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The Gospel of Loki
The Gospel of Loki
Joanne M. Harris | 2015 | Fiction & Poetry
9
9.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
Fantastic take on the character of Loki
‘The Gospel of Loki’ by Joanne M. Harris is the story of the Norse Gods from the point of view of Loki, the Trickster. I’ve always found Norse Mythology very interesting and Loki is by far my favourite of the Gods. I first heard about this book about a year ago and I finally managed to grab a copy from my local library earlier this week, then proceeded to read the whole book in two days. It was just that good!

Odin rules the nine worlds from his fortress of Asgard. When this book starts his people, the Aesir, have finally made peace with the Vanir and members of both groups make up the Gods of Asgard. The world is split into Order and Chaos, with Odin and the Gods trying to maintain Order over the nine realms. Loki was born from Chaos and is essentially a demon with no physical form (or Aspect) living in the realm of Pandaemoniem under the evil Lord Surt. But Loki was curious about the worlds where Order and Chaos co-existed so he left Chaos and traveled to the worlds above where he gained a physical Aspect, met Odin and was invited back to Asgard where he became the 25th God.

He did not receive a warm welcome from the other Gods, however, and soon lived up to his names of Wildfire and the Trickster. This book, which I would imagine takes place over a number of years, tells the story of many of Loki’s exploits in the nine realms including when he tricked a builder into fortifying Asgard’s walls without paying him, cut off Sif’s golden hair (to Thor’s outrage), got Thor to dress up as a bride to infiltrate the Ice Folk and kill their enemies, met the giants of Utgard and their own Trickster Utgard-Loki, all the way up to Ragnarok and the final battle between Order and Chaos.

Okay, I’ve just tried to describe the plot fairly simply above and I don’t know how much sense it will have made if you’re not familiar with the Norse Gods, but hopefully it wasn’t too bad!

I’ve always found Norse Mythology very interesting, mainly, I think, because of the diverse characters and fanciful stories. We get to meet all those characters in this book; Odin, Thor, Frey, Freyja, Balder, Frigg, Sigyn, Skadi, Gullvieg-Heid & many more. And as this book is written in first person from Loki, we see them all from his point of view. I also loved Loki’s illegitimate children, particularly Hel, the ruler of the Underworld and Fenris the werewolf.

I know a fair bit about Loki from things I’ve read online and books about mythology so I was a bit wary going in about how historically accurate Joanne had written her character, but I have to say that I found her version of Loki spot on! She voiced him perfectly and I also found the other characters to be very close to what I’ve read about them.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style and the story flowed so well that I found it really difficult to put down. Loki’s storytelling was both informative and engaging and each of his stories flowed into each other very well.

This book is very heavy on the Norse Mythology (obviously) and I think it’s probably best to go into it with a little bit of knowledge beforehand. I think that if I knew nothing of the subject before, I might have found it a bit overwhelming mainly due to the amount of characters and worlds. But saying that, it is so well written and well explained that I think anyone could read it, I just think you’d get more enjoyment out of it if you knew a bit about some of the characters first. There is a very useful character list at the beginning that you can go back to.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves Norse Mythology, especially Loki and Odin but I think anyone who likes a good fantasy novel would enjoy it :)
  
5ive Girls (2006)
5ive Girls (2006)
2006 | Horror
7
7.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Contains spoilers, click to show
Story: 5ive Girls starts when one of the student of Father Drake’s (Perlman) school it taken by an evil force leaving only blood stained classroom. With the school closed down on the outside we still see Father Drake trying to help troubled girls with his newest class being Alex (Miller), Mara (Madley), Cecilia (Vnesa), Leah (Mamabolo) and Connie (Quintas).

The girls discover they are all witches with different powers and when Alex starts getting haunted by Elizabeth but what is she trying to communicate. We learn that Miss Pearce (Lalonde) is involved with what is going on but is she good or bad? Could these girls have been bought together for a reason? The girls find themselves battling the ancient demon Legion who wants to walk the Earth once more.

