Review: The Craft (1996)

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the-craft-poster

“True magic is neither black, nor white – it’s both because nature is both. Loving and cruel, all at the same time. The only good or bad is in the heart of the witch. Life keeps a balance on its own.”
– Lirio

SYNOPSIS: Four girls at a Los Angeles Catholic school form a coven of witches that cast spells on their classmates and each other. Their new powers overwhelm them, leading to an internal power struggle. – via IMDB

the-craft-spells

I watched this movie so many times as a kid. So many damn times. I liked the fact that these girls were different (not to mention witches) and not afraid to embrace that. That’s always something I enjoy, when women do not conform to the expectations of society. The Craft is a good film. It starts out all innocent and sweet, and then devolves into utter madness.

I thought the actresses picked to play the witches were all great, and all brought something else to the table. These are just young girls with small things that irk them, that come together because they are different, they believe they are powerful. Initially they ask for little things, each having their own small issues. This is where some big lessons come in. They say you can’t always get what you want, and be careful what you wish for. You hear it all the time. This movie shows how seemingly innocent things can be turned on their heads.

the-craft-we-are-the-weirdos

The constantly shifting dynamics between the girls is also something that is fascinating. Innocent, then friends, then obsessed and changing, afraid of Nancy, yet power hungry and feeling superior to the rest. Then there is Sarah, a witch and girl questioning her group, not wanting to conform to the inevitable peer pressure. That does not stop the magic the girls try out from just getting bigger and more crazy, and does not change the fact that these girls can be right bitches.

Seeing how the magic doesn’t quite work as one would hope, and how it can sour terribly was interesting. It takes a different spin on it than a lot of movies handling magic and witches usually do.
the-craft-kiss2

Rapid Review: The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

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the last with hunter poster

“Do you know what it’s like to live forever?”
– Kaulder

SYNOPSIS: The last witch hunter is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history. – via IMDB

the last witch hunter fight

GRADE 5I didn’t have much hope for this movie, but it didn’t mean that I wasn’t interested in seeing it. For the lols, you know? It was an alright movie, nothing fantastic, but I think of many worse movies to waste time on. This one also had a cast that intrigued me, and they all did a relatively good job. It was good to see Michael Caine again, but disappointing that there is nothing fresh and new to bring to the table with his character. Vin Diesel doesn’t shock, either, and delivers the performance you expect from him as well as the character he represents. It was crazy strange to see him in all the scenes from back in the day. My husband was immensely disappointed when the movie flicked from the past into the present as we know it, he thought he was totally in for something else. However, it isn’t a bad thing that the movie was set in the present because the effects for the past and the sets and all were just… not good at all, but I could understand his disappointment when he thought he was getting this badass film about with hunters with swords and old school and stakes and all that. Nope, it was just not meant to be. Rose Leslie is, of course, beautiful, and holds her own here, though I feel that the role was somewhat beneath her talents. The movie boasts some terribly corny dialogue, this has to be stated. Like, there were times I cringed, times I actually just laughed, and other times I rolled my eyes. I think if people take this seriously, they are going to hate it. If they just want something to pass time and turn their brains off for, you can do worse (though granted, you can do plenty better, too). It’s just an average film that doesn’t break any boundaries, and never strives for brilliance, which is the pitfall. Oh, and some dodgy screenwriting.

The Vampire Diaries: Season 4 (2012 – 2013)

5

vampire diaries season 4 cover

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Klaus being alive and well and with us. Seriously, we are attached to this guy.
  • It is amazing when Klaus and Damon “work” together.
  • Damon Salvatore. Yes, I am going to say it again. And again. And again. He always knows how to just make everything hilarious (refusing to take things seriously is totally healthy).

vampire diaries season 4 don't eat the prom queen

  • It breaks my heart, but how Damon still considers Alaric his best friend, even though he is gone, and won’t let anyone sit on Alaric’s spot in the bar, and drinks at Alaric’s grave with him. So many feels!
  • Klaus and Caroline’s date at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant – I swear, he was like a child. She unleashes a totally different side of him and I love it to bits!

