Review: Crown of Midnight – Sarah J. Maas

0

Throne of Glass #2

SYNOPSIS: “A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for. – via Goodreads

Well, well, well, this series is shaping up to be far better than I had originally anticipated. Throne of Glass was decent, and enough to draw me in, and this book is a marked improvement over even that. We have moved on from that rather silly competition, and there is a lot more character growth going on here, and a look into all sorts of scheming and wheeling and dealing, that was only ever alluded to in the first book.

Chaol and Celaena totally get things rolling between them, and I do like them together. They fit nicely, and though Dorian is still sulking in the corner, he seems decent enough to be stepping back and not being some weird imposition the whole time. I think he will definitely find someone else that works for him so much, and I can’t wait to see who that is. Okay, but on the Chaol and Celeana front – I was so peeved about the let down that it was when they finally got to bedding each other. I didn’t necessarily want super raunchy or anything, but after 1.5 books, it was a bit tame and such a let down. Oh well. Also, while I do like them together, I don’t think they will last together. Chaol is too blindly loyal to the King, and oftentimes comes across as someone who has no sense of self, just a puppet. And he can be really whiny. I think that while he is good for Celaena now, she is certainly stronger than he is, so I guess we will see where they go together.

Anyway, Celeana being the King’s Champion means that she is up to all sorts of things, though she is steadfast against helping Nehemia and her rebel movement in any which way. This leads to obligatory strife, but all is good. There are plenty characters going about things in this book, but we still really focus on the main ones. Dorian, too, is going through some interesting things, and I can see how important this is going to be later on, which is all good for me, and I am totally looking forward to seeing what the King has really been up to and what his future plans are. I really wished we had gotten more time with Dorian in this, but whatever time we did get seemed to be well spent.

Crown of Midnight is a pretty damn good read. It reads quickly and sucks you in and gives you so much more of the world that Maas is successfully building. There is a plot twist at the end that isn’t really much of a plot twist, and has a second plotsie to go with it which also doesn’t shock much, but it is good to know that it is all in the open and I am keen to see where all goes from here. I am quite liking these!

Review: Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

2

Throne of Glass #1

SYNOPSIS: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined. – via Goodreads

Well, after the pain and suffering that was the Court of Thorns and Roses books, I have been super reticent about checking any more of Maas’s work out, though I have wondered about this series off and on for years. Seriously, after that flipping A Court of Mist and Fury (truly, fuck that book to the ends of the earth), I was not even remotely interested. Natasha realised that I had a major issue with Maas after that, and when she read these, she loved them, but kept it low key and didn’t even remotely recommend that I check them out. So, with no pressure, I eventually needed something to read recently and was really in the mood for some fantasy. That is how we ended up here.

Well, this is a totally different beast compared to the ACOTAR series. For one, I actually liked it. For reals. Yes, sure, the book is still plagued with the typical Maas issue of being far longer than necessary, but aside from that, I was actually interested. The book is also really easy to read, and just breezes by, even though it is a touch long. There is, of course, this little love triangle that crops up in it, and it almost feels that it didn’t strictly need to be in it.

Celaena is not a nuisance, and I quite liked her. I know that she is cocky and self sure, but this is not necessarily a bad thing – she has spine and oomph, and I like that. Then there is Chaol, and this is the horse I was backing! Yes, Dorian is beautiful and charming and all that (and I certainly want so much more of him and did love reading about him and Celaena), but Chaol is the one that I was all for. He challenges her and sees her and just… they click really well together. That being said, I would love more Dorian. The competition that we get in this to set everything up is not quite as hardcore as one would expect, and fluctuates between being written about in a lot of detail or being glossed over. The third act with all its reveals and all that is where things really start rolling, and sets up for a lot more to come.

Overall, I quite liked Throne of Glass. There is a lot of potential to be found in this series, and I am interested to see where it all goes. I totally did not expect to like these books at all, but so far, so good! Yes, a little long winded, and Maas still has a really nasty fixation on vomit, but neither of those detracts from the story. I will most certainly be reading more in this series.

 

Review: Clockwork Prince – Cassandra Clare

4

The Infernal Devices #2

Please note, there was a lot I wanted to talk about in this review, so there is a spoiler paragraph. I will note it, however.

