Book news, Discussion, Film review

Shadowhunters TV Show | First Impressions

I wasn’t initially planning to watch the TV Series after being disappointed with the film back in 2013. However, I’ve been hearing that it’s actually an okay TV show so I decided to check it out for myself.

The show begins featuring Jace, Alec and Isabelle following a Demon into the club Pandemonium and I’m surprised to find that my attention is caught. Although, not the most amazing Pilot episode I have ever watched the show seems to hold a lot of promise.

The casting consists of some very attractive people. In terms of acting however, I find Clary and Jace to be a little melodramatic. Isabelle and Alec I can tell with certainty are good actors and Simon promises to be a strong role in the future as well.

The special effects are satisfactory and don’t contain any of the cringe-worthy moments that the film had thank God.

In terms of the book, the show seems to be following the story line very closely which I’m glad about. The Mortal Instruments definitely seems more suited to being a TV show than it does to being a film, just because there are so many elements and arcs.

In all honesty the Show does appear to be a bit flat however, I can tell it holds great potential and it really has the ability to take flight in the next few episodes.

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Film review

Film Review | The Fifth Wave

Guess who basically went for one of first shows of The Fifth Wave? ME! I’ve been anticipating this film since I got wind of it. I followed the casting announcements, behind-the-scene photos and fangirled over the trailers and previews.

Which is why I’m disappointed in saying that it didn’t leave me mind-blown or even close to. The Fifth Wave turned out to be a mediocre film, it wasn’t too bad but neither was it too good.

The story stayed true to the book in ever possible way with a few details being cut out understandably. However, the structure of the story came off as a little awkward because of the writers of the film trying to capture all POVs mentioned in the book.

It did get a little draggy at times especially during certain character interactions. But, the film got the feels flowing so what am I even complaining about? not the mention, Evan Walker is a hot potato mm. There was also humour present at times which is a nice refresher.

I guess much of the book is based on Cassie’s thought-process and there is a HUGE psychological element in the book which is difficult to execute on screen. I’m glad that the personality of the characters in the book was captured near to perfection, my favourite among which being Ringer and Ben.

In terms of the ending, I’ve realised that cliff-hangers come across way better in books than they do in films. The ending felt a little abrupt and it made the film seems shorter somehow.

Rating

3

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Film review

Film Review | The Scorch Trials

As the film began with an emotional flashback showing Thomas being separated from his mother I settled in for two hours of action, adrenaline and of course eye candy.

Needless to say The Scorch Trials had all of the above but in a more milder version compared to the action present in the prequel, The Maze Runner.

I loved The Maze Runner but I’m sorry to say I didn’t LOVE The Scorch Trials, the film had its moments of glory yet it failed to leave me with the same high that The Maze Runner did.

The film had a lot of this

You know characters sitting around while the enemy closed in because what could be more important than contemplating life at such a dire situation.

And the film had a lot of this too

You know, just the walking dead popping in to say hello. I have one criticism that is, it was never explained how this disease came about, I mean everyone spends the entire film debating the cure yet no one tells the viewer where it came from or why. Are they saving it for the last installment or simply ruling it out as an evolutionary error?

In saying that though, the acting in the film was great. With such promising casting it was a bit of a given I suppose. And I cannot complain about the eye candy

I also like the fact that the film has now become somewhat independent from the books. There is still the main plot however, details that I believe needed altering have been altered which I’m happy about.

The action in the film I found to be lacking because it mostly involved the actors running away from the Cranks or the Walking Dead, at some points I even zoned out which is never a good sign.

My most favourite thing about the film would have to be the cinematography and world building. The Scorch was represented beautifully and the harshness and dangers of the landscape were captured beautifully too

Rating

4

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Film review

Mockingjay Part 2 Rant

Okay. Bit of background context here. I started reading The Hunger Games back in 2012 before the movies were even a thing.

Ever since then I have devoutly gone to the cinema every time a new film adaptation in the series was added and watched it.