vampire diaries Klaus and Caroline Miss Mystic

  • Damon and Elena finally kicking it together. We have been waiting for this for like… forever!
  • Klaus returning for Caroline’s graduation, and his adamant attitude that Caroline might love Tyler now, he intends to be her last love. I want to see this happen. These two drive me freaking wild! Their chemistry is insane!

klasu and caroline he-was-your-first-love vampire diaries

  • The Originals pilot that was inserted in here – it was quite interesting all round.
  • Getting to see some more Elijah this season. It has been a while.

vampire diaries season 4 damon and stefan applauding

What I didn’t like:

  • How absolutely freaking annoying Elena became. I mean, I know I complained last season about jerking the guys around, but this incessant whining is super frustrating.
  • All the characters are actually whining and bitching this season – Bonnie especially.
  • How much more Elena can you squeeze into one show?
  • Everyone is screwing each other over, but let bygones be bygones the moment it happens, right? Who needs drama?
  • Damon finally getting a chance with Elena, and yet it is so cold, I haven’t seen the absolute passion she had with Stefan yet, and that crushes me.
  • Stefan is so self-righteous in this season! I get it must seriously suck when your brother gets your girl, but do you have to be so nasty about how it is only because of the sire bond?
  • Speaking of – Elena being sired to Damon was just so freaking uncalled for. It’s like nothing can happen for Damon without some hidden reason, without some other cause, it could never just be because he and Elena are clicking. It also totally undermined their relationship.
  • The whole hunter story line had way more potential than was ultimately realised, which was disappointing.
  • The cure story line also annoyed me. Endlessly.
  • Elena turning off her humanity just got beyond annoying.

vampire diaries season 4 elena

Rating:
GRADE 6.5This season lost a bit of the traction that the last few had built on, and that was pretty sad. Not that it was bad, it was just not as good as the last two. When it started with Elena being turned, I just knew that there were going to be dramatics I had no time for, and I sure as hell wasn’t wrong there. I was a big fan of seeing Alaric come back from time to time, I sure as hell miss the guy. Rebekah was also in full evil swing here, showing you that the whole Mikaelson family is not too healthy upstairs. Kol annoyed me, too (and there is actually potential here for other things), and the inclusion of Professor Creepy (Shane) also didn’t help – I was irritated whenever we had to deal with his character, even when it was to help Bonnie. A regular, functioning Stefan returning was really great though, and I thought that the show handled the tension between the brothers due to Elena really well. I was not impressed with the way that Elena is finally with Damon, and the show manages to make it all wrong, like he is forcing her, or she was compelled to because of a sire bond. Come on, man, is Damon not allowed anything? On the Damon from, of course, I just wanted to have his hair cut, and it was crushing to watch him drinking alone, missing Alaric, and being really lonely after his death, but it was also nice to see him with Elena, even though that came with a ton of guilt. Speaking of feeling bad, there is the Caroline/Klaus/Tyler thing to consider. I mean, I do like Caroline and Tyler together, I always thought it was as real sweet thing, but goodness, when Caroline and Klaus are together, it’s like the universe is in sync. Forever. She is a challenge for him, he finds a good place inside himself, and they just click like few others. I want to see more, even though I know it will crush Tyler, I just don’t care. I am so cold like that. I know Klaus is bad, but we all love him. Come on, we do. The hunter story arc was something that had so much more potential than was used, and that was a real pity. Instead, it was really just meh at the best of times. So flat. Jeremy and Bonnie dying (at different places, of course) was not cool, and the consequences because of both deaths was something else. I was not a fan of Elena becoming even more whiny than ever before when she turned off her humanity, and it was cool to see Damon track after her all the way to try and bring her back. He loves her, man, really. Bonnie dying means Silas got out, which leads to some horrible consequences for Stefan, whom I really just feel sorry for. He cannot seem to catch a break at all. Oh gosh, then, the pinnacle of this whole goddamn season? The fucking cure. Yes. That is how much is pissed me off. What a convoluted and annoying plot. I don’t even really want to get into it, but goodness, could we waste our time any more than we did?! WHY?! Anyway, a decent watch, but not as solid as the last two seasons, too many histrionics all round.

vampire diaries season 4 salvatores and elena

Salem: Season 1 (2014)

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salem season 1 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked: 