5ive Girls gives us a witch based film where the witches are not evil but instead fighting evil. Having the girls not fully understanding their powers works because we get to learn about them with them but saying that doing that really doesn’t help when they get picked off easily. I would like to see more about the girl’s powers but in the end we just have basic ideas of them. The story does work well for the fighting evil but also could just have been an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

 

Actor Review

 

Ron Perlman: Father Drake is haunted by losing one of his students to an evil spirit, he is bought back to the school to finally make up for what happened but finds himself fighting the same evil that took away his faith. Ron is good in this role even if he is more of a supporting character than leading man.

Jennifer Miller: Alex is the last of the five new girls to arrive at the school, she has the ability to prevent and move objects with her mind. While in the school she finds herself having to work with the other girls to solve the hauntings going on in the school. Jennifer is solid in this role that works as the unsure girl.

Jordan Madley: Mara is the streetwise of the five girls, she is overly aggressive when it comes to protecting herself but is great to have on the right side when it comes to fighting the evil. Jordan is good as the bad ass chick that is actually very insecure.

Terra Vnesa: Cecilia is one of the students, she is the blind student who makes light of her disability being one of the main comic reliefs in the film. Terra is good because she is the funniest of the characters involved.

Support Cast: 5ive Girls only has a couple of extra cast members that end up doing just as good a job of the rest of the cast.

Director Review: Warren P Sonoda – Warren gives us a solid film that is easy to watch but never really challenges us.

 

Horror: 5ive Girls has good horror elements of good versus evil along with solid gore moments.

Thriller: 5ive Girls keeps us guessing to what will happened next as well as wondering what is going on through the story even if you can work parts of the film out.

Settings: 5ive Girls keeps nearly all the film in one place the school that is meant to be locked from the outside.
Special Effects: 5ive Girls has solid effects for the kills but when we see Legion we don’t get the best effects.

Suggestion: 5ive Girls is one to watch if it is on late night television. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Only having early witch abilities.

Worst Part: Slightly predictable.

Funniest Scene: Blind girl searching for someone alone while still enough people to do it in pairs.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Tagline: 5 Witches. 5 Powers. One Evil.

 

Overall: Easy to watch horror that does lack scares but has strong elements.

https://moviesreview101.com/2016/10/05/movie-reviews-101-midnight-halloween-horror-5ive-girls-2006/
  
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)
2012 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
5
6.9 (8 Ratings)
Movie Rating
The Twilight Saga has had a tough time in its short screen life. Constant comparisons to Harry Potter and now The Hunger Games have ensured that it has taken a back seat to these franchises. After 3 bitterly disappointing instalments in the series, Breaking Dawn Part 1 which was released last year lifted the bar and promised a fine end to the series. One year later, Part 2 has been released, but can it keep up the momentum set by its predecessor?

The answer, unfortunately is no and as Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), Taylor Lautner, (Jacob Black) and Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan) pull the curtains over the long suffering franchise, you can’t help but feel a strange sense of sadness. These films haven’t been as good as they could’ve.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 starts immediately where the last film finished as Bella Swan (Stewart) gives birth to her half-human, half-vampire child. For some bizarre reason, the blood and childbirth elements of the last film have been completely thrown to the wind as Bella awakens as a vampire and is better than ever. Not reminding viewers of what went before was a major oversight on the part of director Bill Condon and those not familiar with the books will have a hard time remembering what happened last year.

It just so happens that Bella and Edward’s daughter Renesmee is growing at an astonishing rate. To show this, the producers have created her with a CGI layering effect which means using a real baby with a CGI face. Unfortunately, this means that Renesmee is the creepiest baby you will have ever had the misfortune to see. Surely there must’ve been some money left over from the $120m budget to create a real treat for fans. As it is, the first time you lay eyes on Renesmee, there is a gasp of horror rather than adoration.

Unfortunately, the sinister Volturi have gotten wind of Renesmee’s existence thanks to a brief cameo by Maggie Grace (Taken 2) as Irina. She mistakenly believes that the child is a pure vampire which is, under no circumstances allowed. Michael Sheen is a highlight as Aro, leader of the Volturi, his camp, unbelievably over the top performance, highlighted perfectly in the film’s finale, is a breath of fresh air against the heavy breathing, downtrodden characterisations from the rest of the cast.

Special effects have never been a strong point for this movie franchise and things really haven’t improved in this latest instalment. We’ve already mentioned the horror of Bella’s demon baby, but the werewolves are pretty bad too and really don’t move the game on at all. In fact, in some sequences it’s like we’re back in the 90s.