SYNOPSIS: In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart. – via Goodreads

Oh. My. God. I just knew that this was going to shatter my soul, I knew it! I did not expect to fall so completely and utterly in love with these books, but here we are. I mean, I expected to enjoy them, but I did not think that they were going to take over my life, though why exactly I didn’t expect it is beyond me, seeing as how I am hopelessly addicted to The Mortal Instruments series. I got wrecked reading this book.

SPOILER PARAGRAPH: I started this one hot on the heels of Clockwork Angel, as I was so interested to see where Clare was going to take the story. And boy, I was rewarded and crushed. It seemed evident in the previous novel that she was cooking something up between Jem, Will, and Tessa, and the horrors! A love triangle?! Who knew?! But no. Let me stop you there. What Clare wove instead is a positively tragic, complex web between these characters. It’s tangled and twisted and so sad. It’s like… you know the horse you are supposed to be betting on is Will, but you have nothing but love for Jem from book one, and when he finally displays his interest in Tessa openly, you know that it is going to end in pain and suffering for everyone involved, including the dear reader. You would not be wrong, either. Seriously. I think this is probably the first time ever that a love triangle has not grated on me. Instead it broke my heart.

Okay, that is clearly an aspect I can discuss for ages, so let me break away. The characters grow much more into themselves in this one, rounding out and becoming more whole and complete. We discover much about Will and his past, and Jem also has his shining moments. Tessa becomes a far stronger woman than before. Jessamine still works on my absolute last nerve though. There is Charlotte and Henry and some wonderful developments between them, and Sophie grows into a wonderful character to read about. The pages are filled with loads of wheelings and dealings all over the show, and you are so interested to see where it all goes. Let us not overlook our beloved Magnus Bane, who is still just the most fabulous character. I do so love to read about him! I did not think I would love the characters in this like I loved the characters from The Mortal Instruments series, but I was dead wrong about that.

The writing is also really solid, and breezes along. The humour is back in full swing, and there were tons of times where I actually snickered and laughed out loud. It has been entertaining my husband endlessly, who says I am so very expressive when I read.

Sooooooo happy to have read more about parabatai in this one, as anyone who has read my reviews for Clare’s work must know that I am obsessed with the concept.

Needless to say, I was completely taken in with this book. I am in love. I cherished every page as I devoured it, feeling that there was not really filler material, just a story that demanded to be heard. Clockwork Prince is far more character-centric than its predecessor, and I thought it to be most rewarding. I enjoyed the more contained romance within this, and feel Clare did a great job bringing the time to life. Clockwork Prince is well written and tells a beautiful and terribly sad story. Yes, there are developments that are predictable and not shocking, but it does not come across as tired, as you just want to stay with the characters. I highly recommend giving these a read!

The Vampire Diaries: Season 6 (2014 – 2015)

3

vampire diaries season 6

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Having Alaric back, whoop! Although, it did suck while he was out and Damon was gone, I just wanted to see them drinking together again. Luckily, I got that eventually.
  • The friendship that developed between Damon and Bonnie. It is too damn sweet and I loved every minute of it! I actually squealed when Bonnie and Damon were reunited – they were like super happy children, so I was like a happy child!

vampire diaries season 6 bonnie and damon hugs

  • Damon and Elena still kicking it together – I am a massive fan of these two together.
  • The prison world – I found this to be fascinating and super interesting.
  • Elena was far less annoying this season. She was just a bit much the last two seasons.
  • Alaric and Jo were so freaking adorable together!
  • The mockery Stefan went through concerning Caroline, it was really funny that to see how blind he had been about the whole situation, and how nobody was going to let him rest easy about it.
  • The friendship between Damon and Liz that was highlighted, once again, while she was dying. It was so sad to see, but they actually got along like a house on fire, and Damon really has such a sweet, soft side.
  • The show finally really acknowledging that Stefan has moved on, and that he and Elena are over, it really let the Damon and Elena thing explode, and that was great.
  • Kai. This guy was annoying but really entertaining at the same time. I enjoyed him, when he was being a dweeb, when he was trying to make good, always.
  • Gosh, this season was so emotional – and I am not saying that in the bad way! It just keeps hitting you in the feels, it never lets up.
  • The last few episodes – like how nerve wracking could that possibly be?!

