Review: Heir of Fire – Sarah J. Maas

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Throne of Glass #3

SYNOPSIS: She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed. – via Goodreads

So picking up after Crown of Midnight, the story shifts with Celaena to Wendlyn, and it is here that the tone of the books change completely. Up until thus far, they have been getting better and better, and here Maas finds the meat of the story. We have moved on from setup to actually starting to get into what will come, wars that will rage, and building the champions who will be required.

Celaena wallows a little in this one, but never too much or too long to become annoying and whiny. I really, really loved Rowan, slated to train her and take her to Doranelle. He is prickly but there is a lot going on for him, and he is a character that creeps under your skin, and ultimately becomes an absolute favourite. I loved the interactions between him and Celaena, and how their relationship grows. They are perfectly suited for one another. Prince Rowan for life! I

Then there is the case of Dorian and Chaol, still back in Adarlan. Dorian I wish I could read more about. He has these crazy powers and they are just hanging around. I want to know more, and I want to know it now! The whole thing with him and Sorscha though… I didn’t like it. I don’t feel she was his equal, and I don’t mean status wise, I mean strength of character wise. I am so horrified about what happened nearing the end for him, and I am worried about what it could all mean. Chaol, though, as much as I used to back him for Celaena, as established by the end of the last book, I don’t think they fit anymore. I feel Celaena outgrew him, and that he does not accept all parts of her. I appreciate that he is trying to work with the rebels, but I really don’t like how he picks and chooses here and there. I am so in agreement with Dorian about how Chaol can’t pick and choose his love and loyalty to parts of her. When she sailed to Wendlyn, I didn’t think they would remain an item. The King of Adarlan is scheming, and there is so much that could be coming from this. The man is a freaking tyrant!

We also have loads of new characters that are introduced in this book, and slowly but surely we learn more about their stories, and start to see how they could potentially slot in. Aedion is a character that you take to rather quickly. Cousin to Aelin Galathynius, he has endured some awful things and has so much potential to become so much. Then there is Manon Blackbeak and the Ironteeth witch covens, and holy goodness, they are freaking brutal and hardcore. So dark and unforgiving, wow.

Heir of Fire is slow to start, and there are rather large gaps/periods between characters. That being said, you get just enough to tide you over between characters, and enjoy enough about what you are reading between characters that you are fine, so you aren’t slugging through chunks you would rather not be assed with. Anyway, as you can tell, I am a fan of these books. There is so much that is going on and so many characters and I just love this adventure. I can talk so much about this. I need more Rowan, I need more Celaena getting stronger, I need more Aedion and I want to meet his Bane, and I need more Dorian and his magic. I just need MORE!

Review: Scream 2 (1997)

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scream 2 poster

SYNOPSIS: Two years after the first series of murders, a new psychopath dons the Ghostface costume and a new string of killings begins. – via IMDB

Sequels aren’t usually that good, we all know that. It is a topic that this sequel harps on about, and it is pretty successful. For one, I still had an absolute blast with this movie, how conscious it was of the type of film it was (once again), how it mocked and taunted (again), yet did all those things anyway. Scream 2 managed to pull it off, but I had no doubt that it would, and no, not just because I had seen it a million times before. Hell, it even had a (really) brief glimpse of Joshua Jackson in it, so there weren’t complaints for me. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more of that.

The opening is one of those that have stuck with people for years after all was said and done, whether you remember the rest of the movie or not, we all remember the brutal toilet stall slaying of Phil and the screaming theatre death of Maureen.

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I was so happy to see Dewey again, I think he is such an adorable idiot, and David Arquette was perfectly cast to play him. He is truly a favourite of mine, and watching him and Courteney Cox together was great, they just worked. Dewey’s fury with Gale and her book was a point of incredible entertainment for me, he was so childish about it all, yet still so infatuated with her.

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There was no shock in the reveal (hopefully nobody was expecting there would be), and though there were more murders in this one, they were not as meticulously planned as the first one, and also much less phone calls. I miss the phone calls. They were something I truly enjoyed about Scream. I think one thing that really fell flat in this movie was Ghostface… not quite what I was hoping for, and it was a little bit jarring, too. It wasn’t as smooth as it could have been, though not a complete waste.

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The back and forth between the characters was as sharp, smart and fast as always, so nothing has really changed there. Sidney is still hanging in there, our reluctant heroine who is surrounded by wonderful people. I felt so sorry for Randy, perpetually stuck in the dreaded friendzone. Sidney is a wonderful character to carry the Scream franchise because she isn’t too much or too little, she never takes over and is never forgotten, and that is something that so many horrors can mess up. The main characters from this franchise all have their time to shine.

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Gale kicks some serious ass. I love this woman. She is a shark and a super  mean bitch but she is hardcore, and she doesn’t take much crap from anyone. Sometimes she is just too harsh for some, and her lack of morals really is a bit rough at times, but she is someone that I really like.