It’s not all bad news however; a real highlight for me throughout the course of the films has been the excellent cinematography. The setting is absolutely wonderful, from the snow-capped peaks and plains, to the cliff edges and forests, everything looks fantastic and director Bill Condon really knows how to maximise the environment he has been given to work with.

Unfortunately, no amount of scenery can save a film which, ultimately is a bit of a damp squib. This is more apparent in the finale, which I can honestly say is one of the worst I have ever seen in a film franchise. This is, partly down to Stephenie Meyer’s amateurish writing in the novel, which ensures the final scenes which should’ve been a joy to watch, are completely disregarded and frankly, stupid.

So, there we have it, The Twilight Saga has ended and what a saga it has been. Three average films at best gave way to Breaking Dawn Part 1, which showed promise and could possibly have been the saviour of the franchise. However, the release of Breaking Dawn Part 2 has pushed things back to where it was before the 3rd instalment, Eclipse. The series’ passionate fans have deserved much better and when it should’ve been going out with a bit of bite, instead, we leave Twilight on a bit of a whimper.

https://moviemetropolis.net/2012/12/03/twilight-breaking-dawn-pt-2-review/
  
Jennifer's Body (2009)
Jennifer's Body (2009)
2009 | Comedy, Horror, Mystery
6
5.9 (9 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Devil's Kettle is a small town where everyone knows everybody. The story revolves around the relationship between Needy (Amanda Seyfried) and Jennifer (Megan Fox) and other than having similar interests, the two are polar opposites. Needy is more of the quiet, girl next door type that is a bit of a bookworm with a heart of gold whereas Jennifer is more spontaneous, mean spirited, and the stuck-up, hot cheerleader type that every high school boy seems to dream about being with. One night, Jennifer drags Needy to Melody Lane, the one bar in town, to see a new flavor of the week indie band called Low Shoulder. When the bar catches on fire and most of the people inside are crushed or burned in the destruction, Needy thinks that's where this horrible night gone wrong would end. That is until Jennifer decides to go off with the band in their van and Needy has to make her way back home alone. After that night, a demon is transferred into Jennifer's body with an unquenchable hunger for high school guys. As Needy begins to accept what's happened to her BFF, she realizes that she's the only one that has a chance of stopping Jennifer once and for all.

Other than Megan Fox, the other factor that was pushed really hard in the advertising campaign for Jennifer's Body was the fact that Diablo Cody, the screenwriter for Juno, was attached to this film. To be honest, I think Cody's contributions are what I enjoyed most. The dialogue and humor of the film are both witty and laugh out loud funny at times. The writing, in general, made what otherwise would have been your average horror film worth watching and fairly entertaining in the long run.

This is probably the best we've seen acting-wise when it comes to Megan Fox. She isn't much other than eye candy in the Transformers films and was just an egotistical tramp that just so happened to be a rising star in How To Lose Friends and Alienate People. Other than the demonic possession part, her role in Jennifer's Body isn't too different from her role in How To Lose Friends and Alienate People. I'd give most of the credit to Cody's great writing, but Fox is actually able to display a bit more of her acting range this time around. While it probably isn't much compared to, you know, actresses with talent and she sounds like she has a cold most of the time, it's more than what we've seen from the actress in the past and everyone has to start somewhere.

The storyline doesn't offer much fresh material when it comes to horror films, but it gets the job done. The ending offers a bit of a different take on what would otherwise be an ending that would leave room for a sequel. With the conclusion to Jennifer's Body, however, it's more open ended. They could stop here and it would be a fine stand alone film, but it leaves enough questions unanswered that a sequel could see the light of day. Since the movie only made around $18 million worldwide, a sequel seeing theatrical distribution seems unlikely. A direct to DVD sequel with B-actors is definitely a possibility though. Aren't they always with horror films?

Jennifer's Body is superbly written on one hand, but feels like a run of the mill horror film on the other. The high point is definitely the screenplay by Diablo Cody, who manages to make Megan Fox's acting abilities look better than they ever have. But it seems the films enjoyment will rest solely on the shoulders of how much you enjoy horror films that don't shy away from blood. If you're not a fan of horror, I'd recommend staying away from this one. But if you're a fan of great writing, quite a bit of blood, horror, or Megan Fox's sex appeal then you should definitely give this one a go.
  
