Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Movie Review - Gambit

This film did not deserve the poor ratings it received. It's not an Oscar winning film but it's very light and easy movie to watch on a lazy day. 

The movie was quite funny and story flowed easily. There was no dragging of the plot and the whole thing was very smooth. The plot was kinda predictable but there were surprises along the way, a few things I didn't see coming.

Reasons to watch this movie:
1) Severus Snape (as seen in the poster)
2) It's a comedy! Who doesn't want to see a comedy!
3) It's a pretty good story and laugh-out-loud hilarious
4) Did I mention SEVERUS SNAPE!?

The cast was amazing, which is why I was so confused when this movie was under-appreciated! Cameron Diaz played a spunky Texan and Colin Firth a weary curator for a horrible, terrible boss (played by Alan Rickman).

Another reason to watch this movie is the location! Almost the entire thing was shot in London and it was beautiful, there was a lot to see in the different sites. 

This movie basically portrays the dreams of anyone working for a shitty boss and is unhappy with it. I was disillusioned by all the bad reviews of this movie but I still gave it a shot anyways and it is GOOD. It is funny and comical and all out fun to watch. A bit of it may have been slightly far-fetched but hey, that's what makes it hilarious!

Maybe people went into this with super high expectations seeing this cast! But the movie was just fine. It was actually much funnier than a lotta other comedies. It was also not very raunchy (maybe PG 13) so it's nice to watch with the whole family.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

RANT - Technology

I'm a techie. I live in the 21st century and I love technology. I'd die without WIFI and I need to take my smartphone EVERYWHERE. Technology made the world better and nobody argues with that, it's made us lazier and we love it for that.

But WHY WHY WHY does a new smartphone have to come out every week! Like seriously. When I buy a new phone, I want to enjoy it. I want to use it and I want to buy stuff for it, I want phone covers and screen protectors and every accessory possible. What I don't want is to buy a new phone, and then a week later a new model comes out and suddenly I can't find anything for the model I have. LIKE WHAT!?!!?

This conversation actually happened when I went to get a new cover for my phone,

Me: Hi, I'd like to buy a cover for my Samsung Galaxy Note please.
Dude: Note 1 or Note 2?
Me: Note 1.
Dude: Sorry, we only have covers for Note 2, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4. Your phone is so out-dated, we stopped selling covers for it a long time ago. 
Me: *in my head* (WHAT!?? It has been less than a few months and 3 new phones have come out already)
Me: Haha, yea, I have an out-dated phone. 

This happened in three stores before I finally found one that sold the covers

Is it necessary for phone companies to make the smallest change to a smartphone (example - make it like a inch longer) and sell it for absurd prices. Would it kill them to wait like a year maybe and come out with a new phone with significant changes and new functions? 

NOH. They insist on spitting out as many models as possible and cash in on stupid consumerism (the irony is, a stupid consumer is saying this, sigh, I will never change). Remember when we all had the indestructible Nokia's? Those things lasted. My old one STILL works, after 12 years it still works! While my recent Samsung Galaxy SL crashed after a year forcing me to get a new phone. What ever happened to quality? 

The iPhone is no better. My iPhone screen cracked and shattered to a million pieces after being slightly grazed on the edge of a table. I didn't even drop the thing and lucky me screens were not covered in the warranty. 

The dilemma of my lifetime - I love smartphones but I hate them. 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Movie Review - Now You See Me

Four magicians each answer a mysterious summons to an obscure address with secrets inside. A year later, they are the Four Horseman, big time stage illusionists who climax their sold out Las Vegas show with a bank apparently robbed for real. This puts agents Dylan Rhodes of the FBI and Alma Vargas of Interpol on the case to find out how they did it. However, this mystery proves difficult to solve even with the insights of the professional illusion exposer, Thaddeus Bradley. What follows is a bizarre investigation where nothing is what it seems with illusions, dark secrets and hidden agendas galore as all involved are reminded of a great truth in this puzzle: the closer you look, the less you see.

This movie piqued my interest almost immediately after I had watched the trailer. The movie is very unique and you don't see this "concept" very often. Also, I was really excited to see cool magical tricks. Even though most people are skeptical about magic, the neat illusions are not something to be missed.

The story-line of the movie was also very exclusive and very well written. The best part of the movie was when the tricks were being explained! The entire movie was a thrill ride and it is not possible to anticipate what the characters would do next neither is it possible to predict where the story was headed next. It was a nail-biting 2 hours and I sat on the edge of my seat anticipating the next move

The star-studded cast was amazing as expected with Jessie Eisenberg, Woody Harleson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman in the lead roles. For once, Jessie Eisenberg didn't look like a homeless jewish man and Dave Franco (the main reason I watched this movie) was adorable as ever. Not to mention the golden-voiced Morgan Freeman and the best British actor ever (also Batman's butler) Micheal Caine were stunning in their roles.

The entire movie was one gigantic puzzle folding in on itself and as a mystery-lover I couldn't ask for more. The sequel for the movie is going to start filming in 2014 for a 2015 release, and I can't wait for it! This is jackpot for anyone who loves the crime, mystery and thriller genres. I for one absolutely loved it!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Book Review - Gone (Gone #1) by Michael Grant

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are
changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.
It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...

I had actually known about this book for quite some time but the blurb had never really interested me and I had read quite a few comments about how this book was not really worth it so I didn't bother to pick it up and I never would have if not for my sister deciding to buy the entire series and dumping the books on me.

The story had a very "Lord of the Flies" feel to it, the whole "no adults, kids ruling" situation. It's not fair to compare this novel with a literary classic written by a genius but Gone does have similar aspects. I think Michael Grant captured the circumstance very well. I thought his depiction of what would happen in a kids only world was very accurate and slightly disturbing.