I loved The Hunger Games! Catching Fire was Kickass and Mockingjay Part 1 left me feeling like a political revolutionary who could take on any tyrant coming my way

I didn’t like Mockingjay the book to begin with and I was kind of hoping the film would redeem the book somehow but NOPE. I should’ve known better, after all this, The Hunger Games Franchise is less about doing justice to the books and the powerful message it represents about oppressive societies and more about well…portraying hot people playing dress up and going to war.

And Mockingjay Part 2 was more in that line than any of the other films.

First of all, the film lacked a certain flow in its editing. I mean one moment Katniss is at some mission and next scene Finnick and Annie are getting married like seriously, couldn’t we at least have some sort of transition or set up from scene to scene?

Second of all, Katniss just wasn’t..Katniss, I mean she was whingy and broody and lacked vengeance.  I mean I wanted her to rip Snow to shreds or Coin or anybody really.

Don’t even get me started about the pathetic love triangle and how it oh so conveniently resolved itself. Although I did get emotional at certain Peeta-Katniss moments and Oh btw Liam Hemsworth’s hot so can’t complain about that

Other things that annoyed me include: The unnecessary insertion of dramatic music like we get it, this is a serious moment they’ve got guns and everything. The fact that Katniss ALWAYS survived like everything from vocal trauma to third degree burns.

I did like a few things such as those emotional moments between Katniss and Peeta, how she, in the end, did the right thing and I’ve been waiting for that very last scene with Katniss and Peeta’s kids in the meadow for quite a while now so.

Although the film had very strong casting and all the pieces in the game set up for a promising and epic end, the directors unfortunately didn’t manage to bring the story home and give viewers the proper finale for what is the end of a very huge film series in the YA adaptations genre.

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Film review

Film Review | Paper Towns

Title: Paper Towns 

Director: Jake Schreier

Starring: Nat Wolff & Cara Delevigne

Australian Release Date: 16 July 2015

Synopsis

A young man and his friends embark upon the road trip of their lives to find the missing girl next door.

I had the pleasure of watching Paper Towns at an advance screening last night with my friends.

The movie gets a five stars in being entertaining. It had me laughing out loud, squealing out loud and was the most animated experience I’ve ever had. Oh and lets not forget the surprise moment when Ansel Elgort just pops up on the screen like

And me and my friend are just sitting here like

Seriously though, the casting of the movie was on point, the characters actually looked and acted like teenagers so that was nice. Cara Delevigne made me fall in love with her and Nat Wolff the star of the show was just brilliant, all the cast did a very good job of representing the characters from the books.

Even after that, the film seems a bit lacking. Don’t get me wrong it’s enjoyable but it’s no TFIOS alright, it doesn’t leave you thinking about it for days to come or whatever. The ending was not a happily ever after which made the film realistic but it could’ve ended at a happier note.

Despite that, the film leaves you with some great messages about friendship, appreciating what you have and of course the main one: there is a difference between what you think people are and what they actually are.

Rating

4

 

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Film review

Film Review | Insurgent

Title: Insurgent 

Director: Robert Schwentke

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Theo James

Synopsis: 

Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.

 

Finally 500 years after the movie came out I watched it and here’s what I thought

Keep in mind that I haven’t read the book since last year so this is really just what I thought of the movie on its own and not particularly as an adaptation.

Insurgent was, as expected, highly action packed and one word to just sum this whole movie up would be “badass”. Tris was badass, her boyfriend was badass, there was adrenaline in literally every scene and I loved it.

The whole idea of the box and the message from the founders simplified things and didn’t over complicate the plot. The whole depiction of the Factionless, Candor and Amity was on point, no complains there.

The movie did a really great job in projecting Tris’ internal struggle. I mean she just lost her parents, killed her best friends and we could see that trauma, we could see her struggle in trying to forgive herself. And when she does in the end, it’s so satisfying. But in doing that, the movie seemed to focus almost too much on Tris,  I mean we didn’t see as much of her relationship with Four or Christina which is obviously crucial.

As far as the book goes, I believe the movie covered all major events. The special effects were impressive but the ending was a bit too happily every after. I was beginning to wonder if there would actually be a third movie and the last cut rolls around and I can see that yes, there will be room for a third movie, hopefully they call it Allegiant, hopefully it’s not as bad as the book.