Two moments to explore the total illegality of Damon’s lip biting… like oh my gosh hot *fans self*. Not to mention the perfect rain kiss.

vampire diaries season 6 damon and elena rain kiss

What I didn’t like: 

  • Caroline switching off her humanity – highly functional, but vampires turning off their humanity always just irritates the crap out of me.
  • Matt Donovan is seriously starting to get annoying as hell. More so than usual.
  • The whole pointless storyline with Trip. Really, filler much?
  • Enzo turning that new girl Stefan was seeing. Luckily this story line didn’t last long.
  • How all these stories and events just happen to be super connected. Examples? Alaric’s ex-wife is actually Elena’s birth mother and she so happened to be turned by Damon (granted, this was back in the day, but it is stuff like this). Now it just so happens that Enzo was turned by Lily, and he happened to meet Damon later, and she just so happens to be tied to the Gemini witch coven, and Kai just so happens to be Bonnie’s mortal enemy, and Luke and Liv happened to be the witches the Salvatore’s work with, who happen to be Gemini witches. Do you see where I am going with this?
  • Mama Salvatore coming back. It is just getting too much man.
  • The immense amounts of storylines they are cramming into this show now is getting a bit much. At least they don’t go on forever, but there is constantly a new drama to deal with, meaning a ton throughout the season, and no real central focus anymore, like their used to be.

vampire diaries season 6 bonnie feathers

  • Elena having her passionate love for Damon compelled away, so when he made it back to her, his heart was broken. But then they just so happened to start kicking it shortly after that and all was well again?
  • That stupid, godforsaken cure coming in again. UGH.
  • The Mystic Falls “magic boundary” that was in place for way too long. When it disappeared? What happened to those Travelers man? Come on.
  • The Jeremy leaving to be a hunter and Bonnie returning thing – nothing was addressed or resolved here, and that pissed me off no end.

vampire diaries season 6 damon and jeremy

Rating:
GRADE 8Obviously I was quite attached to this season for a ton of reasons. Alrighty, so when this season started, I was stoked to see Damon and Bonnie just fine, even though they were in a weird place. The constant bickering between them is just how they roll, but to see the beautiful friendship that comes from that is also awesome, and it just works on so many levels.

I am really pleased that this season really got into the meat of the Damon and Elena relationship. I have complained for a few seasons now that the show is really good with having Elena and Damon together, but it always feels temporary, like a placeholder for Stefan. Well, folks, season six dispels that belief completely. Why? Even when Elena could have been with Stefan, she wasn’t, and he was totally not interested; when Damon came back and Elena didn’t remember him, they still ended up together; through thick and thin, things are happening for them. It also helps immensely that Stefan has moved on to other pastures, and I think he and Caroline are great together, BUT THEY ARE NOT KLAUS AND CAROLINE (read here, it’s a really personal thing for fans). I mean, Stefan deserves his happiness, but I swear, if Klaus reappears, I will be Team Klaus all the way for Caroline.

The feels. Oh my gosh. I just can’t. 

vampire diaries season 6 last dance

I was quite irritated with the humanity switch being flipped with Caroline after her mom. Look, I understood it, but it was long and tedious (for me) to watch, so it annoyed me. I was also not a fan (at all) of Lily Salvatore and her story. Come on, people, really. These stories are way too interlinked to be taken seriously.

Alaric Saltzman returning was something that was immensely welcome. I missed him, and I missed him and Damon together. They are like besties forever man. That being said, they both suffered immense and crazy heartbreak. Like sure, Damon got the girl this time, but Alaric? He got and lost the girl. Their wedding? Screw that shit, Game of Thrones level betrayal and hurt there. Stefan endured so much torture this season for being blind about Caroline, and he deserved it. He can’t really be that thick, can he?!

vampire diaries season 6 damon teddy bear

I was a particular fan of watching Damon and Bonnie stuck in the 1994 prison world. I know it sounds so silly, but just watching the way they clicked and found this seep and enduring friendship was worth every second of it. Then there was the whole Jeremy being broken about Bonnie thing, and it was sad, but it also got old, and fast. Probably because he was overly whiny, and dealt in the worst way. Alaric and Jo? Loved that. Alaric deserves his happiness, but apparently not according to this darn show. My heart was shattered by the end.

