Books I Read Over and Over Again

Over the months I started the review site, I have watched more movies, DVDs  or rental movies than reading books.  Some of the movies I have seen has been written as books before the movie was made. For example, one such movie is the The Host which I couldn’t read the book thus the movie was better than the book. Another is The Great Gatsby. Hey you are wondering, why the Great Gatsby? Well its about the roaring 40’s and its a good story that really shows how the science of the engine itself  in those vintage cars. You’re not buying that explanation, are you? Okay it was the first movie I saw on 3-D at my sisters’ place and a little bit tipsy which was one hell of a 3-D experience. Later I watched on pay TV in normal view and got the better experience of the movie itself and more sober. But movies these days seem to have that 3-D effect as the object seems to come at you for a split second but doesn’t reach you. Oh, the Great Gatsby version with Leonardo DiCaprio is the remake from Robert Redford’s version.

What am I saying in this post?

Well I seem to watch more movies than read books. Not necessarily true. I have been reading many books and sometimes there are books that after reading them seem like all the other books I’ve read before. Even though I reread a few of the books like a person devoted to a religion, who can pass the yearly reliving of the Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I certainly cannot pass this yearly foray of pleasure, or returning to the David and Leigh Eddings’ world of magic and gods playing with the humanity senses of what make them human. Or even going into a the dark worlds of the Dark Elves of the Forgotten Realms.

No matter what I read, I rarely get the pleasure of the worlds I have visited when reading JRR Tolkien, Eddings, Raymond Fiest, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, George R R Martin, Robert Salvatore, Sara Douglass, and many more to mention here. All the series of the mentioned authors, and on occasions, I do find some new author appealing but I do find it hard to read first persons stories(I did this and that scenario.). The beginning usually and more precisely should capture the reader. Usually the first sentence does it but the next one usually becomes I get frustrated and throw the book to the floor. So I jump ahead to the first chapter, then its like reading from a different persons view. Then, I cease to read it. After a number of days I go back and reread the book and… sometimes the writing of the author pulls me forward.

Here is one author Ian Irvine, I had trouble reading from the beginning and it wasn’t like I mention above. It was entirely third person point of view – if my photo memory is correct – which usually is at 95% of the times. The language was purely a high standard, for me. Like the above paragraph, I reread the book at a later time and it astounded me. The Three Worlds Sequence which is a four book series became one of my favorites, yes I get to reread it again.

There are times when I feel that rereading the books I read before, an exhilaration of wanting the stories to keep going forward and onward. Of course, in the end, the worlds I enter seem to be pale illusions to the world I live in. What do I mean by that? Pale Illusions is not what I wanted to say. Vivid is more a better word that encompasses the state of the pictures that the words on the page create in my mind. My senses are alive in an imagined world written by my favorite authors I mention above. Is this reasonable assumption? In a way, I lean toward a yes.  It is very simple, I read to leave my world that I know and travel to a fantastical world where I can forget the pain I have.

This is the criteria I look for when reading a novel. Can I be transported from the trouble world I live in to a world of fantasy. The escapism of the novel is the point for me. Thus rereading the novels by my favorite authors makes me want to relive those moments again and again.

 

Halloween is coming

I say ten days to go before I go on a killing spree in my dreamworld and get away with it. Seriously, its one of those days when you can treat or trick someone and get away unharmed… or may be not.

Okay I viewed many horror movies this month so far that I am going to summarize the best ones.

Hostel and Hostel II

Plot

There is a hostel in Slovakia, where backpackers come to visit and enjoy but some strange things occur to backpackers.

Overview

In Hostel – two male American students on holidays meets another backpacker and were going to this hostel with a lot of sexy women. Then that backpacker they met soon disappears. And before long you get to see where the backpacker went and so on.

The overall picture of Hostel was not much of a story-line with some holes which barely gets you wondering what is going on. Yet in a sense it throws you quickly into a world where business people get their thrills by killing people. Spending thousands of dollars.

In Hostel II, once again you see three young female students from America going to Slovakia to the same Hostel where a festival was on and soon the three girls were taken to the abandon factory where the rich men and women would torture and kill the backpackers.