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Then something that happened in this movie that I am sure many fans are still horrified about. (Highlight text to view – SPOILER if you haven’t seen this yet). Killing Randy Meeks?! After all that we have been through with him, after all the lessons that he taught us! The only main character to be popped. Ugh. Why?! Craven, how did you think that was alright?! What the ever-loving hell was the meaning of that? 

 

I adored how Scream 2 starts up, and you are thinking they are going to do something different and you are missing all the characters you came to love, and slowly but surely they start creeping through the cracks. It really is something to witness them all coming together again to battle Ghostface, again, though it cannot possibly be the delicious Billy Loomis.

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Overall, Scream 2 is buckets of fun, while not as brilliant as its predecessor, it is a strong sequel with plenty of laughs, blood and gore – everything I am looking for in a film. Definitely worth the watch.

Review: Scream (1996)

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scream movie poster

SYNOPSIS: A group of teens are pitted against a masked murderer that tests their knowledge of horror movies. – via IMDB

Originally I had these lined up for a JB & The Chop collaboration, but extenuating circumstances meant that the outing would have to be cancelled. These have long been lined up for publication for the next few Fridays, and I was quite sad to see of Wes Craven’s passing on Sunday. What a pity, and the man gave us a lot of great horrors, slashers, and thrillers over the years. There would never be a more perfect time to line these up, and so they have become tribute posts.

Popping this in, as much as my other half was calling out how lame this was and how cheesy  and stupid, I have to admit that I had a total blast. Why? Not only because I grew up watching this, but as I got older, I could finally appreciate some specific aspects of these movies. When I was a kid, it was just about some weird mask and terrorizing teenagers and being different from other horror movies yet completely the same. I am older now, wiser. What this movie is, is actually a stroke of genius. Why? Because it mocks on horror movies, does its thing, conforms and teases and jokes.

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In a quick way, it is fresh. Different. Goodness knows it has been ripped off from here to Kingdom Come, and it has endured a lot of mockery and cheese on its own, but when you get right down to it, Scream still holds up well after all this time. In fact, it holds up brilliantly. I swear I damn near wore the VHS out when I was a kid, I watched this movie so many times, checked it out of the video store a ton more.

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The opening scene for this movie is infamous. We all know it. Or, if you don’t, I am not quite sure where you have been. A creepy, weird phone call to Drew Barrymore? Check. A strange conversation that starts as funny and goes sour, quickly? Check. The popcorn on the stove that she is prepping for a movie that is our timer? Check. A superbly grisly death by the end of all the taunting and the crazy chase? Check.  Totally just one of those movies that was going to nail all the things I love in a film, and handles the delicate balance so well. This movie could have bombed, but it didn’t because there is a certain finesse behind it that just makes it all come together wonderfully.

Scream is so nineties, there is no way to get around that, but on the other hand, that just gives rise to all the nostalgia I feel when I watch that. Not because the nineties were anything to write home about or anything, but that was my decade, rugrat that I was and all.

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Scream is smarter than it is given credit for, and is constantly aware of what it is and how it is going about doing it. I find that awesome. It doesn’t get old, it doesn’t get boring, and it isn’t stale. It has an idea, and it runs with it, and is highly successful about it, too.

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I was a big fan of the Freddy Krueger nod that was in here, as well as the way it was implemented. I had a pretty good laugh, especially seeing as it was Wes Craven in that outfit 🙂

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While looking for the above, I found this… LOL!

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Anyway, I also really liked the casting. I mean, half these people you don’t see in movies anymore, though they were pretty popular in the nineties. They all did a good job with what they were given.

They made me laugh, they made me roll my eyes and cringe, but they also had me invested in what was going to happen and how things were going to play out.

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I feel for Skeet Ulrich – gosh, imagine getting a name like that as a kid and going through school?! I just couldn’t! Anyway, he was a cutie in a real fucked up, greasy sense, but it worked. Campbell was suited for the scared young girl with issues, David Arquette is a serious favourite of mine as the adorable Deputy Dewey, and Courteney Cox was perfect for the bitchy, sharky reporter. Seriously, like no qualms.

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The movie is quotable, too, and played off on a lot of movie clichés that had been seen a million times then, and have been seen a million more since. However, they all just seemed to be done so differently here, which is awesome.

I know he is doing only the most fucked up shit here, but he is damn fine while doing it :/ There’s something just slightly too erotic about the corn syrup licking and knife flicking…

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I know I am not alone in my sentiments. I think. I hope. I actually don’t even care. Yep bestie, me and the psychos again…

If you can’t tell from all the points above, I am a huge fan of Scream, it’s smart, it’s great fun and definitely worth watching! Thanks to Wes Craven for having given us something so awesome!