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Darren (1237 KP) rated Citadel (2012) in Movies

Oct 14, 2019  
Citadel (2012)
Citadel (2012)
2012 | Drama, Horror, Mystery
6
6.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Characters – Tommy is a father with agoraphobia after he saw his wife attacked by a group of children, he is trying to be the good father for his new born child, but his fears are controlling the situation, he sees children trying to take his child, he needs to face his fears to make it through this trauma he is going through. Priest is a renegade man that is aggressively searching for a way to bring down the feral children, he sees Tommy as a chance to get the job done, even if it is against what his religion states. Marie is one of the social workers that will help Tommy, she is trying to help him through the medical side even if she is the one that puts him in contact with the priest. The Feral Children are the highlight of the film because they are genuinely frightening when they attack.

Performances – Aneurin Barnard in the leading role does make us feel for his character, we believe he has been through the trauma and is the desperation to save his family. James Cosmo is fun to watch as anti-priest figure. Wunmi Mosaku doesn’t do anything wrong in the supporting role, if only we could have seen more from the character.

Story – The story here follows a new father that is dealing with his own trauma while raising his new born child, which will see him needing to face off against feral child that feed on people’s fears. The early thing that must be pointed out here, comes from the idea that we are not full convinced that we are seeing the fears of the character dealt with, for the most part we are seeing one man terrorised but even the people without the fear seem to be targets too, this mostly confuses the rule point in place. the idea that the feral child live in the abandoned flat complex doesn’t improve on things either because you would think more incidents would happen. The part of the story that does standout and is interesting to watch would be seeing how Tommy is dealing with his own traumas while remaining strong facing the possibility of not being able to raise his own child because of his problems, sadly we don’t see enough of this addressed with the horror side of the story taking over, which simply put, isn’t as interesting.

Horror – The horror starts of being home invasion like horror, which worked for the illness Tommy had, but when we enter the flats, it does become the highlight of the action in the film, feeling dark, scary with anything able to jump out to get them.

Settings – The settings show us the run down neighbourhood in which Tommy lives, the support groups around it and most importantly the empty flat block which has the feral children in it.

Special Effects – The effects are used mostly look practical, with the moments surrounding the feral child being the most notable and scary ones.


Scene of the Movie – Inside the flat block.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It breaks the rules it sets up too easily.

Final Thoughts – This is a horror film that does take its time getting going, one the chaos is unleashed with get a highly intense final act which ramps the fear up to the max.

 

Overall: Slow Start, Strong Finish.
  
A Very Austen Valentine
A Very Austen Valentine
Robin M. Helm | 2018 |
8
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
ix beloved authors deliver romantic Valentine novellas set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite, together with Susan Kaye and Mandy Cook, share variations of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility, featuring your favorite characters in sequels, adaptations, and spinoffs of Austen’s adored novels. Experience uplifting romance, laugh-out-loud humor, and poignant regret as these authors deftly tug on your heartstrings this Valentine’s Day.



I Dream of You by Robin Helm



Newly-married Elizabeth Darcy has a plan: to charm her too-busy husband into desiring her company as much as he did when he was courting her. A series of romantic dreams gives her just the push she needs to put that plan into action.



Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile



Faced with a lonely future and finding himself strapped for cash, Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot manfully decides to marry again. But his careful plans go sadly awry! A lighthearted Valentine mash-up featuring two of Jane Austen’s worst snobs.



My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis



Jane and Charles Bingley have married, even though Miss Elizabeth Bennet remains certain Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy gave his best effort to keep them apart. After Mr. Darcy refused to stand up with Bingley and did not attend the wedding, she despises the gentleman more than ever and finds his company intolerable. How will she endure her visit to Kent if Mr. Darcy turns up everywhere she goes?



Pretence and Prejudice by Barbara Cornthwaite



A chance encounter with a handsome stranger forces Elizabeth to resort to subterfuge in order to discover his true intentions.