This second hostel movie had more of a better story-line than the first. This made a better sense than the first. If you were to watch hostel by itself I would not advise to do so, because it seemed choppy and with no sense until the end. However, Hostel II is best watched straight after the first movie. Why? Well the story plot flows well, and its this that gets me say now I understand more better.

Hostel is patchy with ♠♠½ meanwhile Hostel II is plotted well with ♠♠♠.

Please note – there is Hostel III on DVD which I haven’t seen yet.

Fright Night 2

Plot

Same like the first Fright Night – a vampire moves next door to you scenario – meanwhile this is a motel where students bunk in a room and across from the motel lives an vampire.

Overview

This is based on an legend of Elizabeth Bathory who bathed in bath of blood. There is also another legend which coincides with the Blood Moon – at midnight which a female virgin born at midnight would make the vampire able to walk in sunlight. This is almost as ridiculous as the notion of having a werewolf staying in its form forever.

This vampire woman was very much a hag who wanted female virgins to drink and bath in of their blood.

This remake has a different plot to the Fright Night Part 2 1988 movie.

This Fright Night II is sensual, comedic and yet had the classic Dracula feel, sealed with fangs ♠♠♠½.

(In a new post well after November, I’ll post something about remake movies.)

Summary of some Movies

The Purge – Once a year you can let yourself go and go on a rampage – Kill anyone from dusk to dawn. In this movie it seem surreal yet sometimes it seem to be a futurist analogy of what we want to do instead of actually doing the deed. It does feel like that way especially in the neighborhood in the movie. ♠♠♠

One other movie was the remake of Patrick – yet this Patrick had been set in an refurbished convent as Roget Clinic away from the city/town and a lighthouse was a few hundred feet away from the clinic. This clinic has onsite accommodation for nurse staff whom would later go home on their off shift in the town/city. Yet Patrick grasp followed the nurses or anyone getting too close to Kathy, his infatuation for her extend miles. ♠♠♠♠

There were two more but they did not stick to my head like the above stated movies.

Update on my life

Okay where do I start?

Well in the last month, I have been watching some anime or manga and doing research for my Nanowrimo story. I also have been sick a few times and still feel a little weak. Of course there were times when I went out and enjoyed myself but in the midst of being feeling a little worried of my health – I hope in time I should feel a little better. In a month and seventeen days, I’ll be one busy bee as November will be doing the 50,000 word challenge and during that month also be Movember.

This month is Blue September and all you have to do is Google it. As some of you my followers who followed me here know that I enjoy playing Texas Holdem poker and for you new here; well I do like playing. And in the beginning of the year I started playing again and its been one hell of good time. One thing I like playing is poker and for me its my sport. I won one game in August. And won in the beginning of September. Two medals this season so far.

Well, it has been on hell of a slow month; yet, I predict the next two weeks and October will go fast.

Deliver us from Evil

Finally I reached the last movie that I watch in the beginning of August. Sorry for the long wait on the review, life had me going into many directions and still getting back to the right path.

Plot

From Iraq,  a group of four soldiers entered an underground tomb which a darkness is unleashed. A New York police detective is set on a case after a case of an abandoned baby who died in his hands. The case of the baby seemed to be connected with other cases with some supernatural cause. A Jesuit priest living in New York also is on the case of finding pure evil. Together they meet and join forces in the solving of these cases. Each the cop and the priest must fight their own demon before getting to face the demon in human form.

Overview

One of the four soldiers is possessed by a demon from Iraq, which somehow the possessions is past to the other three. The one who really is the possessed one controls to others and also kills them. The house the detective enters from a report of weird occurrence enters the house and finds a dead body in the basement. Then a lady through a baby in the ditch, between the lions cage and where people sees the lion in the zoo. When the zoo calls the police, the zoo is in total darkness as Eric Bana who plays the Detective searches for the lady. He see her digging with her hands.  Horror Crime Drama is the first three words I came up with this movie. Reasoning that it is based on a non-fictional book by the once detective – which I did not think of it as it was on true events.