The Demon’s surrendee (Demon’s Lexicon #3)
The Demon’s surrendee (Demon’s Lexicon #3)
Sarah Rees Brennan | 2011 | Paranormal, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)
6
6.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
This is a review for the whole series
I read these books because a friend of mine suggested them and she enjoyed them very much. I really like Sarah Rees Brennan style, it is funny and engaging and I really couldn't put these books down. However the end of this trilogy makes me angry, there are so many problems with it that I don't know where to start. I apologise in advance for the mistakes in this review, I am not a native speaker so please be patient.

The Disney happy ending: I don't want to comment the fact that everyone gets paired off here, but what about the magicians? In this book the magicians are evil, they kill people, they are addicted to power, the lousy solution they found through Jamie it's not solid. What happens when Jamie dies? When Nick dies? It can last for 50-60 years, what then? This magicians are not vampires that can drink animal blood, they are addicts that need to kill people in order to have power, this solution is just temporary and I cannot see another way to make it happens afterwards, unless they start to sacrifice babies that is even worse. Moreover they unleash 2 demons on Earth (the most irresponsible and incoherent thing they can do after 3 books of saying how they are pure evil) and the only explanation we get is "winning a war comes with a price"

Diversity: the way diversity is treated in this book is ridiculous. She throws in some black or gay character, family problems, a past of abuses and then she uses them to makes the white rich kids shine. I will talk about Sin in a minute, but what about Seb? He could have been such a precious character instead you see him as bully, then as the magicians' pet, then he gets to date the boy he always loved in secret, after he bullied him for years, just because he's the only gay character still available

All that is wrong with Sin:
  The Character: Sin is a strong teenage girl who had a tough life but she has always worked hard to achieve her goal: become the leader of a place that she loves deeply, understands deeply and where she spent her entire life. And when a tourist threats to get the position instead, she is the first to recognise that this girl who has been at the Goblin Market 4 times is better than her in everything. Sin doesn't simply fail, she surrenders to the fact that Mae's is better than her and she just let her have the Market. Sin, that should be the main character of the third book, stays a secondary character with no development other than getting rid of a stupid superstition about limping guys and getting a boyfriend.
  Point of view: although I enjoyed Sin's POV far more than Mae's, I can't see the reason of this choice. The previous POV where of main characters who were actually living the situation and acting in the situation. In here Sin, instead of becoming a main character, spends more than half of the book overhearing conversations (with her supernatural hearing) and following Mae's plans. Again, it seems they wanted to show off about the diversity inside this book and instead it results in a joke. Alan's POV, or Jamie's, would have been so much better.

All that is wrong with Mae:
I am not a fan of Mae, I couldn't stand her form the beginning. I don't want to get started on this because I could talk about it for hours but to summarise my opinion, I think that author wanted to go for a character very much like Hermione but much more popular and cool. The problem is that Hermione, even though she is smart and talented, succeeds in everything she does because she works very hard to get there she sacrifice herself for a greater cause, and she has flow and doubts as every teenager. Mae succeeds in everything without any particular reason, she is just lucky and most of the time she doesn't deserve what she gets.

Last but not lest: COULD YOU EXPLAIN HOW ON EARTH A DEMON AND A HUMAN GIRL GET TOGETHER?????
  
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
2009 | Comedy, Horror
I’m just going to be honest. Drag Me To Hell is the movie we would have seen 22 years ago had Sam Raimi been given several million dollars, had Bruce Campbell been a woman and had there been no chainsaws handy. Not that this is a bad thing. I believe that Raimi fans will be quite pleased to see the cult and blockbuster director’s return to his roots.

Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is a soft-spoken loan officer competing for the open position of assistant manager at the bank branch she works for. She has a predominantly sunny life with her boyfriend, Clay Dalton, (Justin Long) and a new kitten.

When an old woman in an Oldsmobile (Lorna Raver) comes to beg for an extension on her mortgage, Christine is unaware of how much her ideal life is about to change.

Desperate to impress her boss and prove her prowess over the only other candidate, Christine refuses the woman help. Angered and shamed, the woman curses Christine, calling upon the demon Lamia (voiced by Art Kimbro) to torment her for three days and then damn her soul.