I really really liked Insurgent and I’m sure you will too, once you’ve watched Divergent of course, which I reviewed here. I might even like Insurgent better than the first one actually.

Rating

5

 

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Film review

Film Review | The DUFF

Title: The DUFF

Director: Ari Sandel

Starring: Maw Whitman & Robbie Amell

Synopsis 
A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF – Designated Ugly Fat Friend – by her prettier, more popular counterparts.

I finally decided to leave the house and venture into the cinemas to watch this highly anticipated movie with my friends.  I did a review of the book here so be sure to check that out!

I guess I’ll start with the praise so I don’t seem like a totally bitchy critique hah.

You may or may not be aware that the book is nothing like the movie. I mean this is what the directors did:

They took most characters from the book

They took the idea of The DUFF (designated ugly far friend)

They aimed it at a slightly younger audience than what the book is aimed at

And BOOM

You have the movie.

The movie did a good job of adapting the central idea of labels and getting the message across that at the end of the day labels really don’t matter they’re just that. Labels. So that’s a job well done.

The dialogues and the accompanying music is extremely funny albeit there are a few cringe moments mostly because of the main character Bianca’s awkwardness. I liked how the movie added an extra element of cyber bullying which wasn’t in the book and just having Tumblr or Snapchat mentioned in the movie made it that much more relateable .

And of course the actors were amazing…

If ye catch my drift…;)

Okay time to get into bitchy critique mode.

As mentioned before the intended audience of the movie is younger so it felt kind of superficial and stereotypical to me. I mean there’s the typical high school scenario with the jock and the unpopular girl. Also, everything just seemed to fall into place, there wasn’t any build up of tension which gave the impression that the plot wasn’t developing.

I also have a lot to say about how the directors decided to ignore the idea of escapism which seemed like such a huge part of the book but I’ll save that for another post.

Overall, The DUFF was a pleasant movie. If you’re looking for a laugh or some cheeky entertainment then head over!

Rating

3

 

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Film review

Insurgent Trailer: Why the hate?

The Insurgent trailer hit the internet recently and literally every other opinion I’ve heard is filled with complaint. So I decided, right, about time someone set some things straight about the adaptation of this series.

Be aware that spoilers from the books will be discussed. 

The trailer starts with this mysterious box and the whole buzz is “THIS WASN’T IN THE BOOKS, WTF IS THIS”. I agree I was a bit thrown off by it the first time since yes it isn’t in the books but having watched the trailer a second time I believe the box might be the information Edith Prior left. I suggest people be a bit more open minded about these minor changes as heck it’s just a box.

Moving on we see Tris and Four and everyone in their Amity clothing, very impressive and from then it gets heavy. There are all these action packed scenes with the Factionless and people shooting guns. The complaint here is Tris is shooting a gun and in the books she isn’t able to do that because of Will. I agree with this because Will’s death had a huge impact on Tris’ character development but on the other hand seeing her kick butt is empowering. We all love a good kick ass female protagonist right?

Then Tris turns into a Transformer. Jokes. But she’s flying around and there’s fire and there’s her mom.

“Criticising voice”

HER MOM WASN’T EVEN IN THE BOOKS. I AM SO DISAPPOINTED.

First of all, I believe her mom is part of a simulation Tris is having, it’s a bit confusing but that’s my interpretation anyway. Second of all, it’s an ADAPTATION not a literal TRANSLATION of the entire book. So far they’ve stuck to the main plot, they haven’t replaced Shailene Woodley with Kristen Stewart so it seems pretty good to me. And Tris just watched her mom die in Divergent, doesn’t it make it powerful and symbolic for her to be trying to save her in Insurgent again?

Book readers also need to keep in mind that we only make a fraction of the target audience for this movie. Insurgent needs to be able to stand on its own and appeal to people who are never even gonna pick up the books.

This is just my opinion but I do hope the directors go in a different direction in terms of the final movie because let’s face it, Allegiant was not the best book.

I honestly don’t understand all the complaints surrounding how Insurgent is nowhere near the book. I saw many familiar events and characters so I’m content with that. Remember an adaptation is adapting the themes and ideas in a book to represent it as a movie so of course it’s not gonna be exactly the same. And it’s good that they tweaked a few things because it provides the book readers with some thrill as well.