My Valentine by Mandy H. Cook Mandy H. Cook



Little Charlotte was always determined and independent, traits which served her well as she battled a serious childhood illness and later as she took on Polite Society. Will those traits now deprive her of true love? Or would her lifelong Valentine win her heart?



The Lovers’ Ruse by Susan Kaye



 In this Persuasion alteration, Anne is so altered by Wentworth’s love in the summer of 1806, she refuses to give him up when both her godmother and father try to persuade her. “The Lovers’ Ruse”follows Frederick and Anne through their whirlwind courtship and their secret engagement. When Wentworth returns for his Annie girl, the cat comes out of the bag.



My Thoughts: These six charming novellas centered around Valentines will entice all those who adore Jane Austen's writings. Based on characters from Jane Austen's novels; I enjoyed reading into the lives of the Darcy's; I was impressed that the writers Robin Helm, Wendi Sotis and Mandy H. Cook are all centered their novellas around the same family. Each storytelling its own unique view of their lives.


Each story is fun to read, and takes the reader back to a simpler time, of love, romance, and proper etiquette. Each story has it's own charm and brings the reader closer to the characters.


My favorites have to be the novellas containing the characters Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, my absolute favorite being "I Dream of You". In this novella we learn how to give rather than to receive and the joys we can draw from each act of kindness.


If you love historical fiction, and Jane Austen novels, then this is certainly a book for you.
  
Things You Save in a Fire
Things You Save in a Fire
Katherine Center | 2019 |
7
7.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
Cassie Hanwell is a great firefighter. She loves her job in Austin, Texas and her friendly crew. Cassie's life is shaped by a series of events that occurred on her sixteenth birthday, including her mother leaving her and her father. Now she stays clearly in her comfort zone. That zone includes work, work, and more work. No relationships, no real attachments to anyone, a strong resistance to forgiving her mother, and definitely not love. But when her mom calls Cassie and asks her to move to Boston to help her--due to an illness--Cassie has to leave that comfort zone. Big time. She has to go live with her mother, whom she barely knows anymore. She has to leave behind her progressive Austin crew and work with a group of guys in Boston who are appalled at the thought of a "lady" on their crew. Except for one guy, the new rookie, who has no problem with Cassie. And Cassie doesn't mind being around him. At all. In fact she even likes it. But love isn't in Cassie's vocabulary, and even if it was, everyone knows firefighters don't date other firefighters. Right?


"I'd structured my life around routine, and safety, and order. Feelings were a lot of trouble. I avoided them as much as possible."


I really enjoyed Katherine Center's previous book, How to Walk Away, so I was excited to read this one. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much (though I enjoyed the little link between the two), but it is a cute read. I have to admit, there were times in this one when things seemed a little too saccharine for my cynical self. I know, I know, that's terrible, especially when things aren't always light and breezy for Cassie and friends in this book. I think it's something only sarcastic folks like myself will understand.

In fact, this book is a really interesting blend between dark and quite light and fluffy. Cassie has a dark past, as does the rookie, Owen, but a lot of the book is Cassie just repeating that she won't ever love anyone or date a firefighter. I think we all know where this is leading...

However, the book is really funny at times, and it's very easy to like Cassie. She's incredibly tough and brave, and she gives all the guys a run for their money. The book makes some great points on sexism, and I always enjoy a chance to watch a tough girl beat some boys at their own game. And I have to admit I enjoyed (okay, identified with) some of her anti-social tendencies.


"Human connection had its upsides, but it sure was a lot of work. The risk-reward ratio was low, at best."


There's also a good supporting cast from Cassie's mom and her mom's best friend. For me, this one picked up in the last fourth or so, when everything seemed to really come together. There's a moment when it all just clicks, and I found myself laughing and grinning a lot. That part made it all worth reading for me.

