Review: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

A Streetcar Named Desire
Directed by: Elia Kazan
Starring: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, et al.
Based on: the play of the name name by Tennessee Williams
Genre: Drama
Released: September 18 1951
by Warner Bros.
Running time: 122 minutes (2 hours, 2 minutes)
Cert: 15 (BBFC) PG (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
Blanche is in real need of a protector at this stage in her life when circumstances lead her into paying a visit to her younger sister Stella in New Orleans. She doesn't understand how Stella, who is expecting her first child, could have picked a husband so lacking in refinement. Stanley Kowalski's buddies come over to the house to play cars and one of them, Mitch, finds Blanche attractive until Stanley tells him about what kind of woman Blanche really is. What will happen when Stella goes to the hospital to have her baby and just Blanche and her brother-in-law are in the house?
I put off watching this movie for a really long time. Too long really. I saw it in HMV about two years ago and haven't seen it in any shop until last Wednesday (23/05/2012). I'm not sure why I put off watching this; Marlon Brando is my favourite actor EVER and this is one of his most famous roles.

What I love about the plot of this movie is that it appears simple, but it's a lot more complex than you think. Blanche has gone to New Orleans to visit her sister Stella and her brother-in-law Stanley due to certain circumstances that are initially quite unclear. These circumstances are slowly revealed as the film progresses and Blanche begins to break down. I loved how this breakdown was presented in the plot as an ongoing thing, since her visit lasts five months. I've really got to hand it to Tennessee Williams, even though his play had to be changed a bit to be made into a movie, the story that he is written is fantastic!

All of the performances in this movie are amazing. Every actor was in the original production (Vivien Leigh was in the London production, while the others were on Broadway), which I think was a good choice by Kazan, as they know their characters best.

What I loved the most about Vivien Leigh's Blanche is that she was incredibly believable, and I'm not saying that because she suffered from bipolar disorder. She seemed to have this terrified look on her face all the time and you could tell that the women was going through a breakdown, just from her face. However, I thought that her southern drawl wasn't particularly good. You could tell that Leigh was English when she said some words; her accent was a weird mishmash of English and a southern drawl (I'm not sure of which state).

Why Brando didn't win Best Actor in a Leading Role for this movie, I'll never know why. He really deserved it! I'm probably just saying that because he has his shirt off a few times and looks FINE. His portrayal of Stanley is pretty much the definitive Stanley, I don't think anyone else could top that. I felt so sorry for Stanley when Stella runs out of the house and he shouts for her to come back. I just wanted to give him the biggest hug ever (and also what happens afterwards, but I'll leave that for now). That's what I like about Stanley, he's an absolute monster to his wife and to his sister-in-law but you can't help but love him at the same time as being repulsed by him. I think Stanley is probably my favourite character in the movie. I just loved him.

I loved how the setting doesn't really progress much further than the Kowalski's apartment, which, if you look incredibly closely, gets smaller as the movie progresses to reflect Blanche's growing paranoia. Good technique, Mr.Kazan. I really liked the New Orleans setting, although I'm not too familiar with the city itself.

This movie. Oh. My. God. This movie is a masterpiece. I loved every minute of it, everything was just to good. This is definitely an instant favourite for me. I'd highly recommend watching this movie sometime in your life.

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week:




Tokyo Heist
Diana Renn
Expected publication: June 14 2012
by Viking Children's Books/Penguin

Add to Goodreads



Sixteen-year-old Violet loves reading manga and wearing scarves made from kimono fabric, so she's thrilled that her father's new painting commission means a summer trip to Japan. But what starts as an exotic vacation quickly turns into a dangerous treasure hunt.

Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger -- including Violet's and her father's.

Violet's search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the Yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery -- before it's too late.
YA mystery that takes place in Japan? Yes please! This is definitely THE book for me. It's got mystery, art, Japan, an awesome sounding heroine and run ins with organised crime! I have got to buy this as soon as I get some money (which will be after the book is released).