Is this true? Its up to you as a viewer of this movie. Its also up to the belief system you believe in. There are things in this world that is inexpiable or thought to be either true or not. Exorcisms and being possessed like movies like the Exorcist and other supernatural thing do seem to be movie effects and such. It is hard to believe in this movie that is based on true events.

Well that said, something in me still felt the juicy story line to be a fiction none the less. It is horror and yet psycho enough to perpetuate to unreal possibilities. This leads me on a case  like the detective crime dramas such as Law and Order SVU, CI and CSI; however with one difference supernatural themes thrown in. Even watching and knowing it was based on events can be corkscrewed into fiction if it wasn’t for the fact that two people actually witnessed this for real.

Its not a movie for the faint at heart or those like me who doesn’t want to watch movies based on facts. This is questionable if this happened as the movie describes. But I leave this to you to decide whether to watch it. I really enjoyed this movie and much of the special effects made it for me to watch it. Horror crime thriller and real drama… ♠♠½

Hercules

Before I start the plot and overview of this movie, there has been many versions of this legendary character played by different actors over the years and many adaptions in TV series. There is another movie a week or so before or at the same time which has a different title but a different version. This one has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in it and for me it was the sole reason I like to watch any movie with him in it.

Plot

The story starts with the twelve labors of Hercules told by Hercules nephew who admittedly is tied up over a spike pointing directly to his bottom. As he tells his captures the story of his uncle, Hercules is coming to save him with his band of friends – which consists of a fighting soothsayer, a dog-like fighter, a fighter who likes gold and an amazonian woman archer. From there he and his band finds a inn to celebrate but a woman is asking for Hercules help to save the kingdom from wild creatures and a bandits. Hercules felt something is amiss but he had no choice to follow the task at hand. But he had one thing that haunted his memories which he needed to face, which seem what was not his fault.

Overview

As all movies or TV series of this mythological character is centered by a demigod –  half human and god – Hercules, son of Zeus. The first person I knew who played this character is Steve Reeves, from the Italian films from the 1950 to 1960 and these actors also played Hercules – Gordon Scott, Kirk Morris, Mickey Hargitay, Mark Forest, Alan Steel, Dan Vadis, Brad Harris, Reg Park, Peter Lupus (billed as Rock Stevens) and Michael Lane. Steve Reeves was the best actor for Hercules and still is for me(even though he died in 2000). The others were good for their parts. Kevin Sorbo in the Hercules TV Series was okay in his role. I liked Dwayne Johnson’s version better than the others. It also felt like I was watching the old Italian movie with Steve Reeves – almost. I can’t compare the two movies at all but say one thing – they seemed to complement each other.

Even though this was like a remake of the 1958 film but it was not the same – different. Where? Well like all legends of Hercules,  each story points are almost the same but each writer who wrote the screenplay shows it differently. The movie Directors direct it to their vision with the screenwriters and even though the Hercules I remember showed all the labors through the movie until the last; this movie showed it all the eleven  in a few seconds and his last labor was the Cerberus – a three head dog. This was the haunting dream of Hercules where his wife and his children dies – thinking he killed them. This is what was his last labor was about.

The wild creatures and Bandits were considered as centaurs – half man and horse. But of course this movie dispels such creatures as fake unlike the first movie I watched. This was a movie that is as close to fact if there was a real Hercules as a man. If we were to look at this movie as a real factual account then a man’s sheer strength can be seen as a falsehood if Hercules had a band of men and a woman. Of course, the way this movie portrayed the story is very excellent in such a way that it may look like Hercules was a son of a god.  Oh his band of friends, Hercules save them from dangers we know nothing about them(just that the characters say it). Then there was a part in the movie where Hercules pushes a giant statute down the stairs in the advancing King’s army who he trained. If that is only the sheer strength of a man then we must come to the conclusion if he really was a son of Zeus.

This seems to me that fact or myth; is it possible for a man to push a statute at two-storey house or more tall to be pushed by a single man.  Can a mere man push that much tonne of rock? Sheer strength and will power is possible … but not a marble rock statue. All I know is this and by this I mean in my own thoughts; this movie is up to the viewer to sort out whether to watch it or not. I liked this movie because it showed that myth can be false at times and may be true as well. This movie also shows that soothsayers can be wrong as well but they can also be a help when they are needed.