Acting upon the advice of a Seer (Dileep Rao), Christine struggles to free herself from this terrible fate. She alienates herself from Clay’s parents, sacrifices her cat, participates in a séance, crashes a funeral, defiles the dead and is eventually forced to choose whether or not she can in turn damn her business rival.

But I wouldn’t want you to start thinking that you’re dealing with some far-too-serious classic horror revival (not that that would be a bad thing). Let’s not forget the projectile blood and vomit, the mud and maggots, the stapler to the face and ruler to the back of the throat; all done in that comical slapstick that only Raimi can produce. The utterly gory, disgusting images that make you laugh hysterically while simultaneously cringeing in disbelief. This is the stuff that made him a cult hero.

There are certainly some creepy moments, quite a few in fact. Things that pleased the horror fan in me very much. And there are plenty of scares to be had as creatures and characters launch themselves from the shadows. I only jumped a couple of times (and I scare easily) but that might have been due more to the people sitting around us than the movie itself.

Drag Me To Hell opens with a classic Universal logo, one that hasn’t been seen since the 70s. It was so appropriate that as soon as I saw it I was sure I was going to walk away happy. Then the opening credits began and I was blown away. They are so absolutely gorgeous that they almost deserve to be a short of their own rather than find themselves pinned to a feature. The special effects continue to be a remarkable strong point throughout the rest of the movie. Several scenes blew me away with their execution and look.

When it comes down to what was missing, characterization was the one thing this film lacked. I didn’t feel very connected to any of the characters and certainly didn’t care about their plight. It seemed rather two dimensional. The characters are barely introduced and we aren’t ushered into their lives and minds before the action begins. We are just expected to care.

On top of this, Lohman’s acting wasn’t the greatest and Long, while doing a decent job, didn’t seem to fit the role terribly well. The cat-sacrificing didn’t go far for making me feel any sympathy toward Christine or her dilemma. This was all very disappointing since I feel as though everything else was so strong that had this been reinforced rather than left flat it would have been exceedingly excellent.

But it is worth a watch. If you love anything by Sam Raimi you will not be disappointed and if you’ve never seen any of his work then you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. This is one of the few things I have ever watched that was exactly what it promised to be.

Thank you, Mr. Raimi, for this excellent return to horror. We are all grateful.
  
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Alice (12 KP) rated Red Sister in Books

Jul 3, 2018  
Red Sister
Red Sister
Mark Lawrence | 2017 | Fiction & Poetry
10
9.0 (5 Ratings)
Book Rating
<i>Many thanks to Mark for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review </i>

Original review can be found on my blog Raptureinbooks <a href="http://wp.me/p5y0lX-1I9">here</a href>

<blockquote>It is important, when killing a nun, to bring an army of sufficient size.</blockquote>
I know they say to never judge a book by its cover but first impressions are everything. The above quote is the first line written in <i>Red Sister</i> - Mark Lawrence's newest masterpiece. I don't use the term lightly.

For those of you who haven't read his work before - know this: it will change how you read fantasy for the better. There's a really apt line in this book for this sentiment:
<blockquote>...a book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one. </blockquote>
For those of you who have, you know his main characters are the ultimate in anti-heroes. All male, all rough, all the epitome of badassery. <i>Red Sister</i> is the first with a strong - and I mean strong -all female cast.

From the first instance you know this book is going to be top of the scale of epicness, <i>Red Sister</i> will draw you in within moments of opening the pages.

It follows the story of Nona Grey- an eight year old girl saved from the noose by an unlikely saviour - a nun - Abbess Glass, leader of the Sweet Mercy Convent. Nona becomes a novice nun and begins her journey to becoming a Red Sister- a nun skilled in combat. At first the book can feel a little like you've stepped backwards in time to where children are bought and sold on the road, where the Church has almost absolute power and where little girls do not become killer nuns; however as the story progresses and Nona's back story is revealed to us piece by piece I found my original thoughts to be utter bullshit because frankly the plot is outstanding.

I'll hold my hand up and say I've never read a book about nuns before but Red Sister has ruined me for any other.