What are you waiting on this week? Leave me a link and I'll drop by!

Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Forgotten
Cat Patrick
Genre: YA Paranormal
Released: June 6 2011
by Egmont
Source: Borrowed from library
Rating: ★★★★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.
I picked up Forgotten at my local library without really knowing what it was about; I was attracted by the pretty cover, like a lot of people are. To me, the blurb is both ambiguous and obvious at the same time, which really intrigued me.

Forgotten has a story that, to me, is quite unique. London, our protagonist, can remember the future, but not the past, which is erased from her mind at 4:33 a.m. and uses notes to remind herself of what has happened the day before. This is where the unique storytelling comes in. When London doesn't write a note, she forgets everything and this is reflected in the narrative. I loved London's voice in the narrative, the number of questions she asks herself adds to the sense of mystery and I could feel her emotions jumping off the page.

As clich├Ęd as it sounds, I felt like I could somewhat connect with London, although I haven't experienced what she has. Most of the time I felt sorry for her, and at other times I wanted to grab hold of her and shake some sense into her. I loved her determination and how she still cares for people, even when things run sour.

Luke sounds like my dream guy; I wouldn't mind him telling me fibs. I liked how he stuck with London and still loved her, even when she wanted to rip his head off. I also liked how he is willing to help London with her problems, no matter what the consequences. What a guy.

The pace of Forgotten is quite relaxed but kept me wanting to read more and more. The moments of tension had me on edge as I read them. I'm disappointed that this is a stand-alone novel, I want to find out what happens when the book is over.

I devoured this book, it kept me intrigued and wanting more and more. I would recommend Forgotten to fans of mystery and also to fans of romance.

Musing Mondays (5)

Musing Mondays is a weekly event, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, where you are asked a book/reading related question and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

It really depends on what kind of book I'm reading. If I'm reading a classic book, there'll usually be little numbers that lead to a glossary so I'll look there and then go back, but if I'm not reading a classic book or a book with a glossary, then I make a guess on what the word means and then move on.
Do you look up words that are unfamiliar?

Stacking the Shelves (1)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews featuring books added to your shelves and sharing your excitement for them.

Bought:

 
The Edge by Rudy Josephs
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Borrowed from the library:

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

What did you get this week? Leave me a link below!

Review: Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Leonard Nimoy (full cast list)
Based on: Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry
Genre: Science Fiction / Action
Released: May 8 2009
by Paramount Picutres
Running time: 127 minutes (2 hours 7 minutes)
Cert: 12 (BBFC) PG-13 (MPAA)
Rating:★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
On the day of James Kirk's birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious time-traveling vessel looking for Ambassador Spock, who, in this time, is also a child on Vulcan disdained by his neighbours for his half-human heritage. Twenty-five years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker. Challenged by Captain Christopher Pike to realise his potential in Starfleet, he comes to annoy instructors like young Commander Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising caderts like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself, thanks to Leonard McCoy's medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever as a new version of it begins.
I was incredibly skeptical when this movie was released in theatres, so my Dad and I (we both like Star Trek) didn't go see it. However, the sequel is going to be released next year so I went out, bought the DVD (at the very low price of £2.50) and watched it as soon as I got home.

One thing that I really liked about this story is that it's an origin story, but an alternate universe at the same time. That's really interesting to me, and before I even knew what the movie was about, I was thinking 'if there is already a Spock, what's Leonard Nimoy doing here?' Obviously, I now know, because his Spock and new villain Nero have confrontations with the younger characters of this universe. Hurray for alternate universes!

I loved how the characters were portrayed here, it was incredibly accurate. I loved Zoe Saldana's Uhura the most; she made her feistier than Nichelle Nichols' Uhura. That's kind of what Uhura needed, to be spiced up and made feistier. However, I thought that her "romance" with Spock was really weird. It felt a little bit out of place, but hey, it's an alternate universe.