Overall, it took me some time to warm up to this book--much like it took Cassie a while to warm up to Massachusetts. But she's an engaging, tough character, and her story is one of resilience, even if there are a lot of really sweet, almost too-perfect moments too. You can pretty much tell how the story is going to play out, but it's a fun, cute read. 3.5 stars.
  
The Velocipastor (2018)
The Velocipastor (2018)
2018 |
8
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Story: The VelociPastor starts when Doug Jones (Cohan) whose parents are murdered leading to him to loses his faith, Father Stewart (Steere) sends him of a self-discovery holiday, which sees him head to China, when he returns he finds himself having horrendous nightmares and after he meets a hooker Carol (Kempinski), he tries to put everything together.

Once Doug learns that he can turn into a dinosaur, he works with Carol to fight crime to clean up his own town, including the man that murdered his parents.

Thoughts on The VelociPastor

Characters – Doug Jones is a priest that has followed God for years until his parents are murdered outside his church, he goes on a voyage of self-discovery in China, which sees him infected with an illness. Doug have the ability to turn into a dinosaur, where he decides to use this new power to fight crime in his town, getting revenge on the person who murdered his parents and bring down the drug lord. Carol is a local hooker that meets Doug and sees first-hand just what he is capable off, she pushes him into fighting crime, while she can handle herself in combat too. Father Stewart is the mentor of Doug, he has always helped him keep the faith and is willing to let him discover his faith once more. Wei Chan is the local drug lord that has been controlling the crime in the town, along with his ninjas he will be the fight Doug must take on.

Performances – This movie does have the over the top performances which does only help make things more entertaining, Greg Cohan in the leading role knowns when to hold things back before going over the top, which helps the character. Alyssa Kempinski is fun in her role, which brings the change in our lead character through the film. The whole cast know exactly the tone of this film and it shows in the their performances.

Story – The story here follows a priest that gets infected with something that turns him into a dinosaur and decides to go on to fight crime with this new ability. The first thing you must be prepared for is knowing that this film doesn’t take anything serious and is well aware that everything is as ridiculous as it sounds. The idea behind the film is truly original, it is purely fun and wildly over the top. If you do go into this story thinking you are getting something serious, you will be disappointed because this film is completely self-aware of what it is trying to tell.

Action/Comedy/Horror/Sci-Fi – The action in the film does play into the comedy, which is silly and over the top, which does include the dinosaur fighting ninja, which helps with the horror and sci-fi elements in the film.

Settings – The film is set in a small town, this does help with the idea of how silly this film takes itself without needing to go into anything too serious once again.

Special Effects – The effects in the film are practical, this again plays into the self-aware side of the film, which does show with the dinosaur suit fighting ninja.


Scene of the Movie – Dinosaur v ninjas.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The random Father Stewart backstory.

Final Thoughts – This is one if not the most self-aware movies you will see, it is so funny you can enjoy laughing through how ridiculous this film is.

Overall: Purely fun.
  
The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016)
The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016)
2016 | International, Drama
6
7.3 (3 Ratings)
Movie Rating
In 1914, Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) traveled from his poverty-stricken existence in Madras, India to Trinity College, Cambridge in the hope that he would have his theories published and be recognized for the mathematical genius he was. While there, despite facing racism, hostility and severe illness, he formed an important relationship with G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons) that would lead to breakthroughs in mathematics that are still relevant today.

 

It would be easy to prattle on about the tremendous talent onscreen in The Man Who Knew Infinity and with a supporting cast that features some of Britain’s best; we get exactly what we’d expect from the likes of Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones and Kevin McNally. All at the top of their game, they serve the story well with nuanced and well-rounded performances, and I’m certainly not going to take anything away from the exceptional jobs they’ve all done here. All the praise this film deserves however, needs to be directed at Dev Patel. In his role as Ramanujan, he’s completely stepped out of the shadow of his big-screen debut in Slumdog Millionaire and has proved his worth as a leading man capable of carrying the weight of an entire feature. Distancing himself also from the lovable, bumbling hotel owner in The Best Exotic Marigold movies, with Ramanujan he is allowed the room to display an incredible range, from quiet intensity to outspoken, unbridled passion and determination. Kudos also to the writers for not going The Big Short route (e.g. talking down to the uninitiated with ridiculous cutaways), but by using simple logic and examples to help convey complex information relevant to the plot.

