[DVD] Movie Review – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters


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The saga continues with Sea of Monsters, the tree that has protected the camp is now dying, so Percy and his friends must brave the Sea of Monsters to retrieve the Golden Fleece, an item that could resurrect the tree.

However, their troubles follow them as Luke is also after the fleece, intending to resurrect Kronos, who in turn intends on destroying the world. Battles and fights ensue each intent on possessing the fabulous fleece.

In the end, things work out a little too well, and now a new situation evolves…

Many of the same actors from the first film reappear along with a few new faces, including Hermes, Dionysus, and Chiron.  I’m guessing that the second movie was contingent on the success of the first, so the actors were not contracted for more than one movie. It appears that there will not be a third movie at this time.

I do enjoy mythology and am glad that someone took the time to build on those myths and I enjoyed the series because of the mythology. The plot was somewhat similar to what was found in the original myths, gods playing up on one another with mortals as their pawns. I enjoyed the film, and do wish there were more.

 

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[DVD] Movie Review – Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief

I am well versed in Ancient Greek Mythology, the stories are some of my favorites. So it isn’t that far fetched for me to be interested in these new stories from Rick Riordan. I have the first book series, but yet to read them.

Pierce Brosnan is Chiron, Sean Bean (LotR) is Zeus, Uma Thurman is Medusa, and many other actors and actresses portray the other gods and demigods. This is a large cast for a single film and one that only had one sequel.

This is not another mythological story as to the beginning of the worlds or why nature is the way it is, this is a story about the War of the Gods, well their children actually. The demigods seem almost as powerful as the gods themselves (which doesn’t make sense), but the plot was semi-intriguing.

As an introduction to the series it works as an introduction to most of the characters, but as an introduction to plots it’s very limited. I’ll have to see what the movie sequel brings.

 

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[DVD] Movie Review – Inkheart

Based on the first book in Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart trilogy, this is a children’s movie staring Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), Andy Sirkis (Lord of the Rings), Eliza Bennett (Nanny McPhee), Helen Mirren (Red, Red 2), Paul Bettany (Avengers), and Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge).

As of watching this movie I have not read the books, but my library has them so I’ll seek them out at some point and then watch the movie again. But for now, this is the first time I’ve watched this movie.

I do enjoy Elinor and can relate to her (and her marvelous library!) very well. The idea that characters and people can be read into and out of books is also an interesting concept. I like how the characters separate, find each other, and separate again, each with their own story lines to complete.

I enjoyed all the actors in this movie, Helen Mirren is great, Andy Sirkis is an old friend from LotR, and Brendan Fraser is a good improbable hero (though I still think he’s a better hero in The Mummy trilogy). I also really love that characters from my favorite books appear to save the day.

 

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[DVD] Movie Review – The Wiz

I had no idea this movie even existed until I watched it in a music appreciation class (that class taught me a lot about musicals). This is a true musical as there is very little speaking and lots of singing.

Starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, and Lena Horne, this movie features a nearly all people of color cast and has an urban setting with lots of R&B, soul, hip hop, and wonderful music of the late 70s. Ease on Down the Road is the counterpart to Follow the Yellow Brick Road, and is quite lovely by itself.

I also appreciate one of the ending celebratory songs Everybody Rejoice / Brand New Day after the Wicked Witch’s demise. Some other differences from the original include the scarecrow being stuffed with garbage, the tin man is part of a carnival sideshow, and the lion is a library lion.

It’s a wonderful, updated, take on The Wizard of Oz with some awesome performers and some original storyline deviations. Lena Horne is perfect as Glinda, and Richard Pryor makes a very good wizard. I leave you now with one of my favorite songs from the movie.

 

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Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

Shadowmagic (Shadowmagic, #1)Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where do I start with this book? Some of the descriptions call it a modern Lord of the Rings, but I guess I don’t really follow that.

Basically, a teenage boy finds out one day that his parents are alive, but they’re from Tir na Nog, the magical Celtic forest of myth, but it’s real, more real than the Real World. And everyone wants him dead. EVERYONE. Family, strangers, friends. It’s almost a running gag.

There’s also a couple different types of magic, and of course his mother is banished for using Shadowmagic, the kind that everyone is scared of. Throw in some usurping and underhanded family members, a smattering of mythical races, and tree lore and there you have it, the setting for a trilogy.

It leaves an interesting idea for the next book at the end, and I will say that I am interested in seeing where that might lead…

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The Horse Mistress: Book 1 by R.A. Steffan

The Horse Mistress: Book 1 (The Eburosi Chronicles, #1)The Horse Mistress: Book 1 by R.A. Steffan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really was not sure what to expect when I found this ebook on Amazon and started reading it, but it turned out way better than I ever thought it would. It actually follows an idea I’ve had, to a point.

This is a fantasy ebook, set in a different time and place, and as such the naming conventions are different and not my favorite it terms of trying to sound things out in my head as I’m reading along. This also reads more like a short story than a full novel. That’s all the bad things I have to say about it.

I enjoyed the idea of the plot, the camaraderie between the three main characters, and the differences in the societies that we were introduced to. I will admit that the relationship between the three characters changes drastically throughout the ebook, but I rather liked it.

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[DVD] Movie Review – Disney’s Babes in Toyland

This is an older Disney movie musical starring Ray Bolger (also known as the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz), Ed Wynn, Annette Funicello and Tommy Sands. It is set in Toyland, the land of fairy tales and toymakers. But not all is fun and games as the evil Barnaby (Bolger) plots an evil deed with two hired thugs to turn a happy wedding upside down.

I first watched this movie as a child off a VHS tape, and now as an adult I own the DVD and still enjoy the songs especially The Forest of No Return, its a children only scene from the movie. But my favorite scene is the battle of good and evil at the end before everyone returns home to finally have a happy wedding.

There are also some slow love ballads between Tom (Sands) and Mary (Funicello) to show how devoted they are to each other and give some substance to the story. The unfortunate Toymaker (Wynn) gets caught in the middle of Barnaby’s plot, but ultimately he has a happy ending too.

Everytime I watch this movie I get a sense of nostalgia and suddenly wish I was a kid again.

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