The sets for this movie were incredible. Even though there is quite a lot of green screen going on, the locations were beautiful too. I loved the set design of the Enterprise’s bridge, it kind of stayed true to the bridge from TOS, but it looked more modern at the same time. No overuse of red, I think. I also loved how the real locations were made to look more futuristic, for example, the tall skyscrapers in the distance for the scenes that take place in Iowa.

The special effects of this movie feel a bit Star Wars to me and a lot of people would consider that sacrilege. However, I think that it really worked, the effects are amazing. However, there are two things that are really overused. The first one is lens flares. In pretty much every single scene there is one or two lens flares. It got old after a while and I was sick of the sight of them. Also, there is no light in space, so why would there be reflected light? The second thing is my ultimate pet peeve of camera techniques: shaky-cam. Oh, shaky-cam how I despise thee, how I wish thee would cease to exist, how thee make me feel dizzy. Okay, I’ll stop now, but you get my point. Shaky-cam annoys the life out of me because it makes me feel sick. Yes, I know that I’m supposed to feel like I’m there in the action, but it must stop!

Overall, I enjoyed this movie. The plot and cast were amazing, as were the effects. However, this movie does have a Star Wars feel to it and certain parts of the editing and camera techniques were too much for me. I would recommend this for anyone who isn’t familiar with Star Trek and isn’t ready to jump straight into the series yet. Bring on Star Trek 2!

Follow Friday (1)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Q: Activity! Dream cast your current read.

I'm currently reading Forgotten by Cat Patrick. Straight off the top of my head, I can pick out people.

I imagine that London would look like Emma Stone when her hair is red:

Emma Stone (image source we heart it)
And, I know that he didn't have cornflower blue eyes, but in my mind, Luke would look a bit like Heath Ledger (I haven't gotten very far into the book, so I don't really have an established image):
Heath Ledger (image source: we heart it)
Happy Friday!

Poster Reveal: Breaking Dawn Part 2


More character posters today, this time for the last installment of The Twilight Saga. Lookit!

Image source: The Hollywood Reporter
Image source: The Hollywood Reporter
Image source: The Hollywood Reporter
I've gone a bit off the Twilight series in recent years, but I think these posters are still pretty nice.

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.

My pick this week:
The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel
Rhiannon Frater
Expected publication: June 12 2012

A walled city surrounded by lush land, protected by high mountain summits, and fortified by a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, the Bastion remained humanity's last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. On one fateful day, the valley gate failed and the Inferi Scourge overran and destroyed the human settlements outside the walls, trapping the remaining survivors inside the city. Now, decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city of dwindling resources... and dwindling hope.

Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her entire life within the towering walls of steel. She years for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.

Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate, reclaiming the lost lands and energizing the populace with renewed hope for the future. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.

How awesome does this book sound? Futuristic zombies! I've heard plenty of good things about Rhiannon Frater's book and I can't wait to get my paws on this!

What are you waiting on this week?
Leave me a link to your WoW post and I'll drop by

Poster Reveal: The Dark Knight Rises


There is not one, but three new posters for this movie that I have been waiting for since 2009. Want to see them? Lookit!


Image from Yahoo! Movies
Image from Yahoo! Movies
Image from Yahoo! Movies




Yay for release date! I've been waiting for this movie for quite some time, but not I'm not so excited anymore. Why? If you read my reviews of Batman TPBs, you'll know why (and the above image is my reason too). I love Anne Hathaway, but I absolutely despise Catwoman with a passion.

Nevertheless, I love these posters!
Read my review of:
EDIT: There are three more that I didn't include!

Image from TotalFilm
Image from TotalFilm
Image from TotalFilm

Review: The Delta Anomaly by Rick Barba

The Delta Anomaly
Rick Barba
Series: Starfleet Academy #1
Genre: YA Science Fiction / Movie Tie-In
Released: November 22nd 2010
by Simon Spotlight
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase online
After a rough week at Starfleet Academy, James T. Kirk and his friends blow off steam at San Francisco's hottest new club. Their good times come to a screeching hault, however, when one of the cadets is attacked by someone who seemingly appears out of thin air.