It show fact as truth and myths as false but some of these facts and myths seemed to be the other way round; eg, centaurs were really men on horseback. Another example is the Cerberus is really three hungry wolves. Hercules as the man is the only thing that I found to be something to wonder about. Was he real or myth? That is a question mixed in mythology. I must say I really enjoyed this movie to the action and almost mythological atmosphere that portrays well. ♠♠♠½

Guardians of the Galaxy

Plot

After the death of Peter’s mother, he runs away from the hospital clucking the present, his walk-man to be abducted by aliens… twenty-six years after, his persona Star-Lord sets to get a silver orb which holds the Infinity stone. Once he retrieves it, he soon discovers that a Kree revolutionist known as Ronan the Accuser is after the stone for Thanos but Ronan takes it himself. Thanos’s adopted daughter Gamora is also on the case to retrieve it from Star-Lord at the behest of Ronan but she has her own agenda. Then a bounty hunters Rocket and Groot are also on the hunt for Star-Lord, but on Xandar the Nova Corps intervene. They then went into a prison where they meet up with Drax the Destroyer.  From escape to Knowhere and back to Xandar the unlikely crew of the yet to be Guardians of the Galaxy form a bond which starts to peel away to their final confrontation with Ronan.

Overview

Marvel comic movies sometimes shows more at the end of the film which I urge everyone to watch. Thanos seems to be the center character in the movie – even though he is not shown so much. Here in Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos mostly seen for a two to three minutes than in the end of the movie, Green Lantern. Its my thought that Thanos is a major player in the Marvel Universe.  Peter Quill is a character who is half human and alien like his father – a star child.

Groot played by Vin Diesel is a perfect for a tree like person – “I am Groot.” is a saying that seem to be tiring but with Rocket who understood him was played well. It seems that occasions there seemed to be times that I wonder when will it get funny and before I even thought it, it started with Rocket looking for their bounty Peter Quill. As you can guess Stan Lee and a young woman come to Rocket’s ipad type device and the comedic one liners starts and I laugh out loud.

Of course, Groot deny his drinking as Rocket catches him… Then you see how the laughs follow as well as all the action that this science fiction comic come to the big screen. It is more computer generated but it seem flawless, yet my technical mind could see a slight flaw and not noticeable as you watch the movie. It was just a better movie than Green Lantern.  Like I said that Thanos is the one behind all the evil in the Marvel Universe seems far-fetched but yet his minions seem to play a role – like Ronan the Accuser.

I enjoyed this movie, Chris Pratt seemed to enjoy being Peter Quill aka StarLord even though, the inaptness of the character which seem to show through the whole group of the Guardians. But it also showed that over time people of different backgrounds, race and culture could actually get along. That in itself is the optimum moral to the story. ♠♠♠♠½

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

This week just passed, I was just enjoying the movies that came out. The first is the remake(well story, a little different) of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes then followed by Guardians of the Galaxy, Hercules and last Deliver Us from Evil. On Tuesday which is my budget night to watch the movies at my local theater, I usually take my mum with me to watch movies because she likes movies I like to watch. This  was what we both planned on Friday, as well.  Friday was a full day of watching three movies and I did enjoy the day; so did mum. In the next few hours/days or so, you will read the next three posts about the other movies I’ve mentioned.

Here is the review.

Plot

Follows from the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, an cotangent called the Simian Flu went viral. Caesar and his apes are learning to live by some rules like “Ape no kill ape” and etc. The surviving humans go to the dam to switch on the electricity but are faced with the apes as an organised force. Koba hates humans and revolts against them and Caesar.

Overview

Unlike the original Planet of the Apes five movies which in its time was and is for me is a classic end of the human race portrayal of what it should look like in the future.  End of the world scenarios are a probable event which could happen in the future and yet movies, books and comics show us this and still we don’t heed to the warnings. Of course, the future is not set in stone but we don’t have  much time. These two sentence seem so far-fetched  to even think about but that is what I thought when I watched Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Under the current intelligence of the old and the new stories of the Planet of the Apes itself is a book which was written by Pierre Boulle. Little did I know that until I did a search for it.  Of course I should have known this but I still like the old movies as well as the new.