  • The intro song being a Marilyn Manson track. Yes, fan. Also, the intro itself was alright.
  • The animals that Petrus (the seer) has, and their crazy stitched up eyes. Creepy stuff I tell you.
  • Some of the effects are pretty good and the show can be surprisingly graphic.
  • Isaac Walton. Probably the only character I liked. He was so childlike and innocent, and always being used and walked over, which was really sad. But he was sweet, and passionate, and always did the best he could.

salem face cutting for necromancing

What I didn’t like: 

  • I was not a real fan of Shane West as John Alden. I think my biggest issue here was the fact that he plays someone so badass and it really, really doesn’t suit him – he comes across as a sissy trying too hard.
  • We all know Mary went all darkside and all that, but it was just so abrupt and sudden, not a fan of that. She’s also so completely darkside, which just seems a little sketchy.
  • The dialogue is just ridiculous, and cannot decide if it wants to be modern or traditional or what. No idea.
  • There are no characters that I like and that I am rooting for or anything like that.
  • The potential that this show just wasted.
  • The casting really sucked. And I was pretty excited to see Xander Berkeley in here, especially after The Mentalist. No such wonderful winning. Seth Gabel, too, whom I absolutely adored in Fringe felt so wasted and weak here, though he is one of the better characters, to be sure.
  • No real progression. Everything went in circles and was ridiculously predictable. Plus, no plot twist or revelation was ever delivered with any finesse, so it all just felt hollow overall.
  • The whole character progression of Mercy. I mean how the hell did she get so strong and knowledgeable so quickly? Pffff, it was just frustrating.

salem zombies

Rating:
GRADE 4
Well, it is rather evident that I was not a fan of this. I don’t know why my other half insisted on watching this. He was told by some colleagues/friends that it was really good and really interesting and blah blah blah. Now, we have never actually gotten anything good to watch from them before, or a great recommendation that stood out, and all I really wanted was to watch Deadwood, but this was short, so if not, why not? Right? Pffffff. This was such a painful experience for me to get through, but because it was only a thirteen episode long season, my OCD would not allow me to simply stop watching and move on. I hate that about short seasons sometimes. Dammit. Well, I figured that once I had started, I may as well invest some time in this, even if just to bitch and moan about it, and trust me, I will. The casting just felt all wrong, really. From the off. Like none of the characters was suited for their role… I know we are supposed to identify with Alden and all that, but I just wanted to cut his hair (the long hair didn’t suit him – and I am sure you all know how much that must kill me to admit it) and I thought he was such a sissy pushover. Not to mention my excitement levels went through the roof when I saw Seth Gabel as a cast member, I like him, and thought he was simply superb in Fringe. Queue a teeth kicking, cause that’s what this show was. There are so many holes in it, and so many stories that get introduced and forgotten and rushed away from. It’s like… why?! The worst is this show had potential. Like the concept, and the fact that the effects were halfway decent and there was some impressive gore. I was like yeahhhhh, let’s have a lookie here, and then this is what we got. There were moments that were pretty good, albeit predictable. It’s like Salem never catches, never finds itself, never draws you in, which is a pity. Also, I didn’t appreciate Janet Montgomery in the main role of Mary one little bit. Logic also makes some impressively confusing and mind-numbing leaps and bounds, which just adds to the irritations within this show. Also, the pacing was terrible. Something would happen and only be addressed again much later on, undecided as to whether something was relevant or not. Make up your minds, people, it can’t be that hard… The camera work was also incredibly sketchy, and sometimes the way it would rapidly flick between two characters in a single room made me think of a soapie. Meh. As much as Increase Mather was a twit, he was one of the more entertaining twits, and Stephen Lang had more screen presence than anyone I had actually seen this season. The one great thing about this show is the amount of laughter it provided for me and my other half due to ripping it to shreds and taking the Mickey out of it completely. I cannot, with a clear conscience, recommend this show – it could have been so much more if it wanted to!