Bones and his medical team save the cadet's life, but they uncover the horrifying consequences of the attack. Meanwhile, Starfleet's investigation reveals the assailant is actually a brutal serial killer from the past - a mysterious entity known only as the Doctor. Who is the Doctor, and why has he returned after disappearing more than twenty years ago?

At the urging of Commander Spock, Cadet Uhura is called in to help decipher a chilling message from the Doctor. Spock has no idea that by enlisting Uhura's help, he has placed her firmly in the Doctor's sights.

Before long, Kirk, Uhura, and Bones are caught up in the Doctor's dangerous web as they race against time to stop the killer before he strikes again.

It's quite shocking for me to not know that this existed! When I first saw this book in my local W.H. Smith's, I gave myself a mental slap on the wrist for not finding this two years ago. I didn't have enough money when I first saw it, so I took to Amazon for a copy (ah, good ol' Amazon).

The plot of The Delta Anomaly unravels at quite a slow pace; the main events and villains are slowly revealed. I liked how Barba has written a Star Trek story that young adults and teenagers can relate to, compared to in the series when the characters are adults and face some rather "adult" situations. The story has a tendency to speed up and slow down a lot, but I liked this strategy as it kept me going to the big climax of the book, which occurs right near the end.

The book definitely feels like Star Trek to me, but a lot younger because obviously the characters are younger and say and do things that they would never do or say later on in life. For example, I highly doubt that Bones would give Kirk high fives and call him "man" in his thirties. That was a little out of character for him. I loved the minor "college" elements of this book - studying in coffee shops, playing pranks on other students, that sort of thing - it felt that something I would imagine going on with Starfleet Academy's more easygoing cadets.

Apart from a few out-of-character moments from Bones, I think that the characters were written very accurately. It didn't feel like I was reading a book with characters who happen to have the same names as Star Trek characters but are nothing like them, because they were written so well. However, I was disappointed in a lack of Spock, but I know why he isn't featured as much as the other characters (he's not a cadet in the Academy at this point, he's a Commander). That's just my inner fangirl getting in the way.

Although the book isn't set in space, I still liked the setting of San Francisco. I liked how futuristic the city is described to be, while it still retains its traditional beauty. I'm not familiar with San Francisco at all but I got a really good imagining of how the city would look like in the 23rd century.

Overall, this felt a bit like an episode to me. An enjoyable episode, but certainly not an amazing one. I quite enjoyed this book and its action (despite its lack of Spock), and I will definitely be continuing on with the series!

P.S. I'm really sorry for the poor quality of this review; I've been reading very little for the past week due to exams and I stopped right in the middle of this book.

Musing Mondays (4)

Musing Mondays is a weekly event, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, where you are asked a book/reading related question and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.
What do you do with the book before you start reading it?

I usually just dive straight into a book when I'm going to read it, but I always make sure that it's far away from anything that will damage the book (food, water, nail polish, nail polish remover, etc.) and I'll also fuss about how to open the book without damaging it (I'm obsessed with keeping my books in good condition).
What do you usually do before you start reading?

Review: The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers (Avengers Assemble)
Directed by: Joss Wheadon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, et al.
Genre: Superhero / Action
Released: 26 April 2012 (UK) 
by Walt Disney Pictures
Running time: 143 minutes (2 hours, 23 minutes)
Cert: 12 (BBFC) PG-13 (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
Nick Fury is director of S.H.I.E.L.D, an international peace keeping agency. The agency is a who's who of Marvel Super Heroes, with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When global security is threatened by Loki and his cohorts, Nick Fury and his team will need all their powers to save the world from disaster.
Before I start this review, I am going to say that I have never been a fan of Marvel Comics. I'm a DC girl myself . I did tell myself when I heard that this was being released that I wouldn't go see it. However, the trailer completely changed my mind.