This season also had the better villain than we have seen in a while – Kai was such a mixed bag, but I enjoyed that SOB. Seriously, he was entertaining as hell, and I was so interested in just seeing what he was going to do, etc. It was crazy, and better than we have seen since the Originals left town, albeit still a flawed villain. Certainly stronger than Lily, of course, and he is diverse. Plus interactions between him and Bonnie? Priceless.

Anyway, the interactions between the characters was really good this season, and I was hooked every step of the way. I reckon this is my favourite season since season two, there was just so much going on that I liked, and even though I had niggles, I had a blast. I suppose that is what this show is. It’s stupidly addictive, and has like, no right to be so good. The season finale for this was hectic – well, the last few episodes, to be sure. They were a crazy, painful joyride that had you hooked, whether you liked it or not. Obviously there is much to be said about this season, but I will stop now. Just know it is well worth looking into, of course, especially if you are up for a fun guilty pleasure.

vampire diaries season 6 salvatore brothers

Sporadic Scene: John Wick (2014) – Club Scene

17

Alright, you all know that I am an exceptional John Wick junkie. Every single thing about that movie just works perfectly. The more I watch it, the more I love it. It doesn’t get old. It was super stylish and looked fantastic and it was shot so well and, well, Keanu Reeves. For real. One of the most amazing scenes for me is when John Wick goes to the Red Circle to find Iosef, and everything that followed from there was pure adrenaline, pure awesome. I absolutely adore the way that colour is used in John Wick – everything has this washed out, dark look, but when the colour is brought in? We are talking neons. And John Wick himself is badass and calculated to boot. He kept his calm the entire way through the club, and he is just so hardcore. And cold. So cold. Constantly reloading and constantly kicking ass, John Wick is the man to beat, and I think Iosef finally realised the reason Wick is called the Baba Yaga. Plus the track that played throughout the scene is eerily perfect.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.

Review: Zodiac (2007)

20

zodiac poster

“I… I need to stand there, I need to look him in the eye and I need to know that it’s him.”
– Robert Graysmith

SYNOPSIS: A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970’s case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith’s book, the movie’s focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. – via IMDB

zodiac

GRADE 10This movie is absolutely brilliant. I loved it when it came out, I loved it in subsequent rewatches, and I still love it. Why? Because it is put together extremely well, the cast carrying this show is fantastic, and it looks amazing. There is really just too much to love about this and not anything to seriously complain about.

Jake Gyllenhaal never disappoints (seriously bestie, you must watch more of his work) and his Robert Graysmith is really interesting to watch, like a dog with a bone. Robert Downey Jr. is excellent as prick crime reporter Paul Avery, and showcases how he really has more talent than just Tony Stark/Iron Man. I really miss when he used to take real other roles. The final big player here is Mark Ruffalo, and I always enjoy watching the man in anything. His detective character David Toschi is also a big draw, and I really like how these three characters each had their own obsession, they all danced around one another, were all similar but completely different. I think the movie really runs home the point of obsession, and how it interacts with everyday life, which is very interesting. Not only that, the movie is obviously shot phenomenally because, well, David Fincher.

The script it also tight, laying out all the pieces of evidence you need in the case of the terrifying Zodiac killer, who freaked people out beyond anything, even though he was never caught. I think that Robert Graysmith did a great job of investigating and seriously has the strongest case stacked against Arthur Leigh Allen. Zodiac is engrossing and mesmerising and demands your attention throughout, and barrels along at such a pace that you are not left behind, but are gripped, and does not allow your attention to wander for even a moment.

You cannot miss that immense amounts of work, interest and passions that went into the film, everything from costume design to the sets that were done, and reading up on the trivia for it, all this is confirmed. I have not read Graysmith’s book, but I will most certainly be looking into it as soon as possible. If you have not seen Zodiac, it is high time you rectify that.

