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Archive for the ‘Fantasy literature’ Category

Transformers Knight

Transformers: The Last Knight, directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg, takes you back in time to the story of King Arthur, Merlin and the knights of the round table. This element of the story was so exciting and had me thinking about the Arthurian Legend. The story delves deep into the history of how humans and the extraterrestrials began their alliance and revealed more history between the war among the Autobots and the Decepticons. The battle between Good and Evil is intense and continuous throughout the film. I’ve read and heard some of the reviews concerning this movie, which was negative, and it seems that this film grossed the least amount money out of the franchise. I’m not sure why this is because honestly, this was a great movie. The storytelling process was very interesting; the writing was well done. I felt as if I was brought into the story and experienced the journey along with the characters. Mark Wahlberg didn’t disappoint but some of the other new characters needed more developing like Isabella and Jimmy, but I think that they could have been better portrayed by other actors. I felt as though their acting styles were forced. Thet both tried too hard and during some scenes, I thought that their characters were not needed. Sir Edmund Burton played by Anthony Hopkins was a great addition to the cast and served as a guardian and historical counsel in the film. I really enjoyed the battle sequences and the enhanced technology brought the characters to life in such a way that made this whole idea so realistic. You could tell that the writers did some intense research in regards to history, fantasy, and folklore.

The visual effects were amazing, and the overall energy of the film brought a smile to my face as the story unfolded. This movie was so good that I would see it a second time. If you have the time to do a Transformer movie marathon then do it, there are past references throughout and a reference to a future possible battle(so don’t leave during the end credits). Seeing all four movies brings the story together. Despite some casting issues, this is a great film to see. I gave this movie five stars!!

L.L.

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Wonderwoman poster

Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine tells the origin story of how Wonder Woman came to be. The fast paced superhero film opened with Diana (Wonder Woman) living as a child within the magical world of the Amazon. Living within a community of strong Amazonian warrior women, Diana is first sheltered by her mother and the others. Her will to fight and be strong resonates within her as her aunt tries to bring out that inner strength. Under the direction of her aunt, she trains to prepare to fight the ultimate enemy until she is ready.

Diana’s world is turned upside down when she meets a mysterious stranger that nearly drowns in the Amazonian waters. Her journey of strength, self-discovery and love follows her as she travels to early 1900’s England.

I really enjoyed watching Wonder Woman, I absolutely loved Gal Gadot in the starring role. I was very impressed with her when I first saw her in the Batman vs Superman film. The time sequences of the Amazonian warriors was very good. I actually wished that the entire film took place in that world. Once she crossed over to the early 1900s, I really didn’t care for that time period, so it was hard for me to get past the setting, but I knew that the director was trying to take us back to a place where we and Bruce Wayne first saw her. The film does a nice job in explaining her origins. Now I am interested in seeing what the future holds for Wonder Woman.

The special effects were infused nicely and didn’t get lost in the film. The character chemistry worked well, but the score wasn’t memorable. The costumes were great and I loved the way Gal looked in the updated version of her costume. I know it will be a hit at New York Comic Con!!!

This is a good movie and you will enjoy the action and excitement that it will bring!!

I gave this movie 4 stars!!

L.L.

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Guardians of the Gal vo2

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn, and starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana is a continuation of the saga of a group of superhero criminals who have vowed to protect the universe. On their quest to keep order within the cosmos, Star-Lord finds answers to his past and discovers some new found truths about the real person he has become.

Without spoiling it for those who haven’t seen this film yet, I must say that it was well done. The storytelling was done well. I just feel that this movie should have been the first film and the first film the second. It was nice to have questions answered about Star-Lord’s past, instead of waiting after four or five films to have questions answered.

The film had a great tone to it, which the aspects of comedy contributed to, but I did feel as if it was a bit too much comedy. It was one step away from being compared to a stand up comedian’s show.  The cast was great and I love the chemistry that each character displayed. This movie was a lot of fun to watch. There are a few surprises with supporting cast members and memorable marks that others made upon us.

I’m always a big fan of special effects and at this point in the game, the effects have to be spot on. The special effects for Guardians was just that! I really did not enjoy the score of the first film, but it was a lot better in this one. I’m assuming that as time goes on the score will continue to get better as the main character and film evolve together.

Overall this movie was every enjoyable and thrilling to watch. I’m looking forward to the third film.

I gave this movie 5 stars!

L.L.

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Beauty and the Beast directed by Bill Condon and starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens was a fairytale masterpiece that brought the classic romantic Disney, animated tale to life in the form of a live action film. Most people know the story of Belle and her adventures to share her uniqueness in a world where being different wasn’t always accepted, but for those who don’t, Belle and her father live in a quaint little French village, as they work together and manage a life without her mother, Belle goes on a quest in search of something more. Not realizing when and how that will come, she finds herself on the edge of a new world as she makes an attempt to save her father after he gets in trouble from a local trip. She soon encounters her father’s capturer and quickly sacrifices herself for the health and safety of her father. Shocked that her father’s capturer is a Beast, she remains strong and not afraid of him. At first Belle and Beast are at odds with each other, but as time passes Belle realizes that the Beast has a loving, caring, and gentle spirit. She comes to the realization that a terrible spell has been cast upon the Beast and all the inhabitants of the castle. She is determined to do all she can to help, but does not realize that love is only thing that can break the spell.

This version of Beauty and the Beast was done is a remarkable way. The cast was superb and visually the movie was just magical. For two hours I was swept away as if I were a character in the story. The special effects were brilliant, and even though I could clearly tell that the Beast was CGI character, he still looked really believable. The emotions and story behind the characters made me feel connected to the adventure. I must applaud the casting director for a job well done especially when it came to infusing cultural diversity into the characters. Several characters were African American and it was nice to see African Americans be included and represented as equals in a fairytale of this magnitude.