I love the idea of heroes getting together to defeat the "ultimate" evil (which is why DC's Final Crisis TPB was amazingly good in my opinion) and I really liked how the story was told in the movie. The movie doesn't start with the team already composed, Fury and Black Widow have to hunt around the world for Bruce Banner (Hulk), Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Tony Stark (Iron Man) to join the team and get Hawkeye back from the movie's villain, Loki who is Thor's brother. What I also liked about the narrative structure is that the fighting doesn't start off really early in the movie, it eases into it bit by bit, which really got me all geared up.

As I said above, I’m not a Marvel Comics fan, so I’m not too familiar with their characters (the only character I’m a bit familiar with is Spider Man). But I’m glad that Wheadon chose the characters that were featured, because they were all kinds of awesome.

I love the arrogance that Robert Downey Jr. brings to Tony Stark/Iron Man. Even though he is a hero and risks his life to save people, he is a bit of a prick because he has the money to throw around and ultimately be a prick.

Clark Gregg’s character Phil Coulson really made me laugh. He is pretty much a Captain America fanboy. Baseball cards, constantly telling Cap how much he admires him and that he is his favourite hero? Fanboy. I’d probably do the same thing though, because Captain America is pretty cool for a guy with wings on the sides of his head.

My favourite character in this movie is definitely Bruce Banner/Hulk. I loved the contrast between the meek Banner and the, well, angry Hulk. I think that Mark Ruffalo is the best Hulk that I've seen, the movie would have been different if Edward Norton had decided to sign on. After seeing this movie, I think that the Hulk is more than likely my favourite Marvel hero, the way he smashes through this is just awesome. Also, I love how Ruffalo's and Lou Ferrigno's voices were combined to create the Hulk's voice for the few times that he speaks. HULK SMASH!

Although he was a great character, I think that Loki is a little bit hyped up. A lot of people (mainly girls) feel sympathetic of him, just because he's a pretty face. The dude is frigging malevolent, don't feel sorry for him (I think it's obvious that malevolent is my favourite word)! However, I can see why some people would feel sympathy for him because he's the perhaps unloved adopted brother who wants to be worshiped.

I really liked how there was more than one location in the movie, it felt almost international in a way because most countries in the world are affected by Loki's attack. The way that the setting shifts from country to country really made the movie feel like a journey and we even go into outer space. And we all know how I feel about going into outer space.

There is far too much for me to say about the special effects. The special effects of this movie are amazing. Seriously. I wish that I had gone to see this in 3D but I'm a complete fanny about 3D (it gives me headaches and I didn't want to pay an extra quid for the ticket and then another quid on top for the glasses). If I do go see it again, it will be in 3D. There is a hell of a lot of CGI work going on and I'm not usually a fan of movies that incorporate a large amount of CGI but it works so well here because the creatures and destruction looks so realistic. Eyegasm!

This movie was so great that I want to send Joss Wheadon a letter telling him how much I love him for making this and changing my mind about Marvel. Everything about this movie is amazing; the action, the characters, the cast and the effects. Everything is just so good! I'd highly recommend going to see this in the cinemas before it's too late. If you can get a seat that is...

Musing Mondays (3)

Musing Mondays  is a weekly event, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, where you are asked a book/reading related question and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.



Do you tend to read to the end of a chapter or can you stop anywhere?



I don't like to stop reading right in the middle of a page because I'll end of forgetting what has happened. However, if I am out in public or at college and I need to go somewhere straight away, then I'll probably find a page break or go to the end of the page to stop.


Where do you usually stop reading?

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched
Ally Condie
Series: Matched #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Released: November 30th 2010
by Dutton Juvenile
Source: Borrowed from library
Rating: ★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase online
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I can't exactly remember where I first had heard of Matched, but I do remember reading the summary and thinking that the plot sounded interesting. So, I borrowed it from the library and gave it a read.