As signature with Mark's work, Red Sister has the perfect balance between seriousness and humour with some brilliant descriptions of the most simplest of things:
<blockquote>...and a quill. This latter gave the impression that the bird from which it was taken had died of some wasting disease, falling from its perch into a dirty puddle before being run over by several carts and finally thoroughly chewed by a hungry cat.</blockquote>
The dialogue was witty and the right tone for what is ultimately a group of girls in boarding school who both love and hate each other and what they do on a daily basis. The friendships made at Sweet Mercy are friendships built to last through the toughest of scenarios, literally through thick and thin. Nona's past catches up with her frequently and she is tested to her highest limits and on occasion shoved over that limit.

<blockquote>"Trust is the most insidious of poisons." </blockquote>
There are some harsh lessons to be learned in <i>Red Sister</i> and not just the physical ones - of which there are many. The plot is thick with action, betrayal, uncanny abilities and supernatural old world bloodlines that show through in current generations that haven't been seen since the first tribes settled in Abeth; with prophecies galore and the odd psycho, bare knuckle fighting in the pits and justice is wrought.

The revelations are spectacular and revealed in unexpected ways that have totally done them justice. The writing style of Mark Lawrence is once more on point with the right amount of length for each chapter; the supernatural demon element was written in a great way. Overall, it was a masterpiece of the genre and deserves all the stars.

<i>Red Sister</i> has been one of the highlights of my year so far and it is outstanding. I've tried not to give anything away which is hard cause I want to give all the spoilers! I'll leave you with a parting quote that sums up the book nicely.
<blockquote>"Words are steps along a path: The important thing is to get where you're going."</blockquote>
  
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Emma @ The Movies (450 KP) rated Hellboy (2019) in Movies

Jun 22, 2019 (Updated Sep 25, 2019)  
Hellboy (2019)
Hellboy (2019)
2019 | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Open, black and white apart from Nimue's red dress.
Production notes: Try and make it noir-esque, but we need it done quickly so don't be too bothered by any of the class that goes with it.

As openings go it summed up the backstory quite nicely and Ian McShane's voiceover was good, but despite all of that it wasn't saved from it being quite badly shot.

I didn't want to start this review by moaning, but it's nearly impossible as there's a lot to moan about. I think I'm going to get it all out of the way now and then move on.

That CGI... at one point I wrote down that it was Harry Potter bad, I'm talking Voldemort on the back of the head bad. I'm trying to think of an obvious effect where it was actually good but I'm drawing a blank. Gruagach, our pig-demon-thing, looked like he was wearing a Halloween mask, but had it been real life I suspect it would look better.

Generally the creature effects are terrible, I was briefly hopeful for the giants but then the fight started and things got progressively worse. The blood was a particularly bad offering. I was particularly annoyed with this scene because the bits where Hellboy is thrown around were actually quite good and with a little work it could have been amazing.

Major Ben Daimio, played by Daniel Dae Kim, also got some punishing CGI for his transformation, unfortunately the negativity doesn't stop there. I just couldn't understand what that accent was about... I just... what the... ugh.

He's not the only character that's treated badly. Alice has so much potential in her but it isn't until the end that she discovers what she's really capable of. I can't help but think that they could have used her more to boost the movie.

David Harbour as Hellboy doesn't have me convinced. he's got the laid back attitude and some of the banter that the part needs, but there was a spark missing for me. Perhaps he was slightly more horizontal than laid back.

Quite possibly the best scene in the movie is right at the end when we see the group back together briefly. This scene was so well done that I was a little irritated they didn't manage to replicate that earlier in the film.

Hellboy is probably too long, there are definitely pieces to cut out. As much as I love her, Big Mo has to go, I'd also cut out Baba Yaga. The effects were overly creepy and the scenes added hardly anything apart from what felt like an obvious set up for a sequel.

The story overall isn't that bad, I like the origin of Hellboy, although baby Hellboy felt a lot like they'd taken the Ally McBeal baby and painted it red. I also liked the fact that they didn't let him instantly take the easy route to victory, that really worked in his favour.

I've realised at this point that I haven't really mentioned Nimue. She's one of the main villains, I probably should have talked about her by now but apart from the assembly scene she's not overly memorable, much like most of the other bad guys.

As a last passing note I want to mention the music. I noticed it a lot and it was frequently very good, it certainly helped the transition scenes. I probably would have turned the volume down a bit, but it was a great selection so I don't think it's too much of a problem.

