Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Okay, I Lied

This isn't a pithy article like I promised.  It's another couple reviews.  Sorry.  The article will be here soon, I swear!  But I thought these deserved reviews, and in all seriousness, if you look at the title of the blog, that is what it was initially intended for.

Review #1: Carrie (2013 remake)
 (not mine)
I read Carrie when I was in 8th grade.  It was the first Stephen King book I read.  I was hooked.  Carrie's story is one that many can relate to, though perhaps not on an extreme scale.  However, everyone has felt bullied or hurt, and most have probably wished they could exact some form of revenge.
So, the movie.  I liked it a lot.  The cast was excellent.  Chloe Moretz was awesome as Carrie, although I do love Sissy Spacek in the original.  I thought that Julianne Moore was outstanding as Carrie's mother, somewhat better than Piper Laurie.
The plots of the two movies were essentially the same, with many scenes very closely mimicking scenes from the 1976 film.  The only difference is the advanced special effects in the remake.
Overall, I was pleased.
Bottom Line: 4/5 stars.
Review #2: If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin
(not mine)
Wow.  This book left me gasping.  I read it in one day.  I picked it up at the book store a few weeks ago because it looked interesting, but I didn't expect it to hit me as hard as it did.
This book tells a beautiful love story between two best friends, showing the way they grow up together, grow apart, and fall in love.  The plot is flawless.  The ending somehow shocked me, even though it is pretty much explained on the back cover.
This book pulled my heart in so many directions.  The characters are wonderful.  They have flaws and strengths like real people, and I truly cared about all of them.  The narration is also great; it pulled me in immediately.
This one almost made me cry, guys.  It was outstanding.
Bottom Line: 4.99/5 stars.  (there are some grammatical errors that bothered me)

Monday, November 4, 2013

I Freaking Love Tim Burton

Yes, I know I promised a longer article with more content, but a friend showed me Corpse Bride last night and I kind of loved it, so I'm reviewing it today.  The long article is still coming, I promise!
(not mine)
So anyway, I have always adored Tim Burton.  Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my all time favorites, as is Edward Scissorhands.  Something about Burton's dark, artsy style is absolutely beautiful to me, and Corpse Bride featured all of the things I love.  To start with, the music was written by Danny Elfman, which is always fabulous, and there are also some excellent piano pieces in this movie. I have vowed to learn them as soon as I have access to a piano.
Also, there is the cast, featuring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, two of my favorite actors.  Even in voice acting, they are excellent.
The animation is beautiful, with the darkness of the land of the living contrasting with the colors of death.  I liked the symbolism as well as the distinctive "Burton" elements seen throughout.
The story is also lovely; a sad dark love story that somehow left me smiling in the end.
Bottom Line: Watch it. 5/5 stars.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Some Album Reviews and an Apology

So, um, it's been awhile.  Like a little over a month.  Oops.  With midterms and whatnot it's been hard to find time to write.  But anyway, I'm sorry.  Forgive me?
Today I'm just posting a couple quick album reviews, but I'll be posting a longer, pithier article ASAP, hopefully in the next few days.  Anyway, don't forget me yet.

Album 1: "Monsters in the Closet" by Mayday Parade
(not mine, obviously)
Mayday Parade is one of my favorite bands and I wasn't disappointed with this album.  Sure, there are a couple lackluster songs with simplistic lyrics and excessively poppy elements (I'm looking at you, "Ghosts"), but the overall awesomeness of the other songs more than compensate.  My favorite is "Angels" with its amazingly lovely story.  I'm not too sappy, but this song speaks to my soft side.  Some other favorites are "Sorry Not Sorry" and "Even Robots Need Blankets".  Mayday Parade is pop punk to the core and I greatly enjoy it.
Bottom Line: 4/5 stars.
Album 2: "Don't Panic: It's Longer Now!" by All Time Low
(also not mine)
All Time Low is another favorite of mine, and I have always adored "Don't Panic".  The bonus tracks on this version are pretty good, although I'm not left speechless by any of them.  If you're interested, check out "Me Without You (All I Ever Wanted)".  In actuality, my favorite parts of this album are the acoustic versions of previously existing songs.  "Backseat Serenade" and "Somewhere in Neverland" have always been among my favorites, and the acoustic versions are superb.
Bottom Line: 4/5 stars (if you're into bonus albums).
Album 3: "Ocean Avenue (Acoustic)" by Yellowcard
(not mine)
So, this album is just an acoustic remake of their album, "Ocean Avenue".  However, if you're a fan of acoustic albums, as I am, I highly recommend this one.  The violin plays a large role, and it's great.  "Back Home", "Twenty Three" and "One Year Six Months" are my favorite. Check them out!
Bottom Line: 4.2/5 stars (if you like that sort of thing).