In short, this book wasn't as good as I had hoped. There were quite a few things that I didn't like and one of those things was the narrative. I'm not really a fan of present-tense narratives and I would've preferred an omniscient narrator to Cassia's narration. Ky's status is brought up at the most inappropriate times in the narrative. Cassia could be running on the track and then, 'Ky's an Aberration'. I don't see what that has to do with the current action!

I guess the only upside of this book, is its plot. I liked the plot of this book, it had potential, but it isn't told very well. For the most part, the story moves incredibly slow and picks up the pace a few times throughout the book. The ending of the book left me quite disappointed, I didn't expect it but I just seemed a bit out of place.

If I were Cassia, I would choose Xander over Ky any day. I don't see what is 'appealing' about him. He actually sounds quite boring to me. Usually, I'm a sucker for the mysterious one, but not this "mysterious" one. Xander, on the other hand, is quite charming. To me, he's the more likable boy.

I probably will venture further into the series and hopefully the next two books will be better than this one.

Review: The Hunger Games (2012)

The Hunger Games
Directed by: Gary Ross
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
Based on: the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins
Genre: Science Fiction / Action
Released: March 23 2012
by Lionsgate
Running time: 142 minutes (2 hrs, 22 mins)
Cert: 12 (BBFC) PG-13 (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
In a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided between 12 districts and the Captiol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate thier competitors while the citizens of Panem are required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.
As soon as I had finished the book, I thought to myself "I must see the movie". So, I grabbed a friend and went down to the cinema to see it!

I'm incredibly glad that the screenplay sticks as close to the book as possible. There were very little differences that I could pick out (I've only read the first book so far, I will be moving onto Catching Fire very soon) and they didn't really phase me but I guess it was done for a reason (Haymitch not being at the Reaping, for example).

I quite liked Jennifer Lawrence's performance of Katniss. However, she did come off as a little cold at the beginning, which I kind of expected since I found Katniss to be quite cold at the beginning of the book. She did become more human in the more emotional moments of the movie. One thing, just one thing that bugged me a little bit was that at times she seemed to be a little monotonous. Apart from that one little downside, I enjoyed her performance.

I think that Josh Hutcherson was spot-on as Peeta. I loved his stunned reaction at the Reaping, it was just perfect. I can't imagine anyone else giving a better performance; Hutcherson pretty much was Peeta up there on the screen, instead of some guy acting like him. I can't think of much else to say about his performance other than that it was flawless!

The majority of the cast was absolutely fantastic; Amandla Stenberg's performance as Rue nearly had me in tears every time she appeared on screen because I knew what was going to happen. When it did happen, I pretty much had to stop myself from sobbing or I would have gotten a funny look from the fat bloke sitting next to me.

The special effects of this movie are simply breathtaking. Especially the establishing shots of the Capitol. I loved how futuristic the technology looked; it certainly looked a lot better than I had imagined. I also found the makeup to be incredible; I winced at Katniss' burnt leg because it looked so realistic that it was horrific. However, I was a bit disappointed at the lack of blood. I was expecting there to be a lot more blood but not so much that I had to drag my eyes away from the screen. I can see why there is not as much blood, since this is a 12A rated movie.

I only have one huge negative to say about this movie: wobbly camera. I absolutely despise the wobbly camera technique. I get motion sickness even from just watching something and I had to keep looking away at times because I felt incredibly nauseous. The tracker-jacker scene was the worst for me because the camera flits around so much and then goes into POV shots. I felt like I was going to vomit into my Pepsi at this point.

For me, the score of this movie was the perfect combination of majesty and calm. It was very triumphant and heroic at some points and quite calm and emotional at others. It was incredibly fitting given the moments that the music appeared in, but I wish that there was a bit more music. Some of the beginning scenes felt a bit empty without music.

Overall, I loved loved loved this movie! I would recommend this to everyone, regardless of whether you've read the books or not. This is definitely the must-see movie of the moment.

Review: Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall

Night of the Living Trekkies
Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall
Genre: Comedy / Horror
Released: September 15th 2010
by Quirk Publishing
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★★

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Journey to the final frontier of sci-fi zombie horror!

