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Awix (3274 KP) rated The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977) in Movies

Jun 16, 2020 (Updated Jun 16, 2020)  
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
1977 | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
6.8 (5 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Interesting if not entirely successful adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic piece of Gothic SF. Michael York get washed up on Burt Lancaster's private island and discovers he's been doing genetic experiments on animals, trying to instil human characteristics into them. Well-mounted, and with decent performances from most of the cast, even if it's never quite as thought-provoking or disturbing as you'd probably like it to be, while most of Barbara Carrera's scenes feel like they've been grafted on from a different film, not entirely comfortably (an attempt at a twist ending involving her character was abandoned when Michael York refused to film it on taste and decency grounds).

The film-makers seem to have noticed the theoretical issues with the plot of the book - the main character has no real agency and is merely an onlooker - and fixed this by introducing a subplot in which Moreau experiments on him, thus setting up a reasonably elegant action-adventury sort of climax complete with happy ending. This does put the film rather at odds with Wells, though, and gets in the way of exploring the book's actual themes - its somewhat problematic subtexts about social control and the different sort of uplift attempted by the British Empire are still there if you look for them, seemingly by accident. Enough of the book's imagery and ideas survive to make this worthwhile viewing and probably the most rewarding adaptation, but really - read the novel as well.
The First Purge (2018)
The First Purge (2018)
2018 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Purge the purge
#thefirstpurge starts off with so much promise but quickly descends into one big messy brainless #shootemup. When the credits started to roll at the end of this film I found myself feeling confused as to what I'd just watched. It was like I'd just sat through the new #diehard film not a horror movie & as I stood up to leave thats when I saw in big letters ''PRODUCED BY #MICHAELBAY'. For the first 20 minutes I was really digging this film, it was slow with very interesting set up & seemingly going in a really intelligent direction with its strong social commentary themes & its portrails of human behaviour. See you have the government glamourising & rewarding #violence to secretly encourage the poor to eliminate each other, killing not even being a choice for most people or people not taking the #purge seriously, hate groups using the purge as opportunity to commit racially motivated killings, people embracing religion or using it as a excuse to commit violence. Then theres the people who commit crime outside of the purge & get away with it on daily basis who are never punished making the over all question does the purge do more harm than good or vice'versa?. All these themes/subjects are so fascinating but other than at the start of the movie they are not explored or developed with any depth at all. Tone is a mixed bag here too, theres very very light horror elements mixed with humour thats just so out of place & the shoot out heavy third act just feels like they ran out of ideas or didnt know what direction to go. Theres also no real tension or scares here & the costumes/masks are sparse & unimaginative this time around too bringing no fear or haunting imagery to the film either. Acting is fine but no character has a clear drive or a fleshed out back story making them disposable. If your looking for a good horror film the first purge is to action packed, if your looking for action the film is to generic & if your looking for a good time its pacing & mixed tone is to all over place. Watch #electionyear instead its by far the best purge. #odeon #odeonlimitless #horror #scary #gore #fun #mask #jumpscare #halloween #silly #wednesdaywisdom #filmcritic #filmbuff
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
2019 | Action, Sci-Fi
Home Run
Spiderman Far From Home while more like add on dlc to the far superior Homecoming is packed with enough breathtaking moments & genuinely touching character moments to make is a top notch Spidey road trip. I cant deny Im a sucker for anything Spiderman related so please take my review as possibly slightly bias. At first Far from home had me extremely worried as some of the writing is borderline awful, some acting felt extremely off & its strange offbeat comedy is thrown at us so thick & fast I was eeeessshing more than I was laughing. However about half an hour in something changed & all the things I hated started to come together & I really felt my self becoming really involved with it all. I think what the movie had actually managed to do was not only remind me of the 90s animated show but almost recreate its feel in live action form too. Full of exposition & plot twists I saw coming a mile off Far from home still managed to keep me invested in its characters & raise the stakes/tension constantly as the film went on. What started off as a silly predictable romp actually ended up being a thrilling adrenaline rush filled with pulse pounding busy action scenes that utilised slow motion & unique camera tracking brilliantly as well as a finally thats heartfelt & extremely touching. Themes of new love & the rush it brings as well as its beautiful awkwardness are so relatable & believable & its darker themes of how the worlds gullibility/naivety/social media can be used against us as a weapon are scarily current also. Jake gyllenhaal is literally of the chain as mysterio & I would go as far as saying brings THE best acting I've ever seen in any marvel film so far. Seriously his performance is next level especially when you compare how his character behaves in the first half of the film against in the second half going from quiet, bland, weak & emotionless to unstable, intelligent, overconfident & tactical with some intense/harrowing use of his powers too. One of the most comic like comic book superhero films we've had so far its dorky, full of awesome action, twists/turns & a kickass villain so sit back & take it for what it is pure enjoyment.