Rapid Review: Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)

21

day 25 the force awakens poster

“There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it? The Dark side, and the Light.”
– Supreme Leader Snoke

SYNOPSIS: Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance. – via IMDB

Alright, so obviously I have decided to write reviews here. I have been dead nervous, but that’s just the way it is. Sometimes you just love something so much and want to share it with the world, but you have no idea how. Well, that’s how I get when it comes to Star Wars. I never know how to share my appreciation. So I was really nervous when I heard that Disney had bought out George Lucas and they announced another movie. So much could go wrong. Then there was the whole directors debacle, and I was not having much of it. But when it was announced that J.J. Abrams was going to helm The Force Awakens, I started to get excited. The man is so geeky, totally gets sci-fi, and understands how to handle such a huge franchise for refreshing or rebooting or whatever. I mean just look what he did with Star Trek. I thought he did a great job. So when it was finally time, I hustled right on down to my cinema to check it out, and I wasn’t disappointed, despite having some complaints about some things.

kylo ren lightsabre the force awaken

Okay, now let’s get down to it. That score will forever remain perfect, and I felt like a child sitting in the cinema, watching the story unfold. When Kylo Ren stepped out on screen, I almost exploded. I was so excited. I had suspicions as to his identity, but that was irrelevant. Everything about him was just hardcore – that outfit, that mask, his phenomenally mesmerizing voice… all of it. Not to mention how he uses the Force, his strength, and the fact that he wields my favourite lightsaber in the Star Wars universe. That thing is amazing, and I never understood why people flipped out. Later on, when we get a good look at Kylo Ren? Dat hair. Like OMG. I just wanted to run my fingers through it. Over and over again. It was too gorgeous for words. Adam Driver was just so delicious. Wow.

Then there is the super cute BB-8, who is now my favourite droid in the universe. I need one. This surpasses want. For reals now. Need, people. The way he waddles when he is hauling ass somewhere, how badass he is in an attack (more adorable than anything), and the best thumbs-upper I have ever seen… yes. This was destined to happen. Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford returning as Leia and Han was awesome, and I still adore them. I think everyone must piss off about this whole “Fisher got old” thing – I thought she looked amazing. Haters. Love how nobody is bitching about the men being old. Pfffffff.

I know the world is going to fight back on this one, but I thought that Rey was a bit of a flat, bland character. Like sure, she is going places, and I like her well enough, but I am used to Leia, who just walks in and owns everything. She has more guts. I am sure that Rey will get there though. Also, I was no fan of how quickly Rey just grasped the Force, etc. Seriously. Even Anakin, who was supposed to “bring a balance to the Force” needed extensive training, as well as Luke, when he was to help the Rebels. Rey? Screw that, she just gets the Force. Oh well, let’s see.

I was so stoked to see Chewie and the Millennium Falcon, and I really loved how everything looked in the movie (the X-Wings and TIE Fighters being some personal favourites), and the lens flares were signature Abrams and welcome, no matter what anyone says. I know I have an awful lot to say about this one, but come on, it has been a decade since the last Star Wars release (for me, I never got to see any of the originals in cinema), and so a lot of excitement has been building up. I will stop now though. Meaning… I will stop now with this:

Rapid Review: The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

9

bourne supremacy

“What were my words? What did I say? I said leave me alone.”
– Jason Bourne

SYNOPSIS: When Jason Bourne is framed for a CIA operation gone awry, he is forced to resume his former life as a trained assassin to survive. – via IMDB

bourne supremacy shot

GRADE 8.5Sequel time! The Bourne movies are some of the few movies that remain excellent… well, the original Damon trilogy at any rate. The Bourne Supremacy continues that line of brilliance of its predecessor. Opens to show us the sweet little life Marie and Jason have built together on the run, and when that is snatched away from them, it is genuinely a bitter experience. From there, things just escalate. The plot was another solid one, and the performances all round were excellent. Karl Urban was an enjoyable enemy to stand opposite Jason, and they could really go each other. We see more about Jason Bourne, the man that he was, the man that he has become, and how he desperately wants nothing more to do with the US Government, but apparently they are not done with him. The film takes its time to pace itself, which is something I have always appreciated about these films, and Bourne is just such an amazing character. I love how dark and brooding and incredibly smart he is, it works on so many levels. Also, his jackets in this movie… wow. Let me just have my fetish moment. Matt Damon was, of course, in fine form here, reminding me as always why Bourne is one of my favourite Damon roles. I thought Landy was a great pick to hunt Bourne, she was totally different from Conklin but it worked, definitely not a bad thing. I thought the movie was shot well, though at times I felt that the shaky cam effect was overused, as instead of pulling you into the action, it just gives you a headache and a dizzy spell. I don’t actually have any complaints here, the movie is gripping, thrilling, smart and entertaining with fantastic choreography – everything you’d expect from a Bourne film.

