Rapid Review: 13 Sins (2014)

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13 sins cover

“I will dance with the golden toad.”
– Elliot Brindle

SYNOPSIS: A cryptic phone call sets off a dangerous game of risks for Elliot, a down-on-his luck salesman. The game promises increasing rewards for completing 13 tasks, each more sinister than the last. – via IMDB

13 sins cuts

GRADE 7Another movie from the horror box set from mah bestie! This one was chosen randomly to watch by my fiancé, and let me tell you, we were quite impressed (even though it featured both Ron Perlman and Rutina Wesley). What you expect to be a by-the-numbers film actually brings more to the table than one would expect, even if there are times where you just cannot buy into the logic. The characters, too, are not exactly people you are going to warm towards to actually care about, but they do serve the purpose of moving the story along, and they do deliver suitably solid performances. There are a lot of questions that are raised and, unsatisfactorily, not all of them are answered (especially a big one that I really wanted to know about). There was definitely more potential than was tapped into here, but that does not, for one second, mean that this is a hollow film. In fact, it is quite the enjoyable flick with a few funny moments and an intriguing premise. There was definitely potential for more thrills and tension, and while that is not constantly evident, the movie keeps you entertained. I was intrigued by Elliot and his situation, as well as how he was actually going to handle playing this game with some unseen caller. I also liked seeing how he was changing as he was playing the game. There was some fantastic material to explore there, though the movie didn’t focus on that too much, just enough to let you know psychologically the game was affecting him. There were some twists and turns in the plot, too, some which were expected, and others that came as a surprise, so that was nice.  I wish that Pruitt Taylor Vince had been given more screen time, he is an actor I really do enjoy. I don’t think this film has the guts, content, and execution to linger too long after you have watched it, but that does not mean it isn’t worth a look see, especially for a movie night with friends.

Review: Abandon – Blake Crouch

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abandon book cover

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS: On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman, and child in a remote gold mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins – and not a single bone was ever found. One hundred thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town, so they can learn what happened. With them is a psychic and a paranormal photographer, as the town is rumored to be haunted. A party that tried to explore the town years ago was never heard from again. What this crew is about to discover is that twenty miles from civilization, with a blizzard bearing down, they are not alone, and the past is very much alive. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7I checked this one out when I asked Kim for a recommendation to check out from NetGalley. She had me check out Blake Crouch, an author I know nothing about and haven’t heard of, although I do know about the show that has been made based on his books. I picked it up and read it recently and I must say that it was quite enjoyable. I did not read the synopsis for it (again, love going in blind when I can), though I can tell you the write up doesn’t truly reflect the novel. Initially when it started I was a bit irritated because Crouch doesn’t really tell you that Abigail is a journalist or that Lawrence is her father and a history buff specializing in the town of Abandon and that they are hiking out there with a paranormal hunting couple who wishes to photograph the town, see what there is to see. Abandon also has a fascinating story, what with an entire town disappearing one Christmas day in 1893. The book is set over two periods, 2009 and 1983. Both were incredibly interesting, though I was completed engrossed with the sections of 1893. They were fascinating and you really just want to know what the hell went down that Christmas day. There is drama, there are plenty characters with intense stories – more so than in the 2009 sections. There were some truly awful things that happened in 1893, and some things just get under your skin. I thought that it got a little outrageous towards the end of the book that the 1893 and 2009 timelines happened to match up far too neatly, but alright, I suppose the story needs to be brought to a close somehow. There were some things, though, that I felt had so much more potential to be worked on, but were just overlooked (on both timelines). The lead character, Abigail, is not really compelling, which is a pity considering we are supposed to identify with her and root for her throughout, and there are too many characters (in the 2009 section) that keep being brought in that just clutter up the story and bloat it at times. This book had that aspect of a horror novel/movie where, every time the character/reader thinks they are in the clear, something else goes wrong. The book is a smooth read, and before you know it you have read huge chunks of it, but it just seems to take forever to get to the end, but it is entertaining throughout and keeps you hooked. I will be looking into more of Crouch’s work. I don’t think this book will be for everyone, especially not those expecting something of the supernatural nature, but if you are looking for a decent mystery/thriller, this will be well worth looking into.

I Made Them Offers They Couldn’t Refuse

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invite 2.1

Yes. This is me again… with a wedding post. I know that isn’t really my blog’s thing, but since this sort of ties in with what I love, I had to share it with you guys!

I had to wrangle up my bridesmaids recently, and I actually felt like doing something a little cheesy that reflected me. Now, you all know I am a ridiculously huge Godfather fan, and eventually decided to do up a simple invite for each of the girls, making each an offer they couldn’t refuse. 😀

I went with a pretty pearlescent white/silver type paper, black envelopes and purple roses to go with my wedding colours.

The girls were absolutely thrilled and the invites were very popular, so I am glad it went down so well 🙂 They went pic-posting happy on Facebook, so I took some of their pictures to add to my post. My picture shows both the front and back of the cards, while they all seemed delighted with the puppet master strings.

INVITATIONINVITATION2

Rapid Review: The Zero Theorem (2013)

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the zero theorem poster

“Waiting for The Call. What other reason is there to pick up the phone?”
– Qohen Leth

SYNOPSIS: A computer hacker whose goal is to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management; namely, they send a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him. – via IMDB

zero theorem

GRADE 7I sat throughout this movie with a wtf-is-going-on attitude. Not because it was bad, but because it was a bizarre journey to take. Waltz delivered a great performance, and I absolutely love listening to this man. His voice, his cadence, its all very mesmerising. While he may have not been as eloquent as his role as King Schultz, or as thrilling as Hans Landa, Qohen was his own unique and bizarre character. I loved his usage of “we” and “us” instead of “I”, and his twitchy mannerisms were interesting to watch. He was absolutely crazy and strange, yet at the same time you want to know more about him, and you hope he realises all those things he is evidently hanging onto in life. Lucas Hedges as Bob entertained me endlessly, he was certainly one of my favourite characters. The way he and Qohen taught each other things and learned from one another was so cool, and Bob’s energy was palpable. There were things that I did not really get in this movie all the time, but that wasn’t too important. The constume design was fantastical and crazy, suiting the style of the movie down to a tee, and I loved the settings and scenery used in this film. Qohen’s home being in an abandoned church was interesting, and it had both a beautiful and depressing feel to it at the same time. The camera work was cool, and the plot layout had you wondering what the hell was going on the whole way through. I really wish Matt Damon had been given a bigger role, I do so love his work (even when he has crappy roles like Max in Elysium). I had a giggle at the Church of Batman the Redeemer, and the way the dystopian future was portrayed was incredibly weird, yet it worked. I don’t really know what else to say about it. I think that some people look at this as a missed opportunity comedy or something, and while there are scenes that are humorous and all, overall it is more depressing than anything else, but I liked that. This movie is certainly not going to be for everyone, of that I am certain, but as for me, I liked it.