I should probably stop waffling at this point. Despite what has amounted to a lot of moaning and griping Hellboy wasn't a waste of my time. I know lots of you are going to disagree with me on that point. To be entertaining given all of those faults I nitpicked was a great achievement. It delivers on daft action and sometimes that's all I need to have an amusing time at the cinema. We probably just need to keep our fingers crossed for better effects if they come out with a sequel.

What you should do

I would go and see it at the cinema if I were you. If you can get past the fact it isn't Ron Perlman and there's a severe lack of kittens then you're bound to have some fun.

Movie thing you wish you could take home

Some spirit powers would be quite fun, minus the vomiting part.
  
The Nun (2018)
The Nun (2018)
2018 | Horror
I’ve always been a sucker for supernatural thrillers that are based on “actual events”, even if the way it’s portrayed in the movies nowhere resembles the truth. For some reason, it’s always intriguing to watch a film and imagine that these things could potentially happen. This has always been the draw of The Conjuring films, which are loosely based on the lives of Ed and Lorraine Warren, whose paranormal investigations were the inspiration behind not only this series but the Amityville Horror. So, when I heard that The Nun was another movie set in the same cinematic universe as The Conjuring franchise I anxiously awaited the opportunity to review it.

The Nun begins with two nuns who are attempting to destroy an evil being that has cursed an abbey in a small Romanian village for hundreds of years. After a young man who goes by the name Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) discovers one of the nuns has hung herself, the Vatican summons Father Burke (Demián Bichir), who is known for his special skills in exorcisms and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), a young nun-in-training to investigate the matter. With Frenchie as their guide, they travel to the abbey to uncover the mysteries of the nun’s suicide.

The Nun reintroduces us to a familiar demonic figure that was originally introduced in The Conjuring 2. Sadly, this is where the similarities to the other Conjuring films end. The Nun has its share of jump scares, but the entire film seems to be a compilation of various horror tropes including everything from crosses turning upside down to using holy water to get rid of demons. All the typical exorcism movie elements are there, but none of them really add any context to the story or answer any questions as to why the priest and nun were sent to investigate the suicide. There is no discernable path that the characters take to unravel the mystery, and it attempts to build suspense only to “Hollywood-up” the ending. They sacrificed suspense and mystery and replaced it with monster filled battles and cheesy one-liners. Instead of beautifully haunting ghosts and demons we got what I could only describe as nun-mummies which can now be taken down with shovels and shotguns. A shotgun was not part of Father Burke’s exorcism arsenal but towards the end of the movie you start to think maybe that should have been his weapon of choice all along (who needs a cross and holy water, when you have your trusty 12-gauge).

The setting is as beautiful as it is creepy, and it’s hard not to wonder how they could take such an amazing setting and dumb it down. The Nun herself is particularly creepy and the characters at first glance appear to be interesting which is why it’s so disappointing that the movie feels so much like a missed opportunity. The pacing of the movie is incredibly slow as well, with all the buildup of the investigation most of the time you are just waiting for something to happen. To make it even worse, most of the buildups lead the audience down a path of confusion and not only raise more questions that will never be answered, but also destroy any believability of the story.

Ultimately, fans of The Conjuring franchise will likely leave disappointed and with even more longing for The Conjuring 3 to be released. The movie lacks much of the suspense and outright terror that the previous movies in the series were well known for and ultimately feels like a spinoff movie that lacks any real connection to the movies preceding it. The Nun isn’t a terrible movie, and I didn’t leave feeling as though I had completely wasted an hour and a half of my time, it just really doesn’t do anything to break new ground or move the franchise along in any meaningful way. While there are parts of the movie that will have you jump, the reality is, that the scenes following these moments will keep you bewildered and likely cause you to forget what made you jump in the first place. It has some interesting concepts, but nothing that hasn’t been done better in similar movies before it. In the end it’s a movie that people will not likely hate but will not feel satisfied with either. I certainly wouldn’t recommend paying full price to see it, but it may be worth the Saturday matinee price or watching it when it comes to Blu-ray. If you want a good ghost or demon movie to get you in the Halloween spirit, this isn’t it. You’d be much better off watching the spectacularly classic Poltergeist or The Exorcist if you really want to be scared out of your wits.

What I liked: The setting and atmosphere, The Nun herself was pretty freaky

What I liked less: Disjointed story, Too many unanswered questions, Overall “meh” feeling