Jamie (130 KP) rated The Edible Woman in Books

May 24, 2017  
The Edible Woman
The Edible Woman
Margaret Atwood | 1969 | Fiction & Poetry
7.0 (3 Ratings)
Book Rating
Strong commentary about the roles of women as they enter adulthood (0 more)
Starting to show it’s age with outdated social norms (0 more)
An honest exploration of the roles of women, marriage, and entering adulthood
Marian is an average college-educated woman who lives with a roommate in a decent apartment, works for a survey company, is moderately good looking, and has a handsome fiancé who is on his way to being a big shot lawyer. It sounds like life altogether is going pretty well for Marian. Yet for some reason she feels empty, why?

The Edible Woman explores the themes of losing a sense of self with maturity. At work she is pushed around, her roommate Ainsley is inconsiderate, the landlady is judgmental, and her boyfriend Peter is self centered and makes snide comments at Marian’s expense, acting like he can barely tolerate her. With each encounter Marian puts aside her pride for the sake of avoiding conflict. Marian expresses her problems through eating, or the lack thereof, hinting at a potential eating disorder. Just as she feels inhibited in life, she suddenly feels inhibited with the kinds of food that she can eat.

As the story continues she begins to dread marriage and question the direction her life is going—becoming just as listless as her friend and former classmate Clara, who after marriage and three pregnancies just seems beaten down. Marian’s fiancé Peter is the stereotypical perfect bachelor: a man’s man that looks down on women and views marriage as a ball and chain. Peter pushes Marian around in order to mold her into a subservient woman. There is no longer any room for her thoughts, her feelings, or her desires from under his shadow.

But what about work? What are women’s roles in society and the work force? Throughout the story there are several women including Marian with college educations, yet none of them really have a stable career. Women are expected to be wives and mothers, there’s simply no time for an education or a job. In this case, their educations are ultimately viewed as their downfall due to the crushing reality of how little opportunity they would have. This was the very sad truth at the time the book was written and thankfully is not exactly the case now in most parts of the world.

Atwood tackles a large number of social issues throughout the book that I think would be important for any young woman. Adulthood, relationships, marriage, the choice between work and education versus starting a family, and lastly feminism—both good and bad. (Hint: Ainsely is a perfect example of a bad feminist.)

There are certain elements of the book that are becoming quite dated. Namely the typewriters, the social expectation that all women can be are housewives, and the limited ways that women can dress; These things might make it difficult for young women to look past and relate to the main character. Despite this the book is still incredibly relevant in the message that it brings about maintaining one’s individuality. I absolutely love this book and found a lot of my former self in it’s pages.
One Cut of the Dead (Kamera o Tomeru na!) (2017)
One Cut of the Dead (Kamera o Tomeru na!) (2017)
2017 | Comedy, Horror
A cut above
#onecutofthedead is an extremely #fun and stressful look into the #art of #lowbudget #filmmaking. #Zombie films have literally been done to #death now so when i got the chance to catch this one i was sceptical but still the zombie #fan in me decided it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot. I have to say one cut is possibly the most refreshing and unique take on the genre ive seen in quite some time. Essentially 2 films the first half is an impressive little low budget zombie movie creatively shot in one long take while the second half is a look into the film making process itself. Its essentially one big love letter to the art of film making (especially on a low budget) full of #nostalgia and nods to films we all grew up enjoying. We are shown all the passion, team work, #stress, mistakes, cost cutting, disasters, preparation, energy and #emotional investment and above all fun that goes into the making a movie which is extremely refreshing to see. Acting is full of life especially since most of the cast are unknowns and each of them manage to bring great #comedy, realisum and likability to the characters. Themes of #bullying and social awkwardness are touched on here too and the film touches on how a directors can sometimes go to far ending up pushing actors over the brink not only physicall but mentally. Fancy something #gory, #funny, different and quirky? one cut is a film about inspiration, passion, motivation and comitment that pleasantly surprised me and has successfully reanimated the art of zombie movie making. #gore #horror #friyay #scary #silly #movie #filmbuff #filmcritic #beautiful #oldschool #classic #georgeromero #dawnofthedead #throwback #walkingdead
One of us is Lying
One of us is Lying
Karen M. McManus | 2017 | Young Adult (YA)
8.3 (41 Ratings)
Book Rating
One of Us is Lying is a mix between the Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars. Five strangers walk into detention but only 4 walk out alive. The four have to work together to find the culprit, but the blame could easily be on one of them.