The overall view of the movie is verily linked by one thing and that is humanity itself. We once were apes as we evolved into humans so will the apes. Intelligence is taught and the serum from the the Rise of the Planet of the Apes plays a part for the apes; we see it expand by Caesar strong stance in the beginning with Koba who’s son is shot by a human Carver – after the hunting of deer. Caesar’s son Ash is conflict by his fathers’ strict upbringing and Koba sense of hating humans. Koba takes controls and Ash lets him lead and war was inevitable course for the Apes and Human but a man, his wife and son bonds with two apes. The man Malcolm convinces Caesar to get the Hydo-Electric dam working but Koba sets thing in motion which creates the war between Humans and Apes because he found a store of armor that the Humans have kept hidden. After getting Carvers’ hat, Koba plans the war that he hates humans. Meanwhile, Malcolm’s son is communicating to an orange ape while Caesar fears his wife is dying after the birth of a son. Because of Carver stash a gun away, Caesar had to tell Malcolm and his party to leave. Meanwhile Caesar returns to his wife who is was close to dying as Malcolm, his wife and son with the orange ape sees the reasons. But Malcolm’s wife had some medications to save Caesar’s wife, this made Caesar say to Malcolm to stay for one day. Humans and apes help to put on the power together. Little did they know Koba had  made his decision after fighting Caesar.

Ape kills Ape but ape survives thanks to Malcolm and family, during which Koba convinces all apes except for the apes loyal to Caesar. Ash encounters Malcolm and finds out his father is alive and follows …

In this movie it showed that the writers  showed humanity at its best and worst; and ultimately in to two types of homo-sapiens – human and ape. The sense of leadership that Caesar wanted was peace like between humans and apes.

I stated above, the Planet of the Apes is based on a book which I haven’t read, but it seems the old and new movie adaptions seem to have one thing reoccurring that a future apes will survive and humans will become their slaves or prisoners. Charlton Heston’s character from the past to the future of earth didn’t get to know where he was until he was in the forbidden zone where he saw the statue of liberty. Mark Wahlberg’s character lived in the satellite above earth  and the apes on board escaped from their cages; he and others went to the escape-pods as the satellite started to crash to earth. Even though, those two Planet of the apes had different story-lines where apes who used sign language while the original talked; the basic emphasis on time travel seemed very much through out the movies – even though the timeline is awkward to understand.

Of course the old and new versions still play with the main points I’ve stated above, even though I enjoyed it it was much better than the first two of the newer versions. This movie for me is like the original one with Charlton Heston – The Planet of the Apes.  To compare it with the original is a bold thing for me to say but it was moving as the original was. ♥

Autobots Transform

Well this post, I wanted a smashing title. What better way than to say the words Optimus Prime would say to his fellow Autobots.  And this review is about Transformers:- Age of Extinction.

Plot

Follows on from the last movie and after the destruction of Chicago – the Autobots are wanted and are tracked down by a paranoid government official and the Decepticons. An robotic engineer, his daughter and her rally driver boyfriend soon become involved after the engineer brings home a broken down truck. Over night the engineer soon realizes the truck to be an Autobot and the leader of the Autobots – Optimus Prime.  The creators of the Transformer race has brought their own retriever who sided with the paranoid official. A company under the government official who has some stake in the company, were under Megatron’s control. Optimus Prime revives the legends…

Overview

The ride has come full circle for me, watching this movie on the big screen; where I as a child teenager in the eighties remembers the cartoon and this movie reminded me of the animated series. Riding on a dream was my only thought when I heard that this movie was coming out.

