Tag Archive | film

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The-Maze-Runner-CoverDashner’s The Maze Runner is popular right now because the novel was turned in a movie, but I’m probably one of the few who thought this book was an epic fail. I tried really hard to enjoy this book, but it felt like I was struggling through mud the whole time.

The story centers around Thomas who arrives in a community of boys with his memory erased. He learns they are all trapped in a giant maze, which they must solve if they want to be freed. Everyone has a role to play: groundskeepers, law enforcers, cook, doctors, and runners. The maze runners are the most important among them. They risk their lives in the maze, trying to solve its secrets. Despite everyone’s hesitation to trust Thomas, he joins the runners to help them find a way out before they run out of time.

I bought this book a few years back before all the hype and tried to read it. I only managed to read the first chapter, having put it down because I didn’t feel like I could get into it or really connect with it. There just seemed to be better books out there worth my time. Once I heard the news The Maze Runner was being made into a movie, I tried to give the novel a go one more time since I’ve always tried to read the book first then go see the movie. The second time around I just had to push through the first chapter, hoping the rest of the story would get better. Continue reading

Book to Film: The Fault in Our Stars

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John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has become massively popular among readers that it is no surprise it was turned into a movie. Before you read my review of the movie, be sure to read up on my review of the novel.

I believe the movie stayed very true to the book. It captured the initial emotions I had while reading the book. Even when I knew where the ending would lead, I couldn’t help but still tear up. The actors, especially Ansel Elgort who played August, played the characters with honestly and tapped into their vulnerability perfectly. As a fan of the book, I am super happy that a lot of the major scenes were transferred over and translated well onto the big screen. Continue reading

Book to Film: The Giver

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When I heard The Giver was being made into a movie, I was super excited. It was one of those books that was a part of my childhood and helped shape the type of reader I am today. The novel has been banned in several parts of the world. I felt lucky enough that my grade 6 teacher believed in his students to be able to handle the mature themes and reflect on its message. Continue reading

Book to Film

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Books have been adapted into movies. In recent years, it has become a popular practice to transport words from pages and human imagination onto the silver screen.

As a book lover, it can be an exciting and terrifying experience. Movies can reaffirm your love for a book or destroy its magic.

An unspoken rule among most book lovers is read the book first, and then go see the movie.

In a feature I call “Book to Film,” I will be examining how movies compare and contrast to their respective books.

Review: The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen

The-Queen-of-TearlingKelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive.

From Goodreads

There’s been a lot of buzz about this particular novel in the book blogger world. It is already set to become a movie with Emma Watson playing the lead.

Everyone has been raving how awesome it is, but I didn’t hop on the bandwagon. Actually, this may be my first “Did Not Finish” (DNF). I barely got through the first few pages, but then a few friends urged me to keep reading. I did, but I finally had to put it down after the first chapter. Continue reading

Film Review: Dredd 3D

Judge Dredd passes judgment on the unlawful. And now “judgement is coming” for Dredd 3D.

Future America has become a crumbling wasteland. From Boston to Washington lies Mega City One, where violent criminals cause chaos in the metropolis and Judges fight to keep order and peace. The Judges act as judge, jury, and executioner. Judge Dredd is one of the best and is assigned a rookie named Anderson who is deemed a mutant for her psychic abilities. They are forced to work together and to stay alive when district “Peach Tree” goes under lockdown by request from Mama, a feared crimelord and the one responsible for the reality-altering drug called “Slo-Mo.”

The movie has a few things going for it.

1. There are two wonderful strong female characters.

 

Lena Headey (also known for her role as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones) makes a wonderful villain as Mama. You’ll just love to hate her. She is both ruthless and powerful. Everyone fears her. From the very start of the movie, Mama orders her henchmen to make an example of 3 men, telling them to skin them first and then drug them up with Slo-mo so when they throw them off from building it would make the fall seem like ages and torturing them with the evitable that they will die.

Olivia Thirlby (seen in Juno) plays rookie Anderson, a psychic mutant, who starts off timid and hesitant, but as most good characters do, she grows throughout the story, becoming a determined and fiercer person throughout her trials and proving to Dredd she has what it takes to be a Judge. In one scene, Judge Dredd wants to interrogate their suspect, but he knows it could take awhile and they don’t have a lot of time because they’re being hunted down by Mama and her gang. Using her abilities to read people’s minds, Anderson gets an answer within seconds.

2. The movie has an awesome soundtrack

La Roux’s “In For The Kill” (Skream Remix) sets the mood for the trailer and the movie.

 3. The slow-motion effects were a cool added feature.

Now hold up, I know what you’re thinking: Really? Slow-motion effects? Seen that like a billion times. But listen up. Usually I’m not a fan of watching movies in 3D since it seems gimmicky, but it worked for this movie. The effects were used to emphasize the use of the reality-altering drug called “Slo-Mo,” but what I liked about it was the artistic presentation of it. Water slowly parted into drops and glass shattered into pieces then shards, and they sparkled as they floated to you, giving off an array of colours that brought beauty to the scene regardless if it was paired with Mama’s ugly, scarred face or a death scene.

Now even though I mentioned a few good points about the movie, it was ultimately a letdown for me.

1. Slow-motion effects became overdone in the movie.

As I said, the effects were beautiful, but overtime, it became too much, making scenes feel too over-the-top that it felt boring to watch, and I just wanted it to end. It only seemed to be something filmmakers used to make the film run longer.

2. There’s unnerving violence against women.

There’s a brutal power struggle been the male and female characters. As I said, Anderson and Mama are both strong female characters, but the male characters in the movie try to gain dominance over them through violence against the women.

Mama used to be a prostitute. When she was no longer deemed useful to her pimp, he slashed her face to destroy her beauty. In the movie, there was a mug shot of her before the scars and it showed off her long hair too, which in some cases may symbolize femininity. In some ways, one can argue her pimp was trying to destroy it.

As for Anderson, her and Dredd’s captive tries to scare her by mentioning how the gang used to have a girl her age, having raped her and destroyed her. Also, when Anderson goes “inside” his mind to get answers about the homicide, the captive figures out he can project his fantasies on her. The scene suggests he imposes sexual acts on her.

3. This movie didn’t have a compelling storyline.

It didn’t even seem to have one. This fact alone made the movie lose a lot of points for me. You didn’t learn too much about the characters. Dredd’s development stayed flat-lined throughout the whole movie. I just didn’t feel too invested in it.

Overall, I’m rating this movie 2 out of 5.

If all you’re expecting are explosions, and senseless, brutal killing, then you’re in for a treat.

If you’re looking for any sort of storyline, then you’ll be greatly disappointed.