The book follows all 4 of the students who were in detention. They're stereotyped as the brain, beauty, jock and the criminal. But they are also so much more. The character arcs show how much they change in the weeks after the murder. One of Us is Lying also shows us insights into who they really are and the differences between public and private personas.

The characters were also likable and realistic. Unlike Pretty Little Liars, they dont do stupid things which will put themselves in worse situations. Their problems were also relatable, and their relationships felt real. Some of the issues tackled are social media usage, depression, sexuality, abuse, etc. There's so much packed into one book due to the vastly different characters involved.

The mystery of the book was so interesting and I didn't see it coming. It seems kind of obvious in hindsight, and I know a lot of people did guess. But I very rarely read mystery style books, and I often don't focus too much on the clues. That's my excuse for not figuring it out anyway.

Overall I really loved the book. There was exploration of different societal themes. The writing was good. Characters were likable and interesting. An all round good read. I would definitely recommend.

I received One of Us is Lying* by Karen M. McManus as an e-book from the publisher, Penguin Random House, via Netgalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

Uptown Oracle Reviews

Anna Steele (111 KP) Jun 1, 2018

It reminds me a lot of 13 Reasons Why.

In the far future humankind has spread into space but a series of wars together with the harsh realities of living beyond the solar system has taken its toll. Amongst the scattering of colonies the Last City is the final bastion against extinction. Ruled over by the autocratic and ruthless Toros Strand, society exists in a rigid hierarchy defined by which level they occupy. From Strand himself on the 100th floor down to those who live in the lower levels - and below - the city there are many stories to be told.

The simple setup allows a number of current science fiction authors to stretch their imagination as they investigate the workings of the Last City. Each story looks at a different aspect - although most of them concentrate on the lower levels. A very noir private detective who is more than he seems. A secret route through the city for those who wish to disappear. Hunting for lost areas to loot and claim. A dangerous race across the outside where the stakes are high. There are also a couple of tales which show how the city appears to those who are beyond it.

The standard is high and every new story feels as fresh and interesting as the one before. All are packed with great ideas, enabling not only some stories dealing with straight forward science fiction themes but also ones covering social hierarchies and injustice, intolerance of 'outsiders' and the harsh tactics employed by totalitarian regimes to keep their populace in check.

I've tried to think of a science fiction short story collection I've enjoyed more, but there simply isn't one. I'd say there were plenty more stories to be told in this universe, perhaps another short story collection or novella wouldn't go amiss. Authors willing of course...

Neon Nans Culture Shock (354 KP) rated The Addams Family (2019) in Movies

Nov 1, 2019 (Updated Nov 1, 2019)  
The Addams Family (2019)
The Addams Family (2019)
2019 | Animation, Comedy, Family
Everyone knows pink is a gateway colour
addams family attempts to bring the classic family into modern day and while not a bad little film it doesnt do nearly enough to make them as memorable for a new generation of kids/teens as it did for people my age growing up. I must say I quite admire this film for trying to differentiate its self from the constant barrage of animated features weve had this year. Its colour pallet is mostly drab, cold and dark colours which I enjoyed and fit well with the gothic/spooky vibe of the film. Theres also a lot of cool halloween things to look at in the scenes that are set inside the familys house and humor at times can be incredibly gross or darkly adult too which really made me giggle (most of which children are thankfuly to young to understand). Animation while not overly detailed was nice to look at also be it the warts on an old hags nose, spiders crawling the walls or the way the bottom of Morticias dress squirms around the floor as she walks are just some of the neat little attentions to detail making this world a little more strange and alive. Plot and story wise its a little dull and while I found some clever ideas implemented here they really are not executed very interestingly. I did find some of the ideas fun however like the way the movie pokes fun at current trends eg all the girls at the school wednesday goes to have those hidious duck lips, all look identical to one another and obsess over instagram. Everyone in the town also has odd habbits of thier own and the seemingly nicest person also has a much darker side to her, not to mention the entire town is filled with hatred for anything diffrent, easily influenced by social media, full of fake happiness and coated in hidiously garish colour choices which makes you question who the 'ugly' and 'strange' ones really are here. Subtle themes of child abuse, belonging, acceptance, being yourself, death, honour, pressure, loneliness as well as other heavy subjects strangely fit well here making the film a little darker than I expected too. Sadly theres not much here for kids who will undoubtedly be bored quick because big spectacle set pieces are few and far between/not very exciting either and what I found enjoyable ie the subbtle violence, gross adult humour, adult themes and gothic visuals wont likely intrest them either. Oscar isaac and Charlize theron voice work for Morticia and Gomez I found very enjoyable and the score at times really stood out to me a lot at times creating a nice eerie atmosphere. Not nearly as bad as people make out Adams Family may be a tad forgettable, have an extreamly rushed third act, story arcs that go nowhere its creepy, kooky, spooky, and enjoyable enough to warrent seeing at the cinema for sure.
Friended To Death (2014)
Friended To Death (2014)
2014 | Comedy
6.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Actress turned filmmaker Sarah Smick might well be the next Nicole Sullivan should fortune smile upon her. Not many people will have seen her debut film, Old Souls, but if Friended to Death is any indication, she shows that she has the chops to create satire. Although her second film is not entirely perfect, it shows that she does have a lot to say in a screenplay that examines friendship in the real life sense.