 

For the performances alone, this is a solid entry in the biopic genre, but structurally speaking, it’s the editing that lets the film down. This very easily could have emerged as the next A Beautiful Mind, but between a bloated first act, a middling and wandering second act and a truncated final third, The Man Who Knew Infinity falls just short of greatness. Not only is no attention paid to Ramanujan’s achievements as a child, but too much time is given to details and subplots that are arguably inconsequential to the main narrative. This is especially evident in the inclusion of Bertrand Russell (who lived such a rich and fascinating life himself, it would take several films to do that story justice) and his being here feels like just a hollow excuse to include a cameo from another figure of historical importance. The biggest disservice though comes with the ending where we are denied a much needed catharsis and are left to suffer through a slap-dash, halfhearted montage. A restructuring from a more seasoned hand would have undoubtedly led to stronger word-of-mouth and perhaps a wider release. I also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this is a case of “too many cooks” as the film has a staggering 43 credited producers. I get that independent features can be forced to source their funding from many places, but you can’t tell me that with all those opinions flying about that some of the original intent didn’t get lost in the noise.

 

As an aside, what Stephen Fry is doing here is beyond me. He’s given two scenes with perhaps a half a dozen lines, leaving his incomparable persona entirely wasted on a completely throwaway character. It’s a pity he wasn’t given a meatier role as one of Ramanujan’s antagonists.
  
Dracula
Dracula
Bram Stoker, Ang Lee | 2016 | Fiction & Poetry
9
8.2 (45 Ratings)
Book Rating
Dracula was written by author Bram Stoker during the late 1890's and is set around the character of Dracula and his attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he can spread the curse of the undead (I.e. the creation of more vampires). English solicitor Jonathan Harker who'd originally gone to Transylvania to be legal aide for Dracula stops him with the help of Van Helsing and others which ends the life of one of them – Quincey-, the book ends with a note from Jonathan Harker that several people lived happily married and Jonathan has a son nicknamed for Quincey.

Dracula was published in London in May 1897 by Archibald Constable & Company and was later copyrighted in the U.S in 1899 and published by Doubleday & McClure of New York. Despite having decent praise form reviewers it wasn't an immediate bestseller. Although the English newspaper the Daily Mail ranked Stoker's writing prowess in Dracula above that of Mary Shelly, Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Bronte's Wuthering heights. Unfortunately it didn't make Stoker that much money and he'd had to petition for a compassionate grant from the royal literary fund. When he died his widow was forced to sell his notes and outlines of the book at an auction in 1913. It was the unauthorised adaption of Nosferatu by F. W. Murnau in 1922 and the resulting legal battle made when Stokers widow took affront that the novels popularity began to grow.

Before writing Dracula Bram Stoker had been researching European folklore and stories of vampires having been most influenced by Emily Gerard's “Transylvania Superstitions” 1885 essay...which included content about the vampire myth. Some historians insist that Vlad iii Dracula (More commonly known as Vlad the impaler) was the model for Stokers count but there's been no supporting evidence to make that true. According to one expert Stoker only borrowed the barest minimum of information of the Wallachian tyrant and he's not even mentioned in Stokers notes. Stoker was a member of the London library during the 1890's where books by Sabine Baring-Gould, Thomas Browne, AF Crosse and Charles Boner are attributed to Stokers research. Stoker would later claim he'd had a nightmare caused by over-eating crab meat about a “Vampire king” rising from his grave. Whitby on the Yorkshire coast contributed its landscape since Bram Stoker often holidayed there during the summer.