Jim Pike was the world’s biggest Star Trek fan—until two tours of duty in Afghanistan destroyed his faith in the human race. Now he sleepwalks through life as the assistant manager of a small hotel in downtown Houston.

But when hundreds of Trekkies arrive in his lobby for a science-fiction convention, Jim finds himself surrounded by costumed Klingons, Vulcans, and Ferengi—plus a strange virus that transforms its carriers into savage, flesh-eating zombies!

As bloody corpses stumble to life and the planet teeters on the brink of total apocalypse, Jim must deliver a ragtag crew of fanboys and fangirls to safety. Dressed in homemade uniforms and armed with prop phasers, their prime directive is to survive. But how long can they last in the ultimate no-win scenario?
I had no idea that this book existed until I saw in on an IMM post on one of my favourite blogs. I'd not read nay zombie books before picking this up (zombies have always been a bit too scary for me) but I decided to give it a go; Trekkies eating people sounds awesome!

The cover of this book made me laugh a little; the visitors' pass says the Wrath of Con (KHAAAAN)! If you're not too familiar with Star Trek, you might not get it, but I thought it was pretty funny. The cover tells you pretty much what this book is about: a zombie apocalypse at a Star Trek convention. I love the art style, it's pretty grungy.

The plot of the book is full of suspense and tension, which I absolutely loved. I pretty much devoured this book, I kept wanting to read more and more, to find out what happens next to Jim and his band of Trekkies. The ending has left me wanting to know what happens when it's all over.If there is a sequel, I will be a very happy bunny.

Moving onto the characters, the characters of this book are all kinds of awesome. I loved how they are initially terrified of the onslaught of zombies but they toughen up and realise that they will definitely die if they sit in a corner and cry for their mothers. Well, not everyone does that, but quite a few do. Even a Klingon. Klingons are warriors.

I have to say, naming the main character after the first two captains of the USS Enterprise was such a bright idea. Apart from his awesome name, I loved Jim's character. He's strong but he's compassionate at the same time. Plus, his decision making is enviable. He definitely has that hero quality and knows how to handle himself in danger.

I really loved Leia. I aspire to be Leia. She was tough but compassionate too, and I thought her "cross-series" relationship with Jim was incredibly cute. I thought it was pretty funny that she was going around a Star Trek convention dressed as Princess Leia in Jabba's palace. With Enterprise-shaped slippers on because her feet are too big for anything else.

To me, Matt had the perfect level of malevolence as a villain. He started off as just a plain old douchebag, and morphed into a nutcase. At the end I realised, this guy is a full-blown maniac Trekkie. The description of his bedroom in his RV - nicknamed the USS Stockard - had me in stitches, it was too funny. To me, Matt kind of showed the mad side to some Trekkies, he proclaims himself to be a "captain" and that nobody can overthrow him.

Now for the zombies: the zombies were AWESOME. I'll not spoil how the virus comes about, but I will say this: it blew my mind. I didn't expect it at all, and if you know what kind of fictional creatures I love, you might be able to guess. But I wouldn't advise it because it would spoil the story. I'm not an expert on zombies, but the way these zombies were constructed was incredible. A third eye that hunts out prey! How awesome is that?

The setting of the book kind of reminded me of Dawn of the Dead, except that it's a hotel, not a shopping mall. Either way, they're stuck in the same place all night with a bunch of flesh-eating zombies. I'd hate to be in that hotel all night, I'd probably be one of the first people to be turned into a zombie; I'm hopeless in emergencies (I had a panic attack in a broken-down lift when I was seven).

I loved the writing style of this book; it was funny and gory in all of the right places. I loved the grisly descriptions of the zombies and the fun descriptions of the crazy costumes at the convention. And also, for some reason I giggled when one zombie got kicked out of a room by "a boot to the butt". I don't know why, but I found that funny for some reason.

I really loved this book; it was funny and gory in all the right ways. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves zombies and like to laugh. I'm still hoping for a sequel!