Ryan Hansen (Zach McGowan, Veronica Mars) is a terrific actor, and he plays the perfect narcissistic jerk. As Michael Harris, he’s unsympathetic to everyone he knows, including his new mate Emil (Zach McGowan, Shameless) whom he treats poorly.

Harris is more obsessive with telling his Facebook friends what is going on in his day-to-day life. But when he gets fired from his job as a traffic cop, just what does he do next? He definitely does not go crying to his mom about it. Instead, he hatches a plot to fake his death (with the help of Emil) and look online to see who will miss him.

No one. This movie is not about saying how terrible and unsympathetic people are. Instead, it reveals that one can not treat social media as the end all be all of how relationships are defined. The screenplay is well thought out to show a hyperbole of extremes. Harris is more obsessed with what is said online than in person. At the same time, Harris does not realize that Emil is helping him despite his many reservations. He does not realize that he does have a friend who is doing his best to pull that stick out of Harris’ ass, but the further in it goes, more problems arises.

However, social media has its uses. It has a purpose in the world of business, but in society, that’s another question. When Harris uses it as his lifeblood and measure of his worth, maybe what he needs is a reality check (with perhaps a sociologist/psychologist to treat him).

The underlying themes of what this film examines is great, but sadly the execution is hit and miss. Unless viewers can actually care for the protagonist, the reason to continue watching will depend on either wanting to see how Harris’ life will pan out or wondering who the comely women in red (Sarah Smick) is involved in this plot. As Sylvie, this woman has a beef to settle with Harris, and to watch how that pans out is almost as nutty as watching an episode of MadTV. This subplot actually carries this movie a lot more, and it has all the meat to make watching this movie all the more interesting.
<i>This eBook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Polaris Awakening</i> is a young adult science fiction anthology containing several short stories about the human race thousand of years from now where everyone lives aboard giant space stations. <i>Polaris</i> is a collaborative project between numerous authors that are rising up in the young adult world: Kelli Sheridan, E. Latimer, Erica Crouch, Janna Jennings, Hannah Davies, Terra Harmony and Meghan Jashinky. Although each story is different, they all revolve around <i>Polaris</i> – the largest human built space station in the universe.

Despite the different authors’ input, it could be easily believed that only one person wrote the anthology, as their writing styles are so similar. Whilst being labeled as science fiction, there are a lot of themes throughout the book such as a dystopian setting, social and political injustice, romance and violence. There are many strong male and female characters, which make these stories suitable to readers of both genders. The main characters are roughly the same age as the target audience thus generating appropriate language and scenarios for young adults to read and become interested in.
Naturally, some of the stories are better than others. Some are so full of action and suspense, making the reader want to stay with those characters forever, whereas others feel rather short and incomplete. What happens to those certain individuals once they are off the page?

Whilst reading this book I kept thinking about a novel that was recently published: <i>Way Down Dark</i> by J. P. Smythe. The plots of these short stories were very similar to the general story line portrayed within that book. The setting was almost the same as the spacecraft written about by Smythe. If you enjoy this anthology, I am sure you would also love <i>Way Down Dark</i>, and vice versa.