Dracula wasn't Stokers first choice as title for the story since he cycled through The Dead Un-Dead then simply the Un-Dead the count wasn't even supposed to be Count Dracula having had the name Count Wampyr for several drafts before Stoker became intrigued by the name Dracula. After reading “An account of the principles of Wallachia and Moldavia with political observations relative to them” written by author William Wilkinson (Published in 1820). the descendants of Vlad ii of Wallachia took the name Dracula or Dracul after being invested in the Order of the Dragon in 1431. In the old Romanian language the word Dracul mean “the Dragon” and Dracula meant “Son of the Dragon”. Nowadays however Dracul means “the Devil”

Whilst Dracula is known as THE Vampire novel its not the first. Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe had his book the Bride of Corinth published in 1797, 1871's Carmilla (a story about a lesbian vampire) was written by Sheridan Le Frau and James Malcolm Rymer's penny dreadful series Venny the Vampire was a product from the mid Victorian period. Even John Polidori created an image of a vampyric aristocrat in his 1819 story The Vampyre when he spent a summer with Merry Shelly (creator of Frankenstein) and her poet husband Percy Bysshe Shelly and Lord Bryon in 1816.

I really love Dracula. It showed the madness, the ethereal quality and the ultimate danger of what a vampire could do. Like many other goth inclined teenagers trying to find their feet in the world Dracula definitely added its two cents to my self worth and love of all things macabre. The fact it was written by a Victorian writer has added a unusual depth to the story as only a Victorian writer could. The culture of the Vampire has become deep rooted and wide spread in its acceptance and Dracula has definitely spearheaded such a phenomenon.

Abraham “Bram” Stoker was Born in Dublin, Ireland on the 8th of November 1847, He was the third of seven children born to Abraham and Charlotte Stoker and was bedridden with an unknown illness until he recovered at seven. He started schooling at a private school run by the Reverend William Woods and grew up without serious illness. Stoker excelled at sports at Trinity College Dublin having graduated in 1870 with a BA (Bachelor of Arts). He was an Auditor of the College Historical Society and the president of the University Philosophical Society where his first paper was on Sensationalism in fiction and society.

Thanks to his friend Dr. Maunsell, Stoker became interested in the theatre as a student and whilst working for the Irish civil service he became a theatre critic for the Dublin evening mail where he attracted notice for the quality of his reviews. Stoker gave a favourable review of Henry Irving's adaption of Hamlet in December 1876, this prompted Irving to invite him to dinner where they ended up becoming friends. Stoker wrote The Crystal Cup which was published by the London society in 1872 and The chain of Destiny which was released in four parts in the Shamrock. Stoker also wrote the non-fiction book the duties of clerks of petty sessions in Ireland which was published in 1879.

Bram stoker married Florence Balcombe the daughter of a lieutenent-colonel in 1978 and they moved to London. Where Stoker ended up the Business manager of the Lyceum theatre as well as manager for Henry Irving- a position he held for 27 years. Despite being a very busy man Stoker ended up writing several novels (as well as Dracula) Including The Snakes pass in 1890, the lady of the shroud in 1909 and the lair of the white worm in 1911. when Henry Irving died in 1906 he published his personal reminiscences of Henry Irving. Stoker also managed productions at the Prince of Wales theatre.

Bram stoker died after a series of strokes in London on April 20th 1912, the cause of death is split between the possibility of Tertiary Syphilis or overwork. He was cremated and was placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium in North London, he was later joined by the ashes of his Son Irving Noel Stoker in 1961, his wife Florence was meant to join them but her ashes were scattered at the Gardens of rest.

Stoker was honoured with a Google Doogle (the banner on goggles homepage) on November 8th 2012 commemorating the 165th anniversary of his birth. An annual festival in honour of Bram Stoker happens in Dublin, its supported by the Bram stoker estate and was/is usually funded by Dublin City Council and Failte Ireland.