salem reading

Review: Dead to the World – Charlaine Harris

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dead to the world

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #4

Sookie Stackhouse, local barmaid of Bon Temps and telepath,  gets a shock one night when returning home after her ex-boyfriend, Bill Compton, informs her that he will be doing some more research in Peru for the queen of Louisiana to construct the vampire database. She has made her New Year’s resolution not to beaten up again. On her way home, mopey and depressed, she comes across a half naked Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area 5, and Bill’s boss. Not that Sookie has any love for the man, nevertheless she stops to find out the problem. It rapidly becomes evident that Eric has no memory, and that he is in danger. She takes him home to care for him. The following night, she meets with Eric’s protege and business partner, Pam, as well as Chow, the bartender at Fangtasia, the bar they own. Jason Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother, soon figures that Eric is a vampire, and that Sookie is going to need to harbour him. Seeing as poster have been put up around town, offering a $50 000-00 reward for the Viking vampire, Jason arranges that Sookie be paid $35 000-00 for the duty.

Eric has been cursed by powerful witches, who are also werewolves, and this causes a problem. Hallow, the woman that cursed him, is intent on finding him. Sookie is dealing with other issues when she is contacted by Jason’s boss and learns that he has gone missing. Detective Andy Bellefleur and company are not particularly willing to take things seriously, and blow it off. Sookie is worried, and knows that Crystal Norris, the girl Jason was with on New Year’s Eve, is a werewolf. Making enquiries in Hotshot, where the girl lives, proves fruitless, though she is courted by Calvin Norris, the leader in the area. Sookie travels to Shreveport to meet with Alcide Herveaux, a Were who helped her recently when she was looking for Bill. It seems that he is back with his good for nothing ex, Debbie Pelt, who hates Sookie with a passion. Alcide takes Sookie with him to tell the packmaster of the powerful Were witches, as well as their power that is garnered from drinking vampire blood. The pack gets involved when one of their own is found slain.

Sookie needs to find her brother, Jason, and the police are starting to get involved. Eric, on the other hand, is showing no signs of recovering his memory, though he and Sookie are getting closer. Sookie has always been an unattainable conquest for Eric, and those walls fall away when Eric, helpless, falls in love with Sookie. She is lonely, and depressed, and yields to this unknown man, who is nothing like his former self. She needs to get over Bill, and she needs to find her brother. The witch coven needs to be stopped, so that the world can be put to rights again. Eric needs protecting, but it seems that a war is cooking up between the witches, who want to take over Shreveport, and the Weres and vampires.

Will Eric recover his memory? Will Sookie be able to protect Eric? What will happen with their relationship if Eric’s memory comes back? Will Debbie ever leave Sookie alone? Will Alcide ever get Debbie’s claws out of himself and go on with a normal life? Where is Jason? Is he dead or alive? Is he hurt? Will Sookie be able to stick to her New Year’s resolution of not being beaten up? Will the Weres and vampires band together to defeat the witches?

GRADE 7.5I must admit that this book entertained me far more than I expected. I can probably call it my favourite of the series so far. I had so many laugh out loud moments, and I was endlessly entertained by the events of the book. Eric Northman is by far my favourite character in the series, and I love getting to read more about him than anyone else. He is cocky, arrogant, extremely self-serving, and he happens to be funny as hell and extremely sexy. However, reading of an Eric that was definitely not himself in the slightest was jarring yet highly amusing, seeing as Eric reverted to a much more old school and conservative kind of man, believing Sookie needed to be protected and provided for, as well as taking Jason on about it. What I also liked (yes, I am likely to be shot for this) was that there was virtually no Bill. Not because I don’t like him, but because he is very bland and boring at the best of times. Sookie finally jumped Eric’s bones, something I have been waiting for for ages, though I was very sad at the conclusion about how things went there. Yes, I have been dreaming about Eric getting his way and seeing how things would turn out for them after that. The books speeds along, and introduces us to new characters, and I must say that Calvin Norris was interesting and well put together, though not Sookie’s type at all. He has manners, and no matter where he is from, he has pride and power. Jason going missing was something that was important, but at times did not feel important at all. I like Jason, and even though he did not feature heavily in this book, he did provide for much of the humour in it. Hallow was a total disappointment in the end though, I was expecting more bang, and there were certainly flaws, but oh well, you can’t have it all. It is a light, fluffy read, so don’t go in expecting a work of art, but it worked for me, and it was a quick read, and it hit the spot for me.