It's a bit scary to see how plight could force children to grow up fast and make decisions that not even adults would have to make under normal conditions. I especially enjoyed the "mutations" aspect of the story, being a sci-fi fan though maybe I'm a bit biased with this. The overall story was quite enjoyable however I felt like the story was very dragged out and a lot of pages were quite unnecessary and just bored me. I wish it were a bit more fast-paced and interesting.

I also felt like the "point of views" were a very good idea but unfortunately it was unevenly distributed between characters and I was flipping pages for the wrong reasons - not that I was so into the book I had to finish it, but more like I really just wanted to skip most of the fillers and get to the good parts.

I found that I really liked most of the characters. They had a very genuine feel about them, they were real kids just trying to survive under harsh surroundings. It was even easy to sympathize with the bullies at one point. It did cringe quite a bit during the book mostly because I still like to think of kids as pure and innocent so it did not feel right when I read about kids doing horrible things to each other with evil intentions of power, grandeur and hate.

Overall, I liked the book but I had to strain to finish reading it and even though it has a sequel, a lot of things were left unexplained. I will, read the sequel though because I need to know what happens to the bad guys (yes, they are my favorite characters) and hopefully see if they will change.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Book Review - Pendragon Series by D.J MacHale

I was just going through my stack of books the other day when I found my Pendragon #1 - The Merchant of Death copy in the pile. It's not a very recent series (the first book was written in 2002) and it has been five years since I picked up this book so I decided to re-read it and I'm glad I did.

I remembered how much I adored this series. These books are seriously underestimated and under-read. I honestly thought it was quite popular but not many people know about this series and it saddens me that something with that much potential just does not garner the appreciation it deserves.

The series has a very unique plot and for all you Hunger Games fans book 6 of the series is a MUST READ.

Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby. He is going to save the world.

And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn't quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution.

If Bobby wants to see his family again, he's going to have to accept his role as savior, and accept it wholeheartedly. Because, as he is about to discover, Denduron is only the beginning....

The book just throws the read into a fast-paced, entertaining journey. The entire series is a thrill ride and there is never any lack of imagination or creativity in this work of art. I loved that the concepts were very sound and there were never any loose ends in his explanations to nag at me when I read the book.

D.J MacHale really worked things through before finishing the series because everything fit together like pieces of a puzzle at the end and I loved every moment of it. The characters were awesome and cool, they had good qualities and bad. They weren't perfect but hey, none of us are. Even though the situation these characters were in was impossible I still felt like I could relate to how they must have felt.

I especially loved the crises each different place had, you'd think that one would be bored after ten books but that was not the case at all. I adored watching the characters grow together and how their situation shaped them. I also thoroughly enjoyed the villain (I know! the villain!). He was just so enticingly evil, you could never predict what he'd do next or how heartlessly he could destroy things. It intrigued me how a character could be so completely dark.

I honestly wish I could just get my mind wiped and re-read the awsomeness all over again for the first time. This is one of my most favorite series ever and I give it.......

If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to comment and don't forget to like this post =)

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Book Review - Once (Eve #2) by Anna Carey

"Don't judge a book by it's cover" is very hard not to do when the cover looks like THIS. I was skeptical about reading this book since Eve (Eve #1) wasn't a very good book in my opinion, but after seeing this cover I decided to give the series a second chance to redeem itself and I should say Anna Carey really stepped it up this time.

I'm glad she did so too because the book was much, much better this time around. The story had unforeseen twists and was fast-paced. The story was well detailed and the characters were much less irritating this time. I was bummed that my favorite character didn't get much time in this book though but I forgive that because I enjoyed the new supporting characters a lot.

When you're being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America. But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates.

When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America. Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future.

When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.

In this breathless sequel to "Eve," Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.

I loved the change of scenery from the "wild lands" and "outbacks" of the dystopian Americas to the City of Sand, a settlement for the rich and privileged who managed to survive the plague. I think Anna Carey really managed to capture the essence of post-apocalypse and what lengths people would go, to survive.

I'm pleased she managed to turn around the series and I can't wait to finish the final installment of the series. Also, kudos for ending on a marvelous cliffhanger (though it's driving me nuts) it's got me all ripe for the third book. I do hope they make this series into a movie!

If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to comment and don't forget to like this post =)

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Book Review - Eve (Eve #1) by Anna Carey

I had actually received this book as a gift, although the summary of this book didn't really spark my attention I decided to read it for lest I was being rude. I feel like I didn't start this book with the right mindset, I could have been more open minded but the book really, really surprised me. I honestly was not as bad as I thought it would be and it definitely garners more credit than most people give it.

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. 

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

The first few chapters are admittedly very good. The premise of the story and it's setting are really nice. I flew through the first few chapters in hours. But I felt like the author managed to take an amazing idea and spoil it a little. The rest of the book ended up being quite a drag and I forced myself to push through because I don't like leaving books hanging midway. I think she failed to develop the plot mid-way the book.

I didn't really connect with (or like) most of the characters. Of course I had a few favorites, but I felt like the main characters (namely Eve and Caleb) were really lacking in the "likeability" areas and that basically ruins the book for me, because I think characters are usually the most important factors of the novel. 

Everything being said, I will read the sequel "Once" because I think the series can still be saved and Anna Carey's basic, underlying idea is still awesome and hopefully her characters can grow into the shoes they have the potential to fill. Overall, the book is probably a 2.5/5 stars.

If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to comment and don't forget to like this post! =)