Overall, Beauty and the Beast is a must see film. I look forward to adding this movie to my personal collection and no matter what anyone says, adults can enjoy this movie just as much as any child! I gave this movie 5 stars!!

L.L.

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Underworld Blood Wars staring Kate Beckinsale and directed by Anna Foerster is a fast paced vampire fantasy that wraps up the long reigning war between the vampire clan and the Lycans.  Selene finds herself alone and now a hunted outcast within her own community, as she tries to defend herself and protect her hybrid daughter from her enemies. A new Lycan enemy has risen from the shadows, Marius and is in desperate need to find Eve (Selene’s daughter) and use her blood to transform himself into the ultimate powerful Lycan hybrid.  Selene’s ignorance of her whereabouts is deemed helpful but that does not give her a pass to live freely. Instead Marius continues to hunt her down and destroy everything in his path to get what he wants. Selene and her friend David make an attempt to seek refuge in one of last surviving vampire Covens. One that eventually appears to be linked to David and the Coven that Craven led in the first Underworld. Answers to questions of the past are finally revealed and Selene discovers that some members of this Coven are not on her side. Once again betrayed by her own kind, Selene and David head to the Artic to seek help from another ancient tribe of vampires that appear to peaceful seekers and defenders of Selene’s cause.  It is there that she learns that Marius’ part in this play a more sinister role in destroying the life she once had. The final battle begins and Selene finds herself on the brink of the true death.

Underworld Blood Wars was an exciting film to see. The story telling process did the franchise justice. The action sequences were classic Underworld with a few surprises that horror fans will love. The effects were technologically developed in a way that allowed the movie goer to fully appreciate the ideas being presented. The vampire world was very enticing and I must say that the overall look of the characters in full costume was beautiful. The black leather designs were unique to every character and added to the world being presented. It allowed the environment to become a character in itself. My only issue, the movie was over too fast.

I gave this movie 5 stars for a fun whimsical vampire fantasy!!!

L.L.

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fantastic-beasts-poster1

Fantastic Beasts directed by David Yates and starring Eddie Redmayne follows the story of a young wizard, Newt Scamander, as he explores the City of New York and the underground world of magic. Newt Scamander is the author of the book Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, the same book that Harry reads at Hogwarts seventy years after these events. Newt Scamander finds himself in a world of trouble as some of his creatures have escaped his magical suitcase.  As Newt tries to finds the creatures, he also tries the keep the City safe from magic being exposed to non-magical beings.

The action packed fantasy adventure was exciting, and everything you would expect from a Harry Potter franchise film. There was a lot going on with multiple story lines but I still felt as though there was a clear direction in where the story was going. There were surprises at every corner and every moment was filled with thrilling elements. Eddie Redmayne displayed a soft spirited persona and made me smile almost every time he was in a new scene. Eddie’s character added a freshness to the story and created new elements to the Wizarding World.

The creatures were interesting in appearance and the concept of Newt being able to go deep inside the suitcase, to a whole new world was spectacular. The special effects were impressive and the magical elements were enthralling. The time period was authentic in its presentation and the supporting cast all added to the storytelling process.

Overall the movie is a must see. You will be enchanted throughout the entire film.

L.L.

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Dr. Strange Movie Review

Marvel’s Dr. Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton was directed by Scott Derrickson. This was a thrilling adventure that was absolutely sensational.  The story follows a very successful neurosurgeon Steven Strange as he suffers from a horrific car accident. His body is left broken and spirit shattered as he tries to pick up the pieces of a life that will never be the same again. Strange receives word from an occupational therapist that a man he knew was in a similar situation and found an alternative way to heal his body and spirt in the process.

Strange seeks answers across the world, with the hope that he will be able to heal and become the surgeon that he once was. He meets two people on his journey Mordo and the Ancient One. They expose Dr. Strange to a world of infinite possibilities by opening the doors to a wider consciousness and teaching Dr. Strange the rules of magic that dwell within the realms of multiple dimensions. Strange opens himself up and allows his belief in medicine fuel his drive to see this world and the worlds beyond differently. In the process he is faced with many challenges and an enemy that poses a threat that could end humanity. Strange takes on the threat and becomes an entity that’s strength is built on his knowledge and increasing magical abilities. Throughout the film Strange is constantly evolving and becoming better than his previous self. He ends up becoming the guardian of New York City.

Dr. Strange came out on top and was one of the best superhero movies I’ve seen since the Avengers. There were references to the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, so I am excited to see how this whole story is going to unfold. The special effects were amazing and had a strong Inception feel to it. I would love to see what the storyboards look like frame by frame for each scene. Hopefully the DVD will have bonus features like that in it.  The storyline was great and I actually felt like there were also many Swept into the Darkness references made throughout the film as well. The dark dimensions and the ability to manipulate time within the cosmos, are major elements in the book and movie. Swept into the Darkness is about the battle between Good and Evil among Heaven and Earth and Sydney London, the main character must travel within the dimensions and use her angelic powers to defeat the evil.  Swept into the Darkness is available on Amazon.com and written by yours truly.

Benedict Cumberbatch was a great casting choice and I felt that the whole cast was awesome in contributing to the story-telling process. I rarely see movies a second time in the theater but this movie is worth the money and a second trip. I saw it in 3D which added to the overall experience. If you have not seen this movie yet please go see it.

I give Dr. Strange 5 stars for being just outright awesome and giving meaning to what a cool movie can look like.

L.L.

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