Rapid Review: Jurassic Park (1993)

13

jurassic park poster

“Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
– Dr Ian Malcolm

SYNOPSIS: Huge advancements in scientific technology have enabled a mogul to create an island full of living dinosaurs. John Hammond has invited four individuals, along with his two grandchildren, to join him at Jurassic Park. But will everything go according to plan? A park employee attempts to steal dinosaur embryos, critical security systems are shut down and it now becomes a race for survival with dinosaurs roaming freely over the island. – via IMDB

jurassic park

GRADE 8.5Ah, the joy, the love, this movie! I know you are all fans. Why? Because Jurassic Park. Do I need to elaborate? This was the things that dreams were made of as a kid. A dinosaur park? Count me in! Even if the T-Rex was on a munch mission, I still wanted to see it then, and I would still like to see it now, though I honestly don’t think I will be getting out of any vehicle, anywhere, and I won’t be travelling in something that is anything short of a tank. Why? That T-Rex. And anything that big. Any meatosaurus. I am not sticking around for that for longer than needs be. The raptors were also scary as hell, definitely dinosaurs to be afraid of to the nth degree. They are just too damn smart. Anyway, Jurassic Park is a right adventure, even with the kids all over the show. I thoroughly enjoyed Sam Neill here, his Alan Grant was just way cool. Then, of course, there was the rockstar Ian Malcolm, portrayed b y Jeff Goldblum. My biggest question? Why in the world did his chest need to be on full display for so long?! Other than that, he provided plenty laughs. There was Samuel L Jackson and his totally strange “hold on to your butts” line, and Richard Attenborough was a crazy old coot with huge, elaborate ideas that he certainly did not think through properly. Laura Dern was a very good Ellie – she was smart and worked hard, though goodness she could hanker after having kids! Besides that painfully obvious “she must be a woman” moments, she was sassy and she knew what she was doing, super capable and I liked that. Also, the way the entire concept was laid out in the beginning was great – concise, fast, let’s you know what’s happening without inundating you with an overkill of information, and then you are good to go. The deliberate setup worked wonders, too, because you really get involved with discovering this amazing new world with the crew. Jurassic Park is just magical. There is so much work that went into it, and it is extremely obvious, and it comes together well. The movie also holds up wonderfully 22 years later. Steven Spielberg just understands how to realise adventure movies, and this was no exception. It was fun and it was intense, because the movie is set up in such a way that you never really know if anyone is safe. There is so much tension and doubt about everything, which keeps you on the edge of your seat, and the dinosaurs themselves look fantastic so you very easily get sucked in and see how quickly they can go from fascinating to terrifying. John Williams scored this wonderfully, too, and his music just rounded this out, as his scores always do. They always contribute to the films they are in – always so super memorable. Obviously I really loved this, everything about it was fantastic – the concept, the implementation, the dinosaurs, the terrifying situations, all of it gives us an immensely fun and enjoyable adventure film.

Creepy Television Opening Credits

20

I was thinking about opening credits of television shows the other day, and it occurred to me that some shows have some exceptional credits to open with, whether those shows be good and bad. Some of these credits stick with us because they are awesome, some because they are fun, some because they are annoying, and others because they linger after the fact because they got under your skin. Seeing as this is the month of October and all that, I figured I would take some time to pick out some opening credits for shows that I loved for all sorts of reasons, but the primary reason being that they are all hair-raising in some way. I would not call this the definitive list, but here are five choices.

If you have opening credits that you would like to have added to the list, give me a shout with a reason why (email me or just stick it in the comments) and I will most certainly put it up here!

Hannibal

Okay, right off the bat we all know that I am a huge Hannibal addict. In fact, when it was announced that NBC would not be continuing with the show, I went into a mourning state. How dare those bastards cancel such a great show?! I hope another network picks it up and continues, but if not? Season three ended flawlessly, so even if that is the end of our journey, it was at least a good one. Now, the intro of Hannibal is perfectly suited for the show – stark, clean white background with these face moulds that are drenched with red blood liquid to enhance their features and that tune that is just poignant, understated and chilling the entire time. The Hannibal intro highlights the fact that less is certainly more sometimes. It didn’t go overboard for guts, gore, or darkness, but it went for white, stark and creepy – definitely drives home the entire concept of the show!