My opinion of Bran stoker is that of a decent hard working man who loved life. Stoker epitomises the phrases of “a man on a mission” and “a man who hussles”. Having worked extremely hard both creatively as a novelist and business wise as a theatre manager Stoker pretty much showed that if you work hard you could pretty much do anything you set your mind to.

And there you have it a book for all the ages, definitely under the banner of AWESOME!!!.
  
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Double Love (Sweet Valley High, #1)
Double Love (Sweet Valley High, #1)
Francine Pascal | 1984 | Fiction & Poetry
6
6.5 (4 Ratings)
Book Rating
<u><b>SVH: WTF?</b></u>

<b>Cover Models:</b> Jessica and Elizabeth

<b>Page count:</b> 182

<b>Special Event:</b> Some sorority thing.

<b>Number of times "a hundred and thirty-seven" was mentioned:</b> Two, plus five hundred and thirty-seven and seven hundred and thirty-seven. See below.

<b>Mental Illness Winner of the Week:</b> Jessica. Is there any surprise there?

<b>Jessica's Bitchyness scale:</b> ***** (out of five)

<b>WTFery Meter:</b> ****1/2 stars (out of five)

-------------------------

<b>Quotes & Snarky comments:</b>

What a peach:<blockquote>"How can you be best friends with somebody as blah as Eeny Rollins? I don't want you to go over there. Somebody might think it was <i>me</i> talking to her." - Jessica Wakefield, page 18</blockquote>Jessica's thoughts about Liz's lack of enthusiasm at being accepted into the sorority, Pi Beta Alpha: <blockquote>"No big deal? Elizabeth, how can you say that? How can you even think it? You've got to be seven hundred and thirty-seven kinds of idiots not to be excited about associating with the best girls at Sweet Valley High. What's wrong with you?" - page 34/5</blockquote>Isn't she simply the sweetest girl in the world? (note: Enid was also accepted.)

On butting into their brother's, Steven, love life: <blockquote>"You can do whatever you want, Elizabeth Wakefield, but it's just not in my nature to be cold and selfish when it comes to the happiness of a member of my family!" - page 39</blockquote>This as she attempts to steal Todd away from Liz the whole book. Yeah, real selfless of ya, Jess.<blockquote>"He has got to be the most wonderful boy in a hundred and thirty-seven states!" - Jessica, page 108</blockquote> Uh, she does realize there are only 50, right?<blockquote>Elizabeth wondered how her sister could possibly descend from cloud nine with Todd Wilkins to the pits of depression so fast and simply because she had to do a little thing like help fix dinner. - page 108</blockquote>I bet a psychologist (or a whole team of them) is the only one that could help you figure that out, Liz. What follows immediately afterward sees Jessica having a complete meltdown. Seriously.
<blockquote>"This family has got to be the biggest bummer in five hundred and thirty-seven cities!" - Jess, page 111</blockquote><blockquote>"You selfish little twerp," Steven said, glaring at Jessica. - page 114</blockquote>Hear, hear! Way to go Steve!
<blockquote>"I'll never forgive you, not if I live to be a hundred and thirty-seven years." - Jessica, page 182</blockquote>Aah! Please don't live that long, please. 8O

<b>Final thoughts:</b>
Elizabeth = Goody-two-shoes doormat.
Jessica = Satan incarnate.
Sounds like a bad sitcom.

<b>Disclaimer:</b> I am not a teenager or preteen, but an adult. Supposedly. Everyone keeps telling me I am but I'm not sure I'm buying what they're selling. Therefore my views are based from that perspective rather than someone in the target age range. I inhaled these suckers when I was young, hale, and hearty, so in an apparent moment of weakness have decided to re-visit one of my favorite old series in a fondly-remembered, tongue-in-cheek, and mostly sarcastic approach. So since I couldn't manage to devise a rating system for SVH books, I came up with this little way to have some fun, which is in the review form you've (hopefully) just read. Why else would you be reading this if you hadn't read all the way through anyway? Sometimes me not so bright. ;P

Next review: <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/166889313"><b>Secrets</b></a>;