavy-duty emotional manipulation from Palpatine). He was driven by dreams of her death, just as he’d been haunted by dreams of his mother in Attack of the Clones, and he didn’t want to fail Padme the way he’d failed his mother. He saw Palpatine as his best chance of saving her life, and by that time it was pretty clear he would do anything to keep her from dying. I mean c’mon, what’s not to admire about a man willing to put his wife’s life above all else.

Never mind he almost kills her later on…he was pretty screwed up by then, thanks to his actions at the Jedi Temple.

I have two favorite scenes (outside the opening battle): the attack on the Jedi Temple/fall of the Jedi and the climactic duel between Anakin and Obi Wan with it’s gorgeous backgrounds on Mustafar. The turning of the clones on the Jedi, accompanied by John Williams’ heart-rending music was beautifully done (no one should ever underestimate the importance of a movie score). The lightsaber battle with the lava waterfalls and explosions all around them just stirred my blood in a way very few movies do.

The only truly sour note in the movie for me was right at the end, when we finally see Anakin placed in the Darth Vader suit. Powerful moment as he realizes what he’s become and that Padme is dead (he believes at his hand). The world trembles around him as his Force powers threaten to slip from control and he rises to face the world.

And then the scream. The Vader scream. Look it up on YouTube or something.

::sigh:: It could have been such a great conclusion, but…it was pathetic. Vader standing, arms waving about, screaming “Nooooo.” A travesty.

Okay, so, are you a Star Wars fan? Share your thoughts on Revenge of the Sith or the series as a whole. I’m not picky! Just talk to me!

Have a great day!

 

Mid-Week #Movie – Mortal Instruments: City of Bone

MICOBHusband and I saw this this weekend and I really found it enjoyable. I remember when it came out, people who’ve read the books found it flat and disappointing. Having not read the books (though I’ve read part of the prequel Clockwork series), I could just watch it for sheer enjoyment and I did just that. I really liked the movie and Josh did too. He only initially wanted to watch it because he knew I did, but then ended up asking me to try to find the book on CD so he could listen/read it. I’m on a waiting list at the library to read it m’self.

I apologize in advance if anything I say seems to be spoilerish.

Okay, visually, I found a lot to like in this movie. I liked The Institute, especially the first shot when Clary can see it and Simon can’t, and the camera goes from the dull, broken-down image to Clary’s clear-cut view. The invasion of the bat/demon things at the end was great, as was when Hodge goes down fighting the swarm of demons.

It’s hard to find a movie in which Lena Heady (Mom in this case, but well known for being Sarah Connor in the Sarah Connor Chronicles and the queen from 300) does badly. Unfortunately (in my opinion) she was largely wasted and had little presence in this movie.

Some of the characters did come across a bit flat for me, but I attribute that primarily to the fact that they presumably had to cut enormous bits of the text out in the transition to the screen and because of that, some of the character development ended up being cut as well. That’s not unusual in movies, IMO.

I liked the vampires being truly evil and their use of Simon to try to get Clary. The world imagined by Ms. Clare is a dark one (if you’re aware of the paranormal elements – otherwise, it’s pretty much business as usual).

So – have you seen MI: City of Bones? Have you read any of the books by Ms. Clare set in this world? Leave a comment and let’s talk!

Mid-Week Movie – Riddick

Welcome to the inaugural post for the blog’s new feature – Mid-Week Movie! The plan for this feature is to take a movie I’ve seen (or heard about maybe) and discuss it, hopefully sparking conversations with you guys on the movie itself. I like movies almost as much as I like books…okay, nowhere near as much, but I like them a lot just the same!

So to start the process off right, I wanted to talk about Riddick, the 3rd movie in the Chronicles of Riddick series.

Ahhh, isn’t Vin Diesel pretty? Okay, yeah, it had to be said. He is. Not necessarily this generation’s Lawrence Olivier, but he’s awfully nice to look at. And he’s got a great voice.

Moving on before I drool too much…

According to the Wikipedia article (because it’s not made clear in the movie itself), Riddick takes place 5 years after Chronicles of Riddick and Riddick’s having to deal with the effects of having taken over the Necromongers at the end of the last movie. Apparently not everyone’s very happy about his leading them and he decides to allow Vaako to take over in exchange for a ship and Vaako’s coordinates for Furya (Vaako admitted to having been there when Furya was destroyed). This leads him to a planet, Vaako’s subordinate having double-crossed him/his orders, inhabited by nasty scorpion-like creatures who need to be wet at all times that Riddick needs to escape from.

In some ways, this was very similar to Pitch Black, in that Riddick is stuck on a planet with an impending destructive phase heading for him and those on the planet needing to escape (bat-like creatures who only come out when it’s dark in PB and the scorpion creatures who can only move around during a huge rain storm). I actually liked that feature of the movie because the story overall was much simpler and cleaner than with all the intermixing of the Necromonger faith and the invasion. The Necromonger storyline was largely left out of this one, though the end of the movie seems to make it pretty clear it will be picked up if/when the 4th movie comes out (Vaako has “transcended” and we’re left to wonder what exactly that means for the universe/underverse as a whole).

There were plenty of laugh-worthy moments (in a good way), and Riddick’s little pet (a jackal-like creature he picks up early on) is adorable. It really sort of humanized Riddick, though his reasons for having the pet were not so nice in the beginning. I think, though, he really bonded with the puppy and, SPOILER ALERT well, let’s just say the old belief that the dog never dies (think Independence Day, Dante’s Peak, etc.) is sadly not true. But it was handled well.

So – who out there has seen Riddick? Did you like it/hate it? Are you looking forward to the 4th movie (I am whenever that happens!!)? Chime in in comments below and let me know what you thought.

Happy Wednesday everyone.