The X-Files

This is likely going to be the most well-known intro of the list, and for a damn fine reason! The X-Files was an excellent show that I absolutely loved watching with my folks when growing up (I know – I was way too young to be watching it with them but they had no qualms and I was totally not going to complain). The into is scary, it is weird, it’s awesome and entertaining as hell – that tune is infamous for a reason and speaks of nothing but bizarre and freaky, and the images as they are displayed on screen? They  just fit. In fact, as soon as I am free of my exams I am definitely going to be doing an X-Files marathon – I just can’t wait!

I apologise – again something I cannot get to play while embedded in the post!

True Detective

A show that ran rampant and gained incredible popularity for all the right reasons (well, season one at any rate – I haven’t heard anything good about season two thus far). Dark country song Far From Any Road sets the tone and scatters disjointed images of the South, factories, Rust and Cohle, religion, desolation, stark reds, fire, plenty silhouettes and just more plain down strange to drive the point home. The opening credits linger, and really get you into the feeling of a season that was executed with precision and really chills you to the bone. The credits don’t rush, which reflects the show down to a tee, and they are weird, which really captures the essence of what True Detective season one had in spades.

American Horror Story

Come on, no matter what happened with this show, the intro has always been one to scare the hell out of people (with the exception of Freakshow – which had so much wasted potential). I have uploaded a compilation of the seasons and their respective intros, because while that disturbing music plays, the most grotesque and spine-chilling pictures/short clips play on the screen, and they are all so dark and messed up and absolutely perfect. They are like the epitome of freaky, horror filled opening credits. It is a pity that eventually the show no longer reflected the super wicked intros – maybe Hotel will be the redeemer, but I have my doubts. I know that this is a great choice because I have plenty of friends who get too unnerved to watch the intro for this show (and even struggled with the content of the first two seasons) and so they always skip it. Now, if that does not attest to the forbidding nature of the intros, then I don’t know what does.

True Blood

I am sure most people are familiar with True Blood, the show renowned for all its insanity and the way it embraced its absolute cheesiness and ludicrous nature and played it up for seven seasons, that was fun but went downhill at a crazy pace. However, the one thing that was always excellent about the show was its intro. Jace Everett’s Bad Things was an excellent choice for song, being all heavy and seductive, and meanwhile there is this montage of all this crazy stuff – lonely swamps, kids with bloody mouths (but fruit people!), religious exorcisms or just getting real up close and personal with the Spirit, river baptisms, highly sexualised encounters, dancing, all flickering across the screen? I thought it was brilliant, and I have always loved it. Truly a great piece.

Salem

Now this is a great intro that peeves me no end. Why? Because the show freaking sucks and does in no way reflect the intro really at all. Which is a real pity. When I hooked the show up to watch and it opened with a brand spanking new  Manson track (Cupid Carries A Gun) I was so amped. The song is suited, brash, in your face, haunting, all underscored with this insane little intro – I mean people were bound to chairs, dumped in water, hung, full moons, flames, torture and messed up dolls swinging in trees? Scratchy writing naming the cast? Sweet goodness, sign me the hell up! That was freaking fantastic! However, in no way does it really highlight what is coming, which will rankle me for life. I mean just watching the intro again I am amped to watch it, except, sadly for me, I know what an immense disappointment it will be.

Daredevil

Ah, how could I forget this one?! It’s unforgivable! Thanks to Adam over at Consumed By Film, this has to be put up here. Daredevil’s intro is sullen and dark, what with everything bleeding red tones and being built up with images taking shape, the symbolism of religion and justice, it all comes together in a very chilling way and is all highlighted with that beautiful tune that builds into a driving crescendo as the credits continue. Adam is right, it is so moody and eerie, two words to perfectly sum up the intro. Daredevil itself is dark, gritty, and heavy, and the intro does not miss a beat when it showcases all these things seamlessly in the opening credits.

The Twilight Zone

The lovely Miss Mutant of Cinema Parrot Disco volunteered The Twilight Zone, providing the following:

I’d add my favorite TV show EVER. It’s not “creepy” in the same way these are but the music became so iconic and is so often spoofed now for when anything is “weird”.

Sleepy Hollow

Vic of Vic’s Movie Den has said that Sleepy Hollow has a creepy into, and so I have added it to the list!