From its first to this movie its story line has been to protect the seed which in humans terms is a bomb of destruction and a transforming the planet for Transformers. The Legend Transformers are the Dinobots. The funny thing in the movie was the robotic engineers’ work mate, whom died in an effect to save the friend and his daughter. The engineer Yeager  played by Mark Wahlberg made this a better story than the last two in the Transformer movies. Those one liners were better than saying, “a fistful of dollars” – of course, that is better for a western movie. ;)

Okay there are parts that seemed to be mediocre yet it also show the brutality of how humans are affect by the threat of another alien attack. Well as expected I found this action packed film more a living back to a time where cartoon or animated series were the only way for watching science fiction.(Well the tech was not as good as it is now.) Now computer technology has created a better image of the moving picture that has been entertainment for us. Each robot that transforms is a generate computer graphic interface program software that ultimately is drew on a certain tablet like mouse pad that transfers each line, squiggle and mark into a set of codes that make a transformer(of course, there is more than what is explained here; just a short example.). Just like Golem in Lord of the Rings, the actor had sensors to bring the creature to life. Just the same way that the Autobots and the Decepticons were at war with each other in the cartoon/animated series; perpetuated the seamless adventure of humans and aliens fighting over a something that each want – peace.

I believe that is why I like this movie and not just that but the Transformers themselves to show their hearts. The movie capsules the soul and the heart in both humans and aliens. For me Transformers:- Age of Extinction is a whirlwind ride of action and you might need to see it twice just to see every detail. ♠♠♠♠

Godzilla

There is two types of movies to have the same name. One was based on a comic book and TV cartoon; meanwhile the other is based on the Japanese movie from the late 60’s.

Did this american version spoiled the original Japanese movie?

For me no, however you’ll have to judge it for yourself. I read all the gossip about Godzilla but when I went to watch it a few weeks ago I enjoyed it that I wanted to see it again. It was rare for me to say this but it is a movie that film buffs should take note.  Oh I’m ahead of myself.

Plot is very straight forward, a group at a nuclear plant in Japan, had an earthquake which brought a nuclear disaster. The scientist in charge is an american(the actor who played Malcolm’s father from Malcom in the Middle) had sent his wife to the investigate the problem. The scientist had to close the reactor and lets his wife dies. Their son is a lieutenant of a bomb squad soon finds out that his father is not a crazy scientist as he thought when they breach the area which sets in motion a sequence of events which lead the two to find the truth of the nuclear disaster.

Then a secret is uncovered to the two that there is a monster which wants nuclear power. The armed forces and such had to fight three monsters which the head scientist of Monarch – a Japanese scientist had faith in one monster – Godzilla. As this secret organisation – Monarch was interested in the monster at the nuclear plant was in a dormant phase hatched to be a bat-like creature which is called by Monarch – MUTO. They soon discover that another has escape from an underground cavern somewhere in or near Indonesia. These MUTO are female and male and were parasites to an even larger monster than Godzilla. The female was in a secured location where the American armed force use their waste byproduct from nuclear plants.

The overall movie was such a buzz that even though there are some familiar faces such as the actor who played Dr Rosen in the Alpha TV Series on Foxtel or cable (for my US followers); there is also the chief of police from the Continuum TV series on Syfy(which is on now).  ♥

Journey to the West

For the young boy in me watching one of my favorite TV shows from Japan called Saiyûki known as Monkey told a story of a Buddhist monk and the three disciples to find the holy scriptures from China to India. Well here is a trip down memory lane with the same plot because it was based on a story by Wu Ch’êng-ên and is also based on Chinese mythology. Of course, this movie shows the same journey but it is before the journey itself, which the TV series showed.

It pretty much shows how the Buddhist monk with hair is able to find demons and fight them. But meets a troupe of demon hunters whose leader is a woman was after someone to love her and help the troupe. The women has a magic bag which turns the demons into a ball. The 300 nursery rhymes is a small booklet which the young monk receives from his master monk.

The Buddhist monk soon understood his love for the woman became the catalyst to his finding enlightenment. Overall the movie is action packed with martial arts or Kung Fu, comedy and just what I like when the actors speak their language. I adore the language and even though, it has subtitles – I rarely read it. I understood the emotions that the actors acted out and it was very much the way I like movies from other speaking languages.

I feel that movies should have that X factor in it. This movie certainly has it because the actors provided it and especially other speaking languages should aspire too. I love any type of movie from any part of the world, but I do have a small soft spot for the China, Hong Kong, Korea, the South East China and Japan.

I enjoyed reliving the saga of Monkey from its earliest beginnings in this Journey to the West. ♠♠♠♠