Sunday, March 29, 2015

Book To Movie Review 02: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling (2001)

What can I say? It's the ever classic Harry Potter (HP) movie series. After reading the first book from the series, I can't wait to re-watch it once more to get Diagon Alley right in my mind, to get Hogwarts right with my mental image that I had.

I wouldn't say that the movie was perfection, many plot was butchered for the sake of the movie run time and cutting down casting purposes (I suppose). For many has claimed that the first 2 movies are the closest to the book. Nonetheless, I have my reservations still for the book. No matter how great the movie it can be, the book still has a special place in my heart because of how the voices of each characters were being portrayed in the book.

Side note, I have a guilty confession, I wasn't EVEN aware of "The Lord of the Rings (LOTR)" series at all back then and I have opt to watch this movie instead because I have read the book and was excited about it. Nevertheless, that near 12 hours of LOTR is still one of the best movie adaptation instead of the HP series. Let's not dwell into that right now since I'm reviewing the HP series and it's a whole different 'audience' genre.

The beginning was a tad bid rush on introducing the obnoxious Dursley. I remember laughing my heads off on how spoiled Dudley was and how crazy he could be when both Vernon & Petunia have to even kowtow to him in the book. Many was being cut for I know they may have be the main casting characters but they are very well portrayed.

Plot wise was done right in this movie. Not too rush, not too draggy either. Moreover, the scenic of how Hogwarts looks like was fantastic. The great hall was magnificently majestic and Diagon Alley looks mystical as how the book has spelled out.

The ending was not too rush, and how the movie builds up by allowing the audience to have a sense of rooting the House of Gryffindor is strongly given. Magical, whimsical & humorous is what the movie has to give, what more can you ask for in the first installment? One can expect that watching a feel good family drama movie is to enjoy the introduction phase, hence the first of the series has a lot of hope and anticipation for the next installment with greater fun and enthusiasm. Bravo!

Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Series of Unfortunate Events 06 - The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket

Now, let me say that this book has a great plot twist out of all the series that I've read. I have my reasons for continuing this series and it still has the element of wanting to know more and see how Count Olaf get his well-deserve punishment towards the end.

Sunny is really growing in this book! I can really feel that she has been really helpful in this book. Her ideas during part of the siblings brainstorming is utterly shocked worthy with great attempt to help Violet and Klaus. 

And still, what is V.D.F? The idea of mystery is getting frustrating! Why can't Klaus & Violet just listen to the Duncan Quagmire on the full abbreviation of V.D.F? Why? Please don't make them a know-it-all character!

Now I can't seem to follow up with the 7th book of the series.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book To Movie Review 01: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (2004)


So, I've been reading the "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket for the past few months and am currently at the 6th book and still thoroughly enjoyed my journey with the Baudelaire's children. In view to that, I took up the courage by watching the movie adaptation which was aired in 2004, in which it comprises the first 3 books of the series.

The kids were very well cast and Count Olaf is being acted by none other than the famous comedian, Jim Carrey. I have leveled my expectations to be lower. In fact, we all know that a book to movie adaptations can only do so much in within a limited time frame and books are like everything end to end. 

The movie has captured the essence of how pitiful these kids were but I didn't feel the connection with them as to how I read the books. Mind you, they portrayed the characters very well however I don't see the chemistry with them as an audience. I can't feel for them, especially while they were grieving. Call me cold blooded or anything, I've literally seen some really good grieving scenes by a young kid before and it moves me.

It was done chronologically with minor sequence that has been altered by making the ending with a greater impact. It works but I think it doesn't really reflects any differences. Anyway, it's for the best and I think it's done really great too, no matter how much I've been trying not to be all micro about it.

All in all, the movie has great entertaining values and it's a feel good family drama.

Ratings: 3 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Saga Series 09 - Chapter Nine by Brian K. Vaughan

Before I start reviewing my thoughts, this cover for Chapter 09 is HOT!!! The below kinda sums up what I have in mind...

Alright, I should really tone it down a little...

Wait, what, there are supernatural powers in this? This is something new, something really exciting here. I'm going nuts, seriously. 

First of, you see the 'Slave Girl' looks like this:

Then all of a sudden, she became this:

This is getting better and better. I wanna see who's kicking who's butt. Hehehe... 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jason Bourne Series 01 - The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

I have to admit, I have read this book longer than usual. I was trapped under this reading slump I never thought I had. And for that, I blamed it all on my work! Honestly, this book is so fast pace that I didn't know I needed a good amount of time of what Ludlum is trying to convey.

Then again, excuse my French, I do not know crap about the French language and there were so much of it in this book. Ergh! Eventually, I was so frustrated by forcing myself to use Google Translator just to make myself understand what the heck is going on during my reading time! How embarrassing!

Ludlum has a special way of writing that I wasn't really used to. I've read crime thrillers before and his style was quite daunting due to the fact that there so many dialogues and they were not named. Sometimes, you'll have to figure out who's talking while you're reading it too fast. I kinda got lost with the dialogue and started counting! Now that's hard!

My credit goes to the plot! Seriously! The anticipation, the curiosity & the build-ups were all paid off! I was not disappointed at all. It was so fast to the point, it got me all shocked and confused and shocked again when the truth has been revealed.

I truly enjoyed the epic ending. Masterpiece of it's own. I am taking a break from Marseilles, Zurich, Paris & New York. I've been doing a lot of traveling with these characters in the book. I'll definitely get hold of the 2nd and 3rd book of the original Bourne series trilogy.

Ratings: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Hauntingly tragic! Tragically human! What more can I say about the Holocaust? Until today, what really went through the mind of Hitler by wiping out most of the Jews is still a mystery. Art Spielgelman's depiction of his father's tragic story during the holocaust is so raw, so real, so human!

The fact that the representation of Jews here are in the form of mice, there isn't time for you to critic on the metaphor. However, there was this voice piercing through the graphic novel of how tragic the days were back then. Trying very hard not to sound overly dramatic whilst one is reading this; imagine the Theme from "Schindler's List" being played by the talented Itzhak Perlman while reading, how emotional!

We are being introduced who Vladek Spielgelman is and was told that he looks like Rudolph Valentino. A very charming classic good-looking chap back during those days. Here's a snip of how this Rudolph looks. I gather that his confidence were by those endless praise on how Art's father looks.

Journeying them through the route of hiding and escaping may seems tiresome but the thought of sleeping in peace is really a luxury during that period of time. Betrayals are not neglected as well for selfish reasons.

One may think that this is just a mere comic for simple reading pleasure. Trust me, this is heavy stuff, and it is as deeply rooted with a lot of family emphasis cum survivor-hood! Not forgetting the emotional aspects that this comic has to contribute. It literally took me 3 days to finish this and I can't wait to share how much this has affected me.

At the end, the very well-known Auschwitz concentration camp was just the beginning of the how both Vladek & Anja will be treated in the second volume of Maus.

Pick it up!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link