It’s hard work making a movie let alone an adaptation so be open minded and I’m rooting for this movie to succeed just like the last one. Sure the trailer is confusing and not as exciting as Divergent but it’s not totally shit either.

~infinityreads

 

Film review

Movie review: Gone Girl

I assure you, this is safe territory and there are NO SPOILERS in this post 🙂

Director: David Fincher

Starring: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike

Genre: Mystery, drama

To start off, this movie adaptation of Gone Girl did not disappoint. The themes in cooperated into the film stayed true to the book and the plot successfully managed to be intense and engrossing simultaneously.

The author

If you aren’t aware already, Gillian Flyyn, the author of the book herself wrote the screenplay. I believe this was a crucial and very intelligent decision. The author knows exactly which events are crucial in developing the plot and what exactly stuck with the readers about Gone Girl that would also stick with the viewers. Hence, the movie contained the perfect representation of events that are important in creating that drama and thrill.

The plot

When it comes to plot twists books have it easy because it’s easier to conceal however, with movies it’s harder because everything is there, in front of you. (hope that makes sense?). I was expecting this movie to follow the plot twists road but I’m glad it didn’t because that would’ve been a mess. Instead it was just cleverly sequenced.

Unfortunately, this also meant that the book has more of a thrill factor and the movie didn’t take me by surprise obviously because I knew what was coming. Don’t get me wrong though, the intensity was there alright. Some of the scenes were unexpectedly graphic to the point where I was considering closing my eyes and I love that the movie managed to do that.

The characters

I was expecting nothing but the best performance from Ben Affleck which he managed to deliver no doubt. But quite surprisingly Rosamund Pike did a brilliant job of playing the role of Amy. Amy is quite a difficult character to play because you’ve got to execute her psycho side well and ah this woman better win an Oscar for this performance.

Gone Girl is a very serious, very intense movie which adapted the book quite cleverly in my opinion. I feel like the book and the movie compliment each other so no matter if you read the book first or watch the movie they still both manage to be good. I highly recommend you do at least one of those

Rating

4

~Infinityreads

Film review, Uncategorized

Movie review: The Maze Runner

Director: Wes Ball

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Genre: Action

You know that time in your life when the film is better than the movie? this was one of those times

I have nothing but praise for The Maze Runner

The intensity of the plot added excitement and thrill. There was never a dull moment since I was literally on the edge of my seat throughout the film because of the sheer unpredictability. All the action and adrenaline and the surprise elements just created this film to be this wonderful wonderful….film.

The Maze was represented so beautifully. I particularly love the panning shot towards the end where you’re able to see the enormity of the thing. Also, it was so much more clearer than the book since I had a hard time visualizing while reading but films definitely help when it comes to visualizing I guess.

Another thing I enjoyed about The Maze Runner was the music. I believe the music in a film can make or break it and the music in this film definitely made it better. It portrayed the action and emotion so creatively.

A major step up from the book was the explanation of the purpose of The Maze. In the book it was so complicated and frustrating. The film simplified all this so there was no complexity and it was easy to follow which is exactly what I wanted and ah I am just so satisfied. Everything makes so much sense now!

Now that the boring stuff is done with let’s talk about the actors. Dylan O’Brien “swoons” and Thomas Brodie-Sangster “double swoon”. But in all seriousness I absolutely adored and respected the portrayal of the characters done by these actors, everyone’s personalities were captured so precisely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I especially loved Chuck (Blake Cooper) I mean how can you not? He added humor during those too serious moments in the film and made the situation lighter.

The thing is that The Maze Runner will appeal to both genders and it does not come off as too teenagery and NO it is not “the next Hunger Games”, can people please stop comparing everything with the Hunger Games already? So yeah if you don’t get the message already, The Maze Runner is amazing and YOU seriously need to watch it now!

Rating:

5

 

NOTE: I had to retype the whole post because my draft didn’t save gah technology. So please appreciate my effort and Like this post Thank You.

~InfinityReads